Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Cat Blogging

Tampa's Big Cat Rescue is tending to three bobcat kittens named Storm, Midnight and Rain. The kittens will be released back into the wild when they are adults. The cats are learning to eat raw rats and baby chics. So you may not want to watch this video.

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Quote of the Day

"I'd have a long discussion with (Shirley Sherrod), and I'd tell her that I'm not one of these people in this country that thinks racism doesn't exist. And that I'm not one of these people who says she hasn't suffered from racism. And that the scars of racism aren't warranted But I'd also tell her that my passion in life and my political trajectory from left to right was born from watching Clarence Thomas hearings. I didn't understand how the NAACP sat on its hands while privileged white gentlemen hammered him mercilessly and humiliated him and the media and the NAACP allowed it to happen."

Andrew Breitbart

Perhaps the NAACP stayed out of the fray during the Thomas hearing was because a black woman named Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment. The Thomas and Hill controversy was confusing because no one could say with 100 percent certainty who was telling the truth. John Cole points out that Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court for his troubles. Sherrod's father was shot to death by a white man. Wanna take a guess which black man got the better deal?

Side note: Can Breitbart cite an incident of racism when a conservative is not the victim?

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Kendrick Meek Death Watch: Jeff Greene Mailer

Jeff Greene's latest mailer attacks Kendrick Meek for his connection to indicted developer Dennis Stackhouse. The negative attacks are working. Greene leads Meek in the latest Quinnipiac poll by ten points. Ouch.

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Alex Sink Radio Interview

Listen to a radio interview with Florida gubertorial candidate Alex Sink. She talks about the Deep Horizon spill and the Arizona immigration law. The interview is too short for my taste. The fast media cycle hasn't allowed enough talk about policy. Candidates run on message and that is what gets them elected. Policy papers didn't get John Edwards elected President, so we can expect to see candidates use the media cycle for short spiels.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

This tweet by David Dayen is what makes Twitter worth being a part of. Dayen's tweet is aimed at MSNBC host Joe Scarborough (@joeNBC on Twitter.)

RT @JoeNBC Most Americans are like me. / they work three hours a day and get paid btw 4 and 7 million a year


Scarborough writes pretenious tweet about how come everyone cannot be as centrist as him. Scarborough should read his Congressional voting record before he talks about being centrist. Scarborough isn't an insane conservative who spouts conpiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate. Scarborough does deserve credit for condemning the inflamatory rhetoric of Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly. Scarborough is a serious conservative. I take exception when he parades himself as a centrist.

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The Lack of Spine in Both Parties

Howard Dean in the Huffington Post takes both parties to task for a lack of political courageousness. Dean cites the Tea Party Federation banishing Mark Williams for his "Letter to Lincoln" blog post.

"Now if the Tea Party, which is not a professional group of politicians have the decency to repudiate the racist fringe in their group," Dean wrote. "Why can't the Republicans."

The question poised by Dean is rhetorical. Dean notes, "(Republicans) will do anything to regain power." Refusing to extend unemployment benefits under the false pretense of fiscal conservatism. The political goal by Republicans was to make unemployed Americans angry at the Democrats.

Dean continues to hammer his point about Democrats needing a spine transplant.

The second lesson is harder. Stand up for what you believe in. I admire Nancy Pelosi because she is tough, gets things done, and doesn't take crap from the right wing or any one else.

The Obama administration panicked when Andrew Breitbart put the heavily edited videotape of Shirley Sherrod on the internet. Cheryl Cook, an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture forced Sherrod to resign from the USDA. Cook told Sherrod she was "going to be on Glenn Beck tonight." The Obama administration fired Sherrod and Van Jones because of their fear of Glenn Beck. Can anyone imagine the White House firing an appointee because of what was said by Jane Hamsher, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann or Arianna Huffington? Hamsher and Huffington want Geithner gone. White House senior adviser David Alexrod said Obama will not fire Geithner because "they have a man-crush on each other."

Obama had a private meeting with Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. Obama could not even be bothered to attend this years Netroots Nation conference to speak to his base. This isn't to suggest Obama is a Republican. Obama is a politically reactionary politician who is fearful of media and corporate power.

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Charlie Justice Campaign Needs Volunteers

Charlie Justice is running for Floor congressional district 10. The seat is currently held by longtime Republican incumbant C.W. "Bill" Young. This is the first time in ages that Young has faced a serious Democratic challenger. The Justice campaign is getting their campaign organized by asking for volunteers. Below is information on how you can help. You can contact campaign intern Kristen Eberts at (727) 896-2010 during office hours.

Just reply to this email or call (727) 896-2010 if you want to volunteer. I'll contact you directly to help you get started!

Here are the ways you can help:

* Phone banking. Contact voters to find out who they're supporting and to raise their awareness of Charlie Justice.
o When: Can be done 9 am-9 pm, 7 days a week.
o Where: At home or at campaign HQ.
o What you need: A cell phone or landline.

* Data entry. Keep the campaign organized by entering information into our database.
o Whenever, wherever. You can even watch TV at home while you enter information!
o What you need: Nothing if you work at HQ; otherwise a computer.

* Driving. Pick up checks from donors, deliver flyers and campaign materials to events, run errands.
o When: Only needed on certain days.
o Where: Come to campaign HQ and we will send you around town.
o What you need: A car and driver's license.

* Donor research. Money makes the political world go round--so we need to find people who are willing to donate.
o Whenever, wherever.
o What you need: Nothing if you work at HQ, otherwise a computer.

* Represent Charlie at local events. Be the face of Justice for Congress! Go to events to hand out literature and answer questions about Charlie.
o When and where: We will contact you about events in your area. You choose which ones to go to.
o What you need: A smile, and transportation to/from events.

* Host and/or help plan a small fundraiser. We will be eternally grateful.
o When and where: It's up to you! At your house, a local restaurant, in a park...
o What you need: Organization.

* Special skills: Do you have any particular skills that could help the campaign?

* Opportunities Coming Later in the Campaign:
o Door to door voter contact
o Planting yard signs
o Other field work and office jobs

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Meek Campaign Looking For Bloggers

I think this is one bus ride I want get a ticket on. If others bloggers are interested they can contact Kenneth Quinnell at

The Meek campaign is gauging interest in any bloggers who might want to join Kendrick on all or part of the bus tour. If you have interest, let me know and I'll see what we can work out. The tour is from 8/4-8/14 and the locations will be announced shortly on our website.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Soft Boys - Kingdom of Love

The bizarre power pop genius of Robyn Hitchcock.

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McCollum's B.S. Answer To Rekers/Rent Boy

Bill McCollum attended the Tiger Bay Club meeting. McCollum gave an implausable answer to why he hired anti-gay social conservative George Rekers to testify against a gay adoption case.

