Monday, December 31, 2012

Joe Arpaio's Armed Posse At Schools

Sheriff Joe Arpaio represents everything that is wrong with law enforcement. Arpaio's latest bad idea is having an all volunteer posse patrol the outside perimeters of public schools. The details are scarce. That is probably because Sheriff Joe put no thought behind the policy.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio tells KTVK-TV he has the authority to mobilize private citizens to fight crime but hasn't talked to specific districts.

He says he doesn't plan to put posse members inside schools but will have them posted around the perimeters.

It is like Sheriff Joe takes his law enforcement cues from the right-wing blogosphere.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Cat Blogging

The Guardian bring you sleeping cats.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wingnut of the Day

Twitter user Steve Malinowski sent this disturbing tweet to Michelle Malkin.

"@michellemalkin Gun control advocates should get death or life in prison. Real crime is best generalized as the crime of government."

Exactly who is suppose to impose these death sentences if all members of government are jailed or executed? Mr. Malinowski's wingnut Utopia has some holes in it.

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Gun Control Vigil at Vern Buchanan's Office

This likely will not change Rep. Vern Buchanan's position, but gun control activists and religious leaders plan on holding a candlelight vigil outside the Congressman's Sarasota office. Activists also plan to give Buchanan a letter urging him to support gun control legislation.

The candlelight vigil will be held today.

The vigil is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. Thursday outside Buchanan’s office at 111 S. Orange Ave.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nowhere Man

Doesn't have a point of view, Knows not where he's going to, Isn't he a bit like you and me? Nowhere Man, please listen, You don't know what you're missing, Nowhere Man, the world is at your command. He's as blind as he can be, Just sees what he wants to see, Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

Nowhere Man by the Beattles.

During a recent interview with Noticias Univision 23, President Barack Obama admits that he is philosophically a moderate Republican.

"The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican."

Obama would not have had the courage to make that statement during the election. Bruce Bartlett takes the Univision interview as proof of Obama's conservative leanings. I think that is giving Obama too much credit. Obama told Bob Woodward that he is a Blue Dog Democrat. Obama doesn't seem to understand that Blue Dogs came from the racist Dixiecrats. Obama doesn't think deeply about what he stands for. In researching this post, I found this CNBC interview with Woodward. It seems Woodward came to the same conclusion.

‘A Divided Man’TFT : How does Obama compare in broad terms to other presidents you’ve covered? BW: Well, he’s very, very smart. But there’s a “divided man” quality to him. He tells people, “I’m a blue dog. I want fiscal restraint and order.” At the same time, as he told me, “I don’t want to cut entitlements in any way that would hurt vulnerable populations.” So, there isn’t the quality of, “This is how we’re going to do it.” When I was in the Navy in the ‘60s an executive officer had a plaque in his office that said, “He who does not know to which port he is sailing has no favorable wind.” Sometimes it is not clear whether Obama is sailing to the fiscal restraint port –or to the “protect-the-entitlements-at-all-costs” port.

If Obama doesn't know what he stands for, it makes me wonder why he wants to serve in government.

Update: National security blogger Steve Hynd has a theory about why Obama wanted to serve in government.

As to the Q at the end of yr post. When he entered office he was worth just over $3m. now over $6m.

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Quote of the Day

"If David Gregory's show was hosted in Florida and he had brandished that clip, Wayne LaPierre could have shot him under Stand Your Ground."


David Gregory is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department. Gregory held up what appeared to be a gun magazine during his interview with Wayne LaPierre. I doubt someone of Gregory's media stature will do any serious time. I do find it silly that Gregory had to use a prop (real or fake) to make a point about gun magazines. Gregory is doing a news program. Not Masterpiece Theater.

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Dick Army Brings Armed Man into FreedomWorks Office

America is still recovering from the Newtown shooting. We have often heard radical gun rhetoric from tea party activists. That is why the news of former FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey bringing in an armed man to help him stage a coup of FreedomWorks is so disturbing.

The partnership came to a crashing end when Armey marched into FreedomWorks’s office Sept. 4 with his wife, Susan, executive assistant Jean Campbell and the unidentified man with the gun at his waist —who promptly escorted Kibbe and Brandon out of the building.

“This was two weeks after there had been a shooting at the Family Research Council,” said one junior staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. “So when a man with a gun who didn’t identify himself to me or other people on staff, and a woman I’d never seen before said there was an announcement, my first gut was, ‘Is FreedomWorks in danger?’ It was bizarre.’ ”

I somehow doubt these FreedomWorks employees were supporters of Armey using his Second Amendment rights.

Armey was on his way out of FreedomWorks. He eventually left with an $8 million severance package. Armstrong was losing control of FreedomWorks. A gun was a quick way for him to temporarily regain his status.

Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into he group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.

Armey couldn't resolve matters through office politics. So he brought an armed thug. To people like George Zimmerman and Dick Armey, the Second Amendment represents power and a legal right to bully people.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Photo of the Day

You know NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre is losing political ground when the conservative New York Post slams him. New York Post Rupert Murdoch supports gun control laws.

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George H.W. Bush Resignation Letter to NRA

This is fascinating.

In 1995, George H.W. Bush resigned his membership from the NRA. NRA (then) vice-president Wayne LaPWayne justified attacks against federal agents. This was after Ruby Ridge, Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing. It is good to remind property just how heartless LaPierre truly is.

I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people.

Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country -- and serve it well he did.

In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi.

Think about this for a moment. The current head of the NRA called federal law enforcement officers Maxis and defended their killers. Wayne LaPierre is a morally depraved man.

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Quote of the Day

"I don't know if anybody here has seen anybody shot. I have. I don't know if anybody here has had to put their hand in somebody's chest and try to stop the bleeding so somebody doesn't die, I have."

Mayor Cory Booker, arguing for stricter gun control laws during an appearance on This Week.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

War On Christmas Jumps the Shark

Fox &Friends brought Santa Claus on to talk about the War on Christmas. What makes more sense than a bogus news network interviewing a fictional character about a imaginary war. Saint Nick sound unsurprisingly like a Fox News pundit.

Lizard replied that he has indeed. "You know, I never had a problem being Santa Claus, but there was a time a few years back when suddenly I started showing up at Christmas parties and was told that they were having holiday parties," he said. "So therefore, they didn’t need a santa anymore. And it was about that time, that was the time when I think the Surgeon General said Santa should lay off the cookies and start picking up more carrots and broccoli. I heard Santa in Australia said ‘ha, ha, ha,’ so as not to offend certain gals and Santas in England couldn’t have children on their laps anymore."

Leave it to Fox News to make Santa sound like a creepy old pervert. This is the most bizarre thing Fox News did since Ron Paul debated a Barack Obama impersonator.

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Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans

Lana Del Rey is rather polarizing to music fans. She lacks stage presence live. Her music videos are brilliant. She is the female Chris Isaak.

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Zero Dark Scarborough

Joe Scarborough used the fictional film Zero Dark Thirty as proof that torture worked to get valuable intelligence. The filmmakers themselves have never made that claim. CIA Acting Director Michael Morell throws cold water on Scarborough's torture fantasy.

Second, the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false. As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.

The chance of Scarborough mentioning Morell's memo on Morning Joe are zero.

Friday Cat Blogging

That is a Florida panther playing with a Rottweiler. The panther is actually being submissive. Cats do that when they lay on their side. If that panther wanted to fight there is no way that it would be held on a leash.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quote of the Day

"If we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once."

Megan McArdle, libertarian blogger and pundit.

That has too be the most idiotic piece of punditry I have ever read. Good God. McArdle is advocating a surefire way to get children killed.

