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Winning is only the Beginning — Elections do matter.

March 31, 2011

It is so easy to get all excited before an election. A wonderful personality comes along and turns us on. The chance to win is always fun. The coming together with people of shared values makes you feel good. But, there is an old political adage that says, ”You can’t do anyone any good unless you get elected”. So first, you must win. But, winning is only the beginning. After winning the election, you must pass laws to, “do good for the people”, at least those who supported you.

All too often as political animals, we don’t follow through. We elect our Democrats and then go off, get busy, and forget to support them. We don’t show up, even at party functions. We just disappear. We don’t lobby to show our support to our Democrats, or our objections to the Republicans. We cease to be players in the political process. That must change. We have the organization to make a difference. We have the numbers to make a difference. Now, all we need is understanding and will to make the difference.

Spring is here and Democrats and some Republicans are beginning their struggles with legislation. Education, Health Care, and High Speed Rail are all on the Governor’s Chopping Block.

I just keep thinking about what our great Democratic candidates, told us during the campaign last fall, “If you think it is bad now, just wait”. Oh, were they right! I wish more people had thought about that statement and voted for our qualified candidates.

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Train Wreck

February 17, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott rashly acted in his own political interests and sacrificed the best interests of Florida Wednesday by rejecting federal money for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando. It is a reckless, devastating decision that has nothing to do with the merits of rail and everything to do with Scott’s obsession with courting the tea party movement and fighting the Obama administration. Florida’s state legislators and members of Congress should explore every option in salvaging a project that holds so much promise for the state’s economy and Tampa Bay’s future.
The consequences of Scott’s grandstanding are clear. More than $2.4 billion from Washington? Gone. Five thousand construction jobs? Gone. A modern transportation link between two of the largest cities in the fourth-largest state? Gone. Thousands of additional jobs serving the line; billions of dollars more in private-sector investment; and the chance for an ever bigger bang by extending the system from Orlando to Miami? Gone, gone, gone.
After barely a month in office and no serious review, Scott killed an effort that a bipartisan group of the state’s political and business leaders pursued for decades. He consigned motorists and commercial carriers along the Interstate 4 corridor to bigger traffic jams. He put taxpayers on the hook for expensive highway projects as the only way to improve moving people and goods between Tampa Bay and the theme park capital of the world. And he sent a message to the global business community that Florida lacks the vision and courage to invest in its future.
Scott said his decision came down to three basic fears: cost overruns could reach $3 billion, state taxpayers would have to cover any shortfall, and Florida would have to repay the federal government if the rail line goes defunct. Those aren’t original or well founded. They come from a study by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank that compared the Florida plan with rail systems in Taiwan, Korea and Britain. The Reason study also assumed that any cost above the $2.7 billion estimated for the Tampa-Orlando line would fall to Florida taxpayers. The state plan doesn’t call for that. Private operators would build and run the system and absorb any cost overruns.
If Scott were an honest broker looking out for Floridians, he would not have killed the project before putting it out to bid. He would have waited for an updated study on ridership and costs. The contention Wednesday by his press office that Scott has inside information is not good enough.
Scott took aim at the federal deficit and the Obama administration, which he intends to fight on every front regardless of Florida’s needs. He fails to mention that the high-speed rail money is already committed and that Florida’s money will just go to New York or another state with more vision. The reaction to such a foolish decision was biting and across the board. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he was disappointed, but noted: “There is overwhelming demand for high-speed rail in other states.” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat, blasted Scott for a “devastating lack of vision,” and U.S. Rep. John Mica, the Winter Park Republican who chairs the House transportation panel, urged the governor to reconsider. State Sen. Jack Latvala, the Clearwater Republican who chairs the state Senate’s Transportation Committee, said Scott’s move was premature: “We’ve cut off our noses to spite our face.”
That’s putting it mildly. Scott did real harm to the Tampa Bay area, which has worked on a regional basis for years to improve area transit and to build the start of an integrated light rail system. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said she was “terribly disappointed,” calling the move a “bad decision for all Floridians” that sends “a terrible message” to the business community. The state’s powerful business lobby, Associated Industries, which had supported the rail plan, should be ashamed for kissing up to Scott by rationalizing the governor’s move. In downtown Tampa alone, Scott’s decision undermines tens of millions of dollars in public investment in housing, parks and retail. And it dampens the ongoing effort in Pinellas and across the bay to bring a major new mass transit initiative to the table.
The governor who travels in his private jet should look out the window the next time he flies over traffic-clogged Tampa Bay and Interstate 4. And when he looks for someone who could have created thousands of jobs and didn’t, he can look in the mirror. Why would businesses elsewhere explore public-private partnerships in a state saddled with a governor who pulls the plug on an ambitious initiative before serious negotiations even start? Scott has dealt the state a terrible setback, and the state’s more creative leaders should look for a way to reverse it.

