Monday, February 28, 2011

The Replacements - Hold My Life

Tim was one of my favorite albums in high school.

Labels: ,

High-Speed Lawsuit Against Rick Scott

Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) and state Sen. Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) are are preparing for a possible lawsuit against Gov> Rick Scott. Altman told the Miami Herald that Scott did not have to authority to turn down federal rail money. The Orlando to Tampa high-speed rail project had already been approved by former Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida legislature.

“I believe that he exceeded his executive authority and in a very strong sense we have a Constitutional crisis on our hands,” Altman said. Senate Republican leader Andy Gardiner acknowledged there are concerns about the “parameters” of the governor’s use of his executive power. He did not reject the possibility that a fellow caucus member would have a legitimate basis for suing the Republican governor. Altman noted that the Legislature voted to accept the federal money and build high-speed rail in a special session.

“We have a law on the books,” he said, and quoted the portion of the Florida Constitution that reads: “The Governor shall take care that the laws of Florida are faithfully executed.”

“The governor has completely ignored that,” Altman said.

Scott Randolph shared Altman's view that Scott is acting without legislative approval.

"It's time to play hardball," said state Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando. "It's a tough situation for the legislature but I think at some point in members of his own party, are going to have to stand up, and say that we are an independent branch of government and you're going to respect us."

I wouldn't be surprised if Scott reacts to losing the lawsuit by throwing a hissy fit and going back to the private sector. We now have a Governor who is creating a state constitutional crisis by failing to legally honor laws. This isn't governing. This is the reckless behavior of a man too immature to govern.

Labels: , , , , ,

Andrew Sullivan Joins the Daily Beast

Bringing Andrew Sullivan onto The Daily Beast is a brilliant move for Tina Brown. KenInNY at Down With Tyranny thinks Sullivan is a horrible move. From a business perspective: Sullivan will bring in a huge online readership. KenInNY is in the camp of progressives still pissed at Sullivan's neocon blogging. Sullivan has admitted on several occasions that he was wrong. Below is a video of Sullivan telling Robert Wright he is wrong.

Very few bloggers and media figures admit they are wrong. Sullivan owns up big time to his mistakes on Iraq.

Labels: , , , , ,

Op-Ed of the Day

You know Republicans have gone too far when conservative billionaire Richard Scaife is livid over the GOP House of Representatives cutting all funding to Planned Parenthood.

On this issue, Republicans and conservatives are dead wrong.

Abortions are a minor aspect of Planned Parenthood's mission to provide reproductive health care, education and other services to Americans, regardless of income.

More than 90 percent of its work focuses on preventing unintended pregnancies that almost inevitably lead to unwanted, neglected and abused children.

In Pittsburgh and across America, Planned Parenthood offices help people to make better decisions about whether to have children. They help to arrange adoptions for women or couples unable to raise a child but unwilling to end a pregnancy.

Most of their clients are poor Americans who cannot afford birth-control measures that cost as much as $1,500 a month.

Scaife knew Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. The importance of Sanger can not be overstated. Scaife writes that Sanger wanted women to be the "absolute mistress of her own body." Republicans would have government be the final say on reproductive rights.

Zero federal dollars go to Planned Parenthood for abortions. The Hyde amendment forbids federal funds for abortions. Since 2006, only 85 women have had federally covered abortions. These abortions were extreme cases. The Hyde amendment is a rider placed into the Medicaid bill. Democrats never attempt to pull the rider. Unfortunately, the current Democratic leadership does not have Sanger's courage.

Labels: , , ,

Pushing Rope Makes Top 75 FLA Political Twitter Users List

Florida's Top 75+ Political Tweeters

I made the top 75 Florida political tweeters list. Peter Schorsch made the list and used for crunch the numbers. The list isn't 100 percent scientific.

I have been aware lot of political and media people follow my tweets. One of my tweets was mentioned in a Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times article written by Adam Smith. That isn't to say that journalists hang on my every tweet. Far from it. However, there is a level of six degrees of separation between bloggers, journalists, activists and politicians. Schorsch and Joy-Ann Reid of The Reid Report can attest to this. Twitter's social networking makes the surprising relations between liberals, conservatives, bloggers, media and circus freaks more obvious.

Side note: I follow almost every person on Schorsch's top 75 list.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

100,000 Strong in Wisconsin

The Tea Party started as an astroturf movement created by Fox News and corporations against against health care reform. (One the groups was Rick Scott's Conservative for Patients' Rights.) Unions are shrinking in America and President Barack Obama refuses to get involved in the Wisconsin. The media has not put union representatives on-the-air. This is a true grassroots movement.

100,000 people standing in the snow. This is real change.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wisconsin Police Union Unions Protesters

Wisconsin police union members joined protesters in the rotunda of the capital. Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the legislature exempted police officers and firefighters from legislation to end collective bargaining. Walker and fellow Republicans probably concluded going after civil servants who risk their lives everyday is a political loser. The fact that the police union is against the legislation is bad news for Walker.

Labels: , , , ,

Jim Norman Crusade Against Farm Photography

I literally laughed my ass off when I read this.

SB 1246 by Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner. A farm is defined as any land "cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals or the storage of a commodity."

Thank goodness Sen. Norman wants to put a stop to the wave of farm photography. I have no doubt this will make Alex Pickett's Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation.

The text of SB 1246.

Section 1. 
(1) A person who enters onto a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.

(2) A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.

(3) As used in this section, the term “farm” includes any tract of land cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals, or the storage of a commodity.

There are already laws against trespassing. The bill also makes it illegal to film a farm off the grounds of the property. Judy Dalglish had the best legal summary of the bill.

Judy Dalglish, executive director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said shooting property from a roadside or from the air is legal. The bill "is just flat-out unconstitutional not to mention stupid," she said.

We are talking about the the same Jim Norman who thought people wouldn't find out about longtime campaign contributor Ralph Hughes buying Norman's wife a house. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Norman never had read the First amendment. Arresting people for taking photographs will never hold up in the courts.

Labels: , , ,

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Come Undone

Amazing live version of this song.

Labels: , ,

Why Obama's Political Future is In Trouble

President Obama delivers a horrible weekly address. The President makes the claim that Republicans don't want to shutdown the government. This is a horribly stupid tactic. Republicans do want to shutdown government and when they do the GOP can replay Obama's statement.

Next week, Congress will focus on a short-term budget. For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail. Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have said they believe it’s important to keep the government running while we work together on a plan to reduce our long-term deficit.

The Obama White House has been giving happy talk about how a government shutdown was not going to happen. Now President Obama is urging Republicans to do what is in the President's best political interest. Obama has triangulated himself to take the blunt of the blame for a government shutdown. Obama's political cowardice is what helped the Republican Party pick up seats in 2010.

