Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Orlando!

Happy Birthday Orlando!

My hometown is 136 years old today, celebrating its incorporation as a town on July 31, 1875.

(Hat tip to @orlandocemetery, the official Twitter account for the Greenwood Cemetery and an excellent resource for Orlando history.)

Happy Birthday Orlando ! On this day in 1875, we became a city. At 137 years old, I think we look great for our age...Sun Jul 31 11:27:06 via TweetCaster

Marco Rubio: Save the Whole House or It Will All Burn Down [VIDEO]

Have I mentioned recently how very, very awesome my Senator, Marco Rubio, is? Here's the bazillionth example, a video of a passionate speech that was delivered by Rubio on the Senate floor yesterday regarding our debt crisis (the ease with which he delivers a smackdown to John Kerry is a nice added bonus):

I would love nothing more than compromise. But I would say to you that compromise that's not a solution is a waste of time.  If my house was on fire, I can't compromise about which part of the house I'm going to save. You save the whole house or it will all burn down.  We either save this country or we do not.  And to save it, we must seek solutions.
That, my friends, is what hitting it out of the park looks like. Complete text of Sen. Rubio's remarks after the jump (as provided by Rubio's press office):

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The debt ceiling debate on Twitter

I was feeling a little snarky yesterday and sent out this tweet: 

BREAKING: Obama releases his #debtceiling plan: Executor of Nigerian estate emailed & will be wiring us $14 trillion.Fri Jul 29 19:41:01 via UberSocial for BlackBerry

Apparently people thought that was funny; last time I checked, it's been retweeted ("forwarded" for you non-Twitterers) over 80 times. Glad y'all found it amusing. Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week...

Elsewhere on the Twitterverse, after President Obama gave another one of his whiny "the Republicans won't do what I waaaaaaant" speeches and implored Americans to contact their members of Congress to work on a bipartisan solution to the debt ceiling crisis, the official @BarackObama twitter account began an ill-advised deluge of tweets targeting just Republican Members of Congress.


You heard the President. So here's what we're doing: throughout the day we'll post the Twitter handles of GOP lawmakers in each state.Fri Jul 29 16:12:59 via web


Tweet at your Republican legislators and urge them to support a bipartisan compromise to the debt crisis.Fri Jul 29 16:18:59 via web

The White House showed, once again, that the Democrats really do have their own way of defining words. Only in the Democrat Dictionary does "bipartisan compromise" mean "nag Republicans to do what we want." And they proceeded to spam twitter for hours, listing the GOP Representatives in all fifty states.

The backlash was swift and vicious. @BarackObama lost over 33,000 followers and many members of Congress tweeted their displeasure with this tactic. Dennis Ross, a Republican from Florida's 12th District, posted this:


Dear President Obama - tweet mention bombing Members of Congress with folks NOT from our districts - #tweetledumbFri Jul 29 18:35:44 via web

All Obama's twitter spam seemed to accomplish was annoying a lot of people and further highlighting the fact that the President has yet to produce his own debt ceiling plan (the aforementioned Nigerian email promises notwithstanding!). Here's a great tweet from another Florida Congressman, Tom Rooney, from the 16th District:


Here's President Obama's plan, for a quick comparison to the House GOP plan: http://t.co/7BFLgJ2Fri Jul 29 17:34:48 via web

In case you missed the joke, the link purporting to be Obama's debt ceiling plan goes to a blank page. Nicely done, Rep. Rooney.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Best description of the debt ceiling debate I've seen so far

This is pure genius. A website called "Havoc on the Hill" has summed up the debt ceiling debate with a series of photos with snarky word balloons.
Havoc on the Hill | The Great Debt Ceiling Debate
You should definitely go check out the entire series, but here are some samples:


"Crazy" Allen West

Allen West, never one to shy from a challenge, sent out an email to his supporters today with the subject line "CRAZY:"

Some of my opponents have taken to using that word to describe me. I guess in their world it's "crazy" to want to defend the Constitution and call it like I see it. In short, they think principles of fiscal responsibility and restraint are "crazy!"
Well, here's something that's really crazy: the President and the Democrats' lack of a plan to stop the country from defaulting on its debts.
It's simple. Speaker John Boehner has put together a plan which will reduce spending and at the same time allow us to keep running the country.
No reasonable alternative sits before us. And to this day, President Barack Obama hasn't put even an outline of a plan on paper.
It has been more than 816 days since the Senate Democrats have even voted on a budget for our nation -- which is required by the U.S. Constitution.
Now that's crazy!
We need to get behind Speaker Boehner's plan. We simply can't put politics above doing what is right for the country. And in the meantime, we will continue to hold President Obama and the Senate Democrats accountable for all they have done to get us here.
There are two things you can do right now.
First, make a special contribution of $15, $25, $35, or even more right now to help me continue to fight for conservative principles. It's critical we have strong, outspoken voices in Washington, DC especially now.
Second, let’s turn the tables on President Obama and call him at 202-456-1414 and tell the White House you think he needs come to the table on this crisis which faces every American man, woman and child.
President Obama has spent more time pointing fingers and blaming Republicans than solving the problem. But I think the American People see through that. And I think in the end, he and the Senate Democrats will pay the price at the ballot box next November.
I appreciate all you have done for the campaign and the kind words I have heard from you over the last few weeks. If you are able I hope you will consider a contribution of $15, $25, $35 or more to help me keep fighting for all of us "CRAZY" people who care about the future of our country.
Thank you again.
Steadfast and Loyal,

