Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More on Torture (Addition to Blast Off! Radio)

On Blast Off! radio Monday, the topic of torture came up. Sinfonian gave several great arguments as to why torture doesn't work, why it's wrong and the like. I wanted to expand on one thing.

A commenter (as a devil's advocate) asked the typical conservative question about the ticking time bomb scenario, as in, would you approve torture if you knew it would stop a bomb in an American city. Sinfonian correctly answered no and gave his reasons. I have an additional reason -- the scenario is nonsense in the first place. Name me one situation in the history of the world where this actually happened. I'll bet you can't. Because it's a fictional situation used in TV and movies. There is almost no chance where we will have in custody someone who knows the exact details of a bomb that is about to go off. Not going to happen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Doug Tudor to Announce Run in FL-12‏

His status on Facebook two hours ago:


Doug Tudor Has Many Phonecalls to Make on Wednesday Before he Formally Files his Candidacy Paperwork for the U.S. House in FL-12. So C'mon and Get Aboard, or Get Left Behind.

Arlen Specter's A Democrat!

Before you get too excited, realize that he's now the bluest of the blue dogs. That may help out on a few issues, but it still means trouble on a lot of others. So, it's small good news, but it's still a problem to be fixed. It will help us make this seat a Democratic seat, as it should be, and should help Al Franken get seated (if Harry Reid is worth his salt, which is questionable), but it would still be better for a progressive to be in this seat.

Sign on to pledge to support a progressive against Specter in the primary. It's the least we can do.

Impact of Obama's First 100 Days on Florida

From the president:

*Jobs created or saved by the Recovery Act: 206,000
*Workers receiving the Making Work Pay Tax Credit: 6,689,000
*Additional children with health care: 290,000
*Students aided by the American Opportunity Tax Credit: 195,000
*Example Recovery Act Project: $20.6 million for job placement assistance programs

Help Bring Ethical Reform to Democratic Campaigns for Congress

Susan, Alison and I signed the open letter at Stop Fake Reform in an effort to get the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to embrace President Barack Obama's ban on accepting money from PACs and lobbyists all year long, not just on the day of one particular event. You, too, can sign the letter...


We read that you have chosen to accept President Obama's ban on fundraising from PACs and lobbyists, but only for June 18 – the day he headlines a fundraiser for you.

This isn’t just hypocritical – it defies common sense that you'd think the public would believe this was a principled stand against special-interest influence.

For 364 days a year, your rules would allow members of Congress to leave a hearing about regulating Wall Street and then walk straight to the DSCC and DCCC offices to “dial for dollars” from Wall Street lobbyists who want more bailout money and less accountability to taxpayers. Most Americans would find that conflict of interest repulsive.

We call on you to ban PAC and lobbyist contributions 365 days a year, just as President Obama did.

This is actually the least you could do to take on special-interest influence.

Will the DSCC and DCCC reject donations from executives of bailout recipients such as AIG, the way you did for Enron? Will you require candidates you support to publicly endorse the real solution to special-interest influence: public funding of congressional elections?

The public is tired of political gamesmanship. Please recognize that your “one day of reform” is absurd on its face and, if left standing, an embarrassment to your organizations. We urge you to announce a 365-day ban of PAC and lobbyist contributions – at a minimum.


This idea comes from Lawrence Lessig's new project Change Congress and has gotten quite a bit of press coverage already:

NEW YORK TIMES: Activists Urge Top Democratic Groups to Ban Lobby, PAC Donations

HUFF POST: Progressives Call Out Dems' "Hypocritical" Fundraising

POLITICO: Activists, bloggers rip DCCC, DSCC

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Dem Groups Urged to Ban Lobby Donors

WASHINGTON POST: To Lure Obama, Fundraisers Briefly Ban Contributions

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Worst Media Moments of Obama's First 100 Days



(via SFDB)

Dear Abby

A letter to the editor from my good friend Gerry Losey in Tallahassee:


I am a proud American. I get cold chills when I hear the National Anthem being played. I love to lead in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. I love Joe the Plumber. I wear an American Flag pin in my lapel. I buy shoes made in Italy and, socks made in Belarus, tires made in France, and gas from Venezuela. My last suit from JC Penney was made in Vietnam. I love my Mecerdes-Benz SUV, and Honda outboard motor. I continue to buy in order to help stabilize America’s economic condition. I just bought a 42-inch television set made in China. I shop at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears, and Target.