If Obama maintains his current political strategy and unemployment maintains at 9 percent, he will be a one-term president. Obama campaigned on improving the economy and winning the war in Afghanistan. Sec. of Defense Robert Gates said U.S. troops will be Afghanistan until 2014. The GDP needs to grow at 5 percent a month to even start to make a dent in unemployment. The GDP hasn't hit 3 percent in ages. The American electorate is not the blogosphere. Mainstream voters won't support the status quo Obama is maintaining.

Labels: ,

Newt Gingrich Talks Impeachment of Obama

"Congress has every responsibility to demand President Obama live up to his constitutional obligations, but impeachment is clearly not an appropriate action."

Newt Gingrich, on Obama's order to the Justice Department not fight to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Newt really wants attention. government attorneys on the local, state and federal levels make decisions all the time on not taking cases. If Gingrich was honest about his statement then he would wholeheartedly support Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the Bush administration over torture.

Yet, we hear nothing from Gingrich on waterboarding. Apparently, Filegate was a bigger constitutional crisis then torture. Newt isn't sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you said a minute ago that it was torture, waterboarding…

GINGRICH: No, I said it’s not something we should do.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Is it torture or not?

GINGRICH: I — I — I think it’s — I can’t tell you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does it violate the Geneva Convention?

GINGRICH: I honestly don’t know.

Newt on Filegate.

"When you have an agency (the F.B.I.) that turns 900 personnel files over to people like [ex-White House security chief) Craig Livingstone and doesn't protect those files ... it's very hard to justify giving that agency more power," Gingrich said on Fox News Sunday.

President Obama made it clear that the Defense of Marriage Act is still law and will be enforced. What Obama won't do is argue the legality of DOMA. Obama finally came to the conclusion that DOMA violates the equal protection clause of the 14 amendment.

These days Gingrich is talking about a government shutdown and impeachment of a sitting president. I don't remember those brilliant ideas working out well for former Speaker Gingrich.

Labels: , , , ,

Reality to White House: Freshmen Republicans Want Government Shutdown

Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers,
said the Republicans would never shutdown government.

“The reason you haven’t seen the private sector getting worked up about it — I don’t think the evidence is the markets believe there’s going to be a shutdown,” Goolsbee said Thursday at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. “You saw the leaders of both parties in both houses say — all four of them — they’re going to do what it takes, that they don’t think there’s going to be a shutdown.”

If Florida's Tea Party-elected freshmen delegation had their way there will be a government shutdown.

Rep. Allen West

"There’s a very good possibility that government will shut down. I know the Democrats have their talking points lined up. They’ll blame us for everything. What will we do?"

Rep. Rich Nugent

"All I can tell you is this: If you’re looking for us to blink, it’s not going to happen."

The three shutdowns in 1995 hurt Newt Gingrich politically. Gingrich lost control of his caucus and couldn't get the votes to fund the government. George Stephanopoulos recounts in his book "All Too Human" that former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole told the White House he gave up trying to get the House to pass a budget. Dole left Washington to campaign. It will be interesting to see if Boehner can control his caucus.

Former White House Treasury Sec. Robert Rubin told President Bill Clinton, during the shutdowns, that the United States could financially default. If these Republicans were really worried about fiscal issues they wouldn't be talking about a shutdown.

Labels: , , , , ,

Dick Greco Campaign Off to Neverland

Tampa mayoral candidate Dick Greco's bizarre campaign sign was bad. Greco's racially-charged remarks made me wonder if he was suffering from dementia. Greco is now making his campaign volunteers wear orange gloves.

People of Tampa: please do not elect Greco for another term.

Labels: ,

Caption it

Imported has-beens Johnny and Manny are still wondering WTF is a train?

Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Florida Congressman wants to create 'Museum of Ideas'

Rep. Clifford Stearns from Florida’s 6th Congressional district is one of the many Republicans in the house that campaigned on fiscal responsibility and cutting the nation’s deficit. This Florida Republican even sponsored legislation to bar Federal money from the United Nations and voted for the latest budget that cuts funding for a host of social betterment programs, including AmeriCorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

But while he uses one hand to push for a tighter reign on Washington’s wallet, he’s using his other hand to file H.R. 294, a bill that would create a commission to build a “Museum of Ideas.”

He's filed this bill two other times in recent years.

Stearns' Museum of Ideas would chronicle the evolution of civilization and human thought. Here's what he told his hometown newspaper, the Ocala Star-Banner:
"Ideas and innovations — political, philosophical, religious, economic, technological — are the driving force in the human experience, and I believe that a museum dedicated to the creativity of mankind would preserve and celebrate these ideas and innovations, and educate the public on the power of thought," Stearns explained in an e-mail.
Noble idea, I guess, but bad timing. While he has noted that he prefers private donations to build the museum, creating a commission in itself is costly, in both money and time.

Wait -- I got an idea! How about tabling the museum for the moment and put that time and money to better use, i.e. saving public-sector jobs? Or even better, not spending the money at all.

Rating: 2 teabags

Click here to learn about the rating system. For archives of the Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation, click here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Them Crooked Vultures - Elephants (Live)

Them Crooked is a supergroup with Josh Homme, John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl. I hope Homme doesn't permanently shelve Queens of the Stone Age for his new band.

Labels: ,

David Rivera Update

David Rivera had an amazingly awkward interview with the Naples Daily News about his ethics problems. No member of Congress likes to be asked about being investigated by several different law enforcement agencies.

In related news: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his staff went out of their way to avoid Rivera during a recent visit to Miami.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

"Mitt Romney is proud of what he accomplished for Massachusetts in getting everyone covered. What's important now is to return to the states the power to determine their own healthcare solutions by repealing Obamacare. A one-size-fits-all plan for the entire nation just doesn't work."

Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for Mitt Romney.

Apparently, Romney's plan to make Massachusetts residents buy private health insurance was a states rights issue. Romney's objection to Obama making United States citizens is that the federal government trampled on states right. If Romney has such a problem with federal government then why is he running for president.

Labels: , ,

Rachel Maddow v. Politifact

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

Rachel Maddow takes on Politifact and her Twitter haters.

Labels: , ,

Florida's Constitutional Crisis

Gov. Rick Scott does not care about the constitutional authority given to the Florida legislature. Florida Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander questioned whether Scott had the authority to sell state planes without legislative approval. Bruce R. Jacob, dean emeritus and law professor, at Stetson University told Politifact Scott overstepped his authority as governor.

"What Alexander is complaining about is that, under this section, where the Legislature has appropriated money for the expense of the planes, the governor is required to spend that money," Jacob said. "I am sure the governor from time to time does not spend money that the Legislature has appropriated for a particular purpose, and I doubt that anyone gets upset about it.

"However, the main point, it seems to me, is that if the governor was thinking of doing this, he needed to consult with the leadership of the Legislature," he said. "Common courtesy called for such consultation. The governor and the Legislature have to work together. The governor should not be allowed to 'go it on his own,' so to speak, in a situation such as this."

Jacob also says Alexander has a "point" by claiming that the amount owed on the Cessna should have been appropriated by the Legislature and paid from the state treasury. "Money of the state should not be spent unless it is for an authorized purpose and complete records should be kept so that anyone in the state can see what was spent and for what purpose. In this case it seems to me that the governor short-circuited the process," Jacob said.