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Judge Rules in Favor of Middle Finger Xmas Display

The ACLU won a very unusual First Amendment case.

A federal judge says a Louisiana woman has the right to display holiday lights on her roof in the form of an extended middle finger.

Sarah Childs sued Denham Springs, its mayor and police chief, claiming she was threatened with arrest if she didn't take down the display.

Unsurprisingly, Childs' neighbors complained about the less than festive Christmas display. Child's has been in a dispute with her neighbors. She decided to express her feelings with a one finger salute light display.

I have no opinion about whether or not this is a good ruling. I do wonder why Child's dislikes her neighbors so much.

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Screaming Females - Wild

I sort of wish I posted the Screaming Females seriously abrasive song Boyfriend. Just to give readers a good shock.

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Rubio During Senate Benghazi Hearing

I am no fan of Sen. Marco Rubio. That said, Rubio managed to be rather respectful to State Department officials. The questions Rubio asked were fairly sound. What remains unclear if why security requests from Ambassador Chris Stevens were never addressed.

Senator Rubio: "So beyond that level, were any senior officials beyond the assistant secretary level made aware of the repeated request from the post for extended or additional security? In particular, there were request made in March and July 2011. Do you know if beyond the assistant secretary level those requests were ever forwarded in a memo or in some other written document?"

Deputy Secretary Burns: "I am not aware of any specific memo that went beyond the sixth floor to those specific requests at that time, no, Senator."

That isn't good. That means either someone on the sixth floor of Foggy Bottom blew off Steven's request or Secretary of State Clinton nixed the request.

Update: the Accountability Review Board report is placing a good portion of the blame on the late Stevens.

The two top officials on the review board, retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Michael Mullen, chose their words carefully at the news conference Wednesday as they weighed Stevens' responsibility in the security lapses, saying that he did support having more additional security personnel. But they also said that he was the ultimate authority on the deteriorating local security conditions.

As chief of the mission, he certainly had a responsibility in that regard, and actually he was very security conscious and increasingly concerned about security," Mullen said. "But part of his responsibility is certainly to make that case back here, and he had not gotten to the point where you would, you might get to a point where you would be considering, 'It's so dangerous, we might close the mission.'"

So Stevens is being blamed for not abandoning his post. He asked for security. Yet, Stevens is blamed for not asking for extra security in the right way. This sounds like bullshit.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Portishead - Numb (Roseland NYC) (HQ)

Portishead will be playing some shows next year. Check out their website for more information.

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Lame Right-Wing Excuses For Gun Violence

Charles Johnson has compiled a list of lame excuses the Right uses to avoid talking about the availability of availability of assault rifles.

Quote of the Day

"I'm going long on 30 round AR-15 mags."

Rick Wilson, Republican political consultant.

You do that, Rick. Wilson likes provoking a reaction on Twitter. Mission accomplished.

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Flip Flop Alert: Rick Scott Now Supports Early Voting

Gov. Rick Scott's interview with Soledad O'Brien did not go well. In addition to getting hammered for dodging questions on gun control, Scott was asked about Florida's restrictive voting laws. Scott is suddenly a fan of extended early voting.

The outcome of these decisions was quite obvious. Florida, which four years earlier was a model for efficiency, became once again a late-night TV joke,” Crist said pushing for national standards on voting laws and longer early voting days.

“People are frustrated in our state,” Scott told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Wednesday. Scott said changes in size of polling locations, length of ballots and the number of early voting days are needed.

“I complied with the law. We had an election bill that was passed my first year in office by the legislature, it was approved by the Justice Department,” he said. “But we do need change.”

Scott's flip flop has nothing to do with a love for the Democratic process. The latest Quinnipiac poll finds 52 percent of Florida voters believe Scott deserve a second term. Former Gov. Charlie Crist has been hammering Scott on early voting. This doesn't mean Scott intends to change the early voting laws. Scott realizes he is vulnerable on the issue.

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Rick Scott Dodges Soledad O'Brien Question on Gun Control

CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien takes Gov. Rick Scott to task on ducking questions on gun control. Scott keeps repeating "respect the families" as a way to avoid answering questions on what measures he would support on gun control. Scott says we should respect the families and then listen to what people have to say. O'Brien is asking Scott what he has to say about gun control. Scott doesn't want to have this converstation.

O’BRIEN: Well, you know, I understand that people often say that in the wake of a tragedy, let’s wait, and I actually think I’ve covered enough of them that, you know, we’ll wait until we bump up against the next tragedy and there will be one no, doubt about it. I guess I would like to hear from elected officials what are you willing to change? [...]

SCOTT: Right now, what we ought to be doing, let’s talk about all of the issues and think about what we can do to improve it. But here is what I think. one, I have been to the law enforcement funeral desk in our state. And the heart goes out to those families. [...]

O’BRIEN: Okay. I think with all due respect, are you not going to answer my question, because I guess —I just want you to tell me what you would be comfortable to support, and I get it, it will be part of a conversation, but I think there have been a number of things on the table and I don’t feel like you’re telling me, you know, should people not be able to buy high-capacity magazines? What are you willing to say would be a good start, that would you bring to the table in control? Any conversation about guns?

SCOTT: Well, you know, my focus is, one, respect the families, mourn their losses,make sure our schools are safe, and then start the conversation and listen to the Floridians. What I do every day is travel the state, almost, pretty much every day, and listen to Floridians and get their ideas and then come back, based on those ideas of what we can improve.

O’BRIEN: Well, I hope it all goes —all those conversations turn into meaningful conversations before I get to go out and cover another tragedy of which we’ve now done a bunch of them.

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World's Fastest Press Conference (Maybe)

House Speaker John Boehner held a 56 second press conference on the fiscal cliff. Boehner took no questions from the media. Something tells me all is not well in Boehner's world right now.

Anyone have any idea what is the shortest press conference by a modern House Speaker.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Write A Caption: Obama & Boehner

Can't you just feel the bipartisan love.

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Quote of the Day

"The snotty phrase 'progressive emos' makes my skin crawl. You mean actual advocates and not mindless partisans? Yeah, those people are lame."


Rahm Emanuel Admits to Killing Gun Control

As President Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel stopped Attorney General Eric Holder's attempt to gun control. Emanuel admitted this to Politico.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday didn’t deny telling the Justice Department that Attorney General Eric Holder needed to “shut the f—k up” about gun control in 2009.

Emanuel, who was then White House chief of staff, issued the warning to Justice in February after Holder said at a press conference the administration wanted to reinstate the assault weapon ban. The incident is recounted in Daniel Klaidman’s book, “Kill or Capture.”

“Let me say this,” Emanuel, whose use of profanity is legendary, said on CBS’s “This Morning” when asked about the report. “President [Barack] Obama always stood for getting this done, No. 1. No. 2, I passed the Brady Bill with the assault weapon ban. It is very, very important that we do that. The fact is, in 2009 the president and the entire government was very clear to say this, as the attorney general knows, in getting all the president’s legislation done and working with Congress to do that.”

The reality is that Obama was so uncommitted to gun control that the Brady Campaign gave him an F grade.

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Obama Gets An F on Gun Control

In 2010, the Brady Campaign gave President Barack Obama an F grade on gun control. The Brady Campaign correctly states that Obama has done nothing to prevent gun violence.

Washington, DC - In his first year as President, Barack Obama’s continuing concessions to the “guns anywhere” mentality of the gun lobby and lack of leadership for common-sense gun laws has earned him a grade of “F” from the nation’s leading group fighting to prevent gun violence.

