Monday, March 31, 2014

Who Runs the Florida National Guard? The NRA

108 of My Stupid State
Crossposted on DKos

There is a reason I chose the perverted Florida flag with a gun as the symbol of my blog. It represents the NRA's takeover of my state during the tea party occupation of 2010.

Since that time, Florida has essentially been run by the NRA. Marion Hammer, the head of Florida's NRA, is BY FAR the most powerful lobbyist in Tallahassee. Governor Rickster (like Jeb before him) pretty much does her bidding. The GOP legislature passes at least one ridiculous gun law a year, (and I DO MEAN RIDICULOUS as I've documented before).

This year, its Senate Bill 296.

This bill essentially allows people without a concealed weapons permit to forego that requirement during an emergency situation. I know I can't think of a better time to be prolific with weapons than during a statewide panic.

Now, the National Guard is supposed to respond during such an emergency, such as with a hurricane or a zombie apocalypse. But the Senate Bill allows people to grab guns, with no permit and no training, during the most stressful situations and take care of business themselves.

The attorney for Florida's National Guard, Terrence Gorman, testified that this probably isn't a good idea.

“They probably should not have a weapon shoved in the back of their pants,” he said. “You’re talking about thousands of people who need to be evacuated.”

What happened next highlights Hammer’s power in the state Capitol.

Long story short: Hammer met with Scott's chief of staff and top attorney. The next day, the Florida National Guard's top official NOT ONLY refuted his own lawyer's testimony but sent out a two sentence letter stating his support for it.

Scott even asked him to correct the official record, which the guy did.

The bill has stalled, but only temporarily. I'm sure it will become law by year's end. I only hope that by that time Florida will have a governor that isn't as awful as the one we have now.

In Florida, that's the best I can hope for.

Hey Fox, I can do this too!!

Fox News used one of their shady graphs to smear the ACA today.

I can do that too, based on figures for Rachel Maddow and Fox's Megyn Kelly:

 photo fox_zpsc19d25ea.png

Sunday, March 30, 2014

GOP Starts Voter Suppression Assault

According to the NYT today, states controlled by Republicans are gearing up for an all out assault on voting. They are attempting to limit the time polls are open, cut or eliminate weekend voting, sharply reduce early voting days, eliminate same-day registration, exclude all kinds of IDs (like student and state-worker IDs), and now are trying to require proof of citizenship--which will pretty much require you bring your birth certificate or passport.

Florida already deleted Sunday before election day... although you can vote the day before or the day after. WHY SUNDAY? Because that's when black people vote. Churches organize "Souls to the polls" drives after Sunday services. This, they figure, will help the GOP.

They claim this is about voting fraud, but that is nonexistent for in-person voting, although there is some for absentee voting (which these laws don't touch. Rick Scott engaged in absentee voting fraud himself for his election).

If voting fraud was a real concern, there are ways to fight it that do not disenfranchise poor voters.

One method used by other countries is to have the government send a card to every registered voter a few weeks before the election saying where the polling place is. The voter is instructed to bring the card, which serves as proof that the voter is registered. In some places the cards contain high-tech anticounterfeiting technology, such as holograms. It is also possible to include on the card a digital photo of the voter, taken at the time the voter registered. To make this even more bulletproof, the card could contain a random number, different for each voter and each election and known to the poll workers, to make it harder to forge the cards. A scheme like this would make it virtually impossible for anyone to vote fraudulently and would not disadvantage people without government-issued ID. But, of course, the real purpose of the voter ID laws is precisely to make it harder for poor people, who disproportionately do not have drivers licenses or passports, to vote.

A recent study from Harvard and the University of Sydney confirms this. The U.S. ranked 26th in electoral integrity, a broad measure of flawed elections, including factors such as voter registration and campaign finance. An example of a flaw in the U.S. system that other countries don't have is the requirement in some states to present a voter ID card. The card is usually free but the birth certificate needed to get it is not free, so if you don't have a drivers license (expensive) or a passport (more expensive), you may have to effectively pay to vote. De facto, this is poll tax. For this and many other reasons, no Western country scored lower than the U.S. in the study.

Scott Supporters Don't Even Know Their Own Guy's Biography!

Here's a dose of hilarity. Over on Scott's Facebook page, I found one of his followers who said:

"Thank you Rick Scott for getting our state in top financial shape!!! Attorneys do not need to be in office anywhere! Let's put business owners and the working class in office! They at least know how to keep us out of debt!"

I replied:

 "Um, Rick Scott is an attorney. He has a law degree from Southern Methodist. So who do you plan to vote for now?"

They backpedaled by saying that their point was that they didn't want Crist and Morgan in office. But that's an obvious dodge for their mistake. Scott's supporters don't even know their own candidate's biography.  Is it any wonder they voted for him?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fight the Kochs #myobamacarestory

Okay FL and Nat. Dems... the Kochs have spent literally millions and cannot find one legitimate person hurt by ACA. Maybe you should feature the literally millions helped?

I can't wait for the national party (and certainly not my state party) to act. So let's do this ourselves.

Video or narrative, share your story #myobamacarestory

PS. Originally, that hashtag was claimed by the right, but it only had like six posts. It would be deliciously awesome if this was used by even a tiny percentage of the millions ACA has helped.

Florida Legislature Not Over Civil War; Refuses Monument for American Union Soldiers

Crossposted on DKos

Nevermind the fact that the state park for the potential memorial already has THREE memorials for Confederate soldiers.

Nevermind the fact that this battle lost more than twice as many Union soldiers as Confederates.

Nevermind the fact that Confederates in this battle committed war crimes.

And nevermind the fact that these asshats in Tally always rail about government interference in local affairs.

When a group of residents tried to get a small memorial to honor fallen AMERICAN soldiers at Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, Sons of the Confederacy member Rep. Dennis Baxley responded with a bill that just passed in committee on a 7-6 vote. The bill would strip park administrators the authority to place historical markers and give it to the right-wing Florida legislature!

As Michael Van Sickler pointed out in the Tampa Bay Times, the bill seems to "contradict" conservative principles by wedging in an extra layer of government to determine local affairs.

"I think it's a sad day," Lloyd Monroe, president of the Olustee Monument Commission for the Florida chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans, told the Ocala Star-Banner when the bill was filed. "It's unfortunate that [Baxley] wants the legislature to micromanage an executive department ... The park belongs to all the people of Florida. It doesn't belong to a particular sub-set of people."

All of this to keep from honoring fallen Union soldiers.

The Battle of Olustee had the highest casualty ratio in the Civil War and was the largest Civil War battle fought in Florida. The Union commander was able to liberate several slaves before the onset of the battle, which although was considered a Confederate victory did showcase the gallantry of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the 35th United States Colored Troops, both composed of African-American soldiers. These men successfully repulsed the Confederate army's attack on the rear units which allowed the Union soldiers to escape and regroup in Jacksonville. The Confederate commander was reprimanded for his failure.

