Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Divine Horsemen - Middle of the Night

One of the forgotten SST bands of the 80's. The Divine Horsemen were compared to X because of the male and female singing combo of Chris D and Julie Christensen. D was never as good a singer as John Doe. Christensen is the Divine Horsemen's true vocal star.

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Is Bud Chiles Dropping Out

Jeremy Wallace reports sources have told him Bud Chiles will drop out of Florida's gubernatorial race Thursday. Chiles raised less than $100,000 and did not have the support of a major party. Progressives such as Ybor Stogie supported a Chiles NPA run. I made it policy not to blog about Chile's campaign. I pointed out that progressives need to stop backing loser candidates like Chiles. Where are you my Doug Tudor supporting trolls?

The Chiles campaign (if it can be called that) had no comment for Wallace. If Chiles was staying in the race he would have said this was all an outragious rumor. I say good riddance to Team Chiles.


Tina Dupuy On the Dove World Outreach Center

Tina Dupuy has an op-ed on the Gainesville church Dove World Outreach Center's planned Koran booking burning. Dupuy mentions others in history who thought book burning was a wonderful thing.

The Ancient Library of Alexandria was burned by Julius Caesar in 48 B.C.E. The loss of its contents arguably set back technology and culture for millennia. The conquistadors destroyed Mayan codices of their history and religion, obscuring the ancient Mayan culture indefinitely. The Mongol invaders massacred the Library of Baghdad resulting in the death of a massive “house of wisdom.” These events forever altered history mainly because they took place before the printing press.

Book burning is for the truly ignorant.

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Charlie Justice Campaign Reception

Democratic Congressional candidate Charlie Justice will be having a campaign reception on September 13, 2010. The event is open to the public. For more information go to the Facebook page.

Time: September 13
6:00pm - 8:00pm

Location: Villlage Pub
5519 Shore Blvd S
Gulfport, FL


Alan Simpson's Latest Episode

Alan Simpson attacks military veterans for receiving benefits for an unscientifically proven link between diabetes and Agent Orange.

Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson's comments came a day after The Associated Press reported that diabetes has become the most frequently compensated ailment among Vietnam veterans, even though decades of research has failed to find more than a possible link between the defoliant Agent Orange and diabetes.

"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Simpson, an Army veteran who was once chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Let us give Simpson the benefit of the doubt that there is a link between Agent Orange and diabetes. Now let us calculate the number of Vietnam veterans receiving VA benefits and treatment for diabetes caused by Agent Orange. I doubt the cost of treating these veterans for Agent Orange-related diabetes is over a billion dollars. I am willing to guess it is substantially less. The Associated Press estimated it would cost $850 million a year to treat Vietnam veterans with diabetes.

It would be hard to calculate numbers because Agent Orange is not officially recognized as a cause for Agent Orange. What is more troubling is the co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform would focus on cutting funding for veterans with diabetes a manner of reducing the deficit. The savings would be miniscule. Veterans would have to be forced to find more expensive means to treat their diabetes.

Many progressives are focusing on Simpson's callousness toward veterans who have sacrificed for their country. Simpson deserves all the grief he gets from progressives. What struck me is how Simpson's comments exemplify conservatives utter lack of seriousness towards the deficit and health care. Cutting funding to the Veterans Administration is not going to create a surplus or make health care cheaper. In fact, cutting benefits make the military a less desirable career option for young men and women. Especially, in a time of war.

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Quote of the Day: Hypocrisy Edition

"If you're the CEO of a company, you're responsible for things that happen under your watch."

Rick Scott, in response to attack ads on Alex Sink's tenure a president of Florida Operations at Bank of America.

Wait! Rick Scott refuses to take personal responsibility for $1.7 billion in Medicare fraud perpetuated by Columbia/HCA. Scott claims he had no idea what was going on. Two former doctors of Scott's health clinic chain Solantic claim Medicare fraud was committed. Scott refuses to release a video deposition he gave in relation to the state of Florida investigating Solantic.

"If you're the CEO of a company, you're responsible for things that happen under your watch."

Unless you are Rick Scott.

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Yet Another Post On Rubio's Enomomic Nonsense

Marco Rubio advocates the three solutions to spur job growth extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, cut corporate taxes and repeal Obamacare. A Congressional Budget Office report splashes cold water on Rubio's economic nonsense. Here is a breakdown of what would provide the most stimulus for the economy. Zandi found the Bush tax cuts would bring back 38 cents for every federal dollar spent. Cutting corporate taxes would garner 30 cents.

$1.73 – Food stamps
$1.64 – Extending Unemployment Insurance
$1.59 – Infrastructure spending
$1.36 – Aid to states
$1.26 – Refundable tax credit
$1.03 – Temporary tax cut
$1.02 – Non-refundable tax rebate
$.48 – Extend AMT patch
$.37 – Make dividend and capital gains permanent
$.30 – Corporate tax cut
$.29 - Make Bush tax cuts permanent
$.27 – Accelerated depreciation

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody's did his own breakdown of what government actions would create the most stimulus for the economy. The Bush tax cuts ranked near the bottom.

If government is going to commit actions to spur the economy than the measures need to create the most bang for the buck. Tax cuts for the rich do not do that. What makes Rubio's horrible economic policy proposal worse is he fashions himself as a fiscal conservative. Rubio from the Weekly Republican address.

Today the American Dream is threatened by out-of-control politicians in
Washington who think that more government deficit spending is what it
takes to grow our economy. That has never worked anywhere it’s been
tried and it won’t work now.

The Center On Budget and Policy Priorities analyzed CBO findings on what would be the biggest factor in the deficit for the next decade. Extending the Bush tax cuts far outrank Obama's stimulus. View the chart below.

Rubio is one to talk about wasteful government spending. As Florida House Speaker, Rubio approved a lavish $48 million 1st District Court of Appeal courthouse that has earned the nickname the "Taj Mahal." A $35 million bond was used to help fund the courthouse project. An amendment for the courthouse project was added the last day of the legislative session without the knowledge of most Florida House members. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness said he refused to approve the project when Judge Paul Hawkes and Judge Brad Thomas lobbied him for a new courthouse.

Now, a key legislator has raised new questions about how that happened. Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, was chairman of the House committee that oversaw court expenditures. Dean says he rejected a plea from Hawkes and Thomas to fund the courthouse after Dean toured the existing courthouse. He said he rejected it because the state was slashing budgets, and he said the courts had more important needs than the construction of a new courthouse for the appellate court.

Dean said Hawkes and Thomas indicated they would go around him to get the funding they needed.

"He (Hawkes) just looked at me and grinned and said, 'I got friends,' '' Dean said.

Dean said the two judges had help from Richard Corcoran, then chief of staff for House Speaker Marco Rubio, and from Hawkes' son Jeremiah, who was general counsel for Rubio.

CFO Alex Sink has ordered an audit of the project. Charlie Dean deserves credit for raising a stick about the courthouse. Rubio has much explaining to do.

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Bill McCollum Still Will Not Endorse Rick Scott

No real shock. Bill McCollum stands firm on not endorsing Rick Scott.

