Friday, June 26, 2015

Never Been More Proud To Be A Democrat

June 21-27: worst. week. ever (for conservatives)

1. ACA is the law of the land. Bitter irony for conservatives who hate poor people having insurance: you spent all that time, money and effort to defeat something that you have made untouchable by giving it TWO high court victories!

2. End of Sarah Palin and her idiot daughter. Sarah was FIRED from Fox we learned this week. Her condescending but promiscuous daughter, who raked in a quarter million giving abstinence speeches, got knocked up again by a different guy. That abstinence circuit is a great way to get laid, I guess.

3. Vaccines are finally mandatory in California.

4. The awful confederate flag and several monuments came down from official grounds all across the South.

5. Little thing called Marriage Equality. It is the law of the land in every county in every backwards state in the nation--including my home state of Florida.

take that Clarence Thomas!!

6. NEW! Thanks to activist Bree Newsome, for ONE morning at least, SC didn't have to wake up under the flag of slavery!! Well done, Bree! #FreeBree

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tide Turns: Even South Carolina and Mississippi Face Confederate Toxin! Yet Here in Florida....

Mitt Romney might be a complete bastard, but he was the first major right-winger to call for the flag of our defeated enemy, the flag of white supremacy, to come down from SC's state capitol. The teabag governor of SC followed. Sensing a tide turning, other conservative politicians quickly followed. Even the Speaker of the damn Mississippi state house has called for the confederate flag to be extracted from the state flag.

I hadn't seen such a turn in public opinion since gay marriage.

There is no purpose this flag serves other than hate. It is a relic of a failed, racist ideology. It is a flag of a defeated domestic enemy of the United States. It is a flag of rightwing terrorism.

No goddamned way does it deserve to fly on capitol grounds anymore than a swastika.

It shouldn't have taken nine innocent deaths to get us to at least this point. But apparently, for the complete bastards that make up GOP Florida, it still isn't enough.

If you are unfortunate enough to drive on highway I-75, you will notice a massive confederate flag--the largest in the US--flying by the roadside. It is maintained by the Sons of the confederacy. They not only have influence with our idiot lawmakers in Tallahassee, several of them ARE lawmakers.

Rick Scott isn't a member, but he is a fan. Scott did jump on the Nikki Haley bandwagon (after everyone else did) last week, but was asked about the movement to take down this giant Dixie flag which, in recent days, has gotten new momentum. He was given a chance to condemn this ugly monstrosity, but Rick Scott refused to do even that:

"There were nine individuals that lost their life last week in Charleston...That’s what we ought to be thinking about right now," Gov. Scott said. "There’s plenty of time to have other conversations about other things but right now we ought to be mourning that loss."

(BTW, if that bullsh-- sounds familiar, it's because that is almost verbatim the same non-answer he gave a CNN reporter after the Newtown massacre. The reporter blasted him when he steadfastly refused to take any preventative steps following the massacre and hiding behind the victims. The video went viral.)

To be fair, the flag is on private property. Barring any ordinance, he can't force it down. But no one is asking him to. They are only asking his goddamned opinion, and one in which the appropriate response is along the lines of "it's offensive, it's disgusting, and I don't approve of it".

Lest you think this is only a Rick Scott problem, think again. Although that huge, nasty flag is at least on someone's private land, the Sons of Confederacy members and supporters in our legislature somehow found it appropriate to set aside space and time at the rotunda of the Florida State Capital building to HONOR the flag of white supremacy!!!

I'm not just talking about the standard confederate flag, which was prominently displayed. , ALL the flags of the confederacy were on display, even the "stainless banner": a confederate flag emblazoned on a white field to emphasize the "supremacy of the white race"! That isn't my opinion. That was the statement of the designer of that flag, which became the 2nd official flag of the CSA.

And there is stood in the center of the rotunda building as if it was to be honored, in a state filled with people whose ancestors suffered its atrocities. (Rubio must have been so proud!)

