Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bye Bye Glenn Beck

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Lawrence O'Donnell runs the highlights of Glenn Beck's truly bizarre tenure at Fox News. Beck is a huckster who had a good financial run. I wonder how conservatives could follow a man who play acts being mentally unbalanced. That video should be used as a PSA about the dangers of drug abuse.

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Martina Topley-Bird - Lying

A song about a woman knowing the man she is involved with is in a relationship.

I walked out of the house in your
girlfriend's clothes
They fit me better than I would
have supposed
My mind close the curtain
on a lonely repose
And when I walk around town
everybody knows

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Best Craigslist Ad Ever

This is awesome.

Are you a fan of sparsely-attended political rallies, miniature American flags made in China, and fiscal policies that shortchange American seniors?

Are you so wildly unpopular that standing next to the guy who the majority of Americans have rejected for ending Medicare will make YOU look good?

Have we got the event for you. This Sunday, join Congressman Paul Ryan for Sunday's Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade. Because let's face it, otherwise, he'll be all by himself.

Taxbreaks for millionaires and billionaires who come! Mini flags for everyone else. Hope to see you there!

Don't forget to bring your copy of "Atlas Shrugged." I'm sure Ayn Rand fan Ryan will sign it. The best part is there won't be a long line to meet Ryan.

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Charlie Crist's Left Turn

Former Gov. Charlie Crist continues is swift to the Left. Crist recently spoke at the St. Petersburg Hands Across the Sand event. The goal of Hands Across the Sand is to prevent oil drilling off the coast of Florida.

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More on Rick Scott's Robocall Fail

The robocalls are actually making Gov. Rick Scott more unpopular. Shaun Dakin thinks the strategy is unsound.

"I can't imagine that it's working for him," said Shaun Dakin, founder of the Washington-based National Political Do Not Contact Registry.

"The evidence shows that robocalls just turn people off and make people angry."

Dakin's group, which tracks the use of political robocalls, says these calls are frequently used as last-ditch efforts during the run-up to an election - and that Scott may be the first elected official who is using the campaign tactic as a general communication tool during non-election times.

"It's not a good sign," Dakin said. "It's bound to make him even more unpopular than he already is."

The feedback from voters has mostly been negative.

Other complainants wrote of getting five calls from Scott in a three-hour period, or not getting beyond a recorded message when trying to complain.

"I am no longer a Republican. Switched to Independent," one commenter wrote. "If they think that harassing me is going to get me to switch back, they are nuts."

Howard Schneider, 85, of Palm Beach Gardens, another independent, complained to the do-not-call registry.

"I saw that there were certain exceptions to the list," Schneider said. "And that politicians were part of it, but this is just plain advertising. It's not like he's asking you to do something. I'd hate to think that everybody can do this. What can we do to get politicians on the do-not-call list?"

Elected officials are not part of the do not call registry. No elected politician ever thought of phone spamming people after an election. Rick Scott is the first. The robocalls started in May and are getting more aggressive. My question is was the robocalls Brian Burgess' idea?


Question of the Night

Could Obama have handled the Afghanistan war better?

I admit, this is a bit of a trick question. During the 2008 election, I felt bad for whoever was handed this shit sandwich after winning in November -- I didn't think there were any good choices then, and I still don't now. Maybe the best choice would have been to pull troops out immediately starting in 2009, but Republicans would have hammered Obama for that choice until Kingdom Come. And while I could criticize Obama for playing politics by setting timetables for troop withdrawls to be completed after the 2012 election, it's not like he had this other, obviously better option to go with.

In fact, any time I try thinking of what Obama is responsible for in Afghanistan, I keep circling back to the Bush Administration. It was Bush who ignored Afghanistan to wage a needless war in Iraq. It was Bush who installed the ineffective Karzai, who has delusions of dictatorship. It was Bush who never built up Afghanistan's defense forces to secure the country before he left office. Bush had six years to do this and he didn't get past square one. Indeed, one has to question how much of a united polity Afghanistan is -- as opposed to a loose federation of tribes who aren't friendly with each other under an arbitrary national border -- yet it was Bush who convinced that we could go "nation building" in Afghanistan. It was also Bush who oversaw a corrupt national rebuilding effort in Afghanistan where the military gave money to contractors, who took a cut and hired other contractors, who took a cut and... Well, you get the picture. Who knows how many pennies were left to build a school after this process, all to have that school destroyed by the Taliban because we never built up Afghan's security forces to protect the country.

And now... Well, Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, and we're in "peace talks" with the brutal Taliban regime our military pledged to defeat; yet cannot defeat because, like bin Laden, the Taliban take refuge in Pakistan. So we're fighting a war we're not sure we can even war in the wrong place.

This is the definition of a "clusterfuck". Obama's crime lies in continuing the Afghanistan war, and he didn't have much choice in the matter when he entered office.

So the blame for this mess lies solely with former President Bush. This $429 billion mistake, funded after Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut in 2001, must be considered a major reason for why our country is broke and discussing austerity measures right now. Indeed, this is how Bush's shameful legacy will effect us for years to come.

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Time to Give Up On Ezra Klein

I like to hear Litbrit's thought on this. She knows Klein. I can't anyone seriously as a Democrat policy wonk when he ask questions like this on Twitter

Are there any Republicans who would a) serve as Obama's Treasury Sec., B) support some tax hikes, and c) Republicans still like?

The answer to that Klein's question is Bruce Bartnett. I appreciate David Stockman's honesty but he would push for cuts that would hurt growth.

Klein doesn't ask who is the best candidate for Treasury Secretary. Joseph Stiglitz is smart enough. It would be hard for a Treasury Secretary that calls the banks corrupt to work with the banks. That is part of the Treasury Secretary's job discription. Gene Sperling as an economic adviser to Geithner. Geithner later was appointed to the Director of the National Economic Council. Sperling held the same position in the Clinton administration. Obama is comfortable with Sperling. This is about as close to a progressive that Obama would appoint to Treasury.

Open thread: who would you like to see as the next Treasury Secretary? Word is Tim Geithner is quitting soon. The Treasury Department needs a person extraordinary talent. Geithner was not that person. I'm sure you can think of someone better than Klein's Republican suggestion.

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Benjamin Kirby on Brian Burgess

I am glad Gov. Rick Scott has a Director Of Press Relations as incompetent as Brian Burgess. I find it hysterical anyone would hire Burgess. Benjamin Kirby notes Burgess' huge ego. Burgess hates the media. Except when the media wants to profile him. Kirby notes that Burgess is putting himself ahead of Scott.

Here's one to learn from then, Brian: quit giving interviews about how awesome you are when your boss is tanking.

To be kind of fair to Brian, he was labeled as an "outsider" coming in to help the governor -- a tag which is supposed to mean he's loyal to Scott, but you know, not loyal loyal. If the fit really starts hitting the shan with Scott, he'll head right back over to CRC Public Relations, no sweat.

The sub-headline asks whether the combative style of Burgess is serving Scott's interests well. Really? You're the communications guy. If you view the people who write about you as sub-human -- Scott won't even ride in an elevator with them -- don't you suppose they'll have some nasty things to say about you... and your message?

