Thursday, October 31, 2013

Quote of the Day

"If I didn't care so much about our country, I would hope he will get the Republican nomination for president, because that would be the end of the Republican Party."

Sen. Harry Reid

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Tea Party Conspiracy Theory That United Nations is Taking the Alamo

This op-ed is not from The Onion. George Rodriguez, former president of the San Antonio Tea Party, believes that the United Nations is going to take control of the Alamo.

Texans should be aware that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro may have started a new “battle of the Alamo”. He has made some initial moves to allow the United Nations to influence and even manage the Alamo, and the San Antonio Express/News is doing a soft sell of the idea in their Sunday, September 15 opinion page. It has been reported that Mayor Castro and his close ally, City Councilman Diego Bernal, have been meeting with U.S. Department of Interior officials about the future of San Antonio’s historical missions. Castro wants to make the missions a greater tourist attraction by designating them national and world cultural treasures.

It is bad when a conservative Republican, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, calls rumors of the U.N. taking over the Alamo "Horse hockey." Translation: that is a polite way of Patterson saying the rumor is bullshit.

Alex Jones has been running false stories of a United Nations take over of the Alamo on his website. There is a video on the linked (factually inaccurate) InfoWars article of Alex Jones speaking in front of the Alamo with an assault rifle strapped to him. Jones just rambles nonsense. Jones is a horrible public speaker. Unfortunately, there a lot of conspiracy theorists that need a leader.

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Dubious Rubio's Frivolous Reason For Being Against ENDA

Sen. Marco Rubio has a new reason for not supporting ENDA. Rubio's spokeswoman Brooke Sammon told The Buzz against so-called "frivolous lawsuits."

"He believes people’s qualifications, performance and honesty are the most important qualities by which they should be judged in the workplace. If you’re a good worker, that’s all that should matter," spokeswoman Brooke Sammon said. "This legislation goes far beyond protecting workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation, and he is currently studying what kinds of burdens it could impose on small businesses, frivolous lawsuits that could result, and ensuring that religious freedoms under the First Amendment are protected."

Rubio is claiming that discriminating against gays is a First Amendment right. Rubio should brush up on the equal protection clause in the Constitution. I don't believe for a second that Rubio would support a private business or government organization that fired straight people on religious grounds. Rubio can't come out and say that he doesn't support worker protection for gay and transgender people. Except that is exactly what Rubio told 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.

There you have it.

The courts will likely rule in favor of religious organizations having anti-gay policies. I'm agnostic but I don't think the courts should meddle with religious institutions. No matter how disgusting I may find some of these organizations to be.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sleepy Vikings - Calm

An original video of the Sleepy Viking song Calm. This was released before the album They Will Find You Here came out. The album got a 4 star rating in AllMusic.com.

Side note: Tampa's infamous dancing panhandler makes an appearance in the video.

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Susan Smith on Radio Or Not


Video streaming by Ustream

Florida progressive activist Susan Smith was on Nicole Sandler's Radio Or Not show today. Tune in at the 20 minute mark to listen to Smith talk to Sandler about progressive disapproval of Crist.

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Chris Hayes on Chris Christie's Hurricane Sandy's Record

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Via GottaLaff: many people in New Jersey aren't happy with Chris Christie's slow response to Hurricane Sandy. Adam Gordon, staff attorney, Fair Share Housing Center, is suing the state of New Jersey on the behave of homeowners hit by Sandy. Gordon told Hayes this.

There's 75% of people that were hit by the storm that they felt that the Christy administration's response doesn't care about people like them.

Rep. Rush Holt told Hayes the same story.

The harder you're hit by Sandy on average, the less satisfied you are with the response of the Christie administration. You made reference to this lawsuit against him on lack of transparency on how the funds are disbursed and only a very small fraction of the funds have been disbursed. And so i think there's a lot that's lacking in the response.

Sadly, I am not shocked.

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Quote of the Day

"I have gotten one question repeatedly from young men. These are guys who liked the book, but they are honestly confused. They ask me why Melinda was so upset about being raped. The first dozen times I heard this, I was horrified. But I heard it over and over again. I realized that many young men are not being taught the impact that sexual assault has on a woman. They are inundated by sexual imagery in the media, and often come to the (incorrect) conclusion that having sex is not a big deal. This, no doubt, is why the number of sexual assaults is so high."

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak.

It is amazing some young men would be shocked that a 13 year-old female character in Anderson's book would be upset about being raped. Sadly, I have blogged about rape culture so many times that I am not even shocked by the level of stupidity some men have about rape.

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America Needs to Stop Austerity

Ezra Klein reports that the federal deficit went down by 37 percent in 2013. The deficit fell to $680 billion. That translates into 4.1 percent of the GDP. In 2012, the deficit was 6.8 percent of GDP. Contrary to the supply side nonsense from Republicans, increasing taxes on the top income bracket and getting rid of the payroll tax cut (which Republicans supported) is a reason why there is more tax revenue.

Most of all, there was more revenue. Government receipts totaled $2.774 billion, up $325 billion from 2012, and rising to 16.7 percent of GDP from 15.2 percent. That reflects in part a stronger economy that increased income and payroll taxes. It also includes the expiration of a payroll tax holiday that increased tax receipts, and higher rates for upper-income Americans agreed to for this calendar year.

I support getting rid of the payroll tax cut and raising taxes on top income earners. The payroll tax cut. It endangers the Social Security trust fund and the Treasury Department had to pay the difference to make up lost revenue to the trust fund. It was neither fiscally wise or did much to stimulate the economy. A better way to help workers is to raise the minimum wage. It is shameful that President Barack Obama hasn't used his political capital to raise the minimum wage. Wages are not keeping up with cost of living. Mother Jones had these numbers for 2011.

Increase in real value of the minimum wage since 1990: 21%

Increase in cost of living since 1990: 67%

One year's earnings at the minimum wage: $15,080

Income required for a single worker to have real economic security: $30,000

Obviously, there has been no minimum wage increase since MoJo posted these numbers. Income inequality is a far more important issue than the federal deficit. Austerity could lead to long-term economic problems. You can't fund the government if the majority of Americans are overworked and underpaid.

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Alex Sink Running For Congress

It appears I am going to have to eat my words. I had serious doubts that Alex Sink would run for the seat of the late Bill Young. Sink told the Tampa Bay Times she is officially running.

"Washington's broken. And I, like everybody else I know, is angry and mad about the logjam, about shutting down the government, about not understanding the impact it was going to have on small businesses and people. The people up there just don't seem to be able to work together," said Sink, who had considered running for governor again but ruled that out in late September.

"I'm somebody who's solved problems, has a long history of working with Republicans and Democrats to get things done," said Sink, who used to run Bank of America's Florida operations and was the state's CFO from 2007-11. "I believe I can be an effective advocate for the people of Pinellas County and get to Washington and make a difference."

Saying "Washington is broken" is the most unoriginal thing a politician running for Congress can say. Would you actively campaign for a job at Wal-Mart or some other company you feel is broken? Sink needs to be more creative with her talking points. I wonder how progressive activists will feel about Sink's Bank of America background. These activists relate more to Occupy Wallstreet than Lawrence Summers.

