Greetings from the land of hanging chads and stand your ground insanity. It's also a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 4,587,502 to 4,128,098, yet the GOP controls both chambers of the legislature and all cabinet positions. Maybe it's the heat combined with the humidity that make people vote against their own best interests time after time.
Regardless of the reasons, Florida has a chance to rid ourselves of some of the DUH that's infected our land. But to do that, Floridians have to vote in the August 26 primary, and vote for the only progressive Democrat in the race.
If you listen to the Florida Democratic party or the media - local or national - you'd believe that the Florida gubernatorial race was between the incumbent
criminal Governor Rick Scott and former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, without ever having been informed that there is even a primary, let alone the fact that Nan Rich, the former leader of the Florida Senate Democrats and a real progressive, is in the race!
I've had the honor of interviewing Nan Rich before, and was thrilled that she put aside some time to speak with us again this morning. I hope everyone in Florida gets to hear her and realize that we have a chance to take the DUH out of FloriDUH once and for all!
As we do every Monday morning, we started the week with Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny and the Blue America PAC for our "Steve Israel Hour, sponsored by Little Debbie," our weekly satirical salute to the idiots running the national Democratic Party.
A programming note: I'll be heading west on Thursday evening, flying out to Los Angeles to cover and broadcast live from the American Federation of Teachers convention on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'll do the show from LA on Tuesday morning (perhaps Monday too, we're still working on that!). And then on Wednesday, I fly to Detroit to broadcast live from Netroots Nation on Thursday and Friday, July 17 . Stay tuned for more details!
You may be wondering what ORD is and if you have it, is it curable?
Well, ORD is a phrase, coined by Republican political strategist, Ford O'Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign. Though McCain lost to Obama, O'Connor made a name for himself in political circles as a man who understands the national branding of a party.
ORD is Obsessive Reagan Disorder and O'Connell ranks it highly as a reason the Republicans can't move forward. From The Hill:
Rule #1 of the political analyst's newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it."
"The Reagan fixation is a drag on the future success of the GOP at the national level. It undermines the candidates because it becomes a crutch for their inability to articulate an actual agenda or a forward-looking vision," he writes.
Republicans have always excelled in hindsight. Sadly for them, America is looking forward, for a vision of the future. Reagan ain't it.
I'm a strong believer that Reagan was bad for America and never did understand why the Republicans fixated on this guy. I know that will spike the hairs on the back of some people's necks, but he was a failure as a president. His trickle down economics nearly ruined the generation that followed him. It took Clinton to clean up that spill.
He was guilty of trading arms for hostages (Iran) and the military drug scandals down in Nicaragua. He was corrupt and sadly, quite ill during the final two years of his office. If it wasn't for Nancy Reagan, we wouldn't have had any president at all. His one foreign policy victory, if you can call it that, was getting Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Beyond that, his illegal actions while in office ranked up there with Nixon and Watergate. He knew he was breaking the law but did it anyway. He was everybody's friend, as well as everybody's fool.
Perhaps I'm being too rough. If you're looking for the good things Reagan did, you have to look domestically. You can't overlook that he signed the amnesty program for immigrants, building a pathway to citizenship for 3 million undocumented workers. Today, that would get him kicked out of his own party. He also raised taxes 11 times. That would get his GOP Conservative membership card cut up in no time. So who really are these GOP stalwarts talking about when they invoke the name of Reagan? Though they won't admit it, a moderate Democrat today.
So bye-bye Gipper. If the GOP wants any chance at the White House they need to consider this:
Among the book's 10 rules or "winning plays": "Stop Giving a S--t About Obama's Birthplace," "Hug the Gays (No, Really)" and "Kill Immigration Reform, Kill the GOP."
You know, for a Republican, this O'Connell guy has his sh** together.
I always got a lot of laughs while watching Jeff Foxworthy with his routine, "You Might Be A Redneck." You've all heard some of his "You might be a redneck:"
You get the idea, I'm sure.
