Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marco Rubio: Hip to Be Square

This is painfully embarrassing. Not embarrassing enough that I won't post it. Sen. Marco Rubio was in an Osmonds singing group.
5. He loved the Osmonds ... "The absolute scariest aspect of Marco Rubio's biography," says Peter Schorsch at SaintPetersBlog, "is his fondness for [the] Osmonds." It came with the territory when the family lived in Nevada. The Osmonds were the most visible Mormons in the country at the time, and Rubio and his cousins were wild about them. In elementary school, Marco formed a tribute singing group with his sister and cousin to entertain relatives. "It was just the same Osmonds song at every family function," Michelle Denis said.

Hat tip to Peter Schorsch for the greatest blogging find ever.

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Judge Strikes Down Florida Drug Testing Law

Alex Leary reports Gov. Rick Scott struck out in court again.
Miami judge rules that Gov. Rick Scott's drug testing for state workers is unconstitutional, violates 4th Amendment.
I challenge a reporter to ask Scott does he know what the Fourth amendment is? Does Scott even care. I will post the Fourth amendment to help our governor out.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Doggy Driver

Photobucket A 9 month old puppy rides in a remote-controlled car in Japan.

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Ross Douthat's Performance Problem

Ladies, you can read about a nookie session New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat had during his college years. The passage comes from Douthat's book "Privilege."

One successful foray ended on the guest bed of a high school friend's parents, with a girl who resembled a chunkier Reese Witherspoon drunkenly masticating my neck and cheeks. It had taken some time to reach this point--"Do most Harvard guys take so long to get what they want?" she had asked, pushing her tongue into my mouth. I wasn't sure what to say, but then I wasn't sure this was what I wanted. My throat was dry from too much vodka, and her breasts, spilling out of pink pajamas, threatened my ability to. I was supposed to be excited, but I was bored and somewhat disgusted with myself, with her, with the whole business... and then whatever residual enthusiasm I felt for the venture dissipated, with shocking speed, as she nibbled at my ear and whispered--"You know, I'm on the pill..."

A lot people saw hypocrisy in Douthat having no problem getting a girl in bed and then passing judgment on her for being on the pill. I have no disagreement with this assessment. What struck me is Douthat had performance problems making out with a Reese Witherspoon lookalike. I would be thanking my lucky stars to be making out with someone that looked like Reese Witherspoon when I was 20. Douthat's well-known Christian conservatism not with-standing; I don't buy for a second that Douthat's lack of enthusiasm was because of the pill.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quote of the Day

"The Supreme Court of the United States has really wrecked the American political process in allowing corporations and unions to have unlimited anonymous expenditures. And if you fund the tea party, all hell breaks loose."

Arlen Specter, on the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.

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Rick Scott Storyteller

Who knew Gov. Rick Scott was a master children's storyteller.
Then the governor decided he would explain to the children the importance of reducing fraud in Florida's no-fault car insurance program.

"There's money that's wasted in auto accident mistakes. Fraud," Scott told the kids. "So we passed a bill — personal injury protection — that hopefully will reduce the growth rate and the cost of auto accident fraud."
Dr. Seuss eat your heart out.

Steve Bousquet's column details how Team Scott micro-managed the photo-op. There hasn't been this level of bad stagecraft since President George W. Bush was in office. The problem that Team Scott will never understand is the media will see the insincerity.

A man truly interested in children wouldn't be droning on about PIP reform. Scott came to Cunningham Creek Elementary in an attempt to draw attention from his prior K-12 and college education cuts. To see a politician actually engaging children watch President Barack Obama read "Where The Wild Things Are."

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Rubio's Slip

Marco Rubio had this hysterical Freudian slip when he was campaigning with Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania.
"I'm not talking about that process any more," Rubio told reporters in Aston, near Philadelphia, with a smile that seemed a playful reference to a forum last week, when he mistakenly said "if I do a good job as vice president" then corrected himself to say, "as a senator."
The last two losing presidential campaigns picked John Edwards and Sarah Palin as running mates. Picking a telegenic younger politician as a game changer is a sign of a desperate campaign. We now know about Edwards' and Palin's baggage. Just wait until the national media investigates Rubio's foreclosed home, David Rivera connections, and outlandiish expenses on a Republican Party of Florida credit card. What is interesting about Rubio's verbal slip is how he couldn't hide his ambition to the media. It will be interesting to see how Rubio handles being grilled about his lack of policy knowledge. The early signs aren't good.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

R.E.M. - Exhuming McCarthy

I thought this song was timely since Allen West is accusing members of Congress of being communists. This is from a 1987 R.E.M. show in Holland.

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Kevin Beckner USF College Democrats Meeting

The Kevin Beckner campaign will meet with the USF College Democrats. This event is to get college students involved with reelecting Beckner to his Hillsborough County Commission seat.

Side note: do not expect Beckner at the meeting.

Thursday, April 26, 2012 - Thu 26 Time: TBD USF College Democrats

Event Location: USF Campus - Fowler

Event Description: Campaign speaking to the USF College Democrats about being active in campaigns and volunteer opportunities.

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Allen West Uninvited From NAACP Event

The Martin County NAACP has rescheduled a fundraiser. The keynote speaker was to be Rep. Allen West. The NAACP informed West he will not speak at the rescheduled event. The reason being West accusing members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus of being communists.
There's a certain statement he made about Communists," Jerry Gore, president of the Martin County NAACP, told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. "That statement alone ... we do not represent that type of atmosphere."
Let's face it. Allen West isn't going to bring in the dollars at a NAACP fundraiser. I can see why the NAACP would rather not have him there. There is free speech. There is also the right for people to disagree with your opinion.

I actually want to see West speak loud and often. West's crazy talk will drive people away from the Republican Party. I see Republican activists on Twitter praise West and the late Andrew Breitbart. I say let the GOP activists champion these polarizing figures. The truth is their heroes aren't so brave. West caves when asked to name Congressional Democrats that are communists.
O'BRIEN: So name names for me. Which? Start naming the 78 to 81.

WEST: Oh we don't have to do that...

O'BRIEN :No, no we do, I'm dying to know.

WEST: You can go look up the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

O'BRIEN: I've got them right here.

WEST: Well then you've got the names.

O'BRIEN: So [Minnesota Democratic Rep.] Keith Ellison is a communist?

Soledad, Soledad you know something...

O'BRIEN: [Arizona Democratic Rep.] Raul Grijalva is a communist? [California Democratic Rep.] Judy Chu is a communist?

WEST: You can call it whatever you want. Call it whatever you want. I'm talking about their beliefs.
I call it a lack of courage on West's part. People who throw out accusations and then won't back them up are bullies.

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Joe Biden: Great Orator

Jodi Kantor's book "The Obamas" contains this funny moment.
Initially, Barack had tuned out the presidential talk, too. But he was just as disappointed with the U.S. Senate as he had been with the state senate – he had gone to Washington to do big things, but he was a junior member of a slow, rule-bound, Republican-controlled body. “Shoot. Me. Now.” he wrote to an aide, in the middle of a particularly long-winded oration. (The speaker was Senator Joe Biden.)
Why did Obama pick Biden to be his Vice-President?

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bob Dylan - It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

No songwriter could compete with Dylan when he was at the peak of his powers. If you say Bruce Springsteen then you need to be smacked in the back of the head.

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The Romney and Rubio Etch A Sketch

"You can legalize someone's status in this country with a significant amount of certainty about their future, without placing them on a path toward citizenship."

Marco Rubio, on his dubious immigration reform proposal.

Rubio is a potential running mate for Romney. Like Romney, Rubio is attempting to reset the Etch A Sketch with Hispanic voters.
By last week, he trailed Obama among Hispanic voters 67-27 in a new Pew Research Center survey. That's worse for Romney than the 67-31 margin Obama took in 2008 against McCain.

