Friday, May 31, 2013

David Caton is Having a Gay Day

Florida Family Association founder is once again bashing gay people. Caton paid for a plane to fly three banners in protest of Disney's "Gay Day" in Orlando.

A plane with the banner "Warning: Gay Day at Disney 6/1" is flying around Central Florida.

Caton's boycotts usually never work. Caton attempted to Circle K to stop selling porno magazines. Caton did get Lowe's to stop advertising on the television show All-American Muslim. The truth is that Caton's influence is often overstated by the media. Caton is the the only employee at the Florida Family Association. Caton has no church or congregation. My question is who put up the money for the flyers?

Side note: I doubt that Caton is smart enough to realize his flyers are giving Disney free advertising.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sonic Youth - Shadow Of A Doubt

This was filmed live at Rockpalast, Germany in 2002. This song is the Inception of music. Shadow of Doubt is dreamy, sexy and more than a little scary.

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The Republican Party's Secret Weapon, Yes, It's Mitt Romney!

I can't blog this news about Mitt Romney without laughing. Please let this be through.

"As a first step, the former Republican presidential nominee plans to welcome 200 friends and supporters to a three-day summit next week that he will host at a Utah mountain resort. He is considering writing a book and a series of opinion pieces, and has plans to campaign for 2014 candidates. But he is wary of overdoing it."

I hope Romney does overdue it and campaigns with as many Republicans candidates as they can. The question is what Republican candidates will want to campaign with Mitt.

Update: Martha Jackovics makes good points about the down side of Romney hitting the campaign trail to stump for fellow Republicans.

If Romney indeed plans to "shape national priorities" I say what better way to call even more attention to income inequality, corporate welfare, the "dreaded" 47% crowd, and the need for tax reform.

Which is exactly why I want Mitt out in full force in 2014.


Blowback From Nan Rich Not Speaking At Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo is marveling how how big of a mess the Florida Democratic Party has made out of not allowing Nan Rich to speak at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Way to go, Florida Democratic Party, you've allowed the Republican Party of Florida to mock you for appearing to mistreat one of your own, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich.
Marc, don't you know by know the Florida Democratic Party always manages to snatch defeat out of victory. The FDP is the Washington Generals of state political parties. We now see that RPOF chairman Lenny Curry sent out an email panning the FDP for allowing Rich to speak.

Because Senator Rich is an experienced spokesperson for Democratic ideology in Florida, it must be disappointing to see your Chairwoman, Allison Tant, put the interests of big-dollar donors ahead of a mere five minutes for Florida's leading champion of liberal causes.

It might be the fact that she is just out of touch with Democrat activists like many of you, and takes her orders from Washington. But it also may be that Tant is working with Charlie Crist to set up a possible gubernatorial candidacy announcement at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Who knows.

As I wrote before, this has less to do with the FDP and more to do with the DNC clearing the way for a Charlie Crist or Bill Nelson campaign. Many progressive activists are bothered by Rich not being given 5 minutes to speak. It wouldn't have killed the powers that be to at least pretend the nomination was still in play and give Rich a speaking slot. Realistically, she wouldn't have a chance against Nelson or Crist. It is not like speaking at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner would be a game changer.

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Why Rick Scott Is a Bad Politician

Patricia Mazzei of the Miami Herald pressed Gov. Rick Scott on if he would return the $110,000 campaign contribution from Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Company. Heritage is set to make $52 million to take 60,000 policies from Citizens Property Insurance. People have asked why the state would let a 9 month old company take over so many policies. Considering Scott's past conflicts of interest it makes skeptics wonder if the campaign donation factored into the decision.

Scott was asked during Miami-Dade County's hurricane preparedness news conference Scott was asked if he would give the $110,000 contribution back to Heritage. Scott again proved himself to be an inept politician by not giving a yea or nay answer. I don't know how many times I have seen Scott stumble when he is being grilled. What is funny is that Scott's spokeswoman Melissa Sellers had no problem giving a direct answer.

"No," Sellers wrote. "And as we said last week, any assertion that our office influenced the Heritage risk transfer decision by the Citizens Board is outrageous."

It would be a lot easier to believe if Scott could answer the question himself. Scott's atrocious skills on the stump is why he is so unpopular and beatable.

Kudos to Patricia Mazzei for trying to get a straight answer out of Scott.

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Republicans Benghazi Rage Not About National Security

You will be shocked, shocked I say, when you hear Politico's Mike Allen tell Charlie Rose that the reason Republicans are making an issue out of Benghazi is to damage Hillary Clinton's chances in 2016.
ALLEN: Privately, Republicans say that Benghazi probably wouldn't be an issue if it weren't for Hillary Clinton. Unlike the IRS...

ROSE: If this wasn't for her in 2016, this wouldn't be an issue?

ALLEN: Yeah, because it's something that people don't understand. Even the White House will tell you it's never going to be resolved to anyone's satisfaction, but there is going to be a real effort to make it last.

And when we're talking about these three controversies, we should remember, world event history tells us that world events can change everything. Somebody pointed out to me that if the Boston marathon happened next week, this would all look different.

ROSE: Right.

I wish there actually was a debate on improving security for diplomats and CIA operatives. Instead we are debating talking points. Mitt Romney was more concerned about whether or not President Obama called the Benghazi consulate attack an act of terror. Obama did label the attack an act of terror in a speech.

"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation."

If there were mistakes made by members of the Obama administration then those people should be held accountable. The problem is Republicans are more concerned about blaming the Obama administration for talking points that were partly crafted by disgraced CIA director David Petraeus. The same talking points Republicans asked Petraeus to give them.

Tas wrote a guest post on how difficult it is for U.S. official to move unseen in a place like Benghazi.

As for the Benghazi “scandal”, that attack happened at a time of protests in Muslim majority cities around the globe. There was absolutely no intelligence about an upcoming attack on a US consulate office in Libya’s second city. After all, usually it’s the embassy in a capital city that is targeted, not a minor office. We don’t even know if the Benghazi attack was planned ahead of time or just happened on the spot. I've lived in Cairo, so I’m familiar with how streets in Arab cities in Africa look; and there’s not a lot of opulence in those streets. If an American ambassador is driving into town in a rich American car, with security in tow, then the city residents can at least deduce that this is somebody important. There are a lot of weapons available in a country that just went through a civil war, and from there the only organizing that takes place is a couple of on the spot telephone calls and, bam, you have an attack.

That’s. It. There was no conspiracy to hide information about this attack because there was probably absolutely no information at all until it happened. And it happened at a time of global protests in Muslim cities, which was enough to make anyone question whether it was a protest gone awry or an attack. Period. End of story.

We do need to improve diplomatic security. Republicans don't care about that. If they did they wouldn't cut funding for diplomatic security. A person warning Republicans in 2011 about cutting diplomatic security was Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

Noting her own eight years in Congress, Clinton said she understands the tight fiscal environment and the need to trim spending. “But the scope of the proposed House cuts is massive,” she said. “The truth is that cuts of that level will be detrimental to America’s national security.”

This is why I don't take Republicans seriously on Benghazi.

