Sunday, June 30, 2013

Florida Has First Legally Bi-National Gay Married Couple

Florida finally does a progressive first in America. Julian Marsh and Traian “Tray” Popov of Fort Lauderdale are the first bi-natural married gay couple to have their marriage recognized by Popov's green card. Marsh and Popov couldn't marry in Florida because of the state ban against marriage. The couple married in Brooklyn, New York.

Their immigration attorney, Lavi Soloway of New York and California, believes Marsh and Popov’s case will “accelerate change” in Florida.

“That new reality changes the perspective of a lot of Floridians who probably never gave a thought to marriage equality,” said Soloway, co-founder of the DOMA Project for gay and lesbian binational couples.” Soloway, who said he represents “scores” of similar couples in South Florida, is pleased the first gay couple to get a green card is from the Sunshine State.

No matter how Gov. Rick Scott feels about gay marriage; he can't legally change the fact that Marsh and Popov are legally a married couple.

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The Bong Bill

This is how bad the Florida legislature has become. Rep. Darryl Rouson’s "bong bill" has finally made it into law.

Rep. Darryl Rouson’s “bong bill” was widely ridiculed, since its inception in 2010 as a sales tax on drug paraphernalia, and the concept has been tied up in court challenges by retailers who sell various pipes and other smoking devices. But Rouson, a recovered drug addict who has marked 15 years of sobriety, argued that the pseudo-smoke shops congregate in college towns and openly market their wares to young people.

The St. Petersburg Democrat's bill (HB 49) makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly sell paraphernalia generally associated with drug use. Repeat offenses are felonies.

I respect Rouson's feelings as a recovering addict. However, police resources should be used for other things besides raiding smoke shops.

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Income Inequality

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The Hamilton Project has done a study on how income inequality social mobility and education. As you can see by the chart; Americans making less aren't moving above their economic status. In America the Haves have more and the have nots are getting poorer.

Figure 1 illustrates the diverging fortunes of children based on their family’s income, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Children in families at the top of the income distribution have experienced sizable gains in their families’ incomes and resources since 1975. Children living in the top 5 percent of families, for instance, have seen a doubling of their families’ incomes. But such gains have been more modest for children in the middle of the distribution, and children living in lower-income families have experienced outright declines in incomes. In fact, in 2011 the bottom 35 percent of children lived in families with lower reported incomes than comparable children thirty-six years earlier.

The Hamilton Project compared a college education to other investments. The findings show it makes financial sense to further the education of young people.

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What will hurt the future of education America's young people is the increase in student loan debt.

Over the past decade, the volume and frequency of student loans have increased significantly. The share of twenty-five-year-olds with student debt has risen by about 15 percentage points since 2004, and the amount of student debt incurred by those under the age of thirty has more than doubled (Lee 2013).

Despite these increases, the majority of students appear to borrow prudently. About 90 percent have loan balances less than $50,000, and 40 percent have balances under $10,000 (Fry 2012). Given that a college graduate can expect to earn, on average, about $30,000 more per year than a high school graduate over the course of his or her life, the returns to college appear to warrant the cost of student loans for most students.

House Republicans wanted to raise student loan rates from 3.4 to 8.5 and let rates fluctuate with increases in Tresury notes. Democrats wanted to wanted to lock in rates at 3.4 percent for another two years. House Speaker recessed without bringing up student loan rates. Boehner spent the week failing to pass the Farm bill.

We have one of the two major political parties helping cause income inequality by making college education too expensive for students.

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Best Edward Snowden Comic Ever

This is a great parody of both the questions of Edward Snowden's whereabouts and the children's show Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Rick Scott's 'Traditional Marriage' Nonsense

This comes as a shock to no one. Gov. Rick Scott is going to defend Florida's ban on gay marriage. The Supreme Court's repeal of DOMA be damned.

"It impacted federal law, not state law," Scott said of the high court's 5-4 ruling. "In 2008, Florida voters amended our constitution and said that we are a traditional marriage state, that marriage is between a man and a woman. As the governor of this state, I'll uphold the law of the land, and that's the law of our state."

Scott goes on.

Asked whether he has reconsidered his position on the issue, Scott replied: "Look, I've been married since I was 19. I believe in traditional marriage."

Does Scott even know what "traditional marriage" is? Is Scott saying that he supports the days when his ancestors were forced into arranged marriages? "Traditional marriage" is merely a talking point that Republicans use when they don't want to admit that they are discriminating against a group of people.

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Photo of the Day

It's not everyday you see House Speaker John Boehner hugging Rep. Kathy Castor.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Silversun Pickups - Dots And Dashes (Enough Already)

This is a live rehearsal performance of the Silversun Pickups doing their new song Dots And Dashes (Enough Already). I'm really digging the song. You can buy the new Silversun Pickups album "Neck of the Woods" on iTunes.

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Family Research Council's Call to Fail (NSFW)

The Family Research Council the best way to protest teh gays is this hysterical logo. I wonder how many of this anti-gay Christian fundamentalists will be on their knees in bathroom stalls.

Progressive blogs have been a field day with the "Call 2 Fall" this image. I can't find the graphic on the Family Research Council website. Apparently, public mocking will cause them to pull an image from their website.

Update: a person made this parody image. It is NSFW.

The parody image was created by Richard DiscoPup Dupler.

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Quote of the Day

"I think it is somehow related to demonic possession."

Pat Robertson, on his theory that homosexuality is caused by demonic possession.

Is it me or does Robertson really like talking about gay men cruising the streets for sex. I seriously cannot watch this video without laughing. Pat, stop being ashamed and fly your freak flag.

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Rick Scott's Poor Handling of Department of Children & Families Deaths

I have blogged in the past about child abuse and mismanagement by the Department of Children & Families here, here and here. Gov Rick Scott has praised Secretary David Wilkins handling of the DCF. The only problem with Scott's narrative is dead children and the words of Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen.

“We have a very severe systemic problem,” Cohen said. “The system is not working, and it’s scary.”

“Every single one of these deaths could have been avoided,” said Cohen who was a veteran child welfare judge before transferring to Miami’s drug court, where she often still deals with parents whose addictions undermine their parenting. “You can’t explain away this many child deaths in this short a period of time where the state’s child protective investigation system is implicated. It’s urgent and it’s serious and it’s unconscionable..''

Translation: Judge Cohen is saying that the state bears responsibility in these deaths and lacks credibility. The Scott administration's first reaction to the TB outbreak was to cover it up. The result was 3,000 Floridians getting TB. This is the kind of incompetent governing that happens when a ideologue conservative becomes governor.

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3 Boys Farm T-Shirts

Occasional PR blogger Litbrit's family runs 3 Boys Farm. You can show your support for the farm by buying this T-shirt.

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Why the Media Should Not Ask St. Pete Mayoral Candidates About Goliath Davis

Peter Schorsch has taken to his blog, Facebook and Twitter to shout from the rooftops his displeasure at St. Petersburg maoral candidate Kathleen Ford not appearing at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club debate. The Bay Buzz has picked up on Schorsch's public displeasure. It is always better when candidates appear to debate. However, when they have to field loaded questions like this then there is a good reason for them not to appear.

No, Tiger Bay is where Ford would likely be asked insightful questions, such as whether she agreed with Mayor Foster’s decision to fire her newfound ally, Goliath Davis, for not attending the funerals of murdered St. Petersburg Police officers.