"This was a tough election and a tough race, but it was not the attack ads that were run against me that would restrict my views," McCollum said. "I wound up supporting Mel Martinez after a similar situation. Mel ran for the Senate, and I was not the winner in that primary. But I never had any questions raised either before or after the election about Mel's integrity or honesty or character, and I've had those questions raised about Rick Scott."

McCollum said the questions he has about Scott's character are very serious.

"I think there are unanswered questions that trouble me a great deal from his past, particularly Columbia/HCA, so I'm not going to involve myself with the race," he said. "I'm just not going to do so unless something dramatic happens that I don't expect to."

McCollum knows his political career is over and is not going to go through the sham of holding his nose and saying what a great guy Rick Scott is. I actually kinda respect that. McCollum does not sound like he is throwing a temper tamtrum. He is saying in the most polite language that he truly believes his primary opponent is a scumbag. McCollum would not bring up Columbia/HCA if he did not feel Scott was lacking in "honesty or character."

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Regulating Condom Use in the Porn Industry

Lindsay Beyerstein argues the porn industry should mandate condom use.

Porn performers have legal jobs producing legal products in a multibillion-dollar industry. Yet in practice, they lack basic health and safety protections that other workers take for granted. Less than 20 percent of hardcore straight porn features condoms, even though condoms or equivalent protection are required by law.

Male porn star Marc Wallice may have knowingly performed after testing positive for the AIDS virus. It is believed Wallice transmitted the viurus to female porn stars Brooke Ashley, Tricia Devereaux and Barbara Doll. Wallice may have also given the virus to Caroline Delfin and Jordan McKnight. The porn industry made Wallice to take the PCR-DNA April 30, 1998. Test results found Wallice was HIV positive for a year.

The Wallice fiasco serves as a good reason for condom use in the porn industry. I seriously doubt the federal government will step in. Hopefully, California's government is progressive enough to regulate condem use.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has filed a complaint with California's the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The AHF want to mandate porn producer Larry Flynt require all male performers to use condoms. The courts have sided with the porn industry in past legal battles over condom use. It is time for the California legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to step in.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Good Sink Ad

Alex Sink has an online petition to have Rick Scott debate her. What is more interesting is the ad the Sink campaign is running. The ad presents Sink as the candidate who wants to debate and talk about real issues. As GOP strategist Frank Luntz said, "If ads are any impact on the campaign, and we know that they are, she's running the best statewide campaign of any of the candidates."

Sink presents herself as the serious candidate and makes hints at Scott's primary campaign. Scott ran a nasty campaign against Bill McCollum. Scott accused McCollum of supporting pro-abortion groups and being a suporters of Jim Greer. Sink is attacking Scott's negatives without directly mentioning the primary. Sink is staying above the fray while attack Scott for being an unserious candidate. Sink can beat Scott if she keeps running smart TV and online ads.

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Crist's Gay Marriage Tightrope

Charlie Crist joins President Barack Obama in attempting to triangulate a position on gay marriage that makes no sense. Crist appeared on CNN's State of the Union with Ed Henry. Crist babbled this confusing nonsense.

HENRY: Another big issue, same-sex marriage. Many conservatives like Marco Rubio support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. But this week, the former Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman came out and said he's gay and he called on conservatives to kind of move to the political center and be more tolerant on this issue. You have previously said in your gubernatorial campaign, you supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Now that you're trying to occupy the political center, are you still in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?

CRIST: I feel the same way, yes, because I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that.

And I think that's where most of America is. So I think that you know, you have to speak from the heart about these issues. They are very personal. They have a significant impact on an awful lot of people and the less the government is telling people what to do, the better off we're all going to be. But when it comes to marriage, I think it is a sacred institution. I believe it is between a man and woman, but partners living together, I don't have a problem with.

HENRY: But governor, doesn't it sounds like you having it both ways by saying live and let live, but I also support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. If it's live and let live, why would you ban same-sex marriage?

CRIST: Well, everything is in a matter of degree, Ed, and when it becomes to the institution of marriage, I believe that it is between a man and a woman, it's just how I feel.

Crist later clarified his position. Crist is now for civil unions.

"In an interview that aired today, I was not discussing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, which I do not support, but rather reaffirming my position regarding Florida's constitutional ban that I articulated while running for Governor. In fact, the interviewer's question reflected just that. I am fully supportive of civil unions and will continue to be as a United States Senator, but believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman."

There is no doubt civil unions are unconstitutional. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment and the Loving v. Viginia Supreme Court ruling make creating different marriage laws unconstitutional.

Because we reject the notion that the mere "equal application" of a statute containing racial classifications is enough to remove the classifications from the Fourteenth Amendment's proscription of all invidious racial discriminations, we do not accept the State's contention that these statutes should be upheld if there is any possible basis for concluding that they serve a rational purpose. The mere fact of equal application does not mean that our analysis of these statutes should follow the approach we have taken in cases involving no racial discrimination where the Equal Protection Clause has been arrayed against a statute discriminating between the kinds of advertising which may be displayed on trucks in New York City, Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York, 336 U.S. 106 (1949), or an exemption in Ohio's ad valorem tax for merchandise owned by a nonresident in a storage warehouse, Allied Stores of Ohio, [388 U.S. 1, 9] Inc. v. Bowers, 358 U.S. 522 (1959). In these cases, involving distinctions not drawn according to race, the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures. In the case at bar, however, we deal with statutes containing racial classifications, and the fact of equal application does not immunize the statute from the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.

Gay marriage is eventually going to happen in all 50 states. It is time for left-leaning politicians to stop pandering to people who will never vote for them.

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Henry Rollins on Glenn Beck Rally

Henry Rollins blogs about the non-event that was Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally.

After Mr. Beck had mercifully ended his speech and the man in the kilt came onto the stage playing Amazing Grace, it fully registered with me what a huge non-event this was. The speech, full of references to God, over and over, possessed not one concrete thing to take away. When the people who were at this event get back to their normal lives this week, what changes will they make? What steps will they take to restore honor? Seems to me there would be no place for racism or homophobia in the life of an honorable American, so I guess we won’t be having to deal with any more of that. Mr. Beck wants his people to make God the central force in their lives. Does that mean they get all generous, tolerant, and kind now? Cool.

When was the honor lost? Operation Ajax in 1953? The bitter opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964? The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968? The covert bombing raids into Cambodia in 1969? Watergate? The invasion and occupation of Iraq? I am not listing president Clinton and his sexcapades because no one was killed, although millions of dollars were wasted. So, were these instances where America lost some traction on the honor-highway? Or perhaps it was things like the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 that abolished child labor and established a minimum wage or Social Security that pushed America off the shining path to honor?

Beck's followers believe America had honor when the Bush administration tortured people and invaded Iraq on bogus claims of weapons of mass destruction. These people were silent on the subject of honor during the Bush years. Suddenly, they are worried about the size of the deficit and the expansion of the federal government. The Tea Party complains about health care reform but were mum when the Bush White House threatened to fire Richard S. Foster if he release to true cost of the Medicaid bill to Congress.

Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which produced the $551 billion estimate, told colleagues last June that he would be fired if he revealed numbers relating to the higher estimate to lawmakers.

