Friday, September 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

"The Supreme Court should not be deciding our laws. That's the people we elect, that's who should decide our laws."

Michele Bachmann, on the Obama administration wanting the Supreme Court to rule on the health care bill.

Bachmann swears up and down that she loves the Constitution. If she actually bothered to read it she would know that we elect representative government to Congress to write laws. The Supreme Court rules on the constitutional merits of laws in dispute. Short answer: the Supreme Court is exactly who decides laws. I'm guessing this wasn't in the School House Rock episode Bachmann had to watch to get her law degree from O.W. Coburn School of Law.

Hat tip to Mustang Bobby.


Adam Hasner Staying Classy

Republican Senate candidate Adam Hasner first swore to defend America from the nonexistent threat of Sharia law taking over the American legal system. Hasner is now attacking primary opponent George LeMieux's French ancestry. Hasner is sending out this bumper sticker to supporters.

Hasner is running a cynical and disgusting campaign filled with outright bigotry. It says much about the current group of Republicans that elected Hasner the victor of the CPAC Senate straw poll.

Tea Partiers aren't supporting Hasner because they expect competent governing. They want Hasner to beat up on Muslims, gays and anyone the Tea Party deems is not American. Hasner hasn't offered a coherent plan of creating jobs. Tax cuts to the rich is not a jobs plan. In fact, Hasner doesn't even have a page for his policy proposal on his campaign web site. This is how unserious Hasner is.

Hasner's campaign strategy is to be the Republican version of the 1962 George Wallace campaign. Wallace ran on calling Martin Luther King a communist and "segregation forever." Wallace and Hasner were both considered moderates earlier in their political careers. Like Wallace, Hasner realized that there were voters who would respond to being told to be scared of colored people. Hasner has been telling Republican primary voters that immigration is a grave "national security issue" and accused President Obama of not taking illegal immigration seriously. The truth is Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any president in history. A fearmonger like Hasner will not let facts get in the way of his attacks. All that matters is gaining political power.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Meet the two new leopard cubs making their debut at Lowry Park Zoo.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nouvelle Vague - Guns of Brixton

This was tweeted to me by Republican political consultant Rick Wilson. He is a big Clash fan.

Nouvelle Vague does the best kind of cover. She doesn't They don't do a note for note rendition of bassist Paul Simonon's song. Vague reinvents the song and makes it into something new.

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Quote of the Day

"Regarding Herman Cain, shouldn't it matter that the pizza at Godfather's has always sucked?"

The Rude Pundit

Truer words have never been written.

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Progress Florida v. Dean Cannon

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon is using tax dollars to get the fair district amendments 5 and 6 out of the Florida Constitution. Voters overwhelmingly approved both amendments with 60 percent of the vote. The legal challenges to remove the fair district amendments by Cannon have failed in court. Progress Florida is running an online petition to get Cannon to drop the legal action against fair districting.

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Kevin Beckner Petition

Kevin Beckner is running for re-election to the Hillsborough County Commission. Beckner is attempting to require for the ballot by petition.

Today we have a very simple request that will actually play an instrumental role in Kevin's Victory in his race for County Commission...

If you could take a moment out of your busy work day to download Postage Stamp Kevin's petition (click here) fill it out and send it back as soon as you can to the campaign at the following address:

Campaign of Kevin Beckner For Hillsborough County Commission
District 6 (Countywide)
P.O. Box 270717
Tampa, FL 33688-0717

This of course is the $.44 part- the cost of postage! We are working hard and working smart. By getting these petitions signed we can avoid spending precious resources such as money (qualifying without petitions costs close to $6,000) and use it more wisely down the road.

Thank you for your friendship and all your support.

Team Beckner

Here is a copy of the petition. Copy it, fill it out and mail it in.


Michael Smith Running For Largo City Commission

Michael Smith is an openly gay man. He is running for the Largo City Commission. Equality Florida is making an online push to help get Smith elected.

Smith is a member of Friends of Largo and Seminole Libraries. Smith has worked as a librarian and is a lifelong resident of Pinellas County. Smith's issues positions is standard left of center policy. It would be nice if Smith released the kind of detailed policy proposals that Bob Buckhorn did when he was a Mayoral candidate.

It is interesting to see an openly gay candidate running for the Largo City Commission. The commission forced out Susan Stanton (then Steve Stanton.) Smith's candidacy is a positive turn from the xenophobia targeted at Stanton in 2007.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cliff Stearns Attacks Planned Parenthood

Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, is the chairman of the House oversight subcommittee. Stearns has requested that Planned Parenthood hand over internal audit reports from 1998 to 2010. Stearns question if Planned Parenthood is using federal funding for abortion the Hyde Amendment forbids the use of federal funds for abortions. found that only 3 percent of services are dedicated to abortions and that it receives no federal funding for abortions.

Stearns is basing his investigation on the findings of the anti-choice organization Americans United for Life. AUL makes the outlandish allegations that Planned Parenthood is involved in prostitution and sex trafficking. The report's endnotes and appendix section is a mess. I cannot find anything relating to prostitution.

The prostitution allegations started from the anti-abortion group Live Action. Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose was trained in video hit jobs by the disgraced James O'Keefe. Unsurprisingly, the videos Rose made for Live Action were heavily edited hoaxes. The Americans United for Life are using debunked sex ring stories in their report. It isn't surprising that AUL would run with the sex trafficking story. What is shameful is Stearns cannot discern fact from fiction. That is assuming that Stearns cares about the truth.

There is pushback against Stearn's investigation. Emily's List is running a petition to stop the Congressional harassment against Planned Parenthood. Rep. Jan Schakowsky sent out a press release condemning the Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood.

“With the recent announcement of their needless and politically motivated investigation of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, House Republicans continue to make their extreme agenda clear: to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care and attack the health providers they rely on in their communities.

Instead of attacking unemployment, Republicans are waging a war against women. Earlier this year, House Republicans threatened to shut down the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood. This investigation continues the Republican assault on Planned Parenthood, an organization that plays a critical role in our nation’s health care system.

Planned Parenthood serves over 3 million Americans every year. More than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood health centers offer is preventive. Planned Parenthood provides life-saving cancer screenings, routine gynecological examinations, contraceptive services, immunizations, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

This is not about federal funding of abortion. This is about cutting off women’s access to affordable, quality care in an effort to score political points. Now is the time to be working on the issues that are most important to Americans – creating jobs and improving the economy.”

Below the fold is Stearns' document request to Planned Parenthood.

Read more »

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Quote of the Day

"Thou shalt commit adultery."

A typo from a 1631 edition of the King James Bible.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Making of Nirvana's Nevermind

Butch Vig talks about producing the Nirvana album Nevermind.

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Christian Heckler at Obama Event

A man in the crowd went nuts after Tyler Ferguson, an actor on the TV show Modern Family, congratulated President Barack Obama for the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"The end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is the signature achievement of our time," Ferguson told Obama and the crowd.

This is where things get strange.

At that point, a bearded man standing in the front row closest to the stage began shouting: "Christian God is the one and only true living God, the creator of Heaven and the Universe," according to White House pool coverage of the event.

The man also shouted, "I love Jesus. Jesus Christ is God. Jesus Christ is the son of God." I have always been bothered by the inconsistency of Jesus being both the son of God and Jesus is God. Come on Christians. Which one is it.

