Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rick's Town Hoor Meeting

The governor's experiment with facebook didn't go as he planned. He was slammed so hard by comments, it obviously took him time to cherry pick through the minefield of anger that awaited him since the moment his staff released word of the Town Hoor Meeting.

He chose to answer the low-hanging fruit and only started to do so around 7:50 p.m.

Sunshine State News was the first to go ahead and admit to the world, the whole thing was a bust.

Here's what we wrote to Sunshine State news when some took exception to the "vile" and "snarky" questions.

Here's a "snarky" and "vile" question to some: Florida has risen from the bottom twelve to the top five public school departments in the nation since 2000. So in effect with all these "initiatives" aimed at "student success", aren't you in fact breaking something that was demonstrably in the process of fixing itself; a massive perversion of the refrain "If it ain't broke don't fix it?"

He didn't answer it. Here's another.

Did you throw away 24,000 jobs for HSR, and are you willing to nix the light rail project, merely because these public transportation projects conflict with future profits of Koch industries?

Here's another
Is it true you and your staff are behind an effort to take over the State Lottery and privatize it? Isn't this money supposed to be for scholarships to worthy Florida students, or do you not want Bright Futures for our kids?

Here's another

Does posting your schedule day of, charging exorbitant fees for information, running away from reporters, attending and speaking only to constituents at Tea rallies, and Lincoln Day Dinners, qualify as open government, answerable to ALL Floridians?

We need more snarky and vile questions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Not About the Kids It's About the Contracts!

Confidential sources have said there's an angle to be played by the Scott people concerning teacher evaluations and the new testing.

Testing resources are expensive. All the sudden we need a new FCAT! Gasp! That old one is no good! Didn't you get the memo? Our schools are failing and the sky is falling!

The confidential source said many are wondering if there isn't a private beneficiary to all the testing, as with Neil Bush during his brother Jeb's tenure as governor and the FCAT 1.0.

FCAT 2.0. Here's the nugget of truth. In 2002, Gov. Jeb Bush's brother Neil did approach the state to produce testing materials for the state.

But Pearson won the contract.

That doesn't mean they will get the next one and there may indeed be a player in the wings waiting to benefit.

Here's a curious item that bears scrutiny.

Hastily injected Senate Bill 922, says Senator Flores will pay an outside "entity" (this is a code word for a corporation) to develop a funding formula, per student funding, county by county. Ten guesses on which counties will get the funding first? Well, since the districts are pretty much drawn up to favor republicans, I suppose we could overlay those on top of the counties and see where the money will magically go!

Also, will SB 922 employ a "contractor" that has more than a Kevin Bacon connection to Rick Scott? Our survey says yes. The appropriation is currently for $100,000 but we'll see if that doesn't go higher. It is scheduled to go into affect on July 11 of this year.

Also, the Senate Committee on education funding was just yesterday, discussing the use of computerized grading and evaluation systems for the new FCAT 2.0.

That sounds like an expensive proposition! Gosh Golly! I wonder who will get that contract?

Friends of Rick?

This is the point. All at once, in your face changes with little shells and little peas sliding all around on the playing table while they are slashing budgets to teachers.

Watch the money!

It is your right as a citizen to follow any bills sliding through this session/nightmare. Here's a page for the bill tracker. You can have updates on any bill sent to your email as often as every day or every 15 minutes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rick Scott is A Flaming Bag of Dogshit Liar

Oh. Do I have your attention now? Good.

He's also going to privatize the Florida State Lottery(drilldown); the next step in destroying public education in Florida. And we'll get to that. Right after we deal with your feigned "shock" (gasp) as to the title of this post.

Heavens! Egads, man. Have you no shame?

You'll notice I didn't call him a Koch Sucker. People complained about that. Yeah.

Ever so much worse, I suppose, than someone who is trying to dismantle the middle class at the behest of vast corporations. Right? I mean, ho-hum. BUT DON'T YOU DARE CALL SOMEONE A KOCH SUCKER!

The truth? People have been too nice in describing our governor and when your voice is small, you must scream loudest.

This isn't a subtle person. This isn't someone you can damn with faint praise and hope he gets the message.

This post originally was titled "Scott is a flaming bag of dog-shit" only. But, it wasn't pertinent to the cause without "liar" caboosed to it. See it there? There it is.

This morning the Orlando Sentinel tried this "damning with faint praise" thing. It was more like "damning with faint concern and perplexed objectivity" as the author "tried to get a handle" on where in old Jesus, did Scott come up with the figure of 30,000 new jobs by spending $77 million on dredging the port of Miami?

You'll note 30,000 is a nice round figure that , with Machiavellian coincidence, eclipses the number 24,000; the expected jobs he shewed from the state in rejecting $2.4 billion in rail money.

The author strained to believe the governor, in a tortured dance that bespoke of an editor breathing down his neck "balance, balance, balance."

Fuck it. Rick Scott is a flaming bag of dog-shit liar - with his pants down!

Are you not entertained?

Moving on to lotto. If the governor and his minions get their way, the next move will be to take over the Florida State Lottery, a veritable cash cow. Notice he never mentions the lotto, that I could find, in his state budget proposal.

Surely, run it like a business would mean cutting off chunks of the system and feeding those to greedy interests who could then pay for negative ads aimed at his future enemies. AND.....AND! it would serve the purpose of crippling the Bright Futures Program.