Well, Veracity Stew has printed out a "You might be..." of it's own. Only this one is the "You might be an extremist" test. Here's a sampling:
YOU MIGHT BE A POLITICAL EXTREMIST IF:
Do you see yourself in any of the above? If you wish to find more, check out the full list here: The Extremest ID Test For All Political Factions
Yesterday Florida Congressman Alan Grayson came under an amazing amount of heat for a picture he included on a fundraising letter sent out to his constituents and contributors. He was lambasted on the right, the very far right, for using an image of a burning cross and associating it with the Tea Party.
I personally enjoy the unbridled behavior and unfiltered comments that the representative has become known for. Unfortunately, he may have stepped over the line with this one. I said, "May."
"[T]here is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation," he said in a statement provided to HuffPost. "If the hood fits, wear it."
Without a doubt, the right wing extremists have made some amazingly over the top, out of bounds statements about the President as well. As the commander in chief, he's fair game -- when the criticisms are based on his actions, not his race or his religion. We've heard the Tea Party mouth that roared, Larry Klayman as he made religiously malicious statements about the President being on his knees, bowing to Allah and needing to put his Quran down and come out with his hands out (up).
I didn't see anyone on the right or in the tea party saying THAT crossed the line.
Then there was Congressman Doug Lamborn who said this:
So Obama's called out as a "Tar baby" and I didn't see anyone from the right or the Tea Party saying that crossed the line.
But Alan Grayson equates the intolerance of the Klan with the Tea Party and he's now to be shunned, reprimanded and made a pariah?
Perhaps. It's a thin line he's traversed. There is certainly vociferous public outcries against Obama and all Blacks for that matter from geographic regions where the Klan publicly and openly still reside. And government voting records show those areas did NOT vote for Obama. But does that allow us to paint those specific regions with a broad brush of racial intolerance?
Reality says, yes. Propriety and respect for differences of opinion say no.
I wish Rep. Grayson hadn't used such an inflammatory image, whether or not I agree with his "copy" that accompanied the picture. But if I condemn or chastise his questionable taste, shouldn't the Tea Party also be up in arms (maybe they prefer lighting a cross) over the racially charged, intentional slurs their party's spokespeople have heaped upon the duly elected President of the United States?
Oh, that's right, the Tea Party still denies his election was legal. Something about where he was born. They can have that argument, but then they must apply it equally to Canadian-born Rafael Cruz, their poster boy. Wouldn't that be the only fair thing to do? That's the American way. That's the Constitution.
Fairness isn't something the Right exercises very often. Aside from the right to bear arms, they have a squishy record on the other pieces of the Bill of Rights and the entire Constitution with its amendments.
So I'll go on record that the line of taste and propriety was dinged, if not outright crossed by Grayson, but not until someone on the Right or the Tea Party (generally the same people) comes out and condemns Klayman and Congressman Lamborn for their egregious, shameful remarks.
I'm guessing it won't happen too much more, but it will happen. Via TPM.
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Thank you ahead of time for your consistent kindness and generosity. Without you, there would be no us.
Ever walk past a police station and say to yourself, well, at least I know I'm safe here? You just know that street criminals aren't going to be so stupid as to hassle you in front of the station. So you continue to walk on by with great confidence. After all, this isn't Russia.
Evidently we need to think again. This from takepart.com.
Islan Nettles was out in New York City with friends when a group of young men approached her, learned she was a transgender woman and began taunting and maliciously beating her—right in front of a police precinct in Harlem.
The fashion design student with delicate features was punched in the face, knocked to the ground and beaten until she lost consciousness on the night of August 16.
“They were called f****, they were called he-she’s, she males, things of that nature,” Nettles’ mother told a local newscast.
Islan Nettles, born Vaughn Nettles, fell into a coma she would never awake from. She died Thursday after being taken off of life support. She was only 21.
And this happened right in front of the police.
What's wrong with this picture? A lot. And maybe this will help someone down the road. Let's not stay a society of Kitty Genovese onlookers. Let's not just walk the other way. Let's support those who are being picked on or attacked -- it's not color, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation. It's people standing up for other people. I rather take a risk and save a life, than live with knowing I did nothing to help. I hope you feel the same way.
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Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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