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Coming in a week where we saw a 16 year old kill a policeman with a gun he bought for just $140, a political action committee is trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would do away with permits to bear arms in Florida.

That’s correct. No. Permit. Necessary.

From The Florida Independent:

The proposed initiative, titled “Unalienable Individual Right to Bear Arms; No Permit Required For Any Manner of Bearing Arms,” would change that wording (.pdf) so that the right to bear arms

“cannot be regulated away or infringed upon; no permit shall be required for any manner of bearing arms in Florida, only the open carry of handguns may be regulated by law. Permits may be issued by request to facilitate travel in reciprocal states and as an exemption to waiting periods.”

The amendment currently has zero valid signatures — to be placed on Florida’s 2012 ballot, it needs 676,811.

The PAC proposing the ballot initiative is one led by Richard Antolinez, of Jupiter, Florida, who is listed as the Chairperson and Treasurer. The registered Agent is listed as John Parsons.

So there you go. Just a few thousand signatures from say, NRA members and their votes are all that stand in the way of people carrying guns with absolutely no permit required. That will make it even easier to kill citizens, and even more policemen than we have lost already in recent months.

No. Permit. Required.

Feel safer Florida?

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Rick Scott seemed to think he was running against President Obama rather than Alex Sink in his run for Governor last year, and he still manages to work in his criticism of the President’s policies every chance he gets. Just yesterday it was “ObamaRail” and the “ObamaTrain” that he rejected when he threw Floridians, $2.4 billion dollars and 23,000 jobs under the train bus.

He also has a great deal of interest in repealing the Affordable Care Act, and recently said he would be spending a lot of time in Washington. For what reason? Well, he said it was to make sure Florida gets its fair share.” But wouldn’t the money for the high-speed rail project qualify as “getting our fair share?” Wouldn’t the project also create a few of those “700,000” jobs Scott promised to Floridians before they voted? Sure it would. But Scott just trashed a nice chunk of our “fair share.” His reasoning is reckless spending and all the other nonsense talking points he and many of the Republicans in the state who now despise him along with the rest of us use all the time.

Maybe there’s a reason he doesn’t really seem to give a flying fig about Florida. Maybe his ego is so overblown that he has bigger ambitions. Maybe he’s just using Florida and his policies to prove himself to the Tea Baggers he spends all of his time with.

Maybe it seems like he’s still running against President Obama, because he actually plans to run against Obama in 2012. The thought has occurred to me before, but it just seemed crazy and so ridiculously far-fetched. Of course Scott seems to thrive on failed, far-fetched ideas and he does seem to have a rather large ego. I guess now see I’m not the only one who noticed it.

But hey, it’s not like we haven’t had failed Governors as national candidates before. It also wouldn’t be the first time an elected official tried to convince the country he was not what he “appeared” to be:

“I am not a crook!”

If so, well, good luck with that!

 

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched it’s “Drive To 25″ advertising campaign “to hold 19 vulnerable House Republicans accountable for choosing a partisan plan that will cost jobs and make America less competitive over the President’s common sense solutions to create jobs and get the economy moving again.”

During the campaign the DCCC will run radio ads, web ads, automated and live phone calls and e-mails in the targeted districts.

Well, here’s a shocker! Florida’s own controversial Republicans Allen West and David Rivera are listed among the 19 “vulnerable” Republicans targeted by the campaign. Why, who could have guessed?

David Rivera, in addition to jobs policy, has other problems as well, because of all the financial disclosure scandals which surfaced both before the election and since, the latest being that Rivera paid himself nearly $60,000 in unexplained campaign reimbursements over the eight years he served in the state Legislature. That’s in addition to the probe over “Millennium Marketing, a company owned by Rivera’s mother and godmother that received $510,000 from the Flagler Dog Track as part of a deal for Rivera to lead a pro-slots political campaign on behalf of the parimutuel.” Rivera “denied receiving any money from the dog track, earlier this month admitted to receiving $132,000 in undisclosed loans from Millennium — loans Rivera says he has since repaid.” Then there’s “Rivera’s campaign expenses, including $30,000 he paid to Millennium for consulting in 2006, and $75,000 he paid last year to a now-defunct consulting company owned by the daughter of a longtime aide. Rivera has denied any wrongdoing.”

