Friday, August 28, 2009

"Hunting Obama a Joke?"

A Freakin' joke? Are You Frackin' Kidding Me?

For the 8 years of the Cheney administration plenty of people practically punched me in the mouth for pointing out the vast incompetence, immorality, and ignorance of that regime.

Heck a guy at happy hour at gay bar on my block got furious when told "Jr is not my president."

Remember, Obama got elected, not appointed.

Idaho GOP hopeful jokes about 'Obama Tags'
An Idaho Republican gubernatorial hopeful insists he was only joking when he said he'd buy a license to hunt President Barack Obama.

Rex Rammell, a long-shot candidate slated to run against incumbent C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May 2010 GOP primary, made the comment at a Republican rally Tuesday in Twin Falls where talk turned to the state's planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag. The hunt is due to begin on Tuesday.

When an audience member shouted a question about "Obama tags," Rammell responded, "The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those."

Rammell told The Associated Press Thursday he sees no reason to apologize for the comment because it was just a joke.

"What I would say to all my Democrat Idahoans: Take a deep breath and relax," he said. "We're not going to go out and hunt Obama."

He also told the Times-News newspaper, "I would never support him being assassinated."]
Found at Roger Ailes, the good 1, posted on 27 August.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thank Your Foremothers on Women's Equality Day, 26 August

Safely ensconced in our progressive 21st century values, we forget the suffragette struggle to win the right to vote for women. Demonized by the press and marginalized by the political process, they nevertheless changed their societies by the aggregation of individual actions.

Yes, we still can.

[Every woman today--who has in her own name a job, bank account, credit card, a lease, a car, a mortgage, a diploma or a pension—can do so because she is standing on the shoulders of millions of women who fought for those privileges.

We're celebrating Women's Equality Day on August 26-- commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote on that date in 1920. Florida was NOT one of the states that ratified the amendment, it should be noted. In fact, neither house of the Florida legislature had even voted on the measure. Though the Legislature would pass a law in 1921 that provided the vote to all residents, it was not until 1969 that Florida symbolically ratified the Nineteenth Amendment.]

So God bless my Moms, sisters and all the women who went before them who struggled to give women opportunuty in a man's world, making my little empire o' dirt a better place.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Orlando: Most Violent City for Homeless People

Already named as third meanest city in the nation towards homeless people, a new study finds Orlando ranks first in Fl for violence towards homeless persons.

Maybe part of pandemic of violence comes with using the phrase "the homeless" which consigns those without housing to subclass of subhuman status. For god's sake, please try to write "homeless people."

There but for the grace of God...

Homeless: Orlando could be the most violent metro area in Florida, survey finds
By Willoughby Mariano

Sentinel Staff Writer

August 20, 2009

The nation's third "meanest" city for the homeless may also be the state's most violent toward them, say survey results being released today.

Forty-six percent of homeless people questioned in Orlando and Orange County in an ongoing local survey said they were physically attacked in the past four years by someone they thought was not homeless — well above Florida's average of 27 percent, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.

The same organization last month ranked Orlando as the third "meanest" city in the country, behind Los Angeles and St. Petersburg. A coalition report released earlier this month said that in 2008, Florida led the nation in violence against the homeless for the fourth year in a row.

This year alone, at least two homeless men have been slain in Orange County.

"To me, the statistics are shocking. It shows the problem is much worse than we thought," said Michael Stoops, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Orange County's results in this most recent survey are preliminary. There were 35 Orlando respondents and 1,350 statewide. However, in Orange Osceola and Seminole counties there are about 3,800 homeless people at any given time, according to the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida.

The network is in the midst of a more extensive local study that aims to survey 650 homeless people. It plans to release results this fall.

Here's more about the coalition's survey, and what it means.

How was the survey conducted?
Homeless people were interviewed in a dozen metropolitan areas across Florida. Participants were asked a series of questions, including whether they were treated well by people who were not homeless, whether they would report a crime, what they think of police officers, and details on who attacked them and when.

Orange County's results are not included in the official statewide survey results because the local numbers are preliminary. Stoops said he expects the area's final results to be similar to the early count.

