Saturday, August 31, 2013

Special Session on Stand Your Ground Doubtful

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford tweets that there will be on special session to review the "Stand Your Ground" law.

We will not have a special session to repeal #StandYourGround. ReTweet if you support self-defense.

The Florida Republican establishment is going to keep blocking efforts to review "Stand Your Ground." Their hope is interest in changing the SYG will fade from the news cycle. Unfortunately, their strategy might work.

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Mitch McConnell Was For VAMA Before He Was Against It

Republicans voting against the Violence Against Women Act was politically stupid. Now Republicans have to run away from their vote on the campaign trail. Case in point is Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell. The Senator from Kentucky sent out a press release attempting to mislead his constituents on his vote.

"Mitch was the co-sponsor of the original Violence Against Women Act -- and continues to advocate for stronger polices to protect women. I am proud to call him my senator," the document quotes a voter as saying.

McConnell was a co-sponsor of a previous version of VAMA. McConnell voted against VAMA when it was reauthorized in 2013. McConnell was 1 of 22 senators to vote against reauthorizing VAMA. McConnell now doesn't have the courage to stand behind his vote. Pathetic.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Republican Says Gay Men Should Be Like Alexander the Great

From the mouths of Republicans: New Mexico State Senator Bill Sharer blogs that the best way for gay men to become straight is to be more like Alexander the Great. Seriously?

Alexander the Great’s - View of Marriage

Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) married a Bactrian woman – modern day Afghanistan. Alexander may have engaged in homosexualactivity, but he married a woman.

He directed his officers to stop “whoring” around and find a local woman to marry.



“It is only through blood relations that hatred and war will end”. In other words, Alexander the Great thought that marriage was about creating and raising the next generation.

This is the reason for Marriage

From what we know about Alexander the Great, he didn't stop engaging in gay sex after he got married m. Republicans are to the point now that their best argument against holmosexuality is for gay men to act like one of the most famous gay men in history.

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Charles Rangel Wants to Bring Back the Draft

The last time Charles Rangel pushed to reinstate the draft, Rangel ended up voting against his own bill. Rangel is once again talking about bringing back the draft. In Rangel's defense, ge is a military veteran.

"I strongly abhor and condemn the news that chemical weapons were reportedly used by the government of Syria. However, I strongly urge the President to seek an affirmative decision of Congress prior to committing any U.S. military engagement to this complex crisis.

Before we commit our military personnel to another war, we must reinstate the draft. Reinstating the draft and requiring women to register for the Selective Service would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation. We must question why and how we go to war, and who decides to send our men and women into harm's way.

Military engagement should be our last resort. If we must go to war, every American should be compelled to stop and think twice about whether it is worth sending our brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters to fight. Currently less than one percent of America's population is unfairly shouldering the burden of war."

Neither party will support legislation for a draft. Republicans and Democrats will stop gap enlisted men and women abd have them do several tours before they will vote on restoribg the draft.

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Neko Case - Man

The new song from Neko Case's album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You." That is a seriously long album title. However, Case makes great music, so she can call her album whatever she damn well pleases.

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How to Create a Disaster [#syria #intervention]

The international community is playing with fire when they support foreign interventions, and there will be years of debate over whether NATO’s intervention in Libya essentially created a civil war there that led to 30,000 Libyans being killed.  Conversely, without intervention, the international community risks seeing the Syrian government commit another massacre similar to the Hama massacre in 1982, where 20-40,000 Syrians were killed.
I wrote this back in December, 2011.  These words are still haunting me. 
This was after the US put a coalition together to intervene in the Libyan conflict.  The result of that conflict and our intervention was a death toll of 30,000 Libyans — but the question is whether more would have perished without intervention?
Syria isn’t Libya, but, unfortunately, I think we have an answer to that question. When you know that Syria, unlike Libya, had a history of killing tens of thousands of its civilians before their civil war began, the question goes from being merely academically inquisitive to burning; searing.  The question brands itself onto your conscience, and the shame rises up like steam that brings tears to your eyes.
I’m not for intervention in Syria now, I’m for it yesterday.  A year ago, or more.  Back when intervention would have made a positive difference.  I can’t think of positive aspects to the intervention being offered now.  By not wanting to take the situation seriously - as seriously as Libya was regarded, at least - Obama has painted himself into a corner by allowing over 100,000 Syrians to die before Assad’s chemical weapons attack.  Obama didn’t build coalitions in case the Syrian conflict escalated to this point, and now even Britain isn’t with us.  (Let that diplomatic blow sink in for a minute.)  Since 2011, violence in Iraq has skyrocketed and the world might see two full blown civil wars in the region, a destabilized government in Egypt, and blowback in Lebanon.  Israel might feel threatened and stage an attack.  What happens then? 
This is a nightmare scenario.  If Obama thinks it can be avoided by dropping a few bombs on Syria - likely killing more civilians than anybody else - then he’s out of his fucking mind. 
This is what happens with you let problems fester.  This is what happens when you see a wound and don’t treat it properly.  And this won’t just set back the whole MidEast region a couple generations of development, but it will also cause more people to lose faith in the US government. 
We certainly got the change that we voted for.  I’m not sure what happened to the hope, though.

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Quote of the Day

"We're not considering any open-ended commitment. We're not considering any boots-on-the-ground approach."

President Bacack Obama,on Syria.

Let's hope so. I personally believe that Bashar Assad is a monster. President Barack Obama claims thay the Syrian government used chemical weapons. Obama's close ally British Prime Minister David Cameron is hedging.

LONDON Prime Minister David Cameron told British lawmakers Thursday that there is "no 100 percent certainty about who is responsible" for the apparent mass-chemical weapons attack on suburban Damascus on Aug. 21.

Assad has a history of human rights abuses. Assad's past history shows a man morally capable of using chemical weapons on civilians. The fact that Cameron won't back the Obama administration's claims on chemical weapons is curious. I wonder how much intelligence has Cameron seen on Assad's chemical weapons capabilities.

Write A Caption: Obama the Chess Master

Another fine example White House supporters can use that President Barack Obama is a 3D chess master.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Cheetahs living along with humans. These cheetahs have been trained. So don't get yourself your own pet cheetah.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Obama's Not So Secret Plan to Close Gitmo

The Obama administration has faced criticism that they have no plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. President Barack Obama campaigned on closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Obama has been blocked by both parties in Congress from closing Gitmo.

Candidate Obama was asked on 60 Minutes if he would use the power of executive order to close Gitmo. Obama said yes. Obama has never been the wisest tactician. The Senate voted to block funding for transfers of Gitmo prisoners. The vote was held on May 20, 2009. Obama should have just moved the prisoners when he came into office.

The Obama administration's secret plan really isn't that secret. A two page memo really isn't much of a plan. It does cast a lot of blame on Congress. Much of that blame is deserved.