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Arrogance of being President while being Black

February 10, 2011

AUTHOR UNKNOWN

> I don’t think anyone was under some real illusion that the election of Barack Obama actually means the end of racism in America . I’m pretty sure that the president-elect knew it better than anyone. After all, he saw it every day, from the moment he announced his candidacy. To some degree, he saw it within his own party during the primaries. And he saw it in all ugliness during the general election. For half of this country, he was “That One”. No matter how big and clear his victory was. No matter how smart he is. No matter how decent he is. No matter what a true patriot he is. No matter how optimistic and positive his vision for America was. All that didn’t matter. Because at the end of the day, he was still black.

> I’m quite old. I remember, vaguely, where my parents were on November 22, 1963. I’ve seen so many presidents. Some were feared, some were hated, some were adored, some popular and some not. But all of them, without exception, were treated with the highest respect deserving the office of the president of the United States .

> That is until a black man won the right to occupy this office. It’s been 13 months now, and in the eyes of so many, Barack Obama is still that one. He is being disrespected and at the same time being held to the highest standard of any president I’ve ever seen – and not just by the Republican side! He has to perform three times better than any president in history, and even that may not be enough.

> For the media, he is many more times just “Obama” than “President Obama”. They create scandals out of nothing issues. It took them at least 6 years to start giving Bush a small part of the shit he deserved. It took them 6 months to begin crap all over Obama because he’s yet to fix the catastrophe that was left for him.

> They use condescending tones when they talk about him, and only mildly less condescending when they talk TO him. With anyone else, CNN wouldn’t dare go to commercials every time the president speaks, like they did during that summit on Thursday. They wouldn’t dare be counting how many minutes George Bush or Bill Clinton were talking. Chris Mathews wouldn’t dare make an issue out of Ronald Regan calling members of congress by their first name, like he is not actually the president. They fully cooperate with the Right-Wing smear machine when it comes to president Obama’s national security performance – even if almost every independent and military expert actually thinks that he’s a terrific Commander-in-Chief. You’ll never see them on TV, and virtually no one from the Left, in congress and outside, defend the president on this matter.

> I don’t care about the Far-Right. They’re just crazy ignorant Neanderthals. It’s the way the beltway and the mainstream treats this president that is shocking. On Thursday, almost every Republican had no trouble interrupting him in the middle of a sentence. They looked like they’re going to vomit every time they had to say “Mr. president”. They all had this Eric-Cantor-Smirk whenever he spoke. Then they went out and started to spit their stupid talking points, to the delight of the media. Sarah Palin, a woman who can hardly read, thinks that he was “arrogant” towards John McCain, and somehow this is an important news. Because you see, “Obama’s Arrogance” is the talking point of the day.

> Oh, those talking points. He is arrogant (because he knows the facts better than all of them combined). He is an elitist (because he uses big words that they don’t understand). He is weak on national security (because he actually thinks about the consequences). He divides the country (well, he did that the day he had the audacity to win the election). Worst of all, he actually thinks that he’s the president. He even dared to say so on Thursday. How arrogant of him. You’d think that previous presidents didn’t have any ego. Somehow it turned out that the one president who treats even his biggest opponents with the utmost respect – is the arrogant one. I wonder why?

> I expected that his winning the Presidency would bring out some ugliness, but it’s been far worse than I imagined. The racism coming from the Right is obviously clear and shameless, but there’s also some hidden and maybe subconscious and disturbing underline tone behind some of the things that I read here and throughout the Left blogosphere, even before the end of Obama’s first year – ‘He’s weak, he’s spineless, he’s got no balls, primary him in 2012’. It’ll be dishonest to deny that.

> The fact is that for millions in America , Barack Obama is this uppity black man (Not even a “real” black), who received good education only due to affirmative action, and has no right to litter the sacred Oval Office with his skin color. They just can’t accept the fact that the president is a black man, who unlike his predecessor, was actually legally elected. But what’s really sad is that it’s not just the fringe, its deep deep in mainstream America .

> Barack Obama’s ability to remain above all this slob, to keep his optimism and his strange and mostly unjustified faith in people, while continuing to gracefully deal with an endless shitstorm – is one of the most inspiring displays of human quality I have ever seen. And I can only hope that the Cosmos is on his side because God is and He never makes a mistake.