"This whole episode which has now gone on for three weeks has been pretty nightmarish," Foster wrote in an e-mail to some of his colleagues June 26, just before the first congressional vote on the drug bill. "I'm perhaps no longer in grave danger of being fired, but there remains a strong likelihood that I will have to resign in protest of the withholding of important technical information from key policy makers for political reasons."

There was not a single Tea Party rally in protest of the Bush administration's Medicaid prescription drug bill. I guess America still had honor in 2004.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Paul Krugman on the Federal Reserve

Paul Krugman tells Jeffery Brown the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration is not doing enough to help the economy. Krugman explains that policymakers have become complacent.

We need to do something to make this economy stronger, not five years from now, not 10 years from now, but now. We need to prop this up. Yes, it's true that the aftermath of financial crises is usually a long period of poor economic performance. But that's not something to just accept.

We're supposed to do something different. When Japan had a somewhat similar situation in the 1990s, after its bubble burst, American economists, American officials were caustic about the unwillingness of the Japanese to take strong action to deal with their problem, the way they were just sitting there. And now we're doing the same thing.

We are turning Japanese in our economic policy. This is not something we should be accepting. This is -- it's very easy for comfortable people, like all of us, right, in this discussion to say, well, you know, these things take time. Not necessarily. And -- and we should be trying to do better, not just sitting and accepting this prolonged period, when -- when productive workers, men and women who want to work, can't find jobs.

Former John McCain campaign economic advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin pushes the nonsense that the free market will take care of all. Holtz-Eakin was annoying during the campaign and his solution is during nothing about what is being described as a growth recession. The economy is slowly starting to grow but not enough to offset unemplyment. I recently read an economic report explaining how unemployment may increase.

So, take the tax increases off the table. Don't rely on government spending. Let the private sector drive this thing. And it's not imaginary to -- to look at things the administration wants credit for, increased emphasis on clean technologies, increased health I.T. Those aren't stimulus. Those are costly changes in the American economy they're trying to do in the name of stimulus. That's not helpful.

Encouraging the free market to invest in clean energy technology. Holtz-Eakin does not like free market solutions when they are proposed by Democrats.

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Fake Glenn Beck University Ad

Via Skippy: if you want an education and don't want to study then Glenn Beck University is for you.

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Follow the Money: Charlie Crist Edition

A possible reason for Charlie Crist's flip flop on the federal health care bill maybe the $50,000 the health care staffing company Incepture has given to the campaign. Incepture is owned by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida in Jacksonville. Both companies sahre the same office space at 4800 Deerfield Campus Parkway.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida has spent 720,000 lobbying this year. Parent company Blue Cross/Blue Shield has spent $11,128,325 in 2010. Blue Cross/Blue Shield is spending this money to see health care reform watered down. Crist is more than happy to appease his lobbyists.

The Incepture money was donated to the PAC Friends of Freedom and Prosperity. The PAC is run by Crist supporter Mike Haridopolos. The PAC has raised $102,000. Nearly half of that came from Incepture. Anyone see Crist suddenly gaining moral clarity of health care policy and returning the Incepture money? Me neither.

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Quote of the Day

"Why not just shut down the Department of Education."

Glenn Reynolds

I wonder if Professor Reynolds feel the same way about abolishing college tenure. Somehow I doubt it.

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Martin Luther King "I have a dream"

On this day in 1963, Martin Luther King marched on Washington D>c> and delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" speech.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are creted equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

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Dinosaur Jr - Just Like Heaven

Dinosaur Jr - Just Like Heaven
Found at skreemr.org

One of my all-time favorite covers. I love how the song ends without warning.

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Pushing Rope Wins An Award We Never Heard Of

Pushing Rope won an award and bno one told us. Tripbase Review awarded the badge below to blogs they deem the best in Tampa. Other Tampa blogs that won are Re/Creating Tampa, Sticks of Fire, My Tampa Life, Brand Tampa, If I Could Escape, Our Radiant Tampa, Tampa Sports History, The Daily Loaf, and sometime PR contribitor Alex Pickett's Will Report for Food.

The write-up given to PR.

Five writers add a variance in editorial voice over at Pushing Rope, a (nearly) five year old blog in which nothing Tampa-related is left unreported.

Actually, we don't leave everything in Tampa unreported. Litbrit and I are the only two writing on PR these days. Tas has officially retired from blogging. The others come and go when they please.

Tripbase Travel Reviews


Al Sharpton: 'The Dream Has Not Been Achieved'

A portion of Al Sharpton's speech from the "Reclaim the Dream" rally in Washington D.C.

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Frank Luntz Hearts Alex Sink Ads

GOP strategist Frank Luntz raves about the ad campaign Alex Sink is running.

"If ads are any impact on the campaign, and we know that they are, she's running the best statewide campaign of any of the candidates. And even though Florida is a slightly leaning Republican state...Rick Scott's got his hands full with a campaign like what Alex Sink is running."

Sink is running against special interests and incumbants. Sink doesn't mention in the ad that she is Florida's current CFO. Luntz told Hannity the Sink ads are testing well with Republicans.

I mentioned before Sink is going to run as a centrist. Sink coming out against the Cordoba House was a calulated (and distasteful) political strategy. 19.4 percent of Florida voters are independents. Many of whom are feeling anti-incumbant sentiments. Sink is attempting to tap into independent voters. It is a workable strategy. The question is can Sink compete with Rick Scott for ad buy time?

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Glenn Beck Rally News

Photo of Tea Party guy at Glenn Beck's so-called civil rights rally.

Brad Luna gave Americablog an eyewitness account of Glenn Beck's weird anti-civil rights rally.

The crowd stretches from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. This is why the Democratic Party should be concerned. How many of our base would show up at a rally today? Why does the WH not get the enthusiasm gap is real. I can only imagine what Rahm must be thinking, looking out the window of 1600 Penn today.

The Republican turnout for Marco Rubio shows the tea party base is growing and should be taken as a serious threat to the Democratic establishment. The Obama administration is going to learn the hard way triangulation does not work as a political strategy.

Gottalaff has photos of the Beck and Al Sharpton rallies. Notice the lack of black people at the Beck rally.

Update: Beck goes all con man preacher on the Tea Party crowd.

Something that is beyond man is happening," Beck said in opening the event as the crowd thronged near the memorial grounds. "America today begins to turn back to God."

"Something"? Beck is infamous for speaking in vague generalities. This is the same Beck who claimed America would be flowing in "rivers of blood." That rhetoric sound more fearmongering than Christ-like.

Update: this poor white dude says he is being held back from career advancement by homosexuals and affirmative action. Hilarity ensues.

Update: the brilliant Tina Dupuy tweets this observation of Beck.

Cynicism: invoking the unquestioned power of god while wearing a bullet proof vest.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

SB 360 Declared Unconstitutional

Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett was the sponsor of SB 360. The bill repealed the Growth Management Act of 1985. Bennett and Ron Reagan runs the the PAC Citizens For Housing & Urban Growth. The PAC receives contributions from construction and developers. The PAC uses the money to donate to Republican candidates.

Bennett got bad news: Tallahassee Circuit Judge Charles Francis overturned SB 360 unconstitutional. SB 360 allowed developers to be exempt from building or paying for construction of new roads. As policy, it is assinine for groth management and transportation. The taxpayer would be left paying for new roads.