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Question of the Day

There is a Draft Val Demings for Orange County Mayor in 2014. Demings is the former chief of the Orlando Police Department. Demings ran for Congress and lost to Daniel Webster by 11, 000 votes. I'm agnostic on if Demings would make a good candidate for Orange County Mayor. Tell me what you think in the comments.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Man Sentence to 6 Months For Threatening President Obama

Donte Jamar Sims was sentenced to 6 months in prison after he unwisely decided to threaten President Barack Obama on Twitter.

Sims admitted using his Twitter account, (at)DestroyLeague_D, to post five threats in advance of Obama's September arrival to speak in Charlotte, including "Plotting president Obama's Murder," ''Ima Assassinate president Obama this evening!" and "The Secret Service is gonna be defenseless once I aim the Assault Rifle at Barack's Forehead."

People, do not threaten celebrities or elected officials. It is not nice and it could get your ass thrown in jail.

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Nan Rich Will Not Speak At Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

You know Nan Rich's gubernatorial candidacy is in trouble is when she will not be allowed to speak at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

"I think it's inappropriate, given the amount of attention the governor's race will draw," said Rich, a Weston resident. "I've been a candidate for a year, I've traveled the state and built a significant infrastructure and grassroots support. And I'm just asking for five minutes."

But it's five minutes too long in the eyes of the Democratic Party's chairwoman, Allison Tant, who decided along with party leaders to keep the June 15 fundraiser at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood limited to three speakers: Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and featured speaker Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio.

I'm surprised that someone of Allison Tant's progressive background is blocking Rich from speaking. Florida Democratic Party political director Christian Ulvert explained that the focus of this year's dinner will be Julian Castro, Bill Nelson and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

I wonder if the DNC told the FDP to not have Rich speak. Charlie Crist stumped for Obama in Florida and was a campaign bundler.

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Dogs Attempts to Rescue Another Dog

In Chile, a dog pulls another dog out of the highway. Unfortunately, the dog that got hit didn't survive. The bravery of the dog attenpting the rescue is amazing.

Hat tip to Americablog.

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Peter Schorsch Nominated to City Beautiful Commission

Congratulations to Peter Schorsch for being nominated to the St. Petersburg City Beautiful Commission. St. Petersburg City Council chair Karl Nurse recommended Schorsch's appointment. Mayor Bill Foster will ask the City Council to make the appointment official. Since Schorsch has Nurse's backing this should be a formality.

The City Beautiful Commission oversees parks. Schorsch has written about his concerns about Williams Park. Wikipedia has this description of Williams Park.

Williams Park is also known as the city's homeless park. Local residents, college students and shoppers no longer stroll the sidewalks or lounge on the landscaped lawn. Ongoing drug sweeps and police activity are now the features that mar this once prominent gathering place.

As a member of the City Beautiful Commission, Schorsch and other members can recommend ordinances to the City Council. It is already against city law to sleep in the park overnight. There are people that sleep in Williams Park during the day. What is really attracting certain homeless people is the drug traffic in Williams Park. I expect we will see Schorsch get quite vocal about cleaning up the park.

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Quote of the Day

"Michele Bachmann's Congressional exit interview should consist of one question: 'Can you find Benghazi on a map?'"

Tas, on Twitter.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Mad Men Episode 'The Better Half'

You most likely heard Lou Johnson's rendition of Always Something There To Remind Me on the recent episode of Mad Men. Here is Johnson performing on American Bandstand.

This episode of Mad Men had some nice surprises. Who the thought Peggy would stab her hippie boyfriend Abe. Poor Abe actually got stabbed twice in the episode. The first time during a mugging that he didn't want to report. The second time by Peggy's homemade mop handle/knife/spear. The break-up scene between Peggy and Abe in the ambulance was awesome. I have never been a fan of Abe. I found the character to be a pretentious shit. However, being stabbed by your girlfriend is good grounds for a break-up.

Does anyone get what Peggy's attraction to Abe was? I never got them as a couple. The show was more focused on Peggy's career than personal life. Peggy's pregnancy in season 1 and 2 being the exception.

The more I learn about Henry Frances the less I like him. We saw subtle shadings of racism from Henry during the aftermath of Martin Luther King's assassination. We now know Henry needs to know that men find Betty attractive, in order to get turned on. Henry wasn't jealous of a colleague hitting on Betty. Henry wanted the details to feed his own personal needs. Yuck.

The Don and Betty hook-up was a surprise. What was interesting is the power Betty exerted over Don. Betty knew Don would follow her when she left the door open. Better knew the effect she would have on Don when she said the best way to hurt him was to love him. Betty then went back to Henry the next morning as if nothing has happened. Don was the one that disappeared on Betty during the early seasons.

The big question is why is Bob Benson. Rolling Stone asked that question in an article. What we have seen on the show is Bob Benson is an incredibly guy. There are no nice people on Mad Men. Jody Rosen tweeted these theories.

There is a fake Bob Benson Twitter account that is hysterical.

I guess we have to wait until future episodes to find out if Bob Benson and Joan are dating. I found it very interesting how coolly Bob played dumb when Roger Sterling came over to Joan's apartment.

I believe that Don's past as Dick Whitman will come back to haunt him. I'm just not sure if Bob Benson is the catalyst. I know that I don't believe that Benson is actually that nice. He may actually like Joan but he has shown signs of corporate ambition. That is perfectly normal in the Mad Men advertising world.

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Why Did Florida Legislature use Data Targeting?

The "Fair Districts" case continues in the court of Judge Terry Lewis. Data Targeting was given 6 weeks to turn in documents relating to districting. Data Targeting is claiming that the documents are privileged information.

“What we’ve said all along—it’s a fishing expedition for political reasons,” said D. Kent Safriet, a Tallahassee attorney. “You can’t unpublish (the documents) in the newspaper.”

The documents could shed light in how the district maps for Florida congressional and state legislator seats were made. An interesting side note is Data Targeting's website is nothing more than a homepage. Good luck finding out the company's management or clients from the website. Mabus on Democratic Underground found this on Data Targeting.

Branding and selling a product is but one aspect of the business. The other is having the expertise or staff to handle all customer questions or problems. Orlando operates its CareeRealEstate center as a turn-key venture where all calls are directed to the association, then passed on to the vendor, Canadian-based Brainhunter Inc.

The next step in Orlando's strategic plan was to branch out and foster products the association could sell or license to other associations or organizations. For this effort, Orlando formed another for-profit subsidiary called Orracle, a joint venture with Data Targeting Inc. of Gainesville, Fla., to create a political management system that can be used with equal success by professional organizations, trade associations, committees, political parties, and candidates.

Orracle is a sophisticated data mining product that helps forecast how individual voters feel about certain hot-button issues and how they are likely to vote. In its three years on the market, it has generated outstanding results at the polls and begun to pay back the association's nearly $200,000 start-up investment, says Jennings. Numbered among its current clients are the Kansas and Nebraska associations as well as the Lexington-Bluegrass, Raleigh and Pinellas Sun-coast associations."

The new districts are based on the last census. Why would Republicans in the Florida legislature want to know how people in potential districts would vote? The districts should be based on the demographics from changes in the state population and compliance with civil rights laws. My fear is Republicans used Data Targeting to figure out how Floridians would vote and make new districts favorable to Republicans from this information.

The good news is we might get some answers in court.

