Friday, April 30, 2010

Nelson Wants Investigation of Oil Spill

Sen. Bill Nelson has indicated he will not vote for the climate change bill, if Lindsay Graham's proposal for an expansion of offshore drilling is in the final bill.

"The president needed Lindsey Graham to take the point on this," a Nelson aide told the Huffington Post. "Lindsey wanted the drilling in the gulf. I think the president's plan was viewed as the concession to Republicans in exchange for their support. This incident has killed [that]."

Nelson later came out with a press release urging the White House to ban further offshore drilling.

Nelson is urging an investigation of the spill. He is pressing to have the federal regulatory system included in the investigation.

NELSON: Just how lax did the regulations and the regulators become? You remember several years ago the very heart of the federal government that does the regulation, called the MMS, the Minerals Management Service, you can remember the stories that they had had all kinds of booze parties, all kinds of marijuana parties, and all kinds of sex parties. And this came out in a number of congressional investigations. Well, is this another regulatory system that’s gone on the blink? Compared to the Securities and Exchange Commission that went on the blink and wasn’t watching the home front on Wall Street that we’re now reaping the results from. So, this is what an investigation is going to be about.

Nelson is showing a surprising amount of spine. The White House needs Nelson's vote on a climate change bill. Graham will add energy industry-friendly amendments to the bill and then not vote for the final product. The White House can not afford to have Democratic defectors.

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Major League Baseball Players Association v. Arizona

The Major League Baseball Players Association has come out against the Arizona ID bill. This is why I love unions.

“The recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. These international players are very much a part of our national pastime and are important members of our Association. Their contributions to our sport have been invaluable, and their exploits have been witnessed, enjoyed and applauded by millions of Americans. All of them, as well as the Clubs for whom they play, have gone to great lengths to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law.

“The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team. The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October. In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected, even though their presence in the United States is legal. Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status. This law also may affect players who are U.S. citizens but are suspected by law enforcement of being of foreign descent.

The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.

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Quote of Day

"George loves to tell the story of how all his Midland friends would come to the Oval Office and say, 'I can't believe I'm here.' And then they looked at him. Couldn't believe he was there either."

Laura Bush

I still can't believe it.


Ginny Brown-Waite Greatest Hits

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite announces her retirement.

"As I have prepared for my campaign, I have been troubled by persistent health problems and have come to the disappointing and sad conclusion that I cannot run for reelection," Brown Waite said in a statement.

Brown-Waite was re-elected to District 5 by comfortable margins in 2004, 2006 and 2008. The leading Democratic challenger James John Piccillo has raised $54,155. The district is safely Republican. However, Brown-Waite waiting to the deadline to announce her retirement gives Republicans a serious headache.

I can't let Brown-Waite retire without going down memory lane.

Brown-Waite's husband, Harvey Waite, was caught stealing the campaign signs of Democratic opponent Karen Thurman.


Former Tom Delay aide was convicted of conspiracy. Rudy worked with the infamous Jack Abramoff. Members of Congress have been returning Rudy's lobbying money. Not Brown-Waite.

"They were legally raised, legally reported and legally spent during previous campaigns," Brown-Waite's spokesman Charlie Keller said. "There is nothing to give back."

Yes, Brown-Waite was forced to spend the Rudy lobbying money. It is so hard running against poorly-funded Democrats.


Brown-Waite has compared her fundraising skills to prostitution.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) compares politics to prostitution: “I have to go up to total strangers, ask them for money and get them to expect me to be there when they need me. What does that sound like to you?”…


Brown-Waite earned the nickname the Undertaker for sponsoring the American Heroes Repatriation Act. She wanted the bodies of fallen American soldiers exhumed from France. Brown-Waite was mad that France would not back the Bush administration's Iraq war efforts.

BROWN-WAITE: Millions of dollars a year are collected by the French government and French businesses from patriotic Americans visiting their loved ones who gave everything in defense of the French during WWII. It is not right that Americans are compelled out of respect for the fallen to support the economy of a country who has turned it's back on us and on their memory.

Fortunately, Brown-Waite's morbid bill never passed. We now know how badly the Iraq war turned out.


The best for last: Brown-Waite thinks Puerto Rico and Guam are foreign countries. She is not aware that the people of Puerto Rico and Guam are United States citizens.

“Second, the bill sends hundreds of millions of dollars to people who do not pay federal income taxes, including residents of Puerto Rico and territories like Guam. I do not believe American taxpayer funds should be sent to foreign citizens who do not pay taxes. Americans want an economic stimulus for Dunnellon, Brooksville and Clermont, not for San Juan or Hagatna. As the legislation moves forward, it must be changed to ensure that only federal taxpaying American citizens receive rebate checks.


Goodbye, Ginny Brown-Waite. We at Pushing Rope are going to miss the great comedy material you gave us.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rush Limbaugh's Latest Conspiracy Theory

Rush Limbaugh floats the conspiracy theory that environmentalists engaged in a terrorist attack to cause the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Limbaugh's proof is that the Cuyahoga River fire inspired Earth Day. What conspiracy theorist have in their favor is they don't need facts to make their argument. It was actually an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara that inspired Sen. Gaylord Nelson to start a national teach-in on environmental issues. The movement grew into grassroots movement that is now Earth Day.

"Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level," said Nelson. "We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself."

Conspiracy theorists don't need facts. I argued with someone who claimed the government attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon. I asked him if he could prove his theory. "Disprove it," the guy shouted to me. That sums up the thought process of Limbaugh and his listeners.

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Kendrick Meek: Across Florida

The Kendrick Meek campaign released a 11 minute bio video. Meek needs to personalize himself to Floridians. The video does an effective job of humanizing him. This is the best thing the campaign has put out.

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The Hypocrisy of Bobby Jindal

Photo by Chris Graythen

The Associated Press reports the oil spill has reached the mouth of Mississippi River. The shoreline of hit with five foot waves of watery oil. The damage to the ecosystem is unimaginable.

Irony alert: Gov. Bobby Jindal is asking for the federal government to declare a state of emergency for Louisiana. Remember Jindal's hysterical State of the Union response? Jindal used the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina to forward the concept that the best way to deal with disasters was not with federal government aid. Private citizens should deal with disasters themselves.

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and the enterprising spirit of our citizens. We are grateful for the support we have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today.

Gov. Jindal, why don't you ask Louisianans to clean up the damage to Louisiana's coast. Who needs pesky big government telling you how to clean the biggest oil spill since the Exxon Valdez? Tell citizens to use their entrepreneur spirit. Governor, it is just a shame you are not in Congress to sponsor another bill for more offshore drilling. I know you were disappointed when Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act didn't pass.

