Spin Spin Sugar
Light blogging today. So listen to this Sneaker Pimps classic.
Light blogging today. So listen to this Sneaker Pimps classic.
If the U.S. Senate really wants to get rid of illegal immigrants then they should stop hiring them to do housekeeping.
Meanwhile, citrus growers in Lakeland are short of pickers, Orlando hotels need housekeepers and there's a nervous Honduran woman, here illegally, who has cornered the Senate's first Cuban-American in the basement to beg for a law that would let her visit her mother back home, then return to Washington and the job she has held at the Senate for years.
All of which is why Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., is overbooked this week, dashing from closed-door meetings with skeptical Republican colleagues to interviews on C-SPAN and Spanish TV to a Wednesday morning speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose members fret that a crackdown on the nation's estimated 11-million illegal immigrants - including at least 500,000 in Florida - will drain the U.S. economy of badly needed labor.
Officials of Diebold Election Systems have agreed to meet again with Leon County officials to discuss the possibility of selling their voting equipment for disabled voters to the county.
Diebold is one of three companies certified by the state to sell voting equipment to Florida counties, but all three have refused to do business with Leon. The county already lost $500,000 in state grants for missing a January deadline to have the equipment, which is required by the federal Help America Vote Act.
Here is a Florida progressive blogger I found at Bring it On! She's not in Kevin Hayden's Progressives' Peers Directory. (Note to self: email Kevin to link the new blog and delete the old.)
Carl Zimmerman is a Democrat running for State House District 48. He is asking Floridians to leave comments about the state of the Florida Legislature and District 48. Give him your imput. If you got something to bitch about then now is the time to do it. Candidates will not understand the concerns of citizens if the voters remain silent.
Tommy Duncan wrote his farewell to Tampa Tribune Publisher Gil Thelen, the same day I did. That 225,000 circulation number is enough to make anyone retire. The Trib's numbers have dropped from 291,749.
The Queen of the Damned offers her safe sex tips.
I tell them (what I believe): oral sex is a hundred times safer than vaginal or anal sex. "If you're in a situation where you cannot get out of sex, offer a blow job.
The Myspace site for Michael Rowe has become an online memorial. His last blog post was a love letter, his wife Rebecca, sent to him before he died. Michael Rowe of New Port Richey, Florida was killed in Iraq on March 28, 2006. His 24th birthday. He was going to be a father.
The WEDU show Florida This Week is a superb Florida news program. The current episode discusses the Governor's race, Katherine Harris and the Ronda Storms ethics scandal.
President Bush plans on selling nearly 1,000 acres of the Ocala National Forest. The sale is awaiting approval of Congress. Bush is trying to pitch the sale as benefitting schools. That is an amusing statement from a man who underfunded No Child Left Behind by $40 billion. The sale will only generate $800 million.
This has been blogged around the block, but I can't resist pointing out the stupidity that is The Corner.
America was founded by explorers and conquerors, not "immigrants." If those guys had been immigrants they'd have had to learn indian...
"I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war. . . . What we hate is not casualties but losing. And if the war goes well and if the American public has the conviction that we're being well-led and that our people are fighting well and that we're winning, I don't think casualties are going to be the issue."
Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms has battled public access television and public displays of gay pride. Now there is a gay pride show on Channel 19 called Voice of Pride. The Tampa Tribune reports that the usually vocal Storms had no reaction. That has to be a first.
Sinequanon is starting a database for detainee torture abuse. He is asking other bloggers to submit posts and information. So go help him out. I'm adding my two cents with this post.
For the past four years, Mary Brandenburg has introduced legislation that would require members of the Florida House and Senate to take the FCAT and make their scores public. Her reasoning is that if grown adults can't pass the tests then children shouldn't be expected to. Legislators even have the option of taking the third grade FCAT test. Bradenburg's proposal has died four years running. Howard Goodman reports that fellow House members told Brandenburg they are intimidated by geometry and algebra.
(1) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for prekindergarten through grade 3 does not exceed 18 students;
(2) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 4 through 8 does not exceed 22 students; and
(3) The maximum number of students who are assigned to each teacher who is teaching in public school classrooms for grades 9 through 12 does not exceed 25 students.
Here is a piece of good news for Florida voters and Ion Sancho.
Florida's attorney general said Wednesday his office has issued investigative subpoenas to the three companies certified to sell voting machines in Florida as he reviews a dispute between the firms and Leon County's elections supervisor.
Diebold Inc., Election Systems & Software Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. have refused to sell equipment to let disabled voters cast ballots without help in Leon County. Elections supervisor Ion Sancho has been outspoken about his concern that the devices can be easily manipulated to change race outcomes.
Jeb Bush isn't happy about Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Guy Tunnell playing email tag with Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen. Bush didn't mention that Tunnell was coordinating their efforts to keep the video of Martin Anderson's beating from becoming public.