After the battle was over, against the norms of war, several wounded and captured black soldiers where clubbed to death or shot by the Confederate troops.

Yet we have three monuments honoring the people who committed these atrocities, and not one honoring those American soldiers who were killed.

Baxley's defense is that he is entitled to "a little sliver of diversity" to honor his descendants... but apparently not the ones who fought to preserve the Union as well as some damned decency for fellow human beings.

When I heard about this bill, I appropriately guessed it was Baxley who was behind it. He is Florida's notoriously racist state senator. He is the one responsible for our state's Stand Your Ground Law. He is also the staunchest supporter of our state's voter suppression laws. He has fought hard for the Confederate flag plates, and even harder against removing the term "darkies" from our state song:

"We're in a multicultural area and everyone's culture is celebrated but mine".

Yeah, rich, old white people are so f*&*ing oppressed.

I get that the Florida GOP, for all their rants about patriotism, wants the park to only support those who committed the biggest act of treason in the United States.

But don't put in my face ever again this mantra of local control when it means residents of the town can't put up their own monument to honor American soldiers because it may somehow interfere with several monuments of the traitor soldiers who killed--and in some cases, murdered--the American soldiers.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Florida state officials abruptly cancel springs talk by FSU prof after she criticizes Rick Scott

Florida officials have abruptly canceled a talk by a Florida State professor and writer who has been critical of the administration of Gov. Rick Scott.

Click to Read More

The Out of Touch Gang

As harmless as this article seems to be, it's the type of thing that ought to get those of us who have suffered because of Rick Scott foaming at the mouth angry. A posting I left there says it all:

* yacht club
* by invitation only
* they have to tell people WHY Scott is "good for Florida" (because obviously, a lot of people think he isn't)

This is the classic collection of people who are out of touch with the great harm Rick Scott has done to the everyday people of Florida. Not one of them has likely had to be unemployed, search the streets for a job, collect unemployment (especially via a malfunctioning website), find food for their children, etc. Or if they have, it's been decades (as with Ann Scott) since they did so.

No, ladies. You can't "tell the story better." We know the story. Rick Scott represents the selfish self-interest of the wealthy. Period.

My list of reasons to vote out this monster will soon reach 200. In the meantime I've set some things in motion to give it more exposure. That's coming soon. But kicking out Rick can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rick Scott Campaign Now Insulting Rich Hispanic Fundraiser But Defends the Bigoted Staffers

Crossposted as Rec on DKos
#CV. of My Stupid State

After a racist incident involving two high-level staffers mimicking a Mexican accent on the way to Chipotle, Miguel ("Mike") Hernandez, Rick Scott's finance co-chair and top fundraiser, fired off an angry email and then abruptly quit.

Rick Scott's campaign wasted no time in apologizing... I'm just kidding. I meant INSULTED their top fundraiser.

Rick Scott's campaign director, Curt Anderson, called him a "renegade donor", writing "bizarre emails", and slammed his resignation as "immaterial foolishness".

Then Scott's campaign manager, Melissa Sellers, essentially called him a liar:

"Mike was not in the van,” Scott’s campaign manager, Melissa Sellers, said in an email to the Herald.

“I spoke to every staffer in the van,” Sellers wrote. “If something was said in an accent, no one remembers what it was."

Really? Well, obviously somebody remembered something or why the hell would Mike have complained in the first place?

Let me ask you this, Melissa and Curt: Did a person who gave Rick Scott the largest single donation in Florida history, one MILLION dollars, and then raised 35 million more just make the whole thing up to make Rick Scott look bad?

Here is the ACTUAL email from Mike Fernandez. Doesn't exactly jibe with Melissa's story.

At least Rick Scott responded by cracking down on the behavior of the two senior staffers..... I'm just kidding. I meant he DEFENDED them by saying they are doing a "great job".

By the way, whenever Rick Scott says you are doing "a great job", watch out:

And as far as Mike goes, how does it feel?

You aren't one of "those" brown people who Rick Scott purged from voting, won't give a driver's license to, or asked for their papers. You were different. You are Republican, rich, and corrupt... you really thought you were one of them.

After all that money you gave and all that effort you put in, just to find out that in the end, Rick Scott stands by the white, snotty, Hispanic-mocking staffers--NOT you.

Lest you think this is an isolated incident, Mike, the Hispanic Outreach Director also quit the Florida GOP for their bigoted "culture of intolerance". And longtime GOP politician Ana Riveras Logan was tired of the bigotry as well and she just switched from being a Republican to a Democrat.

She also had a few words for Rick Scott as well:

"What is unbelievable to me is that instead of apologizing about these remarks and moving on, Rick Scott hasn’t said a word! That’s not leadership."

Minorities are insulted and shafted in this state all the time, Mike. In the case of SYG, they are even getting killed. None of that mattered to you. But now that they are personally insulting your character, maybe THAT will.

Crist's "Scott Free Florida" Page

I just got a note about this new website started by the Crist campaign. Even if you're planning to vote for Nan Rich in the primary, it looks like the kind of place you can get some good ammo.

Their first article is a list of 5 reasons why Scott is bad for Florida. Hey, I can give them at least 192 more right now...and maybe I will later!


Fact Check: Obamacare Driving 2.5 Million Out of Workforce?

Nope. Use Politifact's handy analysis to respond to this audacious claim in Rick Scott's new campaign smear...I mean, ad. They also cover the "300,000 cancelled policies" claim. Both get rated Mostly False.

This one made #196 on my list, by the way.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Really Good Spoof of Creepy New GOP Ads

Because I can't get enough of the GOP hipster wannabe, Scott Greenberg:

Rick Scott Says the Two Bigots on his Staff Are Doing a "Great Job"

Rick Scott's fellow Medicaid fraudster, top fundraiser and finance co-chair Mike Fernandez abruptly quit last week after a racist incident involving two of Rick Scott's staff.

Rick Scott, who is already struggling with Hispanics, got on top of this today--by having his Lt. Gov defend them!

Today's tweet (H/t Beachpeanuts for catching this)

I spoke with @FLGovScott earlier today and he told me that @justonjohnson and @tsgop were doing a "great job." #sayfie

Even if you give tacit approval to brown-people bigotry, you would cynically think a savvy politician might consider at the VERY LEAST condemnation of his lead staffers' behavior: mocking Mexicans and contributing to a hostile culture that caused his top fundraiser to quit.

But you don't know Rick Scott.

