Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rays 'It Gets Better' Ad

The Tampa Bay Rays filmed this ad for the "It Gets Better" program to help LGBT teenagers. The Tampa Bay Rays organization should be commended for getting involved it "It Gets Better."

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Shocker: West Doesn't Like CBC

Losing Allen West from the Congressional Black Caucus is like Hannibal Lecter cancelling his dinner reservations.
"It is unconscionable when a fellow CBC Member, Congressman Andre Carson, comes to South Florida and claims that some in the Tea Party would love to see black Americans 'hanging on a tree,'" West wrote Wednesday in a letter to CBC chair Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), which he also released to the media. "It is appalling to hear another CBC colleague, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, say 'The Tea Party can go straight to hell.'
Considering West's history of Islamophobic comments he is hardly one to talk. Carson's comments were over the top. There are elements in the tea party that have been racist towards President Barack Obama. However, labeling an entire group of people racists is a bit much. As for West leaving the CBC, who cares. As with did during his fight with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, he is once again running to the media for attention. Much like West's fake potential Senate run, this is about West promoting himself.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

Christine O'Donnell, from a deleted tweet.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

James Brown - Lost Someone

Tracks like this make one understand what a great singer James Brown was.

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Mike Haridopolos Unleashes Another Bad Video

Mike Haridopolos' last attempt at an over-the-top political video was mocked by Florida bloggers. I should know because I was one of the people doing the mocking. Captain Pink Shirt's latest videos remind me of the bad video Tim Pawlenty released on Youtube. One was never sure if Pawlenty wanted to be the next president or a action hero in a Michael Bay movie.

The video opens with somber music and attempts to tie President Obama to the economic woes facing America. The happy music begins with Gov. Rick Scott dead center in the frame. I will gladly put Obama up against a governor that scares children. The ad repeats the rick Scott's lie that Florida's credit rating went up under his watch. Politifact ruled that false. Standard and Poors raised Florida's credit rating to AAA during the Jeb Bush administration.

Peter Schorsch asks a good question about who is paying for the video.

Worst of all, I’m assuming that since the video directs the unfortunate viewer to the Florida Senate’s website that this video was produced with taxpayer money. Someone explain to me how producing this video is fiscally conservative?

We will be paying for Haridopolos' Senate presidency for a while.

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Worst Diss Ever

"He’s like Bush only without the brains."

An anonymous former Republican governor assessment of Gov. Rick Perry's intellect.


I wrote on Facebook, "I never thought someone could give me (almost) respect for the intellect of George W. Bush." It appears I am not the only one that thinks Bush is smarter than Perry.

Side note: I wouldn't go anywhere near Bush while he is operating power tools. Needless to say, I don't think Bush is smart.


Ron Paul Doesn't Believe in Evolution

Yet Paul believes Ayn Rand is a literary genius. More proof that libertarians have irrational minds. I wrote in 2007 about the disconnect Paul and other libertarians have with reality.

Libertarians are a breed that can not process information. Megan McArdle states that Republican economic policy is not dominated by Supply-side theory. Glenn Reynolds continues to blog about the "good news" from Iraq. The libertarian madness goes on. I take a NRA Republican over libertarians any day.

Short answer: libertarians are essentially stupid.

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Michele Bachmann Supports Everglades Drilling


"The United States needs to be less dependent on foreign sources of energy and more dependent upon American resourcefulness. Whether that is in the Everglades, or whether that is in the eastern Gulf region, or whether that's in North Dakota, we need to go where the energy is," she said. "Of course it needs to be done responsibly. If we can't responsibly access energy in the Everglades then we shouldn't do it.

"From there, though, that doesn't mean that the two have to be mutually exclusive. We can protect the environment and do so responsibly, but we can also protect the environment and not kill jobs in America and not deny ourselves access to the energy resources that America's been so blessed with."

The reporter should ask Bachmann to explain how that oil wells could be build in the Everglades without affecting the water or ecosystem. Roads and shipping docks will have to be built to transport the oil. How could that be done without damaging the wetlands. The state of Florida bought land from U.S. Sugar to restore the wetlands. Bachmann's proposal runs counter to years of Florida environmental policy.

Update: Sen. Bill Nelson responds to Bachmann's Everglades position.

"We don't need to be drilling for oil and gas in the middle of the Everglades," he said. "There is a 150-year supply of natural gas on land in non-environmentally sensitive areas from Louisiana to New York. So to go in the middle of the Everglades and to spoil the river of grass just because somebody wants to, that's not a wise thing to do."

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Quote of the Day

"This so-called ‘Arab Spring’ is less about a democratic movement, than it is about the early phase of the restoration of an Islamic Caliphate, the last being the Ottoman Empire... We are witnessing secular Muslim leaders being deposed in very volatile and unstable nations. This growing Islamic Totalitarianism manifested in militant Islam has had a modus operand of capitalizing on unstable political situations (Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia). Now we see these same types of instances occurring in Egypt, Libya, and Syria and the rose-colored glasses of some seek to portray this as a great awakening of liberty. History does not support this in the Middle East."

Allen West, in an email to his supporters.

West recites Glenn Beck's "Caliphate" conspiracy theory. Beck tied the defunct ACORN to Islamic Caliphate. For West to run with Beck's meme tells you that West bases his foreign policy worldview on bigotry. How else do you explain West defending dictatorship governments?

Side note: not that West knows or cares. Not all of the rebels and protesters are Sunnis. The majority of Islamic worshipers in Egypt, Syria and Libya are Sunnis. There has been no evidence that these people are voicing anger at their governments because they want to bring back an ancient form of Islamic governing. The Arab Uprising happened because these people are poor, oppressed and lack basic human rights. People will only live in poverty for so long while their leaders build themselves palaces. The fact that West identifies more with dictators who spend their wealth on themselves and screw their people says much.

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Rick Perry Doesn't Care About America Paying Its Debts

The Rick Perry campaign has been hysterically trying to deal with the blowback of the book "Fed Up!" It is bad enough that Perry had Newt Gingrich write the forward. Ray Sullivan, communications director, of the Perry campaign told The Wall Street Journal that Perry views on Social Security in "Fed Up!" are "a look back, not a path forward." Translation: the Perry campaign is saying that the views in a book published 9 months ago don't express the current views of the governor. Apparently, Perry hasn't received the memo from his own campaign.

Perry told The Daily Beast that Medicare is unconstitutional and Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Perry made the same statement again about Social Security on a recent campaign stop.

"It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people," Perry said in Iowa, mimicking his pre-presidential campaign language on the subject of Social Security.

"The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie," Perry added. "It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them."