What's in the survey?
The survey suggests Florida's homeless have a mixed opinion of police. Statewide, 43 percent said police were helpful or somewhat helpful to the homeless, but only 21 percent reported their most severe attack to police or other authorities.

Palm Beach County came in second to Metro Orlando, with 34 percent of respondents saying they were attacked by someone they didn't think was homeless.

Volusia and Flagler had the lowest percentage, at 15 percent for both counties combined.

What isn't in the survey?
The coalition's survey does not ask what weapons were used, how respondents protect themselves or how severe the injuries were.

Answers to these questions could be helpful to local policymakers, who may want to assess what strain these attacks place on local social services and find ways to improve overall safety, said Cathy Jackson, executive director of the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida. Those questions are part of the local group's larger survey.

Do the results match daily reality?
Orlando's homeless are no strangers to violent attacks.

Ora James Light, 51, was killed April 13, and suspect Tyler Sturdivant, 18, is in jail awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder and robbery with a firearm.

At the time, investigators said that homeless people are regularly victims of violence.

Joel Boner, 30, was stabbed 15 times July 22 while at his campsite in Ocoee. John Hawthorne, 19, faces a second-degree murder charge and is out on bond awaiting trial.

In addition, at least two other murder victims this year were last listed as "transient" in county records.

Deadly violence is rare. Orlando's homeless typically worry about theft or robbery.

"They say, 'I have nowhere safe to sleep and I am afraid someone is going to steal my things,'" said Jackson.

Willoughby Mariano can be reached at 407-420-5171or

More Reasons Obama Better Than Bush

11. Actually learned something in graduate, i.e. law school. Appears to understand the basic principles of our form of government. Compare to Bush who, apparently, learned in business school how to destroy an economy.

12. Thinks knowledge is useful rather than Bush who thinks ignorance is funny.

13. Knows the importance of acknowledging a mistake and correcting it versus Bush, who looked for the missing WMD under the lectern. With Obama, course corrections are possible.

14. His father was from another country. Bush's mother is from another planet.

15. Got elected without resorting to campaign workers and his own brother throwing the recount.

16. Actually did useful work before public office.

17. Has a wife who supports him because he's right, not because he is "the husband."

18. Accepts the consequences of his own actions rather than letting the next guy take the fall.

19. Knows that there is more than one branch of Islam.

and (drum roll please)

20. Is not afraid to go hunting with his VP.

Comments from James Speaks at Informed Comment.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Lots of People Complainin' that There is No Work"

As usual, Dylan wrote a song in the Reagan recession era that applies with even more force today:

"Union Sundown"

"Well, my shoes, they come from Singapore,
My flashlight's from Taiwan,
My tablecloth's from Malaysia,
My belt buckle's from the Amazon.
You know, this shirt I wear comes from the Philippines
And the car I drive is a Chevrolet,
It was put together down in Argentina
By a guy makin' thirty cents a day.

Well, it's sundown on the union
And what's made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
'Til greed got in the way...

...Well, you know, lots of people complainin' that there is no work.
I say, "Why you say that for
When nothin' you got is U.S.-made?"
They don't make nothin' here no more,You know, capitalism is above the law.
It say, "It don't count 'less it sells."
When it costs too much to build it at home
You just build it cheaper someplace else." (emphasis added. lyrics used without permission. all rights reserved to original publisher)

While knowing listening to Dylan an acquired taste for younger generation, would still urge everyone to listen to Infidels as has All Star guitars--Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and Mick Taylor, longtime Stones member--and a Rastafarian rhythm section-Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare--yet another roster of luminaries who have played with Bobby over the decades.

Even though growing up in FL and came late to the Dylan party, he became required reading for me, sort of like Catcher in the Rye. Heard second song from INFIDELS on radio in Gainesville while at grad school in '83 and went out and immediately bought the vinyl.

Oh, vinyl record albums existed in the age of dinosaurs and now have become as extinct as they.

Dylan, freakin' genius and a poet to boot.


