Bill O'Reilly Archives - SaintPetersBlog

Charlie Crist wants Trump administration to look into voter suppression, disenfranchisement

Democrats skeptical about President Trump‘s repeated claims of voter fraud in last November’s election are now challenging him to add voter suppression and disenfranchisement into his administration’s upcoming investigation.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that Vice President Mike Pence will be in charge of a commission to probe what he believes was voter fraud in the election, despite a consensus among state officials, election experts — and both Democrats and Republicans — that voter fraud is extremely rare in the U.S.

“I’m going to set up a commission to be headed by Vice President Pence and we’re going to look at it very, very carefully,” Trump told O’Reilly in an interview taped Friday.

Seizing on that, Congressman Charlie Crist and 75 other Democrats are signing on to a letter originally penned by Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, Alabama’s Terri Sewell and Washington’s Derek Kilmer calling for an evaluation of state voter restrictions in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida. Those states bar individuals with past felony convictions from voting unless they are able to meet a burdensome clemency requirement. This law has led to the disenfranchisement of an estimated 1.5 million Floridians. 

“Unsubstantiated voter fraud claims are being used as cover to enact policies aimed at disenfranchising certain voters — something Floridians are all too familiar with,” said Crist, the first-term St. Petersburg Democrat. “Voter suppression efforts are an attack on our democracy. I will fight to protect access to the voting booth, including for nonviolent former felons. It’s a matter of civil rights and fundamental fairness.”

“Voter suppression efforts are an attack on our democracy,” Crist added. “I will fight to protect access to the voting booth, including for nonviolent former felons. It’s a matter of civil rights and fundamental fairness.”

Clearly upset about the fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by more than 2.8 million votes, Trump has steadfastly maintained that if it weren’t for voter fraud, he would have won the popular vote on November 8.

Despite that refrain, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday show that while election fraud does occur, “there is no evidence that it occurred in such a significant number that would have changed the presidential election.”

Trump’s focus seems intent only on looking at what happened in November, so the Democrats call for a look into other voting issues will unlikely find a sympathetic audience. Nevertheless, it gives them the opportunity to get out their beliefs that there are sustained, legalized measures in place currently that intentionally suppress the vote.

Stephen Colbert reaches a ratings milestone at start of Donald Trump era

He may cringe at the thought, but is Stephen Colbert the late-night man for the Trump administration?

Colbert’s “Late Show” won the late-night ratings competition last week over NBC’s Jimmy Fallon for the first time since Colbert replaced David Letterman in September 2015, the Nielsen company said.

The margin was so small — 2.77 million average for CBS, 2.76 million for NBC — that CBS didn’t want to jinx its good fortune by making an executive available to talk about it on Tuesday. But it reflects a turnaround for the troubled show since former “CBS This Morning” executive Chris Licht was put in charge backstage and steered the show toward more topical content to match the times.

The “Late Show” won two of the five nights on which Colbert and Fallon went head-to-head last week, but it was enough to win the week. One night was Tuesday, when Colbert’s former Comedy Central pal Jon Stewart came by to offer an impersonation of President Trump.

The other win was Monday, Colbert’s first night back from a week’s vacation and his first show, he noted, in the Trump era. His monologue that night recorded 4 million views on YouTube, CBS said.

“You’ve got to give the guy credit,” Colbert said of the new president. “He gets a lot of stuff undone.”

It may be Colbert’s first weekly win in over a year, but he’s been creeping closer in the ratings since the election. Fallon still wins among youthful demographics, Nielsen said.

Another late-night story may temper NBC’s disappointment. “Saturday Night Live” is booming, with its most-watched season in 22 years, and Melissa McCarthy‘s impersonation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer last weekend became an instant classic. Only three prime-time shows last week got better ratings among the 18-to-49-year-old age group than “Saturday Night Live.”