(1) the United States is blessed with abundant energy resources on the outer Continental Shelf and has developed a comprehensive framework of environmental laws and regulations and fostered the development of state-of-the-art technology that allows for the responsible development of these resources for the benefit of its citizenry;

(2) adjacent States are required by the circumstances to commit significant resources in support of exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf, and it is fair and proper for a portion of the receipts from such activities to be shared with Adjacent States and their local coastal governments;

(3) the existing laws governing the leasing and production of the mineral resources of the outer Continental Shelf have reduced the production of mineral resources, have preempted Adjacent States from being sufficiently involved in the decisions regarding the allowance of mineral resource development, and have been harmful to the national interest;

(4) the national interest is served by granting the Adjacent States more options related to whether or not mineral leasing should occur in the outer Continental Shelf within their Adjacent Zones;

(5) it is not reasonably foreseeable that exploration of a leased tract located more than 25 miles seaward of the coastline, development and production of a natural gas discovery located more than 25 miles seaward of the coastline, or development and production of an oil discovery located more than 50 miles seaward of the coastline will adversely affect resources near the coastline;

(6) transportation of oil from a leased tract might reasonably be foreseen, under limited circumstances, to have the potential to adversely affect resources near the coastline if the oil is within 50 miles of the coastline, but such potential to adversely affect such resources is likely no greater, and probably less, than the potential impacts from tanker transportation because tanker spills usually involve large releases of oil over a brief period of time; and

(7) among other bodies of inland waters, the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Albemarle Sound, San Francisco Bay, and Puget Sound are not part of the outer Continental Shelf, and are not subject to leasing by the Federal Government for the exploration, development, and production of any mineral resources that might lie beneath them.

Keep voting voting Republican Louisiana. See where it gets you.

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Crist Officially Announces Independent Run

Gov. Charlie Crist makes it official.

"Our political system is broken," he said. "They look at Washington and they don't like what they see."

He added that he doesn't have a Republican Party or Democratic Party to turn to. "I need you -- the people -- more than ever. I am counting on you. And I believe in you."

Crist will be list on the ballot under no party affiliation.

Update: ABC News has more on Crist's announcement.

"My decision to run for the United States Senate as a candidate without party affiliation in many ways says more about our nation and our state, than it does about me," Crist announced.

"For me it's never been about doing what's easy," he said today, "it's about doing what is right for the people first."

Update Marco Rubio has issued a press release condemning Crist. Nothing shocking about that. RNC Chairman Michael Steele sent out his own press release.

"Now more than ever, Floridians need leadership in Washington. With unemployment at an all-time high in Florida, they want a Senator to exercise strong fiscal discipline and be a catalyst for job creation. Without question, the Republican nominee this fall will offer those qualities. Governor Charlie Crist, however, will not be that candidate. Over the years, he has served this party well, which is why his decision to run as an Independent is so disappointing. To be sure, he left this party. This party did not leave him. His decision will in no way impede our path to victory in Florida. The challenges that Floridians face are many. And this November, we will have a nominee in place that will listen to them and put forth solutions to get Floridians back to work."

The Republican nominee will create jobs!?! I seem to remember the state budget and housing market tanking when Rubio was Florida House Speaker. Rubio was against the stimulus. As of February of 2010, economists estimated the stimulus created 1.8 million jobs. Rubio's solution would have been tax cuts. Job growth grew by 0.28 percent under President Bush. The Bush tax cuts did not create the promised budget surplus or job gains. Joel Friedman and Isaac Shapiro summed up how the Bush tax cuts damaged the economy.

The Bush tax cuts have contributed to revenues dropping in 2004 to the lowest level as a share of the economy since 1950, and have been a major contributor to the dramatic shift from large projected budget surpluses to projected deficits as far as the eye can see.

The tax cuts have conferred the most benefits, by far, on the highest-income households — those least in need of additional resources — at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.

The design of these tax cuts was ill-conceived, resulting in significantly less economic stimulus than could have been accomplished for the same budgetary cost. In part because the tax cuts were not as effective as alternative measures would have been, job creation during this recovery has been notably worse than in any other recovery since the end of World War II.

Rubio's answer to the worst economic crisis since the Depression is more tax cuts. Rubio's economic worldview reminds me of Alcohol Anonymous's definition of insanity.

"repeating the same action over and over again, hoping to achieve different results."

Rubio is addicted to the Republican mantra of tax cuts and refuses to give it up. Rubio would rather get elected than talk seriously with voters about economic policy.

Update: Jeb Bush comes out to officially diss Crist.

"I am not surprised. This decision is not about policy or principles. It is about what he believes is in his political self-interest."

Democrat Kendrick Meek told reporters he is ""running against two Republicans in the general election." The Meek campaign is hoping Crist and Rubio will split the Republican vote. This is what DNC Chairman Tim Kaine is hoping for. Meek needs to start exciting Democratic voters. Counting on Crist and Rubio to implode is not enough.

Democrats and Republicans, in the Florida Senate, comment on a Crist NPA run. African-American Democrat Al Lawson thinks a Crist NPA run could make Meek's chances of getting elected harder.

LAWSON: I wouldn't say it really helps Meek. I think if you're Meek, you really have to be concerned the Governor is gonna pull a lot of African-American votes. So, as a result, if you're Kendrick Meek this is a bad move.

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Meet Don Black: White Supremist Conspiracy Theory Nut

You may remember Don Black's son, Derek, attempted to get elected Palm Beach County's Republican Executive Committee. Black was disqualified because of his white supremist beliefs. The elder Black has served as the national Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. Don Black now runs the white supremist group Stormfront. The group's logo is "White Pride World Wide."

One of the great things about Twitter is it gives wingnuts a forum to embarrass themselves. Black tweeted the conspiracy theory that white genocide is occurring in South Africa.

Breaking News: Okay It's Here -- My New Video -- White Genocide in South Africa! -- Most important one I have don...

Black's evidence is a video by David Duke. Duke spreads the lie that blacks were free under apartheid. (That doesn't even pass the laugh test.) Duke quotes a BBC story about genocide of whites in South Africa. A search of Google finds no such article. Black's most important tweet is the rantings of a fellow white supremist.

A fun fact is that Duke received his PhD from the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management in the Ukraine. The Anti-Defamation League has described the school as the "University of Hate." The Ukrainian government condemned the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management for anti-semitism.

