Friday, December 27, 2013

Quote of the Day

"If we see someone who needs help, do we stop? There is so much suffering and poverty, and a great need for good Samaritans."

Pope Francis, on Twitter.

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Friday Cat Blogging

Domestic cat tries swimming and loves it.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Swearing in Ceremony For Rick Kriseman

Rick Kriseman will be sworn in as Mayor of St. Petersburg on January, 2 2014. The event is open to the public.

When: Jan. 2

Time: 12:45 PM

Where: St. Petersburg City Hall

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Rick Scott Dodges Unemployment Website Question

TV reporter Lori Brown tried to get Gov, Rick Scott to give a straight answer about what he was doing to fix Florida's broken unemployment website. Scott refused to answer the question and then cut Brown off.

"The state's unemployment website has been a disaster, what are you doing to make sure this gets solved?" Brown asked Scott.

"First off, the most important thing we can do is help people get jobs," said Scott.

"What do you want to say to the people who can't pay their bills right now because of this?" Brown asked.

"Again, my biggest job is to make sure people can get a job. We have 279,000 job openings in the state. We're recouping money, holding money back from Deloitte to make sure it gets better quickly," said Scott.

Deloitte is the company the state paid $63 million for the website.

"Isn't it your job to make sure this website is working?" Brown asked Scott.

"Excuse me, bye, thank you," Scott said, and then left.

Scott has waged a war against the unemployed. Scott failed in his attempt to have people receiving unemployment compensation drug tested. Scott could care less about when the unemployment website is fixed.

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Alex Sink the Policy Lightweight

It is no secret that I am not a fan of Alex Sink. Sink was the worst state-wide candidate of tje 2010 election. Benjamin Kirby and Joy-Ann Reid wrote must-read posts on what a disaster Sink's campaign was. Sink's brilliant strategy was target the red districts in the Panhandle and constantly attack President Barack Obama. Naturally, Sink lost to Rick Scott.

The year is 2013 and Sink is still attacking President Obama.

What is Sink's position on health care? Does she support a market-based solution? Does Sink support universal health care? Sink doesn't say on her on the issues page. In fact, Sink fails to outline her policy positions. Sink does say she will end gridlock in Washington. If Sink thinks people believe that she can end gridlock as a freshman member of Congress than she really has contempt for the intelligence of voters.

Sink continues to run for office and I still have no idea what her policy positions are.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Alan Mann - Christmas on the Block

This song as become a holiday classic in the Philly area. The late Alan Mann wrote this Christmas song about a group home for the blind. They would decorate their Christmas tree every year and it would be beautiful.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Robin Williams on Craig Ferguson

This is one of the greatest late night talk show interviews ever. It is essentially Robin Williams and Craig Ferguson doing inprov comedy.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Judson Phillips Makes No Sense

Judson Phillips has been having a hissy fit about the shit storm surrounding the comments made by Duck Dynasty reality tv star Phil Robertson. I personally could care less what Phil Robertson has to say on any subject matter. Culture war matters are all Judson Phillips cares about. It is not like Phillips is going to write deep analysis of policy.

The Duck Dynasty controversy has made Phillips write the hysterical op-ed "Liberalism is Sin. As with all Tea Party Nation posts it makes absolutely no sense. Phillips starts with a thesis.

Liberalism is sin.

Most people have an immediate reaction to that statement. Either they support it or totally reject it based on the assumption it is a religious dissertation on liberalism.

It is not. Religion has almost nothing to do with it.

If religion has nothing to do with it, how is liberalism a sin?

Sin comes from the Greek and Hebrew translations of the Old Testament. The original meaning meant to miss the mark. A current meaning of sin is to defy God's will. Christian religion has everything to do with the word sin. Phillips claims that liberalism can be a sin and have nothing to do with religion. That simply does not make sense.

No matter, Phillips doesn't have the mental discipline to stay on his thesis.

Liberalism as a sin is simply willfully violating the laws of God, man and nature.

Liberalism being a sin has nothing to do with religion. That is why Phillips declares liberalism a violation of God's will. Thanks for clearing that up, Judson Phillips.

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bill O'Reilly: the Pen is Mightier Than Military Service

The Daily Show can't top this. This is the funniest thing I have seen in ages.