"He was the only available witness that had the credentials, willing to testify, and willing to produce the evidence. What we needed to have done was to put the records in the evidence. He's not a scientist, like somebody who does experiments or issues his own opinions. He's simply a scholar. He was producing the written reports, and the records, and the studies that had been done, and introducing them into evidence."

Openly Gay St. Petersburg City Council Member Steve Kornell did not buy McCollum's answer. Kornell told WMNF that there are no scientific studies to back up McCollum's claim that gays should not adopt.

"There are none. I am a member of the National Association of Social Workers. I'm familiar with that type of research. There are no studies. They had to stretch. That's why he could only find Dr. Rekers. And that's why he paid him $120,000 of our money to prop up an argument that is clearly failing. That's clearly not true. That clearly is not right. And I want people to understand that it's not that you should be able to get a kid if you're gay. It's that me, for example, after twenty years of working in recreation and in the school system. After a master's degree in social work. All this time with working with kid's, would not be allowed to even apply to adopt a kid, because I'm gay, automatically."

Rekers was paid $120,000 by the state of Florida for testimony. Former DCF head Bob Butterworth said the DCF did not want to hire Rekers. Butterworth had good reason not to want to hire Rekers. Judge Lederman found Rekers' testimony lacked credibility.

Judge Cindy Lederman wrote, "The court cannot consider his testimony credible or worthy of forming the basis of public policy."

And then the story of Rekers with Rent Boy broke. We now know what the "long stroke" is.

Rekers allegedly named his favorite maneuver the "long stroke" -- a complicated caress "across his penis, thigh... and his anus over the butt cheeks," as the escort puts it. "Rekers liked to be rubbed down there," he says.

Is it Christian conservative if Rekers said, "Oh, Jesus" after the long stroke?

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Kendrick Meek Death Watch: The Hypothetical Express

Kendick Meek is touring Florida in the "Real Dems Express" bus The media is so overwhelmed by Meek's dazzling new campaign strategy that they are asking him if he will endorse Jeff Greene if he wins. Meek uses a lot of words, including "Hypothetically" several times. Apparently, the "Real Dems Express" has about as much straight talk as John McCain's campaign bus.

“I don’t like to live in the world of hypotheticals and I really, I’m not even prepared to answer that question. I do see Mr. Greene as a Republican versus a Democrat.

“Hypothetically — and I do mean hypothetically in a big way — if he was to advance from the Democratic primary then Floridians would be looking at three Republicans debating one another. Because that’s the reason why Mr. Greene is running a Republican-style attack against me in the primary because that’s who he is. I don’t see Floridians really having a dog in the fight if I don’t make it to — hypothetically speaking, very hypothetically speaking — if I don’t make it to the general election. But I believe that’s the reason why Democrats are going to come out and vote for me…”

Hypothetically, Meek sounds like another career politician by not giving an answer to a question.

Hypothetically, it is not a good sign when the media thinks Meek as a very good chance of losing.

Hypothetically speaking, Meek is a horrible public speaker who repeats the same word Ad nauseam.

Hypothetically, Meek will have a hard time having a career in Democratic politics if he does not endorse the party nominee.

Hypothetically, Meek's political career will be over after this campaign cycle. If Meek makes it through the primary poll numbers show him getting crushed by Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio.

Of course, this is all hypothetical. Meek's campaign is going to catch on fire any day now. Get your fire extinguisher ready.

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Valerie Goddard Lit Drop

Hillsborough County Commission candidate will have a Lit Drop this Saturday. The cxampaign is looking for volunteers. Check the Facebook event page for contact information.

Date: July 31, 2010

Time Saturday · 9:30am - 6:00pm

Location: MEETING SPOT AT 9:30 AM: Three Coins Diner in District 3
7410 North Nebraska Avenue
Tampa, FL

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Quote of the Day

"Study: lack of social interaction reduces lifespan. See? I *told* you all these Tea Party rallies were good for us."

Fred Thompson, actor and Republican presidential candidate.

Judging by the amount of misspelled signs, I don't think too much studying is the Tea Party's problem.

Sen. Lindsay Graham summed up what is wrong with the Tea Party.

"The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out."

The Tea Party cannot govern because they have no understanding of policy. That would require studying. Spell-checking also would not hurt.

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Wasserman-Schultz v. Tea Party

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is taking the fight to the Tea Party. She will be campaigning across the country for Congressional candidates.

“I’m running for re-election in my own district, and I’m going to spend plenty of time there,” she said after the announcement. “But I’m also going to spend time around the country trying to help my colleagues who are in tough races get re-elected and also Democratic candidates who want to bring about the change that Americans asked for in 2008.”

Wasserman-Schultz has unveiled a mock Republican Tea Party of America contract. The sad thing is all of these policies have actually been proposed by Republicans. Republican congressional candidates Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador voiced their support for repealing the 17th amendment. So much for the right to vote for your U.S. Senator.

1. Repeal the Affordable Care Act (Health Insurance Reform)
Put insurance companies back in charge, repeal tax credits for small businesses, allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions and to drop coverage when a person gets too sick and make prescription drugs for seniors less affordable.

2. Privatize Social Security or phase it out altogether
Turn the guaranteed retirement benefits of America's seniors over to Wall Street CEOs by putting Social Security at risk in the stock market or, as some Republicans have called for, phase out Social Security altogether and end a program millions of American seniors rely on for their survival.

3. End Medicare as it presently exists
Phase out and end Medicare as it presently exists for future generations of seniors -- ending Medicare's guaranteed healthcare benefits for more than 40 million American seniors -- and replace it with a voucher system which will result in higher premiums and fewer services for seniors.

4. Extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil
At a cost of nearly $700 billion, extend the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and big oil, which are set to expire and which have and will continue to explode the federal budget deficit.

5. Repeal Wall Street Reform
Roll back the toughest consumer protections ever enacted, allow banks to continue to grow too big to fail, and ensure that predatory lenders continue to utilize their most abusive practices.

6. Protect those responsible for the oil spill and future environmental catastrophes
Cap liabilities for those responsible for environmental disasters like the Gulf oil spill and let companies like BP decide which victims deserve compensation for the disaster and what the timeline for relief should be.

7. Abolish the Department of Education
Put the big banks back in charge of student loans and put an end to federal assistance for public schools.

8. Abolish the Department of Energy
End America's investments in a clean-energy future and disband the organization responsible for oversight of nuclear materials.

9. Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency
Gut the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act -- which together protect our kids from air pollution and keep drinking water safe -- and disband the watchdog that holds polluters accountable.

10. Repeal the 17th Amendment
Take away your right to pick your U.S. Senator.

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Profile In Courage Award: Suzanne Kosmas

"Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican," President Harry Truman said. "People will vote for the real Republican all the time." Rep. Suzanne Kosmos has not learned that lesson. Kosmas voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act. An internal poll of potential Republican opponent Craig Miller finds 66 percent of Republicans undecided. The best way for Kosmas to differentiate herself is not parrot Miller's position on the Bush tax cuts.