Meanwhile, President Trump lost a ratings competition to his predecessor. Trump’s interview with Bill O’Reilly on the Super Bowl preview show was seen by 12.2 million people on Sunday, compared to the 14.9 million who watched CBS’ Gayle King interview former President Obama on last year’s show. In fairness to Trump, Fox aired the interview 25 minutes earlier in the pregame show than CBS, which showed it closer to kickoff.

The Super Bowl gave Fox the easy win in prime time. The network averaged 29.7 million viewers in prime time, followed by CBS with 6 million, ABC with 4 million, NBC with 3.7 million, Univision with 1.8 million, the CW with 1.6 million, Telemundo with 1.4 million and ION Television with 1.2 million.

Fox News Channel dominated the cable networks, averaging 3.15 million viewers in prime time. HGTV had 1.58 million, USA had 1.55 million, MSNBC had 1.42 million and TBS had 1.34 million.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.1 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” was second with 9 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 7.3 million viewers.

For the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 5, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Super Bowl: New England vs. Atlanta, Fox, 111.32 million viewers; “Super Bowl Post-Game,” Fox, 61.08 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 14.66 million; “Superior Donuts,” CBS, 10.54 million; “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 10.13 million; “Hawaii Five-O,” CBS, 9.81 million; “Mom,” CBS, 8.71 million; “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 8.5 million; “The Big Bang Theory” (Monday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 8.44 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 7.46 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Darryl Paulson: We are not the same; the immoral equivalency of President Donald Trump

Voters who supported Donald Trump for president did so because they liked his free-speaking ideas, his attacks on the political establishment and his promise to “make America great again.”

President Trump has repeatedly stated that he would have won the popular vote for president if not for massive vote fraud. Does Trump believe that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin won his office in free and fair elections?  I hope Trump cannot be that deluded.

Republicans raised strong criticisms when President Barack Obama conducted what many Americans viewed as an “apology tour,” criticizing America for all its failures. Americans prefer their presidents defend the nation and its values, and not constantly criticize the nation for its shortcomings.

Obama told a European audience in 2009 that “there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” He also criticized the notion of American exceptionalism that all presidents have defended.

When Jihadists burned a Jordanian pilot alive, then showing the video online as a recruiting tool, President Obama cautioned a national prayer breakfast audience not to “get on our high horse” and “remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Many Americans were sickened and highly critical of Obama’s efforts to apologize for America’s shortcomings. Instead of defending American exceptionalism, the president seemed to delight in pointing out our deficiencies.

If President Obama’s “apology tour” disgusted many Americans and most Republicans, President Trump’s defense of Putin and the Soviets should strike a similar response from the electorate. To cast America and the Soviets as “one and the same” should thoroughly repulse Republicans, in particular. Republican Ronald Reagan must be retching.

President Trump turned in one of the most disgusting performances of any American president when he placed America and the Soviets on the same moral plateau. In a Fox News interview with Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl, Trump defended Putin against O’Reilly’s charge that “Putin’s a killer.”

Trump responded that “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?” If Obama had made that statement, Republicans would be calling for his impeachment.

But, weak-kneed Republicans, who have no problem praising Trump, have a far more difficult time criticizing him when he becomes ill with “foot and mouth” disease. In their silence, supporters of Trump are neither doing him, or the nation, favors anyway.

Do you remember when one of our political leaders ordered the assassination of a political opponent?  Neither do I. But, Putin did that to Boris Nemtsov in 2015.

Anti-corruption reporter Sergei Magnitsky was killed in prison in 2009. Respected journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed the same year, and fellow reporter Yuri Schekechikhin was poisoned in 2013. The list of reporter and political opponent deaths is a long one.

The United States does not purposely bomb civilian neighborhoods as did the Soviets in Syria. The United States does not shoot down unarmed civilian aircraft as the Soviets did in the Ukraine. The United States does not invade independent neighboring countries as the Soviets did to the Ukraine.

Does President Trump really believe that murders of political opponents could happen in America?  I hope that Trump sees America in a different light than Putin and the Soviets.

