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Category archives for: Florida & Beyond, and All Opinions

As Crist’s Lead Over Scott Erodes, Libertarian Adrian Wyllie Throws X-Factor Into Race

| July 23, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac poll has Scott still trails Crist, but by only five points, 45 to 40 percent. That’s in a two-way race. When Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is thrown in the mix, its 39-37 for Crist, which is within the margin of error, with Wyllie taking a substantial 9 percent.

Charter School Grades Should Alarm Every Floridian as Drag Districts Continues

| July 22, 2014

The idea that charter school operators should make a profit by providing children a better educational experience should offend no one. The fact that the numbers say they’re not doing a better job, while they’re draining away precious public resources, should alarm everyone.

Five Questions for Crist Running-Mate Annette Taddeo

| July 22, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist announced last week that his running mate would be Annette Taddeo, chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and a political consultant’s dream: a Hispanic working mom who runs a successful small business and hosted her own show, Taddeo2Day, on CNN Latino.

In a Major Blow to Obamacare, Court Rules Health Insurance Subsidies Illegal in 36 States, Including Florida; 2nd Court Disagrees

| July 22, 2014

The decision is a potentially fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act, but it conflicts with an opposite conclusion by a different appeals court on the same day. In Florida, 91 percent of those enrolled get an average monthly subsidy of $278 a month. Most could not afford the premiums without the subsidies, which would disappear if the decision sticks.

Trial Judge Denies “Stand Your Ground” Immunity Hearing For Marissa Alexander

| July 21, 2014

The trial judge overseeing the case of Marissa Alexander, who faces 60 years in prison for firing a shot in a domestic dispute, has ruled that she is not entitled to a second immunity hearing under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law.

Floridia Mosquitoes Are Spreading Chikungunya Virus Once Limited to Caribbean Travelers

| July 21, 2014

This year, 81 cases of Chikungunya have been identified in Florida, including 15 diagnosed last week, including two contracted in Florida. Until Thursday’s announcement, all the cases had been contracted by people who had been traveling in the Caribbean.

Florida Blue, State’s Biggest Health Insurer, Will Raise Rates in Response to Obamacare

| July 21, 2014

Florida Blue snagged a third of all new policies under Obamacare, but rates are going up due to a lack of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge in people seeking expensive health services.

Israel’s March of Folly

| July 20, 2014

Israel’s latest attack on Gaza reflects yet again that peculiar blend of arrogance and bigotry that has characterized Israeli policy toward Arabs since 1982: the arrogance that Israel is infallible, and the bigotry that sees Arabs either as inferior creatures to be walled off or as terrorists to be killed. It shouldn’t be surprised when the beasts rebel.

Florida Supreme Court Seeks Clarity on Inmates Sentenced to Life in Prison as Juveniles

| July 19, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court held that juvenile sentencing guidelines must offer young offenders the chance to have their cases reviewed after serving a certain number of years. A Florida law went into effect July 1, seeking to comply. But it remains unclear in key regards.

Crist Picks Annette Taddeo as Running Mate, Citing Her Working Mom Credentials

| July 18, 2014

Picking Annette Taddeo, a Democratic party leader in Miami-Dade, could help Crist in voter-rich South Florida while appealing to women and Hispanics. Taddeo, 47, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008.

The Only Immigration “Crisis” Is America’s Refusal to Take In Children With Open Arms

| July 17, 2014

What are we to make of people who will stand in front of a TV camera and say they don’t want “those” people in their town? What are we to make of people who know so little of their beloved country’s history that they will make a mockery of the Statue of Liberty’s welcoming torch by greeting busloads of terrified children with shouts of “Go back where you came from”?

Calling It “Obviously Unconstitutional,” Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban in the Keys

| July 17, 2014

Judge Luis Garcia, a Jeb Bush appointee, ruled that fundamental rights such as marriage may not be defined by the state, nor can they depend on a vote, such as Florida’s 2008 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But the ruling applies only in Monroe County.

Florida’s Teachers Union Sues State Over “Sneaky” Last-Minute Voucher Expansion

| July 17, 2014

The voucher expansion had appeared dead in the Senate until getting approved in a broader bill in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session. The Florida Education Association charges the state “log rolled” that and other education issues into a single bill.

Florida Inverse: 2nd Highest Level of Uninsured, Dead Last in Affordable Care Grants

| July 16, 2014

Judging by the grant totals of other states, Florida appears to have forfeited at least $100 million and possibly $300 million or more, not even including $51 billion the state is forfeiting by saying no to Medicaid expansion.

The Leader:
James MacGregor Burns, 1918-2014

| July 15, 2014

James MacGregor Burns, one of America’s greatest historians and political scientists, died today at his home. In 1999, FlaglerLive editor Pierre Tristam spent a couple of days with him for a profile, reproduced here.