Kosmas wrote a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to extend the Bush tax cuts. Kosmas writes tax cuts for dividends and capital gains. These are taxes on profitable stocks. Wall Street is hiring again. Increased earnings in the financial industry have not produced jobs. The Bush tax cuts decreased the size of the middle class by 4.2 percent. What Kosmos is proposing is nonsense and an act of political cowardliness.

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer and Chairman Levin:

As you are aware, without action, the tax rates established under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 are set to expire at the end of the 2010. As I have discussed with my colleagues and with economists, we must extend these tax rates in order to give our fragile economy the time it needs to recover from the ongoing crisis. Working families and small businesses in our communities are doing everything they can to make ends meet during these difficult times, and we need to make sure that they continue to have the tools they need to succeed.

Continuing this tax-relief is a common-sense measure that will ease the burden for middle-class families and provide tax certainty for small business owners looking to invest and create jobs. Extending the 2001 and 2003 tax rates will provide continuing stability to the millions of families who have benefited from reduced taxes. In addition, the 2001/2003 tax cuts lowered rates not only for ordinary income, but also for dividends and capital gains, which create incentives that are crucial to private sector investment and give our small business owners the opportunities and financial security they deserve. If we allow these tax rates to expire we run the serious risk of weakening job growth and economic expansion at a time when our economy has begun to recover.

The best way to reduce our deficit is to grow our economy. Allowing the 2001 and 2003 tax rates to expire before our economy fully recovers may reduce our ability to support our small businesses, stimulate the economy, and bring our deficit under control in the future. Given our fragile recovery, I urge you to support extending the 2001 and 2003 rates in order to allow our economy to fully strengthen and grow.


Suzanne Kosmas

Member of Congress

Kosmas is promoting trickle down economics. I find it hard to believe any economist told her extending the Bush tax cuts would create a surplus. Conservative economist Bruce Bartlett has a list of quotes from Bush administration economists saying the opposite.

Alan Viard, senior economist at Council of Economic Advisers during Bush’s first term.

“Federal revenue is lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts. There’s really no dispute among economists about that.”

Robert Carroll, deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department during Bush’s second term.

“As a matter of principle, we do not think tax cuts pay for themselves.”

Former Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson.

“As a general rule, I do not believe that tax cuts pay for themselves.”

I challenge the Kosmas campaign to provide me with the economists who told her the Bush tax cuts would reduce the deficit. I will be waiting for a response.

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Jim Greer Jail Audio Recordings

The St. Petersburg Times has partial transcripts of indicted former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer's phone conversations. A box Delmar Johnson dropped off at the house is mentioned in Greer's conversation with his wife Lisa.

"Are the agents still there?" Greer asked.

"Yeah," said his wife, who repeatedly noted their calls were being recorded and that their bank accounts were searched.

"You should show 'em where everything is," Greer said. "There's nothing to hide there. There's that box that Delmar dropped that's in the garage."

I am curious about what is in the box. Johnson helped Greer set up Victory Strategies. Greer and Johnson owned the company and set up bogus billing accounts with the RPOF. The one little problem is they got caught and Johnson has been granted immunity to testify against Greer. One outside of jail recording has Greer talking to Johnson.

“I was hearing all last week that you were throwing me under the bus and you were saying a lot of things that I was finding very hard to believe that you would say,” Greer said.

“Yeah, no and I’m not doing that at all,” Johnson replied.

Johnson did throw Greer under the bus. Greer is facing a possible 77 years in prison.

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Sarah Palin & Kate Gosselin Together At Last

I always thought Sarah Palin and her family was a walking reality show. It turns out that I was closer to the truth than I imagined. Palin recently went camping with fellow TLC reality star Kate Gosselin. The episode of Palin's show will feature Miss Shakespalin with Gosselin and her kids in the Alaska wilderness.

Conservatives, explain to me why you want this woman as your spokesperson. The Right would flip out if Barack Obama appeared on Jersey Shores. Why is the standard different for Palin?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Candidates At Tiger Bay Lunch

The Tiger Bay Club of Tampa has invited all Hillsborough County Commission candidates to appear at a July 30, 2010 lunch. The event will be at the Performing Arts Center and is open to the public. Saint Petersblog 2.0 has more information.

The meeting will be held at Maestro’s at the Performing Arts Center. Registration is at 11:30 a.m. lunch at 12 noon. Members $25; guests $30.


Quote of the Day

"@pushingrope Just 6 short months until impeachment. How sweet it is."

jbtalker, a Twitter user who sent me this tweet.

The conservative base wants Congress back to impeach President Obama. Nevermind that Obama hasn't done anything to be impeached. Conservatives, spare me the comments that getting health care reform passed through Congress an impeachable offense. Come back when you want to discuss the Bush administration's use of warrantless wiretapping.

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Kendrick Meek Death Watch: First TV Ad

Peter Schorsch tears apart the Kendrick Meek television ad so I don't have to. I thought I give the Meek campaign a break after I mocked their internet ad. Peter did notice the Meek people did manage to slip in a loving homage to the cinematic masterpiece Batman Forever.



This ad should help Meek with the Comic Con voter demographic.


McCollum Endorsed by Gary Bauer

Social conservative Gary Bauer has endorsed Bill McCollum.

“Now more than ever, we need men and women who understand the proper, limited role of government,” said Bauer who ran in the 2000 GOP presidential primaries, outlasting a number of prominent Republicans including Elizabeth Dole, Dan Quayle and Lamar Alexander. “Bill McCollum’s leadership in support of pro-family, pro-life, and pro-free enterprise policies is greatly valued by the Campaign for Working Families and all of our members. I’m proud to stand with him in the fight for family, faith and freedom.”

If you support reproductive and gay rights then you should be concerned about Bauer's endorsement. Bauer has pushed the bogus post-abortion syndrome in a op-ed.

The US Supreme Court cited post-abortion pain in its 2007 decision upholding a ban on certain types of late-term abortions. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that it was “self-evident” and “unexceptional to conclude” that “some women” who have abortions suffer “regret,” “severe depression,” “loss of esteem,” and “other ills.”

I blogged how Justice Kennedy was duped by the work of Rebecca Porter of the anti-abortion group Operation Outcry. Porter made the bogus claim that a John Kerry campaign staffer attacked her. The web site that ran Porter's claim against the Kerry campaign was the discredited Talon News. Porter ran a letter campaign to the Supreme Court. Operation Outcry made these letters into legal affidavits. The St. Petersburg Times explained the lack of legal reasoning in the affidavits.

Each affidavit was just two or three sentences. They made no legal argument, contained no legal verbiage. Each just vented pain and guilt. "Twenty years later it still hurts, " one Florida woman wrote.

