Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rod Smith Sighting

Rod Smith come out of the hiding to speak on BayNews9.


Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy

Muddy Waters has something to say so pay attention.

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GOTV Video

"Hi, I'm a Tea-Partier" is the best GOTV video of the election cycle. Two animated characters discuss why Democrats are socialists and hate freedom. It becomes obvious to the rationale character that the Tea Party character is just repeating talking points. The Tea Partier defends himself by claiming he isn't basing his views on bigotry. He just thinks Obama is a Muslim and gays shouldn't have any rights.

A short animated video made a better case for voting Democrat than all of the spending done by the DNC. The video was low budget and has received over 500,000 views on Youtube. The video's 6 minute length and language makes it impossible to air as a television ad. Videos such as these can work on blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Youtube user Ndintenfass deserves tremendous credit for making this.

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Nate Silver Projects David Rivera Victory

Nate Silver of The New York Times is giving David Rivera a 78.9 chance of winning Congressional district 25. Silver is a smart statistician. My take is he is basing his findings on the district being traditionally Republican and GOP voter turnout. Those factors help Rivera.

Polls have shown the race to be a toss up. The conservative Sunshine State News shows Garcia leading Rivera 44 percent to 43 percent. The Sunshine State News polls are unreliable and Republican-leaning. I'm not are what to make of SSN having Garcia up by one.

This and several other progressive blogs have documented the serious ethical lapses committed by Rivera. The Repubican candidate has faced allegations of domestic violence and road rage. Rivera falsely listed doing work for U.S. Agency for International Development on his disclosure form. USAID has no record of Rivera working for the organization. Rivera's personal conduct makes him unfit for public office.

I really hope Nate Silver is wrong about this race. Other ethically-challenged Republicans, such as Marco Rubio and Jim Norman, are going to be elected. A Rivera victory would signal that Florida Republicans can do whatever they want and face no consequences for their actions.

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Dancing Alex Sink

Why would any Alex Sink campaign staffer let their candidate get her funk on in the era of the internet and phone cameras. Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald filmed Sink dancing. It is not a disaster. Just slightly awkward. Does any Sink staffer think it's a good idea to have the candidate dance to the sexually suggestive lyrics "that girl is dangerous."

Update: Here are some of the lyrics to to Akon song Sink was dancing to.

Ohhh yeah thats her the big dog tryin to get her little kitty to purr.
Ex-man lookin at me like i'm Lucifer, Cause he know I will deal with his case yes SIR!
if I was the last man I earth I would only take that girl end of search.
She give a new definition to the word Curve, got chicks in the strip club envy her.
Body's like weapon, a mass irruptions, see the glad on that phat obstruction, tongue game give a new type of seduction.

Those lyrics are horrible.


Most Newsworthy Story of the Day: Halloween Edition

David West and David Chestnut live in Parrish. The couple bought a home in Parrish, Florida. They told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune they saw a ghost wearing a "50s-era fedora" outside the window. They also saw another apparition they believe to be a dog or cat. I cannot think of anything scarier than a house haunted by Don Draper and Garfield the Cat.

A tip for Florida homebuyers: your realtor doesn't have to tell you about previous criminal activity in the house you plan on buying. So don't be surprised if you find some body parts mementos the previous serial-killing resident left behind.

There is a ghost story of Allan Spivey haunting Florida Southern College's Joseph Reynolds Hall.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity Closing Speech

The Brad Blog has the video of Jon Stewart's closing speech at "The Rally to Restore Sanity."

Money quote:

But unfortunately one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country's 24-hour political pundit perpetual panic conficinator did not cause our problems but it's existence makes soling them that much harder. The press can hold it's magnifying up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminatiing issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything we hear nothing.

The Nation has the full transcript.

I think Jon Stewart is somewhat naive about the true nature of people. The fact is this country is extremely divided and I don't see that changing any time soon. Stewart's message of civility in public discourse is needed. We may not be able to reach for the stars. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try.


Crist Voicemail to Meek

This is the voicemail Charlie Crist left on Kendrick Meek's phone. Crist and Meek were both set to speak separately at AIPAC. Crist wanted to set up a time with Meek to ask him to dropout.

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What Is the Florida Democratic Party's Message?

"Meanwhile, as a friend of mine in mediaworld said to me tonight, how could Florida Democrats could so screw things up, when the state party is flush from victory in 2008, has raised tons of the money, which erased the Republican advantage, and when the state party they’re facing are almost all under investigation by the FBI and IRS … including Marco Rubio??? You begin to wonder if Democrats can even play this game… "

Joy-Ann Reid, of The Reid Report.

Peter Schorsch and I both have touched on this. Let me use a sports term. Florida Republicans can ball and the Democrats can't. Republicans will tell voters what they stand for. No one has any doubt that Marco Rubio will cut corporate taxes and is against abortion. Democrats literally run from what they are suppose to stand for. There is the infamous moment of Alex Sink walking away from a question about the health care public option.

Voters want to see candidates stand for something. Rubio has horrible policy positions. Rubio sells being anti-choice and anti-gay as being principled. Florida Democrats let Rubio get away with his unprincipled social positions because they avoid bringing up the subject. Kendrick Meek didn't make gay rights a campaign issue until Charlie Crist supported gay adoption.

The Florida Democratic Party sends out rapid response emails everyday about what is wrong with the Republican Party of Florida. Politically, attacking the opposition is fair game within the bounds of reason. What we aren't hearing from the Florida Democratic establishment is new ideas. Rubio's "100 Ideas" was nothing more than a political gimmick The (false) message voters were receiving is Republicans have proposals. What is the Florida Democratic Party's message besides Republicans are bad. I and other progressive bloggers buy the message. The voters of Florida aren't the Florida Progressive Coalition. The voters need a reason to vote for Democratic candidates.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Otis Redding - Change Gonna Come

The perfect song for a Friday night.

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Morning Joe on Obama's Daily Show Appearance

You know President Barack Obama's Daily Show appearance was a failure when Arianna Huffington and Joe Scarborough both are on how horrible it was.

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Crist Asked Meek To Dropout

Kendrick Meek confirms to the Wall Street Journal that Charlie Crist personally asked him to dropout of the Senate race.

Mr. Meek was scheduled to speak at AIPAC about 8:30 and Mr. Crist at 10, but the governor showed up an hour early in hopes of catching the congressman.

Mr. Meek said he tried to avoid Mr. Crist, but as he left the stage, “there he was, right in front of me.”

“He said, ‘If you were to drop out and work with me and help me we together can beat Marco Rubio,’” Mr. Meek recalled. “I said, ‘Governor, that’s a non-starter.’

“Then he dug down into his pocket and pulled a small cross out,” Mr. Meek continued. “He said his sister gave it to him and he wanted to give it to me so I would think about it.”

Crist has publicly said he didn't ask Meek to quit the race. Everyone seems to be contradicting the story of other players involved in this disaster. The Marco Rubio campaign must be laughing their asses off right now.