Lewis said that if the documents were not produced quickly, he do just that.

“I’m not real happy about it,” he said.

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Quote of the Day

"Dulce bellum inexpertis."

A Latin proverb, from the Greek poet Pinder.

The English translation: "War is sweet to those who have never experienced it."

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Kathy Castor Endorses Darden Rice

St. Petersburg City Council candidate Darden Rice announced the Rep. Kathy Castor has endorsed her candidacy.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor: "I strongly endorse Darden Rice for the St. Petersburg City Council. Darden Rice is an outspoken advocate for jobs, small businesses and a healthy and clean environment. We have worked together to protect and restore the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay and ensure that our local businesses succeed and grow. Darden and I have also collaborated on equal rights as she values the right for each citizen to vote and will work to ensure our elections are fair and successful."

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Heritage Deal Hurting Rick Scott

The Republican Party of Florida is playing defense on the deal Citizens Property Insurance Corp. made with Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Co. Heritage is set to make $52 million from taking 60,000 policies from Citizens. Many people feel that Heritage attaining the policies is quid pro quo from Gov. Rick Scott. Heritage has donated $110,000 to Scott's re-election campaign.Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano noted Heritage is an insurance company with a dubious track record.

It had to be Heritage's long and distinguished record of service (Nine months and counting!) and the president's intimate familiarity with insurance regulators (Numerous complaints and fines at two previous companies!) that made Heritage more desirable than any other outfit.

The Republican Party of Florida have been playing defense on the Heritage deal. However, even Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford isn't going to defend this Turkey.

"I have serious concerns about the latest takeout agreement between Citizens and the Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Company, particularly the lengthy backdated payments for coverage that Heritage did not provide," Weatherford said in a statment. "Once again, Citizens did not provide a sufficient advanced briefing to the Legislature, and the proposal was hastily pushed through a sharply divided board."

Scott can't help himself. His crony capitalist side rules his dark heart.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Lara Logan interviews Dereck and Beverly Joubert for 60 Minutes. The couple have been filming lions in Africa for decades. The Jouberts documentaries have changed the way scientists think about lion behavior.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Radiohead - House of Cards

An absolutely killer version of House of Cards performed on Jools Holland. Why can't America have music shows as cool as Jools Holland?

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Quote of the Day

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both.

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

James Madison, "Political Observations" (1795-04-20); also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. IV, p. 491


Marco Rubio is Still an Economic Illiterate

Sen. Marco Rubio's reasoning for not allowing Republican House members to conference with the Senate is mind-boggingly stupid. Rubio tweeted this gem.

Rubio, who has made a couple floor speeches about the standoff, tweeted this evening: "Will keep objecting to budget negotiations moving forward until Senate leaders agree to rule out raising #DebtLimit." If they don't plan to raise #DebtLimit in budget then why do they object to putting it in writing upfront?"

Rubio's position is he won't let the House of Representatives conference with the Senate because he wants the federal government to default. That is exactly what would happen if the debt ceiling isn't raised. Congress controls the power of the purse. The main job of Congress is to pass a budget. Rubio is denying Congress the ability to fulfill its constitutional responsibility so he can create a potential international economic crisis.

Every country on the planet is tied to United States currency. The most likely scenario would be countries freezing credit. A credit freeze is what caused the crashes in 1929 and 2008. The federal government doesn't have the revenue to pay the debt. If the debt ceiling isn't raised the international markets will panic. Rubio throws his political spitballs but he never offers a solution. Of course, Rubio ignored Alex Sink's warnings to deal with Florida's debt.

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Ted Cruz is the New Jim DeMint

Via Crooks and Liars: Sen. Ted Cruz continues to endear himself to both members of Congress.

“Madame President,” Cruz said to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who was presiding over the Senate session, “the senior senator from Arizona urged this body to trust the Republicans. Let me be clear, I don’t trust the Republicans.”

“And I don’t trust the Democrats,” he continued after a beat. “And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us into this mess.”

Cruz is denying the right of House Republicans to conference with the Senate on the budget. Cruz is opposing his own party. This is the kind of stuff Jim DeMint used to do. DeMint supported letting the government default based on his own lack of understanding of economics. Even Mitch McConnell, in all his grandstanding, was not that crazy. Cruz, like DeMint, isn't in Congress to pass legislation. Cruz and DeMint both believe in making government dysfunctional and pissing off their colleagues.

I was not surprised when DeMint left the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation. It was obvious DeMint hated government and the people that worked there. My question is why did DeMint ever run for the Senate in the first place. I wouldn't be surprised if Cruz doesn't run for a second term. Hispanic Republicans are turning on Cruz.

“I’m disappointed in Ted Cruz because he is capable of being a leader on the immigration issue like Rubio,” said Artemio Muniz, the chairman of the Federation of Hispanic Republicans, an offshoot of the Republican Party of Texas. “He has the conservative pedigree to take the lead and be the guy and close the gap between the Hispanic community and Republicans, but he has chosen another route.”

Count on Cruz to block the immigration reform bill in the Senate. It doesn't matter that the Republican Party is losing Hispanic voters. Someone has to be the new Jim DeMint. Before DeMint was Joe Lieberman. There is always one member of the Senate that gets a power thrill from behaving like an asshole.

Update: Salon columnist Joan Walsh fired off this tweet.

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To Big to Prosecute is A Myth

Attorney General Eric Holder made news earlier this year when he told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the big banks are too big too to prosecute.

I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy, and I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.

The recent House financial services committee hearing revealed that the Department of Justice based this assumption on no empirical evidence.

The U.S. Department of Justice appears to have neither conducted nor received any analyses that would show whether criminal charges against large financial institutions would harm the economy, potentially undermining a key DOJ argument for why the world’s biggest banks have escaped indictment.

Testimony by a top Justice official and fresh documents made public on Wednesday during a House financial services committee hearing revealed that financial regulators and the Treasury Department did not provide warnings to prosecutors weighing the economic consequences or fallout in the financial system of criminal indictments against large financial groups. DOJ also could find no records that would substantiate its previous claims that it weighed potentially negative economic or financial impacts when considering criminal charges, said Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general for the criminal division.

This is video Sen. Elizabeth Warren during her first Banking Committee hearing. Warren questioned financial regulators on when was the last time they took a major bank to trial. The answer they all the regulators gave is none. This was prior to the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Warren serves on the

The Obama administration has no interest in prosecuting major financial institutions. The Senate Judiciary Committee reveals that the Justice Department never had studies conducted on what the economic impact would be if major financial institutions were prosecuted. Holder never had the studies done because he never wanted to run the risk of an answer that would be unacceptable to the White House.

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620 Pound Black Bear Captured & Released

This is cool. In Paisley, a Florida 620-pound black bear was captured. That is the largest Florida black bear on ever captured. The bear is fine. Apparently, the bear had to be relocated after it had been getting into trash cans in the Ocala National Forest.

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Code Pink Disrupts Obama's Drones Speech

I continue to marvel at how Code Pink gets past Secret Service and police security. The drone campaign has been a major cause for Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin. She has written the book "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control." Benjamin and Code Pink traveled to Pakistan to raise awareness on President Obama's drone campaign.