Romney appealed to Hispanics during a visit to Arizona Friday, hoping their concern about the economy will trump other issues.

There are other possible routes, many of them applauded by Republican officials meeting in Arizona who signaled the party grew too harsh in its approach in recent years.

Some mentioned the appeal of Romney naming a running mate such as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a Cuban American, or Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, a Mexican American.

Several said they'd support a plan by Rubio to propose a conservative version of the DREAM Act that would allow children of illegal immigrants to stay in the United States, albeit without a path to citizenship.

"We need to make it comfortable to be in the country. Not citizenship, but if they've been productive members of society, they should stay," said Glen McCall, a representative to the Republican National Committee from South Carolina.
This proposal does nothing to make a path to citizenship or give Hispanics an incentive not to enter America illegally. This is cynical politics at its worse.

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Earth Day: Who Wants to Eat Mutant Shrimp?

It be be years before we will know the full extent of the damage of the Gulf Coast oil spill. Republicans in the House of Representatives and Obama administration appointee Ken Feinberg have done nothing to speed up the payment process BP fines being used for clean-up. We are now finding mutant fish (pictured above) and eyeless fish in the Gulf. Oil is still washing up on the Louisiana coast. This travesty is allowed to continue because BP America contributes to the campaigns of both political parties.

Daily Kos is running a petition with the mutant shrimp photo. The petition will be sent to Speaker John Boehner's office.
To Speaker John Boehner:

It is time for the House of Representatives to join the Senate in passing legislation mandating that fines paid by BP go toward clean up and restoration of the Gulf Coast.

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Happy Earth Day

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has some tips on how to save energy and water.
* Switch to paperless billing and join the mail opt-out list to eliminate unsolicited mailings and reduce paper use. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website. * Leave reusable grocery bags in the car so they are handy when you go shopping and you can reduce the use of plastic bags. * Switch your ceiling fan direction to clockwise in the warmer months and counterclockwise in the cooler months to distribute the warm and cool air where it is needed and reduce your energy consumption. For more energy tips visit HERE.

Green options for you to consider:

* Installing a water-saving shower head * Converting to energy efficient light bulbs for your home * Recycling- set up curbside pick up * Making consumer choices that reduce waste * Volunteering to clean our beaches, roadways and parks
The USF Botanical Gardens will hold an Earth Day event today.

Happy Earth Day.

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Florida Media Soft on Hate Groups

This passage in a Palm Beach Post article amazed me in its dishonesty.
"SB 1070 is not only constitutional, but necessary in the face of the Obama administration's refusal to enforce the law and protect the security and interests of the American people," said the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the most powerful conservative group active on the immigration issue.
President Barack Obama has quadrupled President Bush on deportations. In September of 2011, Obama had nearly as manydeportations as Bush did in his two terms.
The Obama administration had deported about 1.06 million as of September 12, against 1.57 million in Bush's two full presidential terms.
Why would the Federation for American Immigration Reform say that Obama refuses to enforce immigration laws when the current president has been more hawkish than Bush? Perhaps it is because FAIR has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Here are some of the bizarre racist rants by Fair founder John Tanton.
In Its Own Words "As Whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?" —FAIR founder and board member John Tanton, Oct. 10, 1986

"I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that." —John Tanton, letter to eugenicist and ecology professor Garrett Hardin (now deceased), Dec. 10, 1993

"I blame ninety-eight percent of responsibility for this country's immigration crisis on Ted Kennedy and his political allies, who decided some time back in 1958, earlier perhaps, that immigration was a great way to retaliate against Anglo-Saxon dominance and hubris, and the immigration laws from the 1920s were just this symbol of that, and it's a form of revengism, or revenge, that these forces continue to push the immigration policy that they know full well are [sic] creating chaos and will continue to create chaos down the line." —FAIR President Dan Stein, "Oral History of the Federation for American Immigration Reform," interview of Dan Stein by John Tanton, August 1994.

"Do we leave it to individuals to decide that they are the intelligent ones who should have more kids? And more troublesome, what about the less intelligent, who logically should have less? Who is going to break the bad news [to less intelligent individuals], and how will it be implemented?" —John Tanton, letter to eugenicist Robert K. Graham (now deceased), Sept. 18, 1996
My question is why is the Palm Beach Post treating FAIR as if it is a legitimate political organization? We recently witnessed Fox News Orlando call the National Socialist Movement a civil rights group. Why is Florida media being so soft on white supremacist groups?

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Triangulation Man: Education Edition

President Barack Obama has said he wants to listen to ideas from all sides. It seems the side that Obama listens to has powerful lobbyists. Technically, SKDKnickerbocker is not a lobbying firm or a basketball team. It seems the law lets you get away with lobbying if you call yourself a consulting firm or a historian. SKDKnicker brings in conservative groups to the White House. How conservative? How about conservative enough to be funded by Rupert Murdoch.
SKDKnickerbocker represents consulting for Students First, a lobbying group aimed at destroying collective bargaining, and replacing public education with a mix of charters, private schools, and online learning companies. According to documents revealed the blog At The Chalk Face, Students First helped craft bills in Michigan to break teachers unions by severely limiting collective bargaining.
SKDKnickerbocker is run by former Obama communications director Anita Dunn. Hillary Rosen also is employed with SKDKnickerbocker. The only question is how much lobbying did Dunn and Rosen had to do for a President who thinks bashing unions is good politics.
But Rhee couldn't have done it alone. Then-candidate Barack Obama endorsed Rhee in a 2008 debate as a "wonderful new superintendent" and later applauded the firing of every single unionized teacher at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. (The teachers were later rehired.)
The Washington D.C. teachers were rehired because Rhee violated their contract. I often think Obama must have been a terrible law professor. Students First is run by conservative education darling Michelle Rhee. Gov. Rick Scott hired Rhee to work on his transition team. I would love to hear Obama supporters defend or deny that Obama has supported Rhee's education agenda. Any claim that Obama is progressive on education is a blatant lie.

Side note: A local Students First employee, Catherine Robinson, has taken her blog Out In Left Field offline. Litbrit and I have been having a blast using Way Back Machine to read Catherine's past literary masterpieces. Since Way Back Machine is down you can read the description of Robinson's book Learning Curves.
At first, Carolyn found meaning as an educator, helping students who grew to appreciate her enthusiasm and passion for learning. Carolyn's caring and dedicated co-workers also became her closest friends. But she noticed a certain trend. Many teachers turned to drugs i order to deal with the stress of low pay and impossibly high demands. Others lost themselves in illicit affairs, conducted in unused or empty classrooms, and a few risked it all by seducing their own students.

Carolyn tried to ignore the sexually charged atmosphere and cling to her happy marriage, but when an attractive and flirtatious teacher pursued her, Carolyn got swept up in a scandal of her own.
I don't know about you, but nothing screams education reform like "sexually charged atmosphere."

