National Politics Category

Hillsborough schools getting it right by changing with the times

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

By Chris Ingram

Hillsborough County residents pay more in taxes to fund the county’s school system, which has a budget of $2.8 billion, than they do to run every other department or agency in the county combined.

The Hillsborough school system is the largest employer in the county, with more than 25,000 employees, of which nearly 16,000 are teachers. The system is the third largest in Florida and the ninth largest in the country with over 202,000 students (for comparison, the city of Tampa has about 350,000 residents).

Of those students, nearly 60 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunches. At last count, there were 168 languages spoken by students attending the county’s schools, which has a graduation rate of 82 percent.

The challenges of the Hillsborough school district are immense. The number of students, and the diversity of the population, adds to the enormity of those challenges.

While the district is frequently in the news for what goes wrong at its schools, the district deserves (more…)

Finally! The media gets it right about the two biggest losers in politics!

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Ready for the NFL, Charlie Crist?

Friday, October 25, 2013 3:40pm

“Welcome to the NFL,” Charlie Crist used to say of Marco Rubio, when the insurgent Republican complained about Crist’s attacks in 2010.

We’re just days away from Crist announcing his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and it’s unclear whether Crist will be playing like he’s in the NFL or the Pop Warner League.

Looks like blogger/consultant/man about town Peter Schorsch pulled the permit for Crist’s first campaign rally/announcement. Now I’m a big fan of Schorsch’s web site and more than once  have enjoyed a martini or three with Schorsch.

But Crist already has a history of lousy judgement in leaning heavily dubious supporters (Scott Rothstein, Jim Greer, Alan Mendelsohn, Greg Eagle) who have a knack for winding up in prison. Count on that to be part of the campaign against him over the next 12 months.

Still, for his very campaign event Crist turned to Scorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand thef and scheming to defraud charges. Really?

Crist today launched a Web site, CharlieCrist.com. What struck us first about it  is that it included no disclosure text saying who funded, as is required for campaign sites. Crist is in gray area as an unannounced candidate, of course, but it seems the campaign felt a little uneasy about the disclosure rules too. The site has been amended to say: “Paid for Personally by Charlie Crist.” (Click here for the full story in the Tampa Bay Times)

Feel free to leave your comments about this story here.

The Republicans’ “strategic incompetence”

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, October 19, 2013

You might call the Republicans’ recent efforts related to the federal government shutdown and their battle with the Democrats over the debt ceiling as “strategic incompetence.” 

Strategic incompetence is the act of appearing to not know what you are doing, all the while, knowing exactly what you want to accomplish by pretending to be incompetent.

My friend Roy engages in strategic incompetence from time to time. For example, after his wife had their son, Roy decided he didn’t like changing diapers. So he would pretend to be incompetent by fumbling with the diapers, never getting the child clean enough, and otherwise incorrectly changing the diaper and upsetting the baby. In the end, his wife believed Roy was not competent to change the diapers, and she told him he didn’t have to do it anymore — which is exactly what Roy wanted.

By shutting the government down over the train wreck that is known as Obamacare and having threatened to not increase the debt ceiling, the Republicans appeared — just as Roy appeared in the eyes of his lovely wife — to be incompetent in the eyes of voters.

The strategic part of the GOP’s shutdown and debt ceiling plan was (more…)

What happens when people who aren’t journalists try to act like one.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

 

 

 

SchorschScrewsUpAgain

Click on image to enlarge.

 

 

A year after Tampa, can the GOP fix itself with a third party?

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, August 27, 2013

One year ago, the GOP convention came to town, albeit delayed for a day because of sensitivities to what Tropical Storm Isaac, brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, might do.

As Isaac passed and the party began to convene, Republicans began what they thought was the last leg of their road to retake the White House. The convention ended up being a seemingly seamless and perfectly choreographed affair — unless you consider the Isaac issue, Clint Eastwood’s performance with “Obama’s chair,” or the fact that the assembled delegates on the convention floor looked whiter than a bowl of cottage cheese.