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60 Seconds With Charlie Justice

Charlie Justice appeared on Tampa's WFLA to ask voters to support him over incumbent Bill Young.



CNN video of Bill Clinton, Kendrick Meek and Charlie Crist statements on Dropout-Gate. Clinton denies urging Meek to dropout. Clinton said Meek brought up the subject. Meek says he was always in the race. Crist denies trying to initiate any of the camps to force Meek to quit. My question is why should we believe anything said by any of the parties.

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Quote of the Day

"Does the 'Charlie Crist 2012 merch go in the same landfill as the "Patriots 19-0" merch? Or a different landfill?"

Dave Weigel, on Twitter.

I look forward to the Charlie Crist and Ralph Nader debates in front of dozens of people.

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Kenneth Quinnell's Silence

The last thing Kenneth Quinnell blogged about Kendrick Meek was campaigning with basketball star Dwyane Wade. Quinnell has left comments at this blog and The Reid Report on posts about Democratic insiders attempting to get Meek to quit. There have been different versions of the story from the Meek, Clinton and Crist camps. The White House may or may not have been involved.

It is no secret the Quinnell once worked for the Meek campaign. Even after Quinnell left the campaign he was still using the Florida Progressive Coalition blog to do push back for Meek. Part of that push back was against this blog. Pushing Rope is read by members of the Florida media, political activists, and Democratic Party insiders. I was the first Florida blogger to declare the Meek campaign officially dead in May. Quinnell constantly "fact-checked" me and said I was wrong about Meek not having the support of Democratic voters and the establishment. Meek is currently polling around 40 percent with Democratic voters and the White House was willing to let Meek drop out. This is hardly the makings of a candidate whose campaign is on fire.

I bashed Meek, Quinnell and Abe Dyk because they make it easier for Republicans to win. Barack Obama won Florida in 2008 and Democrats had a huge registered voter advantage. Yet Democrats did not gain one seat in the Florida legislature. Peter Schorsch pointed that we are looking at the possibility of Republicans winning the entire cabinet and having super-majorities in the Florida House and Senate. How can I play cheerleader when people are talking about the ethically-challenged Jim Norman as a possible future Senate President?

I think Quinnell means well, but he is too inside the Florida Democratic Party to point out its problems. People bash Jane Hamsher and Kos for being too critical of Democrats. I understand that the party will never be perfect and not every piece of legislation will be to our liking. I don't think progressive blogs should become the left-wing version of Fox News and say the Democratic Party is perfect. Quinnell may not see his blogging on Meek that way. Quinnell is too close to the Meek campaign to be objective.

Early polling shows Republicans coming out in greater force to vote. The Florida Democratic Party is going to have to realize their model for running campaigns is broken. Republicans run superior campaigns in Florida. When Florida Democrats can beat the Republican campaign model is when I will start cheering.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clinton Confirms Talks With Meek

I have a lengthy post on Bill Clinton asking Kendrick Meek to dropout. Dave Hoffman of the Meek campaign originally confirmed the story.

Dave Hoffman said “that was discussed, yeah,” but Hoffman denied that Meek had ever agreed to drop out.

Hoffman said he could not characterize what Clinton said, but then said, “I think ’suggest’ is probably the best … not ’suggest’ … but that (getting out) was discussed yeah.”

Hoffman said the issue was raised as, “Hey, if you want to do this … That was more of the nature of the conversation.”

Hoffman said Meek “never agreed to drop out” and was committed to fighting through Election Day.

Meek and members of his campaign attempted to walk back their own confirmation.

"The president came down to do an event for me in Orlando and St. Petersburg. We talk politics all the time. He said I heard this thing about you getting out. I said, 'I'm not getting out.' I said Charlie Crist needs to get out of the race. And that was that," Meek said.

Clinton confirmed to CNN that he discussed with Meek ending the campaign.

“He was trying to determine what was the best thing for him to do,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Susan Candiotti Thursday. “I knew it was being discussed, people had discussed it on and off… it was no secret.”

Clinton said Meek did not have enough money to break through in the polls.

Clinton confirms the Politico story that he talked with Meek twice about dropping out. The article is a teaser for a CNN interview airing tomorrow.

Clinton's aide Matt McKenna went on-the-record with Politico that Clinton was pressing Meek to dropout. An off-the-record White House official told the Miami Herald said the Obama administration was aware of what was going on.

A White House official said the administration did not initiate talks between Meek and Clinton but was "aware" and ``in the position to let it play out" out of concerns about Rubio winning.

Meek is going to have to deal with the most popular politician in America telling CNN that he is lying about conversations they had. The CNN interview that will air is not going to play well for Meek.

Meek would have never been a Senate candidate if Clinton had not endorsed him. Now Clinton is effectively ending his political career. Is anyone going to take Meek seriously after this atrocious campaign?

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Strange Charlie Crist Interview

This is a bizarre interview. Charlie Crist said he talked to members of the White House about his campaign. Greta Van Susteren asked Crist who did he speak to. Crist refused to name names. Crist either did or didn't speak to any members of the White House political team. Crist should know better to put it out there. The media is going to want to know which Obama officials he spoke to. If Crist can't say on-the-record that is what off-the-record conversations are for. IfCrist never had these conversations than it is horrible strategy to make false claims on-the-record.

This Senate race today has become the acid trip scene in Easy Rider.

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Glenn Reynolds Staying Classy

This is the headline for a link on Glenn Reynolds' InstaPundit.

FLORIDA: Clinton pushed the black guy to get out.

The headline to the Politico article Reynolds links to.

Bill Clinton pushed Kendrick Meek to quit Florida race

Reynolds makes the suggest to his conservative readers that Clinton pressed Meek to drop out because he was black. There is nothing in the Politico article to support Reynolds claim.

Reynolds has a history of condoning racism. Reynolds defended this photoshop image of Obama as a shoeshine boy not being racist because Rush Limbaugh was a shoeshine boy. We all know Limbaugh would never say or do anything racist. Not if you count every episode of Limbaugh's radio show.


UPDATE: Or is it racist? Rush Limbaugh actually was a shoeshine boy. Yeah the racial stereotype is a bit shaky — when I was a kid I knew older brothers of friends who did that; even in Birmingham, Alabama they were white. By the time I was a teenager, of course, shoeshines were on the way out.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Boy, bend over backwards to avoid accusing a Democrat of racism and what do you get? Slagged by Charles Johnson. Oh, well. That’s what I get for my generosity, these days . . . .

Reynolds received flak for the post and updated it to say it was racist. Reynolds quickly backed down after people were pointing out that he came off as a racist jerk. Reynolds' statement of bending "over backwards to avoid accusing a Democrat of racism" is a false meme about the photoshop coming from the Left. Blogger Charles Johnson catches Reynolds in this lie and links to the right-wing blog that first posted the image.