There are going to be elected Republican officials with no understanding of media communications that will hire Burgess. Politicians like Scott look for a little Sean Hannity in their communications people. The problem is a governor needs to win the approval of the public. Not get better talk radio ratings.

If Scott had a clue he would wonder why his media communications guy is doing (a largely negative) profile with the Florida's biggest newspaper. George Stephanopoulos insisted on making himself the story. President Bill Clinton was smart enough to shrink Stephanopoulos' role down to the point that he left. Kirby suggests Burgess will leave when Scott totally tanks. Burgess will have increased his profile. Scott will wonder what his messaging problem is.

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Pink Slip Rick Scott Ad on Mike Haridopolos

Pink Slip Rick Scott runs on ad on Mike Haridopolos. The ad implies that Haridopolos is Scott's puppet. I thought that was Attorney General Pam Bondi's job description.

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Mark Halperin's 'Dick' Remark

Mark Halperin smiles when he calls President Barack Obama a dick on-the-air. We learn that the so-called neutral pundit Halperin really is a conservative. This comes as a surprise to no one with more than two brain cells. Apparently, Halperin didn't want to lose his bogus voice of centrist reason in the Beltway. Halperin quickly apologized.

“Joking aside, this is not a pro-forma apology, this is an absolute apology, heartfelt to the president…. I shouldn’t have said it. I apologize to the president and to the viewers who heard me say that.”

Notice how Halperin looks like he just swallowed a lump of shit. I find the apology more offensive than the "dick" comment. Halperin didn't just blurt out that he thought the President was a dick. Halperin told Scarborough to use the seven second delay. Halperin's words more premeditated. What is offensive is Halperin is too spineless to stand by his own views. That is true cowardliness.

Obama has all the cable news channels on behind his desk. Obama actually takes people like Halperin seriously. Most Americans don't watch cable news, know or care who Halperin is. Americans do care about the price of gas and unemployment. Working people are in for a long, hard road if Obama's top priority is pleasing people that think the President is a dick.

Update: MSNBC has suspended Halperin.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Geithner Letter to DeMint

Reading Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's letter to Jim DeMint is horrifying. Geithner has to explain basic economics to DeMint as if he was a child. It is painfully obvious that DeMint is incredibly stupid. Demint believes that the country can run without raising the debt ceiling. DeMint proposes only paying the interest back to banks. Geithner explains that the federal government borrows 40 cents for every dollar. There will will future financial obligations, in terms of loans and budget priorities in legislation that has already been passed.

DeMint believes the Treasury Department runs like his credit card. Just stop using it and everything is okay. If DeMint failed to pay his mortgage and auto insurance, he would be homeless and unable to drive. The federal government would not have enough revenue to fund its military operations in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq. The fedral government would likely shut down. I wonder how DeMint would feel when he doesn't receive a paycheck.

Geithner explaining DeMint's factual errors to him.

Read more »

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Quote of the Day

"You know, this is not rocket scientry [sic]. But yet, when you listen to the debate last week that they had with the potential GOP presidential candidates in South Carolina, I gotta tell you, it scared the hell out of me. Because none of them really understood national security. None of them really, you know, understand these points. And, you know, we know the left doesn’t want to stand up for the defense of this country. And what happens all of a sudden when we lose that mantel?"

Rep. Allen West

West's idea of national security is failed neoconservatism policies and xenophobia. West's assertion that "the left doesn’t want to stand up for the defense of this country", is pure nonsense. West ignores the fact that President Barack Obama ordered the attack of Osama bin Laden's compound and is bombing the daylights out of Libya.

West's comments illustrate is that Republicans have thought about national security. Now that there is a presidential election, the GOP doesn't have a national security policy. Before the attack on bin Laden's compound, did you hear any Republican talk about how the United States should deal with Pakistan? It never entered the GOP's radar.


Meet Don Gaetz

Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, will be the next Florida Senate President. How does one get such a lofty position? Answer: by raising money for other Republicans. Gaetz runs the Florida Conservative Majority PAC. The Republican Party of Florida received $41,000 from FCM. The Don Gaetz Campaign Account raised $30,000 for the RPOF.

The Florida Leadership Alliance raised $12,500 for Republican candidates. Below is a list of recipients.


Gaetz ran as a self-financed candidate. He became a multi-millionaire as a hospice provider. Gaetz does not back Obama's health care reform.

Under the federal health care reform – commonly called “ObamaCare” – individuals could be penalized financially for not purchasing the kind of health care insurance dictated by the federal government. SJR 72 would amend the state constitution to protect any Florida citizen from being punished by the federal government if that individual refuses to obtain government-approved insurance. SJR 72 does not take Florida out of federal health care reform, but gives individuals the right to make their own health care choices.

Like SJR 2, this provision can only be added to the constitution if 60 percent of voters agree.

This is bogus. Citizens can choose the private health care plan that is right. People that don't fall below the required poverty line will be taxed if they don't get health coverage. I am not a fan of Obama's health reform but the distinction is important.

Gaetz backed a tax increase when he was chairman for the School Board of Okaloosa County Schools. I wonder how that will sit with the tea party.

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Why Goldman Sachs is Not A Job Creator

Republicans will argue that corporations must get tax breaks and cuts because they are the job creators. The media should ask these same Republicans what they think about Goldman Sachs' upcoming layoffs.

Goldman Sachs (GS: 132.53, +3.27, +2.53%) may lay off as many as 230 employees, according to a filing with the New York State Department of Labor.

The filing dated June 29 cites economic reasons for the potential layoffs, which could begin in late September and extend through March 31, 2012.

State law requires that businesses with 50 or more employees notify the Labor Department when significant layoffs are planned. In the filing, the job losses are described as a “plant layoff.”

Goldman Sachs report 90 percent increase in profits in 2010. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman Sachs with $1 billion in defrauding investors last year. 953 Goldman Sachs employees received $1 million or more bonuses after receiving bailout money. I am willing to bet those Goldman Sachs employees that received huge bonuses will not get laid off.

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Rick Scott's Robocall Disaster

Since May Gov. Rick Scott has sent out a series of robocalls to Floridians. Scott sent out his latest robocall out Friday.

“Hi this is Gov. Rick Scott. I wanted to personally call and share some very encouraging news about our efforts to get Florida back to work. ... Unemployment is down for five straight months, bucking the national trend.”

It turns out people do not want to hear the voice of an unpopular governor brag about a 10.6 unemployment rate.

“I’m on a 'Do Not Call’ list, I work out of my house, and I really don’t need extra calls,’’ said Odessa resident Kathy Winarski, a registered independent who was “a little frightened” the first time she picked up the phone and heard Scott’s voice. “Why’s he bothering me with this? He should just hold a press conference, instead of these one-way, targeted calls.”

I don't think "a little frightened" was the reaction Team Scott was looking for. Scott just can't help but scare people. It would help if Scott didn't look like a super villain.


Another reaction on Scott's robocalling.

And another: “Whoever this is STOP!! I don’t know who or why, but my mom is elderly and feels she needs to get to the phone with this same number that calls 15-20 times a day. ENOUGH!! I don’t care who or what it is ... we don’t care, we just want it to go away.”

Scott could try to govern or manage the media better. Since that would requiring governing like an adult, Scott is going to keeping pissing people off by robocalling them to death.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Archers of Loaf - Harnessed In Slums

The Loaf perform a killer version of Harnessed In Slums. The band has gotten back together for a reunion tour.