Let's review how serious this problem is: the utter destruction of the public education system is the end result. This is their touchdown dance, if you will.

Imagine the worst soccer parents on the planet. You know the ones I mean: those who think that by putting Johnny or Ginny into a competitive program, then screaming at the refs, then paying hundreds of dollars per season, that all this furious activity should force YOUR child into under performing on a level playing field, when matched against their little darling. And when that doesn't happen! They lose their damn minds, as you have noticed!

These people do not want a level playing field. EVER! Do you hear me? EVER!!

FOX spews this morning - and I only caught a glimpse of it - had Steve Dooshy and Brian Kilmeade running this game; that it is only "fair" that people should "have a choice" when it comes to education. Read: pay for play.

If your kid wants a top-notch education, then, by all that is Holy, by all that is Jesus, and so on, it should be a sliding scale based on YOUR current economic conditions; which for many of us, have been considerably reduced by the same crowd of Jesus thumping greed demons who are screaming for this system.


You watch. As soon as Rickster gets back from Panama - likely where he is busy hand over fisting; cutting his Plutocrat ante-in deals - discussions will suspiciously commence concerning a strange need for "improving the efficiency of the Florida State Lottery."

Someone, some traitorous villain, who pitches himself as a "friend to education", someone with a bright smile and a wavy crine of hair will propose the measure on the senate floor.

I wonder who that could be?

Thoughts on St. Paddy's Day

Or call it, Rick Scott in another age.

What I have been doing is some research on a book I have been writing when I came across an old poem dedicated to a rack renter landlord in Ireland in the 1890 time frame.

When the family and I went to Ireland in 2007 we visited an old manor home called Portumna Castle in east Galway. Inside were some paintings of the family members that ran the estate. Finding them interesting I snapped a pic of each of the portraits, really not knowing why.

I researched them this morning, I discovered I was staring into the face of one of the worst rack renters in Irish history and who perhaps had a hand in the removal of one of my ancestors from County Galway.

I give you Hubert George de Burgh, 2nd Marques, 14th Earl of Clanricarde. There he is.

The reason he's here is simple: even as we speak people are being evicted from their homes. Different from many foreclosures, these are folks whose banks are using robo-signatures and other illegal methods to speed the illegal foreclosure process. So too, the very people who teach our young are being muscled, and administrated out of their positions.

Where in Clanricarde's day, a land agent used a battering ram against the side of the house, for renters who couldn't make the extortionate payments of their landlords; today we have robosigned documents ousting people from their upside down mortgages just when they almost get rightside up.

I think bankers, financiers and elected officials need to tread very carefully around the boiling kettle of public distaste all of this mess has engendered within the American public. While corporate media has many of us like lemmings following the party of the tea, the people who have been and are being boosted from their homes ILLEGALLY are waking up to who is really at fault for all this - bankers and Wall Street thugs - and to the fact that much of this was done in a DELIBERATE EFFORT which is on-going TO DESTROY THE MIDDLE CLASS.

We have to combine what has happened with the outrage of the oil spill to understand THAT ALL OF THIS IS INTENTIONAL and some of the very same people claiming to be outraged at an alleged scheme for a communist take-over and being paid under the table to ship even the bad jobs to China.

This poem from the past could just as easily be a warning from our future.

By “Brigid”, reply to Hubert George de Burgh-Canning 2nd Marques and 14th Earl of Clanricarde
Portumna County Galway, Ireland
Circa 1890

So you say we are cunning, ungrateful
Our cabin doors kept on the latch
Show nothing but squalor within them
While money we’ve hid in the thatch.

That we smile in the face of “his honor”
And blessings invoke on his track
While we mutter a curse as he leaves us
And shake the clenched fist at his back.

But you don’t give a hint, my Lord Marquis
That we dared not to own those few pounds
Or show signs of comfort around us
For fear of your sharp scented hounds.

For fear of your spies and informers
On the watch to report to their lords
If their serfs had coin in their pockets
Or a decent meal on the boards.

And you hint not , at times not long vanished
When ye chased us to woods and the caves
Where we wailed over the corpse of our freedom
A poor stricken nation of slaves.

We are cunning, aye we needed cunning
When our lives were scarce held as right
And plundered unarmed and unlettered
T’was our last weapon left for the fight.

It was men such as you taught us cunning
As up these old tales we must rip
When for Limerick’s trust they repaid us
With pitch-cap and gallows and whip.

When we dared not stand upright and fearless
As men should on their own native sod
Nor dared the faith of their fathers
Save in secret to worship our god.

Can it be your Lordship in College
Never heard a text all should know
Coming straight from the lips of our savior
Men should only reap as they sow?

Why the words of our poor hunted teachers
That ever kept school by the hedge
Could tell that if fathers eat sour things
Their children’s teeth will be on edge.

And when savage things scattered the cockle
Through our lands years early to late
Till it choked the wheat of good feeling
You must now reap a harvest of hate.

Then your Lordship says “nothing would please them”
Though you take but the corn and the wine
And leave us with freehanded bounty
The husks in the trough with the swine.

Oh specimen peer of our rulers
Great the anger with which you give breath
But no doubt we are very ungrateful
For rack rents, evictions and death.

For fevered ones homeless at Christmas
Cast out by the snowy ditch side
While my lord draws his ermine around him
And scoffs at their rags in his pride.

Ah my lords, up to this it was your day
Our bent necks were held in your thrall
For you were soft ease and rich plenty
For us were the labor and gall.