Prosecution and Detention. The U.S. Government will prosecute detainees in federal courts or military commission proceedings to the extent feasible and in the national security interest. The President has directed the Department of Defense to identify a site in the United States for military commission proceedings. But current law bars the transfer of detainees to the United States for any reason. As a result, the Government is prohibited from prosecuting any detainees in a military commission in the United States or in a federal court, even if it represents the best – or only – option for bringing a detainee to justice. This is true even though the Government has successfully prosecuted more than 490 terrorism-related cases in federal courts since 9/11. For those not prosecuted, the Administration will use the PRB process to regularly and carefully review the threat posed by detainees and, where appropriate, they will be designated for transfer.

The leaked secret plan. It really isn't a secret plan if the memo lists prisoner policies the Obama administration has been pushing for and that this secret plan was handed to the media by White House staffers.

White House Plan to Close Guantanamo

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Obama's Speech For March On Washington’s 50th Anniversary

On foreign policy and economic issues, President Barack Obama has given some terrible speeches. On civil rights Obama shines and reminds us of the candidate he was in 2008.

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Same Neoconservatives Wrong on Iraq Urging Military Action On Syria

A group of neoconservatives that were wrong about the Iraq war are now urging military action against the regime in Syria. The letter was (unsurprisingly) published in The Weekly Standard.

"At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons. It should also provide vetted moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition with the military support required to identify and strike regime units armed with chemical weapons," the experts write.

"Moreover, the United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime. The objectives should be not only to ensure that Assad’s chemical weapons no longer threaten America, our allies in the region or the Syrian people, but also to deter or destroy the Assad regime’s airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants. At the same time, the United States should accelerate efforts to vet, train, and arm moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition, with the goal of empowering them to prevail against both the Assad regime and the growing presence of Al Qaeda-affiliated and other extremist rebel factions in the country."

Here are the less than distinguished names that signed the list. When is Joe Lieberman are Bill Kristol ever wrong on foreign policy?

Ammar Abdulhamid

Elliott Abrams

Dr. Fouad Ajami

Dr. Michael Auslin

Gary Bauer

Paul Berman

Max Boot

Ellen Bork

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer

Matthew R. J. Brodsky

Dr. Eliot A. Cohen

Senator Norm Coleman

Ambassador William Courtney

Seth Cropsey

James S. Denton

Paula A. DeSutter

Larry Diamond

Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky

Thomas Donnelly

Dr. Michael Doran

Mark Dubowitz

Dr. Colin Dueck

Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt

Ambassador Eric S. Edelman

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Abe Greenwald

Christopher J. Griffin

John P. Hannah

Bruce Pitcairn Jackson

Ash Jain

Dr. Kenneth Jensen

Allison Johnson

Dr. Robert G. Joseph

Dr. Robert Kagan

Lawrence F. Kaplan

Jamie Kirchick

Irina Krasovskaya

Dr. William Kristol

Bernard-Henri Levy

Dr. Robert J. Lieber

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

Tod Lindberg

Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken

Dr. Michael Makovsky

Ann Marlowe

Dr. Clifford D. May

Dr. Alan Mendoza

Dr. Joshua Muravchik

Governor Tim Pawlenty

Martin Peretz

Danielle Pletka

Dr. David Pollock

Arch Puddington

Karl Rove

Randy Scheunemann

Dan Senor

Ambassador John Shattuck

Lee Smith

Henry D. Sokolski

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Quote of the Day

"The investigation is… too late, and will actually tell us what we already know: CW was used."

Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, dismissing the need for a United Nations investigation on if chemical weapons were used in Syria.

I have no doubt that President Bashar al-Assad is capable of using chemical weapons on his own people. After the Iraq war, we don't need another National Security Advisor making claims on weapons without first making a strong case to the American people and the international community. Rice isn't doing much to assure Americans that the case for war against Syria will be transparent.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Onion Mocks CNN's Miley Cyrus Coverage

CNN has been providing gavel to gavel coverage of Miley Cyrus's MTV VMA performance. The Onion has decided to parody CNN's dedication to garbage news stories.

It’s a good question. And the answer is pretty simple. It was an attempt to get you to click on so that we could drive up our web traffic, which in turn would allow us to increase our advertising revenue.

There was nothing, and I mean nothing, about that story that related to the important news of the day, the chronicling of significant human events, or the idea that journalism itself can be a force for positive change in the world. For Christ’s sake, there was an accompanying story with the headline “Miley’s Shocking Moves.” In fact, putting that story front and center was actually doing, if anything, a disservice to the public. And come to think of it, probably a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of people dying in Syria, those suffering from the current unrest in Egypt, or, hell, even people who just wanted to read about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

I immediately checked Youtube and knew that the most pathetic excuse for a progressive news how would cover the Miley Cyrus non-news story to troll for Youtube traffic. I was not disappointed.

Can we stop pretending that the Young Turks is a serious progressive news show?

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Darden Rice Primary Watch

St. Petersburg City Council candidate Darden Rice is hosting a primary watch for her supporters. Have fun with other Democrats and find out if Rice can beat tea party candidate David McKalip and his meat cards.

Come join Darden and the campaign team as we watch the results of the primary elections for St. Pete and District 4. Food will be provided by the campaign. Cash bar.

When: Today at 6:30 PM

Where: Harvey's 4th Street Grill

3121 4th St N Saint Petersburg, Florida 33704-2124

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Monday, August 26, 2013

The Blake Babies - Downtime

This song has one of the best bass lines ever. It's a shame Juliana Hatfield doesn't play bass anymore.

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Poll on St. Petersburg Mayoral Race

St. Pete Polls shows Bill Foster with a slight lead over Rick Kriseman. Kathleen Ford is a distant third.

Cates: 2.4%

Congemmi: 1.5%

Ford: 20.4%

Foster: 37.9%

Kriseman: 35.9%

Undervote: 1.9%

678 St. Petersburg voters were polled. An interesting tidbit is Kriseman polls at 0 percent with Asians or Pacific Islanders. That is rather odd.

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Barbara Peterson Appointed by Don Gaetz

There are times that I like Florida Senate President Don Gaetz. I hope appointing Barbara Peterson leads to the Florida legislature doing a better job of complying with the Sunshine laws.

“Barbara Peterson is Florida's respected guardian of open records, open meetings and open government," Gaetz said. “Her leadership of the First Amendment Foundation gives credibility and reliability to this important work. Her expertise in advising public officials, the media, courts and citizens about access to records will lead to more transparency and user-friendliness through a consolidation of many complex and duplicative websites.”

The mission of the First Amendment Foundation.

The First Amendment Foundation believes that government openness and transparency is critical to citizen trust and involvement in our democratic society – without Government in the Sunshine, civic engagement cannot bloom. Through ongoing monitoring of the state’s public records and open meetings laws, and the education of government officials and the citizens they serve about those laws, the Foundation promotes the public’s constitutional right to oversee and to participate in the governance process.

Services: Sunshine Monitoring: The Foundation monitors the Legislature, state agencies, the courts, and, when possible, local governments, for actions and issues related to open government, alerting its members through periodic reports of all open government activity.

