Monday, September 30, 2013

The 7 Up Theme in Repo Man

The character Kevin singing in Repo Man never fails to crack me up. The 7 Up theme song deserves ridicule.

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Dubious Rubio's Hysterical 'Slowdown' Talking Point #DubiousRubio

Sen. Marco Rubio was on an airplane and was faced with passengers asking him about a potential government shutdown. Rubio was probably wishing for the safety of the Fox News studio. Rubio is not used to being asked challenging questions. The result was Rubio spieling out nonsense that the government shutdown isn't actually a government shutdown.

At one point, a flight attendant asked him if the partial government shutdown would, in fact, begin at midnight.

Rubio responded by calling the likely impasse "not really a shutdown, more of a slowdown -- but not a good way to do business."

Rubio doesn't want to use the word "shutdown." Republicans Peter King and John McCain have publicly attacked tea party Republicans over their shutdown threats. Rubio has actively threatened to shutdown the government.

“I will not vote for a continuing resolution unless it defunds Obamacare,” the Florida Republican said at a breakfast hosted by The Weekly Standard and Concerned Veterans for America. He called on his fellow senators to do the same. “I believe we should not vote or pass a continuing resolution unless that continuing resolution defunds Obamacare.”

Rubio miscalculated the political consequences of a government shutdown. He now doesn't have the courage to tell people to their faces this is what he supports. Rubio is a stupid politician.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Drive-By Truckers - Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy by Drive-By Truckers on Grooveshark

A lyrical masterpiece from Mike Cooley about a sex worker.

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Breaking Bad is About How Evil Obamacare Is

Story Of Small Businessman Struggling Under Obama Administration Draws To Close

This fake video news story by The Onion really isn't that much different than Fox News.

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Alex Pareene's First and Last Appearance on CNBC

It is hard to believe that CNBC let Alex Pareene of to come on. The result was Pareene hammered Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan.

Maria Bartiromo: Alex, to you first. Legal problems aside, JP Morgan remains one of the best, if not the best performing major bank in the world today. You believe the leader of that bank should step down?

Alex Pareene: I think that any time you’re looking at the greatest fine in the history of Wall Street regulation, it’s really worth asking should this guy stay in his job. In any other industry — I can’t think of another industry. If you managed a restaurant, and it got the biggest health department fine in the history of restaurants, no one would say “Yeah, but the restaurant’s making a lot of money. There’s only a little bit of poison in the food.”

Maria Bartiromo and Duff McDonald come to Dimon's rescue. McDonald goes as far as to say Dimon has a "great track record." Former IMF economist Simon Johnson would disagree. Johnson has called Dimon "the most dangerous man in America."

1. Big companies need big banks, operating across borders, with large balance sheets and the ability to execute a wide variety of transactions. This is simply not true – if we are discussing banking at the current and future proposed scale of JP Morgan Chase. We go through this in detail in 13 Bankers – in fact, refuting this point in detail, with all the evidence on the table, was a major motivation for writing the book. There is simply no evidence – and I mean absolutely none – that society gains from banks having a balance sheet larger than $100 billion. (JP Morgan Chase is roughly a $2 trillion bank, on its way to $3 trillion.)

2. The US banking system is not particularly concentrated relative to other OECD countries. This is true – although the degree of concentration in the US has increased dramatically over the past 15 years (again, details in 13 Bankers) and in key products, such as credit cards and mortgages, it is now high. But in any case, the comparison with other countries doesn’t help Mr. Dimon at all – because most other countries are struggling with the consequences of banks that became too large relative to their economies (e.g., in Europe; see Ireland as just one illustrative example).

3. Canada did fine during 2008-09 despite having a relatively concentrated financial system. Mr. Dimon would obviously like to move in the Canadian direction – and top people in the White House are also very much tempted. This is frightening. Not only does it represent a complete misunderstanding of the government guarantees behind banking in Canada (which we have clarified here recently), but this proposal – at its heart – would allow, in the US context, even more complete state capture than what we have observed under the stewardship of Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner. Place this question in the context of American history (as we do in Chapter 1 of 13 Bankers): If the US had just five banks left standing, would their political power and ideological sway be greater or less than it is today?

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Make Chuck Todd Do His Job Petition

I don't hold out much hope on Chuck Todd being an actual journalist. I do support Nicole Belle's petition as a way to call out Todd on his open hostility to fact-checking.

In a Morning Joe segment this week on misinformation about the Affordable Care Act, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd made the outrageous claim that it isn’t his job to inform viewers when Republican politicians lie about political issues.

How is it possible that the Political Director of NBC News doesn’t think it is his job to inform NBC viewers with facts about important political issues?

Todd appeared on Morning Joe and made this remark to Ed Rendell.

"What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No! It's the President of the United States' fault for not selling it."

I do agree with Todd that it is not the media's job to sell Obamacare. What angers Belle and other progressives is Todd's glib attitude on fact-checking the MSNBC guests he interviews. Being a member of the Village is more important than journalistic accuracy to Todd.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quote of the Year

"I'm not over exaggerating when I say I can smell the booze wafting from members as they walk off the floor."

Ginger Gibson, Congressional reporter.

This is what happens when Congress takes a lot of days off and one party manufactures a budget crisis. Congress drinks itself into a oblivion.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Free Kitten - Harvest Spoon

The song title is a reference to Neil Young. Harvest Spoon details the sexism Kim Gordon endured when Sonic Youth opened for Neil Young. There is a Liz Phair reference in the lyrics.

Right outside of Guysville Well it's gonna be a 7" And I gotta hard on for it

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Friday Cat Blogging

A bobcat gives some serious loving to his owners at the dinner table.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Phantogram - Celebrating Nothing

Stereogum reports Phantogram is still working on their follow-up album. In the meantime, you can listen to this song Phantogram has released to tide their fans over.

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Wingnut of the Day: Larry Klayman

Larry Klayman is the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. This first paragraph Klayman penned is a comedy masterpiece.

Last Wednesday, the great usurper, Barack Hussein Obama, after having been indicted by an Ocala, Florida citizens' grand jury, was convicted by a people's court of defrauding the American people and Floridians by proffering them with a fake birth certificate. See As readers of this column and know too well, Obama is not a natural born citizen eligible to be president of the United States, as he was not born in this country to two American citizen parents. However, to justify his fraud and his elections to the highest office in the land, and after years of inquiry, in 2011 the Obama White House posted on its website a birth certificate purporting to show him having been born in Hawaii. The problem is however, according to forensic experts, the birth certificate is altered and forged.

There is no Citizens Grand Jury of Ocala, Florida court. The website takes you to another Larry Klayman website with hysterically bad faux patriotic music.

Klayman lost a lawsuit against Facebook. Klayman sought $1 billion in damages against Facebook for the anti-Israel "Third Intifada" page. If Klayman was a good lawyer (which he once was); he would know that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects hosts from the content others post. Translation: I am not responsible for what other people post in the comments section of this blog.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis threw out Klayman's lawsuit to keep President Barack Obama off the 2012 Florida ballot. Klayman falsely accused Obama of not being a natural born citizen.

I'm so proud that Klayman is a fellow citizen of Florida.

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Cat Fight Between Robert Reich and Bill O'Reilly

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged Bill O'Reilly to a debate. Reich called O'Reilly out in a petition at Democracy For America to have a debate with O'Reilly.

