Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sen LeMieux voted with Dems for cloture on jobs bill

Interesting that our stand-in Republican US Senator, George LeMieux, was in the R-crowd that joined Dems in voting for cloture today on the jobs bill.

A Daily Kos post on it:

Would this reflect what his alter ego, Charlie Crist, would do in in the Senate? We can think so, since the former governor, Jeb Bush, who's also a former worker for Lehman the failed investment bank, thinks it's unforgivable that Crist wanted jobs for Florida coming from the stimulus bill. Jeb, we understand, only favored Wall Street bailouts, not the Main Street stimulus.

Gosh, what does this say about our Jebbie, the popular governor? And about Marco Rubio, his guy for the Senate?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1,000 US dead in Afghanistan

Progressive Democrats held a demonstration in North Miami at Museum of Contemporary Art Tuesday after the US death toll in Afghanistan reached 1,000.

Come to the Health-Care Watch Party Thursday morning

Are you coming to the Health-Care Watch Party on Thursday?
10 am, 801 Arthur Godfrey Road #402, in Miami Beach, the OFA office.
Below, from the White House, is what the good guys will have in mind to discuss. No telling what the other side will want to say.
Overview of the President's Proposal
The President's Proposal puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care.
-- It makes insurance more affordable by providing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history, reducing premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today. This helps over 31 million Americans afford health care who do not get it today -- and makes coverage more affordable for many more.

-- It sets up a new competitive health insurance market giving tens of millions of Americans the exact same insurance choices that members of Congress will have.

-- It brings greater accountability to health care by laying out commonsense rules of the road to keep premiums down and prevent insurance industry abuses and denial of care.

-- It will end discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions.

-- It puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years -- and about $1 trillion over the second decade -- by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.
It includes a targeted set of changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Senate-passed health insurance reform bill. Key changes include:
-- Closing the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" coverage gap;

-- Strengthening the Senate bill's provisions that make insurance affordable for individuals and families;

-- Strengthening the provisions to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid;

-- Increasing the threshold for the excise tax on the most expensive health plans from $23,000 for a family plan to $27,500 and starting it in 2018 for all plans;

-- Improving insurance protections for consumers and creating a new Health Insurance Rate Authority to provide federal assistance and oversight to states in conducting reviews of unreasonable rate increases and other unfair practices of insurance plans.
For more information, check out:

Highway accidents: almost instant info

Select from the drop-down list of counties or from the list of FHP troops -- Troop E covers Monroe and Miami-Dade. A table with current highway problems appears, to help you decide your route.

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Blogging at

Watch for more money in FL non-partisan judicial races

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Love those statistics, Take it away, TED

This came to me via Facebook and the Draft Joe Garcia page. On this alone, Joe should be elected to Congress by acclamation.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Video shows Obama administration position on jobs and recovery

When someone says no jobs have been created -- as I've heard repeatedly from having C-Span on for hours with the conservatives' talk-fest in Washington -- just yell out "Joe Wilson!"

Can't pass up this Huff Post item on low taxes for super-rich

Sent from my iPhone 3GS

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Better than Tea Party: Demonstrate for change and peace and health care

 How about a nice demo this afternoon?

Electing a Democratic majority was the easy part. We need to work even harder to counter the vested interest lobbyists and create the political will to provide President Obama the support he needs to implement health care reform, clean energy, green initiatives, tax reform, and other legislation to get America back on track. Please join Grassroots Citizens for Change from 4:30 – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17th and February 24th at SW 27th Ave and US 1 to demonstrate support for the President’s agenda and to protest the obstructionists that block every attempt to heal the country after 8 years of mismanagement.

We will provide signs stating: Give Change a Chance, Stop Corporate Greed, Health Care Reform = More Jobs, Health Care Reform NOW and more. You are also encouraged to bring your own signs.

We hope to inspire similar demonstrations throughout Miami-Dade to make sure the real voice of the people is heard loud and clear in advance of President Obama’s health summit later this month.  The Tea Party does not speak for America.

Do it!


Monday, February 15, 2010

FL-25 Draft Joe Garcia, sign up here

We have to help Joe Garcia make up his mind about the right thing to do. Draft Joe to run for Congress. Sign up on Facebook, which conveniently has a group called Draft Joe Garcia for 2010!

Joe should go in Congressional District 25, where he ran a strong race in 2008. The winner then was Mario Diaz-Balart, who now is proving himself a quitter like a surprising number of other Republicans including Sarah Palin and Charlie Crist. They think there’s a better place, and they must know their days were numbered.