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State Attorney Report on David Rivera

Chief Assistant State Attorney Jose J. Arrojo and Assistant State Attorney Howard R. Rosen have finished their investigation of Rep. David Rivera. No charages will be filed against Rivera. That doesn't mean that Rivera did not break the law. The report presents extremely damning evidence on how Rivera unethically abused his office for financial gain. Rivera used campaign money to live lavishly.
During the same time periodreviewed, the subject charged hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost associated with extensive state and national travel to his four personal credit card accounts Other costs associated with travel of friends, clothing, and entertainment were also charged to these credit card accounts The subject engaged multiple credit card transactions each week and made thousands of charges to his four credit card accounts during the review period. Therefore, the subject repeatedly wrote checks directly from the three campaign bank accounts to pay off the expenditures charged with owing on his personal credit cards. Alternatively, the subject wrote checks from the campaign bank accounts and deposited the checks into his personal bank account, thereafter writing checks from his personal bank account to pay off expenditures charged and owing on his credit cards.
This is stealing money. There is no two ways about it. It appears that Rivera, like his friend Marco Rubio, double-billed for travel. The State Attorney's office felt they could not prosecute Rivera for this offense based on the State v. Maloy decision.
It appears that on several occasions, the subject may have been paid for official travel as an elected representative by the state and then was also reinbursed for the same travel from his campaign accounts. Accordingly, we focused on these transactions as potential theft from the state.
The question that has never been answered is what happened to the over-billed money Rubio and Rivera received. A plane ticket needs to be bought only once. Where did the second money billed for the same plane ticket go. Rubio and Rivera have refused to give a straight answer on the double-billing question. The State Attorney's office wanted to charge Rivera under Florida's RICO laws. They felt they didn't have a strong enough case. However, state attorneys made it clear that they believed Rivera was breaking the law.
More specifically, the subject repeatedly and intentionally committed multiple instances of theft by converting funds in his campaign depositories and using them for purposes otherwise not permitted by law.
The State Attorney's Office cite the statute of limitations. The truth is it is hard in Florida to convict an elected official. Florida Senate members Gary Siplin and Jim Norman are a testament to how crooked politicians thrive in this state.

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George Zimmerman's Bond

Gawker reports that George Zimmerman could soon be released on bond.
George Zimmerman, now charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, could soon be released from custody after a judge set a $150,000 bond for his release. Zimmerman's family will need $15,000, 10 percent of the total bond amount, to have him let out.
Prosecutors requested that Zimmerman be held without bond. Judge Kenneth R. Lester Jr. set bond at $150,000. Trayvon Martin's family was upset about the possibiltiy that Zimmerman could be free during the trial.

Zimmerman obviously understands that his past erratic behavior has not helped him. Zimmerman talked to Sean Hannity without the consent of his previous attorneys. Zimmerman also posted a photo of a vandalized black cultural center. Not the smartest move for someone whose been accused of being a racist. Zimmerman made an apology to Martin's parents. Needless to say, Zimmerman's apology failed to sway Martin's family.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Cat Blogging

This poor cat got himself stuck in a window.

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Polytechnic is About Crony Capitalism Redux

Brannon Jordan of the Florida Democratic Party released this statement on Gov. Rick Scott signing the split of the Polytechnic from USF.
Tallahassee, FL – Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan today issued the following statement condemning Gov. Rick Scott for signing a bill to create a Polytechnic University in Lakeland, a pet project of Sen. JD Alexander. “This move is nothing more than an appalling and wasteful power play by the Republicans in Tallahassee. The people of Florida didn’t ask for this university, they don’t need it and can’t afford it.”
Rep. Kathy Castor released this statement.
""Governor Scott's decision will harm existing Florida universities and students. The governor's costly decision follows the GOP-controlled legislature's extreme cuts to higher education and will result in more crowded classrooms and possible damage to Florida's reputation. Great universities are built over time with students, faculty and community support. Unfortunately, Governor Scott turned a blind eye to the best interests of our great states."
The Democratic establishment keep talking as if Scott and J.D. Alexander made Polytechnic independent for conservative education idealogy. This was about crony capitalism. Alexander gets a university he needed to justify building a major road that will increase the value of real estate owned by Blue Atlantic. Scott approved the Sunrail line that would run by warehouses owned by Blue Atlantic. Alexander has used the legislative process to enrich his family's company. Polytechnic was about crony capitalists using tax dollars to enrich themselves. Scott may complain about a government takeover of health care. Scott was forced to step down from Columbia/HCA because of the health care provider's massive overcharging of Medicare and Medicaid. Scott and Alexander aren't fiscally conservative when tax dollars are lining their pockets.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

"2016 is way down the road, but I'll assure you one thing, if I decide to run for the presidency in 2016, I'll be way in before the summer of 2016; 2015, even."

Gov. Rick Perry on the possibility of another presidential run.

Right now the writers of The Daily Show are high-fiving and hugging each other.


Turkey in Florida Budget

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed money for legal aid and autism. Scott had no problem signing off on a $5 million rowing regetta for Sarasota County. It is no coincidence that Sen. Mike Bennett backed the rowing center. Is Scott going to try to convince voter that rowing is a job creator.

Scott billed himself as anti-rail. J.D. Alexander wanted the Sunrail project approved to create a rail line to his family-owned warehouses. Scott granted Alexander his wish. Bennett wanted a rowing regetta and Scott delivered. Remember Scott running as someone who would stand up to special interests?

I will be shocked if Scott doesn't sign-off on Alexander's pet project Polytechnic. Nothing screams fiscal conservatism like creating an independent school that no wants.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Satire Becomes Reality

Dave Weigel's article on the Herman Cain tea party event reads like an Onion article. That is not the fault of Weigel's prose. The tea party activists are buffoonish.

Weigel points out the absurdity of a Republican presidential candidate driven out of the race by a sex scandal and still holding rallies. Imagine progressives flocking to hear John Edwards speak in 2012. It isn't going to happen. In defense of Cain supporters, they are really fucking stupid. Check out their cheer if you don't believe me.

Chris Burgdon, Cain's cowboy-hatted videographer, boards another one of the six chariots and tells its occupants to get revved up.

"Gimme a 9-9-9!"


"Now say, we're not stupid!"

We're not stupid!

If the biggest PR goal of your movement is proving that you are not stupid than chances are no one in your group is going to discover the cure for cancer anytime in the near future.

Then there is William Temple. He is to the tea party movement what overweight 40 year-old guys that dress in green spandex Riddler costumes are to Comic Con. Temple has several different militia outfits he wears to tea party events. This moment Temple had with Weigel is surreal.

A waiter walks by, cradling a tray of crabcakes, each approximately the size of a gummy eraser.

"Ah, yes," says Temple, affecting his revolutionary-era accent. (Think of an extra from the John Adams mini-series.) "I'll have a full regiment."

Yes, there was nothing that George Washington's troops loved more at Valley Forge than mini-sized crabcakes.

You will not be shocked to learn that there were many empty seats at Cain's Renaissance Hotel event. As lame as this movement is, former DNC chair Tim Kaine lost the midterm elections to the tea party and RNC chair Michael Steele. The tea party may be a joke. Kaine is a bigger joke.

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Levon Helm is in the Last Stages of Cancer

Rolling Stone reports that Levon Helm is in the final stages of cancer.

"Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer," says the note. "Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration...he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room with music, lay down the back beat, and make people dance! He did it every time he took the stage."

There is no way to measure the impact The Band had on rock music. From backing Bob Dylan on his first electric tour to the brilliant albums they made. Robbie Robertson was the songwriter. Levon Helm was the voice of many of the best known songs by The Band.

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Quote of the Day

" Romney was really counting on Nugent for his Latino outreach campaign."

LOLGOP, on Twitter.

In other Ted Bugent news: the Nuge is being investigated by the Secret Service for an alleged threat towards President Barack Obama.

Ted Nugent’s threatening remarks about President Obama at the annual National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis have earned him a follow-up conversation with the Secret Service. On Sunday, the singer remarked that “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” The Secret Service, which investigates all threats against the President, confirmed to New York Magazine’s Daily Intel blog that they have in fact flagged Nugent’s comment. “We are aware of it, and we’ll conduct an appropriate follow up,” the agent told the magazine.

Mitt Romney has sought endorsements from rock stars with sex scandals. Kid Rock made an amateur porn video. Nugent adopted a 17 year-old girl so he could legally have a sexual relationship with her. Shockingly, the girl' s parents gave Nugent their approval.

I look forward to Romney using Nugent and Kid Rock to court the soccer mom vote.

Update: Nugent went on the Dana Loesch radio show and doubled down on his anti-Obama threat.