Sink plans on moving to Pinellas County. Sink currently lives in Thonotosassa. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, chairma of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is accusing Sink of being a carpetbagger. Moving across the Bay is hardly carpetbagging.

It appears that the Florida Democratic establishment will discard Jessica Ehrlich for Sink. TBT political reporter Adam Smith asks is it sexist for the Democratic establishment to only allow one woman to run in the primary. The answer is hell yes.

Sink worked in the banking industry. Ehrlich worked at Goldman Sachs.Welcome to the 1percent primary. Democrats need the seat in order to win the House. Progressives should be under no illusion that either of these women are the next Elizabeth Warren.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tea Party Nation Believes Obama Logo is A Swastika (Not Kidding)

Tea Party Nation blogger Darwin Rockantansky writes that the Obama campaign logo is a the "new American Swastika." Hilarity ensues.

According to the “design team” under the guidance of David Axelrod, the current regime’s iteration of Joseph Goebbels, “The Sun Rising over the horizon evoked a new sense of hope”. Really?

Let’s take a closer look at this new American Swastika....

The Obama logo looks absolutely nothing like a swastika. Rockantansky's post might be best explain by this statement he makes in his post.

My wife has always told me that I have a creative mind (she may be biased) and “Finding Elmo” was always about a thirty second exercise for me. But somehow, looking at this symbol of oppression I cannot see either a rising sun nor do I see a horizon.

I would say that Rockantansky's mind is so creative that it is bordering on a bad acid trip.

As the eye moves downward we realize the shape is too arched and does not resemble a rainbow as much as it resembles the muzzle of a large caliber firearm.

Hold that thought.

As the eye moves downward we see what looks like plowed rows in a Nebraska corn field or perhaps the lanes in a well travelled road. I see the red and white furrows as a testament to the blood, sweat and tears sacrificed in the American journey to defend freedom around the world. And that road disappears into the distance; headed toward the end of the rainbow and the pot of gold that legend avows lies there - that pot of gold that is The American Dream.

Rockantansky sees large firearms and Nebraska cornfield in the Obama campaign logo. Rockantansky then declares, "And as the National Socialists in Germany perverted what was historically a symbol meaning 'this is good." Actually, the swastika was a symbol for Thor's hammer. Pagans who rejected Christianity wore the hammer symbol. The Germanic history of the swastika came from the Norse Gods. Rockantansky shouldn't gives lectures about all that is good and racism. He admits, in another post, that he voted for white supremist David Duke.

I even voted for her once because the Republican Party favored son made David Duke, former Gand Dragon of the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) look like a bleeding-heart liberal.

Darwin Rockantansky voted for David Duke but accuses President Obama of stealing the Nazi swastika. Rocktanansky is so full of shit.

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Another Gun Tragedy in St. Petersburg

Another handgun tragedy involving children. This time in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Police say the girl's mother was in the kitchen of their home on Elkcam Boulevard SE when she heard the shot in another area of the home.

The mother told police a 14-year-old cousin had gotten a handgun and accidentally fired it inside the house. The mother gathered the children and drove to All Children's Hospital. That's where the cousin disappeared.

The 14 year-old cousin has disappeared. Police believe the cousin left the hospital on his own.

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My Thoughts On Charlie Crist and Nan Rich

If you pay attention to social media, there are many progressive activists are against Charlie Crist running for governor of Florida as a Democrat. I have bashed Crist repeatedly on this blog for bad policies during his term as governor. I do take exception with a couple of unrealistic progressive criticisms in this Tampa Tribune article. Here is the first criticism.

“He could be governor today if he wanted to,” said Susan Smith of Tampa, president of the state party’s Progressive Caucus. “I blame him for Marco Rubio” — meaning that Crist’s move to run as an independent for senator in 2010 split the anti-Rubio votes.

I have a great deal of respect for Susan Smith. However, Kendrick Meek would lose under any scenario. Smith is basing her assessment on Meek lost votes to Crist in a three-way race. Meek would have lost in a two-way race if Marco Rubio or Crist was the Republican nominee. As I said here, here, here and here that Meek was a shockingly bad candidate. Meek's worst enemy was Kendrick Meek.

My second problem.

“If he wants to prove he’s a Democrat, he ought to work like hell to get a Democrat other than himself elected,” said Kathie Jaskolski of Vero Beach, a Rich backer. “Then we could work to get him elected. To waltz into our party and say, ‘Make me your king’ is kind of presumptuous.”

Crist was one of the biggest campaign fundraisers for Obama and went around the state stumping for the President. Crist has also raised money for Terry McAuliffe and has campaigned for Darden Rice. Crist has been involved in several other Democratic fundraisers. Crist is doing a lot more than Nan Rich to get Democrats elected.

I like Nan Rich. I understand why progressives are skeptical about Crist. I think the criticisms should be fair. Kendrick Meek only got into the Florida legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives by winning his mother's seat. If it wasn't for his last name he would have never been elected to office. Meek had no business running for Senate.

To say Crist hasn't been helping other Democrats get elected is just wrong. Crist was been a fundraising machine for the Democratic Party.

I say let Crist and Rich both run and we have a healthy debate on the issues in the Democratic primary. Democrats need to support the winner of the primary. People are worried about if Crist is progressive enough or can Rich raise as much money as Gov. Rick Scott. The answer to both questions is no. If you decide to sit this election out then Scott gets a second term. Think about that for a moment.

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Bill Nelson Becomes ENDA Co-Sponsor

Equality Florida did a Twitter campaign to make Sen. Bill Nelson become a co-sponsor of ENDA (the Employment Nondiscrimination Act). The Twitter campaign worked. ENDA now has 56 co-sponsors.

"I am pleased to have Senator Nelson’s support on thisbill. Momentumisbuilding to end LGBT discrimination in the workplace," said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), thebill's sponsor. "This is anissue of fundamental fairness.”

ENDA will have 57 co-sponsors when Cory Booker is sworn into the Senate. This is why elections matter. We wouldn't be talking about the potential passage of ENDA if there were 50 tea party Republicans in the Senate.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Dubious Rubio Flip Flops on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Sen. Marco Rubio was one of the authors of the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. Rubio is losing his appeal with the tea party. Rubio is now urging a piece meal approach to immigration reform.

"Any effort to use a limited bill as a ruse to trigger a conference that would then produce a comprehensive bill would be counterproductive. Furthermore, any such effort would fail, because any single senator can and will block conference unless such conference is specifically instructed to limit the conference to only the issue dealt with in the underlying bill,” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant told Breitbart News.

Translation: Rubio's spokesman makes it clear that the Senator doesn't even support going to conference with the House. This is an extremist position. Republicans refusing to have the House and Senate go to conference is one of the reasons why there was a federal government shutdown. The House and Senate cannot bring legislation to President Barack Obama's desk without going to conference. What Rubio is actually proposing is to kill immigration reform.

Rubio has repeatedly shown that he will choke when under political pressure. A perfect example is Rubio's bottled water moment during his State of the Union response.

Rubio participated in the Ted Cruz filibuster to defund Obamacare. When poll numbets turned against Republicans on the shutdown, Rubio lowered his media profile. The Rubio who advocated not funding to government until Obamacare is defunded suddenly went silent.