Perhaps most egregious is a notoriously racist Sons of Confederacy member who is also a state representative. Rep Dennis Baxley, author of Stand Your Ground and several aspects of our voter suppression laws, spearheaded a bill that allowed racists like him to forbid state park administrators from honoring fallen Union soldiers!

Residents near the Olustee Battlefield state park wanted a very small memorial to honor the American soldiers who died there. This included the 35th US Colored Troops, who amazingly repulsed a confederate attack against overwhelming odds.

Several of the wounded black soldiers who were captured by confederates were clubbed to death by the rebel troops. Baxley and other GOP leaders refuse to honor them. Baxley even argued for "a sliver of diversity" and refused any memorial for them---but supported the no less than three monuments for the confederates who committed the war crimes!!

These monuments still stand at Olustee while today there is STILL nothing that honors the fallen American soldiers who died there.

Don't look to the GOP-led government to right this wrong anytime soon. Don't look at them to even condemn any symbols of hatred that are still honored in this state. They won't change. Why would they? Florida doesn't hold these racist lawmakers accountable for the atrocities they commit today. Why would they hold them accountable for honoring the ones committed so long ago?

Friday, June 19, 2015

GOP Lawmakers FINALLY Tackle Top Issue: Tax Cut for Those Who Spend Over $1 Million on Yacht Repairs

Floridians can't get healthcare and face an education budget crisis, but our teabag legislators tackled the top issue facing Florida.

Now, those oppressed yacht owners can finally have their sales tax capped at $60,000 if they spend more than one million on repairs.

You read that right. One million on JUST REPAIRS!! Only a handful of Florida boat owners (like the Kochs) can even take advantage of such a ludicrous thing. This was a targeted tax giveaway to the 1% of the 1%; in other words, those who need it least of all.

Charleston: Everything Wrong in One Photo

That's terrible... but what a deal!
Many people who live in Charleston, SC learned about the deadly gun massacre that killed nine people in their hometown from their morning paper---alongside an ad for dirt cheap guns, gun gear, and 50 rounds of ammo.

Anyone else seeing a problem here?

This isn't an anomaly. The Florida Times-Union led the story of a recent school bus shooting accompanied with a gun show sticker ad without a hint of irony.

(BTW, don't worry. The gun show went ahead as planned. There is never a time when they are considered in poor taste. Recall when Marilyn Manson cancelled his concert near Columbine, but the NRA went ahead with their show. I remember that because it was that day I could prove the anti-Christ showed more compassion than the gun lobby.)

In Connecticut, two newspapers ran gun ads while covering the horror of Sandy Hook. Some people even got mad at the papers when they apologized. I guess a sickening tragedy should never be an excuse to stop selling cheap guns and ammo for a few minutes.

Obama is right. We are the only civilized nation in the world with this kind of problem. No other nation has weekly gun massacres. Their citizens would be outraged and horrified by it. They would demand action. They would demand legislation be enacted. They would demand accountability to whatever psychopath dared to try and argue that this is normal.

Whereas here, it's apparently too much to even ask not to slap a gun advertisement on the same day we deal with the gruesome consequences of our sick gun culture.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

JEB Bush Picks Now to Build New Mansion

John Ellis Bush is so serious about "inequality" as a theme for his campaign that he has vowed to close the gap if elected--by somehow further de-regulating Wall Street and giving bigger tax breaks to the 1%. As an added trick, JEB would do this using the exact same people who created the epidemic, no less.

But for a Bush to really do hypocrisy well, you need a splash of tone deaf.

Thank you JEB:

The former Florida governor’s new home will be built on a 1.3-acre site worth at least $1.4 million...

This, mind you, is "just a cottage", according to JEB. A hotel room, if you will, that will be 3,000 square-feet and have a gorgeous wraparound porch with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. It will be ready in time for July.

Because nothing says you understand "inequality" like building ANOTHER mansion on a family compound.

No word on the car elevator....

Saturday, June 06, 2015

FL GOP kills Medicaid AND refuses to stop their $8 gold packages. HERE'S WHAT WE DO

The GOP teabagger-ruled Fl House refused a million people in florida the ability to get health insurance by killing the Medicaid expansion. They all complained about getting people dependent on "government handouts".