LTC(R) Allen B. West
Member of Congress
P.S. It's never crazy to stand up for your beliefs and fight for what's right. The debate going on in Washington right now just shows you how far President Obama and Democrats will go to demonize conservatives. Help me fight back by making a gift of $15, $25, $35 or even more right now. Thanks again.

Nonpartisan evaluation of the debt ceiling debate

This debt ceiling debate is getting crazier by the day. Republicans fighting over whether to support their own leadership's plans, tea partying hobbits declaring war, and Obama lecturing us to eat our peas.

Well, this morning we got a brutal, nonpartisan evaluation of the situation. This was the top story on the Drudge Report:

Hat tip: @bccohan
Yep. Second quarter GDP results came out, a disappointing 1.3%, less than the expected 1.9%.

Lots of scary articles on Drudge this morning. Gold is soaring, and the Dow plunged 125 points on the opening bell. Apple apparently has more cash on hand than the U.S. government. And consumer confidence at a two year low.

Oh well. It's all Bush's fault, right?

Recycling Reagan

Check out this excellent National Review article by Jonah Goldberg:

National Review | Jonah Goldberg | The Reagan Playbook No Longer Applies
President Obama still tries to blame what he can — and what he can’t — on Bush, but that’s growing ever more lame. Increasingly, however, he’s also trying to claim the Reagan mantle for himself.

...In his prime-time debt-ceiling address, he quoted Reagan’s support for a debt-reduction deal in 1982 that included tax increases. Afterwards, Obama chided, “Those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan. But today, many Republicans in the House refuse to consider this kind of balanced approach.”

Translation: See, I’m a mainstream guy who agrees with Reagan. Meanwhile, these knuckle-dragging tea partiers are to the right of the most conservative president in our lifetimes. Come back, independents! Love me, moderates!

While Obama’s invocation of Reagan worked on a lot of liberal pundits, it was a clunker with conservatives. Of course, it’s doubtful Obama thought it would actually persuade the GOP. After all, the 1982 deal that raised taxes was one of Reagan’s greatest regrets. The Democrats promised to cut $3 in spending for every $1 in tax increases. They lied, a fact Reagan resented until he died.
...Indeed, one of the reasons the tea parties are so “outrageously” intransigent and uncompromising is that they’ve seen what compromise has gotten in the past. In other words, they’ve learned the lessons of history. 
I, too, have found it very interesting how Obama has attempted to co-opt the Reagan legacy for his own purposes, and how the media has encouraged this idiocy.

What Obama fails to realize is that Reagan's power wasn't in his specific policies, but rather a lot of it derived from his power as a communicator, and communication is much more than giving good speeches reading a TelePrompter well.

Reagan paid attention and listened to what the American people had to say, and then reflected that back to his audience when he spoke. He comprehended the hopes and dreams of the average American citizen better than perhaps any modern President, and imbued his speeches with a sincere understanding of those ideas. That's why he was the "Great Communicator." Unless Obama learns how to do this, he can invoke Reagan's name a million times but never have his power.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

At least with Watergate nobody died

At least he didn't kill anyone.
For almost forty years, Watergate has been the standard by which all scandals are judged, even lending its name to a seemingly endless number of incidents. Monicagate, Rathergate, Weinergate...the list goes on and on.

They told us Barack Obama would be a history-making President. Unfortunately for America, it seems that his promised legacy of being the "post-racial" president who would unite our country is going to be overshadows by the record levels of debt and now a new scandal that I predict will put Watergate to shame: Operation Fast and Furious.

No More Blank Checks [VIDEO]

Crossroads GPS just announced a new $20 million initiative for Summer 2011 to target U.S. Senators up for reelection in five states, focusing on the issues of out-of-control government spending and debt.

Here's the Florida version of "No More Blank Checks," targeting Senator Bill Nelson (or as I've nicknamed him, Mr. Space Mosquito):


YouTube |CrossroadsGPSChannel | Crossroads GPS "Change" Florida

Crossroads has also been buying internet ads featuring Senator Nelson (see image to the left). I've seen them pop up on my website and other conservative news sites. They link to a special Florida-focused "No More Blank Checks" website.

