Monday, August 16, 2010

Moving notice: Over to Wordpress

This blog address will go quiet now, and this post is your notice that we're now to be found over on the Wordpress platform. Was it the Kinks who told us of a "dedicated follower of fashion?" Here we go to

See you there!

Julia Tuttle Unveiled

Musta been looking the other way when Maria posted this fine essay on our city, weeks ago now. Very glad to see it as a winner of Post of the Month on South Florida Daily Blog.

sex and the beach: Julia Tuttle Unveiled!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jeb Bush makes the big time: Letterman's top 10 No No No No No No No No No No

You'll find your blogger down in the comments declaring the real reason Jeb Bush won't run for president is he'd have to reveal how much he was paid by Lehman to be a "consultant" after he left the governorship, and why he got Florida to buy worthless Lehman investments.

Thanks to the Miami Herald's Naked Politics blog for pointing this out. Thanks, Beth.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FL-25: Dirty tricks will out in dirty campaign against Joe Garcia

This story started last week while I was out of town (Las Vegas, baby) and oblivious to this chapter in the book of dirty tricks that the Republican slime machine is using against Joe Garcia. Now it looks like it's blowing up in the face of Republican candidate David Rivera, with a pertinent ricochet over to the Marco Rubio campaign house. You see -- and this gets really complicated -- the guy behind the slimy mailer is a former staffer for Rubio.

Highly recommended you follow this link to the Miami Herald story and read all the details of this vile thing -- the racist tone to the mailer, the 19-year-old they duped to be the nominal sender, the full creepiness of those who want to represent us in the US House (Rivera) and Senate (Rubio).

I'm curious whether this sort of trick would be possible if the Republicans in the US Senate hadn't blocked the bill to require disclosure of those behind political action committees. Notice that: The Republicans are the villains in this, from the top in Congress down to our local politics here in South Florida. Here's a link to today's NY Times story on that Republican upright finger to the voters of the USA.

And thanks to the Miami Herald for working this story.

p.s. I'm adding Karl Rove to the roster of labels on this post in disgusted tribute to his eminence in dirty tricks.

UPDATE: Let's not forget that Joe Garcia is closely watched nationally and in Florida as a likely winner in this race. The Buzz report shows Joe is worthy of support, and then some. Hint: here's how to do it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Night view of Deep Water Horizon site in Gulf

This image needs some explaining. It was taken from the window of Delta Flight 1220 about midnight July 21, almost an hour after taking off from Fort Lauderdale en route to Las Vegas. Looking down at the blank scene below, I gradually started seeing widely spaced yellow lights come into view. They are flares burning off gas, I surmised. Then this cluster of colored lights came into view. It must be the site of the oil catastrophe, and that's the fleet of vessels drilling and capturing and supervising in the cleanup effort.

Out came the camera. A couple clicks, and this is the clearest and least jiggled of the images shot through the thick airliner window. 

After landing in Las Vegas I asked the pilot if we had flown over the site, and he confirmed we had. Yes, the cluster of lights was the fleet of ships, he said, and during the day you can see the fleet of skimmers and other vessels working the cleanup.

So, there you are.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Afghanistan doesn't compute

This is (so far) the only session I've attended at Netroots Nation to be filmed for possible C-span use. Watch out for the back of my thinly haired head in the second row in front of the panel, moderated by Darcy Burner (above). She ran for Congress in 2008, Washington's 8th District, and was one of the favorite candidates of the national progressive crowd. Now she's executive director of

The question for the panel was Afghanistan, what's it about now in the 9th year, and how to get out. About the only clear result was another question (which I've tweeted to #2010Pelosi as a proposed question to Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the post-breakfast panel today):

What's the logic of spending $100 billion a year to harass 50-100 Al Qeda in Afghanistan? Why are we in another civil war?

Darcy Burner asked that herself during the panel, and it must be rocketing around the brains of anyone in Washington at the decision-making level.

Former Congressman Tom Andrews and retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton were in pretty close agreement that the military-industrial complex has Congress in its pocket on this issue -- a depressing assessment. What do our Miami-Dade members of Congress say? Our candidates? I'd like to know.

Another idea that emerged from the panel was that if the Obama administration policy is reasonably successful in dialing conflict way back and helping launch development in Afghanistan, after quite a few years you'd have a country roughly as well off as Chad. Is this worth $100 billion a year when we're firing teachers?

Some of the questions were apples and oranges, to be sure.

Eaton alarmed me by saying that Washington was dysfunctional. Afterward I asked him if he meant this to refer to the president. No, was his answer, he was talking about the way Washington is a bunch of "stovepipes" with not enough cross-capability, so that the wonderfully competent Agriculture Department, for instance, is not capable of helping ag development in Afghanistan, so the job is given to the military, which is no good at ag. Only 320 US civilians are at work outside Kabul, he said -- far fewer than needed.

Andrews, who was in the US House from Maine and lost a Senate bid to Olympia Snowe, said it was essential to solve the Afghanistan issue -- "get this albatross off our necks" -- because we want Obama to succeed.

You can watch the Pelosi session by clicking on the Netroots Nation link at the top of this post and getting over to Ustream.

Do you miss Van Jones?

The last time I saw Van Jones speak was in Washington DC early on inauguration day, Jan. 20, 2009, and the world was going to be all right with him in the White House as the "Green Jobs" czar. We remember how the far right hated the very idea of the black lefty firebrand from Oakland with some authority. Glenn Beck raged, and in not too long a time Van Jones was out. It was one of my early disappointments with the Obama era. How could this happen?

So it was good on Friday to have Van Jones giving the post-breakfast keynote at Netroots Nation, the DailyKos-sponsored bloggers' convention. Bittersweet to hear him say, "In the last two years all my dreams came true, and my nightmares, too."

You can see the whole speech at this link from Netroots Nation.

Keep on watching into his interview done by Ari Melber of The Nation, who asked Van Jones whether Big Ed Schultz had been correct in his fierce speech the night before, when he insinuated there was a "sissy room" in the White House. "This is harder than it looks," Jones said of life in the White House. It's one thing to perform strongly in an election campaign, and another much more difficult thing to have won and then have to govern and legislate and face "a toxic and hostile media environment."

Jones also said that what we're dealing with now is "a ferocious backlash." Yet he tries to keep his sunny personality in good order and urges us to be more beautiful, keep the hope alive. "You have the power to do it."

He was introduced in a recorded video statement by Howard Dean. "Our job," Dean said, "is to keep their feet to the fire in Washington."

To quote Van Jones (from a different context), "This is harder than it looks."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A landslide is available to us Dems if we work hard toward November

Check out the Gallup polling that shows what the potential is when a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president manage a success or two: suddenly a six-point lead, where before the picture looked gloomy.

Imagine the polls if President Obama's cautious handling of the BP oil disaster finally results in a secure shutdown of the well. This is within reach -- keep fingers crossed to prevent the laws of physics and geology from combining in a new explosion of the well. Polls now may show the public is dubious about the president's handling of the crisis. That will change bigtime when the well is capped.

Our job is to remain committed to work hard, and to avoid overly pessimistic moods.