He went on to add: "I spoke at the NRA and will stand by my speech. It's 100 percent positive. It's about we the people taking back our American dream from the corrupt monsters in the federal government under this administration, the communist czars he has appointed."

As I have written before, the czars of Russia were not communist. Lenin executed the last czar Nicholas II. People like Nugent are ignorant and believe everything Glenn Beck utters. Instead of actually opening a history book.

Nugent also played victim on Loesch's show.

"I'm a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally."

Nugent was around during the sixties civil rights movement. Nugent sat that fight out.

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Earth to Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson has decisive proof that global warming is a myth.

“Just keep in mind that Mars, and say, ‘How many SUVs, how many oil refineries are there on Mars?’ And yet, it’s the relationship to the sun that is effecting the climate on Mars,” he concluded.

Next Robertson will cite the movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians as proof of American exceptionalism. Never mind that the fictitious St. Nick is from the North Pole. It actually takes great effort on Robertson's part to be this stupid. I don't know if I should be saddened or impressed with Robertson's anti-intellectualism. I do hope Robertson keeps supplying me with comedy material.

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The Great Corporate Tax Swindle

Via Mother Jones and the Center of Responsive Politics. These ten corporations made billions in profits and paid zero in corporate taxes. General Electric made $19.6 billion in profits and got 18.9 percent tax return from the IRS. These and other corporations have been dodging taxes while many Americans have lost their jobs. Think about the tax breaks these ten corporations received the next time Mitch McConnell, Rick Scott or Mitt Ronney say corporations need tax cuts because they are job creators.

Verizon Communications Profits: $19.8 billion Effective tax rate: -3.8% Top recipients, 2011-2012 President Barack Obama: $51,493 Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.): $24,450 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $23,700 Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $22,500 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $15,000

General Electric Profits: $19.6 billion Effective tax rate: -18.9% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Mitt Romney: $53,750 President Barack Obama (D): $30,493 Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.): $23,900 Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.): $21,860 Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.): $19,750

Boeing Profits: $14.8 billion Effective tax rate: -5.5% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.): $31,750 Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.): $25,000 Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.): $23,500 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $23,125 Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $20,986

NextEra Energy: North America's largest solar and wind power operator, based in Florida Profits: $8.8 billion Effective tax rate: -2% Top recipients, 2011-2012 George LeMieux (R-Fla.): $9,500 Mike Haridopolos (R-Fla.): $4,800 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $2,000 Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): $2,000 Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.): $2,000

American Electric Power: Electric utility based in Columbus, Ohio Profits: $8.2 billion Effective tax rate: -6.4% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): $34,750 Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio): $34,050 Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio): $21,700 Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.): $19,750 Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio): $18,450

Pacific Gas & Electric: California electrical utility Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -8.4% Top recipients, 2011-2012 President Barack Obama (D): $6,250 Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.): $5,000 Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): $5,500 Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $5,000 Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.): $3,500

Apache: Houston-based oil and gas company Profits: $6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.3% Top recipients, 2011-2012 David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $25,000 Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.): $5,000 Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.): $2,500 Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas): $2,500 Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas): $2,500 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500 Brendan Doherty (R-R.I.): $2,500

Consolidated Edison: New York energy company Profits: $5.9 billion Effective tax rate: -1.3% Top recipients, 2011-2012 Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): $15,050 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): $8,000 Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.): $6,650 Then-Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.): $2,500 Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.): $1,500 Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): $1,500 Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.): $1,500

El Paso: Houston-based energy company that operates the country's largest natural gas pipeline Profits: $4.6 billion Effective tax rate: -0.9% Top recipients, 2011-2012 David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $7,500 Mitt Romney (R): $5,000 Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.): $3,000 Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.): $2,750 Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.): $2,500 Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.): $2,500 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $2,500 Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $2,500 Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.): $2,500 Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.): $2,500

CenterPoint Energy: Electric and gas utility company based in Houston Profits: $3.1 billion Effective tax rate: -11.3% Top recipients, 2011-2012 David Dewhurst (R-Texas): $22,050 Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas): $13,458 Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $10,299 Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.): $7,000 Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas): $4,000


Monday, April 16, 2012

Elvis Costello - Penny Lane

Elvis Costello sings Penny Lane at the White House. This was for the Kennedy Center honoring Paul McCartney.

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Rich Swier's War Against Clean Water

I have written before about the bizarre rantings of Sarasota resident and tea party activist Rich Swier. Among the conspiracy theories floated by Swier are that the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the Boy Scouts of America and the Broward County Republican Executive Committee. Perhaps Swier's most despicable moment was publicly advocating for the bullying of gay teens.

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.

The greatest tragedy is people like Swier actively working to make the lives of gay teenagers a living hell.

Swier's latest crusade is against clean water.

For example, government can bestow clean water to the individual and take it away if it wishes but there is no right to clean water. Clean water is something that anyone can obtain simply by doing it themselves or paying someone else for it. You may dig a well, buy a filter system for your home, purify your own water by boiling it, buy bottled water from your local super market or have it provided from either a privately owned or government run centralized water treatment facility. These solutions are available and exist in one form or another everywhere. However, many citizens believe clean water is a right bestowed by government and must not be taken away. Apply this same narrative to health insurance or Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid.

Actually, clean water is a right bestowed on citizens. Swier would be wise to brush up on the law known as the Clean Water Act.

The objective of this Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. In order to achieve this objective it is hereby declared that, consistent with provisions of this Act

Tea party activist claim to worship the constitution. The Constitution gives Congress the power to make laws.

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Water is shared between the states. Unsanitary water would create mass health hazards and place a burden on the health care system. If Swier doesn't believe unsanitary water is a problem then I dare him to drink contaminated water in Africa. The World Health Organisation estimates that 700,000 deaths are caused by contaminated food and water.

If Swier really believes that government can't give rights then he should have no problem with the Defense of Marriage Act being revoked by Congress and the President. I don't believe someone as homophobic as Swier would want to put his theory about how the government can't give rigjhts to the test.

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Polytechnic is About Crony Capitalism

Florida state Rep. Larry Ahern urged Gov. Rick Scott in a letter to veto making USF Polytechnic into an independent school.

Ahern, R-St. Petersburg, called the bill "a hasty attempt at pleasing special interests without consideration for the students attending USF Polytechnic." He asked Scott in a letter to "uphold the principles of limited government and sound fiscal policy" when making his decision about whether to sign or veto the bill.

For a governor that billed himself as a decisive leader, Scott has become the Hamlet of Tallahassee. Polytechnic would have no accreditation, students or buildings. The controversy surrounding Polytechnic makes it politically unwise for Scott to sign a new independent school, at a time when other state universities are facing budget cuts. The reason Scott hasn't vetoed the Polytechnic legislation is because Scott is a crony capitalist.

It is no secret that J.D. Alexander pushed for an independent Polytechnic school because it would increase the value of his Atlantic Blue property. A new independent university would mean a new road near 30,000 residential units Atlantic Blue plans to build.

Scott killed a federal rail project approved by the legislature and former Gov. Charlie Crist. Scott used a faulty report by the by the Reason Foundation to justify killing high-speed rail. Scott claimed that Florida would have to spend too much of its tax dollars. The federal government was set to give Florida $2.4 billion for the high-speed rail project. The rail line was projected to create 48,800 jobs, at a time of staggering unemployment in Florida.

Scott suddenly supported a rail line when J.D. Alexander pushed for the SunRail line. The reason Alexander wanted to SunRail line approved is because the rail's hub would go by frozen food warehouses owned by Alexander's family company Atantic Blue. The state would be financially responsible for any SunRail accidents caused on CSX lines. The first seven years of fares would not pay for SunRail. None of this is fiscally conservative. Scott approved it because the very fiber of his being screams crony capitalist. Scott desperately wants to approve Alexander's Polytechnic real estate scam. The only question is does Scott have enough political capital to get away with signing the Polytechnic legislation.

