Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rick Scott's 2010 Tomfoolery

Up next on my list of what is now 231 reasons to dis-elect Rick Scott, a handful having to do with the 2010 election. The tactics will look familiar.

If Democrats select Crist in the primary, as seems likely, I'll be starting a series on how to answer Scott's charges against Crist.

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We should never forget that Rick Scott became governor in part by spending millions of dollars of his own money – and spending a good amount of that money spreading patent falsehoods about his opponents, Bill McCollum and Alex Sink. All politicians lie during election time, but Scott elevated falsehood to an art form.

106) Rick Scott lied about Bill McCollum’s relationship to disgraced Florida Republican leader Jim Greer.

Scott claimed that McCollum tried to hide Greer’s illegal activities. In reality, McCollum led the way in having Greer removed from his position.


107) Rick Scott misled voters about McCollum’s voting record on tax and fee increases.

Scott claimed that McCollum voted 42 times for tax and fee increases as a member of Congress.  The number was reached by double or triple counting some votes. He also ignored efforts by McCollum to cut taxes.


108) Rick Scott lied about Bill McCollum’s lobbying on behalf of clients who helped illegal immigrants.

In reality the clients either never helped illegal immigrants, or did so when McCollum was not operating as their lobbyist.

Up next on my list of what is now 231 reasons to dis-elect Rick Scott are a handful of his shenanigans during the 2010 elections. We've already seen he's true to form for 2014, and should Democrats pick Crist as their candidate later this month, I'll start a series on how to answer some of Scott's sillier charges against Crist.  (If they end up picking Nan Rich -- well, that should be interesting because Sc


109) Rick Scott backed out of several debates during the 2010 elections.

Although he participated in a couple of debates with Bill McCollum, he later started backing out of debates, including the only one that would be televised statewide.


110) Rick Scott falsely claimed that Bill McCollum charged taxpayers for a chartered airplane.


111) Rick Scott falsely claimed that Alex Sink funneled “no bid” contracts to her former employer.


112) Rick Scott adopted a rescue dog as a campaign ploy.

This was definitely a ploy by him to get votes. There was some question of what he did with the dog and why, but this matter for one seems to have ended well.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rick Scott vs. Justin Bieber

This is rich. Rick Scott once lectured Justin Bieber that he had to obey the law. This is sort of like Open Carry giving lectures on gun responsibility.

American Bridge 21st Century PAC has done their most clever ad I've seen so far. It compares Rick Scott's extremely evasive deposition with the viral video of Beiber's March 6 interrogation.

Who came across worse? All I know is that they are both rich, entitled jerks; and both of whom are completely tonedeaf on the destruction their irresponsible behavior causes.

You can watch it on the superPAC's website with some important background info.

I also embedded the ad below.

Enjoy.

(Note: youtube is the only place I can find the video. If there is a link to another site, please let know so our overseas readers can enjoy as well.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

New Book on Rick Scott

For readers of this site who are also book-philes, there is a new book called Rick Scott: Enemy of the State, and it's available on Amazon for only $8.99.

The book is written by David A. Kearns, who is running for a House seat for District 53. Despite GOP gerrymandering, this seat is totally gettable. The incumbent Republican won in 2012 with less than 5% of the vote. It includes parts of Broward County, which has more registered Democrats than any county in the state: and the numbers keep growing.

His opponent, John Tobia, has been slammed by the Orlando Sentinel for repeatedly making "inappropriate comments about women in his lectures."

Let's help David Kearns take that district back this year.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Detroit: Water Shut Only for Residents, Not Corporations Who Owe Millions



Ain't this a kick in the pants:
More than 15,000 households have had their taps turned off for being past due. Yet the bankrupt city hasn’t touched 40 businesses who owe $9.5 million in total.
Conservatives have argued that this is a simple matter of paying bills. So why is Detroit only going after residents who are $150 in the whole and ignoring corporations who owe hundreds of thousands? Why is a mother with 5 kids not able to get water but a golf course dumping gallons every minute being exempt?

Why does any American citizen have to beg for charity water from Canada? WTF?

Explain this one, teabagger.

If Rick Scott re-elected, FL students will be forced to watch film on why liberals hate America

#139 of My Stupid State

This is not a snark.

I have several times given reasons why it's imperative Rick Scott not be given a second term. Our voting rights, our environment, the health care exchanges, or S.B. 1188: which is a bill that passed in April that gives the winner of this year's governor's race the right to kick off the three liberal judges!