You ask would Ford have to answer that question? Schorsch sits on the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club board and has expressed a strong dislike to Ford on his blog.

All I know at this time is that I am for ABK — Anybody But Kathleen.

Former police chief Goliath Davis made a boneheaded move when he didn't attend the funeral of St. Petersburg Police Sgt. Thomas Batiniger and Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz. Mayor Bill Foster fired Davis. Now Davis has declared he would support Foster's opponent. has made an attempt to connect Davis to Ford. It's a rather big stretch.

If Ford said she would have, then to Davis there should be little difference between her and Foster.

If Ford said she would not have, she risks losing the angry white vote which comprises much of her base.

Damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.

Schorsch is an aggressive political operative. Schorsch is trying to get the media to ask Ford the question because she would lose which ever way she answers the question. If she says that she would have fired Davis then she risks alienating the black community. If Ford answers that she would have kept Davis on then she could lose white voters. The same question could be asked of Rick Kriseman. Schorsch hasn't asked that media to ask Kriseman that question. That might be because Schorsch has a "Rick Kriseman for Mayor of St. Petersburg" sign in his front yard.

Schorsch is free to support the candidate of his choosing. What Schorsch fails to realize is that if Ford is asked about Davis then Kriseman and Foster will be asked the same question. Foster doesn't want to go over the firing of Davis with the media again. Kriseman doesn't want to alienate black voters.

Foster made the right decision to fire Davis. I have other issues with Foster's leadership but I don't think he should have to relive a terrible time in St. Petersburg history. Kriseman and Ford weren't mayor when Davis was fired. What if questions are tedious in politics.

What does concern me his Goliath Davis becoming a racially divisive issue in the election. It does not bring the community together and does a disservice to the candidates. Goliath Davis is not worth a single news cycle. I would much rather hear the candidates debate how they can help the black community.

My advice to the media is keep Goliath Davis out of the mayoral race.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RIP Alan Myers of Devo

Alan Myers, the former drummer of Devo has died. Jazz musician Ralph Carney broke the news to the public.

i just got some bad news. Alan Myers passed yesterday from cancer. he was Devo's best drummer and one of the first people to teach me about jazz. i cry..........

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Tampa ACLU March on July 4

Via Stogie: the Tampa chapter of the ACLU will hold a march on July 4th.

Time: Thursday, July 4, 2013 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Location: Greco Middle School 6925 E Fowler Ave, Temple Terrace, FL 33617

Contact: Mike Pheneger at 813-505-7562 or mphenege@tampabay.rr.com

Greco Middle School is near the USF Sun Dome and the MOSI. I would recommend not parking at USF. If you don't have a USF parking pass, the campus police are likely to Denver boot your car.

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President Obama Calls Proposition 8 Plaintiffs

President Barack Obama called Proposition 8 plaintiffs Paul Katami, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier from Air Force One. Obama congratulated the plaintiffs on their Supreme Court victory. It is a nice moment for three people whom have been fighting for their civil rights.

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Quote of the Day

"Who cares?"

Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, on Rep. Michele Bachmann's comments against the Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Pelosi was asked about a statement Bachmann released.
"Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted," Bachmann said in a statement.

"For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations.

If you are not religious then you don't believe that marriage was a tradition started by God. Bachmann is entitled to her beliefs. Bachmann cannot prove her believe with empirical evidence that the institution of marriage was created by a higher power. I also wonder when did "foundational" become a word.

If Bachmann wants to talk about traditional marriage then she has to address arranged marriages or young daughters traded for land or livestock. I doubt Bachmann will be that candid.

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The Horrors of the Texas Death Penalty System

This is a disturbing graph. Texas has more executions than Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida and Missouri combined. Texas is set to execute its 500th inmate. The details of the murder committed by Kimberly McCarthy are gruesome. I am not arguing that she is a saint. However, the reinstatement of the death penalty was suppose to lower the murder rate. There is no evidence that the death penalty prevents murder. There is also the question of how many innocent men are women have been executed. Anthony Graves is the perfect example. Grave was wrongly sentenced to death by the state of Texas. His charges were dismissed in 2010.

Graves wrote this op-ed. Graves details the brutal conditions in the Texas prison system.
The jury had already convicted me of murdering six people and burning their house down to cover up the crime. I was completely innocent: they had the wrong guy. I was scared of dying for a crime I did not commit, but I knew I was innocent and hoped someone, somewhere would make it right.

What I didn't know then was that this wrongful death sentence was only part of the torture I would experience for the next 18 1/2 years. I didn't know that I would be forced to live in an 8-foot, by 12-foot cage. I didn't know I would have to use a steel toilet, connected to my steel sink, in plain view of the male and female corrections officers who would walk the runs in front of my cell. I didn't know that for years on end I would have no physical contact with a single human being.

I didn't know that guards would feed me like a dog, through a slot in my door. Instead of providing basic nutrients, the food sometimes contained rat feces, broken glass or the sweat of the inmate who cooked it. This diet caused me health problems that continue today.

The prison gave me no phone to call my loved ones, no television to keep up with the world and local events, and no real medical care. I lived behind a steel door, with filthy mesh-covered windows looking out to the run.

Ask yourself if wrongly imprisoning Graves and sentencing him to die prevented one murder.

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Wednesday Cat Blogging

A Florida panther cub was discovered in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.

Congratulations, Florida … it’s a panther kitten! An orphaned female panther kitten rescued by the FWC in 2011 now has a kitten of her own! The now 2-year-old panther, raised in captivity with her brother, became pregnant just 23 days after her release in January. Our panther biologists were able to track her movements with her special collar, and found her single female kitten nestled amongst a tangle of wax myrtle stems in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park on Saturday. The kitten is about 30 days old, weighs 3.5 pounds and appears healthy. So we decided to throw a panther baby shower! Consider giving your family and friends the gift of a Florida panther license plate today, and congratulate them on the new addition to their state’s wildlife family. This is a great example of a rescue, rehabilitation, release and finally reproduction in the wild. The birth of this kitten completes the cycle. When you buy a panther plate, the proceeds go toward panther conservation efforts like this rescue/release. Join the baby panther shower; buy a panther plate today http://buyaplate.com/Protect%20The%20Panther.

Here is a video of the kitten.

There are pictures of the kitten on Flickr.

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Michael Steele's Tweet On Republicans Alienating Minorities

Michael Steele lays into his own party for their racially derisive policies towards minorities. The Republican Party has lost the black vote and is working very hard to permanently lose the Hispanic vote.

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Seattle Mariners Will Fly Pride Flag

The Seattle Mariners will fly the pride flag on June 30th. The game will be against the Chicago Cubs and coincides with the 39th annual Seattle Pride Parade. Seattle Out & Proud issued this statement.

"We're thrilled to have so much community support in Seattle and greatly appreciate the leadership from the Mariners in promoting equality and acceptance in professional sports," says Adam McRoberts, Spokesman for Seattle Out & Proud.

The Seattle Mariners explained their reasoning for flying the pride flag.

Rebecca Hale, Director of Public Information for the Mariners told Seattle Out & Proud this morning, "We're a part of this community. Our fans are a reflection of our community. We thought this was an appropriate gesture on a day that is very meaningful to the LGBT community."