Duke also spread the myth that Obama wasn't born in the United States. Duke and Black disguise their hatemongering by masking their rhetoric with talk of civil and human rights. Their rhetoric about civil rights disappears when they fail to condemn their Stormfront followers for wishing the assassination Obama. It is hard to take Black and Duke seriously as civil rights advocates when they spent much of their adult lives wearing Klu Klux Klan robes.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't Do Sadness/Blue Wind From Spring Awakening

This is from the final Broadway performance of Spring Awakening. I think it is back on Broadway now. Don't ask me why I started watching rock musicals on Youtube.

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The Losers

Blue Gal has created another photoshop classic.

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Rahm Emanuel Ignores Crist

Marc Ambinder reports that Charlie Crist attempted to contacted Rahm Emanuel through intermediates. The White House refused to take calls from Crist's supporters. The White House is 100 percent behind Kendrick Meek.

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Charlie Crist Scrubbed From RPOF Homepage

The elected officials page of the Republican Party of Florida has broken the link to Gov. Charlie Crist's web site. The RPoF home page no longer shows Crist on the top banner. Attorney General Bill McCollum, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson are the only state-wide elected officials to appear on the homepage.

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Possible House Vote On DADT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office said there will be a vote on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this year.

According to Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, “it is the Speaker’s intention that a vote will be taken this year.”

Let's see if Rahm Emanuel tries to stop the House vote.

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Immigration Driving A Wedge Through Republican Party

Sarah Palin went of Fox News and made the laughable case that President Barack Obama doesn't understand how immigration is going to hurt the Democrats.

I think that President Obama is playing to his base on this one. And I think that's quite unfortunate because this isn't fair to the legal immigrants. It's not fair to illegal immigrants either, who do want to — many of them want to come here and find that pathway to citizenship. They, wanting to seek the right way to get over here.

This is allowing them, though, a dis-opportunity. They're going to have to hide while they're here. They're not going to be able to seize the opportunities that they sought coming over here.

So it's a lose-lose all around proposal all around for President Obama and his administration to ignore their responsibility and not enforce the laws that are existing. Again, Governor Brewer and her legislature, they did the right thing, 70 percent of Arizonians who support this law are doing the right thing in sending this wakeup call to the feds.

If the GOP wants to use Sarah Palin as a political strategist than more power to them. Immigration has been a wedge issue within the Republican Party. Jeb Bush has come out against the Arizona ID bill.

"I think it creates unintended consequences," he said in a telephone interview with POLITICO Tuesday. "It's difficult for me to imagine how you're going to enforce this law. It places a significant burden on local law enforcement and you have civil liberties issues that are significant as well."

Senate candidate Marco Rubio followed Bush's lead.

But, Rubio added, "I think that the law has potential unintended consequences and it's one of the reasons why I think immigration needs to be a federal issue, not a state one."

More specifically, Rubio said, "Everyone is concerned with the prospect of the 'reasonable suspicion' provisions, where individuals can be pulled over because someone suspects that they may not be legal in this country. I think over time people will grow uncomfortable with that."

On the prospect of suspects showing documentation to police to prove they are legal, Rubio said, "That's not really something that Americans are comfortable with, the notion of a police state."

Democrats won the Hispanic vote in 2006 and 2008. Palin's strategy for going far-right on immigration will alienate the growing Hispanic voting bloc.

A perfect illustration of how scared Republicans are of immigration: Congressional Republicans have lamented the lack of federal progress on immigration reform. Rachel Maddow compiled a video of Republicans saying that it is not the right time to tackle immigration reform. Maybe there would be progress if Republicans actually attempt to pass an immigration reform bill.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Funniest Story of the Day

The Huffington Post reports that the news story about Howard Dean supporting a Charlie Crist independent run is bogus. I have a hard time seeing Dean commit political suicide by endorsing Crist. The story was leaked by Orlando Republican Scott Peelen.

The official version is in the green room of Morning Joe, Dean joked to Crist that he would write a campaign check for a Crist independent run.

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Oil Spill Set Ablaze

Fox News reports the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been set on fire. The spill has been spreading. Winds could push the spill toward beaches. The fire was set to (hopefully) destroy the oil spill.

The Coast Guard reports oil is still coming out of the well head. Remotely operated vehicles have been sent to try to cap the leak.

"Right now, what the ROVs are doing is pumping a hydraulic fluid into the blowout preventer, in hopes to build pressure [to] close the hydraulic valve," Terrell told LiveScience. "The valve is supposed to work automatically, so now we're trying to come up with different ways to activate the blowout preventer manually."

Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell reports all efforts with the ROVs have been unsuccessful. Skimmers have been sent to retrieve up the oil from the ocean. So far 260,000 gallons of an oil-water mix has been recovered.

Update: The Coast Guard says they started the controlled burn because the spill was headered toward the Louisiana coast

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Everything You Need to Know About Glenn Reynolds

Welcome to the worldview of Glenn Reynolds.

A reader says he’s suprised to see me support the Arizona bill. Well, I really don’t — that is, I don’t know if I’d have voted for it if I were in Arizona. I’m mostly reacting to the fact that — as demonstrated by Linda Greenhouse — the opposition displays that special combination of self-righteous outrage and bone-deep ignorance that really sets me off.

Reynolds will not take the time to research the merits of a policy initiative. He will attack the Left without hesitation. I have always thought of Reynolds as an intellectually lightweight blogger. Reynolds's post proves my previous suspicions.

Andrew Sullivan has writes Reynolds will attack the Left "keep the customers satified." Reynolds has to write those thirty posts-a-day to keep the Blogads money coming.

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Write A Caption: Marco Rubio and Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney has endorsed Marco Rubio. Tas tweeted me this question about Cheney's endorsement.

Was fire breathing out of his mouth while he throttled a puppy and gave the endorsement?

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Rush Limbaugh Feels Goldman Sach's Pain

Stand-up comedian Rush Limbaugh strikes again.

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McConnell Caves on Financial Reform

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy to not allow financial reform to be debated on the floor has proven to be a disaster. McConnell has finally caved.

A press release from McConnell's office:

“I appreciate the efforts of Sen. Shelby to work toward a bipartisan solution on an issue that will have an impact on nearly every American. The time afforded by my Republican colleagues and Sen. Ben Nelson was instrumental in gaining assurances from the Chairman that changes will be made to end taxpayer bailouts and the dangerous notion that certain financial institutions are too big to fail.

