Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Buzzfeed has a fun post of the fantasy of having a cat versus the reality. News flash: cats can be grumpy and they sleep a lot.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Most Obvious Email Ever

I got this breaking news email from the Alex Sink campaign under the headline "Disturbing."

We just learned that Tea Party Governor Rick Scott is hosting a massive fundraiser for Alex’s opponent, David Jolly.

Remember, this is the same Rick Scott responsible for the largest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history, taking advantage of Florida seniors for his own company’s profits.

Every big check that Scott and Jolly raise will go directly towards airing deceitful attacks against Alex -- ads designed to distract Pinellas voters from Jolly’s career as a Washington lobbyist.

And I thought David Jolly was raising money to buy Alex Sink flowers. Who knew that Jolly was going to run attack ads against against Sink. I am shocked that a Republican would host a fundraiser for another Republican. It almost gives you the idea that Republicans like to see Republicans win elections.

You know if Sink didn't spend so much time attacking Obama during the 2010 election the President might hold a fundraiser for her. Sink kissed that goodbye when Sink hysterically blamed Obama for her losing the Panhandle.

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Revisiting the Financial Crisis: Mortgage-Backed Securities

This is the start of a series of the financial crisis. The purpose of this series is to prove that there were several indications of an oncoming financial crisis that the federal government chose to ignore.

This Federal Reserve report published in June of 2008 indicates that the Fed realized that there was serious problems with subprime mortgages. In 2007, the S&P/Case-Shiller house price index released a report that indicated the largest drop in home prices since the Great Depression. Part of this was the market adjusting to the housing bubble. What goes up eventually comes down. Home prices went into free well into 2008. Below is a CNN graph of the S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price index numbers for the final quarter of 2008.

Bloomberg News reported on December 7, 2006 that Ownit Mortgage Solutions Inc. laid off 800 workers. The Los Angeles Times reported that Ownit could not meet its financial obligations. Ownit blamed Merrill Lynch & Co. for letting the company die. Former Ownit employee Kevin Panet told this to Bloomberg News about what management told him about Ownit's relationship with Merrill Lynch. The result was a disaster. Mortgages eventually depreciate in value. The housing bubble popped. Yet the major investment banks tried to keep riding the housing wave.

``There were meetings with top management late in the day on Monday saying, `Look, we're having some problems with our partners and brace yourselves,''' Panet said. ``It's a lousy market right now, and it's heading down not up.''

Here is how Ownit worked. Merrill Lynch & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse First Boston were providing funding to Ownit to sell subprime mortgages to people with bad credit. These investment institutions would then buy the subprime mortgages and bundle them up into mortgage-backed securities. Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase bailed when the housing bubble popped. Ownit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 28, 2006.

In 2004, Erick Bergquist reported half of its $4 billion worth of production to Merrill Lynch.

A Merrill spokesman confirmed that it had bought a stake in the wholesaler. "Merrill Lynch is active in the mortgage-backed securities market in many areas.

We are always looking to establish strategic relationships with quality firms," a Merrill spokesman said.

Merrill Lynch and other investment banks started losing billions in 2007. In good part to mortgage-backed securities. Merrill Lynch CEO E. Stanley O'Neal was forced to step down.

In pure destructive power, the subprime mess has become Wall Street's version of Hurricane Katrina. It has wreaked havoc on the nation's iconic brokerage firm, Merrill Lynch (Charts, Fortune 500), and biggest bank, Citigroup (Charts, Fortune 500), which have announced billions of dollars in losses and parted ways with their celebrated CEOs, E. Stanley O'Neal and Charles Prince. Banks, brokerages, and lenders have announced thousands of layoffs, and more are sure to come.

The blow to shareholder wealth is staggering. Since June 29, Citi's share price has dropped 35%, from $51 to $33, while Merrill's stock has slid from $84 to $54, a 36% swoon. In the same period, the dozen biggest Wall Street firms and the commercial banks with the largest investment arms - a list that includes Bank of America (Charts, Fortune 500), J.P. Morgan Chase (Charts, Fortune 500), and Credit Suisse (Charts) - have lost more than $240 billion in market value. Dozens of smaller companies in the mortgage business have suffered huge losses or folded completely.

To be continued.

Profits and Balance Sheet Developments at U.S. Commercial Banks in 2007 by Michael Robert Hussey

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KidCare Needs to Be Expanded

Florida House Rep. Amanda Murphy sent out this press release on her support of Medicaid expansion in Florida.

“There are many points with the plan that I agree with and plan on supporting, but it is missing one crucial aspect in protecting vulnerable Floridians and that is Medicaid Expansion,” said Representative Amanda Murphy. “As we learned last week, the decision to not take the Medicaid Expansion dollars last year could cost Florida businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. The Florida Legislature needs to have conversations about protecting the vulnerable by assuring access to affordable and quality healthcare and eliminating the possibility of millions in fines to our small businesses.”

Representative Murphy announced earlier this week her intentions to file a companion bill to SB 710 filled by Senator Garcia, Senate District 38, last week. The bill would provide increased benefits through the Healthy Kids and Healthy Florida programs. Healthy Florida uses available federal funding to assist individuals and families with purchasing private insurance coverage.

The Purpose of Sen. Rene Garcia's bill is to expand Kidcare coverage
Revising the components of Florida Kidcare; prohibiting a cause of action from arising against the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation for failure to make health services available; amending s. 409.8132, F.S.; revising the eligibility of the Medikids program component; revising the enrollment requirements for Medikids; amending s. 409.8134, F.S., relating to Florida Kidcare; conforming provisions to changes made by the act; amending s. 409.814, F.S.; revising eligibility requirements for Florida Kidcare

A reason why this bill might be dead on arrival is that coverage for the children of legal immigrants. There is some conflicting interest involved. Garcia is a KidCare activist.

Garcia present a previous version of this bill. These are the numbers Garcia said Kidcare expansion for children of legal immigrants would cost.

The maximum cost to the state of extending coverage to legal immigrant children would be $17.6 million.

To pay for it there is unspent state funds already earmarked for children’s health coverage as well as money freed up as a result of increased federal match rates. This means there is a bare minimum of $39.1 million in state funding available to fund this important coverage.

Investment in coverage of these otherwise uninsured children will draw down an additional $43.1 million in federal funds.

I’d be happy to provide to you and your staff with a cost brief detailing all of this information.

According to a Miami Herald article, Florida has the second highest rate of uninsured people under the age of 65 in America. The problem is Florida has a McJob economy.

Steven Marcus, chief executive of the Health Foundation of South Florida, a public charity that funds healthcare initiatives in the region, attributed Miami-Dade’s high rate of uninsured residents to the county’s large number of small businesses, many of which do not offer health insurance to their employees — the most common method for Americans to receive coverage.

“We’re a very small-business, service economy,’’ Marcus said. “Our small businesses have never supported healthcare.’’

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford made a political decision to deny Medicaid expansion. This has an effect on the many children in Florida that is denied health coverage. There is no rationale moral reason to deny children health care.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer

An early punk classic that has been covered by a ton of people.