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Alan Grayson First Quarter Fundraising

Democratic congressional candidate Alan Grayson raised $567,872 in the first quarter. That is more money than Bill Posey ($181,161), Dan Webster ($142,313), Sandy Adams ($120,978) and Cliff Stearns ($95,260) combined.


Quote of the Day

"Listening to Prosecutor Corey blow herself and her staff for five minutes before pre-passing judgment on George Zimmerman. The state seeks reelection again, truth aside. I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents, but like Mrs. Corey, we speak only the truth. They’re just misunderstood little church going angels and the ghetto hoodie look doesn’t have anything to do with why people wonder if they’re about to get jacked by a thug.”

Brian Beckmann, Miami-Dade fire captain.

For the record: Trayvon's father Tracey Martin is a truck driver. Trayvon's mother is Sabrina Fulton is a program director for the Miami-Dade Housing Authority. Trayvon Martin's parents are hard-working people. Racists like Beckmann will not let facts get in the way of stereotypes they create for people they despise.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sleepy Vikings Video Interview

No band in Tampa has more buzz than the Sleepy Vikings. The Tampa Bay Times recently did an interview with Viking members Julian Conner and Tessa McKenna.

Below is the song Calm by the Sleepy Vikings.

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Jessica Ehrlich Raises $100,000

Jessica Ehrlich had a fantastic first month in fundraising.

ST PETERSBURG, FL - Jessica Ehrlich, candidate for Florida’s new 13th Congressional District, today announced that she raised more than $100,000 in the first month of her campaign. Ehrlich, a Saint Petersburg native and attorney, announced her campaign for Congress on February 27th. In the first month of her campaign, she was also placed “On the List” by EMILY’s List and endorsed by the New Democrat Coalition.

Commenting on her success, Jessica Ehrlich said, “I am overwhelmed and energized by the outpouring of support from Floridians who are desperate for a Representative determined to end the gridlock and infighting that have prevented Congress from achieving real progress on critical issues like strengthening the middle class, our economy, and protecting Social Security and Medicare. Pinellas County deserves news ideas and fresh thinking committed to building a brighter future for our residents. In Congress, I will always be an advocate for our hardworking families and seniors.”

Ehrlich is competing against Nina Hayden for the Democratic nomination for the 13th congressional district. The winner will face Republican incumbent dinosaur Bill Young. If you like oork barrel legislation than support Young. If not then support Ehrlich or Hayden.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Cat Blogging

Look at the face of this baby cheetah cub.

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Quote of the Day

"[In] 15 years we have never taken a story down because it was wrong. You can't say that about CNN, CBS or the New York Times."

Roger Ailes, of Fox News.

What Ailes fails to add is a fake news network like Fox News does no fact-checking. If Fox News bothered to fact-check they would not use a map that moves Egypt out of Africa. Memo to Fox News: Egypt is not in the Middle East.

Perhaps Ailes believes Egypt is like the island on Lost and Egypt can magically move from place to place.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bob Mould Performs Husker Du Songs with All-Star Band

Bob Mould performs Husker Du classics with Dave Grohl, Jon Wurster and Jason Narducy.


Hardly Getting Over It
Could You Be the One
Ice Cold Ice
New Day Rising

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Alyona Minkovski v. Allen West

Alyona Minkovski takes Rep. Allen West to his task for accusing members of Congressional Progressive Caucus of being part of the Communist Party. West is using the same debunked attacks started by the fact-challenged Jonah Goldberg used in his book "Liberal Fascism."

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The Gunshine State

Alternet has a must-read piece on Florida's worst laws. The law that deeply disturbs me is gun owner are now allowed to carry weapons into state buildings.

Another provision of the law is truly frightening. It makes it easier for anyone to bring a concealed weapon into the state government complex in Tallahassee. No longer can police ask people to check their weapons before entering the state capitol itself. Adding insult to injury, many lawmakers spent taxpayer money to install emergency alert buttons on their phones, just in case someone starts shooting. But as one Democratic senator notes, panic buttons won’t be much good if someone charges into a government office with guns blazing. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says violent crime has fallen statewide, but gun-related deaths increased 35 percent from 1999 to 2009. And here’s something that really worries gun opponents: In a state with 19 million residents, there are 6 million gun owners, almost a million of whom can now carry concealed weapons.

Republicans caving into the whims of the NRA is the reason we now have the Stand Your Ground law. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn plans on setting up a "clean zone" at the Republican National Convention. Items such as water pistols, glass bottles and rope longer than six inches will be banned from the clean zone. The one item that won't be banned is guns. That is because the Florida legislature took away the power for towns and cities to create their own gun ordinances.

"If we'd tried to regulate guns, it wouldn't have worked," said City Attorney Jim Shimberg. "Any local ordinance that regulates guns is void"

This creates a safety nightmare for the Secret Service and law enforcement. This is what happens when the legislature places the interest of the paranoid over public safety.

Side note: I bet we aren't going to hear any Republicans talk about violent revolution or watering the tree of liberty in Tampa.

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Drudge Report Plays Up Racial Divide

Matt Drudge never fails to take the opportunity to wallow in shit.

POLL: Wide gag between races on Trayvon Martin killing...

This shouldn't be a partisan or racial issue. This should be an issue about justice. Unfortunately, we live in a country where conservative talk radio hosts feel the need to take Zimmerman's side, not because they believe he is innocent, but because playing up the racial divide would drive up ratings.

George Zimmerman made this a racial issue when he described Martin as a "fucking coon" on his phone to the police dispatcher. It is an issue to many in the black community because they have seen many young men like Trayvon Martin, whom have been murdered and never received proper justice. George Zimmerman is many things but victim isn't one of them. The victim is a teenager that is dead. That is what Drudge, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh will never acknowledge.

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Mayor Buckhorn Will Sign Gay Domestic Partnership Registry

The Tampa City Council recently passed a domestic partnership registry that would cover both straight and gay couples. Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn will sign the ordinance into law at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

The registry will be public and accessible online from smart phones and mobile devices, guaranteeing partners access to their records 24 hours a day.

The measure was introduced last month by Councilwoman Yvonne “Yolie” Capin on the day her first grandchild was due to be born. She said at the time she wanted to make Tampa a place he could be proud the grow up in.

Councilwoman Capin deserves credit for taking the initiative and getting this done. I wish more Democrats (such as our president) would be more proactive in standing up for gay rights.

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George Zimmerman Affidavit

Below is the affidavit of George Zimmerman's arrest.

George Zimmerman Affidavit

What is interesting about the affidavit is that Zimmerman is quoted as saying, "These fucking punks." Anyone with hear Zimmerman say, "Fucking coons." Listen to the audio and judge for yourself.

The affidavit identifies Trayvon Martin as the person crying for help. Trayon Martin's mother identified her son's voice on the tapes. The state attorney investigators did not buy the story by Zimmerman and his family that George Zimmerman was the person crying for help.

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Newt's Broke

Newt Gingrich has publicly conceded that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee. Yet Gingrich stays in the race and continues to send out fundraising emails.

Time after time we’ve defied the political odds during this campaign, proving that the American people are hungry for a candidate with bold ideas and the courage to take the fight to President Obama.

I believe this year's primary represents a big choice about the very soul of the Republican Party, and whether it will remain the party of smaller government, lower taxes, and conservative reform.

Over 178,000 people so far have donated to this vision, and I need your contribution today to help unite conservatives around this campaign of bold conservative breakthroughs.

Thank you,

Newt Gingrich

It seems self-styled fiscal conservative Gingrich is facing bankruptcy.

The former U.S. House speaker’s time on the campaign trail has led to the shuttering of two businesses that generated $107 million in income during the last 10 years and helped him accrue at least $7.3 million in assets. His campaign also is struggling, bouncing a $500 check for the filing fee in the June 26 Utah primary, and amassing almost $4.5 million in debt.