1:14 PM PT: Coincidentally, today is the launch of the Florida GOP's big outreach to the Hispanic community. I wonder if rick will ask these two knuckleheads to lead it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Casualty of Rick Scott, The Florida Legislature, And The Party Of "No"

Fox News and other Right wing opponents of The Affordable Care Act have paraded people in front of the camera, complaining about how Obamacare has ruined their lives, costing them money, and any other thing they can think of to cast negative aspersions on the law. What they won’t tell you, however, are the stories about people who NEED medicaid expansion, and the rest of the things that go along with Obamacare. I want all of you to take a few moments and read the touching story of Charlene Dill, as told by her best friend, Kathleen Voss Woolrich. You see, Charlene can’t tell you her story herself, because Charlene is dead, caught up in the politics of the party of “no”.

Full Story here

Several facts about Scott Greenberg, the GOP's new "hipster" in those creepy ads

When I first saw the ads featuring this dweeb, I thought it was a fake Colbert ad and was waiting for Stephen to deliver the punch line. The punch line I got at the end wasn't what I was expecting--it was the GOP logo at the end. It was real.

The fabulous Reince Preibus is getting slammed all over the interwebs in his party's bizarre attempt to reach millennials with a series of stupid commercials featuring a fake hipster dude who can't seem to stop driving his Audi. Its so bad that even young republicans are doing a face palm over this. Note to Reince: If your ads are getting more dislikes than likes on Youtube at a 15:1 ratio, and you are getting snarky comments from supporters telling you its embarrassing, you are in danger of failing on a Karl Rovian scale.

We are first introduced to Scott Greenberg in an opening commercial featuring a representative of each demographic the GOP has insulted over the past few years (all except Muslims because, you know, fuck them I guess). Reince really and truly believes that the GOP's disgusting message of greed, xenophobia, and only helping those who don't need any help would resonate with people if ONLY their "messaging" was better. So what better way to get people voting for team GOP than paying actors from the various groups they are fucking over to read off GOP talking points.

That's how you get this crap-fest:

Look! An Hispanic guy who apparently doesn't mind GOP bigots making laws forcing him to produce his papers! A black chick who's primary worry is any cuts to the Pentagon's bloated budget! And by golly, that young Starbuck's employee is right. She SHOULD have a say in forcing you to bear child!

How could any of that NOT work?

Of course, out of the pandering colorwheel they picked the lone white guy in that bunch to focus on for their remaining multi-million dollar ad buy.

Scott Greenberg. The ultimate caricature of a "hipster": giant glasses, greased hair, drawn-on beard, and a child's t-shirt. He's real. He's not an actor. (Which is obvious since he can't memorize the lines for a 30 second commercial.)

Here he is gasing up his Audi, (which ironically, was ranked the most unhipster car of the year), talking about imaginary regulations that are keeping billion-dollar corporations from hiring.

You see, there could be all these great jobs if only liberals weren't forbidding them to hire! Thanks Obama!

The fact that that profitable companies aren't hiring because we allow them to write off paying their executives 475 times salary of the average employee never enters this douche canoe's radar.

In the other ad where he supports fracking you can actually see cue cards switch in the reflection on his glasses. This one is my favorite because his gratuitous use of the word "Whatever"

I drive everywhere but can't afford gas. Thanks Obama! Fo shizzle...

We give the oil companies hundreds of billions in taxpayer subsidies, even though they have the highest profit margins in human history. What kind of moron believes that allowing them to drill in our national parks will convince them to lower gas prices? (The same guy who thinks large corporations will create more jobs if only they pay no taxes. The fact that the stock market is at an all-time high and we have no jobs should have shut these people up a long time ago.)

I had to know if this dude was for real. So I did my own checking and came across some interesting facts about Scott Greenberg:

  • Says he's a graduate of "The" Florida State University and has a degree in English

  • Selling out to the GOP has its perks: Established a one-man "marketing firm" in this posh office

  • It also apparently helped him buy his brand new house (He had pictures on his instagram account but he took them down)

  • He bitches about his heating bill at his house, something most millennials can't relate to since the overwhelming majority don't own a house

  • He obviously loves to drive, although millennials are less likely to buy or own cars than any other current generation of Americans. A lot of them don't even have driver's license

  • Yes, he's a pampered prick

  • His main job is, get this, public relations manager for the Washington Ballet, who gets most of its funding from federal grants from the National Endowment of the Arts--the very organization that the GOP wants to defund!

    The NEA is the #3 GOP bogeyman after Planned Parenthood and ACORN. Romney said he would cut their funding in half.

In other words, a typical, hypocritical republican. Just in dorky clothes.

John Oliver's new show reshot both of Scott Greenberg's commercials much more effectively:

Whatever you paid Scott Greenberg, Reince, it was an overpayment. Millennials think hipsters are pompous asses anyway, and you managed to find one that even fellow hipsters want to smack. Getting smug, pampered young people to read your soundbites was never going to work; but to be fair, no amount of marketing genius can fix your problem if the problem is you. In the words of one Millennial youtube commenter:

My American Dream is one where women have control of their own bodies, very narrow religious morality isn't legislated, consenting adults can marry whoever they want, minorities aren't constantly demonized either overtly or through dog-whistle code words, where greed at the expense of human life and dignity are punished rather than rewarded, where scientific consensus is understood and accepted and where everyone feels it is their civic duty to help their brothers and sisters rise to their level rather than stamp them down into the dirt to elevate themselves.

This is why I will never vote Republican. Your party is an unholy marriage between the remnants of the Moral Majority, the southern racists that joined your party after Nixon courted them and Gordon Gekko. No. Fucking. Thanks

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rick Scott's Top Fundraiser Quits Amid Campaign Turmoil and Racism

Mike Fernandez was named Finance Co-chair of Rick Scott's campaign to ruin our state for four more years just two months ago. He is a billionaire CEO who has done quite well under our governor.

It wasn't enough for Rick Scott to be the largest Medicaid fraudster in US history. He did a major sequel with Mike Fernandez that I wrote about when Mike was just appointed. Essentially Mike was the mastermind behind Rick Scott's “managed care” Medicaid scam, which carves up our state into 11 regions to private insurers. This was after Mike made a huge campaign contribution to Scott. Not surprisingly, two of Mike's companies were awarded contracts for some of these regions worth BILLIONS in Medicaid funds.

Mike, in return, raised a few million for Rick Scott in his new post. But yesterday, Mike abruptly quit.

He wrote the standard "spend more time with my family" lie in his resignation, but the truth was more along the lines of having to put up with this crap from Rick Scott's campaign:

Despite the praise, Fernandez has been unhappy for weeks with the struggling campaign’s direction and the attitude of some of its workers.

Fernandez began expressing his frustrations at least a month ago when he sent an email to top Scott allies and complained about two campaign aides who had joked around in a cartoon-style Mexican accent en route to a Mexican restaurant in Fernandez’s home town of Coral Gables.

Fernandez, who is Cuban, wouldn’t comment about the email.


How can that be? Rick Scott is such a friend of Hispanics. I can't imagine such a culture in his campaign.