Reynolds could care less about real racism. He wants to use any means he can to attack Democrats. Reynolds furthers racism by falsely accusing others and defending those that perpetuate it.

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Quote of the Day

"45 percent of NPR listeners were Saddam Hussein."

Karl Rove, using one of his usual inflammatory attacks.

This is the same kind of baseless attack Rove used on the political campaign he run. It doesn't even make sense. A certain amount of NPR listeners (plural) are a single deceased third world dictator. The only way for Rove's statement to be accurate is if NPR brought Saddam Hussein back from the dead. Statements such as this is why Rove should not be taken seriously as a mainstream pundit.

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The Hypocrisy of Anti-Abortionists

A man and his wife went to an abortion clinic because their baby was likely to be born stillborn. The fetus has no bladder and kidneys. Two abortion protesters yelled at the man's wife and made her feel worse. The husband came out and the protesters them why they yelled at his wife. The protesters threatened to call the police. The man pointed out he was on public property just like they were. The protesters did not want to be videotaped. The man pointed out that these woman had no problem publicly holding anti-abortion signs. The hypocrisy and insensitivity of anti-choicers never fails to amaze me.

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Kendrick Meek Zombie Watch: Clinton Asked Meek to Drop Out

Bill Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna confirmed to Politico that the former President asked Kendrick Meek to drop out and endorse Charlie Crist. Clinton asked Meek to drop out during October 19 and 20. Another source told Politico that Meek agreed to drop out.

“It was a completely done deal,” one source said.

The Crist, Meek and Clinton camps even set a date for an endorsement rally: the following Tuesday, October 26. Meek was to give Crist his blessing and explain to his disappointed supporters – many of whom deeply distrust the governor, who was elected as a Republican – that their votes could save the Senate for the Democrats and save America from the rise of Rubio, who is viewed both as a hard-line conservative and a potential national figure.

Doug Band served as the intermediary between Meek and Crist, and Clinton. It seems Stephen Moore's Wall Street Journal article may have been closer to the truth than expected by many. (Including myself.) The date of Moore's article is 11 days before Clinton first asked Meek to drop out.Team Meek would not respond to Politico's request for an interview. That is a clear sign they do not want to go on-the-record refuting a story that is true.

Obviously, Meek changed his mind. What is interesting is Clinton's endorsement cleared the path for Meek nomination and thereby killing any chance of Democratics picking up the Senate seat. Even Clinton came to the conclusion that Meek's campaign was hopeless. I wish Clinton realized this before endorsing Meek.

Update: Crist Crist campaign spokesman Danny Kanner confirmed to Joy-Ann Reid that the Politico story is true.

“While this story is accurate, the Governor’s focus is on uniting common-sense Democrats, independents, and Republicans behind his campaign because he is the one candidate who can defeat Tea Party extremist Marco Rubio and deliver bipartisan results for Florida in Washington.”

Update: Eric Jotkoff of the Florida Democratic Party released this statement.

“Kendrick Meek is the only candidate who has fought for middle class families, he is the only candidate who stood up to George W. Bush’s attempts to privatize Social Security, and is the only one who has always showed up to defend our Democratic values by standing up to the extremist Republicans. Because Kendrick Meek is the leader we need in the U.S. Senate to fight for us, the Florida Democratic Party is proud to continue fighting to elect Kendrick Meek to the U.S. Senate so he can continue working for everyday Floridians and to bring jobs to the Sunshine State,” said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman.

The press release doesn't mention the Politico article. It is pointless to do push back against factual statements. It appears the D.C. establishment is torpedoing Meek in the hopes of holding onto the Senate majority. The internal polling numbers must be horrible for the Senate races.

Update: RNC chairman Michael Steele is suddenly a Kendrick Meek fan.

"One can only imagine the response if GOP leadership tried to force out...a qualified black candidate like Kendrick Meek”

Steele will find out when the Republican establishment won't let him have a second term at the RNC.

Update: Dave Hoffman from the Meek campaign confirmed part of the Politico story. Hoffman contends that Meek never agreed to drop out. Hoffman does confirm Clinton brought up the subject of Meek dropping out.

Dave Hoffman said “that was discussed, yeah,” but Hoffman denied that Meek had ever agreed to drop out.

Hoffman said he could not characterize what Clinton said, but then said, “I think ’suggest’ is probably the best … not ’suggest’ … but that (getting out) was discussed yeah.”

Hoffman said the issue was raised as, “Hey, if you want to do this … That was more of the nature of the conversation.”

Hoffman said Meek “never agreed to drop out” and was committed to fighting through Election Day.

Update: Peter Schorsch tweeted this.

Kendrick Meek to hold, um, emergency press conference tonight at 9:30.

I am not a Charlie Crist fan. That being said, the best chance to keep Marco Rubio from gaining a Senate seat is for Meek to drop out. I'm not counting on it. Meek seems content on burning his bridges with the Democratic establishment. I have said this repeatedly and said by it. Meek does not have the support of the Democratic establishment and voters. The Politico leak was designed to force Meek out of the race. Democrats don't love Crist. They are terrified of Rubio becoming a major political star.

Update: Joy-Ann Reid blogs that Meek is denying Hoffman's confirmation that Clinton discussed dropping with him. McKenna and the Crist campaign have gone on-the-record on this. So has Meek's own campaign. Meek is denying conversations with Clinton that his campaign confirmed. If you want proof that the entire Meek campaign has been amateur hour then look no further than this. This shitty campaign's confusing message during the entire cycle can be blamed on a man who has no business running in a statewide race.

Update: Meek statement to CNN.

"The president came down to do an event for me in Orlando and St. Petersburg. We talk politics all the time. He said I heard this thing about you getting out. I said, 'I'm not getting out.' I said Charlie Crist needs to get out of the race. And that was that," Meek said.

That doesn't sound like an actual conversation. That sounds like Meek's increasingly passive aggressive campaign rhetoric. Remember Meek yelling during a debate that he is 6'4 and Senators would have to go through him in order to change Social Security. Is Meek going to challenge Chuck Grassley to a fight? The guy has a temper as bad as John McCain's.

Update: Campaign manager Abe Dyk is now walking back Hoffman's confirmation. This is like watch a car crash in slow motion.

"The article is not true. Kendrick Meek was never dropping out of this race, is never dropping out of this race, and will never drop out of this race. Kendrick Meek will always stand up for the middle class and will not leave Floridians a choice between two lifelong conservative Republicans who only stand with the special interests. Kendrick is the Democratic nominee so if anyone should drop out, it's Charlie Crist,” said Meek campaign manager Abe Dyk.

The problem for Dyk and the Meek campaign is two sources confirmed to Jake Tapper of ABC News that Clinton asked Meek to drop out. It is hard for Team Meek to do push back when people within the Democratic Party are telling the media the story is true.

From Beth Reinhard of the Miami Herald.

"I am running. The press report was inaccurate at best."