President Obama signed legislation letting people carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked luggage on Amtrak trains, adopted the gun lobby’s empty rhetoric about just “enforcing the laws on the books,” muzzled Cabinet members who expressed any support for stronger gun laws and failed to appoint permanent leadership at the agency that polices the gun industry. This White House even voiced no objection to people carrying guns near Presidential events.

His White House staff removed statements from the White House website that declared support for gun violence prevention laws. His spokesman repeatedly refused to express support for any proposed legislation to strengthen gun laws. And President Obama and the White House staff avoided any mention of guns after horrific, high-profile shootings and the anniversaries of historic shooting tragedies.

For these reasons, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence today released a report on President Obama’s performance, President Obama’s First Year: Failed Leadership, Lost Lives:

The organization gives the President an “F.”

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Joe Scarborough Changes Gun Views

On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough came out against the status quo on current gun laws. Scarborough said the Newtown tragedy changed his previous views on gun control.

"I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children. Friday changed everything. It must change everything. We all must begin anew and demand that Washington's old way of doing business is no longer acceptable. Entertainment moguls don't have an absolute right to glorify murder while spreading mayhem in young minds across America. And our Bill of Rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want.

It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas. It's time for politicians to start focusing more on protecting our schoolyards than putting together their next fundraiser. It's time for Washington to stop trying to win endless wars overseas when we're losing the war at home ... For the sake of my four children and yours, I choose life and I choose change."

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Obama Will Do Nothing On Gun Violence

Progressives, pay no mind to President Barack Obama's speech in Newtown. Obama will not push for new gun laws. The best indication of this is Press Sec. Jay Carney's unwillingness to commit President Obama to any gun control legislation.

During his daily briefing Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney avoided one question after another about the types of legislative proposals the president could support, what kind of timeline he wants to take action within and whether he truly plans to make the issue of gun violence a priority, despite the fact that in four years -- and four shooting massacres later -- the only related bill Obama has signed actually expanded gun laws.

"I don't have a specific agenda to announce to you today," Carney said when asked how Obama plans to translate his Sunday speech into action. "No single piece of legislation, no single action will fully address the problem."

Obama's religion is the Church of Centrist. In Obama's worldview, Fox News is equal to he New York Times. Obama mocked progressives to Sen. Bernie Sanders. The more progressives push for gun control the more agitated Obama will be. Obama ignored progressives in his first term. Obama doesn't need progressives now that he won a se one term.

Another problem is the Republican House. It doesn't matter how many school children die Elected Republicans fear the NRA more than they fear a dangerous individual getting his hands on an AR-15 assault rifle. Obama's lack of passion for gun control will only make it easier for Republicans to ignore the issue.

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NRA Takes Down Facebook Page

AdWeek reports that the NRA has taken down their Facebook page.

The National Rifle Association shut down a key Twitter account last summer in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo. theater shootings. On Saturday, one day after the unthinkable shootings at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, the NRA took a more drastic measure by deactivating its Facebook page after celebrating getting 1.7 million fans on the social site earlier this week.

The NRA doesn't want to talk about the Newtown shooting right now because they are extremely disliked by large segments of Americans angry about gun violence. Now is the time to talk about gun violence. Not when Newtown is no longer in the news and the NRA can safely go back to bullying Republican politicians to do their bidding.

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Quote of the Day

"Terrible news today. When will politicians find the courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy."

Rupert Murdoch, December 14, 2012, on Twitter.

I can guarantee that no one one Fox News will complain about that tweet.

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Clearwater Man Arrested With Several Guns

In Clearwater, Song T Uong was arrested after assaulting a parking enforcement officer. Yong was angered because he got a parking ticket.

Uong was enraged when he saw the ticket, and at the same time saw parking officer Norton McGiffin IV in a truck driving by. Police say Uong took his 2001 Lexus, blocked McGiffin's path, and then got out and tried to pull McGiffin from his vehicle.

Police found a small arsenal in Uong's car.

A Sig Sauer 556 assault rifle with eight high-capacity magazines and law enforcement/military EOTech with night vision sight-mountable bi-pod and light A Sig Sauer P238 380-caliber handgun with three magazines Glock 27 40-caliber combat handgun with eight high-capacity magazines 188 rounds of .556/.223 rifle ammunition 142 rounds of .40 auto pistol ammunition 18 rounds of .380 auto pistol ammunition.

Yong had a loaded gun in his pants when he attacked McGiffin. Hong told McGiffin, "Someone's going to die today."

Don't you feel safer knowing that people like Yong can easily get a gun.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Conservative Disinterest in Funding Mental Health

Pushing Rope friend Ginger Lee has a post on how suicidal and violent people fall through the cracks of our system.

Since there are now apparently quite a few people that are wondering how ‘crazy’ people that snap & do very, very violent things are allowed to walk around among the rest of society, there is a reason why. Mental healthcare in this country sucks. SUCKS.

In emergency rooms & crisis centers all over the country, people that are KNOWN to be either suicidal or completely psychotic are sent home. Some are told to come back ‘once they do something’. You can sit there & beg them to please keep you because you know it is not safe for you to be out in the world at that moment, & they’ll send you packing with what equates to a pat on the head. This is especially true for people without health insurance.

Often it is too late to do something after a suicidal or violent person acts out. Since the Reagan administration, mental health has been cut from the federal and state budgets. People with mental health problems do not have powerful lobbyists to argue on their behalf.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has made drastic cuts to mental health-related programs. Conservatives blame mental health for gun violence and then cut funding for mental health. Freedom isn't mentally dangerous people notgetting mental care and then shooting up a school with an AR-15.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Charlie Crist's Morgan and Morgan Problem

If Charlie Crist wants to run for governor it would be best that he unattached himself from Morgan and Morgan. The law firm has been accused by State Farm of overbilling.

A former paralegal at Morgan and Morgan turned into a whistleblower last fall and gave State Farm information to investigate the billing practices of Dr. Ara Deukmedjian, the president of the Brevard County Medical Society, with regards to his dealings with the law firm, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

State Farm is accusing Morgan and Morgan of filing bogus medical claims in auto accidents.

Central to the allegations: Orlando-based Morgan & Morgan, which considers itself the nation's largest personal-injury law firm; Dan Newlin, a 10-year Morgan & Morgan lawyer who left the firm late last year to open his own office; Dr. Ara Deukmedjian, president of the Brevard County Medical Society and a volunteer assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Central Florida School of Medicine; and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the nation's largest auto insurer.

In 2011, a former female Morgan and Morgan employee sued for sexual harrasment. The employee accused the law firm of sexual battery.

Morgan and Morgan have a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has closed three complaints with Morgan and Morgan in the last 12 months.

There is also the infamous penis incident.

A U.S. District Judge in Miami has tossed two attorneys from the famed “Morgan & Morgan – For the People” law firm from a case after the opposing counsel complained that, one of the lawyers drew pictures of male genitalia and unashamedly played Angry Birds during depositions, the blogs reports.

Richard Celler and Stacey Schulman, representing a class action complaint against Ventura Limousine & Transportation Services, Inc., were the two lawyers booted from the case. The Limo company allegedly violated the Fair Labors Standard act, and an ex-employee had enlisted the services of the mega law firm, Morgan & Morgan.

Morgan and Morgan is a serious liability for Crist.

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Quote of Day

“Obama will be on a very short leash, fiscally speaking, over the next four years... He's not going to have any fun at all; he may just have to go blow up small countries he can’t pronounce because it won't be any fun to be here, because he won't be able to spend the kind of cash he was hoping to.”

Grover Norquist

Norquist needs to lay off the bath salts.

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Charlie Crist's Gay Marriage Answer

If Charlie Crist wants to be the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014, he is going to have to give a better answer on his position on gay marriage. The media Marc Caputo asked Crist about the Governor signing a petition in 2006 to make gay marriage illegal in the Florida Constitution. Crist gives a nonanswer.

