Thursday, April 29, 2010

No surprise here.

From Michael C. Bender of The Palm Beach Post on April 29:
Tired of 'political fighting,'
Crist will run for Senate as independent

— Nearly 20 years after winning his first elected office as a Republican, Gov. Charlie Crist declared the political system broken today as he announced an unprecedented independent campaign for U.S. Senate.

"They've had enough of political fighting," Crist said of voters. "They're tired of the games and the name calling and the politics of destruction."

Crist, 53, referred to political parties as "clubs" and conceded he was in "uncharted territory," saying it would have been easier to run for re-election.

He's the first governor in Florida to decline a chance for a second term. And unlike the two independents in the U.S. Senate, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Crist would have to beat credible candidates from both major parties to win.

The last competitive independent candidate to run statewide in Florida was Ross Perot, who was drubbed in the 1992 presidential race by 1.1 million votes.

Opponents cast Crist as an opportunist and traitor.

"This is one of the biggest betrayals in American history since Benedict Arnold," House budget chairman David Rivera, R-Miami, said.

Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, is running a new ad reminding voters -- lest we forget -- of what Crist said on FOXNews last month ...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Utah Tea Party: We've Taken Over the State GOP

From David A. Patten of Newsmax on April 20:
In a surprising development that sets the stage for a dramatic political showdown, tea party and grass-roots conservatives tell Newsmax they have seized control of Utah's GOP delegate system, and are now in a position to select which candidates will represent the party in the midterm elections.

"Our feeling is that the majority of the Republican Party delegates are now tea party people," Brian Halladay, one of the founders of the grass-roots Utah Rising organization, tells Newsmax.

Utah GOP leaders say they can't be sure, but concede the activists' assessment may be accurate.

"I'm sure they have a very strong bloc, and they may have control," Dave Hansen, chairman of the Utah GOP, tells Newsmax. "But we won't know that until we get to the convention."


Next time the president gives a speech, you might want to play ...

(Click to enlarge.)

Rules for Bullshit Bingo:

1. Print your card before the next presidential speech.
2. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of these words or phrases.
3. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically or diagonally, stand up and shout, "BULLSHIT!"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ariz. governor signs immigration enforcement bill

WHAT is so controversial about this legislation?

— Gov. Jan Brewer ignored criticism from President Barack Obama on Friday and signed into law a bill supporters said would take handcuffs off police in dealing with illegal immigration in Arizona, the nation's gateway for human and drug smuggling.

With hundreds of protesters outside the state Capitol shouting that the bill would lead to civil rights abuses, Brewer said critics were "overreacting" and that she wouldn't tolerate racial profiling.

"We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," Brewer said after signing the law. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation."

Earlier Friday, Obama called the Arizona bill "misguided" and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal. He also said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level — or leave the door open to "irresponsibility by others."

"That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama said.

The legislation, sent to the Republican governor by the GOP-led Legislature, makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It also requires local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants, allows lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws, and make it illegal to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them.

What is so misguided about ... ENFORCING THE LAW? By making it a crime to be an illegal immigrant? By requiring police officers to question possible illegals? By making it illegal to hire illegals? And by suing government agencies that don't enforce these laws?

I don't get it. Illegal immigrants have taken jobs from true Americans and committed crimes -- including murders. Yet plenty of people -- including our president! -- protest this law that would step up efforts to prevent that from happening. What is wrong with this picture?

All this invalidated backlash is driving me nuts. Good for Brewer. I wish Florida would pass a law like this.

Nearly 4M people could pay without health coverage

From Stephen Ohlemacher of The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nearly 4 million Americans -- the vast majority of them middle class -- will have to pay a penalty if they don't get insurance when President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law kicks in, according to congressional estimates released Thursday.

The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report.

Most of the people paying the fine will be middle class as Obama's comprehensive law is phased in over the next few years. In his 2008 campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000.

Republicans have criticized the requirement that Americans get coverage, even though the idea was originally proposed by the GOP in the 1990s and is part of the Massachusetts health care plan signed into law in 2006 by then Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican. Attorneys general in more than a dozen states are working to challenge it in federal court as unconstitutional.

"The individual mandate tax will fall hardest on Americans who can least afford to pay it, many of whom were promised subsidies by the Democrats and who the president has promised would not pay higher taxes," said Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Read more.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New medical symbol

To prepare for the new health care reform package, the government felt it necessary to develop a new medical symbol that depicts the health care plan you will be getting.

Doctor tells Obama supporters:
Go elsewhere for health care

From Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel on April 2:
MOUNT DORA — A doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to seek care "elsewhere."

