Matt Yglesias and Ryan Powers have interesting posts on how the health industry has spent vast sums of money to stop health care reform. The lobbying dollars shifts to the party in power. The biggest beneficiaries of been the Blue Dog Democrats.
Overall, the typical Blue Dog has received $63,000 more in campaign contributions from the health-care sector than other House Democrats over the past two decades, according to the CRP analysis. The top three recipients were Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.), with $1.5 million, and Tennessee Reps. Bart Gordon and John Tanner, both of whom collected over $1.2 million from the industry and its employees, according to the data.
The only major health care policy proposal off by Blue Dogs is the trigger. Current private health care would run in it's current state. If the costs become too high then that will "trigger" Congress to respond. The trigger is a stalling tactic and should be treated as such.
"We already have major distribution of wealth going on in this country. … Redistribution of wealth, from rich to poor. The rich pay — the so-called rich. We’re talking about $250,000 or more in New York City. I know this is hard for people to understand. These people sometimes are two-earner families. They’re really struggling."
Parts of America have unemployment levels above 10 percent. 47 million Americans do not have health insurance. Wages have become stagnant. Giuliani's message is the poor are getting too much. Those people making $250,000-a-year are suffering. Republicans wonder why they have had credibility problems on economic matters.
Ben Smith's headline "Abortion sidetracks health care debate" really pisses me off. Abortion is an important health care issue. An amendment to the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 eliminates abortion as required coverage. It was never clear if abortion would have been mandated in coverage. The amendment prohibits abortions being part of "required coverage." Where the legislative language gets tricky is no federal health care plan will not required or prohibited from abortion funding. Policy wise: this is a victory for conservatives. There are too many hurdles in the bill for money to go into abortion funding. The Obama administration is not going to get into a political fight over reproductive rights. Which is a shame.
The federal government is letting the states decide if health care dollars will fund abortions. Republicans in Red States keep federal dollars from funding abortion. Blue states get short changed.
The conscience clause will work it's way into an amendment. The Church amendment was the first legislation that allowed medical facilities to deny providing abortions based on religious views. This is a dangerous and unethical form of medicine. In Tampa, a rape victim was denied a second morning after pill because it was against a health care worker's religious beliefs. The woman reported being raped and was arrested by a Tampa Police Officer for late student loans. I don't have the stomach to listen to nonsense about the conscience clause.
My post "Doug Tudor Can Not Win District 12" is being used as a fundraising pitch the Doug Tudor campaign. That is cool. In the past, the Florida Democratic Party has used my posts for their email updates. My Tudor post isn't being used to surport my thesis that Tudor can not win the District 12 Democratic primary. It is being used for a fundraising pitch.
Subject: You want a Blue Dog?
Michael Hussey seems to think you should. He wrote a blog stating all the reasons Doug can't win this seat. And the list consisted of one issue - money.
With Doug beginning his campaign truly in July, Lori had a five month lead in fundraising. With 13 months to go before the primary, I wouldn't write off Doug just yet. I know you haven't!
Show your support and donate now at http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/19447
Doug absolutely prefers to have his contributions come from the voters in District 12!
The current lack of support and leadership from the Congressional Blue Dogs for the health care reform the American people have been pleading for shows us what we could expect from our own Blue Dog Congresswoman in Mr. Hussey's scenario. The time for DINOs is over!
If you'd like to read the blog at Pushing Rope and comment (and I think you will!) click below.
Actually, I also mentioned "recognition with voters and connections with the Polk County Democratic Party." If by some miracle Tudor beats Edwards - the DCCC isn't going to spend money on Tudor in a red district. Adam Putnam beat Tudor by 16 percent in 2008. Tudor won't have Obama on the top of the ticket in 2010.
This conversation needs to happen. Do we want idealogical purity at the expense of shrinking the party. The Republican base deemed Arlen Specter too moderate and Democrats are now have a 60 member caucus. The Republican base went ballistic over immigration and lost Hispanic voters in the last two election cycles. Lori Edwards is not my ideal candidate. She is better positioned to take on Dennis Ross in the general election.
Finally, Pushing Rope is not a blue dog blog. I understand progressives are upset. I felt the weaknesses of the Tudor campaign needed to be discussed. My old spats with Stick of Fire and Tampa Taxi Shots were WWIII compared to this.
The hype over the Beer Summit drove me crazy today. The media played it up. MSNBC ran a Beer Summit countdown. America has two wars and a health care crisis. The media is more focused on theatre than their original role of investigate reporting.
President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Sgt. Jim Crowley and Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. sitting around a table does not make fascinating television. Josh Gerstein of Politico ran the headline "'Beer summit' letdown." The event was set up for Gates and Crowley to work out their differences and simmer down racial hostilities that the media was too happy to play up.
The American public would be more inform if cable news and talk radio died. Imagine people actually reading the news again. Better informed citizens make a better country. Current cable news is a hybrid of public access televsion and professional wrestling. It should be no shock there are people who believe the government attacked the World Trade Center towers and Pentagon. The current birthers are an extension of the ignorance Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh spiel at the public.
The Police Benevolent Association has officially endorsed St. Petersburg City Council candidate Karl Nurse.
St. Petersburg, FL- The Karl Nurse Campaign announced today a highly sought after endorsement from the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) in the race for St. Pete City Council District 6.
St. Petersburg City Council Member Karl Nurse stated, “I am proud to be endorsed by our police officers through the PBA. I am also proud to announce my success in getting stimulus money for additional police officers that we have worked hard to obtain. It is a good day for crime fighters in St. Pete.”