Truth is, Rick Scott is behind in the polls despite spending tens of millions. He has a negative job approval rating. In addition to the bigotry, the article mentions frustration with the poll stagnation. Mike may have sensed this is a sinking ship and is just the first rat to jump off. Its not like this hasn't happened before for Rick Scott. He has so far had a record 17 staff member resignations in his governorship.

Slick Rick has managed to piss off just about every constituent group outside of ignorant, angry whites. But unfortunately, he remains competitive because this group makes the largest single voting block in Florida. Combine that with his extensive voter suppression tactics, and he could still pull it off. Banking on Florida to do the right thing has never been a safe bet.

4:26 PM PT: My initial post about Mike Fernandez back in January focused on the shady nature of one of Mike's winning companies. They upgraded their website significantly since I ran that story, but notice they took down who was on their team.

America's Dumbest Congressman Attacks SNL on House Floor for 6 Year-Old Palin Skit

Crossposted on DKos

Tea Party Congressman Louie Gohmert has earned his title of America's dumbest Congressman.

A small sampling of his greatest hits:

and, up till now, my personal favorite: But I may have a new favorite. Two days ago, Louie discovered an old skit parading Sarah Palin's bid to be vice president....

The skit, which aired in September 2008, is a classic that I got to enjoy again. Its the now-famous one of Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler playing Sarah and Hillary while poking fun at Sarah Palin's clear unreadiness as well as Hillary Clinton's ambition.

A little slow as always, Uncle Louie was so incensed upon seeing this old sketch that he declared on the House floor, just this past Thursday, that he would like to set the record straight on how smart Palin really is. He did this by reading the entire skit ver batim so it can be part of the Congressional Record and painstakingly correcting the "errors" with actual quotes!

His dry delivery of the sketch was worthy of its own parady:

Poor Gohmert.

He has apparently never heard of satire.

Joe Biden never actually said "You dopes got schooled Biden-style!" McCain never called Obama "Pee-pee pants". Obama also never went on national television to say the census was revised to find people who oppose Obamacare.

Even if I didn't like the skits, as a Congressman, I wouldn't go on the House floor to correct these "errors". But I get satire. Sketch comedy shows build skits from an established perception of a politician: they almost never use a politician's exact words.

In Sarah Palin's case, however, they actually did. The OTHER famous sketch with Sarah Palin involved her notorious interview with Katie Couric. SNL didn't need satire. It copied the interview almost word-for-word:

Since the Texas Congressman thinks that defending a failed candidate and Fox News pundit from 2008 pre-election satire is currently the most pressing issue facing his constituents, I would challenge him to do the same with this sketch.

Its rare when a politician is so inept that comedians can just use their own words without embellishment. Lucky for them, Sarah Palin is just such a politician. Its just too bad that Gohmert isn't a more prominent one, or they could get a goldmine that rivals even her.

Deconverting Scott Voters

Some time back I posted comments about how hard a time I had finding an intelligent Rick Scott supporter. I've also commented on reasons why people might vote for Scott, and ignorance was at the top of the list. Many of my encounters with Scott supporters prove this is the case, and tell us that there's a way to change their minds.

I had a talk with a not-too-unreasonable guy of late, who said he was voting for Scott because a) he couldn't stand Crist, and b) Scott "did what he said he would do." I didn't have time to talk to him for too long, so I drew a few things from memory from my list and told him about them.

I usually start by telling people how Scott wanted to disband the Florida Highway Patrol. This is a great account to give people, because everyone in Florida has seen the FHP at work and knows what they do. They may not always like them (especially after a speeding ticket) but as a whole, their image is a good one.

It's also good to use because no one's ever heard about it. And my friend's jaw hit the floor when I told him about it.

Then I told him about a couple of Scott's lies from his State of the State speech this year. In particular, I related the one about Scott lying about Florida's fourth graders being second in the worlds at reading. That had him shaking his head.

In the end, I didn't have time to do more, but at the very least, I expect this guy may now vote third party instead. And that's fine, if it's someone who would have voted for Scott otherwise.

The point is that yes, we can change people's minds about Rick Scott, if we get the truth out. My list of non-partisan reasons is now at 195, after an update after this original post. When it reaches 200, I won't stop collecting, but I will start presenting those reasons in a new way that will let people spread them around even more.

It can be done. As usual, we just need to get out there and do it. The real problem (as always!) is getting people mad enough to get up and vote. And that's why I created the list.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rick Scott's Peek-A-Boo Trust

While I contemplate the next post I make, here's some food for thought to feed anyone you know who supports Rick Scott. The Broward Bulldog has uncovered yet another smelly situation involving Governor Skeletor.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Want to Build an F-Rated Charter School? WITHOUT Approval? Only in Florida

This could only happen here.

Orange County, Florida, home of Orlando, is the 12th largest school district in the US. It has over 115 elementary schools. Since 1999, we have been grading our schools. Last year, only three schools received an "F" rating.

One of them was Renaissance Charter School. The County has made it very clear they DO NOT WANT Charter Schools USA building another failed Renaissance Charter School. They are suing to stop the decision from the Florida Dept. of Education, stacked with Scott cronies, that is trying to force them to build THREE campuses in Orange County. The owner of Charter Schools USA, John Hage, is just appalled that anyone would sue to stop him.

The County is opposed to these schools based on their past performance. They have a good case, and the judge is weighing his options. In the meantime, Hage said screw it.

Charter starts construction, despite not having approval yet for school

Charter Schools USA isn't waiting for a judge to decide if it can open a disputed school in Orange County. Construction already has begun.

How do you build something that isn't approved?

Charter Schools USA and its owner, Jonathan Hage, are major donors to Gov. Rick Scott and have influenced changes to state law intended to make it easier for charter chains to open new schools.


In that case, my next question: what's it like living in a state that isn't a banana republic?

To those of us paying attention, Orange County's opposition is exactly the same argument that the Hillsborough School District made last month when it was looking to build a school at MacDill AFB near Tampa. Scott wanted his buddy Hage, of course. The Hillborough Co. Superintendent, knowing Hage's reputation, went so far as offering to convert a local school into a K-8 school as opposed to building one of Hage's failed schools. Yes, that was the cheapest and best option for the students--if only those were criteria here.

It is no secret that Rick Scott hates public schools. He cut $1.3 billion in K-12 education his first year (a record). He vetoed capital repairs for public schools, but approved them for charter schools. He got rid of long-term teacher contracts, and refused to even set foot in a public school until 7 months into his term. He does, however, love him some charter schools. He has done everything in his power to grow charter schools at the expense of traditional schools. In what can be described as a coincidence, his buddy/donor John Hage happens to be the region's largest charter school operator.

To be blunt, charter schools have, on a whole, been a disaster in this state. They make up the overwhelming majority of "F"-rated schools. In fact, charters were seven times more likely than regular public schools to receive F's on the state's report card.