The past couple months have been a time of heightening suspense for your blogger, who remembers two years ago and four years ago when the end of one odd-numbered year and the beginning of the next even-numbered year were runups to campaigns for Congress. About this time -- February shading into March -- was when good Democrats rose up or were drafted/encouraged to run for supposedly entrenched Republican-held seats. It’s more than just a seat in the US House -- it’s recognizing a new population demographic, it’s the approaching dawn of a better policy on Cuba, it’s cleaner government with a closer grip on reality, it’s capitalizing on the little-realized potential of Barack Obama.

But it wasn’t happening. Good Democrats weren’t raising their hands to run for Congress, and I’ve got to say, my blood pressure was up in anticipation of a curtain that was late in rising.

It rose over on stage far right last week. Lincoln Diaz-Balart announced he’s retiring from his seat in District 21, and his younger brother Mario said he would abandon (my verb, not his) District 25 and run to succeed Lincoln. May he rue the day, that’s my wish. Those two adjoining districts in the western suburbs of Miami, with parts of Broward and Collier counties, are due for better representation. They include the Everglades, which needs more energetic saving than Mario Diaz-Balart could ever muster.

Now Mario Diaz-Balart is a quitter, and we’ve got to help convince Joe Garcia to run again. All he’d have to do is improve by 3.5 percent of the vote, over his 2008 run, to take the seat.

So I’m signing up on Facebook to Draft Joe Garcia for 2010! Pass the word! This is a fast-growing group.

Joe Garcia’s last published word on this can be found at but don’t take that as final. Joe is in a tough spot, having to decide whether to save the world by running for Congress or to save the world by serving the US Department of Energy, as he’s doing now. My vote is for Congress.

UPDATE: A story today on Politico reports that the White House and the DCCC are courting Joe to run for FL-25. Why am I not surprised? There are some smart people in the White House, and they know Joe from his work in the Department of Energy, and this is an opportunity not to be missed. Now, the DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has amends to make for its tardy backing of our Democratic candidates for Congress in 2008. I'd guess that Joe Garcia is making sure the DCCC will be in his corner -- and early -- if he decides to run.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

FL-18: Ros-Lehtinen's economic knowledge leaves out Great Depression

Thanks to the Miami Beach Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club we have some better understanding of how poor our representation in Congress is. My representative, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, now over 20 years in the US House, spoke to us last Tuesday and put out a ton of verbiage revealing how little she and her Republican colleagues understand of economics.

Her main theme was the deficit, and if you look at these clips you’ll see that she wants to freeze spending, and to do it now. She apparently hasn’t heard that the Great Depression of the 1930s was on the road to recovery in FDR’s first term until he was nagged to distraction by criticism of his spending, and so his administration put on the brakes and then came the double-dip of 1937, I believe. I’m not even looking it up -- it’s such common knowledge. But not among today’s Republicans. Their mantra is stop deficits now. NOW!

OK, we know that the family budget should be balanced. But that’s not really applicable to running the world’s biggest economy, and families, too, have to borrow for major expenditures. Ros-Lehtinen led off her  speech with the stop-deficit talking point, and then in the Q-and-A she was given two chances to modify it, but instead she mischaracterized economic thought.

No, Congresswoman, no economists think that deficits are OK, as you say. They may say that deficits are necessary to help end a recession, but then you’re supposed to get to a balance of income and outgo.

Anyway, check out this clip. Note that she’s reading from a paper but still says clearly false things about the national debt and the size of President Obama’s budget proposal in relation to the national debt.

It has taken me forever to process this, and I apologize. New computer gear slowed me down, plus winter visitors from the frozen North.

Inspiration to finish came Saturday evening as C-Span replayed another Republican member of the US House, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, the deputy whip of her party. She had done the Friday morning call-in program, and my, was she an eloquent spouter of the party line, leading with the deficit. I was struck by the way her message was identical to what Ros-Lehtinen had said on Tuesday in Miami Beach.

The Republicans all have been told what to say. This is the balky line we will hear until the Obama administration brings out the hammers of logic and a disciplined majority.

Blackburn was asked what should happen in the summit President Obama has called for Feb. 25, and I was stunned to hear her say that the Tennessee governor should be called in to explain how health care should be run. Yes -- she wants to go back to Year Zero and start from scratch.

I think this is going to be one heck of a year in the US Congress, and we should gear up to let even our Republican members of Congress know what we think of their no-knothing, er, know-nothing way of representation.

Blackburn said there would be town halls during this break for Presidents Day. We should find out where the Republicans are appearing and let them know their knowledge of economics gets an F.

Thanks, by the way, to Ros-Lehtinen for coming out and speaking to the general public in Miami Beach. There are more good clips of her talk that I’ll try to grind out. She has been in the US House since 1988, and my member of Congress since 2002, and this is the first appearance I know of outside her usual friendly circle.