And he's losing in the polls.

Meek is already a zombie candidate. I didn't think it could get worse. Boy, was I wrong.

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Obama Will Not Give Up On Bipartisanship

President Barack Obama met with progressive bloggers Duncan Black, Joe Sudbay, John Amato and Oliver Willis. Obama told the bloggers that he is a "stubborn guy" and will continue to push for bipartisanship with Republicans.

THE PRESIDENT: Look, the -- I’m a pretty stubborn guy when it comes to, on the one hand, trying to get cooperation. I don’t give up just because I didn’t get cooperation on this issue; I’ll try the next issue. If the Republicans don’t agree with me on fiscal policy, maybe they’ll agree with me on infrastructure. If they don’t agree with me on infrastructure, I’ll try to see if they agree with me on education.

So I’m just going to keep on trying to see where they want to move the country forward.

Republican have floated the possibility of shutting down government.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland

"The government shut down," said Westmoreland -- and the crowd started cheering. "That's what I wanted to hear! A good clap for that!"

The previous government shutdown was a political disaster for Newt Gingrich and made Bill Clinton look like the serious adult. Fortunately, John Boehner realizes this and stated Republicans will not shut down the federal government. Republicans have made it clear they will not pass anything. Republicans filibustered the bill helping small busineeses get loans and tax cuts. Republicans have traditionally supported business tax cuts and easier access to credit. The filibuster was merely about destroying Obama politically. Democrats were able to break the filibuster with the vote of retiring Sen. George Voinovich.

This isn't just political rhetoric from Obama. He actually believes he can get bipartisanship from Republicans. A Democratic strategist A Democratic strategist told David Corn that Obama refused to give up on bipartisanship during the crafting of the health care bill. The result was zero Republican votes for the final product.

It took "so goddamn long," of course, partly because the president and his aides were overly deferential to Congress—especially to a few Senate Republicans they were trying to rope in. "We told the White House repeatedly," says the Democratic Senate strategist, "that it was a mistake to think they could negotiate with Republicans. They never listened."

Obama's first two years have been a huge disappointment. If Obama continues to buy his own 2008 news clippings of being a transcendiary figure then he will accomplish nothing. Obama's bipartisanship has achieved health care reform that gives insurers a greater monopoly, financial reform that did not force the major investment banks to pay into a fund in the event they bailout and an energy bill that advocated more offshore drilling. All of these terrible corporate-friendly policies Republicans filibustered merely for midterm election gains. That is what Obama's bipartisanship has accomplished.

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Heather Beaven's Closing Argument

Democratic Congressional candidate Heather Beaven makes her final pitch to voters. Having George McGovern in the ad is a nice touch. Holding a wine glass makes Beaven look like a limousine liberal.

Beaven has run a decent campaign and is light years better than her Republican opponent John Mica. Unfortunately, this is probably not Beaven's year with the disorganization of the Florida Democratic establishment and voter anger at the economy. My hope is the Democratic establishment doesn't cast Beaven off if she loses. Beaven has increased her name recognition in a race that most people originally wrote off. Beaven is young, female and a military veteran. She is exactly the kind of candidate the Democratic Party needs more of.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eco-friendly Kitty Litter

Katie Machol at The Daily Loaf has great tips about using kitty litter in environmentally friendly ways. Machol suggests reusing kitty litter to soak up oil and fill in holes. She also suggests using wood chips and old newspapers as kitty litter. I do feel Machol is stretching things by suggesting to have your cat use the toilet. Good luck trying to train your cat to do that.

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Young Republicans Obama Attack Ad

Apparently, the Young Republicans think Obama's young Democratic supporters behave like Tweens. You see one girl stomping her feet. Is she mad aat Obama or not being able to get Justin Bieber tickets? The ad doesn't portray twentysomethings realistically. The Republicans that made this ad apparently think young Americans voted for Obama because Ashton Kutchner was a supporter. Does anyone know 3 twentysomethings that actually give a shit about Kutchner.

The actors in ad complain that Obama didn't bring progressive change. My question is are the Young Republicans trying to get twentysomethings like Ezra Klein to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012? A party that supports abstinence-only sex education is going to have a hard time reaching out to the hook up generation.

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Campaign Dollars Matter More Than Women to Rand Paul

Litbrit has a great post on the media's fair and balanced coverage of Rand Paul supporter Tim Profitt's assault on a protester Lauren Valle.

The kudzu-like proliferation of Both-Sides-ism that has all but choked off any hope of redemption, via committing real journalism (ha!), for just about every pundit, pretty face, and "reporter" these days is why I had to stop watching Morning Joe altogether. Joe Scar and Mica are, I believe, contractually obligated to say "...and we hear rhetoric like this on both sides" or "...this is a problem with both parties" or "extremists on the far right AND the far left", and so on, after any and every story in which wingnuts might conceivably look bad (which is to say, virtually all stories in which the powerful hurt the less-so, and you have to pity the poor Villagers because there's really no way to temper the sheer viciousness and lawlessness of these people other than to make vague allusions to George Soros and the incivility of lefty blogs while counting the hours until your next Georgetown cocktail party).

First: the two wrongs make a right argument is lame. No one on the Left or Right should use violence to suppress a person's right to free speech. Second: Valle was a peaceful protester. She was taken down by several men and Profitt slammed his foot into her head as she was on the pavement. I do not believe for a second that Valle posed a physical threat to these men. This was assault. Plain and simple.

Profitt wasn't just any Tea Partier. He was Paul's Bourbon County coordinator. Team Paul has kicked Profitt off the campaign because of the bad media buzz. Paul is still keeping his $1,950 campaign contribution. Previously, the Paul campaign told Fox News that they would return Profitt's contribution.

Money matters more than protecting women from assault. A true profile in courage from Rand Paul Paul.

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Ethics Report on Mike Haridopolos

Incoming Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos failed to properly lists assets on his financial disclosure form. Political candidates and office holders must make their earnings and assets public. Haridopolos failed to properly list the value of his home and mortgage. Haridopolos actually claims the value his higher because of renovations.

Haridopolos failed to disclose property and mortage on a 2005 CE form. In 2004, Haridopolos did not list an automobile worth $20,000. In 2006, income from a job at the University of Florida was not listed.

I'm going through this now. This is a mess and it appears the State Commission of Ethics will do a further investigation into Haridopolos finances. Below is the State Commission of Ethics report. I will update this post after I dig deeper into the report.


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A Bad Sign

Peter Schorsch documents the Pinellas County winning strategy. Rearranging the campaign signs in the yard of the party's headquarters.

I know you are not going to believe this, but these clowns actually mocked-up a layout of where each sign should go.

I'm a believer. These party members believe that they swing the vote of a passing a pedestrian or motorist based on where a sign is strategically placed. I'm sorry, but I don't see Lew Williams getting a sudden wave of support because of sign placement. I also have to wonder what flee market did they get the Alex Sink sign from.