But today we feel life in our members
Good blood each vein flows apace
Tis not the clenched fist to your back now
But sturdy demand to your face.

Cling not to your old rules they are broken
Old customs have rotted away
Ireland must be at length for the Irish
No more in strange lands shall you squander.

What this land our labor has sown
As of old fell the horse and the rider
You are now overthrown

*Hubert George was an absentee landlord who scarcely set foot in his Irish estate, using a number of land agents to evict 243 tenant farmers, and their families, between 1890 and 1893, for as little as 5 pounds sterling owed in arrears. He was condemned by fellow members of the English Parliament for his cruelty to his tenants.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You Must Read the Orlando Sentinel Article This Morning!!

Orlando Sentinel has an excellent article this morning concerning something we have been wondering, but were too disheartened to file a timely Freedom of Information Act request: what are those 91 extra employees he hired actually doing? How much are they being paid?

Apparently they are doing nothing, and they are being paid rather handsomely for it.

From the article.

"The legislative affairs office of the Department of Environmental Protection e-mailed Hanson on Dec. 30 that "we have not yet heard from Matt Vail for our deputy legislative affairs position. Can we go ahead and try to reach him? Still expecting he will be here to start on next Tuesday?" Records show Vail started the $48,000 job a week after Scott was sworn in.

Likewise, Karen Zeiler, deputy secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, told Hanson she hadn't heard from Virginia Haworth, a 22-year-old campaign worker from Panama City, who was supposed to go to work there. Haworth was eventually hired to a $38,000 a year job in the governor's office."

This was just a tidbit. The article will likely make you so damn mad your eyeballs will melt and drip from your sockets.

More to come.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stan Goes After the Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail HB 1239

Rick Scott and two members of the legislature tried to pull a fast one. Stan was livid and produced a hasty set of videos on the subject. He posted to us, and we posted to facebook on Jack Nicklaus's fan page in a chorus which just may have shut down the project.
Here's the good the bad and the ugly of Stan's take on the idea of putting golf courses inside our state parks.

1.Unnamed dead golf course. One of hundreds in Florida

2 The Majors/Palm Bay

3 Open Land/Palm Bay

4.The Habitat Golf Course

5. Sebastian River Buffer Preserve State Park

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rick Scott's rush to the bottom of the barrel begins in education

TALLAHASSEE- No one likes to work for a company that micromanages its employees to death. It stifles creativity, creates a hostile environment between colleagues, and fosters litigation. As companies go, it is a recipe for self destruction.

Teaching is a calling, yes. This is true. But whether we like it or not, it is also a job. Someone must do it. It is not a crime to teach. A person should not feel they are evil for needing a decent working environment, free of constant hassle, and justification. They should not feel guilt for using the bathroom. There are some minimums for the treatment of our teachers, are there not?

Can anyone do this? Can those who complain and point loudest, do this? No. They cannot. They can hate, well enough. They can point, blame, rage, begrudge someone a vacation who works 16 hour days and most weekends for nine months; but, it takes a very rare person, a living breathing person, to actually teach our young.

So too, no one likes to work for a company in which seniority, and regular pay raises for good performance, are punished with termination. This too fosters mole mentality; keep your head down. It also curtails forward progress that some modicum of institutional knowledge base permits.

But these are the very measures the Florida House of Representatives are proposing and debating this morning in the Rick Scott/Tea Party race to the bottom of the barrel, in terms of pay, and of treatment for Florida's teachers.

One by one amendments to  House Bill 7019 that would otherwise introduce some logic to firing and hiring, and security to teacher positions, are being struck down by the elected body. The senate version is SB 736.

Of a recent survey finding that Florida had jumped to a 5 of 50 state rankings for education gains, the same study also found that Florida gets an F in funding education and a C in supporting teachers. Fifty percent of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years.

Rep. Dwight Bullard (D-Miami) led the charge to put some mercy into the bill with a handful of amendments. One he sponsored, sought to allow a successful teacher to remain in place if they so desired. It did not pass this day's vote.

"Under this bill as it is, there goes that opportunity to put your son or daughter with that phenomenal teacher."

Some of those offering testimony cited specific cases of teachers allegedly bullying kids, without referencing whether the teacher was fired, permitted to remain in the profession, but rather, as a nebulous sort of catch-all pointing out the glaring holes in the system allowing bad teachers to remain in place. Supposedly, and to hear these stories, Florida is unique among all states of having bad teachers.

A representative from the teachers union said that's not the point, to argue tenure, which does need to be looked at. Nor are unions upset about removing "bad teachers" from the classroom. On the contrary. But rather, that the language of the bill as it is now, makes utter mockery of order in its implementation.

But then, perhaps in the Tea-Party/Scott/Koch scheme this is the point. Chaos, disorder, angst, upset, unrest, strikes, litigation, resulting in the destruction of education, and the spread of ignorance.

If we accept that big business wants to destroy Florida's public education system turning it over to privatized fiefdoms of quasi-religious ignorance, for those attending vouchered chartered schools, with nothing to be done for those less fortunate, then you can indeed see the pattern developing here.

You see that promoting chaos in a system that was formerly on the right track, achieves the aim of "divide and conquer."  The new laws not only foster conflict between teachers and parents, but also serve to deepen the divide between teachers and administrators. Total disunity.

It also drives good people from the profession, as well as driving the learned from the state.

