FLORIDA POLITICS
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 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 Friday, August 22, 2008

The price we pay for eliminating "insidious"* taxes

    From the "values" folks: "[P]eople with disabilities stand to lose essential services such as job training and transportation when new state guidelines begin limiting the amount of money the state will pay for their care." "Many disabled forced to cope with reduced state funds".

    - - - - - - - - - -
    *Recall that repeal of the state's "tax on stocks, bonds and other intangible property, a levy that Gov. Jeb Bush calls 'insidious'" was a centerpiece of Jebbie's reign.

    Dems had called eliminating the intangibles tax "the 'No Millionaire Left Behind Tax Act'" They were concerned that its repeal "would benefit some of Florida's wealthiest residents, would shift the burden to other taxpayers and would deprive the state of money for such services as food supplements for developmentally disabled children." "Intangible Tax Repeal Approved".


    Charlie to announce that it is raining

    "Crist having news conference at 10 a.m.": " Crist is having a news conference at 10 a.m. to give the latest information on Tropical Storm Fay. ".


    Surely it is the professors' union's fault

    "The University of Florida’s quest to rise in the national rankings has stalled." "UF’s bid to rise in rankings stalls".


    "Flying under false colors"?

    "If voters read its ballot title and summary together, they will understand the proposed tax-swap amendment, attorneys fighting to salvage the plan told the Florida Supreme Court Thursday. 'Nothing in the ballot title and summary, when read together, can be categorized as hiding the ball or flying under false colors,' said a 37-page brief filed by the state and supporters of Amendment 5." "Tax-swap boosters make case in Florida Supreme Court".


    Fay much bigger than it looks, feels or sounds

    The Miami Herald editorial board: "Television weather forecasters and newspaper headline writers have tried to resist the temptation to make alliterative references to Tropical Storm Fay -- but they're not trying hard enough. The word 'fickle' has definitely been overused, for instance. Still, what else to call this slow-moving storm intent on rambling all over Florida before leaving for points north?" "Soggy, slow-moving Fay offers lessons".


    Hill-help

    "Hillary Clinton appealed in person Thursday to hundreds of her staunchest South Florida supporters to end grieving about her lost presidential bid and help send Barack Obama to the White House." "Stumping for Obama, Hillary Clinton calls for unity".

    "It took nearly until the end of Clinton's 25-minute speech at Florida Atlantic University's sports arena Thursday for the crowd, more than 1,000, mostly women, to offer standing-ovation approval for her appeal: Elect the guy who beat me." "Salute Hillary, but vote Obama".

    More: "Hillary Clinton campaigned throughout Florida for Barack Obama on Thursday, urging her supporters to throw their backing behind her former rival. 'I believe our country is worth fighting for, don't you?' she said to an applauding crowd of union workers gathered for a conference at Disney's Contemporary Resort." "Hillary Clinton touts Obama to union crowd at Disney".

    Ew ... a "union crowd", and at Disney no less ... what is this world coming to?*


    - - - - - - - - - -
    *In seeking to appear "balanced" and, more importantly, to drive home the prescribed GOP (Sam Zell) meme - that Obama isn't really "American" like us - the Orlando Sentinel employee included the following in her story:

    But not all Clinton supporters have made the switch to Obama. Suzanne DeBartolo, 44, of Toms River, N.J., said before Clinton's speech that she wants to do more research on Obama before casting her vote.
    Research about what? Well, it seems Suzanne is concerned about whether this strange looking Obama fellow is sufficiently Americun:
    "He's really going to have to support the American ways and the American people," said DeBartolo
    And who exactly is this DeBartolo person who who needs to do "research" that this exotic looking Obama fellow supports "American ways" or even the "American people"?

    Actually Suzanne ain't even a union member, she's "an aerobics instructor who had accompanied her husband to the conference."

    Let's hope Suzanne's "research" is comprised of more than listening to Limbaugh's comedy show.


    Way to show a spine, dude

    "Last week, Christian publisher Cameron Strang said he was headed to the Democratic National Convention to give an invocation."

    At the time, Strang said he didn't think it was a big deal. He wasn't endorsing any candidate, he said; he was simply going to pray. But now the founder of Relevant magazine, who is part of a young evangelical movement, has had second thoughts.