As for Allen West, among his problems aside from jobs policy? Well, that he’s Allen West. Need I say more?

Here’s the full list of those “vulnerable” members of the GOP:

Lou Barletta (PA-11)
Charlie Bass (NH-02)
Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25)
Steve Chabot (OH-01)
Chip Cravaack (MN-08)
Robert Dold (IL-10)
Sean Duffy (WI-07)
Blake Farenhold (TX-27)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Nan Hayworth (NY-19)
Joe Heck (NV-03)
Robert Hurt (VA-05)
Thad McCotter (MI-11)
Patrick Meehan (PA-07)
Dave Reichert (WA-08)
David Rivera (FL-25)
Jon Runyan (NJ-03)
Joe Walsh (IL-08)
Allen West (FL-22)

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Allen West (Run-For-Your-Life-FL) actually said these things (From The Sun Sentinel):

On Immigration Reform:

West, unlike most South Florida members of both parties, opposes any path to legal status for those who reside here illegally, including those brought as children. “You’ve got a war going on south of our border. Beheadings. Mass killings. Mexico is starting to resemble Iraq and Afghanistan. And if we don’t secure the boarders and enforce our laws, if we do not make employment verification mandatory all across this country, we will never be serious about tackling the immigration problems we have.”

That’s right. Mexico IS the new Iraq and Afghanistan. Paging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer: tell us about those headless corpses in the desert again?

On Social Security:

West said Congress should consider further raising the eligibility age for full benefits and possibly apply a means test.“Donald Trump is not going to need Social Security or Medicare in his life,” he said. “We need to make sure that these programs are targeted to people who really do need them, and not just have a blanket policy for everyone.”

Well, if Donald Trump doesn’t need Social Security or Medicare, um, OK. So will Rep. “Bullets for Ballots” West be determining those who are worthy and those who are not?

On Unemployment:

“I don’t believe that unemployment checks are the means by which you stimulate the economy,” he said. “I would say instead of extending unemployment benefits for another 13 months, let’s just extend them through winter. We should take care of the American people through what may be some very hard times in the winter. Coming into the spring, we have got to come up with the right kind of economic policies that spur growth.”

Sing it with me: “The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow…” oh what’s that? You don’t have a bottom dollar? Oh. Bummer.

On Offshore Oil Drilling:

Energy experts say offshore drilling would have little impact on gas prices. But West said more drilling would make the nation less dependent on foreign supplies and no longer compelled to “send money to people [abroad] who want to see us killed.”

He brushed off the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last summer as “an isolated incident.” Rather than push rigs into deeper waters, West wants to bring them close to shore.

“We need to make sure it’s close enough so we don’t have what happened in the Gulf, where [the leaking well] was so deep we couldn’t get out there and take the emergency procedures to rectify that type of spill.”

Yeah! With drilling closer to shore it’s just a matter of a quicker clean-up! That way you can just scrape it off the beach without the wait.

Oh, but wait. If drilling closer to shore makes us less dependent on those who want to see us killed, and those who want to see us killed are now in Mexico as Rep. West now claims, how does that work exactly?

Perhaps these “solutions” of West’s are some of the reason why he is on the list of “vulnerable seats” in the House already after less than one month on the job.

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Yesterday the U.S. House voted to abolish public financing for presidential campaigns.

Democrat Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) proposed an amendment to the bill saying “it would have safeguarded our security funds for local law enforcement.” She was referring to the security budget for the upcoming 2012 Republican convention in her city, Tampa, Florida. She went on to say:

“I’m waving some red flags here with the help of my hometown to say this is expensive and we’re going to fight tooth and nail to have it covered,” she told the Buzz. “We’re not going to have the local taxpayers foot that bill.”