I wrote earlier today on how the Florida Democratic establishment makes it easier for Republicans to win. This doesn't make me more optimistic.

Update: the Pinellas County Democratic Party is having a victory party on November 2. Hopefully, they will have something to celebrate.

Time: Tuesday, November 2
7:30pm - 10:00pm

Location: Holiday Inn,
3535 Ulmerton Road,
Clearwater, FL

Free Event - Cash Bar.

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Crist & Rubio Heckler Moment

I don't want Marco Rubio anywhere near the United States Senate. I will admit that as a politician he has game. Rubio was able to brush off Charlie Crist's attack on the Republican Party of Florida credit card controversy with a great one-liner.

Rubio: I never had a heckler at the debate. I always had them in the audience.

The context of Crist's attack is correct. Rubio has not been transparent about his use of the state party's American Express card. I like to hear Rubio give an explanation for how these expenses were used to help get Republicans elected.

• $765 at Apple's online store for "computer supplies."

• $25.76 from Everglades Lumber for "supplies."

• $53.49 at Winn-Dixie in Miami for "food."

• $68.33 at Happy Wine in Miami for "beverages'' and "meal."

• $78.10 for two purchases at Farm Stores groceries in suburban Miami.

• $412 at All Fusion Electronics, a music equipment store in Miami, for "supplies."

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Kendrick Meek Zombie Watch: More Crist Democratic Endorsements

Two more Democrats abandon the sinking ship known that is the Kendrick Meek campaign. Palm Beach County Commissioners Burt Aaronson and Shelley Vana have officially endorsed Charlie Crist. The Crist campaign released this statement.

“I am honored by the courageous and generous support of Palm Beach County Commissioners Burt Aaronson and Shelley Vana. The priority of common sense Democrats, Republicans, and independents must be stopping Tea Party extremist Marco Rubio from taking his anti-senior, anti-woman, anti-teacher agenda to the United States Senate, and these two fine leaders understand that. Florida has a once in a lifetime opportunity to change our nation’s capital forever by sending an independent to Washington, and it’s critical we not let that pass us by.”

Earlier this month Aaronson attempted to ask Kendrick Meek to quit the Senate race. Meek caught wind that Palm Beach Democratic clubs were going to ask him to quit. The Real Dem ducked the meeting.

It is hard to be the Real Dem when Democratic elected official are endorsing the NPA candidate. State Representatives Yolly Roberson, Rep. Luis Garcia, Maria Sachs, and Darryl Rouson have endorsed Crist.

Florida Sen. Minority leader Al Lawson's endorsement was big news.

Former Florida Democratic Party chairman Charles Whitehead, Congressman Robert Wexler, the Palm Beach County Democrats and Robert Kennedy Jr have also endorsed Crist.

Immigration Equality and the Florida Pipe Trades have endorsed Crist over Meek. The Sierra Club endorsed both Crist and Meek. The latter refused to accept the endorsement. Team Meek can't say Crist endorsements don't mean anything and then behave childishly when they have to share an endorsement.

The Florida Democratic establishment should study the Meek campaign as an example of how not to run a statewide race. Republicans want Democrats to keep running candidates like Meek. It makes it easier the the GOP to win elections. If you don't believe me then find Republican establishment member that feared a Meek candidacy in 2009. Ask a GOP operative if Republicans feared the Democratic All-Star team of Jim Davis, Skip Campbell or Eric Copeland in 2006. The most likely answer will be laughter.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Conservative Tweets That Read Like The Onion

Amanda Carpenter posted hysterical tweets on Marco Rubio here, here and here. Because Twitter only allows 140 characters. Carpenter had to break up her post into separate tweets. I edited them together.

"While cooking dinner I had a vision of Rubio giving a speech on conservative values and economic opportunity to Latino union workers in AZ in Spanish. That could be pretty moving, no?"

I laughed my ass off when I read the tweets. The sad thing is Carpenter was not being sardonic. Carpenter works as the senior communications adviser and speechwriter for the Jim DeMint campaign.

Rubio surports Arizona's anti-immigration law and is against card check. Rubio speaking to Hispanic union members in Arizona would go over about as well as Alan Keyes at an NAACP forum.

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'I'm Not A Witch' Remix

If you were one of the people who watched Christine O'Donnell's "I'm Not A Witch" ad and thought it would be even better with a funky beat you are in for a treat. Youtube user Tekrokker has created this gem.

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Quote of the Day

"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Mitch McConnell

This is the entire Republican agenda and why they are obstructing everything Obama is trying to do. McConnell didn't say the "single most important thing" the GOP wanted to do was create jobs, reduce the deficit or even the standard lower taxes. Beating Obama in 2012 is their focus. The problems of the nation are secondary.

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Is Peter Schorsch Backing Charlie Crist

Peter Schorsch of Saint Petersblog reprinted an entire Charlie Crist campaign email. The email states that Crist is within "striking distance" of opponent Marco Rubio. These campaign emails always portray their candidates in the best positive light. What is interesting is that Schorsch provides a link to the campaign webpage to contribute to Crist.

Schorsch seemed resigned to the fact that Rubio will be Florida's next Senator. Schorsch has greater respect for Rubio's intelligence than I do. He believes Rubio could be "the next Barry Goldwater." Actually, Goldwater helped force President Richard Nixon to resign and supported gay rights. Rubio has never been accused of being an anti-corruption or gay rights advocate.

Schorsch's blog post reads like a free advertisement for Team Crist. I wonder if Schorsch is sensing Democratic voters leaving Meek and is hoping Crist can pull an upset. Fess up Peter. Curious minds want to know. Actually, just me.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Rand Paul Protesters Attack Woman

A news report of a member being attacked by Rand Paul supporters. The angry mentality of the Tea Party activists has gotten out of hand. A group of men attack a defenseless woman is the epitome of cowardliness.

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Arcade Fire - We Used to Wait

The mind-blowing Arcade Fire performance at Madison Square Garden. Winn Butler goes into the crowd to sing We Used to Wait. Arcade Fire is known for performing in the audience. I wonder how they will still be able to do that as they get more popular.

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Kendrick Meek Zombie Watch: Real DEM Says Bye to DEM Voters

I wrote a post on Democratic voters leaving Kendrick Meek. Kenneth Quinnell decided to fact-check my post.


"Also, your post says "Democrats Flee the Real Dem," despite the fact that Meek's numbers are about as high as they've been in the entire election cycle."

State of Sunshine blogger Jim Johnson had fun putting Quinnell's nonsense to rest.

"Ummm... polling shows that Meek is getting around 40% of Dems. That is not "as high as they've been" since he did win the primary."

You're referring to his apallingly low overall vote numbers. Marco Rubio has to be quite pleased that Meek is staying in this race. I have as much change of winning the Senate seat as Kendrick Meek."