The other states involved in the initiative are Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and Ohio.

Also, check out this other, scarier ad from Crossroads GPS that targets Obama:


YouTube | CrossroadsGPSChannel | CrossroadsGPS "Thread"

Debt Ceiling Rap [VIDEO]

This is hysterical. From the creative minds at ReasonTV (as seen on The Five yesterday):



YouTube | ReasonTV | Remy: Raise the Debt Ceiling Rap
Still making it rain and it be so pleasing.
Did I say make it rain? I meant quantitative easing!
...printing the cash, inflatin' the monies,
Callin' up China, "Hey, yo, we straight outta twenties!
Heh. OK, it's not Tennyson, but it is pretty funny.

On their YouTube channel, Reason posted a few links with more information about the debt ceiling:

Compromise?

Anyone else feel like the debt ceiling negotiations have been going like this? Sigh...

(Hat tip: @rachelveronica)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why it's unconstitutional for Obama to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally

I have been seeing an unusual (and somewhat alarming) Constitutional issue pop up during the last few months' debt ceiling debate: does the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution authorize the President to raise the debt ceiling without approval from Congress?

This post will be a little more legalese than you are used to reading here, but please bear with me. Obama admitted recently that his attorneys are not convinced that they could win the argument that the Fourteenth Amendment really does grant him the power to raise the debt ceiling, but the idea keeps resurfacing.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner engaged in a common misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment in a recent Huffington Post interview, we have multiple examples of the current administration's, shall we say creative, view of the law (most recently with the "Fast and Furious" debacle), and now Obama has admitted he sought legal advice on the issue (which means he's thinking about doing it!), I think it's important to discuss the constitutional law issues with as many people as possible so we are prepared if the White House does try this maneuver.

Let's start with the text of Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the section that has been cited as potentially granting authority to the President to raise the debt ceiling. As you can see, there is nothing in the text that mentions the President or any sort of executive power or rights whatsoever:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stephen Kruiser interview of Adam Hasner

My friend Stephen Kruiser recently interviewed Adam Hasner about the Florida Senate race, the Cut, Cap, Balance Act and debt ceiling debate, and other important issues relevant to the 2012 election.

You can watch the interview here (about 11 minutes):

Kruiser Control | Adam Hasner | KC Extra: Debt Battle is 'Line in the Sand' Moment for National and Fiscal Security


For more Kruiser Control videos, click here.

ICYMI: Spenditol

Here's a great ad from Concerned Women for America (CWA):


YouTube | concernedwomen | Spenditol Florida

As you can see, this version is targeted for Florida and Senator Bill Nelson. There's a humorous tone, but the subject is extremely serious. CWA has long advocated for fiscal conservatism and is one of the many organizations supporting the Cut, Cap, Balance Act.

Find out more at www.Spenditol.com.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Cut, Cap, Balance vote and what it says about the Florida Senate race

Today the Senate voted to table the "Cut Cap Balance" Act, which the GOP-led House had approved on Tuesday.

"Voting to table" is Congress-speak for "we're too chicken to deal with this, so we're voting to sweep it under the rug." What exactly scares the Senate so badly about this bill that they don't even want to debate it?

I was proud to watch my Senator, Marco Rubio, speak eloquently in favor of the Cut, Cap, Balance Act, and then vote against tabling the bill. Earlier this evening, Rubio released a video statement about his disappointment in the vote, stating:
The President hasn't offered a plan...the Senate Democrats haven't offered a plan...in fact, the only plan out there that does anything about it, that raises the debt limit but puts in place a plan to deal with the debt was Cut, Cap, and Balance, and it passed in the House, and it came over to the Senate, and the Senate Democrats wouldn't even let us vote on it...
Florida's other Senator, Bill Nelson (aka Mr. Space Mosquito) had campaigned on a balanced budget platform but ducked the chance to actually vote on balanced budget bill today. Nelson has been playing this "liberal wolf in moderate's sheep clothing" game far too long. Once again, he had the chance to show some backbone but instead he just meekly followed the Obama-Reid agenda.

Now, let's look at the Florida Senate race. These candidates want the chance to vote on our national debt issues, so what do they have to say about Cut, Cap, and Balance? It's quite an interesting contrast.

Allen West: "Not a chance" he'll apologize to DWS

Here's Congressman Allen West discussing some of the background behind his ongoing war-of-words with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and stating that he has no intention of apologizing to her or backing down:


YouTube | Rep. Allen West: "Not a Chance" I'll Apologize

Personally, I don't blame Congressman West. I've written about Debbie Wasserman Schultz before, and graciousness and collegiality are two qualities that she has never been able to develop.

West's dispute with DWS goes far beyond the current debt ceiling debate. DWS and her cronies have repeatedly tossed personal attacks and flat-out lies at West, starting during last year's midterm elections.