Karl Nurse lists fighting crime and working for job creation in District 6 as one of his most important priorities. In the year and a half since his appointment to Council, Nurse has:
* Led the effort to successfully bring stimulus money to hire more police for the streets of St. Petersburg * Worked everyday to fight festering gang activity in our neighborhoods * Passed the ordinance to clear signs in convenience store windows, to add locks, and reduce shootings in convenience stores * Fought for stimulus money to be used specifically to add one more additional CAPE team, which is a team of police that go door to door in District 6 to shut down drug houses * Working to pass nuisance abatement laws to go after nuisance rental properties that house drug activity * Working with NAACP and neighborhood groups to pass the ordinance to rename Preston Ave. to Paris Ave. in honor of the young girl slain by gang gunfire
Karl Nurse is known as a problem solver who can work effectively with a vast array of people. In addition to securing the endorsement of the PBA, Nurse is also supported by Mayor Rick Baker and Deputy Mayor Goliath Davis. In this climate of increased crime and budget reductions, Karl Nurse provides steady leadership on council to find the resources and proper management to make our city safer.
For more info, please go to www.electkarlnurse.com
The Morning Joe panel have an intelligent discussion on Glenn Beck accusing President Barack Obama of being a racist. Beck is taking so much heat that Fox News sent out a press release distancing the network from Beck. The Joe panel bring up what is commonly known about Beck. The talk host believes almost none of what he says. For Beck it is about ratings and making money.
Organizing For America has a cool feature allowing you to tweet your Senator for health care reform. The feature seems to only target Democratic Senators. The Obama activists wisely gave up on garnering Republican votes.
Susan Smith is attempting to increase support of Congressional candidate Doug Tudor over Democratic candidate Lori Edwards. Down With Tyranny has also endorsed Tudor. Why must the netroots back candidates that can not win?
Edwards is the Polk County Supervisor of Elections. She has more name recognition with voters and connections with the Polk County Democratic Party. Tudor is not even mentioned on the Polk County Executive Committee web site. Progressives should be very clear on this. Tudor has no chance of beating Dennis Ross in the general election. Acording to OpenSecrets.org, Ross has raised $236,889. Edwards has raised $102,636. Here is what should tell any astute political observer that Tudor should drop out. Tudor has only been able to raise $1,486.
I like Doug Tudor and would love to see him get elected to Congress. It isn't going to happen. The netroots needs to get behind Edwards. We not not always agree with her. We certainly won't agree with Ross. FriedGator is behind Edwards' candidacy.
I caught grief for backing Christine Jennings over (then) netroots darling Jan Schneider. Jennings ran a now infamously close election with Vern Buchanan. Schneider ran as an independant in 2008 and hindered Jennings' chances in her rematch with Buchanan. Schneider knew she couldn't win but decided to pull a Ralph Nader. Another netroots darling, Samm Simpson, endorsed Ron Paul.
Does any progressive believe Tudor can beat Edwards in the primary? Does Tudor honestly think he has a chance against Edwards? Why must we continue this charade? Edwards will win the primary and if progressives want District 12 to turn blue they are going to have to back a blue dog Democrat. I don't care if Tudor drops out. Tudor isn't running a strong enough campaign to damage Edwards. Sad but true.
Update: Tudor is now listed as a candidate on the Polk County Executive Committee web site.
Howard Dean guest hosted for Keith Olbermann. Dean described the Max Baucus compromise bill as "watered down." DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen discussed the public option with Dean.
DEAN: Chris, I know the House is doing a great job on this. But why haven’t we seen — why haven’t we seen Democrats in the Senate take a stronger bargaining position with the Republicans? Why give away something as fundamental as health care reform as the public option?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, you’re absolutely right, Howard. We’ve got to have a public option in the plan that we send to the president’s desk. We’re all still hoping that the Senate Finance Committee bill will have a public option.
If they don’t, we’re going to press hard. This has got to be in the bill that we send to the president’s desk. We’ve got to create more choice for consumers and more competition for the insurance companies.
I don’t think anyone was surprised to learn that the insurance companies are fighting this. These are the same companies that have seen their profits go through the roof over the last seven years. In fact, if you look at just the top 10 insurance companies, their profits have gone up about 430 percent over the last seven years, while everyone’s income stayed flat and while their premiums were going through the roof.
So, we’ve got to have a public option to create that competition and to give Americans more choice.
DEAN: Some Democrats are saying that there needs to be compromise on the public option in order to get the bill passed. But 72 percent of Americans say they want the choice of a public option. Does that mean that what the American people want is already dead in the Senate?
VAN HOLLEN: No. I certainly hope not. It’s certainly not dead with respect to the bill that we’ll send to the president’s desk.
The American people are exactly right. If you want more choice, you want to bring down premiums, you need that competition. There are parts of the country where the private insurance companies have huge monopoly lock over the markets. We need to provide that competition. As the president said, we need to start keeping these insurance companies honest.
You know you’re getting somewhere when you get a lot of resistance. And as you get closer to making this happen, you get more and more fight from the insurance companies, and we have to stick up for the consumers. And it’s pretty clear that the Republicans support the status quo, and there’s a good reason for that, which is their allies, the insurance industry, that has provided huge amounts of campaign contributions, supports the status quo, with respect to not providing for a public option.
A CBO letter to Republican Rep. David Camp estimated only 9 million people would switch from private health care to the so-called public option.
In 2016, nearly 3 million people who would be covered under an employment-based plan under current law—and who could be covered by that plan under the proposal—would choose instead to obtain coverage in the exchanges because the employer’s offer would be deemed unaffordable and they would therefore be eligible to receive subsidies through the exchanges. In addition, some part-time employees, who could receive subsidies via an exchange even though they had an employer’s offer of coverage, would choose to do so. All told, we estimate that, in 2016, about 9 million people who would otherwise have had employer coverage would not be enrolled in an employment-based plan under the proposal.
The CBO estmates public health insurance will 10 percent lower than private insurance. What isn't making news is the letter notes hospitals spent $35 billion for uninsured care. The uninsured won't seek medical care until they need to visit an emergency room. From a humanitarian perspective: this is horrible policy. The cost factor will increase with more uninsured people. Hospitals will be forced to pass on the expenses to patients with health insurance. The status quo is increased cost and more uninsured people. Excuse me if private insurance companies aren't my first concern.