Perry is a not ready for prime time player. Eliminating Social Security and Medicare will not play with older Republican voters. A March WSJ/NBC poll showed three out of four Americans do not support cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Perry's misunderstanding of the Constitution leads to to advocate that America ignores the 14th amendment and not pay its debts. Perry is telling people that the government will not give a return on the Social Security retirement fund they put their money into. Perry doesn't say why. Perry does make clear he doesn't support Social Security. Therefore, he fearmongers.

The "cut, cap and balance" bill failed to pass in the Senate. On August 1, the day before the debt ceiling deadline expires, Perry refuses to support the House & Senate deal that got budget cuts and no tax increases. Perry is saying he would rather let America default. Perry, the so-called fiscal conservative, has no problem with America not paying its bills.

"Cut, cap and balance" illustrates how unserious Perry is about policy. The legislation did not have the 51 Senate votes to become law. How does Perry think "cut, cap and balance" will get 67 votes to become a constitutional amendment? Another problem is the bill is it is not fiscally possible.

Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States for the calendar year ending before the beginning of such fiscal year, unless two-thirds of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific amount in excess of such 18 percent by roll call vote.

The fiscal year of 2012 starts on October 1 of 2011. Congress would have to make a budget not knowing what the entire GDP would be. There would be not way to be certain if Congress went over or under the 18 percent of the GDP threshold until after the fiscal year over. It is the equivalent of filing your taxes before the fiscal year started. The fact that Perry would support such an unworkable proposal and advocates that it pass after it was already voted down in the Senate says much about his lack of understanding.

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Redistricting Hearing in Tampa

There will be a redistricting hearing today at Jefferson High School from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. I hope that citizens at these hearings continue to press Republicans on why they are legally fighting the Fair Districts amendments that passed with 60 percent of the popular vote. It is painfully obvious that Republicans like their gerrymandered districts and want to keep it that way.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fact of the Day

Florida K-12 education has been cut $542 per pupil.

In related news: Gov. Rick Scott paid his first visit to a public school by helping make cafeteria food.

In the video Scott gives people the impression that school spending has been raised by him. The fact is Scott cut spending for schools.

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Mike McCalister's Latest Military FUBAR

It is amazing to watch Mike McCalister implode. The Republican Senate candidate committed a serious no no by wearing Army ceremonial uniform to a political fundraiser. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that this is against Army policy.

"The retiree is not authorized to wear his uniform to political events," said U.S. Army spokesman Troy Rolan. He cited regulations that say current and former service members should only wear the
uniform to ceremonial events, such as Memorial Day, and should not wear the outfit to political functions.

McCalister, a retired Army Reserves Colonel, was forced to pull the nonexistent the job title of "special operations colonel" off his campaign web site. McCalister also said he testified to Congress as an active colonel. McCalister later claimed he never made that statement in a hysterical camcorder chase involving Marc Caputo, Sarah Rumpf, and Javier Manjarres.

Candidates are done when they become a punchline. The Republican nomination is between Adam Hasner and George Lemieux. MCalister's fundraising will soon dry up.


Rick Scott Fires Black People

It says a lot about Gov. Rick Scott when former Gov. Jeb Bush comes off as the voice of reason. There is a reason why the Scott campaign don't want the lost e-mails to be found. The emails will reveal how callous Scott and his transition team is.

Bush emailed Scott's campaign manager Susie Wiles during the transition. Bush asked why is the Scott Team firing black people.

"All three are African American, non-political and good workers," Bush wrote to Wiles.

Scott had a history of discriminatory hiring and firing practices. David Yarian worked for Scott's Solantic clinics. Yarian told of Scott's refusal to hire brown-skinned people.

After the attacks on Sept. 11, Yarian says that Scott phoned him and stated that he should be careful not to hire anyone of Middle Eastern descent because they might scare off customers. At the time, Yarian was willing to excuse the directive as part of the collective shock the country was going through.

In November, though, Yarian interviewed a Hispanic man for a supervisory nurse position. "He was great. He had all the qualities and experience I was after," Yarian says. "But he had a slight accent. When Rick found out, he said, 'Nope. All our employees have to be mainstream.'"

One of the black people fired by Carolyn "Freda" King. She had lost her son, Army Pfc. Brandon King, in August of 2010. Another termination was Mavis Knight. Bush wrote to Wiles that Knight ""four governors well."

Scott did use of of the vacancies to add a tea party activist to the external affairs office. Shockingly, Scott's media relations handler Brian Burgess had no comment. Neither did Scott. That tells you how bad these firings stink.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Like A Hurricane (Live Rust)

For all the people having to endure Hurricane Irene.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rubio Birther Movement

Republicans pandered to the birther movement. During the 2010 campaign, Marco Rubio refused to say whether or not President Barack Obama was an American citizen. It is a simple yes or no question that Rubio refused to answer out of fear of angering the tea party. It is fitting that the conservative conspiracy theory web site World Net Daily is now questioning Rubio's citizenship.

Rubio's press secretary Alex Burgos told WND the senator's parents "were permanent legal residents of the U.S." at the time Marco was born in Florida in 1971.

Then four years after Marco was born, "Mario and Oriales Rubio became naturalized U.S. citizens on Nov. 5, 1975," Burgos indicated.

When asked specifically if Sen. Rubio considered himself to be a natural-born citizen, Burgos responded, "Yes."

The Constitution mandates a presidential candidate to be a natural-born citizen, a requirement that has dogged Obama since the 2008 campaign.

I don't feel sorry for Rubio for having to endure this nonsense. That said, the attacks on Rubio's citizenship are baseless.

The Republican Party played to the most crazy people in their base. That is now coming back to bite them in the ass.

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Where Are the Young People?

The photo is of the grand opening of the Obama/Biden campaign headquarters in Orlando. This was the caption under the picture.

[Photo] Take a look at how many people are already at our #Obama2012 office opening in Orlando.

Creative Loafing's Joe Bardi tweeted this response.

And look how old they are, too.

An early sign that the youth vote won't be there for President Obama in 2012.

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Diamond Planet Found

Astronomers have detected a planet where unknown amount of its mass is diamond

"The evolutionary history and amazing density of the planet all suggest it is comprised of carbon," Matthew Bailes of the University of Technology in Melbourne told Reuters. He calls it "a massive diamond orbiting a neutron star every two hours in an orbit so tight it would fit inside our own Sun."

The planet is 4,000 light years away from Earth. The planet orbits a pulsar star every two hours and 10 minutes.

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Rep. Randy Hultgrem Destroyed On Tax Cuts Question

At a townhall meeting, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) is asked to cite evidence that the nine years of the Bush tax cuts have produced jobs. A woman in the audience notes that unemployment is higher than when the tax cuts took effect. Hultgram tries to swish the subject to the stimulus. The crowd demanded that Hultgren answer the question. Hultgrem immediately asked for the next question.