The Shark Tank has a good write up on a particularly nasty little stunt DWS pulled last October at West's campaign headquarters:
The Shark Tank | Wasserman-Schultz's Very Own 'Tea Party' Started This Fire (VIDEO)
The Democrats are targeting Allen West's district for 2012. Why don't you check out his website at AllenWestForCongress.com and give him a few bucks to help his reelection effort?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The end of an era...

Just as the sun was rising this morning, Atlantis completed a picture-perfect landing after its final journey through the skies...

Photo by @RedHuber (click to enlarge)

...it is truly the end of an era. A bittersweet day for Florida, and America.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marco Rubio to address CPAC Florida


The American Conservative Union issued a press release yesterday to announce that my Senator, Marco Rubio, will address the upcoming CPAC Florida (CPAC FL) conference, coming up in Orlando on September 23, 2011. Stay tuned to this website for information about CPAC FL - it's going to be a wonderful, can't miss event!

ACU Announces Marco Rubio Will Address CPAC Florida

For Immediate Release: July 18, 2011
Contact: Kristy Campbell, (703) 836-8602, KCampbell@conservative.org  



ACU Announces Senator Marco Rubio Will Address CPAC Florida 
Country’s Leading Conservative Organization Building Impressive Program for the Inaugural Regional Conservative Political Action Conference  

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will address CPAC FL – the organization’s first in an inaugural series of regional events expanding on the legacy of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). CPAC FL will be held this fall in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, September 23, 2011.

“A rising star in the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio’s tremendous victory in 2010 was a powerful symbol of the surging conservative movement in America.” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “Senator Rubio has been a great friend of the American Conservative Union, and we look forward to joining him in his home state for CPAC FL this September.”

Just like the ACU’s marquee gathering in Washington, DC every spring – the nation’s largest annual gathering of grassroots activists – CPAC FL will bring national and state conservative leaders and grassroots activists together for a day of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities — all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional values.

Located at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, confirmed speakers also include former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and ACU Chairman Cardenas. Invited speakers include additional presidential candidates from the 2012 field and many more conservative heroes.

The American Conservative Union is America’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization and was founded in 1964. The ACU has hosted CPAC in the Nation’s capital since 1974. To register for CPAC FL, receive more information on this exciting event or learn more about the American Conservative Union, visit www.conservative.org.

#   #   #

My message for House Republicans

Dear House Republicans,

Today you are voting on the Cut, Cap, Balance Act (H.R. 2560).

The Democrats are going to say you want to hurt poor people and senior citizens. The media are going to call you extremists. The Washington insiders are going to tell you this is all unnecessary.

They are all wrong.

It does matter. It is necessary.

If the Cut, Cap, Balance Act is extreme, it's only so in the sense that things have gotten so out of control (national debt at $14.5 trillion and counting...) that only an extreme solution has any hope of making a difference.

As far as the Democrats' claim that you want to hurt poor people, do they really think that collapsing our economic system will help?

Because that's exactly what we are risking - the entire collapse of our economic system. What else could be the result if the United States loses our bond rating? I can't improve my credit score just by spending money on a new credit card, and our country can't protect its bond rating by simply raising the debt ceiling to new absurd levels.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The High Costs of Obama's Medicare "Reform"

Since I started this blog last year, a lot of people and organizations send me information about candidates, conservative organizations, and current political issues. I can't print everything that gets submitted to me, but I try to share some things that my readers may find informative.

Here's a letter from Rene Rodriguez, M.D., who is a member of a group called the Medicare Rx Access Network of Florida, and very concerned about some of the Medicare reforms that the Obama administration is proposing:
As the President and Founder of the Interamerican College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Mèdico Interamericano and former Chief of the Orthopedic Section at the VA Medical Center in Miami, I have the opportunity to work with physicians and patients from all over South Florida. Many of my colleagues have expressed concern about possible changes to Medicare Part D that concern me.

Recent proposals by President Obama have suggested imposing price controls on Medicare Part D similar to those in the Medicaid Drug Rebate. Currently, all Medicare beneficiaries have the same access to prescriptions regardless of the state they reside. Under the proposed legislation, individual states would have the power to impose price controls on part D benefits for dual eligibles.

We have seen the effects of these policies in other states and the results have been frightening. Medicaid programs in Texas imposed a three prescription per month limit on beneficiaries. In Mississippi, the limit for brand prescriptions is only two. Other states have created “preferred drug lists” that do not include many life saving options. Turning Medicare into Medicaid is a mistake that will cost lives. Medicare Part D is working well.

A 2004 Harvard study found that after reducing benefits, chronically ill and disabled patients were forced to stop taking preventative medications. This doubled the rate of emergency room visits increasing overall healthcare cost. Restricting access to preventative medicine will result in higher overall healthcare costs as patients are forced to other outlets for care. The cost of these visits will overshadow any perceived cost savings by price controls.