An ex-girlfriend used to try to drag me to the old Tracks in Ybor City. I would always say no and tell her have fun being rejected by gay guys. I had no interest in going to gay bars and I used to get hit on by gay guys in Ybor City. If I wanted to have gay sex I would have gone to Tracks and not watching a punk rock band at the Ritz. Gay people: hitting on straight people you know are straight isn't cool. Get the hint the third time.
My ex-girlfriend used to tell me how pissed off she was trying to dance with guys and finding out they were gay. Translation: she tried to hook up with a guy and found out he was gay. I write about LGBT issues but have zero interest in the lifestyle. I belief is the civil rights injustices against gay people hurts all Americans. My personal interest in the gay night life is equal to my desire to hang out in country music clubs. Zero.
The girl in the video has a great point. If you go to a gay bar don't be surprised people act gay. I wasn't surprised that people at University of Tampa frat parties are assholes. Not that I cared. I was drinking their beer for free and never went to UT.
News flash: Brett Farve hasn't retired. Farve is still working out and throwing footballs at Oak Grove High. His agent Bus Cook has left open the possibility of Farve playing this season. Cook said Farve might rejoin the Vikings or a team that is a contender.
Farve has become the NFL equivalent of the horror movie killer that won't stay dead. Not since K-Fed have I wanted someone to exit from the national spotlight. Will someone please put an end to this nonsense.
Wednesday Grace: Steve Vai; I Know You're Here; Denver, 2003
Beautiful guitar music for a summer night's musing. Spiritual Steve looks so grown-up compared to his protégé days of playing alongside Frank Zappa (who called him the "Little Italian Virtuoso") while wearing leopard-print t-shirts and wowing the girls. I love (and relate to!) the glasses, too--apparently even rock-'n-rollers get around to needing them sooner or later.
"I'm not a very partisan person," said Iorio, who stayed far away from John Kerry in 2004 but did endorse Barack Obama in late May, once he had the nomination all but won. "If that's the rap on me, it's true because I believe that when you are elected to local office particularly, you represent everyone and you're supposed top be a problem solver."
Iorio was neutral on the 2004 presidential election. She governs a highly Democratic city. It wasn't like endorsing John Keery would cost her anything. Obama is the safest endorsement any Democrat in the last twenty years could make.
How the hell did Gelber get an squeeze an endorsement out of Iorio? This is the most mysterious thing since Season 2 of Lost - Jack decided the best way to rescue Walt was to take Hurley and walk himself into an ambush. (What was that about?)
What could have made Iorio want to endorse Gelber? I'm too cynical to believe Iorio is strictly doing this because she believes Gelber would be the best Attorney General.
"I want to thank the members of both the Senate and House of Representatives for continuing their work on health reform to provide more stability and security for Americans who have insurance, and quality, affordable coverage for those who don’t. I’m especially grateful that so many members, including some Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee, are working so hard to find common ground. Those efforts are extraordinarily constructive in strengthening this legislation and bringing down its cost."
The shout out to the Blue Dogs is making my head spin. Please make it stop.
"I don't know what's in that 1,500-page bill,'' Sink said. "I'm waiting for an explanation of what the plan is. Nobody knows what the plan is...You know what I want? I want something that works.''
It's true the health care legislation hasn't been finalized. Sink knows policy and budget costs. The cost trigger Blue Dogs Democrats wants is let the current health care run unchanged for another five years and then talk about offering a public option is stalling. Health care costs are increasing too fast. The industry needs a public option to compete and lower costs. Sink is running for Governor. It would be nice to know what she thinks about health care policy. "Something that works" isn't an answer.
New Pushing Rope contributor Alex Pickett underwent waterboarding in 2008. Alex was only able to last a few seconds. You can read his description of his experience. It's worth checking out: I'm confident Alex is the only journalist ever to be waterboarded while strippers were watching.
This photoshopped image was posted on the Florida conservative blog IMAO. The blogger Harvey titled the post "lolbama! Part 19." Apparently, photoshopping pictures of President Obama dressed as Mussolini is what passes for humor with Harvey. I found this blog from a Jim Johnson post spotlighting Florida conservative blogs. I would love to hear Johnson explain how IMOO is furthering conservative values.
Before conservatives lambast me for hypocrisy: I denounced Moveon.org for attacking General David Petraeus in their "General Betray Us" ad. It was thoughtless on the part of Moveon.org. People can agree or disagree with General Petraeus's leadership of the Iraq war. My view is Petraeus has proven himself to be a superior military tactician. The situation in Iraq would be worse if Tommy Franks was still in charge.
LindaSoG at Something... and Half of Something posted an article on Australian geologist Ian Plimer. Linda's interest is Plimer denies the possibility of global warming. Plimer is involved with the Natural Resources Stewardship Project. Their web site is currently not up. (Never a good sign.) They are a bogus nonprofit run by global warming denier Tom Harris. NRSP and Harris have been involved in atroturfing. The term means a fake grassroots movement started by corporate interests. Harris is executive director of the Friends and the Stewardship Project. The members have ties to the energy industry and little expertise on climate change.
Some who signed are unpaid advisers or "allied experts" of the Friends and the Stewardship Project, and are to speak at the Ottawa conference.
The non-profit, pro-action Vancouver-based website DeSmogBlog has been analyzing the list of signatories. The site, which is devoted to combatting what it calls "a well-funded and highly organized public relations campaign" that's "poisoning" the climate change debate, was established in December 2005 by Jim Hoggan, president of the public relations firm James Hoggan & Associates and a board member of the David Suzuki Foundation.
DeSmogBlog says the 18 people with signatures on the letter whom it has checked out so far have published relatively few peer-reviewed research articles – a common standard for scientific competence – related to global warming. Some on the list have been paid directly by the oil and coal industries to conduct scientific research, and many more are affiliated with fossil fuel industry-sponsored think-tanks, lobby groups and phony grassroots coalitions – dubbed Astroturf groups by critics. Another has withdrawn, saying he misunderstood what the letter was about.
