Category Archives: Democrats

Jeff Greene with a double-digit lead in the polls? Is Florida insane?

Mr. Obvious says that voters are angry.  Some know why but most don’t.

Many believe that as long as the candidate currently holds an office in Washington, they should go.  It doesn’t matter if they’re replaced by the extremely rich (Jeff Greene-FL Senate), the horrible ex-CEO (Carly Fiorina CA Senate), the CEO whose company was involved in the largest Medicare Fraud case in United States history (Rick Scott FL Governor) or the candidate with incredibly divisive positions (Sharron Angle NV Senate).

Jeff Greene is rich.  Very, very rich.  He is on Forbes 400 list.  Nobody seems to care how he made his way on this list.

Greene essentially invested in the tanking of the housing market.  So as the subprime market fell and millions of Americans lost their homes, Greene found his investment increased by 1400% in 18 months for a nice little profit of $800 million.

There’s nothing illegal or unethical about that.  Just a little smarmy. 

He is a political outsider though in 1982 Greene ran for Congress in California as a Republican.  When Chris Matthews asked Greene if he had voted for Reagan in either 1980 or 1984, he responded that he could not recall.  That would be believable had he not run as a Republican during that mid-term election between each of Reagan’s elections.

In 2008, Sarah Palin and the rest of the Republicans started throwing out the name Bill Ayers at President Obama.  They said he ‘palled around with terrorists.’  It was debunked however the message still exists.  You look at who the candidate associates with and you can determine who they are.

I learned that lesson very young.  In my first professional job, I was told to cease talking to one of the employees in the department.  They were planning on moving her out and she wasn’t well liked.  If I was seen associating with her, I could expect the same fate.

Greene is friends with ‘Hollywood madam’ Heidi Fleiss, Lindsay Lohan and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.  In fact, Tyson was the best man at Greene’s wedding. 

During the 2000 and 2004 elections all we heard was we wanted to elect someone we felt we could have a beer with.  Palin was the mom next door.  Today we want the political outsider and we don’t care how rich they are. 

Some of these ‘outsiders’ will spend more of their personal finances on their elections this year than many of us will earn in our lifetimes.

It seems he is taking his outsider status too far.  In fact, he apparently is trying to come off as bipartisan.  While speaking to a Sarasota media forum recently Greene said, “Whether I was a Republican or Democrat, who cares?”

Really?  Democrats do?  And so do Republicans. 

Worse still is that if Greene defeats Kendrick Meek in the Democratic Primary this month, he is going to after Governor Charlie Crist’s lack of party affiliation.

Salon wrote a great piece this week on the type of boss Greene is.  Read the story here:  Jeff Greene is a nightmare boss

Apparently he’s spoiled, abusive and cheap but the worst thing I found out about Greene was a story mentioned in Salon that kind of was brushed over.

A deckhand on Greene’s 145-foot yacht was injured.  Greene lied to the insurance company by telling them that deckhand Harlan Hoffman did not work on his yacht.

It took 8 months and legal action to resolve the case and get Hoffman’s bill’s paid.

Insurance fraud is when someone lies to the insurance company in order to get them to pay the bills when they shouldn’t have.  What is it called when you lie to the insurance company so they won’t pay the bills in order to keep your rates down?

Greene’s former personal chef, James Battles, sued him last year alleging that Greene ‘demanded round-the-clock attention and would berate and humiliate Battles when he sought reimbursement for food paid for out of his own pocket.’

‘Battles said Greene fired him after he was hospitalized for exhaustion before one of Greene’s parties.  The settlement is confidential and Greene declined to discuss the case.

Another example of what we might expect from Greene: During the 2000’s, Greene owned more than 8,000 properties.  He threatened to get a city council aide fired who was advocating on behalf of one of Greene’s tenants who complained about the heat and water problems.  When threatened to escalate the issue to then Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Greene responded “Ha, ha, ha.  I know Rocky personally.  He and his wife were married in my house.  I’ll see to it that this council aide will be fired.”

