Steal This Blogroll Amnesty Day Cartoon
Skippy, Jon Swift, and BlueGal run down the voodoo on Blogroll Amnesty Day.
Feel free to use the above cartoon for your B.A.D. posts or link buttons!
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty criticized then President-elect Barack Obama's stimulus package. Pawlenty was asked if he would turn down federal aid to maintain his small government principles. Pawlenty balked.
But the state is below that threshold. In fact, school funding coming directly from the state is now lower than it was in the 2004-05 school year. With Florida's budget shortfall for next year ballooning toward $4 billion, it's not clear it could meet that requirement.
That would mean it could not get the $3.5 billion in estimated stabilization funds, though it would still be eligible for about $2.3 billion earmarked to help poor kids and to renovate schools, among other items.
Labels: cat blogging
Ray Sansom has stepped down as Speaker of the House.
"Effective immediately, I have decided to recuse myself from the exercise of my duties as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Ongoing legal proceedings have temporarily created an inability for me to carry out my responsibilities as Speaker. Under the House rules, during this temporary inability, Speaker pro tempore Larry Cretul will exercise all the duties, powers and prerogatives of Speaker.
I know Larry will manage the House with distinction and it will be an honor for me to serve under him at this time, until any legal proceedings I face are resolved. The allegations and reports associated with these proceedings have caused my family grave pain and this has prompted my decision. I expect positive outcomes and am confident that when the facts are known, my honesty and integrity will be confirmed."
Kevin Drum makes a poor defense for the stimulus package.
Still, isn't the bill just a hodgepodge of unrelated spending? Sure. What else could it be? There's no way to spend $800 billion on infrastructure over the next two years, so most of the money has to be spent on other stuff. But so what? Employing clerks or crossing guards or home care workers counts every bit as much as employing backhoe operators or engineers. Spending money on contraceptives does as much for the economy as spending money on rebar. An unemployment check gets spent on food the same way a paycheck does.
GREGORY: So let’s talk about that, and that is the stimulus or the recovery plan that the president has proposed. In December, this is what you wrote: “In this crisis, doing too little poses a greater threat than doing too much.”
That was an op-ed piece you did. In that same piece, you said at that time that the economy was headed to a position where it was underperforming, where it was falling short of capacity to the tune of a trillion dollars. Now, there are other economists that I’ve spoken to say actually that’s optimistic, that it’s actually falling short to the order of $2 trillion.
So why a stimulus plan that’s only 825 billion?
SUMMERS: David, this is the largest stimulus plan in the country’s history. It’s the largest investment in the backbone of our economy since the interstate -- since the interstate highway system. It’s going to double renewable energy. And it is only one phase of the approach that the president is taking.
The president has made clear that there will be strong action to address the terrible problems in our housing sector, that he will be using additional funds for a substantial financial recovery plan to get the flow of credit going. This is one component of our strategy to bring about expansion. And the president has also made clear that going forward we’re going to be leaning forward and that he is prepared to do what is necessary.
GREGORY: It is big, even...
SUMMERS: And so we believe this -- we believe that this is a properly sized approach to move the economy forward. You know, economists from several private firms have now corroborated our incoming CEA chairman Christina Romer’s estimate that the plan will create...
Jill Filipovic has a photographic proof Barack Obama taking women issues much more seriously than George W. Bush. Take notice of who is standing near Bush. Several Congressional Republicans are no longer in office. No more Tom Delay, Rick Santorum or Dennis Hastert. Change I can believe in.
"They really should just go pull a Cheney. This is governance as talk radio."
Earlier this month, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty rejected State Farm Florida's request to raise homeowners insurance 47.1 percent. State Farm Fl decided to drop all Florida property insurance policies. It will take State Farm two years to end all policies. The Office of Insurance Regulation has 90 days to approve the plan.
Rod Blagojevich has been removed from office.
In a historic Illinois Senate vote, former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich was removed from office with 59 votes against 0.
