Monday, October 20, 2014

Florida's Psychosis: Do You NOT Remember the Day When Rick Scott Showed He Was a Monster?

So... did we all forget this happened?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered deep cuts Thursday to programs that serve tens of thousands of residents with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities.

Though a range of state services face cuts from this year's Legislature, the governor invoked his emergency powers to order the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to immediately roll back payments to group homes and social workers by 15 percent — an amount providers say could put them out of business and threaten their clients' safety.

The cuts went into effect immediately. No provider was given notice. As the article says they learned from the headline the next morning.

I remember the picture of the young disabled child that accompanied the story. She depended on the aides for basic tasks, like eating and bathing. The workers made minimum wage working around the clock--their pay literally couldn't be cut any less. No health insurance, no sick leave, no retirement, but tons and tons of love and patience. Florida's budget for the disabled was already at the bottom in the nation, but it wasn't enough for Rick Scott. He kicked them to the curb like his rescue puppy.

Rick Scott didn't show an ounce of heart or soul. After all, disabled kids could be dumped into adult nursing homes. Which they were. Pam Bondi would defend it. Evil.

Oh... and in case you think he just hates disabled, helpless children, that's not true. He showed that he hated disabled, helpless seniors that year as well.

Did he at least save any money? Nope. Their small budget was cut by a whopping 15%, which was only a few million. But Rick Scott combined this with 1.3 Billion in cuts to education. (This was, mind you, after he swore he wouldn't cut education, but as usual, no one calls him on this.) At least, you would think, that would go a long way helping somebody in Florida.

And it did.


Rick Scott's donors and friends weren't the only ones to cash in. So did Rick Scott.

Remember in 2010, when Rick Scott spent $75 million to get the governorship? Remember in 2013 when he introduced a state law that allowed elected officials to keep assets in a so-called "blind trust" instead of disclosing investments as required by Florida's Constitution? There is a reason Rick Scott failed to disclose how much he has made the past few years. He is now the wealthiest governor in history, raking in almost half a billion dollars: and "forgetting" to claim $340 million of it.

This original post was quite long documenting and linking travesty after travesty, and each time Rick Scott has profited off of our misery. But you know what, I'm TIRED OF IT! This post is ONE FREAKING EXAMPLE out of many.

I remember the outrage when it happened. Now it's never mentioned. NONE of these are. My state party is treating me to the same tired Medicaid scandal as back in 2010, even though Rick Scott's Medicaid privatization district scheme makes that scandal look like a Sunday drive. Rick Scott isn't just a horrible politician, he is a horrible person. Lest you think that I would say that about any GOP governor, I wouldn't--and haven't. I didn't say that about "JEB" (John Ellis Bush) or Tom Corbett or Rick Perry or whathaveyou. But I will say that about Rick Scott.

When the hell did this state become an abused spouse that tries to convince itself things weren't so bad?

You know what Florida, THIS IS AN INTERVENTION! Kick him out, or we're through here.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Word on District Court of Appeals Judges

These judges are given a YES or NO vote to retain them. They should be nonpartisan but that doesn't always work out that way in Florida. The GOP is on a campaign to make them as far right as possible. Naturally, all of the fifth circuit court of appeals judges are GOP; nonetheless, I usually vote YES on retaining judges unless I hear something awful.

Whether I like the governor or not, the person holding that office is allowed to pick who they want. That being said, Wendy W. Berger and Frederic Rand Wallis were appointed by Rick Scott. Another one, C. Alan Lawson, was the one that the conservatives really wanted on the Supreme Court when Charlie Crist picked James Perry.

FL House District 53 - Vote David Kearns

Dave Kearns is like many of us in Florida.. absolutely fed up. He is so angry at Scott's antics he wrote a book entitled Rick Scott: Enemy of the State. Kearns is also responsible for bringing to light Rick Scott's Ditchgate, where he literally stranded families in the woods to avoid questions. David has been a former professional journalist and a teacher who wants what everyone in Florida wants: to bring sanity back to the Florida legislature and rehabilitate our state's horrible reputation.