Newt has to campaign so he can attack Obama for not balancing the budget. Because we all know no one is better with finances than Newt.


Quote of the Day

" Today in 1861, Confederates fired on Fort Sumter so they would never be forced to have health care."

Pourmecoffee, on Twitter.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Yes, President Obama is very likable to most people, if you just look at him and his family. But if you look at his policies, which is what most people disagree with, it’s a different story. And I think many men are much more familiar with the failed policies than a lot of other people, as well as the general public."

Herman Cain, on Fox News, saying that women (other people) aren't smart enough to understand President Obama's policies.

This is horrible territory for Cain to venture into. Cain had to end his campaign because of allegations of sexual harassment. Cain couldn't even explain his own policy positions. Which is why he became a walking punch line on the campaign trail.

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Profiles in Courage: Allen West

Rep. Allen West continues to say inflammatory things and then not have the courage to stand behind his words. The latest example is West publicly stating that "78 to 81" congressional Democrats are members of the Communist Party.

West at a Jenson Beach townhall meeting.

Question: “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or international socialists?”

Answer: “That’s a good question. I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

That's a stupid question. The answer is pure McCarthyism politics.

McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents. Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, "McCarthyism" soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

West isn't as brave as his tough guy image leads his followers to believe. West and his staff are now trying to pretend that the Congressman didn't accuse Democrats of being communists. Never mind what reality or the transcript says. West a his team will deny, deny and deny. This tells me that West may not believe his own fearmongering rhetoric. Which means he is just a political opportunist playing to the most angry and dangerous of the electorate. That is even more pathetic than someone too cowardly to stay true to his fringe beliefs that Congress has been infiltrated by commies.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wank Out Day

The embarrassment to Rick Santorum never ends. Vivid Video is staging a national Wank Out Day to protest against Santorum's crusade against porn.

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Rick Scott Sorta Endorses Romney

I am so moved by the lack of passion behind Gov. Rick Scott's endorsement of Mitt Romney.

"there is no question that Rick Santorum ran a hard fought campaign. I commend his passion and his willingness to put the best interest of his party and nation first."

"Mitt Romney will be our party's nominee and it is critical that all Republicans coalesce behind Governor Romney and focusing on electing him as President so he can put the policies in place to create jobs,turn our economy around and get federal spending under control.

It is hard for Scott to top Rubio for worst endorsement ever.

"There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president, but they didn't," Rubio told The Daily Caller in an interview. "I think Mitt Romney would be a fine president, and he'd be way better than the guy who's there right now."

Sen. Rubio, if Romney is so much better than President Obama then why don't you sound more excited.

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George Zimmerman's Lawyers Drop Him

George Zimmerman's attorneys, Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig, have taken themselves off the case. In a press conference, Sooner and Uhrig told the media that they lost contact with Zimmerman and do not know his whereabouts.

At various times during the press conference, both attorneys said they did not know where Zimmerman is currently.

Uhrig told the press that, if people are trying to find Zimmerman, they should “stop looking in Florida” and “look much farther way.” This directly contradicts what Craig Sonner said on March 23 when he assured a reporter from WFTV that “he’s absolutely in the state, he’s local.”

Zimmerman called special prosecutors Angela Corey without the consent of his attorneys. Zimmerman also spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity without first consulting his attorneys.

"We learned that he had contacted Sean Hannity of Fox News directly, not through us, and we believe, I can't confirm this, we believe that he spoke directly with Sean, off the record, and he's not even willing to tell us what our client told him," attorney Hal Uhrig said.

Zimmerman us not acting like a rationale person.

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Monday, April 09, 2012

The Kills - Kissy Kissy (iTunes Session)

A beautiful acoustic version of Kissy Kissy.

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Charlie Crist on New Florida Voting Law

Former Gov. Charlie Crist wrote an op-ed against the voter suppresion laws passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

Florida's lawmakers cite voter fraud concerns as the reason for the new restriction on third-party voter registration drives. While I have seen no evidence of rampant voter fraud, it is no doubt a serious matter and can serve to reduce confidence in the electoral process. Those who commit such a crime should be prosecuted and punished. However, imposing stiff penalties on those who are trying to promote participation in the electoral process in good faith will most assuredly reduce confidence in the electoral process. In a state with approximately 18 million residents and approximately 11.2 million registered voters, Florida should be doing all it can to promote more voter participation, not creating barriers to it.

The biggest proof Republican use that there is voting fraud in Florida is that Mickey Mouse was registered to vote. That has been proven to be false. The Republicans excuse for changing the voting laws was a cartoon character. That illustrates the stupidity of the voting fraud argument. Crist himself writes that he saw "little" voting fraud during his time as governor.

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TOP BUM: Top Gun Volleyball Squad

Someone had the brilliant idea to recut Top Gun as a gay volleyball movie. I wrote a Bad Movie classic post about Top Gun and mentioned the over-the-top homoerotic volleyball scene. Tony Scott expressed shock when screenwriter Roger Avary informed him about how him and Quentin Tarantino used to tell people the movie was about Iceman trying to get Maverick to come out of the closet.

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Who are the ALEC in the Florida Legislature

Guest post by Susan Smith of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

Who are ALEC legislators in Florida? From ALECexposed (I removed Sen. Lynn since she apparently hasn't been connected in 15 yrs.)

House of Representatives

• Rep. Larry Ahern (R-51), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Ben Albritton (R-66), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), attended 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting, sponsored 2005 SB 436 "Castle Doctrine Act" based on ALEC model

• Rep. Michael Bileca (R-117), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Jeff Brandes (R-52), attended 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Jason Brodeur (R-33), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force member, registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Rachel Burgin (R-56), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting (Submitted bill with ALEC intro in 2011)

• Rep. Matt Caldwell (R-73), ALEC member who has "attended one conference to date, having paid for the membership and any conference costs with my excess campaign account"

• Rep. Richard Corcoran (R-45), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Fred Costello (R-26), "could not afford the time out of my business to attend" the 2011 ALEC Annual meeting but looks "forward to attending ALEC in the future"

• Rep. Steve Crisafulli (R-32), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting[51] but "not a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council"

• Rep. Daniel Davis (R-13), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Jose Diaz (R-115), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Chris Dorworth (R-34), dues-paying ALEC member as of 2011[56], registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting • Rep. Brad Drake (R -5)

• Rep. Clay Ford (R-3), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force member, registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Rich Glorioso (R-Longwood), attended 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Matt Hudson (R-101), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force member, registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Clay Ingram (R-2), attended 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Ana Rivas Logan (R-114), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Debbie Mayfield (R-80), ALEC member • Rep. Peter Nehr (R-48), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Bryan Nelson (R-38), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Jeanette Nunez (R-Miami), attended 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Jimmy T. Patronis, Jr. (R-6), ALEC State Chairman[59], registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Ray Pilon (R-69); Public Safety and Elections Task Force • Rep. Scott Plakon (R-37), ALEC International Relations Task Force member, worked with ALEC in 2011 on "a proposed constitutional amendment that prohibits laws that would force people to join health care plans, an attack on federal health care changes"

• Rep. Stephen L. Precourt (R-41), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force member, registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Lake Ray (R-17), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting • Rep. Kelli Stargel (R-64), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. John Tobia (R-31), attended 2009 ALEC Annual Meeting at a taxpayer cost of $1,150; in August 2011 claimed he has not attended another ALEC meeting and is not a member

• Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-116), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. Will Weatherford (R-61), registered to attend 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Rep. John Wood (R-65), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force member who calls himself "proud to be a member of ALEC and has attended two annual conferences - Atlanta in 2009 and most recently New Orleans in 2011"

• Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa), attended 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting

• Former Rep. Bill Posey (now Congressman, R-Rockledge), ALEC Alumni in Congress[63] and 1999 recipient of ALEC "Legislator of the Year" Award


• Sen. Anitere Flores (R-38); Education Task Force

• Sen. Lee Constantine (R-22); Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force

• Sen. Alan Hays (R-25)

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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Hillary Clinton on Empowering Women

Hillary Clinton speaking at Women of the World 2012.