But how can you throw a governor out of office on a criminal complaint, and you haven't been able to show or prove any criminal activity? How can you throw a governor, elected twice by the people, out of office when the rules don't even require that you prove up elements of criminal allegations?
And more than that, how can you throw a governor out of office who is clamoring and begging and pleading with you to give him a chance to bring witnesses in to prove his innocence, to do more than just ask for a presumption of innocence? Don't even give me that. Let me make my case, let me bring my witnesses in, let me show you that I'm innocent and I didn't do anything wrong.
The Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell gives Gov. Charle Crist a C-plus. That is generous.
"Second, you've either got to start delivering the things you promise -- or stop promising them. Nobody's taxes have dropped like a rock. And if you deliver any more 'help' on home insurance, many of us will no longer be able to afford our homes."
Let me preface this rant with yes, I know we need a bailout. But...
We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it. There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.
In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make "dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy." Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There's another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities...
Another "stimulus" secret is that some $252 billion is for income-transfer payments -- that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There's $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren't job creators.
...estimated that it would take a $2.2 trillion investment…over the next five years to bring it into a state of good repair.”
Former New York Times columnist John Tierney was a source of great entertainment to me. Tierney urged Americans to buy more foreign oil and not recycle.
After you fill up your tank, twist the rear-view mirror so you can gaze at yourself. Repeat these words: ''I'm good enough, I'm rich enough, and doggone it, people in the Middle East like my money.''
In this column, I cite a report that Sen. Obama had attended services at Trinity Church on July 22, 2007. The Obama campaign has provided information showing that Senator Obama did not attend Trinity that day. I regret the error.
I spent an afternoon with Palin a little over a year ago in Juneau, and have followed her career pretty closely ever since. I think she can pull it off. I’m not the only one. The day after the V.P. announcement, I spoke with an old friend, James Muller, chairman of the political science department at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He said that Palin “has been underestimated over and over again. She took on the party and state establishments here in Alaska, and left them reeling. She’s a very good campaigner, a quick study and a fighter.”
Senator Bill Nelson is sponsoring a legislation requiring bailout recipient to report how the money is spent.
"These guys have been living high-on-the-hog and now they’re subsidizing their lifestyle with public funds,” Nelson said, citing recent reports that just five big banks distributed $17 billion in dividends to shareholders after collectively receiving $100 billion in bailout money. "This practice has got to stop."
SEC. 4. REPORTING AND CERTIFICATION.
(a) Report- Each recipient of emergency economic assistance shall file with the Secretary of the Treasury on a quarterly basis--
(1) a detailed accounting of how emergency economic assistance is being used, including an explanation of how such funds have been allocated to stabilize financial markets and increase the availability of credit to consumers and businesses; and
(2) a certification that--
(A) no emergency economic assistance is being used for lobbying expenditures of political contributions in violation of section 2(b); and
(B) no emergency economic assistance is being used in violation of the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Treasury under section 3(a).
(b) Public Availability- Any report or certification filed under this section shall be made publically available by Secretary of the Treasury on-line, and at no cost.
SEC. 5. PENALTIES.
(a) Use of Funds- Any person that violates section 2(b) shall be subject to a civil fine of at least $100,000 per violation.
(b) Future Funding- Any person that fails to comply with section 2(b) or the guidelines implemented under section 3 shall not be eligible to receive any future emergency economic assistance unless the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Financial Stability Oversight Board, determines that reasonable steps have been taken to bring actions into compliance with and to prevent future violations of this Act.
(c) False Report- Any person that fails to file a report or certification required under section 4 shall be subject to a civil fine of at least $100,000.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's defense attorney Edward Genson has resigned.
"I never require a client to do what I say, but I do require them to at least listen," Edward Genson said. "I intend to withdraw as counsel in this case."
Ann Althouse blames the lack of bookstore patronage on Barack Obama.
Despite shrines to Obama, the bookstore was nearly deserted
Peter Hoekstra: "... places hope ahead of reality — it sets an objective without a plan to get there."