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Folkfest in St. Petersburg

Creative Clay is a nonprofit group that helps the physically and mentally disabled. Creative Clay has a summer youth camp helps delivers health care to the poor. October 1, Folkfest will be held in St. Petersburg. Music, food and arts and crafts will on-hand.

Time - Saturday, October 1 at 10:00am - October 2 at 7:00pm

Location - Central Ave betwn 11th & 13th Streets N. in front of Creative Clay
Saint Petersburg, FL

Musicians include Railroad Earth, Martin Sexton, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Lee Boys, Cope, Delta Rae, 3rd Stone, ...A Fragile Tomorrow, and Rebekah Pulley.

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The NRA Conspiracy Files

At the Florida Conservative Political Action Conference, National Rifle Association executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre spoke about President Barack Obama fiendish conspirary to take guns away from citizens. LaPierre tells the crowd that Obama's diabolical plan is to let gun control laws lapse. Quick! Go hide your guns.

[I]n public, [President Obama will] remind us that he's put off calls from his party to renew the old Clinton [assault weapons] gun ban, he hasn't pushed for new gun control laws, and he'll even say he looked the other way when Congress passed a couple of minor pro-gun bills by huge majorities. The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he's actually been good for the Second Amendment.

But it's a big fat stinking lie, just like all the other lies that have come out of this corrupt administration. It's all part -- it's part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country.

Before the President was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspirary of public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012.

Here is a question for Mr. LaPierre. Does he have any proof of this meeting amongst Obama administration officials taking place? LaPierre speaks as if he has inside information. I challenge him to provide the time, place and the participants that took part in this meeting to destroy the Second Amendment. I know LaPierre will never answer my questions because conspiracy theorists never have to produce pesky things called facts.

Most conspirary theorists usual don't use the word conspiracy. LaPierre is so paranoid that he cannot be bothered with hiding his delusional worldview.

Never mind that Obama signed a bill allowing concealed weapons in national parks.

Never mind that the President supported the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the District of Columbia's gun ban.

Never mind the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Obama an F grade. Obama's actions show how bogus LaPierre's statements are.

On a political note: Obama has taken pro-gun positions to appease the NRA. In return the NRA is saying the President wants to take guns away from people. This is another reason why Democrats should drop triangulation as a political strategy.

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Wingnut of the Day: Rich Swier

Rich Swier is a Sarasota native that blogs at Red County and theTea Party Nation. Swier is also a conspirary theorist. Which makes him perfect for Judson Phillips Tea Party Nation blog. Swier's latest blog post is so over the top it is hard to believe he is serious. The headline is hysterical.

Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates Boy Scouts of America

Swier has a history writing blog posts about Muslims secretly infiltrating America. Swier's blog posts smack xenophobia and McCarthyism. His proof of the Muslim Brotherhood's fiendish agenda to take kids camping is a link the National Islamic Committee on Scouting. The NICS is so secret that they have their own web site. Nowhere in the description of the organization is the Muslim Brotherhood mentioned. This may come as a surprise to Swier but the Boy and Girl Scouts have many differnt religions in their organizations.

Swier doesn't seem to understand what the Muslim Brotherhood is. There is debate about the Brotherhood's actual agenda. What most people can agree on is toasting marshmellows with kids isn't part of their master plan. The protests and toppling the government of Hosni Mubarak was done largely by students not motivated by religion. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have held elected government positions in Mubarek's government. The Muslim Brotherhood are concerned about gaining political power in Egypt. Only a paranoid maniac like Swier would believe the Muslim Brotherhood cares about the Boy Scouts.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Foo Fighters - Rope

I am really loving the new Foo Fighters record. Dave Grohl's counter protest of the Westboro Baptist Church makes him one of the coolest people in rock.

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Rick Scott's Let's Get Laid Off Program

Gov. Rick Scott tells supporters at the CPAC of Florida that government doesn't create jobs.

We’ve had plenty of success so far. Not enough…In Florida, unemployment rate’s gone from 12 percent down to 10.7. We’re still above the national average, but we’ve generated 87,200 private sector jobs — private sector! And we have 15,000 less government jobs in the state of Florida. [Applause] Government doesn’t create jobs.

Governor, the reason government isn't creating jobs is because you laid off 15,000 government workers. It takes a lot a hubris to brag about Florida's unemployment rate being at 10.7 percent. Especially when Scott ran on creating jobs.

Update: Scott is either ignorant or not being candid about private sector job numbers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida was second in mass layoffs for August. There were 961 mass layoffs of 50 or more employees in August. The question is how many of those layoffs were government workers

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Mayor Buckhorn Promotes R & D Jobs

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Kathy Castor want to create research and development jobs through the Moffit Cancer Center.

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Quote of the Day

"There is reports that have come out that Cuba has been working with another terrorist organization called Hezbollah. And Hezbollah is looking at wanting to be part of missile sites in Iran and, of course, when you are 90 miles offshore from Florida, you don’t want to entertain the prospect of hosting bases or sites where Hezbollah could have training camps or perhaps have missile sites or weapons sites in Cuba."

Michele Bachmann

Hezbollah does not have bases in Cuba. Bachmann is reciting rumors floated on and the Andrew Breitbart web site Big Peace. Stories The Star tabloids about aliens giving farmers anal probes have more journalistic credibility.

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Consequences of Poor Infrastructure

Republicans refuse to fund infrastructure repairs for roads bridges, schools and create jobs. This is the result in Tampa. The intersection at Nebraska Avenue and Fletcher is officially a cluster fuck.

RT @TampaBayCommute: The sinkhole at Fletcher Ave/Nebraska Ave is getting worse. The intersection has multiple lanes blocked.

Roads in these conditions can lead to accidents and fatalities. Republicans previously loved infrastructure pork. They now won't fund needed repairs because they are either afraid of the tea party are have to oppose President Obama out of political necessity.

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Sly Stone Is Homeless

Sly Stone (real name Sylvester Stewart) of Sly & the Family Stone is homeless. The New York Post reports that Stone lost his fortune through substance abuse and poor management. Stone lives in a camper now. It seems he would have trouble making the adjustment back to the real world.

“I like my small camper,” he says, his voice raspy with age and years of hard living. “I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving.”

Stone believes the FBI is after him. Obviously drugs and the streets have taken their toll.

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Write A Caption: Rick Santorum supporter

Photo by Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel

In case you are wondering the person holding the sign is not a lesbian. It would be so awesome just for Santorum's freakout reaction.

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What Is Missing From the Post Game

A reader pointed this out to me. This is like one of those picture games where you see if you can spot what is missing. First is Benjamin Kirby's post of Herman Cain's P5 straw poll victory.

This is wildly embarrassing for several Florida politicians like State Representative Jeff Brandes, Senator Don Gaetz, Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, who already endorsed Rick Perry. I think their endorsement of a guy who flamed out so easily is demonstrative of just how politically inept our current crop of "leaders" really is.

Next up is Peter Schorsch's repost of Kirby's post on SaintPetersblog.

This is wildly embarrassing for several Florida politicians like Senator Don Gaetz and Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, who already endorsed Rick Perry. I think their endorsement of a guy who flamed out so easily is demonstrative of just how politically inept our current crop of “leaders” really is.