Abby, what has happened to the America I used to know? I am 77 years of age and lived through many recessions and now two major depressions. How did we get here? I thought that tax cuts for the wealthy increased revenue and therefore should have raised everyone’s boat equally and cured all our financial ills. Did it? I don’t think so!

Abby what more can I do? I listen to Rush Limpaw, Glenn “The Puke” Beck, and Sean Insanity. How can I get all the Un-American rascals out there to support our nation and stop those darn Pinko Commie fagots from criticizing the USA and our George W. Bush? I’m not going to take it anymore. We need to nuke-em. Lets be more proud of America. Okay? Cheeze - where is their pride?

PS: This is tongue in cheek except for the first three sentences.

Respectively yours,
Gerry Losey
The anti-snake oil salesman

Action Alerts

Send an e-mail: Act to Protect Florida's Waters! (SC)

Send an e-mail: Defend Religious Liberty in Florida! (AUFSCS)

Send an e-mail: Women in Florida deserve medically-accurate information (PP)

Send an e-mail: Tell your senators to pass the Appalachia Restoration Act and end mountaintop removal mining (NRDC)

Send an e-mail: Tell your Representative to vote yes on The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (LCV)

Send an e-mail: Take Action to Protect Florida's Environmental Treasures! (SC)

Send an e-mail: Tell Congress to Stop Mercury Pollution from Chlorine Plants (Oceana)

Send an e-mail: Fix the economy and the planet now! (TM)

Send an e-mail: Tell Your Senators to Confirm Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services (NWLC)

Send an e-mail: Impeach Judge Jay Bybee (CC)

Send an e-mail: Tell Congress: Fund vital housing initiatives so Habitat can build more homes! (HFH)

Send an e-mail: Urge Your Senators to Co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act (NWLC)

Send an e-mail: Support Improvements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (NWLC)

Sign the petition: Help Stop Poverty Now (GF)

Sign the petition: Tell Chevron: Fire the lawyer behind Bush torture. (Credo)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Daily Humor

Today's reason to laugh...

A Gaythering Storm

Word for the Day: Science

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ammunition

The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

Obama did not show weakness at the Americas summit

Obama was stern with Chavez, not buddy-buddy

Former American presidents did smile and greet Russian leaders

The New York Times did not use a left-wing blogger as their waterboarding source

It isn't true that only 17% of guns recovered in Mexico are traceable to the U.S.

Obama's pollution cap doesn't hurt the poor

The American people like Venezuela more than they like Republicans

Cow farts aren't more dangerous to the environment than people

Only conservatives are upset with Obama, not Americans

Torture does recruit new terrorists

The director of national intelligence did not oppose releasing the torture memos

The stimulus transportation projects are coming in under budget and ahead of schedule

George Will is just plain wrong on global warming

There was never a consensus on global cooling

Carbon dioxide levels are not declining

The NI director is not planning to release enemy combatants on American soil

Weak regulation brought us the AIG scandal

Obama is taxing the rich less than Nixon or Reagan did

Important Reading

Good stuff you all should read from bloggers around the country...

Wonk Room: Shortage Of Health Care Prescriptions Is Killing The GOP

Down With Tyranny!: Has A Bank Ever Stuck You With Overdraft "Protection?" It's a $17.5 Billion Annual Rip-Off

Open Left: De-Nazify America--Part 4: Accountability Watch--Impeach Bybee

Open Left: De-Nazify America-Part 3: Vindicate, Exonerate & Honor Those Who Fought 4 Freedom & The Rule of Law

Wonk Room: Cost Containment Will Require Government Action

techPresident: Clearing the Public's Path in to Federal Decision-Making

Saint Petersblog: A point-by-point rebuttal of Diane Stenle's editorial criticizing early mail-in voting

Open Left: The Nature Of Ideology And Mental Freedom

What's Going On: Tea Bag Parties

Blast Off!: We get even more email

Blast Off!: I just threw up a little in my mouth

Blast Off!: Pensacola Tea Party video #4: playing the Obama = Hitler card

Blast Off!: Pensacola Tea Party: video #3

Pushing Rope: Sinfonian Punks Tea Baggers

Blast Off!: Pensacola Tea Party: video #1

National Politics Round-up

What are Florida bloggers saying about national politics...

