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seafan's Journal - Archives
Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Sun Mar 10th 2013, 02:08 PM
Now he's on all the Sunday shows, lurching from one network to the next, ripping his critics and denying that he has 'baggage' that would torpedo his chances of taking the presidency.

Mark Humphrey/AP (via NPR)

Today, he's blanketing ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, CNN's State of the Union, Fox News' Fox News Sunday, and NBC's Meet the Press. In addition, he will appear on Univision's Al Punto.

The whole place smells of sulfur.

Here he is with Chris Wallace:

Jeb Bush says there’s no ‘Bush baggage,’ leaves door open to run

By Alexander Bolton - 03/10/13 10:00 AM ET

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Sunday said the Bush family name will not drag down his political ambitions as he left open the possibility of running for president in 2016.

When asked whether the legacy of his brother, former President George W. Bush, who has a higher unfavorable than favorable rating, would be a liability, Bush said no.

“I don’t think there’s any Bush baggage at all. I love my brother. I’m proud of his accomplishments. I love my dad. I’m proud to be a Bush and if I run for president it’s not because of something in my DNA that compels me to do it,” Bush said on “Fox News Sunday” after host Chris Wallace cited a poll showing the former president with a 49 percent unfavorable rating.

“It would be that it’s the right the thing to do for my family, that the conditions are right and that I have something to offer,” he added.


And here he is with David Gregory:

Jeb Bush calls media ‘crack addicts’

By Alexander Bolton - 03/10/13 11:47 AM ET

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), growing tired about speculation over a 2016 White House run and his relationship with one-time protégé Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), called the media a bunch of “crack addicts.”

“Man you guys are crack addicts. You really are obsessed with all these politics. Marco Rubio is a great guy,” Bush told NBC’s David Gregory, after the “Meet the Press” host asked him about who is Florida’s hottest politician.

Gregory was momentarily taken aback.

“Sir, I’ve been called a lot of things…” Gregory began before Bush amended his response.

“OK, heroin addict. Is that better?” Bush said.

Bush and Rubio are potential rivals in the 2016 Republican primary and there have been signs of friction between their two camps.


That is in EXTREMELY unfortunate outburst, in view of the problems that have plagued his daughter.

And both of his sons, li'l Jebby and George P., the next Bush in line to carry the dynastic torch.

And his wife.

No amount of Jebspin will do it.

Where is that famous 'compassionate conservatism', George W. Jeb?

By the way, is anyone going to ask Jeb this morning for his thoughts about another of his assertions in his 'book', to curb emergency room services for undocumented and legal immigrants seeking citizenship, that he somehow deems unworthy of health services?

In the meantime, some very good news is out, that already, Jeb's devious mission to turn over public schools to private profit seekers is in danger of imploding.

Just a few examples are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Even more stellar news is that a public counter-revolution is building, spearheaded by Diane Ravitch, to fight Jeb Bush's mad corporate push to destroy public education across the country, and to re-empower communities across the nation by re-investing in public schools, support of teachers, students, principals and local boards.

Enough of the corporatist takeover of our public schools! We will defeat this malignant threat.

Jeb Bush's Waterloo

Public School Teacher
Miami Carol City High School

April 12, 2010

Jeb Bush has dreamed his whole political life of plunging a dagger in the heart of public education. His fond hopes were probably best confessed in his second inaugural address as Florida's governor in 2003. Bush told the rapt crowd gathered to hail him, "There will be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these buildings around us empty of workers; as silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill." Bush could already see it in his mind’s eye. Yes, school buildings empty of teachers, monuments to an abandoned American crusade for universal public education.

On April 9, 2010 at 2:26 a.m., the Florida House of Representatives voted Jeb Bush closer to his life’s dream than he has ever been. At the very same moment they destroyed it. Jeb Bush, like Icarus, has finally flown too close to the sun. A sleeping giant has been roused.

Jeb Bush’s Waterloo comes at the end of a long road.


Ripping the mask off of this next arrogant, acid-tongued Bush, at long, long last, will horrify the public.

This is a catastrophically dangerous individual, and must never be allowed anywhere near the power of the White House.

And, Jeb, don't forget your baggage.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Wed Jan 09th 2013, 04:22 PM
... is that with so frustratingly many of his decisions, regardless that Obama is buoyed by massive public support for solving our problems in very logical and straightforward ways, he continues to surround himself with those who represent Big Interests, who have his ear, who have outsized say over policy, and leaving the concerns of regular people like us outside in the cold.

Things such as solving the health care affordability crisis---

Yes, it is still a crisis when even though preexisting conditions prohibit health insurance companies from denying a policy to a person, it is no deterrent to that insurance company from jacking up exorbitant rates for access to that coverage. 'Carte blanche' for Big Insurance. 'Out of luck' for the person. Medicare for everyone is the solution that is purposefully ignored. Many people are being paid to ignore it.

Things such as solving the Social Security viability issues---

Instead of taking away people's benefits, or even callously toying with the prospect and upsetting people in the first place, simply raise the cap on income subject to Social Security/Medicare taxes. Even better, make all income subject to Social Security/Medicare taxes. The program would be safely funded forever.

Things such as recognizing the relentless threat of Privatized Profit Seekers who are aiming at our public education, our infrastructure, our resources, our prisons, our health care system, our financial system, our public lands, our labor force, our international policy, our very government---

Our PUBLIC infrastructure must be preserved and strengthened. It levels the playing field for everyone. The Profit Seekers must be turned back.