These affidavits helped sway the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling on April 18 that for the first time set limits on how abortions are performed. The testimonials were cited by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion upholding a federal ban on a procedure that opponents call "partial birth" abortions. "The emotional and psychological pain does not go away, " Kennedy wrote.

Bauer and Porter fail to prove their claims of post-abortion syndrome. President Ronald Reagan asked U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to find proof of postabortion syndrome. Koop told Reagan he could find no scientific evidence. Bauer has no problems promoting bogus science.

Bauer has made hysterically over-the-top statements on gay marriage.

While the administration does virtually nothing about Iran’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, it remains intent on the mass destruction of marriage in America. Friday White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated that President Obama was prepared to work with congressional liberals to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

I have never heard anyone link Iran's weapons program to gay marriage before. Bauer's argument may not be rationale, but it is original.

Bauer's endorsement means McCollum is going to govern in a manner that brings confort to the most extreme elements of the social conservative movement. That means McCollum will have no moral problem taking rights away from women and gays.

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Russ Feingold on Disclosure and Transparency in Elections

So much for Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown being centrist Republicans. All 41 Republican Senators voted to not allow a floor vote on the Disclosure and Transparency in Elections bill. The bill would require 527 and other political groups to publicly disclose being behind ads. Obviously, there was no way Senate Republicans were going to let voters know that BP and the NRA are behind their ads.

Longtime campaign finance reform champion Russ Feingold sent out this press release.

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

On Efforts to Block Disclosure and Transparency in Elections

Washington, D.C. – Today, a minority of Senators blocked the Senate from taking up the DISCLOSE Act, legislation requiring political advertisers to disclose their donors and stand by their ads, as well as barring foreign-controlled corporations from making political expenditures. Following the vote, Senator Russ Feingold, a cosponsor of the bill, released the following statement:

"It is very disappointing that a minority of senators decided to block the Senate from even considering this bill to increase transparency and disclosure in elections. While the bill is not perfect, it was our best chance to provide voters with adequate information about exactly who is behind the onslaught of political ads they can expect to see this fall. Instead, a minority of senators sided with wealthy special interests and wouldn’t even allow the bill to be debated, and potentially improved. While today was a setback, I will continue working to protect the integrity of our elections in the wake of the Supreme Court’s misguided Citizens United decision.”

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O'Reilly Supports Ending DADT

Bill O'Reilly is to the left of President Barack Obama on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." O'Reilly told Jay Leno Obama should sign an executive order and end DADT now. Legally, it is properly not that easy. DADT was made into law by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton. Obama could stop dragging his heels and push Congress.

A CNN poll found 78 percent support openly gay people serving in the armed forces. The neoliberal thinking of Obama is how can he appear centrist to the 22 percent that do not support gays in the military. Obama campaigned on ending DADT. Days after the 2008 general election, Obama delayed ending DADT.

Progressives are becoming increasingly frustrated with Obama. DADT is a policy issue Obama has opinion on his side. This would be a win for civil rights and help the President drum up support in his base. Bill O'Reilly wouldn't come out in support of ending DADT if the polls showed a majority of Americans supporting the ban of gays in the military.

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Heller & Kriseman Honored by Developmental Disabilities Council.

Congratulations to Florida House members Bill Heller and Rick Kriseman for being honored as "Outstanding legislators by the Developmental Disabilities Council. Both Heller and Kriseman have championed civil rights for the disabled.

Representative Heller was honored for co-sponsoring HB 1073, a bill concerning notification of parents whose children are subjected to restraint and seclusion procedures in the classroom. “This additional oversight will go far toward protecting the welfare and rights of these children,” wrote Susan Gold, chair, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. in a July 6 congratulatory letter to Representative Heller.

Representative Kriseman (D-St. Petersburg) was honored for his sponsorship of an amendment to Senate Bill 1166, a bill dealing with Planned Residential Communities. The amendment clarified that these communities would include individuals without disabilities as well as those with developmental disabilities.

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WTF Was the Bill McCollum Campaign Thinking

It is hard to believe Bill McCollum spent what little campaign money he has on an ad parodying the "Rick Rolled phenomenon on Youtube. This is actually worse than Kendrick Meek's "Find the Real Democrat" ad. The Florida campaign season is more and more resembling a weird dream sequence from Inception. Someone give me a kick so I can wake up from this nightmare.

Side note: This ad may do for McCollum's campaign what the "Windstorm" ad did to Rod Smith.

Update: GottaLaff shares her thoughts on the "Rick Rolled" ad.

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Kottkamp & Crist No Longer BFF

Lt. Goveror Jeff Kottkamp said he has not had face to face meetings or e-mail exchanges with Charlie Crist since the Goveror announced he was leaving the Republican Party. Short version: Crist went from unofficially ignoring Kottkamp to officially ignoring Kottkamp.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Tea Party Song

There is nothing like a Tea Party anthem. I am not sure if that is a good a bad thing.

American Idol contestant Krista Branch wrote I Am America to express her twin passions of conservatism andcheesy synthesizers. It would be easier to rally wingnuts everywhere if the song did not sound like the 80s new wave band Berlin.

Hat tip to GottaLaff.

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Shame Doesn't Exist In GOP/Conservative Movement

RNC chairman Michael Steele has a talent for bad timing. Andrew Breitbart will be one of the feautred speakers at the Republican National Committee's "Election Countdown." The fundraiser will be held in Beverly Hills, California on August 12 to 14.

I am not surprised that Breitbart could get torn apart for his bogus reporting of the Shirley Sherrod story and still be welcomed by the RNC. Breitbart is a hero to conservatives who have contempt for anything that doesn't fit their personal narrative. This cynicism allows Bill O'Reilly and Newt Gingrich to preach about sexual morality. G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North can go on Fox News and be taken seriously. Conservative television viewers refuse to ask why Liddy and North aren't in prison. Mark Foley even managed to snag his own talk radio show. It is literally impossible to be shamed out of the conservative movement.

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Anthony Weiner on Social Security

The stock market tanked in 2008. President Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security and recipients invest their retirement money in stocks was extremely unpopular. Rep. Paul Ryan is the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee. Ryan advocates privatizing Social Security. Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner takes Ryan's plan to task.

I hope the GOP runs on Ryan's proposals to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher program with slow adjustments for cost increases. Those proposals are a recipe for political failure.

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The Sarah Palin Effect

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey supports the First amendment right to freedom of religion. Except when the religion is worshipped is Islam.

"Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it," Ramsey said. "Now certainly we do protect our religions, but at the same time this is something we are going to have to face."

More pearls of wisdom from Ramsey.

"Now, you know, I'm all about freedom of religion. I value the First Amendment as much as I value the Second Amendment as much as I value the Tenth Amendment and on and on and on," he said. "But you cross the line when they try to start bringing Sharia Law here to the state of Tennessee -- to the United States. We live under our Constitution and they live under our Constitution."

