Archive for the ‘Marco Rubio (R-West Miami)’ Category

It was on his official schedule last night, but today it’s apparently been deleted from his website. Gov. Rick Scott will reportedly be chatting it up with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker today on the phone from 5:15 – 5:45 p.m. (Gosh, I wonder if either of them will try to verify that they’re actually talking to the “real” Gov. first? That might be a wise idea.) Gosh, I wonder what they’ll talk about? Will one of the “real” Koch brothers be on the line with them? After all, the Koch’s do have ties to Gov. Scott and his high-speed rail sabotage plan, who knows what else they might be up to?

Yesterday Gov. Scott said this about unions and collective bargaining:

“My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine,” Scott said in an interview with Tallahassee’s WFLA FM radio station.

Sure, whatever. Of course if you know anything about Gov. Scott, you can take your chances that he means it, but I for one don’t buy it. Especially when the Florida Legislature is already working on the unions.

Sen. John Thrasher, former state GOP chairman, looks like he has filed a bill (SB830) to starve unions like the Florida Education Association, SEIU, AFL-CIO, firefighters, police unions or AFSCME by banning the Democratic-leaning organizations from using salary deductions for political purposes. The legislation also says any “public employer may not deduct or collect” union dues, etc. Lastly, it says that any public employee who didn’t specifically authorize the use of his money could be entitled to a partial refund.

The bill doesn’t seem to go as far as Wisconsin’s by ending collective bargaining rights in Florida, though in a right-to-work state there’s only so much union bargaining that can take place. Still, the language about union dues sure looks like it’s right out of the playbook of the tea party and Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker (who incidentally is not a high-speed rail fan, either).

Gov. Walker said this about high-speed rail funds in his state last Nov.:

Governor-Elect Scott Walker today released the following statement on high-speed rail:

“Since learning about the state’s agreement with the federal government we have been exploring all legal options to stop the train from moving forward, and we believe this is a step in the right direction.  We are continuing to work with members of congress on redirecting this money to fixing our crumbling roads and bridges.”

Why, that sounds distinctly familiar. That’s kind of what Gov. Scott was expecting to do. But he can’t, because the money must be used toward the high-speed rail project, or it goes elsewhere, and there’s a lot of other states with their hands out just waiting. Scott has until Friday to make a decision.

Meanwhile, back in Tallahassee, now “nationally famous so-called fiscal hero” (we know he is because the media tells us so!) Marco Rubio, the former Tea Party darling, turned U.S. Senator who now shuns Tea Bagger voters who put him in office (but not the Tea Party corporate funders of course), came back to Florida yesterday to talk money with the Florida House. He reportedly spoke with no notes, and no teleprompter, but he really didn’t need to since that speech is burned into his memory. He gives the same one all the time. All he needs is someone to pull his string and he’s off!

“The math is straightforward. The federal government this year, in order to operate, will have to borrow one-and-a-half trillion dollars. – trillion dollars,” Rubio said. “Medicare and Social Security as they currently are structured, is unsustainable,” he said to applause. “They will bankrupt themselves and ultimately bankrupt our country.”

But despite his calls for bipartisan solutions, Rubio gave no specifics and offered standard party-line fare to reduce spending and not raise taxes.

“Apart from all the ideological rhetoric,” he said, “an increase in taxes will destroy the ability of our economy to grow, which will mean less revenue to government. It’s a vicious cycle. They’re starting to doubt about our ability to pay our debt back”

Of course, he gives no specific ideas, but then he never does.

“What I fear most of all is that we have a political process in Washington that is frozen,” he said. “The White House knows this. The congressional leadership knows this. But no one wants to go first because they don’t want to get beaten up about it….

“If we don’t figure this out, none of these politics and elections are going to matter anyway because this country will decline so rapidly that you won’t even recognize it by 20 or 30 years. It’s not going to be a third world country. But it’s not going to be exceptional or unique. Our decline is not inevitable.”

You don’t have to be psychic to see why he was giving this speech, or where he was going with it, but chances are Social Security and Medicare are on Rubio’s mind as well as on the table, but Rubio doesn’t want to “go there first” anymore than he claims other political “chickens” do either, so he didn’t say the words. Wink, wink.
Also from the same article was this:
Prior to his speech, Rubio met privately with Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, all of whom are Republicans. Rubio said he discussed Panamanian and Colombian free-trade issues with Scott and discussed Bondi’s efforts to fight so-called “fake cocaine” sold under the guise as bath salts.
How very secretive of them. Gosh, do you suppose they talked about unions too, along with talking points dolled out by the Koch brothers, and some on health care from the National Federation Of Independent Business, the lobbying group helping to foot the bill for Florida AG Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, AND who gave generously to Bondi’s campaign as well last year and endorsed her?