So in other words, they are saying don't be like them. They made NO change to their sweet, completely taxpayer-funded platinum-package that costs you and I $1 million per month!

The cost of this to the legislators, governor, cabinet and 17,589 select people in state government is a lousy $30 a month for a family, and $8 a month for an individual! It is the most generous in the US.

After the outrage, the House did agree to raise their cost to a whopping $180 a month per family and $50 for an individual. However, the governor, cabinet and those thousands of staff still got to keep the $8 dollar meal.

Unfortunately, the state average for joe schmo is not quite as good. He pays $1347.00 PER MONTH! And he at least is able to get a plan.

My own idiot state rep, R-Jason Brodeur, was offended that anyone would want to take away his benefits that we generously provide him. He works for it! Adding guns to college campuses and trying to make it a lot easier for adoption agencies to discriminate is apparently a lot of work.

I am calling out our Democratic party to do something USEFUL for a change in 2016. I am talking about an amendment to our state Constitution to force the governor, his staff, and the legislators and their staff to pay insurance rates to levels that match the national average until the gap is closed!

For those of you outside Florida, the state has no ballot initiative process. It has to be in the form of an amendment to our constitution.

IF anyone wants to help me get started, leave a message in the comments.

Dropping off petitions of thousands of people to these idiots has been a waste of both time and paper. Getting it on the ballot, however, will make it happen. WE do have a constitutional process and a populace that would embrace this, especially in 2016.

If you don't want to do all the staff, then just the legislature, governor, and cabinet.

Can we make this happen???

Rick Scott Says: Convenience Store Workers Are Expendable!

It's yet another one of those fine moments in the Scott administration's sordid history, which shows once again just how clueless this governor can be.

Despite the fact that it was passed unanimously by the House and Senate, riddled as they are with Tea Party favorites; despite the fact that it was favored by the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, Scott vetoed a bill that would have required extra security measures at convenience stores, especially during those critical early morning hours when robberies were most frequent.

His clueless excuse for this veto: It increased regulations and would slow job growth. Really.

Well, now, wait a moment, I think I understand the point about slowing job growth. You see, in Scott's miserly personal economy, minimal-wage peons like convenience store clerks are expendable sawdust. What he means is, if convenience stores have extra security, then we won't have as much risk of these clerks being shot and killed in robberies. Which means we won't have a chance for someone else to have a job when they take their place behind the counter.

I believe that's a sort of grim humor of the type Alan Grayson used when he said the Republican health care plan was: "Don't get sick, but if you do, die quickly." The more literal truth is more likely that Scott is so indifferent to the health and safety of others in the service of his agenda that he simply doesn't care about the impact of his decisions.

This veto reminded me of a much earlier story in which Scott said he was proud of every job he allegedly brought to Florida, even if they were something Mike Rowe would be too hesitant to touch. The thematic comment by Scott came right here:

Critics fault Scott for his enthusiasm for low-wage, service-sector jobs. But he brags about them. In Jacksonville, he trumpeted the 7-Eleven convenience store chain's plans to hire up to 800 workers at Florida stores.

"Who didn't grow up wanting a Slurpee?" Scott said. "Thank goodness for 7-Eleven."

That comment seems innocuous enough, but let's think about it for a moment.   Scott's pride in bringing such jobs here wasn't expressed by the rate of pay they provided, or the ability they provided to assist the economy, or by the quality of the job. It was rooted in some vague  memory of his own pleasure in downing frozen sugar water. He doesn't care about the people who have those jobs. He only cares about how they can serve his childish whims.

How was this man re-elected? I imagine it was by people with the same childish view of the world -- and the same perception that the rest of us are merely peons here to serve their whims, not human beings with lives of our own. And if a few of us get killed the process....well, it's just as Dickens put it a century and a half ago:

"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

Grayson wasn't the first to come up with that line to represent Tea Party ideology.