I'm glad to see the Mariners doing this.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let Her Speak

This amazing viral moment happened during the Wendy Davis filibuster of the Draconian anti-abortion bill making its way through the Texas legislature. Women in the chamber will not allow male elected leaders to silence Davis. Let her speak.

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Willie Nelson's Crossroads Performance

Get More:

Willie Nelson celebrated his 80th birthday by performing at Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville. Jack White, Neil Young, Leon Russell, Sheryl Crow and Norah Jones perform with the country music legend.

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Write A Caption: Glenn Beck

No one likes playing dress-up more than Glenn Beck. I wonder if Beck is trying to be every member of the Village People.

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Dubious Rubio's Cuban Immigration Blunder

Is Sen. Marco Rubio trying to lose his South Florida Cuban base by openly discussing taking fast-track immigration status for Cuban refugees.

"I don't criticize anyone who wants to go visit their mom or dad or their dying brother or sister in Cuba," he said. "But I am telling you it gets very difficult to justify someone's status as an exile and refugee when a year and a half after they get here they are flying back to that country over and over again."

This is where Rubio lacks empathy or knowledge on the issue. Many Cubans travel back to their native country to help their relatives. The travel restrictions on Cuba are tough as it is. It isn't like Cuban American citizens are jet-setting to Cuba every weekend.

I sense that Rubio is going to backtrack from this quote he gave to the Tampa Bay Times very quickly. The Miami Cuban community has supported Rubio's political ambitions for decades. Younger generations of Cuban-Americans are less hard-line. How Rubio thinks telling his Cuban-American base that they can't visit their relatives is suppose to serve his political ambitions is beyond me.

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The N Word

Guest post by David Scott Anderson.

Nigga!

Did I get your attention? I could Care Less about Paula Deen. Some folks want to make this about her using the word Nigger (Did that Shock You?), or telling an occasional insensitive joke. Much less focus has been put on her other antics, wanting an Ante Bellum wedding, including waiters dressed as slaves, or her other antics. Paula falls into that category of "Racist who dont really understand that they are racist."

But Ms. Deen is not the subject of this post. I want to talk about the N word, the black version of it. The one that is pronounced Ninja, Nigga, Niggah, etc. The one that blacks sometimes use as a so called "term of endearment." I don't know when Black folks started looking at this repugnant word as such, or why. Oh yeah I have heard the theories about how using the word disarms it. On this, I take great delight in calling Bull Shit. No matter how many times I hear people of my skin tone using the word, it still stings when a person of another race calls me that word. And no matter how many times I hear it in "friendly company," it remains a hateful word.

I do not tell people how to talk, unless their last name is Anderson, and they live under my roof. But I do not understand why so many Black people hold desperately onto this word, not only accept its use, but defend it. It is time to let go. Let go of this word. Stop using it. It is not some proud relic of our culture. It is not some anti establishment Mantra. Did Malcom X use this word as a term of endearment? Its Not funny, or it should not be, to anyone except people like Paula Deen. Give it up! Or stop bitching when Deen and others use it!

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Tea Party Nation Does Global Warming Science and Fails

Alan Caruba ran a post on Tea Party Nation claiming that the media won't check websites that prove that global warming is a hoax.

The claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant is absurd insofar as it is, next to oxygen, the second most vital gas for life on planet Earth. It is responsible for the growth of all vegetation, including crops vital to feeding humanity and the livestock on which they depend as a food source.

If you want to learn the truth about CO2, you can visit:

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/

http://sppiblog.org/

http://www.co2science.org/

http://www.nipccreport.org/

What Caruba is either ignorant about or fails to mention is that these global warming denier groups are funded by Exxon. The first link goes to the Science and Public Policy Institute. SPPI does no research since it only has three employees. SourceWatch reports that SPPI was denied tax exempt status.

Although in March 2011 SPPI's webpages described it as "a nonprofit institute of research and education dedicated to sound public policy...", in early 2011 Ferguson said SPPI had not been granted nonprofit status from the IRS[5], 3+ years after it was formed.

(An entry in Virginia's Corporation Records [1] for "Science and Public Policy Institute, The" (#0673507-0) shows SPPI's directors as Robert E. Ferguson, and two attorneys. But this was reportedly a shell corporation, with no income and no expenditures.[6])

The second link goes to the Science and Public Policy Institute blog. Apparently, Caruba places a lot of faith into an organization that does no scientific research. SPPI president Robert Ferguson has no scientific background. Ferguson has an undergraduate degree in history, Brigham Young University, and a master's degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University. Ferguson receives his pay through the Idso family. The Idsos run the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. The funding for the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change comes from Exxon Mobil. The group has also been involved with ALEC.

Blogger Bart Verheggen has a good breakdown on the bogus scientific reports provided by the Nipccreport (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change). SourceWatch reports that NIPCC releases scientific reports written by people who aren't scientists.

The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change led to the production of the "Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change." While the "NIPCC enlisted several hundred scientists from more than 100 countries to work over five years to produce its series of reports, the NIPCC document is the work of 23 authors from 15 nations, some of them not scientists," said Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post.[5] This report, edited by Fred Singer, alleged that "natural causes are very likely to be the dominant cause" of climate change and concluded that while anthropogenic sources of GHGs may produce some warming, "evidence shows they are not playing a significant role." [6] The validity of the NIPCC report has been highly questioned by RealClimate, whose scientists have labeled the report "disingenuous and misleading, if not outright dishonest." On their wiki site, they debunk the arguments, chapter by chapter, put forth by the NIPCC. [7]

2009's conference, with the theme "Global Warming Crisis: Cancelled," planned, as did the 2008 gathering, to call "attention to new research findings that contradict the conclusions of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report." [8]

In an interview conducted part way through the conference with NPR, New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin explained that "what I sense, they're realizing that they have such a varied array of scientific explanations for what is going on with the climate that they felt the need to ... square up their own story in some sense because otherwise they are in danger of losing credibility. What has caused this change? They're not gaining traction."[9] Revkin said that Russell Seitz, who had attended the 2008 conference[10], "felt stiffed and didn't really fit their script". 'He felt a strong sense that there is a political frame of the issue that supersedes the need for the science to be accurate. He was kind of frustrated," Revkin said.[9]

Mr. Caruba is right. Journalists will not be going to his recommended global warming denier sites. Not unless these journalists want a good laugh.

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Rick Kriseman Receives Endorsements of LGBT Groups

St. Petersburg candidate for mayor, Rick Kriseman, has been endorsed by the LGBT groups Equality Florida and the Stonewall Democrats.

“I am proud to have the support of the LGBT community,” Kriseman said in a statement. “As mayor, I will ensure that St. Petersburg remains a city that values and celebrates diversity.”

In the Florida House of Representatives, Kriseman filed a bill urging President Barack Obama to end 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

"It’s past time to end the failed policy of ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ There are nearly eighty thousand gay or lesbian veterans who live in Florida. Brave men and women who served honorably, but also in fear. They deserved better, and today’s service members deserve better. I urge our leaders in Washington, D.C., to move quickly in repealing this terribly ineffective law," said Rep. Kriseman.

