Tag Archives: Florida

Trump Dictionary…F is for

Fake News.  Wow. So much fake news. No collusion. None . Zero. No Russian contacts. Never met Russians. Never heard of Putin. Comey is a crook. Fake Comey book. Fake Pruitt spending. Why not travel first class? Wow. All fake news. Flynn? Who is Flynn? Never met him. All fake. Manafort? Never heard of him. Everything is fake. Fake. Lock her up. Lock her up. Horrible Hillary. Cohen. Who is Michael Cohen? I don’t know him. All fake.

Fantastic. My administration has been the most fantastic ever. I did more in the first year than any other president. Ever. People love me. People say I am fantastic. Many people.

FBI.  Most corrupt organization in Earth. Believe me. Awful. They break down doors. False charges. Lock them up.

Fifth. Take the fifth. Only criminals take the fifth. The mob takes the fifth. …Cohen took the fifth? I may have to take the fifth? A wonderful part of the Constitution. Love the fifth. Best fifth ever.

Florida. Great state. Everyone says so. Mar-A-Lago is the best golf course. Magnificent golf. Love Florida. Many billionaires in Florida.

Flynn. Great man. Fantastic patriot. Not a criminal. He pleaded guilty? …oh…I hardly know him. Never met him. Flynn who?

Fox News.  Tremendous . Fantastic. Awesome. Believe me, Fox is true journalism. Always tell the truth. Unlike the failing New York Times. Great people at Fox. I know them. Super people. The best people. Only the truth. Fair and balanced!!

Franken. Al Frankenstein. Liberal. Communist. Sex abuser. Horrible. If I did half of what he did the liberals would be calling for impeachment. Awful man. Very disrespectful to women. I respect women. I love women. Some of my favorite people are women. Like Ivanka. Tremendous woman! Fantastic.

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Jeb (not his real name) Bush’s Achilles Heels

No matter what the polls say today I think that Jeb (not his real name) Bush will end up on the GOP ticket.

But there are two very important decisions he made while governor of Florida that should give anyone who is thinking of voting for him pause. For thoughtful voters they should be his Achilles Heels.

1.  In the run up to the 2000 presidential election the governor hired a private company to purge the Florida voter rolls. That, in and of itself, is no problem. Many voter rolls have people that have moved, etc. People who no  longer have the right to vote.

But in this case the focus was on purging felons, who are not allowed to vote under Florida law. Of course, the “criminal justice” system puts a higher percentage of non whites in prison than whites. And a higher percentage of poor folks, to be sure. So, this purging would effectively eliminate more  black (mostly Democratic voters)  than GOP supporters. Still no problem. If you are a convicted felon you can’t vote.

But Jeb (not his real name) went one step beyond. Even though the private  company doing the purge (Data Base Technologies) told the Bush administration that using the parameters given to them many LEGAL voters would be purged, Jeb (not his real name) told them to do it anyway. Since they were given $4,000,000 of Florida tax dollars to do so, they didn’t complain. Yes, tax dollars paid by Florida residents  were used to purge Florida taxpayers from the voting rolls.

So, for example, a felon with the name of John Jackson would be purged. But so would all other John Jackson, Johnny Jacksons and even J Jacksons. The result was that thousands of innocent people were suddenly no longer legal voters.  The end result. A disproportionate number of African-American voters (who vote 90% Democratic) were purged from the voter rolls. And Jeb’s (not his real name) brother was given the Florida electoral votes by the US Supreme Court. . What effect did that purging have on the US? Would we have invaded Iraq had Gore won? Or nearly gone into a 2nd great depression? Or ignored climate change?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jun/06/uselections2000.usa

http://www.gregpalast.com/the-great-florida-ex-con-gamernhow-the-felon-voter-purge-was-itself-felonious/

2. Terri Schiavo. A 26 year old woman who was found by her husband of 6 years face down in the hallway. Rushed to the hospital, she had lost too much oxygen to the brain. She was vegetative. After months on a feeding tube her husband decided to let her die in peace.

Then her parents stepped in and tried to prevent this. Then the governor of Florida stepped in and took every legal (and some say illegal) action he could to prevent Terri Schiavo for being allowed to die.

In the end, thanks to Jeb (not his real name) intervention, and despite numerous court findings  for the husband, this young woman was forced to sit in a bed in a vegetative state for 15 years. Yes. 15 years of sitting with a feeding tube. Having no brain function. Having no awareness. Having all her bodily functions artificially kept intact.   (In the autopsy the doctor said most of her brain had been replaced by spinal fluid).