    Strang said he accepted the invitation because he wanted to show that today's "values voters" don't choose political sides as their predecessors did. Though a registered Republican, he said he was more than willing to consider voting for a Democrat. ...

    But Strang, whose father is one of the country's most influential Christian publishers, said many people misinterpreted his acceptance of the invitation. They thought he was endorsing Barack Obama. ...

    So the 32-year-old Orlando resident told the DNC he had changed his mind.
    He's no longer scheduled to give the invocation, but he has agreed to participate in a panel discussion on faith and politics."Orlandoan rethinks doing DNC invocation".

    "It was a coup for Democrats: An emerging young evangelical voice, a registered Republican no less, accepted their invitation to deliver a prayer at next week's Democratic National Convention.

    But Cameron Strang, the 32-year-old editor of edgy and hip Relevant Magazine, had second thoughts ..." (a/k/a a case of pusillanimity):
    Little known to outsiders, the Strang name carries weight with evangelicals, especially in the fast-growing charismatic and Pentecostal branches. Cameron's father, Steven, who like his son is based in the Orlando, Fla., area, founded a magazine, Charisma, that spawned a publishing empire. The elder Strang [a/k/a daddy] has endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain. ...

    He was on the guest list when religious leaders met with Obama in June in Chicago, consulted the campaign on Christian issues and interviewed Obama for his magazine, which claims a print circulation of 80,000 and 450,000 unique Web site visitors per month.

    Yet Strang's reticence to play such a high-profile role shows such relationships are a work in progress: While Democratic leaders are reaching out to more diverse religious groups, many younger evangelicals are striving for political independence and common ground without compromising on core issues like abortion
    "Young evangelical backs out of convention prayer".


    "Excessive Union Demands"

    The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "The council should heed the advice of a special magistrate who listened to both sides and made a nonbinding recommendation." "Council Should Protect Taxpayers From Excessive Union Demands".

    This is hilarious. Question: when was the last time the The Tampa Tribune editorial board urged any city council or county commission to accept a special magistrate's recommendation (after all, union arguments prevail in a substantial number of these cases.


    Florida needs a Limbaugh Law

    pThe Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Thirty-five states have created computer databases to track prescriptions for powerful, addictive painkillers such as oxycodone and methodone. The databases keep a patient from going to five different doctors in the same week complaining of pain and obtaining a prescription from each."

    Florida has refused to create a database. That failure leads to addictions. That failure leads to accidental overdoses. It leads to suicides. It provides pushers with pills to sell on the streets.

    Former state Rep. Joe Negron fought to kill a prescription database bill in 2006. "I fundamentally believe medical care is a private matter," he told The Post this month. ...

    In fact, the Legislature made doctor-shopping a felony in 2002. Two years later, trying to capitalize on the publicity from Rush Limbaugh's doctor-shopping case, then-Attorney General Charlie Crist and other Republicans urged the Legislature to create the database. One reason: Painkiller abuse was costing the Medicaid program $1 billion a year.

    By blocking a prescription-drug database, lawmakers are enabling criminals [like Limbaugh] and hurting people who aren't as well-informed about their prescriptions as they need to be.
    "Track killer painkillers".


    Threat

    "Florida authorities are investigating a threatening letter sent to Gov. Charlie Crist that contained a suspicious but nontoxic white powder." "Threat letter with powder sent to Gov. Crist". See also "Is Crist threat letter linked to McCain's?"


    More Hill

    "Clinton avoids VP questions during Fla. visit".


    "Bloody mistake"?

    The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "What does it mean that overall traffic deaths are down but motorcycle fatalities are up? That shouldn't be a hard question, but it sure stumps members of the Legislature. The answer, by the way, is that motorcycle deaths are up because Florida and other states don't make everybody who rides a motorcycle wear a helmet. Florida deaths have been rising since legislators repealed mandatory helmets in 2000. " "Make bikers wear helmets".

    BTW, it is yet another Jebacy: "When Jeb Bush signed the repeal of Florida's helmet law, he called it an issue of individual freedom and personal responsibility. In fact, it's about personal irresponsibility. Motorcyclists are required to carry only $10,000 of insurance, so everyone else ends up subsidizing their medical care after a crash."


    And how many trailer homes do you own?

    "Governor to tour flooded Brevard trailer park".


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