"Investigators searching for nearly 3,500 missing ballots from the Aug. 26 election say they have located a "substantial number"- and perhaps nearly all - of the unaccounted-for ballots. Despite rumors, the ballots hadn't been mistakenly dumped in a landfill or left behind at voting precincts. Rather, they were found in the county's vote-tabulating center near West Palm Beach." "Nearly 3,500 missing ballots found". See also "More Ballots Found In Palm Beach Voting Mystery".
The latest: "A Tallahassee judge has ordered the ballots sealed in a disputed Palm Beach judicial election as the facts of what happened continued to emerge. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Francis sealed the ballots Friday as the ever-fluctuationg number of ballots cast in the election changed again." "Judge seals ballots in Palm Beach judge election".
The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "This case has been perfectly suited to the forceful personality of County Commissioner Mary McCarty, a canvassing board member. She has insisted that elections officials and voting-machine maker Sequoia answer for their actions. Ms. McCarty suggested that the chaos of the machine recount last week, which identified too many valid votes as invalid and didn't account for all the ballots, never be repeated. Even though state law requires a machine recount to consider rejected ballots, the lesson of this recount, she said, is that it be done by hand and include all ballots." "Votes starting to add up". See also "Ghosts of 2000".
And this from the Zell Corporation, err ... the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board (with the added bonus of a Wexler slam): "We appear poised for a scary repeat of the 2000 debacle — a perfect storm of a new, clunky voting system that revives a paper trail vulnerable to human error, an inept, lame-duck elections supervisor with a history of botched elections and a distrustful electorate. ... We don't want to hear Crist is 'confident' things will go right. Or Browning doesn't feel he has the authority to tell Anderson what to do. Or Wexler's deafening silence. There has to be a way to collaborate to avoid disaster. Find it, or we'll all pay a bitter cost." "Mystery of missing ballots solved, but scary questions about November remain".
The newspaper company employees apparently think "paper ballots" - you know ... the things you can (re)count if the courts let you - are the root of all evil.
"Mississippi is the only other state to forbid gays from adopting"
"A circuit judge has ruled unconstitutional Florida's 31-year-old gay adoption ban, one of only two such statewide bans in the country. The Monroe County judge's ruling allows a gay foster parent in Key West to adopt a teenage boy he has raised since 2001, but does not mean there will be any statewide change in policy." "Ban of gay adoption ruled unconstitutional".
"It's Friday afternoon, and the Hillsborough County Republican Party headquarters is buzzing." "Pick of Palin energizes area GOP efforts".
Thank's "Jeb!" - Another Privatization Flop
"Food service vendor Aramark soon will cut ties with Florida prisons, bringing to an end another privatization venture begun when Jeb Bush was governor. ... The stormy seven-year tenure between the Philadelphia-based food giant and the Department of Corrections has deteriorated in recent months. This year alone, the state fined Aramark $261,000 for violations ranging from long lines to excessive substitutions of menu items."
And thanks for these insights, Mr. Holmes:
Food in prison isn't just a necessity. Many corrections experts consider it a key to keeping inmates under control and to avoiding lawsuits alleging inhumane treatment of prisoners."Food vendor will cut ties with state prison system".
... now, on to that grim Dartmoor Moor, and that "Baskervilles' curse" thingy.
Outsourcing Made Easier
Here's an idea, send U.S. jobs to foreigners overseas, but instead of the "overseas" thing, just bring 'em here to do the job. That way we can keep them wages low."States hire foreign teachers to ease shortages".
Sure beats the hell out of that supply and demand thing
That Explains It
"Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he was vetted extensively for vice presidential candidate".
See what happens when a candidate is "vetted extensively".
From the "Values" Crowd
Nationally, there is "a growing backlog of 750,000 unresolved disability cases — about 8,100 in South Florida and 37,500 in the state. Some injured and ill people have become homeless or bankrupt while waiting for rulings."
"Florida denies two-thirds of initial claims, records show, but judges reverse more than half of the denials. Attorneys said those incorrect rulings add to the backlog and the long waits. Florida reviewers may rush to settle cases — after years of criticism for slow decisions — and rule without all the facts because they did not request full records or doctors did not send them, attorneys said." "Applicants endure hardship while waiting for disability benefits to be OK'd".
Plenty 'o Gut, But How Much Spine?
"It's gut-check time for Florida's legislative candidates." "We think: A simple survey tests the mettle of state candidates".
Meeks gettin' Uppity
"En route to Haiti to see storm devastation, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek assailed the White House Friday for continuing to deport Haitians in the United States to the storm-wracked island."
''It's gone far beyond reason for the administration not to give Haiti some relief,'' said the Miami Democrat, who has asked the Bush Administration to grant Haitians in the United States temporary protected status to keep them here while the island nation grapples with the effects of four hurricanes."Meek: Let Haitians stay in U.S.".
"Crist, Rome to host wedding reception at the Governor's Mansion". The wedding is still on ... so far.
Stevie Bousquet loves a man ...
... in a raincoat: "Column: Crist missed spotlight but won points for staying at helm".
Drill Baby Drill!
