Sunday, August 30, 2015

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.

Rubio proposes "Indentured Regression"

Pierre Tristam writes that, "One Rubio idea stands out for its apparent radicalism. It attempts to deal with a problem that’s pricing out millions of students from a proper education. That’s the rising cost of college and a crushing loan system that’s leaving graduates with an average of $35,000 to pay back. That’s more than triple the amount students carried into the work force in 1993. College tuition has also more than doubled–at private and public colleges."

Florida is not helping. Four years ago the Florida University Board of Governors allowed our universities to increase tuition by 15 percent every year. They’re doing so because the Legislature cut its funding, and, in a twisted bit of reasoning, to make Florida universities more competitive by attracting more reputable faculty. The message to Floridian students: we’re looking past you for deeper pockets. Once-exemplary state scholarship programs such as Bright Futures have lost half their value in a student’s aid package, with no interest from the Legislature to make up the difference. Students make up differences in loans. Or by foregoing college.

Rubio’s idea is provocative. But it’s also slightly dehumanizing. It turns students into something like equity shares. We live in a strange age when the supreme court thinks nothing of equating corporations with persons. So it may seem natural to equate persons with corporations.

In Rubio’s financial scheme, a student needing $10,000 to afford tuition would sell herself to investors. They would look at her major, decide whether to give her the money, and set the terms of paying it back. She’d have to pay a percentage of her salary for five, 10 or more years, whatever salary she’s making to the investors. Rubio says she’d be under no obligation to pay back the loan over the life of the contract. But since the investors set the terms, it’s difficult to imagine that the result won’t be like a casino where the house always wins.

Much more here: "Indentured Regression: Marco Rubio Thinks College Students Should Be Sharecroppers."

Jebites saddened

The Bush fans that populate the Tampa Trib's editorial board are saddened that "Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, to put it mildly, has had a troubled summer. " "Jeb’s stumbling start."

Meanwhile, "Trump mocks Jeb for losing fundraisers."

But Jeb can take comfort in Rubio's deep thinking about foreign affairs, as Marco calls "Vladimir Putin a 'gangster,' Kim Jong Un a 'lunatic'"

Weekly Roundup

"Weekly Roundup: Looking for a Direction." More: "The audience got to hear first-hand from [Plant City] area lawmakers about what’s happening in Tallahassee at the annual Eggs n’ Issues Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast." "State lawmakers tout successes, vent frustrations at annual breakfast."

Flabaggers can't figure out the part about the judges

Scott Maxwell: "Imagine that you were getting repeatedly punched in the face, and the only thing protecting you was a face mask."

Well, Florida legislators want to rip that mask right off your face.

See, the legislators are the ones who keep swinging at you, trying to violate the constitution and your desire for things such as Fair Districts.

The only thing stopping them is the court system — judges appointed by both Republican and Democratic governors who keep (correctly) ruling that legislators are out of line.

If you were a normal person, you might try to start following the rules.

In recent weeks, GOP leaders of both the House and Senate judiciary committees have said they want to start talking about how they might be able to "reform" (which means "weaken") the courts.

State Rep. Mike Hill, a tea-party Republican from Pensacola, penned a mini-manifesto that said legislators must "reassert our primacy on legislative matters."

"Petulant legislators attack courts for righting their wrongs."

Scott runs gub'mint like a bidness

"Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell is resigning amid questions about her travel, spending and work habits. . . . O’Connell’s abrupt resignation came days after a [Palm Beach Post] news report that she had taken nearly nine weeks of vacation last year and racked up nearly $30,000 in travel bills." "Florida Lottery secretary resigns; Scott appoints interim." More: "Florida Lottery Secretary resigns after investigation into travel bills."