Bill O'Reilly was during his usual War on Christmas nonsense. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation successfully lobbied to have two nativity scenes removed from Guantanamo Bay. Mikey Weinstein pointed out to O'Reilly that complaints about the religious displays came from active members of the military. O'Reilly then went ballistic by comparing himself to combat veterans.

"I covered four wars with the pen!" O'Reilly ranted.

"You’re an aggressive bully and an arrogant idiot, Weinstein retorted.

WEINSTEIN: When you’re in the military, it’s not like working at Fox or at Costco. It is an incredibly tribal, adversarial, communal and ritualistic place. There are Department of Defense directives, instructions and regulations in place that absolutely make this clear that this was wrong.

O’REILLY: It was a cowardly decision by the base commander… because this is a depiction of a secular holiday that was signed into law. That’s what it was. And if somebody’s offended by it, I want to know why. And your guys don’t have the courage to stand up and tell me. That’s the fact.

WEINSTEIN: Bill, please don’t call our members of the military cowards. The majority of them were Christians. Because if you want to start getting ad hominem, at least they joined the military and they’re prepared to fight. …They understand what their rights are. And your Christian personal rights will always be trumped by the civil rights of your fellow Americans.

O’REILLY: You know what? Mr. Weinstein, you just - and with all due respect to your parents – are just a bloviator. You don’t answer the questions and I’ll tell you what: I covered four wars with the pen! (He defiantly held up his pen)

WEINSTEIN: You’re an aggressive bully and an arrogant idiot!

O’REILLY: …Cut him off, he’s a jerk. I covered four wars with a pen, OK, Mr. Weinstein? So don’t impugn my courage ever again. You’re a weasel.

I know that O'Reilly covered The Granada war for ABC News. Whether he ever actually got near combat is another question. O'Reilly certainly didn't go into the field for Fox News or Inside Edition. There are no media reports of O'Reilly facing the same kind of near death experiences covering combat that Lara Logan had to endure. O'Reilly is full of it.

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Duck Dynasty Brings Out the Political Hacks

“I’ve been a gay community activist since the mid-70s.It was a very different time. We were fighting to keep people out of jails and mental hospitals. What some redneck wingnut has to say about the GLBT community is completely irrelevant.”

Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston,responding to an interview question on the anti-gay comments of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.

I agree with Mayor Parker. Government official have better things to do than worry about the ignorant comments of a reality television star. Apparently, Gov. Bobby Jindal didn't get that memo.

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana,” Jindal said in a statement. “The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”

People, don't you realize the most important thing in a governor's day is sending out press releases on Duck Dynasty. This is a more pressing matter than water management, infrastructure and the state legislature. True leaders like Bobby Jindal spend their energy on Duck Dynasty.

Ona serious note: there is a difference between governing and pandering to the 24 hour news cycle. Jindal is not a serious man.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bob Mould Live on KEXP

You can tell Bob Mould and the band are having a lot of fun during the performance. Jon Wurster is singing along to the songs as he is playing drums. Mould even cracks a rare smile.


The Act We Act

A Good Idea

Hoover Dam

Star Machine

The Descent

Steam of Hercules

Flip Your Wig

Hate Paper Doll

Makes No Sense At All

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Bye Bye Blue Dogs

The National Journal notes that Rep. Jim Matheson's retirement helps spell the end of the Blue Dog caucus in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, Matheson's retirement continues the decline of two overlapping Democratic groups: Blue Dogs and Democrats who opposed Nancy Pelosi's bid to continue leading their caucus after the electoral shellacking of 2010. There are just 15 Blue Dog Democrats in the House now, down from 26 in the previous Congress and 54 in the Congress before that. Meanwhile, 19 Democrats publicly opposed Pelosi for speaker on the House floor in January 2011, and Matheson will become the 11th to leave the House at the end of his term.

The Blue Dogs and neoliberal New Democrats are not centrist. They are corporate cronies. The Third Way has operated as an unofficial think tank for New Democrats and Blue Dogs. The Third Way attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren after Warren advocated for think tanks to reveal their corporate donations. Corporations donate to the Third Way to get white papers to advocate policies friendly to corporate interests. Blue Dogs and New Democrats then cite these studies when they advocate fir less regulations and tax cuts.

Blue Dogs and New Democrats are dying off because no one needs them. Progressives can't stand phony centrist Democrats. Republicans and corporations rather have a big business friendly Republican than a Democrat in a congressional seat. Centrist Democrats are triangulating themselves out of office.