"Would I do it today? No," Crist said. "I think the best way to judge where my heart is is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor - restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is -and the boss is the people of Florida."

I never thought of Crist as a bigot. He is a politician and like all politicians will cave to political pressure. If Crist runs from his past he is going to eventually sound like Mitt Romney. Crist needs to address his past and explain why he is in the place he is today. Wishing that people forget that he was a Republican will not work for Crist.

Update the reporters at The Buzz filed the original story. Marc Caputo did not ask Crist about the anti-gay marriage petition.

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Charlie Crist Makes Florida Media Batshit Insane

It is silly for the amount of media covering the nonstory of Charlie Crist going to the Superviser of Elections office to change his party registration. Crist already announced on Twitter he was becoming a Democrat.

The Florida media couldn't be bothered to give the Bill Nelson/Connie Mack Senate race proper coverage. There was a possibility at the time that the Florida Senate race could decide which party holds the upper chamber in commerce. Crist goes to hand in his registration form and there is a small mob of media.

It isn't Crist's fault. He tends to attract stupid media stories. The Tampa Bay Times once did a story on Crist getting his hair cut. Crist has a way of turning the entire Florida media into The Onion.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter - Mannish Boy

Johnny Winters got Muddy Waters to go in the studio for the classic album "Hard Again." Waters absolutely tears through the Bo Diddley classic here. This is how the blues is suppose to sound. Messy, primal and raw.

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Why We Need Campaign Finance Reform

So people like Dick Morris can't keep running their scams.

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Glenn Hubbard's Viral Moment

This would be a fitting end to economist Glenn Hubbard's political career.

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Marion Hammer's Junk Science

You would think that political figures would not rush to tout relaxed gun laws after the spat of recent shootings. You would be wrong. Florida Secretary of Agriculture held a press conference today celebating that Florida will soon have its one millionth concealed waepons permit holder. Putnam says so many people are getting concealed weapons permits because they just love the Second Amendment so much.

The person responsible are easing permit laws in Florida is longtime NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer. This is a woman no elected Republican official in Florida has the guts to cross.

"It's great news," Hammer said. "When the number of licence holders increase, crime decreases. We have a record number of licence holders now, and crime is the lowest it's been in 40 years."

Hammer's statement is hogwash. Crime has decreased because of better police work. The easy access to guns in America has increased gun violence in other states. Criminals buy guns in states with relaxed gun laws.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced more than 145,000 guns used in crimes in 2009 and found that more than 43,000 of those weapons were sold in other states.

Forty-nine percent of those guns were sold in Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California or Arizona.

Hammer's talking point of more guns decreases crime comes from the John R. Lott Jr. book "More Guns, Less Crime." Lott is a Fox News pundit and pal of Grover Norquist. To say that Lott is fact-challenged is a understatement. Ian Ayres and John Donohue take Lott's book apart in the Stanford Law Review. Ayres and Donohue found that Lott fudged his numbers.

Lott graded crime on an inverted V. Lott claims that has gun laws were relaxed crime greatly went down. Ayres and Donohue looked at the actual numbers and found that Lott's thesis did not hold.

Of course, the thought that shall-issue laws caused crime to drop by almost twenty-five percent in the thirteenth year after passage and then caused it to increase by almost twenty-one percent in the fourteenth year is obviosly untenable. These wild swings are caused not by any true impact of shall-issue laws but by the selective dropping out from the individual year esimates of states that adopted laws more recently, leaving only the shrinking number of earliest adopters to identify the paticular annual impact.

Short answer: Lott is caught fudging the numbers.

Lott was using crime rates in Idaho and Virgina, where the NRA was successful with imposing relaxed gun laws, and comparing the crime rates to New York City and Washington D.C. during the height of the crack epidemic in the late 80s and early 90s. Lott's model was made to favor areas where the NRA was strong.

Marion Hammer is quoting junk science and the media should take her to task for it.

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Linda Stewart Town Hall Meeting

Florida Rep. Linda Stewart will be having a town hall meeting tomorrow.

State Representative Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) will host a town hall meeting for constituents of Florida House District 47 to hear what they consider important for the upcoming 2013 legislative session. Members of the news media are welcome to attend.

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, December 13, 2012

WHERE: IFAS Agricultural Center 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, Fl. 32812


Quote of the Day

"As I lead the fight against his dangerous debt scheme, Barack Obama has placed a huge target squarely on my back. As I fight for you, I need your generous support to fight off his attacks."

Sen. Mitch McConnell, in a fundraising email.

I find it a amusing that a man who vowed to make President Obama a one-term president is complaining about being a political target.


Alison Krauss & Robert Plant : Killing The Blues (Live)

I really would like to see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss work together again.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

John Carney Wants Treasury to Tax Itself

The stupidity of CNBC columnist John Carney is beyond words. Carney believes that 234 million shares of AIG stock to avoid paying a higher capital gains tax next tax year.

One question that comes to mind is whether the timing of this sale of the last of the Treasury's stake in AIG allowed the Treasury to avoid rising capital gains taxes in 2013. In 2013, when the law that temporarily lowered capital gains rates expires, the rates on long term capital gains are set to rise from 15 percent 20 percent. Lots of investors are attempting lock-in gains now to avoid paying the higher rate. Did the Treasury just do the same thing?

Carney then goes on to cry about the Treasury Department being tax exempt. The harsh injustice of it all. What Carney fails to realize that on the AIG share sale the point is moot. The IRS is part of the Treasury Department. Carney cries about Treasury not paying capital gains taxes on the AIG sale. If Treasury did pay taxes on the AIG sale it would just collect the money back through the IRS.

The stupidity of the people that work at CNBC amazes me.

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NASA Data On Global Warming 1880-2011

Via Re/Creating Tampa. This video shows a stark picture of how much the plant has warmed up since 1880. The finding were released by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. 2012 is likely the warmest year in the history of the planet.

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Farm Share Food Giveaway

Rep. Mike Fasano, Rep. Richard Corcoran and Sen. John Legg are doing the annual Farm Share Holiday Food Giveaway. Food has been donated from local farms Publix, AT&T and other local citizens.

"We are once again blessed to work with farmers throughout Florida to provide food at this special time of year," Fasano stated in a press release. "When so many families are hurting is is wonderful to see our community come together to serve others."

Fasano did the food giveaway last year and deserves praise for his efforts to help needy families.

What: Farm Share Food Giveaway

When: Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Redeemer Community Church, 9230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey

Screening: "The Farm Share program requires that families be asked for proof that they receive Medicaid, SSI and/or food stamps," Giordano said.

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Florida SoS Ken Detzner's Spin Tour

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner is not doing a lot of listening on his listening tour. Detzner is on a listening tour to hear Floridians and bring back reccommendations to the Florida legislature. This comment by Detzner suggests he has been wearing ear plugs.

On restoring early voting times: "When you look at the turnout, which was larger than it was in 2008, that obviously speaks to the point that people were satisfied with the current law. People responded, reacted and turned out in greater numbers."

People turned out to vote despite voter suppression. Detzner would have you believe that the laws enhanced voting. Increased voter turnout is because of the Obama campaign's GOTV.

Proof the the listening tour is a sham. Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer told the Tampa Bay Times Department of State council Gary Holland wasn't interested in listening.

Return early voting to 14 days, from eight during this year's general election, they advised Don't tamp down voter registration by placing additional restrictions on third-party groups. And don't limit early voting sites to libraries and government buildings.

The response from Department of State interim general council Gary Holland, on at least that last point: "Talk to the Legislature."