Yet O'Reilly refuses to have me on his show to debate any of this -- either his initial charge that I'm a Communist, or his indignation that I mentioned it in last weekend's op-ed. When he first claimed I was a Communist I challenged him to a debate -- a civil debate. He refused. He still refuses. He won't even debate the topic of my op-ed -- the increasing shrillness and divisiveness of Fox News and other media outlets, which are only adding to the vitriol of American politics.

Why won't O'Reilly debate me? What is he afraid of? I don't know but I need your help. Please join my campaign and tell Bill O'Reilly that instead of talking about me, he should have the courage and decency to debate me.

O'Reilly is still hurting from his debate with Al Franken. O'Reilly isn't going to debate anyone who would publicly embarrass him.

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Quote of the Day: John McCain Edition

"Many of those who are in opposition right now were not here at the time, and did not take part in the debate and I respect that. But I'd like to remind them that the record is very clear of one of the most hard-fought, fair -- in my view -- debates that has taken place on the floor of the Senate in the time that I've been here.

"And then I'd remind my colleagues that in the 2012 election, 'Obamacare,' as it's called -- and I'll be more polite, the ACA --was a subject that was a major issue in the campaign. I campaigned all over America for two months, everywhere I could, and in every single campaign rally I said, 'And we have to repeal and replace Obamacare.'

"Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke and they reelected the president of the United States."

Sen. John McCain, on the floor of the Senate.

McCain is telling other Republicans it's over. The GOP has lost the debate on health care reform.

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Inequality For Al Trailer

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is releasing the documentary Inequality For All. Democracy For America is promoting the movie. The film won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

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Does Benjamin Kirby Want a Job in a Kriseman Administration?

It is no secret that Benjamin Kirby has been Rick Kriseman's biggest online cheerleader. Kriseman is running for mayor of St. Petersburg. Kirby tweeted not one, but two posts on Kriseman's new ad. Kirby spent 8 years in the Clinton administration. Kirby is more than qualified. I'm wondering if Kriseman getting elected his his ticket back into the game.

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Rick Kriseman's First Video Ad

St. Petersburg Democratic candidate for mayor Rick Kriseman has roled out his first video ad. The ad is only okay. St. Petersburg does look nice in the ad.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nine Inch Nails - Head Like A Hole

This is actually a track from Nine Inch Nails rehearsals.

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Quote of the Day: Ted Cruz Hypocrisy Edition

"To reiterate what’s happened since Cruz took to the Senate floor for his 21 hour fakeibuster, he said he would speak in opposition to Obamacare until he could not stand. An hour later, he took a break. His grandstanding efforts were simply a means to rail against President Obama, and in the end, he voted against himself."


It apppears someone who likes to grandstand doesn't like to stand for a long period of time.

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Peter King Really Doesn't Like Ted Cruz

Rep. Peter King has called Ted Cruz "a fraud" and doubled down on Anderson Cooper's show. King accuses Cruz of only threatening a shutdown to defund Obamacare only for Cruz's own political benefit. King goes so far as to call Cruz "crazy."

No one likes Cruz. Josh Marshall investigated Cruz's college days at Princeton and Harvard and found that Cruz's classmates couldn't stand him.

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Mark Pafford Next Florida House Monority Leader

It is nice to see the Florida Democratic establishment actually do something right. After the disaster that was the brief Darryl Rouson tenure; Florida House Democrats have made Mark Pafford the next Minority Leader.

Pafford was nominated and seconded by two state representatives who had been mentioned as possible leadership candidates: House Democratic Leader Pro Tempore Mia Jones, D-Jacksonville, and Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa. Jones lost out to Rouson to be the next Democratic leader back in February by a narrow margin. Rep. Shev Jones, D-West Park, and Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, nominated and seconded Williams.

Pafford in a leadership position will make progressives in Florida happy.

Update: Florida Democratic Party chair Allison Tant statement on Pafford.

"I congratulate Representative Mark Pafford for winning the support of his colleagues. I look forward to working with Rep. Pafford and all House Democrats in building a unified and and strong Caucus. I am excited for the great work ahead, and I am confident Representative Pafford will have great success."

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Family Asks For Police Officer to be Charged For Marlon Brown's Death

The grand jury never saw the dash-cam video of Deland police officer James Harris running over fleeing suspect Marlon Brown. Harris was fired from his job. The grand jury decided not to charge Harris with Brown's death.

Brown's family settled for $550,000 on the grounds that they don't file a civil suit. The Brown family questions the medical examiner's report.

"At best the report is inaccurate, at worst it's a blatant lie," says Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump, who also represented Trayvon Martin's family. The Deland Police Department is claiming that Brown died of of a lack of oxygen.


The medical examiner determined that Brown died of "mechanical asphyxia" - essentially, lack of oxygen - and that the death was an "accident" caused by Brown being trapped under a moving vehicle.

According to Crump, the funeral director who prepared Brown's body tells a different story about his injuries, but a spokesman for Volusia County says medical examiner's office "absolutely" stands behind the autopsy.

Crump and Brown's family released the dash-cam video to the media. The Deland Police Department is now viewing the video. Does anyone watch that video and believe Brown died from a lack of oxygen?

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All India Bakchod Takes On Rape Culture In Comedy Video

This video comedy sketch was made by All India Bakchod. The comedy group is from India and made this video about men in India blaming rape on women. Hat tip to David Garber.

Director: Ashwin Shetty

Cinematographer: Ankit Mhatre

Written by: AIB.

Editors: Ashish Heblekar & Shashwat Datta

Music: Mehar Chumble

Assistant Directors: Shruti Naik & Geethika Chandran Kinakkal

Line Producer: Achal Manglik

Assistant Producer: Melbun D'souza

Live Sound: Rinku Pathak

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pam Bondi Passing the Buck

Attorney General Pam Bondi is still not fessing up to her mistake of delaying the execution of Marshall Lee Gore. Bondi can't take responsibility and blame her staff for the rescheduling of the execution.

Bondi said the execution delay was done "through staff," and reiterated: "I was wrong. I'm sorry. It will not happen again." Asked if the episode has compromised her public image as a victims' advocate, Bondi said: "I made a mistake. I'm sorry. It won't happen again. I asked that a killer's date be changed and he was given 20 more days. It won't happen again. I'm sorry." Asked who on her staff made the request for the delay in Gore's execution, Bondi referred questions to her press office.

The execution of Gore was rescheduled so Bondi could attend a campaign fundraiser in Tampa. Bondi would have us believe that her staff scheduled the execution and fundraiser without her knowledge. If true then that means Bondi is too incompetent to know when an execution takes place or what is going on with her campaign. Hardly a vote of confidence. Bondi's excuse doesn't pass the laugh test.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Scrawl - High Roller

High Roller by Scrawl on Grooveshark

Scrawl doing a cover of Cheap Trick's High Roller that is superior to the original version.

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Rachel Sutz Pienta Is Running For VP of Florida Democratic Party Democratic Women’s Club

Rachel Sutz Pienta is running for 2nd Vice President of the Democratic Women’s Club. The DWCF is a caucus of the Florida Democratic Partic Party. Pienta is a noted Florida progressive. Pienta has a post on her resume.