Here is Obama's response to Benjamin. Whatever you think about Obama (and I have my misgivings), he is a skilled politician. He doesn't get rattled when he's heckled.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to keep campaigning with Donald Trump."

LOLGOP, on Twitter.

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Lawmakers Won on Florida Supreme Court Decision

I don't have a great deal of knowledge about Florida law on legislative privilege. I have no reason to doubt that the 1st District Court of Appeal was upholding the law by protecting members of the Florida legislature from testifying on redistricting. I still would have liked to hear members of the legislature speak on-the-record about the redistricting process. From the decision.

"We are confident that respondents will be able to make their case that the plan was drawn with improper intent -- if, indeed, that was what happened -- with the evidence in the legislative record and their experts’ analysis of the plan and its underlying demographic data," wrote Judge T. Kent Wetherell, who was joined in the majority by Judge Scott Makar.

I don't believe that members of the Florida legislature should be hauled into court every time a group or a citizen has a disagreement on legislation. These elective officials would always be in court. I would like to see the legislature testify on matters as important as redistricting. The question is how can courts make that distinction. Does Florida law even give the courts that much leeway?

Judge Lewis' decision in the 1st District Court of Appeal did not touch upon testimony from the legislature. Lewis refused to dismissed the case because Sec. of State Ken Detzner argued that the Florida Supreme Court has executive jurisdiction over challenges to redistricting plans. Lewis noted that the argument wasn't true.

The problem with this argument is it flies it the face of the case law. In the 40 plus years this method has been in the Florida Constitution, and despite the several opinions on redistricting, including the two most recent opinions in 2012, the Florida Supreme Court has never held that it has executive judisdiction over over challenges to legislative redistricting plans. To the contrary, it has repeatedly stated that it was limited to a "facial" review and that consideration of the more fact intensive "as-applied" claims were "better suited for a court of competent judisdiction where there is an opportunity to present evidence and witness testimony and where the court has the ability to make factual findings based on the evidence presented."

THe Florida Supreme Court isn't designed to hear hours of witness testimony. That is why Detzner appealed the 1st District Court of Appeaal ruling. Lewis was more than willing to hear legislators and staffers speak on the redistricting process. The good news for the Legue of Women Voters is the Florida Supreme Court hasn't dismissed the case. As of now, the obvious winners from the Florida Supreme Court ruling is REpublican lawmakers and Democrats with gerrymandered districts.

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Why Does the White House Let Joe Biden Out in Public?

Our less than wise Vice-President said this at a reception.

"You can't tell Barack that the teleprompter's down. The standing joke in the office is Barack's learning to speak without a teleprompter; I'm learning to speak with one."

After Dick Cheney it is reassuring we have gone back to the tradition of idiotic vice-presidents. I am just amazed that the White House political team hasn't gotten Biden under control. This is the same Biden that didn't even know what state or university he was campaigning in.


Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Co. Scores Citizens Policies

Via Daily Kos: the Tampa Bay Times reports Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Co. donated $110,000 to Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign 2 months ago. Heritage is now set to $52 million to take 60,000 policies from the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Scott's office claims that the campaign contributions have nothing to do with Citizens decisions to sell policies to Heritage.

Scott's office said the governor played no role in the $52 million deal at Citizens, and campaign contributions were not a factor. "We expect (the board) to approve or disapprove of this risk transfer based solely on its merits," said Melissa Sellers, a spokeswoman for Scott. "Anything short of that would harm Citizens policyholders and Florida residents who back Citizens policies."

Apparently, even Republican state Rep. Frank Artiles isn't buying the spin.

"Citizens' board continues to fall prey to Tallahassee lobbyists who cook up these get rich funding schemes," said Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami.

Scott previously tried to kill Citizens. The Gainesville Sun reported that Scott proposal was too radical for private insurers.

The industry lobbyists protested that Florida carriers could not absorb all of Citizens' business, records show. The gap would force many Florida property owners to turn to the unregulated surplus lines market, where rates are unchecked and policies are not backed by a state guarantee fund.

A lobbyist who attended the meeting advised others by email that Gov. Scott knew about the gap, but was not bothered.

"He doesn't seem to care whether they are insured in the voluntary market or surplus lines," the lobbyist wrote.

Citizens is far from perfects. Citizen executives have used public money to pay for lavish expenses. Former Citizens executive R. Paul Hulsebusch accepted a motorcycle from Quantum Claim Service. To say Citizens is dysfunctional would be an understatement. Scott selling policies for campaign contributions doesn't help matters.

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Democracy For Now Supports Students Loan Fairness Act

Democracy For America is running a petition in support of Elizabeth Warren's bill Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act.

Get this: Student loan interest rates are about to double to 6.8 percent. But big banks? They’re getting a sweet deal on borrowing money from the Fed: 0.75 percent.

No, that’s not a typo. Students will be paying 900 percent more than the biggest banks on Wall Street to borrow money.

Our biggest banks don’t deserve another sweetheart deal. And educated young Americans looking for jobs, and looking to build a future for themselves, don’t deserve to see their interest rates skyrocket.

The text of Warren's remarks.

Warren's legislation would direct the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to make available low interest student loans available through the Federal Reserve System. Warren's concern is that students will be buried in debt if Congress allows student loan rates to increase. On July 1st, student loan rates will increase from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats should hammer Republicans on this issue. Republicans can't afford to lose more young voters.

Democracy For America sent out this email to its supporters.

Senators Tammy Baldwin and Kirsten Gillibrand have signed onto our campaign to keep student loan interest rates from doubling -- joining more than 100,000 other Democracy for America members demanding we treat our students as well as the big Wall Street banks.

Let's see how many more Democratic senators Democracy For America and activists can get on board.

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Wolf 'You Gotta Thank the Lord' Blitzer

Only Wolf Blitzer can cover the horrible Oklahoma tornado tragedy by playing a game of high five with a baby and asking awkward religious questions to a tornado survivor.

WOLF BLITZER: I guess you gotta thank the Lord. Do you thank the Lord for that split second decision?

REBECCA: I’m actually an atheist.

WOLF BLITZER: Oh, you are? Alright.

Blitzer makes the fluff coverage on the Today Show look like 60 Minutes.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Mark Penn is Still Stupid

The most unsurprising news ever: Mark Penn is unlikely to join the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign. I wrote a post in 2008 titled "Just How Dumb Is Mark Penn." Turns out Penn is really stupid. So stupid that he became a punchline in Democratic circles. Let's count the ways.

1. Penn based his strategy on Hillary winning the nomination by taking California. Penn wasn't aware that California delegates weren't winner take all.

2. Penn convinced Clinton to not run on change. We now know that President Obama won the nomination on campaigning for change.

3. Penn made the outlandish claim that 1.7 million bloggers make a profit from blogging. Penn used no methodology on these for-profit bloggers before he published his Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Penn helped create the boring political group No Labels.

4. Penn is a clueless political operative. This memo he penned is classic Penn.

It is a vast right and left wing conspiracy. Listening to Brit Hume say that Obama is surging while Hillary failed to do X is almost comical and certainly transparent. The right knows Obama is unelectable except perhaps against Attila the Hun, and a third party would come in then anyway.

Penn really had his pulse on the 2008 election.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

The Guardian has a great collection on cat goodness.