“…In June, the medical examiner released Terri Schiavo’s autopsy, which confirmed what the judges had ruled for years based on the testimony from doctors concerning her prognosis. Her limbs had atrophied, and her hands had clenched into claws, and her brain had started to disappear. It weighed barely more than a pound and a third, less than half the size it would have been under normal circumstances. “No remaining discernible neurons,” the autopsy said. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t feel, not even pain. Forty-one years after her birth, 15 years after her collapse, Terri Schiavo was literally a shell of who she had been…”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/jeb-bush-terri-schiavo-114730#ixzz3qjGuAF7f

Governor Bush used every legal tool he had to impose his will on that of the woman’s lawful guardian. And kept her “alive” , in a bed, unresponsive, for 15 years. She finally was allowed pass at the age of 41. Only because the governor had run out of legal challenges.

I would think that when  Jeb (not his real name) Bush does get the nomination he will be faced with trying to explain away these two situations. He will have to explain his aggressiveness in keeping blacks from voting (a tactic now employed across a number of GOP-controlled states) and his interference in the life (or was it torture) and death of Teri Schiavo. In both cases he stretched the powers of the executive branch to bypass the law. It won’t matter to the rank and file GOP but it may matter to moderate independent voters.

A question they should ask. What kind of chief executive would he make? How would he use executive power?

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Why I Like Mitt

Like everyone else on the political left I enjoy poking fun at Mitt Romney . He is out of touch. Was born into great wealth. Hides his money overseas. Takes seriously a religion that believes in magic underwear. (Which is really no sillier than any religion when you think about it). So, I surprised myself when I realized I wanted Mitt to run for POTUS again.

No. Not so Hilary Clinton could waltz to an easy victory. No. Not because I want to see him and his family humiliated again. But because, when looking at the rest of the GOP field, Mitt stands tall.

As in 2012 the GOP faithful have their perennial candidates. People like Huckabee, Perry, Santorum, maybe Newt. Along with a newer breed of crazy. Cruz, Rubio, Rand Paul, Ben Carson. A group of wannabees that make a Star Trek convention look like a royal wedding. None of these candidates has a chance of getting nominated or elected. But they all have a financial stake in running for POTUS.

Running for POTUS in modern times has become a very lucrative business. You fly around the country. Spout whatever comes to mind. And get hollow-headed folks to send your PACs loads of dough. Money that can be used for anything you want.

Take a look at Sideshow Sarah Palin for example. She takes in millions and spends a very small fraction on helping candidates get elected. The overwhelming majority of her unregulated PAC income is spent on her travel, wardrobe and vacations. All legal. A family slush fund. So, running for POTUS is a good gig. The fools and their money are easily parted.

But there is a second group of politicians who actually do want to be POTUS and have a chance of doing so. That would be Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney. So ask yourself, of those three, who would you rather see sitting in the Oval Office?

Christie may very well self-destruct. But don’t bet on it. The GOP has been known to back criminals and bullies. Tricky Dick, anyone. Christie has a lot of baggage, to be sure. His misuse of the billions set aside for the train tunnel to NYC, which never materialized. His handling of the Sandy funds , some of which still have not been distributed. His costing the state of NJ millions of dollars by holding a special election for the vacant US Senate seat rather than waiting a few weeks and holding that election on election day. He was afraid that the votes for popular Democratic Senate candidate Booker would cut into his own election win. His hiring of a group of folks now under indictment. His vacating the job of governor for 40% of the time to spend it courting GOP votes across the nation. Again, at great expense to the people of New Jersey. Other GOP candidates throwing mud at Christie will be easy. He lives in a cesspool of his own making.

That leaves Jeb Bush. A thought. No GOP candidate NOT named Bush has won the presidency since 1984. From 1980 through 2007 only ONE time has a Bush NOT been on the national ticket. The GOP has been run as a Bush family legacy. A divine right. Which means the Bushes have plenty of money and support from the more traditional GOP money makers. While Jeb himself has plenty of “character” issues that has never stopped a family member from advancing. His illegal removal of tens of thousands of voters from the Florida rolls prior to the 2000 election all but assured his brother the presidency. Even then it took 5 members of the SCOTUS to close the deal. (Two of those justices voting to put GW on the throne had family members working directly for the Bushes) And, like the rest of the family, he does no real “public service” other than line his own pockets. But that will not be a hindrance to the oil industry. Compared to his brother he is smooth and smart and knows how to avoid saying dumb things. Beware.