It really isn't hard to destroy the Republicans tax cuts message. More and more people are waking up to the fact that upper bracket tax cuts aren't making their lives better. Unfortunately, President Obama and his political team are terrified that they won't be seen as bipartisan if they attack the Republicans on the tax cut issue.

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn Online Townhall Meeting

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is doing another Facebook townhall meeting. The meeting will be held on August 30, 2011 at!/TamapGov. Tthe virtual townhall starts at at 7:00 PM.

Mayor Buckhorn will be meeting you in your office, home or wherever you have an internet connection when he hosts his Facebook Town Hall. Just submit a question in the comment box below or send it over to and tune in for the answer Tuesday night at 7 p.m.!

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Rachel Maddow On Rick Scott's Intrusive Government

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

Rachel Maddow points out that Gov. Rick Scott's idea of less government is forcing women seeking abortions to pay for an ultrasound.

Maddow shows video of an interview of Scott stating that poor people do more drugs than the rest of Florida's population. Maddow cited data of only 2 percent of people seeking unemployment compensation testing positive for drugs. The number of Floridians using drugs is over 8 percent. The testing is increasing government expenses from having to reimburse people that tested negative.

The Department of Children and Families’ central region has tested 40 applicants since the law went into effect six weeks ago, and of those 40 applicants, 38 tested negative for drugs. The cost to the state of Florida to reimburse those 38 individuals who tested negative was at least $1,140 over the course of six weeks. Meanwhile, denying benefits to the two applicants who tested positive will save Florida less than $240 a month.

So much for Scott's so-called fiscal conservatism. I agree with Maddow. Scott is doing this because he has a belief that poor people are immoral.

Update Six days before the drug testing bill was signed into law, Scott's spokeman Lane Wright told Talking Points Memo that they didn't know what the cost of the program would be.

"We don't have a dollar cost estimate at this time," he said. "Because of volume, the state is hoping to negotiate very competitive rates."

So much for fiscal conservatism.

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Quote of the Day

"I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza … I love her very much. I admire her and I'm proud of her because she's a black woman of African origin."

Muammar Gaddafi, professing his crush on Condoleezza Rice.

Libyan rebels showed the media Gaddafi extremely tacky crib. Gaddafi had several pictures of Rice on the wall to go along with with mermaid sofa.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Catch

Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett makes a catch that saves him from a possible hospital trip.


Bonus Quote of the Day

"It’s not healthy for rich people to feel maligned."

Anonymous Wall Street executive.

This executive and other rich people feel President Obama has been too mean to them. That explains why Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.


Rubio's Insane Comments on Social Security

Sen. Marco Rubio spoke at the the Reagan Presidential Library. Rubio told the audience that entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare have "weakened us as a people."

These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job.

This was the kind of lift yourself by your bootstraps that was spoken by conservatives during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Bobby Jindal argued that Katrina was an example that people should help themselves and government should stay out of the way. Never mind that Jindal took federal relief money to help Louisiana recover from Katrina and the BP spill.

In the worldview of Republicans such as Rubio and Jindal, those people stuck on roofs during the Katrina flood should use their American exceptionalism to help themselves. Rubio unexceptionally was in debt with college loans. Rubio ran up a $110,000 credit card bill using the nonprofit funds of the Republican Party of Florida.

"Having expenditures in the tens of thousands of dollars to pay off credit cards, it's clear to me it was being used to live off of. The Rubios were living off it,'' said state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, a strong Crist supporter.

Exceptional indeed.

Rubio fails to understand basic economics by stating that the government pays for Social Security. The reality is workers pay into the retirement fund with the payroll tax. As for Rubio's good old days of families taking care of each other, the depression made that nearly impossible.

The elderly also relied heavily on their families. ''Children, friends and relatives have borne and still carry the major cost of supporting the aged,'' the Committee on Economic Security, the Roosevelt administration panel that developed Social Security, reported in 1935. ''Several of the state surveys have disclosed that from 30 to 50 percent of the people over 65 years of age were being supported in this way.''

The Depression swept this world away. Many of the elderly could no longer find work. Those who had been lucky enough to have a pension or some savings saw them disappear. And many who relied on their children saw them buckle under the strain.

''I am in no position to do the right thing for my mother,'' one woman wrote to Roosevelt. ''I thought as long as I lived there was no need to worry about her being taken care of, but I never dreamed of a depression like we have had.''

Working past 65 and families having to financially shoulder the burden of taking care of elderly members is a wonderful thing in Rubio's worldview. What Rubio does not find wonderful was President Barack Obama's proposal to tax owners of corporate jets.

“It was rhetoric, I thought, that was more appropriate for some left-wing strong man than for the president of the United States.”

Rubio's worldview is that taxing corporate jets is the radicalism of a third world dictator and Social Security weakens America. That tells you all you need to know about Marco Rubio.

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Massachusetts Nurses Association Endorses Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren has yet to officially announce that she is running for the United States. However, the Massachusetts Nurses Association feel so strongly about Warren that they have decided to endorse her potential candidacy.

"Even though she is not yet an official candidate, the MNA Board has taken the unprecedented step of voting to support her," said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN and president of the MNA. "Her dedication to the nation's middle class, which she has demonstrated through her work as a faithful consumer advocate both locally and nationally, reflects one of the MNA's key goals: Restoring a basic standard of living for working people by creating financial remedies that hold Wall Street accountable while protecting those who live and work on Main Street USA."


"For too long now we have seen the results of Wall Street controlling the economy," said Karen Higgins, RN and co-president of the NNU. "It is time for the 'Main Street' values of financial equality and fairness to take precedence, and Elizabeth Warren is the person to lead us in that direction. She will go to Washington D.C. not to serve the interests of Wall Street, but to serve the interests of working people in Massachusetts and across America."

Warren has spent years fighting for working-class families and highlighting the need for financial reform and meaningful consumer protection. Following the financial crisis of 2008, she became the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which was created to oversee the U.S. banking bailout. Warren was also a long-time advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and helped establish it following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary.

Added Kelly-Williams, "We support Elizabeth because we want to help heal America, and we know that she will work with us in our fight to rebuild and restore Main Street."

Warren has formed an exploratory committee and is likely to run. The early endorsement is a sign of how much good will is felt for Warren by the Left. It will be interesting to see if that progressive supoort translates into strong online fundraising.

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Rick Perry Wants Gays to Practice Abstinence

We know that Gov. Rick Perry believes in abstinence. Perry believes so much that he wants gay people to share the joy of abstinence. From Perry's book "On My Honor."