Scott overstepped his authority again by killing the Orlando to Tampa high-speed rail project. Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida legislature approved the plan. Scott can not change what has been made into law just because he opposes it. State and the federal governments have three separate branches of government to insure that such power grabs do not happen. Scott's actions dictate a man with utter contempt for the rule of law.

Scott rejected the last ditch proposal to the high-speed rail project. Republican lawmakers are now talking about suing the newly elected governor.

Read more »

Labels: , , , , , ,

Awake the State Update

The Awake the State web site is officially online. The homepage contains information on where rallies will be held in Florida.

Tampa Rallies

Where: Lykes Gaslight Park
Tampa, FL 33602
When: March 8, 2011
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Where: Florida 580 & N McMullen Booth Rd
Clearwater, FL 33761
When: March 8, 2011
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Orlando Rally

Where: 820 Virginia Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
When: March 8, 2011
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Labels: , ,

Friday Cat & Dog Blogging

Who says dogs and cats can't get along.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

'Who Is Going to Shoot President Obama' Question At Townhall Meeting

At a townhall meeting, Rep. Paul Broun was asked, "who is going to shoot President Obama?" The Tea Party crowd laughed at the remark. Did Broun condemn the remark? Absolutely not.

BROUN: The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president. We’re going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.


Update: Broun has been known to play into racism. Broun described "Obamacare" as "Yankee Aggression."

Update Two witnesses tell Talking Points Memo that Broun laughed when he heard the question.

Witnesses tell TPM that Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) laughed when an elderly man at his town hall meeting this week asked "Who's gonna shoot Obama?"

Mark Farmer of Winterville, Georgia went to the meeting on Tuesday to ask a question about Social Security reform, and said in an e-mail to TPM he was "shocked by the first question and disgusted by the audience response."

"I was gravely disappointed in the response of a U.S. Congressman who also laughed and then made no effort to correct the questioner on what constitutes proper behavior or to in any way distance himself from such hate filled language," Farmer wrote.

Reporter Blake Aued, who was at the town hall and originally reported on the incident confirmed to TPM that Broun was "chuckling a little bit."

Broun is despicable. Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin love to get their mock outrage going and call DEmocrats racists. What do you think the chances are that Reynolds or Malkin are going to condemn Broun's behavior?

Labels: ,

High-Speed Rail Talks Going Nowhere

The Department of Transportation have held discussions with Gov. Rick Scott's office for the past two days. There is no indication that Scott is going to change his mind on the Orlando to Tampa high-speed rail line.

"Nothing in the discussions so far alleviates the governor's concerns that Florida's state taxpayers would still be on the hook," spokesman Brian Hughes said.

Scott has faced criticism from members of his own party for making the decision before the bidding process and cost projection study was completed. What influenced Scott's decision was a meeting with Sharon Calbert of the Tampa Tea Party and Karen Jaroch of the Tampa 9-12 Project. The Tea Party activists urged Scott to kill the high-speed rail project. Scott makes his policy decisions based on politics. Little things like facts don't concern him.

Labels: , , ,

Joel Award: Barack Obama

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

On the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama said he would march with union members if their collective bargaining rights were threatened.

“And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I’ll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

During his trip to Wisconsin, Obama said he wasn't paying attention to what is going on. Obama also said all sides had to make "some adjustments to new fiscal realities."

Read more »

Labels: , , , , ,

Most Conservative Members of Congress

The National Journal has compiled a list most conservative members of Congress. You will be shocked to learn the list is made up of old white Republican guys.

Tied for first

John Barrasso
Saxby Chambliss
John Cornyn
Mike Crapo (best name ever for a pol)
Jim DeMint
John McCain
James Risch
John Thune

9. Tom Coburn
10. Roger Wicker

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bob Buckhorn Walk Event

Tampa mayoral candidate will have a walk event this Saturday.

Come out for my last WALK EVENT! Saturday 9:00am; meet at the campaign office (1701 N 14th Street; Ybor) Call (813)453-6234 for more info.


Haridopolos Admonished

The State Commission of Ethics found that Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos failed to properly list several financial assets of over $1,000.

Haridopolos omitted income he made as a professor at the University of Florida in 2006. He also failed to list a property and mortgage on a 2005 disclosure form.

Haridopolos took exception with the Commission of Ethics valuing his home at $1,025,000. The home was purchased in 2008. Haridopolos told the commission the value of the house went up because he and his wife remodeled.

Haridopolos is the founder MJH Consulting Company. Haridopolos is the only employee of the company. Haridopolos claims that the company advises of media and advertising. Many corporations are more than willing to hire a future senate president as a political favor.

Haridopolos was required to list any corporation that pays over 10 percent of MJH Consulting Company's revenue. The commission found Haridopolos failed to properly claim Marketshare Systems' payments. The commission did not find any political contributions from Marketshare Systems to Haridopolos. I checked Follow the Money and found no contributions from the company or its CEO Mark Salmon. Perhaps Salmon didn't need to give a campaign contribution. Marketshare Systems was a source of income to Haridopolos' consulting firm from 2007 to 2008.

Read more »

Labels: , ,

Triangulation Man: the Government Shutdown

President Bill Clinton's showdown with Republicans over the government shutdown is viewed as one of the major political victories of his administration. Clinton directly attacked Republicans as ideologues in an address to the country.

Five months ago I proposed my balanced budget plan. It balances the budget in the right way. It cuts hundreds of wasteful and outdated programs, but it upholds our fundamental values -- to provide opportunity, to respect our obligations to our parents and our children, to strengthen families and to strengthen America -- because it preserves Medicare and Medicaid, it invests in education and technology, it protects the environment, and it gives the tax cuts to working families for child rearing and for education. Unfortunately, Republican leaders in Washington have put ideology ahead of common sense and shared values in their pursuit of a budget plan.

We can balance the budget without doing what they seek to do. We can balance the budget without the deep cuts in education, without the deep cuts in the environment, without letting Medicare wither on the vine, without imposing tax increases on the hardest-pressed working families in America. I am fighting for a balanced budget that is good for America and consistent with our values. If they'll give me the tools, I'll balance the budget.

I vetoed the spending bill sent to me by Congress last night because America can never accept under pressure what it would not accept in free and open debate. I strongly believe their budget plan is bad for America. I believe it will undermine opportunity, make it harder for families to do the work that they have to do, weaken our obligations to our parents and our children, and make our country more divided. So I will continue to fight for the right kind of balanced budget.

Remember, the Republicans are following a very explicit strategy announced last April by Speaker Gingrich, to use the threat of a government shutdown to force America to accept their cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, to accept their cuts in education and technology and the environment.

The Clinton administration charged Republicans with practicing a "form of terrorism", by shutting down the government. The strategy help helped Clinton win a second term.

What is the strategy of our fearless super hero Triangulation Man?