Most hospitals rely on private payers to subsidize the below-cost reimbursement rates of Medicaid. This proposed legislation would base Medicare reimbursement on these below-cost rates. The end result is private insurers will be forced to pass on the additional costs to their customers.

More than 17 percent of Florida's population is 65 or older. One in five residents -- or 3.2 million citizens -- is currently enrolled in Medicare. For Florida, the future of Medicare is critically important. Our hospitals are already under pressure to remain open. Medicare users are struggling to pay for essential treatments. Restricting access to treatment will lead to disastrous healthcare outcomes.

Preserving Medicare Part D is not only a matter of protecting healthcare for our citizens; it is a sound economical investment in a successful program. I encourage all Floridians, physicians and policymakers to consider opposing any changes to Medicare Part D reimbursements. Contact your legislators and voice your support of Medicare Part D.

Rene Rodriguez, M.D.
President and Founder, Interamerican College of Physicians & Surgeons
Member, Medicare Rx Access Network of Florida
Dr. Rodriguez brings up several excellent points. Paying for Medicare benefits is a huge issue here in Florida due to the high percentage of our population who participate in the program, so the need to find savings is understandable. Like any large government program, there are certainly inefficiencies, waste, and fraud. Furthermore, considering the exponential growth of our national debt, I personally believe we cannot afford to have any "sacred cows" and must examine Medicare in its entirety for potential budget buts.

However, the draconian cuts to preventative care that the President is proposing would, without a doubt, actually increase overall costs by leading to more severe medical problems, chronic conditions, and an increase in the number of people seeking treatment in emergency rooms (one of the most expensive and least efficient ways of providing medical care). Instituting measures to monitor and reduce fraud is a legitimate way to save money; asking patients to chose between heart medication and cancer medication is not.

President Obama needs to realize that a cut isn't really a "cut" if it leads to higher costs elsewhere. It's also extremely hypocritical for Obama to try and scare senior citizens by threatening that their Social Security checks may be cut off if the debt ceiling negotiations fail, while simultaneously proposing to eviscerate their Medicare benefits.

To contact your member of Congress, click here.
To contact your Senator, click here.

For information about the Medicare Rx Access Network of Florida, send an email to medicareRxFL@gmail.com.



~ Sponsored Blog Post ~
To submit news, research, press releases, or for advertising inquires, please contact me at sarahrumpf at gmail dot com.

Marco Rubio discussing debt ceiling debate on Face the Nation

Here's my Senator, Marco Rubio, being his usual awesome self on Face the Nation this weekend:


YouTube | SenatorMarcoRubio | Sen. Marco Rubio on Face the Nation
Well certainly the debt limit is an issue, but I think the the bigger issue here is the debt...no one's focusing on the real problem and the real problem is the debt and a lack of a credible plan to debt. And it's not just me saying it, it's the rating houses saying it.
That's how Rubio starts the interview, and he maintains that level of awesomeness throughout the 10 minute clip. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Welcome to Titusville [VIDEO]

Here is a short but powerful documentary that's linked on Sayfie Review this morning, titled "Welcome to Titusville," about the devastating impact of the end of the space shuttle era on that small town:


Welcome to Titusville from Ride5 on Vimeo.


Atlantis is scheduled to return from its final mission (STS-135) this Thursday, July 21, 2011. The shuttle will land at the Kennedy Space Center in the early hours of the morning, shortly before 6 a.m. EDT.

I can't believe that this week is the last time I'll hear that famous "Boom! Boom!" echo through the Florida skies...well, at least for the foreseeable future.

I think we're all more than a little sad right now. It is truly the end of an era.



Friday, July 15, 2011

Go see the Sarah Palin movie...I dare you!

I recently had the opportunity to see a private early screening of the Sarah Palin documentary, "The Undefeated." (Thank you to Jason Hoyt for getting me on the list!)

I admittedly showed up at the theater with a somewhat-contradictory set of preconceived notions, some positive, some negative, based on my observations and interactions with some of the people involved in this project over the past few years. Now having seen the film, I have to say that it exceeded my expectations, in multiple ways.

Last year, I saw another Stephen Bannon film, "Battle for America," and really enjoyed it. Bannon came to Orlando for a screening so I got to meet him. He's extremely gracious and sincere in person, and his passion about fighting for his political beliefs is clearly evident. Bannon has a distinctive style of filmmaking that I really enjoy: intertwining archived news footage with interviews with the people who directly experienced the events, clever graphics, and humorously-acted vignettes.

The emotional power of this film surprised me. From the opening recollection of the vicious leftist attacks on Palin from media and Hollywood celebrities to the scenes near the end recapping the 2008 Presidential election and summarizing the state of the country today, Bannon takes the viewer by the hand and leads them through a warm, engaging, and powerful story.

