Archive for the ‘U.S. Supreme Court’ Category

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

Last Friday the Obama Administration asked U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Pensacola, Florida for a clarification in his recent ruling that a portion of the Affordable Care Act mandate was unconstitutional.

From Bloomberg:

The federal government, in papers filed with Vinson yesterday, asked him to clarify whether that decision relieves the suing states of their rights and obligations under the act while the U.S. pursues an appeal.

“We believe it is important to put to rest any doubts about the ability of states and other parties to continue to implement these critical programs and consumer protections provided under this statute,” Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement announcing the U.S. filing.

Florida’s newly elected Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi doesn’t like this request for a clarification by the Obama Administration at all, so much so that she is “advising” the administration to just “appeal the ruling” already. She accuses the administration of “delaying tactics” by asking for a clarification.

From The Palm Beach Post:

“Department of Justice’s motion to clarify is merely an attempt to delay the process when the order clearly required a halt to implementation,” Bondi said in a statement….

….“Our memorandum states that time is of the essence in this matter, and the Court should deny the defendants’ motion for clarification as well as their thinly disguised request for a stay,” she said. “Everyone knows this case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Department of Justice should join us in seeking an expedited appeals process. This issue is too important for delay, and we urge the
President to file an appeal in the appropriate appellate court, as was done in Virginia and Michigan. It is in the country’s best interest to present this case before the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as possible.”

Bondi certainly seems to be in a hurry to get the case to the Supreme Court, in fact she even sounds a little desperate. Of course the U.S. Supreme Court has some  justices who seem to have what appears to be some “conflict of interest” problems and it’s widely feared that those will interfere with the legal process in the health care ruling. I suppose that could be part of the reason Republicans who want to overturn the law are in a hurry to get it to the Supreme Court.

That being said, what else is Pam Bondi so afraid of? Why the rush? People’s lives are at stake here. Don’t they deserve the very clarification the Obama Administration is requesting? Because the last time I checked, Attorney Generals were elected to serve the people of the Florida. Bondi was not elected to serve those who may have a vested interest in the outcome of rulings against the Affordable Health Care Act and who supported Bondi in her campaign, like the National Federation of Independent Business.

Bondi seems less interested in legalities, and is more selective on which rulings she chooses to follow, basically only the ones that suggest the ACA is unconstitutional. Bondi was just as thrilled with Judge Vinson’s ruling as she was thrilled with all the money the NFIB was throwing into her lawsuit. Where’s the impartiality?

But again, why is Bondi in such a hurry to want the Administration to skip that clarification and just move ahead with a hastened appeal? Perhaps this ruling on Feb. 22 that got little attention in the media had something to do with it:

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler has become the third federal judge to rule that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, and that Congress was within its constitutional authority to regulate health insurance under the Commerce Clause.

“We welcome this ruling, which marks the third time a court has reviewed the Affordable Care Act on the merits and upheld it as constitutional. This court found — as two others have previously — that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable measure for Congress to take in reforming our health care system. At the same time, trial courts in additional cases have dismissed numerous challenges to this law on jurisdictional and other grounds. The Department will continue to vigorously defend this law in ongoing litigation.”

Instead of looking at this ruling, Bondi has chosen to ignore it altogether and instead doubles down in urging President Obama to just forget that whole “clarification” thing and hurry along an appeal so the case can advance quickly to the Supreme Court where Republicans have reason to think they will have a more favorable outcome against the ACA.

So I ask again: just what is Pam Bondi so afraid of?


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After all, why not? It’s Memorial Day!

We’ve passed 40 days and counting of black oil gushing from a blown out well in the Gulf  of Mexico polluting and killing everything in its path, including the Louisiana marshland which contributes to shielding the state from deadly hurricanes, leaving an already vulnerable Katrina battered city of New Orleans with nightmares of what may come this year when the hurricane season starts June 1.

It’s also Memorial Day weekend. One might wonder what these two events happening at the same time might have in common. I’ll tell you.

During Memorial Day weekend, who breaks an unusual silence of almost a month, but a member of the Cheney family. Yes, Liz “Mini-Dick” Cheney appeared this morning on FOX (where else?). Now I know you’re probably saying to yourself “wow, she appeared on Memorial Day weekend to honor the troops? Who’d a thunk it?” Yes THAT would have been something.

