Tampa Blogging

I was checking my recent referers, and saw that I had several referals from Seminole Heights Blog, and the discussion of the bay area being “blog capital of Florida”. I rarely discuss Tampa issues, and funny enough, I just came across an article at tbo.com discussing Tampa officials wanting to ease laws regarding gifts of tickets. When I read the article, I almost wrote about it then. But after reading the discussion, I feel I must touch on it.
Continue reading “Tampa Blogging”

Tampa Blogging

I was checking my recent referers, and saw that I had several referals from Seminole Heights Blog, and the discussion of the bay area being “blog capital of Florida”. I rarely discuss Tampa issues, and funny enough, I just came across an article at tbo.com discussing Tampa officials wanting to ease laws regarding gifts of tickets. When I read the article, I almost wrote about it then. But after reading the discussion, I feel I must touch on it.
Continue reading “Tampa Blogging”

“Culture of Corruption”

As some who’ve read here before, you know I’ve looked forward to this day for some time. The only thing I look forward to more now is the day Tom DeLay is found guilty of at least some of his crimes against this country. To me, he’s committed treason. He’s cheated and lied to the American people, and circumvented the law, which thereby prevented the people of Texas from rightly electing their officials. But this is all fairly main stream news. What I’ve found more interesting is the mantra the democratic party line is using in the recent criminal charges/investigations…“culture of corruption”. When election time rolls around in ‘06, expect that phrase to be played out over and over. I think that will be the real “platform” for unseating the Republicans. I think it can be used in just about every situation from the appointment of Brown to FEMA to the gerrymandering issues in Texas.

And for the Main Event…

In case you missed it, Katrina Vanden Hueval and Ann Coulter were part of Larry King’s panel discussing the DeLay indictment. However, the difference is those two were in the studio with King, whereas the others where off-studio cameras. As usual, Coulter had to try and get the last word, wouldn’t answer King’s questions (I’ll give it to the old softy, he sorta tried to ask the hard questions), and basically came across as her lunatic self. Vanden Hueval surprised me when she even joined the mantra of “culture of corruption”. Ultimately, it was a matter of two diametrically opposed political commentators, and nothing new was added. But at times, it looked like there could be a cat fight.

A Brewing Storm of a Different Nature

Washington Post While the nation’s eyes have been focused on Rita, and Houston’s failure to properly coordinate evacuation traffic, another storm was brewing in Republican politics. Much in the manner that Martha Stewart was originally charged with insider trading, or something similar, Senator Bill Frist-R of Tennessee is being investigated by the Security Exchange Commission regarding sales of stock this past summer.
Well it appears that Mr Frist owned a fair amount of stock in a company originally founded by his father, and over the summer, Frist order the blind trust to sell the shares. Where the investigation comes in is the fact that soon after the sale by Frist, poor earnings reports were issued, and the price of the stock dropped significantly from the high it was when Frist sold. There’s no indication that Frist’s family is completely divorced from the business, and there’s no indication that Frist didn’t know those in positions of power with the company.
It is quite hard for me to believe that Frist simply was the recipient of good luck, and that it was purely a coincidence. For someone who’s been discussed as a potential Presidential nominee, and currently the Senate majority leader, even the hint of misappropriateness will linger, and a discovery of wrong doing will not only ruin his political career, it will go a long way of painting the current Republican party as one of double standards and, as Dean said “made their culture of corruption the norm”.

They Said No One Anticipated It – Hurricane Pam

Much has been written and discussed regarding the preparedness, or lack there of, in Louisiana, and surrounding areas, especially regarding the levees. So much to my surprise, I get an email today from Factcheck.org , and it leads off with a link to the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security. The link is a repost of a Times Picayune article outlining a dry run done July of 2004, before Charley and Ivan, of the effects of a Cat 3 storm on the levees and underlying parishes. Just another example of ineptness, and deceptions the administration continue to hide from.

High and Tight

‘Judges Are Not Politicians,’ Roberts Says
I’m not quite sure ‘ol John is really a baseball fan. I’m sure George Will could give a few better analogies than calling balls and strikes if he’s looking to paint himself as a straight shooter. Anyone who watches baseball knows that sure, there’s a strike zone, but every home plate umpire calls a slightly different strike zone. And some call a different strike zone for veteran players than rookies. Jeter doesn’t neccessarily get the called third strike that Julio Lugo does. And one guy may call low and outside a strike after the third, and another gives the pitcher a wider strike zone. So therein lies the question Mr Roberts, where is your strike zone? Are you going to give the pitcher the outside pitch, or are you going to call ‘em high and tight?