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Quote of the Day

Conservative blogger Erick Erickson's response to President Barack Obama calling for women to receive equal pay for equal work. Erickson is the conservative version of Courtney Love on Twitter. Both Erickson and Love are a danger to themselves on Twitter.

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Rick Scott is Bringing the Sexy to Instagram

If there is anything voters have not been asking for it is more pictures of Gov. Rick Scott on the internet. Apparently, a young staffer thought a good way to make Scott hip to all the youngsters is to put him on Instagram.

Kyle Munzenrieder makes a good point about the demographics of Instagram.

Instagram is an odd choice, considering that the vast majority of its users are under 30, and that the site attracts a user base that is more female and African-American than the general population. You know, the exact kind of people that don't tend to vote for Republicans. Is there really an overlap between people who are genuinely excited about both Tea Party-hardliner Rick Scott and their friends' super-cute selfies? Granted it's only his first day, but so far there only seems to be 66 people following him.

Munzenrieder is correct. Market Charts posted their finding of Instagram users. The largest ethnic group is black at 20 percent. More women than men use Instagram. 43 percent of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 to 29. Those are the exact people Scott is trying to make wait in long lines for his bogus voter fraud reforms.

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Alex Sink on Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Alex Sink sent out a fundraising email explaining her support of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Sink has been rather vague about her policy positions. It is important that Sink outline exactly what she stands for.

In 2014, it's hard to believe women still earn less than men for the same work.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a law that is helping women receive equal pay for equal work.

It's inexplicable that in a day where more women are the sole breadwinners in their families, they still onl make 77 cents" on the dollar compared to men. This not only holds back women but also the Aerican nomy.

I did a Google search to find out where Sink stands on employment issues. Sink has not filled out the political courage test at Vote Smart. The political courage test asks candidates their positions on issues. I wonder if Sink would have even sent out a fundraising email mentioning the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act if President Barack Obama didn't advocate for equal pay for women in his State of the Union address. Sink seems to be hopping from issue to issue based on what is in the news cycle.

Update Alex Sink released this statement.

“Today is an important day to reflect on how far women have come in gaining equal pay, but also how far we still need to go. It is unacceptable that women are on average only making 77 cents on the dollar compared to men – especially since more women are now the sole breadwinners in their families. This kind of wage discrimination not only hurts women, it holds our entire American economy back. Pinellas residents deserve a representative that women can trust to fight for paycheck fairness.”

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens TV Reporter

Republican Michael Grimm threatened a reporter with NY1. Grimm threatened to throw the reporter off the balcony and said, ""I will break you in half." NY1 political director Bob Hardt confirmed this.

This is what happens when voters elect crazy people to public office.

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Live Tweeting the State of the Union

I will be live tweeting the State of the Union @pushingrope. I will be posting updates here.

USA Today has State of the Union bingo.

9:05 There is nothing more electrifying than than Chuck Hagel walking into a room. I'm shocked he wasn't mobbed by groupies.

Roper Litbrit fired off this tweet.

Charles Johnson fired off this SOTU drinking game tip.

The House Republicans are going to fact-check the State of the Union. Seriously?

9:11 Here comes Obama.

Ginger Lee on the Man from Orange.

9:16 Obama looks confident. We aren't getting rather be someplace else Obama.

9:16 Obama praises autoworkers.

"An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world"

9:18 Obama is praising Congress. Well, everybody just loves Congress.

9:20 Now Obama lectures Congress on the debt ceiling. Good.

9:20 "As President I am committed to making Washington work better." -- Obama.

9:21 Obama: "Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want"

9:22 I wouldn't be surprised if Joe Biden is drawing a picture of a penis. #SOTU

Obama says he will use executive power to deal with economic inequality.

9:24 Obama said "inequality." Drink. #SOTU

9:25 Obama got a smile and a thumbs up from John Boehner. Damn!

9:26 Tax reform is dead on arrival. #SOTU

People across America are saying I rather listen to an infrastructure speech than watch Justified #SOTU

9:32 Not really. Obama; "America is closer to energy independence than we've been in decades."

Great picture of Biden being Biden.

@BarackObama: "Climate change is a fact."

@BarackObama says fix immigration. Time for @marcorubio to take a drink of water.

9:39 Obama: "But first, this Congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people." #SOTU

9:42 Memo to Obama: Race to the Top sucks. Big time.

Transcript of the SOTU.

9:45 Obama: "Women deserve equal pay for equal work."

9:50 Obama: "Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here."

9:51 @marcorubio will cringe that Obama gave him a shout out. I wish Obama would go and hug Rubio now. Rubio would see his political life flash before him.

9:53 Is Obama going to do something about toxic mortgage-backed sucurities? Not likely. #SOTU

I wonder if Karl Rove has any remorse about the Iraq war. I haven't heard him say he's sorry.

10:00 Zero chance Gov. Rick Scott will institute Obama's voting reforms. Scott wants long lines.

10:03 Obama: Together with allies, we will complete mission [in Afghanistan] by the end of this year & America’s longest war will finally be over.

10:06 That is an expensive martini glass holder Speaker John Boehner has in front of him. #SOTU

10:08 Short answer: talks between Israel and Palistine isn't going anywhere.

Obama on Iran: ""It is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program."

If Reagan and JFK could negotiate with USSR, then surely US can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.

10:12 Shorter Obama: Our alliance with Europe is strong even though the Euro scares the shit out of the Treasury Department.

This is the first State of the Union that didn't make me want to pull my hair out. I don't miss neoliberal Obama.

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Newt Gingrich's Silly Attack on Hillary Clinton

According to Newt Gingrich, Hillary Clinton shouldn't run for President since she hasn't drove since 1996.

“Here’s a woman whose effort to get back in touch with us doesn’t involve driving across America — or even driving to the grocery store,” Gingrich said. “It’s being chauffered to the national auto dealers convention to tell them, quote, ‘I wish I could drive one of your cars’?”

Perhaps people can relate to Newt Gingrich claiming to be a fiscal conservative while facing bankruptcy. Let's not even talk about Gingrich's well-publicized personal life.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Least Important Breaking News Story Ever

This is hyterical. MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell interrupted Rep. Jane Harman for Justin Bieber's bond hearing. Moments like this prove cable news is infortainment. Justin Bieber's bond hearing is not important.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Write A Caption: Leo DiCaprio Dancing

This gif from The Wolf of Wall Street has been making the rounds on the internet. This is priceless.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ramones - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

The Ramones at their bubble gum punk rock best.

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Alex Sink & David Jolly Debates

Alex Sink sent out an email announcing upcoming debates with Republican nominee David Jolly.

February 3rd: Bay News 9 / Tampa Bay Times Debate - 7:00p.m. at St. Petersburg College.

February 25th: Clearwater Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum - 6:00p.m. at the Pinellas Realtors Association.

February 28th: WEDU Debate - 3:30p.m. to air 8:30p.m. and again at 12:30p.m. on February 29th, location TBD.

I hope this provides the same level of excitement as Bill Nelson and Connie Mack debate cows. I am not making that up.

Mack blasted Nelson for having an agricultural property tax exemption on 55 acres of land of pasture land he owns in Brevard County, saying it saves Nelson $43,000 in property taxes a year, even though Nelson has advocated closing tax loopholes for the wealthy.

