Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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

Bondi a "Modern-day Anita Bryant"

"From Tampa Bay Times: Loser of 2014 is Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a modern-day Anita Bryant for her relentless defense of the Sunshine State’s same-sex marriage ban." "‘Modern-day Anita Bryant’ Pam Bondi is Florida’s Loser of 2014."

"Tedious, quixotic efforts that are doomed to fail"

The Daytona Beach News Journal editors: "It’s the Florida taxpayer who is being forced to foot the bill for these tedious, quixotic efforts that are doomed to fail."

The employee-testing case has cost taxpayers more than $200,000 in legal fees. Perhaps ginning up business for lawyers was part of Scott’s “Let’s Get to Work” campaign to create jobs and juice the state economy.
"State’s drug-testing appeals prove costly."

"Busy 2015 for Florida Politicians"

Kevin Derby: "Busy 2015 for Florida Politicians in Washington, on Presidential Campaign Trail."

State asks for clarification of gay-marriage ruling

"Just two hours before a midnight deadline, the state obeyed a federal judge's order to clarify Florida county clerks' role in issuing same-sex marriage licenses — by asking the judge to clarify it himself." "State punts gay-marriage ruling back to federal judge."

"Rubio’s Cuban Embargo Delusion"

Martin Dyckman writes that, "although Rubio’s parents fled Cuba before Fidel Castro came to power – and lost nothing as a result – no one is more outspoken or outwardly devoted to perpetuating the spectacular failure of the embargo."

What Rubio needs now to consider and accept is that Florida, situated where it is, has more to gain from trade with Cuba than any other state.

Although nobody seems to be talking about it, there could also be a huge benefit for the Everglades should renewed trade with Cuba lead to importing Cuban sugar once again. It would then be impossible to maintain the current U.S. system of domestic price supports and import quotas.

Alfonso Fanjul, one of the two Cuban expatriate brothers who rule the sugar roost in Florida, disclosed to the Washington Post last February that he had begun visiting Cuba and would be eager, under the right conditions, to resume sugar production there. It’s a safe bet that he and Obama have been discussing this.

The more sugar cane the Fanjuls grow in Cuba, the less phosphate pollution will flow into the Everglades.

Meanwhile, the hypocrisy of the embargo remains as flagrant as the insanity of expecting it to unseat the Castros.

Cuba has posed no threat of any kind to us since Nikita Khrushchev took his nuclear missiles home in 1962. China, on the other hand, is a hugely more populous and powerful rival, with an economy and population well over 100 times more than those of Cuba, and it is every bit as totalitarian as Cuba. Yet we have free and open trade with China, along with other undemocratic regimes.

The hypocrisy is the consequence of single-issue politics. We need to get beyond that, and if Rubio can’t bring himself to lead, let him at least get out of the way.

Much more here: "Marco Rubio’s Cuban Embargo Delusion And a Half Century of Spectacular Insanity."

Romney-II quits another board

"Taking another step toward a presidential run, Jeb Bush is resigning from the board of timber company Rayonier Inc." "Jeb Bush stepping down from timber company board."

Kewl, now let's gut their pensions

"The number of law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the U.S. jumped by 56 percent this year and included 15 ambush assaults, according to a report released Tuesday." "Report: Gun deaths of officers jump 56 percent."

While the rest of us were enjoying Christmas Eve

"Authorities release name of woman found in burning house Christmas Eve."

Grayson denied access to documents on "sources of foreign support" of 9/11 hijackers

"Rep. Alan Grayson has been denied access to 28 classified pages of a congressional report on 'specific sources of foreign support' for the 9/11 hijackers." "Florida congressman denied access to censored pages from 9/11 report."