"I'm not turning anybody away — that would be unethical," Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. "But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it."

The sign reads: "If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years."

Poll: 40% of Tea Party Identify as Dems, Independents

From Newsmax on April 4:

Four in 10 Tea Party members are either Democrats or Independents, according to a new national survey.

The findings, first reported in The Hill, offer one of the most detailed looks so far at the conservative grassroots movement that started last year.

According to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group:

  • The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democrat.
  • Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal.
  • Tea partiers are united around two issues – the economy/jobs and reducing the deficit. They believe that cutting spending is the key to job creation and favor tax cuts as the best way to stimulate the economy.
  • 61 percent of Tea Party members believe infrastructure spending creates jobs. Moreover, given the choice Tea Party members favor 63-32 reducing unemployment to 5 percent over balancing the budget.
  • The group has a favorable view of the GOP generally but that drops from 71 to 57 percent if they’re asked about Congressional Republicans.
  • Congressional Democrats are viewed very unfavorably by 75 percent of Tea Party members. An overwhelming 95 percent said, “Democrats are taxing, spending, and borrowing too much.”
  • Over 80 percent of Tea Party members disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing as president, whereas 77 percent of Republican respondents said they disapprove of Obama.

Advice from the original Tea Partiers

From Joel J. Miller of The American Spectator on April 15:
In 1773 our forebears expressed their disapproval over Parliament's taxes by dumping several hundred creates of tea into Boston Harbor instead of paying the duties attached to the import. The more things change....

Modern-day tea partiers are in good company, but they can do more than pick up their protests from our ancestors. They can also peel a few pages from their playbook. While researching the life of Boston patriot Paul Revere, I came across four tactics that may serve his descendants.

1. Keep it principled.
2. Keep it simple.
3. Keep it up.
4. Keep connected.

Monday, April 19, 2010

5 fiscal truths

My mother forwarded this to me (thanks, Ma!):
These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

Satire upon satire upon truth


By Lazamataz

The Onion, the United States oldest and most revered satirical newspaper, first published in 1756, has announced that they will close their website and cease all publishing activities, effective immediately.

Said the owner, "No more satire is possible. Nothing can beat the outrageousness of what comes out of Washington today. In a sentence: We are plum out of satire."

Satirical headlines planned by The Onion, such as "Pelosi: Pass Health Care To Find Out What Is In It", "Major Tax Increases To Reverse Recession", and "Obama Bows To Communist Leader", have been superceded by actual news headlines, causing these satirical headlines and corresponding articles to be pulled.

"I was working on this great concept: Obama would win the Nobel Peace Prize within a few weeks of being inaugerated, " said Abe Iggoof, writer for The Onion, "Then it happened."

The National Security Agency monitors Satirical Possibility Quotient, which is the ability to create satire in the United States. Occurances of satire being superceded by real events, it reported, happened at least 189 times from 2009 to 2001, causing the SPQ to plummet to an all-time low of -75.54. Dr. N. Umber Kruntcher, analyst for the NSA SPQ program, testified before the Satire Investigation Panel commissioned by Congress that it made satire nearly impossible.

"How can I work", lamented Sil E. Gouse, "Every time I get a great idea, it's a lead story on MSNBC. I mean, I was going to write something about how the unpopularity of Health Care Reform was a driving factor in its passing, and the next day MSNBC lead with 'Pelosi: Unpopularity of Health Reform Very Positive For Lawmakers'."

The ability to be satirical is projected to plunge further in 2010, said The Onion's owner, making The Onion an unviable business proposition. Bankruptcy has been filed as of Thursday, April 15, and the assets of the firm will be auctioned in the next two months.

I hope all those spelling and grammar errors are just satire, too ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My 15 seconds of fame

My PBS news interview aired Friday night. As I predicted, Judy Woodruff used a particular quote I gave her about Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist: If he believes the way to help Floridians is to increase government spending, then "he just needs to be a Democrat."

That quote came from this post, where I mentioned that Crist was "literally embracing Democratic ideals of spend, spend spend." Pretty cool that it ended up setting the tone for Woodruff's national TV news story.

In the end, my 15-minute interview turned into an only 15-second clip on PBS NewsHour, but it was still exciting. And best of all, the producers spelled my name correctly!

Here's the clip below. I'm on around 2:45.

West Palm Beach Tax Day Tea Party

The Tax Day Tea Party on April 15 in downtown West Palm Beach, Fla., was a hit. We had about 1,000 people show up, and the event went longer than expected, but everyone seemed to have a good time.