Missing is the names Jeff Brandes and Matt Gaetz. Apparently, Schorsch wanted to save his clients from the "wildly embarrassing" reminder of their endorsements of Rick Perry. A didn't consider this a major scandal of Peter's part. Do I want to have fun pointing out Peters omissions...

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Write A Caption: Kendrick Meek

I got so much grief for blogging about Kendrick Meek not having a chance in hell of ever becoming a United States Senator. Progressive bloggers and Florida Democratic establishment. Look at this picture and tell me you are proud that you nominated Meek.

Side note: yes, I know Florida statewide candidates eating possum in a political tradition. That doesn't mean a candidate should be photographed with Mr. Possum Pants.

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Rick Scott: Make Believe Sex Symbol

During the 2010 Republican primary Rick Scott was being marketed as a sex symbol. The person doing the marketing was Rick Scott. Scott paid young teens and college-aged women to wear "Ckicks For Rick" T-shirts. The creepiness and egomania on Scott's part is beyond words. We are so suppose to believe that 15 year-old Natalie Hudson find Scott to be hot.

"He's so cute!" Hudson says, smiling. I like the bald head, and the little white hair on the side."

Young Natalie has a promising future as an actress

I have a test for you. I bet you can't find a mentally stable 15 year-old that doesn't have a drug addiction that wants to have sex with Rick Scott. It can't be done. The fact that Scott would pay young women to tell the media that he is hot is nauseating.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Women Maced At Occupy Wall Street Protest

Female protesters were corralled behind orange netting. The women were maced by the police. I don't know why the women were maced. Police don't mace protesters at a tea party rally because they know Fox News would go ballistic.

The video below shows the orange netting is being used to separate the protesters headed to Union Square.

Here is a video of a protester taken down by several police officers.

These protests are getting ugly. Law enforcement officers and nerves will be frayed from being yelled at and filmed. Protesters will be suspicious of authority. This is a combination that is bound to create violence. This could be Seattle in 1999 all over again.

The amount of protesters taking to the streets disrupts New York City. Wall Street fears that OWS could (unlikely) shut down financial operations. I sympathize with the difficult situation Mayor Bloomberg is in. I also believe that the protesters should be unharmed. The videos do not tell the full story. It does make me concerned about the safety of the protesters.

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Pam Olson: Rick Perry's Florida Campaign Co-Chair

Pam Olson of the Tallahassee House of Prayer (IHOP for short) is the Florida co-chair of Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign. Olson has a history of being anti-gay and anti-abortion. Olson describes God as if he is having a seizure.

God is shaking. If anybody looks at the news and has just seen what's been happening recently with the floods, the fires, the tornadoes, God is shaking. Yeah I think you have God shaking, sure you have the Enemy shaking, you have both and I don't want to say oh that's the judgment of God or that's the Enemy. But the reality is God is judging us, and I think it's going to get worse.

What an inspiring message of fearmongering.

In 2:33 of this Keith Olbermann video, Olson talks about who she will bring back from the dead. I shit you not.

Judging by how Perry did in the P5 straw poll, Perry would have done better if he selected a co-chair that knew more about campaign and less about necromancy.

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Obama Speech to the Congressional Black Caucus

President Barack Obama's speech to the CBC was the best speech he gave in ages. If Obama's approval ratings was up and Tim Geithner's and Lawrence Summers' economic policies actually worked then the President would have given a safe speech about bipartisanship. Neoliberalism turned out to be a bust for Obama.

Instead Obama delivered a speech that was part FDR and part Jesse Jackson. Obama pounded the podium and actually seemed ticked off at the end. Whatever Obama's reasoning, we need a President that is fired up and ready to fight. Republicans are committed to not passing any of the President's agenda. Obama tried bipartisanship and is smarting from the base telling him that the Republicans took him to the cleaners during the debt ceiling negotiations. If the Republicans have no interest in governing then the only way Obama can pass anything is by going to the American people. In the likely event that the Congressional Republicans ignore their low approval ratings and continue to sink the economy, Obama has a strong campaigfn message about the Republicans more concerned with corporate tax loopholes and sabotaging Medicare than putting people back to work. This is the direction Obama must take for political and policy purposes.

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A Possible Endorsement for Jon Huntsman

Peter Schorsch tweeted that Jon Huntsman may soon get a Florida endorsement. Nancy Watkins believes the endorsement will come from Paula Dockery. There are thing things I admire about Dockery. The fact that a progressive such as myself has supported Dockery's previous positions means that Dockery's endorsement won't do much to help Huntsman with the tea party for the Florida GOP establishment.

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Rick Perry Dancing With The Rabbis

Every politician has to do embarrassing things to get votes. This is one of them. In Rick Perry's defense: this isn't nearly as embarrassing as Alex Sink shaking her booty. Campaign managers and political consultants should throw themselves at their clients whenever they decide to get their groove on in front of cameras. Barack Obama being the exception. The President has some moves.

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The Kills - Dropout Boogie

The Kills perform an epic cover of Captain Beefheart's Dropout Boogie. Jamie Hince and Allison Mosshart have the sexiest use of feedback I have ever seen onstage.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Good afternoon, and welcome to Presidency 5: I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I looked out here. I saw all the TV cameras and the teleprompter. I figured President Obama must be here - giving another speech about raising raising taxes! Seriously, though, it's great to see you all today."

Gov. Rick Scott, reading a joke about President Obama off of a teleprompter.

Marco Rubio made a crack at Obama about using teleprompters while reading off of two teleprompters at CPAC. Republicans fail to mention that Obama went to the Republican retreat out severely outdebated the GOP caucus. This president actually can thick on his feet.

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More Rick Scott Emails Lost

If the Florida legislature wasn't so sorrupt they would be would be investigating Gov. Rick Scott. Republicans in the Florida Senate didn't force Democrat Gary Siplin to step down after he was convicted of a felony grand theft. The legislislature isn't about to holding hearings for emails being deleted from Rick Scott's personal iPad.

Gov. Rick Scott's administration has acknowledged emails on the governor's personal iPad were accidently deleted, a potential violation of state law, an open-government advocacy organization said Friday.

A state information technology employee was trying to put an application on the tablet in May to retrieve and print out the emails to and from the governors transition team, but the 200 emails were deleted instead.

We are suppose to believe that the emails were lost while an unnamed employee was actually trying to retrieve them. This is an administration waited 8 months to go public about other emails from the transition team that were lost. This is the same administration that uses public email accounts to avoid the Sunshine law that allows the media to see emails from government email accounts. This is a governor that invoked the Fifth amendment 75 times in a 2000 deposition. There is no reason to give Scott the benefit of the doubt.

Scott knows he can get away with losing emails because the Republican-controlled Florida legislature will not investigate him. The current crop of Republicans could care less about their duties of upholding the laws. The embarrassment that is the Jim Greer trail is proof of that. What we have is Scott's power unchecked. Don't expect that an email from the Scott administration will ever see the light of day. Thanks to the legislature, Scott has been given the power to ignore the Sunshine law.

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Herman Cain Wins Florida P5 Straw Poll

Straw polls are taken too seriously by the Republican party establishment and the media. That said, Rick Perry and his staff have to be going ballistic over all the money they wasted on the Florida P5 straw poll. Perry lost to the poorly organized Herman Cain. What does it mean?

