Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Monday, February 18, 2008

What's next, plate tectonics?*

    "Nearly 150 years after Charles Darwin revolutionized biology, evolution will become required study in Florida classrooms if the state Board of Education approves new science standards Tuesday that explicitly names the ''E'' word for the first time." This has outraged "the religious right and other evolution opponents", who
    have launched a full-scale assault on the proposed standards by tapping rank-and-file churchgoers, intelligent-design activists and a high-powered lawyer [sic] involved in the nationally watched Terri Schiavo euthanasia case.
    Who on earth could this "higher-powered lawyer" be? Why it's "Schiavo lawyer David C. Gibbs, who opposes what he calls the 'dangerous' ideas of teaching evolution as fact." He's not alone, as "a dozen school boards have taken positions opposing evolution in the standards".

    On the other side of the issue, those wacky,
    Mainstream scientists are urging the board to pass the standards as drafted and reviewed by experts, including Nobel Prize laureate Harry Kroto. Kroto says the drive to call evolution just a ''theory'' or teach alternate ''theories'' is religiously -- not scientifically -- motivated by ''creationists,'' and it confuses the definition of the word theory. In common usage, a theory is a guess. In science a theory -- like relativity -- has the weight of fact because it's a well-tested concept.
    "Schools await board's vote on evolution". See also "What you should know about Tuesday's vote on evolution", "Faith, science collide as state board nears vote on evolution" and "State set to decide on adding 'evolution' to science education standards", as well as the Nobel Prize laureate's explanation as to how a "'theory' can be a 'fact' as well". "Evolution: The debate goes on".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    Actually plate tectonics really is one of the (many) things the knuckle-draggers have problems with: they oppose wacky ideas like "the big bang and plate tectonics". More from the "intelligent design crowd here: "There is dissent, so teach it".


    Adam Smith: "We residents of the Hanging Chad State learned in 2000 that election tallies have margins of error. But seven years later, it's still hard to swallow the constant reminders of how badly the world's biggest democracy handles close elections." "Democrats, how about some clarity?". See also "Superdelegates should wait until after the primaries and caucuses before committing" and "Florida's superdelegates stay silent, flexible".

    Ocean-front residents go for Rudy

    "In Volusia and Flagler counties, money couldn't bring love -- or votes -- for Rudy Giuliani. The former New York City mayor dominated the other presidential candidates last year in raising money in Volusia and Flagler, hauling in at least $131,000 to help fuel his campaign, federal records show. ... New York Sen. Hillary Clinton led the Democratic candidates, raising at least $31,000, and also won the largest number of primary votes in the two counties." "Giuliani won area's dollars, but trailed in votes".

    "Incredible shrinking GOP"

    "Once considered fertile ground for Republicans fighting Democratic dominance in Palm Beach County, state House District 85 is becoming a barren land for the GOP - and a sign of larger, troubling registration trends for local Republicans. Despite months of effort, Republicans haven't been able to recruit a candidate for the mid-county House seat that Democratic Rep. Shelley Vana is leaving to run for county commission. The state GOP, which once called District 85 a top target, doesn't rank the seat as one of its top 15 or 20 priorities for 2008." "State GOP no longer sees Vana's district as top target". More here: "County's incredible shrinking GOP".

    When will these Bushco bastards just go away?

    The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Anyone - and that includes this newspaper - who has been hoping that the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission would get serious about tax "reform" is unhappy. The commission has been a bust."

    Charged in the state constitution with meeting at regular intervals to examine how Florida collects money to run government, this commission has focused on collecting less money to run less government.

    Less government, though, is keeping Florida's schools near the bottom when it comes to per-pupil spending. Less government is forcing Florida universities to freeze and perhaps reduce enrollment. Less government is undercutting juvenile-justice programs that could improve public safety. Less government is keeping children from having health care. Less government is preventing more parents from getting their children into pre-school. Less government is threatening to hurt the fight against gangs.
    Why the thuggish policy? You can guess:
    The proposals that have emerged, however, are narrow. Former Bush education adviser Patricia Levesque wants to legalize vouchers for religious schools, a fight that the ex-governor lost in court. One idea that has passed calls for conservation lands to be exempt from property taxes. While supported by some environmental groups, the proposal came from commission member Brian Yablonski, a former Bush adviser who is now a vice president for one of the state's biggest landowners, the St. Joe Co. While Mr. Yablonski told the St. Petersburg Times that he hadn't "engaged" his employer on this, it's not hard to imagine St. Joe proposing development surrounded by tax-free conservation lands.

    Commission member and former Senate President John Mckay understands the push to cut property taxes. But his proposal to eliminate the property tax for schools - an $8 billion savings - by closing sales tax loopholes and raising sales taxes by 1 cent, was ambushed by another Bush veteran, Tony Villamil. He argued that it would hurt Florida's competitiveness. So the commission debates a tax cap modeled on the Colorado system that voters created, then repealed because services had suffered.
    "Chance of tax 'reform' fading fast in Florida".

    The Trib fights for oppressed employers

    The Chamber of Commerce types, d/b/a the Tampa Tribune editorial board argue that unpaid FMLA time off is just too much of a hardship on employers: "Loophole In Family Leave Act Is Big Enough To Park A Bus".

    You would think the editors would have something more important to write about.

    Big of 'em

    "Lawmakers today begin looking at ways to protect Florida's springs." "Lawmakers try to save Florida's springs".

    After Florida drove a stake into his heart ...

    ... poor Mittie went off the deep end. This is off-topic, but Tom Blackburn hits one out of the park this morning: "Mitt Romney's departure from the Republican presidential marathon included the incredible suggestion that a Democratic president would "surrender to terror." Not only that. A Democrat would 'retreat and declare defeat,' the wealthy investor said. Wow, how would someone who would do that get any votes?"

    Mr. Romney is reputed to be intelligent.

    If intelligent Republicans talk that way, maybe they really believe it. If they believe it, this country is in trouble closer to home than Iraq. The country may be becoming ungovernable. ...

    If you ever wonder where Washington's gridlock comes from, look no further. People who should know better blabber themselves into thinking that there no longer is any loyal opposition. There are only enemies.
    "Mitt hallucinates surrender monkeys".


    "Weeki Wachee Springs becomes state park".

    Too bad she's not a legacy

    "The Florida Atlantic University sophomore has a 3.9 grade point average and has dreams of going to a larger Florida university, but she recently learned because of state budget cuts those aspirations may not come true at FSU." "Budget cuts mean rejection at FSU".

    Sea Cows

    "Researchers assess Florida's manatee population and threats".

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