Read more »

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Conservatives Trying to Out Crazy Each Other

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

Lawrence O'Donnell details how Republicans politicians and pundits are trying to out crazy each other in order to get attention.

Labels: , , , , ,

Terry Kemple on Human Relations Board

How the hell did anti-gay clown Terry Kemple get voted onto the Hillsborough County Human Relations Board? Kemple was voted on the board by a 5 to 2 vote. Hillsborough County Commission placement Kemple of on the board shows the GOP pandering to the base. Kemple as no qualifications in promoting equality. Eemocrats Kevin Beckner and Les Miller were the dissenting votes.

The job of the Human Relations Board is to review complaints and promote equality. Kemple has made a career of accusing gay people of being sexual predators and attempting to pass off bogus Founding Fathers religious quotes as historical truth.

Nadine Smith of Equality Florida is urging the Commission to remove Kemple.

"Terry Kemple's presence on the Hillsborough County Human Relations Board creates an insurmountable obstacle to the fulfillment of it's stated purpose - encouraging equality among all people - and we strongly urge the commissioners to replace him with someone who believes in the state mission of the Board."

The REpublican members of the Commission are terrified of the base. They will appoint Kemple because they will do whatever is needed to prove they hate gay people more than their futre GOP primary opponents.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

"This should not be a shock to anyone. Obama is a socialist who hates America. He wants to see America in economic collapse. Only if the economy is wrecked and America’s power destroyed can he and his socialist cronies replace the greatest economic system in the world with a failed system."

Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation founder and conspiracy theorist.

Phillips actually believes Obama has a secret agenda to wreck the country, so Americans would be forced into socialism. I like to hear Phillips thoughts on President George W. Bush's Medicaid Advantage and economic policies. I would love to hear how Bush posting negative job gains during his entire administration was not leading us on the way to socialism. We have seen an increase of people collecting food stamps and unemployment because of Bush's failed policies.

I do not think Bush is a socialist. However, I can make a coherent that Bush is a socialist. Phillips' punditry has the sophistication of a 12-years-old child having a temper tantrum.

Labels: , ,

Wye Oak Music Goodies

I just recently discovered the Baltimore band Wye Oak. This band is going to be huge.

Wye Oak - Holy Holy

Wye Oak - Civilians

Wye Oak - For Prayer

Wye Oak - For Prayer by

Labels: , ,

Pizzas & Protests

Dave Weigel took a photo of Wisconsin demonstrators making Ian's Pizza boxes into protest signs. Ian's Pizza has been delivering pizzas to the union protesters.

Labels: , , ,

Rick Scott's Bizarre Answer

Here is the audio of Gov. Rick Scott's rambling and coherent response to this question. The Department of Corrections is facing 1,700 layoffs. Scott was asked what is he asking the rich to sacrifice.

You said to hold you accountable. State employees have seen, since the Bush Administration, a reduction in state employees. I have been with this agency for many years. And I've seen where our staff has been significantly cut. We are required to do more with less. State employees haven't received a raise in five or six years. You're asking us to contribute to our pension plan and contribute more to our insurance. My question is simple: What have you required for the wealthiest Floridians to contribution to the state deficit?

Scott never answered the question. Scott went into a bizarre spiel about shopping of Wal-Mart. Is Scott aware that public prisons are not retail businesses?

The crowd applauded after the corrections worker's question. This shows how bad Scott is at public speaking.

Scott ignored the applause and spent the next seven minutes not answering her question. (Listen to the exchange below.)

Instead, Scott attempted a quick lesson in capitalism.

"If you work in the private sector, here's the things you have to do: You're overhead has to come down each and every year as a percentage of revenues. Every year. That has not happened in state government," he said.

Scott went on to talk about WalMart, China, taxes in Illinois and competing for business with Texas.

No one applauded when he finished.

Correction workers are facing layoffs and Scott is talking about Texas. It would be funny if so many people were not facing unemployment.

Update: Politifact rates it Mostly True that state prison workers haven't received a raise in "5 or 6 years."

State workers received a 3 percent general pay adjustment on Oct. 1, 2006, their last general wage increase.

State workers did receive a $1,000 lump-sum bonus on Nov. 1, 2007, and eligible Florida Highway Patrol law enforcement employees received a 5 percent raise effective Oct. 1, 2008. There were no pay adjustments included in the 2009-10 or 2010-11 budget.

Employees remain eligible for possible merit pay increases.

State employees received a one time $1,000 bonus in 2007. That knocks it down from True.

Labels: , ,

Why the Merit Award Program Does Not Work

Duval County School Board Chairman W.C. Gentry recently took part in a protest against Gov. Rick Scott's education cuts. The Florida legislature is writing legislation attacking teacher tenure. Republicans will tell you that that tenure is destroying education. The truth is teachers unions give to Democrats. Republicans want to destroy part of the Democratic Party base.

GROVER NORQUIST: "We plan to pick up another five seats in the Senate and hold the House through redistricting through 2012," he says. "And rather than negotiate with the teachers' unions and the trial lawyers and the various leftist interest groups, we intend to break them."

A recent Education Resource Strategies study proved that inexperienced teachers, not tenure, is what is hurting Duval County schools.

The Duval County School Board reacted to a report Tuesday that students in Duval County's lowest-performing elementary schools were two times more likely to have novice teachers and 3.5 times less likely to have teachers who receive incentive pay.

Those were among the findings from Education Resource Strategies, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit hired by the school system to look at how it uses its resources and comparing that with other large urban districts.

Board Chairman W.C. Gentry called the report "tremendously helpful" and said it's "startling and totally unacceptable" that there are so many novice teachers in low-performing schools.

The lowest performing schools are less likely to have teachers receiving Merit Award Plan bonuses. Getting rid of tenure isn't going to excite the next generation of college students to go into education. Duval Teachers United President Terrie Brady notes that lowest performing schools are more likely to have children who do not speak English or in special education programs. Merit Award Plan bonuses are more likely to be awarded to schools from better income neighborhoods.

The Merit Award Program is the updated version of the failed STAR plan.

The Merit Award Program allows students to take state, national or locally developed tests besides the FCAT, and those test results will account for "no less than 60 percent" of an educator's assessment.

The Merit Award Program is better but still not the answer

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts Now

Yeah the revolution starts now
In your own backyard
In your own hometown
So what you doin’ standin’ around?
Just follow your heart
The revolution starts now

The protests in Wisconsin and Florida have me feeling hopeful. People on the Left finally realize that President Obama will not fight and they will have to do the heavy lifting themselves. Change comes from the people. Not from government officials more concerned with getting re-elected than implementing smart policies.

Labels: , ,

Scott is 'Flummoxed' at Dept of Corrections

Teachers have voiced their disapproval of Florida education cuts. Department of Corrections workers, facing possible layoffs, got a chance to air their grievances. Gov. Rick Scott was taken by surprised when workers at the headquarters of the Department of Corrections took him to task.