Perry placed too much emphasis on a straw poll and put himself in a vulnerable position. Mitt Romney knew the hard-right conservative that take part in straw polls won't support him. Romney saved himself money and embarrassment. Romney spent a ton of money and won the Iowa straw poll in 2007. The result was Mike Huckabee winning the Iowa caucus.

Cain won the American Policy Summit straw poll earlier this year. Cain winning the straw poll in Florida is not that surprising. Cain has either not taken the time to polish his message or study the issues. Perry is not a policy wonk, but he is a polished politician. Cain fumbling the question on the Palistan two-state solution tells me that this has always been a vanity campaign for Cain. Cain is neither polished or takes policy seriously.

Cain's campaign his staffed with tea party activists that has never worked a campaign. Cain released a bizarre internet Western-themed ad that hardly discussed Cain's positions. The ad made me realize that Cain is the Mike Gravel of this election cycle.

Update: Team Romney is getting really cocky.

One Romney aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, overstated Romney's strength but underscord the team's cockiness when he said, "It's over. Perry's toast."

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Write A Caption: Sarah Palin

Perhaps people are finally wising up to the fact that Palin is only pretending to be interested in running for the presidency.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Bad Are Tampa Sports Columnists?

Answer: St. Petersburg Times columnist Gary Shelton has had a long time fetish with Tampa Bay Rays player BJ Upton. In a 2004 column, Shelton predicted that Upton would be the American League MVP. Shelton made predictions about his seasons in 2011, 2010 and 2009.

In the year 2011, Upton will drive in 106 runs. Remember him in your Rotisserie League.

In the year 2010, Upton will hit 24 home runs. It will not be his best season.

In the year 2009, and you can trust teammate Carl Crawford on this, "He'll be one of the best shortstops in the league, and he'll be getting ready to play in the All-Star Game."

Upton never panned out at shortstop. He is now playing centerfield. In 2010, Upton hit 18 home runs and 62 RBIs. Upton is a lifetime .257 hitter. Shelton continues to write articles on how Upton will one day turn the corner and become a superstar. Enough is enough. If Shelton believes that then he doesn't know enough about baseball to cover the sport.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fox News Investigative Reporting

I hope that Fox News posted this headline in a tongue in cheek manner.

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David Rivera Makes CREW List

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have named Rep. David Rivera and Rep. Vern Buchanan to their most corrupt members of Congress list.

Rivera is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, IRS and FBI. Rivera failed to report a $137,000 loan he received from Millennium Marketing. This lobbying firm is run by members of Rivera's family.

Millennium Marketing, Inc. is a consulting firm that sits at the center of the investigations into Rep. Rivera’s personal and campaign finances. The company was founded as Millennium Marketing Strategies, Inc. in 2000 by Rep. Rivera’s mother, Daisy Magarino, but according to state incorporation records it dissolved the following year. Nevertheless, Rep. Rivera included income from Millennium Marketing on his state financial disclosure forms between 2002 and 2005. In 2006, records show Rep. Rivera’s godmother, Ileana Medina, created Millennium Marketing,Inc. and Ms. Magarino has been listed on state records as a company vice president since 2008

Millennium Marketing was working for Flagler Dog Track to get the Florida legislature to approve slot machines for the track. Rivera supported slot machine legislation. Rivera approached Flagler on the behave of Millennium Marketing.

Rep. Rivera initially denied working for the dog track, but later released a statement acknowledging his role. A lawyer for the dog track said it was Rep. Rivera who had firstapproached the track and asked to manage the campaign. Rep. Rivera also requested any payments be made through Millennium Marketing instead of directly to him.

The question is was the loan really a loan.

Rivera put to Miami-Dade Republican Party into debt by paying fees to the Communication Solutions. The only employee of Communication Solutions is Rivera's girlfriend Esther Nuhfer. The only client Nuhfer has ever had is Rivera. The media reported that Nuhfer has been interviewed by the FBI. The Republican Party of Florida has no rtecord of Rivera's payment to Communication Solutions.

Most Corrupt 2011: Rep. David Rivera (R-FL)

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Out of Confidence Men

"Just read "Confidence Men." It's good. It's smart. It rings true. It's a tough read for Team Obama."

Journalist Marc Ambinder, on Ron Suskind's new book "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President."

The book portrays President Obama as weak in handling conflicts with his staffers and getting steamrolled by his Lawrence Summers, Tim Geithner and Rahm Emanuel. This was told to Suskind by staffers on-the-record and with the cooperation of the administration. Team Obama is now trying to do push back. The problem is Suskind has these conversations on tape. Anita Dunn denied she claimed the White House was sexist towards women. Suskind revealed a tape to the Washington Post that made Dunn's original on-the-record quote even more damning.

"I remember once I told Valerie [Jarrett] that, I said if it weren’t for the president, this place would be in court for a hostile workplace,” Dunn is heard telling Suskind. “Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women."

A White House that gives complete access to a well-known muckraking reporter and then have staffers show incredibly poor message discipline. This is not a smart administration.

Suskind appeared on Morning Joe to discuss a meeting female staffers had with the President about sexism from Summers and Emanuel. Obama told them he wouldn't fire them because he needed them. I have yet to figure out what positive things did Summers and Emanuel do in the Obama administration.

Summers was such an egomaniac that he was telling people in the administration that he was smarter than Obama.

According to Orszag, Summers says, "You know, Peter we're really home alone. There's no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes." Later, Orszag says to Suskind, "Larry just didn't think the president knew what he was deciding. Was this [obstruction of the president's wishes] outright and willful?" In other words, asks Orszag, was Summers saying, "I know more than the president flat-out? That strikes me as ... likely."

Joy-Ann Reid tweeted me that I just attacked Summers because I hated him. I tweeted her the Summers quote. Reid never tweeted me back. The thing about Obamabots such as Reid is they never want to talk about the substance about the criticism.

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Bill Clinton: Invest in Women

President Bill Clinton: Why We Must Invest In Girls And Women from Clinton Global Initiative on Vimeo.

Former President Bill Clinton discusses the importance of what women contribute to the world. Clinton points out that there is a disparity between what women produce and what they get in return. In much of the world women are not earning or owning as much as their male counterparts.

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David Brooks is 'All Out of Love'

Sipping his glass of red wine to go with his Red Lobster takeout meal. David Brooks sits in his study and listens to the soothing sounds of Air Supply's All Out of Love.

"How?" Brooks asks himself. "How can Barack Obama propose tax increases on the rich. I thought he was a centrist Republican. Just like me?"

Brooks shakes with unease that his man-crush has forsaken him for cynical politics. Brooks types painfukl words into his laptop for his New York Times op-ed.

I liked Obama’s payroll tax cut ideas and urged Republicans to play along. But of course I’m a sap. When the president unveiled the second half of his stimulus it became clear that this package has nothing to do with helping people right away or averting a double dip. This is a campaign marker, not a jobs bill.

Brooks suddenly starts crying.

"Good God!," Brooks laments. "I'm crying like Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give"

Brooks thinks back to his visits to the White House. He remembers talking to the President. How the President would put his hand on his shoulder. Brooks remembers how he felt like a school girl when his knees trembles." The best part part of all was when the President looked into his eyes and said he has to go to the bathroom and that the Secret Service would show him out.

"He looked at me," Brooks kept saying to himself as he was led out.