FOI Hotline: The First Amendment Foundation runs the FOI Hotline, where callers to our toll-free number (800-337-3518) can get information and assistance with their questions about the application of the Sunshine Law and the Public Records Law. Currently, the FOI Hotline is averaging about 200 calls a month, with almost half coming from the general public. The Foundation also responds to emailed questions about open government. Contact us by email.

Let's hope that the Florida legislature listens to Peterson's recommendation. The Rick Scott administration has used private emails to avoid the Sunshine law. Unfortunately, the legislature hasn't challenged Scott for the lack of transparency. That needs to change.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Republican Offers Alex Sink Good Advice

Former Pinellas County GOP chair Paul Bedinghaus nicely told Alex Sink that she should consider very carefully if she wants to run for governor again. Bedinghaus made the statement on Florida This Week.

"Alex Sink is a terrific lady and a very capable CFO," the former treasurer of the state GOP said. "But when I'm voting for somebody, I don't want to vote for somebody that's a reluctant candidate. I want someone that has the passion in their gut to serve this state. So I think she really has to think that through. The image that she's projecting is that she's a reluctant candidate, and I don't think that's a winning formula.

Sink often fumbled through interviews during the 2010 campaign. Sink is just not a good candidate and will get killed in the primary against Charlie Crist. Progressives won't be happy about the Democratic establishment backing Crist. However, Sink is a proven loser against Rick Scott.

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Rubio the Debt Ceiling Hack

The bullshit is getting thick. Sen. Marco Rubio (or more likely his speechwriter) penned an op-ed claiming that President Barack Obama is trying to cause foom through hid "wrath."

It is unfortunate that the president and his allies would seemingly take our government to the brink in order to compel us to fund his disastrous health care law. Every day brings new examples of how this law is hurting working-class Americans, or how even former supporters of the law are now asking to be spared Obamacare’s wrath.

It takes serious chutzpah for Rubio to make this assertion. Rubio is threatening to vote against raising the debt ceiling and allowing the Treasury Department to default.

"We should refuse to raise the debt limit by one single cent unless we pass and the president agrees to sign a budget that shows us how we’re going to get to balance in at least 10 years," the Republican said.

"This is not an unreasonable request. They will say that it is. But it is not," Rubio said, pointing to the size of the federal debt. "They will say ‘oh, you’re going to risk default.’ The $17 trillion debt is the risk of default. The lack of any plan to fix it is the risk of default."

Rubio is now feeling the heat from Senators in his own party on his stupidity on not wanting to raise the debt ceiling. Rubio's own ignorance shows he doesn't have an understanding of economics. The Treasury Department has never defaulted. Partly because the Treasury is where the money is made. Financial institutions have never had a problem with loaning Treasury money because the Treasury always paid off its debts and was obligated to under the law. Rubio would throw the United States credit standing away, at a time when America and Europe are going through painful economic recoveries. All because Rubio wants to be president. Exactly what kind of economy does Rubio think he will inherent? Rubio should at least stand up for his own policy positions and not blame Obama for his actions.

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Write A Caption: Yellen & Summers

This gif nicely sums up how much more qualified Janet Yellen is than Lawrence Summers is for the job of Federal Reserve chair.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Obama Heckled By Manning Supporter

Code Pink heckled President Barack Obama with a plea to free "Free Bradley Manning." Manning now goes by the female first name of Chelsea . Unsurprisingly, the media has given little coverage of the Code Pink protest.

I'm glad the Young Turks are covering the Code Pink protest and Manning story. The problem is they do their usual uninformed job. What evidence does Michael Shure have that President Barack Obama secretly sympathizes but can't pardon him because he is president. Nice theory but no evidence. If anything, Obama's aggressiveness pursuing legal charges against former CIA operative John Kiriakou and Edward Snowden proof otherwise.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Prepare to experience the cuteness of bobcat and lynx kittens playing. The bobcat kittens are the spotted little fellows. The lynx kitten is a solid light brown.

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FreedomWorks Recommendations For Hipsters

This is not from The Onion. FreedomWorks recommends things hipsters can buy if they didn't have to pay for Obamacare. I seriously doubt hipsters want to buy jorts. Cases of PBR are another story. Hipsters love that awful beer. The funny (and unsurprising thing) is the writer of the article, Emily Zanotti, is a conservative hipster.

Emily (E. M.) Zanotti, the American Princess, is, as she is so oddly described, a 25-year-old overeducated, overopinionated, libertarian conservative, relapsed Catholic, technogeek, “crunchy con” and, apparently, nomadic service industry hipster.


Emily is a Detroit (yes, that Detroit) native, but currently a Chicago resident, and has all of the necessarily pretension and apathy that that “address” requires (as well as the requisite love for film, art, ethnic food and indie music), only she has to hide it because she consistently votes Republican. In her spare time, she shops for shoes, reads non-fiction (particularly on philosophy, economics, religion and political science), plans cheesy vacations involving large fiberglass objects and obscure museums, and researches Disney history. No joke.

Poor Emily has to hide her Arcade Fire import record and PBR supply from her conservative friends .

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quote of the Day

“If a girl is drunk, is it okay to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teenaccused.”

Dr. Phil, on Twitter.

Dr. Phil's idiotic tweet has been deleted. The fact that Dr. Phil even had to ask if it is alright for a man to have sex with an intoxicated woman without her consent only proves what a fraud he is. Unfortunately, the media and many Americans actually think Dr. Phil is a real therapist.

Bill Nelson Endorses Rick Kriseman

Rick Kriseman, Democratic candidate for St. Petersburg mayor, received a huge endorsement from Sen. Bill Nelson. The only bigger endorsement a Florida Democrat can receive is from Bob Graham.

“Rick Kriseman is a strong leader who will bring people together to find solutions for the challenges facing St Petersburg,” Nelson said in a statement. “As mayor, Rick will do well for St Petersburg.”

Early polls showed Democrat Kathleen Ford leading Republican incumbent Bill Foster and Kriseman. Ford has imploded. Nelson's endorsement of Kriseman is the Democratic establishment abandoning Ford. Kriseman is also much more apart of the establishment than Ford will ever be. Kriseman recently served in the Florida legislature. Ford hasn't held office in years. The Democratic establishment knows Kriseman. The same can't be said of Ford.

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Write A Caption: Steve King

I wrote before about Rep. Steve King's anti-immigration rally in Virginia. As you can see, there were less people at King's rally than a midnight showing of Ishtar. Politico reported there were 60 people at King's rally. Where are those people in this photo?

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yet Another Stupid Daily Caller Article

Via Media Matters: Patrick Howley of The Daily Caller has smoking gun evidence that Barack and Michelle Obama are racist. Neither of the Obamas' pet dogs are white.
“A Portuguese Water Dog can range in cost wildly. On average, one will pay between $1,400 and $2,000. President Barack Obama has this breed of animal,” according to an answer on

With the addition of Sunny, the Obamas now have two black Portuguese water dogs.

The Obamas do not have any white dogs.

Let the stupidity of that last sentence sink in. Articles like this make me laugh when conservatives cry about liberal media bias.

