Monday, January 31, 2011

Free Speech: Our Money vs. Their Money

Politics and money: two words pretty much guaranteed to stir up controversy, but unfortunately not enough honest debate on their influence on each other.

Let's face it, today good intentions are insufficient...if you want to get your message out, it takes money. That's reality, and anyone who denies it is naive, dishonest, or both.

Of course, politics being what it is, the source of money that's used to send particular messages attracts scrutiny. This is as it should be, but I've noticed a certain amount of hypocrisy from the Left when it comes to financial issues. 

The liberal handwringing and gnashing of teeth over the Citizens United case and groups like Americans for Prosperity never ceases to amaze me.  Frankly, I just don't see the difference between getting millions of dollars from one group or another, and the source of the money doesn't necessarily prove or disprove the validity of a message.  It is pretty entertaining though, to watch a group sponsored by union money come and yell at you for taking corporate money. 

Last week I attended a great forum hosted by Americans for Prosperity on the subject of school choice.  I'm proud of the public school education I received (kindergarten all the way through law school), but my parents were very involved in my education and we lived in a good school district.  That's not true just a few miles away from where I grew up.  I want everyone to have the chance to get the same great education I did.  

There were a few dozen liberal protesters that showed up at the event, and wow, did they ever miss the point.  One guy had a poster that said "No Corporate Control of Our Schools."  Ummm, not a single person there that night was advocating for corporate takeover of the education system.  One protester yelled, "who paid you to be here?" at Dick Morris, and some other comment about how dare he fly in here and "tell us how to run our schools," to which Morris humorously responded that he wasn't paid at all to be there and he was actually a Florida resident, with a house about two hours away.  Ah, facts are pesky little things, aren't they?

Most offensively, when Ralph Reed commented that he was proud to be a Christian and a conservative, and then he said that he was glad that we have free speech rights in this country, a young man sitting in front of me jumped up and did a Nazi salute, while one of his friends yelled out "Fascists!"  

Excuse me?

How delusional do you have to be to think that "Nazi!" or "Fascists!" is an appropriate response to "free speech is great"?  Seriously, these guys must have gone to failing schools, or they would have known that the Nazis were the antithesis of free speech supporters.

If your first response to hearing a conservative opinion is to yell "Nazi," then you've just proved you have no argument at all.  Keep it up, you left wing bozos.  You and your little friends will all snicker at how fun it was to call a minister a Nazi, but you will never, ever win another person over to your side with that tactic.  

Remember, politics is a spectrum.  We win elections by energizing our base and convincing the moderates and independents our ideas are better.  As long as the conservative side continues to stick to facts and logic and act like adults, and the liberals just accuse us of being Nazis, racists, or whatever the nonsensical ad hominem attack of the day happens to be, we will continue to win.

For more on this issue, please check out this intriguing article from Timothy P. Carney at the Washington Examiner I found this weekend, with a comparison of organizations backed by George Soros and the Koch Brothers.  The quote I've included from the end of the article sums up very nicely the "moral difference" between the liberal and conservative sides.

...Finally, while Soros money and Koch money are superficially equivalent, there's a crucial distinction. If we take both sides at their word, Soros and other liberal donors spend in order to impose their preferences on others while the Kochs and other free-market donors spend in an effort to be left alone to buy and sell with willing parties.

The moral difference is this: Only one side is trying to compel others to conform to its preferences.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rick Scott Twitter Town Hall - Tonight at 7 pm

Our new Governor, Rick Scott, has been making use of technology in ways beyond many other politicians.  The Florida press was in a flurry after Scott announced several key appointments, not with a traditional press release, but on his Facebook page.

Looking back, this move shouldn't have been that much of a surprise to anyone who watched him boldly refuse to sit down with any of the state's newspaper editorial boards during the election (I personally wouldn't have had the nerve, but I have to admire the audacity of what seemed like a dangerously risky move).  But somehow it still made news, with a number of journalists and bloggers noting the uniqueness of Scott's method of communication. I think I saw almost as many posts on Twitter remarking on Scott releasing  the news first on Facebook as posts commenting on the actual hires.

"They still print newspapers on actual paper?  That's quaint.
Anyway, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and you can see what the papers will be printing in a day or two!"