I first became involved in Democratic politics as a student at the University of Florida. I was part of a team of College Democrats who worked statewide to elect President Bill Clinton. Following the 1992 election, I worked as a district intern for then-Democratic state senator Kirkpatrick and then worked on campaigns to elect Congresswoman Karen Thurman and Governor Lawton Chiles.

Later, I went to Washington to intern in Karen Thurman’s Congressional office. When I moved to Tallahassee for graduate school, I was awarded a paid legislative internship to work as a legislative policy analyst for the Florida House of Representatives on Education K-12. After my internship year, I continued to work on public policy and political campaigns.

In 2011, I helped to found a new caucus in the Florida Democratic Party - the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida and I currently serve on the caucus Board of Directors ( In 2012, I was selected to chair and host the Florida Democratic Party’s Small County Coalition Conference in Wakulla County. I currently serve as the Secretary for the Small County Coalition.

Over the past three years, I have also served on two statewide Democratic Party committees – serving on the team of authors who wrote the Florida Democratic Party’s state platform and serving on the team that developed an endorsement and slating procedure for statewide candidates. I currently serve on the FDP Campaign Committee.

I also served on the North Florida Finance committee for the Obama Campaign under the leadership of Allison Tant Richard.

Read Pienta's entire resume on her blog post.

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Shocking News: No One Liked Ted Cruz at Prnceton & Harvard

Blogger Josh Marshall went to Princeton at the same time as Ted Cruz. Marshall has no memory of Cruz. Marshall asked friends that went to Harvard at that time what they thought of Cruz. Apparently, the words "asshole" and "jerk come up when describing Cruz.

My friend [redacted] went to Harvard Law with Ted. [He] says that Ted shocked people when during the first week, he announced that he was creating a study group and only people with high GPAs from the Big Three Ivies could apply for admission. In short, Ted managed to come off as a pompous asshole at Harvard Law.

Cruz's social skills haven't improved since he became a Senator. It is bad when Chris Wallace and Karl Rove go on Fox News and say Congressional Republicans are pissed at Cruz.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Charlie Crist Is Officially the Democratic Establishment Candidate Against Rick Scott

Via Peter Schorsch: there was never much doubt that Charlie Crist was the preferred candidate to run against Gov. Rick Scott. Crist will join Florida Democratic Party chair Allison Tant for a FDP fundraiser at the home of Joe Falk and Mark Scott.

Expect Crist to make many more appearances with Tant and other big name Democrats across Florida. Crist is being rolled out by the party for his run.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Ugly Sexism on Hannity's Show

This is low even by Fox News standards. Bill Cunningham repeatedly makes sexist attacks and wags his finger in the face of Tamara Holder. Apparently, Holder's crime was pointing out that President George W. Bush raised the debt ceiling 8 times. Cunningham responded to that by making snide remarks about Holder's appearance and told her she wasn't smart enough to understand math. Naturally, Hannity defended Cunningham.

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Friday Cat Blogging

The white cat is so obviously high on catnip.


Alex Sink Not Running For Governor

As the guy who started the "Stop Alex Sink" campaign, I was relieved when I received an email that Sink would not run for governor and Give Rick Scott a second term. It's Charlie Crist's race to lose. Here is the Sink press release.

I want to thank my many friends and supporters from around Florida who have reached out to me over the past months with words of encouragement for my continued involvement in the business and political life of our state.

After careful consideration, I have decided that the best way for me to make a positive and lasting impact on our state is to continue the work we've started together. I plan to continue my involvement with the Florida Next Foundation, working to build a state of innovation and inspiring the next generation of young Florida leaders. And of course I am going to be supporting candidates who I believe share my vision that Florida can be a state of opportunity for all of its citizens.

That being said, like so many Floridians, I am appalled at Governor Rick Scott's failed leadership on the economy, education and the environment. I will continue to speak out and to aggressively hold him accountable for ignoring Floridians' best interests.


I wish Sink well and hope this is the last post I will ever write about her.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quote of the Day 2: Ronald Reagan Edition

“As long as there is one person in this country who is hungry, that’s one person too many, and something must be done about it.” Ronald Reagan, on hunger in America.

As I blogged earlier today, House Republicans cut $4 billion from the SNAP program.

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Republicans Get Expensive Tax Paid Meals & Have the Audacity to Cut SNAP

Rep. Jackie Speier called out Republicans getting expensive meals on the taxpayers' dime.

"One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina. He probably had a fair amount of steak. Another member was given $3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days," Speier said on the House floor.

Spieier was not allowed to name her Republican colleagues on the floor. The two members of Congress Speirr speaks of are Rep. Steve King and Rep. Frank Lucas.

Lucas and his wife had to survive on $127.41 per day while on a business trip (cough) to Buenos Aires. King ate on the meager sum of $3,588 during his time spent in Russia. Why do we make our members of Congress suffer like this?

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Quote of the Day: SNAP Program Edition

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that the SNAP program helped 4 million people suffering economic hardship. Here is a chart.

The CBPP projects that the cost of the SNAP program will decrease. The findings are tied to the the GDP. I would have to see the numbers. I would say that depends on the economic recovery. So far Congress has done little to stimulate the economy. If people are still enrolling in the SNAP program in big numbers that means a). the economy is still bad 2.) SNAP cost may increase.

Economist Mark Zandi testified to the Senate Finance Committee that every dollar spent on SNAP puts $1.74 back into the economy. Considering that many people are economically hurting and SNAP stimulates the economy; it should come as no surprise that the House of Representatives voted to cut $4 billion from the program. The House bill would also allow potential SNAP recipients to be tested for drugs. Courts have already struck this down on the state level, including Florida.

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Bill Nelson Endorses Amanda Murphy

Things are looking up in the endorsement department for Florida. House District 36 candidate Amanda Murphy. Nan Rich recently endorsed Murphy. Senator Bill Nelson has now endorsed Murphy.

“The voters of Pasco County deserve a representative that will be an independent voice in the Florida Legislature, and Amanda Murphy will do just that. Her experience in the private sector will make her an effective leader in Tallahassee who will protect Pasco’s middle class,” said Senator Nelson.

These big endorsements means to Florida Democratic establishment is behind Murphy.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nan Rich Endorses Amanda Murphy

Amanda Murphy, a Democratic candidate for Florida House District 36, has been endorsed by Nan Rich.

“Amanda Murphy is an articulate and energetic woman who will be an effective advocate for all of us in Tallahassee. A strong supporter of public education, she is committed to fighting against the special interests that would divert funds away from classrooms through voucher schemes or any other efforts that would undermine our public schools. And we can also count on Amanda to defend women’s reproductive rights -– rights that have been under assault by right-wing extremists in Tallahassee.

“For these reasons and more, I am proud to lend my name and support to Amanda Murphy for State Representative.”

“I am honored and humbled to receive Senator Nan Rich’s endorsement,” said Amanda Murphy. “She has been a great help and offered many kind words of advice to me so far in my campaign. Senator Rich has been a strong advocate for the people of Florida and her support for my campaign is a blessing.”

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Fetchin' Bones - A Fable

An early performance of the original line-up of Fetchin' Bones. This was an awesome band to see live.