Stupid Quote of the Day

" The conspiracy theorist in me says IRS, AP phone scandals are cover for the about-to-explode #Benghazi scandal. TooLate"

Eric Bolling, on Twitter.

Yes, nothing will help the political fortunes more than the Obama administration having to deal with three political scandals simultaneously. Bolling is so politically astute that he should leave Fox News and do political consulting work for the Republican Party. I'm sure the RNC would love to hear Bolling's ideas on the benefits of the GOP inflicting several scandals on itself. That worked so well during Bush's second term.

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Quote of Day

"Just an early, failing attempt to smear Hillary for 2016. Because the GOP has no relevant policies for our times, just politics."

Andrew Sullivan, on Republicans releasing the bogus Benghazi emails to the media.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jets to Brazil - King Medicine

The look of irritation on Blake Schwarzenbach's at an audience member is hysterical.

"More badgering of the band," said Schwarzenbach with disdain.

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Republicans Lied About Contents of Benghazi Emails

This is what the media should do to political figures that feed bogus information for political purposes. I wished CBS News went a step further and publicly outed the congressional Republicans that were feeding was quote from the Benghazi emails.

Republicans told CBS News that deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes wrote this in an email. Republicans alleged that Rhodes was trying to protect the State Department and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. This is the bogus quote congressional Republicans fed to CBS News.
"We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don't want to undermine the FBI investigation."

CBS News reports that Rhodes doesn't mention Clinton or the State Department in the actual email.

"We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation."

Republicans lied about the contents about an email by State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland. The CIA had asked the State Department to not reveal their role at the Benghazi consulate. The CIA was running operations out of the consulate. This is the actual Nuland email.

"The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings."

At the request of the CIA, Nuland cut out mention of the CIA. Republicans made up a fake quote that gave the impression that the State Department was ignoring terrorist threat warnings from the CIA.

"The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda's presence and activities of al-Qaeda."

This is an utter smear campaign by Republicans.

BACKGROUND: the CIA was running several different operations in Benghazi. David Petraeus' mistress, Paula Broadwell, was being briefed by the CIA. Broadwell even had classified CIA materials. After the affair became public, Broadwell's house was searched by the FBI. What was more disturbing is Broadwell publicly talking about the Benghazi annex.

"Now I don't know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually -- had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that's still being vetted," she said.

David Brooks has an excellent op-ed defending his friend Nuland. Brooks also points out that Benghazi was mainly a CIA operation.

Remember, this was at a moment when the State Department was taking heat for what was mostly a C.I.A. operation, while doing verbal gymnastics to hide the C.I.A.’s role. Intentionally or not, the C.I.A. seemed to be repaying the favor by trying to shift blame to the State Department for ignoring intelligence.

Brooks goes on to point out the under-reported fact that Petraeus gave Congressional lawmakers the anti-Muslim video talking points. The question should also be why is a CIA director for a Democratic administration giving Republican lawmakers talking points. Brooks reports that Nuland was asking the same question.

On Friday evening of Sept. 14, the updated talking points were e-mailed to the relevant officials in various departments, including Nuland. She wondered why the C.I.A. was giving members of Congress talking points that were far more assertive than anything she could say or defend herself. She also noted that the talking points left the impression that the C.I.A. had issued all sorts of warnings before the attack.

Remember, this was at a moment when the State Department was taking heat for what was mostly a C.I.A. operation, while doing verbal gymnastics to hide the C.I.A.’s role. Intentionally or not, the C.I.A. seemed to be repaying the favor by trying to shift blame to the State Department for ignoring intelligence.

The whole scandal started by Republicans attacking the false administration reports that Ambassador Chris Stevens death was related to protests over an anti-Muslim video. David Petraeus gave his mistress classified intelligence and Congress horrible talking points. Obama's biggest fault in the Benghazi saga is appointing someone as incompetent as Petraeus.

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Marco Rubio Busted By Chuck Todd

I noted that Sen. Marco Rubio made the laughable comment that President Barack Obama is running a "culture of intimidation."

Tas and I both noted that Obama is still operating under the delusion that Republicans want to be bipartisan. Apparently, Obama forgot about the impeachment hearings and the government shutdowns of the last Democratic presidency. Obama said this at a recent fundraiser.

"I genuinely believe there are Republicans out there who would like to work with us but they’re fearful of their base and they’re concerned about what Rush Limbaugh might say about them. And as a consequence we get the kind of gridlock that makes people cynical about government."

No, Mr. President, Republicans have no interest in governing. They can barely be bothered to show up to work and legislate.

An interesting happened on MSNBC. Rubio was ranting on about Obama running a "culture of intimidation" and refusing to be bipartisan. Chuck Todd noted that Rubio's Reclaim America PAC has been attacking the President and can hardly be accused of being bipartisan. As usual, Rubio fumbled the response. That is happens when Rubio conducts his interview with conservative radio and Fox News. He isn't used to getting asked a question that isn't a softball.

"This is not just limited to the I.R.S. This is a culture of intimidation, a willingness to play hardball politics against your political opponents."

Chuck Todd: Your PAC put out an email raising money on the IRS issue… That’s campaigning, that’s politics, too.

Rubio: …But here’s the point. I’m trying to get a petition of American citizens and Americans who support us in this endeavor so that we can rally people together to work against these sorts of abuse of power. That’s different from going around and saying I am going to put on my website every single day, every donor to the Obama campaign. I’m going to attack that individual, a private citizen by name, and I’m going to try to create this culture where people feel intimidated as they oppose me. Those are two very different things I’m talking about.

Almost every fundraising email is written in the form of a petition. Neither party ever submits those signatures as a petition. It just a fundraising ploy.

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Terry Kemple Off of the Diversity Council

Via Stogie: This gave me a laugh when I read it on his blog. Hillsborough County commissioners Al Higginbotham and Ken Hagan are shocked that Christian Right activist Terry Kemple was disqualified from the new diversity council. The National Diversity Council disqualified Kemple after he sent an email to supporters disparaging the county's new diversity council for being used to promote homosexuality. Apparently, Kemple fails to understand that the whole point of a diversity council is to not discriminate against people.

“Whether you like Kemple or not, they had no criteria for excluding him,” said Commissioner Al Higginbotham. “I have great trouble with that.”

Actually, there is a good reason not to appoint Kemple to the diversity council. Kemple has a history of being anti-gay, believes evolution is fantasy, has shown racist tendencies towards Muslims and is a silly man.

This is the man that Higginbotham and Hagan feel to they need to back to appeal to the base. Kemple race for the Hillsborough County school board and lost badly. Kemple once held a press conference that was attended by no one. Kemple is an embarrassment. For a guy that is supposed to be the most powerful Christian Right activist in Tampa, you would think he would have more than 167 followers. sOmehow I am not surprised that more people don't want to read tweets like this.

Terry Kemple is the Wile E. Coyote of Tampa political activists.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Velvet Underground - Oh! Sweet Nuthin'

This is one of those songs that instantly hit me when I first it.

