Saturday, April 30, 2011

Super MariObama

Here's the latest video from ForAmerica, a Nintendo parody sure to cheer all my fellow conservatives who grew up in the 1980s:



If you liked that, good news: they're planning a Part 2.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reading between the lines of the press coverage of the Senate race

There's been several in-depth articles published in the past few days regarding the Republican primary candidates competing to take on Senator Bill Nelson in 2012. Let's take a few moments to see what everyone is saying:

Politico | David Catanese | Florida Senate hopeful looking to follow Marco Rubio's lead
He’s a young, little-known former state lawmaker who is steadily piling up praise from the chattering class as the most authentic conservative candidate in the race for Florida’s Senate seat.

Adam Hasner announced his candidacy on Mark Levin’s nationally syndicated radio show Monday night, but even in this nascent stage of his campaign, there is ample evidence that his path is predicated on replicating the success of Sen. Marco Rubio...

...Hasner hasn’t reached Rubio-levels of fame yet. But he has earned glowing write-ups from prominent conservative publications like National Review, Human Events and NewsMax.
The article cites Hasner's support from members of what the author deems the "conservative illuminati," such as Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, and prominent GOP attorney Cleta Mitchell, and then mentions another name you may recognize:
Courting grassroots support is central to Hasner’s early strategy. Likely to be outraised in the early rounds by state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, Hasner is aiming for hearts and minds over pocketbooks, lining up many of the key on-the-ground players who signed on with Rubio when no one thought he had a chance.

“He’s already got a lot of the same supporters,” said Sarah Rumpf, an Orlando-area conservative activist who held one of the first fundraisers for Rubio in the early summer of 2009.
"Orlando-area conservative activist," yeah, I'll take that. It always cracks me up how I get described. Not gonna lie, my heart swelled with pride the first time I was called "Republican operative" in a blog post. Heh. Anyway, back to the awesomeness that is Adam Hasner: 
Rumpf just met Hasner two weeks ago, but said she is already convinced he’s the genuine article and is impressed that, like Rubio, he’s running as an unapologetic conservative.

“Marco proved you don’t have to moderate your message. The reality is that Hasner doesn’t have to reinvent himself as a conservative. He doesn’t have to look up the lingo and look up the slogans and figure out what he needs to say because that’s what he was in the legislature,” she said.

She said she also admires Hasner for being an early Rubio backer when most of the rest of the GOP establishment was lining up behind then-Gov. Charlie Crist.

“There’s a level of pride that we were openly supporting Rubio when he was at 5 percent,” she said.
You should read the entire article; it's really good.

There are also some enlightening little comments from a "Republican adviser to a rival campaign," who attempts to throw some false attacks at Hasner but is too chicken to be named.

Contrast that to this Miami Herald article from this past weekend:

Miami Herald | LeMieux can't shake Charlie Crist legacy in Senate bid

This article contains a laundry list of harsh criticisms of George LeMieux, especially regarding his long-standing role as Charlie Crist's "maestro." None of the sources slamming LeMieux felt it was necessary to be anonymous.

Sources may request anonymity in an article for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is when they know they're saying something they shouldn't, either because they're not supposed to be releasing the information, or because they aren't exactly being honest. Clearly plenty of people feel confident enough in their recollection of the past few years that they're willing to go on the record to criticize LeMieux. I think it says a lot that Hasner's attacker was not so forthcoming.

And finally, a little fun...my friend Apryl Marie Fogel sent out several tweets earlier this week after she was frustrated looking for an email address for the LeMieux campaign.


It's like an Easter egg hunt. Everyone join in. Find an email for the @george_lemieux campaign. Ready. Set. Look.Tue Apr 26 21:15:07 via web

The twitterverse responded with its usual sense of humor:


@aprylmarie Did you try emailing him at George.LeMieux@CharlieCrist.com? Might still work...Tue Apr 26 21:16:50 via web


Heh. RT @SaintPetersblog: I think @Reaganista has LeMieux's e-mail: George@Backstabber.com, right?Tue Apr 26 21:23:20 via ÜberSocial

Yep, as much as LeMaestro may try, he just can't shake that Oompa Loompa from his back. All three of the major Republican primary candidates for this Senate seat - Hasner, Haridopolos, and LeMieux - have marvelously unique names, and unless LeMieux figures out how to take down Google, he's not going to be able to escape his Crist connections.

FYI, in case you missed the reference, during the 2010 Senate race, @Reaganista would constantly refer to Charlie Crist using the hashtag "#backstabber." It was a brilliantly succinct way to describe how many of us conservatives felt about Crist's betrayal of all of his Republican principles and then finally the party itself.

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report and RedCounty]

The mystery of Obama's birth certificate, solved!