"I was a little taken aback by that," said incoming Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. "I was like, I thought that's why you are here."

This listening tour is a damage control tour.

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Does Joe Scarborough Know What Google Is

If Joe Scarborough doesn't know how to use Google than Politico should fact-check his columns. Scarborough rightly comes out against President Barack Obama's use of drone strikes. Scarborough uses his column to attack the Left for being against President Bush's torture policies, but supporting drone strike. I agree that there are people on the Left that have been silent on the drone strike issue. Scarborough veers off in his column and picks an unlikely target.

"Where are the ladies of Code Pink?" Scarborough wrote.

Well Joe, Medea Benjamin published the book "Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control." You can buy it on Another Google search reveals that Code Pink staged several anti-drone strikes protests in Pakistan. Below is a video of Medea Benjamin being interviewed in Islamabad.

Code Pink has been in Pakistan. Scarborough could have found that out if he bothered to use Google. Scarborough is too intellectually lazy to fact-check his own work.

Scarborough spends the rest of the article defending torture. I can feel my brain cells exploding reading the rest of Scarborough's prose.

As I have said repeatedly, Americans should continue to debate the moral dilemmas caused by interrogation techniques but there is no debate that the techiques used on the Al Qaeda terrorists not only worked, but also been used on thousands of our own military members in SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) courses run by various services. Any graduate of basic training at Paris Island or Fort Benning will probably tell you that what many now consider "torture" (harsh treatment, sleep deprivation or dietry manipulation) is simply a day in the life of a U.S. military basic trainee.

The SERE program was created to teach military personal how to survive against torture. Scarborough fails to understand that simple fact. The techniques used by the CIA "a day in the life" of a soldier. Manadel Al-Jamadi was tortured to death in Abu Ghraib. A Google search would have provided Scarborough with that information. Al-Jamadi's dead body is where Lynndie England took the infamous thumbs up photo. Does ending up in a body bag look like a day in the life of a military trainee to you?

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Don't Like Crist, Draft Alan Grayson

Florida progressive activist Susan Smith was quoted in the National Journal. Smith has been all over Facebook and Twitter voicing her displeasure at the possibility of Charlie Crist running for governor as a Democrat.

Now, some Democratic activists are getting anxious as they perceive the national party’s heavy hand on Crist’s political conversion. “They’re trying to clear the field, and I resent that,” said Susan Smith, president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. “Charlie Crist is not a Democrat, no matter what that piece of paper says.”

I have read other negative comments from progressives about Crist's party switch on the internet. I understand how progressives feel. I have been against many of Christ's past policy positions. I am also convinced that Alex Sink would lose again. Nan Rich has announced her candidacy and has generated zero excitement. The only candidate Team Obama will back is Crist.

There is another option. Progressives could throw a hail Mary and start an online Draft Alan Grayson campaign. Grayson can get the same kind of national grassroots support that Elizabeth Warren received. Grayson is a good fundraiser. That will be important when going against Rick Scott's deep pockets. Plus, a Grayson/Crist race would be the most exciting primary in 2014.

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Rubio Thinks Homosexuality is a Sin

Marco Rubio uses the Bible to hide behind his extremely anti-gay position. Here was his horrible answer to Mike Allen of Politico.

ALLEN: Is homosexuality a sin?

RUBIO: Well, I can tell you what faith teaches and faith teaches that it is. And that’s what the Bible teaches and that’s what faith teaches. But it also teaches that there area bunch of other sins that are no less. For example, it teaches that lying is a sin. It teaches that disrespecting your parents is a sin. It teaches that stealing is a sin. It teaches that coveting your neighbor and what your neighbor has is a sin. So there isn’t a person in this room that isn’t guilty of sin. So, I don’t go around pointing fingers in that regard. I’m responsible for my salvation and I’m responsible for my family’s, and for inculcating in my family what our faith teaches, and they’ll become adults and decide how they want to apply that in life. As a policy maker, I could just tell you that I’m informed by my faith. And my faith informs me in who I am as a person —but not as a way to pas s judgment on people.

Shorter Rubio: he doesn't hate gay people. He just will not give them the same rights that other Americans enjoy under the Constitution.

Rubio is politically behind the curve. Conservative pundit George Will admitted, "Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It's old people." Rubio is doing a good job vying for the Republican nomination for 2004.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Gay Marriage Starts in Seattle

Conservatives such as Rick Warren and Rick Santorum would have you believe that gays and lesbians are a threat to marriage. Buzzfeed has emotional photos of gay and lesbian couples finally being able to marry. Some of these couples have been together for decades.

I look at these photos and see the joy on the faces of couples finally allowed to legally marry. I don't see the decline of America that fearmongers would have you believe. One of my favorite photos from the Buzzfeed article is of a marquee with the words "Love Wins."

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Pam Bondi's Heart Likes Parties

Florida Attorney General unsurprisingly said she will run for re-election. The fun part is when Tia Mitchell asked Bondi about her relationship with Tampa's own Jill Kelley.

"i have been to special events at her house, only at her home, and the only comment I'm going to make is that my heart and concern goes out to Holly Petraeus right now, who I have worked very closely with on the military," Bondi said.

Bondi heart goes out to Holly Petraeus. Mitchell asked Bondi if she tried to reach out to Mrs. Petraeus. Bondi had to give a no. Bondi has been to "events" in plural, at Kelley's home. Of course only at Kelley's home. (Was Kelley gonna hold these parties at a waste management facility.) Bondi had time to go to several parties at Kelley's house. Bondi's heart goes out so much to Holly Petraeus that she didn't bother to pick up the phone to call her. Priorities.

My favorite part of the Bondi quote is the "only comment I'm going to make." Does Bondi knows that makes matters look worse? Taking a photo and going to Jill Kelley's parties are not a crime. Bondi acts like she is going to be indicted if she says too much.

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Recipes No Human Being Should Eat

Every time I look at the Paula Deen donut burger I want to throw-up. The donut burger is over 1,000 calories. How someone doesn't have a heart attack after eating the burger is beyond me.

Question: what is the most you have ate?

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Obama in Michigan

At the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Michigan, President Barack Obama weighed in on Michigan's Orwellian named right to work legislation.

“What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages,” Obama told a small crowd at the plant. “We don’t want a race to the bottom. We want a race to the top.”

Obama said the laws “don’t have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics."

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will likely sign the legislation tomorrow.

Florida is a right to work state. Florida has lower wages and higher unemployment than the national average. Florida is a perfect example of how right to work laws don't create trickle down benefits for the working class.

Update: video of Obama's speech in Michigan.

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Florida Senate Launches Obamacare Website

I disagree with Florida Senate President Don Gaetz on many things. Gaetz does deserve credit for acting like a serious person. Gaetz has pushed for ethics reform. Gaetz now has had the Florida Senate launch a website on the Affordable Care Act. From the press release.

“In the coming months, members of the public, health care providers, representatives from Florida’s insurance industry, and countless other stakeholders will provide valuable feedback as members of the PPACA select committee discuss, evaluate and debate Florida’s policy options under one of the most complex and far-reaching federal laws in the history of our nation,” said President Don Gaetz in a news release. “The new portion of the Senate website was created to serve as a centralized location for interested parties to watch meetings, read bills and share their viewpoints with the committee.”

I would prefer Gaetz start-up a state exchange. However, a transparent process with the Senate seeking council is not a bad place to start. Gaetz is on-record as not being a fan of ACA. I'm glad he put his personal feelings aside.

The Senate website on the possible implementation of ACA is at

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

TV On the Radio - I Was A Lover

Fuck the Hold Steady. TV On The Radio is the best band Brooklyn has produced in the past decade.