But they make their owners money. LOTS of money. They are a $400 million dollar industry backed by real-estate developers. (That's right, real-estate developers, not educators.) But unlike traditional schools, they have virtually ZERO accountability:

But while charter schools have grown into a $400-million-a-year business in South Florida, receiving about $6,000 in taxpayer dollars for every student enrolled, they continue to operate with little public oversight. Even when charter schools have been caught violating state laws, school districts have few tools to demand compliance.

Hmmm. Act with no oversight. Make money off the people you are supposed to be helping. Violate state laws. Ignore the criminal justice system.

No wonder Hage is such good friends with Rick Scott.

Crossposted on DKOS
My Stupid State #102

Friday, March 14, 2014

FL and Nat. Dems: Learn the RIGHT Message from Sink's Defeat

Crossposted as rec. diary on DKos

Hindsight is always 20/20.

People are piling on Alex Sink. Her volunteers are blasting her on Facebook that she ran a keystone cops campaign. The Young Turks are blistering her for bashing the president on the ACA rollout and trying to be "republican-lite". And these guys are gentle compared to the skewering she is getting on the internwebs.

I met Alex Sink in 2007. She is a wickedly smart woman. She did an excellent job as CFO in Florida. But she has always been a wishy-washy Democrat. These are not the best for turnout. Midterm elections are all about the base, and even though they know they will be hurt by the opposition, they only bother to show up if they feel you will fight for them. And yes, I agree that politics is not her specialty. (No matter how you spin it, she has now lost to two fatally-flawed candidates).

Although she deserves a fair share of blame, I do think it unfair to place the entire defeat squarely on her shoulders. Keep in mind that this is Florida, the land where people vote against their own best interests--and unfortunately, these are the people who vote most often. Here, more than anywhere, Democrats have had an historically persistant problem of turning out our base for midterm elections--and this hurdle was made even harder: we were trying to get our people to vote in freaking March. In-person voting on election day put Jolly over the top: his districts had turnout of over 50%. Ours was around 30%.

I should also mention that Rick Scott went so far as to target the Elections Supervisor to make absentee voting as inconvenient as possible in this particular district. He succeeded.

I was trying to be positive for our sake, but this state has let me down so many times and the obstacles were as such for this special election that I was frankly amazed we did as well as we did.

But I'm not posting here today to defend or lament Alex's campaign. I think its safe to say her political career is over, so focusing on her is pointless. However, we SHOULD learn from this campaign. If we do, there is no reason why we shouldn't win in November. But we have to, this time, learn the right lesson. The reason I'm posting right now is to say LOUD AND CLEAR that unless we want to lose, (and sometimes I wonder), the one thing our national and state party SHOULD NOT do is take their marching orders from Fox News or right-wing radio.


The Affordable Care Act is popular here. Florida has the second-highest rate of signups in the nation--only behind California. This is freaking amazing, considering that Rick Scott, the legislature, and our attorney general are working as hard as they can to make it as difficult as possible. We not only don't have our own exchange, our Secretary of State refuses to give information on it. Rick Scott even issued an order to prevent residents from finding out how to sign up for it. If you try go to Florida's website just to find information on where to go, you get a nasty page filled with burdensome regulations and warnings about being a health care navigator. And yet, people in this state are still finding ways to sign up.

Consider this: In freaking red Kentucky, over 300,000 people, half of all of their uninsured, have signed up thru ACA. Can you imagine if Florida set up something for our people? If our leaders were actually trying to HELP the uninsured get healthcare?

People in this state are getting healthcare who never had it before. Next time, instead of a lukewarm response, how about touting the myriad of benefits of this law that people love? FL-13 is packed with seniors. Just one ad about the benefits of ACA for seniors might have closed the deal: the 250M investment to fight fraud (which also would have allowed an obvious swipe at Rick Scott), the requirement that insurance companies offer free preventive care (like colorectal cancer), or the fact that the ACA finally CLOSES the medication donut hole!

HELL NO I don't want to repeal it! How can you be AGAINST any of those things? How can you be against the job creation and lower rates because you refused Medicaid expansion? How can you be FOR taking insurance away from people who finally have it? Where was THAT line of attack?

The other side is going to run against ACA. In fact, the only advantage of this failed election is that the GOP is going to double-down on campaigning against it, even though the war is over! We WON! The American people now support the law at 64%, and its growing everyday as more and more people sign up. Those advocating complete repeal are throwing in the towel.

Running away from it is a fool's errand for a Democrat--and in shortime, for a republican as well. Keep in mind that the people who hate Obamacare are never going to vote for you, but you can excite your own base by letting them know that the ACA might be crippled. Give them a reason to come out and fight with you! For those few remaining on the fence, hit them with a whole list why its awesome!


The law's opponents are spending millions and can't even find people who aren't benefiting from this law. Why aren't we running ads on the MILLIONS it has helped? Heck, I can find you two people on my block who would make a commercial.

The GOP is saying we should run from what is arguably the Democrat's greatest social achievement. WE need to have candidates with a message that is exactly the opposite.

Now I expect the GOP to take the wrong message from this election, but heaven help us if we do the same.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

John Boehner Slaps Down Rick Scott!

Republicans really don't have a lot to celebrate despite David Jolly's win in Pinellas County. In a district where the prior Republican candidate always won in double digits, Jolly's smidgen-sized win should be a wake up call for them instead.

But to make things more interesting, check out what John Boehner had to say about Jolly's win:

House GOP leaders were jubilant after a Republican won a competitive special election in Florida last night, crediting a focus on the economy for candidate David Jolly's victory.

“We had a big win last night in Florida," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, proclaimed at the top of a GOP press conference on Wednesday.

"And I would attribute to the win to the fact that our candidate was focused on the issues that were most important to the people in Florida 13th, and that's the economy and jobs," he said of Jolly's win over Democrat Alex Sink. Boehner's assessment was noteworthy because it didn't invoke Obamacare, a factor which figured heavily into the special election campaign.

Boehner did try to tie the Affordable Care Act into the economic narrative.

"The American people really are asking 'Where are the jobs?' And I would argue that the president's policies are making the economy worse. Top of those policies that are making is Obamacare," he said.

Hold on.

Rick Scott has been telling us that the jobs are right here in Florida.

So are they here, or aren't they? 

If they are, then it couldn't have been a reason why people voted for Jolly. Unless, of course, they were very ignorant...which I shouldn't count out!

Yes, it's Romney vs. Scott all over again. And as usual, the Republicans can't keep straight who to credit and who to blame.

Just to be clear, I personally doubt any elected official has much to do with jobs either way. Sure, they can authorize a few projects, which produce a sliver of jobs in the market, but as a whole, they're not the ones who do the recovery work. Jobs will come back slowly after any economic slump as large as this one. The history of the Great Depression shows that. As I see it, you could elect either a cabbage or the Pope as President, and that won't change the economic outlook any more or less. The far more important factor is how the people as a whole rebound from economic crisis, not what some politician does or doesn't do.