Some Republicans have objected to President Trump’s abhorrent remarks about the moral equivalency between the Soviets and the United States. Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who called Putin a “thug,” and rejected any attempt at moral equivalency.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted:  “When has a Democratic political activist been poisoned by the GOP or vice versa?  We are not the same as #Putin.”

Republicans, in particular, and all Americans must support the president when he is right and must criticize him just as vigorously when he is wrong. To not do so will embolden both Trump and dictator Putin to continue a reckless path.

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Darryl Paulson is Emeritus Professor of Government at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Vern Buchanan doesn’t want Obama to pardon Bowe Berghdahl

Vern Buchanan is urging President Obama in his last weeks in office not to pardon Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, saying the search for Bergdahl may have led to the deaths of several American soldiers.

White House and Justice Department officials say Bergdahl has submitted the clemency request. If granted, it would allow him to avert a court-martial trial scheduled for next April. Bergdahl faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

“It has been seven years since Sgt. Bergdahl chose to abandon his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan during a time of war,” the Sarasota Congressman said in a statement on Tuesday. “He should be court-martialed and held accountable.”

Bergdahl is facing charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy that endangered fellow soldiers.  He was captured by the Taliban in 2009 after walking off his post in Afghanistan, sparking a massive man-hunt conducted by the military over the five-year period. During this time it was reported that as many as six to eight American soldiers may have died as a direct result of the search for Bergdahl.

But a review of the casualty reports and contemporaneous military logs from the Afghanistan war shows that the facts surrounding the eight deaths are far murkier than definitive, the NY Times has reported.

On his Fox News program last week, commentator Bill O’Reilly predicted that Obama will pardon Bergdahl, saying that Obama feels Bergdahl is not responsible for his actions because he was “out there” and not “emotionally equipped” to serve, and the Army “made a mistake even putting the man in the field.”

Eugene R. Fidell, Bergdahl’s defense lawyer, said if his case is still pending on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, he will file a motion to have it dismissed, arguing that a “fair military trial will be impossible after Mr. Trump becomes the commander in chief,” according to the New York Times.

 

 

 

Fox’s Sean Hannity at center of bitter campaign competition

Sean Hannity is getting a bruising reminder that this year’s presidential campaign defies traditional political rules.

The Fox News Channel and radio host had a nasty spat with Sen. Ted Cruz this past week, following criticism from both the left and right about his interviews with Donald Trump. Fox also aired the odd spectacle of Hannity sitting onstage with Trump as an audience booed lustily at the mention of Fox colleague Megyn Kelly‘s name.

In an election year when cable news networks are enjoying a bump in viewership, Hannity is a key man for Fox, and his audience is growing more quickly than Kelly’s and Bill O’Reilly‘s. They precede Hannity in Fox’s prime-time lineup.

Fox declined to make Hannity available for an interview for this story.

Hannity’s relationship with Trump became an issue when the liberal website Thinkprogress.org published a story that wondered how Hannity had been able to interview Trump so much without making news, and quoted exchanges that depicted a friendly relationship.

Trump had been a guest on Hannity’s Fox show 32 times before last week’s town hall in Pittsburgh, according to the host’s records.

Hannity has said on his radio show that he does not support one Republican over another.

The attack didn’t seem to surprise Hannity, who noted the website’s ties to Hillary Clinton supporters. The story, however, was picked up and amplified by the conservative, anti-Trump website Redstate.com.

During Hannity’s recent Trump interview, he pressed for specifics on how the candidate would help people economically in that part of the country and how his Mideast policies would differ from President Barack Obama‘s.

About Trump’s claims that some delegates were being snatched, Hannity said, “Clearly there are people who want to circumvent and disenfranchise the voters. What do you say to them?”

He asked him to detail Clinton’s weaknesses, and there was an uncomfortable moment where he asked Trump to reveal what unflattering nickname he would try to stick on Clinton like he did with “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz.

Trump wouldn’t say, but promised Hannity he’d be the first to know.

