Monday, July 15, 2013

You may have missed our digest of, and commentary on Florida political news over the week end, including these stories: "Crist is running, no doubt", "Precisely who does Weatherford work for, and what does he do?", "Hiaasen: Rubio 'just another gutless sniveler'", "Scott shill's magic formula instantly reduces the number of failing schools", "Scott given license to continue voter purge", "After the great job Crist's appointees did on the FRS case . . . ", "The real 'moochers'", "RPOF 'building a mammoth war chest'", and "'Awkward signs of division between the governor and top Republicans'".

After reading the hard copy of your hometown newspaper, please consider becoming a site fan on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

"Florida's Boy Who Would Be King"

Jeffrey Billman on "Florida’s Boy Who Would Be King, Sen. Marco Rubio."

Rubio would very much like the crazies who got him elected three years ago to make him the Republican presidential nominee three years from now. But he would also like to be seen as a Serious Leader, One-Who-Reaches-Across-the-Aisle, the kind of Republican that mush-head pundits refer to as having Courage. So he wants to pass immigration reform. But the crazies don’t like immigration reform, officially because they don’t like “amnesty” and worry about “border security” – they’re not aware, apparently, that there’s currently net-zero immigration from Mexico – but really because they don’t like brown people (or, at least, brown people who vote for Democrats). This puts Rubio in quite the pickle.

And so he’s spent the last few months touring the Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity/Mark Levin circle-jerk of hell, trying to convince the Tea Party’s “thought leaders” (a phrase that deserves scare quotes if ever one did) that he was working hard to beef up border security and ensure that new immigrants couldn’t qualify for federal benefits, including the hated Obamacare.

This sad parade culminated in what has to be the headline of the year, from the Washington Post on June 5: “Rubio Currently Opposes Own Immigration Bill.” Rubio’s waffling drew the mockery of even fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who worked with Rubio and the so-called Gang of Eight to draft the legislation: “How do we put together a bill and then the guy who put it together says that he may not vote for it? I just don’t get what we’re doing here.”

Senate Democrats eventually acceded to demands to pour $40 billion into militarizing the southern border in exchange for a handful of Republican votes. Even that pointless exercise wasn’t good enough. Rubio is now getting booed at Tea Party rallies – his erstwhile home crowd – and a recent Quinnipiac poll showed him tanking among “strong conservatives” nationwide. For an ambitious right-wing politician, this is a problem.

Now Rubio is looking to get back in the crazies’ good graces. And what better way to do that than a law inserting the federal government into women’s lady bits? Last Tuesday night, the Weekly Standard – citing numerous GOP sources – reported that Rubio had hopped aboard the cavalcade of anti-abortion-rights measures being proffered in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and elsewhere as the lead sponsor of a Senate bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. A similar bill recently passed the Republican-controlled House, though it has no chance of clearing the Senate or White House. Even if somehow it cleared those hurdles, the bill’s constitutionality is, shall we say, debatable.

"Don’t take Sen. Marco Rubio too seriously". Related: "Marco Rubio's 2016 Presidential Hopes Take a Step Back With Immigration".

Another West falsehood

"Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, a staunchly conservative Republican who represented a Florida district for one term, recently sent a tweet that resurrected one of the themes used by Mitt Romney and others during the 2012 presidential campaign — the idea that there are makers and takers in America."

Here's what West tweeted: "More Americans receive food aid than work in private sector. 'Fundamental transformation?' Nope, nation destruction."

The tweet linked to an article in the conservative website CNSNews that provided data to support his claim. The CNSNews article cited a report by the inspector general of the Agriculture Department, which operates most federal food-assistance programs, as well as employment data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"PolitiFact: Allen West says more Americans receive food aid than work in the private sector".

To replace Thurston

"Democratic Contest to Replace Perry Thurston Begins in Broward County".

Disoriented turtles

"Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox says an unusual number of turtles on Sarasota and Manatee beaches are becoming disoriented this nesting season and wandering inland. Turtles can become disoriented when distracted by artificial lighting, beachgoers and other obstacles in their paths. Mote Marine scientists recorded 23 instances of disoriented turtles. That's nearly twice the number of season totals from previous years." "More nesting turtles getting disoriented in Fla.".

And some of them have pensions

"A three vehicle crash in West Palm Beach has sent two Florida Highway Patrol troopers and a paramedic to the hospital."

FHP officials said the emergency crews were responding to a prior crash involving two vehicles on Interstate 95 on Sunday night. They closed one lane of traffic. A driver who was merging into another lane lost control and hit three cars. One trooper was hit after getting out of his car, another was injured sitting in his patrol car and a paramedic was struck by debris.
"2 FHP troopers, paramedic injured in crash on I-95".

Weekly Roundup

"Weekly Roundup: Drawing Lines and Writing Books in Tallahassee".