Nelson responded that his family has pastured cattle on the land for 60 years. The second time Mack brought it up, Nelson shot back, "Not only has it been a cow pasture for 60 years, why don't we ask him why he takes two homestead exemptions, which is directly contrary to the Florida Constitution?"

Don't mess with Bill Nelson's cows.

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Shocking News: Florida Republican Donors Heart Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie came to Florida to raise money for Gov. Rick Scott. Are Republican donors bothered by the allegations of the BridgeGate scandal? Hell no. Talking Points Memo reports Christie got a standing ovation during the fundraiser dinner.

But the source, who asked not to be named, said the scandal didn't deter donors. The source said Christie got a standing ovation at the first fundraiser of the day and that hundreds of donors attended the events.

This reminds me of when former Florida House Speaker Ray Samson was forced to resign. Republicans were singing the praises for Samson. For those that don't remember, Samson was indicted and found not guilty. of grand theft. Samson earmarked money for Florida State College to get an airplane hanger. Samson was later hired by the university. Why Republicans would view Samson and Christie as heroes is an interesting question.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shocking News: Rick Scott Against Medical Marijuana

Gov. Rick Scott said he would vote against medical marijuana. The article doesn't state but I'm assuming Scott is referring to his vote on the Florida cabinet.

"I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative. But, having seen the terrible effects of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it," Scott said through a spokeswoman. "No matter my personal beliefs, however, a ballot initiative would be up to the voters to decide."

United for Care, the group backed by attorney John Morgan, has not yet attained the signatures needed to place medical marijuana on the ballot. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has made it clear she will use her office to fight to keep medical marijuana off the next ballot. Morgan hinted there might be another reason why Republicans want to keep medical marijuana off the ballot. Voter turnout.

“The Republican party in the state of Florida is petrified about this amendment because they know that 77 percent of Florida wants it,” Morgan said. In early October, the Public Policy Polling found that 62 percent of voters supported the legalization of medical marijuana for seriously patients in Florida. Support "gets stronger every day," he said.

Could medical marijuana help Morgan's friend Charlie Crist get elected? That is an interesting question

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John McCain's Unwise Endorsement of David Jolly

Sen. John McCain has endorsed David Jolly for the late Bill Young's congressional seat. Jolly has worked in Washington as a lobbyist. I find McCain's endorsement of Jolly interesting. Especially since McCain once negatively called lobbyists "birds of prey."

“Whenever there’s a corrupt system, then you’re going to have these birds of prey descendon ittoget their share ofthe spoils,” McCain saidin a half-hour interview with Politico following a town-hall meeting in the southern part of this swing state.

According to McCain, Jolly and other lobbyists were feasting on a "corrupt system." That makes me wonder what exactly are the "strong convictions" that Jolly has that McCain is referring to in his endorsement. I certainly would like to know. I'm sure the residents of District 13 would like to know what are Jolly's convictions.

Perhaps Jolly's conviction is candor about his past as a lobbyist. Jolly claims he never lobbied for offshore drilling. Unfortunately for Jolly his lobbying disclosure form says otherwise.

Jolly lobbied for Free Enterprise Nation. Jolly even wrote a blog post on Free Enterprise Nation in support of H.R. 909. The legislation would expand offshore drilling.

Rising Gas Prices to Force Congressional Debate. Anytime gas prices rise dramatically, Congress begins anew to examine our nation’s energy policy. FEN members who have read Jim MacDougald’s book UNSUSTAINABLE will remember his call for a long-term energy plan that creates private sector jobs through the building or expansion of new refineries, including expanded drilling for natural gas. FEN will stay closely involved as Congress begins to debate this issue in the coming weeks, including advocating for legislation recently introduced by Rep. Devin Nunes (CA), the Roadmap for America’s Energy Future (H.R. 909). As stated in a letter of endorsement from Mr. MacDougald, “The Roadmap for America’s Energy Future promotes an energy policy that is both market-based and is technology neutral. It provides a thoughtful national energy policy that promotes the economic interest of the private sector by reasonably expanding permits and licenses for companies to engage in energy exploration and production, and by encouraging private sector development of new energy sources in an economically sensible way.”

Jolly lobbied for offshore drilling and then denies it. That must be the kind of straight talk John McCain appreciates.

It really isn't a good idea for John McCain to be endorsing a lobbyist.McCain came under fire for the former lobbyists on his presidential campaign. There were also questions about McCain's relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman. McCain is not the best person to be handing out endorsements to lobbyists.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hillary Clinton Coming to the University of Miami

From the University of Miami website.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 16, 2014) — The University of Miami will welcome Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator from New York, to deliver remarks at a special event for the University campus and invited guests on February 26 at the BankUnited Center on the UM Coral Gables campus.

When: February 26

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are likely to go to the most well connected students, facility and community leaders. Short answer: you likely have no chance of attending this event.

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The Devil Baby

Meet the Devil Baby. Some people created an evil robotic baby and introduced it to people in New York City.

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Alex Sink on Flood Insurance Reform

Congressional candidate Alex Sink has unveiled her plan for flood insurance reform.

Stopping the unfair flood insurance rate spike, promoting affordability and choice. Alex supports the immediate delay of the rate spike, and a roll back for those who have received premium increases under the current flawed system. Congress should delay the spike until fair rates can be accurately calculated.

Alex will also work with FEMA to educate homeowners on how to save money and better prepare for disasters – such as through the elevation of HVAC systems and the installation of backflow preventers and breakaway walls, which should result in lower premiums. Congress should consider tax credits and supporting low-interest loans for homeowners related to these and other improvements, which should save money in the long run. Alex will also work with the private sector and FEMA to explore expanding insurance options and choices for consumers, such as offering higher deductible policies to reduce premiums.

FEMA Should Complete the Affordability and Re-Mapping Studies, Reevaluate Rate Calculations. FEMA should complete the affordability and re-mapping studies that were promised and are part of the basis for rate calculations. FEMA should include outside industry experts in completing these studies to ensure a fair review of procedures and accurate mapping in Florida.

Enhancing FEMA’s Transparency. FEMA should disclose the methodology for calculating flood insurance rates in a consumer friendly way. Formulas related to calculations should be reviewed by independent experts and stakeholders.

Increasing FEMA’s Accountability. Alex will work to create a simplified appeals process and consumer advocacy services to facilitate communications between stakeholders, ensure that homeowners can file complaints, hold politicians and FEMA accountable, and make sure homeowners receive their claim checks quickly.

The details are scant on what exactly would be the appeals process for homeowners. The best long-term solution Sink provided is revamping rate calculations and the maps of high risk flood areas.

Rates went up because Congress voted for the increase.

Congress approved the increase in 2012 in an attempt to put the program on stable fiscal footing after Hurricane Katrina nearly drove it to bankruptcy. The program has doled out billions of dollars in claims since its inception in 1968, including $7.7 billion last year, according to its website.

FEMA said on its website that the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 would increase rates.