Hollywood director, Richie Cunningham and Opie wouldn’t vote for Greene.  During the 1990’s, Ron Howard rented a luxury home owned by Greene when the house was flooded from a leaky roof.  [Read story here]

“If you look at the record and the outcome, he committed fraud and that’s why it was so expensive for him.  With what I know about Jeff Greene as a tenant, I certainly wouldn’t vote for him, and I wouldn’t relish the idea of him being in the Senate.” – Howard, who won a $616,000 judgment from Greene, said during an interview with the Washington Post.

What is also surprising is that with only a couple of weeks to go until the Florida primary, very little is known about Greene yet he is up by double digits in the polls.  The other problem is that most people still know very little about Kendrick Meek as a result Greene and his aggressive advertising campaign is making him a more familiar name.

I’ve seen countless ads and received a number of mailers from Greene.  I am still waiting for Meek to show up.

You can be sure that if the Democrats elect Greene as their nominee, Governor Charlie Crist (I) and Marco Rubio (R-Teabagger) will not let Greene off the hook so easily.  In fact, they will probably make Greene appear to be a spoiled rich man with a bad temper and no understanding of politics who today has decided he wants to be a senator. 

I suspect that Democrats will run from Greene as they learn more about him and wouldn’t be surprised if Obama endorsed Crist in return of Crist’s supporting the Stimulus Package. 

 

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Marco Rubio – Costing taxpayers – Increasing personal income

Florida cannot afford Marco Rubio.  A couple of Google searches supported that.

During the 10-year period that included Rubio’s roles as Florida House Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, he saw his income more than quadruple.

In 1999, Rubio reported his earnings at $99,000.  In 2008, it was up to $414,000.

Much of Rubio’s earnings during this period was work for multiple law firms including Broad & Cassel, ‘a well-connect statewide firm that had done millions of dollars of legal work for the Florida House.’

Between 2002 and 2005, Broad & Cassel billed Florida taxpayers $4.5 MILLION for legal work.  An audit of the firm’s work was conducted but never released.  Just remember, Florida’s congress is overwhelmingly controlled by the Republicans – about 67% of the Florida House and Senate.  Rubio is a Republican.

The question is – what did Rubio really do for these law firms?   It does seem interesting that Rubio received money from companies that billed the very state that Rubio represented.  Broad & Cassel billed Florida an average of more than one million dollars per year for four years.

Asked if he would have been hired by Broad & Cassel had he not been Speaker of the House Rubio responded, “It’s hard to tell with a hypothetical.  I certainly would have worked somewhere.  I had made a career of working at big firms up until last year when I went out on my own.”

True, but would he have been compensated $1.2 million for 4 years?

During his time at Broad & Cassel, Rubio “said he reviewed zoning applications, but he never appeared before a board or a commission on a land use matter.”

During Rubio’s final year as Speaker, he ‘secured a special line item in the budget that gave Jackson Memorial Hospital an additional $20 million in 2008.  Several months later, Jackson hired Rubio as a consultant under a $96,000 a year contract.”

Since leaving state government, Rubio received lucrative deals with:

  • Miami Children’s Hospital paying him $102,000.
  • Florida International University – $69,000
  • Univision – as an on-air commentator for $8,000.

What I found most interesting was the last paragraph in the I-Team investigation

Despite his income, Rubio’s net worth is surprisingly low. In 2008 he listed his net worth at just $8,300. A self described fiscal conservative, Rubio is carrying almost a million in debt — including two mortgages on his current home and more than $100,000 in student loans. 

Rubio’s annual salary bump also is interesting considering he had stopped payments on a Tallahassee home which was heading into foreclosure.  Rubio claimed that he stopped paying on the home during a dispute with the bank.  He has since caught up with the payments once news for the pending foreclosure became public.

Rubio is also currently under a federal IRS investigation over the potential misuse of Republican Party credit cards for personal expenses. 

At the very least, it appears that Rubio has benefitted as a result of his time in public service at a very high cost to taxpayers but clearly he has difficulty managing his personal finances.

