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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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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, September 06, 2010

Freedom of Religion, Florida Style

    "Hundreds of Afghans railed against the United States and called for President Barack Obama's death at a rally in the capital Monday to denounce a Florida church's plans to burn the Islamic holy book on Sept. 11."
    The Gainesville, Fla.-based Dove World Outreach Center announced plans to burn copies of the Quran on church grounds to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but has been denied a permit to set a bonfire. The church, which made headlines last year after distributing T-shirts that said "Islam is of the Devil," has vowed to proceed with the burning.
    "Afghans protest Fla church's plans to burn Quran". See also "UF Muslims fear Koran burning may spark violence".

    For more Florida wingnuttery, see yesterday's "Another fine Florida product".

    Labor Day

    A nice cover of Billy Bragg's classic.

    The Miami Herald publishes E.J. Dionne's piece on Labor Day this morning. Dionne begins when he, as a child

    watching the great civil-rights march on television in August 1963, couldn't help but notice that hundreds carried signs with a strange legend at the top: "UAW Says." UAW was saying "Segregation Disunites the United States,'' and many other things insisting on equality. ...

    It was some years later when I learned about the heroic battles of the UAW, not only on behalf of those who worked in the great car plants but also for social and racial justice across our society. Walter Reuther, the gallant and resolutely practical egalitarian who led the union for many years, was one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s close allies.
    Dionne continues, noting the drop in union membership, writing that
    even worse than the falling membership numbers is the extent to which the ethos animating organized labor is increasingly foreign to American culture. The union movement has always been attached to a set of values -- solidarity being the most important, the sense that each should look out for the interests of all.

    This promoted other commitments: to mutual assistance, to a rough-and-ready sense of equality, to a disdain for elitism, to a belief that democracy and individual rights did not stop at the plant gate or the office reception room.
    Dionne goes on to bemoan the fact that "labor's achievements go largely unmentioned."

    "The hugely constructive contributions of Reuther (or Sidney Hillman or Eugene V. Debs) are barely noted in standard renditions of U.S. history. Few Americans under 35 have much direct experience with unions. When the word 'union' appears in the media these days, it is typically invoked in stories about teachers resisting school reform or the pension costs burdening local governments."
    All but forgotten is the fact that our nation's extraordinary prosperity from the end of World War II to the 1970s was in significant part the result of union contracts that, in words the right-wing hated Barack Obama for saying in 2008, "spread the wealth around.'' A broad middle class with spending power to keep the economy moving created a virtuous cycle of low joblessness and high wages.

    Between 1966 and 1970, as Gerald Seib pointed out last week in The Wall Street Journal, the United States enjoyed an astonishing 48 straight months in which the unemployment rate was at or below 4 percent. No, the unions didn't do all this by themselves.

    But they were important co-authors of a social contract that made our country fairer, richer and more productive.

    There are many complicated reasons why these arrangements broke down, but I do not see things getting substantially better unless we find ways of increasing the bargaining power of wage-earners -- precisely what Reuther and his fellowship dedicated their lives to doing. ...

    Whatever else they achieve, the unions remind us of the dignity of all who toil, whatever their social position, color or educational attainments. We should miss labor's influence more than we do.
    Much more here: "Love of labor -- lost". Related, from BlogWood: "Unions 101 – Happy Labor Day".

    Related: "The Annual Labor Day Insult".

    Klein takes on teabagger

    "It's round two in the race between Republican Allen West and Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Ron Klein."

    The race, pitting an African-American Republican who spent his career in the military against a Jewish Democratic politician with nearly two decades in elected office, is so far more about insults than ideas, more about schoolyard catcalls than campaign slogans.

    Consider these latest exchanges:

    • West has called Klein House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "mama's boy,'' "Little Lord Ron'' and "Little Ronnie.''

    • Klein's camp has called West "dangerous and outrageous'' and points out that MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann labeled West the "worst person in the world.''

    They are polar opposites on nearly every hot-button topic.
    "Rematch of bitter rivals likely to be closer".

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