But she’s a Cheney, and we all know they avoid (defer) things like serving their country or honoring our servicemen unless they’re using them as a shield or some sick form of guilt-ridden blackmail for squeezing more war $$ from Congress. That’s about the only time you ever hear a member of that family uttering the word “troops.”

No, in this case Mini Dick is making her father quite proud no doubt, because she chose of all weekends, Memorial Day weekend to come out swinging at the White House over a scandal that only the looniest wing of the GOP are still crowing about: the job offer to coincidentally, another veteran Joe Sestak, by way of Bill Clinton. (And what’s not to love that it involves Clinton no less? It’s a two-fer!)

She’s joining the other “right-off-the-cliff” wing of the GOP who have displayed great manufactured outrage over this. Everyone from Joe “The FOX Wannabe” Scarborough and his shoe model sidekick Morning Mimic Mika “Lies Are OK When My Friends (Richard Blumenthal) Tell Them” Brzezinski, to, well, everyone on FOX. Nothing about honoring the military over their sacrifice in her father’s manufactured war. Nope. You’ll hear nothing but crickets in THAT department from the Cheney family.

From Media Matters:

After saying Clinton doesn’t have “an impeccable record of integrity,” Cheney argued: “You know, there’s a lot here that just smells funny. If the White House in fact thought that what they were doing was above board, why did they go to Bill Clinton? Why did they need a cut out for whatever they were doing?”

Yes, Mini Dick is SO outraged that she wants an investigation into the Sestak-Clinton “S-c-a-n-d-a-l.” Investigation? Fine! I say let’s give her one!

But rather than wasting time on the one she’s ringing her hands over, let’s investigate the thing that she’s using Sestak and Clinton to distract us all from: the BP by way of Haliburton oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, and the involvement of the Cheney family in it, shall we? If you’re looking for something that “smells funny” this is it. It smells like a toxic mixture of oil, gas and dispersant, for starters.

I would like for the media, just for once to ignore this women every time she pops up and points her finger at others, and instead focus on the cause and effect of Big Dick and his former “VP” George “W-hat Me Worry” Bush’s involvement in that “minimal damage” BP oil gusher in the Gulf.

For starters, let’s back up a few days, and then we’ll back up a few years.

Here’s my wish list:

The other day I came across an interesting connection. It came in the form of a Florida company hired for the oil spill clean-up here by none other than Gov. Charlie Crist, WRS Compass. This company boasts this on its website:

Now more than ever, business and government entities see a need to “go green.”A new wave of environmental stewardship is sweeping across the nation with an emphasis on resource efficiency, clean land, and a higher quality of life. With nearly 25 years of experience, WRScompass is uniquely positioned to “re-green” the lands of our private and public sector customers and to improve their aging infrastructures.

More than 350,000 contaminated sites have been identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Throughout the U.S., massive water resource projects like the Everglades restoration have been put on the fast track.

WRScompass, with an experienced, highly skilled technical and professional workforce of more than 600, offers the manpower to tackle such environmental challenges. During our quarter century in the environmental and construction industry, WRScompass has become known for our ability to provide efficient solutions to a wide-ranging number of environmental challenges of our customers. This has led to our reputation for providing outstanding customer service, while also being recognized nationally for maintaining high safety and accident prevention standards.

Backed by a $30 million fleet of company-owned equipment and service centers across the nation, WRScompass is able to quickly respond to customer needs.

WRS Compass has “responded quickly” all right. They’ve literally jumped on the bandwagon to get busy cleaning up the oil that is bound to land on Florida shores in the near future. They are ready and waiting, all they need is oil! And who is leading the charge? That would be WRS Compass CEO Kathleen Shanahan, who has ties not only to, surprise, surprise, Dick Cheney, but former Florida Gov. and Little Brother of Dubya, Jeb Bush as well! Who knew? For the backstory on that you can click here.

Now let’s step back a little further. As I mentioned, and as you’ve probably noticed, the very vocal Dick Cheney has been curiously quiet and MIA from the airwaves since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up and began filling the entire Gulf with oil and gas, turning it into what is fast becoming the “Gulf Of Cheney.” So you might, as I have, be thinking “hey, I wonder what Big Dick has been up to lately?” Then I saw this:

Foreign Policy‘s David Kenner pointed out Monday that former vice president and ex-Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney just went on a junket to meet with Saudi Arabian leaders, a quiet pow-wow that’s been discussed in the Saudi media but not so much over here. Cheney—who’s been busy defending torture and complaining that Barack Obama lets world leaders “think they’re dealing with a weak president“—weakened the president by visiting a leading torture regime and its caliph, King Abdullah.