Friday Cat Blogging

If this video doesn't prove that cats are pound for pound the toughest mammals on the planet then I don't know what does.

Detroit resident Maxx learned the hard way not to kick snow into a stray cat's face.

Maxx ended up in the hospital and says she ended up getting an infection that manifested into cellulitis, causing her face to swell. (See the photo she submitted.)

Maxx was trying to defend a dog from the fierce feline. Maxx was forced to make a hasty retreat when the kitty decided it would be a good time to restage the face hugger scene from Alien.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kenn Kweder - Diablo

Philly music legend Kenn Kweder has been playing for 40 years. Kweder twice turned down major record label deals in the 70s. Kweder preferred to put out his music himself. Kweder wad indie before there was such a thing.

Here is a funny quote from Kweder on why he had to stop playing folk clubs.

Kenn: 1975/76 was when I started the band. Although I LOVED folk music I would eventually be banned from every folk club in philly for what they deemed OUTRAGEOUS behavior on stage, so I had no choice. I would have PREFERRED to have made my way via FOLK anyway over the Rock route but I had no choice at that point. I ended up taking all that so called “outrageous behavior” to the Rock rooms and it ended up benefitting me and my music ambitions to perform. I used to bring sword canes, whips and firecrackers on stage at the folk venues, so I guess I see their point now.

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Write A Caption: Mitt Romney

This photo from the moment Mitt Romney realized he lost the election to President Barack Obama.

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Congratulations to Benjamin Kirby

This should come as no surprise. Benjamin Kirby will be incoming St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's Director of Communications. Kirby is more than qualified for the job. From the press release.

During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Kirby served as the first Public Affairs Officer of the United States Parole Commission within the U.S. Department of Justice, where he developed the Commission’s first website. In 1998, he developed a website for the First Lady’s White House Millennium Council. He worked for more than five years serving two Drug Czars as an Administrative Assistant and Scheduler in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and held a variety of research and administrative positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of Presidential Personnel.

While working for the Clinton Administration, Mr. Kirby went to school in the evening and received an undergraduate degree in Political Communication from George Mason University. He lives in Gulfport, Florida, with his wife, daughter, and son.

Sadly, this means Kirby will not be blogging anymore. That is the price paid working for the man.

Wingnut of the Day: Erick Erickson

"Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant. Then it seeks to silence good."

Erick Erickson, conservative blogger and Fox News pundit on Twitter.

Erickson's argument is being tolerant of gays, blacks and Hispanics is taking part in evil. This is the type of unhinged thinking usually seen on the white supremist website Storm Front.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Write A Caption: Bill O'Reilly Edition

You don't say Bill.

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Make These Representatives Act on Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama calling out Republicans in Congress to support immigration reform. Contact these members of Congress to vote for comprehensive immigration reform.

Steve Pearce

Mario Diaz-Balart

Scott Rigell

Chris Gibson

Frank Lobiondo

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dubious Rubio Panders Himself Into A Corner

Jim Newell of Salon wrote on how Marco Rubio is having a terrible year. Newell correctly notes the reason is that Rubio is a shameless panderer who could care less about policy. Rubio is against taking his own immigration bill to conference. Rubio voted to shutdown the government and have the Treasury Department default all to defund Obamacare. Rubio had to explain to Marc Caputo why he signed up for Obamacare and (unlike other Republican senators) took the $10,000 subsidy. As usual, Rubio ducked out of his interview with Caputo as fast as he could.

Rubio on Monday defended his decision to accept the annual subsidy, and said it wasn’t that special.

“It’s an [employer] contribution,” Rubio said. “It’s available to every employee of the federal government.”

Caputo asked Rubio about his cat fight with Rep. Paul Ryan over the budget deal. Rubio got out of the interview ASAP. Even Ryan realizes another shutdown is a political loser.Rubio proposes that the Senate turn down a bipartisan House budget deal. Rubio's reason is he is both hysterically against both less and more spending. That is the kind of nonsense a shameless panderer like Rubio will say.

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Quote of the Day

"Obama to meet AGAIN with his cheerleaders from GOOG FB TWTR AAPL. Expect MORE facisim..."

Matt Drudge, on Twitter.

Remember this tweet the next time Drudge protests after people rightly point out he is a conservative.

President Obama is meeting with tech industry people to discuss ways to make better. Another subject will be concerns about the NSA surveillance program. I hated these civil liberty violations under the Obama and Bush administrations. Can Drudge say the same?