Big Finance has crippled our nation and robbed people of their homes, but we are 'not looking back'.

The Plutocrats/Globalists have stolen our jobs and largely escaped paying American taxes, but we are 'not looking back'.

The War Machine has endangered us beyond comprehension, destroyed lives and families, but we are 'not looking back'.

Traitors have assaulted our right to vote and manipulated elections with billions of dollars, but we are 'not looking back'.

Charlatans are tearing down public education in our country, bu we are 'not looking back'.

We are poisoning our air, water and earth by the relentless push by Big Oil and Gas, but we are 'not looking back'.

Obama has had a stratospheric opportunity to solve these problems in ways that would have improved the lives of millions.

It remains to be seen whether he will fully utilize it.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Wed Jan 09th 2013, 12:26 PM
But, that would not please Wall Street.

Dean Baker writes astutely:


The major reason that Krugman is not on anyone's short list is that he has been right about most of the important issues in economic policy over the last decade. The list where Krugman has been right and the Washington insiders have been wrong is a long one.

It starts with the housing bubble, which Krugman warned of as early as 2002.


In the fall of 2008 when the financial system was freezing up, Krugman called for a takeover and recapitalization of the big banks, rather than a bailout that left them largely intact. Can anyone seriously doubt that the economy would be in much better shape today if the Wall Street behemoths had been reorganized and broken up?

He also argued for mortgage write-downs for underwater homeowners .


At the time the first stimulus was passed in early 2009, Krugman correctly warned that it would be inadequate and that its failure to restore full employment was likely to discredit the concept of stimulus in policy circles.


He warned against the austerity being pursued .... correctly predicted that these polices would lead to recessions and higher unemployment.

It is precisely this track record of being right on most of the key policy calls of the last decade that makes Krugman unacceptable as a candidate for Treasury Secretary. To be a serious candidate for this position it is necessary to have been wrong on most or all of these issues.

This should make the public very angry.


But, Paul Krugman's name is missing from the Treasury Secretary short list. And Wall Street likes that immensely.

Meet Jack Lew: Tim Geithner's (likely) Replacement

Jack Lew: Obama's OMB Pick Oversaw Citigroup Unit That Shorted Housing Market, May 25, 2011

And the beat goes on.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Tue Jan 01st 2013, 12:45 AM
Happy. New. Year.

NY Times

January 1, 2013

For the first time since President George W. Bush began the country’s long slide into debt by cutting taxes in 2001, an agreement was reached late Monday in the Senate to raise income taxes on the rich.


Nonetheless, this deal is a weak brew that remains far too generous to the rich and fails to bring in enough revenue to deal with the nation’s deep need for public investments. Given that the Bush-era tax cuts expire on Jan. 1, Republicans were forced to give ground on their philosophical opposition to higher taxes, but they made it impossible to reach a farsighted agreement that truly grappled with government’s role in fostering improvements to education, transportation and manufacturing.

The deal, hammered out by the Obama administration and Senate Republican leaders, raises income taxes to Clinton-era levels on families making more than $450,000 a year and individuals making $400,000. That’s a far cry from the $250,000 threshold that Mr. Obama said defined the upper range of the middle class in the campaign.

But White House officials said they had to compromise on that number to win renewal of several important provisions that would otherwise have expired: unemployment insurance for three million people, tax credits for low-income working families, and a reduction in the impact of the alternative minimum tax on many middle-class families. Republicans cynically used those vital measures as bargaining chips. (What was not a point of contention was allowing the payroll tax to go back up by 2 percent.)

The higher income threshold isn’t the only price the White House wound up paying. The estate tax on the nation’s biggest inheritances is going up slightly but not nearly enough (estates of more than $5 million would be taxed at 40 percent, up from the current 35 percent) in a big and unnecessary giveaway to the very richest families. Significantly, the estate tax rate would be made permanent, while the credits for low-income families would expire in five years. Capital gains and dividend tax rates go up to 20 percent from the current 15 percent, but again, only for families making more than $450,000 a year.


We, the 99 percent, are no longer represented by our government.

This will undoubtedly be a very interesting year.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Sat Dec 22nd 2012, 09:58 PM
Connecticut School Officials Blast NRA’s Reaction To Newtown, December 22, 2012

Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president. The face of soulless evil.

His ties to Florida are blood-spattered, with the unfettered complicity of right wing zealots controlling our state government.

After Stand Your Ground passed in Florida, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said the pro-gun organization would use the victory to promote the law nationwide. (Photo by Gage Skidmore.)

And that is exactly what the NRA, guided by ALEC, did.

NRA’s Behind-the-Scenes Campaign Encouraged ‘Stand Your Ground’ Adoption, March 23, 2012

It’s no coincidence that after Florida passed its Stand Your Ground law in 2005, many other states followed suit.

The law — which greatly expanded the right to use deadly force — had been vigorously pushed by the National Rifle Association before being passed overwhelming by a deferential legislature and signed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush, who called it a “commonsense” approach to making the citizenry safer.


As soon as the bill was signed into law in Florida, the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said the pro-gun organization would use the victory to promote the law everywhere.

Within weeks, a proposed statute with almost the exact wording of the Florida law was adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). That’s a conservative organization that pushes for laws favorable to its patrons, mainly scores of U.S. corporations. One of those backers is the NRA.