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Anonymous Hacks Orlando Web Site

The hacking group Anonymous has threatened to take down Orlando web sites because of Mayor Buddy Dyers anti-homeless feeding policies. Members of Food Not Bombs were arrested for feeding the homeless in public parks. Dyer hysterically called Food Not Bombs "food terrorists." FNB activist Benjamin Markeson has filed a defamation lawsuit against Dyer. was the first web site taken down by Anonymous. This statement was released by Anonymous.

"This is a declaration of war," said Anonymous, describing Operation Orlando.

"Anonymous will now begin a massive campaign against you and your city web assets," it added in a message directed at Orlando officials.

Food Not Bombs said they are not affiliated with Anonymous.

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Upcoming Redistricting Meetings

Here is a list of upcoming redistricting meetings Please remember to RSVP to reserve yourself a seat.


Karen Diebel Running For Congress

Conservative blogger Sarah Rumpf writes that former Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel (R) is running for Congress. Diebel is running for District 26 This is a new district that will be created. The only question is will the district be created before the Florida legislature's foot-dragging and legal challenges on redistricting from the Left and the Right.

Erick Erickson of is not a fan of Diebel. (Or maybe he is.) Erickson made a list of tax increases Diebel voted for as a commissioner. What Erickson actually list are fee increases.

* Voted for an increased fee schedule in 2007 that included a $15 fee to process a business certificate, a 2% increase in garbage service, 12% increase in storm water rates, and a 3.09% increase in water and sewer rates.
- Winter Park Commission Minutes, 9/24/2007

* Voted to allow an increase in taxicab fares.
- Winter Park Commission Minutes, 2/25/2008

* Voted for increased fee schedule in 2008.
- Winter Park Commission Minutes, 3/24/2008

* Voted for a fee schedule in 2008 that increased utility meter and recreation fees.
- Winter Park Commission Minutes, 3/24/2008

* Voted to allow a taxicab trip surcharge and an emergency fuel surcharge.
- Winter Park Commission Minutes, 8/25/2008

Diebel is a social conservative. She does not believe that the Obama executive order preventing federal dollars from funding abortion will work Diebel claims that federal dollars will find their way to fund abortions.

Q: Do you believe that it is possible (or even likely) that federal funds could be diverted to abortion providers via the Healthcare Reform Act?

Diebel: Yes. This is just one reason why it should be repealed and replaced with something else.

Q: Do you believe that the President's executive order was sufficient to address these concerns?

Diebel: The president's executive order does not preempt the provisions of the Healthcare Reform Act.

Read more »

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Bogus Florida Private Schools Sell H.S. Diplomas

Thank to Florida's push for private education, you can now get a high school diploma in eight days. Basically, a bogus private school is selling high school diplomas. This is the part where Republicans are suppose to say the invisible free hand of the market will regulate itself.

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Florida Democratic Party Letter to the Editor Campaign

The Florida Democratic Party is running a counter letter writing program to Gov. Rick Scott's initiative. FDP Chairman Rod Smith is asking voters to voice their disapproval to their local newspapers. Newspapers usually are wise to these spamming attempts. It is rather humorous that Scott's letter to the editor PR campaign is being lampooned.

Stephen Colbert made fun of Scott's letter to the editor campaign last night.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tip/Wag - Scented Razors & Rick Scott's Approval Rating
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

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Scott At Koch Brothers Conference

Gov. Rick Scott finally fesses up to being at the Koch brothers weekend conference.

“It was very interesting,” Scott said. “They wanted to know basically … what am I doing in Florida.”

There have been questions whether Scott attended the private weekend gathering of conservative-minded leaders but the governor’s office has refused to say. “I told anybody who asked me,” said Scott, who hosted a breakfast gathering at a bio tech conference in Washington, D.C.

The Koch brother wanted to know what Scott was doing for them in Florida. More Exactly.

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KBR Lawyers Trying to Shame Jamie Leigh Jones

From the Finally, Feminism 101 Blog.

Slut-shaming, also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings. Furthermore, it’s “about the implication that if a woman has sex that traditional society disapproves of, she should feel guilty and inferior” (Alon Levy, Slut Shaming). It is damaging not only to the girls and women targeted, but to women in general an society as a whole. It should be noted that slut-shaming can occur even if the term “slut” itself is not used.

That is the tactic KBR, Inc. is using against Jamie Leigh Jones. Common decency would be to admit a horrible rape had happened and pay compensation. Instead, KBR would rather endure negative publicity and have an ugly drawn out court fight. KBR issued this statement.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for KBR said the company is proud of its work in Iraq, takes employee safety "very seriously" and looks forward to establishing the true facts of Jones's claims at trial.

"Ms. Jones and her lawyers have made many different and varied assertions," said the spokesperson. "Ms. Jones and her counsel are not what they claim and KBR is not what they assert."

KBR's attorneys presented evidence that Jones has a history of taking anti-depressant medication. There are millions of Americans that take anti-depressants to deal with medical needs. Former Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles took Prozac. Chiles' medical needs did not affect his ability to be a good governor. It would not surprise me if Jones was taking anti-depressant medication because of her sexual assault in Iraq. The issue is was Jones raped not what pills she is taking.

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When Satire Meets Reality

Unfortunately, this Onion article really isn't fiction.

The Onion - Thousands Of Abandoned, Foreclosed Homes Threatened By Florida Hurricane

"Those who haven't already lost everything to the housing-market crash are urged to evacuate their homes immediately," said Robert Menken, head meteorologist at the National Weather Bureau. "That should be about 10 or 12 of you. Everyone else, please stay where you are, probably on the couch of some in-law who lives near Atlanta."

In preparation for the hurricane's landfall, the Emergency Broadcast System issued a number of safety warnings early Sunday. Due to expected high winds and torrential rain, citizens are advised to keep their windows and doors boarded up, as they pretty much have been through most of 2009.

Don't worry. Everything will get better when the Florida Chamber of Commerce succeeds in getting zero percent corporate income taxes.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Rage Against the Machine - The Ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said, "Ma, wherever you seen a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Wherever there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Ma, I'll be there
Wherever somebody's strugglin' for a place to stand
For a decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes, Ma, you'll see me"
You'll see me

The song was written by Bruce Springsten. The Rage Against the Machine version is superior. For those that don't know. Tom Joad is the protagonist is the literary classic "The Grapes of Wrath."

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Rick Scott's Let's Get Laid Off Program III

1,295 Florida state employees will find out Friday if they will lose their jobs. A total of 4,457 full-time state employees will eventually lose their jobs. Below is a graph of where the layoffs will come from.

Scott promised to create 700,000 jobs, on top of the 1,000,000 jobs economics predicted would be created in the next seven years. Scott is off to a less than stellar start.

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Adam Hasner's Anti-Global Warming Position

Adam Hasner spoke at a Pinellas Park tea party furom. Hasner received applauses when he said global warming was a myth.

"I don't believe in man-made global warming. I don't buy into the alarmist mentality out there that the world is coming to an end," said candidate Adam Hasner, a former Florida House majority leader from Boca Raton.

He chalked up climate change to an "agenda" by some to control the economy and make the country fit in with global wishes.

