"Conservative columnist Ann Coulter is nationally notorious for vitriolic broadsides, but she has been unnerved by invective she received at her Palm Beach home. So much so that she got the county property appraiser to remove her name from public records identifying where she lives."
In doing so, she won an exemption from public disclosure of her address, allowed by law for victims of stalkers or harassment."Nasty words to columnist hit home". Not exactly a tuff girl.
Coulter, 45, has called Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a ''faggot'' and said she wished he would be killed by terrorists. She once said President Clinton ''could be a lunatic'' and wrote of a group of widows of men killed in the World Trade Center that she had 'never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.''
So maybe it came as no surprise when somebody delivered a greeting card to her home in March with this salutation: ``You self-aggrandizing -- sociopath!! The only thing left after a nuclear war are you and cockroaches.''
And, batting in the 7th spot ...
"With the Michigan Supreme Court last week reinstating the state's Jan. 15 primary and New Hampshire setting its primary on Jan. 8, the critical first 34 days of the 2008 presidential election season appear to be finalized. Barring any further jockeying, Florida's Jan. 29 primary will be the seventh contest for Republicans and the sixth for Democrats. It will be followed a week later by the mega primary of Feb. 5."
Here is the primary calendar, as published by the National Association of Secretaries of State:"Lineup of primaries solidified".
Jan. 3: Iowa.
Jan. 5: Wyoming (R).
Jan. 8: New Hampshire.
Jan. 15: Michigan.
Jan. 19: South Carolina (R), Nevada.
Jan. 26: South Carolina (D).
Jan. 29: Florida.
"It is still not over. More than a year after the disputed 13th District Congressional election, government investigators returned to Sarasota County on Monday, looking for clues to why 18,000 voters had no choice recorded in the race between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings."
For at least two weeks, a team of about eight investigators from the U.S. Government Accountability Office will put the touch-screen voting machines used in 2006 through the most extensive testing yet, said GAO researcher Nabajyoti Barkakati."Voting machines get more tests in Sarasota". See also "Machines in D-13 put to test" and "Feds test voting machines in disputed District 13 election probe".
The GAO will provide the testing that Jennings herself legally sought -- but was denied in court -- following the election.
Charlie flops (again)
Mike Thomas: "Charlie tried to make good on his promise. He expanded a state catastrophe fund to $28 billion, lowering the risk of private insurers. The idea was for them to pass on the savings to us. They did not. Instead of cutting rates by a predicted 24 percent, many filed for rate increases." "Insurance rates will keeping going up no matter what the governor says".
GOTV, RPOF style
Scott Maxwell reminds us that the GOPers "are feverishly fighting to ban something that's already banned: gay marriage."
At first, this would seem silly. But if you start to think about how Republican lawmakers have failed at fixing big things like insurance and taxes, it makes more sense. Fighting to outlaw something that's already outlawed is harder to screw up.And, in the interest of journalistic "balance" Maxwell takes his shot at the Dems as well, retreading this old story: "Dems have no room at the inns?" "Scott Maxwell".
What they really want is a constitutional ban, which requires an amendment.
But for some politicos, this issue is more of a devious trick than it is a genuine concern. It's about hyping up a spectacularly divisive issue so that the most conservative voters will come to the polls and theoretically boost the chances of conservative candidates everywhere.
Now technically, this isn't an official GOP issue. It's a petition effort. But the group pushing this constitutional amendment, The Florida Coalition to Protect Marriage, says it has snagged endorsements from everyone from the Republican governor of the state, Charlie Crist, to GOP state legislators aplenty, including locals such as Orlando's Andy Gardiner, Eustis' Carey Baker and Kissimmee's Frank Attkisson.
And don't forget the chairman of the whole state party, Jim Greer, who had barely gotten acclimated to his new office before he started talking about how eager he was to make sure gays can't get hitched.
Florida for sale - what's next, the 'Glades?
The Sun-Sentinel editors: "Leasing highways, roads and bridges is on the front burner because of a misguided bill the Legislature approved last spring. The measure permits the leasing of state roads and highways, minus those operated by Florida's Turnpike." Plainly another dumb idea:
For starters, no one gives you money for nothing. The private companies that would lease the roads and bridges would have the ability to jack up tolls and fees. That's how they would recover their investment and earn their profit."Florida shouldn't give away highways". See also yesterday's "Leasing plan would hike road tolls".
Much higher tolls are no small consideration. Florida depends on cheap transportation costs, for both tourism and to keep the cost of goods down.