There are thinking, feeling human beings in this state and our voices are being drowned out by the FOX noise machine, and well-funded reactionary republicans who have usurped out state's government.--David Kearns

His opponent, John Tobias, is a homophobe who mocks gays and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, makes "inappropriate comments about women." He only won by 2% points.

David Kearns is the independent in the race. I normally go for the Democrat, but in this case, I can't support the Democrat, Santa Isabel Wright, because of her passive campaign philosophy. You need someone who will get angry and fight. It's time to start pushing back.

Volunteer or contribute at "668 Dunbarton Circle Ne Palm Bay Florida 32905" making check to "The Committee to Elect David Kearns". He accepts nothing greater than $1000 per donation.

Important: Vote Al Krulick (NPA) NOT THE DEMOCRAT Against John Mica (FL-7)

Note: This is a Florida Progressive blog and has no affiliation with the Seminole County Democratic Party

I sometimes wonder why we have a party in this state. It is no wonder that John Mica thought he could (and did) go from being a moderate to full-on teabagger since 2010.

Wes Neuman, the Democrat in the race for FL-7, in what I can only describe as monumental laziness or cowardice, quit his race in Congressional District FL-7 against GOP incumbent John Mica. He confirmed that he quit to the Orlando Sentinel a few days ago.

He told no one. The dumbass just walked away after deciding to quit campaigning awhile ago. Democrats in this district deserve a hell of a lot better than that.

He should have told his party, his supporters, and pulled his name of the ballot when there was time.

I can forgive my party for putting up a loser, but if someone doesn't want the job, walks away, and gives a big FU to everyone: WHY THE HELL ARE YOU STILL SUPPORTING HIM??

The party endorsements still say to vote Wes Neuman. The FL Dems are saying he is the candidate as long as he doesn't withdraw. That is garbage! There is another person on the ballot. Al Krulick is an independent, but a registered Democrat who has volunteered for the party and is a true fighter. He is for fair wage, fair elections, and single-payer.

Al Krulick should at least have been able to count on last minute support from my party since he is the only one left fighting for us in this campaign and the only possible shot we have!

There are much longer shots in other Congressional districts, but the Dems are giving what for against their GOP opponents. At the very least, they are making them answer for some of their heinous behavior and forcing the GOP to spend resources they'd rather not. Democrat and Vietnam Vet Jeff Miller in FL-1 is fighting on a shoestring, and KARL FREAKING ROVE had to open an office in that district to help fend him off from rightwinger Jeff Miller.

But James Bryan is a real candidate. I get Wes Neuman. I get a party that tells me to vote for him.

This kind of garbage is why a state full of Democrats has a legislature more right-wing than Oklahoma.

If you are in District 7, vote Al Krulick.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Demand the FAN!

Let me second our host's post of yesterday by suggesting that we all write to WJXT (the station co-sponsoring the next debate) and asking that they rescind their own "anti-fan" rule:

I wrote to the Administration email as follows:
I see that in the upcoming debate between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott, a rule has been implemented forbidding fans. This is absurd and unnecessary and should be rescinded. A small fan will in no way interfere with the broadcast.

And indeed it won't. Organizers of the last debate claimed that fans caused a "hum" during the broadcast. Well, I sure didn't hear one in the last two debates, and Crist had his fan on both times. So tell them to cut the bull and let Crist have his fan!

Friday, October 17, 2014

FAIL: Republican Debate Sponsor Changed the Rules In Attempt to Embarrass Crist

The original version of the rules, (which is the one I saw), said candidates "may not bring electronic devices, visual aids or notes." Again, very clearly this was aimed at devices that could receive information during a debate.

Ridings, a debate sponsor who turns out to have ties to Rick Scott, said the word "fans" was added by his group and Leadership Florida. According to the Tampa Bay Times, when asked if Scott's campaign also requested it, Ridings said he didn't know.

Yeah, right. Who else would add something so stupid? What Ridings didn't know was that Scott would try to use this as a pretext to allow him to get out of the debate. The article goes on to say that Crist never agreed to the change, and notated that on his agreement. Even the shady debate sponsors, who put out a press release blaming Crist at the behest of Scott's campaign, admitted to accepting Crist's agreement (along with the fact that this was trivial).