I don't have the patience or space to list all of the well over 230 reasons Rick Scott needs to go, but I'll now add one more:

Alan Hays, a pro-business and anti-education Florida state senator, said he will draft a bill to be voted on for next year's regular session, which starts in March. The bill will force all middle and high school students in all of our 1,700 public schools to watch a crappy propaganda film, America: Imagine a World Without Her, by a convicted felon who plead guilty for election fraud and will likely serve prison time: Dinesh D'Souza.

The film, although a hit with conservatives, has been a commercial flop only garnering a few million bucks--a far cry from his earlier film which was a character assassination on Obama. Already it is disappearing from theaters. This new film offers unsourced, revisionist history that every nonpartisan observer has panned. (Below I have a full review on each of the film's dishonest and downright bigoted claims on African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexican-Americans, along with his shoddy defense of Wall Street and every foreign conflict. Spoiler alert: Liberals are the source of all of America's ills.)

Right now, the FL GOP holds a supermajority in our state House and Senate. Even though this is clear government indoctrination of students, and even though our education ranking is at the bottom (only in front of Alabama), and even though our public schools have been slashed to the bone with this legislature, the buzz in Tallahassee is that this bill will pass. They expect it to pass legal muster because parents can go through a process to opt their child out of viewing. (That seems fair, I'm sure no GOP politician would have objected to a forced viewing of Michael Moore's "SICKO".)

The only person who can stop this travesty is the governor. If Rick Scott is re-elected, he WILL sign the bill. It's no secret that Rick Scott is just godawful, but try to imagine how he'll be with NO re-election to worry about.

D'Souza, who normally screams about the free market, can't come to terms that his piece of garbage has flopped. He actually blamed Costco and Google executives for an elaborate conspiracy theory to explain his failure, and said the conspiracy was "a fact". This alone discredits the film and all of the unproved allegations that he refers to as "facts". Costco called him out and said the book he based the film on simply wasn't selling. Google, however, disgustingly caved on his ridiculous claim that anyone who searches "America" should be routed to his stupid film. (Google gave him exactly what he asked for. Try it.) But if this bill passes, he can expect to make some dough from our already cash-strapped schools. That's because state Senator Alan Hays, a teabagger already infamous for proposing stupid bills, saw a movie that Salon called a "laughable embarrassment" and gave this reaction:

"I saw the movie and walked out of the theater and said, ‘Wow, our students need to see this!

I’ve looked at history books and talked to history teachers and the message the students are getting is very different from what is in the movie,” Hays said.

YEAH, genius, there's a reason for that!

History is based on facts, NOT right-wing fantasies. Next thing you know they'll want to require textbooks challenging science! Oh, wait...

Last year, the FL GOP lost it over a history textbook that dared to mention Islam, and called the book "indoctrination"--even though they could not point to ONE example of the book being biased or wrong.

I can point out several lies in this unsourced, cringe-worthy, Powerpoint-esque film. But actual propaganda is fine in our schools as long as it promotes Tea Party thinking. Once again, irony is lost on the GOP. They scream about Obama being a dictator, but I don't recall him or any Democratic politician mandating propaganda to be shown in schools.

Rotten Tomatoes currently gives D'Souza's film a 9% out of 100% rating. Despite the film supposedly being about an alternate history if America wasn't founded, it instead is a movie that tries to excuse all of its past ills by insulting the people whose ancestors have been harmed. That is all in-between D'Souza comparing himself to Lincoln. (I don't recall Lincoln facing a two year jail sentence after pleading guilty to a felony, but I digress.) Nate Zoebl is a reviewer who examines the "dishonest, disingenuous, morally bankrupt rhetoric" that this Michael Moore wannabe presented in the film:

1) "Theft of land from Native Americans." This one seems pretty obvious. They were here first. American settlers, as well as other nations, came, conquered, and Manifest Destined the continent. D'Souza tries to argue that the Native Americans themselves would engage in war and take over other tribes' territories; therefore their original claim to the land is nil. Also, the land is only valuable because of what the new owners built on that land. I guess America's national parks have no inherent value then. It almost ends up transforming into a rhetorical line that the Native Americans didn't know how best to use their own land, so they didn't deserve it. The worst part of this segment, besides breezing over the Trail of Tears and countless broken treaties, is that D'Souza has the temerity to dispute the semantics of "genocide." See, D'Souza opines that with genocide there has to be intent to do harm, and Europeans simply bringing along deadly infections the natives had no immunity for cannot count. Never mind the whole smallpox blankets episode, America's earliest form of biological warfare, which was intentional. D'Souza then compares the decimation of the Native Americans via disease to the Black Plague. "We don't call that genocide," he smugly asserts. Let me provide a more fitting analogy: if Turkey had invaded the European continent, bringing with it the Bubonic Plague, and then purposely spread it to the natives to eliminate them, while claiming the land as Turkey's own, establishing settlements, and forcing the weakened Europeans into small unobtrusive clusters, well maybe we would accurately call that by all accounts genocide.