Well, her amendment was quickly killed, the voting commenced, and abolished public financing.

Voting in favor of the bill was Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL). Well, later in the day, the following details came out concerning Rep. Bilirakis:

A spokesman for Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, notes that the lawmaker has been working with the governor’s office to get the convention designated as a National Special Security Event and obtain federal funding that way.

“Rep. Bilirakis is acutely aware of the security needs of the upcoming political conventions, especially in the aftermath of the Rep. (Gabrielle) Giffords shooting,” Creighton Welch said.

So Rep. Bilirakis gets to vote “against the cake” but eat it too.

Sounds like a big old slice of hypocrisy to me. But then Rep. Bilirakis is an old pro in that department. Just check his Twitter feed sometime for starters.

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“I’m opposed to giving people money for doing nothing.”

-Newt Gingrich, in South Carolina last week addressing the issue of unemployment benefits.

That’s a loaded quote, especially coming from a member of today’s Republican Party.

Gingrich was “testing the waters” on a possible Presidential run in 2012 with his speech. Wow. I’m sure he really won the crowd over! What’s not to love when someone like Gingrich implies that those collecting unemployment are lazy in a state where the unemployment rate is 10.6 percent?

Not only that, but think about his statement for a minute:

“I’m opposed to giving people money for doing nothing.”

If that’s the case, why is he in favor of those tax cuts for the top 2 percent of the wealthiest among us? He wants to give them a tax cut because they make over $250,000 a year. Isn’t that “giving people money for doing nothing” beyond making $249,000?

How about this? Republicans in Congress have done absolutely nothing for the past two years of Obama’s presidency, aside from merely showing up (well, most of the time) and saying “NO!” The last time I checked, they still earned a salary. The other day Mitch McConnell said if Obama thought the last two years of Republicans doing nothing were bad, to just wait as they were going to get worse. If they’re going to spend the next two years doing nothing but creating havoc and mucking things up with obstructionist tactics, do we still have to pay them for doing so?

But then Newt Gingrich knows of what he speaks. He’s an expert at getting paid for doing nothing. He just threatens to run for President every few years and the right-wing and the gullible empty their pockets for him. Why not do it all over again now and bash the unemployed while he’s at it?

Nice work if you can get it.

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Yesterday was a banner day for Republicans in Congress. It was also a defining moment for the Party as a whole.

After eight years of marching in lockstep with the Bush-Cheney Administration on everything from tax cuts for the rich, right on down to lying us into wars and giving the nod to torture, just for starters, they took yet another “stand.”

The party that vowed they would like nothing more than to see our President fail (hence, the country) and that their number one priority is to see that he is a one term President, stooped to new lows yesterday. And yes, low EVEN for them.

In their quest to achieve the only goals in their platform; power and as much money as they can possibly get their greedy hands on, they also vowed to hold their breath like spoiled children until they get what they want: tax cuts for the rich, or as I call them, bailouts and bonuses for millionaires and billionaires. The only difference is when spoiled children hold their breath, they aren’t cutting off the oxygen for their entire family. But eventually children are smart enough to know that holding their breath is a dumb idea.

Not so the Republican Party. They are determined to choke off the oxygen of 98% of the country so that the 2% of the wealthiest may breathe a little easier than they do now. Besides, they have lots of money to spend on things like oxygen tanks, so no worries.

It hasn’t been enough that the Republicans have blown our economy on wars of choice, bank bailouts and yes, tax cuts for the rich, they want more. To prove it they have voted against just about everything that has come before them so far to prove it.  Just to name the most the most recent, yesterday they blocked the chances of the DREAM Act and a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. They blocked the National Defense Authorization Act. The party that goes by the mantra “Support The Troops” and claims only THEY can keep us safe is merely an illusion. They hide behind their flag pins.