The crowd burst into applause when veteran accounting supervisor Delphine Hill politely but firmly pointed out that state workers have not had a raise in six years and are now being threatened with increased health care costs and reduced benefits.

"You said to hold you accountable," Hill said. "What have you required of the wealthiest Floridians to contribute to the state deficit?"

Now that is an excellent question.

Jim Ash of the Pensacola FL News described Scott as "flummoxed" by the question. This was Scott's answer.

"In business, your overhead has to come down each and every year," Scott said.

Scott reverted to a talking point. This is a politician that can't connect with people. Scott is in trouble. That is going to come off as bullshit to Corrwections workers facing 1,700 layoffs. Scott is a politician that can't connect with people. Scott is in trouble. I consider that a good thing. Scott's lack of popularity will minimize the damage he will do.

Labels: ,

A Little Wisconsin in Jacksonville

The Wisconsin rallies have galvanized teachers, parents and students in Jacksonville. Protesters gathered in Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville to voice their disapproval of Gov. Rick Scott's proposed education cuts.

School Board Chairman W.C. Gentry got the crowd going by telling them education cuts would go to benefit wealthy businesses.

"Can you explain to me how it is that we should give tax cuts to the most profitable corporations in this state on the backs of our school children?"

The crowd applauded in agreement.

It was only a matter of time before Floridians would react negative to Rick Scott's desire to eliminate corporate taxes. The class-size amendment passed against Jeb Bush's wishes. Scott was politically tone deaf to think Floridians weren't going to be angry about education cuts. Whether Republicans like or not, voters support public education.

Labels: , ,

Links For Homeless Assistance

Stogie has placed his series on Tampa's homeless community on the blog Tampa Bay Homeless.

Resources for people facing homelessness.

Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County

United Way of Tampa

Metropolitan Ministries

Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless

Pinellas County Homeless Shelter Directory

Labels: ,

Photo of the Day

Wisconsin protesters have fun at Gov. Scott Walker's expense.

Labels: , , , ,

Quote of the Day

"We need to simply tell people the facts, like Glenn Beck, with that chalkboard, that man can explain anything. I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this."

Michele Bachmann, on how Glenn Beck could solve the national debt.

Bachmann introduced legislation barring the Chinese yen from becoming U.S. currency. The IMF was moving towards greater reliance on the yen because of a weak dollar. Bachmann failed to understand that International Monetary Fund uses currency from several countries and does not print U.S. currency. That is the job of the Treasury Department.

Bachmann has no basic understanding about financial policy. Beck wouldn't take a job in the federal government because he would have to give up his media earnings. Beck would also panic after a day. Beck couldn't handle being interviewed by the panel on The View. I don't see Beck handling the pressure of running the Federal Reserve or Treasury Department.

Labels: , ,

J.D. Alexander Challenges Scott on Sales of Planes

Florida Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander questioned Gov. Rick Scott on if he had the legal authority to sell two state planes. Judging by the way Alexander worded the letter, it it clear he thinks Scott overstepped his authority.

“In your response, please state specifically why this transaction did not violate Article VII, Section 1(c) of the Florida Constitution and Sections… [of] Florida Statutes,” Alexander wrote Tuesday.

Alexander is referring to this language in the Florida Constitution.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury except in pursuance of appropriation made by law.

That same language is in the United States Constitution.

The language doesn't clearly state that Scott isn't allowed to sell the planes. Alexander is using the constitutional argument that the legislature controls the purse strings. Money drawn or received from the sale of planes must be approved by the legislative branch.

Any lawyers out want to take a crack at this in the comments?

Labels: , , ,

The Cost of Mubarak's Greed

Where do dictators do their banking? The answer is Switzerland.

GENEVA, Switzerland, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The Swiss foreign ministry says it has located bank accounts worth millions of dollars associated with ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak stepped down Feb. 11 amid enormous public demonstrations calling for an end to his 31 years of autocratic rule. The interim military government then made a call among Arabic countries to freeze his assets, The New York Times said.

Switzerland was not formally asked to identify or freeze any holdings, but did so on its own, the newspaper said.

Mubarak and his family are estimated to have a $40 billion to $70 billion net worth. Under Egypt law foreign businesses are required to give a 51 percent stake to an Egypt citizen. Often that is Mubarak or one of his cronies. Mubarak got rich while many of his people lived in poverty. Tas has been in Egypt and describes how poverty is spreding in the country.

Similarly, if you go around the outskirts of Cairo, poor neighborhoods are spouting up -- very similar to shantytowns. Jobs in Egypt are in its cities, and the major city is Cairo. But even when you goto Alexandria, there is the rich tourist area near the Mediterranean coast, and the demographics of the neighborhoods get progressively -- and drastically -- poorer the farther away from the shore you travel. I've seen the neighborhood of Sayid Darwish's first house -- tourism dollars do not hit that part of Alexandria. Which, by the way, is only a couple miles away from the Sheraton.

To quote James Carville, "It's about the economy, stupid." People want to work and earn a decent living, whether it is the United States and Egypt. People can only take living in subhuman conditions for so long.

Labels: , , , ,

Gina Vivinetto Batman Hardcover Comic Book

Former Tampa area resident and music scenester Gina Vivineto has a hardcover comic book coming out. The story has Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman battling Starro the Conquerer. The book "Batman Classic: Starro and Stripes Forever" comes out May 24, 2011.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pro-Democracy Rally For Libya In Tampa

There is a Facebook page for a pro-democracy solidarity rally that took in the Temple Terrace area of Tampa.

Labels: ,

Twilight Singers - Gunshots

Greg Dulli is back. The song Gunshots has been a highlight of his recent acoustic tour. The song is from the new Twilight Singers album Dynamite Steps.

Labels: , , ,

George Soros on Fox News

Billionaire George Soros finds it hypocritical that Glenn Beck and Fox News can accuse him him of running a propaganda media empire. Soros points out that Ruport Murdoch has a media empire that isn't concerned with getting facts straight.

SOROS: "It has imported the methods of George Orwell, you know, newspeak."

Fox News could call itself the Ministry of Truth and their viewers wouldn't cringe.

Newspeak is the offical language of Oceania, in George Orwell's book 1984. The word free is forbidden, except when used in a sentence like, "The item is free." Freedom is a forbidden concept in Oceania. The government uses Newspeak to promote is agenda of control.

On Fox News health care reform becomes Obamacare.

On Fox News centrist Obama policies become socialism.

On Fox News Obama discussing foreign policy is apologizing for America.

In the fictional country of Oceania the color black is white.

Labels: , , ,

Steven Stamkos Is This Year's MYP (AKA Hart Trophy)

How good of a year is Steve Stamkos having? This shoot out goal against the Montreal Canadians is absolutely insane. ESPN ranks Stamkos at the top candidate for the Hart Trophy.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the Day

"Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his "ranch" in Libya - interesting meeting with an interesting man."

John McCain, in a August 15, 2009 tweet.