That leaves us with Mitt Romney. Despite the fact that Romney was crushed in the election of 2012 in the electoral college by a vote of 332-206. But, switch the votes of Florida, Ohio and Virginia and that race becomes an almost dead heat. Add in Wisconsin and Michigan, which now have GOP governors, and it is Romney who wins big. And he did get 61,000,000 Americans to pull the lever for him. So, I understand that Romney thinks he has a chance to win this time around.

But what kind of POTUS would Romney be? Unlike the first group of idiots he is not an ideologue. He does not subscribe to any narrow religious worldview that he seeks to impose on others. Be real. The Church of Later Day Saints has always been as much a business enterprise as a religion. In the last 150 years it has not hesitated to change “god-given” doctrine for political or economic gain. (Polygamy, role of blacks comes to mind).

And unlike Christie or Bush he does not seem tied to special interests. I know he flip flops on some issues and does his share of pandering, but he is basically a business man. A manager. A bottom line guy. Which is why he supported “Romneycare” in Massachusetts. It was the practical thing to do. It made economic sense. And he took federal tax dollars to save the private Olympic games. Socialist when it suits him.

I can see President Christie going off the deep end with his “tough guy” persona and destroying any international cooperation we now enjoy. I can see Christie attacking any newsperson or citizen who dares suggest he is wrong. Christie surrounds himself with yes men who are willing to do his dirty work. What kind of cabinet would he hire? Any independent thinkers? Not the kind of guy I want as POTUS.

I can see President Jeb Bush continuing the family tradition of speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. And blatantly lying with that sincere look on his face; a family gift. I can see Jeb and his people using the same nasty campaign tactics his dad and brother used. The “Willie Horton” ads. The McCain has a black baby smear. The Swiftboating of a soldier who fought in the war the Bush brothers carefully avoided. I think the family mudhole has no bottom when it comes to slinging. Another Bush would mean a major step backward for all but the oil industry. The Saudis, of course, would be gleeful.

I just can’t envision a President Romney doing those things. I think he is educable. I think he is smart. I think he wants to succeed. And I think he has a pragmatic sense that would not allow him to avoid real domestic problems once he was in a position of power. And would not allow him to get involved in the foolish hawkishness that has become a badge of honor for the GOP.

Would I vote for Romney? Heavens no. I don’t agree with him on many, if any, issues. But does he scare me? No, again. Not like Cruz or Bush or Christie or Paul or Huckabee. So, I think Mitt should run again. Maybe three times IS the charm. Maybe not. But at least sane citizens wouldn’t have to lose any sleep over the person sleeping in the White House.

What do you think? Does a Romney presidency scare you?

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Here’s an Idea…Let Citizens Vote !

There have been a slew of voter suppression laws in many GOP held states since the last election.  While on the surface many of these laws seem to be innocuous enough, the devil is always in the details.  Behind this attempt at disenfranchisement is the myth that millions of illegals are somehow managing to vote, and they all vote Democratic. Oh well. Sigh.

The reforms sound reasonable enough. Take Kansas, for example. The new law (in force since 2013) says that in order to vote you must have proof of citizenship.  A photo ID.  But that does cost money. And the list of acceptable documents needed to obtain the proper ID all cost money. The state website says that you can apply for a FREE birth certificate…uh…except it costs $15 to apply for the FREE birth certificate.  Tantamount to a poll tax.  If you want to vote, you pay. And lost in the details (remember  that is where the “devil” resides) is an interesting clause.

In Kansas folks who have voted in the past do NOT need new ID. Nor do they need to prove  US citizenship !  What ? Yes. The Kansas law seems to apply ONLY to new voters. Those registered before January 1, 2013 do not have to comply. But…if there has been wide scale voter fraud in Kansas (the purpose for the law) doesn’t that mean that voters “in the past” have been illegal ? Let the ILLEGAL voters continue to vote ?  Defies logic. But it makes sense if your goal is to suppress a certain segment of the population from voting. Young voters.  New voters. Poor voters.  Groups which tend to lean Democratic. Reminiscent of the very effective “grandfather clause” of the old south.

