Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lincoln Hates the Environment

The League of Conservation Voters recently released scorecards for Congress. How did Lincoln do? Poorly:

Lincoln Diaz-Balart (REP), 20%

Not only did all of the Democrats do better than all of the Republicans, With one exception, all of the Democrats did more than twice as good as all the Republicans. And most of the Democrats voted in favor of the environment more than four times as frequently as most of the Republicans.

I wonder how many of these Republicans own property that will be beachfront property when most of Florida is under water because of global warming? I'm just saying...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Economist takes note of our three Congressional races

It took Castro's resignation, but the august British weekly The Economist has taken approving note of our three congressional challengers here in South Florida. We figured we could get national attention in the United States with three strong candidates, but it’s heartening to receive attention from the European press when the election is still eight months away.

Here's what they said about us:
Three districts in south Florida have long been the dominion of hardline Cuban-American Republicans. For the first time since 1992, the Democrats are mounting a strong challenge in the persons of Raúl Martínez, a feisty former mayor of Hialeah, and Joe García, a former spokesman for the Cuban-American National Foundation. They support the embargo but are campaigning against the travel crackdown and stressing non-Cuban issues. (A third Democrat, Annette Taddeo, a Colombian-American businesswomen, has also entered the race, but is a political unknown.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More on Lincoln Diaz-Balart's bad day

Thanks to Ken for posting the preceding item on how Lincoln Diaz-Balart showed disrespect to one of the most venerable and honored members of Congress.

Another question is: what was going on in the House at the time? The topic of debate was the motion of contempt of Congress against Harriet Myers and Josh Bolton for not obeying summons to testify about firings in the Department of Justice.

And another question is: what was Lincoln Diaz-Balart doing here? He was managing the Republican side in the debate. I happened to tune in to it on C-Span and saw the Democratic side roaring with justice on its side. Poor Lincoln D-B -- fumbling for words, on the wrong side of a clear issue, musta been wishing he'd already lost this next election.

Let's make his wish come true.

UPDATE: Well, at 1:46 p.m. the minority leader John Boehner ended the bad day for the congressman from FL-21: he led the Republicans in walking out of the chamber in protest at the impending vote on contempt.

Lincoln Hates Decency, Holocaust Survivors, Basic Rules of Human Interaction

If you needed more of a reason to vote for Raul Martinez, check out the disgusting display by Lincoln today:

In the middle of a memorial for Holocaust survivor and Congressman Tom Lantos, Republican U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21) today brazenly demanded a vote on the floor of the U.S. House, forcing members - including close friends of the late Congressman - to leave the service early.

"During what was supposed to be a somber memorial service in Statuary Hall for Rep. Tom Lantos, who died Monday, the House chamber became mired in chaos... Democrats angrily denounced the GOP as insensitive for calling a "motion to adjourn" - essentially a dilatory tactic - while dignitaries were still giving tributes to Lantos, a Holocaust survivor who was chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee," Politico's The Crypt quickly reported online. "The scene in the Capitol was extremely tense as the procedural motion failed. The Crypt has already received several angry denouncements from both sides of the aisle as tempers flared this morning in the House."

"Everyone from the Israeli Foreign Minister to Condoleezza Rice to Bono took time out to mourn the loss of this respected Holocaust survivor and Congressman, but apparently, even a memorial service can't stop Lincoln Diaz-Balart from playing politics," Florida Democratic Party spokesman Alejandro Miyar said. "This is simply shameful."

"The disrespect that has been shown by a Republican member of Congress in calling a political procedural motion during the memorial service for the late Chairman Tom Lantos is incomprehensible," Stacey Bernards, a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, told Politico. "It is unjustifiable, and Republican leaders should restrict their members from further such action."

Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to ever serve in the U.S. Congress, represented California's 12th District for almost 28 years. He died of esophageal cancer Monday at the age of 80.

Seriously, this is beyond disrespectful, this is just plain un-American.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lavish coverage of Dems in races for Congress

I had hoped to pump out a couple quick links to good coverage Sunday of our congressional races, but for some reason the Miami Herald and Channel 10 aren’t cooperating, though both revealed that Annette Taddeo is challenging Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for the U.S. House in District 18.

No links available to the news:
--Channel 10’s “This week in South Florida” program covered Taddeo, along with a live interview with Raul Martinez, challenging for District 21 against Lincoln Diaz-Balart; and a reprise of the Thursday coverage of Joe Garcia’s launch of his run for District 25 against Mario Diaz-Balart.
--Miami-Herald’s story “Ros-Lehtinen Challenged” at the top of the front page of the metro section. As far as I can tell, this was the first time Annette Taddeo was identified in the Herald as intending to run for the District 18 seat in the U.S. House.

Maybe links will come later, and I’ll change this post.

But meanwhile, there is some digital coverage available.

Andres Oppenheimer’s Herald column in the main news section reminds us of another reason to vote against John McWar with the headline: “McCain’s advice Miami-bred.” Yes, our friends the Diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen, along with Sen. Mel Martinez, are influential advisers on McCain’s thinking about our hemisphere.

Count me as agreeing heartily with Oppenheimer’s opinion that McCain “would face an uphill battle to convince the world that he represents change and would bring a breath of fresh air to Washington.” His advisers are toeing a line drawn 40 years ago.

And over on the Reuters wire Miami correspondent Tom Brown has a long piece asking whether the Republicans are “losing grip” on our local Cuban vote. Well, yes, I’d say. And the Reuters report seems pretty much in agreement. Here’s its kicker (that’s news lingo for the last words in a story):

"Unless they (Republicans) address the issues that are important to this community they may be in for, unfortunately, a rude awakening," said Jorge Mas Santos, head of the once powerful but now lower-key Cuban American National Foundation.

Me, I would have left out the word unfortunately.