My Sarah Palin costume, 2008
The bigger surprise, however, was how the movie made me reevaluate Sarah Palin. I've been a fan of hers since her emergence on the national political scene as John McCain's running mate. I was thrilled and moved to tears when I watched her speech in Dayton, Ohio the day she was announced as a candidate. I bought a copy of her book Going Rogue, and dressed up like her for Halloween. I've heard her speak several times and even got the chance to meet her last year. In person, the energy she conveys on television is even more intense, and her warmth and sincerity are immediately obvious. Every eye in the room is drawn to her and she is just plain electric to be around.

So, yeah, I'm a Palin fan. But the unrelenting ugliness of the attacks on her from the left and the mainstream media had worn down a lot of that enthusiasm. I've always viewed her as intelligent and a passionate fighter for conservative causes, but I had begun to doubt her viability to run for national office again any time soon.

2010 Orange County Lincoln Day Dinner
For me, the biggest impact of the movie was to reinvigorate the emotions that so many of us had in 2008: the pride we had in our party's vice presidential nominee, the enthusiasm we had for her tough backbone and solid conservative politics.

Take a moment and think back to August 2008. Do you remember how you felt back then? The excitement, the energy? The disappointment about John McCain (because most of us supported other candidates in the primary), the worries about his moderate tendencies, all lifted from the first instant she spoke that day in Dayton?

McCain had seemed to me to be just the latest incarnation of the party's unfortunate tendency of picking the next oldest guy in the room, but now here was this smart, feisty, and beautiful woman who spoke with such poise, eloquence and power. Listening to her, I got a strong feeling of "Ah-ha! Here's someone who is speaking the truth. Finally! Finally!" Oh and her name is also Sarah? Awesome. 

Palin's ethics and priorities are clearly defined, and she has unwaveringly followed them like her own personal North Star. This point is driven home over and over again in the movie, and in my opinion is the heart of why she is appealing to so many people. Palin has a great quote regarding the establishment political consultants who tried to influence and bully her: "In politics, you're either eating well or sleeping well."

The most powerful example of Palin's adherence to her own ethical principles is her years-long battle with Alaska's oil and gas industry. Everyone has heard general statements about how she "reformed" the industry and "took on members of her own party," but for most of us, the details are fuzzy. There is so much more to the story, and this film does an amazing job of walking us through it. Palin didn't just reform her state's relationship with the oil and gas industry, she completely redefined the entire way they do business. It is honestly one of the most impressive accomplishments I've ever heard associated with a politician. This section of the movie was my favorite, and Bannon's team did an amazing job telling it.

The vicious enthusiasm with which Palin's critics target her has always bewildered me. After watching this film, I've gone from bewildered to infuriated. The mainstream media has spent the past few years engaging in journalistic malpractice when the story involves even the most tangential connection to Palin.

Sadly, the Republican Party establishment and the vast majority of the members of our party have remained largely silent on the issue of the character assassination of Sarah Palin and have declined to stick up for her. Andrew Breitbart, who was interviewed for this film, has some very harsh words for these Republicans, branding them as "eunuchs," not man enough to defend her. Watching this movie is to witness step by step, year by year, the challenges that Palin has faced and overcome, mostly on her own. You cannot help but respect her backbone. There's a reason that #fightlikeagirl has been a popular hashtag on Twitter lately.

After the movie was over, several of us were interviewed to capture our immediate reactions. My comments reference what I wrote above about remembering the excitement from 2008:


YouTube | Reviews of "The Undefeated"

Ben Howe has posted an excellent review of the movie over at RedState:

RedState | Ben Howe | Palin.
I thought she hadn’t gotten a fair shake in the media, but I felt confident that I could see through the bias and that I understood who she was, what she had done and what my opinion would probably be about her going forward.

I was entirely incorrect.

...Shame [on me] for not bothering to look up her record. Shame for not reading her story. Shame for turning the channel when she came on the tv. Shame for not listening to people that we had a great deal of respect for like Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity...
I highly recommend that you read Howe's review in its entirety. He has also posted a link to an interview he did with Bannon about the film that you should check out as well.

So, to go back to the title of this post: I dare you to go see The Undefeated. Whether you love Sarah Palin or hate her, you will come away from this movie with a new perspective on her abilities and accomplishments.

Is she running for President? Maybe. Maybe not. But regardless of whether she throws her hat in the ring this year, I am convinced that her voice is a valuable one, and one that we need to hear. From this point forward, anyone who seeks to criticize her without seeing this movie or at least acknowledging its content will be proving the per se illegitimacy of their position.

The movie opens tonight in select AMC theaters. In Orlando, you can see it at the AMC Universal Cineplex, 6000 Universal Blvd. at 1:00 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9:15 p.m., or 12:00 a.m. (buy tickets here). For other locations, click here.