Quinnell also maintains that Marco Rubio "beat" Crist even though the latter never ran in the Republican primary.

When I parse words, it's for the sake of more clarity and accuracy, which isn't quite what you did here. While it may be technically true that Rubio didn't beat Crist, in reality he did beat him, since the fact that Rubio was winning is why Crist left the party and went indy.

Kenneth, when you parse words is because you want to them to fit your own narrative. The truth is the latest Zogby poll is evidence that Democrats are leaving Meek.

Rubio - 39.6 percent

Crist - 33.3 percent

Meek - 18.1 percent

During this campaign cycle, I noticed one can tell if Team Meek is concerned by how stupid they sound.

“This race is ... not about polls, and the Democrats will come home making Kendrick Meek the next U.S. senator,” Dyk said.

Actually, Democrats may decide Meek doesn't have a chance and instead vote for Crist. The latest Public Policy Polling numbers (a Democratic firm) show Crist pulling away from Meek.

Rubio - 44 percent

Crist - 33 percent

Meek - 21 percent

The Quinnell narrative is bogus. Meek is losing Democratic support. A Mason-Dixon poll from earlier this month shows Meek with 42 percent to Crist's 37 percent support with Democratic voters. The difference narrowed from 9 percent to 5 percent. It is a joke when the "Real Dem" cannot pull over 80 percent of Democratic voters.

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Obama: Horrible Dealmaker

Stories like did where Obama actually believed his bipartisan spin is always amazing. Didn't Obama pay attention to the Republicans he served with in the Senate? Remember all that time the White House wasted trying to win the health care votes from people like Charles "Death Panel" Grassley. A Democratic strategist told David Corn that the White House was repeatedly warned that they would never get any Republican support.

It took "so goddamn long," of course, partly because the president and his aides were overly deferential to Congress—especially to a few Senate Republicans they were trying to rope in. "We told the White House repeatedly," says the Democratic Senate strategist, "that it was a mistake to think they could negotiate with Republicans. They never listened."

Sen. Mike Enzi admitted he only worked with Democrats to delay the health care bill.

"If I hadn't been involved in this process as long as I have and to the depth as I have, you would already have national health care."

The only vote the White House ever got was Olympia Snowe in the Finance Committee. Her vote wasn't needed for passage. Snowe and every Republican voting against the final health care legislation. I wonder if Obama still believes in bipartisanship.

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Some Good Economic News

Via Saint Petersblog:the graph with the national debt over the years. As you can see the debt goes down when Democratic presidents are in office. The national debt is now at $5 trillion.

Under Obama the deficit has actually gone down from a year ago.

The excess of spending over revenue totaled $90.5 billion last month, smaller than the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and down 13 percent from $103.6 billion in August 2009, according to a Treasury Department report issued today in Washington. The gap for the fiscal year that started in October was $1.26 trillion compared with $1.37 trillion last year at the same time.

Part of the reason spending is down is because of stimulus and TARP money that was used to stabilize the economy last year. The news that the deficit shrunk is good, but there is more that needs to be done. Consumer confidence is down. The lack of hiring creates a smaller tax base. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is expected to release a positive report. However, people are still not optimistic.

David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities, said, "Consumer attitudes have remained gloomy. Although an improvement from September, October's anticipated rise isn't much of an overall improvement."

The economic policies of the Obama administration has bee light years ahead of the Bush administration. The hole the Obama economic team in is huge. Obama would have been better off politically if he took on financial reform at the height of public anger towards Wall Street. Obama instead decided to push forward with health care reform. The result was a political disaster that helps the Republicans during the midterms.

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Quote of the Day

"Now before Clarence McKee and other black Republicans start forwarding this post around, thinking it’s a back-handed endorsement of Jennifer Carroll, allow me to add this: I frankly question the wisdom and character of anyone who would campaign with Rick Scott, a man who might be the most disreputable, despicable, frightening and literally hideous character ever to run for governor of anywhere, since George Wallace had a pulse. Or maybe that Meacham clown in Arizona. I’m frankly embarrassed for Ms. Carroll and for the other black Republicans standing with a man who is arguably, no actually, a crook, and who has spent his entire life fighting to deny health insurance to the young, the old, and the poor. If I was her, I would question whether the access to power is worth it."

Joy-Ann Reid, of The Reid Report.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Reid isn't voting for Rick Scott. It is just a guess on my part.

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Campaign for Accountability Event

The Tampa branch of Organizing For America will be canvassing and making phone calls to help get the vote out. Here is some information if you wish to participate.

What: Campaign for Accountability Event

Where: South Tampa Office
3009 W. Barcelona st.
Tampa, FL 33629

When: Wednesday, October 27th
10:00 am

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New Heather Beaven Ad

Democratic Congressional candidate Heather Beaven has released the ad "Three Facts." The ad is a negative attack against opponent John Mica. The ad is okay, but not great. Beaven has run a good campaign in what has been a safely conservative district. Beaven has the backing of the Democratic Party establishment. Does anybody have recent poll numbers of the Beaven/Mica 7th district race. I can't find recent poll numbers.

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Birther Rally

What would happen if someone held a birther rally and (almost) no one attended. The result is this wingnuttery. A guy in a Captain America attended. Phillip J. Berg is at podium and questions if Obama was actually sworn in as President. Apparently being sworn in twice wasn't enough. The speaker accuses all the members of Congress of treason.

Berg is also a 9/11 Truther and unsuccessfuly brought a RICO case against the Bush administration. Here is a video of Berg claiming that Bush knew the 9/11 attacks were going to happen. Berg rants on with flimsy evidence about the 9/11 attacks was either an inside job or the Bush administration intentionally let it happen.

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Rail Update

Florida will get another $800 million for the Orlando to Tampa rail project. The state has already received $1.25 billion. Sen. Bill Nelson made the announcement.

“This will ensure the state remains full speed ahead with high-speed rail construction,” Nelson said. “As I’ve said many times, high-speed rail will be a game-changer for Florida’s economy, along the likes of the Interstate system and Disney.”

There are also plans for an Orlando to Miami rail line. $8 million has been allocated. The rail line will need much more money than that. Don't count on Marco Rubio in the Senate earmarking that money into a bill. Unless a crony like Max Alvarez.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio makes her pitch for the rail project.

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Rivera Robo Calls

The David Rivera campaign says it is not sending out early morning and late night robo calls. The problem with this message is that the robocalls use David Rivera's voice and say, "Paid for by David Rivera for Congress." Oops.

The campaign says it has heard about calls made to voters -- especially older voters -- using a recording of Rivera's voice, but are made at "inappropriate hours, including late at night and very early in the morning," said Leslie Veiga, Rivera’s communications director. "These calls are inconsiderate and are not originating from our campaign."

Here is the robo call message.

"Hello, I'm David Rivera, your candidate for Congress. I'm calling to ask you for your vote. I'll fight against Washington's wasteful spending and tax increases. For more information about my candidacy visit or call 305-500-7844. Thank you. Paid for by David Rivera for Congress."