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Breaking Bad Meets Taylor Swift

This is so ludicrous that it actually works. The comedy team Teddiefilms has reworked the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song to make a Breaking Bad parody video called "We Are Never Ever Gonna Cook Together."

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence PSA

This is a powerful and disturbing video that restages the encounter between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The end of the video shows the bodies of several Trayvon Martins and urges the repeal of "Stand Your Ground" laws across the country. The PSA was made by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. I'm not crazy about the video. The shock value will garner attention for the PSA and "Stand Your Ground" issue.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Don't use the term the other side uses. What does Barack Obama talk about all the time? The middle class. Since when in America do we have classes? Since when in America are people stuck in areas or defined places called a class? That's Marxism talk."

Rick Santorum, in Iowa.

Santorum declaring the use of the term middle class "Marxism" is hysterical. What is happening here is Santorum is stupid enough to publicly air out a 2011 memo by Republican pollster Frank Luntz.

“[Democrats] cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

Luntz is a smart pollster. What he is telling the Republican Party is there tax and economic policies are political losers with voters. Luntz is telling the GOP to give up the high ground to the Democratic Party on the middle class. The GOP is a party in retreat. If they don't think they can win the middle class than they better hope for more older, uneducated white people to magically appear.

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Rubio's Dubious Attack on Religion Claim

Sen. Marco Rubio declares religion under attack. Because we all know that atheists have all the power in America.

"Prayer has been a hallmark of not just the Senate, but the House of Representatives, and state and local legislatures around the country. Legislative prayer is as familiar as the Pledge of Allegiance, and has a longer pedigree. Yet, it is a practice that is under assault by those who badly misunderstand Americans’ unique appreciation for the complementary roles of faith and freedom in our constitutional republic.

"Attack" is a strong word and used by Rubio on purpose. Rubio is playing to the shrinking Christian Right base with violent language on how liberals have declared war on them. The truth is no one has taken up arms to overturn the First Amendment. These imaginary people leftist radicals that Rubio speaks of haven't even filed legal action to overturn the First amendment.

It is not surprising that Rubio would be less than candid about the state od religion. Rubio publicly states he is a Catholic but is actually an Evangelical.

But while Mr. Rubio, 39, presented himself on his Florida Statehouse Web site and in interviews as a Roman Catholic, bloggers and journalists have noted since his election that he regularly worships at an evangelical megachurch whose theology is plainly at odds with Catholic teaching.

For much of the last decade, Mr. Rubio has attended Christ Fellowship with his wife and children. He “comes very regularly to worship service” at the church’s Palmetto Bay campus, said Eric Geiger, the executive pastor. According to Mr. Rubio’s campaign Web site, he contributed almost $50,000 to Christ Fellowship from 2005 to 2008.

Marco Rubio is free to worship whatever religion he pleases. I just don't want to to be lectured on religion by man that can't be honest about his own faith.

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St. Pete Family Picnic at Sunset Beach

Equality Florida is hosting the "St. Pete Family Picnic at Sunset Beach." The even is a picnic for LGBT families to get together and meet. The picnic is open to the public.

Where: 8000 W Gulf Blvd.,Treasure Island, FL 33706

When: Sunday, August 25, 2013, 12:00pm -4:00pm

For more information check out the Facebook page.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kathleen Ford's Potato Salad Remark

St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Kathleen Ford made one of the most politically tone deaf answers in the history of Tampa Bay politics. Ford was asked what has she done for the poor residents in Midtown. Ford told a black audience at the Bethel Community Baptist Church that she once made potato salad and served it in Campbell Park back in the 1990s.

“Momma T, you remember when we were fixing up that potato salad in Campbell Park for your un Festival. We had a lot of fun there. We had our sleeves rolled up… (inaudible)… Wasn’t that fun. That’s one thing that I have done…”

Ford can't think of one thing she did during her time on the St. Petersburg City Council that helped the black community in Midtown. Potato salad is her only contribution. Ford had the black vote locked up thanks to the support of Goliath Davis. Ford just blew her credibility with the black community and hopefully Davis' as well.

Benjamin Kirby cites Ford's potato salad answer as one more reason she isn't fit for public office.

It is an offensive, appalling statement and proves again-- that Kathleen Ford is simply not fit to lead the fourth largest city in Florida.

It is rare when Ben Kirby, Peter Schorsch and I are in agreement. The fact that we all believe that Kathleen Ford should never become mayor of St. Petersburg should tell you something.

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Sleater-Kinney - White Rabbit

Sleater-Kinney - White Rabbit

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Sleater-Kinney covering the Jefferson Airplane classic. This song is perfect for Corin Tucker's powerhouse voice.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Quote of the Day

"There is no logical connection between believing in a gold standard and favoring gold as an investment or not. Fools think there is."

Bruce Bartlett

That fool would be CNBC host Larry Kudlow.

Update: Bartlett tweeted me that he is banned from Larry Kudlow's show.

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David McKalip Implodes

David McKalip has a zero political IQ. Anyone with half a brain knows you don't run for political office and attack Peter Schorsch. At least not without expecting Schorsch to come after your campaign. Schorsch fired off this tweet.

The story in which Dr. David mckalip refers to me as a "political terrorist" via clmitchperry.… sayfie

Creative Loafing political reporter Mitch Perry blogged about Schorsch asking McKalip about the Obama witch doctor email he sent out. McKalip flipped out at the Suscoast Tiger Bay forum.

"Of course I wouldn't send that e-mail. I apologized for sending that e-mail ... it was offensive," McKalip said.

McKalip then aggressively turned the question around, saying that his fight. to stop 'Obamacare' resulted in people trying to suppress free speech. He doubled down on his comments to Beau Zimmer of WTSP-TV, saying he wasn't going to tolerate "political terrorists" who in his opinion are just shills for big government and want to intimidate everyone else into silence.

Schorsch later responded that "As evidenced by the tone of his campaign, Dr. McKalip has obviously

Schorsch's question about the racially insensitive witch doctor picture that McKalip sent out was perfectly reasonable. McKalip is running for St. Petersburg City Council. McKalip seemed shocked that Schorsch would dare ask him such a question. The question is certainly fair after McKalip's campaign manager made a joke online about President Obama being killed.

Nick Finzer, McKalip's campaign manager, wrote a comment on WTSP's website that said, "I think I'd like to see Obama run down by a bull. Except that would make Biden President."

No serious candidate would have a meltdown after being asked about his most controversial political moment. No candidate with any real skill would hire a campaign manager stupid enough to joke about the death of the President. David McKalip isn't a serious candidate. He is a racist tea party lunatic.

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Joel Award: Anthony Weiner

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

Anthony Weiner's political fortunes are disappearing. This is not news. What is news is Weiner telling CNN that he had inside knowledge on what role his wife Huma Abedin would play on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) on Monday said his wife Huma Abedin would have a role in a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential bid but acknowledged that his sexting scandals had hurt his spouse “personally” and “professionally.”

Asked if he knew what role Abedin would play in a possible Clinton campaign, Weiner replied, “I do. … I’m not telling you,” in an interview with the CNN BuzzFeed YouTube channel.