Ray Sansom faces two ethics complaints from David Plyer and Susan Smith. The State Commission on Ethics ruled Plyers' complaint was "legally sufficient." Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs will have a grand jury hear the ethics complaints.
To keep track, let's divide the "things to investigate" list about House Speaker Ray Sansom into three categories:
Q. Does the Sunshine Law apply to the Legislature?
A. Florida's Constitution provides that meetings of the Legislature be open and noticed except those specifically exempted by the Legislature or specifically closed by the Constitution. Each house is responsible through its rules of procedures for interpreting, implementing and enforcing these provisions. Information on the rules governing openness in the Legislature can be obtained from the respective houses.
Q. Does the Sunshine Law applies to members-elect?
A. Members-elect of public boards or commissions are covered by the Sunshine law immediately upon their election to public off ice.
Q. What qualifies as a meeting?
A. The Sunshine law applies to all discussions or deliberations as well as the formal action taken by a board or commission. The law, in essence, is applicable to any gathering, whether formal or casual, of two or more members of the same board or commission to discuss some matter on which foreseeable action will be taken by the public board or commission. There is no requirement that a quorum be present for a meeting to be covered under the law.
Labels: rod blagojevich
"Dec. 9 to my family, to us, to me, is what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States. It was a complete surprise, completely unexpected. And just like the United States prevailed in that, we'll prevail in this."
Labels: rod blagojevich
President Barack Obama issued an executive order lifting the Global Gage Rule.
"It will be today. He's going to make an executive order (lifting the global gag rule)," the official said.
The Democratic president's decision is a victory for advocates of abortion rights on an issue that in recent years has become a tit-for-tat policy change each time the White House shifts from one party to the other.
When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counselling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.
Here's the cover of the latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine, featuring a darkened photo of Obama looking distressed with the caption "Yes, he did -- But what if he can't?"
Accused Oscar Grant killer Johannes Mehserle hired high-powered defense attorney Michael Rains. Merserle pleaded not guilty to the murder of Grant.
President Barack Obama press release on the anniversary Roe v. Wade.
Statement of President Obama on the 36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose.
While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.
On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere.
Steve Waldman of Belief.net incorrectly describes the Mexico City Gag Rule.
Pro-life Obama activists fully expect Obama to repeal the Mexico City "gag rule" -- which prevents American dollars from going to groups that offer abortion services or advice. But some of them are urging the Obama administration Obama to delay action on that until he can put it in the context of a broader "abortion reduction" agenda. In other words, don't make a big pro-choice move without also taking some abortion-reduction step.
The Global Gag Rule is about imposing censorship (that is unconstitutional in this country) on U.S. family planning funded NGOs that provide critical health services in developing nations; services like the provision of contraceptive supplies, family planning counseling, HIV prevention tools, maternal health care and more.
The global gag rule does not prohibit foreign NGOs from providing EC as part of the family planning and reproductive health services they offer. Foreign NGOs may provide EC counseling, dispense EC to clients and promote awareness of this contraceptive method and still remain eligible for U.S. population assistance.
I don't want to even know why someone came to my site lokking for "the porno video of woman in guillotine with rope in the mouth." Whoever you are, please don't come back.
You hold the gun and I hold the wound,
And we stand looking in each other's eyes,
Both think we know what's right,
Both know we know what's wrong,
We tell ourselves so many many many lies,
We're not pawns in any game, we're not tools of bigger men,
There's only one who can really move us all,
It all looks fine to the naked eye,
But it don't really happen that way at all.
Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite asked senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez to oppose Timothy Geither's nomination. Nelson intends to vote for Geither.
“It’s critical right now that we have a new Treasury Secretary in place. There’s a lot at stake with our economy and we can’t afford for that position to remain open,” said Nelson, in a statement from his office.
“Mr. Geithner has admitted an honest mistake on his taxes and the IRS agreed, choosing not to penalize him. Also, all taxes owed have been paid with interest,” said Nelson.
