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Posts Tagged ‘Elections 2010’

Rick Scott has said that he plans to run the state of Florida like a business, and you can take him at his word.

So it begins:

On 12-20-2010 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. makes a $10,000 contribution to Rick Scotts Inaugural fund.

On 12-27-2010, Scott announces that Bryan W. Koon of Arkansas will head the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Koon has been the director of Wal-Mart’s emergency management operations since February 2009. No salary information has been disclosed.

Also there’s this:

Scott’s portfolio also has included stock in Wal-Mart, Gannett Co. Inc., the publisher of USA Today and this newspaper, and West Palm Beach-based Quepasa Corp., which operates a social networking site that caters to Hispanics.

Quepasa Corp. is an entirely other controversy previously covered on this blog.

But getting back to Wal-Mart and emergency management. What does Koon know about emergency management? Good question. Last week I wondered that myself and found a question and answer “interview” of Koon on the FEMA website. It didn’t answer my question, just left me with more. I made a note of it and planned to post it later. However, in the meantime it was brought to my attention that the same FEMA question and answer “interview” disappeared from the website soon after. Sure enough, I pulled up the link I had bookmarked and the entire page was gone.

Since someone apparently doesn’t want anyone reading about what Koon may or may not know about emergency management, and what that may mean to Florida residents I’ve decided to post that same “interview” from the Google cache so you can read it for yourself.

Here are “10 Questions With Wal-Mart’s Bryan Koon” from FEMA, dated Aug. 11, 2010:

1. From an emergency operations standpoint, what keeps you up at night?

Our biggest threats very closely parallel those to society as a whole – major natural and man-made disasters that have the potential to devastate communities, cripple infrastructure, and displace hundreds of thousands of people. Events like a large New Madrid fault earthquake, a large-scale terrorist attack in a major city or a Category 5 hurricane hitting an East Coast city like New York or Boston would strain everyone’s capacity to respond, including ours. The supply disruptions, staffing issues and social distancing that would result during an avian flu pandemic could be a “game changer” for us, and we are taking that threat very seriously. An extended drought in the Southeast or elsewhere could also have severe repercussions for our operations, as well.

On the plus side, however, Wal-Mart’s Emergency Management Department has an outstanding group of associates watching the globe for potential impact to the company on a 24/7 basis, so I’m usually able to get a good night’s sleep.

2. As the world’s largest company, what unique business continuity challenges does Wal-Mart face due its sheer size?

Because of our scope, nearly every disaster has the potential to impact our associates, our customers and members, our retail facilities, our distribution system or our suppliers. Our job is to analyze the event to determine how it could affect or has already affected us, and how we should respond.

The same size that is our vulnerability is also our strength, however. We’re able to mobilize whatever resources we need from outside the impacted area to provide timely support to our associates, customers and members, our operations, and to our communities.

Our size also allows us to maintain a full-time team of experts focused on emergency management, a luxury that many private sector entities do not enjoy. Having a dedicated staff allows us to focus year-round on preparedness, planning, mitigation, and operations, and to develop and cultivate those relationships with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and other private sector entities that really pay off when we’re dealing with a disaster.

3. What was the most challenging crisis that Wal-Mart has faced during your tenure? What was the response?

I joined the company in April 2006, so I missed the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. Still, we’ve had some fairly challenging events – the California wildfires of 2007, ice storms in the Central U.S. in 2006 and 2007, major blizzards in Colorado and in the Northeast, flooding in New York and Pennsylvania, earthquakes in Hawaii and the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. As I write this, the Pacific Northwest has just gone through another severe storm with 100 mph wind gusts and flooding rains, and the Midwest has had a string of unusual January tornadoes.

Our response to these events follows the same pattern every time: take care of our associates, take care of our operations and take care of the community. Although the hazard and the regions vary, our response is designed to focus on those priorities, in that order.  We maintain an Emergency Operations Center at our corporate Home Office in Bentonville, AR, that we can increase or decrease the activation level of, depending on the emergency.  Depending on the nature of the event, we’ll bring in groups from around the company to deal with emergency merchandise, transportation, logistics, operations, property restoration, finance, legal, aviation, communication, asset protection, safety, etc..  The Wal-Mart Foundation has a presence in the EOC, and we have space for national representatives of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army so that we can better coordinate efforts with them.  The groups are organized into Emergency Support Functions, so that we can better manage the situation and interface with governmental emergency management agencies.

