Robert Zimmerman, Jr., brother of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, continued his everything-including-the-racist-kitchen-sink PR offensive on behalf of his brother by repeatedly tweeting a photo comparison of the teenager his brother shot, and De’Marquise Elkins, the 17 year-old who has been detained in the murder of a Georgia infant. Both pictures feature the young men flipping the middle finger at the camera, with the caption “A picture speaks a thousand words…Any questions?”
Zimmerman has, thus far, tweeted the comparison to the Anthony half of Opie and Anthony, Michael Moore, the NAACP, and a Breitbart News editor, as well as the NRA. If Zimmerman’s point is that anyone who uses that gesture is a murderer, then they’re going to have to arrest the entire Garden State Parkway. If you suspect that wasn’t his point, you might be right.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is the latest GOP politician forced to “clarify” his anti-science comments: Rubio: Science, Faith ‘Not Inconsistent’ on Earth.
Speaking with POLITICO’s Mike Allen at a Playbook Breakfast event, Rubio clarified his beliefs about how the universe was created, saying he believes science’s conclusions — that the earth is four and a half billion years old — and his faith’s answers about the earth’s age aren’t mutually exclusive.
“Science says it’s about four and a half billion years old and my faith teaches that that’s not inconsistent,” the possible 2016 GOP presidential contender said. “The answer I gave was actually trying to make the same point the president made a few years ago, and that is there is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively as at least four and a half billion years old … I was referring to a theological debate and which is a pretty healthy debate.”
I’m long past the point of even thinking about giving Republican politicians the benefit of the doubt on issues like this one. Rubio is walking it back because he got stung by the negative publicity associated with admitting his creationist beliefs, and that’s the only motivation for his remarks.
More importantly, he doesn’t just talk about it, Rubio has actively worked to legitimize the teaching of creationism in Florida public schools, and has previously said the teaching of evolution “destroys the family” and compared it to communism under Fidel Castro.
Let’s get real: Marco Rubio is now pretending to “correct” himself because he can’t continue doing this kind of work with the media spotlight on him. And he is by no means an outlier in the Republican Party; creationism is the norm among GOP politicians.
It’s helpful to look back at the remarks that prompted this; here’s what Rubio actually said:
I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.
The bottom line, and the real purpose behind his comments about the age of the Earth, is to promote the teaching of creationism in public schools. This is a default Republican Party position.
Of course it was already blazingly obvious, but today the Palm Beach Post reports that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says new early voting regulations were specifically designed by the Republican Party to suppress Democratic votes.
A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.
Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.
Crist said party leaders approached him during his 2007-2011 gubernatorial term about changing early voting, in an effort to suppress Democrat turnout. Crist is now at odds with the GOP, since abandoning the party to run for U.S. Senate as an independent in 2010. He is rumored to be planning another run for governor, as a Democrat.
Crist said in a telephone interview this month that he did not recall conversations about early voting specifically targeting black voters “but it looked to me like that was what was being suggested. And I didn’t want them to go there at all.”
About inhibiting minority voters, [Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman] Greer said:
“The sad thing about that is yes, there is prejudice and racism in the party but the real prevailing thought is that they don’t think minorities will ever vote Republican,” he said.
“It’s not really a broad-based racist issue. It’s simply that the Republican Party gave up a long time ago ever believing that anything they did would get minorities to vote for them.”
But a GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said black voters were a concern. “I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,” he said.
GOP spokesman [Brian] Burgess discounted Crist’s statement to The Post.
“Charlie Crist speaks out of both sides of his mouth,” he said.
Mitt Romney’s senior adviser in Florida has given up on the state.
“The numbers in Florida show this was winnable,” Brett Doster said in a statement obtained by the Miami Herald. “We thought based on our polling and range of organization that we had done what we needed to win. Obviously, we didn’t, and for that I, and every other operative in Florida has a sick feeling that we left something on the table.
That means the final electoral college count will be 332 Obama, 206 Romney — qualifying as an electoral landslide of major proportions.
Tonight in Ft. Myers, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan decided it would be a good idea to laugh at women who are worried about the caveman views his party promotes: At Fla. Fundraiser, Paul Ryan Mocks ‘War on Women’.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Thursday night poked fun at the Democratic argument that the GOP is waging a “war on women.”