“I accept the IRS’s decision and President Obama’s judgment on Mr. Geithner’s explanation; and, think it’s important we move ahead with his nomination.”
"Are you ready to take the oath?" Roberts asked.
"I am, and we're going to do it very slowly," obama replied.
President Barack Obama will issue three executive orders tomorrow. The oders deal with the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
∙ close the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay within a year and establish a process by which the U.S. government figures out what to do with the remaining detainees;
∙ establish new rules on interrogation methods moving forward;
∙ establish new guidelines for the treatment of detainees moving forward.
This is Barack Obama's best pick yet. The President will name George Mitchell Middle East envoy. Mictchell has a stellar resume.
“Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support.
“So I’m concerned,” Foxman continued. “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”
Hillary Clinton has been confirmed as Sec. of State. Who could imagine so many Republicans voting for the former first lady? The final vote was 94-2.
Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite urged Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez to vote against the confirmation of Timothy Geithner, as Treasury Secretary. Brown-Waite brings up Geithner's embarrassing $34,000 in back taxes owed.
I've started following Michelle Malkin on Twitter, and I have noticed that she's a bit more honest in the microblogging format -- whether she means to be or not. Why not make a regular feature out of her sincerity? So today, I present the (in the parlance of our week) inaugural Unintentionally Ironic Tweet by Michelle Malkin:
The Obama administration has put up the first official White House blog. Blogging is almost respectable now.
Former South Africa Preident Nelson Mandela congratulated Barack Obama.
"Dear Mister President:
We are greatly honored to join the millions around the globe congratulating you on taking office as the president of the United States of America. We believe that we are witnessing something truly historic not only in the political annals of your great nation, the United States of America, but of the world.
Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done. Amidst all of the human progress made over the last century the world in which we live remains one of great divisions, conflict, inequality, poverty and injustice. Amongst many around the world a sense of hopelessness had set in as so many problems remain unresolved and seemingly incapable of being resolved. You, Mister President, have brought a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.
We are in some ways reminded today of the excitement and enthusiasm in our own country at the time of our transition to democracy. People, not only in our country but around the world, were inspired to believe that through common human effort injustice can be overcome and that together a better life for all can be achieved.
Your presidency brings hope of new beginnings in the relations between nations, that the challenges we all face, be they economic, the environment, or in combating poverty or the search for peace, will be addressed with a new spirit of openness and accommodation. There is a special excitement on our continent today, Mister President, in the knowledge that you have such strong personal ties with Africa. We share in that excitement and pride.
We are aware that the expectations of what your Presidency will achieve are high and that the demands on you will be great. We therefore once more wish you and your family strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead.
You will always be in our affection as a young man who dared to dream and to pursue that dream. We wish you well."
Signed N R Mandela
Chief Justice John Roberts had the horrible idea of reciting the oath from memory. Roberts screwed up badly. Fox News' Chris Wallace is running the meme that Obama may not be president. Matt Drudge is running with this nonsense. The worst that will happen is Obama would have to retake the oath. That is unlikely to happen.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner asked the commission to study if same-sex benefits would be more cost efficient. In 2004, The commission voted 4 to 3 against same-sex benefits for county employees.
"I see this as (leading) to gay marriage next," said Commissioner Jim Norman. "This is not going to be San Francisco east. That's the way I see it."
In addition to passage of Amendment 2, Caton said he probably would not be pursuing the matter at this time if not for the election of openly gay County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, who won office Nov. 4. He cited strong turnout at Beckner's swearing-in Tuesday as evidence that his supporters will press him to pursue a gay-rights agenda.
"I think the heavy turnout for his swearing-in was more than just friendship; it was a politically motivated event," Caton said.
I never heard my dad use the “f” word. I neverheard his World War II buddies use the “f” word. Therefore, Spielberg’s prolific use of the “f”word in Saving Private Ryan does notaccurately represent the service of many menwho I personally know.