4. What makes Wal-Mart successful at business continuity?

The same things that make Wal-Mart a successful retailer on a day-to-day basis make it successful during a disaster: caring associates, a powerful and flexible distribution system and a strong community presence. We are also able to leverage our experience in other disasters and transfer those lessons learned to future events. For example, we have an extensive database that helps us keep track of what the most popular items are after each type of disaster, which enables us to get the right merchandise to an area more quickly in preparation for or in response to an emergency.

In addition to being able to harness the strengths of all the different divisions of the company, the Emergency Management Department is given a great deal of support from the senior leadership of the company and the latitude to develop new, innovative programs that support the company’s overall goals.

5. Contingency plans are designed to be used in a variety of potential foreseeable events. How does Wal-Mart prepare for the unforeseen? Is this possible?

Although the structure of our response remains basically the same for many events, we do script out the initial actions required for certain types of hazards, and the groups that need to be involved in taking those actions. These “action plans” are designed to ensure that the critical first steps and notifications are accomplished in a timely manner, and allow us to bring in the appropriate personnel to deal with the issue.  Every day brings a new and interesting challenge, but we’ve found that our basic structure and response mechanism is capable of handling most of what we throw at it.

6. What support mechanisms does Wal-Mart have within its industry to maintain awareness of potential threats to its business continuity?

We maintain very close ties with a wide variety of information sources – trade organizations, governmental agencies, retail sector coalitions, contract intelligence agencies, open source, scientific publications, law enforcement, emergency management organizations and conferences, etc. We analyze our own internal data and look for trends that could become more widespread. We also need to remain cognizant of the direction that the company is taking and determine what new hazards and vulnerabilities that could expose, then plan accordingly.

7. How does Wal-Mart envision partnering with the federal government in the future? How does this differ from the past? Is there value in this partnership?

Our ideal situation is one in which private sector, non-governmental organizations and local, state and federal government emergency management organizations all have an explicit understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Together, they  develop inter-operable plans that maximize those strengths and minimizes gaps in coverage; the old analogy of layering swiss cheese slices on top of each other until no holes remain. We feel that we are on the right road to get to this eventuality, but it will still be a long trip. It started with Hurricane Katrina, where the folly of planning in a vacuum and hoping for the best was exposed and the benefits of involving the private sector were clearly illustrated. There is absolute value in this partnership and we will continue to press hard to establish and codify it.

8. What type of emergency preparedness education/tips does Wal-Mart offer to its employees? For their families?

Taking care of our associates is our number one priority, and all of our policies and procedures reflect that priority.  Our people are our number one asset, and we recognize that we won’t be able to restore our operations or our communities until our associates and their families feel safe and secure.  So, we work hard to ensure that they have access to the information and tools they need to be personally prepared for emergencies.  Our 1 ½ million associates in the U.S. plus their families account for roughly 1% of America’s population.  Ensuring they’re prepared not only helps to ensure their safety & our company’s resiliency, but it also helps to take pressure off of other responding organizations who will need to care for those who did not prepare.

We use a multi-faceted approach to preparedness education via our corporate Associate Preparedness Campaign.  By partnering with organizations like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Ready.Gov office of the Department of Homeland Security, the American Red Cross, the Weather Channel, and Onestorm.org, we are able to provide information, expertise, and practical tools for our associates from across the industry.  Many of these sites allow our associates to prepare a customized emergency plan for their families, including evacuation routes, nearby shelters, and customized checklists.  This crucial information is introduced to our associates via subtle ongoing messaging found on Wal-Mart Television, Wal-Mart Radio, our intranet computer systems, on-line sites, and in our Wal-Mart World magazine. However, our focus is not only on internal education – we spend a lot of time and energy spreading the word about Personal Preparedness within our communities as well.  We have been part of numerous citizen preparedness campaigns at the state and Federal level in states like Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, and California.  And this year, we are working with the National Weather Service to print and distribute a hurricane preparedness guide that will be distributed to millions of residents along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

9. Are employees trained and/or empowered to make decisions in an emergency or is there an easily identified chain of command to ensure quick decisions?

Every Wal-Mart and Neighborhood Market store, Sam’s Club, and Distribution Center, as well as all of our corporate facilities, have prominently displayed flip charts that detail the initial actions that should be taken for many different types of emergencies. These are backed up by a detailed emergency procedures manual that all managers have access to. In addition, we do numerous training classes for all operational and asset protection managers so they are aware of what their potential hazards are, as well as what their initial actions should be.