Write A Caption: Christmas Edition

Machete kills my eyes in that sweater.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Say Hello to Seminole Democrats

I got a nice email from Vin at Seminole Democrats. Go check out his blog and support the other progressive blogs in Florida.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Helpful tips on how to wrap your cat as a Christmas present.

SaintPetersGate Redux

Peter Schorsch sent me an email claiming that his former attorney Paul Phillips made no statement to the Florida Bar Association. So I am to believe that Pinson lied to the Florida Bar about Phillips making a sworn statement to the Florida Bar. That doesn't pass the laugh test. Conservative blogger Javier Manjarres found this gem in the Florida Bar complaint.

“I did provide the information in that email to my client [Peter Schorsch], and any news stories which occurred based on that information, complaints filed with the State of Florida, were done by my client and Channel 10 News Personnel.”- Paul Phillips, Florida Bar Complaint, TFB No.: 2013-10,093 (13E)

I saw this same statement by Phillips in a document leaked to me. When I asked Schorsch and Phillips about the leaked document they threatened me with a libel suit. It is no secret that Schorsch dislikes Conservative activist Michael Pinson. It is no secret that Schorsch will go after people who don't support Charlie Crist. According to Pinson in the complaint, he dropped his support for Crist and supported Marco Rubio's Senate campaign. It wouldn't surprise me if that is how the feud actually started.

My interest in the Florida Bar complaint was the media angle. Noah Pransky is friends with Schorsch, Phillips and Chris Kapper. Pransky used three men who were friends and disliked Pinson. Adam Smith of accused Schorsch of being a serial liar to the media. The fact that Pransky would use Schorsch as a source for the Pinson story should be called into question.

There is also the allegations by Tampa politicians that Schorsch threatened to keep writibg negative posts on SaintPetersBlog if they didn't pay a for an ad on the blog. Pinson wad one of the people presented with a contract. The contract was negotiated on Schorsch's behave by Phillips. The contract presented to Pinson is part of a Pinellas Sheriff's Office investigation into Schorsch.

Peter Schorsch is a disgrace to political blogging and represents everything that is bad about politics. Schorsch needs to be disappear from blogging and politics forever. If Schorsch is still working as a shadow agent for the Charlie Crist campaign then Crist needs to come clean. If not then Crist's judgment is called into question.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Big Star - What's Going Ahn

If you don't know who Big Star is then I suggest you start listening to their music.

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Peter Schorsch Has No Control Over Pushing Rope

This is from a text message Paul Phillips sent to Michael Pinson. There was talk about deleting the Noah Pransky story from this blog. I am not sure how Peter Schorsch planned to pull that off.

PHILLIPS: Peter is reviewing now. He has no control over pushing rope however, but we can check.

Please do. Pinson ended up never signing the contract. The Tampa Bay Times reported that notarized and signed by Schorsch.

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Breaking: Florida Bar Complaint Proves Schorsch & Phillips Source For WTSP Story

Here it is boys and girls. The Florida Bar complaint proves that Paul Phillips and Peter Schorsch were off-the-record sources for Noah Pransky's WTSP negative hit piece on the Michael Pinson Foundation. Phillips admitted under oath that both Schorsch and him were sources for the WTSP story.

The bar complaint itself was dismissed. It is not illegal for Peter Schorsch and Paul Phillips to talk to the media. What should be noted is Schorsch has been accused of repeatedly lying to the media by Adam Smith of Tampa Bay Times.

Still, for his very campaign event Crist turned to Schorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand thef and scheming to defraud charges. Really?

Pinson claimed in the Florida Bar complaint that Noah Pransky attended Schorsch's wedding. Pransky would not answer that on-the-record. I asked Schorsch if he knew Chris Kapper. Schorsch would not comment. Kapper made an on-the-record claim that Pinson was using charity money to host hot tub parties. No second source verified this story in Pransky's new piece. Schorsch is Facebook friends with Kapper.

Kapper thanked Pransky for his "activism on Facebook. I have no idea of the context of the quote.

In the Florida Bar complaint Schorsch and Phillips admit to knowing Kapper.

There is a lot more in the complaint but it is obvious that the WTSP story is garbage.

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Wingnut of the Day: Pat Robertson

TV preacher Pat Robertson tells viewer Catherine to keep her children away from her lesbian friend. Robertson warns that Catherine doesn't want her kids to become lesbians.