"Ain't gonna happen," Tunnell wrote in an e-mail to FDLE staffers about the request.
But one of the lawmakers who first saw the video said Tuesday FDLE should've stayed out of the Bay County troubles since the boot camp was conceived by Tunnell when he was sheriff there.
"I encourage the state attorney's office who is investigating this and I know the federal government is investigating this, to look at what potential cover up has been and all the potential players in it," said state Rep. Gus Barreiro, R-Miami Beach, adding that "from day one, there's been a big cover up on what happened to Martin Lee Anderson."
What gets interesting is that the County Commission offered legal advice to the residents around Sundancer and provided a sample lawsuit. The county voted to file its own lawsuit, with former Commissioner Carol Atkinson dissenting.
“They are breaking no laws,” she said at the time. “Bay County is not some Third-World country where businesses can be shut down willy-nilly.”
The club did shut down. Cindy Farr, the proclaimed owner, filed suit. It was dismissed because a corporation, not Farr, owned the club.
But U.S. District Court Judge Stephan P. Mickle wrote in an order dated May 18, 2000, that most of Farr’s complaints merited being heard by a jury.
The Daily Show points out you really have heard the same Bush speech.
Bitchlab took Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (aka Kos) to task for constantly acting like he's riding on the back of the bus. Kos makes $480,000-a-year. He can buy a pimp mobile with that money. Kos also isn't a champion of women progressives. Let's cue some nuggets from the Kos archives.
Problem is, abortion and choice aren't core principles of the Democratic Party. Rather, things like a Right to Privacy are. And from a Right to Privacy certain things flow -- abortion rights, access to contraceptives, opposition to the Patriot Act, and freedom to worship the gods of our own choosing, or none at all.
And I certainly won't let the sanctimonious women's studies set play that role on this site. Feel free to be offended. Feel free to claim that I'm somehow abandoning "progressive principles" by running the ad. It's a free country. Feel free to storm off in a huff. Other deserving bloggers could use the patronage.
Me, I'll focus on the important shit.
Cookie has the details of the Drinking Liberally Jack Abramoff sentencing Party. Good times.
The League of Conservation Voters have endorsed Kathy Castor for District 11.
WASHINGTON, DC – The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the independent political voice for the environment, today announced its endorsement of Kathy Castor in the race for Florida’s 11th Congressional District, citing her strong record and leadership on behalf of the health, environment and quality of life of Tampa Bay area families.
“LCV is proud to make an early endorsement of Kathy Castor for election to the U.S. House of Representatives,” said LCV Senior Vice President for Political Affairs Tony Massaro. “No one fights harder than Kathy Castor to preserve the health and quality of life of the families in the Tampa Bay area. Day in and day out on the Hillsborough County Commission, she’s been standing up to corporate polluters and other powerful special interests, protecting the area’s neighborhoods.”
As a local Environmental Protection Commission Chair, Castor has successfully fought for higher detection air quality monitors for neighborhoods and expanded notice and other requirements for all neighborhoods after a manufacturing plant was located in a working class neighborhood without adequate input from the neighbors. Additionally, Castor has worked to protect local drinking water supplies.
“Kathy understands the connection between environmental degradation and the risk it poses to her neighbors’ health,” said Massaro. “She knows that families in many disadvantaged neighborhoods suffer disproportionately from illnesses like asthma that are directly related to air pollution and other environmental factors.”
If elected, Castor is committed to preserving our clean water and clean air standards. She has also pledged to stand up to big oil and corporate polluters, and will work tirelessly to protect the coastal communities and tourism-dependent economy of the Tampa Bay area from offshore drilling. She understands that only by advancing real energy solutions, such as increased fuel efficiency for automobiles, meaningful investments in clean energy technologies and conservation, can we end our addiction to oil and combat global warming.
“We are confident that Kathy Castor will continue to expand on her exemplary record and leadership as a member of the U.S. House and that is why we urge all voters in Florida’s 11th district to send her to Congress. Her tireless efforts to protect the health of future generations and to preserve for them our natural resources make her the best choice,” said Massaro.
"LCV is proud to endorse Bill Nelson for re-election to the U.S. Senate," said LCV Senior Vice President for Political Affairs Tony Massaro. "Senator Nelson is an environmental leader in Congress, fighting every day to protect Florida's beaches and coastal communities from oil drilling and working to improve the health, quality of life and pocketbooks of Floridians. We urge all Florida voters to join us in supporting Senator Nelson's re-election."
Understanding the potential devastation even one oil spill could cause to Florida's environment and tourism-dependent economy, Senator Nelson has been steadfast in his leadership to protect Florida's coasts from expanded drilling. Most recently, he led a bipartisan coalition that successfully blocked attempts through both energy legislation and the federal budget to open the eastern Gulf of Mexico to drilling. Additionally, Senator Nelson continues to pursue the establishment of a permanent ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf.