Well, it should also come as no surprise that our Governor, who is still making the local press all twitchy with his nonchalant attitude towards them (that's what happens when y'all let him prove that he doesn't really need you), is continuing to use new media methods to reach out to his constituents.

Yesterday, Scott posted on Twitter the following invitation:

@FlGovScott: Join me for a Twitter Town Hall tomorrow night at 7pm. Send Q's to @, use . I will answer as many Q's as I can.

So, tune in to tonight at 7 pm for an online town hall with Governor Scott.  Should be interesting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pam Bondi discusses new states joining the lawsuit against Obamacare

Pam Bondi was on Greta Van Susteren's On the Record show last night, to discuss the addition of six new states to the lawsuit against Obamacare:

FoxNews Video | The More Not Merrier for 'Obamacare'? 

...don't miss the nice "Please call me Pam!" moment at the end of the video between Bondi and Van Susteren. :)

Currently, over half of the 50 states are engaged in active litigation against Obamacare, and others may join in the next few weeks.  When you add in the fact that the legislation has always had negative polling results and voters in the 2010 midterm elections overwhelmingly stated that they were voting for Republicans because they wanted them to repeal the health care bill, it boggles my mind how Obama and the Democrats in Congress can get on TV and say with a straight face that the health care bill is "popular" or that they are representing the "will of the people."

As I type this, the House bill to repeal Obamacare has passed, 245-189.  I am very proud of the Republican Congressional leadership who put together a short and simple bill, and also of all the Republicans and the three Democrats who voted in favor of repeal.

Regarding the Senate, I highly recommend you read this excellent commentary on RedState:

RedState | Brian Darling | Repeal of ObamaCare in the Senate - How To Do It

Contrary to what the Democrats are claiming, today's vote was not merely "symbolic."  The Republicans ran on a pledge to repeal ObamaCare; failing to take action on this issue would have made them hypocrites.  Also, the Democrats are now forced to go on the record and decide whether or not to vote for this bill.  Newly-elected Democratic members of Congress who had escaped the political fallout that rained down on their colleagues last year will now have a public vote supporting ObamaCare permanently attached to their names. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's-his-name elected RNC Chair

I am soooo happy that the elections are over and we now have new Chairmen for the Republican Party of Florida and the Republican National Committee.  Now we can all unite and work together for victory in 2012.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Bitner for the first time yesterday and can see what people like about him.  He is a warm, personable guy and has a deep love and enthusiasm for conservative politics.  I talked to a lot of people at the RPOF Quarterly meeting this weekend and even those who were supporting other candidates expressed a positive opinion about Bitner, so I was not surprised when he won on the second ballot. 

As for the RNC Chair, I've never met any of the candidates, but I am definitely very relieved that the Committee has moved on from Michael Steele.  I would like to give Steele the benefit of the doubt, but in my opinion, he deserves at least some of the harsh criticism he received for two key problems.  First problem was his insistence on inserting himself inappropriately into the political arena, often leading to cringe-worthy quotes that embarrassed the Party.  

The second failing of Steele's term was his failure to respect and work with the grassroots.  He spent a ridiculous amount of money on the "Fire Pelosi" bus tour, but appeared to have been attended almost exclusively by campaign staffers and those who were already committed Republican volunteers, and garnered very little media attention.  It was a lot of money to spend on a photo-op that, as far as I can tell, earned few, if any, actual  new votes for Republican candidates.  Steele also made the decision to drastically reduce the funding, or even outright cancel, many aspects of the party's GOTV ("get out the vote") programs that had been so successful for the GOP for several election cycles.  There were several races around the country where the Republican lost by a very narrow margin, and a more vigorous GOTV program, especially in the final 72 hours, could have made a difference.

Our new RNC chair is Wisconsin attorney Reince Priebus.  Fun fact: Priebus attended the University of Miami College of Law with our own Marco Rubio.  Hopefully Rubio can help remind his friend of the importance of respecting the conservative grassroots.  So far, Priebus is at least saying the right things.  Time will tell if he is also able to "walk the walk," but for now, I am hopeful.