Top Ten Differences Between Bush & Obama First 7 Months

Top Ten Differences Between Bush & Obama First 7 Months

Obama, unlike Bush:

1. Has no plans to invade any new oil countries.
2. Knows who president of Pakistan is
3. Knows how to safely consume pretzels
4. Does not take orders from his veep
5. Not on vacation 40% of time
6. Clears away Bush's harm, rather than clearing brush on farm
7. Worried about 47 million uninsured, not about 47 thousand idle rich multi-millionaires
8. Not removing oversight from bankers on theory that financiers would never steal from own bank!
9. does not believe US menaced by Gog and Magog
10. Not ignoring threat of al-Qaeda

(Above so totally stolen from Juan Cole at Informed Comment; he gives views from an Arab perspective not often seen in in the so-called liberal media)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quirky, Crazy, and Batshit Birther Crazy

Seems like 25% of country has gone batshit birther crazy, aided and abetted by the few Republicans left in office and the cappo d tutti capo of conservatism, Rush and others of his ilk.

Now, the crazies have come to Clermont in Lake County, FL, committing federal criminal offences by vandalizing post office boxes.

Jeepers, what frightens these freaks? Socialism? Since when does any effort by the federal government to protect individuals from the enormous power of corporate capitalism become cause for riot on the right?

Don't they realize insurance companies make MORE money denying care than by treating patients?

[Early this spring, I spent two very long days traveling around Kentucky with Orly Taitz, one of the leading "birthers" in a nation full of them. So I can tell you with confidence — and show you later in this week's column and next — that this is much, much crazier than most people imagine — and alarmingly in sync with the "tea parties" and wild accusations of socialism that seem to define the current "conservative" opposition.] emphasis added
Read more:

[As I see it, the reality is that, in America, the lunatics will always be with us -- or at least for a long time. Our uniquely noxious blend of racism, right wing politics, and moneyed interests exploiting racial fears and economic insecurity have hollowed out the core of moderation in American politics. In an unbroken line from Goldwater to Limbaugh and Palin, the Republican party has committed itself to scorched-earth tactics that have shredded the economic, political, and moral fabric of this country.] emphasis added

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mansions 50% off in Orlando, Elsewhere

In "normal" recessions, high end homes usually keep selling, and owners of them keep remodelling or adding on or remodelling, thus providing work for building trades otherwise bereft of prospects.

The current financial climate with attending tight credit markets has made Orlando a real estate market with blue light specials on mansions.

For people with liquid assets, think monied for generations family members, such recessions and even depressions provide opportunity to buy at bargain basement prices.

So y'all come on down to Orlando and buy some mansions, ye oil sheiks, Rockefellers, Chases and others. We need the tax revenue.

Call me; we can slurp some 'sters and drink domestics at Lee & Rick's Oyster Bar.

[Custom builders, stuck with luxurious homes they have been unable to sell in the humbled real-estate market, now appear to be the ones taking a bath.

Some are trying to unload masterpiece homes at half the price they had been asking in 2007. Others are faced with having to wait for buyers for the first time in more than a decade. And still others warn that this may be the end of the speculative, high-end-home market in Orlando.

"We built this at the high end of the market, and we're going to have to sell at the low end," Kim Goehring, a longtime custom-home builder, said recently as he walked through what was, in 2007, the official show home of the International Builders' Show when that giant convention was in town.

Inside the house, a curved, wooden door leads to a study resplendent with leather floors, leather inlays in the coffered ceiling, and a globe of the world centered in the chandelier. Travertine tile lines the concave ceiling of one of the two rooms in the wine cellar. A bank of custom cabinetry frames stainless appliances — and that's in the master bedroom.

When he completed the 6,600-square-foot home on the main drag of Orlando's Baldwin Park in 2006, Goehring said he expected it to sell within two or three months, based on demand at the time. Now, years later, Casa Teresa is a blue-light special, with its original $4 million price tag slashed in half.]
(emphasis added),0,2233008.story

Who the hell builds with leather freakin' floors?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bicyclist Road Rage

You just can't make up this shite.

