Even Mike Thomas, the man who oiled the feet of Jebbie Bush for many years, is having second thoughts about Saint Marco (with apologies to Venice).
Thomas writes this morning: "Is Marco Rubio pandering, flip-flopping, going all Charlie Crist on us?"
Say it isn't so.Much more here: "Marco? … Spendo! Is Marco Rubio really serious about cutting budgets?".
Marco was our contribution to the conservative "Young Guns," the thinking man's Tea Party candidate, the nice young man who politely begged to differ with Barack Obama and offered alternatives.
And now what is this?
He no longer wants to give workers the option of setting aside some of their Social Security in their own accounts?Thomas explains:
He supports the budget-busting Medicare Advantage program?
He wants to exempt NASA from his plan to roll back federal programs to 2008 budget levels?
Even more disturbing is how this fits in with the current trend of Republican bet-hedging on fiscal soundness.
Their "Pledge to America" austerity plan leaves out entitlement programs, which is like going on a diet by passing the fried chicken and skimping on the salad.
And now one of the young guns, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, says Republicans plan to bring back earmarks when they assume power.
"Rubio casts U.S. Senate race as battle for America".
"Democrats will have to ask themselves"
Adam C. Smith: "Very soon, Democrats will have to ask themselves how badly they want to beat Rubio and who has a shot at doing that — former Republican Crist or lifelong Democrat Meek." "Will Democrats abandon Meek to beat Rubio?".
"Despite attacking rival Rick Scott for his business scandal, gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink once sat on the auditing board of a call center that was sued by the state."
In court records, Sykes said that it was the victim of vague and complicated accounting rules, but the company ultimately settled the 10,000-member class-action lawsuit in 2000 for $30 million."Sykes scandal puts heat on Sink".
Sink, now Florida's chief financial officer, says the Sykes civil lawsuit issue pales in comparison to Scott's business scandal at Columbia/HCA. The hospital chain, which Scott founded and ran, was the target of a criminal probe that ultimately resulted in a record $1.7 billion Medicare fraud fine in 1997.
Has it come to this?
"Fla. family rents rooms in mansion to pay bills".
Rubio keeping the sapiens and thespians at bay
"Florida hasn't had a U.S. Senate race with such national implications since George Smathers* ousted Claude Pepper 58 years ago." "Senate race has national implications".
"The tea parties at courthouses squares and state capitols were a national phenomenon then. But, with state and national GOP celebrities lining up behind Crist, Rubio began an upward climb in the polls by tapping into the grassroots brushfire." "Rubio is a symbol of conservative backlash".
Related: "Meek on fire: 'I won't give up'" and "Crist: People are weary of partisanship".
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*George Smathers purportedly attacked Democrat Claude Pepper as a shameless "extrovert", with a brother who was known to be a "homo sapien', and a sister who was a wicked "thespian" in New York. Worse than all that, Pepper was accused to have practiced "celibacy" prior to his marriage. "Mudslingers: The Twenty-Five Dirtiest Political Campaigns of All Time". Sadly, these things still work in the panhandle, and among much of what is now the Republican "base".
"Crist remains relentlessly positive"
"A man without a party, shunned by longtime friends and badly trailing Marco Rubio, Gov. Crist remains relentlessly positive. It's who he is." "Critics, polls, odds -- none of it fazes Crist".
But the teabaggers say ...
"Stocks sizzled in third quarter, but will it last?".
The man who would be Governor
"The book is Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, and it's included in a number of college syllabuses across the country, including a class at Florida Atlantic University."
The textbook points out that federal investigators alleged that Scott and another executive "were briefed routinely on issues relating to Medicare reimbursement claims that the government charged were fraudulent." Scott resigned from the company and was never charged with any crimes."Lesson learned".
In its post-Scott existence, Columbia/HCA had "a new emphasis on compliance, integrity and social responsibility," according to the textbook. New training seminars focused on ethical compliance and quality issues. The company developed a code of conduct and created an internal mechanism to report wrongdoing.
The chapter ends with a list of questions for students to ponder, starting off with this: What were the organizational ethical leadership problems that resulted in Columbia/HCA's misconduct?
Endorsements start rolling in
The Sarasota Herald Tribune editors: "The question in this year's general election is whether voters will select the candidate who has made a successful transition from business to government. We hope they will -- by voting for Alex Sink." "Sink for governor".
What a RPOFer calls "victory"
"Palin to headline Orlando 'victory rally'".
"Florida's 'oxy' merchants"
Fred Grimm: "More bad news for S. Florida's 'oxy' merchants".
"Phooey. Nuts. Hockey pucks"
Howard Troxler: "If this crazy constitutional amendment passes, it will destroy Florida."
Florida will go out of business. We will lose our jobs. Other states will beat us."If you vote for Amendment 4, you'll turn purple and get fat (and other exaggerations)".
Yep, those were the dire warnings that we heard from Florida's business leaders …
Back in 2004, when they tried to scare voters into rejecting a $1 increase in Florida's minimum wage.
This year, we're hearing the same kind of thing about Amendment 4 on the November ballot, the "Hometown Democracy" idea.
Amendment 4 simply says that local voters in Florida should have the final say over some growth decisions.
But to hear Florida's business community tell it, such an idea would be the end of the world. The state might well sink into the ocean.
Phooey. Nuts. Hockey pucks.
The anti-Grayson crusade ...
... "continues" at the Orlando Sentinel.
"District 13 Congressional hopefuls hit the stage".
"U.S. Senate race: Who can win Northwest Florida?".
Jeez ... we're certainly not Christine O'Donnell fans here, but she was obviously just kidding ... so this headline ain't exactly fair: "Meat kept O'Donnell from being Hare Krishna".
I am not a crook
"Scott campaign defends his record as head of hospital chain".
"Absolutely true news item"
Carl Hiaasen"An absolutely true news item: Cuba will soon begin deepwater drilling for oil and gas only 45 to 65 miles from the Florida Keys." "Tony tells Raúl how to cope with disaster".
Who you calling a flipper?
"Crist out to defuse 'flip-flopper' label".
No fat fringers
"Organizers claimed they had as many participants as Beck's rally. But Saturday's crowds were less dense [perhaps due to less obesity] and didn't reach as far to the edges [err ... fringes] as they did during Beck's rally." "DC rally shows support for struggling Democrats".
Miami-Dade County Commissioner recall
The Miami Herald editorial board: "Heading into the November election, voters' anger over rising taxes, escalating insurance costs, mounting foreclosures and dwindling quality of life in an ailing economy is palpable."
The battle cry? Throw the rascals out!"Tapping into voters' anger".
Enter Norman Braman, the auto dealer and philanthropist who threatened to bankroll a recall petition if Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved Mayor Carlos Alvarez's budget. On Thursday, he made good on his promise -- partially. He filed papers to recall Mayor Alvarez. Battling the commissioners who approved the latest budget, he said, can wait.
Myriam Marquez thinks Braman is a swell guy, not "just an angry rich guy with too much time on his hands": "Braman known for 'no,' but he stands for more".