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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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“Where are the jobs!?”

Yes, that was the rallying cry from John Boehner and many of his Grand Obstructionist Party colleagues in the run up to the election. They were interested in “listening to the American people” who wanted jobs, plain and simple.

So after they won, are they listening? Uh…..that would be NO! (What else did you expect from the party that brought you nothing but “no” for the past two years?) If you’re a Republican and you voted for the Republicans again because you believed them, well I would suggest you look up the definition of insanity. On the other hand, if you’re a Democrat and you voted for them in protest because Obama and the Democrats weren’t performing magic in righting the wrongs of the last eight years under Bush/Cheney rule overnight, well, you sure showed THEM!

The question of “where are the jobs” magically disappeared from the “Orange One’s” lips the day after the election, and instead became “where are the tax breaks for myself and my millionaire friends?” Never mind that WE should be asking the Republicans where those jobs have been for the last 10 years, as they claim that tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires “create jobs.” So, yes, where are they?

Crickets.

They haven’t been listening, and they won’t start now. Polls show that a majority of Americans don’t want to Bush tax cuts (dare I say “bonuses”) which will put the deficit deeper into a black hole than it already is, extended. What’s more, a majority of REPUBLICANS don’t want them extended. But are the Republicans listening to that? Hello John Boehner?

Crickets.

Not only aren’t they listening, they just don’t care. Furthermore, those who really are asking “where are the jobs?” and are currently unemployed, some who lost their benefits last week, and some whose will run out this month, are in dire need of an extension, since companies are hoarding cash but aren’t hiring. (Hmm, I wonder why that is?) To those folks, the GOP says “tough.” Rather, they are saying if you don’t extend the Bush tax cuts for those hoarding all that money already, no unemployment extensions.

Crickets.

No, our newly emboldened Republicans are now saying that we have to “negotiate” for things like those unemployment benefits and things like, oh, say, NATIONAL SECURITY. For the price of tax breaks for people who have more money than they know what to do with ALREADY.

We. Have. To. Negotiate. Unfortunately they went even further over the weekend and even voted against the tax cuts they asked for in the first place. Just for spite? Just to make the Democrats and Obama look bad? Just so they could be the heros who will ride in and get the extensions later on? Feel free to speculate all you want.

Anywhere else but in the present Congress of the United States of America this would be called extortion.

At the rate we’re going, those rich folks who are about to be made even richer thanks to the Republicans who are holding the rest of the country hostage, will be forced to spend a little of that cash on infrastructure. I’m guessing they’re going to have to build some pretty tall fences to keep out the remaining 98% of the country whom they’ve cut off when things start to get more desperate in the near future.

Of course, then they’ll need someone to build those fences for them. I guess that’s what they mean when they say those tax cuts for billionaires lead to job creation:

“Help Wanted.”

Good luck with that.

 

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UPDATE WITH VIDEO BELOW

Here is another reason I will miss Alan Grayson (D-FL).

This is some of what Rep. Grayson had to say about the Bush tax cuts yesterday on the House floor:

Mr. Grayson asserted that Republicans wanted to preserve the lower Bush-era income tax rates in part to benefit talk-show celebrities, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who generally support the Republican Party. Mr. Grayson showed posters of each man, with their estimated annual income and the amount of tax savings that they supposedly get from the lower rates.

But Mr. Grayson also had another target: Former President George W. Bush, who Mr. Grayson said, continues to benefit personally from his namesake tax cuts and would also benefit from their continuation.

“George W. Bush makes a cool $4.2 million a year, according to Newsweek,” Mr. Grayson said in his speech. “That means that extending the Bush tax cuts for George Bush means an extra $187,000 in his pocket every single year.”

“I have a better idea,” Mr. Grayson proclaimed. “Instead of placating these people and letting them spew out onto the airwaves their lies about the Bush tax cuts without ever revealing the fact that they stand to gain millions, millions of dollars each year from their selfish desire to take advantage of the rest of America, let’s do this: let’s take that money and create jobs.”

He added, “I think that’s a better idea than stuffing even more money into the pockets of the rich. Because the problem in America today is not that the poor have too much money. That’s not the problem at all. It’s that they need jobs.”

Thank you Rep, Grayson.

You will be missed.

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Yesterday in the U. S. House, 234 members voted in favor of tax cuts for the middle class only, while 188 voted against middle class tax cuts because they didn’t include those with incomes of $250,000 or more.