I blame the calls on a robo cyborg from the future trying to stop David Rivera from getting elected before he builds Skynet.

All kidding aside, the phone number is to Rivera's campaign address. I wished the Miami Herald reported where the robo calls came from. Considering all the controversies Rivera is in the robo calls are the least of their problems. However, it does seem that Rivera's campaign is becoming disorganized.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rubio Has Friends In Low Places

Joy-Ann Reid has a lengthy post on Marco Rubio's rise to power in Florida politics and the role Jeb Bush played as his mentor. Reid details how Bush used political leverage to get the Florida Republican establishment. I think the bigger factor was Jim Greer's heavy-handed method of clearing the field for Crist and Bill McCollum. Neither are the Florida GOP's Senante and gubernatorial nominees. I agree with Reid that Bush has played a huge role in Rubio's career. However, the Tea Party wave and Greer's missteps played the major role. If this was 2008 Rubio would have lost the nomination to Crist and Rick Scott would be laughed out of the governor's race.

Reid does accurately name Rubio surrogates. Rubio's cronies reads like a Hall of Shame. Ralph Arza was arrested for leaving a threatening phone message to Gus Barreiro. Arza's message was more fit for an NWA album than from the mouth of an elected official.

You're nothing but a bitch.
You're a bitch.
You're nothing but a bitch.
God bless you, bitch.
Hey, bitch:
You ain't nothing but a bitch.
You ain't nothing but a bitch.
My nigger.

Longtime Rubio friend David Rivera has been investigated by the media for domestic violence allegations. There was the bizarre incident of Rivera's car hitting a mail truck carrying anti-Rivera mailers made by a political opponent. Talking Points Memo has the accident report.

Reid's post is a must-read. Go check it out.

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Trickle Down Economics Doesn't Spur Growth

"Sure. But first of all, it’s not clear that that would add trillions to the deficit, because I really believe that if we expand the base of the economy, which we could do by selectively lowering some taxes, you have a broader base on which to apply the tax."

Pat Toomey, Republican Senate candidate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also stated, "There's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue." Toomey and McConnell are pushing the debunked trickle down economic theory. The reality is the Bush tax cuts created less revenue growth than the Reagan or Clinton administrations.

David Stockman was Ronald Reagan's former director of the Office of Management and Budget. In an interview, Stockman told journalist William Greider that trickle down economics was rebranded supply-side economics. It is hard to sell to the middle class and poor people that tax cuts for the rich will "trickle" down to them.

"It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down,' so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down.' Supply-side is 'trickle-down' theory."

In another interview, Stockman said Reagan intentionally used trickle down economics and increased spending as part of his plan to cut New Deal and Great Society programs he loathed.

Back in 1981 David Stockman was the wonderkid of the Reagan administration–the director of the Office of Management and Budget who’d craft in actual budgets the trickle-down miracle Reagan had promised on the campaign trail: lower budgets, lower spending, higher tax revenue. But trickle-down economics was a wish, not a reality. It’s never worked. Lower taxes don’t generate more revenue. They generate deficits.

Reagan knew it. So did Stockman. So did their guru, Friederich von Hayek. The deficits were intentional all along. They were edsigned to “starve the beast,” meaning intentionally cut revenue as a way of pressuring Congress to cut the New Deal programs Reagan wanted to demolish. “The plan,” Stockman told Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan at the time, ” was to have a strategic deficit that would give you an argument for cutting back the programs that weren’t desired. It got out of hand.”

Reagan mission was the same as Grover Norquist's drown government in a bathtub quote. Reagan and Norquist didn't really believe tax cuts would magically create surpluses. The new generation of Tea Party Republicans coming up learned economics from talk radio, Republican stump speeches and the National Review. The new breed of Republican candidates are so economically stupid that they actually believe the big lie that is trickle down economics. Toomey has a background in banking. Toomey isn't stupid about economic policy. He is just as cynical as Reagan and Norquist.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wingnut of the Day: Joe Arpaio

The New York Times has called Joe Arpaio "America's worst Sheiff." Arpaio certainly qualifies as the strangest after he tweeted that he gave Sarah Palin pink undies. The Justice Department is suing Arpaio for violating civil rights of Hispanics. Arpaio has publicly stated he will not cooperate with the Justice Department investigation. U.S. District Judge Neil Wake ruled that Arpaio's Maricopa County, Arizona jail failed to meet the medical and mental health of the inmates. Arpaio was serving spoiled food to the inmates. Judge Wake ruled the conditions of the jail were unconstitutional.

Arpaio just gets weird by giving Sarah Palin pink undies. Arpaio announced this on Twitter. These is the same underwear Arpaio makes his male inmates wear in order to humiliate them.

Proper etiquette would dictate not given Palin underwear. Arpaio doesn't seem to respect women, the constitution or humane treatment of others. What amazes me is Palin accepted this gift from this clown. If Palin was a real feminist she would have told Arpaio she could not accept his bizarre gift.

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Hysterical Charlie Crist 2008 Video

This video is painful for the Crist and proves Republican politicians will support the most unqualified candidates in their own party. Charlie Crist appeared on CNN's American Morning on October 22, 2008. Crist was asked if Palin was qualified to be President if something was to happen to John McCain. Crist gave a resounding yes.

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Why Jeb Bush Is No A Policy Wonk

Jeb Bush says he would endorsed Sarah Palin if she is the 2012 Republican nominee. Bush then tells John King Republicans must offer 21 century policy proposals on creating jobs,education and lowering health care costs. Bush can not make that statement with any credibility when Florida had the nation's lowest graduation rate two of the years Bush was in office. Bush is also responsible for taking 700,000 poor children off of Kidcare and driving the program into a deficit.

No person with such a resume deserves the policy wonk moniker he never earned. What serious policy wonk on the Left or Right would say he is willing to endorse Sarah Palin. The latter whom thought that health care was part of the TARP bill. If Jeb Bush is willing to publicly say that he would endorse Palin then he could care less about policy.

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Quote of the Day

"Where Marco Rubio started, taking on the establishment, mavericky, going rogue...I'm very very proud and encouraged by Marco."

Sarah Palin, at a Florida rally.

"Going rogue" was the McCain's campaign's description of Palin not staying on message and hurting the campaign. Palin later use the term for her ghost written book Going Rogue." I am not going to even bother with Palin's use of "mavericky."

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Friday, October 22, 2010

David Ramba: Class Act

David Ramba of Voters Response is a David Rivera supporter. Ramba committed act of vindictiveness by sending out a campaign mailer giving out Joe Garcia's personal cell phone number. I have deleted comments after I have received requests from people who had their personal information revealed about them by comments. I take pains not to place information on this blog that would help a nutjob track a person down. There is no excuse for Ramba to make Garcia's phone number public. It is irresponsble and crass.