ALEC’s method is to hand cookie-cutter “model” bills to sympathetic state lawmakers — mostly conservative Republicans — who then sponsor them in their statehouses. They’ve been very effective. According to Mother Jones magazine, 23 states have followed Florida’s lead in passing these laws.

The NRA has long been a high-caliber force in Florida’s legislature. Between 2003 and 2010, the gun lobby gave $2.7 million to state lawmakers, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. They contributed the legal limit, $500, to Jeb Bush’s 2002 gubernatorial re-election campaign, an additional $60,000 to the state’s majority Republican Party — though none to Democrats.

In the vote for bill, all 22 legislators who received NRA money said “yea,” writes Think Progress.


Bush has been silent on Trayvon Martin’s killing and the eruption of outrage and protest that have followed.


Marion Hammer: The NRA Lobbyist Behind Florida's Stand Your Ground Legislation , March 22, 2012

How The NRA Fueled Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law, March 22, 2012

Pistol-Packing Grandma Helps NRA Push State Pro-Gun Laws, May 11, 2012

Rep. Dennis Baxley, from left, Marion Hammer, Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Durell Peaden, pose for a photo at the signing of the Stand Your Ground bill into law in Tallahassee, Florida, on April 26, 2005. (Office of the Governor via Bloomberg)

Marion Hammer, left, shakes hands with Florida Governor Charlie Crist after he signed a law that lets workers store firearms in their cars while at work, in Tallahassee, Florida, on April 15, 2008. (Office of the Governor via Bloomberg)
(Crist has since renounced this decision, and changed his position on gun regulation. The NRA's venomous retribution against Crist has been swift.)

Marion Hammer and Florida Governor Rick Scott pose for a photo after the signing of a bill bill that prohibits doctors from asking patients about gun ownership, in Tallahassee, Florida, on June 2, 2011.
(Office of the Governor via Bloomberg)

Jeb: 'Let's talk about my Mitt endorsement instead of "Stand Your Ground" I signed for the NRA.', March 22, 2012

No, Jeb. We want to talk about your deep ties of loyalty to the NRA and the monster we heard from yesterday, who represents it.

We stand united in revulsion.

NYT: The N.R.A. Crawls From Its Hidey Hole, December 21, 2012

Nice friends you have there, Jeb Bush.

Marco Rubio fancies them too. Time for Rubio's careful tap dance with his NRA backers.

Have we finally had enough of the NRA's murderous zealotry and all of its acolytes?

God, I hope so.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Thu Dec 13th 2012, 11:30 PM
I KNEW this was going to happen.

Former Indiana superintendent is Florida's new education commissioner, December 13, 2012

Just as surely as the partisan U. S. Supreme Court installed George W. Bush into the White House on December 12, 2000, Jeb Bush pushed his aggressive "Educational Reform" operative into the Education top spot in Florida yesterday, to continue the "Bold Educational Reform" that Jeb Bush himself so highly prizes. Why? Because tearing down teachers' unions and starving public education funding in this country in order to take private control of that nice pot of money will make Jeb and his cronies rich.

Very, very rich.

The story in a nutshell?

Parents and teachers in Indiana last month threw out one of Jeb Bush's prime "educational reform" operatives, as they soundly rejected one-term Indiana school superintendent Tony Bennett. Bennett's mission was to push the Jeb Bush Playbook of Bold Educational Reform-- school vouchers, charter schools, forced standardized testing of students, school grades, lax teacher qualifications, merit pay for teachers based on students' scores on rigid standardized testing methods, and now, the rapid push for online education.

Keep in mind that Indiana voted definitively for Mitt Romney, so this rejection of Bennett was obviously no accident. Unfortunately, Bennett leaves substantial damage behind.

Guess what... The Florida Commissioner of Education position has been open since since Gerard Robinson resigned in disgrace on July 31. This week, Tony Bennett threw his hat into the ring at the last moment, and miracle of miracles, via the Florida State Board of Education, two members of which are former Jeb Bush chiefs of staff, he landed the job of Florida's Education Commissioner.

Nothing like shoehorning another Jeb Bush loser into a position to drain the lifeblood of public education beyond recognition in Florida. Indiana rejected Jeb Bush's Plan for their schools. Also noteworthy is that Idaho voters did as well:

Idaho voters appear to have overturned the “Luna laws,” three school reform laws named for state schools Superintendent Tom Luna who made them the centerpiece of his agenda. Voters rejected his plan to require high school students to take two online courses and for the state to spend $180 million to lease laptops to make this happen. They also rejected merit pay for teachers that is linked to student standardized test scores and they opposed limits on the collective bargaining rights for teachers.

We remember Luna.

When Bennett lost his election to a Democratic school teacher last month, Gov. Mitch Daniels whined to the media:

Republican frustration over the election defeat of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett boiled over into the public this week with Gov. Mitch Daniels claiming at an education reform conference in Washington that teachers used illegal and improper methods to oust Bennett.

And we heard more whining from Patricia Levesque, executive director for Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education.....

And we heard from a peevish Jeb:

And now that Bennett is out, Bush told StateImpact Florida’s Sarah Gonzalez about Indiana: “Well it’s not my education agenda. It’s the education agenda of the Indiana governor, the Indiana state school officer, the Indiana legislature, the Indiana business community, that Tony Bennett didn’t get elected.”

Indiana, we are happy you stood up to Jeb Bush and Tony Bennett. Sadly, your gain is now Florida's loss.