Someone on Team Clinton must have told Weiner to drink a cool glass of shut the fuck up. Weiner is backtracking and claims he has no knowledge about a Clinton presidential campaign.

"I have no insight into campaign 2016. I'm struggling right here with 2013."

The sexting scandals were bad enough. Weiner is now pissing off the Clintons. Weiner's political career is over.

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The Bad Side of Cory Booker's Victory

Cory Booker may have won the New Jersey Senate Democratic primary, but he didn't generate a lot of excitement with voters. The Daily Beast reports that turnout was horrible.

With over 98% of precincts reporting on Wednesday morning, only 481,847 voters had cast ballots in either the Democratic or the Republican primaries out of nearly 5.5 million registered voters. Barring a miracle where tens of thousands of votes appear out of the ether (and in New Jersey that can’t be entirelyruled out), turnout will be well under 10% of registered voters in a statewide race that received national media attention.

Turnout is usually lower when there isn't a presidential election. That said, the voter turnout was pathetic. Booker's Senate campaign is generating a lot of national coverage. That isn't translating into enthusiasm for Booker. The Democratic Party should ask themselves if Booker is someone they want to groom for bigger things. So far the answer seems to be no.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quote of the Day

"John McCain is going to be elected president with 70% of the vote."

Mickey Kaus, on

That maybe the most hysterical quote I have ever posted on this blog. Mickey Kaus is the gift that keeps on giving.


Dubious Rubio Wins Climate Denier Award

Congratulations to Sen. Marco Rubio on winning the Climate Denier award. Organizing For America presented a silver unicorn trophy to Rubio's office. Like unicorns, Rubio's belief that climate change is not man made is pure fiction. As long as the oil industry lobbying money keeps rolling in; don't expect Rubio's beliefs to change.

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Steve King's Lame Anti-immigration Rally

Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King traveled from Washington D.C. to Virginia for a highly-billed anti-immigration rally. There was just one problem. According to Politico, only 60 attended.

“Now think what that is,” King said to the 60 or so attendees at the rally. “If you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you’re going to have more violence right? It’s like pouring hot water into cold water, does it raise the temperature or not?”

So now King is calling Mexicans violent savages. King bases this on no factual evidence.

Speaking of hot water, King got into some when he made the bizarre claim that Mexican children were drug mules and had "hands the size of cantaloupes."

He cites those illegals who were brought to the United States by their parents as young children, for instance. "Some of them are valedictorians —and their parents brought them in. It wasn't their fault. It's true in some cases, but they aren't all valedictorians. They weren't all brought in by their parents. "For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds —and they’ve got hands the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King tells Newsmax. “Those people would be legalized with the same act."

Housr Speaker John Boehner is going out of his way to distance himself from King. The xenophobia of tea party politicians like King have np true grassroots support. That doesn't stop the media from covering King and helping him spread his hateful rhetoric.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Ted Yoho Wants the United States to Default

Florida Congressman Ted Yoho told people at a town hall meeting that credit agencies would love it if the federal government didn't raise the debt ceiling and defaulted.

I think the creditors that we owe money to around theworld would say, "you know what, they're getting their house in order." And I think our credit rating would do better, if we did that thanface the mass [sic] program we've beenup to ... There are severalof us that we'renot raising the debt ceiling; don't ask us. We don't have a money problem, we have a spending problem.

Enron and World Com were downgraded when it became apparent that these companies couldn't pay their bills. Foreign governments and banks are not going to want the United States to default and announce to the world that they aren't going to pay their debts. What Yoho is proposing is turning the United States into Greece or a banana republic. You can kiss the days of the United States being a world economic power goodbye.

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Dubious Rubio's Anti-Climate Change Position Explained

Marco Rubio has long been a global warming denier. Rubio is also not an original anti-global warming skeptic. Back in 2007, Rubio was reciting Freedom Works talking points with false claims that global warming is just a fiction. Organizing For America is going after dubious Rubio's anti-science stance ob climate change. I say it is about time.

"Sen. Rubio is standing strong against the overwhelming judgment of science, so OFA will be handing out an ‘award’ to recognize Sen. Rubio perseverance in resisting the facts,” says a news release from the group.

They’ll gather at his office on the University of South Florida campus at 3 p.m., the news release says.

Rubio's anti-science and reality stance might have something to do with the $271,228.00he has raised from the oil and gas industry. How else do you explain Rubio voting against the elimination of tax subsidies for the oil industry.

"It’s a tax increase. I don’t vote for tax increases," Rubio told the Buzz. "Those are the same subsidies that are available to everybody and every company. I’m interested in lowering gas prices. I’m not interested in wasting time talking about things that aren’t going to help lower people’s gas prices."

Rubio is so stupid that he doesn't even know what a tax subsidy is. A tax subsidy is the federal government either giving a corporation money or a tax break to help pay for expenses. The federal government is helping highly profitable oil companies and getting none of the perks. Marco Rubio wants to keep this corporate welfare in place.

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Congress Has It Tough (Not Really)

The financial news service Monday Morning is conducting a poll on if members of Congress should give up their perks. I don't care about Monday Morning or the poll results. I do find the list of perks received by Congress to be fascinating.

* $174,000 salary

* Free company car

* Free gas Free parking (even at airports)

* Free flights almost anywhere in the world

* Per diem travel allowance... up to $3,000 a trip

* A month’s paid vacation 3-day work-weeks

* Free membership to a top-flight gym

* Pension plan and 401K plan

* Full retirement benefits (including up to 44% of their six figure salaries) at age 62

* Free top of the line health insurance with 10 plans to choose from Fully covered –even with pre-existing condition

The next time a member of Congress cries about Social Security or Medicare, a member of the member should ask a Congressman if he is willing to give up his free gym membership and car for the greater good of the country.


Rick Scott & Staff Literally Run From Stand Your Ground Question

I have never seen a sitting governor handle the media as badly as Rick Scott. Case in point, is Scott and his staff going into panic mode during a Tampa appearance. How could they not expect a question on "Stand Your Ground."

According to Central Florida News 13, Scott wasinTampa to meet with representativesfrom the entertainment industry when a journalist queried himon theStand Your Ground law during a media availability.

"Scott responded that he did not support getting rid of the law, but before he could elaborate, he was rushed out by his media relations team," the station reported. "No follow-up questions were allowed."

Pathetic. There is no other way to describe Scott's inability to answer simple questions from the media. Did Scott actually think he would never have to answer a question from a journalist when he decided to run for governor? If Scott did then he is truly clueless.

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Scott's Laughable 'Criteria' For a Lt. Governor

Gov. Rick Scott was in West Palm Beach. Scott was asked by Post on Politics on when will He appoint a Lt. Governor. Good luck on getting Scott to commit to a time frame.

“We’re still working on the criteria and I’m working with Adam Hollingsworth, my chief of staff, on that. My biggest focus every day is to keep jobs going,” Scott said today when asked about the LG search.