“You keep love, you loved her, you were close and your influence may have something significant to her, the idea is you don’t gain anything by shunning. But at the same you don’t want your children to grow up as lesbians, that’s what you’re talking about, you don’t want to show them that that’s an acceptable lifestyle for your family....It doesn’t hurt to tell somebody: I love you, we are going to do what we can to, be friends if we can. I have my lifestyle, it’s Christian and you have yours, it’s not; I’m sorry we can’t indulge in certain things together.”

Robertson would rather have those children grow up homophobic than get anywhere near a lesbian. What a wonderful lesson to teach children

Boehner Calls Out Conservative Groups

The tide has turned with the House Republican leadership. First it wad Paul Ryan's bipartisan budget deal. House Speaker is now publicly lashing out against conservative groups.

"You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and shut down the government," he said. "It wasn't exactly the strategy I had in mind. But if you recall, the day before the government re-opened, one of the people at one of these groups stood up and said, 'well we never really thought it would work.' Are you kidding me?"

Asked if he thinks the groups should "stand down," Boehner said, "I don't care what they do."

Wow. Boehner is pissed. As for me, I think Boehner should have stood up ti the tea party fringe a long time ago.

Dubious Rubio Against Both Less and More Budget Spending

Only someone as lightweight as Sen. Marco Rubio would hysterically contradict himself in his own press release on the bipartisan budget deal.

"Instead, this budget continues Washington’s irresponsible budgeting decisions by spending more money than the government takes in and placing additional financial burdens on everyday Americans," said Rubio, who has opposed every major budget deal.

“In the short run, this budget also cancels earlier spending reductions, instead of making some tough decisions about how to tackle our long-term fiscal challenges caused by runaway Washington spending. I voted against sequestration because of its effect on key programs, including the defense budget, but higher spending and more revenue are not the appropriate ways to address that problem."

Rubio claims he didn't support the sequestation because it cuts funding to essential programs. Rubio also states he won't support a budget deal that fixes the sequestration cuts. Exactly what kind of budget does Rubio support. Rubio could run to those media microphone he loves and offer his own budget proposal to the public. However, that is not something a political lightweight is likely to do.

Rubio recites his talking points about runaway spending. The deficit went down by 37 percent this year.

As far as military spending goes the United States spent more than the next ten countries with the highest defense spending combined. Rubio has provided no rational reason to be against the bipartisan budget deal.

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - Phobos

The Darcy James Argue's Secret Society are from Brooklyn, New York. Their second album Brooklyn Babylon is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble category. The Brooklyn Babylon made NPR's 50 best albums of 2013 list.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Ted Cruz Coloring Book

Think Progress reports Really Big Coloring Books has published “Ted Cruz to the Future™ –Comic Coloring Activity Book.” Kids can color and read unhinged quotes like this from Cruz.

Providing Health Care To People Who Can’t Afford It Is Worse Than War: Cruz’s failed stand against the Affordable Care Act “was so important because millions of citizens believe Obama Care is worse than any war. At least American soldiers have weapons with which to defend themselves.”

My question is what child would want a coloring book of Ted Cruz or any other politician.

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Rubio Enrolls Family Into Obamacare

This is politically embarrassing for Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio enrolled his family into Obamacare.

"Senator Rubio spent time looking at all the options and decided to enroll through the DC exchange for coverage for him and his family," a spokeswoman told the Buzz. The deadline was today.

Rubio took the federal subsidy afforded to lawmakers and staff -- a perk some Republicans wanted to kill off.

Rubio could have gotten health insurance outside the exchange. Of course, that would have cost more. The whole point of the exchanges is to lower gealth insurance premiums for consumers. That is why Rubio enrolled in the D.C. exchange. However, that won't stop Rubio from going on Fox News and saying Obamacare is a disaster.

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Quote of the Day

“I am not an expert in health care, or Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, or however you choose to describe it, but I do know this: I have benefited from that kind of universal health care in my 55 years of public life. And I don’t see why we can’t do what Europe is doing, what Canada is doing, what Korea is doing, what all these other places are doing.”

Colin Powell

This a rare time I actually agree with Colin Powell. To think that Powell is to the left of President Barack Obama on health care. I look forward to Powell being called a socialist by tea party bloggers.