Poor Mr Brown

Poor, poor, Mike Brown. He feels humiliated that he was pulled out of New Orleans. How bloody humiliated are the people living in conditions in the hurricane stricken region? How much money of ours has been squandered in the lack of preparation? And to that end, is this another “falling on the sword” loyal lap dog? At what point will the Bush administration, and Bush specifically be held responsible for appointing lap dogs like Brown. How many deaths will it take? Obviously more than 2000, as Iraq has proven. But how about the 45 dead bodies that were found in the hospital today? Were they preventable? I wonder how they felt about the privatization of Social Security?

Bush Suspends Minimum Wage in Federal Contracts

Proclamation Apparently, there’s provisions that state the Labor Secretary sets a minumum wage to pay various levels of laborers and “mechanics”. Well, Bush has suspended this provision. It’s written into the provision that he can, and in some circumstances, I can understand why. But we are talking about Bush, and Cheney, and I can see how some corporate contractors seize an opportunity to not pay laborers a federally mandated min. rate, but still charge their “normal” fees. So prior to the Hurricane, a skilled worker in NO would have been paid a certain rate if working on a federal contract, now he will be paid less. Good thing those tax cuts went to those who needed it most…

Jacob Appelbaum’s weblog

Jacob Appelbaum?s weblog
Jacob’s blogging from Houston, where he and some other SF Bay area volunteers are trying to team up with volunteers from Austin and surrounding areas to set up a Low Powered FM radio. They have a license from the FCC, all the equipment, including a standing offer of 10,000 radios for the residents…the purpose, to easily disseminate information to the 10,000+ displaced New Orleans residents, now living in the Astrodome. Seems perhaps someone doesn’t want some “free speech” to trickle down to those that need it.
And I haven’t heard one cable network touch on this, though it seems the LA Times have half the story. Stay tuned.

Rehnquist Passes

As if our country doesn’t have enough on its plate, it is being reported Chief Justice Rehnquist died today. So we are still arguing the merits of Roberts (to no avail), and now the discussion of which ultra-right wing judge will move up to replace Scalia, as he moves to Chief Justice. Unless Bush pulls the PR move and names Sandra Day O’Conner, he has found the perfect distraction from his debacle in the delta.

Rehnquist Passes

As if our country doesn’t have enough on its plate, it is being reported Chief Justice Rehnquist died today. So we are still arguing the merits of Roberts (to no avail), and now the discussion of which ultra-right wing judge will move up to replace Scalia, as he moves to Chief Justice. Unless Bush pulls the PR move and names Sandra Day O’Conner, he has found the perfect distraction from his debacle in the delta.

Trickle Down Economics?

Census Economic Briefing RoomsHmm. Household income stagnat in real dollars, poverty up, uninsured Americans, up, homeownership down a percent, yeah, sounds about time to take a vacation. If my fellow Americans do not put this Administration and those that have supported it on a very long vacation starting next year, I’m gonna start pricing guns and land in Montana…anyone else in?

Where’s George?

Potentially one of the worst natural disasters in the last 25 years, a breakdown in the Iraqi constitution, soaring crude oil prices, and where’s George? Hunkering down in Mississippi? No. Meeting with experts on alternative energy? NO. Bringing together representatives of the Sunni and Shiite factions to work out a compromise? Hell no. He’s sitting with a bunch of retirees in Sun City stroking them about the advantages of privatized Social Security. Oh, sure, you say, “he did tell the folks in Lousiana and Mississippi that the country would pray for them. You know, on second thought, go back to Crawford George, and take the rest of the year off.

Reality Check

One Foot in the GraveThis shit has just got to stop.

*EDIT Just to be clear, the link is to a soldier in Iraq who passed away a couple of weeks ago. You can read his last entry, and then in the comments, see the news. I highly suggest reading more of entries, and look at his bio page. That’s why I said this shit has just got to stop.

Kudos to Costas

Bob Costas Says No to Hour on Aruba – New York Times A sad story sure, but women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds go missing all over the world, and do not receive one minute of news coverage. I certainly wonder if all the advertising $$ that the cable news networks have taken in during segments on the Holloway case were applied to missing and exploited womens groups, what the effect would be.
That said, Costas, whom I’ve mentioned in a previous post as a solid fill in for King, turned down the gig based on the subject. Clearly Costas wants to do “real” stories, I’m sure he gets enough fluff doing “feel good” stories for the Olympics. Anyway, good for you Bob.