1. ReidBlog: President Obama is still wrong on torture

2. Why Now?: A Seinfeld Degree

3. Pensito Review (Trish): Popular Stereotype Just Bit the Dust

4. ReidBlog: From the Nut Files: I thought Glenn Beck was crazy, until I heard Alex Jones

5. Pushing Rope: Ohh That Smell

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ammunition

The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

Obama gets tough with pirates

Fox did not cover the Million Man March

Bush shook hands with nondemocratic foreign leaders, too

Waterboarding has a very low success rate

Obama is a popular president

Fox is hypocritical in complaints about tea bag parties

Fox News, not the people, is the driving force behind the tea bag parties

The American people want the government to seize the assets of oil companies

Maersk crew members cite union membership as key to dealing with pirate attack

The tea bag parties were a failure and gave Obama a victory

Almost every American pays federal taxes

In 2010, Bush Tax Cuts Will Give Millionaires More In Tax Breaks Than 90% Of Americans Will Earn In Income

The Obama tax cut is not $10 per person, it's $400 per person

The government is not investigating only right-wing extremists

John Paul Stevens calls himself conservative, not liberal

The tea bag parties were about Obama hatred

Conservatives aren't that dominant on Twitter

Obama did not cut the defense budget

They aren't all the same camera

The Iowa gay marriage ruling does not affect churches

The American people don't believe that Obama has made us less safe

Obama never proposed nationalized health care

The American people think the taxes they pay are fair

Nancy Pelosi isn't going to confiscate anyone's guns

Welfare reform was a failure

We're Not at War With Islam

Obama's Defense budget does not disarm America or cut funds for troops in the field

Important Reading

Good stuff you all should read from bloggers around the country...

Open Left: US Public Spending In Context--Part 2

Scholars & Rogues: Devil, meet Deep Blue Sea: how much should progressives spend reaching out to progressives?

The Huffington Post: The Five Strands of Conservatism: Why the GOP is Unraveling

Natch Greyes: Reply To: Understanding (New) Media

Michael Froomkin: The Right to Remain Anonymous Matters

Natch Greyes: The Coming Divide: GOP Civil War

madfloridian: Democrats continue to use the right wing terminology when it comes to women's rights

Open Left: De-Nazify America--Part 2: Honor Those Who Struggled Against The Darkness. Protect Those Who Will

Down With Tyranny: Are Republicans Slitting Their Own Throats On Immigration Reform... Again?

Open Left: Trust But Organize

Open Left: New Public Revenue Key to Long-Term Progressive Victory

Open Left: Obama Addresses Pro-Nationalization Critics

Pam's House Blend: How do we deal with the 'missing white girl syndrome'?

Democratic Strategist: Westen: Dems Need Better 'Branding'

MyDD: The Problem is Pakistan

Open Left: That Band Was Good Before They Were Popular

Resources

Links you can use...

Opensecrets.org opens their archives

Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

Evolution of Life

Offshore Tax Havens: State by State Break Down

How to file a FOIA request

MyFloridaStimulus.com

Pew Research Center: Internet Political Activity 2008 Part II

CBO: Income inequality gap hit record high in 2006.

National Politics Round-up

What are Florida bloggers saying about national politics...

1. BlueHerald: CBO: Income Inequality Gap Hit Record High in 2006.

2. BlueHerald: Impeach Jay Bybee

3. Incertus (Brian): How does this work again?

4. Pensito Review (Trish): The Meaning of the Myth of the Obama Teleprompter

5. Natch Greyes: #Amazonfail x 2?

Teabagging Morans and the Reality of Taxes

teabagging

Great picture. But it doesn't even begin to go far enough. Other things in the picture paid for by taxes:

-Breathable air
-Chair that doesn't collapse because of shoddy construction
-Sunglasses that protect the woman's eyes successfully rather than giving her a false sense of security
-No criminals robbing the protesters
-No counter-protesters attacking them
-Education to be able to spell out the words on the signs
-Lack of toxicity in the signs and ink on the signs
-No airplanes falling from the sky
-No mushroom clouds in the background
-Non-flammable jackets
-A lifetime of non-toxic food and water
-I'll wager at least one of these people is on Social Security
-Etc.

As I regularly say, American taxes are the best investment in the history of the planet. All the things marked in the picture and listed above are available for an unbelievably low annual investment.

A more appropriate sign:

morans

H/t Trish

What's Going On: Cuba

Generation Miami: Mario Diaz-Balart thinks you’re a Nazi

Generation Miami: What did this accomplish?

Generation Miami: The Day I Lost My Dad - Remembering the Bay of Pigs Invasion

Generation Miami: Are you serious, Lincoln? Fidel Castro does the “Thriller”

Generation Miami: Then Came The Foreigners

Generation Miami: On “Unilateral Concessions” to the Castro Regime

Generation Miami: Political refugees or immigrants? Does it matter?