The Marco Rubio political playbook is take politically unpopular positions to appease the tea party, panic and then take another politically unpopular position to repair the damage to his conservative popularity. This is what a politician with no concern about policy does.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dumbass of the Day: Racism Edition

Two Florida men decided it would be a good idea to dress as George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin for Halloween. Greg Cimeno, 22, dressed as Zimmerman with a "Neighborhood Watch" T-shirt. The very white William Filene, 25, dressed as Martin and wore black face make-up. The photo above was posted on the Facebook page of Caitlin Cimeno.

The Smoking Gun reports that Filene is listed on the Florida Department of Corrections web site for auto theft. I also found that Filene has been charged with loitering or prowling.Filene was sentenced to 18 months probation.

Filene was left a trail of racist remarks in social media.

In Facebook posts last year, Cimeno referred to elderly women who wore tight pants and tube tops as “tacos,” and, when requesting that a friend contact her, she wrote, “Text ne niggs.” In August, Cimeno also posted a photo of an African American girl wearing a t-shirt reading “Black Girls Rock.” In her accompanying caption, Cimeno wrote, “First of all, sorry Hun but mommy lied to you & secondly if I was wearing a shirt that said something like the truth 'white girls rock' I would be stared at and called a racist cracker.”

Sorry pal but you really do come off as a racist.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Meet the new lion cubs at the Oregon Zoo. They look sleepy from a hard afternoon of playtime.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Conservative Bad Girl Ana Alliegro Back In Florida

Self-professed conservitive bad girl Ana Alliegro has surfaced. Talking Points Memo had this interesting profile of Alliegro's past misdeeds.

In a story published Monday night, the newspaper offered more details of Alliegro's past legal run-ins — from driving with a suspended license, to minor shoplifting, to shooting at her ex-husband...

She is a bad girl.

Alliegro was the money lady for bogus Democratic candidate Lamar Sternad. The latter ran against Joe Garcia in the Democratic primary. Garcia later beat the scandal plagued David Rivera in the Congressional general election.

Sternad used Rapid Mail to send out attacker mailers against Garcia. The problem was Sternad's fundraising was nonexistent. Alliegro gave envelopes stuffed with cash to Rapid Mail. Sternad told a grand jury that Rivera was funding his campaign. Alliegro quickly left the United States for an extended vacation in Nicaragua.

Alliegro has returned to the United States and was greeted by federal agents at the airport.

Multiple sources say Alliegro voluntarily arrived in Miami this weekend. Her passport was taken by federal agents and she spoke with investigators Monday. She is negotiating a deal to avoid prison time.

“The deal is simple: cooperate,” said a source familiar with the case. “They want Rivera.”

Alliegro will speak to a grand jury about her involvement with Rivera and provide a timeline of events. Sternad has already pleaded guilty to $81,486 in illegal campaign contributions.

It is time for a reporter to ask Sen. Marco Rubio about his former housemate David Rivera.

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Rick Scott's Bogus White Paper

The white paper from Gov. Rick Scott is not an actual white paper. It is a piece of Scott propangda white paper is an academic policy paper. A piece of campaign propaganda contains paragraphs like this. Economic papers don't contain a cute gif of a piggy bank.

Under Governor Scott, the state has fundamentally changed the way it makes decisions with its taxpayers’ money. Florida has rejected the short-sighted state-level policies that worsened the fallout of the economic downturn and Florida now stands in stark contrast to the policies of the federal government that discourage private investment, job creation and stability for families.

If you are a government employee you are not going to get a raise. You might even get a pay cut.

Since October 2012, 16 different state agencies and more than 45 private sector businesses have been recognized for identifying more than $146.3 million in cost savings and $34.2 million in services.

Scott's commit to saving taxpayers money is rather dubious. Scott backed private prisons. Corrections Corporation of America were major campaign donors to Scott and the Republican Party of Florida. Scott wanted private prisons with no-bid contracts. Dr. Michael Hallett, Professor & Chair for the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, warned Sen. Mike Fasano of the dangers of giving a single state prison a no bid contract.

"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."

Scott killed to high speed rail project which would mostly be funded with federal and private money. Scott did approve of the Sunrail. Former Sen. JD Alexander was a big backer of the Sun Rail project. I wrote this when the project was approved by Scott.

The blog Stop CSX in Polk County broke the story that Alexander's was purchasing Phoenix Industries. Alexander owns Altantic Blue. The company bought Phoenix Industries, a frozen food vender that does business with CSX. The transporation bill would have placed CSX's new hub near Alexander's warehouse. One needs a scorecard to track Alexander's conflicts of interest.

It should be noted that Alexander was the biggest backer of private prisons in the Florida legislature. Even the Republican controlled Florida Senate would approve of the private prison deal. Scott is not a fiscal conservative. Scott is a crony capitalist.

Florida has serious infrastructure problems. It won't get any better under Scott.

To continue this practice of guarding taxpayer debt obligations, Governor Scott will not allow the State of Florida to take on new long-term debt obligations to fund roads, land purchases or education facility construction without specific and accountable returns on investment for taxpayers. Where possible, the state budget will include the use of cash, rather than bonds to further protect the state from consequences associated with massive amounts of taxpayer funded debt.

Scott promises $500 million in tax cuts. Scott fails to say what taxes he will cut.Scott is a governor who takes pains avoiding policy specifics. Another reason there may be no specific tax cuts is because this bogus white paper was not written by an economist. No author is listed. This is campaign material proclaiming the awesomeness of Rick Scott.

The previous tax cuts Scott lists are a Florida Chamber of Commerce wet dream. Scott fails to say how the tax cut on the surchange phosphate mining or reducing taxes to fund unemployment is creating jobs. Those tax cuts were never about job creation. The tax cuts are about increasing corporate profits.

Rick Scott's Bogus Economic White Paper

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Tonight! JPMorgan ordered to pay $13 billion settlement. In related news, beach mourns loss of single grain of sand."

The Daily Show

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

PJ Harvey - Dress

The performance is from The Late Show in 1992.

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Quote of the Day

"We just both came to the conclusion that the time had ended to be taken in by these crazy people."

Sen. Harry Reid

Reid and President Barack Obama realized that it was impossible to be reasonable with Congressional Republicans. They came to this conclusion during a July White House meeting. This meeting informed their strategy during the federal government shutdown.

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Dubious Rubio's Health Care Policy is Scary

Sen. Marco Rubio wants to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This is no surprise. Rubio's latest reasoning is the Hispanic Obamacare language website isn't up and running yet. The press release from Rubio's Senate office.

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement today regarding the Obama Administration’s indefinite postponement of cuidadodesalud.gov, its Spanish-language enrollment website for ObamaCare: “Hispanics have among the highest uninsured rates in the nation. Yet despite hundreds of millions of dollars devoted to a Spanish-language propaganda campaign, the Spanish-language ObamaCare website hasn’t even been launched.

“It’s not fair to punish anyone for not buying ObamaCare when the website they are supposed to buy it on doesn’t work. That is why I intend to introduce legislation to delay the individual mandate until the GAO certifies that the ObamaCare exchange website has been fixed and fully functional for at least six months.