Either way, this comment by Boehner shows that the party of the elephant has a serious problem keeping the narrative straight. But we already knew that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Unreported $500,000 Donation an ‘Accounting Error’, Says Rick Scott

How the hell do you "misplace" a half million dollars? Or do you just not want people to know where the money came from?


This is one of the many things that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign can do that we apparently cannot. The donation, given by Florida Crystals to Scott’s “Let’s Get to Work” – a committee designed to help Scott during his campaign – was one of the largest donations in the race.

It’s also not on any of the books.

FL GOP Senator's Aide Still Not Fired After DUI, Fleeing Scene

Lemme get this straight...

FL GOP State Senator Jeff Brandes' Chief Aide drove drunk, crashed, left scene of accident... and Brandes still can't decide what to do??

I know. How about saying "YOU ARE FIRED" or "EVEN I HAVE STANDARDS". How about stop giving him a taxpayer salary, you idiot!

Sink Lost. Jolly Won. Let's Not Screw This Up Again in November.

Sink gave it her all but was just short of victory. Keep in mind this was a GOP-drawn district and Scott made it as difficult as possible by revoking absentee drop-offs. It was an uphill battle.

Nonetheless, the margin was close enough that a few more Democrats would have put her over the top. YOUR VOTE COUNTS! Consider this a dry run for November.

TODAY IS THE DAY! Vote for Rick Scott's Nemesis! VOTE ALEX SINK!

Scott has made it very difficult to vote in this election. We can give you a ride if you need it. If you can volunteer, make calls, please do. Most importantly, VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

Help make calls:

Need a ride or have problems voting? Call here: (727) 441-4947

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 11 is the Big DAY. VOTE FOR ALEX SINK!!

Click here to volunteer. Let's start rolling back the disastrous teabag tital wave of 2010 and put sane leaders back in place.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Thanks Rick Scott...

Be it lightbulbs, healthcare, or trains... the GOP wants to keep us from progress until we are a third-world country. Rick Scott did his part by turning down federally-funded high-speed rail from Tampa to Orlando and lied about it as always.

Keep this mind when you go to the polls in November:

Today, GOP Hero George Zimmerman Signs Autographs at Orlando Gun Store

Crossposted to DKos

If you are in Orlando right now, you still have time to meet the tea party hero/cold-blooded murderer George Zimmerman at "The Arms Room" on 19048 East Colonial Drive, Orlando FL. (Proudly advertised on their FB page).

Yesterday and today he's been signing pictures of himself with his dog, trying to cash in on his "celebrity" status. I guess this is his attempt at trying to get his "old life back".

Tea Party people were there to shake his hand and get autographs. (There wasn't the line that the owner expected, however).

I'm sure you're wondering how shooting an unarmed kid at close range makes you a "celebrity". But he is so much more than a cold-blooded murderer. This is the man who AFTER killing Trayvon Martin, knowing the world was watching him, was arrested for shoving his gun in the face of his father-in-law and wife in September, and then just two months later shoved a gun in the face of his new girlfriend for which he was charged with felony aggravated assault.

I've never gotten the police to come out to my house once. This guy manages to do it several times in one year. And c'mon, violent assault against your own family AND killing a young, innocent minority? (Not to mention a child molester.) How could he NOT be a hero to these people?

Mike Piwowarski organized the show, and is furious that the Majestic cancelled his gun show when they learned Zimmerman would be there to sign autographs because they thought it would be tasteless. It almost looked like the wingnuts wouldn't get a venue to meet their hero, but then the Arms Room Store came through.

Piwowarski was relieved but said he would still sue the Majestic for $300,000 in lost guns sales. (And who put a gun to your head and made you feature Zimmmerman, Mike? No seriously, who? Was it Zimmerman?)

So if you want to meet the poster child for Stand Your Ground, domestic violence, and child killing, head over to the Arms Room by 5pm today! Maybe you can call them at 407-282-3803 , send them an email, or fill out their contact form, or leave a review... and thank them for doing their part in keeping the reputation of my state the way it is.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Sponsorship opportunities now available this election year

Select the Sponsorship button on the top bar or click here.

BREAKING: FL House Comes Through! We Can Now Eat Pop Tarts into Shapes!

Crossposted on Dkos
#98 of My Stupid State

First off, yes, that is a true headline.

While you dolts are bickering about nonissues like our state's license to kill, or losing Billions of dollars in Medicaid funding, our teabagger Florida House is busy tackling the real issues facing our state: like allowing children to eat poptarts into "L" shapes":

The House Education Committee on Thursday gave its support to the bill, (HB 7029, SB 1060), which would prevent children from being disciplined for playing with simulated weapons in school.

The bill offers special protection for “brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food.”

There you have it. Finally, some leadership. I guess those of you thinking our legislature wasn't looking out for us are feeling PRETTY stoopid right about now...

By the way, notice that the article had to put the qualifier in that the NRA was not "driving" this particular bill... because that is such a fucking rarity.

No, the author of that bill is an NRA shill named Dennis Baxley from Ocala. He is also the same guy who wrote "Stand Your Ground"--another poor solution to a problem we never had.

While this piece of crap zipped through committee, this $50 billion idea is having trouble: of the most important issues facing this state is stalled — one that would invigorate our economy, create more than 100,000 jobs and help save lives....

The federal government has agreed to help fund the cost of expanding Medicaid coverage to more low-income Americans. The results would be profound. Estimates show that about a million Floridians who make poverty wages or just a bit above — $27,000 for a family of three — would qualify for coverage...

States that accept the money also expect to see jobs skyrocket when the health-care dollars come. The University of Florida predicted 120,000 new jobs for the Sunshine State. That's why groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce have advocated taking the money, as well.

So why don't we have the money?

Because House Speaker Will Weatherford and a handful of his GOP peers would rather demagogue the politics of "Obamacare" than help the state's economy or its residents.

It's particularly ironic, considering these same politicians get generous taxpayer-subsidized health-care plans ... and considering Weatherford's own family received Medicaid assistance when he was a child.


Who the fuck wants that?

Real Floridians want their reps to make sure we tackle the real issues...

We want them defending our freedoms, be it keeping UN troops from taking Florida land, protecting us from those who would assault our right to "brandish" pastry in a theatening manner, or from the imaginary hordes involved with in-person voting fraud.

I just wish they'd hurry up and make a bill protecting us from alien abductions, becuase unlike the other things I just mentioned, there's at least one report in Florida of that ever actually happening.

Thank you, Florida. I think... You know what.. I can't do this.

I usually go into a sarcastic snark about the sheer stupidity, but its gotten so bad that the special brand of stupid in Tallahassee is LITERALLY killing Floridians. Six a day to be exact. Our friends, family, and neighbors dying needlessly in a futile attempt to... what exactly? To thumb your nose at a black guy in Washington? How's that going?