So, what was the ex-veep doing in Riyadh?

What indeed? This was in early May. Of this year. A couple of weeks ago. Could be lot’s of reasons I suppose. The article goes on to point out a few:

The obvious answer would be: something financially advantageous. Cheney, who oversaw the Saudi staging of Gulf War I, has always maintained good relations with the kingdom and its elites—relations that certainly came in handy after the war, when his oil-services and all-around shady operation, Halliburton, won lots of US and Saudi contracts to help extract the kingdom’s petroleum wealth—and buttress its national defenses.

But those sorts of financial entanglements—and high-level contacts—can quickly deteriorate into policy interference. Which wouldn’t be new territory for Cheney, who as CEO helped Halliburton skirt international and US terror sanctions on trade with Iran in order to make a quick buck.

Yup, that’s the Dick all right. It’s when he’s quiet that you start to worry what he’s doing, and there you go. But back to those contracts and things. Let’s look into more of those here while we’re investigating, going all the way back to 2000 before the election, like cashing in on contracts that he helped initiate:

In 1992, the Pentagon, then under Cheney’s direction, paid Texas-based Brown & Root Services$3.9 million to produce a classified report detailing how private companies — like itself — could help provide logistics for American troops in potential war zones around the world. BRS specializes in such work; from 1962 to 1972, for instance, the company worked in the former South Vietnam building roads, landing strips, harbors, and military bases. Later in 1992, the Pentagon gave the company an additional $5 million to update its report. That same year, BRS won a massive, five-year logistics contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers to work alongside American GIs in places like Zaire, Haiti, Somalia, Kosovo, the Balkans, and Saudi Arabia.

Sure, old news. But you throw in Haliburton, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and so on. (Speaking of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, who do you suppose lists an award of a $30 million contract for levee construction and additional work in New Orleans for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other work in Louisiana for Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction Systems? Why that would be WRS Compass. They were also worked in New Orleans on emergency response to Hurricane Katrina.)

Now, how about this old story from back in 2003. In fact, just for fun, let’s see if you can answer this: What do you get when you add:

Dick Cheney+Antonin Scalia+ducks+Louisiana+Kenneth Lay+The Sierra Club+Judicial Watch+oil+gas+coal+nuclear industry+lobbyists= ____?

Answer? = Secret energy task force! Oh, and I left out part of the equation. This guy: Wallace Carline. From the same CBS News item above:

….the pair arrived Jan. 5 on Gulfstream jets and were guests of Wallace Carline, the owner of Diamond Services Corp., an oil services company in Amelia, La. The Associated Press in Morgan City, La., reported the trip on the day the vice president and his entourage departed.

“They asked us not to bring cameras out there,” said Sheriff David Naquin, who serves St. Mary Parish, about 90 miles southwest of New Orleans, referring to the group’s request for privacy. “The vice president and the justice were there for a relaxing trip, so we backed off.”

While the local police were told about Cheney’s trip shortly before his arrival, they were told to keep it a secret, Naquin said to the Times.

“The justice had been here several times before. I’m kind of sorry Cheney picked that week because it was a poor shooting week,” Naquin said. “There weren’t many ducks here, which is unusual for this time of the year.”

“There weren’t many ducks here, which is kind of unusual for this time of year.” Perhaps the ducks heard that Cheney was coming? OR perhaps there was no duck hunting involved in the first place? After all, Scalia certainly didn’t report getting shot in the face now, did he?

Who is Wallace Carline? He was the owner of Diamond Services Corp., a private company categorized under Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction and located in Morgan City, LA. Wallace Carline also gives campaign contributions to people like David “Diapers” Vitter (R-LA), among others. But that’s beside the point.