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Manufactured Outrage From Brian Burgess

When Brian Burgess isn't busy covering-up Florida's TB outbreak, he is bashing Charlie Crist becoming a registered Democrat in a Republican Party of Florida press release.

“Charlie Crist’s first official act as a Democrat was to tell a lie about why he is now pretending to be one. The truth is that this self-professed, Ronald-Reagan Republican only abandoned his pro-life, pro-gun, conservative principles in 2010 after he realized that Republicans didn’t want to send him to Washington D.C. as a senator, especially after he proved he couldn’t do the job as governor. …

“It’s obvious that Florida Democrats are desperate when Charlie Crist is the one who gets invited to the White House just two years after he disowned Barack Obama in 2010, publicly ripped him at every turn, accusing President Obama of having ‘the same tired answer for every problem, trashing ObamaCare and promising to repeal it, endorsing John McCain, and blasted President Obama for wasting money on the stimulus. …

This sounds like "manufactured outrage" coming from Burgess. You may remember Burgess calling complaints of people having trouble voting as "manufactured outrage." People standing in line past midnight is fake outrage to Burgess. Charlie Crist becoming a Democrat is the coming of the end of days.

I doubt Burgess was surprised that Crist became a Republican. Anyone that followed politics saw that coming. That is what makes the righteous indignation so amusing.

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Tampa In News for Mother/Daughter Porn

Tampa, Florida is in the news again. A real-life mother and daughter were nearly evicted from their home. They decided to make porn videos together to save their home.

In order to confirm the Sexxxtons are really related and not just claiming that as a marketing gimmick, The Huffington Post reviewed both women's driver's licenses, and their private Facebook pages, as well as private family photos going back 20 years.

Although mother and daughter have sex in the same room at the same time -- often with the same male or female partner -- they insist that their encounters are not incestuous. For legal and personal reasons, they don't actually touch each other during sex scenes.

The mother, Jessica, and daughter, Monica cannot touch each other during sex. They don't touch so they are not challenging incest laws. Mother and daughter both have sex with a male or female partner. Florida law considers incest penetration between male and female members of the family.

Whoever knowingly marries or has sexual intercourse with a person to whom he or she is related by lineal consanguinity, or a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece, commits incest, which constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. "Sexual intercourse" is the penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ, however slight; emission of semen is not required.

Mother Jessica works as an escort in Tampa.

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Study Shows Fox News Viewers Have Lower IQ

A study conducted by the Intelligence Institute shows that Fox News viewers have a lower IQ than the average person. The study found that Fox News viwers scored an 80 IQ average. The national average is 100. The test cases were measured for cognitive aptitude, common sense and other features.

The Fox News viewers were found to be somewhat frightened of images of President Obama and a tarantula. Researcher P. Nichols explains their reaction.

Lead researcher, P. Nichols, explains, "Less intelligent animals rely on instinct when confronted by something which they do not understand. This is an ancient survival reaction all animals, including humans, exhibit. It's a simple phenomenon, really; think about a dog being afraid of a vacuum cleaner. He doesn't know what a vacuum is or if it may harm him, so he becomes agitated and barks at it. Less intelligent humans do the same thing. Concepts that are too complex for them to understand, may frighten or anger them."

Dear reader, you realize that Mr. Nichols compared Fox News viewers to a dog that doesn't know what a vacuum cleaner is. This reads like an article by The Onion.

I remember interviewing people at the Republican National Convention. Hardcore Republicans couldn't explain policy. (I did have a good talk with a local Republican, who didn't want to be interviewed on-camera, about the problems with developing downtown Tampa.) These Republicans would just say Obama is a socialist or they wanted economic freedom. Republicans understand policy through buzz words.

Update: the reason the study reads like an Onion article is because it is a hoax.

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Jim DeMint Partner

Some jokes write themselves.

What can we expect from Jim DeMint when he becomes president of the Heritage Foundation? Thoughtful policy papers? Innovative solutions to problems facing America? How about more Glenn Beck.

Sen. Jim DeMint called in to Glenn Beck's radio program today to discuss his decision to resign from the Senate to become the president of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint explained that, with the re-election of President Obama, conservatives were not going to be able "to do anything positive at the federal level for the next four years" so he needed to be somewhere outside of government, working on solutions for when Obama's policies inevitably bring America "to its knees" ... and that will entail partnering with people like Beck to get the message out; a prospect that Beck was very eager to embrace:

DeMint is kissing Beck's ass. Beck is enjoying getting his ass kissed. Republican politicians like DeMint view conservative media as their true constituency. What a sad world we live in when a U.S. Senator feels the need to treat Glenn Beck as someone of great stature.

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Potential Problems For A Democratic Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist will have to deal with skepticism from Democrats if he plans on running for governor again. This quote by Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith is a perfect example.

"I'm one of those believers that if you want to join our church you're always welcome in the congregation. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to make you a preacher," said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith, who has himself been mentioned as a possible candidate in 2014.

Translation: many Democrats have no problem with Crist stumping for President Obama. Giving Crist a position of power is another story. Crist has spent a good portion of his adult life helping Republicans gain power in Florida. This is the same Charlie Crist that was trying really hard to be John McCain's running mate. That kind of thing isn't going to endear Crist to the hardcore progressives Crist is going to need on the grassroots level of a statewide campaign.

Howie Klein wrote about the longtime gay rumors that have pestered Crist throughout his career. Conservative activist Sarah Rumpf tweeted this photoshopped image of Crist holding a picture of a shirtless Obama. You can bet that Gov. Rick Scott will mudsling and use homophobic attacks against Crist. Scott ran the indefensible and racist "Obama's Mosque" ad. Scott will use homophobic attacks because he isn't about to beat Crist in the charisma department.

The gay rumors about Crist have been around for years. There has never been any credible evidence that Crist is gay. Crist was formerly married to Amanda Morrow. Crist is currently married to the former Carole Rome. (She changed her last name when she married Crist.)

Benjamin Kirby has a problem with with Crist's support of Amendment 1. The ballot amendment passed and lowered property taxes. I agree with Kirby that the property tax cut hurt tax revenue for Florida. Many citizens were angry about their property taxes. What happened was counties were pumping up the appraisal values to get more tax revenue to make up for the tax cuts from the Florida legislature.

I wrote in 2006, how this was a tax shift. Gov. Jeb Bush signed SB 1020 into law. The bill gave counties the power to raise property taxes. Bush signed this law so he didn't have to break Grover Norquist's pledge of raising taxes. I have some sympathy for Crist's situation.

Where I take issue with Crist is him failing to see the housing bubble pop. Crist assumed that tax revenue would keep pouring in. Crist's economic sensibilities need much work. Crist may have a hard time connecting with voters that want to see tax increases on the rich.

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Friday, December 07, 2012

The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize

This is lyrically the most beautiful song by the Flaming Lips.

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Quote of the Day

"I don't go anywhere without strangers walking up to me on the street and asking me, and sometimes begging me and sometimes crying about their desire to see me run again."

Alex Sink, defeated gubernatorial candidate.

People are "crying" in the streets because they fear Alex Sink won't run for governor again. Sink actually expects us to believe that. Is Sink forgetting that MSNBC named her the worst candidate of the 2010 election cycle? This woman is delusional.

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Charlie Crist Joins the Democratic Party

Charlie Crist announces on Twitter that he is now a registered Democrat.

Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @BarackObama!

Here is a picture of Crist holding his voter registration form.

Related: Potential Problems For A Democratic Charlie Crist


Write A Caption: Joe Arpaio

The Sheriff is a walking punchline.

