"Florida parents don't have much faith in evolution."
- Only 22 percent want public schools to teach an evolution-only curriculum, while 50 percent want only faith-based theories such as creationism or intelligent design, according to a new St. Petersburg Times survey."The Times survey - which included questions about evolution and a host of other education issues - was administered to 702 registered voters Feb. 6-10, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points." Even though, "the vast majority of scientists consider evolution to be backed by strong evidence, nearly two-thirds of those [Floridians] polled were skeptical." More:
- 43 percent said human beings evolved over millions of years, while 45 percent said humans were created directly by God."Little faith in evolution".
- 54 percent of men said humans evolved over millions of years compared with 35 percent of women.
- 52 percent of college graduates said humans evolved compared with 33 percent of those with four years of high school or less.
- 31 percent of white respondents said only evolution should be taught in schools compared with 7 percent of nonwhites.
The delegate thing
"After eight losses in a row and no victories in sight this month, Hillary Clinton's campaign renewed calls Wednesday for the votes in Florida and Michigan to count toward delegates that would help her catch Barack Obama." "Obama camp cries foul over Clinton stance in Florida".
The Miami Herald editorial board: "In Florida, 1.7 million voters cast a ballot in the Jan. 29 primary. Why should they be disenfranchised for the actions of a Republican-controlled Legislature that unilaterally decided to change the primary calendar?"
Sen. Clinton, who originally agreed with the DNC's decision, now claims that the delegations should be recognized, which is entirely self-serving because she would get the lion's share of votes. Sen. Barack Obama has not exactly been a beacon of hope for voters, either, given that he wants to deny Sen. Clinton any more delegates and is willing to toss Florida voters overboard in the process. Yet he is not wrong to argue that seating the delegations amounts to changing the rules after the game has been played.Nevertheless, the editors adopt Hill's "self-serving" position, "Democratic voters in this state have already expressed their will -- in record numbers -- and that vote should count." "Time to fix state's primary mess".
"Of Florida's 22 superdelegates, more than half have not said whom they will support, and only four from South Florida have not indicated a preference. Besides Glasser, who is vice chairwoman of the state party, South Florida's uncommitted superdelegates include U.S. Reps. Ron Klein of Boca Raton and Tim Mahoney of Palm Beach Gardens and Broward Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Ceasar." "South Florida's superdelegates weigh Democratic presidential nominee choice".
Oh No! Not the credentials committeee
"The DNC has offered Florida and Michigan a couple ways out in compliance with party rules. First, they could hold second nominating contests, but Democratic leaders in both states reject that idea. Or they can appeal to the DNC's credentials committee, a 186-member body that usually operates in obscurity and has a complicated membership and rules process that will require deft maneuvering in this divided campaign."
Most of the credentials committee members will be appointed by the Clinton and Obama campaigns, depending on how they perform in nominating contests across the country, with Dean having already named 25. Although Obama has won more contests so far, Clinton has won most of the larger states — and larger states get more seats. So there's the potential for the committee to be closely divided if the race stays tight."Easy Answers Elude Mich., Fla. Delegates".
The credential committee would meet in July or August, and its decision would be in the form of a recommendation to all the delegates at the convention. They have a range of options to consider, including recommending reinstatement of all or some of the delegates divided any way they see fit between Obama and Clinton. The recommendation would become the first order of business at the convention on Aug. 25.
Orlando Sentinel shakeup
"The publisher of the Orlando Sentinel resigned Thursday, adding to the upheaval among Tribune Co. newspapers and other properties in the two months since the company went private. Kathleen Waltz had worked for Tribune for 34 years ..."
Waltz's resignation came a day after Tribune Co. told employees hundreds of jobs would be cut. They are the first such plans since billionaire Sam Zell took the financially troubled media company private last year. ..."Publisher of Orlando Sentinel resigns amid Tribune tribulation". See also "Orlando Sentinel's publisher resigns".
Zell stirred some controversy among Sentinel staff in a visit a few weeks ago. He swore at a Sentinel photographer who asked about Tribune's commitment to hard news when in conflict with revenue.
"Florida's 11 university presidents trooped to the Capitol on Thursday to make an unprecedented appeal for an additional $1 billion from the state Legislature over the next five years through a combination of tuition hikes and state aid. The presidents told House Speaker Marco Rubio, R- West Miami, that they need immediate help because Florida schools are losing the nationwide competition for faculty, students and prestige under the weight of hiring freezes, enrollment caps and program cuts." "University leaders' plea: We need $1 billion more" "University leaders seek money from state".