Two Libyan pilots flew their planes to Malta to seek political asylum. The pilots said they could not carry out orders to bomb protesters. CNN reports the Libyan miltary has opened fire on the protesters from helicopters. protesters. several hundreds of protesters have been killed.

Why people still take John McCain seriously on foreign policy and national security issues is beyond me?

Labels: , , ,

Still No Chance In Hell

I'm sorry, but a Dick Greco endorsement isn't going to get Kelly Benjamin elected. Greco was more likely doing a friendly photo-op than actually endorsing Benjamin. We all know Greco only endorses Republican candidates.

Labels: ,

Mike Fasano On Utility Rate Increases

Along with Paula Dockery, Mike Fasano is one of the few rationale Republican voices in the Florida Senate. Fasano wrote a letter to North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue and the NC state legislature. Fasano is urging North Carolina elected leaders to repeal Senate Bill 3. The legislation allowed power companies to increase rates for the construction of nuclear new power plants. With the exception of nuclear power and rate increases, Senate Bill 3 has good things in it about about clean air and using environmentally friendly alternative sources of energy. It looks progressive compared to what comes out of the Florida legislature.

Fasano voted to allow Progress Energy and Florida Power & Light to raise rates. Fasano now admits he made a mistake. That is a rarity in politics.

Allowing utilities to charge customers for new power plant construction work in progress will hurt already strapped customers with possibily large increases in their electricity bills. According to Progress Energy filings with the Florida Public Service Commission, the average Progress customer could see an estimated increase of nearly $50 per month by 2020 from the Levy capital additions.

Because of my deep concern about these impacts on consumers, I am the primary sponsor of FL Senate Bill 200 to repeal provisions relating to cost recovery for siting, design, licencing, and construction of new nuclear and integrated gasification combined cycle power plants.

Labels: , ,

TSA Saving Nude Pictures

Remember when the Obama administration was telling Americans that the TSA body scanners did not save images of people naked? They were lying. A lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center sued the Department of Homeland Security for access to 2,000 copies of images from TSA body scanners.

Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled that the Homeland Security Department is not obliged to provide the images under the Freedom of Information Act because disclosure of the images may provide terrorists and other groups with higher ability to prevent detection by TSA and bring into aircraft prohibited materials.

I don't take the security issues lightly. However, I'm sure terrorists are aware that TSA uses machines that scan through clothing. Federal courts usually rule with the government on security issues. The ruling is not surprising. It does make me wonder why TSA is saving these pictures.

Rapiscan is one of the companies that makes the scanning machines for TSA. The CEO of Rapiscan is Deepak Chopra. It is a troubling potential conflict of interest when Chopra accompanies President Obama on a trip to India. On the trip, Obama announced a $1.7 billion deal between India and Boeing. The Wikileaks revealed the Obama administration has used legally shady behavior to secure contracts for Boeing.

Thom Hartman has a good commentary on how President Obama has blurred the line between lobbyists and government Hartman discusses Obama's India trip with Chopra.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Is Rick Scott's Money In A Blind Trust?

Gov. Rick Scott has a paranoid need for secrecy rivaling Richard Nixon. Scott and his communications people can not give columnist Stephen L. Goldstein a straight answer about whether or not Scott placed his wealth into a blind trust.

Update: On Jan. 27, I called Gov. Scott's Communications Office to find out if his vast financial holdings had been placed in a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest. I was told someone would get back to me. Not having heard by Feb. 8, I called and asked again. I was told I would receive an answer by the end of the day, but I never got one. It's obvious any governor, but especially one who is exceptionally rich, needs to be above suspicion that his official policies intentionally increase his personal wealth — especially because he wants to have sole authority to spend $800 million in state tax dollars to bring businesses into Florida, a power now granted to the Legislature. I'll keep you updated.

This isn't a trick question. It is a yes or no answer. If Scott hasn't placed his fortune into a blind trust he could financially benefit from decisions made as governor. Considering Scott's history with Medicare fraud, it is troubling he refuses to answer Goldstein's question.


The David Rivera & Esther Nuhfer Connection

The Miami Herald reports that David Rivera paid $250,000 to the political consulting firm Communication Solutions for a state senate campaign he later dropped out of. (Rivera would eventually run for Congress.) Rivera paid Communication Solutions $150,000 for radio ads and GOTV efforts. However, the Miami-Dade Republican Party has no record of the payments. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating Rivera's payments to Communication Solutions.

Esther Nuhfer started Communication Solutions in 2004. Blogger Joy-Ann Reid reports that Rivera and Nuhfer are dating. Below is a picture of Rivera and Nuhfer at a Miami Dade College black tie event.

The Miami Herald's reporting indicates that Nuhler acted very girlfriendish when lobbying in Tallahassee.

During the legislative session, Nuhfer was a constant presence in Rivera’s office: She often could be found sitting at or near his desk, using the telephone or typing on her laptop next to Rivera’s legislative aide, Alina Garcia, who was Nuhfer’s roommate in Tallahassee.

Rivera and Nuhfer also traveled together outside the state, according to sources close to the criminal investigation. Through his campaign, Rivera said any trips with Nuhfer were for “fundraising activities and events.” In December, Rivera accompanied Nuhfer to a black-tie gala for Miami Dade College.

Another odd piece of information is that in 2008, Nuhfer only registered to lobby the Florida House. It is unheard of for lobbyists to register to lobby the House and not the Senate. At the time, Rivera was a member of the Florida House. Where the plot thickens is during 2008 Nuhfer was a consulting for two of Rivera's political action committees. Her firm received $44,000 the the consulting work.

Ryan J. Reilly of Talking Points Memo attempted to ask Rivera why the Miami-Dade Republican Party can not account for the $150,000 paid to Communication Solutions. The response he got was absolutely bizarre. Reilly was contacted by an anonymous person using a Comcat email address. The person would not reveal to Reilly his or her identity.

Whoever the anonymous e-mailer handling inquires from reporters is, they've had a lot of work on their hands. News broke recently that the Miami-Dade Republican Party paid Esther Nuhfer, a political consultant with close ties to Rivera, $150,000 ahead of the 2010 election. Investigators are reportedly looking into the relationship between Rivera and Nuhfer, who is mostly known for her work as a lobbyist.

The e-mailer said that the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County "is fully aware of the details associated with every expenditure" and disputed that there was money unaccounted for.

We will see about that.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nelson on High-Speed Rail

Sen Bill Nelson explains that the Department of Transportation is looking for other ways to get the Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail line started.

Side note: the Florida legislature and Gov. Charlie Crist already approved this plan. It is unheard of for a governor to go against end a transportation project that has already been passed under state and federal law. It is seriously questionable if Scott has the legal authority to do this. Don't be surprised if a fight over the high-speed rail project goes to the court.

Labels: , ,

High-Speed Rail & Jobs Rally on Monday

The Hillsborough County Democratic Party will be holding a rally on Moday in support of high-speed rail and new jobs.