The decision by Tallahassee Circuit Judge Charles Francis says the law is an "unfunded mandate" that would force cities and counties to spend at least $3.7 million to rewrite their land-use plans.

"The court finds this amount is not 'fiscally insignificant,' " Francis wrote in his ruling, noting that 264 communities would have to pay at least $15,000 to change their plans.

From SB 360.

providing legislative findings relating to transportation concurrency exception areas; providing for the applicability of transportation concurrency exception areas; deleting certain requirements for transportation concurrency exception areas; providing that the designation of a transportation concurrency exception area does not limit a local government’s home rule power to adopt ordinances or impose fees and does not affect any contract or agreement entered into or development order rendered before such designation;

The bill also revises requirements for adoption of impact fees." That translates into developers are off-the-hook from paying local governments. SB 360 is a horrible piece of legislation. Judge Francis did the right thing by declaring it unconstitutional.

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Why Democrats Should Give Up On Triangulation

Democrats who pander to the Right and be overly clever by using triangulation always get get their comeuppance. Harry Reid spent years pandering to the NRA. The NRA has decided not to endorse Reid.

The vote on Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year's confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.

Reid placed an earmark for a Clark County Shooting Park. Reid was at the grand opening with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre earlier this year. View video.

The NRA was given an exemption from the Senate bill the Disclosure and Transparency in Elections Act. Political ads sponsored 527 groups would have to disclose paying for the spot. It is hard to imagine a Democatic Congress giving the NRA an exemption without Reid as Majority Leader.

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Economic Study On Tampa Economy

The conservative Tampa Bay Partnership released a study a found the Tampa area ranked last in economic recovery amongst six cities. The other cities ar. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Dallas, Charlotte, N.C., Atlanta and Jacksonville.

The study cites low wages causing Tampa residents to spender a greater amount of their income on living expenses. Unemployment is another problem. The Tampa area had 13.1 percent unemployment during the period when the study was taken. 54,133 jobs were lost from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010. To give an idea of how severe unemployment is; Tampa's job growth was -3.35 percent during first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010. Out of the six cities Tampa had the highest unemployment.

Tampa and Jacksonville ranked fifth and sixth in absolute average wage. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Dallas, Charlotte, N.C., Atlanta all had an absolute average wage above $40,000. The AAW for Tampa is $38,527. Bottom line wages are low and there are not enough high paying jobs in the area.

Renters pay 22.3 percent of their yearly income for a two bedroom apartment. Other things the article does not mention is Tampa has no rent control. A person is either overcharged for a crappy apartment in a good neighborhood or choose to live in a bad part of town.

Reading the study makes it obvious that a family on a medium income cannot afford to buy a house in Tampa.

On this Scorecard update, Tampa Bay again ranks fourth for single home affordability. The data displayed represents the proportion of median sales price to median household income, or more colloquially, how much of the median-priced home can be had for the median household income. In Tampa Bay, the median household income of $47,094 purchases a little more than a third of the median-priced home. Atlanta led all comparison regions in single-family home affordability, where the median home sales price is less than twice median household income. Jacksonville recorded a third place ranking and the two North Carolinian regions finished in the bottom third.

Factor in paying off a mortgage and property insurance for a less than stellar house. People cannot afford to buy homes. More people rent which allows landlords to increase rent fees. It is a vicious cycle.

The study notes the need for light rail. (It should be noted Tampa Bay Partnership supports Moving Hillsborough Forward.) The average Tampa resident spends 25.12 minutes a day stuck in traffic. I am sure the numbers are even worse if a driver has to take I-275 or I-4. I noticed that buses need to run later on streets that are not Nebraska Ave. or Florida Ave. If Hartline wants increase their ridership it has to find ways to bring riders to Ybor City, SoHo and other popular places.

The good news is more students are graduating form high school. An increased number of workers have Associates and Bachelors degrees.

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The Joel Award: Charlie Crist

It is time to give out the Joel Award. The award goes to any celebrity, pundit, blogger or politician that purposely contradicts himself or herself.

When Charlie Crist was running for the Republican Senate nomination he was against the bill. On the day of the bill's signing, Crist said the bill should be repealed.

Crist said in a television interview that he would have voted for the bill with reservations.

Crist sent out a press release claiming he was always against the health care reform bill.

FACT CHECK: Recent reports in the media have confused my position on the Obama health care bill.

The Obama health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. But being an independent, I have the freedom to be an honest broker for the people of Florida without regard for political party, and the reality is this: despite its serious flaws, the Obama health care bill does have some positive aspects.

Repeal must be accompanied by a responsible substitute — repeal without passage of a substitute law protecting those with pre-existing conditions, closing the prescription drug donut hole for seniors, and allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance coverage until age 26 would be wrong. While I would not have supported the legislation, we have to recognize the positive components and work together across party lines to make our health care system more affordable for both consumers and the government.

This debate must not be about political posturing; it must be about protecting the people of Florida and America, and I intend to do that hard work when I get to the United States Senate.

Charlie Crist

The only person "confused" about Crist's position is Crist. The Governor's number one priority is to get elected. Crist will say what he has to to achieve that goal. Every politician does it but Crist has turned political pandering into an art form.

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Quote of the Day

"What's the difference between selling out your party's values and the oldest profession?"

Joe Miller, comparing his Republican Senate primary opponent Lisa Murkowski to a prostitute.

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Worst Merchandise Idea Ever: Palin 'Refudiate' Shirts & Stickers

Via Dave Weigel: The Weekly Standard is currently running this ad for T-Shirts and bumper stickers they are selling.

Sarah Palin's famous "refudiate" disaster on Twitter is proudly used by the Weekly Standard. Somewhere in America right now an English teacher weeps.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Glenn Beck Feels the Holy Spirit

Glenn Beck tells his radio audience he he is writing bulletpoints for his bizarre civil rights event. Beck said he wants "the spirit" to speak through him.

Glenn Beck is now claiming to channel the holy spirit.

Other moments of Beck insanity is Beck talking about God washing America in blood. Beck did not say anything about whether or not the holy spirit forced him to make that statement.

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MadTV Improv

Many of my favorite moments on MadTV was when cast members would do improve. Boom Chicago alumi Ike Barinholtz, Jordan Peele and Nicole Parker are the fake rap group Yo Ma Ma. The cast members rap off interactions they had with audience members.

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News Coverage of Ken Mehlman Story

I have avoided the Ken Mehlman story. I don't care that Mehlman is gay or surprised that he is a hypocrite on gay rights. What I do find interesting is a Think Progress graph on how many times did the three major cable news networks mention the former RNC chairman coming out of the closet.

Suprise! Fox News did not mention the Mehlman story once. Fox News also did not go anywhere near the news story of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s on-air N word tirade. Fox News is only interested in airing stories that help Republicans and hurt Democrats. Fox News is about fair and balanced as the Bush administration's policies were compassionate conservatism.

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McCollum & Arizona ID Bill

Bill McCollum received a low amount of Hispanic support during election night. McCollum's proposal for an Arizona-style ID bill was a disaster. The Miami Herald provides the details.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Just one day after he unveiled a harsh Arizona-style immigration proposal for Florida, Attorney General Bill McCollum was obliged to backpedal, conceding a need to consult with ``my supporters in the Hispanic community'' about the provisions in his punitive and potentially unconstitutional measure.