It's also troubling that we could be signing away major transportation road networks for decades. Just think how much the state has changed in the past 25 years. What changes lie ahead in the next quarter century? We may well regret leases of 50 years or more very quickly.
"Up for grabs?"
Scott Maxwell: "Up for grabs? Congressional Quarterly released a report on a handful of seats in the U.S. House that the publication says are no longer sure bets for Republicans. And three of them are right here in Central Florida. The GOP incumbents that CQ says are favored to win, but still vulnerable to a strong challenge: Oviedo's Tom Feeney, Orlando's Ric Keller and Indialantic's Dave Weldon."
"The forces for and against growth in Florida"
Joel Engelhardt: "Balancing the forces for and against growth in Florida is an enormously complex task. While residents list rapid growth among their greatest concerns, and drought reveals the delicate nature of water supplies, the development pressure that transformed Florida from 20th-most-populous state in 1950 to fourth-largest today remains. ... Where Gov. Bush looked for ways to relieve the state of its watchdog role, [secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs Tom] Pelham understands the need for state oversight to keep local politicians from giving developers anything they want. Fed-up residents are circulating the Florida Hometown Democracy petition to require public votes on every change to city and county comprehensive plans. Last year, there were 12,000 changes, which Mr. Pelham agrees is far too many. But planning by popular vote, he argued, is not the solution." "Can state grow better, or just grow?".
The Palm Beach Post editors:"There is reason to hope that embryonic stem cells won't be needed to achieve medical marvels, but there is no reason yet to abandon research using embryonic stem cells." "Stem-cell competition, not stem-cell exclusion". But see the Miami Herald editors', "Promising new path for stem-cell research".
Out here in the fields ...
This kinda says it all, doesn't it:
The hands of a farmworker in Florida must pick 2 tons of tomatoes in a day to earn $50. At a rate of about 1.3 cents per pound, farmworkers fill 32-pound buckets, run to the truck, hoist the buckets above their shoulders into the truck, and receive a token worth about 45 cents. To make the minimum wage they must do that 15 times per hour, or one bucket every four minutes."Today's bounty didn't pick itself".
"An ongoing federal inquiry into the finances of the Seminole Tribe won't affect its compact with the state to expand gambling, officials said." "Federal probe won't affect Seminole deal". See also "Special Report: Tribal leaders are living in luxury".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "The South Florida Water Management District has caught on to the potential danger of rock mining in the Everglades Agricultural Area. Why can't Palm Beach County?" "Toughen mining rules".
"The new generation of campaign communication is aimed at the next generation of hard-to-impress voters, as eight Republican presidential contenders lay bare their platforms in the CNN/YouTube candidate debate Wednesday night." "YouTube debates attempt to attract young voters". See also "Viewers' questions are key".
Grubbing for the Cuban vote
"After state lawyers [apparently at the behest of RPOF] objected to a Miami-Dade judge's attempt to hold a hearing on the welfare of a 5-year-old girl at the center of an international custody battle on Monday, the judge blasted the state Department of Children & Families for setting what she called 'a dangerous, dangerous precedent.'" "Cuban custody judge halts hearing".
Too bad we can't get ever'one to pay to vote
"1,200 pay to vote at GOP rally".
Shush your mouth ...
The St Pete Times editors: "Records obtained by Times reporter Craig Pittman are not in dispute."
Harvey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's leading water quality expert in South Florida, was removed from the $10-billion Everglades cleanup project because he was skeptical and blunt. Most notably, he spoke his mind in a conference call last year that he didn't know was joined by a newspaper reporter."Everglades warning senselessly silenced".
In that call, Harvey said of a plan to pipe dirty Lake Okeechobee water into canals that flow into Biscayne National Park: "Once again we're routing dirty water. We are extremely concerned because the track record when the district and the corps move dirty water around is some resource gets trashed."
In January, Harvey's boss responded by removing him from the project with an e-mailed explanation: "I believe that your remarks compromise our ability to have an effective voice on critically important matters with regard to Everglades restoration."
"Florida KidCare enrollment numbers spiked in October, an increase officials attribute to an ongoing outreach campaign and additional dollars given by the Legislature." "Enrollment numbers for KidCare rising".
"Former Tampa City Council member Bob Buckhorn, a savvy political strategist, fundraiser and former backer of Sen. Evan Bayh for president, is embracing Hillary Clinton. On Dec. 4 he's helping host a $250-per-person Clinton fundraiser at the home of Pat Frank. The headliner is Clinton campaign chairman and former Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe." "Buckhorn throws his support to Clinton".