Below is the breakdown of votes:

 

Democrats who voted against (Florida members in bold):

 

Rep. Brian Baird [D, WA-3]

Rep. Dan Boren [D, OK-2]

Rep. Kathleen Dahlkemper [D, PA-3]

Rep. Artur Davis [D, AL-7]

Rep. Lloyd Doggett [D, TX-25]

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin [D, SD-0]

Rep. Ron Klein [D, FL-22]

Rep. Jim Matheson [D, UT-2]

Rep. Mike McIntyre [D, NC-7]

Rep. Michael McMahon [D, NY-13]

Rep. Jerry McNerney [D, CA-11]

Rep. Walter Minnick [D, ID-1]

Rep. Gwen Moore [D, WI-4]

Rep. James Moran [D, VA-8]

Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7]

Rep. Earl Pomeroy [D, ND-0]

Rep. Robert Scott [D, VA-3]

Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4]

Rep. Michael Thompson [D, CA-1]

Rep. Peter Visclosky [D, IN-1]

Republicans who voted against (Florida in bold):

Rep. Robert Aderholt [R, AL-4]

Rep. Todd Akin [R, MO-2]

Rep. Rodney Alexander [R, LA-5]

Rep. Steve Austria [R, OH-7]

Rep. Spencer Bachus [R, AL-6]

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett [R, MD-6]

Rep. Joe Barton [R, TX-6]

Rep. Judy Biggert [R, IL-13]

Rep. Brian Bilbray [R, CA-50]

Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R, FL-9]

Rep. Rob Bishop [R, UT-1]

Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R, TN-7]

Rep. Roy Blunt [R, MO-7]

Rep. John Boehner [R, OH-8]

Rep. Jo Bonner [R, AL-1]

Rep. Mary Bono Mack [R, CA-45]

Rep. John Boozman [R, AR-3]

Rep. Charles Boustany [R, LA-7]

Rep. Kevin Brady [R, TX-8]

Rep. Paul Broun [R, GA-10]

Rep. Henry Brown [R, SC-1]

Rep. Vern Buchanan [R, FL-13]

Rep. Michael Burgess [R, TX-26]

Rep. Dan Burton [R, IN-5]

Rep. Ken Calvert [R, CA-44]

Rep. David Camp [R, MI-4]

Rep. John Campbell [R, CA-48]

Rep. Eric Cantor [R, VA-7]

Rep. Anh Cao [R, LA-2]

Rep. Shelley Capito [R, WV-2]

Rep. John Carter [R, TX-31]

Rep. Bill Cassidy [R, LA-6]

Rep. Michael Castle [R, DE-0]

Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R, UT-3]

Rep. Howard Coble [R, NC-6]

Rep. Mike Coffman [R, CO-6]

Rep. Tom Cole [R, OK-4]

Rep. Michael Conaway [R, TX-11]

Rep. Ander Crenshaw [R, FL-4]

Rep. John Culberson [R, TX-7]

Rep. Geoff Davis [R, KY-4]

Rep. Charles Dent [R, PA-15]

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart [R, FL-21]

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R, FL-25]

Rep. Charles Djou [R, HI-1]

Rep. David Dreier [R, CA-26]

Rep. Vernon Ehlers [R, MI-3]

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson [R, MO-8]

Rep. Jeff Flake [R, AZ-6]

Rep. John Fleming [R, LA-4]

Rep. Randy Forbes [R, VA-4]

Rep. Jeffrey Fortenberry [R, NE-1]

Rep. Virginia Foxx [R, NC-5]

Rep. Trent Franks [R, AZ-2]

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen [R, NJ-11]

Rep. Elton Gallegly [R, CA-24]

Rep. Scott Garrett [R, NJ-5]

Rep. Jim Gerlach [R, PA-6]

Rep. John Gingrey [R, GA-11]

Rep. Louis Gohmert [R, TX-1]

Rep. Robert Goodlatte [R, VA-6]

Rep. Kay Granger [R, TX-12]

Rep. Samuel Graves [R, MO-6]

Rep. Tom Graves [R, GA-9]

Rep. Parker Griffith [R, AL-5]

Rep. Brett Guthrie [R, KY-2]

Rep. Ralph Hall [R, TX-4]

Rep. Gregg Harper [R, MS-3]