It has been nearly 5 months since the scandal-plagued Jennifer Carroll left office. Judging by Scott's criteria for Carroll, he would be looking for a Lt. governor that constantly received negative publicity and schedule was often a blank slate. How hard can it be to find a Lt. governor who doesn't even want to be bothered with attending ribbon cutting ceremonies?


Friday, August 09, 2013

Friday Cat (and Puppy) Blogging

A puppy is adopted by a Momma cat and her kittens.

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Shocking News: Elizabeth Warren Doesn't Like Larry Summers

GottaLaff has some great quotes of Elizabeth Warren mocking Lawrence Summers. Warren shared her disdain for Summers with journalist Ron Suskind.

Warren criticized the Obama administration for not cracking down on big banks, and she compared his advisers — including Summers specifically — unfavorably to a country in South America that decades ago used government funds to try to prevent banks from going under.

“Tim [Geithner] and Larry’s whole plan is just like Argentina in the 1980s,” Warren told author Ron Suskind in September 2009, while he was working on “Confidence Men,” a book on the aftermath of the financial collapse. “There was this giant hole marked ‘Banks’ and the government just dumped money in that hole, as much as they had, while they lied about it. That’s what Larry thinks: that the US is Argentina!”

While Warren and Suskind were waiting at a terminal in Washington’s Reagan National Airport, Warren began to sing, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.” Several started to applaud, and she modified the verse, with Summers in the role of Eva Peron.

“Why not?” Warren said with a laugh. “He might understand things better as a woman.”

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Even Republicans Know Dubious Rubio is a Political Coward

An ally of Paul Ryan made this great quote about Sen. Marco Rubio running away from his own immigration reform bill and launching a plan to shutdown the government to defund Obamacare.

"It comes off as inauthentic," the Ryan ally said of Rubio. "I know they don't believe that this is wise, this defund Obamacare and shut down the government. It's crazy town. He doesn't look like a leader. He looks like he's panicked."

Sen. Tom Coburn pointed out the stupidity of the government shutdown plan.

“A good portion of the health-care law is mandatory spending and repealing that would require two-thirds of the House and 67 votes in the Senate. I don’t see happening,” Senator Coburn told the Washington Post.

67 votes would be needed to break Obama's veto. This will never happen.

Rubio is jumping in with his fellow tea party senators because the hits he took on immigration reform terrified him. This is the same Marco Rubio that choked on national television with his State of the Union response.

This is the same Marco Rubio that ran into the rain to avoid Marc Caputo's questions about David Rivera. Go see the video of this at Naked Politics. Rubio folds under pressure

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Quote of the Day

"Between you and me, I'm sorta holdin' my nose for two years, cause what we're doin' here is gonna be a big benefit to Rand in 2016, so that's the long vision."

Jesse Benton, Mitch McConnell's campaign manager, in a phone conversation admitting his lack of enthusiam for his client.


Cat Fight Between New Republic's Julia Ioffe and Lawrence O'Donnell

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

New Republic Senior Editor Julia Ioffe tore Lawrence O'Donnell to pieces in her column. Ioffe has reported from Russia for three years. O'Donnell doesn't let Ioffe's superior knowledge in Russia politics get in the way of his narrative of Vladimir Putin having Godlike powers. Ioffe explains in her column.

* Vladimir Putin is not omnipotent. He does not control everything that happens in the Russian Federation, a vast and often inhospitable landmass that spans 10 time zones. * Similarly, Barack Obama does not have total control over the minutiae of the United States of America. * Putin does not orchestrate, he reacts. Putin is no chess player. He is a knee-jerk, short-sighted little tyrant. Don't give him credit where credit isn't due. * Americans, especially Americans who have never been to Russia, overestimate the abilities of both Putin and the Russians. Because, I mean, come on. Tank! * The Russians did not create the Snowden situation; Julian Assange and the U.S. government did. Assange insinuated himself into the situation and sent Snowden to Ecuador (the country granting him asylum) through Russia (his great friend). * The Obama administration trapped Snowden in Russia. The U.S. unsealed the charges before it had Snowden in custody, revoked his passport, then downed the plane of the president of a sovereign state over other sovereign states because it thought Snowden was on board. The only place, by design, where Snowden could go was back to the U.S. Where he was charged with espionage, for which the maximum punishment is death. Russia is a brutal place where whistleblowers are harassed and killed, but Russia, unlike the U.S., has no death penalty. And it is only because the Russians made a stink about it, that Eric Holder was forced to come out and assure the Russians that Edward Snowden won't be put to death. This happened over a month after Snowden's arrival in Moscow, and after the charges of espionage were unsealed. * If a Russian Edward Snowden ended up in JFK Airport, there is no way in hell we'd turn him over to the Russians. Not in a hundred years, and not ever. * You can't back Putin into a corner and leave him no options. If you are a world leader worth your salt, and have a good diplomatic team working for you, you would know that. You would also know that when dealing with thugs like Putin, you know that things like this are better handled quietly. Here's the thing: Putin responds to shows of strength, but only if he has room to maneuver. You can't publicly shame him into doing something, it's not going to get a good response. Just like it would not get a good response out of Obama. * The Obama administration totally fucked this up. I mean, totally. Soup to nuts. Remember the spy exchange in the summer of 2010? Ten Russian sleeper agents—which is not what Snowden is—were uncovered by the FBI in the U.S. Instead of kicking up a massive, public stink over it, the Kremlin and the White House arranged for their silent transfer to Russia in exchange for four people accused in Russia of spying for the U.S. Two planes landed on the tarmac in Vienna, ten people went one way, four people went the other way, the planes flew off, and that was it. That's how this should have been done if the U.S. really wanted Snowden back. * However, the decision to blow off the Moscow summit was a good one. See yesterday's post. * I am not a Putin apologist. I think he and his people do bad things, like kill people and fleece the country for its wealth. But neither do I think he's oppressing the Russian masses. He is their most extreme and natural, their most post-Soviet manifestation. There.

European countries view the death penalty differently than the United States. Putin would have received grief domestically if Snowden was sent back to the United States to be executed. Putin cares more about his poll numbers than the United States justice system. Putin doesn't have a love for whistleblowers. Putin just doesn't need the grief.

Ioffe made an important point of the United States forcing Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane to land in Austria is important. Putin would have looked weak if he gave up Snowden after the Bolivia incident. Vladimir Putin never wants to appear weak. Ioffe pointed out that Putin would only give up Snowden if he could save face. The United States never provided that option. It didn't help with the heavy-handed language coming from members of Congress. Of course, Donnell didn't want to hear nuance, so he yelled over Ioffe. That explains why Ioffe will likely never appear on O'Donnell's show again.

My main beef with O'Donnell is not that he wouldn't let me make these 11 points—because, let's face it, that's not what the TV is for—but that he did exactly the same shit Russians did to me when I was in Russia. They assumed that the U.S. and its government was one sleek, well-functioning monolith, that Obama was omnipotent, and that everyone in the world, including other important (and nuclear!) world leaders, act and must act as Russia demands it should, using Russian foreign policy calculus, and with only Russian interests in mind.