This is, hands down, my favorite tweet about the release of Obama's birth certificate yesterday:


Nice try, Mr. President, but if your birth certificate was made in 1961, WHY IS IT IN PDF FORMAT?!Wed Apr 27 16:19:35 via web

For added entertainment, check out some of the responses that @MikeDrucker retweeted yesterday from people who just do not understand sarcasm.

That last tweet I linked is especially delightful, not only completely missing the snarky intent of the original tweet, but also playing the race card with an exuberant level of stupidity:


@mpoppel @MikeDrucker Gee, let me guess- maybe because it was sent via computer? Was that REALLY so hard? #racismisaliveandwellinthegopWed Apr 27 17:51:53 via web

Twitter: Allowing people to expose what complete and utter dumba**es they are, since 2006.


You win some, you lose some

Well, you undoubtedly saw the news about Obama releasing his birth certificate yesterday, and the President seemed to enjoy the circus he had created by his silly two year delay. He gave some nice little lectures on how in serious times, people shouldn't be "distracted by sideshows." Of course, he spent the people's time and money to fly to Chicago to appear on Oprah to tell us all to get serious.

Irony is completely lost on this man. But I digress...

Obama's triumph over the birthers is doomed to be a short-lived joy, because of what else happened this week:

Washington Post | 'Hub' Schafly, TV engineer who helped invent teleprompter, dies at 91


[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Some local and state government internet resources

I've written before about the great job that the City of Orlando does managing its online presence, and I just wanted to share some other local and state government links I found today:

Florida House of Representatives Goes Mobile

The Florida House has long had a website at www.myfloridahouse.gov, and while there's a wealth of information offered on that site, it wasn't exactly mobile friendly.

No worries, today the House launched a mobile version of their site at http://mfhmobile.com. ("MFHmobile" stands for "My Florida House mobile.")

I tested the site on my Blackberry and it worked very well. Loaded quickly, easy to navigate. Here's the home screen:

[Hat tip: Saint Petersblog]


Winter Park Links

The City of Winter Park has also done a great job developing its online presence.

Pete Weldon posted on his website a list of useful links for Winter Park residents, including how to sign up for e-mail updates and emergency alerts from city government, and of course the City of Winter Park's Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Pete had this to say about Winter Park's efforts to provide information to its residents: "I am honored to live in a city that understands and lives up to the highest standards of government transparency. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these resources and to be informed about our city."
 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Adam Hasner Announces Candidacy for U.S. Senate

Adam Hasner released a video on YouTube this morning, officially announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Pretty standard stuff, but I really enjoyed his tongue-in-cheek post on his Twitter account about the video:
Because we all know what America really needs is another candidate announcement video. Check out our new website www.adamhasner.com  
Heh. Anyway, here's the video:


YouTube | Adam Hasner Announces Candidacy for U.S. Senate
...There's one thing I've heard loud and clear: to keep America the greatest country all in the world, we need bold new leadership, Republicans who won't just challenge Democrats on spending, taxes, and debt, but also Republicans who will challenge their fellow Republicans to uphold our principles.

The reality is Washington is taking us in the wrong direction, and both parties have been at fault. To turn things around, we'll need honest conservatives, who have the courage to say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done, when it's popular, and when it's not, when it's easy, and when it's hard.

And that's why today, I am making my decision official. I am announcing my candidacy for the United States Senate. I believe that the issues facing America are too big, and the stakes far too high, to simply sit back and hope things will just get better and fix themselves.

We just can't trust the same crowd of politicians to change their old ways and take back our country...
AdamHasner.com
Adam Hasner on Facebook
Twitter: @AdamHasner

Andrew Breitbart is going to save the world

The full title of Andrew Breitbart's latest book is "Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save The World!

"Save the World?" I have to admit, when I saw that title, I rolled my eyes. I mean, I love Breitbart's websites and I cheered his role in the takedown of ACORN, but come on.

Andrew Breitbart says he's going to save the world...is he serious?

Well, after reading the book, I have to admit, yeah, he just might do it. As I turned page after page, the thought that kept popping in my head was a simple one: "Breitbart gets it, he really gets it." 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adam Hasner announces candidacy, gets Mark Levin's endorsement

It's official! Adam Hasner has thrown his hat in the ring for the 2012 Senate race.

Hasner made the announcement earlier tonight on Mark Levin's radio show, and Levin immediately endorsed him. When Hasner was on his show last month, this is what Levin had to say:
Adam Hasner, a solid conservative...he's solid across the board...This is a guy I think we're gonna like. A lot.
You can hear Levin's entire March 21st interview with Hasner here. I'll post a link to today's show as soon as it's online. UPDATE: The Right Scoop has a link to today's Levin show.

Levin's endorsement follows last week's from RedState blogger Erick Erickson, who said that Hasner has "the best background and most conservative record to run in Florida."