When they do get around to enacting laws, its stupid crap like this--or worse, something that hurts people. The teabaggers who run Tally are particularly fond of pissing off minorities, especially Hispanics--that is if they aren't trying to literally kill them.

Honestly, I'm sick to my stomach. (Maybe that's why I'm sick.) I made a fraking list that's almost at 100 documenting the stupid, and I still miss things every day because if I wrote about everything I heard about or what people send me I'd have to quit my damn job and just do that fulltime.

If you know me, you know I have my own health issues, but I don't have it as bad as many people I meet. I met a wonderful woman yesterday who broke down in the clinic because she couldn't get healthcare for her family. This state has made it difficult to be a navigator and refused to set up its own exchange. I promised to help if I could: (By the way, if ANYONE here is a navigator or knows the system, let me know so we can help her.)

I have nothing to gain by living here. I'm tired of neighbors like this, and my own idiot, child-like representative, the corrupt, creepy kid who runs the House,and the legion of assholes we somehow think are worth paying to screw us.

You teabags apparently are intent on turning this tropical paradise into Somalia, but with abortion restrictions. You know what? Fucking have at it. South Florida should annex itself, and every normal sane person should leve Central and North and migrate elsewhere.

This ain't normal.

I'll be on hiatus for a few weeks. In the meantime, Maxwell recommends calling the Florida House. I hope you will:

Will Weatherford (aka creepy kid) office at 850-717-5038
His facebook is
The legisaltive Switchboard at 850-717-5650

Please contact them. The only thing worse than the corruption and stupidity of our leaders is the apathy of the people here to confront them. Until that changes, nothing will.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ultimate List of Bumper Sticker Slogans Against Rick Scott

If you have any other ideas, post them in comments section.


1. Rick Scott: Proving why criminals shouldn't run governments

2. Rick Scott: Florida's New Jim Crow

3. Denies Healthcare To Millions, Pays $30 a Month for His Own!

4. Rick Scott: Believes Regulations are for Women's Bodies, Not Corporations

5. Vote Rick Scott. Closest You Will Get to Screwing Your Teacher.

6. How Can We Deny Ex-Felons The Vote If We Allow a Criminal To Be Governor?

7. Dogs Aren't Disposable Rick! But You Are!

8. Rick Scott Needs To Inspect Florida Prisons... From The Inside

9. Rick Scott: Being Qualified Is So Overrated

10. My Governor Can Outslime Your Governor!

11. Vote Rick Scott. I Hate Florida.

12. Stand Your Ground Against Rick Scott.

13. Our Governor Cuts Millions for Disabled Kids, Gives to Corporate Backers

14. Rick Scott: Cut 1.3 Billion in Education to Waste on Corporate Welfare

Superfly awesome!


  • Rick Scott Hates Medicare. Except When He's Ripping It Off.
  • Rick Scott /Scott Tissue..Both asswipes
  • Rick Scott should be making license plates, not issuing them
  • Rick Scott: Stealing from Seniors for Decades
  • Spent $73 million to keep you in poverty
  • Rick Scott: You weren't voting anyway
Feel free to steal any of these either for your blog, signs for rallies, tweets, or make products with them--bumper stickers, buttons, tees, etc.

The winners were made into actual products on zazzle:

Royalties will go towards defeating Rick Scott in November. If you want a specific product option not available, put in comments or contact us.

Let's be Scott-free this November.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

State of the State While in a Deluded State

Rick Scott had his “State of the State” address this week, but it reveals far more about his state of mind than it does about the state of the state. Not surprisingly, the address contains one falsehood after another, and makes a vain effort to humanize Scott which is no more successful than it would be if you attempted to humanize the Terminator. It will also help me increase my list of reasons to dis-elect him, probably to 185 by the end of the day.

Let’s cull out the fact claims – and there aren’t many. 

I could talk about how our unemployment rate is now down to 6.3 percent

He can talkall he wants about it, but Scott ignores the facts: Much of that is due either to 1) a nationwide trend downward; 2) frustrated people leaving the workforce. But no, Scott would rather try to impress uncritical voters with a number than tell the truth.

How our crime rate is at a 42-year low

This is true by itself, but Scott deserves no credit for it. FDLE stats show that the crime rate in Florida has been steadily declining since the early 1990s. Why? I’m sure it has a lot to do with quality policing in some ways, but let’s face it, it also has a lot to do with our growing population. Not even criminals can keep up with it.

How we have invested record funding in protecting our environment

We have? Florida is now ranked the second most polluted state in the country, and Scott has devoted a mere pittance to things like springs restoration. If he inflated the budget for it this year, then it’s only because it’s one of those things he had a conversion on (like education spending)  after realizing that he wasn’t going to get votes by being a jackass.

Update: Politifact rated this one False.
While our tourism industry is breaking records

Of course it is. This is Florida, and travel is increasing as the economy worldwide slowly rebounds. Is Scott going to take credit for our beaches now?

Or how we have added more than 460,000 new private-sector jobs since the end of 2010

Once again, this is just normal economic recovery and has nothing to do with Scott. Here and later he’ll also forget that he promised 1.7 million jobs, not 700,000.

After this, Scott spends some time trying to make himself look human by relating stories about how he grew up poor. It really doesn’t work, because the Rick Scott who slept on the floor of his house in a sleeping bag disappeared into the haze of the wealthy one-percenter long ago, the one who doesn’t care what he does to people now in the same position he used to be. He got his; the heck with the rest of you. Wealthy barons like Scott use these stories to try to imply: “If you work hard like I did, you’ll get yours too. So you don’t need to ask for any help from me or the government.”

But the hard reality is that even if everyone had the exact same ability and opportunity, there’s no way it would be economically workable for everyone to be someone like Scott. To use an example from my list, which will represent the whole of industry, Kmart will always need a lot of cashiers. But they’ll never need more than a handful of corporate executives. Not everyone can become one of their executives, so inevitably, even if every worker at Kmart has a 200 IQ and earns a Masters’ degree in business, and is “diligent and hard working” as Scott puts it, most will still end up being cashiers. The tale Scott tells which implies that everyone can follow his lead if they just shut up and work hard (as he supposedly did) is nothing but a one-percenter fable used to keep the masses quiet.

Like Washington, Florida’s economy was driven into the ground by spending what some embraced as “free money.” Of course, there is no such thing.

Of course not. It comes from taxes, which barons like Scott do their best to avoid – by, for example, moving to Florida. The other day someone told me that if Crist were elected, Florida would end up with state income tax. Well, it’s probably about time we had one.

Florida’s big spending racked up big debt. Florida was in a hole. Unemployment was above 11 percent More than one million people were unemployed and our debt ballooned to more than $28 billion.