In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run. Some of these changes already have occurred, and others will be implemented in the coming months. Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some—but not all—policyholders over time. Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn their flood risk and talk to their insurance agent to determine if their policy will be affected by BW-12.

An explanation of the rate increases from the FEMA website.

FEMA Rate Increases by Michael Robert Hussey

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Quote of the Day

"Well, on the state level, it's clearly a one-party system, and the Republican Party in Florida is hopelessly corrupt. They handed out [Republican Party] credit cards to all of their top officials. Corporate contributions to the Republican Party of Florida ended up paying for their personal expenses – including, for instance, a back waxing for Senator Rubio [R-FL]."

Rep. Alan Grayson, on the Republican Party of Florida.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Josh Black Threatens Obama With Hanging

Republican Josh Black is running for the Florida House of Representatives. Black thought a good way to show his seriousness to public service is by threatening President Barack Obama with hanging on Twitter.

I am no fan of Chris Latvala. However, I am glad that another Republican called Black out for his crazy talk.

@JoshuaBlack2014 you aren't seriously calling for the killing of Obama are you? I know you are crazy but good heavens.U R an embarrassment

Black continued to double down with his talk of hanging the President.

@ChrisLatvala I don't do drugs. Not intimidated by the secret service, or criminalpoliticians like you.

Black is saying on social media he made his tweet to hang the President of sound mind and body. Black is also publicly challenging the Secret Service. This man is nuts.

Black posts on Facebook that he stands by his tweet.

"I make no apologies for saying that the President is not above the People. If ordinary Americans should be executed for treason, so should he."

The Pinellas GOP is wisely not providing cover for Black. Black already was a candidate without GOP establishment support. Black is done as a candidate. Good riddance.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Photo of the Day: JFK and Sinatra

The coolness of this picture speaks for itself.

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Justin Snyder on St. Pete Polls and Peter Schorsch

Justin Snyder wrote a piece on the connection between St. Pete Polls and political consultant/blogger Peter Schorsch. Snyder questions if St. Pete Polls is truly unbiased.

Republican Congressman Bill Young on October 18th of last year. Yesterday, St Pete Polls released a poll that the folks over at Daily Kos Elections had a field day with. It’s comically skewed towards Republicans (naturally) and prominent blogger Peter Schorsch (whom by the way has written scripts for St Pete Polls in the past, and currently has his own fights in the ethics department as reported in the Tampa Bay Times), covered the release of the poll with a soft piece that (naturally) DID NOT mention the gleaming disparity in the sample: the number of Republicans and Democrats that were actually polled.

The Voter Registration numbers in Florida’s 13th Congressional District per the Florida Division of Elections, tell us that the district is in fact 37 percent Republican, 35 percent Democratic, and 24 percent independent. However, St Pete Polls’ OWN WEBSITE tells us that the poll was conducted with a 47-35 bias in favor of Republicans. Yeah, let that sink in. I’m calling shenanigans.

Daily Kos notes that St. Pete Polls was off the mark on the last congressional elections. St. Pete Polls predicted victories for Allen West and David Rivera.

FL-02: St. Pete: Southerland (R) 47-47; actual: Southerland (R) 53-47; error: +6 D

FL-09: St. Pete: Grayson (D) 45-40; actual: Grayson (D) 63-37; error: +21 R

FL-10: St. Pete: Webster (R) 50-42; actual: Webster (R) 52-48; error: +4 R

FL-13: St. Pete: Young (R) 54-37; actual: Young (R) 58-42; error: +1 R

FL-16: St. Pete: Buchanan (R) 55-38; actual: Buchanan (R) 54-46; error: +9 R

FL-18: St. Pete: West (R) 51-42; actual: Murphy (D) 50.3-49.7; error: +9.6 R

FL-22: St. Pete: Frankel (D) 48-45; actual: Frankel (D) 55-45; error: +7 R

FL-26: St. Pete: Rivera (R) 46-43; actual: Garcia (D) 54-43; error: +14 R

Schorsch has used St. Pete Polls to write a very flattering piece about how David Jolly is ahead of Democratic opponent Alex Sink. Jolly also happens to be currently running an ad on St. Petersblog. Schorsch's former client Frank Farkas accused Schorsch of offering positive coverage in exchange for blog ad revenue.

Around October 2012, then-state House candidate Farkas said Schorsch called him. The blogger told him he would carefully screen what content related to Farkas appeared on his site if the politician signed an ad contract. "We didn't sign and I got what I expected: one-sided, slanted," Farkas said. "He stabs so many people in the back, and he continues to get away with it."

Conservative blogger Javier Manjarres noted that Schorsch wrote extremely positive posts about Southern Group Strategy after they bought an ad on a website owned by Schorsch. Southern Strategy Group has been accused of manipulating their earnings to increase their stock price. Schorsch has written about the Christmas card Southern Strategy Group sent out but made no mention of the controversy surrounding the lobbying firm.

Take St. Pete Polls and what Schorsch writes about his clients with skepticism.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

James Bond is a Functional Psychopath

Kevin Dutton did a study of the behavior of the British movie spy James Bond. Dutton concludes that Bond is a cold blooded killer that society needs to keep it safe.

Bond is "absolutely one of the classic examples of a functional psychopath," Dutton says. He possesses characteristics that can be used to "benefit society rather than detract from society."

It is Bond's lack of conscience and remorse that society ought to value the most, as we need people like that to do our dirty work. For instance, a member of the special forces can't dwell on killing a person, Dutton points out. If you do, Dutton says, "then the next bullet could be going through your head."

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Pere Ubu - Heart of Darkness

The live version of Pere Ubu's greatest song.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Once cats get in the 30 pound or more range they are more than willing to throw down with dogs.

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Peter Schorsch Once Again Threatens Me With A Libel Suit

Letter to Michael Hussey

This is nothing more than a SLAPP suit. Schorsch should consider statements he made in the comment of this blog before going down this road. Schorsch admitted to having a "blood feud" with Jack Hebert and "hooking up" with Herbert's teenage daughter. I would hardly think that Herbert would want to give Schorsch a raise for those actions.

First and foremost, is my blood feud against political consultant Jack Hebert. I mean, I hooked up with his daughter, for goodness.

If I can see documentation of the ruling of Schorsch's grand theft charges I will be happy to make changes for journalistic accuracy. I certainly won't take Schorsch's word for it. However, I will most certainly not have Schorsch dictate what can or can't be written on this blog. Keep in mind that Adam Smith of The Tampa Bay Times has accused Schorsch of "unapologetically lies" and has written unflatteringly about Schorsch's grand theft history.

Still, for his very campaign event Crist turned to Scorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand thief and scheming to defraud charges. Really?

Schorsch will lose in court. End of story. Schorsch should know since former Hillsborough County commissioner Brian Blair attempted to sue Schorsch for libel. Schorsch repeatedly called Blair a douche. That certainly seems malicious to me.

Furthermore, I have posted corrections and posted Schorsch's objections to the post in question. I will post his statement again.

The $68,000 is a civil fine stemming from the Florida Election Commission, and is not in any way connected to the grand theft charge.

Also, you state that the grand theft charge was a "conviction"; in fact, adjudication was withheld, therefore no conviction exists.