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told a state House committee this month that most of the rest is being covered by the National Federation of Independent Business, a group that opposes the law because of what it considers unconstitutional costs and regulations on firms and people.

“They have dedicated a tremendous amount of resources to the lawsuit,” Bondi said Feb. 10. “We’re thrilled, because that’s saving our state money. That’s saving the 25 other states money as well.”

Did they discuss these issues along with other ways to bleed Floridians in addition to Gov. Scott’s already draconian budget plans? Maybe they did discuss such things, maybe not. But we’ll never know, because they’ve taken up Gov. Scott’s habit of meeting secretly with only Republicans. The rest of us are just not privy to their plans until it’s too late.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall during this afternoon’s phone call between Gov. Scott Walker and Rick Scott. If they’re really who they say they are.

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Marco Rubio and David Rivera are making their respective debuts as two of the newest members in the House and Senate in Washington. How are they doing? What have they done for you lately? Well, today I thought we should play a little catch up, so here we go.

Tea Party? What Tea Party?

Starting his career in Washington, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-U-Kidding-Me-FL) made news right off the bat by giving a big brush-off to the Tea Party that were largely responsible for putting him there in the first place. When asked if he would now be joining the Tea Party Caucus, Rubio said “not so much.”

“Really what I think the strength of the tea party is that it comes from the grass-roots,” Rubio told a group of Florida reporters Wednesday in an interview in his temporary Senate office. “That it is not a political organization, it’s not something run by politicians or people seeking higher office, but rather it is a movement of every day citizens from all walks of life. That’s the strength of the tea party: that it’s not a political organization run by people out of Washington. My concern is a tea party caucus could intrude on that.”

So in other words, the Tea Baggers are a grass-roots movement to get candidates like Rubio elected, but they shouldn’t necessarily have a voice in policy making in Washington?

“Some activists have taken note of Rubio’s reluctance to join the caucus — which meets for the first time Thursday — and expressed concern; others have said he’ll be judged on how he votes.”

Just how much of an observation the Tea Party will have from their vantage point under his bus remains to be seen, but here’s a hint of things to come. One of his first announcements on Wed. was that he will co-sponsor his first bill, one which will repeal the health care law. So if the Tea Baggers really don’t want a “government takeover” of their health care, well then enjoy the symbolic gesture Rubio made yesterday. In his quest to go backwards, Rubio proves once again that he’s all about talking points and little substance.

“Thanks Mom!”

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio’s bud from South Florida, newly elected Rep. David Rivera (Re-Writing-Disclosure-Forms-FL) is in a bit of a pickle. He has begun his career in the House with lots of “splainin’ to do” over campaign donations, disclosures, “thank-you campaigns,” and hiding behind his mother and godmother’s skirts. It’s quite an involved little tale, so rather than try to bring you up to speed here, I’ll refer you to a couple of timeline summaries:

Investigators look into Rep. Rivera’s `thank you’ spending

Do The Right Thing-Step Aside

Meanwhile, new Republican House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t want so much to get involved. When asked about Rep. Rivera’s “problems” he basically washed his hands of it all.

“As I understand the allegations against Mr. Rivera, they don’t involve any of his congressional service,” Boehner said. “These were activities that took place before he was elected. And I think we’re waiting to see how this plays out.”

When asked similar questions, Marco Rubio said pretty much the same thing, in almost the same words. (Shocking, I know that Rubio would spew mere talking points from the Speaker!)

Rivera’s close friend, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, reacted similarly to Boehner: “I’m aware of the issue that’s out there but when something like that is happening, it’s always appropriate not to just comment on it and let it play itself through.”

So there you go. The month of January and the progress made by two of the newly elected members from the Republican Party of Florida. If you like corruption and going backwards in time, then they’re doing a bang up job, wouldn’t you say?

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) the “Darling Of The Tea Party?” Maybe not so much.

Rubio rose in the Republican Party and on to the U.S. Senate largely by appealing to the Tea Party, with his fiscally conservative mantras (never mind those pesky investigations!) that gained him popularity from Tea Bagger types.