By Hannity’s count, Cruz had appeared on his television show 34 times since Cruz announced his candidacy. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, still in the race, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is not, had been on the show 20 times, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another dropout, making 19 appearances.

On his radio show, through last week, Cruz had logged more interview time than any other candidate — more than 188 minutes on the air. Trump’s 112 minutes were third behind Rubio.

“I’m just going to remain neutral and give you access to the candidates, because no one else is doing it,” Hannity said. “At the end of the day, if it’s Cruz or Trump who is the nominee, I’m going to support them because it would be a disaster if Hillary Clinton becomes president.”

When Cruz this past week seemingly made a reference to Hannity’s critics in a radio interview, the host flashed annoyance.

After Cruz called a Hannity question about the fight for delegates part of a silly media obsession, Hannity pressed the point.

“The only people asking this are the hard-core Donald Trump supporters,” Cruz said.

“You’ve got to stop,” Hannity replied. “Every time I have you on the air and I ask you a legitimate question, you throw this in my face, and I’m getting sick of it. I’ve had you on the air more than any other candidate.”

The unabashed conservative makes no secret of his views, and he appeals to a like-minded audience.

In last week’s Trump interview, when Hannity asked about the candidate’s private meeting at Trump Tower with Kelly on April 13, the pro-Trump crowd booed at the mention of her name. Kelly has come under constant criticism from Trump since she asked him a question he didn’t like last summer.

Neither man spoke about the audience’s reaction. Trump smiled. Hannity, who was largely off camera, appeared to make a “stop” motion with his arms.

It was an audible manifestation of a delicate problem for Fox.

Kelly, Fox’s brightest new star, has come under relentless criticism from Trump, and many Hannity fans are siding with the GOP front-runner instead of the network long loved by Republican viewers.

Given that Trump seems to feel comfortable on Hannity’s show, the veteran talk show host is an important asset for Fox in a combustible campaign.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

News that Ben Carson only became Republican a year ago isn’t really news

Dr. Ben Carson has been getting hammered in recent days for some of his outlandish comments on the campaign trail. Both the New York TimesCharles Blow and the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson have slammed the GOP presidential candidate for his comments on what he would do if confronted by a mass killer who wanted to shoot him, as well as his invoking Nazi Germany when talking about gun control.

Carson has dismissed such complaints, and on The O’Reilly Factor on Monday night, host Bill O’Reilly defended him, saying, “There’s something about you that really annoys the secular-progressives.”

But it’s not just liberals who are scrutinizing the retired pediatric neurosurgeon, who has remained in the top tier of GOP candidates right behind Donald Trump in most national and statewide polls in the Republican presidential contest.

On a conservative website called the The American Mirror, blogger Kyle Olson breathlessly reports that Carson never affiliated with the Republican Party until he changed his voter registration in Palm Beach County on October 31, 2014. He goes on to writes that Carson was previously affiliated with the Independence Party of Florida, and prior to moving to Florida, he had been registered as an independent in Maryland since 2001 and had not voted in any primaries through the next 10 years.

However, Carson has never been shy about admitting that, though he was once a Republican, he left the party decades ago before registering again with the GOP  last October in Palm Beach County, where he currently lives.

“It’s truly a pragmatic move because I have to run in one party or another. If you run as an independent, you only risk splitting the electorate,” Carson told The Washington Times in an interview last fall before he made the change. “I clearly would not be welcome in the Democratic Party, and so that only leaves one party.”

Carson says he grew up as a Democrat but switched his party affiliation to Republican in the 1980s after listening to Ronald Reagan. However, he left the party and switched to being an independent about 15-20 years ago after getting a “sour taste” watching Republicans go after Bill Clinton regarding the Monica Lewinsky affair. “I just saw so much hypocrisy in both parties,” he told the Times.

The story was picked up and ran online by conservative news sites like TeaParty.org, WorldNetDaily and the DailyCaller.