And North Carolina, we did our best to warn you.

So the hot potato is back in Florida.

So now, Floridians, we've got yet another failed Jeb Bush operative turning up here, very predictably, to continue the assault on public schools/teachers/unions, at his behest.

The shark never stops chewing at the perimeter.

Jeb Bush makes case for more online university courses, December 4, 2012

The Big Money Driving Online Higher Education in Florida, December 5, 2012

Jeb Bush, with cash and clout, pushes contentious school reforms, November 30, 2012

Who does Jeb Bush think he’s kidding?, November 26, 2012

Anybody who follows education policy knows how influential Jeb Bush has been in states well beyond Florida, where, as governor from 1999-2007, he launched school reforms – including standardized test-based accountability for students and schools, the expansion of charter schools and vouchers, and a letter-grade (A-F) rating system for schools that has served as a model around the country. Nowhere has the Bush influence been as strong as in Indiana, where the superintendent of public instruction, Tony Bennett, has looked on Bush as his guru.


Bennett followed it in Indiana, where, with the help of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and the Republican-dominated legislature, he pushed through a state-wide voucher program, a school grading system, test-based accountability, etc.

Indiana voters had their say on this package of reforms earlier this month when they tossed out Bennett in favor of a veteran teacher, Glenda Ritz, who opposes this brand of school reform because, she says, it doesn’t work.


The irony is that Bennett may actually wind up in Florida, where state officials are looking for a new education commissioner and have expressed interest in Bennett because they like his brand of school reform, the one he got from Bush.


Why the List of Tony Bennett’s Financial Backers Should Be Important to Floridians, December 9, 2012

...K12 Inc...McGraw-Hill and Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt education publishing and printing corporations...Charter Schools USA...Koch Industries & Koch Development...Florida Crystals Corporation...Eli Broad...

The Corporate Cash Which Fuels Jeb Bush’s Education Empire, October 9, 2011

The Inconvenient Truth About Florida Education, December 6, 2012

Despite what Gov. Rick Scott and his Department of Education may tell you, the Florida public education system isn’t very good, especially when it comes to the percentage of students graduating from high school within four years.

The U.S. Department of Education recently released data listing state four-year high school graduation rates for the 2010-11 school year -- the first year in which all states used a common, rigorous measure. Prior to the new methodology, varying methods used by states to report graduation rates made such comparisons unreliable.

The goal was to develop a graduation rate that provided parents, educators and the public with better information on their school's progress while allowing for meaningful comparisons of graduation rates across states and school districts. The new graduation rate measurement more accurately accounted for drop-outs and students who do not earn a regular high school diploma.

According to data, Florida had one of the worst graduation rates in the nation, 71 percent. The state tied with Louisiana and had only five states ranked below it: Alaska and Oregon (68 percent), Georgia (67 percent), New Mexico (63 percent) and Nevada (62 percent).

Yes, Mississippi and Alabama finished ahead of Florida.

Just a continuation of the Jeb Bush legacy.

Jeb Bush

Tony Bennett

Floridians, our work is not yet done to rid this state of the corrosive influence of those who hold nothing but unveiled contempt for the people and the public education of our children.

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Posted by seafan in Latest Breaking News
Fri Dec 07th 2012, 11:45 PM
Source: Tampa Bay Times

It was just a matter of time. Charlie Crist is becoming a Democrat. ..... He did so during a Christmas reception at the White House, where President Barack Obama greeted the news with a fist bump for the man who had a higher profile campaigning for Obama's re-election this year than any Florida Democrat.

The widely expected move positions Crist, 56, for another highly anticipated step: announcing his candidacy for governor, taking on Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and an untold number of Democrats who would challenge him for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it,' " Crist, a career-long populist, recounted Friday night from Washington, D.C.


He has been a strong supporter of higher pay for teachers. He works for a leading trial lawyer. He was a leading advocate for civil rights as governor and attorney general. And though he describes himself as "pro-life," his voting record in the Legislature was mostly in favor of abortion rights. He has long been more of a populist than a pro-big business Republican.

"What changed is the leadership of the Republican Party," Crist said in a phone interview Friday night. "As I said at the convention, I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me. Whether the issue was immigration, or education, or you name it — the environment. I feel at home now."

Read more:

Crist tweeted a photo of himself holding his voter registration form with his wife, Carole, Friday at the White House. “Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party,’’ he said.

Welcome to the light, Governor. We've got a job for you in Tallahassee.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Tue Nov 06th 2012, 01:45 PM
One of our iconic Florida writers, Carl Hiaasen, in the Miami Herald on November 3, 2012, on the eleven deceptive constitutional amendments loading up the Florida ballot, put there by the GOP-controlled Legislature:


The most deceptive is Amendment 8, which is fraudulenty captioned “Religious Freedom.” If passed, it would open the door to taxpayer funding of private religious schools and institutions, a dangerous mixing of church and state that has been prohibited here for 126 years. ..... Amendment 8 was concocted by Republican lawmakers who support a student-voucher system that would benefit private schools and church schools while bleeding critical funds from state education revenues.


Jeb Bush has been pushing to destroy the legal separation of church and state for years. We haven't forgotten his role in crafting this deceitful amendment, and directing the GOP Legislature from the shadows to force it onto the ballot yet again in 2012.