The Value Voters have wrote their own Bill of Rights. This is bizarre beyond words.
For some decades now supposedly “liberal” and “progressive” forces within our society have waged an insidious campaign to corrupt and destroy the moral foundations of our liberty. Under the compassionate guise of government welfare and social programs they have eroded our fortitude and self-discipline, taxed away our independent resources, and in particular undermined the centrality of family as the locus of individual self-reliance. Under the guise of sexual freedom and self-determination they have corrupted our sense of responsibility for our own offspring in the womb and for our biological relationships in general. This ultimately affects all relationships that draw upon the capacity for self-sacrifice we ought naturally to learn and practice in the context of decent family life. Under the guise of scientific knowledge, and a fallacious separation of religion from public life,
"The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior," said Tom DeLay, the Republican leader who moved the Florida case to the federal arena.
Tampa Tribune publisher Gil Thelen is stepping down. He is not retiring. He will still work for Media General. A news site that places it's NYSE value on it's main page. It's nice to know where their priorities are.
But for ``reasons we don't understand now,'' he said, the wrong editorial was published. The newspaper is investigating how the error occurred. A corrected editorial will be published in Wednesday's Tribune, he said. The corrected editorial was published on TBO.com Tuesday morning.
I find the General Counsel has established a prima facie case that the written warning issued to Banos was violative of the Act. Initially, I credit the testimony of Amstutz that Banos was loud and argumentative and that he stated that she loved to kiss her brother-in-law Jerry Eisley’s “ass.” I do not credit Banos’ denial that he made this statement. I credit the testimony of Pritchett and Stone that they did not hear this comment. I note Nebeker’s testimony that neither Amstutz nor Prichett informed her that Banos had made the comment attributed to Banos by Amstutz. I note also that the written warning does not specifically refer to this comment. I note also that Respondent did not call Garren who issued the warning to testify. I find Banos’ defense of his position regarding the performance of his job was part of the res gestae of his defense and was protected under the Act as his conduct was not so egregious as to deny Banos the protection of the Act. As in Media General Operations, supra I find that the place of the meeting in a management office and in the presence of two supervisors and only one employee who was there in his capacity as a union steward weighs heavily in favor of the protection of Banos’ conduct with respect to the first factor of the Atlantic Steel Co., supra test of the factors to be balanced in determining whether an employee’s concerted protected activity loses the protection of the Act due to opprobrious conduct.
I find the second factor, the subject matter of the discussion also weighs in favor of protection of Banos’ conduct. Banos was engaged in defending his position that he had properly performed his job when he shut down the pressline to make a repair. The “coaching” engaged in by Amstutz was in reliance on her conclusion that Banos’ taking the line down to repair it was an error on his part or at least poor work performance. In any event Banos’ reasonably perceived that he was at risk of receiving discipline for his work performance. Moreover his assertion that he was being unfairly singled out by Amstutz came on the heels of his participation in the hand- billing for a Union meeting and his solicitation of other unit employees to come to the Union meeting. This also followed meetings held by the Company where Company representatives had urged the employees to eliminate the third party (“the Union”) so that it could deal one-on-one with the employees. This is particularly noteworthy in a review of the Publisher’s letter to the employees and in view of Human Resource Manager Julie Nebeker’s discussion at meetings where she urged the Union to accept the Company’s final offer, negotiate further or get out of the way.
The third factor, the nature of the conduct, weighs in favor of the protection of the Act. I do not find that Banos’ conduct was so egregious as to lose the protection of the Act. Amstutz acknowledged that the workplace is noisy, there have been threats and even fights among employees and that profanity is used with some regularity among the employees. Stone also testified that he has heard profanity used by supervisors. I credit this testimony. Under these circumstances, I find that Amstutz had heard profanity before as she indicated this in her testimony. The testimony of Nebeker, Banos, Prichett and Stone also supports the conclusion that profanity is regularly engaged in by the employees on the job. However, in the instant case the only unit employee at this meeting was Stone who was there in his role as a Union steward. Moreover, I find it significant that both Pritchett and Stone denied that they had heard this comment and Nebeker testified this alleged comment was not mentioned by Amstutz or Prichett. This leaves me with the conclusion that the comment did not have an impact on the other participants in the meeting.
I find that the fourth factor, the commission of the Respondent of unfair labor practices, also weighs in favor of the protection of the Act. It is clear as noted in the General Counsel’s brief that the Respondent was actively initiating and fostering the desertification efforts by its discussion of the contract status at the meetings and urging the unit employees that they decertify the Union and by the delivery of cards to seek an election to decertify the Union, particularly to employees it believed were not in favor of union representation. This activity was not mere ministerial assistance. This type of activity is violative of the Act.