Kriseman has served as the Grand Marshall in the St. Pete Pride parade and has sponsored legislation to ban discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity in the Florida workplace. Kriseman has a stronger record on LGBT issues than most members of his party.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Eddie Vedder and The Fastbacks - Naked Eye

This recording has been floating around for a while now. Eddie Vedder joined the Fastbacks onstage to perform The Who song Naked Eye. This is arguably the most personal song Pete Townshend has ever wrote. Pay attention to Vedder putting a heckler in his place.

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Alan Grayson Speaks On NSA Spying

Rep. Alan Grayson is unsatified with the assurances provided by President Barack Obama on NSA spying. Grayson feels that the Obama administration is going to extreme measures in the name of national security.

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Quote of the Day

"We’ll make something up."

Bill Hemmer, Fox News host on how to fill the news cycle due to the lack of Supreme Court news.

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Louie Gohmert Compares Sex Education to the Soviet Union

Via Right Wing Watch: Rep. Louie Gohmert is a parody of an elected official. Gohmert is against public schools teaching sex education. I find that interesting since Gohmert has openly discussed the sexual practices of animals. Gohmert spoke on Wall Builders Live with hosts David Barton and Rick Green. Gohmert compared sex education to the Soviet Union.

Let the kids be innocent. Let them dream. Let them play. Let them enjoy their life. You don't have to force this sexuality stuff into their life at such a point. It was never intended to be that way. They'll find out soon enough. And, in fact, ... mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody. And now we feel like, oh gosh, people are too stupid to unless we force them to sit and listen to instructions. It's just incredible.

And there is a natural law that parents should be involved in education, they should know about, they should be part of the training - that's a law of nature; Alan Keyes was just talking about it this weekend when we were together. That is such an important part of nature and yet that is the very thing that some of these liberals want to take away.

And it reminds me so much of the summer that I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union back in the Seventies and I was shocked when they were saying 'no, the children don't belong to parents, they belong to the state.' And if any parent said anything in front of their children negative about the wonderful Soviet Union, then we will take their children away and give them to somebody more deserving. And I just thought how horribly shocking that was, that of course parents were the ones who love the children, not the state. And I thought thank God that we don't have that in our country.

And now I've seen this coming with a lady from MSNBC saying "hey, children belong to the state" ... and it just sent chills because it took me back to the Seventies when that's what the Soviet Union used to say and we know how well that worked out.

I find it funny that Gohmert cites Alan Keyes as a source of wisdom. Keyes has denounced his gay daughter and public mocked by other Republican candidates in a 2007 Iowa presidential debate. Wall Builders Live co-host David Barton has been publicly busted for making up false quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers. Barton was also an instructor for Glenn Beck's online school. Gohmert tends to associate himself with Christian Right fundamentalists. This is the real reason he doesn't want sex education in schools.

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Stephen Ross Hearts Rick Scott

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is mad at House Speaker Will Weatherford for not having a floor vote on the tax subsidy for a new stadium. Ross released this statement.

Tonight, Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy. The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida. He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade,and that is just wrong.

I am deeply disappointed by the Speaker's decision. He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate. It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come

I seriously doubt not having a floor vote will hurt Weatherford. A poll by Dario Moreno found that 73 percent of likely Miami-Dade County voters did not support a tax subsidy for a new stadium. The lack of public support is why Weatherford didn't have a floor vote. Ross has decided to turn to a man that loves using tax dollars for corporate profits. Yes, I am talking about Gov. Rick Scott.

The political action committee will support Republican Gov. Rick Scott's reelection next year and play a "nonpartisan" effort in other Florida races, according to Politico. The governor all but endorsed the Dolphins' proposal.

Ross, a billionaire real-estate developer, is a longtime GOP fundraiser. But he was incensed at some in his own party who blocked the stadium legislation during this year's session, chief among them House Speaker Will Weatherford. The legislation was required to allow Miami-Dade to ask voters whether public money should be spent on the stadium upgrades.

Never mind that taxpayers will pay for the new stadium and that the Miami Dolphins will reap all the profits. Never mind that studies, such as by Andrew Zimbalist and Roger G. Noll, do not provide jobs are huge financial benefits for the communities they are in.

In our forthcoming Brookings book, Sports, Jobs, and Taxes, we and 15 collaborators examine the local economic development argument from all angles: case studies of the effect of specific facilities, as well as comparisons among cities and even neighborhoods that have and have not sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into sports development. In every case, the conclusions are the same. A new sports facility has an extremely small (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility appears to have earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment. No recent facility has been self-financing in terms of its impact on net tax revenues. Regardless of whether the unit of analysis is a local neighborhood, a city, or an entire metropolitan area, the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus.

State representatives Jose Felix Diaz, Carlos Trujillo and Michael Bileca by Florida Jobs First. This is a PAC created by Ross. There would be jobs created in construction of a new stadium. The long-term benefit is mostly part-time employers selling hot dogs and cleaning the stadium. Ross is overstating the economic benefits of a new stadium.

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David Gregory's Poor Journalism

I have not been a fan of Meet the Press host David Gregory. My long-standing view is that Gregory is a dancing buffoon that publicly admitted on Twitter it is not his job to fact-check the statements of his guests. This past Sunday, Gregory framed a question in a manner that accused Guardian columnist Glenn Greewald of breaking the law.

"To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even inhis current movements, why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?" heasked.

Greenwald replied that it was "pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselvesa journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies," and that there was no evidence to back up Gregory's claim that he had "aided" Snowden.

If this was an Obama administration official saying this to Gregory, the questions he should have asked were is the Justice Department going to indict Greenwald? How exactly did Greenwald aid and abetted Edward Snowden? Are you willing to go on the record with these accusations? If this administration official couldn't answer the first two questions and wad.'t willing to go on the record then he was bullshitting Gregory. Gregory could have checked with other sources. Most likely Gregory recited what his unnamed source told him ithout ever fact-checking his statements.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Conservatives Bashing Mitch McConnell on Immigration

The Senate Conservative Fund is attacking Sen. Mitch McConnell on the immigration reform legislation being drafted by the Gang of 8.

We're going to launch a new radio and TV ad campaign on Monday to flood Senator McConnell's office with more calls so he cannot ignore us.

We're not asking him to vote against the bill. A simple "No" vote is not enough from a leader. We're asking Senator McConnell to use his position as the Republican Leader to defeat it.

The Gallup poll has been unreliable in recent years. Nevertheless, Republicans should be concerned when they see a poll that says 87 percent of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Other polls have shown Americans favoring a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. Recent elections have shown the GOP losing the Hispanic vote.

I'm interested in why does the Republican Party think bashing Hispanics is good politics. Is the Republican Party stuck on the Nixon Southern Strategy Playbook or are their members really th at xenophobic. If McConnell kills immigration reform then the GOP and Marco Rubio's presidential ambitions are screwed. That is fine by me but I don't believe the Republican Party is trying to lose on purpose. That is why their opposition to immigration reform makes no political sense.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Cats are the most amazing athletes in the animal kingdom.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Quote of the Day 2

"Chris Bosh seen clapping on the sidelines, easily his biggest contribution of the game."

NOT SportsCenter NBA

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The Kinks - Yes Sir, No Sir

My all-time favorite Kinks song.

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Florida Republican Establishment Doesn't Care About Absentee Voter Fraud

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement gets its budget approved by the Florida legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. It it no surprise to me that the FDLE did not look deeply into the voter fraud committed by Strategic Allied Consulting. Jeff Jewett worked for Strategic Allied Consulting and told the Miami Herald that the FDLE showed a lack of interest in voter fraud.