Another terrible ballot measure is Amendment 6, an anti-abortion manifesto that would punch holes in the privacy clause in Florida’s Constitution. If anything deserves a legal shield of privacy, it’s a woman’s personal and often difficult choices about birth planning.

Christian conservatives in the Legislature are exasperated because their attempts to restrict abortions have stalled in the courts because of the privacy issue. Their solution is to rewrite the Constitution to exclude abortion-related matters from that protection.

By weakening privacy rights, Amendment 6 would set the stage for politicians to interfere in a broad range of medical and family decisions in which they should have no say, no influence, no presence whatsoever.

Who can forget their disgraceful theatrics during the Terri Schiavo case?


We certainly haven't forgotten that whole sorry mess, which was entirely a Jeb Bush-led debacle.

The NY Times was disgusted with the entire disgraceful episode and said so at the time.

And Jeb Bush was so incensed, mind you, that he fired off a warlike editorial back at the Times, defending his egregious actions.

Problem was, there WAS no defense for this opportunistic, nakedly partisan political grandstanding, at the expense of a private citizen, her husband and family. Jeb never got over the public rejection by the NY Times, apparently.



To demonstrate their contempt for taxes, lawmakers have also larded the ballot with several amendments that would amount to a mugging of city and county governments.

Among them is Amendment 3 ...... Amendment 4 is even worse than Amendment 3, a gift to wealthy owners of second homes in Florida. It would cut by half the cap on property-tax assessments for non-homesteaded properties, at a projected cost to city and county governments of between $600 million and $1 billion over the first three years.

This should bother you only if you care about your local police and fire protection, ambulance service, city parks. You know, the little stuff.

Also, Amendment 5, which would give legislators ultimate power over Florida's judiciary--- to require Senate confirmation of all Supreme Court Justices; allowing a simple majority vote in the legislature to change procedural rules for the courts; and to allow the House Speaker access to the confidential files of the Judicial Nominating Commission. Nothing like polluting the state court system by power-hungry Republicans. You see, after the past 14 years in power, the current GOP-dominated legislature is assuming they will maintain permanent power over Florida's government.

The people have the power to change that. Today. November 6, 2012.



All these rotten amendments were written and captioned for the ballot in ways to appear harmless and even reformist, but they aren’t.

And they won’t pass unless 60 percent of Florida’s voters are fooled.

Will Florida be fooled again?

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Mon Nov 05th 2012, 11:13 AM
All of these lengthy and purposely deceiving amendments were crafted by the GOP-controlled Legislature to confuse voters into voting against their best interests, and to further clog voting lines and hours spent in line to vote.

Then, jettison every Republican on the ballot.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Sun Nov 04th 2012, 08:58 PM
Mary Ellen Klas reports at the Tampa Bay Times:

November 4, 2012

Before former Gov. Charlie Crist rallied the crowd at President Barack Obama’s final Florida rally on Sunday, he made a guest appearance on CBS4’s Facing South Florida with Jim Defede and did some politicking of his own.


Crist laughed when Defede said his first encounter with Obama was a “hug heard around the world” and recalled how he also
“got a lot of grief from Republicans” when he extended early voting hours in 2008.

“But when you’re governor, you don’t just work for one party or the other you work for the people of the state,’’ Crist said. “I saw the long lines. I saw it was still hot in South Florida, that a lot of senior citizens were waiting in those lines, and I realized it was an emergency situation and people needed to have the opportunity to vote.


“To me it’s just a responsibility and obligation. This is a precious right. It’s a cherished right that people have fought and died for and the notion that you would try to suppress that, and reduce the opportunity for the right to vote whether they vote Republican or Democrat or independent is just unconscionable to me.”

In classic Crist fashion, he refused to directly lay blame on Scott for suppressing the vote but he implied it.

“When you go from 14 days of early voting to 8. When you reduce the number of hours from 120 to about 96, it’s hard to look at it another way,’’ Crist said. I think the people of Florida and this country expect early voting.”


And, never forget, it was a deliberate move by the GOP-controlled Legislature and its henchman Rick Scott, to suppress the people's right to vote.

Now is our opportunity to vote against every single anti-American Republican occupying our state Legislature; these people have enforced complete control over the Legislature and Governor's office since 1998. They do not represent the people.

It is time to strip them of political power.

Thank you, Governor Crist, for standing up to these bastards. May you have many more opportunities ahead.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Sun Nov 04th 2012, 06:58 PM
Only in Florida, LOL! "In-person absentee" voting!!

OK, here are the details, and they are very important.

In-person absentee voting at county elections offices to be available all day Monday, STATEWIDE

Steve Bousquet at 11:50:51 am on November 04, 2012

Early voting in Florida ended Saturday evening, but a savvy voter can still vote "early" and avoid those anticipated long lines at the polls on Election Day.

It's known as early in-person absentee voting. Voters can go to their county Supervisor of Elections office, ask for a ballot and vote on the spot and be sure their vote is counted. Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties reportedly are providing early in-person absentee voting on Sunday. It will be available all day Monday in all 67 counties in Florida.

Here are a few other important and basic reminders about voting, courtesy of Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark:

* Some polling precinct locations have changed due to redistricting, population changes and the limited availability of sites. Look at the address of your polling place, listed on your voter registration card. If you can't find your voter registration card, contact your county elections office.

* Bring photo and signature verification with you when you go to vote to avoid delays and extra paperwork.

* If you need to update your voting address at the polls and you have moved from another county, you will be asked to cast a provisional ballot. (The only exceptions are for active military personnel and their families).