Those unwitting pawns in this are the well meaning administrators who do need to have greater tools for removing bad teachers from their ranks, and the parents who have suffered at the hands of bad teachers.

Unfortunately these well intended souls are blinded by politics and the sounds of their own personal stories, to evil works of outside interests, who are using their outrage as a means to destroy education in the state of Florida.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Teachers? Second-prize is a set of steak knives

TALLAHASSEE - Teachers, don't ever struggle with your progress. Okay?
Not for a single year, ever.

That's the take-away from this morning's session of the Florida Senate.

Begin the profession as experts. Don't be rookies. Don't act like a rookie teacher. If you are transferred to a more difficult assignment? Tough.

And in addition to the tightrope you walk with 35 some odd children of various backgrounds - because you now have 35 kids as opposed to 25 - you will walk a tightrope with your principal and the parents of your students, who can bitch at said principal enough, that they give you a failing evaluation. 

You don't like it? Hit the bricks, pal!  

Guess what? If the family has problems? If the parent is in jail, if the child sleeps on the couch of an uncle who drinks and may be molesting them, YOU are responsible for that student's performance right up until the moment the child finds out about a curious beauracratic technique known as "opt out."

But as far as you teachers are concerned there are no exemptions from this "system" because there is no "opt out" for your counties even if your district is doing well.


Because 111,000 students failed their grade last year, said Senator Stephen R. Wise (R-Jacksonville)
"Something is going on and we are trying to address it," said Senator Wise.

Not that parents being pitched from their jobs by the millions, or whole families being booted from their homes by bankers in a failing economy and the pervasion of hoplessness and drugs, have anything to do with all the aforementioned.

No because Senator Wise and the others think it's your fault!

You damned teacher, you! Your fault. And now the Florida Senate is coming to the rescue of these poor kids who are suffering within your evil clutches.

Rules governing school principals, having a bad principal? No, because this never happens, see?

But don't worry, "we're not going to just fire them willy-nilly," said Wise.
 Whew, thank god for that. First prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Second Prize is? Steak knives?
Wrong on the first two counts, right on the third. Third place is you're fired.

"Teachers will all be rated on how well the students perform," he said.

Senate Bill 736, "race to the top" proposed by Senator Wise, is being modeled after a $100 million endowment to Hillsborough County schools, following their pilot program of the same name.

Senator Nan Rich (D-Venice) said hold up!

"If it's costing Hillsborough $100 million (Gates Foundation Money) how can we expect them to do this (in the other 66 counties) without funding to implement this?"

And she also said, "Why are we doing this now? There is no way the school districts will have the money to implement this"

But Wise had a homespun body-slam waiting for her. He sprung it like a trap! Wowie! Is he cool or what!

"Someone told me Stalin was dead and if we continue to stall we won't get nothing (sic) done," Wise said.

Wise equated the program to farming terms."Hillsborogh is almost the guinea pig," he said.

He had previously equated it to baseball, with principals, teachers, librarians, coaches and special ed and exceptional ed folks, sort of like interchangeable parts of a baseball team, and heck-fire, you got a standardized check list from the state - not that this doesn't pretty much geld the local school districts - and zap! You're good to go, one size fits all!

The really cool thing is it's working in Hillsborough - even though it's only been in place for a year - and we've attached Bill and Melinda Gates to it. Hey, you know Bill and Melinda? Great folks with oodles of cash so, how wrong can it be?

What are you a communist? Geez.

All reminds one of a great movie!

Senator Mike Escapes Admonishment!!

TALLAHASSEE - There was much hand-wringing, this morning, on the lowest, most infinitesimal; the meekest, squeaking, mincing form of punishment to be meted out for Senator Mike Haridopolos's ethics violation.

And then he was reprieved, at least until Thursday!

Senator Mike had failed to disclose, on a statement of income form, an investment house (cha-ching $400,000!) and other income ( more than $100,000 cha-ching!) for the years 2004 ( woops!)  2005 (woops!) 2006 (woops!) 2007 (woops!) 2008 (woops!)

The letter of admonishment from the ethics commission was read into the record, as was a mea culpa  letter from Senator Mike.

"In admonish you that you must meticulously adhere to the rules of the state constitution....I appreciate your willingness to accept you errors of judgment."

But suddenly, and in a move more befitting the actions of a Podunk city councilman, an abrupt motion was made to adjourn by Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) until Thursday before the final vote to actually admonish Haridopolos could be taken.

Nanoseconds later the motion was seconded before anyone could say "who dat?"and without hearing an objection in the subsequent nanosecond, Thrasher, who is rules committee chairman, dropped the mic and headed for the door.

So, the usually terrible and swift hand of justice has been stayed for now. A temporary reprieve.

We can imagine Senator Mike pacing in his cell at this hour, in tears over his bowl of gruel. Perhaps the governor will issue a pardon?

Having a formal admonishment, codified by vote (and everything!) will definitely prove to be a bailiwick for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Orlando) as he faces off against newl- minted republican turned tea candidate Haridopolos. One has to wonder what is up with this?

Perhaps they need a few votes not to admonish Senator Mike? A tortured technicality that only the tea party could summon ( "Yeah, but we wasn't actually admonished, senator! Get your facts straight!!!") Curiously, Sen Thad Altman (R-Viera) was absent from the days' proceedings.

They have him surrounded in a little room "this is how it's gonna be! You're gonna do what we say and what we say is, you're not going to vote to admonish your fellow republican!"