ICYMI, here's my blog post from earlier this month: "Adam Hasner: Conservative Before It Was Cool." 

Now that Adam Hasner is officially in the Senate race, he also officially has my endorsement, as I promised on April 7th. I am proud to join Erick Erickson and Mark Levin in supporting this great conservative.

To learn more about Adam Hasner:

AdamHasner.com
Adam Hasner on Facebook
Twitter: @AdamHasner

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report and RedCounty]

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Today, for Easter, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite hymns, "Thy Word," based on Psalm 119:105. I've always really loved the beautiful, simple message of the main line of the song:
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path.

May the Love of Jesus Christ be a light unto your path today, and always. Hope you have a happy and blessed Easter.

"Proudly Serving Those Who Serve"

This is officially my new favorite Budweiser ad:


Please support our troops by making a donation to these great charities:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some technology notes and updates

I've been making some improvements and upgrades to Sunshine State Sarah over the past few weeks. Here's the latest:

"Your Daily Dose of Sunshine" is an email subscription that will send you a message every day I publish a new blog post (if I write more than one post during a single day, you'll get just one email). I promise I won't sell your email address and you will be able to easily unsubscribe anytime.

Click here to sign up and you'll always be the first to know what's happening at Sunshine State Sarah!

Best of all, the email subscription is totally free! Sign up now...all the cool kids are doing it.

New optimized mobile view - After some trial-and-error with several different services, I've enabled Blogger's mobile template, which makes this site easier to view on cell phones and other mobile devices.

You can view the mobile version of Sunshine State Sarah here or at the "Mobile" tab at the top of this page.

Theoretically, the mobile view should load automatically when you access the site on a mobile device, but right now that seems to be happening about 80% of the time. I'd appreciate your feedback - please leave a comment below and let me know which version loads on your device, what type of device you're using, and what you think about the new view.

New original Sunshine State Sarah videos - I picked up a little digital video camera recently so I could share more directly some of the speeches and events I get to see, along with some original interviews.

You can see my videos at Vimeo and YouTube (because of different posting restrictions, I have accounts on both sites). I'm no Spielberg (yet! haha) but hopefully you'll find something interesting.

Also, something I've learned about posting videos online: embedded videos don't always display properly on mobile devices, but direct links to the page where the video is hosted almost always work. I've made sure to add text links underneath all videos I embed on this site. Any of you who operate your own websites or know others who do, please consider adopting this practice. It only takes a minute to add an extra line of text and a hyperlink when you post a video.

Thanks y'all! Let me know what you think about these changes, or any other comments or suggestions for the site.

P.S. Don't forget to vote for Sunshine State Sarah as "Best Local Blogger" in Orlando Magazine's Best of Orlando 2011 Contest!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Adam Hasner Interviewed by Newsmax TV

Here's an interview by Newsmax.TV with Adam Hasner at the 3rd Annual Palm Beach County Tax Day Tea Party.

I was a conservative before it was popular to be a conservative. I was somebody who was saying that Republicans don't need to be less partisan, we need to be more principled...that's what we need in 2012, are leaders who say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done...

,,,Republicans need to stand firm, though, on those principles, and need to stand firm on this budget, and not worry so much about the political risks and the fact that we're going to be called names. We need to be focused on what are the consequences to our country if we fail to act...

Allen West should have his own TV channel

Here's Congressman/Rock Star Allen West on Greta Van Susteren's On the Record show last night:


West has some harsh words for President Obama, saying he displays "Third World dictator-like arrogance," calling the former community organizer nothing more than a "low-level socialist agitator," pointing out that the White House is occupied by someone who has never even run a lemonade stand, etc. West also decries the "election cycle American Idol" that helped Obama get elected.

The best part is how West looks directly in the camera and calmly delivers each word (without a TelePrompter, ha!).

My digital cable TV system shows over 1,000 channels. There really ought to be a Allen-West-All-The-Time channel.

ICYMI, my last post on Allen West (with more video evidence of why there really should be a Allen West channel):
[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stuff You Should Be Reading

As much as I love my little corner of the internets here, I'm just one person and cannot cover all stories about all issues and all candidates. So I'm going to periodically write posts titled "Stuff You Should Be Reading," and share some suggestions for you.

So, anyway, when you're not reading Sunshine State Sarah, here's some other things you should check out:


Dr. Melissa Clouthier is a conservative blogger who writes at Liberty Pundits, Right Wing News, as well as her own site at MelissaClouthier.com. I met Melissa at CPAC and she's one of the nicest people you'll ever have the privilege to know, but that doesn't stop her from shredding liberals on a daily basis on her Twitter account, @MelissaTweets.

Melissa also has a "Round-up" email that she sends out at the end of each day. Now, I get a lot of political emails, a huge, whopping, gigantic number every day, and the vast majority of them get deleted quickly. Somehow Melissa has figured out how to make these emails interesting and informative. Melissa's Round-Up is one of the  very, very few email lists that I would recommend. You can sign up on Facebook or on Melissa's website.