* You can still vote by mail as long as your ballot is hand delivered to the election supervisor's office by 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

* If you have requested an absentee ballot and decide later that you would rather vote in person at the polls, you can -- but you need to bring your blank absentee ballot to your polling place so that it's cancelled.

Sunday afternoon Florida update:

November 4, 2012 5pm

Palm Beach County accepting absentee ballots today, Monday; Democrats file lawsuit over early voting; crowds shut down Miami-Dade elections office

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher is allowing voters to cast absentee ballots in person today and Monday — although the early voting period ended yesterday.

Ballots will be accepted through 5 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the counter of her offices at South Military Trail and Gun Club Road in suburban West Palm Beach. Bucher said her action is “allowed” and “in accordance with current law,” even though the state’s formal early voting period ended Saturday.

Neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties has protested, Bucher said, and the ballots collected on Sunday and Monday will not be sequestered in case of a lawsuit.

“I got to the office on Sunday morning,” Bucher, taking a break from counting ballots in the Riviera Beach tabulating center, said this afternoon, “and there were people waiting outside to vote. And the last line on Saturday in Lantana stayed open until 2:30 a.m.


Voting by absentee ballot at the counter until Election Day is permissible under Florida law. The moves by Palm Beach and four other Florida counties that are taking absentee ballots today and Monday — Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Orange and Pinellas — are not “unique or outside the law,” Chris Cate, a Detzner spokesman, said in a Twitter message posted in response to a flurry of traffic about the early voting situation in Florida. Leon County also will allow absentee ballots to be cast at its main office during business hours Monday, the Obama campaign said this afternoon.


The Obama Campaign has, for weeks, mounted an aggressive push to encourage as many on-site absentee votes as possible. Reports of this surfaced on October 10. Not merely absentee voting by mail, but on the spot, in-person absentee voting at the county elections offices. This has been a brilliant move, because it is now proving to be a way to get around the severe restrictions on voting days/hours forced onto Floridians by our infamous GOP-ruled legislature and Governor (cough) Rick Scott.

Obama campaign makes massive Florida push for absentee votes

By Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor
October 10, 2012

President Barack Obama's campaign, eager to bank as many early votes as possible in Florida, is launching an unprecedented program to encourage supporters to vote by absentee ballot right away.

The "Vote Now!" initiative aims to spread the word that voters can go to their local elections office, request an absentee ballot, and complete and return the ballot on the spot. That option has been available for years, but this is the first time a campaign has organized a statewide effort to promote the process.


Walker said they will spread the word through phone banks, door-to-door canvassing and other outreach efforts.

The Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott last year cut the number of early voting days from 14 to eight and eliminated early voting on the Sunday before Election Day — over the objections of Democratic leaders. The Florida Obama campaign decided in response to make more of a push on absentee ballots, and encourage people to treat them much like in-person early voting, which doesn't start until Oct. 27.


Pasco County Elections Supervisor Brian Corley earlier this month said many voters were confused about a recorded call from the Obama campaign encouraging them to visit their elections office, request absentee ballots, and cast them on the spot. He said some voters did not understand the difference between voting at early voting sites, which begins Oct. 27, and voting in-person using absentee ballots, which is already under way.

Absentee ballots can be turned in up until 7 p.m. on Election Day.


Important to note is that this in-person absentee voting will happen at county election supervisors' offices all day on Monday (tomorrow), and, there, it probably will much less likely for voters to be intimidated by Romney's trained seals.

Floridians, let us now express our opinion of the GOP-controlled Legislative members for their anti-American efforts to suppress our voting rights. Rick Scott, your time is up in 2014 if not before.


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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Thu Nov 01st 2012, 12:22 PM
Daily Kos, October 31, 2012:

“We’re not going to tolerate red tape. We’re not going to tolerate bureaucracy, and I’ve instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my staff. You return everybody’s phone calls within 15 minutes,” Obama said.


Obama said FEMA has expedited the process of delivering aid, so that people may begin registering for emergency assistance right away. Anyone in need of assistance for finding rental housing, buying groceries or other basic needs may call (800) 621-FEMA or go to

Some 2,000 FEMA personnel were on the ground already Wednesday, Obama said.

Boston Globe, November 1, 2012:

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

President Obama met with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and some displaced residents of Brigantine Beach.


Later Obama described his “15-minute rule” for federal officials: “You return everybody’s phone calls in 15 minutes,” Obama said at a news conference. “Whether it’s the mayors, the governors, county officials, if they need something, we figure out a way to say yes.”


The news conference Wednesday featured a pairing unthinkable a week ago: the president with one of his fiercest critics, Christie, vowing fidelity to a common cause and expressing an appreciation for each other’s efforts and talents.

“It’s been a great working relationship . . . and I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and the people of our state,” Christie said.

Obama was equally complimentary, crediting Christie with extraordinary leadership.


Jeb Bush: Obama New Jersey visit 'symbolism'

11/1/12 9:15 AM EDT

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday downplayed the importance of the federal government’s response to the recovery from Hurricane Sandy on Thursday, calling President Barack Obama’s visit to New Jersey “more symbolism than anything else.” ..... “The governor is really the commander-in-chief of the response to this and the recovery efforts,” Bush said on “Fox And Friends.”