That came after U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a co-chair of Mr. McCollum's Hispanic leadership team in his race for governor, pronounced herself ``blindsided'' and ``disappointed.'' Other prominent Hispanic Republicans backed away from the proposal, as well, and at least one well-known fundraiser declared she would ``not lift a finger or raise one additional dollar'' for his campaign.

Hispanic are the largest growing voting group. I have detailed repeatedly how Republicans hurt themselves by driving Hispanic voters towards the Democratic Party. McCollum pandered to the worst part of the GOP base and he deservingly paid the price for it.

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Alex Sink Thanks Voters

Alex Sink released an online ad thanking voters. Sink points out Rick Scott has started negative attacks on her. Sink maintains the high ground by saying she rather talk about "attacking" Florida's problems. Sink causally throws in Scott doesn't want to talk about his background. The video is a good indication that Sink wants to turn Scott's negative attacks against him. It is a good strategy if Sink has the money to get her message out.

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McCollum Refuses to Endorse Scott

Bill McCollum tells the media he has serious questions about Rick Scott's character. McCollum refuses to endorse Scott. McCollum said he has not had the time to talk to Scott one-on-one about questions relating to Columbia/HCA.

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Low Democratic Turnout in South Florida

Joy-Ann Reid tweeted this bad news for Democrats.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, the largest, most Democratic FL counties, all had turnout <20% on Tuesday.

Democrats are going to need a huge turnout in November. Republican voters came out in mass for Marco Rubio. The GOP Senate nominee received 1,061,836 votes. That is more than what Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene received combined. Rubio has the potential to help Rick Scott and other Republican candidates down the ballot. Barring a wide stance scandal, Republicans will do well come November.

Update: Post On Politics has a rundown of the counties with the best and worst turnout.

01.) Liberty (67) 51.4 percent
02.) Lafayette (66) 51.0
03.) Jefferson (59) 44.6
04.) Calhoun (61) 39.7
05.) Gulf (60) 39.0

63.) Miami-Dade (1) 17.2
64.) Palm Beach (3) 16.3
65.) Broward (2) 14.7
66.) Osceola (23) 14.1
67.) Holmes (56) 14.1

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sink & Meek Rally

Alex Sink, Kendrick Meek and other Democrats will hold at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

What: Campaign for Accountability 2010 Unity Rally with
Alex Sink
Kendrick Meek
and other Democratic leaders

Where: Florida State Fairgrounds Agriculture Hall of Fame
4800 US Hwy. 301 North
Tampa, FL 33610

When: Saturday, August 28th
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

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Rick Scott & GOP Establishment

Bill McCollum openly trash-talked Rick Scott during his concession speech.

"This race was one for the ages. No one could have anticipated the entrance of a multimillionaire with a questionable past who shattered campaign spending records and spent more in four months than has ever been spent in a primary race here in Florida.

"While I was disappointed with the negative tone of the race, I couldn't be more proud of our campaign and our supporters for fighting back against false and misleading advertising when we were down by double-digits."

Rick Scott has torn the state Republican Party apart in his bid for governor. Scott has attacked Republican Party of Florida chairman John Thrasher. The two will meet tomorrow to talk. Scott told Peter King of CNN that Republicans will get in line behind him.

KING: One of the big questions the morning after your big win in this primary is whether the Republican Party of Florida can heal its wounds. You had a very personal campaign against your opponent, Mr. McCollum. My understanding is he has yet to call you. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that part. And here's a statement he issued after he conceded the race to you: "No one could have anticipated the entrance of a multi-millionaire with a questionable past who shattered campaigning spending records and spent more in four months than has ever been spent in a primary race here in Florida.

Do you view it as your obligation to heal these wounds in the party in Florida or is it his obligation?

SCOTT: Well, the part -- the party will support the candidate that lives the American dream, believes in the Republican principles. That's me. Now, I've lived the American dream. I want that dream for all Floridians. I know what the Republican Party stands for, which I stand for -- limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal freedom, personal responsibility. So that the Republican Party will support me. We're going to do very well and we're going to win in November. November 2nd will be a great night.

Scott had no GOP insiders working on his campaign. The establishment cannot stand him. The RPOF will help the Scott campaign but it is going to be an extremely dysfunctional relationship. Scott cannot boss Republican leaders around like he does with his health care companies.

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Christian Leaders Come Out Against Obama Muslim Attacks

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

Exodus 20:16

Christian leaders have come out against people who have falsely attempted portray President Barack Obama as a Muslim.

As Christian leaders— whose primary responsibility is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our congregations, our communities, and our world— we are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama’s faith. We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.

President Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often about the importance of his Christian faith. Many of the signees on this letter have prayed and worshipped with this President. We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far.

This is not a political issue. The signers of this letter come from different political and ideological backgrounds, but we are unified in our belief in Jesus Christ. As Christian pastors and leaders, we believe that fellow Christians need to be an encouragement to those who call Christ their savior, not question the veracity of their faith.

Therefore, we urge public officials, faith leaders, and the media to offer no further support or airtime to those who misrepresent and call into question the President’s Christian faith. And we join with the President in praying that God will continue to bless the United States of America.

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Fox News Makes Case For Stimulus

Shepard Smith and Juan Williams make interesting points about how the stimulus has helped save America from a depression. Williams agrees with Smith that the White House political team has been unable to promote their own economic policies. The first reason for that is the economy is still bad. The second factor is Team Obama is more concerned with attacking their base then defending themselves against right-wing attacks. It is sad when Fox News can makes a batter case for Obama's economic policies than Robert Gibbs and Tim Geithner.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kottkamp Concedes

Jeff Kottkamp conceded on Twitter. I have never seen that before.

"I have just called @pambondi and congratulated her on her victory tonight. She ran a great campaign and I wished her well in the general."

I'm wondering if Kottkamp conceded on Twitter because he forgot his My Yearbook password.

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Tina Dupuy On Arizona

Tina Dupuy how Arizona takes not mingling with other cultures to a whole new level.

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Meek On Greene

AP reporter Brendan Farrington tweets this quote from Kendrick Meek.

"Mr. Greene wasn't a pushover. He was running more commercials than Geico, Burger King and McDonald's put together."

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Kendrick Meek Death Watch: Rubio Has Stronger Base

Marco Rubio received 725,916 votes. That is more than the combined votes received by Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene. Meek received 375,896. Greene garnered 230,445 votes. Rubio received nearly 200,000 more votes.

To make maters worse: only 692,077 Democrats voted. Meek has not built up enough of support with Democratic voters to be a serious challenger to Rubio. This is reality. Kendrick Meek will not be the next junior Senator of Florida. I haven't even discussed the implications of Charlie Crist pulling Democratic support away from Meek.

I expect we will soon hear Team Meek once again brag about their brilliant Jim Davis voters strategy. Crist and Meek could split the Democratic vote and make Rubio's path to victory easier.