Unmasked, Stephen Colbert debuts tonight hosting ‘Late Show’

Stephen Colbert is about to turn a corner in his career: onto Broadway at 54th Street.

Having split from cheeky Comedy Central a few blocks away, he will now hold court at old-guard CBS. He will inherit the theater, time slot and series title (though with an added “The”) owned for 22 years by David Letterman.

Little wonder that Colbert’s disciples — his erstwhile Colbert Nation — wait anxiously to see what “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” will be like: How beholden will it be to late-night talk-show conventions stretching back six decades? Will it abandon Colbert’s signature political edge? Can it build on the uniqueness of “The Colbert Report,” a sui generis concoction Colbert tailored to his skills and passions?

If the early guest lineups offer any clue, he’ll offer a rich blend of talk: Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush and Vice President Joe Biden will appear the first week, along with entrepreneurs Elon Musk (SpaceX and Tesla Motors) and Travis Kalanick (Uber), plus a show-biz mix including George Clooney, Amy Schumer and Toby Keith.

His online spoof of Donald Trump that was posted in June suggests he’s poised to lampoon the 2016 presidential race.

Does he have any marching orders for when he steps onstage at 11:35 EDT on Tuesday?

“No one has asked me to do anything,” he says at a reporter’s intimation that CBS aims to plug him into a preexisting late-night hole. “They have said, ‘Do what you do, but give us more.'”

More is certainly on tap. Colbert will air for an hour five nights a week, more than double the Monday-through-Thursday half-hour output he maintained for nine years before exiting Comedy Central last December (and retiring his on-air character, aka The Character).

“Before, I had four acts,” he says. “Now I will have seven acts … and a band (led by versatile Louisiana-bred musician Jon Batiste). But it’s not about the pieces. It’s about what you do with the pieces.”

Colbert, 51, comes to “The Late Show” after establishing himself in the guise of a messianic blowhard who spoofed Bill O’Reilly and his Fox News Channel show “The O’Reilly Factor,” with maybe a touch of Rush Limbaugh thrown in.

On “The Colbert Report” he played the host as a jerk, but endearingly “someone who wasn’t AWARE that he was a jerk; a well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot. I wasn’t sure that I could get all four of those rotations on the ball. But it worked out.”

His was a game of three-dimensional chess, especially with the interviews, which became his favorite part of the show (“the written pieces are invention, the interviews are discovery”). But they were also exhausting.

“Talking with a guest, I had to run everything through the CPU up here” — he points to the computer in his noggin — “to grind out a version of myself, instantly, while keeping my intention as a satirist evident inside the Trojan horse of my character’s role as a pundit who trades on divisiveness.” Whew.

Despite (or, more likely, because of) this Rube Goldbergian process, Colbert’s interviews were not just funny, but as incisive as anyone’s on TV. With his native observations and inquiries shining through the prism of his on-screen persona, he emerged as a stealth truth-teller. His doltish pronouncements, when decoded for their satirical intent, shrewdly analyzed politics, public affairs and the media as, without ever breaking character, he logged a marathon of performance art unmatched in TV history.

In short, on “The Colbert Report” he proved he could do the impossible. But now …

“Can I do the POSSIBLE?!” he cuts in with a chortle.

He has no doubt that, yes, he can. And to demonstrate, he’s been introducing the Stephen Colbert he will be with his online comedy segments, targeted features like a GQ cover story, and a growing drumbeat of other publicity. (Item: For a limited period, drivers using Waze, a navigation app, can choose Colbert’s voice to speak their driving instructions.)

Along the way, he’s learned this brand of possible is easier than he imagined.

“So far I’ve pre-taped at least half-a-dozen interviews as myself,” he says. All the while, The Character “sat on my shoulder, saying, ‘Let ME do it! I can make everything a joke!’ And I would go, ‘No, no, I want to see what it’s like to do it WITHOUT you.’

“I liked those interviews, they were very enjoyable,” he reports. “And I’m not tired when it’s over. I feel great. That’s the most startling thing to me!”