Now that he’s got their votes, it looks as though he, like many of his newly crowned Tea Party colleagues may be abandoning the very constituents he made all those promises to. Just as predicted, his Tea Bagger persona may have begun morphing back into the Republican mold he was fitting himself into all along.

Sorry Tea Baggers, looks like the joke’s on you.

No, Marco Rubio isn’t letting any “grassroots” grow under his feet.

From Politico:

An aide to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told POLITICO that he’s still mulling whether to join the official Tea Party caucus on Capitol Hill.
“Senator Rubio is proud of his relationship with the tea party movement and shares its commitment to tackling the debt, defending the free enterprise system and restoring our limited government tradition,” said Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos. “He simply has not made any decisions about any caucus memberships.”

Shorter Rubio: “Talking point, talking point, hey it’s been great, thanks for the votes and the cash memories! Now excuse me while I join the good old Washington insiders, politics as usual boys club. See you around!”

Wow! Bummer for those of you in the Tea Party, but hey, can’t say we didn’t try to warn you.

It sure looks like you’ve bagged yourself a big ole’ heap of buyer’s remorse.

h/t: Senatus


Also not part of his Tea Party fans plans, there’s this on Afghanistan:

Sen. Marco Rubio spent the weekend in Pakistan and Afghanistan and said he found encouraging signs, but he criticized the Obama administration’s goal of beginning to withdraw U.S. troops this summer.

“I think we are on the timeline this year to have some real good news and make some significant progress,” the Florida Republican said Monday in a conference call with reporters from Kabul. “But I think if you attach a date to it … you are really creating a difficult situation. The bad guys, the Taliban and even al-Qaida, must know all they have to do is wait.”

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If you’re one of the voters who cheered on Republicans who ran on repealing health care reform and you shouted from the rooftop of your voting booth: “BY ALL MEANS. PLEASE TAKE AWAY HEALTH CARE REFORM BENEFITS BEFORE THEY ARE FORCED DOWN MY THROAT!,” then this bit of news may surprise you:

A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.

If the hypocrisy of this article gave you whiplash when you had to do a double take upon reading it, and you don’t have health insurance, I do apologize.

Woe the problematic “28 day delay” of socialized medicine.

Naturally, I can only assume that newly elected and soon to be sworn in GOP Florida Senator Marco Rubio will not only refrain from similar complaints, but will undoubtably refuse his own government health care benefits when they kick in. After all, health care reform was, and is a big no-no, which Rubio vowed to stop at all costs:

I’m sure Rubio won’t mind “doing without” along with the rest of us?

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I thought things were bad last week when Republicans not only won back control of the House, but also took control of my state as well. All election analysis aside, people seem to agree that a lot of voters stayed home rather than vote because this Administration hasn’t moved quickly enough to clean up the mess that eight years of the Bush/Cheney Administration left us with. This made me angry at those voters for being unrealistic in their expectations. I was one of the people who have defended the Obama Administration since day one in spite of compromises with Republicans who don’t deserve them in the least.

I bit my nails and nearly made myself ill watching every minute of the struggle to get a watered down health care reform law passed and cheered for the result we ended up with. I defended Obama when other liberals and progressives complained that it wasn’t good enough. And the health care bill was just one example.

Today what headline did I wake up to?

This one:


I see that President Obama wasn’t kidding when he said he was willing to make compromises with Republicans after his “shellacking” in the election last week.

Now, granted, I’m just an unemployed blogger, but I have to say this to the President and his Administration who seem a bit confused over the results of the election last week:

A large part of the reason you were “shellacked” in the election last week is because you’ve compromised too much in the name of “bipartisanship” already. Much of your base didn’t stay home because they like the Republicans better. If they did they would have voted for them.

So now it sounds as if you are compromising once again.

You’re going to continue to try “bipartisanship” once again.

That’s a shame because the Republicans have no interest in “bipartisanship” or “compromise.” They won’t stop until you completely give in to all their demands. And then they’ll kick you for it in return. Then demand something else.

For the next. Two. Years.

Here in Florida Democrats lost in this election big time. For starters, Alan Grayson who was a rare breed of congressmen who really stood up for working families and tried to do the right thing, lost. He’s the one who said the Republicans health care plan was “Don’t get sick, but if you do, die quickly.” and was chastised for doing so. Well, he was right. The Republicans are proving him right in that they threaten to repeal and replace the health care laws you fought for, and then watered down.