Again, this is old news, but it still brings us back to Cheney’s secret energy policy meetings, and involvement with the oil companies, Haliburton, and who knows how many other connections there might be. Like MMS and the Department of Interior. Like the Haliburton role in the oil spill. Like this one. Or this one. How about this one? And this one? Put them together and you may just conclude this one. Click on the interactive “blame game” section on this one and there’s plenty of blame to go around. However you connect the dots, Cheney pops up somewhere. President Obama had nothing to do with the last eight years before he won the White House, nor all the years before that brought us to this “Gulf Of Cheney.”

On this Memorial Day, I can think of no better way to honor the troops than investigating what really led to the war in Iraq and beyond, but we all know by now that’s not going to happen. But still, it was a war over oil.

So let’s DO give Mini Dick her investigation. Let’s investigate the oil spill and who’s really at fault. Because it’s unfolding right now before our eyes. The evidence is right there in plain sight, and it’s adding up every day.

And if you’re one of the “lucky” ones, while you’re watching the oil lap at the shore in Louisiana, or Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida, reach down and collect a little mason jar of oil and raise a toast to the Cheney family.


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In the Bill McCollum ongoing lawsuit to keep Florida and the country “protected” from the benefits of health care reform, there have been a couple of new developments. Yesterday it was reported that along with the 20 states that have joined his “fight” a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit was also added on Friday in an amended complaint by McCollum.

The new co-plaintiff? The National Federation Of Independent Business.

McCollum has been accused of “gasp” filing this lawsuit for political gain. No kidding. The question is what voters would be happy about this lawsuit and vote for him because of it? Maybe the answer is a little clearer now. Perhaps small business owners?

Of course, it wouldn’t be surprising if McCollum was aiming for contributions too, thanks to the new SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United, which allows corporations to give unlimited donations to campaigns as if they were people. So one wouldn’t be surprised to read this probably:

McCollum said he is hoping for a September hearing on a U.S. Justice Department motion to dismiss, and expects the case to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court by 2012.

Gosh, I wonder what would happen then?

Speaking of the SCOTUS ruling, if you go to the National Federation Of Independent Business, you’ll find this page about their “political involvement:”

NFIB Political Involvement

NFIB "Grassroots" Mobilization

But getting back to those small business voters, why, what do we see here? A page from the NFIB website listing “member benefits” for small businesses joining the NFIB. Oh my! Look at all the health care benefits they provide for their members:

NFIB Member Health Benefits

Listed benefits for Florida members:

NFIB Health Plans Florida

So to recap: the National Federation Of Independent Business joins McCollum’s lawsuit to take away YOUR health care benefits while offering loads of health care benefits to their members. NFIB also has loads of opportunities to get in on their “political involvement” and “grassroots” campaigns against health care reforms and issues and any candidates who support them. All information is available and organized in a handy little package of webpages just for you!

Benefits, schmenefits!

Message from small business members to their employees: “Health care for me, but not for thee” perhaps?

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So the GOP is in a bit of trouble right now. They are steadfast in their determination to be the “Party Of No,” or as I refer to them as the “Grand Obstructionist Party.” They are determined to prevent anything proposed by President Obama and the Democrats until they can win back both Congress and the White House. The latest evidence was yesterday when they blocked debate over financial reform, adding to their title: “The Party Of Wall Street.” For some warped reasoning on their part (I can only assume, given that we’ve yet to hear any reasonable explanation for it) they seem to think this will win them votes? More like win them campaign cash, but I digress.

When the GOP is in trouble, what do they do? Well, if they aren’t winning over the voters, they try other things. A couple recent examples?

They’re having fundraising problems, probably due in part to the way they spend the money for things like the lavish $340K spent on a semi-annual meeting in Hawaii, for one thing.

Another reason, and I would guess the bigger problem, is that they aren’t doing anything. They are now the “Party Of No” and they prove it over and over by trying to prevent health care reform, and blocking financial reform to name just two examples. After all, why would people want to contribute to a Party who does such things, with the exceptions being the health insurance companies and bankers who would benefit from those very actions? If they can’t get voters to donate, they find other ways.

Recently they’ve sent out fake “Census” letters in hopes of getting donations. We’ve received lots of those in Florida and I’ve written about them several times here. They recently came back for a third round in Florida and another nationwide, even after congress passed a law saying they were misleading and couldn’t do it anymore. No such law will intimidate Michael Steele, no sir! Keep it up! Using tricks to get donations is one way to gain a foothold, but that’s not all.