“Unfortunately, Sen. Shelby believes that continued talks on a number of provisions affecting Main Street will not bring the negotiators any closer to an agreement. Now that those bipartisan negotiations have ended, it is my hope that the majority’s avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over. I remain deeply troubled by a number of provisions in this bill and will work aggressively in the days ahead to ensure that the majority does not use our mutual interest in regulating Wall Street to extend the federal government’s unwanted hand into Main Street.”

Greg Sargent spoke with a Republican Senate aide. Sargent reports Sen. Richard Shelby's strategy was to stall and get more concessions from the Democrats. The Democrats wouldn't give more concessions. Senate Democrats have forced Republicans to repeatedly vote against allowing a debate on the floor. Some Senate Republicans did not want to back McConnell on the filibuster. The short answer is McConnell could not keep his caucus together.

The political calculus for blocking financial reform is asinine. However, seen through McConnell's eyes it makes perfect sense. McConnell's seat is in a strongly red state. (However, McConnell faired less well than presidential candidate John McCain.) McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn made a deal with Wall Street executives to block financial reform.

From Fox Business:

During the meetings, both predicted that the Republicans will likely add at least six senate seats to their current total of 41, meaning they would come up just shy of control of the Senate. They predicted victories in Nevada, unseating the unpopular Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, and said Republican Pat Toomey has a great shot at unseating Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania.

They also said that they have a shot at taking control of the House by adding 40 additional seats to their current total. In New York State alone, the senators predicted a six-seat pickup.

But in order to assure those gains, and add even more, McConnell and Cornyn made it clear they need Wall Street's help. “There was no arm twisting but they did say that we should feel uncomfortable living in any country where one party has unfettered ability to pass anything including health care and anything else President Obama dreams up,” said another executive who was present.

McConnell does not care about his constituents. McConnell wants lobbying money and to be Majority Leader. His misreading of the public's contempt of Wall Street is proof of that.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crist Changes Offshore Drilling Position

After the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Charlie Crist his backtracking from his support of offshore drilling.

After a 90-minute plane flight Tuesday above the spill, which was spreading in an 80-mile by 42-mile blob, Crist said, "Clearly it could be devastating to Florida if something like that were to occur. It's the last thing in the world I would want to see happen in our beautiful state.''

He said there is no question now that lawmakers should give up on the idea of drilling off Florida's coast this year and in coming years. He has said previously he would support drilling if it was far enough from shore, safe enough and clean enough. He said the spill is proof that's not possible.

"Clearly that one isn't far enough and that's about 50 to 60 miles out, it's clearly not clean enough after we saw what we saw today — that's horrific — and it certainly isn't safe enough. It's the opposite of safe," Crist said.

House Speaker Dean Cannon is sending a moderate message on offshore drilling. Considering that Cannon has been the biggest legislative cheerleader for offshore drilling, I don't believe Cannon to be sincere.

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Sonic Youth - Antenna

Sonic Youth on "Later... With Jools Holland."

Update: I had to add Teenage Riot from the same performance. I love the song.

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Goldman Sachs Plays the Delay Game

Goldman Sachs testified to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Their strategy was to deny any wrongdoing and run the clock out on each of the senators time of questioning.

Sen. Carl Levin nailed Goldman Sachs for knowingly selling investors Timber Wolf Securities. An internal e-mail described Timber Wolf as a "shitty deal." Short answer: Goldman Sachs knowing bilked investors.

The most sickening moment was Goldman Sach's Vice-President Fabrice Tourre doing the Jesus Christ pose.

Fabrice Tourre, the 31-year-old, Stanford-trained, French whiz kid working for Goldman out of London, was indignant. "I have been the target of unfounded attacks on my character and motives," Tourre told the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations.

Those attacks include Goldman Sachs betting against the housing market and making a fortune. The result of Goldman Sachs actions was helping the housing market crash. So Mr. Tourre can spare us the martyr act.

Goldman Sachs intentionally sold high-risk bonds to home-owners. Goldman Sachs wanted to rid themselves of risky bonds and make money by leveraging the housing market. The e-mails tell the story.

Clients’ Questions

The e-mails show that as early as the fall of 2006 clients were questioning products tied to the mortgage market. On Oct. 19, 2006, Mitchell Resnick sent an e-mail to two colleagues asking whether the firm had material about “how great” BBB bonds tied to home loans were. BBB is a credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings that indicates an asset is two levels above junk.

“A common response I am hearing” from potential investors is “a concern about the housing market and BBB in particular,” Resnick wrote. “We need to arm sales with a bit more. Do we have anything?”

Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar convened a meeting of mortgage traders and risk managers on Dec. 14, 2006, according to a document prepared by the firm that the Senate panel released yesterday.

‘Net Long’

At the time, Goldman Sachs had a “net long exposure” to the subprime-mortgage market, meaning the bank was betting the market would continue to rise. At the meeting, executives agreed that the firm should “reduce its overall exposure to the subprime mortgage market,” the document said.

Goldman Sachs’s Stacey Bash-Polley sent an e-mail to colleagues six days later with the subject line “Mezz Risk,” a reference to lower tranches of collateralized debt obligations linked to mortgages. Investors in mezzanine tranches are among the first to lose money when the asset starts souring.

“We have been thinking collectively about how to help people move some of the risk,” wrote Bash-Polley, an executive in the Goldman Sachs division that sold bonds. “We need to make sure we arm” salespeople “with our pricing and have them focus on the more difficult positions.”

Targeting Clients

In targeting clients, Bash-Polley wrote that Goldman Sachs should focus on those that “can possibly do larger size at a level that would be attractive when you take into consideration the size of risk we could move.”

“Makes sense to me,” responded Kevin Gasvoda, a Goldman Sachs colleague.

Now you may understand why I don't feel sorry for Mr. Tourre.

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Republicans Still Heart Ray Sansom

Florida House Republicans just don't get it. Sansom got into a major trouble for budgeting money to Northwest Florida College. The money was suppose to build a Community Services Complex for the school. The money actually went to building a hanger for Jay Odom's private planes. Odom has been a longtime campaign contributor to Sansom.

Northwest Florida College received money for questionable projects. NFC President Bob Richburg gave Sansom a no-bid job with the school. The job opening was advertised only a day in advance. The meeting was closed to the public. Sansom set up the office for the job interview at Florida State University. Richburg waited ten months to file the minutes of the meeting.

Sansom got a well-paying job. Odom got a hanger. Richburg got money for the school. Sansom, Richburg and Jay Odom ended up being indicted. When Sansom stepped down as House Speaker, his Republican colleagues gave him a standing ovation. House Republicans are still singing the praises of Sansom.