Hasner floats a conspirary theory about global warming because the best way to gain tea party support is to be anti-science. The anti-science Hasner has yet to explain why he was a cosponsored of cap and trade legislation.

He cosponsored the legislation calling for the creation of a cap-and-trade regime in Florida. And when it passed the Florida House, his office issued a press release on behalf of the bill's sponsor praising the initiative

"Responsibly addressing global climate change and anticipated national cap-and-trade legislation, while continuing to focus on energy diversity, reliability and affordability, the bill will place Florida's energy sector and economy in
a position to best protect the interests of Florida's citizens," the release read.

Hypocrisy from Republican candidates is not surprising. Voters must ask themselves does Hasner refuse to believe scientific evidence or is he a political opportunist?

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Captain Pink Shirt's Book

Brevard Community College told the media that Florida state Sen. Mike Haridopolos' book has sold "Florida Legislative History and Processes" has sold 70 copies.

Haridopolos' literary masterpiece can be bought on for $9.99. The people that paid for are most likely political opponents of Haridopolos.

It took Haridopolos 4 years to write the book. Those years produced this academic research.

“Most importantly, a candidate should avoid wasting money on useless novelty items such as wooden nickels.”

Brevard Community College paid $152,000 for Haridopolos' book. The reality is they were paying for the influence of a state senator. I'm positive that influence wasn't paid for in wooden nickels.

Update: At the Tiger Bay Club, Haridopolos would not say that he would return the $152,000 paid to him by Brevard Community College. Haridopolos said proceeds for the book go to Brevard Community College. The college was recouped $487.90 of their $152,000 investment.

Damian Flier of Progress Florida is interviewed by WMNF. Flier talks about the Brevard Community College payment to Haridopolos.

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Triangulation Man: How Obama Avoids Passing His Agenda

Tas wrote a post about how President Barack Obama avoids trying to forward a progressive agenda.

Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of Obama and much of my criticism would be viewed under the light of me being a member of the "Professional Left". I don't think Obama is a fighter, and he doesn't have the vision to use the bully pulpit provided to him by the Presidential Office to change the job description of that office; as well as public opinion.

Pollster Nate Silver wrote on Twitter that Obama avoids policy fights when public opinion is on his side.

Dodd-Frank is a good example of something where WH had public opinion on its side but exerted little effort.

It is unfair to compare gay marriage to the public's sour mood of Wall Street. What is perplexing is that Obama wanted to do the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell after the midterm elections. There would not have been enough votes to defeat the filibuster. Fortunately, LGBT and progressive groups kept pressure on Obama. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Don't was not cited as the reason why Democrats lost seats in Congress. Obama's strategic instincts on politics and policy turned out to be horrible.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed gay marriage by going after what Republicans care about most - campaign contribution. Money always trumps policy for the Republicans.

But the donors in the room — the billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Daniel Loeb — had the influence and the money to insulate nervous senators from conservative backlash if they supported the marriage measure. And they were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.

Within days, the wealthy Republicans sent back word: They were on board. Each of them cut six-figure checks to the lobbying campaign that eventually totaled more than $1 million.

Triangulation isn't an excuse to not govern. If Obama's big dream as a child was to have more Americans buy private health insurance then he should have become an insurance company CEO. In Obama's defense, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor have no interest in Obama passing any kind of legislative agenda. However, when Michael Steele defeats Obama's hand-picked DNC chairman Tim Kaine and McConnell is out messaging a speaker of Obama's skills then it is fair to point out there is a problem. When Obama does go on the attack, like he did against Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, his opponents fold like lawn chairs.

Update: Press Secretary Jay Carney tells the White House press corp. that Obama will not defend DOMA because he believes it is unconstitutional. Carney will not say if Obama supports gay marriage. Does the White House their position the President won't publicly support marriage that should be legally allowed under the 14th amendment. The White House position is a mess and will get attacked from all sides next year.

Q On another topic, last week the President spoke about gay marriage when he was in New York and he said that -- talked about how this has been the province of the state and that's the -- referring to what was happening in the debate in New York, he said that's the power of democracy at work. Does that mean that he also respects the outcome of democracy at work in California where voters rejected the idea of gay marriage?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I think as you saw in the decision we announced that we would no longer -- this administration would no longer be participants defending the Defense of Marriage Act because we do not believe it's constitutional, that it's precisely because of his belief that this was a matter that needs to be decided by the states. So without commenting on a particular other state, I think he was making that clear with regard to the action in New York.

Q Okay, but --

MR. CARNEY: But I'm not going to put words in his mouth applying to another state. I mean, you can analyze that, but -- because I haven't heard him say that. But obviously the DOMA decision -- what he said in New York was about his belief, our belief, that this is a matter that states should decide.

Q And the central argument in the challenge to Proposition 8 by supporters of same-sex marriage rights is that this isn't something that should be decided state by states, in fact, that there are federal rights involved. So would he reject --

MR. CARNEY: Well, the President very strongly supports equal rights and he's -- we've been -- he's made that clear as well, and he said it again in New York at the event that you're discussing. So I'm not going to --

Q But I'm referring to the --

MR. CARNEY: I don't really have a lot I can say about Proposition 8 with regards to what the President said last week. You know, I don't -- I'm not willing to go to what the President didn't discuss. I can talk about what he did discuss.

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Support Gulf Coast Gives

Gulf Coast Gives is a Florida-based organization that gives educational scholarships and helps the uninsured get medical treatment. Manatee County has been hard hit by unemployment during the economic downturn. The charity work provided by Gulf Coast Gives is much needed. Which makes me wonder what gives Tea Party Nation member Rich Swier the right to say that Gulf Coast Gives has a radical agenda.

Is it radical for Gulf Coast Gives to provide baby strollers to poor families that has Swier so upset? Perhaps helping the elderly receive medical treatment to relief pain has Mr. Swier so worked up. Maybe when Swier was in school he hated band geeks and wants to deny Saint Stephen's Episcopal School a new baritone horn. Surely this this kind of radical agenda should not be allowed to continue.

This is what Swier deems radical.

77% of all bullying victims are picked on due to sexual orientation, gender identity, or the perception of either. LGBT youth are up to five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts. ALSO Out Youth is the only LGBT youth organization serving both Sarasota and Manatee Counties, providing advocacy, leadership, support, and outreach since 1992. Please support ALSO in bringing Hudson Taylor to Sarasota. Hudson, an outstanding athlete, is a committed LGBT advocate and founder of Athlete Ally. This resource encourages athletes, coaches, parents, fans, and other members of the sports community, to respect all individuals involved in sports, regardless of perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. Hudson hopes to encourage more effective sports education programs and help put an end to anti-gay bullying in and out of sports. Please support ALSO's campaign to bring Hudson Taylor to our area high schools and colleges. His message of stamping out bullying would be a tremendous benefit to our community!

Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been repealed. Gay marriage is no legal in New York. Apparenmtly, Swier thinks it is mainstream to encourage teens to pick on gay teens. Actually, it isn't mainstream. It is just mainstream and bigoted.

This is not bullying. It is peer pressure and is healthy. There are many bad behaviors such as smoking, under age drinking and drug abuse that are behaviors that cannot be condoned. Homosexuality falls into this category. Homosexuality is simply bad behavior that youth see as such and rightly pressure their peers to stop it. In Sarasota County over 70% of all HIV/AIDS cases are due to male sex with males.