As bad as that was, this tidbit from the article was most telling:

Scott's advisers urged Wendy Walker of Leadership Florida and Dean Ridings of the Florida Press Association to end the debate before it started. But the host station, Miami's WFOR, refused to pull the plug.
Scott's own debate advisor, Mr. Brett O'Donnell, tried to use this to cancel the entire debate over the fan. It failed, because anyone with one functioning brain cell, even Rick Scott supporters, don't believe that Scott refused to come out over a 1-foot, 10 dollar fan.

I don't blame O'Donnell for trying because he knows more than anyone that his candidate cannot answer questions. (This is now painfully obvious to everyone who stuck around to watch the actual debate.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Real Reason Behind Rick Scott's Debate Tantrum

#144 of My Stupid State

There are enough articles of the sheer stupidity of Rick Scott storming off a debate over a fan. Even the moderators called it "trivial" and "bizarre".

To be clear, the rules said no electronic devices, which means tablets, iphones, or wired transmitters (ala Bush's first debate with Kerry). It does not mean items like a watch or, worse, a freaking FAN: items that do not transmit/receive information.

Bottom line: after a ton of boos, along with a few good zingers Crist mocked him with, Rick Scott was shamed into coming out.

Even more bizarre than refusing to debate Crist over a fan was Rick Scott's bizarre response that he never did refuse to debate over a fan ---after he did just that.

Watch his brief "justification" here. You really can't appreciate how awkward and unprepared Rick Scott was unless you watch it. If you don't have youtube, be thankful. It's painful.

And that, my friends, is the true reason why Rick Scott did what he did.

He can't answer tough questions. He really can't. He is terrible at it. People who call him out for the incredibly horrible things he has done literally frightens him. That is why he is the only governor to deem budget signing ceremonies "private" and holds them in GOP bastions, like the Villages, so he doesn't have to face protestors. It's why he actually ran away from a citizen-journalist.

Petty? Yes. Stupid? Definitely. But FL DEMS, call this for what this REALLY is--Rick Scott was trying to weasel out of answering tough questions because that is what he does!

When he does have to face the media, it is always a spectacle. There is not one non-rightwing interview he has done that hasn't ended badly. National and state reporters pull their hair out. Watch this brief clip below to see what I mean. He was asked the same direct question four times. (If this clip is auto playing, I apologize):

Or this one (the reporter wouldn't let up):

Or this insulting condition he put on this Latina reporter:

CNN's Soledad almost lost it over his demeaning dodging of questions over gun violence:

CNN's Ali Velshi really did.

Scott won't even answer questions under oath.

"Is that a xerox of your signature?" "It looks like my signature, but............... what's your question?"

He is really that bad. There's many more examples, but you get the point. Rick Scott is neither a good politician or candidate. He hates having to answer questions by non-supporters and was obviously looking for a way out. He tried an utterly ridiculous Hail Mary pass that is turning out to be a disaster.

Scott has nothing to run on, but plenty to run from.

When he was finally shamed into coming out to debate, Scott had to defend his cutting $1.3 billion out of Florida schools during his first year as governor, his spiteful refusal to allow Medicaid expansion, his support of the Trayvon Martin verdict, and then got slammed by Crist over one of Rick Scott's largest donors--Duke Energy--which is gouging Floridians across the state.

Scott embarrassed himself several times: he accused Crist of not really being in favor of gay marriage (because he and fellow gay-basher Pam Bondi would be so much better?); he tried to talk about his "integrity" (which gave Crist a slam-dunk applause line about pleading the fifth 75 times after stealing billions in the largest Medicaid fraud case in US history); and then there was his closing remarks.

Many issues over Rick Scott's legacy were never brought up. Unfortunately, most of the issues that were discussed were lost to #fangate. If you google this debate, all you'll hear about is the first few minutes.

I really want Rick Scott to lose because of all he's done to us, but this is Florida, so I'll take what I can get. If the deciding factor is his tantrum he decided to throw over a small fan, so be it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The GOP Glue Baby

I suppose as children, some of you may have used this taunt:

"I'm rubber, you're glue! Everything you say bounces of me and sticks to YOU!"