But apparently some lawmakers see it differently. Reps. Juan Zapata, Mary Bradenburg and Baxter Troutman all thanked Sansom for his leadership and friendship. It's striking given that most House members were reluctant to defend Sansom as the criminal investigation unfolded.

On Tuesday, Troutman, a Winter Haven Republican, called the Sansom scandal an "unnecessary witch hunt."

These people are unbelievable.

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Quote of the Day

"For the second time in 24 hours, Senate Republicans unanimously blocked efforts to debate the bill. I'm not even asking them to vote for the bill. I just want to let them debate it."

President Barack Obama, on Republican efforts to block financial reform

I blogged yesterday about Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn meeting with Wall Street executives. McConnell and Cornyn agreed to block financial reform, in exchange for more lobbying money. Wall Street is the Republican Party's true base. The Tea Party are just poorly informed voters that are duped into voting against their economic self-interest.


Kendrick Meek Officially In

Congressman Kendrick Meek will soon be signing the Federal Candidacy documents and taking the loyalty oath to qualify for running for the United States Senate. The ceremony will be held at Firefighter Hall, in Jacksonville.

Time: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:45 PM - 10:45 PM

Host: Tyler Fort

Location: Firefighter Hall (Jacksonville, FL)
618 Stockton Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204


Jan Brewer is the new Katherine Harris: on the Arizona bill and the GOP's newest voter disenfranchisement effort

I sensed--make that, I knew--there had to be something more to the Arizona "Papers please!" bill than that which the media was reporting, which is to say, the racism angle and the concomitant immigrants-are-fighting-back angle, that classic binary (and delightfully simplistic) narrative of which our newsfolk are so regrettably enamored. I also knew I wasn't alone in my sense of being ill at ease with this whole ugly mess.

(My discomfort with the Arizona bill is rooted not only in my being an immigrant myself--albeit a blonde, blue-eyed one--but also in the fact that I speak Spanish and live in Florida, where entrenched Old White Dude attitudes regularly clash with the heterogeneous, multilingual reality of the state's populace. Then there's this: I'm married to an Italian-American who to this day, despite being a law-abiding and socially responsible citizen, continues to face a dispiriting and disgusting amount of...extra scrutiny, shall we say, because his name ends in a vowel and his black hair and deep tan give the less-enlightened authorities pause to suspect him of doing something he hasn't or being someone he's not. So, fair complexion notwithstanding, I do get it. I observe the manifestations of xenophobia and racism all the time; indeed, I've experienced the former in a more personal way than you might imagine.)

As it turns out, there is quite a bit more going on behind the illegal-foreigners-are-causing-crime-waves fearmongering--and the attendant façade that is Governor Brewer's bill--than meets the eye. Considerably more. And as he has done countless times before, Greg Palast nails down the sickening specifics (emphasis mine):
Don't be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens.

I don't buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning.

What's new here is not the politicians' fear of a xenophobic "Teabag" uprising.

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote -- and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters ... directed by one Jan Brewer.

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer's command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelmingly Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected.

That statistic caught my attention. Voting or registering to vote if you're not a citizen is a felony, a big-time jail-time crime. And arresting such criminal voters is easy: after all, they give their names and addresses.

So I asked Brewer's office, had she busted a single one of these thousands of allegedly illegal voters? Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution? No, not one.

Which raises the question: were these disenfranchised voters the criminal, non-citizens Brewer tagged them, or just not-quite-white voters given the José Crow treatment, entrapped in document-chase trickery?

The answer was provided by a federal prosecutor who was sent on a crazy hunt all over the Western mesas looking for these illegal voters. "We took over 100 complaints, we investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case." This prosecutor, David Iglesias, is a prosecutor no more. When he refused to fabricate charges of illegal voting among immigrants, his firing was personally ordered by the President of the United States, George W. Bush, under orders from his boss, Karl Rove.

Iglesias' jurisdiction was next door, in New Mexico, but he told me that Rove and the Republican chieftains were working nationwide to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria with public busts of illegal voters, even though there were none.

"They wanted some splashy pre-election indictments," Iglesias told me. The former prosecutor, himself a Republican, paid the price when he stood up to this vicious attack on citizenship.

But Secretary of State Brewer followed the Rove plan to a T. The weapon she used to slice the Arizona voter rolls was a 2004 law, known as "Prop 200," which required proof of citizenship to register. It is important to see the Republicans' latest legislative horror show, sanctioning cops to stop residents and prove citizenship, as just one more step in the party's desperate plan to impede Mexican-Americans from marching to the ballot box. [...]

State Senator Russell Pearce, the Republican sponsor of the latest ID law, gave away his real intent, blocking the vote, when he said, "There is a massive effort under way to register illegal aliens in this country." How many? Pearce's PR flak told me, five million. All Democrats, too. Again, I asked Pearce's office to give me their the names and addresses from their phony registration forms. I'd happily make a citizens arrest of each one, on camera. Pearce didn't have five million names. He didn't have five. He didn't have one.

The horde of five million voters who swam the Rio Grande just to vote for Obama was calculated on a Republican website extrapolating from the number of Mexicans in a border town who refused jury service because they were not citizens. Not one, in fact, had registered to vote: they had registered to drive. They had obtained licenses as required by the law.

The illegal voters, "wetback" welfare moms, and alien job thieves are just GOP website wet-dreams, but their mythic PR power helps the party's electoral hacks chop away at voter rolls and civil rights with little more than a whimper from the Democrats.

Indeed, one reason, I discovered, that some Democrats are silent is that they are in on the game themselves. In New Mexico, Democratic Party bosses tossed away ballots of Pueblo Indians to cut native influence in party primaries.

But what’s wrong with requiring folks to prove they’re American if the want to vote and live in America? The answer: because the vast majority of perfectly legal voters and residents who lack ID sufficient for Ms. Brewer and Mr. Pearce are citizens of color, citizens of poverty.

According to a study by prof. Matt Barreto, of Washington State University, minority citizens are half as likely as whites to have the government ID. The numbers are dreadfully worse when income is factored in.
Go read the whole thing.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jennifer Damiano - Nothing Ever Hurt Like You

Jennifer Damiano is in the Tony award and Pulitzer prize-winning musical Next to Normal. The play deals with bipolar disorder, drug abuse and a dysfunctional family. Needless to say, no one will confuse the adult themes and rock score of N2N with Carousel.

The song Nothing Ever Hurt Like You is not from N2N. It is a cover of a James Morrison song. I have heard both versions and found Damiano's rendition more soulful.