“I still believe that Obamacare will eventually be repealed and replaced. But at the very least, all should be spared from its tax penalties and having the IRS come after them until all of ObamaCare’s enrollment options are fully functional for at least six months.”

Rubio’s legislation, which will be introduced when the U.S. Senate reconvenes next week, delays the individual mandate until six months after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) certifies the websites and all other sign-up options (phone, mail, fax) are fully functional. Thereafter, it exempts people from paying the mandate fines if they can prove that they tried to sign up but could not because of technical or customer service issues.

Rubio has been shouting from the rooftops about repealing Obamacare. Rubio has been vague about what he would replace Obamacare with. Rubio hasn't actually filed health care reform legislation and I doubt he ever will. Rubio's entire white paper on health care reform is 3 paragraphs on his Senate website. Read the magic from the mind of this policy wonk.

Floridians everywhere have expressed their concern about health care costs spiraling out-of-control. The President’s new health care law will drive costs up, bankrupt the country and create bureaucratic red tape when it comes to everyday health care decisions. Lowering health care costs is essential to growing our economy and creating jobs in our country.

We should propose common sense, free-market ideas to make health care more accessible and affordable. Senator Rubio will focus on three goals: repealing and replacing Obamacare; allowing individuals to control their own health care choices; and returning control of health policy to the states. In January 2011, Senator Rubio signed on as an original co-sponsor—his first bill as a co-sponsor—of legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to fully repeal the health care bill that President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010. The legislation is identical to the repeal bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Senator Rubio is one of 34 Republicans co-sponsoring the bill.

To start lowering health care costs and begin to reclaim our country, Senator Rubio believes we need to take simple, common sense actions, including allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, encouraging small businesses to band together to form Association Health Plans, giving individuals the same tax breaks given to businesses, incentivizing the use of electronic medical records; giving people tools to make cost-conscious decisions, increasing the number of community health centers, incentivizing state medical malpractice reform, enhancing Health Savings Accounts, pursuing medical malpractice reform and adopting a sensible program to cover those with pre-existing conditions.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a report on the Congressional Budget Office finding health insurance costs going down in 11 states that have started early implementation of the exchanges.

In the eleven states for which data are available, the lowest cost silver plan in the individual market in 2014 is, on average, 18% less expensive than ASPE’s estimate of 2014 individual market premiums derived from CBO publications.

Rubio touts tort reform. A 2009 CBO study found that tort reform would save a total of only $11 billion from national health care cost. The total savings would be $54 billion during a ten year period. That adds up to around 0.5 percent of national health care costs. I doubt Rubio has done the math. What it would do is take money from trial lawyers (big Democratic donors) and give less protection to patients from malpractice.

Rubio fails to explain how buying health insurance over state lines would work. That is interstate commerce and falls under the federal government jurisdiction. It appears Rubio wants the federal government to have no role in interstate commerce. Interstate commerce is why the executive branch has a Department of Commerce. The Supreme Court has already ruled interstate commerce falls under the federal government with Wickard v. Filburn. There is also the matter of Commerce clause of the Constitution that givers the federal government the power to regulate business across state lines.

Rubio's replacement for Obamacare is unregulated insurance policies and people not having the power to file lawsuits against malpractice. Who the hell would want to sign up for that?

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No Love For John Boehner

Pandering to the tea party and not standing up to Ted Cruz has not paid off for House Speaker John Boehner. A new CNN poll shows Boehner's unfavorable rating hitting 55 percent. Members of Congress usually don't poll well under the best circumstances. However, this is painful for Boehner.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saw their unfavorable ratings go down. Reid had an unfavorable rating of 45 percent in September. This month Reid unfavorable rating went down to 40 percent. Pelosi's unfavorable rating went from 51 percent in September to 47 percent in October.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell weathered the government shutdown better than Boehner. McConnell's unfavorable rating went from 39 percent to 42 percent. McConnell is up for re-election in 2014. He is probably grateful he didn't have as high a public profile in the shutdown as Boehner.

The CNN poll shows the Republican Party with an unfavorable rating of 64 percent. The tea party has an unfavorable rating of 56 percent. Ted Cruz and the tea party is sinking the Republican brand. What is problematic for the Republican establishment is Sen. Ted Cruz promising another government shutdown.

“I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” Cruz said when asked by ABC News’ Jon Karl whether he would rule out another shutdown. “The test that matters Jon, is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?”

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Obama to the Rescue

President Barack Obama caught a light-headed woman in the Rose Garden. Obama was giving a speech on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The woman has been identified as Karmel Allison.

Allison is diabetic and can now get health insurance through the ACA. Allison was prevented from getting health insurance because she has a preexisting condition.

President Obama on Allison.

According to the White House, Allison has remained on the same insurance since her diagnosis “despite constantly rising costs, for fear she would not be able to find a plan that would cover her due to her pre-existing condition.”

“Allison recently began researching her options on CoveredCA and has publicly described her experience as finally feeling equal to others, including her young and healthy husband, when it comes to access to coverage,” the White House explained.

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Rubio Contradicts Himself on Shutdown

Sen. Marco Rubio is taking heat from the Left and establishment Republicans. Rubio runs to the safety of Fox News to field softball questions.

"I was never in favor of shutting down the government or of defunding the government. I was in favor of voting to fund the government fully," Rubio said on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace. "The only thing I didn't want to see is us wasting any more money on Obamacare, which is already a disaster."

Back in August, Rubio told conservative talk radio host Mark Levin that he would not vote to fund the government. Rubio made it clear that defunding Obamacare was more important than funding government.

Look, I’m not attacking anyone directly. All I’m saying is that you cannot say you are against Obamacare if you are willing to vote for a law that funds it. If you’re willing to fund this thing, you can’t possibly say you’re against it.

Rubio made it clear he would not vote to fund the government. There was never any chance of President Barack Obama signing a bill to delay or defund his signature legislation. That didn't stop Rubio from participating in Ted Cruz's filibuster and voting against funding the government. Rubio also voting against raising the debt ceiling. Rubio can't call himself a fiscal conservative if he is willing to let the federal government default.

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DNC Robocall On Rubio

The DNC is sending out this robocall in Florida. Sen. Rubio did vote for the federal government to default. Not voting to raise the debt ceiling the day before the government would default should disqualify Rubio from serving in public office.

The DNC robocall.

Florida:

I’m calling from the DNC.

Senator Rubio was an architect of the strategy that shut down our government and took us to the brink of economic collapse.

Marco Rubio’s shutdown cost our economy $24 billion dollars and his refusal to pay our nation’s bills risked raising mortgage rates, crashing the stock market and even put Social Security payments at risk. And now Rubio is signaling that he’s willing to do it all again in a few months.

Call Marco Rubio at 202-224-3041 and tell him please stop. Stop his dangerous actions right now.

Paid for by the Democratic National Committee. (202) 863-8000. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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Quote of the Day

"Every fish you catch and release goes home with an alien abduction story."

John Fugelsang

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Enough of Tea Party Nonsense at Public Hearings

The tea party is destroying Republican education policy. Case in point is a hearing held in Tallahassee for Common Core. Ignorant tea party activists aren't aware that Common Core was created by conservatives.