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Friday Cat Blogging

This cheetah uses a jeep for a litter box.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Shocking News: the Third Way Loves Corporations

This image is floating around Twitter. If you check the board of trustees page for the Third Way you will find many trustees with ties to corporate America. The Third Way is ground zero for American neoliberalism.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has an online petition to make the Third Way reveal its donors.

On Monday, corporate-funded think tank Third Way attacked Elizabeth Warren in Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal -- saying her bold economic populism is "dangerous for Democratic Party." Wrong!

Polls show Warren's ideas are popular in red, purple, and blue states. That's why Wall Street fears her.

Sign the petition to Third Way: Third Way should publicly reveal its Wall Street donors so everyone knows why they are attacking Elizabeth Warren. Third Way should also stop attacking popular progressive ideas like expanding Social Security.

Sen. Warren has publicly advocated for think tanks to publicly released their donor list. The Third Way has no interest in revealing how many donors they have from the financial sector.

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Quote of the Day: Rush Limbaugh Edition

"This is the president citing the pope, his new best friend, because the pope is ripping America, the pope ripping capitalism,” the radio host explained. “And Obama’s having an orgasm. Jeremiah Wright is beside himself. Jeremiah Wright thought he was Obama’s preacher, now pope somehow has co-opted Obama."

Rush Limbaugh

Charles Johnson made a great comment about Limbaugh's latest rant.

If I never hear Rush Limbaugh talk about anyone (let alone President Obama) having an orgasm again, it will be too soon.

Amen to that.

I wrote yesterday that wages in Florida and America aren't keeping up with productivity. Limbaugh rants that income inequality doesn't exist.

“And I tell you the way he means that, ‘We’ve got too many rich people, we need more people who are poor and lower middle class, that’s the only way we can have equality and fairness.’ This is just — people have got to be cringing that they ever voted for this guy.”

The problem isn't that America has too many rich people. A Congressional Budget Office study found that income inequality has greatly increased.

The top 1 percent have seen a +281 increase in after tax income. The bottom fifth has experienced only a +16 increase. So much for trickle down economics lifting all ships. Considering Limbaugh's history with viagra, he should stick to talking about orgasms and leave economics to others.

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Write A Caption: George HW Bush

George HW Bush wears socks with his face on them. I don't know what to say about that.

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Wingnut of the Day: Duncan Hunter

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) made this insane statement on C-SPAN.

"I think if you have to hit Iran, you don't put boots on the ground. You do it with tactical nuclear devices, and you set them back a decade or two or three," Hunter said in an interview with C-SPAN. "I think that's the way to do it --with a massive aerial bombardment campaign."

Most of the Iranian casualties of a "massive aerial bombardment" will be civilians. Does Hunter think no civilians will be in the 25 mile blast radius of a nuclear explosion? Iran and neighboring countries will be uninhabitable. The fallout could travel for years across the Earth. Hunter's solution is scrap the talks between the United States and Iran and commence with genocide and environmental damage to the Earth. It is scary someone this stupid is in Congress.

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Will Weatherford Still Against Medicaid Expansion

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford wrote an error-filled op-ed against the expansion of Medicaid. I was struck by this paragraph.

According to the chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, “The fastest thing that’s going to go when we’re cutting spending in Washington is a 100-or 90-percent match rate for Medicaid. There’s no way.”

That would never pass in the Senate. President Barack Obama would never sign cuts that deep into law. The Medicaid expansion is part of the Affordable Care Act. Obama is not letting Republicans touch his signature piece of legislation. Obama wants to make cuts into Medicare but that is a separate issue. Paul Ryan threatened to cut the matching funds. Nothing happened. The matching funds are part of the ACA. The matching funds are laws.

Ryan's threat to cut matching funds didn't carry much weight. Republican governors are slowly coming around to accepting Medicaid expansion. These governors don't want to explain to voters why they denied health care when they run for election.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Wages Aren't Keeping Up With Cost of Living In Florida

A report released by the Alliance for a Just Society finds that current wages do not keep up with the cost of living.

The National Job Gap: 7 Job-Seekers for Every Job that Pays Above the Low-Wage Threshold: For every projected job opening above a low-wage threshold of $15 an hour, there were 7 job-seekers in 2012.

Nearly 18 Million Job-Seekers Out of Luck: With 20.8 million job-seekers and 2.9 million projected job openings that pay better than $15 an hour in 2012, there were 17.9 million more job-seekers than jobs that pay above the low-wage threshold.