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Tim Geithner on the Fiscal Cliff

Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner tells CNBC that the Obama administration will go over the fiscal cliff if taxes aren't increased on the top 2 percent.

Side note: it is interesting to see that Republicans are running away from their austerity deal they imposed on President Obama. The cuts are what Republicans previously agreed to. We now know that these cuts are too drastic and could lead to another recession. This is what is going on in Europe with failed austerity policies.

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Best Headline of the Day

This headline comes from Peter Schorsch.

Not that anyone cares, but George LeMieux to affiliate with Palm Beach Christian college

Nope. Can't say I do care.

Related: LeMieux hysterically makes claim that he could have beat Se. Bill Nelson in the general election.

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Lift the Social Security Payroll Tax Cap

Republicans such as Paul Ryan have advocated over either cutting Society Security or raising the retirement age. In Washington, people like to portray themselves as courageous by cutting benefits from the country's most needy. Rep. Ted Deutch has the easiest solution that both parties from Congress run from. Eliminate the $113,700-a-year cap on Social Security payroll taxes.

A bill by Deutch has a sponsor in the Senate; thanks to Sen. Mark Begich. Deutch'sbill has unsurprisingly gotten no traction in the House.

The bills also would increase cost-of-living raises by basing them on the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index-Elderly, or CPI-E. The “elderly” index, they say, better reflects how seniors and the disabled spend their money on medical care, prescription drugs, housing and energy. Some of those costs go up faster than the official inflation rate.

Republicans are attempting to lower the cost-of-living raises. That would mean smaller Social Security payments seniors.

Begich took to the floor of the Senate to talk about lifting the cap.

“This bill isn’t just about providing our seniors the security they need and deserve, it’s about common-sense fiscal planning,” Begich said. “By creating a more fair and balanced system, we can increase benefits to our seniors, extend the solvency of the program, and give so many Alaskans peace of mind for their future.”

Begich's and Deutch's bill makes perfect sense. Which is exactly why the Beltway will hate it.

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Friday Cat Blogging

A domestic cat and fox take turns stalking each other.

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Kills - 10th Anniversary Show in NYC

The Kills celebrating their tenth anniversary with drummers and backup singers. Alison Mosshart looks like a lioness with her pink hair.

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City of Tampa May Make Unauthorized Peeking Cameras Legal

I can't believe the Tampa City Council is even debating whether or not surveillance cameras can peek into homes without a warrant.

Today Tampa City Council approved changes to an ordinance reinforcing that would make it a crime for Tampa Police to use surveillance cameras purchased for the Republican convention for unauthorized peeping on residents inside their homes. But they put off a decision about whether the cameras will be a permanent part of the city’s landscape. There’s been ongoing friction between council and the mayor’s administration about who has the authority to authorize deployment of the cameras. To help clear that up council scheduled a workshop for next August suggested by member Harry Cohen.

The correct answer should be no one should have the authority for "unauthorized peeking." Perhaps Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the Tampa City Council need a refresher course on the Fourth Amendment.

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.

Tampa Police chief Jane Castor says that the cameras will not be used to peek into homes. We were goiven assurances that the Patriot Act was temporary and would only be used against terrorists. We have seen warrantless wiretapping on law-abidding American citizens since the Patriot Act became law.

I was in downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention. The excessive security kept Tampa residents away from downtown. Out of town Republicans went to Ybor City to spend their money. Downtown Tampa is already a mess. Intrusive surveillance cameras will only make downtown Tampa less friendly to visitors.

Update: Mitch Perry reports that the decision to have the surveillance cameras is strictly up to Mayor Bob Buckhorn. He has already decided to keep the cameras. It appears that the ACLU is going to have the City of Tampa to court.

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Discrimination Complaint Filed Against Jacaranda Manor

Melissa Dulude, 38, and Mandie Bryan, 31, filed EEOC complaints against Jacaranda Manor. Dulude and Bryan are in a relationship. The two allege that they were fired because they are gay.

Delude's complaint alleges, "on November 16, 2012, I informed my unit supervisor that I had seen a male employee and a female employee engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior for the workplace."

Jacaranda has a posted policy of reporting misconduct in the facility.

"Minutes later," Delude's complaint continues, "I was called into the office and told that I was being discharged from my position. When I asked why, I was given no reason. My life partner was terminated the same day. Neither of us had conduct, attendance or performance issues."

The website has given Jacaranda Manor a "much below average" rating.

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Mark Sanford May Run For Senate

Apparently, the Appalachian trail may lead to the U.S. Senate. Disgraced former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has not ruled out running for the Senate seat currently occupied by the departing Jim DeMint.

Don’t rule it out. In an interview, the former South Carolina governor said he’d been by bombarded Thursday by calls and emails from former donors and allies encouraging him to consider a run in the 2014 election for Mr. DeMint’s seat. And, guess what? He’s not dismissing the idea.

“It’s not a ‘no,’ but it’s not a ‘yes,’ ” Mr. Sanford said.

Gov. Nikki Haley will appoint DeMint's successor. An election for the Senate seat will be held in 2014.

Sanford became a national punchline for his affair with Maria Belen Chapur. I don't think an affair disqualifies Sanford from office. I do strongly disagree with Sanford's political views.

Don't think that Sanford could not get elected to the Senate. South Carolina sent the racist Strom Thurmond to the Senate repeatedly. David Vitter was caught in an escort scandal and was re-elected. Sanford has a legitimate chance a political second act. Sanford hasn't made enemies within his party like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It is virtually impossible for a Democrat to win a statewide race in South Carolina. If Sanford wins the Republican primary, he will be a senator.

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Tea Party B.S. On Not Shouting Down Elected Leaders

I wrote about tea party members shouting on the floor of the Florida Senate about the Affordable Care Act being unconstitutional. The tea party claims about the Affordable Care Act are bogus. The Supreme Court ruled that ACA is constitutional.

Florida tea party groups realize that their behavior did not garner them positive publicity. Tea party groups sent an apology letter to Committee Chairman Joe Negron.

"Tea Party leaders in Florida as represented by The Florida Alliance have long rejected organized and planned tactics by groups like Code Pink, and Occupy Wall Street to shout people down in meetings," the Alliance wrote in the letter, which has today's date on it. "Our compatriots were responding from an over-abundance of passion for freedom. They were spontaneously trying to participate in a process that has been frustrating and opaque for years and their response was not pre-meditated and not intended to interfere in your process. However, speaking over a sitting Senator who is using his allotted time to represent his constituents is unacceptable."

Tea party groups don't believe in shouting down elected leaders!?! Let's go to the video. Remember this townhall meeting with Kathy Castor that nearly turned into a riot. You can barely hear Castor above the shouting.

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Jim DeMint Is Really Stupid

"To state the obvious, you don't make Jim DeMint the head of your think tank in order to improve the quality of your scholarship."

Ezra Klein, on Jim DeMint becoming the president of the Heritage Foundation.

DeMint is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. DeMint ventured into conspiracy land with his statement that President Obama is like the evil government in the novel 1984.

• In April, he accused President Obama of taking us into Orwellian 1984 territory. “When I read George Orwell’s novel 1984, I would almost smile because I would think that could never happen,” DeMint said. “But he [Obama] really is saying one thing and meaning the complete opposite. He is presenting a complete redefinition of words and ideas.”

DeMint has publicly opposed single mothers and gay people being school teachers.

At a 2004 debate, DeMint declared that openly gay people should not be teaching public school. "We need the folks that are teaching in schools to represent our values," he said. DeMint later added that he "would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman, who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend, should be hired to teach my third grade children."

During the debt ceiling crisis, DeMint told Andrew Napolitano that he was willing to push the federal government into default.

