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Category archives for: Florida & Beyond, and All Opinions

Economy Adds 209,000 Jobs But Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 6.2%

| August 1, 2014

Mediocre: it’s the The best that can be said about the unemployment report for July as the economy added 209,000 jobs, about 20,000 jobs short of expectations, and the unemployment rate edged up to 6.2 percent, from 6.1 percent the previous month.

Gambling Is For Losers: We Should Ban It in Florida

| July 31, 2014

We need a state constitutional amendment to ban all wagering in Florida, argues Stephen Goldtsein. Oddly, raising taxes is considered a cardinal sin, but gambling is supposedly a blessing — especially since the state began pimping it through the Florida Lottery.

Sen. Sobel Calls for All Child Deaths, Not Just Those From Abuse, To Be Reported

| July 31, 2014

Florida just passed a law requiring the reporting of all child abuse deaths in an annual report. That’s not enough, Sen. Sobel says, proposing that all criminally-related child deaths, even in car wrecks, should be part of the report.

Backing Down From Stricter Rules, State Regulators Would Allow Mobile Pot Delivery

| July 30, 2014

Florida pot dispensers could truck their product to patients, under a revised rule proposed by health regulators in advance of a workshop Friday about the state’s move to a limited type of medical marijuana.

Briefing : Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana Legalization

| July 30, 2014

The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, known as Amendment 2, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Florida. The measure would legalize medical marijuana through an amendment to the state Constitution. Here’s a briefing, including the ballot summary and the full text of the amendment.

Consumer Confidence in Florida Hits Another Post-Recession High as US Economy Grows 4%

| July 30, 2014

The consumer-confidence report coincides with the Department of Commerce’s report Wednesday morning that the national economy grew at a brisk annual 4 percent rate in the second quarter, compared to a shrinking of 2.1 percent in the first quarter.

Impeaching Obama, Ghastly Gaza, The Times Goes to Pot, Sarah Palin Goes Oprah

| July 30, 2014

The GOP fantasizes about impeaching Obama, The New York Times finally loves pot legalization, Gaza explodes all sorts of myths, Sarah Palin launches a ghastly channel, Siegfried Sassoon reminds us of heroism’s ironies, and what your stomach does to a burger.

The Revealing Arrogance Behind Rick Scott Re-Election Campaign’s Leaked Memo

| July 29, 2014

As usual with Scott and Company, argues Daniel Tilson, you learn at least as much about their mindset and strategy from what they don’t say, as from what they do.

Florida’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday Is This Weekend: Here’s A Guide

| July 29, 2014

Florida’s 2014 sales tax holiday on school supplies, clothing, shoes and personal computers and other select accessories is this weekend–starting at a minute after midnight Friday, Aug. 1, through midnight Sunday, Aug. 3.

Judge Upholds Blind Trust Law, Allowing Gov. Scott to Shield Assets From Public

| July 28, 2014

Critics say the device contradicts constitutional safeguards requiring Florida voters to be made aware of what a public official owns and how it might affect his or her decisions. Scott, who reported a net worth of $132.7 million as of the end of last year, is believed to be the only official using a blind trust.

Floridians Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana By 9-1 Margin, Sustaining High

| July 28, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac University poll–the most authoritative poll on the matter–finds 88 percent of Floridians favoring medical marijuana, with 10 percent opposed, including 83 percent support from voters 65 and older and 95 percent support from voters 18 to 29 years old.

It’s Not Benghazi: Hillary Clinton’s Real Scandal Is Honduras.

| July 26, 2014

Desperate Honduran children are seeking refuge from a human rights nightmare that would cast a dark cloud over Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid right now if the media were paying any attention.

Thank You for Your Service: How One Company Sues Soldiers Worldwide

| July 26, 2014

With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands.

If You Think Businessmen Have Any Business Running Government, Think Again

| July 25, 2014

Government is about essential services; business is about profit.  Essential services must be improved, not cut. Government is designed to protect the common good, and has never and will never be successfully run as a business, argues Marc Yacht.

Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” Bill Wins Federal Appeals Court Approval in 2-1 Ruling

| July 25, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the NRA-backed law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

Florida Ban on Gay Marriage Is Declared Unconstitutional, But Miami-Dade Judge Stays Decision Until Appeals

| July 25, 2014

Eight days after a Monroe County judge declared a ban on same-sex marriage illegal, a Miami-Dade circuit court judge late today struck down the ban in Florida on behalf of six gay couples, but stayed her decision until the results of an appeal.

How the NFL Protects Wife-Beaters: Ray Rice’s Laughable Suspension

| July 25, 2014

Baltimore Ravens’s Ray Rice got a mere two-game suspension for beating his fiancee (now wife) unconscious in an elevator a few months ago. The mockery of punishment shows why goons can always depend on a perverted degree of hero-worship in this country.

Judge Wary of Redrawing Area’s
Congressional Map Before November Election

| July 24, 2014

So far, the Legislature has declined to appeal Lewis’ ruling, and the state’s attorneys say lawmakers will redraw the map in time for the 2016 elections. But lawyers for the voting-rights groups and voters who sued to overturn the map under the Constitution’s anti-gerrymandering standards say that’s too late.

Florida Insurers Owe $41.7 Million in Rebates to Individuals and Companies, Topping Nation

| July 24, 2014

The latest round of paybacks brings Florida’s three-year total from the Affordable Care Act’s rebate program to almost $220 million. This year’s rebate will average $65 per family in Florida, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Court Authorizes Higher Ambulance Fee For Out-of-State Visitors, Opening Revenue Door

| July 23, 2014

Rejecting arguments that the policy is unconstitutional, a state appeals court said Wednesday that the city of Miami can charge an extra $100 when its rescue crews transport non-residents to hospitals for emergency care.

The 10 Counties Likeliest to Swing the Scott-Crist Race for Governor

| July 23, 2014

There is no question this is a toss-up race. Those confidently predicting a winner, one way or the other, are likely smoking the substance that is the subject of a ballot amendment this fall. Here are the 10 swing counties.

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 On 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.

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