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Gov. Rick Scott spoke by phone with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker today (if it was really Gov. Walker, of course.) but according to the Palm Beach Post, Scott didn’t reveal much about the call:

Scott earlier in the day also spoke briefly by phone with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose pension overhaul and bid to end collective bargaining for public employees has spawned days of protests and a walkout by Senate Democrats.

“I talked to him about how he’s doing, I’m sure it’s tough,” said Scott, who plans to leave Thursday this weekend’s Republican Governors Association meeting.

”He’s not going to be able to come,” Scott said of his Badger State bro.

Yeah, it’s tough for poor Gov. Walker. Imagine, taking all that money and handing it over as corporate tax cuts while teachers and other public workers won’t sit back and allow their collective bargaining rights be taken away along with their pay cuts in return. The nerve! Human rights? Pshaw. Think how tough that’s been….for Gov. Walker.

No mention of Gov. Walker’s earlier conversation with fake David Koch yesterday, specifically this part:

“I talk to Kasich every day. John’s going to stand firm in Ohio. I think we do the same thing with Rick Scott in Florida. I think (Rick) Snyder, if he got a little support, could do the same thing in Michigan. I think if you go down the list, a lot of us new governors got elected to something big. “

Something big. Like say, destroying the middle class big? If so then, yes, we’ve noticed that. It seems to be a pattern. Too bad it isn’t working out the way they’d planned. People are funny when you strip away their livelihood and their rights. Who knew it would turn out this way?

The other thing in that phone call that was revealed was the mention of the upcoming long weekend at the Republican Governor’s Association meeting. Too bad poor Gov. Walker won’t be able to make it, as Gov. Scott lamented. After all, he’ll miss the next part of the plot when the Governors double down on their next plan of attack. Although, it’s not like the old days. We have technology now that will allow Gov. Walker to be there without really being there. Perhaps they can do a conference call or something. Think Gov. Walker will be up for that? OK, maybe if they use a secret password? Let me think.

Oh here’s one: “Sucker.”

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If you haven’t seen this video yet, you should take the time to watch, because what’s going on now in Wisconsin and may play out in other states as well is not about state deficits or budget cuts. It’s about union-busting and the power that goes with it. Breaking the unions is a stepping stone to that “permanent Republican majority” that the GOP have been working towards for years. It’s also about the money that the Citizens United ruling allowed to flow directly to the Republicans, and the corporations that are throwing it at them. And they’re not going to stop. It’s about plutocracy.

Just look at what Republicans are doing now. Redefining rape, de-funding health care, draconian laws against women, abortion, pushing for laws that make the killing of abortion doctors “justifiable homicide,” guns in schools, churches and bars, deregulating everything like big polluters, oil companies, repealing laws from the FDA, EPA, FAA, and these are just a few. Do you really want Republicans who are puppets to corporate rule to have a permanent majority? Look what happened in Arizona. They’re willing to do just about anything to get there, and trashing the country is of no concern to them. Just like John Boehner shrugged off job losses, they’re willing to trash the very Democracy they claim to love so much:

“So be it.”

They. Don’t. Care.

Watch this video below from Rachel Maddow and pass it along.

You can also read this piece for more background on what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is really doing from Ezra Klein. Pass it along too.

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Take This Door And Shove It?

 

Well, he DID say “these doors are open.”

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, the self-proclaimed “open door policy” man and champion of tightening everyone’s belt but his own, has a brand new website! (And no, I don’t mean the new Mike Haridopolos Fan Site Florida Senate website.) It’s quite fitting for the guy who seems to aspire to personify the smarmiest character ever played by his lookalike William Devane.

No, the website DirtyHari.org is completely devoted to “opening the doors” to Haridopolos in all his hypocritical glory, and chronicles everything from those “silly” overlooked financial disclosures right down to every last measure  he voted to ban and subsequently sidestepped.

The new site was launched yesterday by Progress Florida and Florida Watch Action:

The site serves as an exposé “devoted to holding Senate President Mike Haridopolos accountable to the people of Florida, not just the banks, utilities, oil companies, HMO’s, big developers, and other corporate special interests who bankrolled his state senate campaign and rise to leadership.”

In conjunction with the site release, today at 11:00 AM members of Organize Now delivered hand sanitizer to attendees of a $10,000 a plate “private strategy meeting” in Orlando where Haridopolos was discussing his candidacy for the US Senate election in 2012 with wealthy supporters.  “Our message is simple: Sen. Haridopolos needs to clean up his act,” said Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director of Progress Florida.