Harris previously worked for the energy industry public relations firm Highland Park Advocacy Group. Clients included Canadian Electricity Association and the Canadian Gas Association. Highland Park will not publicly list their clients on their web site. The NRSP and High Park share the same address.
Another Harris anti-global warming nonprofit is Friends of Science. A University of Calgary found auditor report found the Friends of Science don't do scientific research.
* According to the Calgary Foundation, the Science Education Fund grant agreement with the University of Calgary was for "academic research in the science of global warming and the production of education modules." Yet FoS states that Barry Cooper's research fund is "directed towards debate of climate science" and to "encourage debate on basic climate science."
* The Calgary Foundation has repeatedly stated that the donee of Science Education Fund was the University of Calgary. Yet the University of Calgary refers to funding obtained by a "group of scientists", i.e. the Friends of Science, which implies that this organization is the true donee. But FoS is clearly not a "qualified donee" under the Canadian Income Tax Act. Moreover, as a political scientist, Barry Cooper has no relevant qualifications in the area of climate science research or education and is not a member of the funded entity in any case. In spite of the University's reference to Barry Cooper's "individual research", there is absolutely no evidence that he played any role in the funded activities; rather, to all appearances, his "climate change research" fund merely served as a conduit to support the activities of the true donee, the Friends of Science.
* The supported Friends of Science activities outlined in subsequent sections, such as the Climate Catastrophe Cancelled video and anti-Kyoto radio ads, do not accord with the stated Science Education Fund mandate of "academic research" or "education modules" in the common understanding of those terms. There is no evidence that FoS has produced any original, peer-reviewed academic research whatsoever. The FoS video, presumably claimed to be an "education module", to all appearances, has seen minimal use or endorsement as an educational tool in Canada. In contrast, An Inconvenient Truth is in widespread use in schools in Canada and internationally, and is slated for delivery to all schools in Great Britain.  The Vancouver School Board recently announced its approval of the distribution of The Inconvenient Truth to all Vancouver high schools , and the film was also recently approved by the teachers' cirriculum committee in Surrey, B.C.
The Florida conservative movements includes people that compare Obama to Mussolini and deny science. Jim, keep spotlighting Florida conservative blogs. The Right base scares people into the Democratic Party.
And the other thing that we do want to do — now, this is controversial, and I understand some people are worried about this — we do think that it makes sense to have a public option alongside the private option. So you could still choose a private insurer, but we’d also have a public plan that you could choose from that would be non-for-profit, wouldn’t have, hopefully, some of the same high administrative costs, and would be potentially more responsive to your needs at a lower cost. I think that helps keep the insurance companies honest because now they have somebody to compete with.
And I have to say, the reason this has been controversial is a lot of people have heard this phrase "socialized medicine" and they say, we don’t want government-run health care; we don’t want a Canadian-style plan. Nobody is talking about that. We’re saying, let’s give you a choice. You can choose the private marketplace, or this other approach.
And I got a letter the other day from a woman; she said, I don’t want government-run health care, I don’t want socialized medicine, and don’t touch my Medicare. (Laughter.) And I wanted to say, well, I mean, that’s what Medicare is, is it’s a government-run health care plan that people are very happy with. But I think that we’ve been so accustomed to hearing those phrases that sometimes we can’t sort out the myth from the reality.
It is good to hear President Obama still backing the public option.
Rep. Alcee Hastings got 76 Democrats and Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to sign a letter asking President Barack Obama to halt "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
The United States of America prides itself on having the finest military in the world because of the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices of our brave servicemen and women. And yet, under 10 U.S.C. § 654 (Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces), better known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the talents and contributions of our openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) service members continue to be ignored simply because of who they are. Every day, we lose approximately two service members to this misguided, unjust, and flat-out discriminatory policy. Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not only an injustice to them, but a disservice to the U.S. military and our country as a whole.
Hastings added an amendment to to the defense spending bill. I haven't seen the amendment. However, it ran into resistance from Blue Dog Democrats. Hastings was forced the drop the amendment.
``Due to pressure from some of my congressional colleagues and from the White House, I have withdrawn my amendment,’’ he said. ``I would, however, like to note that it is most unfortunate that we are not addressing `don’t ask, don’t tell’ at this time.’’
Hastings noted the White House was against the amendment. No one should kid themselves into thinking the Obama administration will do anything for LGBT rights.
The Lawton Chiles Foundation has compiled a list of Florida's national in health care, education and social economic matters. The closer the ranking is to 50 the worse Florida's rating is compared to other states. For instance, Florida ranks 49th in uninsured children. The education numbers are dismal and prove no one should take Jeb Bush seriously on education matters.
Florida ranks 41st in child abuse-related deaths. The Florida Department of Children and Families is in need of aggressive reform. The DCF officials have been charged with committing crimes. THe DCF has failed to move children from abusive homes. In 2008, One in four foster children were homeless. Only one out of ten foster children were at grade level.
A mother was denied parental rights because she no longer attended "therapeutic visitations and individual therapy." The DCF discontinued these sessions due to budget cuts. The mother was found at fault for not attending sessions the DCF terminated. The Third District Court of Appeal reversed the DCF decision. This level of incompetence is normal for the DCF.
The Third DCA also held that the trial court erred in terminating the mother’s parental rights based on her failure to comply with her case plan. "The failure to comply with a case plan may not be used as a ground for termination of parental rights if the failure is due to the parent's lack of financial resources or the failure of the department to make reasonable efforts to reunify the parent and child." K.J. v. Dep't of Children & Family Servs., 906 So.2d 1183 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005); see T.M. v. Dep't of Children & Families, 905 So.2d 993, 997 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005).” The mother completed her parenting classes. The mother’s failure to complete the therapeutic visits and individual counseling was partially attributable to the department.