2) "Theft of labor of Africans." First, re-read that sentence and really let D'Souza's slimy word choice sink in. "Theft of labor" is what we're calling slavery now? How about theft of life, theft of rights, theft of future, theft of family, theft of dignity, theft of their basic humanity? This rebuttal is curious because at the outset D'Souza admits, "Yes, slavery was theft." Everything referenced after this point cannot alter this declaration, meaning the rest of this segment is all about mitigating the terror of slavery. D'Souza says the United States didn't invent slavery, and that even Africans would enslave one another. He literally uses the "everybody else was doing it too" argument children use to get away with misdeeds. He even tries to turn it around as a positive, enthusiastically informing us that America is the only country to fight a war to end slavery and that makes us a special place. Well, that's one way of looking at it. Another way would be to celebrate other countries that didn't require bloody wars to come to a consensus that owning other people as property was morally repugnant. Then D'Souza flouts anomalous examples to try and muddy the disgraceful practice of slavery. There were black slave owners, yes, because these people still exist in a crooked system. What does the existence of black slave owners prove? D'Souza's unsourced claim that there were as many black slave owners as white slave owners is so obviously dishonest that it takes your breath away. But even if it were true, which it is most assuredly not, what does it prove? Is D'Souza trying to say blacks are just as complicit in slavery? Then he adds that white indentured servants worked alongside many slaves and they had it rough too. Indentured servants were still seen as people with human rights. There is no comparison to slavery. The end.

3) "Theft of land from Mexico." This one is given even shorter shrift, mostly boiling down to a simplistic analysis of how lousy life is in Mexico. The United States gained much of the western states after annexing them from Mexico. D'Souza reasons that after the war we had all of Mexico and we only took half, so that should be acceptable. "I wonder how many of those in Mexico wish we had kept all of their country," he intones.

4) "Theft of independence with foreign policy." I forget the exact wording on this one, but really it just amounts to the American wars and conflicts in the last 50 years. Tackling Vietnam, D'Souza offers a straw man that has never existed in mainstream thought: that we went to war in Vietnam to take over their land as imperialists. The war in Vietnam was a result of the domino theory in thwarting the spread of communism, not to take over Asia. On top of this, let's ignore the Gulf of Tonkin incident that was manufactured as a rationale to escalate a war in South Vietnam. All D'Souza does is interview one P.O.W. veteran who says he went to war to spread democracy. That's fine, but one man's experience is anecdotal and not indicative of the whole, let alone of the military command. D'Souza then says we gave back Iraq to the Iraqis and didn't ask for anything in return, except, you know, permanent military bases that they objected to. Wars aren't just fought for territory, they can be fought for profit by powerful interests; just look at the military industrial complex run amok. And yet, weirdly, D'Souza never combats Noam Chomsky's listing of all the American-assisted coups across the globe, from Iran (1953) to Chile (1973) to Brazil (1964) to Guatemala (1954) and others. In 2011, documents over the Iran coup were declassified and admitted CIA involvement as "an act of U.S. foreign policy conceived and approved by the highest levels of government."

5) "Theft of wealth by capitalism." D'Souza actually comes to the defense of Wall Street, lamenting that America's wealthy are under unfair attack from the unwashed masses. First, D'Souza conflates a critique of unregulated, Laissez-faire capitalism with capitalism itself. There are socialists and communists and others of similar ideology out there, but the mainstream left is not arguing for the wholesale destruction of the economic system of this country. A lack of oversight and unchecked greed and fraternal collusion lead to the financial meltdown of 2008, bringing the world to the brink of economic ruin because of the bad bets of Wall Street. Instead, D'Souza stages a silly example of himself running a fast food restaurant, complete with himself playing all of the workers and with a comical (?) Indian accent. He flatly contends that it costs the consumer more money to make a hamburger at home than to buy one from his restaurant, ipso facto "the American people are not being ripped off." This is D'Souza's insufficient summary of capitalism, ignoring the 2008 financial crises, ignoring the robber barons, ignoring strike-busting, ignoring the reasons the unions had to be formed in the first place because of dangerous, unfit working conditions that would still exist without intervention. Thomas Piketty wrote a 700-page book on the history of capitalism that has become an unexpected runaway bestseller. He studied hundreds of years of documents of all sorts and concluded that return on capital is higher than the growth rate of the economy, meaning the rich get a bigger part of the pie as time goes on. Economic inequality is hitting record rates not seen since the Great Depression, but somehow for D'Souza this is Obama's failings and not those of the enshrined 1%, a.k.a. the "job creators."