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Quote of the Day

"I believe that Barack Obama is God's punishment on us today, but in 2012, we are going to make Obama a one-term president."

Rep. Leo Berman, speaking at a Glenn Beck Taking Back America rally

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Rivera Fundraiser

David Rivera is an alternate chair for the Joint Legislative Budget Commission in the Florida House. Rivera will not be chairing a budget meeting because he will be attending a campaign fundraiser in Washington DC. The fundraiser is for his Congressional campaign. The Miami Herald has a copy of the fundraiser invitation.

The Miami Herald reports that the fundraiser is delaying budget negotiations. The Herald couldn't reach Rivera. The Herald called friends of Rivera to confirm the story. Rivera's friends happen to be lobbyists.

A lobbyist friend of his insisted he cancelled the fundraiser, but then acknowledged she didn't know what she was talking about. Another lobbyist said Rivera flew out.

I can't wait until a find a video or quote of Rivera saying how he is going to stand up to special interests.

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Kendrick Meek on Arizona ID Law

Kendrick Meek sent out a press release to voice his disapproval of the Arizona ID law.

"We need common sense immigration reform. The kind of measure signed into law in Arizona last week is neither fair nor practical. It encourages police to question people who have done nothing wrong, and it does a disservice to people in this country who are employed, paying their taxes and are good citizens of their communities. That is not fair. As a former Trooper in the Florida Highway Patrol, I know laws like these will also hamper law enforcement efforts and make it harder to find people who will speak out as witnesses to crimes. This law is impractical and will not make anyone safer. While new immigration laws should be tough, they should be enforceable and not driven by a philosophical agenda," said Kendrick Meek, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

The law is aimed at pleasing the most radical of the conservative base. The Arizona state capital was vandalized. Refried beans was smeared onto the image of a swastikas. No word on who was behind the vandalism.

The law has sparked civil rights protests across the America. President Obama has called the law "misguided." There are also questions of whether or not the law violates the Fourth Amendment.

Politically, immigration reform has been a lightning rod within the Republican Party. The GOP has played to the Southern Strategy. More moderate Republicans realize the GOP needs Hispanic voters. Democratics won the Hispanic vote in the last two election cycles. Hispanics are the largest growing voting bloc. Unsurprising, Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Saxby Chambliss tell want to offer an opinion the Arizona law. McConnell and Chambliss say it is a bad time to be taking up the immigration reform. Heather, of Crooks and Liars cracked, " Yeah, so few days, so many more bills and nominations to obstruct."

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Why Republicans Want to Kill Financial Reform

The Senate Republicans commit political suicide by blocking the financial reform bill from being debated on the Senate floor. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 65 percent support stricter regulation. The GOP establishment is unhappy that Republican voters aren't strongly against financial reform. The same poll shows 52 percent of Americans trust Obama on financial reform.

Steve Benen asked why are Republicans scared to debate financial reform on the Senate floor.

But Republicans have a different approach in mind — they don’t want to even start the debate. Despite all the talk of the last year about transparency, GOP officials insist that all work on Wall Street reform occur behind closed doors, and the ideas that could be debated on the floor are instead hashed out in secret, in between Republican fundraisers with representatives of the very institutions affected by the legislation.

The answer is Wall Street gives out more lobbying money than any other industry. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn met with 25 Wall Street executives to ask for more lobbying money. Republicans will kill financial reform in exchange for Wall Street helping get more Republicans elected. That is why Republican Senators have no interest in debating financial reform.

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Lawrence Summers Hearts Big Banks

Lawrence Summers is the director of the White House National Economic Council. Summers was interviewed by NewsHours. He came out strongly against limiting the size of the nation's biggest bank. Summers makes the hysterical argument that having most of America's money tied into a few banks is good. Summers spun a tale of pure bullshit.

LAWRENCE SUMMERS: That was the approach that America took to lending in the thrift sector before we had the S&L crisis.

Most observers who study -- who study this believe that to try to break banks up into a lot of little pieces would hurt our ability to serve large companies and hurt the competitiveness of the United States.

But that's not the important issue. They believe that it would actually make us less stable, because the individual banks would be less diversified and, therefore, at greater risk of failing, because they would haven't profits in one area to turn to when a different area got in trouble.

And most observers believe that dealing with the simultaneous failure of many -- many small institutions would actually generate more need for bailouts and reliance on taxpayers than the current economic environment.

Summers argues in favor of a monopony banking system. America broke up monopolies, such as Bell System, to protect cunsumers. During the Depression, the Glass–Steagall Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt. The law forbid commercial banks could not merge with investment banks. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the law prevent commercial and inventment banks from merging. Former President Bill Clinton admitted signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was a mistake. A fun little fact is Lawrence Summers was one of the people telling Clinton to sign Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The too-big-to-fail banks have a friend in Lawrence Summers.

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Vote No On Gainesville Charter Amendment 1

Mcmonabagle, on the Feministing community blog, informs Florida feminists of Charter Amendment 1 in Gainsville. If the amendment is approved by voters then gays, lesbians and transgender people would be denied civil rights. That is literally how the amendment is written.


Mcmonabagle is urging Gainsville residents to vote no. I am doing the same. History has always proven it is wrong to oppress the civil rights of law-abiding Americans. Unfortunately, many let xenophobia dictate their beliefs.

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Tea Party Leaders Care Only About Money

Roger Ailes had the brilliant idea that a highly partisan conservative infotainment network would be a financial boom. The next stage in the infotainment evolution is conservative celebrities pretending to be political activists that care about the betterment of America. Don't believe me? Fox News host Glenn Beck admitted as much to Forbes. Journalist Lacey Rose asked Beck his feeling about politics.

"I could give a flying crap about the political process," Beck said.

The Fox News crying machine informed Rose that is company Mercury Radio Arts strickly a for-profit venture.

"We're an entertainment company," Beck told Rose.

A New York Magazine article on Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement details the money to be made off of angry and poorly informed activists. A truly dedicated public servant would have stayed on as Governor of Alaska. Sarah Palin is not that person. Palin was received an offer for a reality show and a book deal. Palin decided to resign.

Palin gave a truly bizarre and incoherent speech. The published transcript of Palin's speech has misuse of capitalization and poor sentence structuring. Example:

We aggressively and responsibly develop our resources because they were created to be used to better our world... to HELP people... and we protect the environment and Alaskans (the resource owners) foremost with our policies.