Not only do the Republicans refuse to support the very troops, be they gay or otherwise, who are fighting their ginned-up wars, the troops aren’t the only ones they’re using. Yesterday they stooped to a new low. They blocked Democratic legislation to provide medical care for 9/11 first responders.

Let me repeat that:

THEY BLOCKED DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE MEDICAL CARE FOR 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS

This isn’t the first time they’ve blocked it either. This is just the first time they blocked it while also holding its victims for ransom. If some MORE of those victims die in the process, well so be it. These Republicans don’t really care. After all, the so called “War On Terror” is good for their bottom line. Why not squeeze even more out of it while they’re at it?

I’ve heard speculation that when Republicans have more control in Congress next year, they may put forth their own legislation for some of these things they’re voting against now simply in an attempt to look like heroes in the long run. To them that may seem logical. They probably see this as a win since the public seems to have a short memory. Add to that, they have a vested interest in keeping the public stupid and in the dark. That’s what FOX-GOPTV is for after all.

Well sorry GOP. There are a lot of us who have really good memories, and we plan to remind those who don’t every chance we get. Today seems like a good day to start.

So here, along, with Florida’s own Sen. “Stand-In” George LeMieux, are the names of those Republicans who yesterday told 9/11 first responders who breathed in all those toxic fumes nine years ago (those who are still alive) that the price of their bravery is just too high for them to pay.

Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN]
Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]
Sen. Robert Bennett [R, UT]
Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO]
Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA]
Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY]
Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC]
Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA]
Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK]
Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN]
Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]
Sen. Michael Crapo [R, ID]
Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]
Sen. John Ensign [R, NV]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]
Sen. Charles Grassley [R, IA]
Sen. Judd Gregg [R, NH]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]
Sen. Kay Hutchison [R, TX]
Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]
Sen. John Isakson [R, GA]
Sen. Mike Johanns [R, NE]
Sen. Mark Kirk [R, IL]
Sen. Jon Kyl [R, AZ]
Sen. George LeMieux [R, FL]
Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN]
Sen. John McCain [R, AZ]
Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, KY]
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK]
Sen. James Risch [R, ID]
Sen. Pat Roberts [R, KS]
Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]
Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. John Thune [R, SD]
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]
Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

 

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UPDATED BELOW

From the party that claims to be fiscally conservative when it comes to cutting things like Social Security and unemployment benefits, but who think nothing of adding a big ole’ black hole to the deficit to preserve tax cuts for the rich as well as tax breaks for corporations so they can outsource more jobs, there are some new numbers for you to take a peek at.

In Florida, for some unknown reason, a majority of voters chose to elect Rick Scott as the new Governor in spite of his history. Yes, they elected a guy who says he wants to run Florida like a business. Never mind that one business he owned and ran holds a record for the largest fines in Medicare fraud. Even overlooking that, this is a guy who wants to cut everything from state employees pay to Medicaid, and seems to think that stimulus money for things like high-speed rail should be turned down in spite of the jobs those projects would create in Florida.

On the other hand, he recently gave a private speech to unveil his agenda to businesses, not voters or the press. Not that it was a total surprise that he wants to give big businesses a tax break, freeze state business regulations, sympathizes with the insurance companies “hardships” due to the slow hurricane seasons of the past few years, wants to protect doctors from lawsuits, and wants to hand over just about everything else to the private sector like education and Medicaid. (Shocking, that last one, huh?)

Yes, he is absolutely Mr. Fiscal Responsibility! Except when he isn’t.

With unemployment so high in Florida, foreclosures through the roof, literally, among our other problems, and with an “Outsider” Governor who plans to practically cut everything that won’t turn a profit for private businesses, you would think that something like a Governor’s inauguration might be a somewhat modest affair.