Brooks remembers when the romance between him and the President was in full bloom. The President gave the private insurance industry millions of new customers with the the signing of the Affordable Health Act. Senior White House staffers told Brooks that the President wasn't going to use the Justice Department to after banks that were illegally foreclosing on homeowners. Brooks finally found a Democrat committed to real change. This administration would have less prosecutions on Fortune 500 companies than the Bush administration. Brooks was now feeling cast aside like one of President Clinton's mistresses.

Being a sap, I still believe that the president’s soul would like to do something about the country’s structural problems. I keep thinking he’s a few weeks away from proposing serious tax reform and entitlement reform. But each time he gets close, he rips the football away. He whispered about seriously reforming Medicare but then opted for changes that are worthy but small. He talks about fundamental tax reform, but I keep forgetting that he has promised never to raise taxes on people in the bottom 98 percent of the income scale.

Brooks hits repeat on his Ipod to hear All Out of Love one more time.

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SlutWalk in Tampa

Via Stogie: Feminist activists held a SlutWalk rally in Tampa on September 17, 2011. SlutWalk has been held around the country to raise awareness about rape. The message of the rallies is women are not asking to be raped. This shouldn't have to be stated in 2011, but there are pundits and conservative bloggers who will say the woman was "asking for it."

I have a problem with the video of the Tampa SlutWalk rally. I hate the the Nelly Furtado song "Promiscuous." Nicole Parker brilliantly parodied the song on MadTV. The song is mind-numbingly stupid and worthy of ridicule.

Teagan Alexander spoke at the Tampa SlutWalk event. Her Youtube video "My Dress Is NOT A Yes!" informs men that the way a woman dresses is not an invitation to rape. Alexander was raped.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Wild Seeds - A Girl Can Tell

A great Texas band that never got the attention they deserved.

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Foo Fighters Counter Protest Westboro Baptist Church

The Westboro Baptist Church protested the Foo Fighters because of the band's porn movie music video parody "Hot Buns." The Foo Fighters decided to stage a counter protest against the Westboro Baptist Church as the characters in the music video. Dave Grohl is too cool for words.

Update: here is video of the entire Foo Fighter performance.

Below the fold is the censored version of the "Hot Buns" video.

Read more »

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Quote of the Day

"If you tax achievement, some of the achievers are going to pack it in. Lets take me. My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don't know how much longer i'm going to do this. I like my job but there comes a point when taxation become oppressive."

Bill O'Reilly

There is a point when taxation becomes oppressive. Having Bill O'Reilly become the spokesman against tax increase to the rich isn't going to make people feel the pain of billionaires such as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Ed Schultz is having fun with mocking O'Reilly by running a petition to increase O'Reilly's taxes. I would love nothing more for the Republican Party and Fox News to make O'Reilly spokesman for tax cuts to the rich.

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The Gods of Mount MSNBC

Failed gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink appeared on Political Connections and stuck to the talking points she used in a recent St. Petersburg Times interview. Sink continues not to take responsibly for running a horrible campaign.

"I keep going back to two things: One is a guy who put up $75 million of his own money and outspent us probably two- or three-to-one. And the second very important thing, as you've reported on, is just the environment of the nation — a very anti-incumbent, anti-Washington, anti-the president (mood)," Sink said in the interview airing today at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The buck stops at the next train station. Alex Sink is a former bank. So Sink knows how to move dollars. Unfortunately, taking responsibility is a skill set, along with communicating her stance on health care and not boring voters, that she is lacking.

When Sink runs unopposed after she gets FDP chairman Rod Smith to clear the field, bloggers/activists Kenneth Quinnell, Joy-Ann Reid, Benjamin Kirby and Ray Seaman will swear allegiance to Sink by blood sacrifice. They will pray to or curse the mighty Gods presiding at Daily Kos and FireDogLake. The Gods will tell these bloggers that their leader Sink has been given the speaking gifts of a mute, the charisma of a stone and a fire that has been smoldered. The mighty Greek named Crist is directly descended from the Gods of Mount Populist. This is the hero that they will choose.

These bloggers will protest and write nasty posts directed at the Gods. The Gods will be too busy counting the blogad money that their subjects have bestowed on them. The Gods will gather at Mount MSNBC and tell their messenger Chuck Todd to give Sink another award for worst political candidate. Reid will pound her fists on her blackberry and tweet "#emoprogs."

Sink will tell the Florida blogging and Tallahassee establishments that only she can beat Rick Scott. Sink will venture to Hades to tell Florida Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Wilson that she has had his position. She has felt the stinging pain of those that have made too much money. Sink will make sure that companies don't have to pay the harsh 5.5 percent corporate tax. Together with Tallahassee and the business community, Sink will mount the kind of campaign that made Buddy McKay, and her husband Bill McBride so successful. The bloggers will be so hypothesized by Sink that they won't notice that she has not issued a major policy position.

When Rick Scott is re-elected these same bloggers will write mean posts about Sink and say they never believed her. That must mean these bloggers never believed in Sink when they wrote those posts about her being a champion for Floridians. The day after the general election the A list blogging Gods will gather at Mount MSNBC and share hearty laughs about how Florida Democrats foolishly backed Sink for a second election.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Iggy Pop & The Stooges - No Fun

How cool would it be to be onstage with Iggy and the Stoogies?

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Is it Christian to let uninsured people die?

Apparently, Marco Rubio and Ron Paul are to the right of the Christian students attending Liberty University. The students were asked the question that Paul was asked at the CNN/Tea Party debate. Is it okay to let a 30 year-old man who doesn't have health insurance die. To the credit of all the students they said no. They also felt it wasn't isn't very Christian to let a person die just because he can't pay for health care.

STUDENT 3: Why would someone let anyone die just because they can't pay for something? That's the thing I don't understand. Me and my family, we're financially impaired right now, we're in a shelter. We have insurance and all that, but at the same time for those who don't have insurance, what's the point of killing someone, taking a life, just because they can't pay for something?


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Stop the Alex Sink Madness

Alex Sink appeared at the Tampa Tiger Bay Club. Sink was once again asked if she will run for governor in 2014. Once again Sink flirted with the possibility of a future candidacy.

"I've just learned at my stage in life to never say never, and never project what might happen three or four years into the future. So, that's my answer."

That is not an answer. What is evident about Sink's statement is she learned nothing. Sink accepts no blame for her lost to Rick Scott.

"He did spend $75 million of his own money. And when you get into a political campaign where the opponent is outspending the competition by two to, or three to one, it makes it very difficult because money plays an important part in American politics today. Particularly in a state as large as Florida. And secondly, let's look at what was happening in the entire rest of the country. There was certainly a huge, enormous Republican sweep."

Sink does not understand why she lost. Scott outspent Bill McCollum in the Republican primary. Sink had time to repair. Sink's response to Scott's big money was to not accept public campaign financing. Sink has only herself to blame for giving Scott such a huge financial advantage.

As Benjamin Kirby detailed, Sink refused to take policy positions during the Democratic primary.

However, I do find it a little ironic that you wanted to learn more about one of the best policy think tanks in America since it was never evident to me that you cared all that much about policy. I know from more than one first-hand account that your own campaign approached potential surrogates to speak on your behalf as late as last spring, and when these surrogates inquired as to your positions on issues that might've been brached, they were told you "didn't have any positions yet, we are in fundraising mode."