Could Mr. Ramsey enlighten us and say who is bringing Sharia Law into Tennessee. The state has laws on the books. Did Muslims tear up the law books and force the Tennessee courts and law enforcement to enforce Sharia Law? If not then Mr. Ramsey either has a bad grasp on reality or he is pandering to racists. Mr. Ramsey should read George Washington's letter to to the Jews of Newport to get a lesson in tolerance.

Ramsey's comments were aimed at Muslim community center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Sarah Palin's Twitter posts attacking a mosque in New York City have given Republicans the green light to attack Muslims in a racist and anti-religious manner. Bigotry is not an American value. George Washington made that point clear.

"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."

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Marco Rubio Proposes Economic Nonsense

Marco Rubio continues to be unserious about policy. Rubio proposes a constitutional amendment requiring the budget be balanced. Rubio also wants all future taxes to require 67 Senate votes. A constitutional amendment would require 67 Senate votes and 2/3 of the state voters to approve. The Senate votes aren't there and if they was the amendment would take at least 20 years to pass. Requiring all new taxes to pass by a 67 Senate vote would require changing the Senate rules. Which would also require 67 votes.

These aren't solutions Rubio is proposing. These are conservative wishlist fantasies. I remember the Florida state deficit growing under Rubio's House speakership. Rubio never proposed a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. Furthermore, a balance budget solution is dumb. If Florida actually did have a balanced budget amendment the state would not be able to run. Conservatives can scream about government spending. Conservatives will feel differently when the Florida government doesn't borrow money to keep schools open, pay for law enforcement officers or repair roads.

I like to see how Rubio plans to balance the federal budget during two wars and a recession. Does Rubio plan on cutting military spending? How about entitlement programs such as Medicare? Senior citizens will vote Republicans out if there are drastic Medicare cuts. The federal government is bringing in historically low tax revenue. There is no way to balance the budget without making unpopular cuts.

Correction: something I knew but a reader reminded me in my post. The Florida Constitution does require a balanced budger. The state has gotten around that with clever accounting and borrowing money.

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Wingnut Alert: Randall Terry

Christian conservative Randall Terry's latest press release uses the imagery of the lynchings the Klu Klux Klan did to blacks last century in America. Terry writes he plans to "burn, hang, or beat Lindsey Graham in effigy for his recent vote for Elena Kagan."

"If a man brings the enemy into your camp, he is helping the enemy; when he helps the enemy, he has become the enemy, and must be treated as such. Mr. Graham has betrayed God and innocent babies; we must treat him as a fraud and a traitor from this moment forth.

"On a lighter note, since Mr. Graham uses babies as pawns in his game of politics, we will play some 'games' in front of his offices, such as 'pin the flip-flop' on the donkey, and beating a Graham pinata. We promise - it will be a lot of fun."

Terry is the founder of Operation Rescue; an organization that places personal information about abortion providers on the internet. Dr. George Tiller's murderer Scott Roeder was in contact with Operation Rescue's Cheryl Sullenger. Terry's defense of his former organization's contact with Roeder is sickening.

I grieve for him that he did not have an opportunity to properly prepare his soul to face his Maker. Unless some miracle happened, he left this life with his hands drenched with the innocent blood of tens of thousands of babies that he murdered. Surely there will be a dreadful accounting for what he has done.

It now falls to pro-life leaders like myself to stand strong and unflinching in the face of the unjust criticism we will now endure because of his killing. And so I turn my attention to the attacks that will follow his death.

Sullenger constantly notified Roeder of Tiller's movements. Terry couldn't say anything nice about Tiller after he died and glossed over Roeder having help from anti-abortionists whom call themselves Christian. Terry's words about "burn, hang, or beat" Sen. Graham should be taken seriously.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wingnut Alert: Dove World Outreach Center

Terry Jones is the author of Pastor Jones book "Islam is the Devil." Jones is the Pastor of the Gainesville, Florida church the Dove World Outreach Center. The church is having the upcoming International Burn a Koran Day and No Homo Mayor Protest against Mayor Craig Lowe.

Dove World Outreach Center blogger Fran Ingram declares she knows all about homosexuals and Muslims.

Free speech is hated by homosexuals and they do not like to hear the truth about their perverted lifestyle. We are protesting our openly homosexual Mayor Aug 2. Maybe they did it, (not the Mayor himself, surely) but the more likely trigger for this attack is the burn a Koran Day plan.

Free speech is not Sharia compliant, and the Moslem Mafia (CAIR) is openly opposed to our signs and message. But this is America and we have the law on our side. The police defend us and our rights, the Fire Department have no problem with our having a bonfire on 9/11, and we will not be silenced.

Ingram claims homosexuals and Muslims hate free speech. Her response is to ban the Koran and homosexuals. True champions of free speech support the offensive speech of porn filmmakers and white supremists. America is a country where even the most vicious forms of expression are supported under the Constitution. I support the Dove World Outreach Center's right to protest. Unfortunately, the church doesn't support the freedom of religion of Muslims or civil rights of gay people.

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Andrew Breitbart: Enemy of Democracy

Driftglass and Blue Gal discuss the racism of Andrew Breitbart on their podcast.

Money quote:

DRIFTGLASS: Watch Sean Hannity and listen to Rush Limbaugh to get both sides of the story.

That sums up the fair and balanced media.

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Quote of the Day II

"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."

George Washington, in his Letter to the Jews of Newport.

Washington wrote the letter to ease the concerns of the Hebrew Congregations of Newport had about anti-semitism. Sarah Palin and Fox News should read Washington's letter. Palin's attack on the New York City mosque and Andrew Breitbart's smear of Shirley Sherrod smack of bigotry. Rush Limbaugh played the song Barack, The Magic Negro. Glenn Beck accused Obama of having racist feeling towards white people. Limbaugh and Beck will turn around and make the outrageous claim that they are the victims of racism. Beck and Limbaugh have continued to mention Rev. Jeremiah Wright long after he fell out of the news cycle.

It is easy for Palin to attack Muslims and Beck and Limbaugh to savage blacks. Conservatives view colored people as the enemy. Look at the crowd at a Republican rally and you quickly notice the whiteness. There are no repercussions against conservative media stars making racist statements. Palin and Beck continue to make millions on Fox News. Limbaugh's contracts have gotten larger as he rants have become stranger. Pat Buchanan can defend David Duke and bash immigrants without fear of losing personal revenue. Racism sells in the conservative media. Fox News would not continue to support racism if Ruport Murdoch was afraid of losing money.

Litbrit has her own thought on Washington's letter.