Yeah! We're #49! We are gunning for #50---up yours Alabama! Expect this filth to come to a classroom near you next year if we don't get out the vote and kick Rick Scott's ass OUT!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Idiot FL Congressman Assumes Obama Officials Are Foreign Because of Skin Color and Surnames (Video)

My God, this Teabag Congressman is a complete idiot. (I know, redundant.) Gohmert and Bachmann are now in a real race for the dumbest member of the lower chamber. (NEVER count out Florida!)

In a painfully awkward congressional hearing, freshman Rep. Curt Clawson touted his deep knowledge of India and his favorite Bollywood movies to two administration officials holding senior positions in the US government. The two officials, the Honorable Nisha Biswal and the Honrable Arun Kumar, are high-ranking members of the State Department and Commerce Department, respectively. They were EVEN INTRODUCED with their positions in the US Government.

Curt Clawson, who clearly wasn't paying attention, assumed the two were representatives from India. After all, they had dark skin and Indian surnames, so that was all he needed to make that assumption. He told them how much he loved "your country" and then demanded that there be more open "freedom of capital" with "your government".

Clawson obviously didn't know the purpose of the hearing he was participating in, nor did it ever cross his mind that it is extremely rare for foreign officials to testify before the US Congress under oath.

As embarrassing as that was, what happened next got things really awkward.

Mz. Biswal, being a class act even though this idiot made an ignorant assumption, told him point blank that "I think your question is to the Indian Government", and said she would advocate his position on behalf of "the US GOVERNMENT".

Clawson then apologized and ate crow... just kidding. He continued to be as clueless as ever. He smugly responded "Let's see some progress."

Curt Clawson is a perfect representative of the modern GOP: ignoring facts that are put right in front of you along with carrying an ignorant mindset.

If you can bear it, the video is below. If embedding didn't work, you can click the link here.

That FL CEO Who Said He'd FIRE Everyone if Obama Elected? Guess What Happened...

"The Queen of Versailles" was a film documentary based on the sleazy time-share mogul, David Siegel, and his wife, Jackie. David had major financial troubles following Bush's 2008 economic crises. He had to stop work on his private home, dubbed "Versailles", which was to be the largest home in the U.S. Poor guy.

Naturally, Obama was to blame for this. As you may recall during the peak of the presidential campaign, Mr. Siegel penned a letter threatening to fire all his employees and close down his Orlando-based company, Westgate, if Obama was elected. A snippet from the full letter:

So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the "1 percenters" are bad, I'm telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the "1%"; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.

You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Signed, your boss

Yeah, that happened.

This wasn't the first time either. In 2000, Siegel did something just as slimy. He put negative articles about Gore in every paycheck, and also forced his managers to conduct an inappropriate survey on who was voting for Bush and Gore. Those that said Bush were "required" to register to vote. Ironic, considering how Bush's economy almost put him out of business.

Fortunately for everyone, this time, his despicable letter threatening to fire everyone if Obama was elected backfired. Obama won Florida handily. The press mocked Siegel. We all expected this time-share sleazeball to retire and close his company. But then a funny thing happened...

Instead of his company being dragged down by the evil black man in the Oval Office, his company started flourishing again. The Obama recovery saw companies make record profits, and Siegel's was no exception. Today, they are doing better than ever. Under Obama, we also have had the best stock market in history, so investors like Siegel made out like bandits. (Obama=worst socialist ever).

Instead of firing, Siegel has had to hire more people. Since his employees were finally able to get reasonably-priced health insurance, he was free to invest his money in all kinds of things. He bought the Orlando Predators. He also bought a massive casino in Las Vegas. Saints be praised, he was even able to finally start work again on his gaudy, 90,000 square foot house complete with a bowling alley, a 30-car garage, and a roller-skating rink.

Turns out that he never had any intention to flee to the Caribbean.

Turns out Obama has been great for him.

Turns out he was just another rich, entitled a$$hole.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Calling all Florida activists and bloggers!!

