Thursday, March 11, 2010

Someone tuggin' at Charlie?

Since realizing that his US Senate opponent Marco Rubio would attack him from the right, Charlie Crist has had numerous opportunities to govern like a Republican. Bizarrely, he instead proposed a budget that increases spending, returned to embracing the Obama stimulus, gave a State of the State Address that only Democrats loved, and has recently run a gutter dirty trick campaign against Rubio by leaking his private credit card statements and creeping people out by randomly accusing Rubio of waxing his back using Republican Party of Florida donor money.

In short, he could have tried to move to the right as so many predicted, but instead has stridently moved to the left.

Is there something afoot? Are the Democrats tugging at him to join their ranks? Are the White House and Democrat Senate campaign apparatus assisting in an effort to cut Rubio off before he stands up to them in Washington? If Crist loses anyway, will the administration offer a cabinet position to Crist to guarantee him a major position no matter what in 2011?

Is Crist setting up a move? If he is, expect him to empty his campaign coffers over the next four weeks with scathing negative attacks against Rubio using Republican primary money. If the polls do not strongly reverse themselves, he may very well switch parties, and just tell angry donors that all their money's been spent when they ask for it back.

Then, Crist can start over with the Democrats after bloodying the Republican nominee with Republican donor money

If recent polls are to be believed, Charlie Crist, who has a pattern of putting his political career above all other considerations, would have nothing to lose.

Under Florida law, Crist would have to change parties by the April 30 qualifying deadline, so he only has until then to make what will probably be the most important decision of his political career.
Maybe another breakfast with Joe Biden might help him make up his mind.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Apartheid South Africa Kills Nelson Mandela!

How would the world react to such a headline if South Africa's unjust apartheid system were still in effect today? How and to what extent would the mainstream media report this news? What would the United Nations say? How about the United States administration or congress?

Well, obviously that did not happen. South Africa eventually transitioned into a Democracy, Nelson Mandela was freed, and he even served as president of the nation that once imprisoned him.

Although South Africans deserve a great deal of credit for the democratization if their country, there is little doubt that international efforts aided in that transition.

The United States, for example, passed the Comprehensive Antiapartheid Act. The legislation was an embargo of sorts that banned trade and investments in South Africa as a punitive measure against the government's unjust institutional racism. Direct flights between South Africa and the United States were also banned.

Sound familiar?

It should. The embargo that resulted from the United States Comprehensive Antiapartheid Act is very similar to the Cuban embargo.

The Antiapartheid Act was controversial at the time, since the United States was embroiled in a Cold War, and although it was an unjust regime, the Apartheid government was generally anti-Soviet. Regardless, the embargo legislation passed with support from both sides, especially from the Congressional Black Caucus. And rightfully so.

Yet today, most if not all the members of the congressional black caucus deride the Cuban embargo as unjust and want to see it lifted. Others in congress do, too.

They call for closer economic and diplomatic ties with the Cuban government as it commits acts eerily similar to the fake Mandela headline above.

Case in point: a few days ago, a Cuban political prisoner, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, was allowed to die when he went on a hunger strike to protest the repeated beatings and other blatant abuses by Castro's thug prison guards.

According to reports, the black Cuban was denied liquids by his captors as a punitive measure for daring to go on a hunger strike, and in the ultimate act of cruelty, his family was denied the opportunity to visit him during his final days.

After his death, supporters and friends were forbidden from paying their last respects at his funeral.

Meanwhile, nowhere outside Miami has the mainstream media reported this, the Castro-friendly Congressional Black Caucus and other congressional so-called "leaders" continue calling for the lift of the embargo on Cuba, and countless other political prisoners, including the black doctor Oscar Elias Biscet, continue rotting in Soviet-style Cuban gulags--not in some faraway continent, but in our very own. 90 miles away.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Republican response to Gov. Crist's State of the State Address

MARCH 2, 2010, 6:45 pm (approx)

Good evening fellow Floridians,

We meet during unique times, the second year of the deepest recession in generations. It is anticipated that this week, the unemployment rate in Florida will be the highest ever recorded. Record numbers of Floridians left the state last year. Property values are down, way down. Taxes and fees are up. Our reserves are drained. As bad as things are, next year things will be will be even more challenging. Florida is facing a $3.2 billion deficit for fiscal year 2010-11.