In “On My Honor,” Perry also punted on the exact origins of homosexuality. He wrote that he is “no expert on the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate,” but that gays should simply choose abstinence. Perry’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whether he maintains this view.

Perry goes on to compare homosexuality to alcoholism.

“Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” he wrote. “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.”

Perry has had to disown the positions in his book "Fed Up!" I doubt Perry will backtrack on his views on homosexuality. Perry wants the Christian conservatives that make up the tea party. Perry will have trouble in a general election with his views. The problem with Perry is he is already imploding. Mitt Romney has kept a low profile and let the other Republican candidates Attack each other (Huntsman) or self-destruct (Gingrich).

It be interesting to see what Perry's fate will be. A serious politician with national ambitions would not talk about Texas seceding or abolishing Social Security. Perry is not ready for prime-time.

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Old Adam Hasner Mailer

Conservative blogger Jack Furnari dug up this old mailer of Adam Hasner bragging about his "moderate leanings." There is another mailer of Hasner support raises for school teachers, growth management and solar energy.

I find Hasner inauthentic. The Hasner that once had moderate leanings, and received an F grade from the Christian Coalition of Florida, is now foaming at the mouth about Sharia law. Hasner's only true political principle is getting himself elected to the U.S. Senate.


The Wookie Defense made the joke "St Petersburg mayor rolls out the Wookie defense." This was in reference to an absolutely bizarre meeting Mayor Bill Foster had with the City Council. The latter asked for a briefing on what Foster's plans were to keep the Tama Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. Foster told the City Council that they already been briefed. Hilarity ensues.

A day after a disjointed meeting on the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, City Council members were still wondering Friday what Mayor Bill Foster is up to and whether he is being candid with them.

At Thursday's council meeting, Foster said he has a detailed plan to break a stalemate with the team over a new stadium, and that he has shared those details with council members.

A majority of council members were so taken aback they scheduled a workshop to learn more.

On Friday, most reiterated that they have no idea what Foster meant when he insisted that he had informed them of his plans. Some wondered whether he even has a plan. Some criticized him for lack of communication.

Peter Schorsch submitted a public information request for any documents in the St. Petersburg Mayor's office pertaining to plans to keep the Rays in St. Petersburg. City Clerk Eva Andujar told Schorsch no such documents exist.

I said before that Foster was doing nothing more than chest thumping about keeping the Rays from moving. It turns out Foster isn't even doing that. I always wondered how the voters of St. Pete could elect Foster over the much more qualified Kathleen Ford. I hope the voters of St Petersburg are happy with this extremely incompetent man.

Update: Mayor Foster refused to talk about his imaginary plan to keep the Ray in town while St. Petersburg Times reporter Danny Valentine was present. Foster talked with constituents at his monthly breakfast meeting.

"Is he your guest?" Foster, referring to a St. Petersburg Times reporter, asked a group of people munching on breakfast. "Because I wouldn't have a candid conversation. So it's up to you. It's not up to me, it's up to these folks. I don't invite — I'm not doing a press conference so I don't invite the newspaper in to speak candidly with people unless the people" want a reporter there.

St. Petersburg resident Cathy Wilson responded: "We would prefer to solve our problems. And if that means, if your presence here means the mayor will not talk candidly, we would ask you to leave."

Judy Ellis, also at the table, chimed in: "We don't want to cramp his style."

Foster did tell Valentine his plan to keep the Rays was not a secret.

"What's funny is that a couple of people have asked me about the secret plan today and I said, 'Sure, here it is. It's not a secret. I told half the people that were in the room today. It's not a secret. It's just not for public consumption,' " he said.

The plan to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg is not a secret. Mayor Foster is not ready to allow the plan to be heard "for public consumption." The Wookie Defense continues.

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Quote of the Day

"Since 1970, executive pay has increased 430 percent while workers’ wages have crept up at a pace that barely kept up with inflation. The average executive’s pay has jumped over that time period to 158 times that of the average worker’s pay in those companies. It’s no wonder that the top 0.1 percent of income earners get richer by the day while millions of Americans are seeing their situations get worse.

"This is not John Wayne’s America. This is Gordon Gekko’s America."

Joe Scarborough, in his Politico column.

It is bad when a Republican like Joe Scarborough is more aware of how reckless has become than our Democratic president.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Soldiers Get Strange

A serious song about soldiers dealing with PTSD.

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Where Florida's High Speed Rail Money Went

Gov. Rick Scott made the false claim that he refusal to take federal funding for high speed rail helped prevented a shutdown.

The rail project from Tampa to Orlando could have created 48,800 direct and indirect jobs from the construction of the project. Scott dismissed that as saying the jobs would be temporary. However, all construction jobs last only until the project is finished. 1,100 permanent jobs would be created once the rail line was completed. For a state with a 10.7 unemployment rate, killing the high speed rail project was incredibly stupid.

Scott showed either ignorance by stating he refused the funding so it wouldn't add to the federal deficit. The problem with Scott's statement was that the funding was already appropriated. $449.94 million of the money that was to be used for the construction of the Tampa to Orlando line is now being used for the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. $400 million is being diverted to the repair and construction of Mideast rail lines. $300 million will help build a high speed line in California.

Scott turned down federal rail money on the claim that he helped stop the government shutdown because the funds would never be spent. The high speed rail money is being spent. I wonder what does Scott have to say now?

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Rod Smith Wants Hearing Over Lost Gov. Scott Emails

Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith is asking the Florida legislature to hold hearings on Gov. Rick Scott's transition team losing emails. There is zero chance of Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon of taking their oversight duties seriously. This is why elections matters. If one chamber of the Florida legislature was Democratic hearing could be held.

Smith's letter is under the fold.

Read more »

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Private Prisons Aren't About Saving Money

Dr. Michael Hallett, Professor & Chair for the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, sent a letter to Sen. Mike Fasano detailing the problems with Florida's rush to privatize prisons. Hallett warns Fasano that awarding prison contracts with no bid contracts will cost Florida more.

"It renders the state subject to captivity once the contract is awarded, by giving one corporation so much power and control over such a significant segment of the state budget," he said. "You can’t turn this around on a moments notice."

Hallett informs Fasano that one letter isn't enough to describe just how bad the prison privatization is.

"There are so many serious problems with this RFP that it is not easy to digest in one document," he wrote in the memo he sent to Fasano.

Despite claims by Gov. Rick Scott, privatization of Florida's prison system will cost the taxpayers more. The private prison system has resulted in horrible health care abuses that have resulted in inmates dying. Private prison companies have spent millions lobbying for longer sentences. Private prison companies are in it to make a profit. Scott's talking points of privatization saving taxpayers money denies logic.