In addition to this training, they are backed up by a deep bench of experts at the corporate level to help them through an emergency. We have a dedicated emergency line that goes to our Alarm Central Station. Utilizing this emergency line and a mass phone and e-mail notification system, we can contact the people who need to be involved and have them up to speed and ready to respond within a matter of minutes of an incident occurring.

Finally, all of our managers are empowered to do what is right in a given situation, without direction for the Home Office. They are the ones who live in their respective communities and they are best positioned to recognize what action is necessary to rectify or mitigate a situation. We saw that during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and we continue to see it in events like the California wildfires and the Washington state flooding of 2007.

10. From your perspective, is emergency preparedness and response a government, private-sector or individual responsibility?

That’s an easy one – yes. Successful execution in the aftermath of a disaster requires a concerted effort from all three, particularly in the first 72 hours. We are doing our part by educating our associates, customers and members, giving them information about disasters and disaster kits and providing access to supplies they need to have when they need it and at the low Wal-Mart price. We will continue to work closely with governmental agencies to educate them about the private sector’s capabilities and to develop plans that utilize both of our strengths.

Any questions?

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Sure, whatever.

If you live in Florida, felt an odd vibe and heard a strange noise on Wednesday, fear not. It was just Sarah Palin gracing Florida with her presence, and that giant sucking sound you heard was politicians running for cover as she handed out endorsements.

Palin attended a dinner with conservatives at The Breakers in Palm Beach, and stopped at the headquarters of NewsMax along the way.

She then took to her “editorial” page on Facebook to write her formal endorsements of Florida candidates (or someone did), while lecturing Floridians on the importance of our elections, and “informing” us on who to vote for and why. Sarah has spoken.

I hate to break it to Sarah, but the majority of people in Florida would never take the advice of someone who probably couldn’t find our state on a map, and who was elected Governor of Alaska merely because she was “not the other guy” who was running, not to mention that she quit mid-term to profit from her latest failure as a Vice Presidential candidate, and she imagines that she sees world leaders peering at her over her front porch.

Hallucinations aside, Palin is probably unaware of her bottom of the barrel favorability polls and that even people like whacky Carly “Barbara-Boxer’s-hair-is-just-SO-yesterday-and-did-I-mention-I-also-killed-Hewlett-Packard?” Fiorina and her job outsourcing cohort Meg Whitman are trying desperately to flee an endorsement from her, “you betcha!'” Even crazy radical Tea Bagger candidate  Joe Miller, who has trouble hitting the “send button” on his e-mails, wouldn’t give her a “Presidentially qualified” endorsement beyond acknowledging that, while she is breathing, hey, anythings possible!

Sarah, or her Facebook ghostwriter, had this advice for voters in Florida:

Had a great visit with Newsmax and the great folks in the Sunshine State yesterday! I spoke to Michael Reagan about his father’s grand legacy and to Dick Morris about not accepting what President Obama wants America to believe is some kind of “new normal” of economic woe.  I spoke to concerned Floridians about the energy in the Tea Party movement, and explained that I wrote a lot about it in my book, “America by Heart”; and I had the privilege of being interviewed on Sean Hannity’s show regarding voter turnout favoring conservatives this year.

Florida is fortunate to have great candidates willing to run and serve for all the right reasons. The repeal of the mother-of-all-unfunded mandates, Obamacare, is foremost on the minds of so many concerned Floridians, along with job, jobs, jobs. Thankfully they have candidates bold enough to promise to shake things up, put “We the People” first, and support free market and results-oriented solutions to all these challenges.  Please support these great Sunshine State candidates:

Rick Scott for Governor

Pam Bondi for Attorney General

Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate

Steve Southerland (FL-2)

Allen West (FL-22)

Sandy Adams (FL-24)

One thing we can thank Sarah for are those endorsements. One can only hope that those candidates sink like stones in the polls as others have after an official nod from Palin.

Just a couple of things I would like to point out here. Sarah doesn’t read, or she would have known that slimy prostitute aficionado and FOX commentator (go figure) Dick Morris whom she “had a great visit with” had a few words to say about one of those candidates himself, Rick Scott. Morris recently said that “Rick Scott is a criminal who belongs in jail, not in the governor’s office.” I may have to take a shower after admitting this, but I have to say I kind of agree with Morris on this one. (Shuddering.) Didn’t look that one up first did you Sarah?