"As far as I'm concerned, Common Core is the same as communism," one attendee said at the Wednesday night meeting in Davie.

"Marxism!" someone shouted from the audience.

If these people took the time they would learn that Common Core was created by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Former Bush administrator officials Rod Paige and Michael Petrilli served in senior positions at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Common Core was not created by bleeding heart liberals.

This had to be the lowlight of the hearing.

Of the three town-hall style meetings, the one in Davie was the most heated —and the most vibrant. Randy Adams of Weston delivered his anti-Common Core remarks wearing a Revolutionary War uniform.

I have no interest in listening to someone dressed as a Klingon, at Comic Con, lecturing me about Middle East policy. I have even less interest in listening to a make believe Revolutionary soldier yell misinformed nonsense about Common Core. I also have no interest in giving respect to people who behave obnoxiously at public hearings. These tea party activists demand respect and treat their fellow citizens with contempt. Enough is enough.

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Matt Kibbe's Brilliant Tweet

Matt Kibbe, the President and CEO of Freedomworks posted this unintentionally hysterical tweet.

why the government shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis were brilliant Republican strategy shar.es/EO7lQ via ShareThis

The blog post by moderate libertarian economist Tyler Cowen. The blog post was written in jest. Cowen credits the post to his evil twin brother Tyrone.Kibbe's justification for turning the Republican Party into the Black Knight from The Holy Grail is a comedy post.

Cowen's gives Republicans more credit, in their strategic thinking, than they deserve. Cowen does make a good point about the exchanges.

Or the New Year’s resolution that after you have been billed three times for the same policy, you vow to pay for only one of them and live with the bad credit rating until it gets straightened out. How about extreme adverse selection into the exchanges, resulting in 50-100% premium hikes in the first year of operations? (The lower premia are now, the better! Bread, peace, land! Ach du grüne Neune!) That’s what will get further traction for the Tea Party on Obamacare, not a bunch of bad reviews on opening day, as if the policy were no more than a mid-tier Jennifer Aniston movie (I can no longer refer to Sandra Bullock in this context), to be swatted down by mild tut-tuts of disapproval and inconvenience.

It has been a neoliberal dream to increase health insurance profits and cut entitlements. President Barack Obama has mandated millions of Americans into private health insurance and has been trying to cut Medicare. It will be interesting to see what kind of cost controls are placed on health insurance premiums. The insurance industry will lobby to water down cost controls.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

A cat tries in vain to run up a slide. At least the cat is getting a good workout.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Don't Ever Touch Steve Lonegan

Republican Steve Lonegan lost to Cory Booker. It looks like Lonegan didn't want his wife to get touchy feely with him, as he was giving his concession speech.

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Sarah Palin Out Does Herself

I avoid blogging about Sarah Palin. However, this is so hysterical that I couldn't help myself. Palin states that if President Barack Obama raises the debt ceiling he should be impeached. Palin also wrote that Obama should be impeached if he doesn't raise the debt ceiling. Palin posted this comedy masterpiece on her Facebook page.

It’s time for the president to be honest with the American people for a change. Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense. A default would also be a shameful lack of leadership, just as mindlessly increasing our debt without trying to rein in spending is a betrayal of our children and grandchildren who will be stuck with the bill.

You can't argue with logic like that. Nor would you want to try.

I'm posting this under the blogging tag humor. There is no way I can take Sarah Palin seriously.

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Wingnut of the Day: Frank Balles

It is scary to think that New Jersey Republican Frank Balles is the Sheriff of Atlantic County. At this forum, it certainly sounds like Balles is urging voters to shoot his Democratic opponent State Sen. Jim Whelan.

"When someone's been elected for 30 years and he comes knocking on your door and tells you, 'Listen, this is what I want to do to help you,' quickly close your door, go inside," Balles said.

A member of the audience quickly interjected, "And get your gun!"

Balles quickly responded, "And get your gun, exactly!"

Balles' "gun" remarks start at the 4 minute mark of the video.

Hat tip to Freak Out Nation.

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Wolverine Gets Fired

This video was created by The Pete Holmes Show for Comic Con. This is Wolverine getting fired from the X-Men.

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Martha Haynie May Leave Republican Party

Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie may leave the Republican Party. Haynie told The Orlando Sentinel this during a speech Charlie Crist gave Orlando Democrats.

"But by the time I run again, I don't expect to have an 'R' next to my name," Haynie said, adding that she may end up an independent.

Haynie sits on the board of Planned Parenthood and is not a fan of the Republican shutdown of the federal government. The deciding factor for Haynie may be if Crist runs for Governor.

"I'm not in tune with Rick Scott," she said. "And Charlie talks a good game."

Gov. Rick Scott has little or no appeal with moderates.

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Quote of the Day: Compassionate Conservatism Edition

"They introduce themselves as pro-life. And I say, ‘Oh, I’m so glad. You must be fighting for healthcare for the poor.’ And they look at me like I’m bonkers."

Sheila Walsh, a Catholic nun

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Write A Caption: the GOP

Monty Python fan Litbrit tweeted this masterpiece.

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Dubious Rubio Votes For Default

Sen. Marco Rubio said only Democrats wanted a government shutdown. If that is the case then why did Rubio vote against ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling last night? If Rubio was really concerned about the United State's debt then why did he vote for the default of his country?

Rubio can't say the other party wants the government shutdown and turn around and vote for a shutdown. Rubio can't say he cares about America's debt and then vote for a default that would cause an international financial crisis. Actions matter more than words and I can't think of a moment when Rubio committed a brave action in his life. This is an irresponsible man who has no business serving in the United States Senate.

Update: Rubio passes the buck by blaming Democrats.

“I know of no one in my party who supported shutting down the government,” Rubio said during his floor speech. “On the contrary, we argued that we should fund the entire government except for one thing, ObamaCare.”

Last night, Rubio voted against opening the government and lifting the U.S. credit rating. It would be nice if Rubio take responsibility for his votes and actions. Rubio participated in the Ted Cruz filibuster. Cruz called for shutting down the government if Obamacare wasn't defunded or repealed. Rubio helped lead his party into a shutdown and then hid from the media when poll numbers turned against Republicans. Rubio backed the shutdown and voted to continue the shutdown. Worse is Rubio voting for America to default. Rubio needs to look in the mirror before he plays the blame game.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Democrats Should Ignore Lindsay Graham

Sen. John McCain made a hysterical plea for Democrats not too embarrass Republicans when the shutdown and debt ceiling fight ends. McCain's pal Sen. Lindsey Graham sang the same tune to Talking Points Memo. Graham even admits that following Ted Cruz's lead on shutting down the government was a disaster.

"We won't be the last political party to overplay our hand," he said. "It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better."

President Barack Obama has been a horrible negotiator with Republicans. The White House has received numerous complaints from the Democratic caucuses and the progressive base. In a telling moment, House Speaker John Boehner admitted this during the last manufactured crisis by the Republicans.

I do. When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I'm pretty happy.