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Louie Gohmert's Epic Fail on House Judiciary Committee

The most hysterical moment of the House Judiciary Committee was Attorney General making a fool out of Rep. Louie Gohmert. Mind you, making a fool out of Gohmert is not hard. Gohmert made statements about what the FBI didn't to to stop the Boston bombing. Holder pointed out to Gohmert that Gohmert has no way of knowing what the FBI did since Gohmert didn't see the FBI files. Gohmert then backtracks and claims he didn't say any of the things he just said. Chairman Bob Goodlatte tries desperately to get Gohmert to shut up. Gohmert just keeps digging a deeper hole for himself.

Start watching the video at the 3:30 mark. Hilarity ensues.

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Two Men Try the Labor Pain Simulator (Not A Good Idea)

Unlike the two men in this video, I would never try the labor pain simulator. I never had any doubt that delivering a baby is a painful experience. My late mother told me she went through the experience once and decided not to have more children. Dr. Julie Masters hooked the men up to the labor pain stimulator. It is not known who the men are. According to Yahoo News, Masters is a certified doctor and the labor pain stimulator is real.

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The Obama Administration is Cracking

Attorney General Eric Holder snapped at members of House Judiciary Committee.

“I don’t, frankly, think I’ve always been treated with respect, and it’s not even a personal thing,” he said. “That’s one thing. But I am the Attorney General of the United States.

Did Holder actually think that Republicans were going to kill him with kindness?

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew fired acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. George W. Bush appointee Douglas H. Shulman was IRS commissioner when the Cincinnati IRS office was targeting tea party groups. Miller was only serving as the temporary commissioner because the Senate hasn't confirmed a new IRS commissioner. Sen. Chuck Grassley said as much.

In comments to Government Executive following Shulman's announcement, a spokeswoman for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a longtime Finance Committee member, said, “it seems very unlikely to Sen. Grassley that the Senate would consider an IRS commissioner nominee before the next president is chosen -- the choice should be the next president’s, whether that’s President Obama or someone else.”

President Barack Obama gave a press conference today on the IRS saga. Obama showed up late to his own press conference and didn't take questions from the media. That is not a good sign.

This has been a horrible day for the Obama administration.

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Quote of the Day

"This is not just limited to the I.R.S. This is a culture of intimidation, a willingness to play hardball politics against your political opponents."

Sen. Marco Rubio

President Barack Obama is the most unintimidating man in Washington. Obama continues to express the belief that Republicans will eventually come around and be bipartisan. This is what Obama at a recent fundraiser.

"I genuinely believe there are Republicans out there who would like to work with us but they’re fearful of their base and they’re concerned about what Rush Limbaugh might say about them. And as a consequence we get the kind of gridlock that makes people cynical about government."

Republicans are taking to cable news and hold hearings on Benghazi and on the Cincinnati IRS office targeting tea party groups. Yet Obama still thinks that Republicans still want to work with him. Tas tweeted remark about Obama.

I absolutely agree with Tas. Rubio's remark on the Senate floor is laughable. Rubio needs to sell the Obama as the boogie man to feed the base. If we are talking about intimidation, as Florida House Speaker, Rubio took the committee chairmanships away from Don Brown and Dennis Ross. Their crime was voting against a property insurance bill Rubio backed. Rubio has a lot of balls to be accusing Obama of practicing intimidation.

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Holder's Missing Written Record of Recusal

This is embarrassing. The Justice Department cannot find Attorney General's Eric Holder written record of recusal from the Associated Press investigation. During the House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Tom Marino asked Holder where the recusal document was. Holder gave this answer.

“That’s something we were looking for, and nothing has been found,” Holder said, before acknowledging: “That actually might be a better policy to have.”

Kevin Gosztola catches that Holder told the committee that he saw the draft form of the response letter to the AP. Why would an Attorney General that recused himself be looking at this letter? I'm wondering if Holder actually recused himself?

Holder is asked questions by Goodlatte on AP records seizure by DoJ. He basically repeats what he said yesterday. Completely useless and waste of time to ask him questions. He passed off responsibility to deputy attorney general by recusing himself making it harder for Congress to conduct any oversight because he supposedly has no idea what has gone on in this process. But, he’s been briefed in some respect and he saw the draft form of a response letter to the AP. He knows more than he wants to talk about because he wants to dodge scrutiny.

I am not trying to raise the spector of a conspiracy theory. However, it is obvious that Holder has condradicted his own statements. At the very least, Holder is being evasive.

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The Pettiness of Louie Gohmert

Huffington Post report Sabrina Siddiqui asked Rep. Louie Gohmert about the Justice Department wiretapping of Associated Press.

"I'm not a big fan of the AP, and I can tell from their writing they're not a big fan of me."

Translation: Gohmert doesn't care about the intrusive wiretapping into the reporters of the AP. Gohmert won't defend the freedom of the press because he has a personal basis against AP. What a petty man.

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When Political Hacks Collide

I am no fan of Attorney General Eric Holder. The man has no interest in prosecuting people in power, whether that be CEOs at major banks or people responsible for the torture of detainees. Holder is a horrible Attorney General. Rep. Darrell Issa is a political hack only interested in scoring political points against the Obama administration. These two horrible public servants got into a spat during the Judiciary Committee hearing today.

"No, no, no, that's -- I am not going to stop talking now," he said.

Issa called on the committee chairman to ask Holder to stop talking, but Holder refused.

"It is inappropriate and too consistent with the way in which you conduct yourself as a member of Congress," the attorney general said. "It is unacceptable. It is shameful."

I am glad that Holder called Issa on his bullshit. I just it was someone other than Holder that would took Issa to task.

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The Republican's Perpetual Search for the Next Blowjob