“Now it’s a war on women; tomorrow it’s going to be a war on left-handed Irishmen or something like that,” Ryan told donors at a Naples fundraiser, according to Shushanna Walshe of ABC News.
Possibly the most important news of the year, heralding the emergence of the Ancient Ones from their long-sealed caverns in the depths of the ocean, or maybe not — but this is the one story I was just dying to post while our database server was down. From Florida, of course: Giant Mysterious Eyeball Found on Florida Beach.
Where did the eye come from? According to news reports, the mysterious eye washed up on Florida’s Pompano Beach, where it was found by a beachcomber. Instead of whisking it away, as was the case in Montauk, the fine citizen handed it over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday.
Those scientists put the softball-size eye on ice and sent it to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. A spokesperson for the commission, Carli Segelson, told NBCNews that scientists will use genetic testing to try to figure out who the eye belonged to.
“The primary suspect right now is that it would be a large fish,” Segelson told NBC, such as a swordfish, tuna, or deep-water fish.
We asked Robert L. Pitman, a marine biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in La Jolla, California, to weigh in. Pitman has received funding from National Geographic to study killer whales.
“It probably is a squid eye-other things with eyes that big (fish, cetaceans) have them imbedded in hard tissue. Squid eyes are in relatively soft tissue and more likely to dislodge as in the photo you sent. A quick DNA analysis could easily sort it out for you,” Pitman explained via email.
However, Segelson told us via phone, “From what I understand there appears to be bones around the eye, so that would rule out a squid.” Segelson added that the commission hopes to have preliminary test results by the end of today.
According to the new Washington Post polls, President Obama is continuing to increase his lead over Mitt Romney in key battleground states.
President Obama has grabbed a significant lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio and holds a slender edge in Florida, according to two new polls by The Washington Post, indicating that there are fresh hurdles in the way of the Republican challenger’s best route to victory in the Electoral College.
Among likely voters, Obama is ahead of Romney in Ohio 52 percent to 44 percent. In Florida, the president leads 51 percent to 47 percent, a numerical but not statistically significant edge. Among all registered Florida voters, Obama is ahead by nine percentage points.
The new numbers come one week after a Washington Post poll in Virginia showed Obama with a clear lead there. More than half of all money spent in the campaign has focused on these three states, and many analysts say Romney has to win two of the three to capture the White House.
And as desperation sets in, the Republican Party is starting to whine about “skewed polls.”
Former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer is accusing party officials of scheming to suppress black votes, which is only a surprise if you haven’t paid attention to the dozens of Voter ID laws being pushed by the GOP across the country: Jim Greer Denounces Florida Republican Party Officials as Liars, ‘Right-Wing Crazies’ in Deposition.
TALLAHASSEE — In a wide-ranging deposition that spanned two days in late May, former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer denounced some party officials as liars and “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” as he described turmoil in the months before his resignation.
Greer said some GOP leaders were meeting to discuss ways they could suppress black votes while others were constantly scheming against each other.
He blamed criminal fraud charges filed against him in 2010 on legislative leaders and other party officials who he says orchestrated an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the statewide grand jury to avoid paying him money he was due.
His statements were in response to questions from lawyers for the party, Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Sen. John Thrasher. Greer has filed a lawsuit against the party and the two officials in an attempt to collect $130,000 he was promised in a written agreement shortly before he resigned. The lawsuit, pending in Leon County, is unlikely to be resolved until after a criminal trial scheduled for mid November. …
• Greer said “the party was in turmoil” as officials wanted to get rid of him and former Gov. Charlie Crist because they disagreed with some of Crist’s decisions, including the appointment of a liberal African-American judge to the Florida Supreme Court, Crist’s endorsement of John McCain for president in 2008 and the hug Crist gave President Barack Obama in 2009. “My phone lit up with people wanting me to censure the governor,” Greer said. “The tea party came into existence. There was a feeling within the party that the tea party was just a bunch of whack-a-dos.”