I agree with Gulf Coast Gives that "LGBT youth are up to five times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight counterparts". Homosexuality, like drugs, harms young people if they experement with it. That is the greatest tragedy.

Swier floats the scientifically unfounded myth that homosexuality is a sickness. It is pure B.S.

You can support Gulf Coast Gives by buying a give card.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lionel Richie is Missing

Lionel Richie really isn't missing. I just couldn't resist running the picture. Richie's horrible song Hello has already provided this blog with great comedy material.

Hat tip to Angry Black Lady.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Obamabots", the "Professional Left", and total fabrications

Lately, I've contemplated returning to political blogging. (I haven't told Michael Hussey this, and I'm sure my return would be much to his chagrin because it means I'd end up causing a lot more trouble here.) For some reason, I find the Left's current split between Obama partisans and detractors intriguing and I wanted to spend a few months, during the beginning of the 2012 campaign cycle, exploring this issue.

Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of Obama and much of my criticism would be viewed under the light of me being a member of the "Professional Left". I don't think Obama is a fighter, and he doesn't have the vision to use the bully pulpit provided to him by the Presidential Office to change the job description of that office; as well as public opinion.

Many of those called "Obamabots" deride my opinion, and claim that the Presidential bully pulpit does not have the power to influence Congress. I'm not sure what rock these people lived under during the Bush Administration, but it must have been a really, really large hunk of granite -- Bush (or Bush's cabinet, if you opt not to give the man credit) knew how to use the Presidential office to display leadership, influence the public, and eventually get their agenda rammed through weakened Democrat opposition in Congress. The Obama Administration, quite frankly, is clueless on how to use the bully pulpit to achieve progressive victories.

Regardless though, when push comes to shove in November, 2012, I'll likely give Obama my vote again. I remember the mantra on the Naderite hard left in 2000 that there wasn't a difference between Bush and Gore, and, well, they were wrong. I'd rather have a weak Democrat in office than a Republican of any stripe.

But I would not like to get involved with political writing again because I can't take the stupidity and dishonesty of politics. Case in point, let's look at a tweet from Dan Choi -- who would be one of my allies if I chose to go back into political blogging and throw my lot in with the "Professional Left":

Perhaps this tweet was sarcastic -- Choi doesn't mention such in the tweet, nor does he note the intent of this tweet elsewhere on his Twitter feed -- but that doesn't matter. Choi attributed a quote to Obama that the President never said. In case you missed this class in first grade, this is called a "lie". And people who willfully tell lies to defame their opponents are "dishonest". And you should not trust a dishonest person.

I no longer trust Mr. Choi.

Whenever I express my opinions about our president's actions, and how disappointed I am during his occupancy of the Oval Office, I do my best to stick to the facts. And when I say "our president", this counts for both Republicans and Democrats -- I defended Bush from lies, too. And I fucking hated the guy. But when you build a case against a politician, if you veer away from facts and base your opinion on fabrications, then you really need to step back, assess your actions, and ask yourself if you're a fucking asshole.

I don't trust fucking assholes.

Unfortunately, the political game is full of frustrating fabrications. Choi's statement is a small drop in the ocean of dishonest politics. So, regarding the future of my career as a political blogger, I'm still opting out of it because I don't want to spend countless hours countering the endless parade of lies. There is nothing gained intellectually from this charade. Personally, instead of returning to political blogging, I'd rather expand my base off knowledge by researching other topics.

But, while pondering a return to the blogging realm, I thought it best to highlight the dishonesty of one who I should naturally be allies with to tell myself that, you know, perhaps it's best not to return.

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Quote of the Day

"For every single one of you that has sent a kind/caring/concerned message to me the past few weeks-thank you. I've read each and every one of them. On the worst, most stressful days, some of those messages were the only things that let me know there were still halfway decent human beings out there in the world.

"To... the other dancers/strippers/sex workers, I need to say that while we may never be 'accepted' by most of society, we cannot let 'them' define us. We know who we are, and while all of us have different stories, we do not need to hang our head simply because of the job we do."

Ginger Lee, on her Tumbler blog.

Candice Raines shouldn't have to hang her head. There are many progressives that support making prostitution legal. Many feminists Many feminists are rightfully angry when attractive women are called sluts. Sadly, these voices were silent when Raines was under the media miscroscope. I understand the outrage progressives have at conservatives going after Anthony Weiner. Raines wasn't the problem. She is on the same side as progressives.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Ramones - R.A.M.O.N.E.S..

Lemmy from Motorhead helps the Ramones play "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." by Motorhead. This only happens in punk fucking rock.

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Pink Slip Rick Scott

The people behind Pink Slip Rick Scott will be speaking to the media.

On Friday July 1st, Pink Slip Rick will be speaking at the 2011 Florida Society of Newspapers and Florida Press Association Annual Convention at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.

This also marks the day that many of the job-killing, anti-middle class bills Pink Slip Rick signed will go into effect:

the Job-Killing Budget (SB 2000)
the Government Intrusion in Women's Health Bill (SB 1744)
the Big Insurance Profit Protection Bill (SB 1972)
the Developer Giveaways Bill (SB 2156)
and the De-Fund Public School Bill (SB 1388)

Join us at the Vinoy Resort between 12:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon with your placards and t-shirts and let the Governor know what we think about his job performance. We will have extra signs if needed.

The more activists the better impression it makes on the media.

Time: Friday, July 1 · 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Location: Renaissance Vinoy Hotel
501 5th Avenue NE
Saint Petersburg, FL

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Rick Scott Wants Faster Foreclosures

Breaking: Gov. Rick Scott made an appearance to Florida Bar conference. Scott want to do away with foreclosure courts. There have already been problems with the infamous "rocket docket" court judges not reading documents and wrongly foreclosing on homeowners. The law firm of David J. Stern is under investigation and has been caught forging foreclosure documents. Stern handled most of the foreclosures for banks in Florida. Matt Taibbi reported on how sloppily the foreclosure courts are managed by retired judges.

Obviously this is not criminal court and the presumption of innocence concept is not in effect. But I don't see a judge simply waving through every stack of bogus foreclosure papers that comes through his courtroom door as meeting any kind of sane evidentiary standard either. The mere fact that a bank is a bank, and a bank's laywer is a bank's laywer, and that both of them together claim that this or that homeowner is in default -- that has no legal meaning whatsoever, as far as I can see.

The judge's point here is that it's not up to him to mount a defense strategy for homeowners in default. But the idea that it is beyond a judge to open a file and simply check to make sure the names and dates are right -- particularly given the widespread coverage of this phenomenon, when we know that virtually 1005 of these securitized mortgages lack proper paperwork and will inevitably involve fraudulent or doctored filings upon foreclosure -- that is appalling.

What Scott is proposing is allowing banks to foreclose on homeowners without any legal recourse for homeowners. The Florida legislature set up the rocket docket courts to be extremely friendly to banks. Apparently, people aren't losing their homes fast enough to Scott's liking.