Can we really afford to send Marco Rubio to Washington?

Sources: 

Politifact – Charlie Crist’s first TV ad focuses on Marco Rubio’s money

I-Team: Scrutinizing Marco Rubio’s Finances

Standing Against Israel – Strange Bedfellows indeed

If there seems to be a single issue that rallies the Teabaggers, Liberals, bigots and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad it is their stance on Israel.

On-line friends (Twitter and bloggers) have surprised me with the speed with which they pounced on the ‘big, bad Israel’ position.  I expected it from the Ahmadinejad’s of the world as well as the anti-Semites.  But Progressives who claim to be hate-free and open-minded?

Even before the first video hit YouTube, I found many liberal friends chastise Israel for attacking the poor Flotilla with nothing but humanitarian aid and love for the desperate Palestinians in Gaza.

With the same conviction that we mocked when Republicans blindly supported a president and the lies that led us into 2 wars, many liberals charged that Israel was guilty without ever hearing a single fact.

I even read comments where people said that they will never be convinced that Israel could be justified in Flotilla-gate.   Wow.  And they call themselves liberal.

They quickly dismiss any comments and evidence coming out of Israel and denounce anyone who supports them.  Just as quickly, they post stories linking to anything promoting the Flotilla (or anti-Israel) cause without seeking supporting evidence.

They post every country that gives dollars, arms or aid to Israel but ignore which organizations support the Palestinians in Gaza and Hamas.  [Hint: you may want to read about IHH and their ties to Hamas]

Just who agrees with my liberal friends who stand united against Israel?

Let’s start with former grand wizard of the KKK and possible US presidential candidate – David Duke.

Link to David Duke post 

Duke’s post has an interesting choice of photos:  A slew of sheets with eyes cut out – just like those worn by the KKK.  Above the Klansmen is the word – Kohanim (Jewish high priests).  Duke clearly is equating the Jewish supremacy with his White supremacy.  Fascinating if not also hypocritical – and laughable.

[Read full story]

What’s next for Charlie Crist?

Florida Governor Charlie Crist sealed his fate with the Republican Party when he vetoed the GOP supported teacher pay and tenure bill (SB6) earlier this month losing what was left of his Teabagger support. 

Vetoing that bill was the right thing to do – regardless of political party.  And that is the real Charlie Crist.

Crist was the guy who sought a deal with the Seminole Indians in order for Florida to receive taxes from their casinos while state Republicans were letting the clock run out.  (Rubio was the Speaker of the House at the time and challenged Crist’s deal in court – and won.)  Crist still looked good in the state because that deal would have given the state millions in taxes generated from the Indian reservation casinos whereas before the state got nothing.  The court case actually bought the state more time allowing Florida and the Seminoles to finally work out a deal.

Crist was the guy who extended the early voting hours in 2008 allowing more people the ability to vote.  His party vocally challenged Crist’s decision.  Democrat Barack Obama ended up taking the state.

[Read full story]

Hypocrite Joe ‘You Lie’ Wilson honored to serve Wendy’s customers

Joe Wilson is best known for yelling ‘you lie’ at President Obama during an address to Congress last year and became a hero to Rush Limbaugh and the Teabagger crowd.

On Wednesday, he Tweeted on his @CongJoeWilson Twitter account

I was so honored to serve customers at Wendys in Irmo!

It linked to a blog post on his campaign website complete with a photo op.  Here’s the posting:

How’d you like to have a Congressman serving you up lunch?  For some folks at Wendy’s in Irmo, Joe Wilson was the guy manning the drive-thru window, as part of his Joe Means Jobs tour.

The event that attracted all the TV cameras was Congressman Wilson donning an apron serving up some lunch.

Unknowing customers got quite the treat when they pulled up to have Joe serve up their burgers and fries at the drive-up window.  The Irmo Wendy’s employs around 11 to 13 workers per shift.  Being up close during the busy lunch hour gave Joe a firsthand idea of how hard South Carolinians are working.