The speeches were especially good. Among the speakers were South Florida Tea Party leaders, local high school students, immigrants and doctors. Billy Bones also gave a few performances. But our big guest was Hannah Giles, the 20-year-old who took down ACORN by pretending to be a prostitute.

I also finally got to meet George Bennett, one of the political beat writers for The Palm Beach Post. In South Florida, we're blessed to have decent Tea Party coverage in the media; we're in The Post probably once a week, usually in articles by Bennett.

Here's Bennett's coverage from April 15:
Tea partyers rally at West Palm Beach tax day protest;
urged to be better activists

WEST PALM BEACH — After failing to derail health care overhaul in Washington last month and failing to sway a special congressional election in South Florida this week, tea party activists were challenged Thursday to do more than just protest.

"This week I saw a disaster unfold before my very eyes," conservative talk radio host Joyce Kaufman told a tax day crowd that approached 1,000. She was referring to Democrat Ted Deutch's 62.1 percent victory in a congressional race where tea partyers once vowed to make a national statement.

"I'm here today to warn you that if you don't activate and if each one of you doesn't bring somebody else to the tea party, bring somebody else to the table in August (for the primaries) and in November, then we have failed and we will go down in flames," Kaufman said.

"We've got to take it to the next step," South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson said. "We've got to become activists, and that doesn't mean just coming out to protests."

Click here to read more.
I'm working on a video of the event (click here for a 30-second video I made of last year's Tea Party), but in the meantime, here are pictures I took (click to enlarge):

Meg, of SFTP, gives one of many media interviews.

No more pork barrel spending!

Those are tea bags crossed on his chest.

The pirate ship from last year's Tax Day Tea Party is back!

The event started at 5:30 p.m., but people started showing up two hours earlier.

The pig balloons were a hit! Everyone wanted one.

A colonial protester visits our SFTP volunteer table.

Awesome family!

Security stands guard to control the "angry mob" ... or anyone there to riot us.

This group had some of my favorite signs.

The lawn starts to fill up!

These guys had more of my favorite signs.

Patriots crowd by the stage as the rally begins.

Everett leads the Pledge of Allegiance with Palm Beach County students
and a sign language interpreter.

Hannah Giles addresses the crowd.

Dr. Richard Raborn, a vaccine physician,
speaks about the effects of the health care bill.

John Clark, a high school student, addresses the crowd.

Billy Bones performs.

Hannah Giles and The Real Polichick!

I'm very proud of the success of the event -- especially because I was nervous as the calendar approached April 15. Last year, I attended the Tax Day rally. This year, I helped organize it. And as President Barack Obama knows, being a community organizer is not easy! I wonder if he's proud ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Grayson plays petty politics at Perkins

*5-year-old playground speak inserted by The Real Polichick.

Attendees of an April 8 meeting of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee were (un)welcomed by a surprise guest speaker:

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, barged into the Perkins restaurant where the meeting was held and accused the group -- his constituents -- of "spying on" members of Organizing for America. Nuh, uh! No fair!

OCREC released a statement on Tea Party Patriots Live describing the incident. The press release does not respond to Grayson's accusations that the committee members are spies. My guess is the committee monitors OFA activities, likely by joining e-mail lists, and encourages members to attend OFA events to counter protest -- just as many Tea Party groups do regarding

When Grayson began addressing the committee at its April 8 meeting, Matthew Falconer -- a Republican candidate for mayor of Orange County -- interrupted and demand that Grayson apologize for a recent comment he made about OCREC Chairman Lew Oliver.

Grayson is reported to have said: "Lew Oliver could not find a $20 bill if it was stuck in his ass." I'm rubber and you're glue ...

But instead of apologizing, Grayson asked Falconer, "Do you have to interrupt me?"

Falconer responded, "You came and interrupted our meeting." He started it, Ma!

At this point, Grayson could hardly get a word in because committee members joined Falconer in talking back to the representative. Then it got (even more) childish.

Grayson told Falconer to "take a walk." Falconer said, "No, you take a walk." Shut up. No, you shut up. No, you shut up first.

Grayson retorted, "You're lucky to get 5 percent of the vote, my friend." Nanny nanny poo poo.

Falconer got the final few "You take a walk" commands in -- with a finger pointed at the door -- before Grayson, finally, did take a walk out of the restaurant, shouting remarks along the way about "how low you've sunk" at the committee members. Waah, I'm telling Mom!

How old are we? Grayson, grow up and get some manners. Don't talk to your bosses that way -- you'll get fired.

See a video of the whole juvenile event below. The recording begins with Grayson reading from a piece of paper -- apparently a flyer sent by OCREC.

Take a walk!
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