Side note: how does Scott think he is going to rebuild Florida's economy if homeowners are wrongly foreclosed on? Is Scott's idea of rebuilding Florida similar to turning parts of the state into ghost towns. Scott should take note of what happened to Michigan in the 80s. People left Michigan. Florida's tax system can't fund i9tself without growth and tourism. Does Scott know who are going to buy goods from businesses when there are no consumers?

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Republicans Base Health Care Strictly on Politics

Further proof that Republicans base their votes on politics and not policy. The Money Follows the Person was proposed and signed into the law by President George W. Bush. The grants provided by Money Follows the Person is part of Medicaid. The grants helps keep the elderly and the disabled out of assisted living homes. Republicans in the Florida legislature voted it down because Money Follows the Person has been merged into Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

It was generally, a party-line vote, but Republican senators J.D. Alexander and Joe Negron broke ranks and supported the request. Alexander hesitated before his vote, saying he hoped his colleagues would "vote their conscience." The votes from Negron and Alexander meant the Senate favored the request, but House members gave it a thumbs-down, so the measure failed.

The Money Follows the Person grant was created in 2005 under President George W. Bush to keep elderly and disabled people out of nursing homes by providing home health aides and other services. The grants save states money because Medicaid usually pays if clients stay in nursing homes.

But the program is now part of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and authorizing the spending would "go against" a "policy" promulgated by House Speaker Dean Cannon to not implement any part of the legislation federal health care law, said Cannon spokeswoman Katie Betta.

Rep. Denise Grimsley repeated the Republican talking point of about turning down "duplicative" services.

"I realize they're federal dollars, but they're taxpayer dollars," Grimsley said.

Did Grimley just came to the realization that the government is funded by tax dollars? As far as "duplicative" services, Florida has made cuts to Medicaid. Now Florida is turning down federal funding. Florida is in the bottom half of states for receiving federal money. Florida gets back $0.97 for every dollar sent the federal government. Compare that to New Mexico getting $2.03 for every $1.00 sent. I classic example of how badly Florida manages health care is Gov. Jeb Bush made Kidcare go broke by turning down federal funding and neglect.

Do these Republicans even realize they voted against a George W. Bush proposal? Considering how willfully ignorant these people are on policy, I doubt it.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Republicans like to talk smack about government workers. Well, these Redding, California firefighters and public employees rescued a kitten stuck in a pipe. The little kitten is named Piper and has been adopted by a TV station producer.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Cow Garage - Swingset Assassin & Folksinger's Heart

The best band most people have never heard about.

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Dear Time, Democrats, and Michael Grunwald

There are so many inaccuracies in this Michael Grunwald piece published on TIME's "Swampland" blog (what the hell kind of name is that, anyway?) that I just want to scream. My head would explode if I got into details -- but, in summary, Grunwald asserts that the left needs to get down on our knees and worship Obama because he's given us everything we want. And anyone who thinks differently is just some dumb ape who's part of the "professional left".

I'm not exactly sure who the "professional left" is -- is it me? I've spent a lot of time criticizing Obama. Of course, I haven't been paid a dime for it. So I find it ironic that a writer who's made a career out of penning articles that are total bullshit derides an entire group of Obama questioners as the "professional left" when, uh, he's the professional political writer, hence having a career and making a living off his work. Perhaps I can't make a living as a writer because I'm not as full of shit as Grunwald and his ilk, and I'm fine with that -- at least I can sleep at night without wondering if I'm a fucking asshole. But please don't label me as a "professional" anything when said "anything" doesn't keep a fucking roof over my head.

As for why we on the faux-professional left are angry with actions taken by the Obama Administration, it's because the administration didn't left a fucking finger to fight for themselves when they had a goddamn super fucking majority in the Senate. Sixty votes -- count'em, 60 motherfucking votes. Despite having an unprecedented super-majority to ram through any agenda they wanted to, Obama and the Democrats still caved to Republican demands. Perhaps the professional douchebags have short memories and don't rememeber the mindset of the country during this time when the super-majority failed, so here's a short reminder:

We don't want to hear about what centrist bullshit Obama has done -- like get a stimulus bill passed when almost half of it was Republican tax cuts -- when we know what Obama could have done if. He. Had. Just. Fought. For. It.

The matter is really that simple. And if you don't understand it, then you're a fucking idiot.


Rick Santorum Follies

Glenn Beck told Rick Santorum, "I could kiss you in the mouth." Santorum was about to shake Beck's hand and pulled back. This will only add to Santorum's Google problem.

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Obama on Gay Marriage

President Barack Obama visited New York. The state is debating whether or not to make gay marriage legal. Unlike in the past, Obama didn't give his usual spiel about supporting civil unions and not gay marriage. Obama didn't give an endorsement to gay marriage. Obama did say, "DOMA doesn't make sense." Obama's position on gay marriage will "evolve" as poll numbers show more Americans supporting gay marriage.

OBAMA: Part of the reason that DOMA doesn’t make sense is that traditionally marriage has been decided by the states and right now, I understand there is a little debate going on here in New York about whether to join five other states and DC in allowing civil marriage for gay couples. And I want to say that under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, with the support of Democrats and Republicans, New York is doing exactly what democracies are supposed to to do. There is a debate, there is a deliberation about what it means here in New York to treat people fairly in the eyes of the law and that is — look, that’s the power of our democratic system.

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Whale Shark Video

Diver Sean Hawes caught this amazing video of a whale shark in the Gulf. I am reminded of this scene from Jaws.

The divers are able to get so close because whale sharks mainly feed on microscopic plants, plankton and animals. According to Wikipedia, the biggest recorded whale shark 41.50 feet and weighed more than 79,000 lb.

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The Fiscal Conservatism of David Rivera

It seems David Rivera wasn't a fiscal conservative when it came to managing the finances of the Miami-Dade Republican Party.

"We have expenditures that are unsustainable," the party's chairman, state Rep. Erik Freen of Miami, said Wednesday night to the members of the local GOP, also known as the Republican Executive Committee.

Fresen took over for Rivera last December. The Miami-Dade Republican Party's fiscal year ended with $12.66. As chair of the Miami-Dade Republican Party, Rivera paid Communication Solutions $250,000. The Miami-Dade Republican Party could find no record of the transaction. Communication Solutions is run by Rivera's girlfriend Esther Nuhfer.

Fresen was forced to hold the party's Lincoln Day Dinner to bring in contributions. At the time of this post, the Miami-Dade Republican Party has $1,097.11 in the bank.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been heading an investigation on Rivera. The investigation centers on a $510,000 payment Flagler Dog Track made to Millennium Marketing, which is owned by Rivera's mother and godmother. This was around the time Flagler was lobbying the Florida legislature for slot machines. Rivera received $137,000 from Millennium Marketing. Rivera did not disclose the money. After the money was discovered, Rivera claimed it was a loan.

I need a scorecard to keep up with Rivera's scandals.

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Looks Like Mark Sharpe Is Running

It certainly seems like Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe is going to run against Rep. Kathy Castor. Sharpe talked to The Buzz on his policy positions. It is clear that Sharpe is going to run as a moderate.

Sharpe on the use of military force.

"Before you send a man or woman overseas, you better understand what you're going to do, how you're going to get in, and how you're going to get out," Sharpe said. "I want to have that conversation about military affairs."