Obama finally realized if he keeps giving Boehner what he wants the Speaker will continue to shut down the government and threaten the faith and credit of the United States. The hostage taking has to stop. The only way that happens is if Democrats ignore Lindsay Graham's cries for mercy and make this as politically painful for Republicans as possible. Beltway Republicans may be ignorant about economics but they can understand their horrible poll numbers.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tennessee Ernie Ford - 16 Tons

An american classic from Tennessee Ernie Ford.

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John Boehner Calls Off Vote On His Own Bill to Reopen Government

House Speaker John Boehner is a joke. Once again he does not have the votes in his own caucus to a conservative spending bill to reopen the federal government. What is likely to happen is Boehner will have to go to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She will demand a clean continuing resolution (that does not involve defunding Obamacare) to reopen government. This is further proof that Boehner can't control his caucus or even count votes.

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Quote of the Day: Sen. Bernie Sanders Edition

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Jawbreaker - Peel It the Fuck Down

Why Jawbreaker didn't put this song on 24 Hour Revenge Therapy is beyond me.

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Families Recovering From Domestic Violence and the Shutdown

Our pal Ginger Lee is a must-read post on how the federal government shutdown is effecting women and children trying to escape domestic violence. These people will have a problem feeding themselves thanks to the shutdown.

When they got some of the fabled ‘government cheese’ (yes, it was a real thing) it was like a damn celebration, because FOOD. They were happy to sleep on people’s floors as long as they knew there would be some damn food every day. Bread. Bread was amazing. There were a million things that could be done with bread.

And it went this way for a while, because back then victim ‘services’ for people trying to escape domestic violence situations didn’t exist. It took a court order from a judge to tell the abusive person to GTFO out the residence so the abused person & her children could stop sleeping on random floors. Once that happened, the ‘food assistance’ was only needed a few more months before that parent could buy the groceries with no ‘help’. Having a kitchen along with a place to sleep at night was a magical thing.

The situation for mothers and children during the Reagan years was very bad. Due to the shutdown these families will have a hard time feeding themselves. Ginger Lee correctly points out that if people think churches are going to come to the rescue then they are living in fantasy land.

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A Fox Singing

I don't feel like writing a political blog post. So I will give you this adorable famale fox singing.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

John McCain Laughable Threat At Democrats

Sen. John McCain has threatened the Democrats to not hand the GOP its asses in the political federal government shutdown. This is how bad it has gotten for the Republicans.

“Democrats better understand something, what goes around comes around! And if they try to humiliate Republicans, things change in American politics, and I know what it’s like to be in the majority and the minority and it won’t be forgotten. Now is the time to be magnanimous!”

President Barack Obama has finally figured out that it is time to stop Republicans to manufacture crisis after crisis with the budget and debt ceiling. Congressional Democrats and progressives have been begging President Obama to play hardball. If this doesn't happen now then Republicans will continue to shutdown the government and threaten the country with default. Democrats should ignore McCain and make the shutdown so politically embarrassing for Republicans that they don't dare try it again.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

R.E.M - Radio Free Europe (Hip-Tone Version)

This is the original version of Radio Free Europe that does not appear on Murmur. The Hip-Tone single became big on the underground music scene and helped R.E.M. get signed to IRS.

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Mike Fasano Endorses Amanda Murphy

Republican Mike Fasano endorses Democrat Amanda Murphy for Florida House seat 36. This is the seat that was previously held by Fasano. He had to step down due to term limits. The endorsement isn't a surprise. Fasano already told the media he voted for Murphy by absentee ballot.

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The Kim Kardashian of Florida Politics

Who the hell constantly talks to the media about maybe running for public office? Maybe running for public office is not a news story. Alex Sink spent over a year constantly telling the media she might run for governor. Never mind she already lost once to Rick Scott and would be Scott's best chance of winning a second term. Alex Sink tells William March of the Tampa Tribune that maybe she will run for the House seat of the retiring Bil Young.

“After making my decision in the governor’s race I’ve been sitting here for two weeks listening to all this ridiculousness in Washington, and thinking maybe we need some new people there, a different approach. I’ll need to make a decision fairly soon, but I am seriously considering it.”

Sink is not running. She craves attention. Potential candidates stay mum until they have an announcement to make. Sink led Florida Democrats on for over a year and never attempted to build a political operation that could unseat Rick Scott's $100 million campaign in 2014. A person serious about running for governor would of had face to face meetings with the DNC and the Obama political team. Sink throws a well placed leak to Saint Petersblog and the Florida political media treats this like it is news. It's not news. It is media whoring.

To give you an idea of how desperately Sink craves atention; she told the Tampa Bay Times people are literally crying at the thought she might not run for governor again.

"I don't go anywhere without strangers walking up to me on the street and asking me, and sometimes begging me and sometimes crying about their desire to see me run again."

Sink's ego craves the spotlight more than the job.

For the sake of argument, do you think Alex Sink Sink is going to raise Elizabeth Warren or Alan Grayson levels of money online. How much effort is Daily Kos or Firedoglake going to make for a Blue Dog Democrat who backed the Bush tax cuts, refused to support a public health insurance option and publicly bashed Muslims.

How much money will the DCCC spend on a Sink campaign after she took to Politico to blame President Obama for her 2010 loss. Never mind that her campaign was so bad MSNBC named her the worst candidate of 2010.

Sink isn't running. She just wants Florida Democratic insiders and the media to keep asking her if she is running. Alex Sink is the Kim Kardashian of Florida politics.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Quote of the Day

“The greatest trick the left has ever played is to convince conservatives we cannot win."

Sen. Ted Cruz, at the Values Voters Summit.

Cruz should look at the NBC/WSJ poll numbers before he declares victory.

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GOP Establishment Will Never Please Tea Party

House Speaker John Boehner has shut down the government and threatened to have the Treasury Department default. In the eyes of tea party activists Boehner has been too reasonable with President Barack Obama. Erick Erickson of Red State is publicly backing a primary opponent against Boehner.

I have just given money to Heritage Action for America.

I have just given money to Senate Conservatives Fund.

These two groups will be at the forefront of the fight.

I am also giving money to Eric Gurr. He has decided to primary Speaker John Boehner in Ohio.

I am also giving money to Matt Bevin. He is the primary challenger to Mitch McConnell.

Republicans are losing the shutdown battle in poll after poll. People like Erickson, who forced the GOP down ths path, refuse to take responsibility for their stupidity. The tea party is willing to destroy the Republican Party. If the GOP establishment keeps pandering to the tea party the result will be Democrats winning more elections.

Friday Cat Blogging

This is my favorite cat blogging video that I have posted. How this man was able to train cats to follow his commands and walk a tightrope is beyond me.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quote of the Day

That will be the talking point.

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Wingnut of the Day: Tom Tillison

This shows the level of disconnect tea party activists have with reality. Orlando tea partier Tom Tillison believes that Republicans are going to delay Obamacare.

"I still think a true victory would at least include a one-year delay" to the Obamacare provision that requires most Americans buy health insurance by Jan. 1, he said.

There is more.

"The sentiment that I hear from a lot of folks is that if it were not for the media, [they] would not be aware there was a shutdown," said Tillison of Gotha. "They are not feeling the impact of the shutdown on their everyday life."