Still, he senses the reporter is unconvinced that he can stick to his guns once he lands in the late-night arena.

“I’ve been in late night for a DECADE,” he counters. Hello: “The Colbert Report” began at 11:30 p.m. But now, he jokes, he’ll have five extra minutes to prepare. “Five more minutes! We’ll REALLY have our (stuff) in a pile!”

As he resumes his nightly appearances after nine months’ absence, he makes no demarcation between what he did before and what lies ahead.

“I don’t like saying ‘the old show.’ That show’s not over for me,” he declares, noting that his whole creative team remains with him. “I will not do this show through the mouth of someone who is always afraid and angry and wants you to join him in those feelings — that’s all that will be different.”

Even so, will he be as funny when stripped of his dim-witted proxy? Can he convey the big ideas he used to put across so forcefully through artful misdirection? That’s what his fans fret about.

They may have forgotten that Stephen Colbert is a gifted improv artist — Second City is on his resume — so The Character, his know-nothing mouthpiece, was just one of countless roles in his repertoire, including the role of himself. No wonder Colbert says he now feels liberated: “I wanted the ability to use more of me that I could never show you on ‘The Colbert Report.’

“Whether people will miss The Character too much, I can’t say,” he concedes. But the real guy was far from unexposed all those years. “I promise you,” he vows reassuringly, “you saw me the entire time.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Mitch Perry Report for 7.8.15 — Could Francisco Sanchez become the Willie Horton of 2016?

The furor over Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants shows no sign of diminishing as ESPN decided to pull its charity golf tournament from his Southern California course yesterday.

It’s been a very rough week for the celebrity/businessman/GOP presidential candidate, with major corporations like Macy’s, NBC and Univision cutting ties with him in the wake of his disparaging comments last month, when he said, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” adding, “and some, I assume, are good people.'”

But Trump is doubling down on those comments and using the tragic shooting death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle last week by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant who had a string of felonies and deportations but was freed in April despite a detainer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials by the city’s sheriff.

Much is being made of San Francisco’s ’s sanctuary city policy from 2013, which prohibits the release of undocumented immigrants to ICE unless they have committed violent felonies. According to reports, though Lopez-Sanchez had been deported several times, none of his felonies were violent ones, and thus remained in line with San Francisco policy.

The issue has caught fire on conservative talk radio and other jurisdictions that have said for years that we shouldn’t move on immigration policy until our border with Mexico is strengthened. Immigration reform was already an issue going into this campaign, and Trump’s incendiary comments have blown it up.

But Lopez-Sanchez has put it into a whole new category, and the anger may be bipartisan. In an interview on CNN yesterday, Hillary Clinton said, “I think the city made a mistake” by not handing Lopez-Sanchez over to ICE, and said he should have been deported.

Bill O’Reilly on Monday night blasted San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city and the federal government’s unwillingness to confront it for being so means that “the mayor and city supervisors of San Francisco are directly responsible for the murder of Kate Steinle, and the Obama administration is complicit.”

It will be interesting to see if this story dies out in another week, or goes deeper. With Trump’s ascension, I suspect it will be around for some time to come as an issue.

In other news..

Marco Rubio gave a much-hyped domestic speech in Chicago yesterday. Although he blasted Hillary Clinton as being the purveyor of “yesterday,” Democrats countered that the speech was pure “retro Rubio.”

Twelve days ago, Bob Buckhorn went on a public affairs show in Tallahassee to talk about — well, what do you think might have come up?

More establishment organizations are coming out and filing legal briefs with the Florida Supreme Court against the Solar Power proposed constitutional amendment. But the League of Cities brief may be challenged by some of its members.

And Alan Grayson was hit with a second ethics complaint in two days yesterday in Washington. Another fellow Florida Democrat called his actions “an embarrassment,” but the firebrand liberal’s supporters say nothing has happened to dissuade them from supporting him if and when he enters the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate.

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