In this difficult environment, our lame duck governor has told us that ideology is wrong and that we should seek pragmatic solutions to our problems... like gambling.

Yes, gambling.

Governor Crist's state of the state address this year, which ran more than twice as long as years past, offered no solutions--just hollow platitudes and vague allusions about how he is a problem solver. Given the fact that he is governor and that Florida has problems, one should be safe in assuming that he has solved our problems?

Um, perhaps made a dent in our problems?

No, our putative Republican governor, Charlie Crist, has caused our problems. He has been asleep at the ship of state.

You may recall that following 9/11, Florida's last Republican governor to date, Jeb Bush, convened a special session to tackle the economic effects of the attack. The tax cuts and other policy objectives that then-Governor Bush actively pushed through the legislature allowed Florida to weather the aftermath of 9/11. Why did putative Republican Governor Crist not call the legislature back into session this past summer to cut unnecessary regulations? To cut taxes and improve the environment for businesses? Where has he been? Does he have no ideas?

Instead of steady conservative leadership for the last three years, we have had an absentee governor who hasn't been to work on a Friday in who knows when. He has abused the office we have entrusted him to by neglecting its duties and distracting himself with running for Vice President and now US Senate. He has been by all accounts, the worst governor in America.

Gov. Crist's idea of solving problems involves offering politically expedient, poll-driven short-term solutions that will cost the state in the long run well after he's no longer around to deal with the mess. He would allow Florida to wallow in a morass of red tape while he is off gallivanting in Washington, pining for the next political office.

And when anyone has the temerity to call him on this, well, of course, they speak from the cheap seats, "where wisdom is not required and nothing is either risked or gained," according to the putative Republican governor.

Well, the good news is that the end is near. Finally people are standing up to putative Republican Charlie Crist and saying, "Enough!" Standing against the stimulus package does not make you an ideologue. If it did, every Republican in the United States congress, sans three notoriously disloyal Republicans, would be ideologues.

Republicans deserve better; Florida deserves better. Republicans are sick and tired of politicians with no guiding principles, no ideas, no solutions but lots of talk about problem solving when problems abound.

A great Republican, Barry Goldwater, once said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice...and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Well, defense of the stimulus is not a virtue, it is unforgivable.

Putative Republican Gov. Crist derides all Republicans who stood on principle by saying, "...a few governors may have rather loudly condemned the stimulus money, but that did not stop them from quietly accepting it."

The debt of the United States represents a clear and present danger to our children, our nation's stability, and the world's economy. If Crist wins election to the Senate, he will continue to support policies that will harm America. As Republicans, we must stand up to this, otherwise these "compromises" will be the standard for years to come and our "Shining City on the Hill" as described by our great president and mentor Ronald Reagan will stand less secure, less prosperous and more vulnerable than ever before.

See, putative Republicans like Charlie Crist called Ronald Reagan an ideologue and an extremist. But to that, Reagan said: "You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, 'There is a price we will not pay.' There is a point beyond which they must not advance."

The Republicans in the Florida Legislature now know for certain that the Emperor has no clothes and we stand ready to pass our agenda and formally dare the governor to veto our cuts in taxes, fees and regulations, and our market-freeing reforms to the property insurance system he socialized.

Crist is wrong. Thankfully, he is almost gone, and if Republicans across Florida stand up and make it so, he will really be a lame duck in about five months.

Thank you for watching. God bless Florida.

****UPDATE 3/4/10 2:10pm****

Here is an excellent editorial by the Panama City News Herald that discusses Crist's State of the State address titled "The Cost of Crist."