Down With Tyranny: The Future of Cuban-American Relations And The Impact On American Politics

What's Going On: Teabagging

Blast Off!: We get email ... from the president of the Pensacola Republican Club

South Florida Daily Blog: Some Signs From The Tea Parties

Bark Bark Woof Woof: Who Ordered the Petard?

Blast Off!: More from the Pensacola Tea Party: Maybe they're just warming up?

Blast Off!: You can't please everyone

Progressive Pensacola: More on the teabagging

Blast Off!: So there I was, on Countdown with Keith Olbermann ...

Talk to Me: Political Squawk: Pandora's Box

Blast Off!: Here's yesterday's radio appearance

Blast Off!: The story behind the video

Pushing Rope: Tea Parties End With A Whimper

Blast Off!: Mocking the teabaggers, part deux

Radio or Not: The ongoing saga of the teabaggers

Progressive Pensacola: Teabagging in Pensacola

Re/Creating Tampa: Cutting the Government

Pensito Review (Jon Ponder): Tea Bagger: ‘Burn the Books!’

Bark Bark Woof Woof: The Party's Over

Morning Martini: Tea Party Fail

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller: ‘Tax Day’ Teabag Protest ~ Sarasota, Florida (video)

Pensacola Beach Blog: Jeff Miller: 'Time for Your Business to Go Away'

Sarasota Livin': If you know this person tell her I think the sign is way off base

Pushing Rope: Tea Bagging Meaning

Blast Off!: DFH blogger speaks at Pensacola Tea Party ... and lives to tell the tale

Natch Greyes: #Teaparty Roundup, Final Edition

Why Now?: Tea Parties?

Natch Greyes: #Teaparty: April 15, Initial Coverage

ReidBlog: Dick's Army: the toooootally spontaneous 'tea parties'

BlueHerald: Tea Party Makes No Sense……

Natch Greyes: #Teaparty Round 2: Or, What Is Wrong With The News

Blast Off!: Teabaggers to slither through downtown Pensacola tomorrow

Pensito Review (Trish): “Tea Parties” are a Total FOX News Invention

Eschaton: Go Sinfonian

Daily Humor

Today's reason to laugh in order to keep from crying...

Yet Another Mass Shooting (Template)

National Politics Round-up

What are Florida bloggers saying about national politics...

1. Generation Miami: The Day I Lost My Dad - Remembering the Bay of Pigs Invasion

2. The Spencerian: The Most Dangerous Blog Post in the World

3. Radio or Not: It's not torture if we say it's not!

4. South Florida Daily Blog: The Hysterical Right

5. Radio or Not: Interesting, but scary stuff!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Daily Humor

Today's reason to laugh...

America Seeks Restraining Order Against GOP


America is trying to call it quits with the GOP. She thought there was chemistry when they first met - he had that frat boy swagger and a cocksure attitude. The Democrats had seemed kind of dull, and America was ready for a change.

One of the first things she noticed was that GOP was always getting into fights. He sure hated foreigners, especially the Arabs, even though GOP depended on them for his businesses. And he really hated gays, Mexicans, and liberals.

And then there was the accusations. America realized that GOP was more than a little paranoid. He was always accusing her of being disloyal. Then he started spying on her. She wasn't sure what to make of it, but she kept hearing buzzing and clicking on her phone line.

And GOP was never very good with money. Weren't rich guys supposed to be good with money? But GOP was always broke, and he kept living the good life and sticking America with the bill.

America started finding kinky stuff in GOP's closet. There were some freaky videos of naked Arab guys - it looked like some sort of gay porn version of Oz on HBO. Then there were the stories about GOP having anonymous gay sex in airport bathrooms - but how could he be gay? He hated gays! Besides, he seemed so rugged, and he had a great beard.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Garcia vs. Rivera

Everyone's talking about this video and the great job Joe Garcia does in it, rightfully so. The bigger story to me is how batshit crazy David Rivera is.

Monday, April 13, 2009

National Politics Round-up

What are Florida bloggers saying about national politics...

1. Ranger Against War: The AsunciĆ³n

2. ReidBlog: Obama beats the pirates (and the right)

3. Pensacola Beach Blog: Student Loans: Obama Reform or Bank Rip-Off?

4. Why Now?: Not Part Of The Program

5. Bark Bark Woof Woof: Redstate's Comedy Stylings

Daily Humor

Today's reason to laugh...