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Fair And Balanced: Fox News Orlando Edition

Fox News Orlando ran the headline, "Civil rights group patrolling Sanford." This maybe the first and only time the National Socialist Movement has ever been called a civil rights organization. The NSM was founded by former American Nazi Party member Robert Brannen. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed the NSM as a hate group. The NSM didn't lose the Nazi uniforms until 2007.

This is what Fox News Orlando calls a civil rights group.

Update: I should note that the National Socialist Movement claims they came to Sanford because they received calls from local citizens concerned for their safety. Don't people usually call the police before an out of state neo nazi group on matters of public safety? The NSM is just exploiting Trayvon Martin's death for publicity.

Another thing that always bothered me about neo nazis is they don't seem to realize Germany lost during WWII. The neo nazi movement didn't work out well for the German people.

Update: Fox News Orlando changed the web page without a correction. Above is a screenshot from the original version.

Update Here is the shocking bad Fox News Orlando video story. There is a problem in media when the media doesn't challenge people that call President Obama a socialist. Yet, calls neo nazis a civil rights group. It truly is sickening.

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Saturday, April 07, 2012

SeaWorld Paid Zero Corporate Taxes

Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell writes that SeaWorld paid zero in state and federal corporate taxes last year. Another fun fact is only two percent of major for-profit companies paid taxes in 2010. The sad thing is Fox News and the tea party movement want people to believe that Occupy Wall Street is declaring class warfare on the rich.

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The Ryan Budget Scam

Connie Mack IV made the mistake of telling the truth during a Republican primary. The truth is the Paul Ryan budget would not balance the budget anytime in the near future.

"I was here in Florida campaigning," Mack said Saturday, according to an undisputed quote reported by the conservative Florida Political Press. "You know that budget was a joke, doesn't balance the budget for years."

Mack is exactly right. The tea party base is too economically illiterate to crunch the numbers. They believe that Ryan's budget will balance the budget. They have the power of truthiness on their sides.

Ryan's plan is short on specifics. Ryan claims trickle down economics is the answer.

The reform plan, which was first advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee, would broaden the tax base, lower marginal rates and flatten the tax structure from six rates to two: 10 percent and 25 percent. The plan would also lower the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 25 percent and would transition to a terroitorial system of international taxation, which would put U.S. competing businesses competing abroad on a level playing field with their foreign competitors and incentivize the repatriation of funds, currently held offshore for tax reasons, to be to use in the U.S. economy.

Starting a tariff war with China will not make Fortune 500 companies suddenly want to invest in the United States. If Ryan is lowering taxes on corporations and the top 1 percent, exactly who is he broadening the tax pool on.

Ryan doesn't explain what tax loppholes he would close. Economist Paul Krugman notes Ryan projects unemployment will drop to a magical 50 low. Ryan fail to mention how he will use his magic wand to make unemployment disappear. The most telling fact about the House GOP budget not being serious is that Ryan never asked the CBO to do a revenue estimate.

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Quote of the Day

"I am not very careful about what I say, having grown up in an era before Political Correctness, and never having interalized the necessary restraits. I am a homophobe, though a mild and tolerant one, and a racist, though an even more mild and tolerant one, and those things are going to be illegal pretty soon, the way we are going."

John Derbyshire, in a 2003 interview. This comes as no surprise to me. Derbyshire told Alan Colmes he supports repealing the Civil Rights Act and women's right to vote.

Derbyshire got into hot water over a now deleted post at Taki Mag. Red State blogger Leon Wolf writes that it is time for the National Review to fire Derbyshire.

The longer this drags on without a definitive severing of the relationship, the more damage will be done to National Review. I cannot imagine what sort of deliberation is required to make this decision, but I hope, for National Review’s sake, that it can be completed before the weekend is over.

Update: The National Review has fired John Derbyshire.

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George Zimmerman's Shaken Baby Defense

George Zimmerman's attorney Hal Uhrig is using the shaken baby defense.

"We're familiar with the Shaken Baby Syndrome," said Uhrig on the CBS This Morning program. "You shake a baby, the brain shakes around inside the skull. You can die when someone's pounding your head into the ground."

The problem with this defense is that Zimmerman was never treated for any uinjuries after he shot and killed Martin. Uhrig maintains that Zimmerman had a broken nose. Eyewitnesses Mary Cutcher and Selma Lamilla have publicly stated that Zimmerman showed no showed no signs of a broken nose. The leaked police video does not show Zimmerman having a broken nose.

My view is many people aren't going to be shaken or stirred by the shaken baby defense.

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Hysterical Allen West as VP Movement

To show how unserious the Republican Party is, Sarah Palin and Nikki Haley publicly mention Allen West as Mitt Romney running mate. I often wonder if the GOP is trying to find ways for President Barack Obama to win. What does a one-term black conservative with anger-management issues bring to the ticket? There is no guarantee that West will win a second term in Congress.

Case in point are Reps. Tom Rooney and Allen West. Both of their South Florida districts got about four points more Democratic, which should make life significantly tougher for each of them. Rooney now has a more compact swing seat (the 18th) north of West Palm Beach, while West’s already Democratic-leaning 22nd district just south of Rooney’s became even more Democratic and will be tough for him to hold.

West has been a very outspoken tea party freshman and has raised huge money, but line-drawers don’t appear to have done him many favors. His district, as constructed, would have gone about 43 percent for the last two Republican presidential nominees.

West wouldn't be able to deliver his district in a presidential election. Palin and Haley either don't understand the voting demographics or they are pandering to the shrinking tea party.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Amazing Dumb Quote from Reince Priebus

RNC chairman Reince Priebus made a bizarre comment denying that the GOP has waged a war on women's health care.

“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend. “It’s a fiction."

Notice that Priebus doesn't actually address the issue that members of his party are denying contraception to women. With the exception of Olympia Snowe, every senate Republican voted for the Blunt-Rubio amendment. Roy Blunt and Marco Rubio claimed that an employer could denying contraception coverage. Blunt and Rubio maintained that they were doing this for religious freedon. What Blunt and Rubio were actually doing was imposing their religious views on women.

Rick Santorum is against rape victims getting abortions.

"I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created - in the sense of rape - but nevertheless a gift in a broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given you. As you know, we have to, in a lot of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can't think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.

Yet Priebus has the audacity to claim these attacks against women reproductive rights are a fiction.

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Domestic Partnership Registry

Good news on the LGBT rights front. The Tampa City Council passed a domestic partnership registry. The new registry will cover both gay and straight couples.

The first reading last month drew a large crowd of supporters and no opponents. The second reading brought out fewer people, but supporters gave a standing O when they passed the measure 7-0.

This is a nice time to rub salt into the wounds of David Caton and Terry Kemple. These two religious extremists have bashed gay people for years. It seems that they couldn't muster up a grassroot effort to stop the domestic partnership registry from becoming law. Caton and Kemple have no supporters. They are only good at gaining media attention.

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Quote of the Day

"We have a president, who I think is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps."

Mitt Romney

Romney has two degrees, a JD and MBA, from Harvard. It is really sad that Republican candidates feel the need to dispagage education, in order to appeal to their ignorant base.

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Kevin Beckner Townhall Meeting

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner will meet and listen to constituents.

April 10 Quarterly
Neighborhood Meeting:

Carrollwood Cultural Center
4537 Lowell Road
Tampa, FL 33618
PH: 813-269-1310

This is a good time to talk with Beckner and show your support fro him. Beckner is one of only two Democrats on the Commission.