John Morgan Has $6 Million in Pledges for Medical Pot Amendment, Not Including His Own

| July 14, 2014

Renewed support from Morgan — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s boss and close friend — comes as opponents of the measure, aided by Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and supporter of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, double down on efforts to kill it.

Why Obtaining Your Own Medical Records May Now Cost You a Small Fortune

| July 14, 2014

For-profit companies in the new “release of information” or “disclosure-management” industry now charge $1 a page, in paper or digital format, for what used to be free, while the Florida Board of Medicine is looking to make the $1-a-page standard for all.

How U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Revenge Killers of Palestinian Teen

| July 12, 2014

The tax-exempt donations do not appear to run afoul of U.S. law. But they do put U.S. taxpayers in the position of subsidizing aid to Israelis convicted of politically motivated violence.

Hobby Lobby and Religion’s
Assassination of Common Sense

| July 11, 2014

The Supreme Court’s decision granting some companies authority to deny contraception to employees is a reminder that women-hating, science-bashing and religiously-based bigotry veiled as “faith” are alive and well in America.

Judge Throws Out Two of Florida’s Redrawn Congressional Districts, Affecting Flagler

| July 11, 2014

District 5 wraps itself around much of the western flank of District 6, which includes all of Flagler County. If District 5 is re-drawn, it would likely affect District 6, which is currently represented by Republican Ron DeSantis.

Eddie Wayne Davis Is Executed for Murder of 11-Year-Old Polk County Girl

| July 10, 2014

Davis is the 19th person executed by Florida since Gov. Rick Scott took office, the most in any governor’s single term, and surpassing the 18 executions that occurred under former Gov. Lawton Chiles, who served two terms between 1991 and 1998.

Illegal Campaign Stop? Rick Scott Owes an Apology To the Cops He Duped.

| July 10, 2014

At a re-election campaign appearance in Tampa Monday, Scott burnished his law enforcement record with a cadre of uniformed cops. The cops expressed shock to the Tampa Tribune that they’d been used for a campaign stop.

Two Florida Teens Missing 44 Days
Are Found in Montana, Out of Gas

| July 10, 2014

Ivy Warhul, 14, and Ronnie Sousa, 16, went missing on May 27 at 4 a.m. when they left the Gulf Coast area in a gray Honda Element, and were spotted in Flagler before being found by an alert sheriff’s deputy in Montana on July 9.

Blame Democrats for the Court that
Birthed the Hobby Lobby Decision

| July 9, 2014

On the other hand, Democrats appear to have been clueless — and (some even) complicit, writes Stephen Goldstein. Year after year, they approved the radical majority of justices who now make up the “Roberts Court,” even when they knew their extreme agenda.

Gov. Scott Gives Up Drug-Testing Half of State’s Workers, But Still Aims Pee Cup at Rest

| July 9, 2014

The governor has not conceded that forcing state employees to undergo urinalysis is unconstitutional despite lower court rulings that spurred the concessions. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year refused to take up the case, but it is believed Scott will again ask the high court to rule on the case if he ultimately loses in lower court proceedings.

Florida Lottery Spikes to Record $5.3 Billion in Sales; Only $1.4 Billion to Education

| July 8, 2014

The Florida Lottery’s increased revenues stems largely from continued growth in scratch-off ticket sales, which range in price from $1 to $25 and are now available at more than 13,000 locations throughout the state.

America’s Sad New Motto: No We Can’t

| July 8, 2014

Once a nation of doers who could find no obstacle too great to conquer, we always seem to be finding a way to say something can’t be done – health care, education, environment, gay people in the military. Now, writes Mark O’Brien, it’s every, man, woman and child for himself, and instead of America pulling together, it’s American pulling apart.

Regulators Draw Sharp Criticism Over Controls On Florida’s New Pot Industry

| July 7, 2014

At the top of the complaint list: concerns about a proposed lottery system to award five organizations the chance to grow, manufacture and dispense a type of medical marijuana approved by Florida’s Republican-dominated Legislature this spring.

Florida Giving Up 63,800 Jobs By Rejecting Federal Medicaid Expansion

| July 7, 2014

Florida has not accepted the offer of federal funds — estimated at $51 billion over a decade — provided in the Affordable Care Act to cover uninsured people who fall into a gap. Florida has about 850,000 of them.

Fracking in South Florida? Environmentalists Steamed Over Texas Company Drilling Near Lake Tafford

| July 5, 2014

The Dan A. Hughes Company used an unapproved method of drilling that had never been used before in Florida to extract oil from a well near Lake Trafford. Florida’s DEP has not been entirely forthcoming.

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