As for others on the list, well it’s predictable because they’re all GOP-Tea Bagger candidates. Pam Bondi, probably endorsed because she’s also a woman, and although she has no children, she’s a “Momma Grizzly” by osmosis I guess?

Marco Rubio, well, he’s the male-Palin of Florida, and if you gave them the words “Reagan, tax cuts, common sense and conservative” perhaps between the two of them they could string a sentence together. Lets face it, she doesn’t know anything about them beyond the fact that they have an “R” behind their names on the ballot.

Allen West? He’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. He also claims to have higher security clearance higher than the President in spite of facing a court martial over brutal interrogations, and he claims he threatened to kill a man in Iraq, among other things. Another “fact-check” Palin missed.

As for those “concerned Floridians” she spoke to? Well, she was preaching to the choir. “Obamacare” is actually popular among voters and hasn’t gone far enough, and on the “jobs, jobs, jobs?” Thanks to the stimulus, 153,000 jobs have been created or saved in Florida thanks to that stimulus. Sarah would also probably be surprised to find that 6,000 jobs have been created or saved as well in her home state of Alaska, if she could tear herself away from her home studio, her mirror and her ego long enough to study up on the subject.

And speaking of studying up, or in Sarah’s case, no studying at all, there’s a new article in the November Vanity Fair that, among other things, tells what the disastrous toll of picking Palin as his running mate took on John McCain. Never mind what it did to the country and the unqualified droves of potential candidates we find coming out of the woodwork now, thanks in part to the “gem” that was Sarah Palin, and to John McCain in 2008. A virtual tsunami of idiots who know nothing about governing, nor anything about the constitution they use as a talking point, just like Palin.

Yes, Sarah, we do have “candidates bold enough to promise to shake things up.” Unfortunately we don’t need things “shaken up.” We need people who can govern.

What we don’t need, or want, is your advice. On anything.

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Republican Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is a potential candidate for President in 2012, will be hosting a fundraiser for Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for Governor of Florida, later in the month according to the Miami Herald.

The fundraiser for Scott, who campaigned as a political outsider unencumbered by potential political paybacks, is a $10,000-per-head private dinner held at the Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club in Naples, Scott’s hometown. The money will be collected by the Republican Party of Florida.

Pawlenty is one among many of his Republican colleagues who bashed President Obama’s stimulus package, and then turned around and accepted the funds for his state, along with taking credit for it. In Pawlenty’s case, he wrote a formal request for $236 for Medicaid from the stimulus funds.

Pawlenty also recently earned an “A” on his Cato Institute “report card” for his anti-tax views and his “budget cutting.”

Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has proposed pro-growth reforms, opposed tax increases, and been a relatively frugal budgeter. He has proposed cutting the state’s high and uncompetitive corporate franchise tax, and he has repeatedly vetoed giant tax-hike packages passed by the legislature, including increases to gasoline taxes, beer taxes, wine taxes, and income taxes. Under Pawlenty, state general fund spending rose modestly between FY03 and FY08 and has decreased substantially since then. The governor has also proposed a state constitutional amendment to limit general fund spending.

So naturally, it’s fitting that he would hold a $10,000 per person fundraiser for a billionaire with similar pro-business, anti-tax, interests. Oh, and of course, there’s that whole Medicare fraud thing…

Here’s the invitation, should you be interested in helping out an “outsider” like Rick Scott with a little cash, since he’s already invested so much of his own in his race for Governor:

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Wow, here’s a real “shocker.” Rick Scott unveiled his “tax and insurance” plan yesterday, where he proposes restrictions on lawsuits. The plan is centered around property insurance.

If you read closer though, he proposes some “restrictions” on other types of lawsuits. Not surprisingly, involving doctors.

Scott’s proposal also calls for several new restrictions on lawsuits, including limiting lawsuits against doctors who work at county health departments and those medical doctors who work on behalf of Medicaid. Incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, has already said that he will likely pursue lawsuit restrictions against Medicaid providers next year.

Scott released a booklet outlining his proposals, on insurance and tort reform. The part addressing physicians is contained in a short paragraph on page 12 of a 16 page booklet entitled Medical Related Reform.

He proposes restrictions on lawsuits against doctors? Gosh, why do you suppose that might be?

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The politics between Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist are about to turn a whole new shade of “ugly.”