Truth About Bills is a website founded by another CPAC friend of mine, Andrew Staroska, and Mike Simpkins. The purpose of TAB is "to provide the most up to date information on current bills in the United States Congress." Truth About Bills does a great job sharing the complete text of pending federal bills, along with a pro-and-con discussion from a conservative point of view.

You can also check out Truth About Bills on Facebook and Twitter. 

Of course, don't forget the other websites where I contribute content:




And in case you missed my post on Adam Hasner, it's been listed on the front page of RedState under "Recommended Diaries" for the past two days.

Finally, do you like free buffalo wings? Help me win Orlando Magazine's 2011 Best of Orlando contest by voting for "Sunshine State Sarah" as "Best Local Blogger" under the "Media" category. My friend Alan Byrd, one of best PR guys I know, represents a number of local businesses, including Buffalo Wild Wings. If you go to www.VoteForWings.com, you can get a coupon for six free wings by email, and then it will take you to a link to vote in the Best of Orlando contest.

Thanks!


George LeMieux Campaign's Abbreviation Problem

Earlier this week, I had a little fun at the LeMieux campaign's expense, picking on the odd way they had chosen to display the national debt as "million millions" instead of trillions.

I had called it "George LeMieux Campaign's Math Problem," but I'm thinking I should have called it an abbreviation problem...especially after seeing what LeMieux posted on his Twitter account this afternoon:


"Gr8t?"

I've seen "GR8" many times as an abbreviation for "great," but "Gr8t" just doesn't make any sense. If "8" is being used to substitute for the "ate" sound in "great," then there's no need for another "t."

As a prolific user of Twitter myself, I'm very familiar with the challenges of working with Twitter's 140 character limit. I've used "GR8," "4" instead of "for," etc. many times. "Gr8t" saves only one character, whereas "GR8" saves two. The fact that LeMieux said "Gr8t" not once, but twice, shows it wasn't just a typo.

It may sound like something silly, but in an era when Twitter and other online communication methods are increasingly important, little missteps can quickly add up.

LeMieux's campaign released a cutesy Facebook parody ad today attacking Bill Nelson, but little things like this show that he has a long way to go before the language of social media comes naturally.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This needs to become a trend

I had the privilege of attending a Marco Rubio event last night in Orlando, and saw my friend and fellow attorney, Ben Newman. Ben also supported Rubio from the beginning of his Senate race, and was a great champion for him in Seminole County.

Here's a picture of Ben, with our Senator in the background:

Here's two great Republicans
Ben was wearing an interesting ribbon on his lapel:


When I asked Ben about it, he said that it was a "Deficit Awareness Ribbon." Personally, I just love Ben's idea.

Our President may prefer to pretend our insanely gigantic national debt doesn't exist, throwing insults at Paul Ryan and attempting to frighten senior citizens rather than actually addressing the debt, but the problem isn't going away.

Obama's strategy for addressing the deficit

Ben semi-jokingly said that he'll sell the ribbons for $2.00...but I'm pretty sure my intelligent readers can figure out how to assemble their own Deficit Awareness Ribbons.

If anyone makes their own ribbon (or buys one from Ben, haha), send me a photo and I'll post it here.

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report and Red County]

Erick Erickson Endorses Adam Hasner

Influential RedState blogger and talk radio host Erick Erickson posted an endorsement for Adam Hasner in the Florida Senate race this morning.

The post went up at 5:00 a.m. and has dominated much of the Florida political chatter on Twitter so far today (the #Sayfie Twitter Ticker on the Sayfie Review website is still over one-third posts about this endorsement, almost six hours later).

Here's Erickson's excellent post. He's been getting a lot of laughs for referring to LeMieux as "LeCrist:"

RedState | Erick Erickson | I'm Supporting Adam Hasner for the Senate
There are a lot of important Senate races shaping up in 2012 and my strong fear is that many tea party activists are going to be so focused on beating Barack Obama — a worthy cause — that they are going to drop the ball on Senate races.

I have not really weighed in yet on endorsing any candidates for the United States Senate, but with an every growing pool of potential candidates in the Florida Senate race, I want to go on record now supporting Adam Hasner.

Former Senator George LeCrist, hand picked by Charlie Crist to keep his seat warm, is running as are several others. I think conservatives need to be wary of many of them and we cannot afford to take Florida for granted as a Republican state.