It is not surprising someone like Tillison, who hates government, would not be bothered by a shutdown. It should be noted that Tillison is a conspiracy theorist. Tillison claimed that Satanists are attempting to help Charlie Crist get elected to a second term as governor. Tillison doesn't have actual evidence but that doesn't stop him from making his assertion.

And Morgan will make out like a bandit if his investment in Crist results in a second stint as Governor.

This is relevant because it’s indicative of the tactics we can expect in the quest to unseat Gov. Scott. With such a Far Left flavor, we can expect a heavy dose of ridicule early and often in an attempt to establish a preferred narrative in the race.

And right on cue, the Miami Herald reports that Satanists “from all over Florida” will gather at the State Capitol on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. to applaud Scott’s backing of SB 98, according to a news release by a group called the Satanic Temple.

Tillison should look up the meaning to the word "Marxist" before he uses it in a blog post.

A good indication that the American population is slowly conforming to the Marxist-inspired economic principles of Barack Obama and the Far Left. Somewhat ironically, it was John F. Kennedy who said, “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

President Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary Jack Lew worked for Citigroup. Obama's National Economic Council chair Gene Sperling worked at Goldman Sachs. Any President whose top two economic advisers have worked for the financial industry isn't a Marxist. Obama isn't even a progressive.

Tillison has a true disconnect from facts and reality.

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Daily Show on 'Bipartisan Curious' Republicans

These so-called reasonable Republicans deserved to be mocked for not voting against the tea party caucus.

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Bill Foster is In Denial About the Tampa Bay Rays

Mayor Bill Foster claims that St. Petersburg is a viable market for Major League Baseball. Foster says "Tampa Bay" in the debate but he means St. Petersburg. Foster has not and has no plans to let the Rays ownership talk to the City of Tampa or Hillsborough County government about the Rays moving across the Bay. Foster is not likely to any time soon.

The Rays made the playoffs this year and have been a winning team the past 5 years. The result was the worst attendance in baseball in 2013. I would love to be in the room when Mayor Foster tells MLB owners that St. Petersburg is a fantastic market. I suspect the reaction would be laughter.

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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Gus Bilirakis Won't Vote For Clean CR

Voters should remember that Rep. Gus Bilirakis vowing not to vote for a clean continuing resolution to fund the federal government.

“I am not in favor of shutting the government down," the Palm Harbor lawmaker said in a statement. "However, there are a number of policy issues that deserve to be discussed and negotiated before I would consider a clean CR. These issues include treating Congress like the rest of America under the health care law and getting our runaway spending under control. The President and Senate must sit down with the House to discuss these important issues first.”

The media should ask Bilirakis how does he expect to get President Barack Obama to sign legislation to defund Obamacare. It is not going to happen.

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Michele Bachmann Claims Obama is Arming Al Qaeda & Bringing the End Times

Via Right Wing Watch: Michele Bachmann told conservative radio host Jan Markell President Barack Obama is arming Al Qaeda.

“President Obama waived a ban on arming terrorists in order to allow weapons to go to the Syrian opposition,” Bachmann said. “Your listeners, US taxpayers, are now paying to give arms to terrorists including Al Qaeda.”
Bachmann tells people not to fret. Americans should "rejoice" because this is a sign of the end times. I kid you not.

“This happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history.”

“Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand,” Bachmann continued. “When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.”

You can go to the White House web site and read that Obama is only providing "non-lethal aid" to the Syrian rebels.

Today, the President signed a Presidential Determination exercising his authority to waive certain restrictions under the Arms Export Control Act. This action will allow the U.S. Government to provide or license, where appropriate, certain non-lethal assistance inside or related to Syria. This includes: 1) chemical weapons-related personal protective equipment to international organizations, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for the conduct of their operations; 2) chemical weapons-related life-saving assistance for organizations implementing Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development programs to strengthen local Syrian health care providers’ ability to prepare for and respond to any use of chemical weapons; and 3) defensive chemical weapons-related training and personal protective equipment to select vetted members of the Syrian opposition, including the Supreme Military Council, to protect against the use of chemical weapons. This action is part of longstanding and ongoing efforts to provide life-saving chemical weapons-related assistance to people in need in Syria.

It would be nice if Bachmann had reading comprehension skills.

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Quote of the Day

"I've never done twerking in my life and I don't intend to take it up."

Michele Bachmann, on Miley Cyrus's parody of Bachmann on Saturday Night Live

In defense of Bachmann (which never happens on this blog), she is taking the SNL parody with a sense of humor.

I thought about posting the SNL video. The sketch really sucks. If can find it on Hulu.com if you are really interested.

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Ted Yoho Needs to Take an Economics Course

Sen. Tom Coburn went on CBS to claim that the United States will be able to pay its bills if the debt ceiling is not raised. The reality is the Treasury Department will be broke because it can no longer borrow money to pay its bills. Rep. Ted Yoho doesn't want to raise the debt ceiling. Ever. In fact, Yoho claims not raising the debt ceiling would be great.

“I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we’re] going broke,” Yoho said. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, that will sure as heck be a moment. “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets,” since they would be assured that the United States had moved decisively to curb its debt.

If the Treasury Department runs out of money there will be a credit freeze. The last time there was a major credit freeze was in 2008 after Lehman Brothers went under. The result was the biggest financial crash since the Great Depression. It should be required that candidates take an economics course before they run for Congress.

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Profile in Courage: Rick Scott Edition

Miami Herald political reporter Mary Ellen Klas attempted to get Gov. Rick Scott to give a yes or no answer on if he supports the Congressional Republicans federal government shutdown strategy. Anyone who has followed Scott's career knows he would rather have Laurence Olivier's character in The Marathon Man pull his teeth out than take a position.

“What I agree with is the fact that the buck stops with the president,'' Scott told reporters at a media availability this moring. "It's disappointing he doesn’t know how to compromise and negotiate. I’ve done it for three sessions."

Actually, that doesn't pass the laugh test. Scott's communication with the Florida legislature is nearly nonexistent because of his paranoia of Florida's sunshine law. In fact, the last legislative session was a disaster for Scott.

"If this were Jeb Bush, he'd be on the phone constantly," said Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, a supporter of Medicaid expansion, recalling the former governor's take-no-prisoners style in dealing with lawmakers. "The problem is, they're not afraid of this governor."

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford said Scott never spoke to him about Medicaid expansion. Scott barely raised a whisper for teacher merit pay. Exactly how does Scott think he is a master negotiator?

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Quote of the Day

"There’s no such thing as a debt ceiling in this country because it’s never been not increased, and that’s why we’re $17 trillion in debt. And I would dispel therumor that’s going around that you hear onevery newscast that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we’ll default on our debt -- we won’t. We’ll continue to pay our interest, we’ll continueto redeem bonds, and we’ll issue new bonds to replace those."

Sen. Tom Coburn, on CBS This Morning

I hope Sen. Coburn enjoys living in the land of make believe.

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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Joel Award: John Boehner

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

House Speaker John Boehner went on This Week and told George Stephanopoulos that President Barack Obama must meet his demands on either delaying or repealing the Affordable Care Act.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you saying that if he continues to refuse to negotiate, the country is going to default?