Cast of NOMs anti-gay commercial get eaten by cat...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

West-Wingers Say "Yes" to EFCA

Teabagging Is Fun

Watch the paranoia flow in the tea party "movement":


TEA PARTY CAUTION! DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING - FROM ANYONE - AT ANY TEA PARTY ANYWHERE IN THE USA —- NO EXCEPTIONS!Federally-funded ACORN operators will be at all Tea Parties to get signatures which they will give to Obama stating that the signatures are in support of his policies or to get the names of people who oppose his policies and report dissention.

NO MATTER WHAT, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING! IF YOU HAVE FRIENDS WHO PLAN TO ATTEND, WHO DO NOT HAVE EMAIL, GET ON THE PHONE TO WARN THEM. TRY TO CALL OR EMAIL RADIO TALK SHOWS AND LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG.

PASS IT ON!


Awesome!

Daily Humor

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Easter & Passover Highlights
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Important Reading

Good stuff you all should read from bloggers around the country...

The Campaign Manager: Environmental Messaging: New Challenges and Missed Opportunities

Daily Kos: Investigative journalism

Open Left: Are We Making Irrelevant Conservatives More Relevant?

Open Left: The Case for Trust and Support

Open Left: The Case for Distrust

Open Left: The Ethics of Afghanistan

AMERICAblog: Follow up to yesterday's post about the top liberal blogs getting annoyed at progressive groups not supporting the Netroots

Democratic Strategist: Demographic Flux Drives Political Strategy

Ezra Klein: ARE LEFTY BLOGS EXTORTIONISTS?

Daily Kos: Changing norms on gay marriage

Ammunition

The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

The Free Market Does Not Work In Health Care

Spontaneous Uprising? Corporate Lobbyists Helping To Orchestrate Radical Anti-Obama Tea Party Protests

Hannity still issuing false warnings of Obama defense cuts

Media Guide to Covering Teabagging Disaster

Without evidence, Wash. Times claimed Obama "reneged" on campaign promises

NY Times omitted DoD response to claim that canceling FCS vehicle production would endanger troops

National Organization for Marriage's hired guns for fact-free hate

New sea ice data further bury George Will's global warming credibility

Fox News' Carlson falsely claimed "Social Security [is] already bankrupt"

On Marketplace, Wilkinson ignored economists who say New Deal aided recovery

Hannity misinforms on defense budget, missile defense

Human Events allowed McInerney to invoke false ACORN bogeyman in defense-budget attack

Media figures advance false claim that Obama ceded economic sovereignty at G-20 summit

To The Washington Post Editors: George Will’s ‘Arctic Climate Research Center’ Is A Right-Wing Fabrication

Scarborough claimed Pew poll "said [Obama] split the country," but Pew official reportedly disputed that conclusion

Ignoring Gates' comments, Hill article uncritically quotes retired general criticizing missile defense policy changes

Scarborough Lies About Obama: ‘We Have A President Who Has Never Received A Paycheck’

Hannity falsely claimed Obama administration "taking steps to cut defense spending"

NY Times uncritically reported GOP claim that F-22 cuts mean Obama "refuses to fund programs critical to our national defense"

Socialist health care is the worst

Media advance discredited GOP calculation of Obama cap-and-trade proposal cost

Resources

Links you can use...

How To Handle Criticism On Your Blog

TransTuesday on Twitter

Using Online Technologies in Plain English

Project Vote Analysis Documents a More Diverse Electorate in 2008

Brace yourself for this news, but paying lobbyists pays off

Profiles in Bad Online Organizing: Part 1 (DSCC)

States Looking Beyond "Get Tough" Extremism to Criminal Justice Reform

Twitter Shows Its Purpose

Nationalize, Organize, Decentralize: A "New Way Forward" on America's Banks

The new Center for American Progress report “The State of American Political Ideology 2009 reveals the existence of a substantial group of “ambivalent” or “inconsistent” voters – Here’s what Democrats need to know in order to understand them

Just How Socialist? A Survey of Major Countries

National Politics Round-up

What are Florida bloggers saying about national politics...

1. Unscrewing the Inscrutable: Why gun owners fear Democrats: An analogy.

2. the 13th juror: Grading Obama for his work on poverty

3. South Florida Daily Blog: Exercising His 2nd Amendment Rights In The 'Burgh

4. Why Now?: North Korean Test

5. madfloridian: Why does the Department of Education have a Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Center?