• After the party’s budget and audit committee started asking questions about House and Senate spending, including legislators who used party credit cards for personal expenses, Greer said he wanted to open the books and credit card records, but party officials and legislative leaders vetoed the idea.
• Greer said he warned others at the party that the budget committee was made up of “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” who were trying to take over because of continuing disagreements with Crist and legislative leaders. House and Senate leaders insisted that no one at the party could control their campaign finances. “We eat what we kill,” Greer said the leaders told him. “Legislative leaders were using their party credit cards like drunken sailors and they made it clear to me I was not to interfere with their spending,” Greer said. …
On voter suppression, Greer said he had just completed a December 2009 meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff, when questions arose about fundraising.
“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he said.
Man, it’s hard to take seriously a political party that does things like this: Donald Trump Gets ‘Statesman of Year’ Award.
Real estate mogul. Political pundit. “Apprentice” host. Birther. Sometime presidential candidate teaser.
That’s the latest title to be bestowed upon Donald Trump when he receives the 2012 “Statesman of the Year” award from the Sarasota Republican Party in August.
Trump has been tapped to receive the award on the day before the Republican National Convention, just 60 miles south of the festivities in Tampa Bay.
Being a resident of this state. I’m beyond flabbergasted by this man. No bid contracts, drug testing the poor, humiliating himself (and thereby the rest of us) in Europe, but this one tops it.
Governor Rick Scott [Link to Miami Herald] has submitted a list of 2,700 names of people - “potential noncitzens” - that he says are illegal voters and wishes to purge them from the Florida roles. The problem is that 514 have already been found to be lawful citizens. Most of the rest had no backup information at all, and contained duplicate IDs and the names of already removed voters, including three dead people. Also, out of all those people, only 40 have been identified as noncitizens and four are felons - the only two groups who legally are prohibited from voting.
Thank goodness Florida election supervisors are having none of it and have stopped the procedure.
Miami-Dade Election Supervisor Penelope Townsley says, “‘I find the state’s Non-Citizens Match list to be unreliable and insufficient, on its own.’
‘We’re just not going to do this,’ said Leon County’s elections supervisor, Ion Sancho, one of the most outspoken of his peers. ‘I’ve talked to many of the other supervisors and they agree. The list is bad. And this is illegal.’
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner says he wants Homeland Security (federal) to provide him with names from the immigration database, but the feds won’t do it. So Detzner just decided to submit a list anyway.
Part of the issue is that the immigration database is not immediately updated when someone becomes a citizen even if they hold proper documentation. Meanwhile, they usually register to vote as soon as they become citizens, but can still appear as “noncitizens” on the rolls.
I’m not against purging the rolls of people who are not eligible to vote, but this is outright careless, at best and illegal, at worst. Further, there is concern among Democratic, liberal and minority-rights groups that 87 percent of those on the “potential noncitizens” list are minorities. Go figure.
This is one thing that must be done right in order to preserve our democracy. Not that our crook governor has any desire to preserve democracy.
Two other things, Dentzer has now inspired a noncitizen voter-purge movement in North Carolina and met with their Secretary of State there last Friday. I don’t know what became of that.
And while it’s frenzied up the Tea Party here in Florida,
‘We’re going to keep the pressure on, all over the state,’ said Billie Tucker, co-founder of the First Coast Tea Party in Jacksonville. ‘We want noncitizen voters prosecuted. We don’t know how many are out there.’
Scott’s ratings have severely tanked to a dismal 31%. At least there’s one silver lining on this cloud of doom and depression.
Several polls have shown now that Rick Scott would lose in 2014 if Charlie Crist became a Democrat and ran against him but our newest survey finds that Democrats might not need that high of a profile candidate to knock off Scott, at least if he remains this unpopular. 5% of voters in the state have a positive opinion of State Senator Nan Rich. Only 14% have even heard of her. And despite that she still leads Scott by 12 points in a hypothetical match up, 47-35.
Obviously that finding has a lot more to do with Scott than it does with Rich. His approval rating has sunk back down to 31%, with 56% of voters disapproving of him. One thing that hasn’t done his popularity any favors lately is his push to eliminate some people from the voter rolls. Only 34% of voters approve of that effort to 50% who disagree with it.