YouTube | VictoryFilmGroup | The Undefeated Official Movie Trailer

OFFICIAL SITE: www.theundefeatedmovie.com
TO BUY MOVIE TICKETS: http://theundefeated.cinedigm.com/tickets.html
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/TheUndefeatedMovie
BLOG: http://victoryfilmgroup.com/category/the-undefeated-blog/
PRESS & MEDIA REQUESTS: dana.mirman@victoryfilmgroup.com

You like me, you really like me!

Awww, thanks, y'all. I found out this week that I came in first place in the Orlando Weekly 2011 Best of Orlando Contest in the "Local Color" category for Best Local Blog.


Congratulations to The Daily City, which won the Best Local Website category, along with two other categories, and Nerdy Show, which describes itself as "the only nerd podcast dedicated to every aspect of nerdom: nerd culture, nerd news, and nerd music."

I went with my friends Sarah and Nick (follow Nick on Twitter here) to the Best of Orlando Party at The Beacham (formerly known as Tabu) on Wednesday. We found local performance artist and fellow Best of Orlando winner Brian Feldman doing his thing outside the club, hanging out inside an Orlando Weekly newspaper box, passing out copies of the paper:

Two Sarahs and Brian Feldman
A better view of the Man in the Box. Photo by Peter Murphy.

Anyway, I'd like to send a special thank you to my friend and PR-guru Alan Byrd, who helped me with promotions for this contest, and of course, thanks to all of you who voted and read this blog. I enjoy sharing my little corner of the internet with you and appreciate your continued feedback and support.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pioneers battling space mosquitoes! Huh?

Here's an unintentionally-funny-and-a-little-bit-infuriating video of an interview with Senator Bill Nelson on the day of the final space shuttle launch:


YouTube | SenBillNelson | Nelson on space industry in Florida

First, the "infuriating" part: I'll admit I am far from unbiased, but is anyone else bothered by how calmly and glibly Nelson rattles off the thousands of lost space industry jobs (starting about the 1:30 mark)? Apparently everyone who lost their job just needs to sit tight and wait for that "new rocket to Mars" contraption to get built. Anyone want to take bets on how many years that will take? There isn't even a design for the capsule yet.

Look, I am in favor of having more participation from private industry in space travel. From what I understand, several of the private companies have made great strides towards being able to launch vehicles capable of orbiting the earth, reaching the international space station, and other functions performed by the space shuttle. However, they're not ready yet, and I am very uncomfortable with the idea that we have cancelled both the shuttle program and the Constellation program before we had a viable replacement.

We have risked our security and our sovereignty by ceding complete control of space to Russia and China for years to come. If we had to describe our relationship with those countries on Facebook, the best we could hope for is "It's Complicated." The Cold War may be over, but tensions with Russia remain over numerous other issues, such as Iran's continued nuclear ambitions. And let's not forget the mind-boggling amount of money we owe China. Do we really want the lives of our astronauts and millions, if not billions, of dollars worth of our technology to be susceptible to being used as leverage against us in an already complicated world of international diplomacy?

Next, the "unintentionally hilarious" part: at about the two minute mark, Smith mentions how the Brevard County area feels like "a step back in time" and retains much of its "Old Florida" charm, and Nelson starts rambling about pioneers and mosquitoes.
And the pioneers are the ones who really made it possible, back when there were rattlesnakes and alligators and mosquitoes. Do you remember the mosquitoes? And they forged out of this wilderness a space port that has taken us to extraordinary heights and is now going to take us to Mars.
Just like the pioneers battled!
Huh? Ummm, Senator? Last time I checked, we still have rattlesnakes, alligators, and mosquitoes in Florida. I've seen native alligators with my own eyes several times at Lake Alice, Payne's Prairie, and other state parks too many times to count, and I am currently sporting three itchy spots of evidence from this weekend that prove Florida currently has mosquitoes!

I'll let you decide what the heck Nelson meant when he said that the pioneers built a space port.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Final space shuttle launch [VIDEO]

In case you missed yesterday's historic final space shuttle launch, here is the video of Atlantis' final journey...


Godspeed, Atlantis.

Can't believe it's over.

Here's an excellent video looking back over the past three decades of the space shuttle program. It definitely made this lifelong Floridian get teary-eyed.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Nazis are attacking the St. Pete Times!

Oh, those poor journalists at the St. Petersburg Times! They are under attack from Nazis!

Well, of course that is not actually true. But it's understandable why someone might think so, from the panicked headlines the St. Pete Times has been posting lately.

Apparently he's planning the extermination of Florida newspapers
First there was Wednesday's hysterically-titled blog post by Adam Smith, "Has Adam Hasner gone off the deep end?" in which he claims that Adam Hasner is comparing our government to the Third Reich.