Mitt Romney left the convention without much movement in the polls, and days later, the Democrats met in Charlotte, where they held one of their most successful conventions in recent times.

The hopes of Republican voters jumped after the first debate, but Romney couldn’t sustain the enthusiasm and lost big to Obama on Election Day.

Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.

Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.

For the GOP, the Tampa convention and the Romney campaign with the flaws that came with the candidate are now mere asterisks in the annals of party history. The question is, what have we learned since, and when will the party change?

Since the election, the most common comments I hear about the party contain one of two views, one being (more…)

Chris Ingram on WMNF and WFLA

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

On Wednesday, I was interviewed by Warren Elly, hosting “Last Call” on WMNF 89.5 FM, Tampa. We discussed the Republican Party, elections, “stand your ground,” Rep. Jamie Grant, Mike Fassano, and “voter suppression.”  Click here to listen.

WFLA

I will be guest hosting, and filling in for Jack Harris on AM Tampa Bay on WFLA 970 AM, Tampa from 5 a.m. – 9 a.m. with Tedd Webb and Cory Dylan. Listen live on the air or click here to listen on your computer or smart phone.

Paula Deen and Lil Wayne

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, published June 27, 2013

Call me old school, but I’m more appalled at the lack of outrage over Lil Wayne walking all over the American flag during a recent concert than I am with what Paula Deen ever said.

I read the 150-plus pages of Deen’s deposition from a civil workplace harassment case. After reading the transcript, a few things became abundantly clear.

First and foremost, Deen is no doubt a good cook, who with a little luck and a lot of determination found great success.

That said, she’s no saint who is going to win the citizen of the year award any time soon. Deen appears to have a straightforward and no-nonsense demeanor when it is convenient, but overplays the “I’m just an overly busy, hands-off manager, and slightly ditzy former blonde,” card.

Despite her success with sponsorships, TV shows, book sales, and restaurants, she claims she doesn’t even know how to (more…)

The most important video you will ever watch

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

By Chris Ingram

If you care about the Constitution, personal liberties and individual freedom, and are bothered by the fact that your government thinks it is okay for them to spy on you, listen to your phone calls and catalog your electronic activities, you must watch this video.

The video is of Barry Richard.  Richard is an attorney in Florida, who has been named “One of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America” by the National Law Journal. 

Additionally, his capabilities in the area of government and election law are illustrated by the broad, non-partisan nature of his representation. Most notably, a registered Democrat, he represented (more…)

The facts about the IRS scandal

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

By John Wehrung
 
Fueled by an irrational paranoia over the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United coupled with a deep-seeded animosity towards their political ‘enemies,’ the Obama White House, it is becoming abundantly clear, was more involved than it had previously admitted with the unjust targeting of conservatives groups by the IRS.
 
In an unjustifiable process by the Obama IRS begun in 2009, the heavy hand of government has been misused to intimidate and disenfranchise voters in the last two elections and violate the free speech and voting rights of millions of Americans.
 
The dots are there; they just need to be connected in a fair way with politics kept to a minimum.
 
National Review reported that Lois Lerner, director of the Internal Revenue Service under fire for singling out conservative groups, sent letters to 15 such groups from March through April of 2012, which directly links the IRS targeting from the Cincinnati office back to Washington, D.C.
 
The Washington Post recently reported that from 2009-2011, the IRS delayed or denied all but three “tea party” applications, while in the same period it approved applications for 65 “progressive” groups – twenty times that of conservatives.
 
The Daily Caller analyzed the visitor’ log at the White House during the Tea Party targeting, which showed then IRS Chief Doug Shulman had twice as many White House meetings (118) than (more…)

Marco and the Road Runner

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

 By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune
May 18, 2013

Having Sen. Marco Rubio as the champion of the immigration reform bill Congress is considering is akin to asking the Road Runner to be in charge of speed limits. Here’s why: Rubio is Cuban. Being Cuban means he is Hispanic. Republicans have a huge problem in appealing to Hispanics. Ergo, Rubio is the savior of the party who will help it win the Hispanic vote.

Problem is, although Rubio is (more…)

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