Finally, the Third DCA held that the trial court erred in terminating the mother’s rights based on abandonment. The mother made more than a marginal effort to communicate with her child. The mother failed to provide child support but that alone does not warrant a finding of abandonment as the mother lacked the ability to provide child support.
The Third DCA reversed the TPR order and remanded for further proceedings.
Florida's national rankings in health care, education and social economics.
Ranking on number of uninsured children Florida ranks 49th. About 19 percent, or 763,000 of our children, do not have health insurance, versus a national average of 11 percent. Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center
Immunization Coverage Florida ranks 10th, with 82.4 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months receiving complete immunizations. Source: United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings, 2008
Access to Prenatal Care Florida ranks 47th in the percentage of pregnant women receiving prenatal care in the first trimester, with 70 percent. More than 71,000 women in Florida do not get prenatal care in the first trimester. Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, StateHealthFacts.org; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, VitalStats.
Infant mortality Florida ranks 32nd in the number of infant deaths (before age 1) per 1,000 live births with a rate of 7.2, or more than 1,600 infant deaths annually. Source: United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings, 2008; Kaiser Family Foundation, StateHealthFacts.org.
Low birth weight babies Florida ranks 36th in the nation in the percent of low-birthweight babies, defined as babies weighing less than 5 ½ pounds at birth – 8.7 percent of all births, or nearly 21,000 babies a year. Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book; Kaiser Family Foundation, StateHealthFacts.org.
Teen birth rates Florida ranks 30th, with a rate of 42 (births per 1,000 females ages 15-19), or more than 25,000 teen births annually. Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, VitalStats.
State spending on education as percentage of total resources Florida ranks 42nd. As a state, Florida spends only 3.1% of its resources on education. Source: Education Week, Quality Counts, 2009
State per capita spending on corrections vs. education Florida ranks 50th in per capita spending on education, but ranks 16th in the nation in spending on corrections. Source: NEA Rankings of the States 2008
High School Graduation Rates Florida ranks 43rd, with 60.8 percent of public high school students graduating with a diploma. Source: Education Week, Quality Counts, 2009
Standardized Test Scores Florida students rank 48th in the nation in average composite scores on the ACT, a standard college entrance exam. Source: American Legislative Exchange Council, Report Card on American Education, 2008
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC
Children in Poverty Florida ranks 31st in the percentage of persons under age 18 who live in households at or below the poverty threshold, with 17.9 percent. The federal poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,050 annual income. Source: United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings, 2008
Children in Single-Parent Families Florida ranks 40th, with 35 percent. Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book
Child Abuse Deaths Florida ranks 41st, with 2.9 child abuse fatalities per 100,000. Source: Every Child Matters Education Fund, “Geography Matters: Child Well Being in the States,” 2008
Teens not working and not attending school Florida ranks 36th, with 9 percent. Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2008 Kids Count Data Book
Juvenile violent crime Florida ranks 48th in the nation in juvenile incarceration rates, with a custody rate of 451.8 per 100,000 children ages 10 and up. Source: Every Child Matters Education Fund, “Geography Matters: Child Well Being in the States,” 2008
Anchorage Activist, at the blog White Reference, has taken exception to Alex Pickett's post. Activist takes exception to Jud Süß being labeled as anti-Semitic. Activist claims that the movie is pro-jewish. Joseph Goebbels selected Veit Harlan to make propaganda films. Goebbels was thrilled with the results of the film.
"An anti-Semitic film of the kind we could only wish for," Goebbels wrote in his diary. "I am happy about it."
Activist did not take exception with Pickett's description of White Reference as a Nazi blog.
(2). This blog, White Reference, is a "Nazi" blog. Not that this hurts my feelings; if being considered "racists" and "Nazis" hurt our feelings, we would not be racial nationalists. Besides, we know that lefties consider anything and anybody to the right of Barack Obama to be "racist" and "Nazi", so those designations lost their sting a long time ago. But if the TBO blogger had done any homework, the person would know that national socialism is a subset of racial nationalism. While racial nationalism is a philosophy, national socialism is a specific form of governance within that philosophy. More precisely, this blog promotes white nationalism, although I also recognize racial populists (like the BNP and the Council of Conservative Citizens) as being pro-White, and I do believe that Germany's National Socialists started out well.
Most people would be outraged by being called a Nazi. Not Anchorage Activist. The blog links to to the Klu Klux Klan web site. The KKK's history of lynchings is not about ethnic pride. The KKK are more than willing to murder. Check out the comment section in the White Reference post.
"""By 2012, White people will be looking for a tough White leader to kick that nigger out of the White House. """
But they won't be looking for someone who they would consider a "racist". That "label" automatically looses all democrat votes, most independent votes and many republican votes. Pride in ones race and racism need to be split just like the BNP did.
These commenters makes Freepers seem civil.
Goebbels himself said Jud Süß is an anti-Semitic movie. Why Activist has to go through the motions about lying about the movie's content is tiresome. Does anyone seriously believe White Reference would give Schindler's List a rave review?
Anchorage Activist is a Sarah Palin supporter. What a base Palin is building for the GOP. White supremists, birthers and tea baggers will chase people out of the Republican Party.
Note: No one on this blog works for the Tampa Tribune or TBO.com. Our posts have been running on the site without our consent. We are attempting to resolve that issue.
Should we ban swimming with manatees or just enforce the rules?
Two years ago, during a cool week in March, an out-of-town friend and I made an early morning trek to Crystal River, Florida. Our goal: Get our manatee on.
Crystal River lies in Citrus County, which is the only place in the world where humans are legally allowed to swim with the endangered manatee, that sweet tub of sea cow that is as synonymous with Florida as alligators and large mice. In fact, there is hardly any other reason to visit places like Crystal River, a town of 3,600 with a nuclear power plant and several trailer parks. The manatee tours have put this little hamlet on the map and led to one-of-a-kind human/animal interactions that have touched thousands of people's hearts.