Corrections Corporation of America has donated heavily to the Republican Party of Florida and to Scott.

Corrections Corp. of America, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., runs four prisons, and Management Training Corp., based in Utah, runs one.

Those three companies are prime financiers of the Republican Party. GEO Group alone gave more than $400,000 to the party in the past election cycle and another $25,000 to Scott's inaugural bash.

This is cynical opportunism. This has nothing to do with saving tax dollars.

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Rick Perry Attempts to Defend Abstinence Education

Gov. Rick Perry poorly defends his policy of abstinence education. The interviewer points out that Texas has the third highest rate of teen pregnancy. Perry says that abstinence education is a good use of tax dollars. Perry makes his case cites a policy of testing Texas teen for steroids and only finding 7 to 15. That steroid testing program was so successful that it was almost cut from the budget.

Perry is pushing his Christian Right worldview on public school students. This is the literature teens have to read in abstinence sex ed classes.

One Texas public school district's sex ed handout is entitled "Things to Look for in a Mate:"

I. How they relate to God
A. Is Jesus their first love?
B. Trying to impress people or serve God?

Another public school district uses this:

Question: "What does the Bible say about sex before marriage/premarital sex?"

Answer: Along with all other kinds of sexual immorality, sex before marriage/premarital sex is repeatedly condemned in Scripture (Acts 15:20; Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7).

Christian Right activists like Perry have a problem with sex. The fact is teenagers are going to have sex. If Perry truly believes that teens can be programmed to not have sex than he is too delusional to be president.

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Too Much information

This is the wrong way to react to an earthquake.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Eddie Hinton - Everybody Needs Love

Most people know the Drive-By Truckers version of the song. Hilton did the original version.

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Triangulation Man: The Base

As a wrote before, President Barack Obama's pursuit of Dick Morris' 1996 strategy is resulting in alienating the base. The latest Gallup poll finds that only 85 percent of Democrats would vote for President Obama. You can bet that Republicans will get the tea party mobilized.

Republicans are masters of GOTV. The excitement for Obama is gone. It is unlikely for Obama to get the youth vote turnout he received in 2008. Obama hasn't been using the presidential bully pulpit for job creation. Before you you mention the stimulus. Tas pointed out at how poorly the stimulus was designed.

Hah! Just kidding. Obama's "stimulus" bill spent $26 billion on highway infrastructure projects, while allotting $116 billion for a tax credit. Fat lot of fucking good that did -- Obama added that to get Republicans to vote for the stimulus deal, which none of them did. Corporations awash in investors money still didn't hire, and now investors finally realized that corporations tied to their stock portfolios weren't going to expand, so they fled.

Lesson to corporations: If you don't spend the money when you have it, then you lose it.

Obama's foreign policy successes with Osama bin Laden and Libya are important but not enough to secure re-election. Obama needs to create jobs. Obama needs to start painting Republicans as the enemy of job growth. Republicans have blamed Obama for the economy. The White House message has been the economy is the fault of both parties. While that it true it is also horrible messaging.

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Brent Spiner's Patrick Stewart Impression

Brent Spiner does a hysterical Patrick Stewart impression at Comic Con.

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Rick Scott Investigates Himself

It is always interesting when elected officials have to investigate themselves. Case in point are the Rick Scott transition team e-mails that were deleted. Many people were sceptical that this was an accident considering Team Scott's history of trying to go around Florida's Sunshine law. Blogger Peter Schorsch went nuclear and accused the Scott administration of being "Nixonian." With due respect to Peter, Scott isn't as Shakespearean as Nixon

Scott does share with Nixon the love of stonewalling and hiding information from the public.

It was an abrupt shift from Thursday, when Scott said during a St. Petersburg Times editorial board meeting that reporters had all of the e-mails in question.

In an interview with Associated Press editors Friday, Scott said "you give people as much information as you can" and promised that any public records request not handed over in 60 days should be done without any charge to news organizations.

The Sunshine require access to all public records. Not "as much information as you can."

The media first asked for these e-mails 8 months ago. Team Scott is only now confessing to the e-mails being lost. Chris Kise, who served on the transition team said that there were warnings the private firm handling the transition team's servers that the e-mails would be deleted once they stopped using the servers. The questions are why did the transition team ignore these warnings and why did it take 8 months to go public about losing the e-mails. This smells like a cover up.

Scott has called on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate why the e-mails were discarded. It is hard for me to believe that the FDLE can run a serious investigation on a governor that has the final say on the department's budget.

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Rick Scott's Let's Get Laid Off Plan

Florida's unemployment rate for July was 10.7 percent. The unemployment rate for June was 10.6 percent. Things are not getting better. Florida lost 22,000 jobs in July. 1,295 of those jobs were state workers laid off by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida legislature. Many more state and local government jobs will be lost because Republicans have this ideological belief that teachers and clerks get paid more than Goldman Sachs executives.

University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith told the St. Petersburg Times that unemployment is tied to the lack of leadership in Washington.

"Consumers are suffering from post-traumatic financial stress disorder," Snaith said. "With the recent debt ceiling debacle and all the volatility in financial markets, we're seeing a bit of a flashback to the 2008 financial crisis and the fear it created."

Next month's unemployment report, Snaith warned, could be even worse as both Wall Street and Main Street fret about the threat of a double dip recession. Europe's debt crisis, low consumer confidence, a housing market still seeking a bottom and roller-coaster stock markets are all fueling anxiety.

Meanwhile, Gov. Scott is backpeddling from his promise to create 700,000 jobs on top of the 1,000,000 jobs that were forecasted for the next seven years. You may remember that Scott promised to create 300,000 less then what was forecasted. Scott tells The Orlando Sentinel he doesn't know if his 700,000 job promise is possible.

Scott is now lowering the benchmark he set for himself if he counts every job created toward his 700,000 goal.

"I have no idea — I've never been an economist — what the state would have done," he said, referring to the state's projections. "But I do know that reducing taxes, which kill jobs, getting rid of regulation we don't need that kills jobs, making sure we don't have a bunch of frivolous lawsuits — that's what's going to change the trajectory of the state."

Scott revised his statement. Scott never produced an economic study to say how he would create these jobs. More likely Scott and his campaign team picked 700,000 because it was a nice around number.

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Bob Buckhorn Online Townhall Meeting

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will host a virtual townhall meeting tonight at The meeting will start at 7:00 PM tonight. You can ask questions by posting on the TampaGov Facebook wall.

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Sarah Palin Winning Like Charlie Sheen

Pay no attention to Karl Rove saying that Sarah Palin will run for President. A Dittman Research poll Palin's approval rating at 36 percent in her home state of Alaska. Palin's unfavorable rating is 61 percent. In a hysterical twist is Palin's arch-nemesis Lisa Murkowski has a godlike approval rating of 71 percent.