Sound ridiculous? Believe me, it sounds just as insane in reverse. The problem is that this was not in the ranting comments section, but was coming from the host of a prime time, national television show. And if you don't have the good sense and education or, hell, the reporting experience to know better, then just let the guests you invited on speak.

Otherwise, don't waste my fucking evening.


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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Making Money of Tragedy

Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. served on the Casey Anthony case. The Orlando Sentinel reports Perry is being pitched for a reality show by producer Jim Lichtenstein and Mark Itkin, agent from the William Morris Endeavor talent agency.

An Itkin bio lists some of the projects he has packaged: "The Real World," "Project Runway," "Hell's Kitchen," "Kitchen Nightmares," "Deal or No Deal," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns," "Big Brother," "Fear Factor," "The People's Court," "American Gladiators," "The Biggest Loser" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

According to the article, Judge Perry and Perry and Lichtenstein are business partners. Lichtenstein got his agent Itkin to help get a Judge Perry reality show off the ground. ABC News has an interview with Perry. The Judge is definitely onboard to do a TV show.

Caylee Marie Anthony is dead and Judge Belvin Perry Jr. will likely get highly paid for a terrible television show. This gives me little hope for the American justice system.

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Mike Fasano Appointed As Pasco County Tax Collector

Gov. Rick Scott has finally made an appointment that I can support. Scott has appointed Mike Fasano as Pasco County tax collector. Fasano has done his Farm Share Holiday Food Giveaway to provide meals for needy families during the Christmas holidays. Fasano is a Florida Republican to be featured on Democracy Now. Fasano is not your standard Republican.

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Funniest Panhandling Video Ever

I litterally laughed so hard that I spat water at the computer screen. I man uses an unusual pitch to pandle people from the New York City subway.

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Rick Perry Mistakenly Thinks He's In Florida

Gov. Rick Perry can't keep from making gaffes. Perry was at the RedState Gathering in New Orleans. Last time I checked, the city of New Orleans was in Louisiana. Perry thought he was in Florida.
“There are many other states that embrace those conservative values, the approach that we’ve taken over the years,” he continued. “I’m in one today in Florida. You look at South Carolina, you look at Florida.”

“You’re in Louisiana!” an audience member shouted.

“I know,” Perry responded. “And I said that. I’m in one of those states that reflect those today in Louisiana,” he deadpanned, drawing audience laughter and applause.

Perry's message of red states being more successful than blue states is bullshit. Red states have had job gains but this have been crappy service industry jobs. People without health insurance was highest in conservative states before Obamacare and remains that way, because of Republican opposition to health care reform. Kenneth J. Bernstein did a really good breakdown of how red states as a whole fair more poorly than blue states.

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Quote of the Day

"I'm not easily dissuaded, so it's not something that makes me shrink away, it makes me come out even stronger to say that I don't think there's anyone in Congress who has a stronger belief in minority rights than I do."

Sen. Rand Paul, in an interview with Yahoo News.

Paul seems to be forgetting his opposition to the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Paul also hired neo-Confederate Jack Hunter to work in his Senate office and write his book "The Tea Party Goes to Washington." Hunter advocates white pride and supported the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Paul has a lot of balls to declare himself the strongest believer of minority rights in Congress.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Wire - Heartbeat

A live performance from Wire.

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Wendy Davis Hints At a Gubernatorial Run

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis spoke at the National Press Club. Davis hinted that she may run for governor.

"I do think that in Texas, people feel like we need a change from the very fractured, very partisan leadership that we've seen in our state governor right now," Davis said at the fundraiser luncheon. "I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices -- either my state senate seat, or the governor's."

The fact that a previously unknown State Senator is now speaking at the National Press Club tells you that Davis is a rising political star.

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Ted Yoho Feels Racially Oppressed Because of the Tanning Tan

Republicans love to talk about how the rest of America is racist against white people. If you don't believe me then listen to Florida Republican congressman Ted Yoho.

Yoho explains: “I had a little fun with [John] Boehner and told him about the sun tanning tax. He goes, ‘I didn’t know it was in there,’ and I said, ‘Yes, it’s a ten percent tax.’ He goes, ‘Well, that’s not that big of a deal.’ I said, ‘It’s a racist tax.’ He goes, ‘You know what, it is.’ I had an Indian doctor in our office the other day, very dark skin, with two non-dark skin people, and I asked this to him, I said, ‘Have you ever been to a tanning booth?’ and he goes, ‘No, no need.’ So therefore it’s a racist tax and I thought I might need to get to a sun tanning booth so I can come out and say I’ve been disenfranchised because I got taxed because of the color of my skin. As crazy as that sounds, that’s what the left does right. By God, if it works for them, it’ll work for us [inaudible].”

Yoho is a freshman tea party candidate and an Obama birther. It is fascinating how the people that scream racism are the biggest racists.

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Write A Caption: Rick Santorum

He's your ice cream baby, stop him when he's passing by.

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Duke Energy Gets More Money

The Florida Public Service Commission agreed to allow Duke Energy to continue to charge customers for the Levy County nuclear power plant. The kicker is Duke Energy has announced they will never complete the power plant. Duke Energy customers will be paying an extra $108 million for an imaginary power plant.

The decision by the PSC will add 89 cents a month for 1,000 kilowatts of energy to current bills for customers. The commission concluded they had no other option based on a state law that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for nuclear power plants, regardless of whether the are built or not, and a settlement agreement relating to the broken Crystal River plant. Together the cost to customers for both failed projects will amount to about $3.2 billion.

Duke Energy will be legally allowed to keep this revenue. To make matters worse: the state still owesDuke Energy $1.5 billion for this power plant that will never exist. The reason Duke Energy can get this money is former Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida legislature made this sweetheart deal legal.

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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Two Protesters Accuse Beyonce & Jay Z of Being Demons

I usually stay away from celebrity news but this was too good to pass up. Two Washington D.C. protesters accused Beyonce and Jay Z of being demons.

The Washington Afro-American newspaper spoke with Wade Montgomery and Rocky Twyman --founders of a group called Pray at the Pump, that asks for, and they say receives, divine intervention in the price of gasoline -- about their concerns.

Twyman told TheAfro that Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z are "virtually destroying our youth...If you go on the Internet, you’ll see stories about how they’re both part of the Illuminati and you can see Jay-Z’s use of the Satanic triangle symbol when he performs."

Part of me thinks these two protesters are punking people. This is too ridiculous to believe. These protesters make Pat Robertson sound reasonable.

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Ron Wyden MoJo Interview

Sen. Ron Wyden has an interesting interview with Mother Jones. You should read the whole interview. The portion where Gen. James Clapper lied under oath to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is amazing. Wyden asked Clapper is the NSA data collecting spying on American citizens. Clapper was caught lying by saying no. Clapper and his people were then going to maintain this charade.