Today David Axelrod says that while you will veto such a repeal, you will “work with people” who “have constructive ideas about how to strengthen” it. Really? And who might that be? It certainly won’t be the Republicans. It won’t be the voters. We have no say in the matter and the closest we get to having any “input” beyond our vote is a request from the Democratic Party for contributions which you won’t use to defend congressmen who will actually make a difference, like Alan Grayson.

Grayson’s opponent Daniel Webster and Marco Rubio, courtesy of SCOTUS and Citizens United via truckloads of undisclosed donations that drowned out the opposition both won. They’re Republicans who want to defeat you and your policies.

Rick Scott, our newly elected Governor spent $73 million dollars of his own money and won, in spite of the fact that the former company he owned and ran was fined $1.7 billion for Medicare fraud.

Yes. Medicare fraud. He’s now the Governor of Florida. He’s a Republican. He also wants to get rid of the health care reform law, but you know that since he was the one who led the fight against it in the first place when he formed Conservatives For Patients’ Rights. He hasn’t changed his position.

He’ll have lots of help with our newly elected Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, who vows to continue to move forward in the lawsuit that was filed along with other states against the health care reform law. She also won courtesy of SCOTUS and Citizens United via truckloads of undisclosed donations and Karl Rove.

They all want the same thing, and it’s NOT compromise or bipartisanship. They want to cut everything, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, and on and on. They also want a permanent Republican government and all the perks and money that come with it at our citizens expense.

Most of them are also millionaires. And now you’re going to sweeten the deal for them. You’re going to give them tax cuts that they don’t need when you could merely sit back and let them expire. This on top of the news yesterday that your “bipartisan” commission recommends drastic cuts to just about every conceivable thing they could come up with that didn’t interfere with incomes over $250,000 and the corporations who are pouring cash into funds used to elect the very people who want to defeat you and cut even more of these so called “entitlements” in order to further devastate what’s left of the middle class and sink this country into an oblivion of debt.

I’ll tell you what entitlements are: Tax cuts for the rich.

Mr. Axelrod says this is the only way the middle class can keep their tax cuts. Wrong. It’s not the only way. It’s the Republican’s way.

Mr. Axelrod says “We have to deal with the world as we find it,” and “The world of what it takes to get this done.” Wrong again. In 2008 I voted for “Change.” I didn’t vote for more of the “world as we find it.” If I wanted that I would have voted for the Republicans.

I voted for the candidate I thought would finally fight for the rights of the American people, and not the incompetent, foolish bullies who are dragging this country into a black hole and taking everyone in it with them.

If you plan to give in and not fight for us this time,  you’ve lost me for good. I won’t be fighting for you any longer.

“The world as we find it” isn’t good enough when there’s a better way. Not again.

Not this time.

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Last night Sarah Palin went to a Christian school in Pennsylvania and made a speech which many today are saying was the framework for a stump speech in her potential run for President in 2012. In the speech she repeatedly used the phrase “American Exceptionalism” in describing what she says is the nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

Will Bunch writes this about Palin’s speech on Philly.com:

“We must continue to build on our Judeo-Christian heritage, and it’s nothing to apologize for,” Palin, hero of the surging tea-party movement and a possible 2012 presidential candidate, told about 700 donors at the Plumstead Christian School, in upper Bucks County.

It was the biggest applause line for Palin, who spoke frequently in her roughly 30-minute speech and a question-and-answer session with students of both the role of faith in her life and political career and of her belief that God should play a greater role in the public square….

….In stressing the notion of “American exceptionalism” – the idea that the United States is fated to be the world’s superpower and moral leader – Palin clearly intended to establish a contrast with Obama, who has sought to strengthen U.S. ties to other nations that were weakened in the Bush years.

Voters in Florida will probably recognize the term “American Exceptionalism” which another candidate here used just as often in his speeches. That would be Marco Rubio. Rubio used it a lot when he was campaigning and pretending to be a Tea Party guy, appealing to voters who want to believe that America is still the greatest country in the world, with or without the religious connotations. He also used it to cozy up with evangelicals, and one in particular last September by the name of David Barton, who endorsed Rubio in the Senate race, along with Republican House candidate Daniel Webster:

Last week Marco Rubio rallied with a group of 200 Evangelicals near Orlando, but there was one in particular that one might want to pay attention to. He is a man named David Barton. Barton, among other things is the man orchestrating the push to change the recent Texas textbook standards by pushing them to the far right, along with assisting in developing the radical Texas constitution. He’s a favorite of the Tea Party movement and has emerged as Glenn Beck’s go-to-guy for all things historical.