Adam Hasner has, I think, the best background and most conservative record to run in Florida. I hope you will join me in supporting him. We cannot afford to lose Florida to either the Democrats, or the squishy Republicans.
Erickson shares my pride in being a very early Marco Rubio supporter, and he's made another outstanding pick here. Hasner was thrilled and humbled to get Erickson's support, posting on his twitter account:
Wow...we are so grateful to receive @ endorsement this morning. 
To learn more about Adam Hasner:
Adam Hasner Exploratory Committee website
Adam Hasner on Facebook
Twitter: @AdamHasner

And, ICYMI, here's my April 7th post on Hasner:

Sunshine State Sarah | Adam Hasner: Conservative Before It Was Cool

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Here's where your money is going

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Today is Tax Day, as you are undoubtedly aware. Just in case you were curious about where all your hard-earned money is going, our government has spent some of that money on a fancy little website, called the "Federal Taxpayer Receipt."

Read it and weep.
The website asks you to enter how much you paid in taxes and and then it tells you how much you contributed to our defense budget, Medicaid, and of course, the interest on our ever-skyrocketing national debt.

Of course, they haven't released how much this nifty (and completely unnecessary) website cost. Hmmm, reminds me of another useless project paid for by our government:


Maybe their next project can be a calculator to show how many jobs they could have "saved or created" instead of buying those silly highway signs.

[Hat tip to Mark Matthews at the Orlando Sentinel, who labeled this website as "You don't want to know"]

Sunday, April 17, 2011

George LeMieux Campaign's Math Problem

I was wandering around the internet this afternoon, when I discovered something funny on George LeMieux's website for his U.S. Senate campaign.

The website has a lot of the elements you'd expect: the patriotic color scheme, the mandatory adorable family photo, event updates, and several statements about how LeMieux is a "taxpayer hero" who is campaigning "to get America's financial house in order."

Then I noticed something funny:


George LeMieux Campaign Website's Math Problem from Sunshine State Sarah on Vimeo.

Yep. LeMieux's website says that the U.S. national debt is $14 million. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but our debt is actually $14 trillion.

14 million is only one millionth of 14 trillion. Makes it a little hard to "Fight the Debt" if you're only tackling 0.0001% of it.

Hmmm, I wonder if LeMieux's website is run by Dr. Evil?

George is Fighting the Debt! Well, he's fighting one millionth of it, anyway.
Update: this might be more poor web design than a mathematical error. Note that the above screenshot says "$14,334,465.90" and then "million" below it? Because a trillion is a million million, that's technically correct, but it looks really weird.

I have never seen a dollar figure written out as a long number but then abbreviated that way. If you're going to write out the number, write out the whole number! This is a confusing misrepresentation of what our national debt actually is.

Update #2: The website was updated within a few hours of my original post. Here's an updated screenshot:

As you can see, it now says "millions." Points to Harris Media for paying close attention to what's being said about their products, and for a very quick response. Still, I have to say that this seems like a weird way to show the debt figures.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Looks Like a Duck, Part I: Charlie Crist donating to Democrats

We all know the old saying...If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck!

This might be a duck.
And that brings us to Charlie Crist...

Post on Politics | Former Gov. Crist gives $1,000 to Democrat seeking Allen West seat
Former Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist gave $1,000 to the congressional campaign of Patrick Murphy, one of the Democrats who has opened a campaign for the seat of U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation....
Yep. On March 30th, our Oompa-Loompa Republican-turned-backstabber flake of a former governor donated money to the guy running against Allen West.

Charlie's now made the full transition from Republican, to Republican-In-Name-Only, to Democrat-In-Everything-But-Name. It's about time he started being honest with everyone, and just admitted he's a Democrat. 

Looks like a Democrat, talks like a Democrat, governed like a Democrat...yeah...
Note: this post is labeled "Looks Like a Duck, Part I"...and, yes, there is a Part II coming.

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report and Red County]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My latest appearance on Flashpoint, and some ranting and rambling

Last week, WKMG's Lauren Rowe invited me on her wonderful Sunday morning program Flashpoint, along with Dick Batchelor, to discuss some of the budgetary and other issues facing our Legislature this session.

If you missed the show, here's a link to the video:

Flashpoint | WKMG | April 10, 2011

Dick Batchelor, a former Florida State Representative, is one of my favorite local Democrats. As you'll see, we had a good laugh several times because Dick and I kept agreeing over and over. Lauren's not looking to host a drag-out screaming match, but usually when she invites a Democrat and Republican to appear, there's a little more difference of opinion between the guests.

Go ahead and call me a RINO (I've been called worse, ha), but some things are just common sense...or at least, some things should be common sense. Everyone knows that treating poor and uninsured people in the emergency room is the worst solution possible - it's  more expensive, more stressful, and less effective in actually making people healthy. Preventative care is the best solution for both uninsured patients and taxpayers footing the bill, and Dick and I naturally agreed on this point (note also that he agreed with me on what's normally viewed as a conservative position, that deregulating certain businesses is a good idea as long as safety is not impacted).