One of the sponsors, a man who owned a Ford dealership, and Clear Channel sued Caton in February 2001. They won in a heartbeat. An Orange County judge issued a temporary injunction against him.
The judge declared that Caton's First Amendment rights were outweighed by those of the businessman and Clear Channel. He ruled that Caton's claims about pornography were false and defamatory; that the fliers put the lives and property of Caton's targets in danger; and that Clear Channel's business relationships were also damaged. He called Caton's actions extortion.
The judge could not have issued a more sweeping ruling. Caton's lawyers told him it meant he couldn't lobby any of Clear Channel's sponsors anyhow, anywhere, about anything. Caton appealed. He lost.
From: Brian Blair
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2009
Subject: Fw: New County Commissioner tries “stealth attack”! Please read and act - THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT!
Do you think with $250,000 in campaign donations we should have mentioned he [Beckner} was an Activist on several G.L.B.T. Boards and that a large percentage of his campaign donations came from out of State? I want to personally appoligize to all that suported me! May God Sincerely Bless you in 2009!
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009
Subject: New County Commissioner tries “stealth attack”! Please read and act - THIS IS VITALLY IMPORTANT!
Community Issues Council - Your help is urgently needed again!
This urgent message is short - please read it and act on it!
THEN FORWARD IT TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK WHO CARES ABOUT FAMILY VALUES!
Almost before sitting in his new furniture Commissioner Beckner is trying to undermine the conservative values that prevail in Hillsborough County. In an apparent attempt to sneak in a radical change to employee policy in the county he placed an item on the agenda for next week’s agenda at 4:00 on Friday (this afternoon). One could easily surmise that he did this, with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and the Presidential inauguration coming up on Monday and Tuesday, in the hopes that there would be no chance to mobilize any opposition.
That’s exactly the reason that it’s so important to have teams like Community Issues Council prepared to jump into the fray at a moment’s notice!
Mr. Beckner wants us to foot the bill for health care for “domestic partners” of county employees. Since Equality Florida endorsed him as an “out” homosexual and since he brags about having been with his “partner” for 9 years, one might be led to assume that he wants us to pay for health benefits for this other man!
This is absurd on 2 key points (these points can be used for your emails to the Commissioners):
1. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of the people in Hillsborough County just voted to keep marraige, and the benefits associated with marriage, between one man and one woman. This seems to me to be nothing more than a back door attempt to establish those benefits through his office as County Commissioner.
2. It’s bad judgment, at a time of budgetary crisis like this, to even suggest that money be spent investigating this issue. It becomes absolutely ludicrous when you take into account the possible presupposed result. If the recommendation comes back yes it means the proposal would be made that tax money be used to pay for health benefits for unmarried partners - whether they be heterosexual or homosexual.
THIS CAN’T BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!
Please contact all 3 county wide commissioners - Norman, Beckner , and Sharpe - and your commissioner from your district and let them know that you don’t want this to go any further.
District 1 Rose Ferlita 272-5470 firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2 Ken Hagan 272-5452 email@example.com
District 3 Kevin White 272-5720 firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4 Al Higginbotham 272-5740 email@example.com
District 5 Jim Norman 272-5725 firstname.lastname@example.org
District 6 Kevin Beckner 272-5730 email@example.com
District 7 Mark Sharpe 272-5735 firstname.lastname@example.org
LET’S SHOW COMMISSIONER BECKNER THAT THIS ISN’T CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!!!
Together we can make a difference!
God bless you!
Bikini bar lawyer Luke Lirot: “Had Mr. Kemple not filed his appeal, the true flaws would have been more difficult to prove. In essence he assisted us.”
"In truth, the federal response to Katrina was both the largest and the fastest response to any natural disaster in world history. Yet Bush was never willing to stand up to his critics and make the case in his own defense."
Another example that trickle down economics is a myth.
At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.
Talking Business: In Search of One Bold Stroke to Save the Banks (January 17, 2009) “Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”