The fun started last week when the Republican Party of Florida released an “audit” that found all kinds of fault with Charlie Crist’s spending habits, along with his jail-bird buddy Jim Greer. Coincidentally, the audit found absolutely NOTHING wrong with the present members of the Republican Party, Marco Rubio among them. In other words, it was a transparently stupid political farce of an “audit.”

I’ve been finding fault with Marco Rubio’s constant claims that he’s a “fiscal conservative” for a long time. Mostly because he’s not conservative, fiscally or otherwise. Some examples, should you like to refresh your memory, are here.

Rubio and Crist have been taking pot shots at each other for the same reasons even before Crist switched parties to improve his chances of a U.S. Senate win.

Others have started to take notice of Rubio’s budgeting problems as well. Yesterday there was a lengthy article from the Sarasota Herald Tribune that outlined a healthy list of Rubio’s examples of money problems.

There’s a little something for everyone there, like his multiple properties and foreclosures, car loans, college loans, and “special favors” relating to those among other items. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in that article coming from one who “lectures” about being so “fiscally responsible” while telling Florida voters what the State just can’t afford, like health care and “big government.” Like the “big government” he so desperately wants to be a part of. Who wouldn’t with a track record like his? There’s more pork where that came from, after all!

But getting back to the ugly. Charlie Crist isn’t sitting still while Rubio and the Republicans in Florida try to paint him as one who is fast and loose with taxpayer dollars. Today he released an ad taking shots at Rubio for some of the items mentioned above.

So here you go. Let the ugliness begin….

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Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Church in Gainesville, Florida plans to go ahead with plans to host his “International Burn A Quran Day” on September 11, and has encouraged a worldwide Quran burning as well.

Yesterday Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan stated that the Quran burning could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort. Confirming those fears, a rally in the capital yesterday had hundreds of Afghans denouncing the book burning and called for Barack Obama’s death, in spite of a statement put out by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, saying it was “deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.”

While it is appalling enough that the church would do this, I think there is plenty of blame to be directed elsewhere as well. Let’s don’t forget how all this started in the first place. It began with the pseudo controversy over the “not a Mosque” which is “not at Ground Zero”, but rather nearby. It was merely another distraction manufactured by the GOP,  and encouraged by its 24-7 propaganda machine that has invested so heavily in the Republican party: FOX. The GOP has done almost nothing since the 2008 election of Obama beyond obstructing everything he and Democrats in Congress have tried to do to pull the country out of the eight year disaster of the Bush Administration. They also saw the “not a Mosque” as a great opportunity to score votes in the next election, since they have no plans of their own beyond tax cuts for the rich, repealing health care for Americans and shutting down the government. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time.

This is the party that jumped at the chance to take full advantage of the 9-11 attacks in the first place. This is the party that rolled out their little “color me terrified” threat level color chart every time an election was near, claiming there was “chatter” of upcoming terrorist attacks. Unconfirmed of course.

Politicizing terror has become a GOP policy. By the 2008 elections they even admitted it. In June of that year, in an article about John McCain, his strategist Charlie Black talked about the fact that a “good scare” probably helped save McCain in New Hampshire. From the Fortune article:

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an “unfortunate event,” says Black. “But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who’s ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us.” As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him,” says Black.

Nice. So here we are again on the verge of an election. Since the GOP have absolutely nothing to offer voters except robbing them of health care and, yes, “transferring the wealth” into the pockets and bank accounts of the top 2% of Americans, while the rest fend for themselves when they shut down the Government. What to do? Why, play the terror card of course!

This from the party that perpetuates the myth that they, and ONLY they can keep the country safe. This from the party who adorn themselves with flag lapel pins, repeat the phrase “support the troops” and then do exactly the opposite. Pretending to find the “not a Mosque” so outrageous, while at the same time voting against health benefits for the very soldiers who fought their war of choice. They wring their hands while saying how dare anyone build such a thing “at Ground Zero?” (Except it isn’t “at Ground Zero” and again, it’s “not a Mosque.”) They’re absolutely indignant over a building nearby, but they also voted against health benefits for first responders to the terrorist attack itself. People who probably didn’t stop to think what religion the victims practiced before risking their lives to save them. No, health benefits for those first responders is a “socialist handout.” Outrageous! Who do they think they are?

No, we won’t hear anything about the GOP’s role in this controversy, but they will gladly line up to condemn the church and those who would burn the Quran, and the media will enable the charade as always.