No drinking and counting
"A manager in the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office has received a written reprimand and two other employees were given verbal warnings for drinking alcohol on their job site. The three [off duty] employees drank alcohol at the elections warehouse on Railroad Avenue on the eve of the Jan. 29 primary, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said Thursday. Sancho conducted an investigation after another employee, who has since been fired, reported the incident." "Sancho disciplines employees, but spares them their jobs".
Civil rights goes local
The Miami Herald editorial board: "These days the most progressive civil-rights efforts take place locally, even as the federal government is steadily infringing on our rights in the name of national security. This contradiction may reflect the widely disparate priorities of local and national governments. But as we advance freedoms locally we need to remain vigilant to safeguard all our precious rights at every level." "Civil rights getting boost at local level".
Obama loses Florida
"Cuban flag in unofficial Obama office enrages some".
"Crist wants to spend a record amount of money on energy diversity and fighting climate change this year, and lawmakers are looking to create an energy policy that better protects the state's natural resources." "Crist, lawmakers make clean energy a priority for session". See also "Crist releases greenhouse gas scorecard for state government".
The dopes can hope
"A legal battle over Florida's Democratic primary results could cause an irreparable rift and pave the way for a Republican presidential victory in 2008, a conservative columnist [Washington Post wingnut columnist Charles Krauthammer] said Sunday night." "Pundits: Fla. fight muddled".
Gayle Harrell "pandering"
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "State Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, is running for Congress, which explains her grandiose, politically expedient crusade to push immigration bills through the Legislature. Rep. Harrell is sponsoring House Bill 821. It would require local authorities to take on federal roles and report illegal immigrants to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The bill also would prohibit local governments from supporting day-labor centers ...". "No immigration reform, just some campaign ads".
"James Carville in Orlando: Clinton done "if she loses either Texas or Ohio'". More: "Carville, on who could have been the Republican frontrunner. 'If Jeb Bush’s name was Jeb Smith you wouldn’t have any of of this. It would be over.'"
Jebbie's dead hand
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board:"A tax commission appointed every two decades is expected to rise above legislative politics, not sink to the same level. If the attempt to railroad former Senate President John McKay and his plan to broaden the sales tax is any indication, the commission may end up serving only as an echo chamber for a Legislature that turns a deaf ear to any honest discussion of tax reform."
McKay was blindsided Tuesday by an economic study that was approved without his knowledge and conducted by a former economic adviser to Bush. It claimed his plan would cost the state 53,000 jobs, a questionable assertion considering that McKay seeks no net increase in taxes."Tax reform runs aground".
Tally's knuckle-draggers choking on their breakfasts today
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Eight years into the 21st century, it's time for Florida, from our state universities (including the three that do not include the phrasing in their anti-discrimination policies) to our state's constitution, to step boldly forward and refuse to legislate prejudice by omission or commission. Including gays, lesbians and transgender individuals as a protected class does not obligate those who object to their sexual or gender orientation to accept it; it merely forges ahead in the final frontier of inclusion." "The final frontier".
"Before voters passed Amendment 1 in January, Gov. Charlie Crist, top lawmakers and other backers promised it would be just the start of property tax relief. Now Crist says he's unsure what the next step should be. House Speaker Marco Rubio and other tax-cutting advocates, though, have laid out a wide range of options for the Legislature to consider during its 2008 regular session beginning March 4." "Lawmakers will look at more property tax cuts in 2008 session".
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board (whileneglecting to mention that this is another legacy of our self-proclaimed "education Governor) asks readers to "look where Florida's universities rank on national lists of top-quality schools."
It's embarrassing that only the state's flagship school -- the University of Florida -- manages to rank in the top 50 in a national magazine's annual listing of America's universities."Changing Bright Futures is good way to improve universities". The editors whine that tuition is too low, and that gutting Bright Futures and increasing tuition is the way to go.
But there are other rankings that ought to worry Floridians a lot more: No. 50 in tenured faculty-student ratios; No. 2 in the South for cutting per-student spending; No. 50 in tuition. ...
Florida is one of only four of 16 Southern states that cut per-student spending on universities between 2001 and 2006. That trend will never lead to quality in Florida's universities.