In Florida there’s a proposed constitutional amendment, “Fair Districts” which voters in Florida are in favor of and showed overwhelming support in the form of petitions. Yesterday the GOP-controlled House voted to “clarify” that initiative. Why? Because it would favor competitive elections in Florida and increase minority representation in legislative and congressional districts. After hearing that news yesterday, there were probably a lot of voters in Florida having flashbacks to the nightmare that was the Florida 2000 election in which Florida’s Secretary of State (and dare I say the “wicked witch of the south”) Katherine Harris, along with the U.S. Supreme Court handed the Office Of The President to a disaster in the making: George W. Bush. We all know how well that worked out.

How about the U.S. Attorneys scandal? Several were fired when they wouldn’t investigate what Republicans claimed were instances of “voter fraud?” Or another more recent scandal that was in the news. ACORN anyone? I don’t know about you, but when I hear the Republicans whining about things like “voter fraud” I am immediately suspicious about their motives.

This brings us to Arizona. Last week as you’ll recall, the GOP Gov. of Arizona, Jan Brewer signed into law the “Papers Please” immigration bill where people now have to prove their citizenship, which has rightfully caused a great deal of outrage over discrimination and racial profiling. That’s been the focus in the media. However, there might more to it just under the surface.

Jan Brewer was appointed Gov. when former Governor Janet Napolitano was chosen by Pres. Obama to become Director Of Homeland Security in January 2009. Before she was appointed Governor of the state, Brewer was Arizona’s Secretary Of State. In 2004, while holding that office, she had the opportunity to purge voter rolls of 100,000 voters. Most of those were hispanic voters. There’s an interesting history behind this purge written by BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast for Truthout.org. (In 2008 Palast joined law professor Robert F. Kennedy in investigating voter integrity and the American voting process itself.)

In Palast’s view, the real story isn’t just immigration and racial profiling. He concludes that the real story is voting and the legalities of registering to vote as a citizen of Arizona. Not to mention the fear of the Republican Party that a minority might favor one party over another in a state where there is an overwhelmingly large hispanic population like the state of Arizona.

Is all the outrage over immigration, racial profiling and the “Papers Please” law obscuring another possible voter purge in Arizona? One that could favor a lean to the right in an election where many hispanic voters favor democrats? You can read Palast’s article here and decide for yourself.

Is this just one more incident in a long line of attempts to “game the system” under the guise of immigration and matters of civil rights for a Party which is failing voters in every other way?

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While everyone waits for April 30,  the deadline for Charlie Crist to make his move to either bail on the Grand Obstructionist Party and become an Independent, or (sputter) a Democrat, the Republican Party seems to have already bailed on him. They are quick to purge those who don’t comply with their strict sets of rules like “In Jeb We Trust,” the big one, among others, and Charlie’s purging began almost days before he even hinted that he would veto the recent teacher tenure bill in Florida, SB 6. After the veto, they really came out swinging, not only in Florida but nationally. In other words, they won’t let Charlie play in any of their reindeer games. Sniffle.

That’s been the conventional wisdom. But there seems to be something else rumbling just below the surface in Florida, kind of like our ever-present silent threats of sinkholes. It’s fear.

GOP Are Furious, But Fear Charlie

The GOP in Florida are furious with Crist for boldly jumping OFF the third rail of Florida politics. That would be the “Jeb Bush Express” to gutting education in Florida, for starters. With that veto, Crist kind of became a version of that “Cow On The Tracks” that the GOP wingnut in chief Michael Steele talked about a while back. Only difference is that the national Steele version was meant as an obstruction tactic against the Democrats in general, and President Obama in particular. Charlie’s version is a little different. With that veto, he started what could be the beginnings of a derailment of the GOP in Florida. You don’t have to do too much digging to find evidence of that. Just listen to what GOP members have said about Charlie in the past few days. He’s “erratic”, “dishonest,” “poll driven,” “he can’t be trusted” and his “veto was politically motivated.” All qualities that the GOP normally embrace. Sure, they may all be true. The big problem for the GOP is Charlie is no longer “one of them,” and as the law of hypocrisy goes, those qualities in a candidate suddenly become “outrageous” when a sheep has left the flock. Not only has Crist left the flock behind, but he’s now hanging out AND siding with the villagers, or in this case teachers and students, and there are signals that they aren’t the only ones who may benefit from Charlie’s newfound independence.