Accordingly I find that the four factors both individually and in their entirety favor the protection of Banos’ conduct and I find he did not lose the protection of the Act by his conduct in the “coaching” meeting of October 2, 2003. I find that the issuance of the written warning on October 10, 2003, by its manager Jennifer Amstutz and signed off on by Garren violated Section 8(a)(1) and (3) of the Act.
"From a news point of view this has never been about reducing headcount, it's been about doing more," Thelen said. "We have realized efficiencies in support areas such as facilities, such as HR, such as business office, and we're in the process of looking for additional efficiencies there. The idea is to find ways to support the content-generating areas -- news, advertising and marketing. This is not a venture in headcount reduction. It's about reallocating resources to improve our competitive situation in the market."
Clip Blast has a NBC video on the latest Downing Street Memo.
Mike writes about the Grapefruit controversy. News flash people: the Grapefruit was a attack MSN mailing list read by lobbyists and Tallahassee insiders. No one should take this blog seriously. The GF post is hard to believe. Why would future State Senate President Alex Villalobos help Democrats gain seats? The man would help Democrats and be forced out as President by his own party. The Buzz even ran with this nonsense.
The Washington Post has a good rundown of the resistance Leon County elections supervisor Ion Sancho is facing. Sancho tested Diebold machines and found them to be hackable.
"While we welcome authorized testing and examination of our products by qualified professionals," Diebold attorney Michael E. Lindroos wrote Sancho last year, "actions such as yours only serve to undermine the public's confidence in the security and accuracy that good systems can provide when used with the proper procedures and by authorized personnel."
I heard about a boy falling from the second story balcony of Bentley Courts. It has been talked about greatly in Suitcase City. Bentley Courts is on the corner of Fowler Avenue and 15th Street. The Tampa Tribune reports that the railing was in disrepair for over a year. The landlord, Lalchand Kallicharan, lives in New York.
A friend of mine told me he had the Sunday Tampa Tribune and asked me if I would want to read it. I thought I could endure the pain. I joked to my friend that black conservative columnist Joseph Brown always writes it's-always-the-black-man's-fault pieces. I read Brown's column and laughed. I showed my friend the first paragraph.
The headline on the front page of The New York Times - "Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn" - gave me a sick feeling, not because it was depressing news, but because it was yet another pity piece.
I had a meeting today at a coffee shop with a man that wants me to draw some cartoons for a satirical project he's working on. He paid me for a couple of cartoons, due next Saturday. When I left the meeting, headed for the library, this man in the sketch was playing his guitar on the pedestrian mall. He is the first street player of the season that I've seen . He wasn't your usual "Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Waters" run-of-the-mill folkie, though (not that there's anything wrong with it). This guy was ripping through Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning", fingerpickin' on a National Steel like there's no tomorrow, so I gave him some folding money.
The Washington Post got burned from hiring conservative hack Ben Domenech. The founder of RedState.com quit because of allegations of plagiarism. Jim Brady of WaPo writes, "An investigation into these allegations was ongoing."
I was reading the comments at Loaded Mouth and Shakespeare's Sister. Taz and Shakes maintain that the DCC need to respect the netroots more. I say the netroots hasn't made much of an impact. Dean's presidential bid failed. So has Paul Hackett's Senate attempt. The fact is most voters could care less about political blogs. What is troubling is progressive blogs having this holier-than-thou attitude towards the Democratic Party. Bloggers should not kiss up, but saying "fuck you" isn't going to convert establishment Democrats. The reality is we need them.
I hate to say it, but the Dem establishment might not wake up to us until we show them what happens when we boycott an election. As it stands they can do whatever the fuck they want and we'll still vote for their candidate. We have no hand.
The netroots argument and infighting is pointless. I want Republicans out in 2006 and 2008. The netroots is becoming another special interest group that infights with the rest of the Democratic Party. If you people stay home on election day or vote for third party candidates then don't expect things to get better. Look at the Presidential and Congressional response to Katrina and then tell me it doesn't matter what party you vote for.
Not that I can really identify myself with the netroots crowd, and I know that the Democrats really only view "netroots" as a cash register whose teet they suck and they could pretty much careless about our views. In this instance, though, that's not the crux of the matter.
This is a case of complete incompetence and internal corruption, not to mention outright stupidity, on the part of the Democrats. It makes absolutely no sense to back an unpopular candidate in a dog eat dog fight with a candidate from the left, who has thrived off grassroots organizing, has name recognition, and got 44% in the 2004 election. That's a candidate which can win. But instead, the DCCC places all their support (read: money) behind a candidate that doesn't even live in the district she's running for Congress in, and she eeks out a primary victory by 2%. Why did the Democrats even spend money on this race if they can only beat a low budget, grassroots candidate by two measley percent? Wouldn't it just make more sense to back that grassroots candidate with the money that she needs?
This is why the Democrats are losing races. The national party leadership forces the left to support candidates that really aren't popular. This is where the in-fighting is coming from.