Since Watergate — when a Republican president was rightfully impeached and forced to resign before being removed from office for legitimate crimes that he committed — the Republicans have deployed the strategy of trying to grind the government to a halt whenever a Democrat is elected president.  They deploy this strategy so the Democrat administration can get as little accomplished as possible.
Whenever you hear about a “scandal” involving a Democrat president, you must keep the GOP's "Stop Government" strategy in mind because, no matter what the scope of the scandal is, the Republicans will use it to the best of their ability to grind the government’s ability to govern to a halt.
The GOP certainly deployed this strategy when Bill Clinton was in office.  Beyond the budget battles that led to actual Federal government shutdowns, the GOP kept digging into the supposed crimes of the “Whitewater” real estate deal until, after not finding anything illegal, they centered on a blowjob — which isn’t a crime.  It’s a fucking blowjob.  But that didn’t stop the Republicans from using a fucking blowjob to finally grind government to a halt by using it to impeach Clinton.
Right now, there are three “scandals” circling the Obama administration.  The Department of Justice getting phone records of Associated Press journalists is the only legitimate scandal out of the three; and currently, there isn’t a bit of evidence pointing to Obama having knowledge of DOJ actions.  There is a vast gulf of difference between an employee of the executive branch committing a crime and the president directing those crimes; and the latter was the situation with Nixon and Watergate.  Also, due to warrantless wiretapping by the National Security Agency during the Bush administration being declared legal by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, there exists the very real possibility that the DOJ’s actions weren’t even a crime.  
Should there be Congressional hearings into this matter?  Of course.  But there is a difference between having hearings and grinding government to a halt — a difference that the Republicans, due to their post-Nixon strategy, purposely obfuscate.
As for the Benghazi “scandal”, that attack happened at a time of protests in Muslim majority cities around the globe.  There was absolutely no intelligence about an upcoming attack on a US consulate office in Libya’s second city.  After all, usually it’s the embassy in a capital city that is targeted, not a minor office.  We don’t even know if the Benghazi attack was planned ahead of time or just happened on the spot.  I've lived in Cairo, so I’m familiar with how streets in Arab cities in Africa look; and there’s not a lot of opulence in those streets.  If an American ambassador is driving into town in a rich American car, with security in tow, then the city residents can at least deduce that this is somebody important.  There are a lot of weapons available in a country that just went through a civil war, and from there the only organizing that takes place is a couple of on the spot telephone calls and, bam, you have an attack.
That’s.  It.  There was no conspiracy to hide information about this attack because there was probably absolutely no information at all until it happened.  And it happened at a time of global protests in Muslim cities, which was enough to make anyone question whether it was a protest gone awry or an attack.  Period.  End of story.  
There is no reason for the Republicans to drag this Benghazi story out for months, but they have anyway.  Why?  Because they are trying to grind the government to a halt.
Besides the Department of Justice and Benghazi, we have the other new “scandal” revolving around an IRS office in Cincinnati targeting new organizations with words like “tea party” and “patriot” in their name applying for non-profit status as 501(c)4 groups.  The decision to target conservative organizations was, most likely, made at a middle management level in a satellite IRS office outside of Washington DC, so how, exactly, is Obama responsible for this?  Furthermore, groups that wish to qualify for 501(c)4 non-profit status should have a stated purpose and goals for “social welfare”.  One of the groups that was targeted, called “Tea Party Patriots”, spent most of their time rapidly organizing against Obama before the election.  Their biggest accomplishment was producing an anti-health care act movie called “The Determinators”, publishing it on DVD and sending it out to hundreds of thousands of Americans.  How, exactly, is that working towards aiding the “social welfare” of society?
The  IRS saw a sharp increase in organizations claiming 501(c)4 status after the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case.  And, quite frankly, if you have conservative organizations steeped in anti-tax and anti-government ideology forming blatantly political organizations that were applying for non-profit status as 501(c)4 “social welfare” groups, wouldn’t you be curious, too?  Yes, all organizations are supposed to be judged equally, but this targeting of conservative organizations was likely borne out of IRS employees looking for better ways to manage their workload.  Let’s face it, these conservative organizations are pretty suspect.  Besides the fact that this wasn’t ordered by the Obama administration, how exactly is this a scandal?
Should there be a hearing or two?  Of course.  But will Republicans pretend this is the end of the world?  Of course.  Why?  Because they are trying to grind the government to a halt.
In light of all of these “scandals”, wherein evidence of direct involvement from the Obama White House doesn’t exist, it’s worth mentioning two actual scandals from the Bush administration that Republicans (and their savant-like stenographers in the mainstream media) cared nothing about — two non-scandals that had evidence of the Bush White House being directly involved.
The most important non-scandal of the Bush administration was the Downing Street Memo.  Published in the British press on May 1, 2005, the memo proved that the Bush administration was lying to the world about the evidence we had regarding Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction during the run up to the Second Iraq War.  That unneeded war killed over 4,800 soldiers, injured over 32,500 soldiers, and likely killed over 120,000 Iraqi civilians.  I could get into the monetary costs that we’re still paying off, but the human toll is sick enough.  Why didn’t the Republicans or the mainstream media regard the Downing Street Memo as a scandal?
The second non-scandal is one I mentioned previously, the National Security Agency executing warrantless wiretaps.  This was initiated by the Bush administration after 9/11, and Republicans weren’t appalled by it.  In fact, one of the groups who was spied upon took their case to court but it was recently thrown out in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case has yet to make it to the Supreme Court, and lawyers the group spied on fear that an appeal to the Supreme Court would only uphold the ruling from the 9th Court because of the conservative-leanings of the current Supreme Court justices.
Why didn’t the Republicans use these two scandals, with direct connections to the Bush White House, as a reason to host a number of hearings and grind government to a halt?  Why do they only care when lesser crimes are committed that don’t have any apparent connections to the Obama White House?
The answer is simple: Republicans want power, period.  That’s why they’ll turn a blind eye when one of their own commits impeachable atrocities against the Constitution and humanity.  But when a Democrat is in office, then they’re constantly searching for the next blowjob.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lone Justice - Cactus Rose

This video came from the old MTV show The Cutting Edge. Lone Justice was a great band that was destroyed by their own record label. Maria McKee explains the pressures the band faced.

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No Real News Story of the Day

I keep seeing this everywhere and this is what drives me crazy about the media and blogging. Allen West is not going to be the Rick Scott's next Lt. Governor. Scott was taking calls on conservative talk radio and didn't want to offend the conservative base. Scott wants to win a second term. Not go down in flames with an undisciplined running mate who lost his district to a long shot Democratic challenger.

The media and bloggers latch on to an off-hand remark made by Scott because they desperately want this to be a real story. The reason being so they don't have to write about such stories as the United States has the highest mortality rate for newborn babies of any industrialized nation. Writing about a fictional running mate for Rick Scott is so much more important than 42.7 American million people live below the poverty line. I don't know about you but I am so glad that the people that give us our news have the priorities straight.

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NRA For Kids

Via Bag News Notes: the photo is from the Houston NRA Exhibition’s “Youth Day." The NRA is making an aggressive push for children. The NRA is funded by the gun industry. Business Insider has a break down on the numbers.

Since 2005, the gun industry and its corporate allies have given between $20 million and $52.6 million to it through the NRA Ring of Freedom sponsor program. Donors include firearm companies like Midway USA, Springfield Armory Inc, Pierce Bullet Seal Target Systems, and Beretta USA Corporation. Other supporters from the gun industry include Cabala's, Sturm Rugar & Co, and Smith & Wesson.

People wonder why the NRA would risk the bad publicity of their Youth Days. The reason is their are doing their corporate donors' bidding and softening up the market for a new generation of perspective gun owners. Camel went for children with Joe Camel. Cigarette manufactures used to sell fake candy cigarettes. Get kids to think something is cool and you have the chance to get them hooked for life. If you know that then you understand the purpose of this Cricket rifle ad.

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Quote of the Day: Dick Cheney Edition

"When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary."

Dick Cheney, former Vice-President

Someone needs to remind Dick Cheney on who was Vice-President on the day of September 11, 2001. Perhaps the President's Daily Brief "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US" that was given to President Bush on August 6, 2001. From the PDB.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The PDB also stated that al-Qaeda operatives have been living in the United States. Condoleezza Rice flat-out lied to the 9/11 Commission about the contents of the PDB.

And I said, at one point, that this was a historical memo, that it was -- it was not based on new threat information. And I said, "No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon" -- I'm paraphrasing now -- "into the World Trade Center, using planes as a missile."

Dick Cheney is delusional if he thinks the Bush administration was ready on September 11, 2001.

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The Best Movie Trailer Ever

Movie tag line: "Twilight: it's just a metaphor for abstinence. Seriously, look it up."