So, naturally, a few slack-jawed yokels had to ruin it for the rest of us.
In 2007, animal rights activists filmed some Crystal River visitors harassing the manatees -- chasing them, riding them, separating moms from babies -- and then released the videos to media outlets. Reporters followed the story and, for a while, it seemed the tours that made Crystal River famous might halt.
Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and federal wildlife officials did not immediately ban the practice. My friend and I went on to have awesome time viewing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat. I rank that day as one of the best ever in Florida, or anywhere else for that matter.
Honestly, I can't blame the activists. Harassing manatees is akin to pushing down old ladies -- maybe worse. Old ladies at least have purses to smack you with; the gentle manatee has no way to defend itself. The animal cannot even swim very fast and the shallow depth of the springs makes an escape from some belligerent fratboy impossible.
But, at the same time, banning such a Florida tradition over a few ignorant tourists seems a bit, well, overboard. The PEER group even decrys touching the manatees at all. If they've ever been in these waters they'd know: some manatees like people and enjoy being petted on the tummy or scratched under the flipper. The law says to allow the manatee to come to you first. I think that's a good rule for any animal.
So what's the solution?
Like many problems, we already have the solution. The rules just have to be enforced -- vigorously. So I have a proposal: The Manatee Narc Force. [Enter patriotic horns]
The idea is simple: volunteers and/or state wildlife officials hang out undercover in Crystal River waters or secretly attend the many tour guides that take visitors out on springs for some manatee action. The Manatee Narc Force watches for violators of the official Manatee Code.
If someone is found harassing a manatee, the Manatee Narc Force immediately fines them $500 -- about five-times the cost of the average manatee tour. Depending on the severity of offense, jail time of up to 60 days is possible.
This is already the law. But we need to go a step further.
Under this proposal, the Manatee Narc Force will hold tour operators to a higher standard. If the Manatee Narc Force fines three visitors from the tour boat's party in a 12-month span, they will fine the tour operator $3,000. Hell, make it $10,000. That way, after a violation, some tour guides might even order everyone back on the boat for the rest of the trip, with no refunds. If that happened, you can be sure Mr. Manatee Molester will get his ass beat in the parking lot by some dad with two upset kids. Hell, I'd do it.
Also, if a tour company has more than 10 violations in a five year period, the Manatee Narc Force revokes the company's right to be in the water. Problem solved.
"But how will we pay for such enforcement?" my conservative friends ask.
Simple: the fines.
If that's not enough (and hopefully if they are doing the job it won't be enough), the federal government and Crystal River will pony up the additional funds. After all, Crystal River is benefiting from the tourism and they stand to lose a lot more money if the ban goes into effect. Plus, considering the manatee is federally protected and the Manatee Narc Force would create jobs desperately needed in that area, the proposal should qualify for stimulus funds.
This isn't some grand scheme. There are already laws, fines and punishments in place to deal with manatee harassment. The problem is enforcement. As one local TV station reported, state officials only cited one person last year -- after nearly 1,600 hours of patrol in an area that hosts nearly 100,000 visitors a year. Folks, if we want to keep this unique Florida treasure, we must be more strict.
Let's create the Manatee Narc Force before it's too late.
“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations.
“Mr. Waxman has decided to sever discussions with the Blue Dogs who are trying to make this bill work for America,” Melancon said.
The Blue Dogs want to keep the health care bill in committee. Which would serve no purpose except help Republicans. Waxman responded to the Blue Dogs.
"I won't allow them to hand over control of our committee to Republicans," Waxman told reporters.
"I don’t see what other alternative we have, because we're not going to let them empower Republicans on the committee."
Waxman is correct. The Blue Dogs have horrible political instincts. The Republican Party is in disarray and the Blue Dogs are scared of what exactly? The Blue Dogs keep saying they want health care reform. When pressed - they can't say what it exactly is what they take issue with. Rep. Baron Hill wants private health insurance to stay in it's current form. If premiums become too costly then introduce a public plan. Blue Dogs call this a cost trigger. I call it b.s.
Brain surgeon David McKalip received a great deal of news coverage for his racist email. McKalip sent an email of President Barack Obama dressed as a witch doctor to several groups. McKalip quickly became a source of controversy for the Marco Rubio campaign. McKalip went into damage control and issued an apology.
"I recognize that this image is offensive and hope that the nation refocuses on assuring all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health care with no party interfering in the patient-physician relationship," the apology said.
McKalip said the email does not reflect his racial views. That is rather hard to swallow.
"Speaker Rubio believes there are more appropriate, civil, and substantial ways to make your point about President Obama's policies," said the spokesman, Alex Burgos. But pressed on whether Rubio would continue to work with McKalip, Burgos wouldn't say. "I don't have an answer right now," he told us.
If Rubio isn't smart enough to distance himself from McKalip then he isn't ready for prime-time.
Howard Fineman explains the Republican Party's strategy is playing up racial fears with birth conspiracy theories. Fineman says Rush Limbaugh, Liz Cheney and Newt Gingrich are currently running the RNC.
Fineman reports Congressional Republicans have no health care plan. Republicans plan to kill health care reform to help their midterm election prospects. Fineman says many Americans fear if they lose their jobs they will have no health care. From a policy standpoint, Fineman explains, Obama is on the right side of the issue. Republicans are on the wrong side. The GOP is less concerned with policy than retaining power. I wonder what Republicans plan to do if they win Congress back. Tax cuts is a bumper sticker slogan. Not a serious policy proposal.
"Oh, I think so. I really do. In fact, there’ll be a lot of Democrats. You know, I liken it to the cap and trade thing. Now that’s the one that I’ve been kind of in charge of for ten years, and we know where we are on that now. We know that if, as long as people keep talking the way they are right now, we’re going to defeat it. They only have 34 votes. They need 60 votes. I’d say health care right now is somewhere in the neighborhood of, they have maybe 45 votes. But every day, they lose votes, because people find out what it is, what it’s going to do, and what it’s not going to do. When you tell people that the mortality rate in Canada is 25% higher for breast cancer, 18% higher for prostate cancer, you know, they say why in the world would we emulate a system like that? This is life threatening. And so we have all the issues on our side on this thing, and I think, you know, I just hope the President keeps talking about it, keeps trying to rush it through. We can stall it. And that’s going to be a huge gain for those of us who want to turn this thing over in the 2010 election."
