Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Florida discovers "evolution", sort of

    "Florida school children will be taught that evolution is a "scientific theory" through a compromise Tuesday that left neither side satisfied". "Science standards will call evolution 'scientific theory'". See also "Evolution makes the grade in state", "Schools to teach evolution", "Divided board approves teaching of evolution as 'theory'" and "Florida schools to teach evolution as `scientific theory'".

    The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Science won a narrow victory Tuesday before the Florida Board of Education that is a significant - though all too tentative - step forward."
    The board's compromise adds the term "scientific theory" not just to evolution but to other areas of science, including the theories of atoms, cells and electromagnetism. This was done for one purpose: to allow the confusion over the term "theory" to cloud the legitimacy of evolution as the only accepted scientific explanation for life's origins. The scientific theory of plate tectonics doesn't inspire the same religiously grounded backlash. ...

    Some legislators and religious conservatives will not accept the decision and can be expected to continue to fight before local school boards or in the courts. But that would be counterproductive, and it would not help Florida students gain the scientific knowledge that is essential to compete in a sophisticated, global economy.
    "Science, students get narrow victory".


    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Fidel Castro's resignation means the long awaited and desired transition in Cuba has formally begun. Unfortunately, it begins with the United States in a wallflower role, sitting on its hands waiting for the next turn of events." "Transition in Cuba formally begins".

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "It's almost always been something of an absurd, personal enmity between Cuba and the United States -- between Fidel Castro, who assumed power in 1959, and every American president since, as if a communist Cuba in the Western Hemisphere were a supreme insult to American hegemony. Fidel Castro's resignation as president, unfortunately, isn't likely to change anything on either side of the 90 miles that separate the two countries." "Changeless Cuba".

    The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board:"It's long past time to undo an economic embargo whose basis now lies only in politics and pride, not pragmatism."

    Designed to weaken the dictatorship, the embargo has had the opposite effect. It has provided the Castro regime with a convenient excuse for Cuba's economic shortcomings while simultaneously attracting financial support from other countries, including U.S. allies.

    Other nations see the embargo for what it is: a muscle-flexing U.S. foreign-policy failure that has only hurt the Cuban people and their relatives here, American business interests and, most importantly, the democratizing effect of economic and cultural trade.

    Can anyone say "China"?

    As many Florida political and business leaders have learned but far fewer are willing to publicly acknowledge, supporting the embargo — or at least not opposing it — is the path of least resistance. The exile community has never been shy about flexing its political muscle, and the embargo has been a litmus test for those who want to remain in its good graces.
    "Cubanomics". The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Our position: It's important for presidential contenders to keep options open". The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Castro exit sets stage for progress". The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "As Cuba's power shifts, so should U.S. policy".

    And in the whatever category, "Crist said Tuesday the state is prepared to respond, but he is not expecting another mass migration from Cuba in the wake of President Fidel Castro's resignation." "Fidel Castro steps down".

    More: "Castro Circle Likely to Hold Power After His Resignation", "Who follows Castro?", "Florida vignettes after Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president" and "Castro's gone from power, but many Miami Cubans have little hope".

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "New 'president,' same old dictatorship". The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Castro Totters Into Retirement But Cuba Remains His Prisoner".

    Charlie goes prime time ... he hopes

    "Gov. Charlie Crist will break with tradition March 4 when he gives the annual State of the State address at night in hopes of reaching a statewide TV audience. But his timing could pose a problem. Crist is aiming to give the speech at 6 p.m., a time when most stations are delivering a local newscast." "State of State set for shift to night".

    Uninsured Floridians

    "Many uninsured Floridians would be guaranteed a chance to buy health insurance at what Gov. Charlie Crist hopes could be as low as $150 a month under a plan the governor put forth Tuesday." "Crist proposes plan to make health insurance cheaper for poor". See also "Crist wants to extend health insurance in Florida" and "Health care plan a catchall".

    More of the same

    "Crist's list of priorities for his second legislative session looks a lot like his list from last year. It includes continued work at reining in property taxes, making property insurance more available and affordable, expansion of mandatory physical education and teacher bonus programs he enacted, and a focus on finding clean energy in an effort to prevent climate change." "Crist's session priorities in second year a lot like first year".

    "The Senate leader also wants tuition control"

    "A decade after Florida voters did away with an elected education commissioner, Senate President Ken Pruitt wants voters once again to pick the state's top educator. And he wants voters to designate the Legislature to control tuition at state universities, a move aimed at settling a legal battle with the Board of Governors." "Pruitt wants state to return to elected education chief". See also "Pruitt wants voters to choose education commissioner again".


    "Storms wants to stop beautifying state government buildings. It's not the principle of the thing, she says, it's the money." "Sorry, artists, but yours is not a government job".

    Who needs judges anyway?

    "Traffic court would stop. Abuse cases and child-custody hearings would be postponed. Banks would face long delays getting foreclosed homes back on the market. And alimony, divorce and commercial litigation hearings would come to a halt." "Cuts could halt courts, judges warn".

    Charlie's "bad idea"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Crist's proposal to undo decades of health-care planning has many health leaders scratching their heads. Nobody seems to know where this proposal came from, or why it's popping up in states from Alabama to Pennsylvania. But almost everyone who cares about the state's overall health-care system agrees: It would be a bad idea. ... a juicy plum to profit-driven companies who would love to set up shop here and skim the cream from the state's health-care spending, performing high-priced procedures while ducking the obligation to care for Medicaid and low-income recipients." "A step backward".

    Charlie's mouthpiece

    "Following a steady stream of changes at the very top of his administration, Gov. Charlie Crist announced the appointment of a new press secretary. Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for Secretary of State Kurt Browning, will assume the post in a few weeks, Crist said." "Crist taps Ivey for new press secretary".

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