There's been a lot of jokes and confusion about Priebus' name.  To help you learn how to pronounce it, here is a video from a Milwaukee news station announcing Priebus' election.  You can hear his name at the 12 second mark:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Arizona: The debate we SHOULD be having

Much has already been said and written about Saturday's tragic events in Tucson, Arizona. As a nation, we are united in our horror and sadness over the heartless murder of six innocent people, and the wounding of nineteen more, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Well...sigh...we should be united...

In an alarming and shocking turn, many on the Left instantaneously blamed the Right, before anyone had any information about the beliefs or affiliations of the shooter, much less his name.

Far-left blogger Markos Moulitsas, who runs the Daily Kos website, posted on his Twitter account almost immediately after the news broke, "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin."  Jane Fonda, apparently forgetting her own violent rhetoric during the Vietnam War (not to mention that nasty little episode where she posed for publicity photos on a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun) also used her twitter account to blame Palin, Glenn Beck (whose name she repeatedly misspelled as "Glen Beck"), as well as "the violence-provoking rhetoric of the Tea Party."  Mainstream media outlets also joined the blame game, with pundits like MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and the New York Times' Paul Krugman pointing fingers at the "violent rhetoric" of conservatives.  

Within hours of the shooting, facts started coming out about Jared Lee Loughner, facts that did not fit with the Left's "Crazy Violent Tea Partier" narrative.  Loughner was a registered independent, and his high school and community college classmates described him as "quite liberal" and "left wing."  He listed the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf among his favorite books, and stated in a YouTube video (video removed by YouTube; mirror site here) that the U.S. Constitution was "treasonous laws."

Even today, several days later, there is still zero evidence tying Loughner to the tea party or any conservative organization or school of thought, and his personal beliefs, both as expressed in his own words and as relayed by those who have known him the past few years, are directly antithetical to the beliefs of the tea party (e.g., the Constitution is revered by the tea party; never decried as "treasonous"). 

Loughner also exhibited an obsession with language and grammar.  There is more justification to blame Strunk and White for inspiring Loughner's actions than Sarah Palin,  who recently garnered attention for making up the word "refudiate," but of course we can all take a step back and say that it makes no sense to blame a grammar book for the actions of a madman. 

The Left is also ignoring their own violent sounding rhetoric, but political rhetoric had absolutely nothing to do with Loughner's violenceThere is ample evidence that he has been a unhappy, troubled, mentally disturbed young man for a very long time.  He was kicked out of his community college and was told he was not allowed to re-enroll until he had a mental evaluation proving that he was not a danger to himself or others, and he reportedly had a history of making public death threats to people in the community. Loughner had apparently been fixated on Giffords since at least 2007, according to interviews with his friends, who describe in detail his bizarre statements about her and disturbing behavior.

Not to be deterred by facts, today I am still hearing politicians and journalists on television crying out for a end to "violent rhetoric."  However, the real problem, in my opinion, is not just that the Left is completely wrong in blaming political rhetoric, but that they are totally missing the point.  

The debate shouldn't be about our political rhetoric, but rather about how we deal with mental illness in this country.   

I am not a doctor or psychologist, but I have seen multiple discussions that Loughner's obsession over certain details, fixation on Giffords, antisocial behavior, and odd "if-then" cadence of his speech and writings indicate a high likelihood of certain paranoid/schizophrenic disorders.  Regardless of the accuracy of diagnosing mental illness via YouTube, the facts surrounding his expulsion at  Pima Community College should have been the impetus to get Loughner a mental health evaluation, at minimum, if not active treatment.  He wasn't expelled for cheating on a test or not paying tuition; the campus police were involved, repeatedly, in a series of "classroom and library disruptions" caused by Loughner.  One of his professors, Ben McGahee, feared for the safety of his students and pushed the administration to remove Loughner.  One classmate, Lynda Sorenson, emailed her friends last summer about Loughner, writing, "We have a mentally unstable person in the class that scares the living crap out of me. He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon...I sit by the door with my purse handy. If you see it on the news one night, know that I got out fast..." 

