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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.


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The Blog for Saturday, June 04, 2005

Did "Jeb!" Lie About Shiavo Abuse?

    Will the media ask "Jeb!" to explain whether he was lying about "new and compelling allegations of abuse" in advance of the aborted Schiavo snatch and grab mission? After all, "Jeb!" specifically
    claimed there were new and compelling allegations of abuse or neglect that the state Department of Children and Families had to investigate.
    documents released by DCF Friday reveal few fresh allegations that Schiavo was abused or neglected. Investigators wrote that there were "no indicators" of abuse in any of the cases.
    the only allegation in the batch not heard before: A March 7 complaint that accused a nursing assistant at Schiavo's Pinellas Park hospice of using an "air freshener substance" in her bath water in July, which caused a rash. DCF investigators learned the substance was an aromatherapy oil that the assistant placed in a spray bottle, not in Schiavo's bath.

    Another complaint, made on March 8, said Schiavo was moaning because she was in pain from recent dental work. But other complaints allege that Schiavo received no dental work for years.

    Some people called to complain that the blinds in Schiavo's room weren't open wide enough.
    "Schiavo abuse claims were old".

    "Jeb!" better have had something more than "air freshener" complaints when he claimed there was "new and compelling allegations of abuse" as justification for nearly causing a constitutional crisis; recall that, as a result of the need to "save" Schiavo, "'There were two sets of law enforcement officers facing off, waiting for the other to blink,' said one official with knowledge of Thursday morning's activities."

    "Jeb!" had actually dispatched armed officers,
    Agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement [who] told police in Pinellas Park, the small town where Schiavo lies at Hospice House Woodside, on Thursday that they were on the way to take her to a hospital to resume her feeding.

    For a brief period, local police, who have officers at the hospice to keep protesters out, prepared for what sources called "a showdown."

    In the end, the squad from the FDLE and the Department of Children & Families backed down, apparently concerned about confronting local police outside the hospice.

    "We told them that unless they had the judge with them when they came, they were not going to get in," said a source with the local police.
    "Plan to seize Schiavo fizzles". "Jeb!" did this under the apparently false claim that there were "new and compelling allegations of abuse".

    Now that "Jeb!"'s - let's call them - "inaccuracies" have been exposed, we of course can expect the compliant media to blithely accept "Jeb!"'s forthcoming excuses - let's see, it should go something like this: "I relied upon all the information I had before me at the time and I did what I knew in my heart to be the right thing, the moral thing to do".

    One would hope that the media will do more than except pap of this order, and probe into precisely what it was that "Jeb!" claimed to be "new and compelling allegations of abuse"; put differently, what did "Jeb!" know and when did he know it.

    Clearly, when the State's Chief Executive is, in the face of court orders, dispatching armed officers to seize a helpless woman, precipitating a constitutional crisis, he must be held to some standard.

    Simply "being 'Jeb!'" is not enough.

    Remind me, President Clinton was impeached for lying about ... what again?

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