<<(bold type added)>>

Christie, a Mitt Romney supporter who gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention, has lavished praise on Obama’s handling of Sandy, saying he “cannot thank the president enough.” Christie toured damaged parts of the New Jersey shoreline Wednesday alongside Obama.

“The federal government’s role is to support local and state government,” Bush said on CBS. “The expectation shouldn’t be anything more than that. If you raise expectations more than that, it is impossible for FEMA.”


Meanwhile, Bush also reiterated his accusation that Obama blames too much on his brother, former president George W. Bush.

“I ought to keep my mouth shut about this, but it perturbs me to no end to have in the fourth year of a presidency, the president constantly be talking about the past,” Bush said on Fox. “I mean, the guy was dealt a tough hand. We got that. But in the fourth year, you should be held responsible for your actions. And it’s like this constant refrain, almost as though your kid comes and says ‘The dog ate my homework,’ you know? At some point you just have to accept responsibility.”

A Pew Research Center poll this summer found 44 percent of middle-class Americans blame the Bush administration “a lot” for their economic troubles. Only 34 percent said the same of the Obama administration.

Bush also slammed Obama for saying “you can’t change Washington from the inside.”

“For him to think or say that it’s very difficult to get things done from the inside is pretty telling,” Bush said on Fox News. “He’s the president of the United States. If he can’t do it, maybe he should step aside and let someone else try.”

Yes, Jeb Bush. You should follow your own advice and just keep your mouth shut. Actually, it is you who seems to be fixated on the past.

Here is the video of a petulant Jeb Bush denigrating President Obama and his actions following Hurricane Sandy, and other whining ramblings.

Here is one thing that is indisputable:

We will celebrate all across this country when this backbiting, petty and mean-spirited excuse for an American, along with the rest of his opportunistic family of grifters, are driven out of future politics for all time.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Wed Oct 31st 2012, 11:57 PM
Covering for his pal Mitt again, who wants to 'get rid of FEMA'.

Justin Sink reports at The Hill:

October 31, 2012

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush might have been looking to subtly undermine any polling bounce President Obama might receive for his handling of Hurricane Sandy, telling supporters at a campaign event in Tampa Wednesday that the efforts of local officials were the most crucial part of storm recovery.

"My experience in all this emergency response business is that it is the local level and the state level that really matters," Bush said. "That if they do their job right, the federal government part works out pretty good."

The comment came as the former Florida governor was introducing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was officially returning to the campaign trail for the first time since the storm hit. He and running mate Paul Ryan had temporarily suspended their campaign Monday afternoon as the storm began battering the Eastern seaboard.


Hat tip to the author of one of the comments at the link, 'Lee E', for this photograph of Governor Jeb Bush happily looking on as Michael "Heckuvajob" Brownie presents a nice post-hurricane FEMA check to the state of Florida.

We in Florida haven't forgotten how Jeb Bush "helpfully" steered FEMA money to parts of Miami Dade in southern Florida, that were surprisingly little affected by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in September, 2004. But there was a presidential election a couple months after that, don'tchaknow ....

Audit scolds FEMA over payments, May 14, 2005

Miami-Dade County residents collected Hurricane Frances aid for belongings they didn't own, temporary housing they never requested and cars worth far less than the government paid, according to a federal audit that questions millions in storm payouts.

The review found waste and poor controls in every level of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's assistance program and challenges the designation of Miami-Dade as a disaster area when the county "did not incur any hurricane force winds, tornados (sic) or other adverse weather conditions that would cause widespread damage."

As a result of the declaration, "millions of individuals and households became eligible to apply for (money), straining FEMA's limited inspection resources to verify damages and making the program more susceptible to potential fraud, waste and abuse," the report states.


Two private companies, with five-year contracts worth $150 million each, provide inspectors who enter homes to verify hurricane damage. The companies hired 1,600 new inspectors to respond to the four Florida hurricanes and gave them only eight to 12 hours of training, the audit states. The work of the inspectors was not closely monitored, according to the report.

Examiners discovered potential conflicts of interest in particular in the hiring of 22 Miami-Dade residents to serve as inspectors in the county. Five verified claims within 20 blocks of their home. Another did inspections "just one block from his home," the audit states.


'Waste', 'fraud' and 'poor controls' over the FEMA program in 2004? You don't say.....

Who was "President"? George W. Bush

Who was Florida governor? Brother Jeb Bush

Your witness.

By the way, Jeb Bush formed a new business last year (2011)-- privatized disaster response. It's no wonder why FEMA is so vilified by the right wing. FEMA's mere existence cuts into private profit that could be steered into the pockets of an over-privileged few.

Just like Jeb Bush's current assault on public education in his mad push to reform privatize it, directing profits into open pockets.

This picture is now in sharp focus. The war is now about the role of government--- whether it exists to help the people or merely to be consumed, dismantled and cast aside by the very wealthy and powerful among us.

We will decide next Tuesday.

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Wed Oct 31st 2012, 09:15 PM
October 31, 2012:


Flying around Florida today with Mitt Romney on the Halloween Horror Tour are Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Connie Mack.

This is what they're saying about President Obama:

From Marco Rubio:

"Obama's Ideas Are “The Ideas Of Countries People Come Here To Get Away From" ----Marco Rubio, October 27, 2012, while introducing Romney at a rally in Florida

UPDATE: On Mitt Romney's campaign plane shortly after the rally, Rubio was asked what he meant by the comments.