For the record:

Senator John Latvala (R-Clearwater) essentially apologized to Haridopolos, ala U.S. Sen. Joe Barton apologizing to BP. Though love means never having to actually say "I'm sorry."

Did Senator Joe Siplin (D-Orlando) strangely suggested that if he brushed the leg of another senator unintentionally, should he be admonished too?

Yes. He did. He thought admonishment was unconstitutional for all inadvertent ethics violations.

Unbelievable. And so it went.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The GOP and the Tea Pawns, the Koch Suckers like Scott, and Haridopolos, are great talkers of what's "fair", right?

You don't have the money? Tough, you don't get that thing, whatever it is.

That's fair, right? Oh hell yeah, they'll tell you all about it. You know, tough love. You know, schoolyard rules. Like that, right? Good ole American football. Losers? Walk.

We all knew the rules when we were kids. Your team got scored on, you and your buddies had to walk all the way down to the other end of the field....

Oh they'll show it to you in the Constitution. Amendment number 28,or whatever..."Losers Walk!"

But corps? Should they pay taxes?

"Oh hell no! What are you, a communist?"

WTF? Where did that come from. You just got through telling me that people should pay their way. What's wrong with you?

"Oh just not corps. Welfare moms? Oh hell yeah, soak those lazy welfare queens. Grind them into paste"

Why corps? Why do they get a break?


Listen, of those bastards who get these tax breaks and they take em? Okay! I say FUCK EM!

Where in Croesus do you think the roads come from that lead to your plant, assholes? Huh? I'll fuckin tell you where. In my city, right out of my back pocket.

Harris Corp. Big government contractor in my town. Troutman Boulevard turns to rubble? And you need it paved?

Fuck you! I'll be down there at city council pitching a shit fit. And I'll bring friends.

Where in Croesus do the corps think their profits come from? Huh? These Kochtards think this shit happens in a vacuum? I mean what the hell, what the HELL!!

Northrop, GE,  Lockheed, all these asshole companies. They have one goddamn client: the taxpayer. And I can short these assholes right in the tighty-whities. As a citizen taxpayer I can block the fucking pipes going to their goddamn plant. I can cut off their water and sewer, and their planned expansions. I can do those things because I can attend a city council meeting. I can attend a county commission meeting and I can pitch a shit fit the like of which they have never seen before.

And goddamn it all, I will bring friends.

Their profits can only happen if they get these marvelous perks called city and county services. If we all, collectively pull the plug on their asses at the pumps, see how fast they change their tune.

Block every goddamn thing these bastards want. They don't want to pay, and governor shit-bird is going to  let them off the hook? Fine. Here's a news flash: the roads leading to your goddamn plant can turn to fucking mud ruts two feet deep!

What's that? You say you want a building permit to expand?

Fuck you.

Scott Begins His Assault on the Sunshine Law

And the press will bravely stand aside going "hey....wait...don't...stop....(well, if you must)."

Here it is. Florida's Government in the Sunshine works like this: In cities and counties you can't meet with other elected officials and privately discuss issues you may be voting on. You can't use a third party to pol each other. You know? Commissioner A calls the county administrator and says "how is Commissioner B and C voting on this...?" Get it? The law is designed to prevent collusion.

Well, Governor Scoot set up a private meeting with 10 legislators. He likely got the idea from President Obama, who he would very much like to be one day.

Only, genius didn't know this sort of thing wasn't legal in Florida. You can't do it without advertising the meeting, calling the press and at least inviting them.

His caveat? Oh, this was to be a purely social event. Yes, that's it. A coffee klatch.

No. This is only the beginning.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


When Rick Scoot - and he does, rather quickly - got up in front of 300 GOPsters at the Martin County Lincoln Day Dinner, March 5 and called Florida's education system a "special interest" he was speaking to the choir.

Personal Rick Scott Watch observations from the event were as follows.

Not one of the people we spoke to save a newspaper reporter actually qualified themselves as "Floridians". You'd ask where people were from originally and without fail, the answer was somewhere other than Florida. Delaware, said one young couple. A kindly gentleman said Connecticut. An older, distinguished looking gent and his wife said New York.

Where is their legal residence? "Palm City, Tequesta, Jupiter, Hobe Sound, Sailfish point, etc.."

You see? Florida is just their tax condom. No state income tax.

The kindly gentleman that I spoke of? He's a 30 year educator. Before he got wealthy, and however that happened God bless him for it, he taught high school science and coached basketball. He knows about the 16 hour work days because he lived that life.

The hue and cry of more than 300 educators out front of the building, seemed conceptual to him, more than a reality. Our ways parted when we informed him we did not serve in the military, but we did experience some of the wildest, baddest bush-jungle known, in Honduras as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer.

He commented here that the guayabera we wore was a shirt  similar to those he bought in Mexico as a younger man. And then just as quickly he was off to speak with a congressman.

At some point, an elegant woman with a red scarf shuddered to discover all the assembled masses out on the road, up and down either side of East Ocean Drive, were wearing red.

"What does the red mean?" she laughed slightly and a bit nervously, perhaps thinking that if she left the room she wouldn't gain entrance again.

Playing our part we feigned ignorance.

The point of this vignette here should be clear: these, are not, Floridians. They aren't even trying to fake it. Hence, they do not care, what happens to our children.

The only thing our children represent to this crowd, mostly older, for the most part retired, is a drain on their bottom line, a clinging annoyance; a "special interest."