Decades ago, we used to incarcerate the mentally ill in asylums, involuntarily sterilize them, and subject them to horrific medical procedures like lobotomies (in many cases, without informed consent).  This abusive treatment didn't just happen in Nazi Germany, but here in the United States.  Let me be very clear, I am absolutely not suggesting that we return to the eugenics-inspired methods of the past.  But I do think that we should have a open and brutally honest discussion about whether the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.  We are more worried about damaging a student's self esteem or inviting lawsuits than making sure that someone in mental trouble gets help.

Let's also recognize that not all mental illness leads to violence.  Many people, probably even some of your own friends or family, struggle daily with a wide variety of challenges ranging from depression to obsessive-compulsive disorders to schizophrenia without ever causing harm to anyone.  But it is still vitally important that these people obtain effective treatment, both to help them live the best life that they can, and also to catch and hopefully prevent the small percentage who may have violent tendencies. 

For a poignant and intensely personal discussion on this issue, please check out Chris Barnhart's blog, Chris is Right, in which he writes about his own mental illness in the context of the Arizona shootings:
The problem with mental illness is that one can’t easily test for it. Sure, there are psychiatric evaluations, but most of those require oral testimony from the patient him or herself. You can’t find mental illness in a blood screen, or by swabbing the cheek with a Q-Tip.
Oftentimes, psychiatrists judge symptoms based solely on interviews with a patient, and rely on that patient to be honest. Then, based on those symptoms, and what impact they have on a patient’s life, diagnoses and treatment plans are established.
The unavoidable complication here is that many people with paranoid psychoses often see psychiatrists and the mental health “establishment” as part of “the conspiracy,” whatever their particular conspiracy is. So, when interviewed by a psychiatrist, they lie.
...The point I’m trying to make here is that, even if the AZ shooter had undergone a psychiatric evaluation, they might not have caught the seriousness of his condition. And, even if they had assessed him as psychotic, medical and therapeutic treatment may not have prevented him from acting on his psychoses.
Barnhart also addresses the fact that mental illness should not negate Loughner's culpability for his crimes:
I am not suggesting in any way that the shooter’s alleged mental illness, or the lack of treatment, absolves him of the consequences of his crimes! String the bastard up.
...People with mental illnesses still have powers of reasoning and, in most cases, a strong sense of right and wrong. I hope I’m living proof of that. I may not be currently fit to be a full member of society, but I can still apply logic and ethics to my thoughts and my choices. Just because I talk to myself out loud when I walk down the street doesn’t mean I’m free from culpability if I choose to destroy someone’s well-being, property or life.

No matter how mentally ill Loughner might be, it was his choice to take the actions he took, rather than getting help or simply stewing in his own juices. He alone is responsible for his crimes, and he should be punished for them, just like anyone else would be.
Last night on Hannity, Dr. Keith Ablow had the following comment:
Our system of mental health care is shattered.  We don't know what to do.  We don't have a strategy for the Jared Loughners of this world.  And we'd better get one.  Because this is a health issue.  There's nothing political about his act.
It is time that we put politics and political correctness aside and look at how we handle mental illness.  We can't just lock up everyone who acts a little nutty, but standing aside and waiting until someone gets hurt before we intervene is not the answer either.

And regarding the continued focus on political rhetoric...I am absolutely against any attempts to control, suppress or restrain our free speech.  In my opinion, our loud, passionate, and even obnoxious political speech is a net positive.  I am glad that we have the freedom to have debates, hold up posters protesting our government, write stupid and ugly things on the internet, and just plain yell at each other.

We have gone through a series of close, highly contentious elections in the past few years (the 2000 "hanging chads", Bush's re-election in 2004, the Democrat's takeover of Congress in 2006, Obama's election in 2008, and now the Republican victories in 2010), and each time we have handled the transfer of power from one leader to another, from one party to another and back again, without bloodshed.

We have a record of peaceful political transitions that are the envy of the world.  In too many other countries, political power is held only by the barrel of a gun, and dissenting speech is brutally oppressed.  Human beings are passionate and emotional creatures, and I believe that having the freedom to engage in "violent" rhetoric provides a vital outlet to examine and challenge ideas without actually engaging in violent acts.  

So go ahead and be loud, be passionate, be opinionated.  Criticize other people if you think what they are saying is offensive.  Debate back and forth.  Challenge our elected officials.  Demand answers from candidates.  Examine ideas.  Question why things are being done the way they are.