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Democratic leaders in the U.S. House yielded to relentless political pressure this week when they unveiled an energy plan that would allow more offshore drilling. But the plan's approach, overall, might be the best that backers of a more balanced and forward-looking energy policy can get."
"Florida's House Democrats deserve credit for standing together to preserve that buffer, created just two years ago in a bipartisan compromise intended to last until 2022. Florida's House Republicans and Gov. Charlie Crist were all too willing to bail out on the buffer for political expediency." "A compromise on offshore drilling could get energy policy moving".
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board has other ideas: "House Democrats oil drilling plan a sham". See also The Miami Herald editorial board: "Save Florida beaches from drilling frenzy" ("Democrats have been bullied into drafting a bill that allows gas and oil drilling 100 miles off the U.S. coastline.")
Sentinel writer Scott Maxwell writes about what should be obvious: "The last thing this low-wage community needs is to make it tougher for hardworking people to get to work. Now, local leaders need to step up to the plate and deal with this year's funding problems as well. Because make no mistake: If routes are cut, people will lose their jobs." "Shaq throws his sizable support behind Orange sheriff candidate Jerry Demings".
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "As students throughout Florida settle into the new school year, the time has come for lawmakers and education policymakers to address the looming gifted education crisis." "Don't Overlook Gifted Students".
Show me the jobs
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "the region is fortunate to have the military's computer simulation and training facilities at the Central Florida Research Park."
A few years ago, the Pentagon was considering closing the facilities and transferring the work elsewhere. Government, business and education leaders from the region banded together to help persuade military planners that the facilities were a good value for taxpayers and a national-security asset."The simulation center here was definitely worth saving".
Now the facilities are booming, adding scores of high-paying jobs and awarding hundreds of millions of dollars more in contracts. High-tech firms in the region are landing many of those contracts, and they, too, are expanding their payrolls. The industry already encompasses more than 100 firms with nearly 20,000 employees.
How many "high paying jobs" do the newspaper company employees mean when they brag about "scores of high paying jobs"? After all, a "score" is only 20. One would feel better if these corporate handouts to these military profiteers generated
thousands of high paying jobsOr maybe even
hundreds of high paying jobsBut all we read about is "scores" of these supposed "high paying jobs". Pass me the hammer.
Ain't that the truth ...
"Florida's got gas. Lots of it ...". "State: Gas prices shouldn't rise this fast".
Charlie endorses a plan ... whoopee!
"Crist has endorsed a plan to build an ethanol plant on land that the state is trying to buy from U.S. Sugar to use for Everglades restoration."
The governor said he's concerned about the fate of the 1,800 U.S. Sugar employees who depend on the company to survive. So using some of its property for ethanol production "is one of the things I'd like to see," Crist said Wednesday in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times."Crist endorses ethanol plant to replace U.S. Sugar mill".
Although Crist did not endorse a project by a specific company, an ethanol manufacturer backed by General Motors already has spent several months negotiating with U.S. Sugar to build a plant next door to the company's Clewiston mill.
Pants on fire
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Campaign of lies disgraces McCain".
Sadly, theTallahassee Democrat editorial board apparently needs to remind ys of this
As a mountain of evidence all but proves, good health and a healthy pocketbook are often linked. People with financial means versus poverty dwellers are more likely to take advantage of better access to health care because they're more likely to be insured."Wellness and work".
Not really so baffling
The Maitland housewife, who is apparently loathe to believe that his dear RPOF buds would stoop to anything to win an election - is "baffled as to why [Charlie's] administration now will risk dragging Florida through another racially tinged voting controversy. This one concerns the verification of voter registrations." "Florida's 'no match, no vote' enforcement could be too much, too late".
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "The Bush administration is so far refusing to temporarily lift restrictions on remittances and travel to the island — an act that would allow Americans and Cuban-Americans in particular to help their relatives and friends in Cuba. " "Let Americans help Cuban people".
Florida Newspaper Companies Ask: is ObamaGone?
Adam Smith believes "Florida may be falling from Obama's grasp". See also "New poll shows McCain leading Obama in Florida".
"Three polls this week in Florida, the nation's biggest battleground state, show that vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is helping John McCain break away from Barack Obama." "Palin helps McCain's numbers in Florida".
"Earlier in the week, a Fox News/Rasmussen Reports survey said Florida was tied, with each candidate at 48 percent." "Poll: McCain opens lead over Obama in Florida".
Bottom line: it has degenerated into a racial thing: "lopsided support from working-class and suburban whites have lifted Republican John McCain to a slender lead over Barack Obama less than two months from Election Day, a poll on the presidential race said Friday."
McCain leads Obama by 55 percent to 37 percent among whites. That includes margins of 24 points with suburban whites and 26 points with whites who haven't finished college, plus similar advantages with white men and married whites."Whites Lift McCain To Slim Lead Over Obama In Poll".... In His Eyes
"For the second time, the fix was in for the wrong candidate to sit on the Florida Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities. For the second time, a governor didn't become part of the fix. In 2000, Jeb Bush got a list of finalists that included Luis Rojas, then a member of the Legislature. A year earlier, Mr. Rojas had sponsored a bill that would have let phone companies raise rates without even going before the Public Service Commission. Even the famously anti-regulatory Mr. Bush didn't go for that option." "Crist saw the light".