Daily Humor

The latest Web 2.0 Innovation: Flutter

Friday, April 10, 2009

Daily Humor

You may have already seen this, but I had to post it... Teabagging.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sustainability

This is an important article for Democrats and progressive activists to read: Big Liberal Bloggers Tee Off On Progressive Groups For Not Sharing Ad Wealth:


Some of the leading liberal bloggers are privately furious with the major progressive groups — and in some cases, the Democratic Party committees — for failing to spend money advertising on their sites, even as these groups constantly ask the bloggers for free assistance in driving their message.

It’s a development that’s creating tensions on the left and raises questions about the future role of the blogosphere at a time when a Dem is in the White House and liberalism could be headed for a period of sustained ascendancy.

...

“They come to us, expecting us to give them free publicity, and we do, but it’s not a two way street,” Jane Hamsher, the founder of FiredogLake, said in an interview. “They won’t do anything in return. They’re not advertising with us. They’re not offering fellowships. They’re not doing anything to help financially, and people are growing increasingly resentful.”

...

“Most want the easy way — having a big blogger promote their agenda,” adds Markos Moulitsas, the founder of DailyKos. “Then they turn around and spend $50K for a one-page ad in the New York Times or whatever.” Moulitsas adds that officials at such groups often do nothing to engage the sites’s audiences by, say, writing posts, instead wanting the bloggers to do everything for them.

The behind-the-scenes tensions go to the heart of the role these bloggers have created for themselves in Democratic politics — they’re basically advocates and operatives with big platforms — and their future role, too. They argue that their efforts and fundraising helped drive the Democratic ascendancy. Yet even the Dem party committees are reluctant to advertise with them, raising the question of whether the party will ever be willing to seriously invest long-term in this new media infrastructure.

“We don’t invest in the future, and Republicans do,” says John Aravosis, the founder of AMERICAblog. “The party committees really get that we can be effective as their partners and that we’re happy to help, and they take advantage of that. But even so, very little ad money comes from them. It’s more than just wanting to share in the spoils. We are small business-people who are fighting to survive economically in a really bad year.”


This is directly related to the blogger-driven news distribution network I was talking about last week and is a key component. State and local politics aren't being covered very well in most states, Florida included. One of the reasons why is that many of the people who would cover it (like me and many of the other bloggers around the state) can't afford to cover it. We have to work day jobs to survive or take on campaign work that takes us away from doing what we do best and what we are most needed to do -- spread news, challenge the right and promote the left-wing message. It's full-time work to do this, particularly at the state/local level because there is such a dearth of news sources that are easy to find or access. There is a lot that bloggers like myself could do. And it wouldn't even take much funding for one of these big organizations.

Take me, for instance, I don't live an extravagant lifestyle and don't want to. As long as I can pay the bills, have a little fun and make it to the various political events I need to cover, my financial needs are pretty slight. But I do have them and that requires me not only to teach as many classes as I can, it requires me to find additional paid work on top of that. There are quite a few other left-wing bloggers in Florida (some better than me, some worse), who, like me, would do this type of work full-time and would do a good and thorough job at it if there were a way to do it.

State-level blogs, for the most part, don't have sufficient traffic to warrant the type of ad sales that the national bloggers are talking about. It would be nice if we could, but getting that level of traffic obviously requires promotion, something that few bloggers (if any) have time for. Beyond paying the bills, there is doing the writing and research that we put into blogging. Beyond that, if there is time left, promoting our sites is time-consuming and costs some money, so it isn't easy. Some investment from some of these organizations would definitely go a long way towards increasing traffic on state-level blogs.

The only one of these national groups that has helped FPC out is MoveOn, who bought a couple of ads last year. We've been able to raise money to pay bills, such as web hosting, or travel, such as to the Democratic National Convention, but many of our members are struggling to get the bills paid, so it cuts down on what we can do. I know the situation is similar or worse for other state/local blogs. Unless people have really good and flexible jobs or are independently wealthy, there isn't much help out there. To be fair, the Florida blogs haven't quite had the impact yet that national blogs have on politics, but we are working on it. We're getting there. We'll get there quicker if we get some help.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Final Vote in the Bracket of Evil

Karl Rove vs. Blackwater

Gates: ‘This Is A Reform Budget’

Feeling a bit of hope and change right now:


I don’t think it’s overstating things to say that Defense Secretary Gates’ announcement of his 2010 defense budget recommendations represents an appreciable shift in the way that the United States approaches the issue of military acquisitions. Applying lessons learned in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as signifying a recognition that the continuing economic crisis places real constraints on defense spending, Gates’ recommendations are an important — but by no means comprehensive — move toward a responsible re-balancing of America’s defense spending priorities.