In case you’re curious, Joe says his favorite item at Wendy’s is the Chili.

{Note:  At the time of this posting, this posting was removed from Wilson’s campaign website however the Tweet was still up on his Twitter account.}

Joe Wilson serving up food for a photo op

Even his campaign’s jobs posting admits to the photo op – ‘the event that attracted all the TV cameras …’.

Unknowing customers received quite the treat when they saw Joe serving them their food.  Seriously, how many Americans would recognize their United States Congressman or Senator on the street?  Unless of course, they saw the TV camera and ‘Joe Means Jobs’ on his apron.

Lastly, this Joe Means Jobs is all well and good but get real – if the jobs are at Wendy’s, then we’re in some serious trouble.  When I was a child, fast food restaurant jobs were filled by high school dropouts in the morning and high school students during the nights and weekends. 

My first real job was at Burger King and I don’t recall any real adults there except the manager and the assistant manager who left for a brief period to attend BKU (Burger King University) – I’m not making that up.

The articles that hit the papers were titled:

It’s no lie.  Joe Wilson serves up fast food.

It’s cute but I’m kind of put off by the title because it trivializes the level of the disrespect Wilson showed the President.  Republicans were even offended and told Wilson to apologize to POTUS.  That is until Rush Limbaugh hailed Wilson as the conquering hero and the martyr because he was pummeled in the media for his offense.

From the It’s no lie article.

“We have some of the highest taxes in the world,” said Congressman Joe Wilson.  “That makes it very difficult for us to compete with Europe, with Asia.  So we need to reduce taxes.”

A simple Google search indicates that Wilson is referring only to the Corporate tax rate.  Documentation does support that numerous states have higher corporate tax rates than many other countries.

What Wilson is ignoring is that the tax rate on individuals in the United States ranks among the lowest worldwide.

What this tells me is that Wilson’s priority is to the corporations.

He was honored to serve Wendy’s customers and corporate interests.  As far as his Individual constituents – not so much.

Lower the Corporate tax rate – More Individual jobs at Wendy’s.

 

Sources for Tax Rate information:

U.S. States Lead the World in High Corporate Taxes (2008) – TaxFoundation.org

Tax Rates Around the World (Corporate and Individual) – last updated Jan 2010 – Worldwide-Tax.com

Think your taxes are bad?  (no date but I suspect it’s from 2006) – MSN Money Central

Teabaggers unite – It’s convention time in Nashville

The for-profit National Tea Party Convention kicked off Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee at 3 p.m.  Thousands Hundreds showed up to register for the 3:00 – 6:00 registration period.

From 7 – 8, the Teabaggers gathered for a Meet and Greet with hors d’oeuvres.

I wonder what they noshed on during this hour – Slim Jims, hot dogs, American flags?

Said one attendee – ‘Why do I want to meet and greet with some whores?  And what the hell is a d’oeuvres?’

I’m sure the crowd looked similar to the 2008 Republican Convention but with a much lower income level.

Tom Tancredo was the kickoff speaker.  I agree that he was the perfect choice.  The former Colorado Representative and failed 2008 presidential candidate ran on a single issue – screw illegal immigrants.  He will be replaced by Lou Dobbs in the 2012 Republican primary.

He said that President Obama won the 2008 election because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

This is a bigoted remark because he is implying that blacks, Hispanics and immigrants lack the intelligence to pass a literacy or a civics test.  Interestingly, people who most support this inane comment would have a greater likelihood of scoring lower than the people Tancredo was referring to.

So far, the biggest news to come out of the Tea Party convention is the fact that former Congressman Tom Tancredo apparently pines for the era of Jim Crow restrictions on voting rights. (The Tennessean

“Thank God John McCain lost the election,” Tancredo said.  He felt that McCain was shaping up to be a repeat of ‘Bush 1 and Bush 2.”   I actually agree with Tancredo here.  Where are my pills?

He also preached to the choir by saying that America “put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House … Barack Hussein Obama.”