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Gelber Wins AG Primary

I haven't heard anything about Dave Aronberg conceding. Nevertheless, I am declaring Dan Gelber the winner of the Democratic Attorney General primary. Florida Divion of Election numbers.

Gelber - 289,784 (58.34%)

Aronberg - 206,911 (41.66%)

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Scott Leads McCollum by 35,000 Votes

Dave Weigel reports Rick Scott has a 35,000 vote lead over Bill McCollum in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

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Jeff Greene's Killer Party

Only 15 people attended Jeff Greene's election night party. Greene might have gotten a bigger crowd if he actually paid for booze. The first drink was free and then supporters had to pay around $8.00 for the next drink. I'm surprised Greene didn't make the party a BYOB affair.


Kendrick Meek Wins

Naked Politics reports Kendrick Meek crushed Jeff Greene in the Democratic Senate primary.

It wasn't close. Multiple media outlets are calling the Democratic U.S. Senate race for Kendrick Meek over Jeff Greene. (As of 8:30 Meek has 54% compared to Greene's 32%, with 524k total votes.

Never underestimate the power of a Bubba the Love Sponge endorsement.

Actually, the reason Meek won is because Greene was too weird for the electorate.

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Why Geithner & Summers Should Be Fired

I wrote this post on Twitter about John Boehner calling for President Barack Obama to fire Tim Geithner and Lawrence Summers.

@thereidreport Boehner asking for Geithner to be fired would have progressives press for a more Left-leaning Sec o Treasury.

Geithner backed executive bonuses for AIG bonuses. AIG CEO Edward Liddy told Congress Geithner knew about the bonus money executives were going to reward themselves. Time reported the New York Federal Reserve informed Geithner of the bonuses before the March 10, 2009 date Geithner gave Congress.

Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is 10 days before Treasury staffers say they first learned "full details" of the bonus plan, and three days before the Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG.

Dodd tells CNN that the Treasury Department told him to take out amendment limiting executive bonuses.

As head of the New York Federal Reserve, records show Geither told AIG to take out references to key deals from regulatory filings. This is extremely unethical for a public servant to do. At the New York Federal Reserve, Geither negotiated the AIG bailout plan. Geithner is more aware than most of the financial troubles AIG is facing. Geither placed protecting AIG above the American public.

Geithner used AIG to funnel bailout money to cover Goldman Sach's naked credit default swaps losses. Goldman Sachs played a significant role in the mortgage meltdown. Goldman Sachs betted against the housing industry and attempted to collect on the CDS. AIG was too extended to pay when the 2009 Wall Street meltdown occurred. Both AIG and Goldman Sachs did a nose dive and the taxpayers were left with the bill. Geithner's response has been to protect these institutions from oversight.

Jon Walker of Firedoglake explains why firing Geithner and Summers is bad politics for the Republican Party.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has recently called on President Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers. Now I don’t know how Boehner’s mother raised him, but where I come from, that behavior would be considered downright rude. Where is the gratitude? I think John of Orange owes them an apology. Trying to get the two individuals whose actions played a major role in assuring that Boehner will be promoted (to the position of Speaker of the House after Republicans win big this November) fired is just bad manners in my book. If it weren’t for Summers’ terrible economic projections and horrible advice, combined with Geithner’s equally bad counsel, consistently putting the prosperity of Wall Street over main street while horribly mismanaging the HAMP program, Boehner would not be close to measuring the drapes for the Speaker’s office.

Summers favors the current banking monopoly and urged Bill Clinton to sign the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. As President of Harvard, Summers made the sexist statement that women do not have the same "aptitude" as men to succeed.

Unfortunately, Geithner and Summers hold too much sway over the President. It is ashame because this maybe the only time I will ever agree with Boehner.

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Obama's Several Gay Marriage Positions

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic has compiled a timeline on Barack Obama's impossible to pin down position on gay marriage. Obama's stance is confusing and he often contradicts himself.

An absolutely bizarre moment was Obama speaking to the Human Rights Campaign. Obama told gay rights activists that if he was advising the civil rights movement in 1961 he would tell them not to focus on interracial marriage. This is after Obama admits he is the child of a interracial marriage. The hypocrisy of his statement is stunning. What Obama is saying is he would not fight for his parents right to marry. It makes me wonder what Obama would fight for.

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Quote of the Day

"[As I was driving up her today, I saw that bumper sticker that absolutely incenses me. It's not the Obama bumper sticker. But it's the bumper sticker that says, 'Co-exist.' And it has all the little religious symbols on it. And the reason why I get upset, and every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents somethingthat would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are. The liberities that we want to enjoy."

Florida Congressional Allen West (R), speaking out against religious tolerance.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Voting Tomorrow

Votehillsborough.org has information on precincts to vote. Make sure you go to the correct voting precinct. Otherwise you are likely to be turned away. Type in your address in the precinct finder. This will tell you where to vote.

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Kendrick Meek Death Watch: When Kendrick Met Bubba

U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek has been endorsed by shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge. Meek appeared with Bubba and was interviewed in a room with a stripper pole. I'm surprised Team Meek didn't schedule a campaign stop at Mons Venus.

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BP Disaster Not Over

Contrary to what BP and the Obama administration want you to believe there is still oil in the water. Linda Young took a picture of the yellow water off the coast of Navarre Beach, Floria. Anybody care to swim in this water?

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Alex Sink's Jeff Greene Problem

Tampa Tribune reporter William March asked Alex Sink if she will support Jeff Greene if he wins the Senate primary. Sink gave her usual overly-cautious answer.

"I endorsed Kendrick Meek in this race, so I'll reserve judgement until we get to Wednesday."

Not exactly strong and decisive leadership on Sink's part.

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Palin & Gingrich Do Robocalls For Bondi

Sarah Palin did a robocall asking Florida Republicans to vote for Pam Bondi. Palin recently endorsed Bondi. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did a robocall for Bondi Holly Benson. It is obvious the GOP establishment sees Bondi as a future star. The GOP establish also is telegraphing that they see Jeff Kottkamp and Holly Benson having no chance of beating Dan Gelber in the general election.

What I find amusing about all the Republican love aimed at Bondi is that she was a registered Democrat from 1984 until 2000. Bondi was a Democrat when she worked for the controversial Harry Lee Coe III. Bondi switch parties two weeks after Coe's death when it because obvious Republican Mark Ober would be her new boss. Republicans have attacked Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chafee and Charlie Crist for being RINOs. Bondi is only a Republican because she wanted to maintain her employment in the State Attorney's office. The Republican establishment put ideological purity aside when it comes to winning elections. Democrats are not any different with Obama campaign people working on the Charlie Crist campaign.

Correction: Gingrich endorsed and did a robocall for Holly Benson.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Underwater Coral Nurseries

Volunteers from the Florida Marine Aquarium Society are growing coral underwater. The volunteers have created underwater nurseries to restore reefs off of Key Largo. The Sun Sentinel has magnificent high resolution photos of the nurseries. Go check them out.

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Greer Paid $7,339.21 By RPOF in July

The Republican Party of Florida paid indicted former chairman Jim Greer $7,339.21 in July of 2010. You can see all the payments the RPOF made here. Pay attention to amount disbursed. That explains how much was paid out by the RPOF to the payee. Below are the payments made to Greer.