RW: I've taken the view that I personally believe I can make the best contribution by complying with the rules and having the opportunity to try to be a watchdog inside the committee. For example, the questions I asked [Director of National Intelligence] Gen. [James] Clapper at the open hearing with respect to whether the government collects any data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans, that was an example of an area where we felt strongly we were complying with the rules and doing vigorous oversight.

That stemmed from a situation where the head the National Security Agency said that they were not holding any data at all on millions of Americans. And I was very, very troubled by that and another statement that no dossiers were being kept, and we couldn't get straight answers. So I sent Gen. Clapper the question in advance that I was going to ask. And in effect when you have a cleared official making a statement like that in public, that they don't hold any data at all, I thought it was important to get the record straight.

MJ: Then he had to basically admit that he was not telling the truth.

RW: After the hearing, one of my staff went to a secure room and said that this was inaccurate and needed to be corrected. Gen. Clapper's people said they knew it was inaccurate and they still wouldn't correct it. At that point it never, or at least for quite some time, would never have been known. Then there were the [Snowden leaks] and Gen. Clapper started offering one answer after another with respect to why he did it.

This is an administration that admits it lies to a U.S. Senator and is completely shameless abiyt it.

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Glenn Greenwald on This Week

Glenn Greenwald appeared on This Week With George Stephanopoulos to tell Martha Raddatz about the lack of oversight on the NSA warrantless wiretapping program.

"We keep hearing that there's all kinds of robust oversight by Congress," Greenwald said, adding that lawmakers had provided "very detailed letters trying to get this information and they're being blocked from getting it and they've said, and other members have said that they are forced to learn about what the NSA is doing from what they're reading in our reporting."

"I think the most amazing thing, one of the most amazing things in this whole episode, Martha, there is a 2011 opinion, 86 pages long from the FISA court, that ruled that much of what the NSA is doing which is spying on American citizens is both unconstitutional in violation of the Fourth Amendment and illegal, a violation of the statute," he continued. "This opinion remains a complete secret. The FISA court has said they have no objection to having it released, but the Obama administration insists it has to be secret."

"Both members of Congress and others have been requesting simply to read that court opinion. And the intelligence committee that is led in the House by Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), who represents the NSA district, receives all kinds cash from the defense and intelligence agencies, industries, have refused to allow them access."

Greenwald has documented proof members of Congress are being denied information into the NSA program.

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Susan Smith Wants to End Florida School Grading System

Susan Smith has started the Democracy For America campaign You Power. The goal of You Power is to have Gov. Rick Scott, the State Board of Education, and the Florida Legislature to permanently end the the grading system. I have written before that the grading system wasn't designed to improve public schools but place children in for-profit private schools.

The scandal involving former Florida education commissioner Tony Bennett is a classic example. In emails reported by the Associated Press, Bennett raised the school grade of Indiana Republican donor Christel DeHaan.

"This will be a HUGE problem for us," Bennett wrote. "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work."

The Jeb Bush education reforms are all about breaking up the teachers' union, campaign dollars and crony capitalism. Go sign the You Power petition.

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Saturday, August 03, 2013

More Bad News on DCF Children Deaths

Gov. Rick Scott has praised the work of DCF child welfare chief David Wilkins.

Commenting on the latest death, Scott told reporters: "You would hate for anything to happen to any child ... Any time anything like this happens, you take it very seriously and the expectation is you go back and make sure it doesn't happen again. I think Secretary Wilkins is doing a very good job. He's very committed to doing the right thing. He's very committed to making sure that every child is taken care of, and he'll do the right thing in looking into this."
Wilkins was doing so good of a job he as forced to resign. Scott offered his praise to Wilkins after four children died in the DCF child welfare program. Scott has a unique view of what constitutes doing a good job.

We now learn of the brutal death of a two-year old boy at the hands of his father Jayden Villegas-Morales. How did Villegas-Morales ever past the home inspection is a mystery.

Though DCF had declared Villegas’ home study to be “positive,” it included a handful of facts that some children’s advocates call troubling: Villegas was unemployed, living in a one-bedroom home with eight other children, had been repeatedly accused of domestic violence and had admitted to child-welfare authorities that he had “an anger issue.” Investigators also documented alleged marijuana use in front of the children, the presence of cockroaches in the home and instances where children were hemmed up in dirty diapers.

After this tragedy, Judge Hanzman has ordered hearings before caregivers can place a child. The legal system no longer trusts the DCF.

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Religious Leaders Band With Dream Defenders

Religious leaders joined the Dream Defensers during their third week of protests inside the Florida capital.

Imam Rashad Mujahid of the Masjid Al-Nahl mosque in Tallahassee reflected on the role of faith when petitioning a government to change policy.

“One’s faith helps one endure the setbacks sometimes these things take, Mujahid said. “Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, these are people of faith who had a certain discipline and a certain patience that allows them to see beyond their present circumstances.”

It is nice to see an Imam, Rabbi and Episcopal priest band togethet for a good cause. Unfortunately, so much religion had been decisive in our political discourse.

In other news: The Tallahassee Democrat reports Trayvon Martin's parents have taken no position on the Florida boycott started by Stevie Wonder.

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Friday, August 02, 2013

Small Tea Party Turnout in Jacksonville

If anyone needs prove that the tea party's popularity is dying then look no further than the number of people that showed up for an Americans for Prosperity's protest outside of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Jacksonville.

AFP State Director Slade O'Brien said about 15 others joined him for the hour protest outside the headquarters because the company is "using a nonprofit 501C3 to market their product.

/P> The tea party ranks grow thinner. That doesn't stop local and national Republicans from fearing the tea party's wraith.

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Duke Energy Makes Money Doing Nothing

The Florida legislature had the anti-free market idea to raise rates and get tax dollars to build a nuclear power plant in Levy County. Duke Energy has announced that they will not build the power plant in Levy County. Through rate hikes and a utility tax, Duke Energy keeps revenue that was suppose to go to construction of the power plant. What is even more insane is that the state still owes Duke Energy $1.5 billion. This is crony capitalism at its worst.

State Rep. Mike Fasano is calling for an investigation.

“Duke Progress have not been honest with the customers, legislature and the Florida Public Service Commission,” said Fasano. “I have unsuccessfully tried to repeal the cost recovery tax – I have said many times Duke Progress would never build the nuclear power plants in Levy County. It’s time for a full investigation and for the Public Service Commission and Florida Legislature to step up to plate and hold the utility accountable. 1 billion dollars has been paid to Duke Progress by its customers and those customers will never get anything for the dollars they paid out.”

I believe Fasano sincere. The problem is the lobbying power of Duke Energy will squash any investigation.

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Weatherford Calls For Hearing on Stand Your Ground

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford has asked the Criminal Justice Committee to hold a hearing on the "Stand Your Ground" law.

However, he said, it’s appropriate for the Legislature to answer questions including: ” Does the law keep the innocent safer? Is it being applied fairly? Are there ways we can make this law clearer and more understandable?”

Weatherford will not call a special session on "Stand Your Ground." I don't expect this hearing to produce any results that would lead to the repeal on SYG.I think Weatherford's call for a hearing is more a response to the political pressure applied by the Dream Defenders.

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