To state that someone has been convicted of something when they were not and you have been informed that they were not is a libelous offense.

If I am so malicious why did I post Schorsch's complaints about my post. I been a lot fairer to Schorsch than he has on the people he has attacked on his blog and on campaigns he worked on. This is a man who admitted to paying homeless people to heckle political candidate Kathleen Ford and fired from Jamie Bennett's campaign for giving free Tampa Rays baseball tickets in hopes of a political contribution. If Peter Schorsch thinks he has problems with his reputation then he should look in the mirror.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Stagger Lee + Henry Lee (with PJ Harvey)

This is a 1996 live performance of two songs from Nick Cave's classic album "The Murder Ballads.". Cave is on fire during Stagger Lee. PJ Harvey joins him on Henry Lee.

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Online Stalking Is Real Just Ask Jill Filipovic

Jill Filipovic of Feministe has written about how she was the target of online harassment from the online message board AutoAdmit. People on the board started making comments that they were seeing her on the NYU campus. Obviously, Filipovic felt vulnerable and spent as less time as possible on campus.

It was generally harmless, if a little creepy — stuff like “Jill F is my future wife” and “Any Jill F sightings yet?” It seemed to come primarily from one poster. So I ignored it for a while again, until someone else mentioned it to me. So I went back and read it, and saw that it was getting weirder and grosser — there were mentions of “tag teaming” me, people who said they saw me around school and I was nothing special, comments that I was a feminist bitch and assorted other names, and finally one saying that he “would hate-fuck that cunt.” That put me a little over the edge, and I skipped a day or two of school and started studying at home for about a week, just so I wouldn’t have to walk around campus. I know it sounds crazy (and I definitely felt crazy), but everywhere I went at school I felt like people were looking at me, and like they were evaluating me — like they must have been thinking, “Oh, she isn’t pretty at all” or “Those guys on the board were totally wrong” or “She’s fat” or “I’d fuck her” or, the worst, that they were the people doing the posting, and they were going to go home and write about how they saw me and I was indeed ugly, or I was fuckable, or I was a bitch. It wasn’t so much negative comments that got to me — it was the evaluation of something that I have no control over, in a space where I’m not putting myself out to be evaluated. Nothing I can do is going to change their opinion of whether or not I’m attractive, and I don’t really care all that much if they think I am or not. But I do care when I feel like I can’t walk to class without people looking at me and then anonymously posting their thoughts online, and when they aren’t taking on what I say or what I believe, but what I look like — and when I’m being put in a position where I can’t fight back. If they say, “You’re wrong about feminism,” I can say, “No I’m not” and I can explain why. But if they say, “You’re ugly,” I can’t really say, “No I’m not.” It’s a feeling of powerlessless, and it’s a position that I’m not used to being placed in.

This is the kind of comments Filipovic received in a long thread on AutoAdmit attacking her.

Date: August 9th, 2008 11:13 PM

She's in Southeast Asia, killing babies and getting fucked up the ass by rice farmers.

Anybody here know that bitch?

Filipovic wrote about the sexist comments made about her on AutoAdmit on her blog and was interviewed by the media. Filipovic and other female law students received harassing comments on AutoAdmit.

AutoAdmit webmaster blamed Anthony Ciolli blamed Filipovic for having a job offer rescinding.

My impression from the phone conversation was that this was the chronology:

1) Jill Filipovic from Feministe tells WSJ that I worked at EAP&D

2) WSJ reporter calls EAP&D, and the firm says I had my offer rescinded.

3) WSJ reporter emails me saying they’re going to run a story on it tomorrow.

Believe me, the last thing I wanted was this to be public. I just want to be left alone.

Filipovic explains that she played no part in the law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge rescinded its offer to Ciolli. Unlike Ciolli, Filipovic takes responsibility for what is posted on her website.

There are many things I’ve written that I no longer agree with, and many issues that I’ve changed my mind on. There are many things I’ve posted here that I wish I hadn’t. But they’re mine, and if I’m called out on them, I’ll take responsibility for writing them — I won’t blame Lauren or Zuzu or Piny for owning the site with me, or for not taking them down.

Filipovic has a op-ed at Talking Points Memo that lists the nasty comments made about her at AutoAdmit.

"Official Jill Filipovic RAPE thread"

"I want to brutally rape that Jill slut"

"I'm 98% sure that she should be raped"

“that nose ring is fucking money, rape her immediately”

“what a useless guttertrash whore, I hope that someone uses my pink, fleshy-textured cylindrical body to violate her”

“she deserves a brutal raping”

“Legal liability from posting pic of Jill fucking?”

“she’s a normal-sized girl that I’d bang violently, maybe you’d have to kill her afterwards”

Now imagine being a young woman and wondering if one of those AutoAdmit commenters is stalking you around campus. It is no wonder Filipovic skipped a few classes. I'm not a First Amendment attorney but the AutoAdmit comments are probably protected free speech. We have Constitution in this country. That doesn't mean you have to act like an asshole online.

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Barbara Bush on Jeb Running For President

Barbara Bush really doesn't want to see Jeb run for President of the United States. Mrs. Bush makes good points on how there are other ways to serve and the White House shouldn't be just for someone with the last name Bush or Clinton.

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Adam Putnam's Horrible Conceal Carry permit Legacy

Ana Marie Cox points out the stupidity of the way the Florida Department of Agriculture hands out concealed carry permits. There is no federal background check on the people applying for permits.

Curtis Reeves was a retired police officer, the very definition of a good guy. He may also prove to be unbalanced in a legally-applicable way, but that wouldn't have prevented him from getting a concealed carry permit in Florida. Since Florida grants concealed carry permits via its Department of Agriculture, rather than, say a criminal justice agency, the state cannot use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to screen applicants. To put that another way, Florida simply doesn't have the federal background check required in every other state that grants concealed carry permits.

Indeed, even if Florida had a more stringent conceal carry screening process – or if it didn't have a concealed carry law at all – Reeves could have had his weapon on him. Retired law enforcement personnel are allowed by federal law to carry a concealed weapon in any jurisdiction except where it's explicitly banned by law or the property owner. This is a loophole that may seem natural (again: good guys!), but it's actually a reflection of just how deeply we've bought into the myth that guns aren't the problem and we only need worry about who has them. That's not true: we need to worry about guns, no matter who has them.

Adam Putnam publicly bragged about the Department of Agriculture handing out 1 million coneal carry permits. Putnam campaigned as a pro-gun Republican. Putnam isn't about to have gun lovers submit to more thorough background checks. Putnam wants to keep getting NRA endorsements.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

Except the the 60 Minutes story was debunked.

Republicans also gave bogus emails to the media about the Obama administrations handing of Benghazi.

CBS News reported Thursday that leaked versions sent out by the GOP last Friday had visible differences than Wednesday's official batch. Two correspondences that were singled out in the report came from National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

The GOP version of Rhodes' comment, according to CBS News: "We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don't want to undermine the FBI investigation."

The White House email: "We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation."

The GOP version of Nuland's comment, according to CBS News: The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda's presence and activities of al-Qaeda."

The White House email: "The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings."