Sharpe does not support the Paul Ryan budget plan. Sharpe is interested in using the nearly as bad proposals from the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission.

"They spent a lot of time working on it and it just kind of got dropped. It ought to be part of the conversation," Sharpe said.

Mike Haridopolos would not support Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal. Republican presidential Jon Huntsman said, "I respect the president of the United States." Now Sharpe is positioning himself as a centrist. This is an interesting development. However, it is too early to proclaim the return of the Rockefeller Republicans.

Side note: Sharpe's position on gay rights is right-wing. Sharpe is one of the seven county commissioners that refused to sign a proclamation for GaYBOR DAYS. The only commissioners to sign proclamations were Democrats Kevin Beckner and Les Miller.

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Rubio & Hatch Anti-Abortion Bill Would Jail Doctors

Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch are the co-sponsors of Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen attemted to pass this bill in 2005. Several other versions of the bill was attempted during the Bush years and went nowhere. Rubio and Hatch know that they have zero chance of getting a vote on this bill in the Senate. Rubio and Hatch may be sincere in their anti-abortion beliefs. They are also pols and know this bill will help them with social conservatives.

The bill has yet to be published on the internet. Rubio and Hatch issued a joint press release. Their bill would allow for the criminal prosecution of abortion providers.

CIANA allows for punishment, in the form of fines or imprisonment, of physicians who knowingly perform an abortion on a minor who has traveled across state lines and any individual who transported the minor across state lines. The legislation does not apply in cases of a medical emergency, abuse or neglect

Notice Rubio and Hatch do not have the balls to criminally prosecute a woman who terminates her unborn fetus. Republicans can kiss women voters goodbye if they do that.

What is interesting is that Republicans were complaining that Obama's (very bad) health care reform was big government interfering with state health care. Rubio and Hatch interfere with state health care and interstate commerce without flinching. Jen Phillips of Mother Jones points out that states have constantly changing abortion consent laws for minors. States would have to legal adhere to their own and other states abortion consent and noification laws. The end result would likely be abortion providers less likely to perform abortions on minors. Republicans continue to search for ways to make a legal medical procedure illegal.

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Quote of the Day

"Social Security is not going broke. Social Security has a $2.2 trillion surplus... The Koch brothers want to invest your retirement funds on Wall Street, and you may lose all your retirement savings when you get old."

Sen. Bernie Sanders

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Media General's Harbinger of Doom

Media General is the parent company of the Tampa Tribune. Media General CEO Marshal Morton sent a letter out to all employees. All Media General staff (including the Tampa Tribune) will have to take 15 unpaid furlough days.

In order to reach our cash flow goal for the year, which has again been lowered from low initial expectations, we must cut expenses in the second half of the year. One of the fastest ways to flow expense savings to the bottom line, without broad-based permanent layoffs, is a furlough program - something we had hoped would not need to do this year. I am sorry to say that Media General employees at all levels will be asked to take 15 furlough days in the second half of this year.

Earlier this year, all operations and corporate departments reduced discretionary spending. More recently, several operations implemented targeted reductions in force to address particular market challenges. Unfortunately, the expense reductions implemented to date are insufficient to meet our cash flow goal. Compounding this situation is the fact that the economic outlook for the second half of the year continues to be uncertain.

The furlough program will cause financial disruption for employees and scheduling challenges for our operations. It's little comfort that we are not alone. Our media companies have implemented layoffs and furlough programs this year. In addition to the impact of the weak economy, it's a sign that traditional media business models continue to be in transition.

Media General has been in financial trouble long before the 2008 market crash. The Tampa Tribune laid off 70 staff members in April of 2007. Late in 2006, Media General bought six NBC affiliate stations for $600 million. Media General didn't get the expected bang for its buck. Around this time the ominously named Harbinger Capital started a hostile takeover of Media General. Harbinger Capital got three of its members to sit on Media General's board. Harbinger Capital wants Media General to sell assets and make a quick profit on the stock. The takeover is so hostile that Morton can't even get Harbinger Capital to return his phone calls.

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Parrot Picks on Turtle

This parrot does not want to share a table with a turtle.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lee Hazlewood - If It's Monday Morning

There is also a great cover version performed by Beck, Eddie Vedder and Mike Ness floating around. For those that don't know: Hazlewood recorded several ballads with Nancy Sinatra.

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Brian Burgess: Worst Media Communication Person Ever II

I wrote the post "Brian Burgess: Worst Media Communication Person Ever." I did not exaggerate Burgess' horrible skills with the media. There is also Burgess' occasional profanity-laced tirade. Burgess sent this message in an e-mail to a Kansas reporter.

“I really don’t miss some of you dipshits at all. Have fun in your world of make-believe.”

Burgess' talents for pissing off the media certainly isn't helping Gov. Rick Scott's messaging or approval ratings. Steve Bousquet and Adam C. Smith of the St. Petersburg Times write an article similar to my post. Bousquet and Smith write about Burgess' war with Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo. Burgess accused Caputo of bogus journalism without citing specifics. The two had this exchange on Twitter.

"You're unprofessional and engage in 'gotcha' journalism w/o fact-checking," Burgess tweeted to Herald reporter Marc Caputo.

"You ducked the question for a 2nd time: Name 1 fact that was wrong," Caputo replied.

Burgess told me on Twitter that no one in the Scott administration used private e-mail accounts to avoid the Florida Sunshine law. That is a lie. Burgess himself uses a private e-mail account to conduct government business.

Burgess said this to Kansas journalist Justin Kendall.

"He called me a 'bottom-feeding journalist.' That sort of endeared him to me," Kendall said.

One thing that Smith and Bousquet report and I didn't know is that Burgess worked for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. If that doesn't give you an idea of what kind political operative Burgess is then nothing will.

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King Rick Scott's 'supreme executive power'

Rosalie Whiley has filed suit against Gov. Rick Scott. The governor froze all regulation for review. Even though Scott could not cite a regulation that was impeding the private sector. Whiley says the freeze affected the Department of Children and Families from renewing her food stamp application. Scott's attorneys countered by stating the governor has "supreme executive power."

Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte wrote a brief and noted that King Arthur in Monty Python & the Holy Grail cited "supreme executive power" over all of the Britons.

On May 23, Whiley's attorneys poked fun at Scott's claim to "supreme executive power" by suggesting that "the Governor's theory seems to have come from a Monty Python skit. See the discourse between 'Arthur, King of Britons' and 'Dennis the Constitutional Peasant,' from Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

In that scene from the 1975 cult classic comedy, King Arthur explains to Dennis, a filth-covered peasant, that Arthur rules over all Britons because a mystical Lady of the Lake "held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king."

Dennis responds: "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony … You can't expect to wield supreme executive power because some watery tart threw a sword at you."

Here is the scene from Monty Python & the Holy Grail.

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Unemployment Will Continue

This is a Federal Reserve graphic of what unemployment will look like in the next few years. There is no light in the near horizon. Part of the problem aggregate demand. The poor and middle class have less money to spend. That is why the GDP has been hovering under 3 percent this year.