DEMINT: The reason the president hasn’t addressed the issue even though we knew it was facing us, and this is the fourth time he’s asked for an increase in the debt limit, he has been burning time — that’s what [Vice President Joe] Biden was supposed to do is get the Republicans behind closed doors — is burn the clock up until we have a crisis. So now we’re at the point where there would have to be some serious disruptions in order not to raise it. I’m willing to do that, I just don’t think we can find enough of Republicans and Democrats to say it’s time to stop spending.

DeMint is so economically ignorant that Sec. of Treasury Tim Geithner had to explain to the Senator that a cap can not be placed on placed on the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is either raised or paid down. There is no in between.

Geithner's letter to DeMint.

In your letter, you suggest that the debt limit should not be raised, and instead that federal debt be "capped" at the current limit. You further propose that after the government's borrowing authority is exhausted in August, the United States should for some indefinate period pay only the interest on its debt, while stopping or delaying payment of a broad swath of other commitments the the country has made under the law.

I have expressed my concerns about this idea before, but I will restate them to be clear: this "prioritization" proposal advocates a radical and deeply irresponsible departure from the commitments by Presidents of both parties, throughout American history, to honor all of the commitments our Nation has made.

The debt limit applies to past decisions of Congress. Increasing the debt limit is necessary to allow the United States to honor obligations previously authorized and appropriated by Congress.

DeMint was one of the 38 Republican senators to vote against U.N. Treaty on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Republican Bob Dole came back to the Senate in a wheelchair to lobby fellow Republicans. Dole himself is disabled and currently moving about in a wheelchair. DeMint and other Republicans voted against the treaty over conspiracy theory fears that the United Nations would take away America's sovereignty.

Dan Drezner marvels at the stupidity of not ratifying the treaty.

Now I'm honestly pretty dubious about whether U.S. ratification of the treaty would accomplish all that. Unlike Law of the Sea, not ratifying this treaty doesn't appreciably harm U.S. interests. It does, however, make the United States look pretty dysfunctional. In essence, the U.S. Senate just rejected a treaty on protecting the disabled that would have globalized the status quo in U.S. law on this issue. To use the parlance of international relations scholars, this is dumber than a bag of hammers.

One would look at DeMint's record and think this guy is really fucking stupid. Marco Rubio views DeMint as an intellectual giant.

Jim DeMint. He’s a great source of wisdom as a person who’s had to make decisions that have made him unpopular in his own party.

The Shark Tank reports that Rubio is putting together a farewell video for his intellectual mentor.

Update: DeMint is neither a fan of free speech or a woman's right to choice. DeMint sponsored an amendment that would ban women from discussing abortion with their doctors over the internet.

“What about a woman experiencing a high-risk pregnancy who is talking with her doctor through video conferencing?” Keenan said. “Under Sen. DeMint’s extreme plan, if abortion came up in that doctor-patient conversation, the woman and her physician would have to go to a separate communications system. He’s calling for an abortion-only version of Skype. It is impractical, ridiculous, and, most importantly, bad for women in rural or remote areas who would not be able to discuss the full set of options with their doctor.”

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Quote of the Day

"As bad news piles up for the Democrats, I asked a top Democratic strategist if it were possible that President Obama might 'pull a Lyndon Johnson' and soberly face the cameras, telling America that he has decided that the demands of partisan politics are interfering with his efforts to right our economy and that he has decided to withdraw to devote full time to our recovery. His answer: 'Yes. It’s possible. If things continue as they are and have not turned around by January, it is certainly possible.'"

Dick Morris, reporting in September of 2011 that President Obama won't run for a second term.

The Democratic strategists Morris talks to have one thing in common with Thomas Friedman's cab drivers. Neither exists.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Robyn Hitchcock - If You Were A Priest

One of my favorite Hitchcock songs.

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Alan Simpson Dances Gangnam Style (Seriously)

As a blogger, Alan Simpson is the gift that keeps on giving. I'm starting to actually like him.

This video is an absolute disaster. Obama or Clinton can make politics (almost) seem hip. Simpson has no chance with an annoying dance craze that people will look back on with horror.

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Tom Coburn Backs Tax Increases on the Rich

Sen. Tom Coburn splits from the Republican caucus on the fiscal cliff negotiations. Coburn told MSNBC that he supports tax increases on the rich.

"I know we have to raise revenue," the senator from Oklahoma told MSNBC. "I don't really care which way we do it. Actually, I would rather see rates go up than do it the other way, because it gaves us a greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future."

Coburn has been the most grown-up of Senate Republicans on deficit reduction. Touching the Department of Defense budget has been taboo for conservatives. Coburn published a report detailing waste in military spending. One DoD item was "The 100-Year Starship Project." A conference was held asking "Did Jesus die for Klingons, too?" Coburn is wise enough to know money is better spent elsewhere.

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First Rule of Fight Club

Someone should start Peter Schorsch fight club.

Been called disreputable but Largo City Hall reporter @TheWillHobson is first to call me a hack. #ProbablyNottheLast

I joked with Peter about making a list of all the people he had public feuds with. If I ever did make the list I would have to update the damn thing every week. Good thing I agreed with Peter on not making the list.


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Minutemen - This Ain't No Picnic

I never knew the Minutemen made an official video for this song. I recommend you check out the entire Minutemen album Double Nickels on A Dime.

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Daily Show Mocks the War on Christmas

Jon Stewart mocks the annual "War on Christmas" coverage by Fox News.

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Sen. Portman Protested at Townhall Meeting

I wrote earlier today that Congressional Republicans proposing cuts to Medicare and Medicaid is political suicide. Sen. Rob Portman experienced this first-hand at a townhall meeting. The protesters interrupted Portman's speech. I will give Portman credit for handling the protest with humor.

The townhall meeting was set-up by Fix The Debt. Fix the Debt was started by Fortune 500 CEOs pushing for entitlement cuts to pay for tax cuts. This wouldn't fix the debt. It would help the bottom line of Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO, and Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Blankfein and Dimon fail to mention that the bailouts of their banks didn't help the debt.

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Rubio and Rivera Still Together

Alex Leary reports that Marco Rubio is still around his housemate David Rivera.

Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, among crowd at Mayflower hotel, where Ryan and Rubio will speak.

Rivera lost his U.S. House seat because of the controversy surrounding the numerous criminal investigations on him. The fact that Rubio would let Rivera be in the same building as him shows a lack of ethical judgement on his part.

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Quote of the Day: Fiscal Cliff Edition

"He talks, for example, about $800 billion worth of revenues, but he says he’s going to do that by lowering rates. And when you look at the math, it doesn’t work....If we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made, and the further reforms in entitlements that I'm prepared to make, we’re going to have to see the rates on the top two percent go up. And we’re not going to be able to get a deal without it."

President Barack Obama, on House Speaker John Boehner's fiscal cliff proposal.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes that Boehner that not say where he would cut $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid. The CBPP notes that this level of cuts would be "draconian."

When the well-being of millions of Americans is at stake — as it is with major changes in Medicare and Medicaid — that shouldn’t be acceptable. If policymakers want to propose $600 billion in health care entitlement savings, as they have every right to do, they should show us the specific changes they would make to get there. Until they do, such proposals shouldn’t receive much credibility.

Mitt Romney ran on economic policy vagueness and drastic cuts to entitlements. The result was a general election loss. Democrats now know the recipe to beat Republicans on entitlements. Boehner and other Congressional Republicans are committing political suicide by going after Medicare. Establishment Republicans fail to understand that many in their base are elderly people on Medicare.

Side note: Boehner is so unserious that yesterday he offered a Bowles plan that does not exist has a counter-proposal.

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