The death of Ambassador Chris Stevens is tragic. I think questions should be asked about the security at Benghazi. Unfortunately, the Republicans lack seriousness on security issues. You don't release false emails to the media if you are serious about national security.

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Thin Lizzy - Hollywood

70-year-old May Booker wrote to the BBC and requested to jam with Thin Lizzy. Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy agreed to the idea. The rest is history.

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NFL For Hipsters

David Jenkins of Jobsite Theater posted this on Facebook. Artist David Rappoccio posted drawings of what if every NFL logo was designed by hipsters. The results are hysterical.

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Guess Who is Coming to Rick Scott's Dinner?

Talking Points Memo reports that Chris Christie will be the headliner at Gov. Rick Scott's fundraising dinner in Orlando.

The trip will include an event Saturday at the Country Club of Orlando to benefit Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R). Tickets for the fundraiser, where Christie is billed as a "special guest" cost between $1,000 and $2,500.

Christie will also headline fundraisers in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Wow. This is like the Chris Christie Lollapalooza. Will Radiohead be on the bill?

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The Peter Schorsch Files

This is the Florida Bar complaint documents that Michael Pinson filed against Peter Schorsch's attorney Paul Phillips. The complaint was dismissed. Phillips admitted in a written statement that they were two off-the-record sources for very questionable hit piece story by Noah Pransky of WTSP. Pransky is friends with Schorsch and Phillips. Peter Schorsch has a criminal history. Pransky should be asked why he would trust the word of someone with Schorsch's troubled history.

Phillips - Additional Info - Part 2 by Michael Robert Hussey

Object_3B7792_0 by Michael Robert Hussey

Object 348D1E 0 by Michael Robert Hussey

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Things Get Serious in BridgeGate Scandal

Kelly O'Donnell posted this on Twitter. More bad news for Chris Christie.

NJ General Assembly hires former Ast US Atty, Reid Schar as Special Counsel to assist investigatory cmt on bridge scandal

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Guns Will Be Allowed in Florida University Dorm Rooms

The pro-gun group Florida Carry is suing to have guns allowed in campus dorms. The University of North Florida will not appeal the ruling Florida Carry won in the 1st District Court of Appeal. Student will be allowed to carry guns in dorms and other student housing.

After the ruling, UNF President John Delaney told students and faculty the university would not appeal the ruling; and stated that, effective immediately, students could store guns in their cars.

Florida State will also not appeal the ruling. Thanks to our wonderful legislature local governments can't write their own laws about where guns are allowed. This is why the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled the way it did.

I have such a bad feeling about this.

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Florida Democratic Party Ad On David Jolly

David Jolly has won the Republican p;rimary for the late Bill Young's seat. Jolly will face Democrat Alex Sink in the special election. The Florida Democratic Party has released an online ad attacking Jolly's career as a federal lobbyist.

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Alex Sink Still Making False Promise to Make Congress Bipartisan

I wrote before that if Alex Sink was elected to House of Representatives she would have zero ability as a congressional Freshman to create bipartisanship in Congress. Sink would lack to seniority and committee chairmanships to make bipartisanship change. Yet this is the only issue Sink is campaigning on. Sink released this statement on primary night.

“Our campaign is about one important message: bringing Republicans and Democrats together to focus on challenges that matter most to Pinellas. Congress’s gridlock is standing in the way of tackling challenges that impact our lives -- like helping businesses create jobs, protecting our seniors and veterans, and stopping flood insurance rate spikes that hurt homeowners. As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and a business leader, my life has always been guided by bipartisan, results-oriented values. As our campaign continues, I look forward to continuing our conversation with Pinellas residents about bringing these values to Congress.”

There is bipartisan agreement on lowering flood insurance rates. The only other two positions Sink has clearly outlined is she does no new tax increases and is a fiscal conservative. Sink has in no way distinguished herself from a Republican. This is exactly why she lost to Rick Scott in 2010.

Mac Stipanovich made this on point comment about Sink.

“I’m not sure she wins at the end of the day,” said Mac Stipanovich, a Republican lobbyist in the state and former top adviser to onetime Gov. Jeb Bush. “She’s anti-charisma. She’s not a very good campaigner.”

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Fox News Math

Via Media Matters Facebook page: only Fox News can run a poll of Chris Christie and have the result turn out to be 137 percent. In polling math the results are taken from 100 percent. Fox News also has a problem with geography. No wonder the talking heads on Fox News have a problem understanding science and global warming.

Remember when Bill O'Reilly said, "Tides go in and tides go out." O'Reilly said the tides couldn't be explained.

Apparently, O'Reilly has no clue about the gravitational forces of the sun and moon exerting itself on the ocean.

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Mitt Romney Dances Gangnam Style

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was at the Arizona LDS YSA Regional Conference. Morman singer. Alex Boye pulled Romney onstage to bust a move. I give Romney props for being a good sport.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Shooting At Tampa Movie Theater

Two people have been shot at the Cobb Theaters Grove 16 in the Wesley Chapel section of Tampa. A male suapect is in police custody. The shoot victims were sent by helicopter to a hospital. I will update this post as more information comes in.

This is so sad. What a stupid reason to kill someone.

A man was shot dead and his wife wounded after an argument over texting in a movie theater Monday afternoon in Wesley Chapel, Florida, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

The suspect, Curtis Reeves, is a retired Tampa police officer, Nocco said. He will be charged with second-degree homicide, according to Nocco.

It is horrifying to think that Curtis Reeves once had a badge.

Apparently, Reeves and Chad Oulson argued over the use of Oulson's cell phone. Oulson told Reeves that he was texting his daughter.

"Their voices started going up. There seemed to almost be a confrontation," Cummings said. "Somebody throws popcorn; I'm not sure who threw it. And then bang, he was shot."

The victim staggered over and fell on Cummings and his son. A nurse who was in the theater performed CPR on the victim until the paramedics arrived, said Cummings, who like his son, had spatters of blood on his clothes.

Reeves shot and killed Oulson right in front of a young boy. What is wrong with this man?

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Robert Downey Jr. Sting - Driven to Tears

Robert Downey Jr. comes on stage with Sting and steals the show with his killer singing voice. The man can sing.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Did Chris Christie Try to Stop BridgeGate Investigation

Daily Kos posted this piece from the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription) about how Gov. Chris Christie called New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the week of December 12. The date is very important. Christie said in his press conference that he only found out his staffers plotted to close the lanes to the day before.

Mr. Christie, a Republican, complained in a private phone call to Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, that Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was pressing too hard to get to the bottom of why the number of toll lanes onto the bridge from Fort Lee, N.J. was cut from three to one in early September, according to this person. The lane closures occurred without notice to local authorities, officials have said, and snarled traffic for a week in the small borough on the Hudson River bluffs.

The question is if Christie didn't know that his staffers were plotting to create a traffic jam then why did he call Cuomo to get Foye to back off on his investigation?

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Friday Cat Blogging

A bobcat gives some loving to its young master.

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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Memo to Alex Sink: Stop Running A Republican Campaign

It is no secret I am not a fan of Alex Sink. I wrote that Sink did herself no favors by harshly attacking the Obamacare rollout. That is fine if you are running in a Republican primary. The problem is that Sink is running unopposed in a Democratic Congressional primary.