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Rick Kriseman's Fundraising

It is safe to say that St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman has momentum behind him. Longtime Kriseman supporter Benjamin Kirby reports that Kriseman has raised $59,004 in 17 days.

“Once again, I am humbled by the outpouring of support for my campaign for mayor of St. Petersburg,” said Kriseman. “This campaign has grown into a movement for a St. Petersburg with more jobs, better schools, and stronger neighborhoods. The people of this city want decisive leadership from City Hall and I am confident I will deliver that leadership as mayor.”

Translation: Democrats are fundraising their asses off because they feel they finally have a shot at the mayor's office after years of Republican administrations.

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John Boehner Wants To Fail At Defunding Obamacare Again

It appears House Speaker John Boehner has caved to the stupidity of Sen. Ted Cruz. The magical plan put forward by Cruz is that President Barack Obama will sign a bill that either repeals or defunds his landmark health care legislation. All Cruz has to do is get Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow a floor vote and promise not to filibuster a bill that would defund Obamacare. Obama would then sign this bill and willingly destroy the crowning achievement of his administration. The reason being because a freshman Senator told him to. All this is pure fantasy.

Speaker Boehner hops on the Cruz crazy train.

“On the CR, we know what the position of this conference is,” Boehner said, speaking before his colleagues. “Every member in this room is for defunding Obamacare while letting the rest of the government continue to operate. We’re going to put Obamacare defunding directly into the CR. And then we’re going to send it over to the Senate, so our conservative allies over there can continue the fight. That’s where the fight is.”

“On every major issue we’ve faced for the past two and a half years, the math has been the same: House Republicans either find a way together to get to 218, or the Democrats who run the rest of Washington essentially get everything they want,” he added, pressing for House GOP unity.

It is debatable if Boehner can get 218 votes. Remember when Boehner pulled his own Plan B legislation?

House Speaker John Boehner's proposal to avert the looming fiscal cliff's automatic tax increases failed to curry enough Republican support Thursday night, after which Congress left for the holiday with no clear end in sight in the high-stakes debate.

Boehner said earlier Thursday that he was confident that his so-called Plan B -- which would extend tax cuts that are set to expire at year's end for most people while allowing rates to increase to 1990s levels on income over $1 million -- would pass the House, and in the process put pressure on President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate. But his gambit seemed in doubt later as Republican leaders struggled to get most all their members to sign on -- even enlisting senators like Sen. Rob Portman, to work the House floor -- knowing the chamber's Democrats oppose it.

Boehner and other establishment Republicans are going through with this legislative charade because they fear a tea party movement that doesn't even hold rallies anymore. The defunding of Obamacare will fail just as every other attempt to defund Obamacare has failed. Going through with this charade is more important to Republicans than another stimulus package that could create more jobs. The only jobs Boehner and the Republican House leadership are concerned with is their own.

Update: Rep. Sean (former reality television star) Duffy (R) is talking trash about senators Cruz and Mike Lee. Apparently, Cruz and Lee aren't passionate enough about ending Obamacare. What planet is Duffy living on? (The answer is The Real World: Boston.) All Cruz and Lee talk about is defunding Obamacare.

Here is a NSFW video of Sean Duffy dancing in his underwear. Someone explain to me why this man is in Congress.

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GOP House of Cards

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D) sent out this PDF file called "GOP House of Cards." The PDF is a parody of the popular internet series starring Kevin Spacey and details the obstruction of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Speaker John Boehner is cast in the Spacey role. It's debatable if Boehner is the star of his own caucus. I certainly don't think Boehner is nearly as savvy as Spacey's character Francis Underwood.

GOP House of Cards

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Update on Christina West Police Brutality Investigation

There has been political fallout from the shocking video of Christina West's DUI arrest. Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones had resigned.

Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones announced his retirement Friday in the wake of a controversial DUI arrest by TPD officers that came to light only this week.

The 60-year-old Jones’ retirement is effective Oct. 5.

Two TPD officers have been suspended with pay. An investigation is being conducted into the two officers handling of West's arrest. West suffered several facial injuries and a broken cheeck bone from the officers slamming her face into a police cruiser and the pavement.

Attorney Reggie Garcia points out why an independent investigation is needed. The TPD did not record West's arrest on the crime log for that night. The TPD had the vídeo for a month and did not launch an investigation until after there was national media attention. The TPD is in need of serious reform.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Dresden Dolls - Blueprint

This performance was filmed at the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington DC.

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Rachel Maddow on Pam Bondi Delaying Execution

Rachel Maddow on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott delaying the execution of Marshall Lee Gore. The reason is because Bondi had a fundraiser in Tampa.

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Quote of the Day: Barney Frank Edition

"I do want to add one thing though to your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much to keep from not being able to pay their debts, that they can’t lend money. If they really are running businesses that are so stressed that they can’t do their basic work, why are they paying themselves so much money?"

Barney Frank, on Meet the Press

Daily Kos has the video of Frank's MTP appearance. Host David Gregory, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo were left speechless. These Wall Street apologists couldn't believe Frank spoke the truth about the unjustifiable executive bonuses.

Lloyd Blankfein was at the helm when Goldman Sachs almost went under. In 2012, Blankfein received a $26. million bonus. So much for the saying about cream rising to the top.

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Pam Bondi's Willful Ignorance on Navigators and SB 1842

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi went on Fox and Friends and gave false information about Obamacare.

"Now we have navigators coming into our state and they're not doing background checks, they're not doing fingerprints," she said this morning. "Census takers have better background checks than the navigators."

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty reminded the Florida Cabinet, which Bondi is a member of, that SB 1842 requires navigators to be registered and fingerprinting.

"In Florida, the Legislature has healed those gaps in the federal program by passing Senate Bill 1842, whcih requires navigators to be registered," McCarty said. "The registration process is set up much like agent licensing, except the federal government provides the training. Senate Bill 1842 requires fingerprinting and gives authority to the state to revoke a navigator's registration."

Bondi had other complaints about the navigators program.

"This is a consumer protection issue. This is an identity theft issue," said Bondi, who sent a letter on Aug. 14 along with 12 other state attorneys general asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the privacy concerns. They asked for a response by Aug. 28.

As Attorney General, Bondi is sworn to uphold SB 1842. Bondi has never been accused of being a policy wonk. Bondi should start learning policy ASAP. SB 1842 has cunsumor protection written into the bill.

Authorizes the Division of Consumer Services within the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to respond to complaints by consumers relating to requirements of PPACA, by performing its current statutory responsibilities to prepare and disseminate information to consumers as it deems appropriate, provide direct assistance and advocacy to consumers, and require insurers to respond, in writing, to a complaint, and further authorizes the division to report apparent or potential violations to OIR and to HHS.

Temporarily suspends, for 2014 and 2015, the requirement that health insurers and HMOs (insurers) obtain approval from OIR for nongrandfathered health plans which, generally, are plans under which an individual was insured on March 23, 2010, and for which rates must be filed with HHS. Insurers will still be required to file rates and rate changes for such plans with OIR prior to use, but such rates may be used without OIR approval. For this 2-year period, the rates for nongrandfathered plans would be exempt from all rating requirements. These rating law changes are repealed on March 1, 2015. Under PPACA, insurers must file rate changes with HHS for nongrandfathered health plans, subject to review and determination of whether the rate increase is unreasonable. Grandfathered health plans are not subject to PPACA rate filing requirements and remain subject to the current Florida law requirements for filing rates for approval with OIR.