January 22, The Gala Event of The Year

January 3, 2011

CHARLOTTE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE INVITES YOU TO AN EVENING OF ELEGANT DINING & DANCING

Saturday, January 22nd-2011 At 6 o’clock

Twin Isles Country Club

301 Madrid Blvd., Punta Gorda, FL 33950

DONATION: $50.00 per person

3 Choices for your Gourmet Dinner Selection prepared by Twin Isles:

* Chicken Piccata with a Lemon Wine ‘n Capers sauce

* 8 oz. NY Strip Steak with a Bourbon Sauce

* Grilled Vegetables ProvenV al Tossed with Soba Noodles & Tofu Balsamic Glaze

All meals include: salad, rolls & butter, coffee or hot / iced tea, & dessert

 

Please Telephone Democratic Headquarters of Charlotte County by calling 941/258-3542

Charlotte County Democratic Party · 4300 Kings Hwy, Suite 402, Charlotte Harbor 33980

Email us conveniently at:

ccdemsclub@gmail.com Please reserve your ticket ASAP!

 

 

* Please make every effort to attend this fundraising event to kick off the year 2011!

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE OUR SPEAKER WILL BE DAVE ARONBERG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* Entertainment provided by Leslie “The Sax Man” ‘D,’ and the very lovely Donna Marie Romeo!

* For more information please contact: Sheila Mitkish 941/575-0228, or

Nurmilla Jitta 941/627-0588

Paid for by the Charlotte County Democratic Party · This communication is not authorized by any candidate or committee·

2010 polls: Obama most admired man; Palin top religious newsmaker

December 28, 2010

By Rachel Rose Hartman

It was a tough year to be Barack Obama in many respects–but he’s ending it on a strong note. Not only did the president rack up a number of key legislative wins in the lame-duck 111th Congress, but he also won the honor of being the man Americans admired most in 2010, according to a Gallup/USA Today poll released Monday.

Twenty-two percent of Americans surveyed said that the president is the person they hold in highest esteem, granting Obama the titled of “Most Admired Man” for the third year in a row in the annual survey.

George W. Bush placed second with 5 percent, and Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates rounded out the top five, in that order.

Hillary Clinton placed first in Gallup’s survey of the woman Americans most admire.

However, while Obama is holding steady in terms of mundane esteem, one of his best-known detractors made impressive inroads in another poll gauging popularity in a beyond this-worldly scale. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin–who also finished second in the “Most Admired Women” tally, ahead of another longtime rival, Oprah Winfrey–took top honors in an online poll Monday for her influence on the country’s religious values.

The former Alaska governor placed first in a USA Today online straw poll of the top religion newsmaker of 2010. Palin finished ahead of Pope Benedict and Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf, the man behind the proposed religious center with mosque proposed near Ground Zero. The men tied for second place.

Message to the Tea Party

December 28, 2010

You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq .

You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn’t get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn’t get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq .

You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.

You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans drown.

You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in taxbreaks. You didn’t get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn’t get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion$.

Net Neutrality?

December 22, 2010

When the FCC tells you that the rules they voted on yesterday will protect openness and freedom on the Internet, don’t believe the hype. The FCC’s chairman may call what passed yesterday “net neutrality,” but we know better.

The rules — written to placate the broadband industry — would give Internet service providers unprecedented power to profit through online discrimination, all at the expense of regular people.

This is beyond disappointing. President Obama promised us net neutrality,1 but what we got yesterday is far less — it’s fake net neutrality. This isn’t a charge we level lightly. The proposal has serious loopholes that undermine the FCC’s ability to protect many of us from broadband company abuses. Specifically:2

They enshrine different rules for wired and wireless Internet — allowing big corporations to slow down or block websites and applications on your mobile phone.

They allow Internet service providers to set up tollbooths online, stifling new innovators who can’t pay the fees the big corporations can.

For the first time, they embrace a tiered Internet — a public Internet with publishing access for regular people vs. a private one controlled by major corporations, where they will shift future dollars for investment and innovation. In the new net, participation will based on the ability to pay corporate gatekeepers and not threatening their business interests. It will spell the end of the Internet as we know it.
In addition, it’s not clear that the FCC will have the legal authority to enforce even these watered-down rules. Because Genachowski chose not to reclassify broadband, the rules could be struck down by courts. And Verizon is already contemplating a legal challenge.3

Despite these glaring shortcomings, President Obama and the FCC still call this net neutrality — to telecom industry applause.4 It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

There’s no denying that this is a real setback for our movement and our democracy. But the fight isn’t over yet. As challenges to the new regulations arise, as the broadband industry tests the limits of the new laws, and as Congressional Republicans attempt to keep the FCC from ever enforcing net neutrality rules, we’ll have new opportunities to fight for a free and open Internet. Thanks for being with us.

Until then, there’s one concrete thing you can do to help. President Obama and Chairman Genachowski will continue to say they’ve passed real net neutrality rules in a cynical attempt to claim the fulfillment of a campaign promise. It’s critical that we not let this narrative take hold. Please read this blog post by our friend Jason Rosenbaum of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and share it with everyone you know.