Rep. Doc Hastings [R, WA-4]

Rep. Dean Heller [R, NV-2]

Rep. Jeb Hensarling [R, TX-5]

Rep. Walter Herger [R, CA-2]

Rep. Peter Hoekstra [R, MI-2]

Rep. Duncan Hunter [R, CA-52]

Rep. Bob Inglis [R, SC-4]

Rep. Darrell Issa [R, CA-49]

Rep. Lynn Jenkins [R, KS-2]

Rep. Samuel Johnson [R, TX-3]

Rep. Timothy Johnson [R, IL-15]

Rep. Jim Jordan [R, OH-4]

Rep. Steve King [R, IA-5]

Rep. Peter King [R, NY-3]

Rep. Jack Kingston [R, GA-1]

Rep. John Kline [R, MN-2]

Rep. Doug Lamborn [R, CO-5]

Rep. Leonard Lance [R, NJ-7]

Rep. Thomas Latham [R, IA-4]

Rep. Steven LaTourette [R, OH-14]

Rep. Robert Latta [R, OH-5]

Rep. Christopher Lee [R, NY-26]

Rep. Jerry Lewis [R, CA-41]

Rep. John Linder [R, GA-7]

Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R, NJ-2]

Rep. Frank Lucas [R, OK-3]

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer [R, MO-9]

Rep. Cynthia Lummis [R, WY-0]

Rep. Daniel Lungren [R, CA-3]

Rep. Connie Mack [R, FL-14]

Rep. Donald Manzullo [R, IL-16]

Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R, CA-22]

Rep. Michael McCaul [R, TX-10]

Rep. Tom McClintock [R, CA-4]

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R, MI-11]

Rep. Patrick McHenry [R, NC-10]

Rep. Howard McKeon [R, CA-25]

Rep. John Mica [R, FL-7]

Rep. Jeff Miller [R, FL-1]

Rep. Candice Miller [R, MI-10]

Rep. Gary Miller [R, CA-42]

Rep. Jerry Moran [R, KS-1]

Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA-18]

Rep. Sue Myrick [R, NC-9]

Rep. Randy Neugebauer [R, TX-19]

Rep. Devin Nunes [R, CA-21]

Rep. Pete Olson [R, TX-22]

Rep. Erik Paulsen [R, MN-3]

Rep. Mike Pence [R, IN-6]

Rep. Thomas Petri [R, WI-6]

Rep. Joseph Pitts [R, PA-16]

Rep. Todd Platts [R, PA-19]

Rep. Ted Poe [R, TX-2]

Rep. Bill Posey [R, FL-15]

Rep. Tom Price [R, GA-6]

Rep. George Radanovich [R, CA-19]

Rep. Tom Reed [R, NY-29]

Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R, MT-0]

Rep. Dave Reichert [R, WA-8]

Rep. Phil Roe [R, TN-1]

Rep. Michael Rogers [R, AL-3]

Rep. Michael Rogers [R, MI-8]

Rep. Harold Rogers [R, KY-5]

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R, CA-46]

Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16]

Rep. Peter Roskam [R, IL-6]

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-18]

Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-40]

Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1]

Rep. Steve Scalise [R, LA-1]

Rep. Jean Schmidt [R, OH-2]

Rep. Aaron Schock [R, IL-18]

Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R, WI-5]

Rep. Peter Sessions [R, TX-32]

Rep. John Shadegg [R, AZ-3]

Rep. John Shimkus [R, IL-19]

Rep. William Shuster [R, PA-9]

Rep. Michael Simpson [R, ID-2]

Rep. Adrian Smith [R, NE-3]

Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21]

Rep. Christopher Smith [R, NJ-4]

Rep. Clifford Stearns [R, FL-6]

Rep. Marlin Stutzman [R, IN-3]

Rep. John Sullivan [R, OK-1]

Rep. Lee Terry [R, NE-2]

Rep. Glenn Thompson [R, PA-5]

Rep. William Thornberry [R, TX-13]

Rep. Todd Tiahrt [R, KS-4]

Rep. Patrick Tiberi [R, OH-12]

Rep. Michael Turner [R, OH-3]

Rep. Frederick Upton [R, MI-6]

Rep. Greg Walden [R, OR-2]

Rep. Zach Wamp [R, TN-3]

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland [R, GA-3]