Requires insurers to provide a notice to individual and small group policyholders of nongrandfathered health plans that describes or illustrates the estimated impact of PPACA on monthly premiums. This notice is required one time, when the policy is issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2014. The notice must be in a format established by rule by the Financial Services Commission. The OIR and DFS must develop a summary of the estimated impact of PPACA on monthly premiums as contained in the notices, which must be available on their respective websites by October 1, 2013. Requires individuals acting as a “navigator” under PPACA to be registered with DFS, beginning August 1, 2013. Under PPACA, beginning on October 1, 2013, individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase private health insurance through Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges). Exchanges must certify qualified health plans (QHPs) offered by insurers through the Exchange. PPACA directs Exchanges to award grants to “navigators” that will facilitate enrollment in QHPs and exercise certain other duties.

To be registered as a navigator under the bill, an individual must certify completion of federally-required training, submit fingerprints for a criminal background check, and pay a $50 application fee (currently, there is a $50.30 fingerprint processing fee for agents, so the total cost for a navigator would be $100.30). Certain crimes would either permanently bar an individual from registration or disqualify an applicant for specified periods. A navigator will be prohibited from:

Recommending the purchase of a particular health plan or represent that one health plan is preferable over any other;

Recommending or assisting with the cancellation of insurance coverage purchased outside the Exchange;

Receiving compensation or anything of value from an insurer, health plan, business, or consumer in connection with performing activities as a navigator, other than from the Exchange or an entity or individual who has received a navigator grant under the PPACA.

Bondi either is spreading false information about Obamacare or has no reading comprehension skills

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Monday, September 16, 2013

David Frum Mocks Conservative Talking Points on Gun Violence

David Frum has fired off brilliant tweets mocking how conservatives try to control the debate anytime there is mass gun violence.

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Lawrence Summers on The Social Network

Lawrence Summers talks about the portrayal of him in the movie The Social Network. I am no fan of Summers but I will give him credit for having a sense of humor about the less than flattering portrayal of him in the film.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

"BREAKING: McCain Begins Search for New Country to Bomb."

Andy Borowitz, on Facebook.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Write A Caption: John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner found a wife who is the same color as him. How is that possible. the same

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Ted Cruz At 25 Percent Off

I have been skeptical that anyone outside of Washington actually thinks Ted Cruz is a serious presidential candidate. Turns out the Republican Party of Iowa is running their 25 percent off K-Mart blue light special to get people to pay to see Cruz speak at their Reagan Dinner.

Cruz is probably not even aware that the price of tickets to see him at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Reagan Dinner has been discounted. Typically tickets to a fundraising event don’t go on sale, but it is one of a few unusual tactics that the current administration at the Iowa GOP seems to like employing. In fact, at the June picnic that Cruz attended for the Republican Party of Iowa, the administration capped the number of people who could attend the event, again, another odd occurrence for a fundraising event.

Even though Cruz likely doesn’t having anything to do with the tickets going on sale, he does have to deal with the perception that it creates. A potential presidential candidate like Cruz wants and needs to draw large audiences in order for the perception of him to equal reality. Discounted ticket prices tell a different story. And while it would never work this way in real life, one has to worry that if tickets had to be discounted by 25 percent after just two trips to central Iowa, what its going to be like in a couple of years?

Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan can come across as affable guys. Cruz is devoid of human warmth or charisma. Cruz is supported by elements of the tea party because he is anti-Obama 24/7. Cruz's tea party supporters couldn't tell you what Cruz's position on the Euro crisis or foreign relations with Pakistan is. Neither can Cruz. Ted Cruz is nothing more than Him DeMint 2.0.


Meet William "Hoe" Brown

William "Hoe" Brown is a slumlord. Hoe, as his friends call him, is also a Republican fundraiser. The Hoe Man has has contributed to the Orwellian named Save Our Homes and Rachel Burgin's Florida House campaign.

Mr. Hoe was the chairman Hillsborough County's Homeless Recovery program. HCHR was looking to house homeless people. Mr. Hoe Down had the money making idea of housing the homeless in his slum properties. Kill two birds with one stone and make some extra cash. This went on for 16 years.

TAMPA — The manager of Hillsborough County’s Homeless Recovery Program resigned Monday after it was disclosed the department paid more than $625,000 to Republican fund raiser William “Hoe” Brown to house clients in substandard apartments.

One of Brown's properties homeless people were referred to was a crack den in Seminole Heights.

The hotel has been ticketed by code enforcement officers 14 times in the past 10 years. Ctations ranged from derelict cars to apartments with no smoke detectors. Code officers described the hotel as a deteriorated structure.

Homeless Recovery claims they never received complaints or knowingly referred homeless people to Brown's slum properties. Emails show that is a lie.
The rent for one resident, Sharmel Troupe, and her boyfriend came to $388 for a three-week stay in a bug-infested corner of a converted garage. The couple bought caulk to combat the bugs. In interviews with the Times, managers said the agency does not refer clients to specific properties. And they insisted they had never gotten a complaint about Brown's rental properties. Neither was true, according to hundreds of emails the Times examined.

Brown and County Administrator Mike Merrill have resigned. Merrill's role in the scandal is being investigated. Don't expect charges to be filed against Brown or Merrill. That is not how things or done in Florida politics.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Breaking Bad: Universal Health Care Version

The entire television run of the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad would have been one scene if it was set in the United Kingdom.

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Friday Cat Blogging

A young deer and a bobcat have playtime together.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ted Cruz's Bizarre Appearance At the Heritage Foundation

Sen. Ted Cruz praises noted racist and homophobe Jesse Helms. Cruz said more politicians should say "crazy things." I'm speechless.

“I’ll tell you something … the very first political contribution I ever made in my life was to Jesse Helms. When I was a kid, I sent $10 to Jesse Helms, ’cause they were beating up on him, they were coming after him hard and I thought it wasn’t right, and at the time my allowance was 50 cents a week,” the Texas Republican said. “I am willing to venture a guess that I may have been Jesse Helms’ single largest donor as a percentage of annual income.”

Cruz also recalled a story about when a young Helms received a campaign donation check from John Wayne. He explained that, according to the story, Helms figured out how to get in touch with Wayne and called to thank him for the support.

“Apparently Wayne said, ‘Oh yeah, you’re that guy saying all those crazy things. We need 100 more like you,’” Cruz said. ”The willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare characteristic in this town, and you know what? It’s every bit as true now as it was then. We need a hundred more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.”

Cruz reminds me of this scene from Airplane!

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The Senselessness of Cyber-Bullying

12 year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick is dead. Sedwick jumped to her death at the Cemex cement site. The Lakeland Ledger reports Sedwick was on the receiving end of cyber-bullying.

During their investigation, detectives found multiple social media applications where Sedwick was constantly being cyber-bullied with messages, including “Go kill yourself,” and “Why are you still alive?”

As many as 15 girls are being investigated for possibly bullying Sedwick online. No matter what the Polk County Sheriff's Office investigation uncovers; Sedwick will still be dead. Apparently, this nightmare all started over a boy several of the girls liked.