That “sanitized” private strategy meeting reportedly raised $1 million for the U. S. Senate campaign that Haridopolos jumped into in less time than it took to remove those office doors after he was sworn in as Florida Senate President, the job which, according to Saint Petersblog,  Haridopolos told the crowd was his “political priority at least through the spring.” Just the type of statement you would expect from one of the elected officials who seek to thwart the will of the Florida voters who have the nerve to demand fair elections. Surely voters didn’t expect him to actually DO the job he was elected to?

If ever we needed to restore a little “Sunshine” to Florida’s ethically challenged backdoor politics it’s now when we have Gov. who ignores the people AND the press, and a Senate President with only part-term priorities who rips down office doors for the cameras, then holds his meetings privately in the president’s box at football games, the Governor’s mansion, and who knows where else?

Haridopolos didn’t want those office doors?

If he wasn’t “unhinged” before, he certainly is now.

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In the wake of the ruling yesterday by Florida Judge Roger Vinson against the Affordable Care Act as “unconstitutional,” the Republican Party is absolutely beside itself with joy and cheering that the health care law is now all but defeated. Nothing to see here, move along. But as they happily bow at the feet of the health insurance companies and the lobbyists that they serve, let’s put some of this into the perspective of reality for a moment.

Yes, the ruling was troubling for those who were going to benefit from it with affordable health care that has eluded their grasp for so long. Yes, the ruling is just what the health insurance companies ordered over the recommendations of actual doctors, which is also the point. But is the Affordable Care Act really “over” as many are running victory laps are predicting? No, not necessarily. I will defer to those with more expertise on the many details of the ruling and the law like Ezra Klein does so well here.

But there’s one little thing I would like to point out here. After the ruling came out yesterday every Republican official in Florida was racing to be the first to declare the ACA a defeat and the true death panels, the health insurance companies and the Republicans who carry out their wishes, the clear winners. From our newly elected Gov. Rick “Who was Never Charged With Medicare Fraud” Scott, right down to every local Tea Bagger wannabe GOP involved in government in any way, they all rushed to crow about the ruling.

One in particular gave me pause. Newly elected Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. In her news release declaring victory, she said this:

“Today’s ruling by Judge Vinson is an important victory for every person who believes in the freedoms granted to us by our Constitution,” said Attorney General Bondi. “This proves that the federal government requiring Americans to purchase health insurance is in fact unconstitutional. In addition, the bipartisan effort from Attorneys General across the country shows the federal government that we will not back down from protecting the constitutional rights of our citizens.”

Really? This proves that the federal government requiring Americans to purchase health insurance is in fact unconstitutional.” Actually it “proves” no such thing. (Perhaps we should ask for proof of Bondi’s law degree.) What it “proves” is that one more Republican judge ruled against it. Two Democratic judges also upheld the ACA. Yet Bondi needs no more proof than this one ruling. She’s good! Thanks for playing!
That aside, it also shows that the The Family Research Council and the religious right found a judge who agrees with them so much that he used some of the very language in that ruling that they use. What a coincidence, huh?
Even beyond that, it appears that groups like The Family Research Council (also branded as a hate group by the SPLC, mind you) can have great influence on judges. Furthermore, it also appears that the religious right and The Tea Party and their corporate funders with big pockets also have “great influence”  in elections, thanks to that other court ruling: Citizens United.
Of course, there’s no “proof” of that, it just looks that way.  But hey, what do I know? I’m no Attorney General.

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Well, here’s something you don’t see every day, an “honest” Republican. So honest in fact that he’s leaving the Party, but not before he states his reasons in a column published in the Tallahassee Democrat. He’s former Florida Rep. Randy Ball of Miami, and former criminal justice adviser for former Gov. Charlie Crist who left before new Gov. Rick Scott had a chance to ask him to resign.

As for his reasons? Well, his words speak for themselves:

“Republican leaders live in a fairy land where everything good — sunshine and bright blue skies, leprechauns and laughing daffodils — is bestowed by the wise Republican king, while everything bad — mold, dark nights and dragons — is inflicted by the Democrats and their snow queen,” Ball writes. “The dark must be thrown back, the evil crushed. And Republicans in their gleaming armor are the ones to do it. By golly, we will not vote for a Mother’s Day resolution if a Democrat submits it!”

Not only would Republicans “not vote for a Mother’s Day resolution if  Democrat submits it,” they would even go so far as to redefine rape to restrict abortions which are already restricted under existing federal law (and convince at least one Democrat to go along with them.) Let’s hope those “wise Republican kings” never have to face the consequences of this law they want to impose on “Mom” and all women.

To Randy Ball, I’ve got to say this: good call.

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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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