In Florida candidates were asked early on what they thought of the “not a Mosque” controversy, and Republicans were more than happy to whip out their trusty, worn out script.

Marco Rubio, the GOP candidate for a U.S. Senate seat said:

“It is divisive and disrespectful to build a mosque next to the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic extremism.”

And he wasn’t finished there. He went on to say this, according to TPM:

Marco Rubio says that Muslims in other nations should look fondly on the United States as a bastion of religious tolerance following the Cordoba House flap.

That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? After all, the GOP also thinks that the people of Iraq should be thanking us for storming their country, killing their citizens and leaving behind a country in shambles. No, they didn’t attack us on 9-11, but no matter. The war was a gift, and to that end, the GOP says “you’re welcome.”

But back to Marco Rubio:

“I would point out to Muslims all over the world that America is one of the few countries on earth where every faith is represented,” Rubio said. “We have a long and cherished tradition of religious liberties and freedom, and none of that is being questioned in my mind.”

“The question” about the Cordoba House, Rubio added, “is whether it’s the right thing to do, not the legal thing to do. Building a mosque there has opened wounds, and it’s been hurtful. And that’s why I think it’s not the right place at the right time.”

That’s right Marco, nothing says “religious tolerance” like a good Quran burning. No one is questioning their right to build the “not a Mosque.”  It’s just a good old fashioned book burning, right?

What about that other “Independent” (wink, wink) candidate, Charlie Crist? Well, a month ago he said he supported the “not a Mosque” along with President Obama. Of course, at the time the GOP were also mocking him for it. But they were probably wearing flag pins while they mocked him, so….

Then we have the Republican candidate for Governor, Rick Scott. What are his views on the “not a Mosque not at Ground Zero?” Why, it’s “Obama’s Mosque!” “It’s being built just yards away from Ground Zero!” And that’s not all. The leader building the “not a Mosque” “refuses to admit that Muslim fanatics used terror tactics!” Scott says “the issue here is truth!” Well, he’s half right. It is an issue of truth. He’s merely distorting the truth for political purposes. In fact he’s so enjoying himself that he seems to think he’s running against Obama in his campaign ad about “Obama’s Mosque” rather than Governor of Florida. Some “outsider.” He fits right into the GOP mold like a suit of armor. Armor, incidentally, that Republicans were too cheap to spend money on to protect American soldiers in Iraq.

The GOP supports the troops, if by “support” you mean sending them off to a war based on a lie, while chanting the mantra “fight the terrorists over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here.” That, in itself is a whopper of a distortion of truth. They’re fighting them over there so the GOP can pillage here at home, and should you question them they will drape themselves in the flag and yell “fanatic Muslim!” until you surrender your civil rights, your wallet, your sons and daughters, and your vote. Whatever it takes. And the media will play right along. Dropping bombs aren’t the only way terrorists operate. They also take advantage of fear and propaganda. Sound familiar?

So while Gen. Petraeus states that this Quran burning in Gainesville endangers the lives of American troops as well as people all over the world, and perhaps here at home, Republicans can’t now hold themselves out on the sidelines and claim shock at the actions of a pastor who writes a book called “Islam Is Of The Devil.” They wanted fear and controversy, and they got it. And then some.

Let’s place blame everywhere that blame is due.

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Wow. What a difference a few weeks make when a millionaire wins a primary, huh? One day the nearly broke Florida GOP was smearing Rick Scott, reminding voters of his dirty laundry at every chance and saying he wasn’t a “real Republican.” Then Bill McCollum lost the primary, and the next day they were groveling at Scott’s feet with their hands out.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Scott announced his choice for running mate, Jennifer Carroll  who he THINKS he met back in April. It seems Carroll did some fast flip-flopping of her own.

Just a few weeks ago she was a big supporter of Bill McCollum. So much so that she took a few whacks at Rick Scott in a speech to the Clay County Young Republicans.

In the video she talks about the Governor’s race, and how voters are “waffling back and forth.” (Pot, meet waffle?) But that “she supports Bill McCollum” because Florida “needs someone who is for the State, and not himself.” And “we do not need someone in that seat who is learning” and is “in that seat for personal gain.”

According to the blog Death, Taxes & Politics, that video mysteriously did a disappearing act. (Kind of like Rick Scott when you ask him a question or to debate his opponent.) Luckily, the video was captured on YouTube.

Here is Carroll, in her own words:

No pandering here!

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