On Monday, February 21 at 12 pm a Rally for High Speed Rail and 20,000 jobs will be held at City Hall Plaza which is at the Southeast corner of Kennedy and Franklin Streets.

Please bring your own sign and your own voice! It is important that we let Gov. Scott know that his refusal of high speed rail in Florida is unacceptable.

Come out and support a cause vital to Florida's future.

If you have questions, please contact the Hillsborough County Democratic Party office at (813) 876-1945.

Labels: , , ,

Rep. Jackie Speier Stands Up For Planned Parenthood

Rep. Jackie Speier was outraged on the House floor. She opened up about how she had to get an abortion to save her life. Speir lost her baby as a result.

Speier correctly points out that Republicans are more concerned with going after Planned Parenthood (over a bogus pimp and hooker controversy) than getting unemployed Americans back to work.

Labels: , , ,

Teresa Strasser Vs David Frum

Teresa Strasser takes David Frum to the woodshed for Dick Cheney for waterboarding. Frum served in the Bush administration as a speechwriter.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Rick Scott: Job Killer

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich is keeping count of how many jobs Gov. Rick Scott has lost since assuming office.

“Start with the 13,000 state employees, add that to about 30,000 linked with the high speed rail projects, then thousands of teachers, police, fire and other government employees as the massive cuts trickle down.” Rich suggested there should be a new refrain for Scott’s 7-7-7 plan during his campaign, in which he promised to seven steps would create 700,000 new jobs in seven years. “We’re kind of estimating that in seven weeks in seven steps, the governor has managed to lose just under seven percent of the 700,000 jobs that he promised over the seven years.”

At this rate, Rick Scott's 2014 campaign motto will be: "Let's get unemployed."

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Write A Caption: Rick Scott

Image via the other St. Petersblog.

Labels: , ,

Charlie Parker - Summertime (Jazz Instrumental)

The late Charlie Parker's rendition of the George Gershwin classic.

Labels: ,

Bipartisan Guide to Ridiculous Legislation: Unemployed? Florida lawmakers want you to work for free

Picture this scenario:

Your longtime job of 10 years laid you off. You were making an honest $40,000. Suddenly, you're thrown into the same lot as thousands of other Floridians -- unemployed with no job prospects. Hesitant, you apply for unemployment benefits. A few weeks later, you receive a check for $275. You look for work, online and off, unsuccessfully. After two months, belts tighten more. Your meager savings is almost depleted. The bills are piling up. You stop driving around filling out random applications, trying to save the gas for actual interviews or referrals.

Then, one morning while drinking day-old coffee, you read in the local newspaper that the Florida Legislature has mandated that you find an organization and work for them. For free. No money for gas or child care.

Call it volunteering.

That's the latest unemployment-related bill -- that does nothing to fix unemployment, by the way -- from state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican. She's the sponsor of HB 509, which is currently in the Economic Development & Tourism Subcommittee.

Read more »

Labels: , , , ,

Quote of the Day 2

"I don't think I'll ever be taken seriously as a progressive blogger until I get shredded in a Pushing Rope blog post."

David Davisson, Re/Creating Tampa

Not true. I never skewer Litbrit or Alex Pickett. They're awaesome and respected.


Fox News Gets Heckled

Fox News business reporter Jeff Flock covered the protest at the Wisconsin capital. Carter endured the repeated chants of "Fox lies." Ouch.

Labels: , ,

Dick Greco's Latest Racist Comment

I gave Dick Greco the last time he made a racially charged statement. Greco did it again to black Mayoral candidate Tom Scott.

Then the four – Rose Ferlita was absent – were asked: Tell the person to your left what job he would hold in your administration if you were elected mayor.

Buckhorn to Greco: Ambassador to the world.

Turanchik to Buckhorn: Deputy mayor for economic development.

Scott to Turanchik: Head of mass transit.

Greco to Scott: "My driver, to take me home from MacDinton's."

To add context: earlier in the debate the candidates were asked which one of the four would they choose to be a designated driver. Greco Buckhorn and Turanchik agrred on Scott. The latter is a well-known religious leader in the East Tampa community. When asked what job the winner of the election would choose for the other Greco said to Scott, "My driver, to take me home from MacDinton's."

Scott told Greco that Scott apologized to him after the event. Greco said that was false.

"Apologize for what?" he said. "There's not a prejudiced bone in my body."

Voters, do not give Greco another term. The man has lost his mind.

Labels: , , ,

Quote of the Day

"Planned Parenthood detected my breast cancer. I consider them to be pro-life...MINE"

Shannyn Moore, progressive talk show host

The Republican majority and bluedog Democrats have killed funding for Planned Parenthood. Republicans used a bogus James O'Keefe-style pimp and hooker sting videos created by Live Action. Wendy Sears Grassi, of Planned Parenthood, explained that Planned Parenthood reported strange visits to the F.B.I.

Planned Parenthood operates more than 800 health centers across the country, serving more than 3 million patients a year. Several of those clinics — in New Jersey, New York and Virginia — were the targets of undercover videos released over the past two weeks by Live Action, an anti-abortion group whose mission is to shut down Planned Parenthood. The videos show a man posing as a pimp and a woman posing as a prostitute seeking health services for underage sex workers.

Planned Parenthood immediately fired a clinic manager in New Jersey who offered advice to the visitors, but all other staff responded professionally and reported the visits to their superiors.

Planned Parenthood's national office notified the FBI before any videos were released and accused Live Action of resorting to deceptive dirty tricks. We also announced a nationwide retraining program to ensure that all clinic staff were familiar with rules about reporting possible danger to minors.

Republicans and Fox News moved on the Live Action videos before even asking if they were authentic. Which is highly debatable.

Labels: , ,

Joel Award: Mike Haridopolos

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

"I was never a big supporter of high-speed rail."

Florida Senate President Mike Hariopolos, reacting on 26 Republican Senators signing a letter urging Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood give high-speed rail money to Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott announced that he would kill the Orlando to Tampa high-speed rail project. Back in November of 2010, Haridopolos sang a different tune.

Haridopolos spokesman David Bush said the senator still supports SunRail and the Tampa-Orlando train but would not back expanding the high-speed route to Miami, as has been proposed. "It's clear Washington won't have the money for that," Bush said.

For someone who wasn't a big supporter of high-speed rail, it sounds like Haridopolos was supporting high-speed. Could it be that Haridopolos' change of heart has something to do with announcing his U.S. Senate bid and need to pander to the Tea Party? Judging by Haridopolos' flip flop he has the perfect makings for a United States Senator.

Congratulations to Haridopolos on winning the Joel Award.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday Cat Blogging

Scott of Tampa's Big Cat Rescue gives a tour of his favorite cats at the facility.

Labels: , ,

Latest Tea Party Nation Conspirary Theory

The Tea Party Nation is claiming CbS News is covering up the true intent of the Lara Logan sexual assault.