“We can see from what we've investigated so far that Rebecca wasn’t attacking back," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters Thursday. "She appeared to be beat down. She appeared to have a defeatist attitude. And quite frankly, the entire investigation is exceptionally disturbing to the entire investigative team.”

The harassment began in 2012 over a boy, Judd said. Girls who used to be Rebecca's friends turned against her; at one point, she got in a fight with one that resulted in her getting suspended.

Below are Florida services that deal with teens in crisis. Please look at these websites, if you are a teenager going through a difficult time in your life then please check out these websites.

Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

Youth Crisis Center

Florida Suicide and Crisis Hotline

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Police Officers Involved In Arrest of Christina West Suspended

WPTV reports that the two Tallahassee Police officers involved in the arrest of Christina West have been suspended with pay. West was injured by the two officers during a DUI arrest. Here is a picture of West after the arrest.

Here is police video of the arrest of West.

The arrest happened on August 10, 2013. The two officers are only being suspended after the arrest became national news. Another thing that makes the arrest suspicious is West's arrest wasn't recorded in the Tallahassee Police Department crime log. West's case number is is highlighted in the image below. No arrest is mentioned.

The Tallahassee Police Department is standing by the arrest procedures.

“We standby our practices that we have in place and we also stand by the procedures that we have in place,” police department spokesman David Northway told WCTV on Tuesday. “And if there is something that has gone awry in this investigation then the proper procedures will be followed and actions will be taken against those officers.”

State Attorney Willie Meggs believes excessive force during the arrest.

"It was a very disturbing video to me," said State Attorney Willie Meggs. “I didn’t see anything in the video that would cause me to believe that this woman needed anybody to use any type of force or restraint on her.”

It appears that the Tallahassee Police Department has been less than transparent and candid in the handling of the controversy surround West's arrest.

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Rick Scott Throws Bondi Under the Bus

I noted that Gov. Rick Scott is usually tongue tied when dealing with tough questions from the media. Scott has had enough of taking hits for Attorney General Pam Bondi. Scott is throwing Bondi under the bus for the delay in the execution of Marshall Lee Gore.

Asked what information he had when he made the decision to postpone the execution and whether it was a proper decision, Scott replied, “My office had a request from the Attorney General’s Office to postpone the execution, and so they made a decision to postpone it, and anything else you’d have to ask the attorney general.”

As governor, Scott is the only state official with the power to move Gore's execution. Scott does bear responsibility but he has figured out that he has his own bad poll numbers to worry about. Scott isn't going to take the hit for Bondi.

Bondi asked that Gore's execution be delayed. Bondi's reason was so she could attend a campaign fundraiser in Tampa. Local and national media came to the realization that many others have. Bondi is unserious about her duties as a public servant.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bill Foster Pulls Out His Secret Weapon and It Is Gov. Rick Scott (WTF)

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and Democratic challenger Rick Kriseman debated. Mark Puente caught this bizarre exchange. Foster bragged about his BFF Gov. Rick Scott.
He then surprised many with his answer on the importance of higher education when he mentioned Gov. Rick Scott. He boasted about spending a long weekend in Tallahassee securing $5 million for a business school at USF St. Petersburg.

"It's something the governor was going to veto," Foster said. "It helps to have a friend in the governor's mansion."

To give you an idea of how unpopular Scott is in Florida; Vern Schillinger on the HBO prison series had a higher approval rating with the other prisoners than Scott has with Floridians. Scott is less popular than Schillinger was in this video below. NSFW.

Benjamin Kirby wondered why Foster would politically link himself to Scott.

This is the same Governor Rick Scott who is one of the least popular — and by a factor of a lot, most vulnerable — governors in the nation. In recent polling, Scott gets trounced by a man who hasn’t even declared his intentions yet.

Right now Bill Foster's campaign team must really be wishing Kathleen Ford finished second in the primary.

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Write A Caption: Anthony Weiner

Journalist Kate Rose took this photo of the classy Anthony Weiner giving the media the middle finger as he left his campaign headquarters. Hat tip to Laffy. I hope this is the last time I ever have to blog about this clown.

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Morrissey - Suedehead

Suedehead is the peak of Morrissey's solo career. has interesting background on the song.

Morrissey's first solo single following the dissolution of the Smiths, "Suedehead" took its cue from a mid-70s pulp teen gang novel by British author Richard Allen. That said, the lyric itself seems to have little to do with the novel, beyond the time-and-place significance of its title - Morrissey himself later described "Suedehead" as being bound up in life as he lived it around 1972, aged 12 and 13, although he has never acknowledged who it is actually about - the lyric is a tacit confession of guilt, apologizing to a wronged friend while asking why they persist in trying to make contact. "Why do you come here, when you know it makes things hard for me?" Its lyric notwithstanding, "Suedehead" was based upon a quirkily electric melody line, one of several instrumental sketches demoed by producer Stephen Street around the time of the Smiths' Strangeways, Here We Come album, for consideration as possible b-sides. A few weeks later, he received a call from Morrissey, inviting him to help out on what became the singer's Viva Hate solo debut. Released ahead of the LP itself, "Suedehead" swiftly emerged as Morrissey's first ever Top 5 British hit.

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CUNY Students Are 'All Not In' With David Petraeus

City University of New York (CUNY) gave David Petraeus a less than warm welcomed. Apparently, these students aren't "all in."

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Members of Tallahassee Police Department Being Investigated For Police Brutality

This photo of Christina West after she was arrested for DUI. State Attorney Willie Meggs is investigating the police arrest of West.

State Attorney Willie Meggs called the footage “very disturbing.”

“I am extremely upset. This is a very disturbing situation to me, and I’m dealing with it.” Meggs told the Democrat.

Meggs also told WCTV that the video was “one of the most disturbing videos” he’s ever seen.

Meggs has already dropped some other charges police gave West. The DUI charge still stands. There does appear to be evidence that West lost control of her car and ran onto the property of a homeowner.

Here is a video news report WTXL.

According to the WTXL report, police kept pressure on her leg and twisted her arm. West can be heard screaming in pain. The orbital in West's face was broken; quite possibly from when police slammed her face first into the road or a police car. Video shows both instances happening. Other injuries include a bloody nose, a black eye, and cuts on her arms and legs.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox is concerned the city may face a lawsuit.

"The video was taken from the police car and shows the road side sobriety test as well as the arrest of the subject," Maddox wrote. "It also shows DISTURBING use of force against a completely non aggressive arrestee. It is my belief that the city of Tallahassee will soon face a liability lawsuit based on the content of the video."

West's attorney Fred Conrad does intend to sue.

“I was shocked to see this,” said her attorney, Fred Conrad of Tallahassee. “I would never have expected that out of my police department. By and large, most of my officers that I deal with at the Tallahassee Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office are all professional and good cops, folks that I would feel very comfortable with in the event that I needed them as a citizen. This was disturbing. I could not believe that I saw that happening in Tallahassee, Florida.”

Conrad said he intends to pursue compensation for West, though he didn’t explicitly say he would be filing a lawsuit.

“I can say I intend to pursue just compensation for Ms. West,” he said. “And I can say I intend to do it relentlessly. I intend to make the police department pay for this. This is wrong. And they need to pay for it.”

Officer Chris Ormerod failed to mention that West was slammed into a police car and onto the road in his A probable cause statement. TPD Chief Dennis Jones has opened an internal affairs investigation.