Palin will never get hired as a speechwriter. However, her celebrity has helped her earn $12 million, during the past 12 month. For that kind of money, it is easy to see why Palin left her $125,000-a-year job as Governor.

Palin bashed Obama for his lack of executive experience. Palin resigned as Governor in her first term. A politician serious about governing and becoming president would not have done what Palin did. Palin knows she is worth more as a brand than in public office.

An amazing part of the Palin article of big-name conservatives counting money, after a Tea Party rally.

After the speech, Sal Russo, a former Ronald Reagan aide and conservative operative whose PAC runs the Tea Party Express, invited me onto the tea-party bus. The coach was luxuriously appointed, with soft carpeting, mood lighting, and mirrored walls. A large flat-screen hanging from the ceiling was tuned to Fox News. We eased into a plush leather couch next to some of the conservative celebrities who travel along with the tour. A young woman named Bethany Owens was sitting at a small table, pulling bills from a leather satchel. The 20-year-old daughter of black conservative entrepreneurs William and Selena Owens, Bethany had spent the morning at her parents’ booth selling books and CDs, like her mother’s title The Power Within a Conservative Woman ($9.95) and her dad’s motivational CD Answers Beyond the Rhetoric ($19.95). Bethany began stacking up bills, doling them out like a Vegas dealer.

“One hundred, two hundred, three, four, five hundred,” she counted. “Ugh! I gotta start over.”

“Five, six, seven, eight, nine hundred. Okay, that’s $3,300,” she said, piling bills into neat rows.

“Are there corn dogs here, somebody?” yelled Melanie Morgan, a blonde conservative talk-radio host sitting nearby. Just then, Russo informed her that he’d heard Palin had agreed to speak alongside Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh at Morgan’s upcoming charity event for the troops, which would mean more care packages. “Oh my God! This is fabulous. Sal, brilliant. I could cry I’m so happy,” she said. “That’s gonna be so many hundreds of thousands of dollars more.”

Charge angry people to tell them what they want to hear. As a business model it is brilliant. The good news is the Tea Party movement will fail because it is built on xenophobia and greed. The message will ultimately fail. The Tea Party crowd that do get elected will ultimately crash and burn. We have already seen how Marco Rubio has used his Republican Party of Florida credit card. You can't preach fiscal conservatism when you are looking to make a buck off people.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dick Cheney Endorses Marco Rubio

If I was Kendrick Meek or Charlie Crist, I was run ads of Dick Cheney endorsing Marco Rubio.

more about "Cheney Endorses Rubio for Senate", posted with vodpod

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Kendrick Meek Interview

Congressman Kendrick Meek has been the candidate people have not paid attention to in the Florida Senate race. Running uncontested in the Florida primary has created a media vaccum for Meek. In order to win Meek has to get his face on television and name in newspapers.

Congressman Meek tells CNN he supports President Obama tackling immigration reform this year. That struck me has rather surprising. Meek has been running a mind-bogglingly boring centrist campaign.

more about "Meek Sounds off on Crist Running as I...", posted with vodpod

Crist Talks to Media About Potential Independent Run

more about "Video: Charlie Crist on being a Repub...", posted with vodpod

Gov. Charlie Crist calls the Florida Legislature an "asylum," attacks House Speaker Larry Cretul and hints he will not return campaign money to Republican donors. This sounds like a man bolting the GOP.

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McConnell's Crist Problem

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, Sen. Mitch McConnell endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist. That was before the Tea Party movement. Marco Rubio started speaking at Tea Party rallies and a far-right conservative star was born. Now McConnell is figuring out how to back Rubio without appearing to flip-flop on his Crist endorsement. On Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace asked McConnell if he was going to pull his endorsement of Crist. "Not today," McConnell said.

McConnell was asked about Crist's potential NPA candidacy on CNN's State of the Union. McConnell tried his best to duck the question.

"I'm going to be there behind the Republican nominee, whoever that is," he later repeated.

A true profile in courage.

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Quote of the Day

"For the last 40-plus years we had a 'Southern Strategy' that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South. Well, guess what happened in 1992, folks, 'Bubba' went back home to the Democratic Party and voted for Bill Clinton."

Michael Steele, RNC Chairman.

The Chairman of the Republican National Committee admits that the GOP used racism to garner votes.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Nixonland author Rick Perlstein discussed the possible reason for Steele's statement.

MADDOW: Did architects of the southern strategy express regret or remorse for it at all in the way that Michael Steele seemed to this week?

PERLSTEIN: Well, the fascinating thing about it is, it seems to happen at regular intervals. I mean, one of the architects of it in the Nixon years was a guy named Harry Dent. And after he retried, he became a preacher and he apologized for it right before he died.

Lee Atwater became Republican Party chair. He apologized for it kind of when he was on his death bed. You can almost say when these guys get ready to meet their maker, they tend to man up and own up to the strategy. Even Ken Mehlman was kind of out the door and, you know, kind of writing his resume for history when he said it was happening.

So you know, it says interesting things about, you know, what we can expect from Michael Steele, whether he`s, you know, heading out the door or whether he is trying to extend his tenure by, you know, basically setting up a deal where if you kick me out, maybe it`s just because I was a truth-teller on this civil rights issue.

As David Frum can attest, truth-telling is not encouraged in the Republican Party.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mary's Danish Music Goodies

I saw Mary's Danish at the defunct Rockit Club in Tampa. The band was incredible and had a sense of L.A. hipster cool. The group went through record company hell with Morgan Creek Records. The band got so fed up that they broke up.

Don't Crash the Car Tonight


Yellow Creep Around

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Why I Love Conservative On Twitter

Arizona State Rep. Cecil Ash (R) posted this comedy masterpiece on his Twitter page. Ash voted for the birther bill that would require all presidential candidates to provide their birth certificate to Arizona.

Ash appeared on Anderson Cooper's show to defend his vote. Ash maintains he voted for the bill because his constituents are concerned about the internet conspiracy theories about President Obama's citizenship. If that is to be taken at face value: then Ash shows a lack of intellectual curiosity and lack of seriousness in governing.

A mind-boggling exchange between Cooper and Ash.

Cooper: So why vote for something which perpetuates these false Internet rumors?

Ash: Well Anderson I think there’s been a lot of controversy over the issue. It’s created a division among a lot of people in the United States and for better or worse many people don’t believe he’s a U.S. citizen. They believe he has loyalties… ah… divided loyalties I suppose you could say.

Cooper: But those people are wrong. He is a U.S. citizen.

Ash: Well, you’re telling me that he’s wrong. I’ve never investigated that. If he is then he has nothing to fear.