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Bob Dylan - It's Alright Ma (Bleeding)

Bob Dylan - It's Alright Ma (Bleeding)
Found at

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

Bob Dylan

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Rick Scott Threatened

The Miami Herald's Mary Ellen Klas tweeted that Republican candidate Rick Scott has received three death threats. The threats were reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Scott is now traveling with security.

My attitude towards this is this kind of behavior should be condemned. I have little patients for Tea Party activists who talk about using their Second amendment rights against President Obama. My feelings are the same for death threats against Republican candidates. This kind of intimidation is dangerous and has no place in a democracy.

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Negative Campaigning in GOP Governor Primary

Republican voters continue to be turned off by Rick Scott's negative campaign tactics.

But a number of parishioners thought it relevant. Mark Cowart, a top GOP activist who is supporting rival Bill McCollum, approached Scott afterward and asked him to stop with the false and misleading attacks."I think the ads are pretty devastating," he said. "We are going to destroy our chance in the fall ... and give this to Alex Sink."

Bill McCollum has been an equal offender. Neither Scott or McCollum are suddenly going to morph into Cato Institute senior fellows and have wonky discussions about policy. Both candidates are going negative to run from their records. In Scott's case, it is the federal convictions and Medicare and Medicaid fraud of his health care company Columbia/HCA. For McCollum it is the Rent Boy scandal and involvement with the impeachment of Bill Clinton. McCollum told the St. Petersburg Times he is proud of attempt to remove President Clinton from office.

"I certainly gave a lot of thought to what was most important to me at the time, and that was ... the constitutional process and the rule of law prevailing, and that no man is above the law," McCollum answered. "I'm proud of what I did. I don't campaign on it, but I'm proud of it."

Bill Clinton could beat McCollum or Scott in an election without breaking a sweat. Clinton can discuss policy and make voters like him. Scott or McCollum do not have Clinton's political gifts. We can expect more negative campaigning in the GOP primary.

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Quote of the Day

"Let’s just be blunt about this … I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist… They’ve been pushing a theme of black racism, this phony Black Panther crap, and this business… and Sotomayor and all this other stuff… The Republican party has got to stop appealing to its racist fringe… "

Howard Dean, on the Fox News coverage of Shirley Sherrod.

Fox News' Christ Wallace attempts to defend his networks coverage of the Sherrod story. Dean correctly points out that it does not matter whether or not Fox News aired the Sherrod video after she was fired. Dean said Fox News should have properly fact-checked the video. Newt Gingrich wisely stays out of the Wallace and Dean debate.

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Obama Speech to Netroots Nation

President Barack Obama gave a videotaped speech to the Netroots Nation conference. It would have been nicer if Obama was there. The President needs to better communicate his policy goals better to supporters and the general public. It isn't a good sign when the President's people edited in a clip of Rachel Maddow making the case for Obama.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kendrick Meek Death Watch: No Obama Support

Politico has an article on Kendrick Meek supporters and the Black Caucus are upset at President Barack Obama for his lack of support. Rep. Alcee Hastings makes his disapproval clear.

"If they do not step up their support for Kendrick, then they cannot expect that I and my allies will support them in 2012," Hastings said, after describing the West Wing's treatment of Meek as "poor."

The Meek campaign is no longer going to maintain their bullshit spin about Obama backing the campaign 100 percent.

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Quote of the Day

"That’s such crap. Say you’re the 'Party of No.' Of course you are. Everyone knows you are. Stop lying."

Conservative blogger Erick Erickson, on the Republican Party denying they are the Party of No.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Rick Scott Not A Straight Talker

WOFL FOX 35 reporter Tracy Jacim asked Rick Scott if the attack ads he was running against Alex Sink was too negative. Jacim went on to ask Scott about a Public Policy Polling poll showing Sink leading in a three-way race. Scott repeatedly avoided the question. Jacim said she edited the interview down because Scott used up so much time not answering questions.

Watch the interview.


MadTV Ashlee Simpson Parodies

The MadTV took great pleasure in making fun of the talentless Ashlee Simpson. Nicole Parker's brutal vocals are are worthy of William Shatner. Parker is actually a Broadway musical theatre star. Her ear for bad singing is pitch (un)perfect.

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Ann Coulter Defends Andrew Breitbart

Ann Coulter says Andrew Breitbart was "set up." What happened to conservatives preaching personal responsibility. Oh, that's right. That was just bullshit.

"The whole key to this story is that Andrew Breitbart was set up. He was sent a tape that, as we now know, was massively out of context. It did look like this woman was saying something racist. When she first said it was taken out of context . . . we've heard that before from politicians telling racist jokes. This is the first time in world history it was literally taken out of context.

"It was a lovely speech. Of course the White House reacted that way -- of course you reacted the way you did. Anyone would have. I think Breitbart ought to reveal his source, because he was set up. This was a fraud. The person who sent the edited tape has to know what the full speech said, and whomever sent only that segment to Andrew Breitbart is the one who should apologize to Shirley Sherrod.

It has been awhile since I have blogged about Ann Coulter. Michele Malkin has taken Coulter's mantle.

Coulter has been accused of plagiarism. She hardly can be accused of being an expert in journalism ethics. Journalism 101 teaches students to fact-check. Breitbart is responsible for checking the videotape. Having Ann Coulter speak on behave of Breitbart isn't going to help his credibility.

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Alex Sink on Florida Legislature

Florida CFO Alex Sink blasts the Florida legislature for refusing to vote on the constitutional ban on offshore drilling. Sink also wanted to legislature to take up action to give businesses relief. The legislature will not attempt business relief from industries hurt by the Deep Horizon spill until September.

Dear Floridian:

This week, I witnessed the failure of the Florida Legislature to be in tune with the needs of Floridians. They opted to play political games rather than provide much needed leadership in a historically short special session. Even more disappointing than not giving you a voice on near-beach oil drilling, is the legislative leadership’s claim that they need more time to come up with relief proposals for our Gulf Coast communities and small businesses.

I have been working with the people of Northwest Florida throughout the more than 90 days of this disaster and know that our small business owners don’t have any time to spare -- every day that passes is one day they are closer to going out of business. It isn’t fair to them, and it isn’t good for Florida’s economy, to postpone the relief they so desperately need. I have outlined suggestions that I believe would offer real relief for impacted Floridians and I will continue to aggressively fight on their behalf until they receive the assistance they deserve.


Alex Sink
State of Florida

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Andrew Breitbart's Hysterical Conspiracy Theory

Digraced conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart when on CNN brought an imposter to play Eloise Spooner; the wife of the farmer Shirley Sherrod helped.

BREITBART: If it is the case and it can be shown to me that the incident she is talking about was done many years ago... in her current context. As a reporter, you tell me how you confirmed that the incident she is talking about was 24 years ago. You tell me as a reporter how CNN put on a person today who purported to be the farmer's wife. What did you do to find out whether or not that was the actual farmer's wife.