Describing it as “the product of a holistic assessment of capabilities, requirements, risks and needs for the purpose of shifting this department in a different strategic direction,” Gates said that “this is a reform budget, reflecting lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan yet also addressing the range of other potential threats around the world, now and in the future.”

Gates laid a shot across the bow of those in Congress who are likely to try and reinstate beloved boondoggles like the Airborne Laser and the F-22 Raptor, (which Gates recommended canceling after 187 are built) saying “I know that in the coming weeks we will hear a great deal about threats, and risk and danger -– to our country and to our men and women in uniform –- associated with different budget choices. Some will say I am too focused on the wars we are in and not enough on future threats.”

"The allocation of dollars in this budget definitely belies that claim. But, it is important to remember that every defense dollar spent to over-insure against a remote or diminishing risk -– or, in effect, to “run up the score” in a capability where the United States is already dominant -– is a dollar not available to take care of our people, reset the force, win the wars we are in, and improve capabilities in areas where we are underinvested and potentially vulnerable. That is a risk I will not take."

FixCNBC.com -- letter delivered to CNBC!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Action Alerts

Send an e-mail: Tell the Legislature: Don't Pave Florida (CC)

Send an e-mail: Protect Florida's Workers (FL AFL-CIO)

Send an e-mail: Stop SB 1360: Bill Would Allow Prayer at Public School Events (AUSCS)

Send an e-mail: Help Save Florida's Renewable Energy Future! (SC)

Send an e-mail: Protect The Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining! (SC)

Send an e-mail: Tell your representative to co-sponsor a national Healthy Oceans Act (NRDC)

Donate money: Support Food Democracy Now!

Donate money: Support the Fair Elections Now Act (PC)

Donate money: Support the Ocean River Institute

Donate money: Support the Union of Concerned Scientists

Sign the petition: Stop Shelter Animals From Being Sold for Research! (AHS)

Sign the petition: Ban the Gas Chamber for Animals in Michigan! (AHS)

Ammunition

The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

Another Fox graphic falsely suggests Pay for Performance Bill applies to all employees

National Journal reported that McCain "buck[ed] his party on immigration," but ignored his reversal

Joining Their 11 Colleagues, Eight More Republicans Advance Cap-And-Trade Tax Myth

Glenn Beck: I was wrong. We’re not marching to socialism, we’re marching toward fascism.

Filibusters skyrocket under Republican minority in 110th Congress

GOP Budget Deficit Projections Don’t Account For $3 Trillion In Budget-Busting Tax Cuts

More Than 99% Of The Kyl-Lincoln $250 Billion Estate Tax Giveaway Goes To Wealthy Families

GOP Budget Would Privatize Medicare By 2021

Conservatives Falsely Assert That Green Economy Legislation Would Impose $3,100 Tax On Families

Fox News' La Jeunesse ignores effective tax rate to claim U.S. corporate tax "second highest in the world"

The Hill ignored GOP's use of reconciliation process in forwarding claim it "was never intended to ram through major legislation"

Hannity criticized Geithner plan to "seize companies," but not GOP proposal to do so

Norquist's claim that Fox Nation "takes no position on issues" undermined by Fox Nation -- and Norquist

Fox Business' Smith falsely claimed banks returning TARP money obtained funds under Obama

Myths and falsehoods relating to President Obama's budget proposal

Daily Humor

Today's reason to laugh...

The Official George W. Bush Librarium

(via Blue Herald)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Important Reading

Good stuff you all should read from bloggers around the country...

Incertus (Brian): The Myth of Online Anonymity

Daily Kos: Treasury working overtime to undo Congressional restrictions

Open Left: Conservative Blogs Gaining On Progressives

Open Left: Voting and Donating Require Different Activist Calculations

Open Left: Internet Etiquette

Down With Tyranny: Does Obama Have What It Takes To Be A Truly Transformative President?

Open Left: The Old Question: Movement or Party?

Open Left: Why No One Believes What Democrats Say

Shakesville: Scenes from the Struggle in Post-Feminist America

Open Left: Advocates Identify Voter Registration System as Nation's Biggest Election Problem

MyDD: DNC Working On Changes to 2012 Presidential Nominating Calendar

Ammunition

The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

How Conservative Blogs Change Facts

The Answer Before the Question

NBC Nightly News' Chuck Todd getting it wrong - - again

As a consequence of global warming, Antarctic ice shelf on the brink of breaking up.

Right-wing’s false claims that Obama will take away guns ‘has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms.’