That taunt would actually make a good slogan for the Charlie Crist campaign, as a response to Rick Scott's campaign. And if Scott fanatics ever figured this out, they'd possibly become rooted to whatever spot they are in, paralyzed with confusion, until the 2018 election.

It's like this: Nearly every Scott campaign talking critical of Crist also points a finger at the GOP-dominated Legislature that served with Crist.

Did Crist cause 800,000 jobs to be lost, as Scott implies? He didn't, but if he had, then we'd also have to blame the GOP Legislature, which passed into law the fiscal policy that Crist signed as Florida's chief executive.

Did Crist leave a deficit in Florida's budget? That claim involves a confusion of categories, but again, if he had done so, it would not have been possible without help from the GOP Legislature, which holds the purse strings.

Did Crist raise taxes? Yes, if you mean also, he signed into law tax increases the GOP Legislature approved.

Did Crist increase Florida's debt? That's also a confusion of categories, but it's again something that couldn't have happened without the GOP Legislature passing it to him with a wave and a smile.

Did Crist "raid" the budget stabilization fund? That fund is supposed to be "raided" when there's a budget shortfall. The GOP Legislature knew that, which is why they approved of it.

Did Crist raise tuition costs? Not without help from the GOP Legislature.

Did Crist pass a lot of wasteful state spending? That darned GOP Legislature sent it to his desk to be signed.

I could go on, but I'll close instead with the most delicious irony of all. Scott's flock is also on Crist's back for flipping over to the Democratic Party. Based on all of the above, they should be praising him for changing his allegiances. They should also be voting for Crist as a referendum against the failed economic policies of the failed GOP Legislature.

Tell this to your GOP friends and watch them go into catatonia.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 FL Constitutional Amendments: 1 & 2 Yes! 3 Hell No!

Amendment 1-Dedicated Funding to Acquire and Restore Florida Conservation and Recreation Lands:--YES!!!

Under Rick Scott, Florida has become the 2nd most polluted state in the union behind Ohio. The agencies charged with protection were stacked with Chamber of Commerce cronies who did the opposite, our springs are choked with slime thanks to Rick Scott's allowance of wastewater disposal, and we now have fracking in the Everglades. We can't count on our governor or his complicit right-wing legislature to do the right thing and protect our water and natural areas.... so we have to count on us.

Amendment 1 gives Florida voters a direct opportunity to keep drinking water clean, protect our rivers, lakes, and springs, restore natural resources, and protect our beaches: all without any increase in taxes! It takes 33 percent of an existing real estate tax and puts that money into environmental and drinking water protection INSTEAD of giving it to wealthy Rick Scott cronies. Pretty freaking clear folks--YES on this.

Amendment 2-Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions:--YES!

Think about the stupidity of what is going on in our state right now. If you are in serious pain at a hospital, you can be prescribed OPIUM! That happened to dying colleague I knew. Her pain was being treated with one of the harshest drugs because Marijuana was not allowed to be prescribed. Who in their right mind thinks that's okay???? Critically ill patients have died being denied cannabis treatment. There is no reason to deny this to terminally ill patients--and few people think so except our Attorney General, Pam Bondi, Rick Scott, and ideologically-warped politicians. They can only picture long-haired hippies getting high, not the actual grandmothers or toddlers being medically treated and saved by it.

Amendment 3- Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies:--hells NO!!

Every single damn election we go through this. Rick Scott and the teaparty legislature have tried for years to kick off the three liberal Justices of the Florida State Supreme Court. They tried to break them off to a criminal court, they tried smearing them in the last election (using Koch money), and they created a phony scandal to remove them. The last election they tried a bizarre ballot attempt of having a Senate "sign-off" for Justices. That failed. So they tried this:

If Rick Scott LOSES this year's election, he gets to kick off the THREE LIBERAL JUSTICES on the Supreme Court and replace them with conservatives. This ballot is worded so that a governor can "replace" judges if his term ends at the same time as a Justice's. (Just so you are aware, the legislature already passed a bill that allows Rick Scott to kick off the three liberal Justices IF HE WINS, so this amendment just covers all the bases.)

Vote NO. Then tell your friends to do the same.