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Florida House Republicans Supports Government Health Care For Themselves

Republicans in the Florida House of Representatives voted against accepting federal money to provide health insurance for one million poor Floridians. Since Republicans are the majority in the House a million Floridians will not receive health care. That didn't stop House Republicans to keeping their state government health care at $30 a month. Members of the House pay one-sixth of what other state employees pay for health insurance. Rep. Richard Corcoran provided a laughable explanation.

"I think the entire state health care system is broken, and what we tried to do is try to fix it," Corcoran said, noting that conservatives have called his proposal a national model. "When you do that, everybody is going to be treated equally and fairly."

In Corcoran worldview, the health care system is broken. His remedy is cheap health care for himself and denying Medcaid to a million Floridians. That is taking a broken sytem and smashing it with a hammer.

House Speaker Will Weatherford claims that he will eventually get around to addressing the discrepancy between what House members and other state employees pay.

In a statement Monday, Weatherford said: "We are aware of the differences in what House members pay compared to other state employees for health insurance and are looking forward to addressing it next session."

Weatherford fails to address why this wasn't addressed during the session. The Florida Senate was wise enough to increase to payments for state health insurance.

Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, insisted on the change, saying it wasn't fair for senators to pay less than low-level state workers. Senators now pay $50 a month for health insurance, or $180 a month for their families.

"I think the public expects the state Senate to be treated the same as our fellow co-workers in state government and not be given preferential status," Negron said Monday.

There is no excuse. Weatherford led the charge to fight the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Yet he wants to keep low cost health insurance for the House of Representatives. This is pure hypocrisy.

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Your Congress Hardly At Work

As of the today, the United States Senate has worked 52 days in 2013. The House of Representatives has worked 57 days this year. These people can't even be bothered to show up to not pass bills and warm benches. They don't even bother going through the motions anymore. America deserves better.


RPOF Prevent Pelosi Project Mailer

The Republican Party of Florida thought it was a good idea to send out this fundraising mailer. Apparently, RPOF chairman Lenny Curry was inspired by Mark Sanford's victory. I would say that Sanford won in a conservative district against a boring Blue Dog Democrat whose famous brother couldn't save her campaign.

Curry sent out this "Prevent Pelosi Project" mailer out to potential donors.
“For millions of Americans, the notion of personal responsibility will be replaced by massive new government entitlement programs that promise benefits cradle-to-grave,” the letter reads. “Radical Islamists will continue to attack us with impunity, because under the leadership of Obama and Pelosi our enemies will no longer fear us, and our allies will no longer trust us. Obama and Pelosi will continue their assault on your Second Amendment rights to own a gun, while their Department of Homeland Security continues to stockpile ammunition. And although I personally find it sickening, given his recent remarks to abortion providers and his legislative record, I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama pushes to end the ban on late-term abortions.”

I love how Republicans continue to claim that they fight terrorism better than Democrats. The Department of Homeland Security is not stockpiling weapons. The is a flat out lie and fear-mongering. Inspiring citizens to take up arms against the government is rhetoric. Sanford and these other Republicans fail to realize that they will be in office when well-armed vigilantes wage war against the government. As far as Obama ending the ban for minors, he has been fighting the courts against allowing Plan B to be sold over-the-counter to tennage girls. Obama has never even threatened to veto the Hyde amendment.

The most hysterical part of the mailer for a progressive.

In fact, I fear the Obama campaign team has only just begun to wreck their havoc in Florida.

Yes, Democratics have really been kicking ass in Congressional and state legislature races in the past two election terms. The Obama campaign team cares about Florida when President Obama is on the ballot. Obama didn't exactly lift other boats in his wake.

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3 Boys Farm Featured on WMNF

Litbrit's husband, Robert Tornello, was interviewed by WMNF. Tornello was interviewed for the Sustainable Living show. You can listen to audio of the interview here.

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Siobhan Harley Hired By Calvert Street Group

Rising Tampa Democratic superstar Siobhan Harley is moving to Tampa for her new job.

Harley will leave City Hall on Friday to take a job as a campaign manager with the Calvert Street Group, which does work in 30 states and Canada. There, she will be closer to her boyfriend, Patrick Kavanaugh, a law student at Vanderbilt University.

"I am a campaigner at heart," Harley said Monday. "I love the adrenaline rush. I love going out there and campaigning for a cause. I love going out and getting voters to the polls. I love winning."

Harley was the unofficial and very young campaign manager of Mayor Bob Buckhorn's successful victory over Rose Ferlita.

The Calvert Street group is run by Darden Copeland. CSG has been accused of being an Astroturf group for its opposition to the redevelopment of the Nolensville Pike fairgrounds. Copeland helped ran fundraising for Rep. Dick Gephardt's political action committee. Copeland went on to work on the Al Gore presidential campaign and later worked with former Bill Clinton with pollster Stan Greenberg.

Copeland is someone that could teach Harley political activism on a national scale. I wish Harley the best in Nashville. Her next stop might be the District of Columbia.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Another Example of Disastrous GOP Hispanic Outreach

Former RNC Florida Hispanic Outreach director Pablo Pantoja has decided to become a Democrat. Pantoja left the Republican Party because he felt the GOP is racist. Pantoja also cites the controversial and factually dubious research by Jason Richwine.

From: Pablo Pantoja

Subject: From Republican to Democrat

Date: May 13, 2013 5:57:11 PM EDT


Yes, I have changed my political affiliation to the Democratic Party.

It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.

Studies geared towards making – human beings – viewed as less because of their immigrant status to outright unacceptable claims, are at the center of the immigration debate. Without going too deep on everything surrounding immigration today, the more resounding example this past week was reported by several media outlets.

A researcher included as part of a past dissertation his theory that “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ.” The researcher reinforces these views by saying “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

Although the organization distanced themselves from those assertions, other immigration-related research is still padded with the same racist and eugenics-based innuendo. Some Republican leaders have blandly (if at all) denied and distanced themselves from this but it doesn’t take away from the culture within the ranks of intolerance. The pseudo-apologies appear to be a quick fix to deep-rooted issues in the Republican Party in hopes that it will soon pass and be forgotten.

The complete disregard of those who are in disadvantage is also palpable. We are not looking at an isolated incident of rhetoric or research. Others subscribe to motivating people to action by stating, “In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming.” The discourse that moves the Republican Party is filled with this anti-immigrant movement and overall radicalization that is far removed from reality. Another quick example beyond the immigration debate happened during CPAC this year when a supporter shouted ““For giving him shelter and food for all those years?” while a moderator explained how Frederick Douglass had written a letter to his slave master saying that he forgave him for “all the things you did to me.” I think you get the idea.

When the political discourse resorts to intolerance and hate, we all lose in what makes America great and the progress made in society.

Although I was born an American citizen, I feel that my experience, and that of many from Puerto Rico, is intertwined with those who are referred to as illegal. My grandfather served in an all-Puerto Rican segregated Army unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment. He then helped, along my grandmother, shatter glass ceilings for Puerto Rican women raising my aunt to become the first Puerto Rican woman astronomer with a PhD in astrophysics (an IQ of a genius as far as I’m concerned). Puerto Ricans, as many other Americans still today have to face issues of discrimination in voting and civil rights.

Regardless of what political affiliation people choose, my respect for some remains. I don’t expect all Hispanics to do the same (although I would hope so) but I’m taking a stand against this culture of intolerance.

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