The extended video from the police video shows the incident started after West agreed to take a breathalyzer. West is clearly drunk during the sobriety tests. The police became frustrated after repeatedly asked about her children and her husband. West's husband was in a nearby nearby but refused to get involved. You can hear the cops in the video claim that West scratched and made physical contact with them. It does not appear in the video that the police officers were ever in physical dangers. It appears the two officers lost their tempers dealing with a very difficult and intoxicated woman.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sebadoh - Gimme Indie Rock

Lou Barlow's name-checking tribute to punk rock. Barlow even throws in his former band Dinosaur Jr. in for good measure.

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More Tea Party Nation Madness

Daniel R. Quintiliani ran the headline "Barack Hussein Obama: The New Leader of Al Qaeda" in his Tea Party Nation post. Quintiliani doesn't back his dubious claim in his post. In fact, I do recall that President Obama order the attack on Osama bin Laden's compound. I'm willing to bet Al Qaeda wasn't too happy about that.

Not only does Quintiliani claim that President Obama has somehow taken the reigns of Al Qaeda; John McCain is the Anti-Christ. I'm laughing as I write this post.

John McCain, whose positions on war, executive power, and surveillance are 100% in agreement with a future Biblical Antichrist, is now promoting his blasphemous beliefs that Muslim terrorist threats are equivalent to a Christian thanking God.
I wasn't aware that Satan had a position on the Patriot Act. I got to brush up on the New Testament.

Quintiliani has Obama and McCain in a three way with Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. That would actually be a gang bang, but let's cut Quintiliani some slack on his math.

Barack Hussein Obama, John McCain, and every other politician who supports war with Syria is guilty of the deaths of all people the Obama/Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood Three-Way Pact kill. And all of these deaths are equivalent to an additional American being killed on 9/11.

Quintiliani is calling McCain the Anti-Christ. The reason is McCain attacked Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade for making racially insensitive remarks against Muslims. Quintiliani refers to our President as "Barack Hussein Obama." I seriously doubt someone as xenophobic as Quintiliani is concerned about the welfare of the Syrian people.

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When Is Rick Scott Going to Appoint A Lt. Governor?

Gov. Rick Scott's search for a Lt. Governor has become a joke. A month ago ran the headline "Rick Scott: 5 months without lieutenant governor." It has now been since months Scott has gone without selecting a replacement for Jennifer Carroll. A search of Google News has shown no recent updates on Scott's Lt. Governor search. The Florida Constitution legally requires a Lt. Governor.

SECTION 2. Lieutenant governor.—There shall be a lieutenant governor, who shall perform such duties pertaining to the office of governor as shall be assigned by the governor, except when otherwise provided by law, and such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

The Lt. Governor may have few duties. That doesn't give Scott an excuse to ignore filling the position. If Scott doesn't then he is violating the Florida Constitution.


John Reed Support A New Glass-Steagall Act

Former Citigroup CEO John Reed told the Financial Times that the repeal of Glass-Steagall helped caused the crash of 2008. Reed said high risk investments puts the commercial divisions of major banks at risk.

“As trading becomes more important then it becomes harder and harder to keep those cultures separated. And it began to work into the risk-taking culture as well. [In the past] risk officers would say to someone who wanted to make a loan: ‘I don’t like this credit. We aren’t going to do it. Stop. Period.’”

“But now they would recognise that if a certain transaction didn’t go through, his colleague wasn’t going to be paid that year. It became very difficult to say: ‘Sorry. Don’t do it.’ Your colleague was being compensated for doing transactions, not just being at work. It became infectious.”

Reed doesn't buy the arguments anti-regulation fundamentalists. Reed thinks a new Glass-Steagall Act would not overburden banks.

“I think it could absolutely be done. The finance industry is amazingly flexible. We don’t have big, fixed capital bases. It’s not like we have factories that need to be re-engineered.”

Reed told Bill Moyers that he is amazed Congress still listens to the too big to fail banks.

“I’m quite surprised the political establishment would listen to groups that have been so discredited,” Reed tells Moyers. “It wasn’t that there was one or two or institutions that, you know, got carried away and did stupid things. It was, we all did… And then the whole system came down.”

Congress and the Obama administration listen to the big banks because of campaign contributions. Most members of Congress are economic illiterates. They couldn't tell you that the Glass-Steagall Act separated commercial and investment banks.

Moyer's interview with John Reed.

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Rep. Lois Frankel Listening Session on Syria

Rep. Lois Frankel will hold a listening session for her constituents tomorrow night. Frankel is still undecided on whether or not military action is the right solution for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. This is an opportunity for Floridians to voice their thoughts on the current situation in Syria.

Frankel is sending out 50,000 robocalls to District 22 voters. If you live in Frankel's district, if can sign up for the phone-in session at her Congressional website.

What: Rep. Lois Frankel Listening session on Syria

When:  September, 11, 2013
Teleconference is scheduled to go from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Monday, September 09, 2013

Quote of the Day: Shellie Zimmerman Edition

"Dad, get inside the house; George might start shooting at us."

Shellie Zimmerman, wife of George Zimmerman, during her 911 call. Listen to the audio.


George Zimmerman In Police Custody

AP is reporting that police have detained but not arrested George Zimmerman. Zimmerman's wife Shellie claims Zimmerman threatened her and her father with a gun.

Shellie Zimmerman's marriage was experiencing problems for quite some time. Shellie was staying at her father's house the night Trayvon Martin died. Shellie has recently filed for divorce.

"I have a selfish husband and I think George is all about George," Shellie is quoted saying.

CNN reports that Zimmerman is in police custody. Police are investigating and have yet to officially arrest Zimmerman.

Update: Shellie told the 911 dispatcher that Zimmerman had his hand on his gun while he was arguing with her and her father. The question is why would Zimmerman need to bring a gun to his father-in-law's home.

Update: Shellie tells the 911 dispatcher that Zimmerman punched her father in the nose. She told the dispatcher that if Shellie or her father stepped closer he would shoot. Zimmerman is citing "Stand Your Ground" against his wife?

The call gets very confusing at the end. Something scares Shellie Zimmerman. Shellie says, "Oh, My God", on the phone.

The 911 recording. Most disturbing part of the call.

"Dad, get inside the house; George might start shooting at us."

Update: The AP tweeted that Shellie Zimmerman won't press charges. Police Chief Steve Bracknell is not happy about this.

Chief Bracknell says of Zimmerman, "The guy just can't stay out of the news" -- referring to the Trayvon Martin killing, speeding tickets and now this. Bracknell says, "You'd think he'd get the heck out of Dodge."

We're told Shellie recanted her story after talking to her lawyer. The Chief said because of her flip-flopping, "There was not enough to affect an arrest, unfortunately."

Money quote from Bracknell.

We asked him if he'd feel safe if Zimmerman was his next door neighbor. The Chief was clear ... "I would not want to be the neighbor of George Zimmerman."

Update: Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeff Weiner sent out this tweet.

Dan Amira, senior editor of New York Magazine responded with this tweet.

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Sunday, September 08, 2013

Florence and the Machine - Cosmic Love

This song has a very Astral Weeks era Van Morrison feel.

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What Is Obama's Long Game On Syria?