Jewett, the one who reported the crime, the one who supervised the employee and could best inform investigators if this was an isolated case or was more systemic, was never interviewed.

“I was surprised,” Jewett said. “I figured they’d be interested in talking to me considering I was the one who turned him in.”

Such a lack of initiative is baffling for an investigation into a crime that Gov. Rick Scott and Republican lawmakers had made a top priority in prosecuting and preventing. In the 18 months leading to last year’s presidential campaign, they said the specter of voter registration fraud was so great that it was necessary to push for a purge of ineligible voters and a new law that made it harder to register voters.

Strategic Allied Consulting was hired by the Republican Party of Florida. Considering the political ramifications, it is not surprising that the FDLE investigation was lacking enthusiasm. Daniel Smith has been covering Republican voter suppression for quite some time. Like me, Smith questions the motives of the FDLE.

“They never talked to the whistle blower?” said Daniel Smith, a University of Florida political scientist who analyzes state election laws, when told about Jewett. “That’s unbelievable. You just wonder if the FDLE is sitting on this and hoping it withers away.”

I am not wondering. As we have seen, the Republican voting laws don't stop the nearly nonexistent problem of voting fraud. The laws are targeted at people likely to vote for the Democratic Party. Republicans have had an advantage in absentee ballots. Gov. Rick Scott did not want to comment when absentee ballot fraud was discovered in Florida.

When asked about the news about the absentee ballot fraud in Miami-Dade and state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle stepping aside from that case leaving an appointment in his hands, he said “we’ll take a look at it.” He said he wouldn’t appoint a special prosecutor on Friday but didn’t say exactly when he would appoint one.

Scott stuck to generalities -- saying that he wanted to make sure noncitzens don’t vote and repeatedly said he wants to “make sure our elections are honest and fair.”

But he didn’t show any alarm or appear to be working on any proposals for reform. Scott said that the system appears to be working -- which perhaps was a reference to the arrest in the Miami-Dade absentee ballot fraud case. When asked if his staff was researching a proposal for the Legislature to address absentee ballot fraud he said “the Secretary of State’s office will be reviewing it.”

The man that disastrously cut early voting and made it harder for groups such as the League of Women Voters to register new voters has been mum on absentee ballot fraud. Scott wants to rig to voting system. Not fix it.

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Orlando's Exodus International End Anti-Gay Therapy Sessions

The Orlando, Florida church Exodus International will no longer attempt to cure homosexuality through its unscientific therapy sessions. The ministry's president Alan Chambers issued this statement.

It is also strange to be an outcast from powerful portions of both the gay community and the Christian community. Because I do not completely agree with the vocal majorities in either group and am forging a new place of peaceful service in and through both, I will likely continue to be an outsider to some degree. I imagine it to be very much like a man I recently heard speak at a conference I attended, Father Elias Chacour, the Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Israel. He is an Arab Christian, Palestinian by birth, and a citizen of Israel. Talk about a walking contradiction. When I think of the tension of my situation I am comforted by the thought of him and his.

My desire is to completely align with Christ, his Good News for all and his offer of peace amidst the storms of life. My wife Leslie and my beliefs center around grace, the finished work of Christ on the cross and his offer of eternal relationship to any and all that believe. Our beliefs do not center on “sin” because “sin” isn’t at the center of our faith. Our journey hasn’t been about denying the power of Christ to do anything – obviously he is God and can do anything.

With that, here is an expanded version of the apology I offered during my recent interview with Lisa Ling to the people within the LGBTQ community who have been hurt by the Church, Exodus International, and me. I realize some within the communities for which I apologize will say I don’t have the right, as one man, to do so on their behalf. But if the Church is a body, with many members being connected to the whole, then I believe that what one of us does right we all do right, and what one of us does wrong we all do wrong. We have done wrong, and I stand with many others who now recognize the need to offer apologies and make things right. I believe this apology – however imperfect – is what God the Father would have me do.

The LGBT group Truth Wins Out praised Chambers and Exodus International for ending anti-gay therapy.

"It takes a real man to publicly confront the people whose lives were destroyed by his organization's work, and to take real, concrete action to begin to repair that damage," the group's associate director, Evan Hurst, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

NPR has another audio story on Chambers and Exodus International. In the interview Chambers said said that 99.9 percent of gay people that went through the therapy sessions didn't change their sexual orientation.

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Quote of the Day

"This House intel hearing is seriously called 'How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans & Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries.'"

Spencer Ackerman

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eros and the Eschaton - Heaven Inside

North Carolina’s Eros and the Eschaton have released their first single off their album Home Address For Civil War. This is some serious shoegazing pop goodness by real-life couple Kate Perdoni and Adam Hawkins.

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Jim Allen's Racist Rant Against Erika Harold

Erika Harold is a former Miss America and Harvard law graduate. You would think people would have respect for Harold's accomplishment. Apparently, Jim Allen, Republican chairman of Montgomery County, Illinois, makes up a total racist fiction in his mind about Harold's background. This was the blog comment Allen originally posted at Republican News Watch. The comment has been deleted.

“Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in S---cago [Expletive deleted] by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires,” Allen wrote in the email. “ . . . Miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS.”

I have blogged about so many racist Republican emails, flyers and blog comments that it is now old hat. Republicans can't just say it is just a few bad apples. THere is a racism problem in the GOP.

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Equality Florida May Challenge State Gay Marriage Ban

Equality Florida sent out a press release stating that they are willing to challenge the Florida constructional ban against gay marriage.

"As the entire country awaits the Supreme Court's rulings, it is time for all who believe in equality and fairness to take a clear stand on the right side of history," the organization's executive director Nadine Smith said in a conference call.

More:

"While the fastest path to marriage equality in Florida is not yet certain, we do know that we will not just wait," Smith said. "We intend to win marriage, and all options are on the table including new legal challenges and the possibility of going back to the ballot to overturn Florida's discriminatory ban."

I change in the Florida constitution would require 60 percent approval from voters. You can thank Republicans for making that undemocratic 60 percent threshold.

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Tea Party Guy Tasered at Anti-Gun Rally

Daniel Musso is an extremely obnoxious man. John Cantin spoke at a Mayors Against Illegal Guns rally. Cantin's daughter, Melissa Charbonneau, was shot and killed by her husband in 2009. Cantin attempted to speak. Cantin was shou There is even a young man armed and wearing a shoulder holster. The whole point of these tea party astroturf pted down by tea party protesters The whole point of tea party protests in physical intimidation. This is illustrated by Musso coming up to the podium and yelling at Cantin as he is speaking. Musso is standing to the side of Cantin in a red shirt.

Law enforcement has usually let tea party protesters get away with uncivil behavior. (A 2009 Kathy Castor town hall meeting was a near riot.) This wasn't the case for Musso. Apparently, Musso thought freedom of speech allowed him to place his hands on a Concord police officer. Musso then refused to allow himself to be handcuffed. THe result was Musso being tased and arrested for two counts of simple assault.

I am no fan of tasers. I also I not going to piss off several police officers. People, use common sense in these situations. Which is apparently something members of the tea party don't have.

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Parody Anti-Abortion Article So Stupid It Could Be True

This is from a parody website The Newslo. It is so ludicrous that it could actually be an amendment to a Republican anti-abotion bill.