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How Rick Scott's Base Is Soft

Gary Fineout reported the lates on Rick Scott's self-financed campaign on Twitter.

Rick Scott has put another $3.57 million into his campaign. He has now spent more than $60 mil of his own cash.

Scott narrowly beat primary opponent Bill McCollum and some polls have Alex Sink in the lead. The message is Scott is a horrible candidate. Scott is terried of the media and talks in robot talking points. Scott can not talk about Florida policy issues because he never bothered to study up. That is why Scott has had a cash advantage and hasn't been able to build a big lead against Sink.

Sink has trampled over Scott in terms of fundraising. That says Scott's support is is soft and people do not like to donate their money to a rich guy. Sink is not poor, but she hasn't thrown vast sums of her own money into her campaign. Scott creates the impression he doesn't need to raise money. Win or lose, Scott has blown $60 million of his own money.

Polls here, here, and here as a toss-up. It would help if Sen. Bill Nelson didn't play pollster and say sink will "win by seven points or more." That tells voters that either Sink has an easy road to victory and Democrats can stay home. Another problem is Nelson's statement makes the Democratic establishment sound detached from reality. (Remember Republicans saying there was no insurgency in Iraq.) Democratic voters need to know Marco Rubio's Tea Party stardom is going to turn out Republicans. Democrats need to go to the polls and vote. The Democratic establishment needs to stop stressing there is no problem and play up their underdog role to increase voter turnout.

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3 Boys Farm Update

Congratulations to Litbrit's husband Robert Tornello for winning a 2010 Environmental Leadership award. Tornello received his award from Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson. the 3 Boys Farm blog has pictures of the ceremony. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has a video of 3 Boys Farms environmental-friendly hydroponic farming.

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Friday Dog Blogging

A labrador dog takes his daily swim with a dolphin off the coast off of Ireland.

Hat tip to Nicole Sandler.

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Most Newsworthy Story of the Day

A Fox 5 television reporter in Nevada attempted to ask Sharron Angle a question. Angle "shushed" him. Angle has no business being a United States Senator. She would make a fantastic librarian with her shushing skills.

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David Rivera's 99 Problems

William Barzee, a supporter of Democratic Congressional candidate Joe Garcia has filed an ethics complaint against Republican David Rivera. The complaint contends Rivera falsely claimed on his financial disclosure forms that he worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID has no record of Rivera ever working for the organization.

The ethics complaint

4. Florida law requires Rivera, as a candidate for public office, to provide full, public disclosure of his financial interests, including identification of each separate source and amount of income which exceeds $1,000. See Fla. Const., Art. II, Section 8; Fla. Stat. §§ 99.061,112.3144, 112.3145. A candidate who violates Florida financial disclosure requirements is subject to disqualification from being on the ballot, pursuant to the express provision of Fla. Stat. § 112.317. See also Final Order, Kevin Ambler v. Elections Canvassing Commission of the State of Florida, et al., Case No. 2010-CA-3014 (Fla. 2d Jud. Cir., Oct. 15, 2010) (ordering removal of candidate from ballot based on failure to substantially comply with financial disclosure requirements).

5. Rivera, in sworn financial disclosure forms filed in the years 2003-2009 with the Florida Commission on Ethics, identified the U.S. Agency for International Development (“USAID”), a federal agency that offers aid to developing countries, as a “major source” of income. See Ex. 1 (attached hereto) (Rivera’s financial disclosure forms). Rivera further set forth in those forms that he worked for USAID through Interamerican Government Relations, a Puerto Rican corporation, and Millenium Marketing, a separate business entity, performing “international development consulting.” And, for the past four years, Rivera listed USAID as his only source of income apart from his legislative salary. State ethics rules require lawmakers to publicly disclose any “customer, client or other source of income” that provides more than 10 percent of the total income of the lawmaker’s private business, a requirement designed to alert the legislature and public to potential conflicts of interest.

6. Contrary to Rivera’s sworn filings, however, USAID has no record of ever hiring Rivera or his corporation, as confirmed by USAID Press Officer Annette Aulton. Moreover, since 2003, Rivera has not disclosed his earnings from consulting work, contrary to Florida state ethics rules requiring such reporting by legislators.

7. The Florida Constitution, Article 2, Section 8, and Florida Statutes §§ 99.061, 112.3144, and 112.3145, require the truthful filing of financial disclosure forms as prerequisite for eligibility to be elected to office. As has become clear in the statements and admissions made by Rivera over the course of the past four weeks—and most recently with deficiencies that Rivera acknowledged in his amendment of all financial disclosures forms on October 15, 2010, removing, while failing to expressly explain the basis for removal, of all prior information provided as to major private sources of income—Rivera has substantially failed to comply with these fundamental constitutional and statutory requirements.

It is questionable if the ethics complaint would disqualify Rivera before the general election. Rivera also can appeal if he loses in court. If Rivera is disqualified the local party leaders of Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier counties would chose a replacement candidate.

Politically, the ethics complaint will draw attention to Rivera falsely stating he was paid for consulting work to USAID. Rivera took USAID off of his financial disclosure forms. Rivera's campaign lashed out at Garcia, but they are clearly scared. No other logical reason can explain Team Rivera canceling their Univision debate with Garcia.

Rivera could find himself in the same situation as State Senate candidate Jim Norman. The latter had to testify and admit Republican contributor Ralph Hughes put down $500,000 for a house for Norman and his wife. Norman has been taken off the ballot and is being investigated by the FBI. Rivera is screwed if he has to testify in court.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Husker Du - Ticket To Ride

Husker Du's cover of the Beatles' Ticket To Ride was one of the rarest song to find before the days of the internet.

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Kendrick Meek Zombie Watch: Meek is 'Surging' Talking Point

Sen. Bill Nelson plays pollster. Nelson predicts Kendrick Meek will leapfrog over Charlie Crist in the polls.

"Absolutely not, because I think Kendrick is surging and I think this is going to end up being a race between Kendrick and Marco."

The only thing working against Nelson's prediction is this pesky thing called reality. The TPM Poll Tracker averages out the major polls. Meek is 23.4 percent behind Rubio. Meek has never been in second place in the TPM Poll Tracker. This is a Rubio and Crist race.

New York Times pollster and blogger Nate Silver recently gave Meek 0.6 percent chance of winning. These numbers can hardly be described as "surging."

Not even Gen. David Petraeus could make this surge work. A Public Policy Polling poll show if Crist dropped out Meek would still trail by 7 percent. We could let this Senate race go on another year and Meek still couldn't make his case to voters.

If Meek dropped out Crist and Rubio would be even. Meek will lose no matter what the scenario is. Democrats made a horrible mistake running a candidate who never had a hard race. Running a Congressman with little name recognition against the star power of Rubio and Crist is insanity. Florida Democrats should stop letting Bill Clinton pick cronies for failed Senate runs. Democrats need to field better candidates or will continue to lose.

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