Obama has sought the advice of CEOs from Fortune 500 companies. What they have been telling Obama is corporate tax cuts are needed. This isn't a change of position. While progressives believed that Obama was their knight; Obama said during the 2008 campaign that he would consider cutting corporate taxes. Obama's focus on job creation has been to appoint David Cote, CEO of Honeywell, and John Lechleiter, CEO of Eli Lilly & Co. to the Jobs and Competitiveness Council. The chair of the council is Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric. GE paid zero taxes in 2010. GE also received $3.2 billion tax return.

Obama has appointed men that are using their White House position to push for more corporate tax cuts.


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St. Pete Pride 2011

St. Pete Pride is a huge event and revenue generator for St. Petersburg. With the exception of a few Christian Right protesters; gay and straight people party and have a good time.

Time: Saturday, June 25 · 9:00am - 3:00pm

Location: Central Ave. in between 22nd and 23rd Street, Booth 224

Hat tip to Stogie.

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Jon Stewart Fact-Checks Fox News

Jon Stewart calls Fox News a dynasty of fibs.

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Quote of the Day

"(Rick) Scott gets a ton of publicity over a bill he signed in May."

Gary Fineout

The Bill is SB 2142 Scott actually signed the bill on May 26, 2011. Scott is desperate for positive publicity. Scott took credit for a Canadian business that the Crist administration brought to Florida.

In Scott's defense, another Canadian business, UCC Steelwork Connections signed their lease in March and will add 10 jobs. Scott made a big announcement about the UCC Steelwork Connections deal. Like I said, Scott is desperate.

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Michele Bachmann: Pork Spending Queen

Literally. Bachmann pushed for government subsidies of pork products for her home state of Minnesota.

Update: This is part of a letter Bachmann wrote to former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

"Your efforts to stabilize prices through direct government purchasing of pork and dairy products are very much welcomed by the producers in Minnesota, and I would encourage you to take any additional steps necessary to prevent further deterioration of these critical industries, such as making additional commodity purchases and working to expand trade outlets for these and other agricultural goods," Bachmann wrote.

This is the federal government directly getting involved in the private market. Bachmann's request actually has policy merits. My problem is that Bachmann goes around saying that the federal government should never get involved in the private. It is hypocrisy on Bachmann's part.

Here is a list of Bachmann's 2008 earmarks.

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News Flash: Jeb Bush Still Not Running

The American Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie believes that Jeb Bush has no chance of getting the Republican presidential nomination. Bouie maintains that Bush is missing the invisible primary.

At this stage in the primary, as the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny pointed out this morning, the focus is on fundraising and building elite support. The presidential candidates are scrambling to claim fundraisers and top party donors for their own campaigns, and deny them to rivals. What’s more, they’re also trying to secure coveted endorsements.

I don't disagree with that. Now is the time for candidates to build their state campaigns, recruit fundraisers and get their operations off the ground. There is also the issue that Bush is unlikely to run. If Bush is going to run he is going to forcefully campaign. Bush isn't going to play games like Rick Perry and Sarah Palin.

Side note: I don't believe Palin is going to run.


Florida Death Penalty Declared Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez has ruled that Florida's death penalty is unconstitutional.

The ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez applies only in the case of convicted murderer Paul H. Evans, who is on Florida's Death Row. The ruling means that Evans will get a new sentencing hearing.

Martinez said Florida's system violates the Constitution because jurors are not required to announce specific findings on aggravating factors required to justify the death penalty. The jurors make only a general recommendation of death or life by majority vote. The final decision is up to a judge.

I have mixed feelings about the death penalty. I didn't shed any tears when Ted Bundy was executed or Osama bin Laden was executed in Pakistan. I don't believe that President Obama wanted to go through the legal nightmare of having to put bin Laden on trail.

I do find it disturbing that other Western countries have abandoned the death penalty. America is still stuck with a 19th century mentality of justice. I don't buy the argument from death penalty supporters that it is about justice. Killing Ted Bundy is about revenge. Pure and simple. I also can't stand the hypocrisy of politicians who are against abortion and euthanasia because of the sanctity of life. Yet these same people execute prisoners and swear that an innocent person has never been wrongly executed.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Natty Moss Bond & Steve Peake - For Free

Tampa music legend Natty Moss-Bond and Steve Peake perform Joni Mitchell's For Free. Moss-Bond's vocals are amazing.

Support local music.

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Latest Rick Scott Poll

Viewpoint Florida polled likely voters and found that 51 percent disapprove of Gov. Rick Scott job performance. These numbers are actually better than Scott previous poll numbers. Only 45 percent of likely voter approve of Scott's performance. Team Scott is probably popping the champagne corks after their 29 percent approval rating in the Quinnipiac Poll.

Below is a breakdown of the numbers.


Update: the poll was conducted by Republican operatives Randy Nielsen (Public Concepts) and Pat Bainter (Data Targeting). Team Scott should be concerned that GOP operative could only skew the poll to a 51 percent disaproval rating and still seem credible.

Update: Peter Schorsch writes, "Head to the kitchen right now, break out the Morton’s and take the following poll with more than just a grain of salt."

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Bad Movie Classic: Top Gun

Quentin Tarantino classic spiel in the movie Sleep With Me about Top Gun being about a man's struggle with his homosexuality. The truth is Top Gun is unintentionally homoerotic. What other movie has a mind-numblingly long and pointless sequence of characters playing volleyball. The only character that keeps his shirt on is the married Goose. The rest of the characters are shirtless and have enough body oil on them to solve the energy crisis. The song in the background is Kenny Loggins' Playing With the Boys. You can't make this stuff up.

Let's not forget Maverick's and Iceman's very close face to face locker room encounters.

I never get why Top Gun was a huge box office hit. I thought Maverick was an asshole. I remember being in pain during the You Lost That Loving Feeling scene.

What a crap movie. Just think. If this movie wasn't a box office hit, the Church of Scientology would be out of business.

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Write A Caption: Bono & Rubio

"Really Marco. You should wear my fly sunglasses on the floor of the Senate."

Bono was in Washington to continue to promote his unsuccessful ONE Campaign. And seriously, must Bono wear those goofy sunglasses everywhere. WTF.

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Scott & Bondi Reject Jenkins Nomination

Attorney General Pam Bondi once again politically aligned herself with Gov. Rick Scott. This time they both rejected Cassandra Jenkins from being reappointed to the Parole Commission.

Scott said this about Jenkins.

“We’re trying to make sure that their first priority is public safety,” Scott said. Asked if that was meant to say that that wasn’t Jenkins’ first priority, Scott said Jenkins was welcome to reapply.

“Whoever we pick, their first priority is going to be public safety,” Scott said.

Bondi on Jenkins.

“It’s a public safety issue to me,” Bondi said after the meeting, after listing several criminals to whom Jenkins voted to grant parole even though they’d committed serious crimes. “It’s a serious public safety issue when it involves serial rapists and murderers.”

Scott and Bondi did not cite any evidence against Jenkins fitness to serve on the Parole Commission.

Side note: Jenkins is black and was placed on the Parole Commission with the help of former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

Side note 2: Scott ran an ad titled "Obama's Mosque." Scott falsely labeled Obama a member of the Islamic faith, in order to stoke fear.

Side note 4: A former employeee of Scott's company Solantic told that Scott was against the hiring of Hispanics and Muslims because they were not "clean-cut" enough.

Conservative will argue that Scott isn't racist because he has a black Lt. Governor that has no role in formulating policy.

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