WASHINGTON – Republicans today proposed an amendment to an anti-abortion bill which would allow for the implementation of miniature sex toys to be inserted directly into the uteruses of women who are pregnant and expecting a boy.

The amendment came after Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX) argued for the passage of HR 1797 – the original bill, which would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy – on the grounds that 15- or 16-week-old fetuses masturbated. “Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” said Burgess, a former OB/GYN. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?”

Upon hearing Burgess’s testimony, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) leapt to his feet in shock. “These little guys are beating the bishop in the womb?” he cried. “My God, we have to do something! Christ, if we can put a man on the moon, surely we can stuff a blow-up doll up a woman’s hoo-hoo!”

If it was an actual Republican amendment they would try to insert a bathroom stall into a woman's uterus.

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Dubious Rubio Gets An Astroturf Burn

Sen Marco Rubio gets a taste of astroturfing. Tea party protesters came to the Washington DC to voice their disapproval of immigration reform. Did these tea party protesters organize themselves? Of course not. Politico reports that Rep. Steve King organized the event.

“This bill is at its core amnesty,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who organized the event, told the sympathetic crowd. “We’re here to today… to take this debate outside the halls of Congress. If it’s not going to be good enough inside, we’ll take it outside!”

The Heritage Foundation was also at King's astroturfing rally. Apparently, the Heritage Foundation isn't letting former fellow Jason Richwine's discredited reports and ties to the white nationist movement keep them from being against immigration.

“Marco Rubio has not read his own bill!” said Robert Rector, a senior researcher for the Heritage Foundation.

I am no fan of Rubio but it should be noted that the Senate immigration reform bill is still being written. Rector hasn't read the bill because it isn't done.

This is essentially King and the Heritage Foundation calling all the media outlets and bringing and busing in a handful of tea party faithful. Politico and other outlets cover this like it is a big story.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Postal Service - A Tattered Line of String [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Consequence of Sound reports of the new video by the Postal Service. The track is a previously unreleased song from Give Up.

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Mitch McConnell's Hysterical Threat

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that if Majority Leader Leader Harry Reid goes nuclear on presidential nominations.

“There not a doubt in my mind that if the majority breaks the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate with regard to nominations, the next majority will do it for everything,” McConnell said on the floor.

McConnell already requires that all legislation, amendments and nomination pass the 60 vote threshold. McConnell is threatening to do what he already does for all votes. McConnell hysterically filibustered his own.

Democratic Whip Dick Durbin made this comment on McConnell filibustering his own legislation.

“This may be a moment in Senate history when a senator … filibustered his own proposal,” he said. “I don’t think this has ever happened before.”

McConnell's threat should not be taken seriously. McConnell will punish the Democrats, if Republicans win back the Senate. The nuclear option will not sway McConell from blocking Democratic legislation.

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Paula Dockery on RPOF Nan Rich Campaign

Former state Sen. Paula Dockery appeared on Florida This Week. (The most boring political talk show in Florida.) Dockery wondered why the Republican Party of Florida was so focused on the fact that Rich wasn't allowed to speak at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

"It looks like they're scared of Charlie Crist," Dockery said on the weekly public affairs program Florida This Week on WEDU-Channel 3 in Tampa. "They want to pump up Nan Rich, who was not getting much traction on her own ... I think it just sends the message that they're worried about Charlie Crist and it was kind of a dumb thing."

Dockery added this comment.

Puzzled by a Republican effort in support of a little-known Democratic candidate, Dockery said she fired off an email to party headquarters in Tallahassee, asking: "Who's your audience on this?"

To my surprise, a post I wrote about how the Florida Democratic Party poorly handled the Rich controversy appeared on the Republican Party of Florida blog.

Is the Republican Party of Florida scared of Charlie Crist? They should be. Crist has superior skills on the stump. Scott's polling numbers are horrible. I am certainly not an expert on the RPoF's motivations. I doubt that they believe that Rich will be the Democratic nominee. It will be Crist or Bill Nelson. Assuming that Nelson enters the race.

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Michael Hastings Is Dead

Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings has died in a car crash. In retropect, I felt that Hastings was rather hard on Gen. Stanley McChrystal. (I am guilty of this too.) Even Hastings article noted that McChrystal stressed to his troops to avoid civilian causalities in fire fights in Afghanistan. McChrystal set a terms of engagement that was controversial with the troops. also warned about the dangers of using drones to America's long-term international standing.

"What scares me about drone strikes is how they are perceived around the world," he said in an interview. "The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes ... is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who've never seen one or seen the effects of one."

McChrystal said the use of drones exacerbates a "perception of American arrogance that says, 'Well we can fly where we want, we can shoot where we want, because we can.'"

Hastings often got into needless fights. One case being his email exchange with I have worked in media and this is not the kind of email you should send to a White House official. Hastings sent this email to Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines

From: Michael Hastings

Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2012 12:50 PM


To: Reines, Philippe I 
Cc: Nuland, Victoria J


Subject: Re: Request for comment 



Why don’t you give answers that aren’t bullshit for a change?

Hastings continually gets more abrasive with each email. I can't blame Reines for eventually telling Hastings to "fuck off."

On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Reines, Philippe I wrote:


I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole. How’s that for a non-bullshit response? Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, have a good day. And by good day, I mean Fuck Off

I do respect Hastings' passion to get the story. If not necessarily his methods. This quote from Julius Caesar sums up my feelings on Hastings.

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;

So let it be with Caesar.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Quote of the Day

"I’m hemorrhaging money. I have spent all of the money that I have put away, because I believe in something."

Glenn Beck, on trying to build the conservative version of The Young Turks after losing his Fox News show.

The sad tale of woe from a second tier conservative talk show host.

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Equality Florida On Dubious Rubio Not Backing ENDA

Nadine Smith of Equality Florida sent out this press release. Equality Florida takes exception with Sen. Marco Rubio not supporting ENDA. Rubio made this statement about ENDA to Think Progress.

RUBIO: I haven’t read the legislation. By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation.

The Equality Florida press release.

Senator Rubio's statements are indefensible and heartless. I challenge Sen. Marco Rubio to meet with families torn apart by current laws. Let him sit with couples who have been forced apart and children who are denied access to both parents because the law does not recognize their family.

Thankfully the Senator does not reflect the majority of Americans or Floridians who, by an overwhelming margin of 67%, believe “it is important that the US immigration system keeps families together regardless of sexual orientation.”1 Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic voters support the inclusion of same-sex bi-national couples in immigration reform, and 70% of Hispanic Catholics support these provisions. Rubio's recent rhetoric about pulling his support for immigration reform if same-sex couples are included is a slap in the face to his constituency and the families directly harmed by the current laws. The Senator’s opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is also out of sync with the country and Florida voters who believe people should not be fired based on prejudice.

Nearly three-quarters of voters (73%) support protecting gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination. This support cuts across political party affiliation, with 81% of Democrats, 74% of independents and 66% of Republicans supporting workplace nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people. - See more at: http://www.freedomtowork.org/?page_id=39#sthash.yJOZfeOx.dpuf

1 April 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), one of the most accurate polling companies in the country. http://bit.ly/13FDHRq

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Game of Thrones: 80s Style

Youtube user Magooch86 created a hysterical 80s style video montage of Jon Snow breaking into the Crows. The synth music and big hair singer are the kicker.