Sink's two major positions during the general election was extending the Bush tax cuts and opposing religious freedom by being against the Park 51 Project. These are the same positions Rick Scott took. President Harry Truman said, "Given the choice between a Republican and sonmeone who acts like a Republican --- People will vote for the real Republican all the time." The same result will happen in 2014.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Here is video of a bobcat family living on the roof of a home. The video proves that bobcats are good swimmers. Getting out of the pool is a problem for a young bobcat kitten.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hip to Be Square: Jon Huntsman

Apparently, Jon Huntsman doesn't know whether he is running for President of the United States or coolest scenester at the Hub. Huntsman made a Kurt Cobain reference at the CNN/Tea Party debate that went over the heads of the crowd. (The tea partiers must be Pearl Jam fans.) With the help of fellow hipster Jeb Bush Jr., Huntman is unveiling GenH. No word on if Huntsman will reference the the Douglas Coupland book "Generation X."

Huntsman’s campaign today announced the GenH program has 139 campus chapters in 42 states and is “the most broad-based youth program in the Republican field.”

Bush is the chairman of GenH. As far as I can tell Huntsman's idea of appealing to young voters is a logo with a red H.

The Huntsman campaign has released a list of college campuses they wish to set up big red H chapters. I can't find what the platform Huntsman is going to sell to young voters. It is a good idea for Huntsman to go after young voters. I am just not sure how Huntsman proposes to perform this task. My feeling is the Huntsman campaign is asking themselves the same question.

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No Surprise: Gary Siplin in Trouble

Florida Sen. Gary Siplin is in trouble again. Siplin spent $13,000 to pay campaign workers. The problem is Siplin hasn't disclosed who those workers are.

Siplin's campaign treasurer, Arnold Gibbs, told investigators that the poll workers were paid in cash because "the Democratic Party of Florida did not pay the poll workers and we did not have enough campaign checks."

What candidate in this day and age would pay worker in cold cash and not keep records. This looks like Siplin funneled the money to himself. Siplin also accepted two $500.00 checks from Florida Phosphate CCE. The law allows Siplin to accept only one $500.00 check from Florida Phosphate CCE.

The The Florida Elections Commission has filed 8 charges Siplin from campaign violations. State Attorney Lawson Lamar has decided not to file criminal charges. You wouldn't know that by the way Siplin is doging the media. This is a man that doesn't want to make any comments on the record.

Why is Siplin still holding public office? Siplin was arrested and convicted breaking election laws in 2006. The conviction was overturned on appeal. Siplin's reaction to the media at that time was to jump over a fence instead of answering questions. Siplin is a disgrace and unworthy of his elected post.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Foo Fighters' Hot Buns Video

The Foo Fighters' video parody of gay porn is hysterically over-the-top. The video is NSFW because of male nudity. Is it me or is Dave Grohl really into playing a gay trucker who looks like Rob Zombie?

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'Docs Verses Glocks' Law Ruled Unconstitutional

I wrote about HB 155 that was signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The legislation made it against the law for doctors to ask patients if their homes had a gun within the reach of a child. Republicans also voiced conspiracy theories about doctors keeping a secret database on patients that have guns. The wondering thing about a conspiracy theory is that Republicans did not have to provide evidence to support their fanciful claims.

Apparently, Judge Marcia Cooke agreed with my assessment that the law infringed upon the First amendment rights of doctors.

A federal judge in Miami has blocked enforcement of a first-in-the-nation Florida law restricting what physicians can say about guns to their patients.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled Wednesday that the law violates the Constitution's free-speech protections for both doctors and patients.

To be fair, patients have a right not to answer the question on if they own a gun that is near a child. I want to see people practice gun safety around children. I do believe people have a right to their privacy.

This legislation was slammed through the legislature by NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer. It is no exaggeration to call Hammer the most powerful lobbyist in Tallahassee. Hammer constantly slammed Republican superstar Marco Rubio last year. You didn't hear the Florida GOP establishment take Hammer to task for going after Rubio. That is because Republicans don't want to piss off Hammer and the NRA.

In related news: Rep. Rick Kriseman has a bill to repeal HB 155. The bill is symbolic. Krisemen doesn't expect the bill to make it out of committee.

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Health Care Event at West Tampa Library

Small Business Majority and Florida CHAIN will hold a listening event to get input and help small business owners deal with the Affordable Care Act. The event will be held at the West Tampa Library. Topics discussed will be tax credits, high-risk pools and state insurance exchanges. The latter has not been set up by the Florida government.

When: Thursday, September 22, 2011
3:30-5:00 PM

Where: West Tampa Library
1718 North Howard Ave.
Tampa, FL 33607

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

John Thrasher's Incompetent Lawyer Excuse

John Thrasher fought against the Florida Hometown Democracy amendment at the behest of developers. In the Florida Senate, Thrasher sponsored an education bill that required year end assessment tests. Thrasher's lobbying firm Southern Strategy was paid by testing firms to get more testing in k-12 education. How bad is Thrasher's conflict of interests in his duel roles as a lawmaker and lobbyist, consider that as a member of the Florida House, Thrasher lobbied on the behave of the Florida Medical Association. Thrasher was reprimanded on the House floor for this transgression.

It is fun to see Thrasher get duly deserved scorn for former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer's sleazy severance contract. Thrasher uses the incompetent defense to claim that he did not know that he signed a severance contact to get rid of Greer. Thrasher is a lawyer and was taking control of the RPOF from Greer. Thrasher testified to attorney Don Lykkebak that he was utterly clueless while performing these chairmanship and legal duties. Unfortunately for Thrasher, he told the media at the time that there was no severance contract.

"You don't recall telling them there was no such thing?" Lykkebak said in transcripts of the deposition, referring to Thrasher's statements to reporters.

"I may have said there was no effectuated agreement, yes sir. Because in ..."

"Lykkebak interrupted, "Well, that was a little reckless on your part seeing how you signed one, wouldn't you say?"

Slam dunk!

The Jim Greer trial is going to be fun.

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Leaked Audio of Trouble in Lt. Gov. Carroll's Office

It is not exactly clear when the conversation between John Konkus, Jennifer Carroll's chief of staff, and former Carroll spokeswoman Carletha Cole took place. In the conversation, Konkus claims that Rick Scott's chief of staff is too scared of Carroll to reign her in. Konkus also says that Gov. Scott refuses to address the problem.

"The governor is not leading," he bluntly states.

The problem started because of the creation of the lt. governor's website. It is not clear what the problem is. It is hard to believe that this blew up because of a website few people will visit.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Bobby Jindal to Endorse Rick Perry

Word is Bobby Jindal is set to endorse Rick Perry for president. I can't think of better person to endorse Perry than Jindal.

Perry may be one of the few people who actually think abstinence sex education actually works. Jindal goes one step further than Perry with his Christian Right views. Jindal wrote in the New Oxford Review that he performed an exorcism.

Perry has repeatedly attacked President Obama's stimulus. That did not stop Perry from using stimulus money to balance the Texas budget. Jindal has begged for federal funding to deal with the Katrina and BP spill disasters. During his response to President Obama's first State of the Union, Jindal said that the federal government should not get involved in disaster relief. Never mind the people that were drowning during Katrina. Jindal makes Perry appear centrist. Wow.