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Pakistan ATM Machine

I attended the Lara Logan lecture at USF tonight. I was in agreement with Logan that Pakistan is not ally to the United States. Logan is convinced that the ISI knew Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. Bin Laden wasn't hiding in a cave. He was in a comfy compound near a military academy. This is like Timothy McVeigh going into hiding near West Point.

I asked Logan why the United States, under the past two administration's, have giving money to the Pakistani government. The United States has become the ATM machine for a corrupt regime. Logan told me that was a good question. She has asked several government officials and they all told her that Pakistan has to be paid off because it is a nuclear power. Never mind that the Pakistan and Taliban run joint military operations against the U.S. military. Or that the Pakistan aid money is used to buy the Taliban IEDs and assaust rifles.

Logan said she doesn't buy any of the arguments for providing aid to the Pakistani government. Logan used the analogy that if this a dating relationship there would have been a break-up a long time ago. Logan pointed out the blame for staying in this dysfunctional relationship with Pakistan resides with policymakers with no understanding or real accountability with the lives of soldiers they sacrifice.

I also asked Logan why the Republican presidential candidates can only discuss Israel and Iran. Do they only have a map with two countries or are they too dense to know of other countries in crisis. I cited Syria and Sudan as two example.

Logan's description of the GOP candidates was hysterical. Logan described Mitt Romney as a member of "a cult." Logan mentioned that Rick Santorum used to bring a model fetus on the floor of the Senate. She said even Republicans don't want Gingrich.

Logan made a slight dig at bloggers earlier in the lecture. I mentioned that I was a blogger.

Logan: Your not living in your mother's basement.

Hussey: And I'm not wearing pajamas.

One young man made the mistake of getting on Logan's bad side with a WikiLeaks question and left the microphone with his tail between his legs. Logan feels strongly that WikiLeaks got an Afghan man killed.

I hope there is video of Logan's lecture. It was fantastic.

Update: Logan's hysterical account of meeting Michael

“It had about 13 hours of interviews over two days with a gazillion al-Qaida and Arabic names thrown in there, and lots of nuance and it was very, very intense,” she said. “So when I jumped on the plane and rushed down to see a Michael Bublé concert in San Jose, it was sort of surreal. I remember when Michael walked up to me and said … ‘I hope you’re going to do a good interview.’ I said, ‘Listen, the last person I interviewed was a FBI agent and I made that f----- cry.’”

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Bill Sharpe is Dead, Long Live Bill Sharpe

Sad news. Tampa media mogul Bill Sharpe was found dead in his office. The Tampa Police Department believe the cause of death was suicide. It is shocking to hear of someone as energetic and engaged in the Tampa community as Sharpe taking his own life.

Sharpe had a way of making an impact in Tampa media. Sharpe was the owner of the popular defunct blog Sticks of Fire. Sharpe made a splash more recently with the homeless newspaper the Tampa Epoch. Local homeless people would sell copies of the paper to earn cash. The future of Tampa Epoch is uncertain without Sharpe.

Sharpe was the Tampa blogosphere version of Nick Denton. Sharpe was a community newspaper publisher that saw the vast potential in new media. Sharpe helped connect the Tampa blogosphere together. Like the polarizing Denton, Sharpe faced controversy often with the published posts of Rachel Moran. Whether or not Sharpe intended for Moran to provoke strong responses is part of his mystery.

I may have not always agreed with Sharpe, but he always had my attention. Sharpe was that important a player in Tampa media and political circles. There isn't anyone that can replace what Sharpe brought to Tampa new media.

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Two Eyewitness Accounts of Trayvon Martin's Death

Mary Cutcher and Selma Lamilla tell Cenk Uygur that they do not believe that George Zimmerman killed Trayon Martin in self-defense. There eyewitness account is that Martin was lying on his stomach when Zimmerman stood over him and shot him. The women state they saw Zimmerman show no signs of a broken nose.

View the video of the interview.

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Misfits - Ghouls Night Out

For my money the Misfits were a better punk rock band than the Sex Pistols could ever hope to be.

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Wingnut of the Day: Sheriff Joe Arpaio

I don't know why, but I'm getting fundraising emails from Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Left wing activists from across the country are organizing against Sheriff Joe because he conducted his own independent investigation into Obama’s “birth certificate” and found it to likely be a fraud.

Arpaio hasn't given the findings of his investigation to the Justice Department. That might have something to do with his investigation being bogus. President Obama has released the long-firm version of his birth certificate. The federal courts has ruled that Obama is eligible to serve as president. The state of Hawaii has declared the birth certificate to be authentic. All you need to know about Arpaio's motivations is referring to the president in racist code as "Barack Hussein Obama." Obama has a funny name. Therefore he must not be a U.S. citizen.

What Arpaio would like people not to know is the findings of a federal grand jury investigation of his police department.

The inquiry’s findings paint a picture of a department staffed by poorly trained deputies who target Latino drivers on the roadways and detain innocent Latinos in the community in their searches for illegal immigrants. The mistreatment, the government said, extends to the jails the department oversees, where Latino inmates who do not speak English are mistreated.

“The absence of clear policies and procedures to ensure effective and constitutional policing,” the report said, “along with the deviations from widely accepted policing and correctional practices, and the failure to implement meaningful oversight and accountability structures, have contributed to a chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations.”

Arpaio arrested many people on complaints on dark-skinned people living nearby. These people weren't accused of actual crimes before Arpaio had them arrested. The Justice Department found that Arpaio had arrested many innocent people of Hispanic dessent. Considering Arpaio's previous investigative skills, his statements on Obama's birth certificate should not be taken seriously.

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Quote of the Day

"We better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!"

Ann Romney, replying to a question on if her husband Mitt is a stiff candidate. I have no doubt that Mrs. Romney is an expert on her husband's lack of stiffness.

The funny thing is, the Romney campaign plans on giving Ann Romney a higher profile. They believe that she is their secret weapon.

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Fake Charlie Sheen Endorsement for Connie Mack

The George LeMieux campaign sent out a fake Charlie Sheen endorsement for Connie Mack on April Fool's Day.

“Today, I am proud to announce the endorsement of my good friend Connie Mack the Fourth. As the Senate race unfolds and more is revealed about Mack’s colorful past, the more I like and identify with him.

The similarities between us are endless. We both have famous and respected fathers, both went into the family business, and we love living in California and having a good time (especially on the red carpet). We’re also both known for our public displays of rage and frequent ‘lapses in judgment.’

Since I’ve decided not to run for political office myself, electing Connie is the next best thing. The US Senate can be such a boring and serious place; it needs people like Connie Mack…And maybe a few Hooter’s girls.


Charlie Sheen

Being a walking punch line is a death sentence for politicians. The future political prospects for Daily Show fodder Alberto Gonzales and Anthony Weiner are bleak. Lemieux has baggage from his ties with Charlie Crist and Jim Greer. Marginalizing Mack is LeMieux's best shot at victory. Attacking Mack with humor is a way for Lemieux to avoid being accused of being mean-spirited.

Update: Peter Schorsch doesn't find the April Fool's prank funny. Schorsch's reasoning is that the media hasn't picked up on the Charlie Sheen meme. The Florida media has ignored the Republican Senate primary. That was is because the candidates have been uninspiring. I also sense that Schorsch is taking a dig at LeMieux for his Judas act on Charlie Crist. The former governor is very close to Schorsch and his wife Michelle Todd.

I'm not taking a dig at Schorsch. I hear privately that Crist is a generally nice guy. However, don't expect Schorsch to say nice things on his blog about LeMieux. Personally, I am more than happy to see LeMieux and Mack have a nasty primary. To easier it is for Bill Nelson to get re-elected the better.

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