"They ought to know, they ought to know from history. This is a losing proposition for them. And for those out there who believe, that would like to have something optimistic to look at, we are plotting the demise on a week by week basis of where Bill Clinton was in 1993 and where Obama is today and his demise ratio is greater than Clinton’s was in 1993. So, he’s trying to do the same things, except more extreme."
The Republicans aren't fighting Obama for the quality of health care. This is nothing more than cynical posturing. Howard Fineman reports Republicans do not have their own health care plan. The Republicans believe killing health care reform will help them in the midterm elections. The GOP is devoid of policy ideas that don't involve the words "tax cuts."
There is a report of a gunman on the University of South Florida Tampa campus. An alert has been sent out and all buildings have been advised to lock their doors. The gunman has been reported near the location of the Science Center and Bio-Science buildings. Do not go near those areas.
Update: The Associated Press confirms the gunman is by the Bio-Science building. Student and facilty is advised to keep all doors locked.
USF Tampa—Reports of a gunman on campus in lot 2 near Bioscience building, which is adjacent to Administration building. Tampa Police Department and USF Police Department investigating. Stay inside and lock doors. Avoid area. We will update as details become available.
USF hasn't updated their homepage. Apparently, things are back to normal on campus.
News crews are now on campus interviewing students.
If students could be armed then wouldn't be problem!
Is this guy doing a Marco Rubio impression? The Virginia Tech shooting happened because a nutty student brought guns on campus.
The massacre prompted rapid changes in Virginia law that had allowed Cho, an individual adjudicated as mentally unsound, to purchase handguns without detection by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). It also led to passage of the first major federal gun control measure in more than 13 years, a law that strengthened the NICS, which was signed by President George W. Bush on January 5, 2008.
The NRA has been against any forms of background checks. I am more to the center than most progressives on gun control. I don't want an alcoholic behind the wheel of an automobile. I don't want a person as mentally unbalanced as Seung-Hui Cho owning a gun. Why does the NRA want to make it easier for nut cases to own guns?
Update: The lockdown is over. I have been on campus and there was never a sense of panic. I have not heard if the gunman has been arrested.
DEVELOPING: A reported gunman on the loose at the University of South Florida may be targeting his girlfriend who works in the campus library, according to WTVT.
Update:Ann Curry, of MSNBC, reports the gunman called campus police and gave his location. No arrest has been made. Curry tweets nothing about the alleged gunman targeting a girlfriend. This may have been a prank call. I walked by the Bio-Science building near the Bio-Science building when the alarm went off. I saw a two police cruisers but nothing unusual.
Marco Rubio is letting campaign manager Brian Seitchik go. Ann Herberger will cut back her responsibilities. Translation: Herberger will work part-time. What this means is Rubio doesn't have enough money to retain staff.
“This is not a purge or anything, quite the contrary,’’ Rubio said, while campaigning Thursday night in Pasco County.
It is not a purge. Rubio has a brilliant strategy to beat Charlie Crist with no campaign manager and a part-time fundraiser. Who needs a campaign manager and fundraiser to beat the most popular politician in Florida?
Several weeks ago, John Ubele -- the operations manager of the white supremacist Nationalist Coalition -- sent some Florida public officials a copy of the DVD "Jud Süß," a 1940 German film about a sneaky Jew who tricks an 18th century Duke into giving him control of his kingdom. According to Wikipedia, the movie was made by the notoriously anti-Semetic German director Veit Harlan under the direction of the Nazi Party's chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
In the letter, Crist (or presumably an aide) thanks Ubele for sending the film "on behalf of myself and the people of Florida." He repeats an appreciation of "thoughtfulness" and offers to share the film with "the people of Florida."
Well, the cold hearts at the White Reference blog were thoroughly warmed, if cautiously:
At this point, there is no need to over-interpret Governor Crist's reaction. It could be that he is simply a buff of old movies and that he finds this movie enjoyable. Eventually, he could find this movie educational as well. It's worth the time to watch it.
I will agree: There is no need to over-interpret the governor's reaction. I'm sure he is no anti-Semite. I'm also 99.9% positive he didn't even write the letter himself. But for Crist's sake, why didn't an aide do a Wiki search on this movie and figure out the nature of the film?
I'm going to get a Texan female friend of mine to send in Debbie Does Dallas. Maybe I can get a response from Crist thanking "the good women of Texas" for their, uh, "generosity." If so, that shit is totally going on eBay.
The governor's office, however, said it was an embarrassing mistake. The signature was made by a machine and Crist never saw the letter, said Sterling Ivey, the governor's press secretary. "We are NOT sharing the DVD with the people of Florida," Ivey said. "The governor does not support this view. The letter was sent out prior to us reviewing the DVD that was sent."
Saad bin Laden, a son of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, may have been killed in a U.S. airstrike, U.S. officials said Thursday. The son was likely killed in Pakistan in the last several months, approximately in late spring, said a counterterrorism official, one of three Obama administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.
Though many in the intelligence community believe he is dead, they can't be 100 percent certain because no body or DNA evidence was recovered to prove it, one official said.
The Washington Post confirmed the story of Saad's possible death through their own source.
"There are some indications that he may be dead, but it's not 100 percent certain," said a Washington-based counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitive nature of CIA operations along the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier. He declined to say precisely when and where the strike occurred.
Saad served as a messanger between his father and the Quds Force of Iran. al-Qaeda used verbal messangers to avoid communication through cell phones and the internet. The Quds Force helps train and equip Islamic terrorists. Saad lived in Iran and Pakistan after the United States invasion of Afghanistan.