Ron Brynaert has an article at Raw Story about Sibel Edmonds filing a recusal of Judge Reggie Walton. Edmonds is using Walton's less-than-candid financial disclosure statement (pdf file) as her legal argument. The statement looks like someone really likes to use a black magic marker.
According to Bureau translators, agents learned in April that bin Laden was planning an attack involving hijacked airliners. Why this didn't sound the alarm, nobody knows. The matter disappeared into the bureaucracy.
The role of the Bureau in muzzling Sibel Edmonds, the interpreter who tried to blow the whistle on the Bureau's translation operations pertaining to 9-11, is well known. The FBI and Justice Department fought to prevent Edmonds from giving public testimony and so far the courts have backed them up.
At what point is Chief Stephen Hogue going to say enough and force Sgt. Gene Strickland to retire. An internal investigation proved that Strickland took part in sexually harrassing officer Martha Gearity. Another internal investigation proved he rigged traffic lights and illegally searched automobiles. If Hogue doesn't force Strickland out, then he is telling citizens, the Tampa Police Department condons this behavior.
Florida House 0249 is better known as the Stand Your Ground Bill.
Protection of Persons/Use of Force; authorizes person to use force, including deadly force, against intruder or attacker in dwelling, residence, or vehicle under specified circumstances; provides that person is justified in using deadly force under certain circumstances; provides immunity from criminal prosecution or civil action for using deadly force; defines term "criminal prosecution", etc.
It was approaching six in the morning by the time Glen Rich found his car at a nearby impound lot after having left the Sugar Shack nightclub in Tampa, Florida. He was determined to take his car home, whether impounded or not. However, in the events that followed, Rich was shot by the towing business' owner. He died at the hospital later that night.
The owner, Donald Montanez, says he shot Rich while in fear for his life, as Rich sped towards him in an attempt to get away. Other witnesses, however, have said that Montanez shot Rich from behind, as he was making his way out of the lot. The local courts are looking into the situation, which has become the first test of Florida's recent "Stand Your Ground" legislation and the first to highlight problems with the law.
The Committee of Fair Elections suffered a major defeat. The Florida Supreme Court ruled (pdf file) the the wording of the amendment violated the single-subject requirement. Article XI, section 3 of the Florida Constitution states:
The power to propose the revision or amendment of any portion or portions of this constitution by initiative is reserved to the people, provided that, any such revision or amendment, except for those limiting the power of government to raise revenue, shall embrace but one subject and matter directly connected therewith.
DownWithTyranny has an interview with Democratic District
May these words come back to haunt Crist.
When asked by a Roman Catholic Priest whether he would sign a bill like South Dakota's abortion ban, which only allows the procedure to save a woman's life, Crist quickly answered "Yes I would."
Asked Tuesday how, as attorney general and someone who had taken a stand on the court ruling, he could not have an opinion on the ruling's principal legal doctrine, Crist said: "That's a great question."
Randall Terry is running for the District 8 seat of the Florida State Senate. He raised $10,829.16 in 2005. Terry gained media attention for his role in the Terri Schiavo controversy.
"Our family asked Randall Terry to come, and we gave him carte blanche to put Terri's fight in front of the American people. He did exactly what we asked, and more. Randall organized vigils and protests, he coordinated the media, he helped us meet with Governor Bush, which gave us the momentum to pass the law that has saved Terri, for now, from death. My daughter is alive today because of Randall Terry's efforts."
--Bob Schindler, Sr. (Terri Schiavo’s father)
I feel like I just watched a horror movie in which the villains are in league with powerful political figures; a nightmare scenario in which the molesters of children are strutting about in the light of day while law enforcement officials turn a blind eye to their hideous crimes, and conceal their whereabouts.
Only this is not a movie...it is reality. And it is happening thousands of times a month in our states. The heinous truth is this: every single day men guilty of rape and child molestation are taking 12, 13 and 14 year old girls to Planned Parenthood to get a pregnancy test, birth control, medication for a venereal disease, or an abortion.
One of Terry’s closest co-workers - James Kopp - shot and killed Dr. Barnett A. Slepian, 52, a Buffalo obstetrician and gynecologist who performed abortions. Another of Terry’s cohorts - Pastor Matt Trewhella, founder of Missionaries to the Preborn - openly called for the formation of armed militias.
Terry himself spent five months in prison for sending one of his people to show a fetus to presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992, violating a federal court order. "If a Christian voted for Clinton, he sinned against God," said Terry. "It's that simple."
More mouth than muscle, Terry generally restricted himself to justifying the killing of "abortion doctors" and promising their legal execution.
"When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee," he warned, "because we will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed."
When I first saw the video for Miranda Lambert's Kerosene, my first thought was a star is born. She has a great big voice, unbelievably hot, and wrote an amazing song. This is coming from someone who hates what passes for country music these day.
More trouble for Clay Shaw.
Rep. Clay Shaw’s (R-Fla.) Democratic opponent raised over $460,000 in the second quarter of this year.