I do have to say, regarding the topic of this year's budget cuts, both in Florida and around the country, I am disappointed in the tone the debate has taken. 

I want moooooore money!
There's been too much hysteria and hostility from liberal interest groups this year. Anyone who suggests that even one penny might be cut from schools or any program that serves the poor, children, or the elderly is met with wailing and gnashing of teeth. "You can't cut that program! It's for the children!" "You denied our funding request? Why do you hate senior citizens?" Our problems with government overspending are caused in large part by treating far too many issues as sacred cows.

I've made the analogy before that far too often, supporters of a government program will do the equivalent of holding up an adorable little puppy and then arguing that the cuteness of the puppy is, in and of itself, an argument for increased funding. Go ahead and call me heartless, but especially in tough budget times, I want to hear specifics on how the money will be spent and what exactly is going to be done to help the puppy. Does the puppy actually need assistance? Is there another way to help the puppy? Or is the puppy just being used as a cute and fluffy form of budgetary blackmail?

If you cut the budget, that means this puppy will die.
Yeah, this puppy. We're whacking him first.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

More progress on my plans for world domination

In case you missed it, I was invited to be a contributor at The Minority Report and Red County, so you'll see links on some of my posts when I cross-post them on these websites.

There's some great writing from other conservative commentators on those sites, so make sure to check them out when you have a chance.



Also, Saint Petersblog has updated the list for the Top Political Tweeters in Florida. Last month I was number 4 in the state. A new list was published on April 2nd, and I'm now number 2.

My birthday's May 1st...let's see if I can be number 1 in Florida for my birthday, OK, y'all? If you're not following me already, my username is @rumpfshaker. Click the link below and join the fun:

 
I was invited to be a guest on Lauren Rowe's wonderful Flashpoint political commentary program this week, along with Dick Batchelor. We taped the show yesterday and it will air on WKMG at 8:30 am this Sunday, or they'll post it online later at http://www.clickorlando.com/flashpoint/index.html.

Finally, Orlando Magazine is conducting their annual "Best of Orlando" contest. It would be marvelous if all of my lovely readers could go to their site and nominate me for "Best Local Blogger" under the "Media" category. Thanks! :)


Adam Hasner's thoughts on last night's budget deal

Potential Senate candidate Adam Hasner sent out this email last night after Congress avoided a government shutdown with a last-minute deal (also posted on his Facebook page):

Dear Friend,

Like many Floridians, I just watched a short time ago as Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama announced that the framework of an agreement had been reached to avoid a government shut down.

Republicans in Washington deserve credit for reversing the culture of borrowing and spending in Washington, and forcing a debate which has led to the first spending cuts in recent memory.
 
But make no mistake; these cuts are nowhere near what's needed to save our country.

Republicans and Democrats have agreed to cut around $38 billion, which when added to cuts made earlier this year amount to about 2% of our $1.5 trillion budget. Our country will borrow more money than was cut today in just the next nine days. Our government will continue to waste money on the pet projects of the left, like Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio. We'll also continue to fund costly job-killing programs like Obamacare and over-reaching EPA mandates.
 
And the real, tough, leadership decisions needed to cut spending, balance the budget, and attack the debt, have been kicked down the road yet again.

This is no time for a victory lap by either party.
 
The fact of the matter is that there is more work to be done. Democrats have shown that they do not take our financial crisis seriously. President Obama has proven that he has no interest in showing leadership on the biggest issues facing our country.  And too many Republicans still don't understand that if we can't stand on principle to make the small cuts, we'll never build the credibility needed to convince Americans of the real spending cuts that are desperately needed. The only thing outpacing the growth of our fiscal deficit is the leadership deficit in Washington.
 
The outcome of this week's debate, and the preview it has given us of the coming debate over the debt limit and next year's budget, makes it clear that our current Congress does not have what it takes to confront our country's challenges. So long as Democrats still control the Senate, true fiscal reforms will never be possible.

That's what makes this election perhaps the most important of our generation.
 
We face a critical debate over the future of our country. Either we'll make our voices heard, and send limited government reinforcements to Washington who will do what needs to be done in order to save our country, or we'll see America's light of exceptionalism flicker and fade forever.

Those are the stakes.

We have a lot of work ahead.


All my best,






Adam

Copyright (C) 2011 Adam Hasner US Senate Exploratory Committee All rights reserved.



[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adam Hasner: Conservative Before It Was Cool

I had the privilege of meeting with potential (hopefully soon-to-be-actual) Senate candidate Adam Hasner earlier this week when he was visiting Central Florida. To best understand Hasner, we need to review a little Florida political history...

Orange you glad I'm no longer Governor?
In 2006, Floridians elected a very friendly Ooompa-Loompa named Charlie Crist to be our Governor.

Charlie was very, very popular. In fact, he was so popular, he was convinced that he was very special and the normal rules of politics did not apply to him.