Then, today, Daniel Ruth writes an op-ed, "Hasner mining for fear," in which he says that Hasner was attempting to "link the nation's economic woes to the threat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich posed to the world."

OMG! Hitler?

Nazis?!?!?!?!!!

NAZIS!!!!!!!! HITLER!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!

Hold on a second here. What exactly did Hasner write? Would someone who's Jewish really be so careless with a Hitler reference?

What has the St. Pete Times' panties in a bunch is Hasner's July Fourth message. You can read the entire note here on his Facebook page.

Let's look at the key language in the second through fourth paragraphs:
...The very freedom we celebrate this weekend is threatened like few times in our nation’s history.

On July 4, 1941, as Hitler’s Reich spread its influence across Europe, President Roosevelt used a radio address to proclaim the Fourth of July holiday as an example to the world in its fight for freedom.  President Roosevelt said, “several new practices of tyranny have been making such headway that the fundamentals of 1776 are being struck down abroad, and definitely, they are threatened here.”

Nearly five months to the day later, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Despite the challenges, a generation of Americans would answer the call to save America, and the world, from a dark future under the control of brutal empires and savage dictators.

Today, the biggest threat to our liberty is not a foreign government, but our own. The worst practice of tyranny is not from a dictator, but from our debt – a debt which threatens to enslave future generations of Americans to a diminished future, a lower standard of living, and a reduction of our freedoms. We face more restrictions on our liberties from stifling bureaucrats than from threats abroad.
Wait. Go back and look at parts I highlighted with bold print.

Hasner mentions Hitler once, and only once, and in a reference to the challenges that Franklin D. Roosevelt was facing on July 4, 1941. Sooo...let me get this straight...Hasner only mentioned Hitler as part of a reference to the President who fought the war against the Nazis

If that's "going off the deep end," then I guess it's also crazy to mention King George III if you're talking about George Washington, or mention that Abraham Lincoln fought to free the slaves, or Ronald Reagan's efforts to end communism. Take note, politicos: the St. Pete Times does not want you to discuss history! Only an extremist would reference American history and past struggles for freedom in a July Fourth message!

Well what about the rest of the message? Does Hasner connect current events to the Nazis?

No, the exact opposite is true. Hasner said the "biggest threat" is not a foreign government, but abuses of power within our own government. And we're not facing a threat from a dictator, but from our crushing debt. In other words, FDR fought Hitler and the Nazis, and Americans today are fighting something entirely different, "not a foreign government," "not a dictator."

Maybe Adam Smith and Daniel Ruth need to go take an SAT prep course and brush up on their reading comprehension. When someone says "we are not fighting X, we are fighting Y," that is not "comparing" X and Y! That is saying that X and Y are different. It's really not that complicated.
 

[Cross-posted at The Minority Report and RedState]

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Morning Coffee Reading for July 7, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • Here's two great posts by Yid With Lid blogger Jeff Dunetz, analyzing several recent polls about how Jewish voters (even Democrats!) are increasingly disapproving of President Obama's job performance:
Yid With Lid | Why Gallup's Analysis of Jewish Voters is Dishonest
Yid With Lid | New Poll Shows Jewish Vote Abandoning Obama
Ted Cruz | Continue to Preserve U.S. Sovereignty
  • Earlier this week, the delightful Jenny Erikson, who I met at CPAC, invited me on her podcast to talk about why I'm a conservative, and my thoughts on the Casey Anthony trial. By the way, the tagline on her blog, "God. Family. Politics. Wine." might be one of the best ever.
Jenny Erikson | Jenny Erikson Radio Show - Episode 0019
  • A friend of mine who lives in Washington, D.C., Kevin Eder, is even more of a Twitter-holic than I am, if you can believe it. Kevin frequently will send out tweets posing hypothetical, taunting questions to liberal politicians and media outlets. Apparently he's also become Public Enemy Number One to the White House, as recent articles have noted that Obama's new "Director of Progressive Media," Jesse Lee, has directed a curious 15% of his tweets to responding to Kevin. The conservative blogosphere has taken notice:
    I spoke to Kevin last night, and he had this to say about the whole kerfuffle: "I don't think Jesse Lee is a bully, but I'm not sure what they're trying to accomplish with this effort. They're emboldening their opponents."
    • Orlando's iconic Lake Eola Fountain is back! The renovated fountain made its debut during this past weekend's July 4th celebrations downtown. 
    Orlando Sentinel | July Fourth fireworks show caps Lake Eola fountain rededication
    Photo by Stephen M. Dowell (see more photos here)
    • From LifeNews.com, a recent British study has shown that women who have an abortion are significantly more likely to have complications in future pregnancies, including premature birth. (Hat tip: Steven Ertelt)
     Life News | Women Having Abortions Up Premature Birth Risk 34% Next Time

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