BOEHNER: That’s the path we’re on. The president canceled his trip to Asia. I assumed — well, maybe he wants to have a conversation. I decided to stay here in Washington this weekend. He knows what my phone number is. All he has to do is call.

Stephanopoulos pointed out to Boehner that the Speaker originally said he was not going to put a repeal or defunding of Obamacare into the CR bill.

Stephanopoulos played a clip of Boehner saying,”It’s pretty clear that the president was re-elected. Obamacare is the law of the land.” Adding,”If we were to put Obamacare into the CR and send it over to the Senate, we were risking shutting down the government. That is not our goal.”

The ABC host explained, “So right there, you say that’s not your goal. You don’t want to put Obamacare on the CR. You did it.”

Boehner has lost control of his caucus. The tea party members have taken over the House of Representatives. Boehner can introduce a clean CR bill and get the votes from Democrats and Republicans that are begging for an end to the shutdown. Boehner won't do that.

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Rep. Joe Barton Says Dumb Things

The reason Rep. Joe Barton says laughable things is because he desperately wants to protect the oil industry. In 2010, Barton received more campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry than any other member of Congress. That explains why Barton spouted a crazy theory about wind power causing global warming.

Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.

Barton wants to be a United States Senator. God help us all.

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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Quote of the Day

"So glad the Capitol Police got that House ovation that they can use to feed their families and pay their mortgages."

Adam Snider, of Politico

Snider is pointing out that the Capitol Police are not getting paid during the government shutdown.

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Sonic Youth - Kool Thing

An absolutely amazing live version of Kool Thing. Sonic Youth is as influential to music as the Stoogies, the Velvet Underground or the Ramones. There is no justice if Sonic Youth doesn't get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Tallahassee Protest Against Government Shutdown

In Tallahassee, seniors and students gathered to protest the federal government shutdown. The protesters demand that GOP Rep. Steve Southerland vote to end the shutdown with s clean CR bill.

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Dennis Ross Says Shutdown About Republican Pride

Florida GOP Rep. Dennis Ross speaks truth to The New York Times about how foolish the government shutdown is for Republicans.

“Republicans have to realize how many significant gains we’ve made over the last three years, and we have, not only in cutting spending but in really turning the tide on other things,” he said. “We can’t lose all that when there’s no connection now between the shutdown and the funding of Obamacare.”

“I think now it’s a lot about pride,” he said.

The deficit has gone down under President Barack Obama. Economists have warned that the deficit had gone down too fast and has hurt GDP growth. Republicans have inaccurately predicted austerity policies would boost the economy. The slow recover has proven Republicans to be wrong.

A

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Friday, October 04, 2013

Shocking News: Reps. Blackburn & Rohrabacher Dodge Question on CNN

Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) did not want to answer CNN host Ashleigh Banfield's question on his they would be willing to not be paid during of government shutdown. Don't count on Blackburn or Rohrabacher to sponsor an amendment for suspension of pay in the continuing resolution.

BLACKBURN: We are waiting to see what they send back, and I hope that as you were running the countdown clock that you are I have two grandsons, and their share of the national debt is now over $53,000 each.

BANFIELD: No no no. I’m sorry. I asked a specific question, and there are a lot of the government workers going to stop receiving their paychecks, and a there are a lot of the military service members who are serving overseas who might be stopped being paid and veterans whose benefits will be affected. Would you —

ROHRABACHER: Let me answer that. Members of Congress should not be treated any differently than any other federal employee.

BANFIELD: Is that a yes?

ROHRABACHER: Whatever happens to us when it comes to what we get in benefits and whether it is retirement or health care and whatever happens to the average federal employee should happen to us, and that rule should not be changed.

Republicans are now getting called out on their phony fiscal conservative bullshit by the media. It's about time.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Milk does the cat's body good.

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Daily Show Laughs At Anti-Obamacare B.S.

Jason Jones of The Daily Show broke character when he couldn't take the bullshit an anti-Obamacare conservative was spieling.

"You know, normally I do these interviews and I just ironically nod and agree with whatever the person is saying, but, uh, I don't know if I can with that one. ... [bursts out laughing] No, I can't do it. I can't stay in character. That's just bulls**t."

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Mike Fasano Announces Vote For Amanda Murphy

Republican Mike Fasano told TBO.com he voted absentee for Democrat Amanda Murphy for his seat.

“I believe Amanda will be the best person to represent the district,” Fasano said. “I personally believe she will help the little guy and gal.”

I wonder why Fasano is still a Republican. Fasano fires this shot at the Republican leadership the the legislature.

He said Murphy’s support for Medicaid expansion was the deciding factor.

“I think Bill Gunter is a good guy and good person, but I’m afraid he will follow the Republican leadership, and we don’t need any more sheep in Tallahassee,” Fasano said.

I would say that Amanda Murphy's chance of winning just got better. A seal of approval from Fasino is very good news.

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IMF Scared Congress May Cause Another Crash

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde is warning Congress that the debt ceiling must be raised. Immediately.

“The government shutdown is bad enough, but failure to raise the debt ceiling would be far worse, and could very seriously damage not only the U.S. economy, but the entire global economy,” Lagarde said in a speech in Washington to students at George Washington University. “So it is ‘mission-critical’ that this be resolved as soon as possible.”

The Treasury Department is worried that not raising the debt ceiling would cause an international credit freeze.

The United States has never defaulted on its obligations, and the U. S. dollar and Treasury securities are at the center of the international financial system. A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.

The last time there was an international credit freeze was when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. The result was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The TARP program was created to get money moving in the banking system again. Republicans in Congress may start another crash if they don't give President Barack Obama a clean CR bill to sign.

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age - Tangled in Plaid

Tangled Up in Plaid by Queens of the Stone Age on Grooveshark

The song title is an obvious play on Bob Dylan's Tangled Up In Blue. Josh Homme is infamous for silly song titles.

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Where Are the Women

NARAL and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted this photo of the House Republicans set to negotiate with Senate Democrats. The lack of women in a leadership position in the GOP makes it easier to understand why Republicans are willing to shut down the government to prevent women from getting birth control. Elizabeth Warren gave a powerful speech, on the Senate floor, about the GOP war on women.

Republicans are shutting the government over preventing birth control access, abolishing taxes on medical devices, and denying people with pre-existing conditions getting health care insurance. Republicans are tanking the economy to appease corporate and social conservatives. That is why we are having a shut down.

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Quote of the Day

"I think Sullivan is right, but not for the right reason. I do believe that Barack Obama is in fact our first gay president. But I believe this for entirely different reasons. I believe the man actually is gay."

Dean Chamber, failed pollster.

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Artists for Darden Rice City Council 4 Fundraiser Friends of Guests

Fundraiser for progressive candidate Darden Rice for District 4 of the St. Petersburg City Council.

When: Oct. 3

6:00pm until 8:00pm

Where: 550 24th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Rice is pushing for the city of St. Petersburg to give more grants to the arts.

The city should increase its grants to local arts non-profits from $175,000 a year to at least $300,000, said Rice, adding that she hopes to eventually bring it up to $400,000 or higher as the economy improves. By comparison, Sarasota distributes $1 million in grants to its arts organizations, she said.

You can also donate to Rice online.

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