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Mad Men: The Sitcom

For those you you whom might have wondered what Mad Men would be like as a crazy sitcom.

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19 Year Old Teen Rides Whale Shark

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

I strongly do not recommend anyone trying this. Chris Kreis, spotted a whale shark swimming beside the boat he was on. He decided to dive in and rode on the fin of the shark. Whale sharks weigh 50 tons and can eat a human being in one gulp.

Whale sharks are rarely seen by humans. Kreis explains this is the reason he dived off the boat.

"It went through my mind, yeah, I might not be able ever to do it again," Kreis told NBC. "So I did it. It was incredible."

I have no doubt that it was an incredible experience and I'm willing to cut Kreis some slack because of his age. But people, don't swim with whale sharks. They aren't pets.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jawbreaker - Sea Foam Green

This song should have been the hit single for Dear You. For some unknown reason, Jawbreaker left this song off the record. This also contains some of my favorite Jawbreaker lyrics.

"Now I need a guillotine to get you off my mind."

"An accidental charm a graceful drinking arm."

"I brush my teeth until they break until I start bleeding. So when I smile I'll know I'm almost good enough for you."

This is songwriting at its finest.

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Quote of the Day

"But if we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table and in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016. We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party. And the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don’t do that, it really doesn’t matter who we run in my view."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, on Meet the Press.

Graham is right. The Republican Party will lose in 2016 if there isn't a good immigration reform bill that gets signed by President Obama. Conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation is doing everything they can to kill immigration reform. A Democratic strategist said this to reporter Jamelle Bouie.

“Voting against this bill is a disaster for the Republican Party…They need to be reminded there are sound policy reasons to vote for it but also significant political reasons as well.”

That could be what happens when the bill reaches the House of Representatives. Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly proven incapable of rallying his caucus.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alex Cobb Taken Off Field After Hit by Ball

I have never been one to overly complain about how much professional athletes get paid. A major reason is the physical punishment they take. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb was taken off the field on a stretcher. Cobb was hit in the head by a line drive ball off the bat of Eric Hosmer. Jonah Keri of Baseball Tonight tweeted this.

Velocity of ball hit by Eric Hosmer that struck Alex Cobb in the head: 102.4 mph.

I hope for Cobb to have a speedy and healthy recovery.

Update: the Tampa Bay Rays sent out this tweet.

Alex Cobb was diagnosed with a mild concussion. All tests came back normal. We thank you all for your thoughts & continued support.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

This Is Unexpected

I never thought a post of mine would be positively quoted on the Republican Party of Florida blog.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Big or small, cats love playing in boxes.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dubious Rubio Runs From Questions on ENDA

Via Towerroad: why conservatives should worry about Rubio is that he chokes under pressure . Rubio ran into the rain to avoid Marc Caputo's questions about David Rivera's legal problems. Rubio's State of the Union response was an epic choke. Rubio's latest misstep is him running dodging Think Progress reporter Scott Keyes.

KEYES: The Senate this summer is going to be taking up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which makes it illegal to fire someone for being gay. Do you know if you’ll be supporting that?

RUBIO: I haven’t read the legislation. By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation.

KEYES: What about on race or gender?

RUBIO: Well that’s established law.

KEYES: But not for sexual orientation?

Walking away from a reporter as he is asking a question is a sign of political cowardness.

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Write A Caption: Marco Rubio

"Oh my, I'm choking on national television."

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Dubious Rubio Grandstands Again

I mentioned before how I'm am getting bored with Sen. Marco Rubio's grandstanding. proposed a constitutional amendment to end Obamacare that has zero chance of ever being ratified. Rubio made to the claim that he will walk away from his own immigration bill if protection for gay couples is included.

"If this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm done," Rubio said on the Andrea Tantaros Show. "I'm off it, and I've said that repeatedly. I don't think that's going to happen and it shouldn't happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is."

Big words from Rubio. The funny thing is President Obama has already asked Sen. Patrick Leahy to kill his amendment. Democrats in the Senate don't have the 60 needs needed to have the amendment pass. So Rubio is dramaticly threatening walk away because of an amendment that won't be submitted or pass. Good God, the man is a drama queen. This man wants attention so badly.

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Florida Democratic Party Goes After Scott's Driver's License Veto.

For once the Florida Democratic Party is doing something smart by hammering Gov. Rick Scott for vetoing the right for immigrants with Deferred Action status from obtaining driver licences is stupid politics. Scott still thinks the tea party is a driving force. The Pew Research Center showed how President Obama beat Mitt Romney with Hispanics.

The state’s growing non-Cuban population—especially growth in the Puerto Rican population in central Florida—contributed to the president’s improved showing among Hispanic voters. This year, according to the Florida exit poll, 34% of Hispanic voters were Cuban while 57% were non-Cuban. Among Cuban voters, the vote was split—49% supported Obama while 47% supported Romney. Among the state’s non-Cuban voters, Obama won 66% versus 34% for Romney.

Of course, Scott's veto doesn't surprise me. Scott ran an xenophobic campaign against Muslims. A Salon investigative article found that Scott's company had to settle many discrimination cases.
Yet even before it was fully operational Solantic executives were accused of a pattern of serial discrimination in hiring, a pattern supposedly initiated by Scott himself. The suits alleged a standing policy not to hire overweight women, Hispanics with strong accents, older women and black women.

The company settled the suits, and never admitted any wrongdoing. Today, the company’s CEO, Karen Bowling, adamantly denies there was ever such a policy. But as Scott exerts influence on the national healthcare debate, and holds up his own company as a model of the virtues of the for-profit system, the chronology of the accusations is compelling. It starts with one of the very first people Solantic hired.

Scott can't help but come off as xenophobic anymore than a tiger can change its strips.

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Worst Idea Ever: Purity Ball

Via Not The Singularity: I seriously doubt any young girls wants to go to a "Purity Ball" with with their fathers. I don't think these overprotective Christian fathers realize how creepy it sounds to go to a prom with their daughters.

Purity activist Carrie Abbott of the Legacy Institute came up with this horrible idea. From the Legacy Institute website.

Dads, escort your daughter to an unforgettable event where hundreds of young ladies dressed in formal attire and their dashing fathers will celebrate purity! This extraordinary evening includes an elegant atmosphere, pictures, gourmet dinner and dessert, flowers, music and other surprises sure to delight both father and daughter. Legacy’s President and popular speaker, Carrie Abbott, will deliver a unique message to dads and daughters and our Master of Ceremonies will facilitate a purity covenant.

What a night to remember for teenage girls.

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Will Weatherford: Ayn Rand Devotee

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford is a rising star in Republican circles. This should scare anyone that cares about policy. Weatherford revealed himself as someone who gets his economic ideology from Ayn Rand.

Weatherford said parts of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” about a government that grows so large that job creators and innovators pack up and move elsewhere, is starting to become a reality.

“We’re not that far away from that in this country, in my opinion, but what we can do as states is create pockets of freedom all over the United States,” he said.

Rand is the author of The Virtue of Selfishness. Rand argued that looking out for one's self-interest was more important than helping the greater good of others. Rand spent her life fighting against people getting Social Security and Medicare. After all, that didn't further Rand's selfish self-interests. The fact that Rand received government benefits furthered her needs.