Other states, like Ohio, have changed their voting laws to make it more difficult for working people to vote. Actually, Ohio has pretty good laws. They allow early voting.  And voting on weekends right before the election. Very popular. Especially with working folks. And voting in the evenings the weeks before the election. This allows working folks a chance to get to the polls. Well, it did. But they discovered that African-American voters (largely Democratic) voted early and on Sunday. And since the working poor had jobs, the evening voting was attractive to them. Not good for the GOP.  This year the Ohio GOP government changed those voting times. Too many working people being able to make it to the polls has never been good for the GOP.

And Florida has made registering new voters much more difficult by ,for the first time, establishing very strict time restrictions on the process.
Just three examples, there are more.

All the while, these GOP controlled state governments insist that they want citizens to have the right to vote.  They WANT citizens to vote. They want all citizens to be part of the process.

OK. Let’s call their bluff. Let’s see if the GOP would join us in the following solutions.

First. Every person should be given a free national ID voter/citizenship card at the age of 18. Can’t do it? Of course we can.  Every male in the US is obligated to register for Selective Service upon reaching the age of 18.  Each one is sent proof of registration. They are put in the system. They are identified. A similar system could be used to register every male and female as voters. You get a card. Like a Social Security card. It proves you have the right to vote. You present the card at your polling place. Only citizens get these cards. End of problem.

Second. Mandate that any other forms of ID required to vote must be free. No application fees. Free. If any state requires ID beyond the Voter registration card the state must provide those forms of ID  for nothing.

Third. Voter week. Every state will open voting for one full week , ending on Tuesday, election day. And each state will provide polls to be open until 9 PM each day of the voting week. This will make it easier for citizens to vote. Make it easier for the working class to vote. Something the GOP SAYS it wants to do.

Fourth. Any illegal immigrant attempting to vote will face immediate deportation.

Fifth. The voter tax rebate. Every citizen who votes in the national election will be given a tax rebate of $100. Just send it in with your next year’s tax return. A reward for good citizenship.

I am sure there are other, better ideas for encouraging voting. Maybe a national voter registration week ? Or making Election Day itself a national holiday?

If the GOP is serious about citizens voting there are plenty of ways to encourage that. Of course, if EVERYBODY votes, the GOP has real political problems. And they know it.

So, despite the posturing about “citizens” and “waving the flag” and “honoring America”,  don’t expect any action soon from the GOP.  Do expect voter suppression laws to continue to become more focused and more restrictive. Otherwise it would look too much like they were encouraging democracy. And we all know where that will lead.

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Will I Be Shot in Florida

I am worried. I am going to Florida next month, just for a couple of days. But I am worried. Here is why.

Last year a young black kid, armed with Skittles, was murdered on a public street. Walking home. He possessed no weapons. Except for Skittles. An older guy, who happened to be white, shot him. Dead.  His defense. He (the killer) had questioned the kid’s right to be on the street and followed him. The kid (according to the killer), then challenged him and a fight ensued. He felt his life was in danger. And in Florida that evidently gives you the legal right to kill someone.

Another case. (I think it was Florida). A guy is texting his babysitter in a movie theater. Annoying. But the movie had not yet started.  A guy behind him (again, an older white guy) complained. An argument broke out. Popcorn was hurled. The older guy pulled out his gun and killed the texter/pop corn thrower.  His defense. He thought his life was in danger.

A third case, going to the jury as I write. A man (an older white guy again) pulls up to a car with its music blaring. He tells the black kids to turn it down.They mouth off to him. He pulls a gun out of the glove compartment. He fires three times into the car. As the car pulls away he fires 7 more times. A kid is dead. The killer’s defense? He thought his life was endangered. He felt he had the right.

Three killings. Three victims armed with Skittles,  popcorn and a music cd. All dead. Because an older white guy felt his life was endangered.

I am not black. I am an older white guy. And I fear for my life. Will I be shot by some black kid if I visit Florida? Will he be justified in killing me? My reasoning.

As a young black man I would now suspect every old white guy. Every old white guy MIGHT be carrying a gun and might put my life in danger. As an older white guy I wonder.  Do I dare take out my cell phone around a black kid?Will he think it is a gun? Do I smile at the checkout clerk and reach for my wallet ? Will he think I am carrying “heat” and decide his life is in danger? Do I dare play Bob Dylan on my car radio? Will some black kid take that as an indication that I am threatening his life and decide to act first?

Luckily I have taught many teenage black kids in my former life as a social studies teacher. I know that most of them have the common sense and decency not to shoot someone for no reason other than a paranoid fear of the perceived “other”. Still,  I wonder if I should go to Florida. I would hate to be killed based on a stereotype. The stereotype of crazy, paranoid old white men.

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