If there is anyone that knows investigative reporting it is Andrew Breitbart.

Getting a lecture on journalism from Andrew Breitbart is the equivalent of Tiger Woods giving a sanctimonious on the virtues on abstinence. It is not an accident one of the labels for this post is humor.

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Rick Scott: Birther

Gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott campaigned in the Villages. Scott was asked if he would check the authenticity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

“I’ll have to look into it.”

If we are to take Scott at his word, as CEO of Columbia/HCA he failed to properly audit illegal medical billing. Scott's health care company was forced to pay $631 million in fines. The Columbia/HCA board forced Scott to step down as CEO. Scott failed to investigate $1.7 billion of Medicare and Medicaid fraud under his watch but feels the need to investigate Obama's birth certificate. The only two conclusions I can draw is Scott is either willing to pander to the most extreme of the GOP base or he is a conspiracy theorist. Neither possibility speaks well of Scott's fitness to govern.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I am public enemy No. 1 or 2 to the Democratic Party, the progressive movement and the Obama administration based upon the successes my journalism has had."

Andrew Breitbart

The Shirley Sherrod and ACORN videos Breitbart posted were doctored or taken out-of-context. The only thing Breitbart is an enemy to is actual journalism.

Have you ever seen Breitbart on cable news? The guy is seriously unhinged and angy. I almost feel sorry for him.

Breitbart attacks for not properly investigating the ACORN tapes. Breitbart could have saved himself much embarrassment if him investigated the tapes. He goes on to accuse of engaging in character assassination. Breitbart accuses other people of not investigating his videos. When these videos are proven to be bogus Breitbart claims no responsibility for videos posted on his own web site. I find it fascinating that Breitbart continues to target black groups and then behaves like a child when questioned about it.

Watch the videos. I'm convinced Breitbart has personal issues.

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Rick Scott Ducks Negative Ad Question

A voter asks Rick Scott if he can sit down with Bill McCollum and make an agreement to stop running negative ads. Scott ducks the question by talking about scheduled debates. Scott never makes a promise to stop the negative ads.

The negative attacks Scott and McCollum have used against each other have helped Sink. The lates Public Policy Polling poll as Sink ahead of both Republicans. Personally, I am more than happy if Scott and McCollum tear themselves apart with bogus claims that the other is pro-choice.

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Sharron Angle's No Questions Press Conference

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle called a press conference and then refused to answer a question. Angle cancelled the press conference and ignored questions from reporters as she headed to a minivan.

The Las Vegas Sun describes the madness.

SPARKS — After more than a month dodging the press, Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle on Wednesday invited reporters to an event intended to amplify her campaign message that lower taxes and less regulation are the only ways to spur economic recovery.

It was the first time since her primary victory that she had agreed to mingle with the media. Political observers speculated it might signal a shift in Angle’s post-primary strategy of using the media solely as fundraising mechanisms.

Alas, Angle’s more media-friendly moment was over almost as soon as it began.

In the warehouse of a family-owned clean diesel manufacturer in Sparks, Angle delivered a three-minute speech on her desire to permanently repeal the estate tax. When invited by the final speaker to stay and answer a few questions, she turned on her heel and rushed out a back door with a small cadre of staff members.

Angle (almost) makes Katherine Harris look like a polished candidate.

Hat tip to Joy-Ann Reid.

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Kendrick Meek Death Watch: Adam Smith Edition

Political reporter Adam Smith has a post on The Buzz on what Democrats will do if Kendrick Meek loses the primary. Smith even asked Meek would he endorse opponent Jeff Greene if he lost. The answer is no.

There has been considerable speculation that national and state Democratic leaders might actually back Charlie Crist, at least tacitly, rather than Greene. But if Greene writes a big check to the state party and/or DSCC bygones certainly could be bygones.This week we saw DSCC Chairman Robert Menendez say he would support Greene and Harry Reid try to knock down the talk of him cozying up with Crist. Could be fascinating to watch.

The Wall Street Journal reported Crist has had two conversations with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Alfredo Balsera and Squier Knapp Dunn Communications have signed on to the Crist campaign. Both parties have worked on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. I have asked Meek camaign New Media Outreach director Kenneth Quinnell for comment on Obama people now working for Crist. I am still waiting for a response. My guess for why Quinnell hasn't responded is the false pretense of Obama supporting Crist can no longer be maintained. Meek is going to lose. The star political reporter of Florida's most powerful newspaper asking Meek if he will endorse Greene isn't a sign that people think Meek is going to catch on fire.

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An Open Letter From a Feminist to Obama

The anonymous feminist blogger of the Choices Campus Leadership Program blog wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama. An executive order was issued by Obama barring federal tax dollars from the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans. PCIP is used for high risk pregnancies. The President's executive order is endangering the health of women. The Dpartment of Health and Human Services issued this press release.

As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President's related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.

Our policy is the same for both state and federally-run PCIP programs. We will reiterate this policy in guidance to those running the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan at both the state and federal levels. The contracts to operate the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan include a requirement to follow all federal laws and guidance.

HHS spokeswoman Jenny Backus is being disingenuous. High risk pools are made for patients with a history of pre-existing conditions. The women Obama will be denying abortion coverage to have a history of medical problems. Abortions won't be covered until the woman's life is at risk of dying. That is insane.

Previously, state exchanges would be allowed to cover abortion. The catch is no federal money would be used. Republicans and the pro-life movement voiced their displeasure and Obama caved. We don't hear conservatives screaming about state rights over Obama's executive order.

Jessica Arons of the Center of American Progress makes a fantastic legal argument.

A common method of legal interpretation posits that when items in a legal document are specifically listed, they exclude any items that are not mentioned unless there is a catch-all statement that says unenumerated items are not excluded. Case in point: the Ninth Amendment says of the Bill of Rights, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” That means the Constitution can be interpreted to contain rights that are not explicitly designated.

The executive order mentions nothing about Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans. Nor does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Obama is denying women there legal right to an abortion and overstepping his own executive order. Instances like this is why I felt like puking yesterday when I received an Organizing For America e-mail titled "Change."

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Yes, Fox News is Racist

Young Turks host Cenk Uygur plays an audio clip of a racist leaving a bizarre rant on the NAACP's voicemail. The racist uses the N word and falsely accuses the NAACP of wanting the redistribution of wealth and killing babies. I agree with Uygur about the conservative media panders to a racist audience.

Glenn Beck accused President Barack Obama of being a racist.

This morning on Fox and Friends, Fox host Glenn Beck accused President Obama of being "a racist."

The group was discussing the recent Gates controversy, and Beck exclaimed that Obama has "over and over again" exposed himself as "a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is..."

Beck fails to mention to fact that Obama's mother is white. Beck again accused Obama of being racist towards BP CEO Tony Hayward.