Free speech is a great American tradition that must be preserved, especially in times of tragedy.  We should not let the ugly actions of a disturbed young man distract us from that important principle.  Saturday's events had nothing to do with Left or Right, Republican or Democrat, and everything to do with the devastating effects of untreated mental illness and the savage and heartless decisions of Jared Lee Loughner.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Change I Really CAN Believe In!

When I was in DC in November, I took this picture of the hallway leading to the offices for the Speaker of the House:

The sign says "THIS CORRIDOR CLOSED," which just seemed full of delicious irony at the time.

Today, some delightful photos were posted online:

Pam Bondi: Swinging for the Fences on Day One

Our new Attorney General is wasting no time getting to work.  Here is an excellent op-ed  by Pam Bondi, published in the Wall Street Journal today:

Wall Street Journal | Pam Bondi | The States Versus ObamaCare
This week begins the inauguration and swearing-in ceremonies for newly elected officials all over the country. One thing many of us have in common is that the voters rewarded us for our outspoken opposition to ObamaCare.

The electorate's decisive rejection of the Obama administration's policies reveals a pervasive concern over the federal government's disregard of fundamental aspects of our nation's Constitution. No legislation in our history alters the balance of power between Washington and the states so much as ObamaCare does...

On Monday, Bondi appeared on On the Record for a great interview with Greta Van Susteren.  I am thrilled to see her enthusiasm for her job and aggressive approach to the health care litigation.

YouTube | FoxNewsChannel | Uncut: Pam Bondi 'On the Record'

Looks like hiring a prosecutor to be our Attorney General was a good move.  Bondi's been locking up serial killers and child molesters for years.  Obama and Congress don't scare her one bit.  And if this is what she has done with less than 24 hours officially on the job, I cannot wait to see what comes next. 

High five to Pam Bondi.

Here's what one second of national debt looks like

A must read article by Andrew Malcolm to put in perspective the debate about our national debt and raising the debt ceiling:

If you're like most people not involved with drug trafficking, you don't often actually see U.S. money with more than one or two zeroes on it, as in $50 or $100.

...The national debt flew past $14 trillion last Friday. That's a galactic sum that's difficult for any average American to imagine or even grasp. But let's try:

Fourteen trillion is 14-thousand billions. A billion is a thousand millions. A million is a thousand thousands.

A trillion has so many zeroes it won't fit in your checkbook -- 12 zeros, to be exact.
Fourteen trillion dollars is $14,000,000,000,000.00, which is so large of a number that it is still very hard to wrap your mind around it.  It's even more mind-boggling when you think about how the national debt was only thirteen trillion on June 1, 2010.  We added a trillion dollars to our debt in just six months.  (Hey, Democrats, hint hint...this is a big part of why you got the snot beat out of you at the ballot box in November...the math is scaring the crap out of us.)

Andrew Malcolm has a great way of illustrating what this explosive growth in the national debt really represents.  I'll let you click on that above link and see it for yourself.  Warning: it's pretty frightening, and more than a little nauseating.  You may want to check it out before you eat your breakfast today.

Haven't had enough yet?  To watch our country's economic viability draining away, click here: (Another warning: scary spinning numbers, highly likely to induce nausea).

As far as the debt ceiling goes, my personal opinion is that I understand the arguments that it would be really damaging for the United States to default on payments, which apparently can happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling.  And I am realistic enough to not expect Congress to solve our problems in the first week, so I'm willing to give them a little bit of time to get a handle on how to steer the ship.  A small increase in the debt ceiling would give them some flexibility and time to make some real reforms.

My hope is that the newly-elected Republicans play their best game of chicken and wrangle as many spending cuts as they can out of the Democrats (not a repeat of the wimping out that happened with the tax cut extension deal...that was ridiculous).  Let's drive this thing right to the edge of the cliff before giving in.

Please, for heaven's sake, let's just raise that debt ceiling a teeny teeny bit.  Get the best economists we can find and get recommendations about the absolute smallest amount needed, and don't raise it one penny more.