Bicycle road rage. Dude, you sit on a bike without body armor and break the window of a car that may weigh in at 2 tons. Darwin awards anyone?

[A man has been arrested in an unusual case of bicycle road rage.

Dale Arthur Single, 55, of 5141 70th St. N, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and one count of criminal mischief.

Single is accused of using his hand to crack the windshield of a car trying to pass his bicycle at 34th Street and 53rd Avenue N on Sunday. He was arrested by Pinellas County sheriff's deputies after he wielded a handgun and a phony badge.

Deputies say Meluvdin Rahimic, 28, and Cristobal Santiago, 30, both of Pinellas Park, pulled up behind Single and honked at him around 2 p.m. on Sunday as he weaved his bicycle through traffic north on 34th Street. Single damaged Radimic's windshield with a hand slap and fled.

Officials say Rahimic called 911 and followed Single to the side of the road at 53rd Avenue, where Single revealed a pistol and "pointed it at the victims in a threatening manner."]

FL: Governor Grovel Guts Growth Management Act

For those of you who don't live in FL, we have a governor named Charlie Crist, a dirtbag politician now changing his positions to ingratiate himself to the conservative base of the RepubliKKKan party for a primary election for US Senator in 2010.

Say what you will about Sarah Palin, at least she resigned her post rather than go through the motions like our Governor Gutless, who left the Capital of Tallahassee for an $430000 European junket while leaving legislators to close a $2.3 BILLION budget shortfall :[Governor Charlie Crist isn’t answering questions about his pricey overseas trade mission to Europe.

In July taxpayers picked-up a 430,000 dollar tab for Governor Crist and 25 state employees to travel England, France, Russia, and Spain. The goal of the trip was to bring jobs to Florida. Some say the trip was a waste of taxpayer money.]

On his trip, Governor Missing In Action took business leaders and had them pick up part of his tab, which included a $2179 a night suite in London.

[Crist, a Republican who calls himself the people's governor, chose to lessen the burden on taxpayers by having businesses pay his expenses.

But that kind of arrangement can pose conflicts, said Nova Southeastern University law professor Bob Jarvis, a public policy expert.

"It looks like you're buying influence and access to the governor, or to any elected official, when any part of the trip is paid for by outside interests," Jarvis said. "If the trip is important enough to do, then it should be built into the government budget."],0,5721620.story

Of course, Governor Gutless used this trip to prime the $ pump for his Senate run, raising $4.3 million, mostly from rich folk, developers and the like.

[Gov. Charlie Crist has a lot of wealthy friends.

And many of them, from plaintiff lawyers and corporate executives to New York socialites and Tallahassee lobbyists, have cut checks to his U.S. Senate bid for the full $4,800 they're allowed to give to a federal candidate, according to Crist's fundraising report.

More than one-fourth — 580 — of the 2,100 contributors who helped Crist raise a whopping $4.3 million have now maxed out for both the 2010 primary and general elections, meaning they can't be asked to give again...]

[...Crist's fundraising strategy has already shifted to target more out-of-state dollars in places such as North Carolina, where wealthy Floridians spend their summers; and New York, where he raised funds at private dinners last weekend.

Earlier this year, billionaire developer Donald Trump and Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon showed up at ritzy dinners in the Hamptons for Crist, whose wife, Carole Rome, has helped him gain entrance into New York social circles.

This week, he was in Washington for back-to-back fundraisers hosted by federal lobbyists....]

[...Crist's campaign has leaned on a handful of "bundlers" — lobbyists who collect multiple checks from friends, clients and relatives — to raise nearly $190,000 so far.

Ponte Vedra Beach-based lobbyist T. Martin Florentino, whose clients include CSX Transportation and AT&T, collected $139,250 for Crist. Tallahassee-based health-care lobbyist James Eaton raised another $50,700.

The list of 580 contributors who maxed out includes U.S. Sugar Corp. CEO Robert Buker and chief company lobbyist Bob Coker. Both were at the center of Crist's successful push for the state to buy U.S. Sugar's land holdings to try to restore the natural water flow of the Everglades...]