When In Doubt, Lie

So I caught part of the President’s speech today at the VFW conference today, and as the pressure is mounting on both sides of the aisle (that was Republican Chuck Hagel, Vietnam Vet, saying that Iraq was looking more and more like Vietnam, right?), and what did I hear him invoke? Ah, the old September 11th mantra. Is he foolish enough to think that people are still buying that, or am I foolish enough to think people have seen through the smoke screen and realize that Iraq has nothing to do Sept 11. Either way, with all the bickering and jostling for election positions, the GOP sure isn’t sending a united message, and the Dems are still figuring out how Dean got elected to head the party. Meanwhile, I feel we are on a ship at 1/2 throttle with the wheel tied off so we just keep going in a big circle. Every once in a while, we see land, and think we are going to be ok, only to veer away, back to sea. Please, can we find someone, anyone, to stand up and take the wheel?

More Bush vs the Environment

Howl of the Wolf May be Heard Again in Northern Forest – National Wildlife FederationIn an attempt to once again circumvent the law, the Bush administration attempted to lump several subspecies of the Grey Wolf together to so as to take the NE Grey Wolf off the endangered list. Luckily, a judge didn’t see it that way, and ruled that there was no evidence that the research from several years ago was reversed.
In a related note, a similar case was ruled on on the West Coast regarding a species of salamander, in which the administration tried to lump several species together so as to remove them from the endangered species list.
One can only assimilate that the reason to remove these species is so development can infringe on the habitat of these endangered species. I’d like to know a little more about what kind of development that would be.

First Domino Falls

Some may know that I had a string of posts regarding Tom Delay, and though he keeps his nose out of the public eye lately, an associate of his has not had the same opportunity. In a case unrelated to his lobbying shenanigans, Jack Abramoff is facing numerous fraud charges stemming from a partnership he was involved in that purchased the SunCruz Casinos several years back. Coupled with that purchase, is the still unsolved gangland style murder of the man whom the partners purchased the gambling boat line from. At what point does some draw a connection between a lobbyist buying a gambling boat line, representing gambling interests, and a man shot dead in a hail of gun fire? To that, at what point does someone question the nature of his relationship to the Republican power, as in the likes of Delay?

If I had been Bush…

Ah, the trials and tribulations of off line life vs on line life…Anyway, I was sitting with some friends, talking geek talk, and made a political analogy off the top of my head, that after second thought, wasn’t a bad idea, in some contexts. The idea was this…if the right wing machine was so-o-o-o worried about one Hillary Rodham-Clinton running for president, and the effects a Hillary presidency would have on the agenda, then why not appoint her to the Supreme Court? She was a Washington lawyer at one time, and there was discussion of appointing a non judge anyways. It would have totally taken the wind out of the lefts sails, and taken her out of any running for presidency. Sure, she would have been some what influential on the Supreme Court, but she would have been only one of nine. Then they could have put a serious conservative to replace Rehnquist, and set a conservative to be Chief Justice.

Ah well, it was a common sense and Microsoft analogy anyways…

Was It Too Good To Be True

Roberts Listed in Federalist Society ‘97-98 Directory
So it seemed that there was no real “dirt” to stick to Roberts, that perhaps the White House nominated a “good guy”, who just happened to be nominated by the right. Even former lawyer for Clinton endorsed him. (Not that I take that too far). But now it’s coming out, that Roberts is a card carrying member of the ultra conservative right, and worse, he doesn’t “recall” getting his card. How do you head a steering committee and not remember. Or worse, fake an association with a club simply for personal gain, only later to deny it. Is that the best America has to put on the Supreme Court?

Yet Another View on the Wilson’s

I never read the USA Today, online or else where, but somehow stumbled onto this op-ed from the Wilson’s lawyer. Turns out he didn’t become their lawyer until one day, as their neighbor, he read an op-ed by one Robert Novak, informing him that his neighbor was really a CIA agent.
Just another face to the impact that Scooter and Karl had with their little game. How anyone can continue to defend them is beyond me.

A Sheep in Wolf (Blitzer’s) Clothing

Who told Wolf Blitzer that he was a hard hitting journalist? His interview this afternoon of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was full of weighted questions with zero, nada, zilch follow-up. On the surface, the question seemed legitimate, however, after the canned response (obviously the questions had been vetted), Wolf simply took Gonzalez’s answer and moved on to the next lolipop question. At least Russert and Mathews push a little further with the question before moving on. A good read on the subject, IMO, is Katrina Vanden Huevel’s comments on Bob Costas, of all people, filling in for another softy, Larry King. It makes me laugh when righties call CNN a “left-wing media organization”. What does that make Katrina and her magazine The Nation? A revolutionary media organization?