And, hey, remember that fancy-schmancy "Debt Commission" that came up with all those recommendations for spending cuts, Medicare/Social Security changes, and other significant financial reforms that were supposed to finally get our national debt under control?  What happened with that?  Is anyone actually drafting any bills to get any of those recommendations made into law?  I haven't heard a peep about it.  Someone, please, get working on that, please, pretty please? 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rick Scott, Florida's New...Mayor?

A funny little error on Fox and Friends this morning, as they were doing a story on the inauguration activities in Tallahassee today:


Oops.  Not sure how that particular error slipped in, but I did get a nice laugh out of it.

Well, Rick Scott will be sworn in today as our 45th governor, and there's a whole day of fun and fanfare ahead of him in Tallahassee.  I am very much looking forward to what is to come from Scott and his administration.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dave Barry's Year in Review: Why 2010 Made Us Sick

Dave Barry is pretty much guaranteed funny, but he really outdoes himself here.

It's a little long, but pure awesomeness from beginning to end. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy:

Sarah Sprinkel for Winter Park City Commission

...a little local politics for you while I work on some commentary about the state and national political scene...

Local educator, community leader, and all-around "Superwoman" Sarah Sprinkel is running for the Winter Park City Commission.  I got to know Sarah when we were both selected in the inaugural class for BusinessForce's Political Leadership Institute, and she impressed the heck out of me.  She's smart, sincere, and one of the nicest people you'll met (especially in politics, haha).  Sarah has a lot of energy and a great work ethic.   She's been a wonderful asset for our local community for a long time and I'm excited that she has decided to throw her hat in the ring.

No matter what, the people of Winter Park are going to be winners because Beth Dillaha (ugh...just read some of Pete Weldon's blog here, here, and here) has decided not to run for re-election, but Sarah Sprinkel truly is going to be a great representative on the Winter Park City Commission.

Here is a video of Sarah announcing her candidacy at Central Park last month:

YouTube | Elect Sarah Sprinkel | Sarah Sprinkel's announcement to run for Winter Park City Commission

You can meet Sarah on Wednesday, January 5th, at Palmano's (331 Park Avenue, Winter Park) from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.  See Facebook event page here.

Sarah Sprinkel campaign website
Facebook: Elect Sarah Sprinkel
Twitter: @electsarah

NY Times showers attention on a one-term Congressman, why, exactly?

The New York Times has an absolutely hysterical, might-actually-make-you-roll-on-the-floor-laughing-out-loud, funny article yesterday about our local lunatic quickly-retired Congressman Alan Grayson:

...Representative Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida’s Eighth Congressional District, is leaving office on Wednesday much as he entered it two years ago — as the pugnaciously partisan, verbal-bomb-tossing, liberal folk hero of the 111th Congress.
But in a wide-ranging interview as his term drew to a close, he repeatedly aimed his artillery in an unexpected direction: toward his own party.
Not for overreaching, in this age of hand-wringing over big government and creeping “socialism,” or for ideological purism. Instead, while surveying the wreckage of the November elections that cost him his seat and looking to the Congressional term ahead, Mr. Grayson posits that many Democrats have not been acting Democratic enough.
Judging by the results of the midterm elections, it does not exactly seem to be a widespread sentiment.
"Not exactly a widespread sentiment?"  Yeah.  No kidding.  If by "not exactly a widespread sentiment" you mean, "got the snot beat out of him on November 2nd."

Alan Grayson, The One-Hit Wonder One-Term Blunder of Florida's Congressional Delegation.  Gah.  He's a scary looking dude.

My apologies for the photo of Alan Grayson.  Here's a picture of a fluffy puppy to help your eyes recover.  Awwwww.  (From

The entire article has to be read to be believed. Enjoy these magical little gems:

Grayson gives Nancy Pelosi a "glowing assessment," and a grade of "A," "without reservation."  I'd give her an "A" too, for being a grade-A actress in the TV ads of every Republican Congressional candidate this past year.  She was wonderfully talented at conveying exactly why people should vote Republican.  Just seeing her face for a few seconds easily symbolized the whole "Congress is spending a crapload of your money, passing unconstitutional legislation, and ignoring all your attempts to make them listen to you" concept.

He calls incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner a "tool of special interest."  I wonder if he meant "of special interests." Or does he mean that Boehner is especially interesting? I can't tell. It is often difficult to translate Crazy into English.