But you would be wrong:

Scott is now soliciting donations of up to $25,000 to pay for his inauguration. Price of admission to the ball: $95 per person, a hair less than the $100 ticket price that had been set initially for Crist’s ball in 2007, after the self-proclaimed “People’s Governor” had campaigned on a populist message to lower property insurance rates and tax bills. Crist took a shellacking in the press for soliciting donations as high as $500,000 before deciding in December to scrap the ball, return the biggest checks and lower the donation threshold to $10,000

Yes, Rick the “Outsider” has even outdone Charlie the “Most Definitely An Insider” Crist when it comes to the lavish affair of an inauguration. Not to worry though, Eddie Haskell’s inaugural committee has a perfectly good explanation for those high-priced donations:

“The people of Florida have plenty to celebrate with the inauguration of our state’s new governor, Rick Scott, including the implementation of an aggressive jobs plan and a new focus on revitalizing the state’s economy. Floridians are invited to participate in the inaugural festivities, many free and open to the public, as Rick Scott prepares to forge a new path towards prosperity for all Floridians.

Again, see my translation for “jobs plan and revitalizing the economy-speak” above.

“The Inaugural Committee is organizing a dozen events in Tallahassee on Jan. 3 and 4 surrounding the official swearing in ceremony, many of them free and open to the public. These events will be funded through the generosity of private contributors (contributions are capped at $25,000). All proceeds, after costs have been paid, will go to an organization the Governor Elect is very excited to partner with and we look forward to making that announcement in the coming days.”

How thoughtful. Free events so that the small-folk may grovel and give thanks to our scary new Gov., just to name a few:

  • “Tribute To The First Lady.” (We don’t know her, but I guess a tribute will make her feel like….royalty?)
  • “Salute to Women In Leadership Breakfast (You may now salute those two women you also elected, Pam-Health-Care-Not-So-Fast-Bondi and Jennifer-I-Didn’t-Care-For-Scott-Until-He-Picked-Me-As-Lt.-Gov.-Carroll.)
  • “Forging A Path To Prosperity Reception” (So you may mingle with the private sector who will perhaps be outsourcing the job you hold now, if you have one.)

Hey, what do you want? They’re free!

UPDATE: The donors list for the inauguration so far can be seen here.

Now let’s take a look at another big event we have coming up in Florida: The 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

In that department, Mr. Big Spender himself, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is doing his best to keep his reputation intact as one who can burn up cash faster than a compulsive gambler on steroids after a six pack of Four Loko in Vegas. Leave it to him to have already thrown $636,800 into the wind since September, and it’s only 2010! That means there’s still plenty of time for him to put the Republicans even further into the red than he already has. (Well, not counting the donations courtesy of Karl Rove, Dick Armey and the Chamber Of Commerce and others from “Whoever” thanks to SCOTUS and the Citizens United ruling.)

No sir, don’t you even suggest that he pace himself! He be da’ man!

Spending through September topped $636,800, according to figures in a report to the Federal Election Commission. That is 18 times the amount spent in a comparable period four years ago.

At a time when Steele and the RNC have come under fire for what critics call financial mismanagement, the convention spending has raised questions about oversight and financial controls inside the committee.

“I can’t imagine what you’d spend $636,000 on at this point,” said David Norcross, a former national committeeman from New Jersey. In 2004, Norcross chaired the RNC’s Committee on Arrangements, which oversees national conventions. “Is it possible that it’s early spending that would have to take place anyway? It’s possible, but I can’t imagine what it would be.”

Lucky for Mr. Norcross and others in the party, there’s plenty of time left for them to exercise their imagination while they watch Steele make many more of those dollars disappear between now and the summer of 2012, or before they find a new chairman. Whichever comes first.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the Republicans are putting everything, including extending unemployment benefits, and our national security on the back burner while they do whatever it takes to make sure those Bush tax cuts for the rich don’t expire.

You see, the Republican-Tea Bagger Party really ARE fiscally responsible. It’s all about priorities. Gaining wealth while “gaming” elections just happen to be at the top of their list. There’s your “fiscal.”

They just choose to shift the “responsibility” part of the equation to you and me.

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