It brings up another observation. These people want our children to remain ignorant and lacking opportunity. They want our children to fail, miserably. Get used to that it will clear up a lot of mystery for you. How could this kindly old gentlemen hate children so? Because he has grand kids back in Conn. and if yours are smarter than his using public schools, that upsets everything he stands for!! AND it means your kids might actually get into Harvard before his nietos do!!

Wake up!!

What are the larger reasons? Why would they want to destroy Florida's public education system you say? Surely it's just a union thing. Big business has always been about hurting the unions.

No. It's more than that.

The destruction of our education system is paramount in the mind of big business in order to return Florida to what it was in the 1940s and earlier, a quaint, wild place with decent seafood, and great golf and cheap labor. Think the heyday of Weeki Wachi Springs; well endowed mermaids in tanks slurping on air hoses. Paid peanuts to smile while men in floral print guzzle umbrella drinks. Like that. Yeah.

I reflect on Gov. "Scoot's" little show with The Donald. The kids dressed in those goddamn stupid hats and those yellow T-shirts. They looked like the bus boys, chambermaids, waiters, cabana boys. The careers Scoot envisions for our children.

"Here look at our wonderfully cheap, eager to please, sufficiently dumbed down workforce we have created for you," he seemed to be saying with his little menagerie there.

Florida is coming along in the world. The education system is its biggest achievement.Our university system especially. University of Florida has joined the ranks of one of the elite schools. Minimum 4.0 GPA only. USF is busy sending medical students to Johns Hopkins, Emory; others are going to Oxford, and Harvard.

Those who call the Northeast home, and use Florida for their tax condom, really don't like to see us breaking the stereotype of "Floriduh" They fucking HATE that.

Organized labor is a speed-bump in the road to crushing this 'SPECIAL INTEREST" called our children's future. It doesn't matter if you swing more to the right or left. If you love this state, and want your children to remain here, and perhaps raise their children here, with a chance for making this state what it could be #1 in the nation for business, beaches and a better tomorrow, then you must stand with organized labor.

Rick Scoot, isn't the governor of Floridians. He's not. Let's accept that. His words don't reflect a love for our kids, but a contempt for them as a cloying special interest. He speaks more about Obama than Florida. He relishes his chats with other Koch'd up governors, than speaking with anyone about a pill mill data base.

Come Tuesday, if you can't get to Tally to Rally for schools, kids and teachers, then keep watching.

You know we will.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chicken Sh*t! Stalking Scott a Bust in Martin County

Rick Scott went to the Marriott Resort on Hutchinson Island this evening to give a speech that must have been faster than crap through a goose, because it was over in a flash, and he was gone.

Rick Scott Watch managed, through daring and so on, to eat a shrimp coctail and thus, slide by the defenses of the GOP and whatever security detail was on duty, to penetrate all the way into the ballroom, while dinner was being eaten.

Governor Rick was not to be seen. He seemed to know we were on the case.

Raw footage.

The crashing 1.(5:30)

Blending in. 2.(5:32)

Watching protesters (6:00) No Rick Scott. One notes the laughter of the party attendees. (Of course, Rick Scott Watch was blending, so idle chatter was necessary). It is amazing to see people so above it all that teachers pleading with their governor to listen and not cut quite so much from education, seems lightheartedly amusing to them.

Watching protesters again (6:30) Still no governor. There is talk that he is in the building but refuses to show himself or come out of hiding. Whatever could the problem be? One gentleman said the governor had been at the hotel for hours, was bathing at the pool, etc. Which was rubbish since Rick Scott Watch had been at the pool since 3:00 at the poolside bar, scoping the place out. Nonsense. Note again, strange indifferent observation of the upper crust at the spectacle of teachers fighting for their rights. Note: we begin to question here whether our presence is actually preventing the governor from showing his face. In that we are wearing a guayabera and not the standard issue GOP blue blazer. Also, we admit some nervous laugher here. Harsh apprehension could have happened at any instant.

At this point we go for broke. We wait until all the campers are in their seats and then walk boldly by security.

We decide that our presence indeed is keeping the governor from showing his face. Everyone else is sat. He and his party are not. Police are nearby. One can feel harsh apprehension approaching. It's time to call it.

Outside the protest continues into the night.

When we are driving out of town there is whoosh of a Gulfstream jet overhead in the rain. The governor has come and gone.

By the time we get home, there is this offending news story in the Palm Beach Post. He apparently said these words between gulps.

 — With hundreds of union protesters outside blasting his proposed budget cuts, Gov. Rick Scott told a Republican dinner tonight that he and other conservatives need support for daily battles in the legislative session that begins Tuesday.
Scott got applause from the Martin County GOP Lincoln Day dinner audience of about 300 when he said he has spoken to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose push to limit collective bargaining for public employees has drawn thousands of angry protesters to the state capitol in Madison.
"Scott's a good guy. He's going to stand strong. Hopefully his senate will stand strong," the Florida governor said of his Wisconsin counterpart.
Scott said he expects protests in Tallahassee, where he wants the GOP-controlled legislature to cut per-student education spending by about 10 percent and compel public employees to begin contributing 5 percent of their pay for their pension plans.
"This is a fight every day. It's not every two years. And every elected official will tell you the same thing, because the special interests are fighting every day," Scott said.
"They're going to be up there (in Tallahassee) and they're going to complain about everything we're doing. So if you don't stay active, then what's going to happen is they will win. Because they're going to be up there every day. So we need your support. Every elected official that believes in the conservative principles of the Republican Party needs your support."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Koch Suckers File: State Senate President Mike Haridopolos

Koch Suckers: (adj) Used to describe those politicians who feed off the promises, either real, or implied, and financial support, either in direct contribution, or in negative ad campaigns directed at their competition, of Koch industries.