Payee: James A. Greer
1205 Prestige Point
Oviedo, FL 32765

Purpose of Disbursement: bounced ck 6/28-travel charges
Date of Event = 07/01/2010
Allocated Activity or Event:
Activity is Administrative - Only

Amount Disbursed = 2291.48
Federal share = 641.61
Non-Federal share = 1649.87
Event Year-To-Date = 1392410.98

Payee: James A. Greer
1205 Prestige Point
Oviedo, FL 32765

Purpose of Disbursement: bounced ck 6/28-office supplies
Date of Event = 07/01/2010
Allocated Activity or Event:
Activity is Administrative - Only

Amount Disbursed = 22.90
Federal share = 6.41
Non-Federal share = 16.49
Event Year-To-Date = 1392433.88

Payee: James A. Greer
1205 Prestige Point
Oviedo, FL 32765

Purpose of Disbursement: bounced ck 6/28-supplies
Date of Event = 07/01/2010
Allocated Activity or Event:
Activity is Administrative - Only

Amount Disbursed = 633.01
Federal share = 177.24
Non-Federal share = 455.77
Event Year-To-Date = 1393066.89

Payee: James A. Greer
1205 Prestige Point
Oviedo, FL 32765

Purpose of Disbursement: bounced ck 6/28-photography charges
Date of Event = 07/01/2010
Allocated Activity or Event:
Activity is Administrative - Only

Amount Disbursed = 66.50
Federal share = 18.62
Non-Federal share = 47.88
Event Year-To-Date = 1393133.39

Payee: James A. Greer
1205 Prestige Point
Oviedo, FL 32765

Purpose of Disbursement: bounced ck 6/28-travel charges
Date of Event = 07/01/2010
Allocated Activity or Event:
Activity is Administrative - Only

Amount Disbursed = 2471.20
Federal share = 518.95
Non-Federal share = 1952.25
Event Year-To-Date = 1395604.59
Payee: James A. Greer
1205 Prestige Point
Oviedo, FL 32765

Purpose of Disbursement: bounced ck 6/28-fundraising charges
Date of Event = 07/01/2010
Allocated Activity or Event:
Activity is Direct Fundraising

Amount Disbursed = 1854.12
Federal share = 278.12
Non-Federal share = 1576.00
Event Year-To-Date = 140231.67

Update: Central Florida Political Pulse reports Greer attempted to repay the RPOF for the money he received for July. The bad news for Greer is his $7,339.21 bounced.

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No Koran Burning For Dove World Outreach Center

I previously wrote about the Dove World Outreach Center was planning their Burn a Koran Day and No Homo Mayor Protest against Mayor Craig Lowe. How did Mayor Love get attached with the Muslim community? I let Dove World Outreach Center blogger Fran Ingram explain.

Free speech is hated by homosexuals and they do not like to hear the truth about their perverted lifestyle. We are protesting our openly homosexual Mayor Aug 2. Maybe they did it, (not the Mayor himself, surely) but the more likely trigger for this attack is the burn a Koran Day plan.

Free speech is not Sharia compliant, and the Moslem Mafia (CAIR) is openly opposed to our signs and message. But this is America and we have the law on our side. The police defend us and our rights, the Fire Department have no problem with our having a bonfire on 9/11, and we will not be silenced.

Apparently, Ingram comes from the Dr. Laura school of free speech. It is not that gays, lesbians and Muslims hate free speech. They are using their right to free speech to voice their opposition to your church's attacks against them. The Dove World Outreach Center has a frre speech right to voice their disapproval to gays and Muslims and visa versa. However, Gene Prince, interim chief of Gainesville Fire Rescue told the church book burning is a serious no no.

Deputy Chief Tim Hayes, who serves as the department's fire marshal, said he and an investigator went to the church's 20-acre property on Northwest 37th Street earlier this month to determine what the burn would entail.

Under the fire ordinances the City Commission adopted last year, bonfires aren't allowed without a permit, Hayes said.

Under Section 10-63, "Open burning and outdoor burning are prohibited in the City of Gainesville unless otherwise specifically permitted as provided by this article."

The section goes on to prohibit burning newspaper, corrugated cardboard, container board or office paper, which are akin to books, Prince said.

The whole book burning thing has a Fahrenheit 451 vibe to it. Never a good idea.

The Dove World Outreach Center is against Mayor Lowe because he was an opponent of Charter 1. If Charter 1 passed the LGBT community would literally have no legal rights. Below is the wording of the charter.

Shall the City Charter Be Amended to prohibit the adoption or enforcement of ordinances, regulations, rules, or policies that provide protected status, preferences, or discrimination claims based on classification, characteristics, or orientations not recognized by the Florida Civil Rights Act? The act recognizes, race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, marital and familial status. Additionally, this amendment voids existing ordinances concerning sexual orientation, gender identity, and other ordinances inconsistent with this amendment.

Lowe made this statement when he was still a city council member.

“They have rejected the politics of fear and instead chose to retain the values that make our city such a beautiful place. Today, our voters showed their true character by emphasizing that, in Gainesville, every person matters.“

What is a far-rightwing church to do when a progressive community won't let them burn Korans or tell gays to get on the back of the bus?

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Who Is David M. Rivera?

NRCC spokeswoman Joanna Burgos told Talking Points Memo, ""It's Miami, there are lots of David M. Riveras."

According to the VoteBuilder, a people search engine used by the Democratic National Committee and the Florida Democratic Party, there is only one David Rivera in the Miami area. I blacked out the address and phone number.

Rivera has been featured in a Miami Herald investigation. Rivera claims it was another David M. Rivera who went to court in a domestic violence case involving Jenna Dorticos. Congressional candidate Rivera said he never met Dorticos. However, Rivera appeared in a Facebook photo with Dorticos' mother.

Another bizaree part of the story is Rivera was involved in a car accident with a Liberty Mailing Services truck carrying leaflets accusing Rivera of domestic violence. Talking Points Memo has the accident report. The Rivera campaign has made no attempts to claim another David M. Rivera was responsible for the accident.

This is a serious allegation: if there is another David M. Rivera who was involved in a domestic violence case with Dorticos then I will be more than happy to make corrections. However, voters have a right to know and there are holes in Rivera's story. It is rather strange behavior to show up in a Facebook photo with the mother of a woman Rivera previosly denied knowing. It is hard to believe Rivera did not know the van was carrying leaflets accusing him of domestic violence. What is even more disturbing is the van was forced off the road because of his driving. Rivera's road rage alone poises serious questions about his fitness to serve.

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Horrible Newspaper Endorsement For Thrasher

The Florida Times-Union endorsed John Thrasher for Florida Senate district 8. The newspaper cited Thrasher's work as a lobbyist as one of the editorial board's reasons for the endorsements.

He has the experience as a former speaker of the House and as a lobbyist to get things done. It makes no sense to send a political neophyte to Tallahassee in such an important post.

The fact that Thrasher is a lobbyist provides so many potential conflicts of interest. The fact that the Florida legislature refuses to bar members from serving as lobbyists says serious reform is needed. Thrasher worked as a lobbyist for developers against Florida Hometown Democracy. FHD placed Amendment 4 on the ballot.