BECK: “What is it that Barack Obama knows that he won’t even bother to meet with the guy to hear him out? Well, until, you know, he changed his mind a couple of days later. What is it that the dictator of Iran, the crazy guy in Iran has in the credibility department that the CEO of BP doesn’t have? What is it? Tell me. I’d like to know. Does the fact the BP CEO is a capitalist — does that — is that what does it? You know, when I meet with those capitalists — he’s a white CEO. Maybe that’s it. He’s a white CEO. White CEOs — I don’t know if you know this — but white CEOs, they don’t like to — they don’t want to pay their tax dollars and have those tax dollars go to inner-city kids.

Apparently, Beck believes holding Hayward accounting for an environmental disaster his company caused is racism.

Bill O'Reilly used the word "lynching" in reference to Michelle Obama.

"I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down."

O'Reilly ate at Harlem restaurant and was shocked to find out that black people had manners in a restaurant.

O’REILLY: There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea.”
O’REILLY: You know, I mean, everybody was — it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn’t any kind of craziness at all.

Fox News coarsens the political and racial dialogue in America. The wonderful First Amendment protects Beck's and O'Reilly's to air their stupidity. That doesn't mean the White House should cave in by firing Shirly Sherrod. Unfortunately, the Obama administration hasn't shown anything resembling a bonebone.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rick Scott's 7 Year Plan

Rick Scott sent out a campaign mailer detailing his plan to balance the budget, reduce spending and create 700,000 jobs in 7 years. Scott plans to this by lowering taxes, turning downing stimulus money and keeping spending levels down to 2004 levels. There are several problems with Scott's plan. The state budget has been cut to the bone and is still in a deficit. Scott cannot get the budget balanced and cut taxes. Inflation has made it impossible to keep Florida's budget at 2004 levels. But Scott's campaign mailer has pretty pictures to make up for the fact he doesn't explain how he will pay to run the state.

Scott doesn't explain how Florida would save $77 million to drug test people filing unemployment claims. Doesn't the money spent drug testing every person on unemployment outweigh any savings made from taking someone testing positive of drugs off unemployment? Where did Scott come up with $77 million? Did economic advisor Donna Arduin pull out her Laffer Curve to come to that number? A wild claim by Scott is he can reduce operational cost of the state government by $500 million. A have no explanation for how Scott will do this since he doesn't provide one.

Scott's is most known for his former company Columbia/HCA being involved in the largest Medicare fraud case in United States history. From a Justice Department press release:

HCA Inc. (formerly known as Columbia/HCA and HCA - The Healthcare Company) has agreed to pay the United States $631 million in civil penalties and damages arising from false claims the government alleged it submitted to Medicare and other federal health programs, the Justice Department announced today.

This settlement marks the conclusion of the most comprehensive health care fraud investigation ever undertaken by the Justice Department, working with the Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense, the Office of Personnel Management and the states. The settlement announced today resolves HCA's civil liability for false claims resulting from a variety of allegedly unlawful practices, including cost report fraud and the payment of kickbacks to physicians.

Previously, on December 14, 2000, HCA subsidiaries pled guilty to substantial criminal conduct and paid more than $840 million in criminal fines, civil restitution and penalties. Combined with today's separate administrative settlement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), under which HCA will pay an additional $250 million to resolve overpayment claims arising from certain of its cost reporting practices, the government will have recovered $1.7 billion from HCA, by far the largest recovery ever reached by the government in a health care fraud investigation.

Scott's idea of reforming Medicaid would result in medical costs increasing.

Reforming health care for Medicaid resipients (through a waiver), and state employees to consumer directed care will lower the costof health care, increase choice of health plans, and save taxpayers $1.8 billion.

What Scott doesn't make clear is he talking about putting poor people on private insurance plans or not having Medicaid cover the cost of medical procedures. Never options make much sense. Scott's claim that Medicaid is more expensive than private health care coverage is factually untrue. The Kaiser Institute has the numbers.

Government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, account for a significant share of health care spending, but they have increased at a slower rate than private insurance. Medicare per capita spending has grown at a slightly lower rate, on average, than private health insurance spending, at about 6.8 vs. 7.1% annually respectively between 1998 and 2008. Medicaid expenditures, similarly, have grown at slower rate than private spending, though enrollment in the program has increased during the current economic recession, which may result in increased Medicaid spending figures soon.

Unemployment and the recession has forced more people on Medicaid rolls. The fact is Medicaid is cheaper per person than private health insurance. Where is Scott going to get the money to put poor people on private insurance plans during an economic downtown? Taking people off of Medicaid and letting them fend for themselves would likely result in lawsuits. Scott's $1.8 billion in savings is a fantasy.

Update: the Bill McCollum campaign sent out a press release saying that Rick Scott's plan was stolen from Bill McCollum. The McCollum camp then point out how much the plan sucks. The stupidity of the press release leaves me speechless.

“Today, Rick Scott told Florida voters he wanted to be Florida’s Chief Economic Development Officer – blatantly and unapologetically plagiarizing Bill McCollum’s comments from an April 15 announcement made alongside Steve Forbes. Apparently Rick Scott thinks spending more than $25 million on misleading TV ads can gloss over a detail-free, partially plagiarized announcement masquerading as an original economic plan.

“Bill McCollum has been running on a comprehensive job creation and economic agenda for months. He’s offered solutions to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, grow our economy, improve the state’s transportation network, provide more choice and affordability in our health care system, provide water solutions for our future growth needs and create a world education system for Florida’s students.

“Rick Scott couldn’t even be bothered to put out one solid policy proposal in advance of Floridians beginning to vote for the state’s highest office by absentee ballot. Now he has put out a plan, where, when it doesn’t copy Bill McCollum’s, the ideas are unrealistic and misguided at best. Moreover, Rick Scott has now flip-flopped on property taxes."

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Quote of the Day

"Meanwhile, as a matter of politics, I think this episode demonstrates that this White House is a much more tightly wound outfit than it lets on in public. The rapid-response firing suggests a level of fear over Glenn Beck and Fox that speaks volumes."

National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg, on the White House firing of Shirley Sherrod.

Goldberg's defense of Andrew Breitbart is laughable and not worth responding to. Breitbart has repeatedly pulled stunts with heavily edited videos and his he didn't know dfense is unbelievable.

Goldberg does make a correct observation that the Obama White House is devoid of moral courage. The proper thing to do would have been to investigate the video before making a decision on Sherrod's work status. The White House immediately asked for Sherrod to resign without knowing the facts. The message is the Obama people are willi ng to give up any scalp the Right wants. Van Jones is the perfect example.

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Tea Bag People

Republican strategist Mary Matalin accidently calls the Tea Party "tea bag people." Her husband James Carville can't contain his laughter. Cable news is is why the Daily Show will never run out of comedy material.

Hat tip to GottaLaff.

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