The first question to her was about her husband Dexter Lehtinen and his legal work for the Miccosukee Indian tribe, which does a lot of business with the federal government, and whether that might be a conflict of interest.

“It’s about ethics,” the questioner, Mike Burke, cried when she didn’t know what he was asking about. Ethics? She didn’t know, just like her economics. I’ll try to get this clip up, too.

Final note: While the rest of you were glued to the screen watching the snow games, your blogger was editing his crude video and looking at C-Span. Such is devotion.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Republican hypocrisy: Learn all about it

In the spirit of non-bipartisanship -- which is about to come down on us from the Obama administration, I do believe -- your blogger offers two current rundowns of how bad today's national Republicans are on the hypocrisy scale.

First is Friday's  column by Paul Krugman in the NY Times, focusing on the untruths the Republicans foist on the public regarding Medicare.

Next is Rachel Maddow's recent rip into the Republicans on what they say and do about the stimulus.

This came to my attention on Facebook. The Republican version of it is called Two-Facedbook. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who's the Mad Hatter?

Herald buries story of Alex Sink's big turn against big banks

Your blogger is admitting here that he was dubious about Alex Sink's banking background -- Is it a good qualification for Florida's governorship at a time when banks have led the United States to the brink of disaster?

Now I see the light. Alex Sink on Tuesday ripped into the state's chief financial regulator -- someone she nominated for the job -- and said he hadn't aggressively pursued litigation against the Bank of America. BofA -- that's her former employer!

And where did the Miami Herald place this story? On page 4 of the local section. So here I'm posting the link to the St. Petersburg Times' story instead of the Herald's reprint of the St. Pete story.

There was room on the Herald's front page for a Tallahassee story, but instead of the Democratic candidate for governor and her sharp words at a cabinet meeting, we Herald readers of the front page got a featurish story about texting while driving.

Your blogger calls a foul.

And I'm thinking it's a schizo day when our Democratic candidate for governor seems more combative about big banks than our Democratic president. Sorry to point it out, but I'm getting this from Simon Johnson on Huffington Post, and it doesn't make me happy.

Nonetheless, it's great to see Sink raising her game against the world of finance that she must know very well. This blog has tried repeatedly to say much more needs to be done about the way Florida has been ripped off by Wall Street. It's good to see Alex Sink quoted as saying:

"My main frustration ... is the sense of do-nothingness and inaction in the face of all sorts of scams in our state."

That gets a big fist-pump and YES!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Tea Party takes up our way of political organizing

Live from Nashville, folks. This is the Tea Party convention on C-Span Saturday afternoon. I lucked into it during a session on organizing to get out the kind of vote they want. Their website:
Turns out they’re taking a leaf from Organizing for America – formerly Obama for America, i.e. our Democratic Party – and they’ll be using it this year to elect candidates “who adhere to Constitutional principles of limited government, free markets, and individual freedoms."
That's the kind of stuff I believe in, too, but we know that's not all they have in mind. They didn't mention human rights, prosperity, peace, security or baseball and apple pie. Not my cup of tea.
Read on, and you’ll see that they think only 20 percent of voters are liberal. Thus is their connection to reality, and long may they labor on that presumption. Nonetheless, it seems their scorn for community organizing now is a thing of the past. Call it a flipflop. Bye bye, Rudy G.

Precinct Organizing is a process, not to be confused with certain precinct-related initiatives such as electing Political Party Precinct Executives / Central Committee Members. While Precinct Organizing can impact 2010 elections, Political Party Precinct Executives / Central Committee Members elected in 2010 Primaries will not be able to impact Political Party candidate selection and funding until the 2012 elections.
With only 20% of the voters being Liberal, Democrats gained control of the Presidency, the House, and the Senate in 2008 using this Precinct Organizing methodology which they called Organizing for America. Just think what can be accomplished by engaging and mobilizing the 76% of voters who consider themselves Conservatives or Moderates and who have decided to be the “Silent Majority” no more!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Is this your doctor? In jail but "still licensed?"

The headline on this piece was a little hard to believe, but read it and see if you think it's reasonable, too.

Kudos to Carol Gentry for this story on Health News Florida. You, too, can subscribe and get her daily run through health news.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Our office moves from Doral to Miami Beach

The U-Haul is full. Moving on Friday morning to 801 Arthur Godfrey Drive in Miami Beach. Volunteers welcome to help unload and fill the new office. Call 305-477-4994 if need more details.

The photo shows Dave Patlak, interim operations director, and Daisy Black, our first vice chair. Also working were Kristin Wipior and Barbara Schwartz,stalwart volunteers. Your blogger ran the camera and a hand truck.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Watch this to see what to do

Don't let your morale get down. You still are the best and smartest campaigners in the land.