Just yesterday the “smell of fear” was evident when the Office Of Insurance Regulation chief suddenly all but pulled the plug on the state insurance and deregulation reform bill. Why? Because GOP leaders feared another veto. The last thing they want now is a repeat of the wake left from last week’s veto. Newfound popularity for Crist among some voters in Florida.

Witness another case in point: the withdrawn endorsement from another member of the legislature who is championing his own Medicaid overhaul, Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park). Why? Could it be because Crist has compared Medicaid reform to the education reform bill? Crist has said he has concerns that under HMO’s, that bill could put the care of the disabled and nursing homes at a disadvantage. Perhaps the fear of another veto in favor of the people and not the flock?

There’s also evidence that the GOP is pushing back. At the moment the Senate is stalling the confirmation of two appointees of Crist’s to the Public Service Commission. Why? Because they’ve helped block rate increases from Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy. The Grand Obstructionist Party of Florida sure doesn’t want to get on the wrong side of power companies who can increase rates, when those power companies could easily turn around and cut off the “power supply” of the GOP in the form of big campaign donations. Who would benefit from those appointees being confirmed? You don’t have to look any further than your last electric bill to find the answer to that question. The “villagers” can’t just shrug those bills off by saying “charge it” or “just put it on my tab” the way the Republican Party of Florida has with expenses on their American Express Cards. The voters in Florida whether they still have jobs or not can’t do that. Even if they wanted to, is there a bank out there who would even extend them the credit at the moment? Nope. The banks have reversed that process in the form of bailouts courtesy of taxpayers.

Bipartisanship Comes At A Cost

That brings me to another point. Partisan politics in Washington right now are about as bad as it gets. The Grand Obstructionist Party has all but brought President Obama’s and the Democrats efforts to right the last eight years of wrongs brought to us by the Bush Administration and the GOP controlled congress to a halt. Look what happened with health care reform. By the time we got a bill passed into law, it was watered down thanks to the GOP’s obstruction tactics. President Obama and Democrats bent over backwards to try to take the bipartisan approach. We got a bill that was unpopular for some only in that it didn’t cover enough, and we have the GOP to thank for it. What did we get in return from the GOP? Nothing.

Now we’re on the verge of more of the same. Ahead of us is financial reform, immigration, and picking a new Supreme Court Justice, just to name a few. There’s also all those Obama appointees which have secret holds placed on them, mostly by republicans. (Sound familiar Florida?) You would think after an entire year of uphill battles for health care reform and the result, we could come away with many lessons learned.

Not so much. Even with bailouts at the taxpayers expense, there are still all those hefty bonuses the boys on Wall Street are getting, a couple so far this year both in January and another this month (how many bonuses have you received lately?). Common sense would dictate that we do some pretty fast reform to prevent another economic disaster. Well, sorry. Common sense isn’t part of the GOP plan. They recently had meetings with Wall Street and, no surprises here, beat a direct path from the boardrooms to the lectern, Frank Luntz talking points on notes in their hands, to announce they were firmly against financial reform. Their alternative plan? Why, the very same plan they had for health care reform. Say it with me:


Perhaps after giving it some thought, today we hear the vague hint of possible cooperation from a handful of Republicans. Call me a skeptic, but this appears to be another stall tactic disguised as an olive branch. I don’t think they mean it anymore than when they formed their “Gangs of Eight”, and “Gangs of Six” busily looking like they were putting together a health care reform bill instead of working towards gaming the system against any democratic accomplishment. They can come out tomorrow happily announcing a new “Gang of 20,” or a “Gang of 100” who promise feats of magic to disappear all the woes of the banking industry like fairies who turn pixie dust into giant bags of money and I wouldn’t buy it. I would bet my money on the fact that they will remain nothing more than a “Gang of We Got Nothin.’ If they get away with gaming the system for the banks, then get ready for the next nightmare. In the wake of the SCOTUS ruling turning giant corporations with larger bags of money than you or I will ever see into “people” who can donate endless campaign contributions, than you ain’t seen nothin’yet.