At least Tancredo didn’t call him Barry like opening night singer Lisa Mei in her Teabagger classic hit “Where’s the birth Certificate, Barack Obama.”

Obama ,tell us where were you born?
‘Cause the media won’t do their job anymore
You’re grandmother in Kenya said you were born on foreign shores
So Barry tell us where oh where were you born?

And Mei, his first name is spelled with just 1 ‘r’.  It’s not ‘Barrack’.

On her blog, she describes herself as ‘a wife, a mother, a Christian conservative.”

Also from her blog“I decided to work on my own music and really turned the heat up during last Fall’s election cycle with my tribute YouTube video to Governor Sarah Palin and a campaign song I co-wrote with my friend “Big Dawg”.  We have written several new conservative/patriotic songs (many of which were #1 songs at www.soundclick.com) inspired by the Tea Parties and we have more in the works to help get the message out – that NOW is the time for all true Patriots to speak out.”

Ray Stevens was the other singer.  I listened to his political song ‘We the People” and found it quite humorous and enjoyable.  Stevens has been on the music scene for over 5 decades and in 1962 recorded the top 5 hit ‘Ahab the Arab’.  I took the time to listen to a couple of his songs and particularly enjoyed ‘Mississippi Squirrel Revival’ about a squirrel that gets loose in a church. 

Then Teabaggers were rewarded with the Teabagger movie – Tea Party, The Movie.  This 2009 documentary (?) chronicles the Teabagger movement.  Of course it seems as though they are the first group to protest government since the Revolutionary War.  They obviously ignored the grass roots movement that overwhelmed the election process in 2008.  Many of us got into blogging during that grass roots movement.

Friday’s breakout speaker was author, conservative thinker and anti-environmentalist Steve Milloy. 

“But the left is well-entrenched. They own almost every university in this country. We have a battle because the left has become entrenched and it’s because we let it happen. But we need to get active on the local level and get in schools. Don’t let your schools show An Inconvenient Truth unless they show the other side too. We just need to get involved in every institution.” – Milloy on Fox News

Universities open our minds up to new ideas, creative and individual thought and intelligent debate.  This is what the so-called ‘left’ has done to our universities.  Obviously, Milloy would like the opposite of that – minds closed to new ideas, no debate and definitely no individual thought. 

Also, what exactly does someone who is an ‘anti-environmentalist’ stand for?  How can you be against the environment?

After Milloy there are a couple of breakout sessions.  Dr. Rick Scarborough from Vision America will discuss “Why Christians Must Engage.”  This is an obvious attempt to try to bring onboard the far right fringe Evangelical Christians that have thus far resisted this movement.  Scarborough’s 2006 book is entitled ‘Liberalism Kills Kids.’  Enjoyable and uplifting.

Concurrently, there is the SGP (Smart Girl Politics) session “How to do Voter Registration Drives and Where to Find Conservative Voters” and “Women in Politics.”  I wonder if they’ll discuss ACORN – Hmmmm.

At 11:15, there will be 3 simultaneous sessions:

Young Americans for Freedom will discuss “How to Involve the Youth in the Conservative Movement” (I remember that from the 1980’s);

Numbers USA will present “5 Easy Fixes to the High Cost of Mass Immigration” (anyone see Lou Dobbs?);

Dr. B. Leland Baker will discuss “US Government Bankruptcy – Facts for Citizens Who Don’t Have Finance Degrees” (In other words people they can spew their bullshit to).

After lunch you can vomit to the speaking of Judge Roy Moore and Tom Fitton from the extremely conservative and hate-filled Judicial Watch.  If you have some time, you may want to check them out. 

In the afternoon, there will some more fun-filled breakout sessions that I know I need to see.  Hopefully, they’ll share these on YouTube or HateTube or TeabaggerTube.

Tomorrow is pretty much more of the same starting with Ana Puig’s presentation “Correlations between the current Administration and Marxist Dictators of Latin America.”  Wow, that’s a mouthful.  These are the types of discussions that make for some great Daily Show segments. 

