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Friday, March 21, 2014

YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: Rick Scott's unattainable awesomeness, the end of national parks

Posted on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM

THE COUNTRY’S MOST UNAPPROACHABLE GOVERNOR ACTUALLY ALMOST RUNS SOMEBODY OVER. ALSO, PRISONERS ARE THE NEW COKE: The frustration of North Hill residents only grew as they watched the tail lights of the governor’s SUV speed away. Folks from the neighborhood came to the Fish House in force Thursday morning hoping to catch the attention of Gov. Rick Scott, who was attending a private fundraiser at the waterfront restaurant. For months, residents have been fighting the Florida Department of Corrections’ plans to relocate the city’s probation and parole offices to the old Coca Cola bottling plant on North Palafox Street. They staged a small demonstration in hopes of drawing Scott’s attention. ‘We want to get on the governor’s agenda,’ Melanie Nichols, the president of the North Hill Preservation Association said. ‘We’ve tried for a week now to get some of his time and gotten no response. We want to find out how this happened, and we need his help.’ About three dozens residents stood at the corner of Main and South Barracks streets holding protest signs and waving at passing vehicles. When they received word that the fundraiser was ending, they walked through the South Barracks crosswalk in intermittent waves to briefly stop passing cars. When the governor’s unmarked black SUV attempted to exit the street, it was met with a wall of protesters. North Hill resident Robby Williams claimed the SUV brushed his leg as it came to a stop. The vehicle’s lights and siren came on, the crowd parted, and the SUV headed back toward Tallahassee. Patti Salvaggio said she was extremely disappointed by the callousness of the encounter. ‘He could at least roll down the window and say, ‘I understand your problem, and we will check on it,’ ‘ she said. ‘You’re here for our money, you’re here for our votes and you almost run us over.’” (via Pensacola News Journal)

MY BOYFRIEND SCOTT MAXWELL IS NOW IN LOVE WITH RICK SCOTT (NOT REALLY, BUT HE DOES APPRECIATE HIS LYING LIARFACE NEW AD): “I don't know if you've caught Rick Scott's latest campaign ad, but it's good. Very good. In all of 30 seconds, Rick manages to tell viewers that he grew up impoverished, that he saw his dad's car get repossessed, that his family lacked education and that his mother struggled to put food on the table. Fifteen seconds in, you practically want to toss Rick a 10-spot, just so he can eat tonight. Sure, the ad is meant to sound sympathetic to the same downtrodden folks Rick has often undermined during his tenure. But it doesn't change the fact that the ad is good — and further proof that Democrats are in more trouble than they'll admit. One new poll showed Rick and Democrat Charlie Crist neck-and-neck. Few show Crist leading by any more than single digits — which is remarkable, considering Crist is running against one of the least-liked governors in modern history. All of this underscores something I've said for months: The Democrats' anybody-but-Rick strategy is a loser. Voters want to vote for someone, not just against someone else. (Just ask the Republicans, who rode the anybody-but-Obama strategy to failure twice in a row.) And I'm just not seeing folks get excited about Charlie for any reason other than he's not Rick.In fact, I'm still hearing calls for Bill Nelson to jump into the race and save the party — especially in light of polls showing a good chunk of voters unexcited about either Scott or Crist.” (via Orlando Sentinel)


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CRISIS AVERTED OR CRISIS CREATED? EITHER WAY, REPUBLICANS ARE SCRAMBLING TO LOOK LIKE THEY GIVE A DAMN: “Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported in an "exclusive" front-page story that House Republicans are at long last promoting their alternative to Obamacare. According to the Post, the new plan, roundly panned, is really just a compilation of the same old health care proposals that Republicans have been floating for years, including allowing the sale of insurance plans across state lines, high-risk insurance pools, and, notably, restrictions on medical-malpractice lawsuits. Like so many of the Republicans' health care reform proposals, capping damages in and otherwise restricting malpractice lawsuits isn't likely to have a big impact on health care costs, or on expanding coverage to the uninsured. Just ask the state of Florida, whose Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a law similar to the one House Republicans are pushing. Florida passed its version of the House GOP plan in 2003, when doctors in the state were loudly proclaiming the existence of a "malpractice crisis" in which the state was plagued with an epidemic of frivolous lawsuits that were driving doctors' insurance premiums sky-high and forcing them to leave the state. But last week, Florida's Republican-dominated Supreme Court poked a giant hole in that hysteria. It declared that not only was that "crisis" a fiction, but that the alleged cure—caps on lawsuit damages, which are also favored by the House GOP—had done nothing but enrich insurance companies at the expense of doctors and patients, in violation of the state constitution.” (via Mother Jones)


BECAUSE NATIONAL PARKS ARE NOW THE BIGGEST THREAT TO DEMOCRACY: “Responding to President Obama’s decision last week to protect a stretch of California’s Coast near Point Arena as a new national monument, the House of Representatives is planning to vote next week to overturn a 108 year-old law that presidents of both parties have used to protect iconic American places, including the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Arches National Park. The bill, H.R. 1459, aims to block presidents from using the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish new national monuments by putting caps on how many times it can be used, requiring congressional review of proposed monuments, and forcing local communities to engage in an ironic exercise of reviewing the environmental impacts of protecting lands for future generations. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), criticized President Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act to expand the California Coastal Monument last week as an end-run around Congress. “In other words, the House was punked by the President,” said Bishop. However, despite arguments from Bishop and Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) that Congress should hold exclusive power to decide whether or not to protect public lands, the House has effectively shut down all legislative efforts to protect wilderness, parks and monuments since the Tea Party takeover in 2010. Until the passage of a bill to protect wilderness lands in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore last week, Congress had not protected a single new acre of public lands since 2009, the longest such drought since World War II. Adding injury to insult, Congress also forced a 16-day government shutdown last fall that cost national parks and local communities 8 million lost visitors and $414 million in lost visitor spending.” (via Think Progress)


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