Intelligence official will never be completely certain if Saad is dead. The ability to find a body in Taliban-controlled Pakistan makes the task all but impossible.
David McKalip is brain surgeon, a board member of the founder of the anti-tax group Cut Property Taxes Now. McKalip is a supporter of Senate candidate Marco Rubio and is against Barack Obama's attempt at health care reform. McKalip sent an email out with the image above, to a Tea Party Google listserv. "Funny stuff, McKalip wrote.
The Tampa area has become ground zero for anti-Obama racist emails. Former Hillsborough County Republican Party chairman David Storck forwarded a racist email he was delusional enough to would help Republican voter turnout.
This e-mail was sent to me from one of our Volunteers in the Temple Terrace office. If you think it can help us win this election please pass it on. This election is now in our hands everyone can make a difference.
THE THREAT: HERE IN TEMPLE TERRACE, FL OUR REPUBLICAN HQ IS ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM OUR LIBRARY, WHICH IS AN EARLY VOTING SITE.
I SEE CARLOADS OF BLACK OBAMA SUPPORTERS COMING FROM THE INNER CITY TO CAST THEIR VOTES FOR OBAMA. THIS IS THEIR CHANCE TO GET A BLACK PRESIDENT AND THEY SEEM TO CARE LITTLE THAT HE IS AT MINIMUM, SOCIALIST, AND PROBABLY MARXIST IN HIS CORE BELIEFS. AFTER ALL, HE IS BLACK -- NO EXPERIENCE OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS -- BUT HE IS BLACK.
I ALSO SEE YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS AND THEIR PROFESSORS FROM USF PARKING THEIR CARS WITH THE PROMINENT 'OBAMA' BUMPER STICKERS. THE STUDENTS ARE ENTHUSIASTIC TO BE VOTING IN A HISTORIC ELECTION WHERE THERE MAY BE THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT.
THE COLLEGE PROFESSORS, PARTICULARLY IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, FOR THE MOST PART HAVE LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE IN THE WORK-A-DAY WORLD.
THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN MOSTLY ACADEMIC UNDER THE TUTELAGE OF LIBERAL COLLEGE PROFESSORS. FOR THEM, A LITTLE SOCIALISM AND ANTI-AMERICANISM IS A GOOD THING. AFTER ALL, IF TERRORISTS ATTACK US, WE MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO PROVOKE THEM.
YOU AND I UNDERSTAND THE DANGERS THE POTENTIAL OBAMA PRESIDENCY PRESENTS TO OUR WAY OF LIFE. THE SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH, INTRODUCING UNION INTIMIDATION IN THE WORKPLACE, INCREASED DANGERS TO OUR NATION BY TERRORISTS, CUTTING OUR DEFENSE BUDGET BY 25%, TURNING OUR TAX SYSTEM INTO A NATIONAL WELFARE SYSTEM AND ECONOMIC POLICIES THAT COULD DRIVE US INTO A DEPRESSION.
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO STOP OBAMA: VOTE !!!
(AND GET EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO VOTE)
ONLY YOU AND I CAN STOP OBAMA NOW ! !
SEVEN DAYS TO GO AND WE MUST ACT IMMEDIATELY.
A PLAN OF ACTION FOR YOU AND I:
* OBAMA IS ADVERTISING ON TV ASKING ALL HIS SUPPORTERS TO TAKE A DAY OFF WORK OR CLASS TO VOTE. CONTACT PERSONALLY EVERYONE YOU KNOW REMINDING THEM TO VOTE AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS. PARENTS, VOTING-AGE CHILDREN, IN-LAWS, CO-WORKERS, CHURCH CONTACTS, SCHOOL CONTACTS, BUSINESS CONTACTS. MAKE A LIST AND CONTACT THEM.
* SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST THAT WANTS TO DEFEAT OBAMA. YOUR EMAIL IS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL IF YOU USE IT WISELY AND PROMPTLY. YOU CAN REACH 10,000,000 PEOPLE IN THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS IF AS FEW AS TEN PEOPLE ON YOUR LIST TAKE PROMPT ACTION AND TEN PEOPLE ON THEIR LIST AND TEN PEOPLE ON THEIR LIST ... YOU GET THE IDEA.
* LET'S ALL PRAY AND WORK AND WE WILL SURELY CELEBRATE OUR VICTORY ON 11/5/08.
Former HCRP committeewoman Carol Carter learned nothing from Storck's dismissal.
From: Carol Carter Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 9:30 AM Subject: FW: Amazing!
How can 2,000,000 blacks get into Washington, DC in 1 day in sub zero temps when 200,000 couldn't get out of New Orleans in 85 degree temps with four days notice?
Republican fundraiser Al Austin sent an email about Obama being killed by "friendly fire."
The joke concerns a group of schoolchildren discussing the definition of “tragedy” as opposed to “great loss” or “accident.” The punch line comes when one child says that if an airplane carrying Obama and his wife, Michelle, “was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile and blown to smithereens,” the event might be a tragedy “because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss, and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”
These emails came from people with status is the Tampa area Republican Party. It is hard to argue this doesn't reflect mainstream Republican values when the emails come from people in positions of power.
Update:McKalip went to a St.Petersburg City city council meeting in 2008 and urged no tax dollars be used to help the homeless.
Added local surgeon and tax-cut advocate David McKalip: "I'm being told I have to give to others who refuse to work for themselves. I'm sick of it."
McKalip's comments came a year after the city of St. Petersburg received negative national media attention for slashing the tents of homeless people. McKalip's lack of compassion extends beyond race. What McKalip is telling people is the rest of the masses are screwed. He makes a hefty salary as a surgeon don't don't dare ask him to pay taxes that might in some way benefit others. This is what the current conservatism is in America. The perfect Republican bumper sticker would be: "Fuck you and I want more." That sums up McKalip perfectly.