Calling Florida politicos, activists, bloggers, and candidates to a meetup/conference at in Inverness on August 9. Several activists and candidates are committed, and the person putting it together is working her magic to bring in more.

There's plenty of room. I'll be there. Won't you join us?

Floridian w/kids makes too much for Medicaid earning only $267 a MONTH!

We don’t need to expand a big-government program to provide for everyone’s needs. What we need is to shrink the cost of health care and expand opportunities for people to get a job so more people can afford it. --Rick Scott, 2013

To put this heartlessness in simple terms, a single parent in Florida with two children who makes over $3,200 a year is INELIGIBLE for Medicaid because according to the our state legislature... that is TOO MUCH money. Folks, that's $266.66 a month. This is a travesty. We are a major state but this is one of the lowest, if not THE lowest, threshold in the country. Think about that sheer stupidity for a second. Where on God's green Florida can you pay rent, utilities, clothes, food, and possibly still have enough to cover any medical bills for three people on that amount?

Answer: You can't.

If Rick Scott and our teabag legislature accepted the Medicaid expansion, then a family of three making up to $25,390 would be eligible. That not only seems a lot less cruel, it makes a lot of financial sense. The fed would pick up the entire tab for three years and most of the tab following. Compare that with the Florida GOP's failed alternative plan that would have cost Florida taxpayers billions and hardly cover anyone. (But hey, at least it wouldn't have been tied in anyway to Obama, which was apparently their ONLY concern.)

Add to the mix that their failure to expand Medicaid cost our state 63,000 good-paying Florida jobs. Also add that we are second only to Texas in the number of uninsured, which drives up the cost for everyone due to lack of preventative care and having to pay for high ER costs for preventable medical issues.

Even our teabag-filled FL Senate favored the expansion. Yet our tantrum-throwing, 33-year old man-child in charge of the Florida House, Will Weatherford, steadfastly opposed it. He called it the "worst" form of insurance you can get and stated "Nobody in here wants to be on Medicaid".

NO Sh** Sherlock. No one wants to be poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but not everyone gets to pay $8.43 a month for their healthcare plan, like Rick Scott, Will Weatherford and the rest of the teabag politicians pay--the lowest premiums offered to anyone in Florida.

But for those who need it, it can be a life-saver. For example, Medicaid helped Will Weatherford's own father!

I will concede to the heartless, hypocritical knuckle-draggers that if the poor single mother with two kids earning $267 a month was offered the same gold-plated plan that Florida legislators are given for 8 bucks and some change, then yes, Medicaid expansion would not be necessary. But since that will never happen, it's time to do the right thing by Florida and accept the Medicaid expansion.

That will only happen if we have a regime change in November.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Complete Monsters. Both Held Fundraisers for Rick Scott.

In April, Rick Scott attended a fundraiser by Mel Sembler. To put it mildly, he is a monster. His clinics are responsible for widespread massive abuse of literally 100s of young patients who were mentally, physically, and sexually abused. Two state investigations verified the abuse and that, along with several large civil suits, finally forced these horror clinics to close. Mel's wife, Betty, a co-founding member of those awful clinics, soon afterwards opened the Drug Free America Foundation. Under Rick Scott, this organization has flourished, winning contracts and getting funding from large pharmaceutical corporations. Rick Scott even gave Betty an award naming her one of the 23 greatest Floridians, alongside Ponce de Leon and Walt Disney.

As appalling as that was, Rick outdid himself today.

Rick Scott attended a fundraiser George Zoley, who also ran a Mississippi facility that engaged in widespread abuse. The abuse was so bad at the GEO Group, that a federal judge actually had it closed down because Zoley "allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate". That is not the kind of person I would think a politician would want to associate with, but Rick Scott isn't your ordinary person. Rick Scott wants to emulate Zoley's model for his prison privatization scheme. He even gave Zoley an award for his "bold and innovative cost-saving practices".

"When the state of Florida gives you an award, that award is basically sarcastic"--John Oliver

The guy who must feel really awful about all of this is the one guy Rick Scott canceled on the day of the fundraiser. A convicted felon was hosting a fundraiser but had an abrupt cancellation by Scott after MotherJones ran a story about it. Apparently, Rick Scott's campaign thought the optics of a convicted felon raising money for someone who should have gone to prison wouldn't look good. But seriously, how bad do you have to be to get a cancellation from Rick Scott?

After all, we are talking about a man so committed to fundraising he will reschedule an execution to get the bennies.

The one and only advantage to being Rick Scott is that you can pretty do what you want since everyone thinks you are scum anyway.