Establishes that before a local government may adopt a new comprehensive land use plan, or amend a comprehensive land use plan, the proposed plan or amendment shall be subject to vote of the electors of the local government by referendum, following preparation by the local planning agency, consideration by the governing body and notice. Provides definitions.

Short answer: Land use plans must be approved by voters and government officials. FHD formed to stop the influence of developers on elected officials. Local citizens will have a chance to vote on referendum.

Thrasher is the Chairman of Save Our Constitution. Tampa Tribune political reporter William March cited a misleading letter Thrasher sent out against FHD.

“The special interests (many of them out-of-state) have much to gain from passing this Amendment,” the letter says. He says the amendment would allow them to “turn our beautiful state into a dumping ground for special interests.”

Thrasher’s letter says the amendment “turns all power over use of Florida’s lands to certain ‘electors,’ ” without explaining that “electors” is the legal term for registered voters.

“Guess who the ‘electors’ will be,” it says. “The special interests and their slick lawyers will rig the system to put our future in the hands of their cronies.”

Amendment 4 does exactly the opposite of what Thrasher claims. FHD cited Florida Division of Elections numbers of organizations donating to Save Our Constitution.

• Florida Transportation Builders: $50,000

• Florida Association of Realtors: $50,000

• Floridians for Conservative Values: $25,000

• Wal-Mart: $25,000

As a member of the Florida House of Representatives, Thrasher was publicly reprimanded on the House floor. As a member of the legislature, Thrasher was not allowed to lobby a state board. That didn't stop Thrasher from lobbying the Florida Board of Medicine on behave of the Florida Medical Association.

After Thrasher left the Florida House, he was not allow to lobby his colleagues for two years. Thrasher organized a luncheon for House members in 2001 and lobbied them on behave of his various clients. Thrasher was forced to pay a $500.00 fine for his violation.

The Florida Times-Union really should not have sold Thrasher's lobbying experience as an asset.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Rick Scott's Dirty Ad

Rick Scott has the audacity to release an ad titled "Obama's Mosque." Fact: President Barack Obama does not own a mosque or is in any way direct with the Muslim prayer room that will be in the old Burlington Coat Factory building. The site is technically 2.5 blocks away and Ground Zero is not visible from the Burlington Coat Factory lot at 41 Park Place. Strip clubs such as New York Dolls are in the vicinity of Ground Zero. Fox News and Republicans haven't called for stopping these businesses. Perhaps conservatives are waiting for Scott to unveil an ad called "Obama's Strip Club."

The most troubling and racist thing about the ad is Scott is unable to grasp that the people behind the Cordoba House are not all terrorists. By Scott's logic all Irish Catholics are members of the IRA. Scott claims to be speaking "truth" but fails to use logic.

Scott's ad is gutter politics. The reason Bill McCollum is doing better in the polls is because voters are rightfully disgusted with Scott's political tactics. Scott seems to believe he can make whatever ad hominem and not have to answer questions about his shady background. Scott deserves to be rebuked by voters.

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RNC Is Broke

Michael Steele is the one Republican I want still employed. I think Steele is doing a heck of a job.

The troubled Republican National Committee has just over $5 million in the bank for the final stretch of the 2010 mid-term election campaign, according to an unannounced filing with the FEC disclosed Friday night.

The report also indicates that the national party headed by embattled chairman Michael Steele is carrying just over $2 million in debt.

Steele previously explained that is gaffes were part of his strategy. I doubt Steele intended to make the RNC broke. Although, it Steele's money management skills will give progressives ammo the next time he complains Democrats aren't fiscally conservative.

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Cee Lo Green - F**K YOU

Jesse Taylor and Jill Filipovic posted this video on Facebook and Twitter. The song is a kiss off classic up there with REM's The One I Love.

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Clinton Robocalling For Meek

The New York Times has an audio file of Bill Clinton's voice being used to robocall for Kendrick Meek. Clinton refers to Meek as the "real Democrat in the race." Team Meek as run the "real dem" nonsense into the ground. By Team Meek's logic, Ben Nelson could be a real Democrat.

Hey, unlike Greene, Nelson never ran for Congress as a Republican. He's a real Democrat.

See what I mean? I want a real progressive. Meek and Greene do not fit the bill.

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Beware of the Man-Hug

Political reporter Gary Fineout tweeted this hysterical attack on Lt. Governor and candidate for attorney general Jeff Kottkamp.

527 group sending out mailer that slams Lt. Gov. Kottkamp b/c of Crist. Shows a man-hug of Crist/Kottkamp on the beach.

It is known to most voters in Florida that Kottkamp is Crist's Lt. Governor. Is Kottkamp getting attacked for being Crist's second in command or because of the man-hug? I am no Kottkamp fan, but it is not his fault Crist left the Republican Party. If Kottkamp gets a man-hug from his boss does that mean he supports Crist? I don't think so. I really like to see the mailer. I really hope Kottkamp's opponents aren't suggesting anything homophobic.

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Ethics Complaint Against Jim Norman

Tampa attorney Paul Phillips has filed an ethics complaint against Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman. According to the Daily Loaf blogger Chris Ingram, Phillips is a registered Republican. Norman is a Republican running for Florida Senate district 12. Norman's primary opponent is Kevin Ambler.

Phillips contends the $435,000 Arkansas home in Norman's wife's name was given as a gift by conservative activist Ralph Hughes. You may remember Norman had championed renaming the Moral Courage award after Hughes. The award's name was changed again after it was revealed Hughes owed $300 million in corporate and income taxes to the IRS.

Norman was asked by the St. Petersburg Times how his wife came about the money to buy the Arkansas house. Norman was less than forthcoming.

"It's an investment my wife has. I have gone there, but it's not mine," said Norman, who is facing state Rep. Kevin Ambler in the Republican primary for the District 12 state Senate seat on Aug. 24.

So how did his wife come up with $435,000 to pay for the house? "It came with my wife's investors," he said, though he declined to name them. "I'm not getting into my wife's investment portfolio. That's my wife's interests."

Norman is running for a state senate seat. He may feel it is an invasion of his privacy, but the voters have a right to know. Refusing to give answers will only instill distrust in his fitness to serve. Phillips alleges in his complaint that Mearline Norman has "does not have any visible means of earning income." According to Phillips, Jim and Mearline Norman have filed joint tax returns. The question is if Mearline Norman is not employed then how was she able to purchase a $435,000 home?

Mr. and Mrs Norman had two boats under both their names at the Arkansas house. Both boats were worth over a $1,000. Under law as a political candidate, Norman should have listed the boats in his financial disclosure. Norman failed to do so in 2006.

Norman receives a free car to use as an employee of the Salvation Army. Norman also a $233 monthly car allowance as a member of the Hillsborough County Commission. Norman receives taxpaid a car allowance to use a free car from a nonprofit organization. Norman's financial diclosure list two cars. Neither automobile is the 2006 Toyota Camry the Salvation Army allows Norman to use. Norman drove the Camry to a East Pasco Tea Party Patriots event. That certainly does not qualify as Commission or Savation Army business.

Norman works part-time hours at the Salvation Army. He is paid $90,000. I am positive many people would love to have a part-time job that pays that much and throws in a free car.

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