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Sunday, August 21, 2011

End the Payroll Holiday Tax

Unsurprisingly, Republicans want to let the payroll tax cut expire.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney did not flatly rule out an extra year for the payroll tax cut, but he "would prefer to see the payroll tax cut on the employer side" to spur job growth, his campaign said.

Translation: screw the working class and give tax cuts to big business. These businesses that Republicans call "job creators" haven't created many jobs lately.

The payroll tax is the 6.2 percent taken out of employee paychecks for Social Security. President Barack Obama pushed for a payroll tax holiday. The current payroll tax employees pay is 4.2 percent. Obama wants to extend the payroll tax holiday. Republicans don't care about the payroll tax and only want to use it as leverage against the Obama for more upper income tax cuts.

I have always thought the payroll tax holiday was an extremely stupid idea. The positive impact of the payroll tax holiday for working Americans has been negligible. The tax holiday has had a negative impact on generating revenue for Social Security. Obama and Republicans saying they care about Social Security. (Oddly enough by proposing cuts to Social Security.) The payroll holiday tax cut hurts Social Security.

The problem is that wages have been stagnant for working Americans. If Obama really wanted to help people put more money in their pocket he would propose raising the minimun wage. It would would a hugely popular proposal and put the Republicans in the position of having to tell Americans that raising the minimun wage is wrong. Of course, Obama is not going to do this.

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Rebels in Libya Planning Major Assault

There were previous reports that Gaddafi left Libya. The Washington Post reports rebels are forming an attack on Gaddafi's compound.

Anti-Gaddafi rebels, who have spent months quietly organizing for this moment, are now within a mile and a half of Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound and are hoping to launch an assault on the headquarters as soon as rebel reinforcements arrive, said an activist who uses the name Tony.

“We’re waiting for our brothers to get here from the west, and if they get here tonight then tonight’s our night,” he said. “We are beating this dog.”

Reports are that President Obama was pulled out of his golf game to be briefed about the latest events in Libya. This sounds big. The question is if Gaddafi is still in the country?

Update: the rebels will not attack if Gaddafi and his sons leave the country.


Quote of the Day

“As someone who was a leader in the White House that turned a record surplus into a deficit, that got us in a war that we never should have been in, and turned the floor of the New York Stock Exchange into a casino? I don’t think the American people are quite ready to hear a lecture from you on good governance.”

Bill Burton, former Obama administration spokesman slamming Karl Rove on Fox News.

I guarantee that if Burton was still serving in the Obama administration he would take Rove's criticism and say both parties need to compromise. Burton's remarks (unsurprisingly) tell me the The White House's poor messaging comes directly from President Obama and filters down. Obama does not want confrontation. The Republicans want to rip Obama a new one. The result is Obama's poll numbers are sinking to Rick Scott levels.

The Gallup poll shows Obama with a 39 percent. Three months ago Obama's job approval was 56 percent in the Gallup poll. Obama's strategy triangulation and giving the Republicans everything they wanted it the debt ceiling deal killed his poll numbers and resulted in Standard & Poors downgrading the United States credit rating. I would like the Obamabots to explain to me how Obama is playing three dimensional chess and I am not smart enough to realize what a political and policy genius the president is. Go ahead, Obamabots. Tell me.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Drive-By Truckers - Wallace

A song about the Devil welcoming segregationist George Wallace into hell. The song is from the album Southern Rock Opera. To say the album is brilliant is an understatement.

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Mike McCalister's Fun With Video Cameras

Republican U.S. Senate candidate was chased and filmed simultaneously by Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo, conservative activist Sarah Rumpf and The Shark Tank's Javier Manjarres. McCalister went into a panic when Caputo asked McCalister about his past statements that during his time he testified before Congress. Turns out that is false. McCalister's political handlers go into a panic. The handler say that McCalister has to find a restroom. If that is the case than why are McCalister and his team heading for the exit. Did the handler realize he could have the impression that McCalister was going to pee outside.

Sarah Rumpf has details about the video she filmed. The Caputo video is Miami Herald material without embedding access. It can be viewed here. The Shark Tank video is below

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Team Scott's E-mails Deleted Excuse

Gov. Rick Scott hasn't been known for his love of transparency. Scott's Director Of Press Relations, Brian Burgess did a major fuck you to the media by posted a picture on Twitter of documents that the Scott Administration refused to release to the media. Scott has increased the cost and red tape involved in gaining access to documents. The Scott administration do not use government email accounts to communicate government business with each other. They use private Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail accounts. This is the same strategy the Bush administration used during the Bush administration scandal involving the firing of U.S. Attorneys. Like the Bush administration, Team Scott has accidently deleted their emails.

The e-mail accounts of Rick Scott and most of the governor-elect's transition team were deleted soon after he took office, potentially erasing public records that state law requires be kept.

Scott's team acknowledged for the first time this week that the private company providing e-mail service deleted the records as early as mid January, about the time the Times/Herald first sought transition e-mails.

Team Scott is using the incompetent excuse. Hey, don't blame them because they have computer skill below that of a 12 year-old. However, believe every word about them creating jobs during one of the worst economic times in memory. Team Scott is competent. Except when they are incompetent. Got that?

The ACLU is outraged about the loss of the emails.

The reports that Governor Scott’s transition team deleted email accounts which contained public records are just the latest chapter in the Scott administration’s ongoing saga of disregard for the constitutional requirement of open government.

Time and again, the Scott administration has violated the public trust with its disdain for transparency. Now, with public records that the law requires be kept potentially being deleted, the public trust isn’t all that may have been violated.

We are disappointed, but not surprised, that once again this administration has let down Floridians who expect transparency, openness, and honesty from their government.

We have a governor who has a history of not giving straight answers during depositions.

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Fundraiser for Councilman Steve Kornell

There will be a fundraiser for St. Petersburg City Councilman Steve Kornell at Mindy Solomon's Gallery.

Time Wednesday, August 24 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Location Mindy Solomon's Gallery
124 2nd Ave. NE

Special guests Rick Kriseman and Scott Wagman will be there to help Kornell fundraise.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

This doesn't matter how big these cats get. Cats love their toys. You can see these cats at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.

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Quote of the Day

"What people recognize is that there’s a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward. And especially with this very bad debt ceiling bill, what we have done is given a favor to President Obama and the first thing he’ll whack is five hundred billion out of the military defense at a time when we’re fighting three wars. People recognize that."

Michele Bachmann, Jay Sekulow’s radio show.

Apparently, Bachmann polled the American people and discovered their greatest fear is the Soviet Union empire that no longer exists. Next week Bachmann will tell us that unicorns will attack Washington. Will someone please give Bachmann a history book.