Koch industries of course is the major contributor to several front groups including but not limited to Americans for Prosperity.

Senator Mike (R-Merritt Island) had supported High Speed Rail when Gov. Charlie Crist was in office. Now that Rick Scott opposes it, so does Senator Mike. It happened that fast.

Senator Mike will run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Bill Nelson of Orlando.

Senator Mike faced ethics charges last year for having failed to disclose a $400,000 investment home, $100,000 in consulting fees while a senator, on his declaratory statements. This is designed to keep senators honest. Mistake? He failed to do this from 2004 through 2008.

Here''s a video of him, explaining himself.

Senator Mike also wrote a book for Brevard Community College, concerning the history of the senate, and the political process in Florida, for a reported $150,000. The book was slightly over 175 pages ($150,000/175=$857.14 per page).From 2007 to now it has languished in its original type-written form at Brevard Community College. (We here in Brevard have known about this for some time.) But recently the discussion about this sweetheart tome, in Orlando papers and on Orlando Radio, prompted other calls for investigation to come out of the woodwork.

Suddenly, (as the Lionel Richie song says) the book was given new life as a $9.99 Kindle download available at Amazon.

That Mike is a Koch sucker at this point is purely opinion, based on questionable legislative ethics in combination with his stance on rail; a complete flip-flop.

Clearly, if nothing else, Senator Mike is displaying the proper plumage attractive to Koch penetration into his political camp.

Should Senator Mike also reverse himself on education and vote along with Rick Scott's education killing budget, we will know Mike has totally sold himself outright for Koch.

We need a good nickname. I say it's 'WHITE RABBIT"

While we wait for a ruling on rail we search for a proper nickname. Every unpopular governor has one. Here's my list so far.

1. BARFD: The Bald Avenger of Fiscal Discipline

2. Bald Avenger

3. Governor "Rain Bird" for the way his head moves like a rain bird water sprinkler during impromptu television interviews. Right, right, right, allllllllllllll the back to the left. Repeat.

4."White Rabbit" This morning's pic from News 13 made me think of a scared white rabbit. I don't know if the Jefferson Airplane song of the same name had anything to do with this.

Feel free to use facebook or the comments section here to add your choices.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Xtranormal fun: Interview 3 with Rick Scott

Governor Rick and the Donald are now an item

This was our Bald Avenger of Responsible Fiscal Discipline (BARFD) making gooey eyes at the Donald on morning television.

Ostensibly the governor was in town promoting Florida tourism.

The Rickster and the Donald are offering free trip to Escambia County.

There is nothing wrong with that. Read the canned "attaboy-Ricks" in the comments section. Additionally, Escambia County isn't known for Cajun culture, that I am aware of. I think someone might be mistaken.

Aside from the obvious questions we are prone to ask ( such as, is this our children's future in that you will gut education, Rick? To serve umbrella drinks to dismissive, poor tipping republican strangers, who will admonish our young to "bootstrap" themselves into better careers, while they toss a quarter on the tip plate? Or perhaps another one: is the Donald to be our answer for economic development the way he was for that seaside town in Scotland that tried to resist his latest golf course?) are there deeper threads to be read in the fabric here.

Trump has been making squeekies about a latent desire. He may be getting The Runs. And if this is true, I think we know who might be interested in being his running mate.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

King Ricky Bares His Fangs While Gallivanting About

A bi-partisan lawsuit to stop Gov. Rick Scott from throwing away $2.4 billion in infrastructure funds, has met with the governor's scorn. But it has also been fast-tracked by the Florida Supreme Court.

Republican State Senator Thad Altman, of Viera, and democratic State Senator Arthenia Joyner, of Tampa, filed the motion based on separation of executive and legislative powers, as described in the state constitution. They also filed an injunction to prevent the White House from sending the HSR money elsewhere.

Florida's Supreme Court gave the Governor 24 hours to respond to the lawsuit.

Scott is quoted slamming the "disrespect" Altman and Joyner showed "taxpayers" in their motion.

As a democratic taxpayer who lives two towns south of Altman, the author of this post can say he was not disrespected at all.

Here we are beginning to see the naked fangs of our gubernatorial rex mundi. Joyner is quoted as calling him a self-appointed king.

Additionally this brings up the governor's travels, of late. He has been three days at the governor's conference in Washington, spending precisely what, who knows? Now he is off to Pennsylvania and elsewhere, allegedly dredging up "tourism".

I think the winter itself, as it does most years but particularly this year, has served in this regard without our governor's help. This is NOT what I as a taxpayer had my vote stolen by Diebold systems for, so our newly-appointed usurper could gallivant,spreading the word across the northeast that Florida is an excellent place to visit.

I think the world knows this. I think the news has been out for some time that warmth exists in the lower latitudes during winters, particularly in the northern hemisphere.

This brings up the expenditures on this magical mystery tour at this curious hour, that obviously will be co-mingled with his own considerable coffers thereby eluding scrutiny and skating litigiously around government in the Sunshine oversight. It is noted he was in D.C., he popped home, then sprinted back to Philly, of all places. How much did this flitting about cost?