Conservatives Holding Up Increasing Number Of Key Obama Nominees

Iowa Court Eviscerates Right-Wing Talking Points

Interviewing Coleman, Fox & Friends repeatedly misinforms on Coleman-Franken race

Fox News falsely claimed Obama budget "4x bigger than Bush's costliest plan"

Republicans for Environmental Protection calls GOP’s cap-and-trade myth ‘a disservice’ to Americans.

Wash. Post reported GOP criticism of reconciliation, but not that GOP repeatedly used process

Fox's Henneberg uncritically quoted dubious claims that estate tax would harm family farms and small businesses

"The Obama Recession"

Misstating Rove column, Kilmeade baselessly claimed 66 percent oppose "the stimulus bill"

Media fail to challenge Republicans on past acts of massive debt creation

Angle, Kudlow allow Ryan to advance falsehood about stimulus spending timeframe

Resources

Links you can use...

My Blogging Pet Peeves

How To Get Noticed In The Blogosphere

Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0

Strategy or Tool? On the Metaphysics of Twitter

New York Congressional Campaign Used Rare Google Ad Tactic

A First Look at the New FinancialStability.gov

A Look Back at Gov 2.0 Camp

Broadband is Life-Changing: Burlington VT's Telecare for Rural Health Project

What's Going On: U.S. Senate Race

The Spencerian: Connie's Out -- Predictive Redemption Rests with Senator Charlie Crist

Pushing Rope: Interview With Dan Gelber

Pushing Rope: Quinnell Is Wrong About Senate Race

Blue in Miami: NRSC Goes after Meek

Progressive Pensacola: Meek to qualify by petition

Pushing Rope: Mack Is Charlie's Pen Pal

The Campaign Manager: Crist Clearing the Field

Blast Off!: Gov. Crist: you win some, you lose some

Progressive Pensacola: U.S. Senate update, 04.02.09

Blue in Miami: Meek stands up for public education

National Politics Round-up

What are Florida bloggers saying about national politics...

1. Pushing Rope: Cantor Argues For Do Nothing Government

3. Pushing Rope: Anwar Richardson School of Economics Award: Rush Limbaugh

2. Blast Off!: All bigots on deck!

4. The Spencerian: Could Someone Just Tell Me What It Is They Do?

5. Miami-Dade Dems: The summit, a day later. And the fly in the ointment.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

U.S. Senate Race Is Simple

A lot of attention around the blogosphere is being focused on the U.S. Senate race in Florida to replace Mel Martinez, and rightly so. Some are acting like it's a complicated thing when, in reality, it's quite simple.

1. If Charlie Crist runs, he wins. This race then falls to second place in terms of importance in Florida, behind the probable Alex Sink-Bill McCollum match-up for governor.

2. Kendrick Meek is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, but Dan Gelber has a chance to win. Money talks. Meek raised a lot. Gelber did decent. But how much of Meek's money was front-loaded and won't re-occur? It's likely this is a peak number for Meek. Gelber will likely gain on him quite a bit once the session is over and he's allowed to actually actively raise money again.

3. If Crist doesn't run, the Democrat wins. No other Republican has much of a shot against Meek or Gelber, particularly now that they have a fund-raising head start and the Republican party is consistently playing the anti-progress fool on the national stage.

Now I'm not saying that any of these things is 100%, but they are close enough to be worth wagering on if you're the betting type.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grayson Under Attack By Republican Thugs

Which means he must be doing his job...

Washington Examiner:


Rep. Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat who wrote the bill, told me its basic message is "you should not get rich off public money, and you should not get rich off of abject failure." Grayson expects the bill to pass the House, and as we talked, he framed the issue in a way to suggest that virtuous lawmakers will vote for it, while corrupt lawmakers will vote against it.

"This bill will show which Republicans are so much on the take from the financial services industry that they're willing to actually bless compensation that has no bearing on performance and is excessive and unreasonable," Grayson said. "We'll find out who are the people who understand that the public's money needs to be protected, and who are the people who simply want to suck up to their patrons on Wall Street."


firedoglake:


John Culberson of Texas is on the floor of the House, attacking Alan Grayson by saying that his bill to limit bonuses to TARP recipients is bad because the House rushed the Stimulus bill. Barney Frank is responding with shock -- Grayson's bill takes away the language that Culberson says "should not have been" in the stimulus bill.

These people are incoherent. They are going to vote against a bill limiting bonuses? Really?

Bracket of Evil: The Frightful Four

Time to vote again in the best bracket challenge out there.