Rand's writing was a bunch of metaphysical mumbo jumbo that would make L. Ron Hubbard cringe. An example of Rand's prose from Atlas Shrugged.

“An axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular speaker chooses to identify it or not.”

Socrates Rand is not.

Understanding Weatherford's devotion to Rand explains why he would not allow Florida to expand Medicaid. It does not further Weatherford's self-interests. The fact that Weatherford has health care through his service in the Florida House just proves he is following Rand's example.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Replacements Are Reuniting

Pitchfork announces that the Replacements will headline three Riot Fests in Chicago, Toronto, and Denver. Seeing the Mats back in the day was a hit and miss affair. Those guys were often high as a kite or just didn't care. Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson will be in the band. Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke and Chris Mars is not on good terms with the other members.

Here are some live videos from the Bob Stinson era.

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A Look At Rick Kriseman's Run For St. Petersburg Mayor

Rick Kriseman in running for St. Petersburg mayor. Kriseman has been piling up some impressive endorsements.

West Central Florida Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO)

Former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink

St. Petersburg Councilman Charlie Gerdes

Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long

Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice

Incoming House Minority Leader Darryl Rouson

State Representative Dwight Dudley

Former state Senator Paula Dockery

Largo Mayor Pat Gerard

I like Kriseman's more realistic approach to the situation of the Tampa Rays wanting a new stadium.

St. Petersburg and its residents have invested much time, energy, and money into the Tampa Bay Rays. The African-American Community, and particularly residents of the Gas Plant Neighborhood, made great sacrifices to make way for Tropicana Field. My preference is for the team to remain in St. Pete and to thrive here. If that proves to be unrealistic - if the Rays simply do not want to be here any longer - then they should be given the opportunity to pay an exploratory fee in order to look at other locations, provided those locations are in the Tampa Bay area.

I would like to know what Kriseman means by this statement.

Throughout the negotiating process and regardless of the outcome, I will ensure that our taxpayers are protected.

Kriseman is vague on if he would support funding for a new Rays stadium. The fact that he is willing to let the Rays leave St. Petersburg means he doesn't want to take this to the voters. I don't blame him. Voters don't want to pay off a second Rays stadium.

I wonder if Kriseman is hinting at light rail and other infrastructure projects as economic stimulus. I'm for that. The question is where will the funding come from.

We must do a better job of attracting new businesses and supporting existing ones in order to compete with other cities. Avoiding high taxes, unreasonable regulations, and burdensome permitting is important, but the best way to grow and sustain our local economy is by having a top notch public education system, efficient mass transit, and sound infrastructure. We want to embrace and celebrate diversity. We want vibrant neighborhoods and we want well-trained, properly funded and fully-staffed public safety personnel. These are quality of life issues. Our residents and visitors deserve the best -- and the best will bring businesses looking for a home.

Kriseman is sounding like Ed Turanchik with his idea about a ferry to Key West. Really?

Why not - at last - transform our underused port? Good leadership can turn it into one of our most important assets. Imagine a ferry service to and from Tampa or a high speed catamaran to Key West. The port already is ideal for research vessels; let's generate other uses to serve the general public.

I don't see it.

Kriseman's announcement for his candidacy.

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Classy Moment From Mark Sharpe

Mark Sharpe goes against his natural conservative leanings to vote to repeal the 2005 policy that prohibits recognition of gay pride by Hillsborough County. Sharpe isn't about to go out and promote gay pride. He does feel quite emotional about "singling out a group" in a very negative public way.

Last week, Sharpe tearfully told the crowd that he was late to the commission meeting because he'd been at school with his son, who was being given the American Legion Award. His voice broke as he described telling his son, "When you make a mistake, you correct it yourself." After a long pause, he expressed his regret for having voted for the policy in the first place.

"We made a mistake, and I am just glad that I'm here today to be able to correct that mistake. ... I'm supporting the motion to repeal what we-- the vote that took place in 2005."

Sharpe get receive scorn from the tea party and Christian Right base of the Republican Party. It is nice to see a politician show political courage.

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No Surprise: Contraception Prevents Unwanted Pregnancy

The Guttmacher Institute has released this their findings on how consistent use of contraception prevents abortions.

The two-thirds of U.S. women at risk of unintended pregnancy who use contraception consistently and correctly throughout the course of any given year account for only 5% of all unintended pregnancies. The 19% of women at risk who use contraception inconsistently account for 43% of unintended pregnancies, while the 16% of women at risk who use no contraceptive method at all for a month or more during the year account for 52%.

These simple statistics demonstrate how effective contraceptive use can be. They also categorically refute claims by anti-contraception activists that access to contraception somehow leads to more unintended pregnancies and subsequent abortions.

Only five percent of women that properly use contraception account for abortions. Conservatives would have you believe that contraception will lead to the downfall of mankind and abstinence is the only way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Never mind that when (then comedian) Al Franken sent letters to Bush administration officials asking for their stories on how they abstained from sex until they were married, he never got an abstinence confessional.

In bizarro world: Fox News host Laura Ingraham absurdly claims that rapists will give their victims Plan B. Stupidity ensues.

It’s a good deal for pedophiles, a good deal for people who commit statutory rape against young girls. If mothers and fathers across this country hear this, and they think, ‘Well, I guess my daughter or her boyfriend or her rapist can go out to a pharmacy and get a bunch of, you know, hormone pills to give a little girl’... We don’t really know the effect of a spiking or dropping a little girl’s... in many cases a young woman’s or a little girl’s hormonal levels. It’s outrageous!
Of course, Ingraham provides no evidence to back her conspiracy theory. Other conservatives, such as Trent Franks, thinks that women rarely get pregnant after being raped.

"The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low," Franks said, according to a transcript.

Franks made this argument in defense of a DOA bill to ban abortion nationwide after 20 weeks of gestation. This falls under the same form of bogus science as Todd Akin's infamous comment.

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare... If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

The reality is Ingraham, Franks, and Akin want women to have no control over their own bodies if they are raped. They also don't want women to have access to birth control. It is a fact that the pill lowers the amount of abortions in this country. If conservatives really want to eliminate abortions then they would back access to the pill. Conservatives don't because they are held hostage by the Christian Right that views sex as a dirty thing.

Update: Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez (R) distances himself from Trent Franks.

"I think that he’s a moron and he proves that stupid has no specific political affiliation,” Gomez told ABC News on Wednesday. “I have no idea what goes into the mind of a moron like that ... These kinds of comments only come from a moron and they shouldn’t be tolerated one bit."

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Peter Schorsch Gets Tea Party Email

"While I know very little about the world of blogging, Mr. Schorsch…you sir, are no Andrew Breitbart."

Cathi-the-Contractor, in an email to blogger Peter Schorsch.

If Cathi means that Schorsch doesn't have a picture of a congressman's penis on his phone, yells "stop raping people" like a deranged maniac at an Occupy protest or constantly gets busted for misleading and selectedly edited news pieces then he/she is correct.

Schorsch rightly took the Pinellas Republican Executive Committee for inviting Dr. Jonathan Matusitz to speak on the so-called Islamic threat to America. Why the PREC would waste its time with a xenophobic assistant professor at a third tier university is beyond me. The Republican establishment can't seem to tear themselves away from the crazies in their base.

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