Sink has rolled out her rapid response site the Alex Sink Truth Team. If you didn't know that Sink was a Democrat you would think that Sink was a Republican. These are the truths Sink is revealing.

FACT: Alex is a fiscal conservative who cut wasteful spending

Alex Sink is a fiscal conservative with a record of bringing Republicans and Democrats together to cut wasteful spending and protect tax dollars by making government do more with less. The Florida Times-Union said Alex saved taxpayers money by streamlining her department as Chief Financial Officer, while PolitiFact wrote that misleading claims about Alex Sink increasing the debt were "Mostly False."

More.

The Tampa Tribune wrote that Alex Sink "is a fiscal conservative who opposes new taxes" and the Tampa Bay Times wrote that Alex Sink "has no interest in raising taxes and proposes tax breaks." Newspapers across Florida have applauded Alex as a fiscal hawk who "attacked wasteful spending." In Congress Alex will apply the results oriented values she practiced as a business leader and Florida's Chief Financial Officer to cutting wasteful spending in Washington.

Sink's Republican opponents David Jolly and Kathleen Peters have been too busy bashing each other to focus on Sink. Now would be a time for Sink to distinguish herself from her Republican opponents. I highly doubt Jolly and Peters are going to advocate more taxes and debt. Sink is a scared and unimaginative. Once the GOP primary is settled a lot of national money will come in to fund the Republican nominee. Republicans are going to fight hard to keep this seat. Sink is the woman who lost to the charisma-challenged Rick Scott. Democrats should be concerned.

I am really fighting the urge to not start the Stop Alex Sink campaign again.

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Rubio On the Fence on Medical Marijuana

Sen. Marco Rubio is deciding which way he should flip and flop on the issue of medicinal marijuana.

“You hear compelling stories of people who say the use of medicinal marijuana provides relief for the thing they are suffering. So I'd like to learn more about that aspect of it, the science of it,” Rubio said in an interview Thursday, asked about the Florida ballot initiative.

“I have qualms about that proposal, I really do, but I probably need to learn more about it,” he said. “The broader issue of whether we should be legalizing it is something I'm pretty firm about. I don’t think legalizing marijuana or even decriminalizing it is the right decision for our country."

A CNN/Opinion Research poll found that 55 percent think marijuana should be legal. A Pew Research poll found that 52 percent think marijuana should be legal. The days of marijuana being illegal are numbered.

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Janet Yellen on Financial Reform

I am not a subscriber to Time. Therefore I can't read the entire interview with new Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. I did find her remarks on Dodd-Frank fascinating.

"I think Dodd-Frank is good roadmap and lays out most of the steps that are necessary. But we may also need to take some further steps that have not been taken yet."

I can't imagine Yellen getting appointed as Federal Reserve chair when Tim Geithner was Treasury Secretary. Geither was successful in derailing Elizabeth Warren's nomination. Geithner would have a heart attack if he heard a Federal Reserve chair advocate for more financial reform.

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Quote of the Day

"As a guy who grew up in New Jersey, I'm disappointed, ashamed of the state I grew up in. Political payback through traffic congestion? To see New Jersey sink to such a piss-poor, third-rate quality of corruption....This is New Jersey! A state renowned for its piss-rich, first-rate corruption."

Jon Stewart, Daily Show host, on the Chris Christie BridgeGate scandal.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Brian Eno & John Cale - Lay My Love

Two experimental music legends making a song that is actually rather catchy and earnest.

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Write A Caption: Floriduh

I don't even know how this is physically possible or why a women would think it is a good idea to use a squirrel as a weapon.

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Peter Schorsch's Criminal History

Michael Pinson listed Peter Schorsch's wonderful criminal history in his bar complaint against attorney Paul Phillips. The complaint was dismissed but there is wonderful information in the complaint.

Schorsch has been cited for numerous criminal and civil wrong doings over the past five years. He has nine Civil Judgments against him and two criminal arrests with time being served.

Why anyone political figure would hire Schorsch as a political consultant is beyond me.

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Quote of the Day

"Yeah, well the minimum wage makes no sense whatsoever to me. I mean, honestly, it's just the teenage --black teenage unemployment act and this is the very groups that we need to have jobs not be put out of work because of the minimum wage so I'm really very much in favor of at least for teenagers getting rid of the minimum wage so we can bring them back into the labor force, get them the skills they need to continue being productive members of our society for years and years. I mean, that's the way I'd go on minimum wage."

Economist Arthur Laffer

I knew Laffer was an economic hack. I didn't know he was a racist.

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Dubious Rubio's Bogus War on Poverty

I don't expect Sen. Marco Rubio to actually submit a bill for his laughable war on poverty. Rubio's big idea to end poverty is to turn anti-poverty programs ovrr to the states. That would result in less funding for anti-poverty programs. The Florida legislature hasn't expanded Medicaid and Gov. Rick Scott hasn't fixed the state's unemployment website. You think Scott and the legislature are going to commit significant resources to fighting poverty? That doesn't pass the laugh test.

Rubio's anti-poverty plan doesn't actually lift people out of poverty.

Replacing the earned income tax credit with a federal wage enhancement for qualifying low-wage jobs. "This would allow an unemployed individual to take a job that pays, say, $18,000 a year –which on its own is not enough to make ends meet – but then receive a federal enhancement to make the job a more enticing alternative to collecting unemployment insurance," Rubio's office said.

The income tax credit is a tax break for low income workers for low income families. Rubio is essentially eliminating a tax cut for poor people. This is the same Rubio who was against an extension of the payroll tax cut. However, Rubio went ballistic, on the Senate floor, when President Barack Obama proposed eliminating the tax loophole on corporate jets.

“It’s class warfare, and it’s the kind of language you would expect from a leader of a third-world country, not the President of the United States.”

Rubio would have the American people believe that ensing the tax loophole on corporate jets is going to make the United States in Somalia.

Rubio voted against the Gulf Restoration Act and Hurricane Sandy Relief. Rubio votes against people effected by disaster. However, Rubio will defend corporate tax breaks for company jets.

Rubio's own anti-poverty would not raise the minimum wage. Rubio voted against the Senate bill to raise the minimum wage. Rubio claimed he voted against Janet Yellen's nomination because of concerns over inflation. If Rubio was really concerned about inflation he would support raising the minimum wage. Wages aren't keeping up with cost of living expenses.

Rubio's policies would only increase income inequality.

Update: Heritage Foundation Scholar Robert Rector trashes Rubio's anti-poverty program. Rector makes a point on the conservative side that I did on the liberal side. Having the federal government give money to states and let the states set up their own programs would lead to horrible anti-poverty programs with no oversight. Rector worries that states won't set up work programs. He is probably right.

Like I wrote, Rector points out that Rubio's wage tax subsidy doesn't lift the poor out of poverty. It occurred to me that the wage tax subsidy makes no sense from a conservative prospective. Rubio is creating a new tax subsidy that must ve paid for by taxpayers. It would be wiser from a conservative policy prospective to raise the minimum wage. That way workers can spend their money in the free market and no new tax would be created. Yet Rubio is determined not to raise the minimum wage. Rubio's stance on not raising the minimum wage with hia inflation hawk stance.