The Rapture: Sharon's Choice

Whether you believe in God or not, The Rapture is a masterpiece. The scene when Sharon sends her daughter to God in one of most disturbing in cinema history. The final rapture comes shortly after the murder. Sharon loses her faith in will not process her love to God after she feels God made her kill her daughter.

The God of The Rapture is the God of the Old Testament. This God expects people to do whatever he requests to proof their love. Sharon killed her daughter of her own free will (correctly) believing that she would be sent to heaven. Sharon couldn't kill herself because that is a sin. God brought Sharon out to the desert to test her. God never said that Sharon was to kill her daughter. It is never clear why God sent her out to the desert. What is clear is the God in The Rapture expects complete devotion to him.

A born again Christian tells Sharon in jail that God forgives people for their sins.

"Who forgives God?," Sharon replies.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lifestyles of the Rich in Congress

Meet the 50 richest members of Congress. I am so glad that these people have taxpaid government health care.

Top 10

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California)

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California)

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)

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Rick Scott Makeover Fail

Gov. Rick Scott really wants people to like him. Scott is going into overdrive on his image makeover. Scott was asked to speak as a role model to middle schoolers at the Derrick Brooks Camp. Scott offered his thoughts on President Barack Obama.

"He's a nice guy. He's working hard."

Scott was speaking to an audience of mostly black children. Scott couldn't go on his usual bogus tirade about President Obama owning a mosque in New York City. In case you think Scott as turned over a new leave consider what he said about newspapers.

"It's a better job than you think," Scott said. "The newspapers only write good things about you."

Either Scott told these kids a major fib or he has been snorting ritalin. If Scott thinks the newspapers have been "only write good things" about him then Florida has a delusional governor. Considering how Scott avoided been interviewed by editorial boards it was obvious he knew that he would be asked some uunnice things about his scandal-plagued career in the health care industry.

As usual, Scott fails miserably when asked a tough question. Only Rick Scott can make a middle schooler come off as Mike Wallace.

But the middle-schoolers did not just lob softball questions. One complained that the state had reduced support for foster families.

"We didn't cut. We didn't cut their checks," Scott said, taken aback. He suggested the child call the state. "Somebody else has got your money."

Scott tells the kid to call the state. How about the governor ask his people to find out about his foster parents checks. After all, Scott is the chief executive of the state of Florida. This guy is pathetic.

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Quote of the Day

"High on list of things I'm looking forward to in 2012 presidential race: VP debates between Joe Biden and Marco Rubio."

Daniel Tilson, on Twitter.

The level of stupidity during that debate will be staggering.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Andrew Spark' Letter

Assistant attorney general Andrew Spark wrote a letter accusing Pam Bondi's Attorney General's office of having conflicts of interests with the mortgage industry. Bondi has come under sharp criticism after assistant attorney generals Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson were forced to resign. Spark letters details how two attorney in Bondi's office left to work for the mortgage industry.

Andrew Bennett Spark Letter

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Tom Waits Is the Cookie Monster

This video is proof that Tom Waits is the voice of the Cookie Monster. Have you ever seen Waits and the Cookie Monster together? I think not.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Cow Garage - Been So Long

From Two Cow Garage's first album Please Put the Gas Back On. Someday a country artist is going to remake this song and have a big hit. It is interesting to hear Micah Schnabel's voice before the cigarettes, drugs and booze took its toll.

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Orlando Homeless Feeding Update

The Orange County Democratic Executive Committee passed a resolution asking Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City Council to stop arrest members of Food Not Bombs. The group has been feeding the homeless in public parks.

“Whereas, the passage of this ordinance and its enforcement involving arrests may reflect badly on Orlando, internationally. Moreover, adverse publicity about these arrests may significantly hurt the economy and reputation of the City Beautiful,” the resolution reads, in part. “Whereas, as Democrats, we stand firm in our belief in anti-poverty policies and expect our elected officials to do the same.”

I'm glad the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee has stepped up. The policy of arresting people for feeding the homeless has been a disaster and certainly hasn't lowered the homeless population. Dyer and the city council can designate spaces where the homeless can be fed. Food Not Bombs can could have found private property owner that would have volunteered their space for feedings. Both sides drew their battle lines and weren't willing to compromise. Hopefully, the Executive Committee resolution is the start of sanity.

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Bachmann's Elvis Blunder

Rep. Michele Bachmann wishes Elvis Presley happy birthday on the day the King of rock & roll died. Whoops. Does Bachmann or her staff know that there is this thing called Google?

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The Tea Party Emails Bill Nelson

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded $100 million to Florida for Everglades restoration. This sent tea party activist "The Rogue Patriot" into a tizzy. Mr. Patriot sent an email to Sen. Bill Nelson voicing his displeasure over "Communist horsecrap" plan by "the United Nations" to spread their "collective Marxist Agenda."

Hilarity ensues under the fold.

Read more »

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Write A Caption: Rick Perry

Candidates need to stop eating corndogs in Iowa.

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Pink Slip Rick Scott

Ed Schultz spotlights the "Pink Slip Rick Scott" movement and the fact the man who hates public health care has a $30.00 per month public health care plan.

Scott pays only $30 per month for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance for himself and his family, the Miami Herald reported. Meanwhile, the janitors who clean his office in the state Capitol pay six times as much out of pocket for their own health coverage.

Scott accepts no salary as state executive, but a perk of his — and 32,000 other high-ranking state officials — job is the option to enroll in the cheap insurance plan. Individual insurance for these top-tier officials costs only $8.34 per month. Nearly all of the state's 160 legislators are enrolled in the plan as well.

Don't be too hard on Scott. He is only worth $103 million.

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Rick Perry Hates Regulations

Gov. Rick Perry's brand of crazy will guarantee a loss to President Barack Obama, if Perry wins the Republican nomination. Perry is calling on Obama to impose a moratorium on all regulations. Literally every regulation on the books. If you want safe food and air travel than too bad. Perry isn't a conservative. He is an anarchist.

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Allen West Hints At Senate Run

I give Rep. Allen West credit for this. West knows how to keep his name in the press. Never mind that he is a freshman Congressman. Never mind that West lose his seat through redistricting and has some in the tea party turning on him for voting to raise the debt ceiling. West hinted to Politico that he might run for Sen. Bill Nelson's seat.