Charlie was elected as a Republican, but almost immediately turned to the left.  Charlie and his friend George LeMieux told all the other Republicans that they needed to be more "moderate" and act more like the Democrats.

While Charlie and George were trying with all of their might to steer our state to the left, some of the people who actually liked being Republicans pushed back. One of those people was Marco Rubio, who was the Speaker of the House.

Charlie wasn't the only one with a friend. Marco had a friend named Adam Hasner, and Marco picked Adam to be the Majority Leader. Marco and Adam fought together against Charlie's liberal policies while they were both in the Legislature.

Charlie did a lot of stuff to make conservatives unhappy. Then, in 2009, Charlie decided to run for Senate instead of running for re-election as Governor, and Marco ran against him. Marco's friend Adam supported him from Day One.

At the beginning of the race, Charlie claimed he was a "Jeb Bush Republican" and a good conservative, but it didn't work.

Charlie officially abandoned the party that he'd philosophically left years ago, and attacked Marco, saying he was "too conservative," and "too extreme." It didn't work.

Then, Charlie tried snuggling up to Democrats, tried to bully Kendrick Meek out of the race. That didn't work either.

Charlie ran a TV ad, claiming that as an independent, he was better than Democrats and Republicans. That also didn't work.

Charlie chased after polls, did whatever focus groups and consultants told him to do, pretty much just blew around in the wind like a plastic bag, but nothing Charlie tried worked and Marco won the election

So now where are we today?

Democrat Bill Nelson is up for re-election in 2012, and Republicans are starting to line up for the chance to challenge him. Some people have officially entered the race, some have exploratory committees, some are just talking about it, but no matter what, it's going to be an interesting primary.

So who should we pick? Who's the best candidate?

Well, in my opinion, I have been very impressed with what Marco Rubio has done since winning the election. Marco's done more than just vote the party line, he's been a voice for conservative principles. He's resisted the pressure of the media, K Street, and even the GOP leadership to stand strong and fight for what he believes in. He's been an especially strong advocate on fiscal issues.

I've met Mike Haridopolos and George LeMieux several times. They're nice, friendly guys. But so was Charlie. I want more than nice. More importantly, with the problems our country is facing right now, we need more than nice: we need tough.

Back when Adam Hasner was in the Legislature, battling with Charlie Crist, his position was (as it it today) that Republicans "don't need to be less partisan, we need to be more principled."

I want a Senator who will go to Washington and stand strong, stick to conservative principles. I want a Senator who will refuse to cave under pressure. I want someone who knows what it means to be a conservative, someone who doesn't just know how to say the sound bites and slogans, but who carries the philosophy deep in their heart. I'm looking for a candidate who doesn't just say "I'm a conservative" because it's cool and trendy now, but who actually is a conservative. I want to be able to point at a track record, a voting history, and be satisfied that the overall scope of it is unequivocally, undoubtedly, unquestionably conservative.

There's only one Marco Rubio. But he's one heckuva fantastic blueprint to follow for a conservative Senate candidate.  

Who better to send to the Senate to work with Rubio to fight against the liberal policies of Barack Obama and Harry Reid, than the very man who worked with Rubio to fight against the liberal policies of Charlie Crist and George LeMieux?

 If you call yourself a conservative, then Adam Hasner is your candidate. As soon as he officially announces his candidacy, he will also officially have my endorsement. I support him enthusiastically and without reservation.

Last night, Adam Hasner spoke at an event sponsored by the Eastern Orlando Tea Party and the Seminole County / Altamonte Springs Tea Party. I recorded the entire speech and want to share it with you so you can see for yourself.


Adam Hasner - 04.06.2011 from Sunshine State Sarah on Vimeo.

Hasner's own words, near the end of the speech:
I can tell you this, this is not going to be an easy challenge to undertake...I'm going to be outraised and outspent.
I know that some of them are going to try and reinvent themselves in 2012 as conservatives, after years and years and years of fighting against the conservative agenda.
Why? Because now, it's actually popular to be a conservative. The good news for me is that in 2012, I don't have to reinvent myself as a conservative. I can go out with the same passion and the same energy that I have every year prior to talk about the issues and the challenges that we face.
But I can't do it alone. I need your help.

If you are looking for another voice, if you are looking for a strong voice on economics, if you are looking for a strong voice on national security and on social issues, who is going to stand up and speak out and challenge on these issues, even when it's not popular, I would ask you to join me...
To learn more about Adam Hasner:

Adam Hasner website
Adam Hasner on Facebook
Twitter: @AdamHasner

Adam Hasner, hopefully my next Senator!
[Cross-posted at The Minority Report, Red County, and RedState]

UPDATE: Since Adam Hasner has now officially declared his candidacy, he also officially has my enthusiastic endorsement.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Twitter town hall tonight with CFO Jeff Atwater

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater will be having a Twitter town hall tonight from 6 to 6:30 pm on the subject of auto insurance fraud.