But in this singular Logan case we've seen both. First, only after news queries indicated the story was breaking did CBS on Tuesday release a brief rap sheet on the Friday crime. We were told of Logan's accidental separation from her crew in the crowd. The prolonged assault by over 200 people "whipped into a frenzy." The rescue by a group of women and 20 soldiers. What CBS didn't mention -- what was later attributed to an unnamed network source -- was that as the thugs assaulted the 39-year-old journalist and mother of two, they shouted, "Jew! Jew!"

The media is staying away from this story because the Ruport Murdoch-owned New York Post first reported this story. anti-Muslim bigot Pamela Geller ran wild with did this story on her blog. The rest of the conservative blogosphere quickly followed. Is there anti-semitism in the world. Yes. Is there a lot of it in the Middle East? Absolutely. Do Ruport Murdoch's media companies make stuff up. Hell yeah!

To show how sloppy the New York Post is they got Logan's personal life details wrong.

Before the attack, Logan -- who is based in Washington, where she lives with her 2-year-old daughter and husband -- had been set to return to the States sometime over the weekend to tape a "60 Minutes" segment on Wael Ghonim.

Logan's son Joseph is two years-old. Logan had a baby girl in 2010. The New York Post got the sex of her first-born child wrong. Considering how the conservative movement was saying Logan was somehow asking for her own rape it is sickening they are now using her pain to further their political agenda. Do conservatives really think Logan and CBS News feel a need to protect the people that committed this heinous crime? The more likely reaction is their pissed these savages will get away with what they done.

Logan was separated from her news and security crew for a lengthy period of time. The only person who knows what was and wasn't said by the attacker is Logan. We won't know what happened until Logan publicly talks about her ordeal. I don't expect Logan to share the worst moment of her life with the public.

Labels: , ,

Awake the State

There is an online Facebook movement that started in Rick Scott's rejection of federal high-speed rail funding.

Awake The State

Ethically challenged Senate President Mike Haridopolos (aka "Dirty Hari") is supporting Gov. Scott's reckless decision to reject $2.4 billion in federal high speed rail funding which could cost Florida thousands of jobs. This is another reason why it's time to Awake The State, balance Florida's budget responsibly, and get our state on the right track. Click "like" if you agree and tell your friends about this page.

Details are sketchy and I am not sure who started the Facebook page. You can contact Awake the State at

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jill Filipovic on Crazy South Dakota Law

The South Dakota government attempted to outlaw abortion. The South Dakota legislature has HB 1171 declaring the killing of an unborn fetus justifiable homicide. The South Dakota House did not make an exemption for abortion providers.

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children.
Section 1. That § 22-16-34 be amended to read as follows:
22-16-34. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.
Section 2. That § 22-16-35 be amended to read as follows:
22-16-35. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being

Jill Filipovic of Feministe was on television explaining the dangers of this potential law. After the death of Dr. Tiller, lawmakers should be more responsible.

Labels: , , ,

Conservative Reaction to Lara Logan Story

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit wrote this sick piece of garbage about Lara Logan's sexual assault.

Lara Logan is lucky she’s alive.
Her liberal belief system almost got her killed on Friday. This talented reporter will never be the same.

Why did this attractive blonde female reporter wander into Tahrir Square last Friday? Why would she think this was a good idea? Did she not see the violence in the square the last three weeks? Did she not see the rock throwing? Did she miss the camels? Did her colleagues tell her about the Western journalists who were viciously assaulted on the Square? Did she forget about the taunts from the Egyptian thugs the day before? What was she thinking? Was it her political correctness that about got her killed? Did she think things would be different for her?

Lara Logan was asking for it because she is a liberal. What utter nonsense.

Jill Filipovic wrote about the Logan story at Feministe. A commenter shared her experience being repeatedly raped by her boyfriend. It is a heartbreaking read. I wasn't going to post it. After reading the internet attacks against Logan, I thought people should understand that rape can happen anywhere to anyone. Rape has nothing to do with political idealogy and everything to do with the violation of a human being.

Labels: , , , ,

Pam Iorio Statement On High-Speed Rail Project DOA

Pam Iorio

“This was a project that was good for all Floridians, not just Tampa. This was a project that would have created jobs, by some accounts more than 20,000. Now that federal tax money and the jobs it would have created are headed for other states.”

It is interesting how Rick Scott ran on creating jobs and is now killing jobs.

Labels: ,

Florida Chamber of Commerce Not Interested In Reform

Mark Wilson of the Florida Chamber of Commerce couldn't hide his glee to the St. Petersburg Times editorial board. Wilson knows that the Florida Chamber of Commerce owns the Florida legislature and Gov. Rick Scott.

"If we don't have a good three or four years … then we've blown it," Wilson said during a legislative briefing before 50 area business leaders in Tampa on Tuesday morning. "This is our time in the business community to do what we do best."

Wilson laid out what the Chamber wanted Scott and the legislature to make law.

• Spreading the risk on businesses that have to shore up the state's depleted unemployment insurance trust fund. Florida has been borrowing $300 million a month from the federal government to keep unemployment benefits flowing. One option the chamber floated: having employees pay a portion of the unemployment tax now paid by employers.

• Passing an education package that includes cutting back on teacher tenure, establishing teacher pay-for-performance, expanding access to virtual schools and creating education savings accounts.

• Tightening medical malpractice suits and venue-shopping for judges.

• Making Internet retailers responsible for collecting sales taxes on Florida transactions to capture an estimated $3 billion a year in lost state revenue.

• Pushing a property insurance system overhaul that was vetoed a year ago.

It is against federal law for states to tax internet businesses. That is good idea but dead on arrival. The rest of what the Chamber wants would screw over Floridians at the expense of the Commerce's self-interest. The proposal of taking unemployment taxes off of corporations and onto employees is horrible. This is nothing more than a tax shift.

What kind of education are students from internet classes and not being able to interact with teachers? Students would have less access and teachers wouldn't be able to keep a disengaged student from slacking off. Conservatives aren't suggesting that Harvard or MIT have only internet classes. Republicans want to kill public schooling and tort reform because teachers and trial lawyers have been longtime donors to the Democratic Party. This has been a longtime strategy by Grover Norquist.

"We plan to pick up another five seats in the Senate and hold the House through redistricting through 2012," he says. "And rather than negotiate with the teachers' unions and the trial lawyers and the various leftist interest groups, we intend to break them."

The Chamber of Commerce's proposals aren't about reform. This is financial and political self-interest placed ahead of Floridians. That is why Wilson refused to be critical of Scott to the Times editorial board.

In a meeting with the Times' editorial board later in the day, Wilson was hard pressed to find fault with any of Gov. Rick Scott's early moves in office — including controversial parts of the governor's proposed $66 billion budget that call for cutting per-pupil spending by 10 percent and laying off about 6,700 state workers.

Though some state legislators were sharply critical of Scott's budget, Wilson predicted that "80 percent" of the proposal will pass.

The Florida Republican establishment and Chamber of Commerce is the marriage made in policy hell.

Labels: , ,