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Newt Gingrich Townhall Meeting

Via Sarah Rumpf: Former House Speaker will be having a townhall meeting this Wednesday in Orlando. Gingrich will speak at the Orlando Public Library. Conservatives may be shocked to learn that Gingrich would speak at a socialist government building. That might have something to do with the Gingrich campaign being broke. Fortunately for Gingrich, the library was able to fit him in between Disney's Dare to Dream and the acrobatic performers from Dralion.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Orlando Public Library
Albertson Room
101 E. Central Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32801

The event is being hosted by the East Side Tea Party. If you go don't expect a moderate crowd. Seating is first come, first serve. Considering this is Gingrich speaking and his campaign is so broke that he has to use a government building because he can't rent out a private venue, there may be seating left.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Perfect GOP Bumper Sticker

The Democratic National Committee should distribute LJSearles' photoshop as an actual bumper sticker.


Friday, September 09, 2011

Drive-By Truckers - Where The Devil Don't Stay

A song about bootlegging during the depression. A lyric from the song that is still true today.

The only blood that's any cleaner is the blood that's blue or greener
Without either you just get meaner and the blood you gave gives you away

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Is There Trouble In Jennifer Carroll's Office?

For months I have been trying to figure out exactly what (if anything) does Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll does in the Rick Scott administration. Her daily schedule is bare if nonexistent. There is never anything on Carroll's schedule about being involved in policy meetings. So the stories that infighting in Carroll's office could damage Scott's agenda. I don't doubt the infighting. I doubt anyone cares what goes on in Carroll's office.

"I can tell you if the lieutenant governor's office does not get in shape — we are like a juvenile school now — we are not going to get anywhere. We will be a detriment to what Gov. Scott wants to do," said Carletha Cole, who has been with the office since shortly after November's election.

What is interesting is that Scott's media bad relations guy Brian Burgess has no comment. That just leads people to think there really is trouble in Carroll's office.

I heard rumors that Carroll has been unhappy in the Scott administration. Word is Carroll might run for Congress.

In fairness, Carletha Cole could be a disgruntled employee. Since Carroll has zero effect on policy none of this really matters.


Anti-Tea Party Protest at Fairgrounds

There will be an anti-tea party protest at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Monday September 12, 2011 at 6 p.m.

Bishop Tavis Grant, who is the national field director for Rev. Jesse Jackson, is scheduled to speak at the 6 p.m. rally, along with representatives from Awake The State, the Black Democratic Caucus “and representatives from various progressive groups.”

The protest is the coincide the the Republican presidential debate and the presence of the Tea Party Express at the Fairground. The progressive protest is being called a "Rally of Conscience."

The organizers of the protest want Republicans "wedge issues" and "divisive rhetoric." That isn't going to happen. Republicans would have a hard time getting elected without God, guns, gay marriage and abortion. Imagine Republicans running strictly on the neoconservative foreign policy that got the United States into Iraq. How about Republicans running on the deregulation platform that resulted in the bailout. Republicans would be left with the very wealthy and there aren't enough of those voters to win national elections.

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Joel Award: Marco Rubio

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

Last month when President Barack Obama and Democrats were pushing for an extension of the payroll tax cut. Sen Marco Rubio and other Republican said there were not enough people paying taxes. This is the same Rubio that resorts to overheated rhetoric at the slightest mention of closing the tax loophole of corporate jets.

“Quite frankly, I am both disappointed for our country and shocked at some of the rhetoric,” he said in an interview with the conservative National Review. “It was rhetoric, I thought, that was more appropriate for some left-wing strong man than for the president of the United States.”

Rubio should try living in a third world country if he believes making Warren Buffett pay taxes on his corporate jet makes Obama into Stalin.

President Obama finally used the bully pulpit with his jobs speech to the Joint Session of Congress. Rubio quickly backtracked and decided he wants to extend to payroll tax cut.

"A payroll tax cut extension is a good idea, but an even better idea for job creation is a complete overhaul that cuts taxes for everyone instead of temporary measures," the Florida Republicans said in a statement. "The temporary payroll tax provision is fine, but it certainly shouldn't be the centerpiece of any serious jobs plan. Pro-growth tax reform should be.”

Translation: Rubio will vote for the payroll tax cut extension if there are tax cuts for the rich. For Rubio that his progress. Compared to his recent insensitive statements on Social Security and Medicare.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Alex Sink Is Back

Like the villain in a horror movie, Alex Sink keeps coming back. Never mind that no one is asking Sink to step back onto the political stage. Sink has launched Florida Next Foundation. The nonprofit organization bills itself as a "game-changer" for small businesses in the state.

Side note: excuse me. I am laughing after typing that last sentence.

Back on topic: from the press release.

By using an innovative platform of interactive social networking, in-person policy forums around the state, online surveys, and opinion polling, Florida Next will give Floridians a voice on the key issues facing all of us today – the Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Entrepreneurship, and Empowerment.

Translation: Sink's daughter told her about Twitter and Facebook.

Sink announced that that she wanted to make a think tank like the The Brookings Institution. An actual think tank writes policy papers and does research. Florida Next has a board of directors that includes Sink's husband Bill McBride and former Blue Dog Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas. These people make the Obama administration look like FireDogLake bloggers.

I fail to see what influence a board with three defeated politicians will have on Florida policy. The netroots is going to avoid Florida Next. The few Democrats are more likely to heed the words of lobbyists are think tanks like the Center of American Progress.

If Florida Next doesn't produce research or policy papers then it is nothing more than an attempt by failed politicians to remain relevant.

Join the "Stop Alex Sink" page on Facebook.

Update: Sink responds to criticism that the faux think tank is to help set up another gubernatorial campaign.

"That’s a long way away," former state chief financial officer Sink, 63, said when asked about running for governor again Tuesday. "People may criticize and say I have some other agenda, but the opposite would be that I go hide under the covers and do nothing. I don’t think that’s good for our state."

Sink then dodges answering if she plans on running again.

And the next governor’s race? Life, she said, is unpredictable.

"If you had told me 10 years ago that in the next 10 years my husband would run for governor, that I would be the CFO of the state of Florida, that I would be running for governor I would look at you and say you are friggin’ out of your mind."

I simple yes or no answer would suffice. Sink can't do that because she does plan on running. God help us all.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Most Pointless Online Feud Ever

Poor Erick Erickson. (Well, not really.) It seems Erickson and is site is getting attacked by die hard supporters of Sarah Palin.

To not bow at the throne of Sarah you get disowned. You get attacked. You have people drum up stories attacking your credibility. “Oh, Perry announced at his event, he must be bought and paid for,” etc. Ironically, some of the very people going after this site’s and my credibility — claiming we’re pressured to do things by higher ups at Eagle Publishing — are people who were on payrolls advocating for clients while refusing to disclose potential conflicts among other things. To add comedy to irony, it seems more and more apparent that some of those who attacked this site and me for holding editorial positions based on what our corporate parent dictates (a lie designed to undermine our lack of sufficiently pro Palin bona fides among other things) are themselves engaging in projection because it is they, not RedState nor me, who must tread carefully in who they attack because their livelihoods depend on it. It’s always the kooks who project their sins on others.

Erickson once advocated that Palin should run. The fact that Erickson thinks that Palin is qualified to be president should forever be pointed out as a reason not to take him seriously. Another matter is Erickson and Palin online supporters are fighting over someone who has no intention of running. These people are hysterical.