He claims that the Tea Party is “bought and paid for by the enormously rich and the selfish.”  Oh, those evil corporations, paying all of us to make posters and go to rallies.  Hmmm, where's my check?  Maybe it will come in the mail tomorrow?  I can't wait!

...and of course, Grayson has some lovely words to congratulate his successor, calling Daniel Webster a "bizarre fundamentalist."   I'm so glad he thinks this way, because this hubris-driven idea is what led to the infamous "Taliban Dan" TV ad that sealed Grayson's fate.  This year, maybe Grayson can help the Humane Society place more pets for adoption by claiming that puppies and kittens are actually radioactive vampires.

There is a lot of online speculation about Grayson's next political move, including some humorous chatter about making a run at challenging Obama for the 2012 Democratic Presidential nomination.  Originally I was in favor of Grayson fading away into the background, but the more I think about it, I love the idea of him being front and center, representing the Loony Left in all its glory.  

The Democrats were dumb enough to keep Nancy Pelosi as their leader in Congress, even after the Republicans effectively used her as a straw man to wipe them out in vast numbers.  If they are willing to give a radical liberal like Grayson any sort of platform, I think it is positively fantastic.

The Republicans aren't going to get a free ride, they need to be very careful not to stray from the fiscal conservatism they promised us, but their path to 2012 is made a lot easier by the fact that most of the Democrats who lost in November were the more moderate "Blue Dogs."  

The Democrats who are left in Congress are the most stridently liberal of the bunch (with the exception of Grayson, natch).  I seriously doubt their ability to calm their more radical impulses or moderate their rhetoric in a way that appeals to the current mood of the voters.  The simple fact that they re-elected Pelosi, who polls only slightly better than Hitler lately, speaks volumes about their tone-deafness toward what the American people want.  

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Watch the RNC Chair Debate

The candidates for Chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) will be having a debate tomorrow, January 3, at 1:00 pm EST, sponsored by The Daily Caller and Americans for Tax Reform.

You can watch the debate live at this website:

Mel Martinez's move changed face of Florida politics

Elections always bring change, but 2010 brought more than usual...especially here in Florida.

Here's an interesting look back on the falling dominoes that reshaped the political landscape in the Sunshine State:

Florida's representation in government underwent a huge change in 2010 and voters can either blame or thank former Sen. Mel Martinez, depending on how they feel about it.

Republican Martinez's December 2008 announcement that he would not seek a second term created a domino effect that led to an election year unlike Florida had seen in more than a century.

If Martinez had just stayed put, Gov. Charlie Crist probably would have run for re-election. Same with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum. Instead, Florida has a new U.S. senator, a new governor and three new Cabinet members.

And it was a year when Tea Party fervor over federal spending helped Republicans take back four U.S. House seats, including two candidates considered safe when the election cycle began...

What surprised you the most about this past election?  Personally, I was not that shocked by Crist's decision to run as an independent, but I was surprised (and pleased!) to see that, instead of drawing away conservative votes from Marco Rubio, Crist swung so far to the left that he stole liberal votes from Kendrick Meek.  The unusual dynamics of the Senate race have been credited with depressing Democratic turnout, and partially assisting Rick Scott win the governor's race. 

...and just as the above-cited article points all started with Mel Martinez. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Dead to Us"

"Red Eye" is a show hosted by Greg Gutfeld that the Fox News Channel plays at 3:00 a.m. every weekday. Think of it as a libertarian-leaning version of the Jon Stewart's Daily Show.

If you haven't seen it before, I highly recommend you set your DVR to record a few episodes and check it out. 

In keeping with the show's traditional irreverent and semi-inappropriate (correction: often inappropriate) humor, the Red Eye version of the "In Memoriam" look back at 2010 lists not people who actually died during the past year, but instead those who were, in the words of Gutfeld, "Dead to Us:"

What do you think?  What celebrities or pop culture trends do you wish would just go away?

Personally, I'd like to see an end to spelling plural words with a "z" instead of an "s" at the end, stories about celebrity plastic surgery, minivans driving in the left hand lane of I-4, and Alan Grayson getting any sort of television coverage whatsoever.

Happy New Year, y'all!  Hope 2011 is awesome for you.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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