Rep. Jim McGovern makes a similar case that Tas has made on this blog.
MCGOVERN: (INAUDIBLE) to me, this is not about rejuvenating the military. I want to fix sequestration, too. I mean the — the president is whether or not what he’s proposing is the right thing to do, whether it’s the effective thing to do. And I just don’t believe that’s that — that’s the case.

The point made by Tas.

So, my first question regarding intervention in Syria -- and not to be crass -- but what the fuck is the goal? Seriously, what is it? Do we want to topple the Assad government, or just drop a few bombs? Are we going to take out chemical weapons stock piles, or Assad government buildings? Since those stock piles and government buildings are likely in densely populated areas, how can we avoid killing Syrian citizens? Or do we arm the rebels? If we arm the rebels, how do we make sure that we're not inadvertently arming al-Qa'ida and other extremists? What happens if we topple the Assad government, will we commit 400,000 - 500,000 troops needed to quell the chaos and looting that comes after a government has fallen?

President Obama is a careful politician who doesn't want to say something that he would have to commit to later. That problem with that is the American people don't know what are Obama's long-term intentions for Syria.

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Adam Putnam Is Not Serious on Clemency Review

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam talks about speeding up the clemency process for Florida convicted felons to have their voting rights restored. One idea floated by Putnam is not having nonviolent offenders having to come before the clemency board to get their voting rights restored.

"I don't think that going all the way back to full, automatic restoration is the way to go," he said. "But for certain classes of crimes, I think an expedited restoration process is appropriate. For more violent classes of crimes, I think they should still have to come before us. I like the fact that people show interest in it and affirmatively decide to seek their restoration. But I'm open to ideas on how to improve that process."

Why not propose that? "I haven't built the better mouse trap yet. We've just talked about ideas for a better mouse trap."

Putnam claims that he doesn't want to do the policy of nonviolent felons getting their rights restored without having to go through an extensive review process. The real reason Putnam is saying that is because Charlie Crist allowed nonviolent felons to apply to have their rights restored without having to go through the clemency board. What Putnam is proposing is essentially the same as the previous policy former Gov. Charlie Crist implemented. Putnam just won't put forward a sound solution because it was originally Crist's idea.

"I don't think that going all the way back to full, automatic restoration is the way to go," he said. "But for certain classes of crimes, I think an expedited restoration process is appropriate. For more violent classes of crimes, I think they should still have to come before us. I like the fact that people show interest in it and affirmatively decide to seek their restoration. But I'm open to ideas on how to improve that process."

Does Putnam even know what the difference is between his clemency policy and that of Charlie Crist?

Florida is one of four states to deny felons their voting rights. The others are Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia. Disenfranchising felons hasn't proven to deter crime. It does keep young black males from voting.

In three Southern states the numbers are more stark: In Florida, 23 percent of the voting-age black population can't vote because of a felony record; in Kentucky it's 22 percent; and in Virginia it's 20 percent. Taken together, one in five blacks living in those three states is disenfranchised.

Florida, with 1.5 million disenfranchised ex-felons, leads the nation.

It is 2013 and we are still fighting Jim Crow-style laws.

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Here Comes the AIPAC Lobbyists

Anyone who says that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) doesn't have political influence in Washington is either living in denial or lying. AIPAC is sending 250 lobbyists to Capitol Hill to convince Congress to support military action against the Assad regime in Syria. Haaretz reports on the lobbying effort.

"We plan a major lobbying effort with about 250 activists in Washington to meet with their senators and representatives," an AIPAC source said on Saturday.

For obvious PR reasons, AIPAC doesn't want action against Syria to be seen as an Israeli issue. That might be in part to Israel's lobbying effort for the Iraq war. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair admits to concernd for Israel factoring into invading Iraq.

"As I recall that discussion, it was less to do with specifics about what we were going to do on Iraq or, indeed, the Middle East, because the Israel issue was a big, big issue at the time. I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis, the two of us, whilst we were there. So that was a major part of all this."

It is brilliant lobbying and foreign policy, on the part of Israel, to get the United States to fight Israel's enemies. If policy-makers in the United States keep getting letting themselves be suckers then you can't blame the Israeli government from taking advantage.

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Saturday, September 07, 2013

Judson Phillips Wants to Kill the #GOP

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote an insane op-ed in The Washington Times. Phillips wants to kill off the Republican Party by having the Tea Party become its own official party.

In 2010, the Tea Party swept the Republicans into power in the House of Representatives.

What does the Tea Party have to show for it?

For the last two and a half years, the Tea Party has watched House Speaker John Boehner raise his freshly laundered white flag of surrender time and time again.

Phillips hysterically thinks that John Boehner's problem is compromising with President Barack Obama too much. Phillips fails to cite instances when Boehner waved the "white flag of surrender." My favorite part of the op-ed is Phillips making Boehner sound more liberal than Bernie Sanders.

The Republican leadership has not held the line on spending. They have capitulated repeatedly on the debt ceiling. They have surrendered on taxes. They have wanted to get along on Amnesty even though it is political suicide. They have given us meaningless, symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare, while making no real effort to do so. With barely disguised contempt for the base, they have ignored the calls to defund Obamacare.

As I have written before, the deficit has gone down under Obama. Republicans don't control the White House and the Senate. Yet, Phillips believes Republicans have the power to repeal Obamacare. Phillips is horribly misinformed.

As for Phillips brilliant plan to have an official Tea Party; that will fail as badly as the Green and Reform parties. An official Tea Party is more likely to split conservative votes and help Democrats get elected. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found people strongly against the tea party out number those that strongly support the tea party 2 to 1. Apparently, Phillips hasn't looked at polls showing tea party support tanking.

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Bob Buckhorn's Hypocrisy on Pam Bondi

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is no fan of Charlie Crist. Part of Buckhorn's displeasure with Crist is that the former governor used to be a Republican.

"I'm frustrated that our bench is not deeper than it is, the fact that we could conceivably wind up with a candidate who one or two years ago was saying something entirely different than where he is today," Buckhorn said. "Clearly Rick Scott is vulnerable. I wish we had a pro-business Democrat, a centrist, because I think that person could win."

There are many Democrats that doubt Crist's loyalty to the party's core values. If Democratic values are so important to Buckhorn than why he is attending a fundraiser for Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi?

Among the members of the event's host committee are House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and Sens. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, Tom Lee, R-Brandon, Wilton Simpson, R- Trilby, and Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Gore's death warrant is for the murder of Robyn Novick, whose nude body was found in March 1988 in a rural area of Miami-Dade.

You may notice that Buckhorn is the only Democrat listed as attending the fundraiser for Bondi. In what is now a PR disaster for Bondi, she had the execution of Marshall Lee Gore postponed so she could attend the fundraiser. Does Bondi even take her job seriously.

A spokeswoman for Bondi said Friday that the Sept. 10 fundraiser had been planned before the execution date was set. Scott had scheduled two earlier execution dates for Gore this summer, but both were scuttled because of legal battles about Gore's sanity. Gore was convicted of killing two women in 1988 in Miami-Dade and Columbia counties.

Bob Buckhorn has a problem with his party's likely gubernatorial nominee. Yet, Buckhorn has no problem helping a Republican Attorney General, who blows off her duties, to fundraise. Unbelievable.

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