Rep. Edward Whitfield [R, KY-1]

Rep. Addison Wilson [R, SC-2]

Rep. Rob Wittman [R, VA-1]

Rep. Frank Wolf [R, VA-10]

Rep. Donald Young [R, AK-0]

Rep. Bill Young [R, FL-10]


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More hypocrisy from the Tea Party who run on cutting government spending. The Tea Party Caucus in the 111th Congress have requested $1 billion in earmarks. From a report based on research from Citizens Against Government Waste, among those Tea Baggers are three Republican Congressmen from Florida:

  • Rep. Gus Bilirakis             $13,600,000
  • Rep. Ander Crenshaw     $54,424,000
  • Rep. Cliff Stearns               $15,472,000

As for Rep. Bilirakis, he’s been vocal about those tax cuts for the rich, which will be voted on this afternoon. He, along with other members of the party have been using misinformation to claim this is really raising taxes and killing jobs. Of course, as we all know, this is absolutely untrue. The tax cuts they want extended are for those making $250,000 or more along with those for the middle class. They won’t allow middle class tax cuts to be extended unless those for the rich are as well.

I guess “fiscal responsibility” all depends on your perspective.

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Sen. “Stand-In” George LeMieux (R-FL) is nearing the end of his career as a placeholder for incoming Sen. Marco Rubio, but he won’t be leaving without doing as much damage as possible in the ongoing GOP War on Americans, in which he is an eager participant. Usually Sen. LeMieux can be found almost daily nagging every move President Obama and the Democrats make via Twitter, and his skill with stretching the imagination is quite something to behold.

When he isn’t nitpicking on Twitter he can be found in the Senate where he can do actual damage rather than merely gossiping, and there his skills are more akin to hostage taking. His pet issue for months has been the same of his Grand Obstructionist Party colleagues: tax cuts for the rich, or the “Millionaire Bailout,” because let’s face it, that’s what pretty much what it amounts to. LeMieux has been brazenly vocal in this department. In October, he cut off unemployment benefits because he didn’t get those tax cuts, claiming that they were really (and stop me if you’ve heard this fiction before) “tax hikes” and going further to say that while unemployment benefits would be nice, he just couldn’t allow them:

“While we’re all certainly sympathetic and want to work to make people go back to work — my home state of Florida certainly suffering with very high unemployment — we need to know how we’re going to pay for it so we don’t put this debt on our children and grandchildren.”

Tax cuts which aren’t paid for however, are another thing entirely to Sen. Stand-In. The unemployed will have to suffer at the feet of penny pinchers like him and settle for dumpster diving for dinner if he and his millionaire friends can’t dine on say, caviar.

Well,  George won’t be leaving without at least one more hostage crisis. This time it’s the DREAM Act. He’s been dancing around that issue for a while with mixed messages as to why he won’t vote in favor of it. Recently his reason for voting against it was to “secure the border first.” Now he’s gone back to the party line excuse, one he knows well, and the Senate Majority Leader’s office is taking notice:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Hispanic media spokesman, José Dante Parra, is accusing George LeMieux — a target of Dream Act activists — with coming up with different reasons for voting against the measure.

“It is unfortunate that Sen. Lemieux continues to move the goal posts on a bill as critical as the DREAM Act,” Parra said in an e-mail. “He has raised concerns throughout the past months on border security and procedure around the DREAM Act, and all of those concerns have been addressed.”

“Now, Sen. Lemieux has signed a letter released by Republican leadership vowing to block all legislation in the Senate including DREAM, unless we first give tax cuts to the rich,” Parra said. Our overstretched military cannot wait any longer to have access to quality recruits who want to defend their country. Our economy cannot afford to lose the talent of students who would spur economic growth with their work and by paying taxes. We hope Sen. Lemieux will consider the benefits to our country and support this bill based on its merits, not the obstruction of his leadership.”

I think they needn’t hold their breathe waiting around for LeMieux to do the right thing. He’s been a willing puppet for the GOP, starting with selling out the man who sent him to the Senate in the first place, Charlie Crist, and doing so faster than you can say “Wall Street Fundraiser.”

Now he’ll go out with one last group of hostages, students who indeed have a dream which he’ll gladly strip away.

If George LeMieux and the Republicans can’t get that Millionaire Bailout that they so desperately want, then LeMieux has just one thing to say to them:

Dream on.

 

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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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