Update: According the Associated Press Rubio believes people seek unemployment because they don't feel like working. What bubble was Rubio living in when the Great Recession caused double digit unemployment? It wouldn't surprise me that Rubio thinks that these unemployed people decided to take a tax paid vacation after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

On Jim DeFede's radio show, Rubio once said that the working class live off "other people's leftover money. That gives you an idea of what Rubio thinks of working people.

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Lawsuit Filed on Florida's Lack of Lt. Governor

I have written previously that the Florida Constitution requires a Lt. Governor to be serving in office.

Lieutenant governor.— There shall be a lieutenant governor, who shall perform such duties pertaining to the office of governor as shall be assigned by the governor, except when otherwise provided by law, and such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Former Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned in March of last year. Gov. Rick Scott can't use the excuse he hasn't had time to find a Lt. Governor. Scott has had nearly ten months to find a replacement.

Barbara DeVane of the Florida National Organization For Women has filed a lawsuit against Scott. DeVane is asking the Florida Supreme Court to make Scott meet his constitutional obligation by appointing a Lt. Governor. Unsuprisingly, Team Scott's chief counsel, Pete Antonacci, is publicly dismissing the lawsuit.

"Nothing is required of us until the court acts," Antonacci said. "If the court acts and it requires a response, we will respond."

Translation: the lawsuit isn't going to compell Scott to appoint a Lt. Governor. Why is Scott so determined to drag his feet on appointing a Lt. Governor. How hard is it to find someone who will do nothing more than attend ribbon cuttings?

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Beru Revue - Hoods A Go Go

The first song that got local radio play from legendary Philadelphia band Beru Revue.

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What Does Fox News Fact-Check?

Via Media Matters: Fox News may constantly get geography wrong but they will fact-check foot long sandwiches.

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Monday, January 06, 2014

The Beatles - Helter Skelter

By far the hardest rock song the Beatles ever recorded.

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Rubio Votes Against Janet Yellen

Sen. Marco Rubio gives an absolutely nonsensical reason for voting against the confirmation of Janet Yellen as the Federal Reserve chair.

“While Dr. Yellen is an accomplished individual, I will be voting against her nomination to chair the Fed because of her role as a lead architect in authoring monetary policies that threaten the short and long-term prospects of strong economic growth and job creation. Altogether, she has championed policies that have diminished people’s purchasing power by weakening the dollar, made long-term savings less attractive by diminishing returns on this important behavior, and put the U.S. economy at increased risk of higher inflation and another future boom-bust."

There is no immediate risk of inflation. If Rubio knew anything about economics or didn't have contempt for the intelligence of his constituents then he wouldn't babble such nonsense. Inflation is caused by the increase of the price of goods. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, inflation has actually been going down since the January of 2012. There has been no major threat of 70s level inflation during the Bush or Obama years. There certainly wasn't high levels of inflation during the Clinton years.

Where does Rubio get his information that Yellen's monitory policies have put the U.S. at risk of inflation. Does Rubio even know that there is always some level of inflation. Prices of goods always increase. Rubio voted against the first woman Federal Reserve chair over a made up issue.

Even Rubio admits Yellen's resume is impressive. Wall Street preferred Yellen over Lawrence Summers. Wall Street likes quantitative easing.

This isn't about inflation, Yellen's credentials or Wall Street. The only logical reason Rubio voted against Yellen is she is an Obama nominee.

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The Young Turks Need To Correct Their Story On Ginger Lee

Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks mocked Ginger Lee in a Young Turks segment during the height of the Anthony Weiner scandal. Mankiewicz cklaimed that Ginger Lee was looking for a payday. Mankiewicz kept asking during the segment why Ginger Lee would hire Gloria Allred. Mankiewicz kept asking "what wrong" happened to Ginger Lee. Mankiewicz was extremely snarky during the segment.

I asked Mankiewicz on Twitter if he was so curious why didn't he do the due diligence as a journalist and Ginger Lee himself.

I expressed a long-term problem I have with The Young Turks.

Politically, I agree with The Young Turks on 95 percent of political issues. I can't take The Young Turks seriously because they perform a lazy form of journalism.

Ginger Lee chimed in and explained why she hired Allred.

That is a good reason to hire Allred. Nancy Pelosi was discussing a House investigation into Weiner. If Ginger Lee is called to testify she would most certainly need an attorney.

Ginger Lee answers Mankiewicz's question about a big payday.

Ginger Lee is making a living in real estate and selling antiques at flea markets. Ginger Lee has very expensive medical bills due to lupus. She hasn't gone back to porn and a bad foot has kept her from stripping. Ginger Lee is hardly raking in the money.

One thing to note about the Twitter exchange is Mankiewicz never answered the question about why he didn't contact Ginger Lee. If Mankiewicz wanted to know why she hired Allred he could have asked her. I got quotes from Ginger Lee for a post written on this blog. She isn't hard to get in contact with.

I think Mankiewicz and the team at The Young Turks mean well and are passionate progressives. However, they are not journalists.

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Stay Classy Peter Schorsch

Javier Manjarres and I don't often agree on politics. I do think Manjarres is one of the best conservative bloggers around. Manjarres as been writing a lot about how Peter Schorsch makes money. Manjarres wrote that Schorsch has been posting highly positive posts about Southern Strategy Group after the lobbying firm advertised on SaintPetersblog. Southern Strategy Group is being audited after their accounting came into question. You wouldn't know that from reading Peter Schorsch's blog.

In 2012, white-shoe lobbying firm Southern Strategy Group rang in an impressive $2.54 million in lobbying fees during the second quarter. Fast-forward a year and add nearly $1 million to that figure for a total of $3.41 million in quarterly compensation. The increase over last year represents more than what most other lobby firms generate in full.

Of course, Schorsch fails to mention that those numbers may have been blown up by Southern Strategy Group. Hence the reason for the audit. Schorsch even posted the hard hitting news story on Southern Strategy's Christmas card. I kid you not.

Here is this year’s Christmas card from powerhouse lobbying firm Southern Strategies Group.

Each year, SSG commissions and delivers the most talked-about Christmas card in Tallahassee, typically with a political theme making hay out of one of the year’s top stories. This year is no different as the card pokes fun at the scandal surrounding President Obama and the aggressive surveillance programs of the National Security Agency. There’s some good photoshop work of President Obama dressed in a Santa outfit and a reveal line of, “He sees you when you are sleeping/He knows when you are awake/In 2014, be good for goodness sake.”

Powerhouse lobbying firm? Seriously? How can anyone take Schorsch seriously?

Apparently, Manjarres blogging has gotten to Schorsch. Schorsch fired off this racist tweet.

Schorsch will defend himself by saying that Manjarres once ran a lawn care service. Make no mistake. Schorsch is attacking Marjarres' Hispanic heritage. If someone leveled that kind of attack on Schorsch he would threaten a libel lawsuit. For someone who makes his living as a political hit man Schorsch can't seem to take a shot.

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