State Sen. Ron Klein yesterday announced that his campaign had raised $465,531 in the second quarter, giving him $560,033 in cash-on-hand with almost 16 months before the 2006 midterm elections — the most for any challenger through two quarters, according to early reporting data.
According to a recent study here, Chile's pension funds, whose number has shrunk to 6 from more than 20 as competition has diminished, recorded an average annual profitability of more than 50 percent during a recent five-year period. Other studies, including one conducted by the World Bank, indicate that pension funds retain between a quarter and a third of workers' contributions in the form of commissions, insurance and other administrative fees.
At the moment, the government pays about 5 percent of gross domestic product, or more than it spends for either health or education, on pensions for the poor, payments into a separate military retirement plan and so-called transition and administrative costs. Supporters of the privatized system argue that the state's burden will diminish as older retirees enrolled in the pay-as-you-go system that prevailed here before 1981 gradually die off.
But skeptics point to another developing problem: many young people, who should be enrolling in the system early to accrue maximum benefit, are staying out or paying in very little. Some cannot afford to contribute beyond the obligatory minimum payment, which is 10 percent of wages, while others are either self-employed or have been hired by companies as low-paid independent contract workers and therefore do not have to contribute at all.
Raw Story is running with the anti-Katherine Harris website Make Her Spend It All. The site accepts donations for Bill Nelson. All Harris's candidacy is doing is rallying the Democratic base and keeping conservatives at home on election day. If the GOP fought as openly as the Democrats, you would hear Republicans complaining about Harris selfishly putting her own interest above the party's.
41. Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,[j]worth only a fraction of a penny.[k]
43. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
44.They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."
Democrat Daisy Lynum is a divisive force on the Orlando City Council. Florida bloggers should keep an eye on how Lynun uses her campaign money.
Thomas is only one of many friends Lynum has been willing to help. After the 1998 election, she distributed more than $8,000 from her campaign account to 44 of her campaign workers. There's nothing illegal about the payments. But they do raise ethical concerns, especially since those paid include a police officer, a member of the NAACP and a homeowner-association president. Other candidates often go to great lengths to avoid looking as if they're buying loyalty. After the 2000 election, for example, former Commissioner Bill Bagley painstakingly distributed his leftover campaign cash by returning money to 243 contributors; some received a prorated check for as little as $1.75.
"It's been a good day for me," Lynum said. "I just walked in, got a beer -- I'm feeling real good."
Ernest Page did not return the money, though he vowed he would after we proved it was raised improperly in apparent violation of state elections laws. While Dyer and Sheehan did return the dough, Ernie Page decided to call the man who bundled the cash contributions and, after being assured it was okay to keep the money, he kept it.
Good news for Democrats.
The Republican committee that handles Senate campaigns picked up the pace in fundraising in February but still trails its rival Democratic committee by almost a 2-to-1 margin.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $5.5 million in February, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $3.8 million.
Democrats still hold a big advantage on money in the bank with $27.4 million, while Republicans have $14.5 million.
Keith Olbermann talks about his feud with Bill O'Reilly on the Colbert Report.
Bill Maher interviews the great Helen Thomas.
Reclaiming America for Christ gives a chance "meet and talk with top Christian leaders". Such as this lady.
You got to be kidding me.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Pedestrians trying to cross a busy intersection can wave bright red flags to alert vehicles to stop.
Pedestrians who want to cross the street can pick a tennis-racket-size flag out of baskets now kept on both sides of the street. They wave them as they cross the street, alerting traffic, and drop them in the basket on the other side.
The street was chosen for the experiment because it has no stoplight or stop sign to slow traffic and four pedestrians have been injured there in the past three years, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday.
Update on the ethics complaint filed against Addie Greene.
Greene became a key player in the $600 million Scripps project last month when, after years of construction delays over plans to build west of Palm Beach Gardens, county commissioners decided to consider new locations.
Three commissioners favored moving Scripps to Boca Raton and three supported building in Jupiter, leaving Greene as the deciding vote.
Greene made it clear before the vote that money for her proposed minority outreach program was her top priority and she said after the vote that she supported the Jupiter proposal because it offered the most.
Last week, de Guardiola said by the end of March he expected to get written commitments from about 13 people in the business community to provide a total of $1 million a year for five years for Greene's program. If he fails to get the commitments, de Guardiola said he would cover the costs himself.
Hillsborough County has hired Tennessee attorney Scott Bergthold to make life harder for adult businesses. One of his ideas is for exotic dancers to carry licences. Where these women would carry them leaves much to the imagination.
Once you've heard my story
Can you feel the pain?
Must I walk this cold, dark path?
Silenced by the shame?
Who will take a stand for me?
To say I'm not alone?
Who will take the pain I've felt,
And let the cost be known?