“If people want to talk to me about something like that it would be very disrespectful and rude for me to slam the door in their face,” West said on Monday night at a sold-out Palm Beach County tea party meeting, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I cracked it open enough so that people can slip a note under the door and I can read the note and I can write back on the note ‘probably not’ and send it back out under the door,” the newspaper quotes West saying

Considering how Gov. Rick Scott has left Florida constituents with a bad taste for tea; it is hard to imagine how West's anger problems and voting for cutting Medicare. The last hard-right Republican to run against Nelson was Katherine Harris and we know how that went. I doubt West will fire his campaign staff like Harris did. However, the Nelson campaign will hammer West on Medicare.

More likely, this is West trying to garner himself publicity.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

The Rick Scott Makeover

It took Rick Scott's political team until August to realize that having the governor's facial features compared to Skeletor and Lord Voldemort wasn't helping his image. It didn't help that the governor's actual image scares the shit out of people and children.

Team Scott is asking the media to use a kinder and gentler publicity photo of Scott. After months of Brian Burgess openly declaring warfare on the media, they are now asking the media to help revamp Scott's image. The result is every newspaper blogging about Team Scott's request. The result is that the media isn't going along.

However, many media organizations, including this one, usually do not use handout photos from politicians.

Scott poll numbers are tanking. Team Scott isn't in the position to ask for anything. It is time for the Scott political team to start kissing ass.

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Dems Reaction to Mark Sharpe's Candidacy

Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe (R) announced that he will run for District 11 House of Representatives seat. In the past Castor has ran against walking punch line candidates like Tim Fasano. Redistricting has changed things. Due to the uncertainty, the Florida Democratic Party fired off an email stating their support of Castor.

Statement from Scott Arceneaux, Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party:

“Congresswoman Kathy Castor has a strong record of fighting on behalf of the families of the Tampa Bay area, always putting the interests of the people of Florida ahead of the special interests in Washington,” said Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Arceneaux. “She is a principled leader working hard to create jobs, improve schools, and protect consumers and the environment. Elected to Congress in the last cycle with overwhelming support, she is a proven fighter on behalf of the people in her district, and we are confident that her constituents will send her back to Congress next fall.”

The Hillsborough County Democratic Party is demanding that Sharpe step down from the Commission.

“Voters in Hillsborough County have a right to full-time representation," states Chris Mitchell, Chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee. “Today's announcement makes it clear that Mark Sharpe will be paying attention to his US House campaign, and that is not what people expected when they voted for him last November.”

Candidates hold elected office and run campaigns all the time. I wish both parties would dump this attack. It does say that the Florida Democratic establishment is taking Sharpe's candidacy seriously.

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Rick Perry Handling of Bush Question

I have never thought of Gov. Rick Perry as smart. Ever. Perry openly discussed Texas to seceding from the union. Perry was asked what was the difference between himself and his former boss George W. Bush.

Asked what the biggest difference is, Perry responded: "I went to Texas A&M. He went to Yale."

There you have it. Perry couldn't name a policy difference he had with Bush. (Perry was Bush's lt. governor.) It seems Perry entered the presidential race and did not think about how he could strike out his differences with an unpopular former president. Perry is the Fred Thompson of this presidential race. Like Thompson, people will think he is great until they hear Perry talk.


Disasterious Results of Obama Team Making Economic Policy

The New York Times reported that President Obama's political team has been making economic policy.

WASHINGTON — As the economy worsens, President Obama and his senior aides are considering whether to adopt a more combative approach on economic issues, seeking to highlight substantive differences with Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail rather than continuing to pursue elusive compromises, advisers to the president say.

Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact. These include free trade agreements and improved patent protections for inventors.

But others, including Gene Sperling, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, say public anger over the debt ceiling debate has weakened Republicans and created an opening for bigger ideas like tax incentives for businesses that hire more workers, according to Congressional Democrats who share that view. Democrats are also pushing the White House to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

David Plouffe's and Daley's ideas translate into things that Republicans support like cutting entitlements. Cutting entitlements isn't going to increase jobs. In fact, it will hurt the most needy Americans during an economic downturn. Plouffe an Daley advocate passing Republican proposals with a non-confrontational approach. The White House went to the Right of Republicans by proposing $2.7 trillion in spending cuts. Obama even offering cuts in Social Security. The Republicans balked. What Sperling is proposing is put pressure on Republicans to pass tax cuts to businesses that hire new employees. The Obama political team won't listen to Sperling because he is an economic policy guy.

The Obama political team's handling of the debt ceiling resulted in Medicare cuts and Standard & Poors downgrading the United States' credit rating to AA. The political team thought the debt ceiling agreement would be a political win for Obama. They were wrong.

The ratings, which aggregate Gallup polling done from January through June, came out just as Gallup was releasing its latest tracking poll showing Obama’s approval nationwide at 39%, the lowest in his presidency. If Obama’s national approval remains stuck at that level -- or even in the low 40s – then state-by-state assessments probably won’t matter much. Historically, presidents don’t win re-election with that sort of approval rating.

Obama is in serious political trouble. I have said before that Obama is not a policy wonk. Obama governs the economy with the same lack of seriousness as President George W. Bush. I wonder if when Obama was signing the Bush tax cut entension was Plouffe telling him to "stay on message."

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Charlie Crist Raising Money For a Democrat

Former Gov. Charlie Crist will attend a fundraiser and help raise money for Democrat Jackie Pons' re-election campaign to the Leon County School Superintendent post. There really shouldn't be much doubt where Crist's political loyalties are these days.

There has been much political chatter about Crist running for governor in 2014 as a Democrat. Raising money for Democratic candidates is a way for Crist to gain political capital within the Florida Democratic establishment. I'm not against Crist running against Rick Scott in 2014. I will take that over Alex Sink being a Democratic nominee and Scott winding up with four more years. Sink will run again. Don't doubt it for a second.

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Allen West Not Crazy Enough For Tea Party

Proof that the tea party will never be satisfied. Tea party activist are accusing Allen West of selling out the cause. Whatever that poorly defined cause is.

"I think he chickened out," said Joseph Williams, a Republican and member of the tea party movement. "I'm very disappointed in him."

Excuse me but when did Allen West become Lincoln Chafee. West's idea of moderation is firing off a nasty e-mail at Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, after Wasserman-Schultz correctly pointed out that West supported the Medicare cuts in the Paul Ryan plan. This is a man that seriously has too much caffeine in his diet.

More tea party anti Allen West sentiment.

Williams isn't alone. Since West voted early this month to raise the federal government's debt ceiling, activists from his tea party base are "shocked and disappointed," said Charles Robertson, co-founder of the Broward Tea Party.

As I pointed out before, the tea party wanted the United States to default. These people aren't patriotic. They are crazy. Apparently, West isn't crazy enough for them because he voted to raise the debt ceiling. Tea party activists are also surprised that a freshman Congressman would do what leaderships says. These people failed to notice that West is a politician. A bizarre politician. But a politician none the less.

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