Friday, December 19, 2014

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

"90% of young Cubans in the Miami Dade area support diplomatic relations with Cuba"

As dead enders like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio whine and rebuke the Pope, it is worth noting that

90% of young Cubans in the Miami Dade area support diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Oh yeah, then there's the part where
support for allowing unrestricted travel to Cuba has grown to 69% among Cubans in South Florida.
Good politics and good policy.

Jeb, Marco, don't you think it is time to give it up when, even the Tampa Trib editors disagree with you? See "A way to advance freedom in Cuba."

Is Jeb really the sharpest knife in the drawer?

We read today that "Jeb Bush Cuts Ties With British Bank Barclays."

Understandable that Bush would ditch Barclays days after he he had "blasted the Obama administration’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba . . . [after all] Barclays (which reportedly pays Bush more than a million dollars a year) had to settle criminal charges for violating sanctions that included Cuba." "Jeb Bush Paid By Bank That Violated Cuba Sanctions."

One might call that a bit of hypocrisy on Jeb's part. One one hand attacking Obama's ending of Cuba sanctions in his quest to be the latest Bush in the Oval Office, and on the other hand drawing millions from a company that violates the same sanctions. This begs the question: Is Jeb really the sharpest knife in the drawer?

"After graduating from Texas University, Jeb Bush served a short apprenticeship at the Venezuelan branch of Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas before settling in Miami, in 1980, to work on his father's unsuccessful primary bid against Ronald Reagan. Campaigning for Dad was hardly a paying job. But Jeb was about to learn that being one of George Bush's sons means never having to circulate a résumé."

In the next few years, financial support flowed to Jeb through Miami's right-wing Cuban community. Republican party politics and a series of business scandals -- including Medicaid fraud and shady S&L deals -- were inextricably intertwined. A former federal prosecutor told MJ that, when he looked into Jeb's lucrative business dealings with a now-fugitive Cuban, he considered two possibilities -- Jeb was either crooked or stupid. At the time, he concluded Jeb was merely stupid.
"Bush Family Value$."

"Crooked or stupid" . . . hmmmm?

Crazies race to the bottom

"Having announced this week that he will “actively explore” a presidential bid in 2016, former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., is drawing fire from other Republicans looking at running for the White House." "Jeb Bush Feels Conservative Heat as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz Go on the Attack."

Cuba policy change triggers fierce "partisan warfare"

"The shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba triggered fierce partisan warfare Wednesday in Congress, as some Republicans vowed to take strong steps to block the changes." "Congressional Republicans look to block Cuba policy changes." More: "New Cuba Policy Sparks Outrage Amid Potential Economic Opportunities."

Wait till the FlaBaggers get wind of this

"Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, left open the possibility Wednesday that his chamber will consider an expansion of health coverage for low-income Floridians." "State Senate leader eyes route to health coverage expansion."

That and a bottle of water

Update: Florida Republicans lead charge against Cuba outreach.

"Obama’s new policy on Cuba gives the Florida Republican a chance to grab the spotlight by leading the crusade against the changes." "Cuba shift is Rubio’s big chance."

After losing in court, Scott's mouthpiece attacks the "union's motives"

"After racking up more than $650,000 in legal fees, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is refusing to back down from his drug-testing crusade, most recently objecting to an attempt to close a drawn-out legal battle over requiring state workers to submit to urinalysis."

The lawyer who can't win for losing (at the taxpayer's expense), resorts to a tried and true Florida legal tactic, he attacks the "union’s motives." "Scott, state workers still at odds over drug testing."

Jeb's Education Problem

"If Jeb Bush runs for president, as he most likely will, one of his signature issues, education, will get him hammered from both sides." "Common Sore: Jeb Bush’s Education Problem."

Jeb is a Moderate? Really?

"Backroom Briefing: Jeb is a Moderate? Some Floridians Disagree."

Rubio Needs More than Cuba

"Cuba gives Rubio a boost, certainly. But if he’s going to be a serious contender for the presidency, he will need to find another way to get on the national stage. Cuba alone won’t get Rubio back to the head of the pack or help him catch up to Bush with Florida Republicans." "Marco Rubio Needs More than Cuba to Get Back into 2016 Game."

Legislative wish lists

"Florida legislators get wish lists."