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Mutinous Memories

My Mum recently sent me the link to a 2005 article in Miami New Times about the heyday of a certain notorious nightclub in that city, where I lived as a teenager. It was called The Mutiny:

In its time there was nothing like the Mutiny Hotel and today it lives on in hindsight like the afterimage of a hallucination, bright but blurry. The Mississippi Delta is said to begin in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis; likewise the Mutiny in its day defined Miami's psychic boundaries. It was the nerve center of the city's exploding cocaine trade, a favorite hangout of globetrotting spies, and a desperately popular watering hole for Latin America's nouveau riche. It was meant to be elegant, and was, but early on it became infamous and edgy, and reveled in the reputation. Its most decadent highs were a carnival barker's advertisement for the Seventies, and its decline was an early object lesson in America's S&L crisis."I did a movie called life, with actors that were real people," says Burton Goldberg, former owner of the Mutiny. "We had dictators, secret police, drug people, bankers, the international trade, gunrunners, and celebrities: Rod Serling, Senator Kennedy, Cher, Hamilton Jordan, Jacqueline Onassis, George Bush. Mimes and magicians! Naked dancers in very fine taste, not prurient! Music! Chairs with enormous arms!

As it so happens, the Mutiny was where Yours Truly worked as a waitress for several months during a semester-long hiatus from my junior year at UF. A few years ago, I wrote about the experience here at Litbrit, as well for Ezra's eponymously-titled blog. At the time, I changed the names of the club--and certain patrons--to protect the not-so-innocent. But what the hell, the club itself is no more, and my choice of faux names--The Uprising--was a pretty transparent synonym for the club's real name, anyway.

If you like Scarface and spy novels--or perhaps just fancy a break from all the politics and sad, sad 9/11 stuff that's on the tube and in the 'Tubes this week--you might enjoy my little memoir/story about working and living it up Miami-style at the end of the Disco age. I invite you to read Sunshine, Cigar Boxes, and Semi-Automatics:

With Lena's help, I opened and poured bottle after bottle of Dom Pérignon; I served Ceasar salads and filets mignon and enormous Maine lobsters erupting crabmeat and brandied cream; and I brought several glasses of Johnny Walker Black on the rocks from the bar, where I'd already made friends with Sam, an art student at Florida International and a fellow Monty Python wonk.

"Alberto's here again, huh?" he said when I requested the third such cocktail. "Though pretty much everyone drinks this, you'll find. But it's Monday, and there aren't too many people who can put away this much Scotch on a weeknight." He drained the bottle and slipped its nozzle onto a new, full one. "You'll have fun here. You'll make good money."

So I had heard. But thus far, Lena and I had waited on exactly one party.

By three in the morning, though, I'd served a few other tables and opened another half-dozen bottles of Champagne. Alberto and his crew were beginning to look restless, but they hadn't asked for the check. I was certain it would be outrageous, well into the hundreds of dollars; Lena informed me that the two grand Alberto spent that night was nothing compared to some of his weekend expenditures, indeed, nothing compared to the bankrolls through which some of the club's other guests regularly burned. [Continued...]

Also at Litbrit.

Protesters Arrested At Paul Ryan Event

Rep. Paul Ryan has avoided holding townhall meetings after his constituents let him him know they did not support his position of defending tax cuts for the rich. Ryan now doesn't hold townhall meetings. Instead, Ryan hosts $15.00 plate talks. This makes the events private and allows for the to arrest protesters.

What is interesting is that people are angry that Ryan is talking entitlement cuts and not creating jobs. It shows that the Obanma administration really misread how badly people want jobs and the popularity of Social Security. That may cost President Obama the election.

Update: a 71 years-old man was taken to floor during an arrest.

(Tom) Nielsen is a 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha, which falls within Ryan's district. He had never been able to attend a Ryan town hall event in the past -- partly, he explained, because he rarely knew when they were scheduled for in advance -- and was excited to get to Tuesday's to make his views heard.

In video posted by Wisconsin Jobs Now, Nielsen shouts that he disagrees with Ryan on entitlement programs during the congressman's speech. Two uniformed police officers and another man in a suit then escort Nielsen out. In the hall, Nielsen can be heard shouting. He was eventually pushed to the ground and handcuffed by police officers.

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Rick Scott Wins Worst Governor Ever Poll

The Transport Workers Union of America have awarded Rick Scott the title of "Worst Governor Ever." Scott beat out fellow Republican governors Rick Perry, John Kasich and Scott Walker. Transport Workers cited Scott's restrictions on voting as the main reason for him winning.

Scott beat out former Fox News pundit and current Republican governor John Kasich. The man is is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Kasich kills the brains cells of every person in the room when he speaks.

Update: It appears that the Transport Workers Union of America will try to present Scott's award to him in person.

After Worst Governor Ever election results are certified this week, Governor Scott will soon be inaugurated as The Worst Governor Ever, live in person, officially kicking off his term as America’s Worst Governor Ever.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Kills - Nail In My Coffin

The first live performance of the song Nail In My Coffin.

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Major Breaking News Story

Chuck Todd and Ben Smith report that John Bolton is not running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Americans anxiously await the moment when Sarah Palin announces she is not running.

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Live Version of The Ambiguously Gay Duo

I didn't know that they did a live action version of The Ambiguously Gay Duo. The cast includes Jon Hamm, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carroll and Ed Helms.

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Bizarre Herman Cain Ad

Apparently, Herman Cain intends to be the Mike Gravel of this presidential election cycle. Like Gravel, Cain releases bizarre and pointless internet ads that don't further of (lack of) message. Cain uses actor Nick Searcy to play himself as a prima Donna actor in an ad titled "He Carried Yellow Flowers." Searcy provides to have his stunt man film fight a fake battle for him while Searcy talks about Cain. Searcy is best known for his role of the television series Justified.

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Those Lazy People

Conservative ideology can explain all economic woes away. Take for instance unemployment. It isn't that companies are cutting costs by laying off or not hiring workers. It is not outsourcing. Nor is it the lack of consumer confidence that causes a lack of spending. According to Sen. Jim DeMint, people don't want to work.

DEMINT: I have talked to a lot of businesses in South Carolina who can't get employees to come back to work because they are getting unemployment and they're getting food stamps and they say call me when unemployment runs out. [...]

There are a lot of people who desperately need it and we need to make sure that we have that safety net in place, but we also have to realize there are a lot of people gaming the system right now. And we need to do better than we have done with just extending benefits, there have to be incentives for people to get back to work. These have to phase out in a way that we haven't done it before.

Another example is the millions of Americans that have had their houses foreclosed upon. It isn't banks getting getting greedy by providing credit to people that weren't financially ready to own a home. Nor is it people losing their jobs or banks illegally foreclosing with robo-signing fraudulent documents. Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi gave the same lazy people argument.

Bondi spoke out against a proposed national settlement between 50 state attorneys general and lenders that would have cut the principal owed by homeowners. She said she was opposed to any across-the-board reductions because she didn't want to help people "who just don't want to pay their mortgage payments."

If we took DeMint's and Bondi's reasoning to its logical conclusion then President Obama cannot be held accountable for unemployment because people are too lazy to work. This is classic Republican blame the victim argument. What you won't hear is DeMint and Bondi explain how they will solve unemployment and illegal foreclosures in a way that doesn't involve standard talking points.

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