"Our focus is not on the moral decay in America," says Scott Bergthold, executive director of NFLF, "but rather the tangible effects of the moral decay which local governments are quick to recognize an increase in crimes, lower property values leading to lower tax revenues, and health and safety issues like the spread of aids and other sexually transmitted diseases."
For example in Phoenix in a presentation before the City Council it was shown by police reports that the number of police calls to swing clubs was far lower than the neighborhood bars or places like Circle K's or 7-11's. But all the positive or information shown no negative secondary effects of swing clubs was ignored and they were simply declared a public nuisance with no facts to back up the City's determination.
This is the kind of stupidity needed to be stopped in the Democratic Party.
WASHINGTON — A New York congressman has once again proposed reinstating the draft, not just to boost the ranks of U.S. fighters but also to discourage what he sees as some politicians’ cavalier attitude toward military action.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has introduced the legislation twice before, each time with no success. Two years ago the House rejected his idea by a 402-2 vote.
NPR went to Plant City Florida. The town voted strongly for George W. Bush in 2004. Linda Wertheimer interviewed women on why they support Bush. The women get their news from Fox News and believe in Bush because he is a self-professed Christian.
Isobel Cambell has a Myspace site that has four MP3s her her album with Mark Lanegan. The added bonus on the Myspace site is two photos of Isobel. Sorry, I have a thing for hot blonde Scottish girls that can sing like an angel.
The Velvet Revolution is running an ad in the Washington Post asking Congress to do their constitutional duty to be a check against President Bush's abuse of power. There is a petition you can sign. Velvet Revolution is asking for donations. Kids, netroots and WaPo ads cost money.
The Journal of Research Into Personality found that whiny kids are more likely to become conservative. This is the party in power that whines about liberals not allowing them to invade Iraq and cut taxes.
Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.
At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.
Remember when Tampa wanted to lure the Scripps Research Institute to Hillsborough County? It appears the deal might be voided in because of a possible bride. Russell Yeager has filed an ethics complaint against Palm Beach County Commissioner Addie Greene. The Miami Herald contacted Greene. The Commissioner said, "Tell him to get in line. I have more important things to talk about." Obviously, the Herald didn't catch Greene in the best of moods.
Katherine Harris will be on Nightline tomorrow nite.
Florida State Senator Ron Klein is proposing a port bill.
Klein is proposing legislation that would give incentives to ports to inspect more containers. His plan would spend $10 million dollars to hire more inspectors and buy equipment.
Klein says inspecting five percent of containers coming into the country is not acceptable.
He says since the September 11th attacks, homeland security has focused mainly on airports and now it's time to beef up security at ports.
At least Cheney is consistent.
On Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney did not express any regret for predicting in the days before the invasion that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators or his assessment 10 months ago that the insurgency was in its "last throes." On the contrary, he said the optimistic statements "were basically accurate, reflect reality."
1 a : the act of deluding : the state of being deluded b : an abnormal mental state characterized by the occurrence of psychotic delusions
2 a : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated b : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self
Countdown reports on a U.S. News & World Report article that says the Bush administration thought the Patriot Act allowed them to use warrantless wiretaps. The PA provisions allowing warrantless searches. Keith Olbermann interviews GW Law School Professor, Jonathon Turley.
Olbermann: (reading from a U.S. News & World Report press release) "Soon after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, lawyers in the White House and the Justice Department argued that the same legal authority that the same legal authority that allowed warrentless electronic surveillance inside the US, could also be used to justify physical searches of terror suspects homes & businesses without court approval."
Olbermann: Doesn't that send chills down your spine?
Turley: Well it does. It's horrific, because what that would constitute is to effectively remove the 4th Amendment from the U.S. Constitution and the fact that it was so quick as a suggestion shows the inclinations, unfortunately, of this administration. It treats the Constitution as some legal technicality instead of the thing were trying to fight to protect. Notably, the U.S. News & World Report story says the FBI officals, or some of them apparently, objected... [W]e're seeing a lot of people in the administration with the courage to say "Hold it, this is not what we're supposed to be about. If we're fighting a war, it's a war of self definition and if we start to take whole amendments out of the Constitution in the name of the war on terror-we have to wonder what's left at the end, except victory."
Olbermann: (reading from the press release) "According to 2 two current and former government officals . . . the Bush administration lawyers presented the arguments to senior FBI officals who expressed strong reservations about their proposal. . . . It could not be determined whether any warrentless physical searches had been carried out under the legal authority cited by the administration, but at least one defense attorney representing a terrorism suspect has alleged that his law office and home may have been searched without a court warrant."
Olbermann: The attorneys office and home not the suspect's office and home. Is there away to overstate this? When you start to talk about the 4th amendment and protections of constitution verses the needs to try to track down terrorist, you can move very quickly into tin-foil hat zone. When you sound totally Paranoid-like they're spying on us through our walls, but is this...is this not the first thing you would see if you did some sort of... prequel to the book 1984, wouldn't this be somewhere in the 1st chapter?