An Increasing Share of Low-Wage Jobs since End of Great Recession: In terms of actual employment rather than projected openings, the share of U.S. jobs that pay below the $15 an hour low-wage threshold increased from 36.55% in 2009 to 39.45% in 2012. There were 51.4 million low-wage jobs in 2012.

“Jobless Recovery” Masks Loss of Higher-Wage Jobs, Replacement with Low-Wage Jobs: The number of jobs in occupational categories with median wages above $15 an hour dropped by 4 million from 2009 to 2012, masked by an increase of 3.6 million jobs with median wages below $15 an hour.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren pointed out that the minimum wage hasn't kept up with productivity. If the minimum wage did keep up with productivity the minimum wage would be $22.00 hr.

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Your Congress At Work (Not Really)

Anomaly posted that the House of Representatives will work only 8 more days this year. What is even more disturbing is the House had 239 scheduled days off in 2013. That is insane.

Update: MSNBC reports the 113th Congress passed only 55 bills.


Paul Phillips Freaks Out On Twitter

Hey kids, Paul Phillips, the attorney threatening to sue me for libel, is in the middle of a flame war on Twitter.

The flame war is still going on. Phillips says he is willing to give the Florida Bar complaint to anyone who stops by his office. I remember this less than friendly email from Phillips.

Based on an emaeil I received, I thought a few things should be made clear.

Pinson’s bar complaint against me was dismissed with no probable cause and remains, therefore, confidential within the bar system. Providing the contents to any person outside the system opens those individuals up to lawsuits. Because Mr. Pinson’s com"plaint was filled with untruths and lies, any publishing of such document would be actionable. I can ensure you I will use all avenues available to me should any unsubstantiated accusation of that complaint be used in any form.

Now I get this email from Phillips.

If you wanted the bar complaint and my response, just ask. Instead, you take the path all bloggers take and try to make something out of nothing, try to create some appearance of impropriety, and end up defaming an attorney with a clean record. That is just uncool. I have tried to be reasonable here.

My address is below. Call before you come and I can have copies made for you. You just have to post my response, and make it very clear that the complaint was dismissed for no probable cause because the accusations had not merit. That is the issue with defamation. Not spelling errors (which came from your bad copy paste and not from my email).

By posting one side of a complaint - that was dismissed without merit - and not clearly stating that it was dismissed, is irresponsible and the courts will find on my side (I have case law that shows it pretty clear). As a blogger who asserts that he is media, I can give you some free legal advice here. If you know the whole story, or have been given credible evidence contradicting a source, then you have to show both sides. Otherwise, you are open to lawsuits. What most people don’t realize is that lawsuits last a very long time, a year or more, and are very expensive, and any lawyer will want to get paid along the way for their work. I see bills all day long and they are 5 figures.

Again, I have been very reasonable, but your responses to my emails and posts about them have been irresponsible. Either you are not reading these emails in their entirety, or you are purposely taking things out of context to draw readership or something. I don’t know.

I seem to remember reading that part about Phillips threatening to sue me if I published any part of the Florida Bar complaint. Perhaps Phillips has a different definition of "reasonable" than I do. I think I am going to pass on that offer of legal advice. Phillips has threatened to sue for for libel. One of the reasons is pointing out the typos in his email.

Additionally, besides being sent with a disclaimer explaining that the November 22, 2013 email was to remain confidential, you posted an incorrect version of the November 22, 2013 email. The email sent to you does not contain the errors shown in your post. Instead, your post states:

The email with typos is posted above and here. Is Phillips serious? I still have the email. This will be laughed out of court.

What I am investigating is the WTSP story about the Michael Pinson Foundation and the accusations that Peter Schorsch pressured political official into paying for positive coverage on SaintPetersblog. Phillips was Schorsch's attorney for these contracts. Phillips told me in an email that no longer represents Schorsch. The Tampa Bay Times broke the story. Pinson was one of the people that told TBT about the contract he never signed. Phillips drew up the contract.

What kind of guy is Phillips. Phillips fire off this tweet at Javier Manjarres' Hispanic heritage.

you need to go back to mowing lawns buddy. Rhetoric not your thing. Partial truths, red herrings, ad hominems. Wow.


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Ron Jeremy: Action Movie Star

Just so you know. I only watch porn for the martial arts fight scenes.

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