Rick Scott’s Nonanswers Bring National Ridicule

 Steve Bousquet, Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott

Rick Scott, who ditched his adopted rescue dog Reagan after the 2010 election, and who invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 75 times in a deposition, once again finds himself all over the Web and cable as the rest of the world discovers what Florida already knows.

He doesn’t like to answer questions.

Name a subject, and Scott won’t address it.

Climate change. Problems with the state’s jobless claims website. How a sex offender slipped through the cracks and got a state license as a massage therapist. Amendment 1, the land and water proposal on the November ballot.

Scott might well revise his campaign slogan to “Let’s Keep Working at Obfuscation.”

Read more…

Rare Florida forest set to be leveled for a Walmart and Chik-fil-A

Pine Rockland

One of the world’s rarest forests, a section of Miami-Dade County’s last intact tracts of endangered pine rockland, is getting a new resident: a Walmart.
About 88 acres of rockland, a globally imperiled habitat containing a menagerie of plants, animals and insects found no place else, was sold this month by the University of Miami to a Palm Beach County developer. To secure permission for the 158,000-square-foot box store, plus an LA Fitness center, Chik-fil-A and Chili’s restaurants and about 900 apartments, the university and the developer, Ram, agreed to set aside 40 acres for a preserve.

Read more…

Nugent Calls Kids At Border “Gang Members” From Culture Of “Rape”

Andrew Kaczynski, Buzz Feed

Richard Nugent

A Florida Republican congressman called undocumented immigrant children at the border not children at all but gang affiliated persons from a culture of thievery, murder, and violence.

“A lot of these children … quote-unquote … ya know, the first caller mentioned it, ya know, they’re gang members. They’re gang affiliated,” Florida Republican Rep. Rich Nugent said on WOCA radio Monday.

Nugent added that the culture the children were coming from was one of violence and there would be a complications in bringing the children into American culture.

Read  more…

Behold the consequences of total freedom

Lane Filler, Newsday

Total Freedom

What if we were just free?
What if my employer paid my entire compensation package in money, and I could do with it what I wish? I could buy cars or books or Chia Pets or travel to Idaho hunting for potatoes that resemble famous political leaders.

I could buy health insurance. Or not.

I could buy any kind of policy I wanted, were I just free. I could take out a plan that covered contraception and abortion, but not pregnancy, if we decide we want no more kids. I could take out a policy that covers pregnancy but not abortion or contraception, if we decide we want endless kids. I could take out a policy that covers addiction treatment, knowing that if I fall off the wagon it’s going to take a lot of resources (and repeated whacks with a baseball bat) to get me sober again. But I could also purchase a policy that does not cover rehab, hoping that knowing I could not afford treatment would scare me straight.

Read more…

Church Founded in Sixth Century Has More Modern Views on Women Than Scalia

Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

The Church of England, an institution whose origins date back to the sixth century A.D., has far more modern views about the rights of women than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, experts said today.

“In recognizing that women are the equals of men, the Church of England has embraced a position that is centuries ahead of Scalia’s,” Davis Logsdon, a professor of religion at the University of Minnesota, said. “This is a remarkable achievement, given that Scalia was born in 1936 and the Church began in the late five hundreds.”

Cemex Expansion Plan Denied by Hernando Zoning Board

Politics in the Park 2014

Hernando Today

Dozens of people packed planning and zoning commission chambers Monday to protest a local mining company’s plan to expand operations on 730 acres along State Road 50 and Fort Dade Avenue.

Three hours later, they left happy after winning the first round of a battle to block Cemex Construction Materials Florida from getting the necessary comprehensive plan amendment needed to begin the lengthy process of obtaining permits.

The board voted 4-1 in determining such a use by Cemex would be inconsistent with the county’s comprehensive plan. The vote came despite expert testimony from Cemex officials and none from the residents’ side.

Planning and zoning chairman, Robert Widmar, reminded the audience that the matter now goes before county commissioners next month and they can overturn the planning and zoning recommendation of denial.

Read more…

Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are…Conservative

Chris Mooney, Mother Jones

 Why Conservative Are Conservative

You could be forgiven for not having browsed yet through the latest issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences. If you care about politics, though, you’ll find a punchline therein that is pretty extraordinary.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences employs a rather unique practice called “Open Peer Commentary”: An article of major significance is published, a large number of fellow scholars comment on it, and then the original author responds to all of them. The approach has many virtues, one of which being that it lets you see where a community of scholars and thinkers stand with respect to a controversial or provocative scientific idea. And in the latest issue of the journal, this process reveals the following conclusion: A large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology, and even traits like physiology and genetics.

Read more…


Hernando Candidates Stump During Politics in the Park Event

Politics in the Park 2014

Hernando Today

It was billed as “Politics in the Park,” and while there was no park, there was plenty of politicking going on Thursday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Spring Hill.

Residents spent a few hours at an old-fashioned political rally, courtesy of the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce.

The event drew about 200 people in close quarters. Candidates set up booths and met with voters.

Those who wanted to hear more gathered up front by the stage to listen to three-minute speeches from every candidate.

Kathy Ellestad, of Spring Hill, attended because she feels the county and the country are in bad shape and it’s more important than ever to put the right people in office.

Read more…

New Evidence: Rick Scott’s out for himself and his wealthy cronies – not Floridians

Rick Scott

Another day, another scandal for one of Rick Scott’s top hires. Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, who recently found himself the center of controversy after getting caught committing academic fraud, is again making headlines for his crooked deeds.

As the Naples Daily News reported, Hollingsworth used his power and connections to line up a taxpayer-funded sweetheart deal for his former employer — a direct violation of Rick Scott’s own lobbying ban. The governor doubled down on his employee’s duplicity and supported the mega-deal.

Here are the facts, folks:

Read more…

Commissioners Approve Marina Rezoning in Hernando Beach

Hernando Today

HB Marina Commission Meeting Crowd

A divisive Hernando County Commission on Tuesday listened to four hours of debate before approving a rezoning request from Gordon Wolf who wants to expand his Blue Pelican Marina in Hernando Beach.

After the 3-2 vote, some of the dozens of residents who packed the commission chambers to voice their opposition to the rezoning let loose with a few epithets hurled at the trio of commissioners who gave the thumbs up to Gordon Wolf and his brother Ron, who has also been working on the proposal.

Read more…