“Ballooned”? Not exactly. It was $24.3 billion in FY 2008. A rise of just under 4 billion is not a “balloon”. It’s maybe a puff.

Now if you think Scott was funny before, just wait. As we know, he likes to blame Crist for the worldwide recession of 2007 on. Here’s his response.

Some say these statistics were all because of a global recession. They say it doesn’t matter who was running our state – that anyone would have been just a victim of the times. 

I disagree.

As Americans, our freedom and our optimism make us anything but victims – even in the worst circumstances and the toughest times.

Our leaders especially – and every person in our state – are not simply bystanders in the arena of life where the hard battles are fought and history is made.

He goes on like this for a while, but the one thing he doesn’t do it explain what, exactly, Crist (or any state governor) was supposed to do about a worldwide recession. Optimism won’t pay your mortgage. Scott goes on about fighting battles and not being a victim, but he never gets around to explaining what, exactly, ought to have been done – because he can’t. The reality is that if he had been governor in 2008, he would have been standing around with his jaw dropping the same as so many other politicians.

Together, we have cut almost 3,000 regulations on small businesses.

There’s that large number again, but I’d still like to see a list of those regulations, and proof that getting rid of each and every one of them was the right thing to do. Scott will never do that. You can be sure he didn’t read all 3000 of those and carefully consider the impact of each. No, all he wants to do is impress with a big number.

Together, we have now paid down $3.6 billion in state debt 

As the story above shows, this is nothing special. The state debt runs in cycles.

And paid back another $3.5 billion borrowed from the federal government  for unemployment assistance.

Really? And all of this while the unemployed in this state suffer through Scott’s non-working DEO website, and are told they can only have a few weeks of assistance to get them through the worst job market since the Great Depression?

The simple truth is that our state…just like our small businesses and our families….has to live within its means.  

We can’t spend more than we take in.

The problem here is that Scott made enormous, hurtful cuts to a budget that was alreadybalanced. The extra money was stashed away. We didn’t spend more than we took in. He took away what we took in and stashed it, oblivious to the suffering it caused. Now we’re paying the price, with things like more the 40 dead children because DCF was understaffed. For Rick Scott, living within your means, means it doesn’t matter who gets shafted. He can decorate it with words like “the hard thing” and “courage” all he wants, but it took him no effort or courage to slash budgets, to defund things like DCF, rape crisis centers, children with disabilities, and the salaries of state workers who made under 30K. He was never hurt by any of this. Scott doesn’t have any courage to speak of.

Together, we have cut taxes 24 times already. And my hope is that we are about to cut them again... by another $500 million this year.

Of course, up until now, those tax cuts have been overwhelmingly for businesses. It is only in the last year of his term – when he is up for re-election – that Scott thinks to restore a pittance to the everyday person, by way of a cut to tag fees. If it’s “our money” as he says, why did he take so long getting it back to us?

That’s why we are again proposing to invest record amounts in our K-12  education system. With your support, this budget will invest a total of $18.8 billion in education – the highest in Florida history. This record investment builds on our previous budgets, which invested an additional $1 billion in K-12 education for two years in a row.

What he misses, of course, is that this was following enormous, billion-sized cuts his first year in office – which he is only partly restoring, while we still lag far behind in per-student spending.

Of course, ensuring students get a quality education means they must have excellent teachers. That’s why, last year, with your support, we gave every fulltime public classroom teacher the opportunity to get a pay raise.

The raise in question comes after a 3% cut to teacher pay, under the premise of shoring up the pension fund. However, the money did not go back into the pension fund, but back into the state budget, and the pension fund did not need shoring up.

This investment is sure to pay off: Florida teachers are ranked among the most effective in the nation.

Scott is relying on a report that isn’t exactly known to be reliable. But of course, it will serve for his purposes.

 Because of their hard work, our fourth and eighth graders have had the largest achievement gains in the nation. Our fourth graders are now second in the world for reading.

This one at least has a semblance of truth. But it still requires Scott to stretch the truth, as usual. Florida isn’t “second in the world,” it was second in a sampling study involving worldwide participants.

 And, Florida high schools are 4 out of the top 10 in the country.

This one is half true. Like the prior claim, it requires a large number of caveats.

My commitment to every family dreaming to send their children to college is simple: We will hold the line on tuition.  Parents saving for their children to get a four-year degree from a public university today need to save over $53,000. Fifty-three-thousand-dollars. We shouldn’t celebrate how accessible higher education is until we can make it more affordable. That’s why I am proud that all of Florida’s 4-year state colleges now offer bachelor’s degrees for only $10,000.

This last one ranked Mostly False.Beyond that, this “McDegree” program is still in its infancy, and has yet to produce any measurable results. Will we get what we pay for? It’s a little early for Scott to start bragging, I think.

When we set out to jump start our economy four years ago, we talked about creating 700,000 jobs in seven years.

No, we talked about creating 1.7 million jobs, after being told that economists predicted we’d add 1 million no matter who was governor.

It was an ambitious goal. Today, we are moving the bar even higher. If we continue to pay down debt – like we do in this budget by another $170 million. If we continue to cut taxes – by rolling back the 2009 tax hike on annual motor vehicle fees so Floridians keep more of the money they earn and, if we continue to cut taxes on small businesses - by cutting the tax on business leases and rolling back the business tax to now exempt 4 out of 5 Florida businesses from paying it. If we do all this, we can make Florida not just the land of 700,000 new jobs. We will make Florida the land of opportunity.

This is fantasy of the kind that exceeds anything written by Robert Jordan. How, exactly, does paying down a mere $170 million from a debt that exceeds $20 billion going to create jobs? How is returning a mere $25 to a taxpayer going to help them create a job? They may have a smidgen more buying power, but collectively, that still won’t add up to much. Cutting taxes on businesses hasn’t helped that much so far either, as I’ve already pointed out.

The last moment of high comedy is this one.

The second reason for talking about my story is that I hope it explains just a little about my passion for creating jobs and opportunities for all Florida citizens. I know that reporters get tired of me constantly talking about creating jobs when they are asking other questions.  I know that some people think I’m too singularly focused on growing Florida’s economy. Well…all I can tell you is that we are all products of our own experiences in life.  I’ve seen what happens to families who are struggling to find work. I’ve had Christmas without any presents. And, I don’t want any of our people to ever feel stuck in those situations.

Well, the bad news is, because of Scott, far too many in Florida do – and this is just Scott’s amazing excuse for not answering questions about other important issues that he doesn’t have a good answer for. Only a CEO with the mental gymnastics of a lizard could come up with a way to spin question avoidance into a positive.

That’s the state of the state. How surprising is it that the state is in the state it is in, when our current governor’s state is one of deluded fantasy-spinning to this degree? Falsehoods, half-truths and quarter-truths, rage all through this speech.

Let’s make sure Scott’s lies are exposed – and that he has a very bad Christmas this year.