The agenda, of course is what we'd like to understand, that being, what he is really doing, who he is really seeing. But since our governor set the "schedule" function on his website to indicate where he was 24 hours ago and not where he is going, we operate in the darkness of supposition.

With a Governor Like this Who Needs Enemies?

Governor Scott - the Bald Avenger of Responsible Fiscal Decision-making (BARFD) - said it was time to "measure the heck out of everything."

So, let the measuring commence.

1. He sold two state aircraft. He took the proceeds from one to pay off the lease for the other, something he wasn't supposed to do without consulting the legislature, according to some members of the state house. He also sold these aircraft in a soft market for executive jets, thus earning an unknown loss to the taxpayers in the transaction. The transaction looked like this $3,67 million were the sale proceeds from both, the lease to be paid off on Jet #2 was $3.4 million. Thus, ($3.67 Mil-$3.4Mill= $270,000) An observer here might question why this was such an important fiscal decision to be made the moment his foot crossed the doorway in that the actual earnings to the taxpayer, when considering the soft market, are nil?

2. He proposed a budget that would give $4 billion in tax cuts to large corporations, during a time when he claims there is a massive budget shortfall. He then proposes cutting $3 billion from education via local property taxes. In effect, taking the money cut from education and handing it to those corps, leaving a $1 billion deeper hole in the allegedly massive deficit. Thus he is increasing the deficit he says these plans are designed to reduce.  -$1 billion

3. He continues to push for the nixing of High Speed Rail, which in effect, sends $2.4 billion originally slated for Florida to California so they can develop their rail system ahead of us, and in so doing nixing 24,000 jobs.  -$2.4 billion

4. He brokered a deal giving Bing Energy $1.9 million in tax relief so they could bring 240 jobs to the state. (700,000-240=)699,760 jobs to go, as opposed to (700,000-24,240=)675,760 jobs to go.

5. He and his office spent $X, where X=unknown, in an all-expenses paid, three day trip to Washington D.C. The price includes meals, gas for his jet, cars, plush accommodations, and ancillary expenditures. So far no word on how much it cost but we will get back to you. (-$X)

6. He proposes a long exhaustive legal battle between Florida and the unions, in the elimination of collective bargaining as a right under the state constitution. The fight will of course, deeply divide the citizens, and necessitate the enormous expenditure to house counsel and outside labor attorneys. Not to mention the costs in clean up and police presence during the expected protests. (-$X Million)

7. His "informal education adviser" Michelle Rhee has proposed harsh measures aimed at teachers. Pensions, and teacher tenure are now the targets. This stance of course serves to demoralize and demotivate Florida teachers. The result likely will be to thin the ranks of those seeking to enter the profession here in Florida, and  constitute a "brain drain" on the profession, statewide. Younger teachers who feel a calling for this profession, will surely seek greener pastures elsewhere, in other states where teachers are given a better deal. The legal battles in education specifically will result in unknown costs to the state taxpayers. In other words, the costs for us to defend ourselves legally, from our own teachers. (-$X million)

It should be noted Florida has risen from the bottom twelve to the top five public school departments in the nation since 2000. So in effect, he seems desirous of breaking something that was demonstrably in the process of fixing itself; a massive perversion of the refrain "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

The loss to the state in this regard of course is incalculable. State students receiving a poorer education will slip from the top five in the rankings down to the bottom rungs, as has South Carolina, who cut massive holes in their education system to "incentivize" big business. Former Gov. Mark Sanford's approach, has in fact served to hinder education while not attracting business to South Carolina. The unheeded lesson being tax breaks can't force companies to choose a state where the employees can't adequately prepare their children for a future.

The loss to education, the loss to students, loss to the state has an exponential, if not, logarithmic negative affect. (-$X^2 million)

8. Governor Scott has effectively, or is attempting to nix a state data base on "Pill Mills" a problem for not only the state's law enforcement community, but the nations. These unscrupulous pain clinics and their perennial clients abuse the insurance industry and the medical community, and the law enforcers by providing dangerous drugs under cover of prescriptions. The pervasion of these drugs continues to reduce the quality of life, kill citizens who become addicted.  The cost here is unknown for not having a database to better help law enforcers track these clinics and those who use them. (-$X million)

For now we tally what we know.

Known and proposed dollar losses, to date, for the Rick Scott plan = -$3.4 billion- $270,000 (jet proceeds)= -$3,399,730,000.

Known job losses to date- 24,000-1,700 corrections officers -8,700 other state workers =-34,440+240 Bing Energy Jobs= -34,160

At the present time we conclude that the governor  isn't serving the state so much as - quite literally - attacking it. His effort seems to be to destroy the actual fabric of that which is working, that which is actually holding the state together, while reducing the quality of life and making it more dangerous for the law enforcement community, and the department of corrections!

We note with alarm he attacks that which works, FIRST, education. The bi-product of giving the money from teachers to corporations - a sort of "raping Peter, to pay Paul" if you will - may not be the point at all, but only serve as a kind of plumage; signalling to higher authority in Washington, and in corporate America, that he is on-board with their plans here in Florida. Those plans could include anything from a repeat of the Enronification of the energy grid, to whatever may most insult and injure Floridians. Who really knows?

In sum, and to quote another common refrain, with a governor like this, who needs enemies?