The convention concludes tomorrow night with a banquet and a keynote address from the Queen Teabagger, Sarah Palin.

This past week, I went through the arduous debate between going to Nashville, spend $558 to attend the convention and banquet and listen to racist, hate-filled bullshit or stay home with my wife, drink topical drinks (it’s going to be in the 80’s this weekend) and possibly catch a movie.

I guess I could still catch a flight tomorrow to Nashville and spend $358 for the dinner with Sarah Palin.  I better get a signed copy of Going Rogue – and a freakin’ wink – and a damn ‘you betcha’. 

Better yet – I think I’ll stay home and start Friday night martinis now.  My brain hurts just researching and writing this post.  No wonder why only dumbasses fall for the Teabagger movement.

Additional sources:

National Tea Party Convention site

Tea Party Fireworks: Speaker rips McCain, Obama, ‘Cult of Multiculturalism’ – ABC News

 

Lisa Wei with Jim Robinson, founder and CEO of Free Republic

SCOTUS Kills Democracy

Actually, they have reshaped it.

In case you missed it, our fine United States Supreme Court led by Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito,  Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy ruled in a 5-4 vote that corporations cannot be restricted on political contributions in candidate elections.

The majority said that this was a vindication “of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech.”

But since when did corporations become citizens?  Yes, I know that they pay taxes but not the way citizens are required to.  We definitely don’t have the same loopholes.  Nor do they have the same bankruptcy laws.  Nor do I have shareholders that invest in me.

So far the media has been relatively quiet about this.  Surprisingly so considering the magnitude of this decision.

President Obama called it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”

For the first 24 hours following the decision, I was furious.  I came to the conclusion that Americans were no longer part of the election process.  As it was, corporations wielded a mighty big sword by utilizing corporate lobbyists to do their bidding for them in Washington.

Add the money they can now freely contribute and there is no way common Americans can have any quality time with our politicians.

I envisioned our election process being taken over by corporate interests.  Debates, primaries and caucuses get sponsorships.  (McDonalds Super Tuesday)

Whichever candidates best supported the corporate needs would receive hefty campaign contributions and a chance to represent their state or district for the next term. 

And it really isn’t difficult to “drown out the voices of everyday Americans” as President Obama put it.  The corporate lobbyists are always in the politicians faces and politicians are oblivious as to what we are saying outside the Beltway.

Initially, I believed that Republicans would now win every election.  But that isn’t true.  Many Democrats also put corporate interests ahead of American citizens.  So in that regard much wouldn’t change.

What would change are the politicians who nobly put their constituents before the corporate interests.  Their reelections would be in doubt. 

And unless you have the corporate political machine behind you, you can forget any political aspirations you may have.

The point to remember is that we are a Representative Democracy.  We elect people to represent us in the political process.

The added dollars coming from corporations will mean that ‘We the People’ will only be made aware of the candidates engulfed in that machine.

And as a Representative Democracy, the Supreme Court has determined who ‘We the People’ will rely on for determining which candidate we will ultimately vote for. 

But isn’t that the way it seems to be anyway?

Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority:

“When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought.  This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

This will also ensure that Fox News can provide 24 opinion on their ‘news’ station. 

What is bizarre is that this does not explain how restricting corporate campaign contributions would use censorship to control thought.  Campaign finance restrictions didn’t dictate the message, it just attempted to balance the process so ‘We the People’ had our voices heard – not ‘We the Corporations’.

In fact, stronger campaign finance restrictions were necessary in order to give our elections back to the people and really permit our voices to be heard.

Today, pork projects are given to districts so the politician can get support for his reelection.  Watch how the pork projects will go to districts where the corporate dollars are flowing in from. 

I hear Honda needs a new automotive facility in Alabama.

Anyway we spin this, this is bad for democracy.  It’s bad for the country.  And worst of, it will be bad for Americans.  The Supreme Court has failed us. 

United Corporations Supreme Court - Great job, fascArt {h/t BuzzFlash}