Sorry, Charlie, most politicians wait a bit before selling out themselves and their state. Governor Grovel gave his fat cat developer friends a huge boost by signing Senate Bill 360, the Developers' Relief Act as Carl Hiaasen calls it below.

Is Crist Fundraising While FL Burns?

[And the bucks keep flowing in

Unlike Sarah Palin, Charlie Crist has chosen not to quit his governorship early. Florida's own one-term wonder is using his remaining time to ingratiate himself with as many deep-pocket interest groups as possible.

The governor's unseemly burst of groveling is directly connected to his upcoming run for the U.S. Senate. Sucking up to the National Rifle Association and the Christian right, Crist last week declared his opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, whose confirmation is already a done deal.

Many of Crist's longtime supporters were surprised, but they shouldn't have been. Charlie has no problem with timely pandering.

Take Senate Bill 360, which he signed into law last month. Authored by lobbyists for developers, it's one of the worst pieces of legislation to come out of one of the country's most buyable legislatures.

The law emaciates Florida's Growth Management Act by removing state oversight of massive residential and commercial projects known as Developments of Regional Impact, which put enormous stress on neighboring communities.
More outrageously, the new law will stick taxpayers -- not developers -- with most of the high costs for roads and other infrastructure that housing subdivisions require.

It's a recipe for more reckless sprawl, which is the last thing Florida needs, and the last thing a self-baptized environmentalist like Crist should be endorsing.

Lobbyists for the building industry say SB 360 will jump-start many stalled construction projects, a dubious claim in a state with a pandemic housing glut and practically zero demand for new units. The real motive is to gut land-use regulations before the next boom.

Republican lawmakers who lovingly embraced the bill named it the ``Community Renewal Act,'' which is more digestible than the ``Developers' Relief Act.'' Here's all you really need to know: The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Association of Realtors love it.

Guess who doesn't: Cash-strapped cities and counties that will be saddled with the fiscal burden of supporting the new projects. They say the law wrongly restricts a local community's ability to plan and regulate its own development. One way or another, the tab for roads and sewers must be passed along to a public that's already fed up with how overbuilding has damaged the quality of life. Passed 25 years ago, the original Growth Management Act was porous and too easily subverted. The new bill is a toothless farce.

Crist was well aware how strongly local governments opposed it. Officials from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and several other counties urged the governor to use his veto. His own growth-management guru, Tom Pelham, thought the bill was lousy.

The governor signed his name anyway, saying, ``It's probably one of those bills where nobody's going to be overly happy on either side of the argument.''

Really, Charlie? The developers were beyond overly happy; they were turning cartwheels.

That wasn't the reaction in most city and county halls. So far, at least 16 municipalities have joined a lawsuit seeking to have SB 360 declared unconstitutional.

Lawyers for Homestead, Weston, Miami Gardens, Key Biscayne and other cities say the measure is an ``unfunded mandate'' that unlawfully heaps costs on local governments without providing necessary sources of revenue.

They also contend that the bill, which is cluttered with provisions unrelated to development, violates a constitutional requirement that statutes must deal with a single subject.

Like his stance against Sotomayor, Crist's unexpected support for the lax development law disappointed those still clinging to the notion that he's a different breed.

The same fellow who fancies himself a crusader for the Everglades has -- if SB 360 is allowed to stand -- essentially guaranteed that the remaining wetlands of western Miami-Dade will be paved, dooming any hope for reviving the Everglades.

Only as craven political strategy does Crist's latest cave-in makes sense. You can't win a U.S. Senate seat without a war chest, and developers, builders and banks are among Florida's most prolific campaign donors.

As of mid-July, the governor had already raised $4.3 million for his 2010 Senate race, a record-breaking sum. He seems in no hurry to reveal who gave what. He won't even identify his ``bundlers'' -- the major players who solicit and collect campaign checks on his behalf.

Late last week, the Federal Election Commission began posting Crist's donor information. Nobody will be shocked when big money starts rolling in from those who stand to benefit from the Developers' Relief Act.

Obviously Charlie would rather be a plump turkey than a lame duck.

© 2009 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.]
emphasis added
used under faie use doctrine