Friday, August 30, 2013

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.

We don' need no stinkin' health insurance

"Florida has the nation’s second-highest rate of uninsured residents younger than 65 — a total of about 3.8 million people, or about 25 percent of the state’s population, including more than 500,000 younger than 19, according to U.S. Census data released Thursday." "Florida is No. 2 in the nation for rate of uninsured".

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald editorial board writes that the "State errs in obstructing Affordable Care Act".

"Florida's deadbeat dad"

Nancy Smith: "He's the head of the family -- the one who promises the moon and you want to believe, God knows you love him. So when he turns up empty-handed again, you give him another chance. And another. That's Florida's deadbeat dad. That's the federal government." "Florida's Deadbeat Dad".

Why do we have 73 year old construction workers?

"A 73-year-old construction worker was rescued Thursday from a three-story apartment building that is under construction in Fort Lauderdale, officials said. During the rescue that began at about 2 p.m., responders from the fire department's Technical Rescue Team used a 'stokes basket' to lower the patient to the ground." "Fort Lauderdale firefighters rescue laborer from rooftop".

Scott, Rubio, Cruz and Jindal in Orlando laff riot

"Conservatives from across the county will be hitting Orlando on Friday and Saturday as the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Foundation holds the 'Defending the American Dream Summit' at Universal Studios -- and liberals are taking note that two prominent Florida Republicans will be taking part."

Gov. Rick Scott will be offering a keynote address for the event while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will be speaking there as well. Rubio is not the only possible Republican presidential hopeful speaking at the event. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, all of whom are considered likely contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, are all scheduled to speak.

But the tea party-aligned group can expect protests from liberals including U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings. The liberal group Organize Now announced on Wednesday it would be protesting the AFP event on Friday.

"Alan Grayson, Other Liberals Hope to Crash AFP Event in Orlando".

Tin ear

"Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, filed SB 134 Wednesday, which would increase the amount of income exempted from corporate income taxes and the franchise tax imposed on banks and savings associations. . . . Eliminating the corporate tax cut was one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top priorities when he first came into office. Florida already has one of the lowest state corporate income tax rates in the country at 5.5 percent, and lawmakers have only given him exemptions from the tax rather than a reduction in the rate." "Sen. Hukill files bill to cut taxes for corporations, banks".

John Legg

"Chairing the Senate Education Committee, John Legg is well-positioned to shape education in Florida for years to come." "Common Core Supporter John Legg Set to Shape Florida Education".

Finger in the wind . . . Rubio speaks on Syria

"As lawmakers weigh in on Syria, Sen. Marco Rubio waited until he was called out by the news media to break his silence on whether and how President Barack Obama should respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad’s regime." "Sen. Marco Rubio breaks deafening silence on Syria".

Been to Tally lately?

"Florida vs. giant snails: We're winning".

Scott fails to show up at his own education "summit"

The Tampa Bay Times editors: "The education insiders who gathered this week in Clearwater at the governor's invitation were right about continuing Florida's move to Common Core State Standards. But they failed to recommend solutions for the short term, showing little political appetite for reforming the flawed school accountability system that will be used until the new standards take hold. That's not fair to students or schools that will continue to be evaluated based on a system that's lost credibility even with a key member of the state Board of Education. Clinging to a flawed system and condoning so much collateral damage does not build public trust in public education."

The three-day K-12 summit was Republican Gov. Rick Scott's first major foray into the details of public education policy — though he failed to show up to kick it off, sending instead interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. In a room packed with county school superintendents, state lawmakers and educators, there was tacit agreement that Florida's accountability system has gone off track in the past two years as the state embraced more than 30 changes to the school grading formula. Some of those changes may have been warranted, but the result — combined with continued changes in the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test — is a scheme so complex and mistrusted that for the second year the Board of Education had to tweak the final results.
"Flawed school grades don't serve public".


"Amid a growing backlash over Florida’s school grading system and the Common Core standards, Gov. Rick Scott huddled in private in Miami with former Gov. Jeb Bush." "Gov. Rick Scott’s private meeting with Jeb Bush irks parent activists, Democrats".

Miami-Dade Commissioners to unilaterally resolve union impasses

How nice that the employer gets to unilaterally resolve impasses: "Miami-Dade commissioners to vote on union impasses".

It is sorta like flouride

"Campaign Seeks to Dispel Common Core Data Mining Claims".

That, and three Wawas . . .

"Scott trumpets 100 jobs in Boeing project".

"Exercises in low-down money-grubbing and influence peddling"

Fred Grimm: "Three mayors busted. All three accused of illegally exploiting their offices for personal gain. Let me attach an irrelevant little addendum to the ignominy that has sullied three Miami-Dade city halls: two Republicans and a Democrat."

These might be termed political scandals, except there was nothing much about politics in the banal schemes described by undercover FBI agents who arrested the mayors of Sweetwater and Miami Lakes, and by investigators from the Miami-Dade StateAttorney’s office and the county’s Commission on Ethics and Public Trust who nabbed the mayor in Homestead. If the charges hold up, these were non-partisan exercises in low-down money-grubbing and influence peddling. And the arrests illustrate, once again, that while so many Americans are fixated on the great philosophical divide, left versus right, tea party versus MoveOn, clamoring fringe versus clamoring fringe, actual government has been usurped by either a plutocracy or a kleptocracy. Either way, it’s so much about money, and so little to do with philosopy.
"Politics are irrelevant in mayoral scandals". Related: "Day after Homestead mayor’s arrest, a rally".

Election season

"Scott pledges $90 million for bridge to help Everglades, relieve Lake Okeechobee".