Barton’s primary message Wednesday – and most days – is that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation, was intended to be a Christian nation and would be a whole lot better if everyone started buying into that. Barton traces a number of social ills, for example, back to the prohibition of compulsory prayer in public schools.

Barton is an engaging ball of energy, riffing on the Founding Fathers and proclaiming “American Exceptionalism” – a staple of Rubio’s stump speech.

Barton has a habit of bending historical events to suit his Christian worldview, like claiming the separation of church and state is just a “myth.”  Barton also believes that the Center For Disease Control should regulate homosexuality.

That’s right.

He thinks that homosexuality should be regulated because homosexuals “die decades earlier that heterosexuals,” have “an HIV prevalence sixty times higher than the general population,” that they “have Hepatitis B virus five to six times more often and Hepatitis C virus infections about two times more often than the regular population” and they “are less than three percent of the population but they account for sixty-four percent of the syphilis cases.”

“American Exceptionalism” may just mean different things to different people, and in the case of David Barton, there’s a vast array of beliefs under a wide tent from which to choose. I would venture to guess that Sarah Palin herself may not even be familiar with all of Barton’s ideas, not that she would disagree with them. All she cares about is reading the speeches prepared for her by whoever writes them for her and laces them with dog-whistles and red meat for the masses. To her they’re just words strung together that make people chant “run, Sarah, run!”

Her Tea Bagger followers may find that buying into Sarah’s “American Exceptionalism” gets them a lot more than they bargained for.

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Well, we’re down to just a few days before the elections and things are getting a little hectic, so there are a couple of new developments worth mentioning.

And no, as of this writing no one has dropped out of the Senate race. All three candidates, Kendrick Meek, Charlie Crist, and Marco Rubio are still out there roaming the state.

As you know by now, Charlie Crist tried his best to shove Kendrick Meek out of the race, but that’s not happening. The latest word there is that Charlie seems to have gotten a little desperate in his quest. First trying to call Meek around 5:00 A.M on that fateful morning last week and leaving a voice mail, and later cornering a reluctant Meek at an event where they were both speaking and offering Meek an “option” of sorts. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Meek said he tried to avoid Mr. Crist, but as he left the stage, “there he was, right in front of me.”

“He said, ‘If you were to drop out and work with me and help me we together can beat Marco Rubio,’” Mr. Meek recalled. “I said, ‘Governor, that’s a non-starter.’

“Then he dug down into his pocket and pulled a small cross out,” Mr. Meek continued. “He said his sister gave it to him and he wanted to give it to me so I would think about it.”

Feel free to hum a few bars of the theme from the Twilight Zone here.

Of course, Meek had recently rallied with Bill Clinton, who was also rumored to be involved, depending on who you believe, and that caused a little head scratching about why he would campaign for Meek one day, only to try to get him to drop out a couple of days later.

Well, now there’s word that Clinton will make another trip back to campaign with Meek on election-eve in Orlando, where they will also join Alex Sink.

But don’t panic. As crazy as politics are in the Sunshine State at the moment I don’t think Bill Clinton will be asking either Meek or Sink to drop out of their respective races.

Of course, I can’t promise that “Chuckie” Crist won’t be lurking somewhere offstage with a cellphone, cross in hand….

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Fresh from the “dropping out, not dropping out” debacle last night between Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek, not unsurprisingly Marco Rubio is trying to benefit from it all. (Not that there aren’t speculations that the Republicans may have been involved somewhere along the way.) So naturally the  currently “I’m not with the GOP” (I’m you, perhaps?) Rubio comes out with this nugget o’ hypocrisy:

“If you ever needed a reminder of what’s wrong with American politics today this story is a great reminder of back door deals.”

Pardon moi? I couldn’t agree more. Back room deals are a no-no in the minds of voters. But this coming from the king of the back room dealers? His entire career is practically built on back room deals. He’s the one hiding his credit card records, and under investigation by the IRS, not the other two. Of course when you charge personal expenses on Party credit cards that’s understandable.

Take it from the hero of the Taj Mahal, those who make back room deals, like Rubio, ARE indeed what’s wrong with American politics today.

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