"I'm talking about big government. I'm talking about countries where the government dominates the economy," Rubio, whose parents left Cuba, replied, noting that "virtually every country in Latin America" was governed by the policies he was condemning.

"The president's just not a supporter of the free enterprise system," he said, adding, "This isn't the first time I've said it, and I believe it with all my heart.

From Jeb Bush:

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is blasting President Barack Obama for demeaning the office of the presidency Friday, citing his barnyard epithets and snarky comportment toward GOP nominee Mitt Romney, and likening it to the behavior of a "10-year-old."

In an exclusive Newsmax TV interview, Bush said it appeared President Obama “is very annoyed by the fact that someone dare challenge him, and challenge his presidency, and challenge him for reelection.”


-----Jeb Bush, October 26, 2012, in an interview with conservative-friendly Newsmax

From Connie Mack:

“With riots in North Africa and in Venezuela it is clear that international-terrorist movements are thumbing their nose at America all over the world. We need a foreign policy that does not leave our allies wondering where we stand. Instead of spending precious time “investigating” the tragedies of Libya as Bill Nelson suggests, we need leaders who will take decisive action to defend our nation and our allies and who will always stand for freedom.

“It’s time for the President to act decisively.”

-----Connie Mack, September 13, 2012

And Jeb Bush wasn't finished today:

Jeb Bush: 'Obama’s just blaming my brother', October 31, 2012

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, addressing a rally for Mitt Romney here Wednesday afternoon, lashed out at President Obama for blaming many of the nation’s problems on his brother President George W. Bush.

In remarks introducing the Republican presidential nominee, Bush accused Obama of trying to divide the nation instead of focusing on practical, bipartisan solutions to economic and other problems the country faces.

“Do you honestly think that this president is capable of bringing people together?” Bush asked. The crowd of 3,500 at the University of Miami yelled, “No!”

“His entire strategy is to blame others – starting with my brother, of course,” Bush said. “Basically, he blames every possible thing rather than having the humility to be able to reach out and to find common ground.”

THIS is typical of Jeb Bush's foul-mouthed invective, on the same day that President Obama is in New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie, expediting rapid support for the people of New Jersey, New York and multiple other states, who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Shut up, Jeb Bush.

Just shut up.

Neither you nor your brother has what it takes when it comes to helping people in disaster.

We took note last year when Jeb Bush decided to go into the privatized disaster response business; it is not difficult to see why FEMA is so despised by these vultures.

The Brothers Bush: a cowardly stain of disgrace on American values and a craven insult to the state of Florida.

A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles.

It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt.

If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

Thomas Jefferson, April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826

WaPo-ABC tracking poll: High marks for President Obama on Hurricane Sandy response, October 31, 2012

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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Wed Oct 31st 2012, 10:55 AM
NC officials troubled by raucous election activity

October 30, 2012



The State Board of Elections has received many reports of "aggressive electioneering" at in-person voting sites. Candidate and party activists have been entering no-campaign zones - state law requires a 25- to 50-foot buffer at the door of a voting place - to work potential voters and using profanities and other aggressive language with the opposing side, a state board memo says.

There also have been reports of voters being told wrongly they can vote by phone or they can't vote if they have outstanding traffic tickets. Voters also have complained about letters they've received that contain their voting history and those of their neighbors.

"I have heard more complaints, more misinformation and more what I call intimidation or suppression than any time during my tenure," said state elections executive director Gary Bartlett, who's held the job for nearly 20 years. Independent or third-party groups seem responsible for most activities that prompt complaints, which have come from every area of the state, Bartlett said.


Bartlett said some people have called to complain they have felt intimidated by letters from at least two groups that contain past voting activity of the recipient and their neighbors.

One letter from the Virginia-based Americans for Limited Government provided by Bartlett thanks the recipient for voting in past presidential elections and urges them to vote this year. The letter also provides what's called a "voter history audit" of the ballot activity. Bartlett's office is monitoring the matter.


And in "other" news from yesterday:

ThinkProgress: EXCLUSIVE: Romney Campaign Training Poll Watchers To Mislead Voters In Wisconsin, October 30, 2012

Mitt Romney’s campaign has been training poll watchers in Wisconsin with highly misleading — and sometimes downright false — information about voters’ rights.

Documents from a recent Romney poll watcher training obtained by ThinkProgress contain several misleading or untrue claims about the rights of Wisconsin voters. A source passed along the following packet of documents, which was distributed to volunteers at a Romney campaign training in Racine on October 25th. In total, eight such trainings were held across the state in the past two weeks and 17 since late September.

One blatant falsehood occurs on page 5 of the training packet, which informed poll watchers that any “person has been convicted of treason, a felony, or bribery” isn’t eligible to vote. This is not true. Once a Wisconsin voter who has been convicted of a felony completes his or her sentence, that person is once again eligible to vote.

The training also encouraged volunteers to deceive election workers and the public about who they were associated with. On page 3 of the packet, Romney poll workers were instructed to hide their affiliation with the campaign and told to sign in at the polls as a “concerned citizen” instead. As Kristina Sesek, Romney’s legal counsel who just graduated from Marquette Law School last year, explained, “We’re going to have you sign in this election cycle as a ‘concerned citizen.’ We’re just trying to alleviate some of the animosity of being a Republican observer up front.”


Republicans, circling the drain for the last time, devoured by their own hatred.

These people are a greater threat to the survival of our democracy than any outside entity.

They must be stopped.

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