Turley: I'm afraid it would. This is something to be very concerned about. These are not trival matters. We've seen a sort of broad-based assault on basic Constitutional rights in our country since 9/11. We have a President who ordered electronic surveillance by the NSA without warrants in something that constitutes a federal crime. Congress isn't even holding serious hearings on that. So we have a system that has checks & balances but none of them seem to be working. At the same time, as we noted earlier, we have an attack on the Judiciary itself, all of this should present a picture of concern for any American.
The Florida government has no interest in honoring the Sunshine Laws.
Overall, 42 percent of the 220 local agencies audited last month violated the state's public records laws. The rate mirrored the results of the first statewide audit in 2004, when 43 percent of agencies failed to comply.
"He has been one of the most unresponsive public officials I have ever encountered," said Democratic Chairman Bob Poe. "We're looking for the truth. And if he doesn't have anything to hide, then he shouldn't be afraid to turn it over."
The Grapefruit used to be a email list at the address communities.msn.com/thegrapefruit. Many inside stories were spread. Pols wanted to know who the anonymous poster was. I'm not sure if anyone found out. Now the site is back as a blog.
Pop quiz kids; which offense is more impreachable.
The Scooby Doo gang go on their scariest case.
Vilmar puts his sharp intellectual skills to the test. He writes of Russ Feingold's censure attempt: "I doubt he is running for his seat this year so someone high up in the party set him up to do this in exchange for favors further on down the road." You don't know if Feingold's seat is up for election? Dude, you're a political blogger. Feingold has re-elected in 2004. How do people blog about politics without knowing the simple Inside Baseball stuff?
Really, now, just what does a woman who’s made a career as a porn star who bangs guys on screen for money and for the world to see, expect when she shows up in a room full of guys who have had something to drink? Choir boys?
Watch John "Hindrocket" Hinderaker defend the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping and secret prisons. The obvious question is would Hinderaker defend the same legal rights of a Democratic administration? Not fucking likely. Keep in mind, Hinderaker is a lawyer.
ISIKOFF: A couple of examples -- and maybe Mr. Hinderaker would like to address these.
If reporters were told prior to the war in Iraq that the National Intelligence Estimate that had been presented to the public as showing clearly that there was weapons of mass destruction was, in fact, rife with dissent from intelligence agencies, saying that we're not so sure about this nuclear program, we're not sure about these UAVs, that some of the key sources being used to justify the war, such as curveball, for instance, had never been questioned by the CIA or, in other cases, had flunked CIA polygraph tests, would he think that reporters who published information that was so central to one of the main arguments and justifications for the war shouldn't be published and should be criminally prosecuted?
KURTZ: Let's give him a chance to respond.
HINDERAKER: Yes, they should be criminally prosecuted. You are wrong, by the way, in the way you characterized the 2002 consensus estimate. And I agree, though, that there sometimes is overclassification, but not here.
It seems there actually is something that Christians and Islamics agree on.
A protest will be held in London tomorrow by gay activists Outrage, following comments from Iraqi religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani that suggest he supports the killing of gay men.
The protest comes after comments were published on al-Sistani’s website, which called for the killing of lesbian and gay men “in the most serve way”, according to Outrage translations.
During a televised sermon Swaggart said: "I'm trying to find the correct name for it … this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. … I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died." Swaggart added, "I'm not knocking the homosexuals. They need salvation just like anyone else. I'm knocking the politicians."
Katherine Harris cancelled her press conference for today. In other shocking news: the Earth is still round.
This is actually a real photo.
Katherine Harris is sending this email out to her supporters.
On Wednesday night, Congresswoman Katherine Harris made an important announcement. She announced on National television that she is fully committed to winning the U.S. Senate seat in Florida this November.
"There is so much at stake for our country and our state," Katherine said last night. "I'm in this race and I'm going to win it."
As you may know, our campaign has come under fire recently. But this has not stopped us for a moment. Katherine Harris has fought for Floridians at the state and federal levels of government for many years with an outstanding record of accomplishments. It will be no different in the U.S. Senate.
I will get right to the point. Our campaign needs your support right now. We need to show the Democrats and Bill Nelson that our campaign is powerful and we have what it takes to win. Right now, the Nelson campaign is terrified because Katherine committed $10 million to win this race and Nelson no longer has a financial advantage. She is confident in her fight for U.S. Senate and as she stated last night, "I am willing to put everything on the line."
Rollins said they worried about Harris' sluggish fundraising, her inability to generate excitement among top Republicans and future fallout from illegal campaign contributions she took from a defense contractor who has since pleaded guilty to bribing a California lawmaker.
Rollins said he and others told Harris it would be "very difficult" because she likely would have to spend considerable energy explaining the contributions.
Finally, he said, the advisers "made our recommendation that she should probably get out."