Take A Lesson From The GOP Fear Of Crist

Rather than trying to do the same thing as they did with health care reform, and by that I mean another “try” at bipartisanship if that’s what they still want to call it, perhaps President Obama and the Democrats in Congress might instead take a lesson from what’s happened with Charlie Crist and the Republicans in Florida. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of Charlie’s. What I’m saying is take a look at what he’s doing and learn from it.

Fear of losing the U.S. Senate election has turned Crist towards desperate measures. He’s in partisan limbo now, and last week that helped the teachers, students and education in our state. Some of us have kids in the system right now, and we know education is far from it’s best. Jeb Bush took a crack at it for years, but in the wrong direction, and not in favor of students and teachers. He blew it big time, and you could compare it to how his brother George blew a national surplus. It went “poof!” (Jeb is still rumored to be at the helm, with more educational fallout to come, and Crist dealt that a blow lat week. Soon our legislature will be taking a swing at changes in standardized testing, and shifting more money for private and religious schools.) Crist has suddenly taken a turn away from partisan politics towards doing what’s right for the people in Florida, and big shock, they like that.

Shove Aside “The Party Of No” And Go Around Them

Instead of going backwards to try to win over the GOP with the upcoming battles on Capitol Hcapill, I would suggest to Democrats and President Obama that they just forget about bipartisanship. It’s not going to happen. This is no surprise to many, but it still sounds as if it is in Washington. Take a lesson from Florida.

If the GOP continue to stand in the way, shove them aside and go around them. Their ignorant methods for shutting things down for several years until they get back in power is a disaster in the making. After the eight years of the Bush Administration, we don’t have that kind of time.

What do you suppose the country will look like in four years, or eight years after the big GOP stonewall? What would happen if they win the White House and Congress back? Can we look forward to a future where GOP lawmakers suggest that we pay for our medical expenses with poultry, or say goats? How about living in a police state, or dealing with lives lost due to offshore drilling and oil slicks so we can send what’s left of our natural resources elsewhere? Or what about fearing an arrest in certain states just because you look different from, say your average white Tea Bagger, or that you can’t take your kids to visit a National Park, or even send them to school for fear of armed visitors, teachers or students? How does living under rules dictated by corporations while the company logo is displayed on The White House, The Capitol and The Supreme Court sound? This kind of thing might be the dream of a minority of the GOP, but to many more of us this looks like a nightmare.

The White House and Democrats in Congress should take a lesson from our current GOP Crist-ophobia. Dial back to the promises made during the Presidential election. Do what’s right for the people instead of what’s right for the Party. When you come out on the side of the people you won’t have reason to fear an election. The votes will be there.

Trust us.

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Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee has reportedly registered to vote in Florida, and by doing so, he has made a sworn statement that he is a resident of the state. He rents a beach house in the Panhandle.

Is he becoming a Florida resident so that he can have friendly backyard squirrel barbecues with Joe Scarborough? I’m sure that’s a strong possibility, but I think there’s more we haven’t heard about yet.

According to his daughter,  the St. Petersburg Times reports:

“Some of his personal business activities dictated the Florida residency,” she wrote, declining to elaborate.

“Business activities.” Since his chances for running for President in 2012 probably aren’t good, and the fact that his new Florida BFF seems to be Marco Rubio these days, that’s a scary prospect. He’s been crowing lately that he thinks Marco Rubio could be the next President. This in spite of the fact that Rubio hasn’t even won a Senate seat yet, and so far doesn’t have much of a plan or platform for said Senate race beyond slogans.

Is he hoping that perhaps hell would freeze over and he could be Rubio’s VP? Doubtful.

Still, given that corporations are considered people now and can throw as much cash at any candidate they choose, the fact that Huckabee and his odd views and values, would come to the state for “business activities” bothers me, and not just for this reason, among others:

During Huckabee’s interview with the College of New Jersey’s paper, The Perspective, he compared same-sex marriage to incest and expressed his views against gay people adopting children. “Children are not puppies,” he said. “This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?”

An odd analogy for Huckabee to make, considering how he and his family hold “puppies” in such high regard. Yes, a real poster boy for “family values” that group.

I do hope Huckabee will re-consider and go register to vote and take his “business activities” elsewhere.

Florida has enough problems, like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist and Bill McCollum for starters. We certainly don’t need to add Huckabee to the list.

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The South Florida Raging Grannies “salute” the SCOTUS justices who ruled in favor of Citizens United.

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