Cooper: But I mean, the information is out there. It has been released. It has been shown. There are some people who don’t believe it, but there are also some people who believe that the moon is made out of cheese and you can say you’ve never investigated it but I think you would probably say to them the moon is not made out of cheese.

Ash: Well, I certainly would but the reason I spoke up on this bill is simply because there is a lot of division in the country and I believe this would put an end to any future controversy about a President’s qualifications.

Cooper: You told our producer you voted for this because you get a lot of calls from constituents who have questions based on things they read on the Internet. I mean isn’t it your job as a leader to actually lead; to not just throw up your hands and say well who knows what’s real or not on the Internet, to actually say well, actually Hawaii has released this information and it’s factually correct?

Ash: Well as I said I haven’t personally investigated that but I think that if…

Cooper: But I mean there’s plenty of things you believe that are not personally investigated? Why this you’re holding on to?

I don't believe Ash is stupid enough to deny that Obama was born in the United States. Ash takes pains to say to say that Obama was born in the United States. Ash then proceeds to cast doubt on Obama's citizenship.

Cooper informed Ash that Obama's birth certificate is on the internet. Ash responded, "You can't believe everything you see on the internet." Ash also said, "Many people don’t believe he’s a U.S. citizen." The current Republican Party panders to the worse factions of America. Cecil Ash is the latest example of this practice.

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Jim Greer Channels Nixon

Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer sent a e-mail to the Miami Herald. Greer fires off a Nixonian attack RPoF Chairman John Thrasher.

After reading your credit card story, I see that Mr. Thrasher’s comments are intended to distort the facts and deflect blame. My attorneys and I are very much looking forward to setting the record straight and to the upcoming depositions under oath of: Mr. Thrasher, other party leaders, office holders, candidates for higher office, their respective staffs and many others, along with all the wide-ranging discovery which will take place. I served the party well and don’t seem to be getting the “Statesman’s Recognition” I was ensured in writing and verbally by many that I would receive. And I look forward to the future! The course we are all on is not of my choosing, but one that was set by others.

It is perplexing that Greer wants "Statesman’s Recognition." The Republican Party of Florida is being investigated by the FBI and IRS. Now is not a good time for Greer to be asking for a pat on the back.

I couldn't find a Thrasher quote in the column Greer took exception with. Perhaps the quote was later edited out. What was Greer ensured verbally and in writing? The last sentence is paticularly bizarre.

The course we are all on is not of my choosing, but one that was set by others.

Huh? Is Greer blaming others for his $500,000 American Express card bill. Does Greer expect Republican donors to believe that others are resonsible for him spending $41,421.31 in March of 2008. Good luck sellling that one. I'm waiting for Greer to bitterly announce we won't have him to kick around anymore.

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Rumor of Friday Crist Press Conference

On Twitter, Peter Schorsch says there is an unconfirmed rumor that Gov. Charlie Crist will hold a press conference, on Friday, in his hometown of St. Petersburg.

Hearing completely unconfirmable early rumblings of a @charliecristfl event/presser next Friday afternoon in the 'burg. #sayfie #flsen

I don't see Crist withdrawing from the Senate race. Crist's political survival is at stake. If Florida Republicans didn't support his Senate bid then there is no reason for Crist to believe he will have their future support.

Word is the Meek campaign wants a three-way race. Democrats hold a 700,000 registered voter advantage. Rubio has to have independent voters to win. The GOP base will not carry Rubio in the general election. An independent Crist run syphon votes away from Rubio. The risk to Meek is Crist is liked by many Florida Democratic voters. It is very conceivable for Crist to win the general election. Crist's problem is he won't have the fundraising apparatus of a major political party behind him.

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RPOF Loyality Oath

The Republican Party of Florida is making members take a loyality oath. No member is allowed to support the independent candidacy of Charlie Crist. This idea comes from new Chairman John Thrasher. I am the last person to tell Florida Republicans how to run their party. I will say that I am enjoying the party moving so far right that it is pushing moderates out. Former RPoF chairman (and no fan of Crist) Tom Slade thinks this is a stupid idea.

Even former state GOP chairman Tom Slade, a vocal critic of Crist ("He's deader than the day before yesterday," he said of Crist political future), said it was a bad move. "That's going a step or two too far," Slade said. "Organized political parties can do some stupid stuff from time to time ... That loyalty oath doesn't make any sense to me."

David Frum's statement that the Republican Party panders to Fox News is an important truism. Marco Rubio has done Mitt Romney level flip flops on immigration and rail. Rubio's Tea Party pandering makes him less mainstream for the general election. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes recently ordered Sean Hannity not to appear at a Tea Party rally. You know the Tea Party is not mainstream when Fox News is getting nervous.

There is also the issue of Rubio's credit card scandal. Rubio can hardly paint himself as a fiscal conservative after spending $110,000 on a RPoF credit card. Rubio demanded former RPoF Chairman Jim Greer release his credit card records.

"It has become clear that Charlie Crist and Jim Greer have done untold damage to the Republican party of Florida. As Republican leaders, it is all of our responsibilities to clean up the mess they made as quickly as possible so we can turn the page and return to the true focus of the RPOF: to elect Republicans. Therefor I would ask you to strongly consider releasing all AMEX statement from Jim Greer's time as chairman to the RPOF Executive Committee," the letter states.

However, Rubio refuses to release records of his credit card transactions. Rubio also fails to mention that Crist never had a RPoF American Express card.

If the Republican Party wasn't operating in Fox News Bizarro World: Rubio wouldn't come near the GOP Senate nomination. Sarah Palin was the worst vice-presidential candidate since James Stockdale. She is now being talked about as a serious presidential contender. This is what happens when a political party is more concerned with silly loyality oaths than governing effectively.

Update: Steve Schale makexs a point that I have been thinking about. This is less about Rubio then the Florida Republican Party base looking for someone to defeat Charlie Crist. Fox News helped create the Tea Party. Republican politicians are too terrified to publicly criticize Fox News. David Frum was forced to resign from the American Enterprise Institute, after speaking out against Fox News. The GOP is pushing further to the Right. There is no room in the current GOP for Crist.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jon Stewart v. Bernie Goldberg

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

In one of the greatest sketch in Daily Show history, Jon Stewart takes aim at the hypocrisy of Fox News and Bernie Goldberg.

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Whiskeytown - Dancing With the Women at the Bar

Ryan Adams sabotaged the great Whiskeytown. Adams proceeded to sabotage his solo career, but that is another story.

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