You can follow along at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/PressOffice/Townhall/Twitter-Townhall.htm and submit your own questions by sending a tweet to @JeffAtwater with the hashtag #flcfo.

Jeff Atwater

Monday, April 4, 2011

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Shame on You

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report]

Since starting this blog, I've regularly engaged in research of online videos regarding Florida politicians and political topics. It's been an easy way to stay on top of the latest current events, very educational...and occasionally eye-opening.

It takes only a short amount of time watching videos before themes start to appear. 

We all know that Marco Rubio and Allen West are great, passionate speakers, but I've also learned a lot watching Cliff Stearns lead oversight committee hearings and give interviews regarding fiscal issues. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is heavily involved in South Florida community activities, as well as being a strong and courageous advocate on national security issues.

Then - sigh - there's Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 


Wasserman Schultz is well-known for her opinionated nature, and a personality that her supporters probably view as tough and feisty, but I honestly often find to be shrill and annoying. (See, for example, her whining in February that Republicans needed to stop using the term "ObamaCare.")

Well, during the last few months, I've noticed a theme in Wasserman Schultz's videos. When she's not tossing childish insults at Republicans, she loves to talk about her friends - correction, Wasserman Schultz loves to talk about one of her friends - Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who, as you know, is recovering from a gunshot wound to her head from the Tucson shooting.

Immediately after the horrifying events of January 8th, many members of Congress gave interviews where they shared stories about Giffords, how much they enjoyed working with her, how very well-liked she is, how they were praying for her recovery, etc.

Giffords' continued improvement is nothing short of miraculous. For the most part, the media has backed off and left her and her family in peace to focus on her treatment. In the past few months, I've pretty much only seen stories about Giffords when the family has officially released a statement. 

However, for some reason, Debbie Wasserman Schultz cannot seem to help hurling herself in front of a camera to talk about Giffords. Google for yourself and see how many interviews she has given on the subject. In my opinion, the frequency with which Wasserman Schultz continues to talk about Giffords seems odd and inappropriate, if not downright creepy. I can't help but get the sinking feeling that Wasserman Schultz is showing something bordering on enthusiasm in discussing her injured friend.

This video, posted on March 18th, is the one that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me:



This video is labeled as a "video update" on Giffords but it's really a campaign fundraiser. Yes, a fundraiser: the link requests contributions to Giffords' reelection campaign account and also to a fund that supports other Democrat Congressional candidates. I can't be the only one who finds this in horribly poor taste.

To draw in sympathetic viewers who are concerned about Giffords' recovery, and then ask for campaign contributions...well, that just seems sick.

I don't know any of these people personally, and I'm not going to question the authenticity of the claimed friendship, but for crying out loud, I can't ever imagine using a friend's injury as a conversation starter to ask for a campaign donation!

Remember, they are not asking for contributions for medical care for Giffords, or anyone else injured on January 8th. They are not asking you to help other victims of violent crime, orphaned children in war-torn countries. They are not asking you to donate to save the rainforest or abandoned puppies. They are asking for money for political campaigns. WTF.

Ignoring for the moment the completely disgusting effort to use Giffords' injury to elicit donations for other candidates, if I analyze this situation as a political consultant, I just cannot see how there is any urgency to fundraise for Giffords' campaign at this point. There are many more risks in looking crass and attempting to profit from tragedy, as well as being unable to satisfy worries that Giffords may not be up to running for office again yet.

Whether or not Giffords runs for reelection is not a question that needs to be answered right now, and it shouldn't be. She has many months to go before that decision must be made, and I am sure that if she reaches the point in her recovery where she does want to run for reelection, the announcement will be national news and contributions will pour in from all over the country. Giffords' 2012 campaign, if it happens, will be easily and quickly funded.

Moreover, as much as I smile every time I get called a "Republican operative" or "partisan hack," I think that the Republican Party ought to just let Arizona's 8th Congressional District go...unless Giffords decides not to run for reelection. I'm not going to grant hand-me-down sympathy to an open seat, but if Giffords decides she wants to run for reelection, I don't see any benefit to running someone against her. Frankly, I also can't see any chance of a Republican victory for that seat. It would be a complete waste of money and - fair or not - make the Republican candidate running against Giffords look like a heartless jerk.

As for Wasserman Schultz, I'll be cheering for anyone and everyone running against her. I hope she gets a serious primary challenger, and I hope whoever becomes the Republican nominee just knocks the stuffing out of her at the ballot box. Excuse me and my violent rhetoric, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been an embarrassment to my state for a long time, and her shocking behavior attempting to turn the attack on Gabrielle Giffords into political profit ought to be the last straw for South Florida voters.

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