Thursday, September 29, 2011

Defining #RickScottistan

Here are some terms used to describe the Rick Scott administration. They will find use in our upcoming book about him. ENJOY!AND SHARE!

7-7-7: The Rick Scott Jobs plan summed up in meaningless vaguely “Dominionist” or quasi-religious repeated use of the number seven.

Chemical Jim Crow: Current suite of drug-testing laws attempting to marginalize state workers, middle class, poor, and minority communities.

Coupons for Students: The voucher program proposed for Florida schools.

Corporate Dark Age: The time we are living in.

Corporate food stamps: Corporate tax cuts as described by the Rick Scott team.

Corpservative: One who is all about corporate power.

Electronic voting: Method used to steal elections in 2000, 2006 and 2010 in Floriduh

E-Gate: the inadvertent and yet fortuitously strategic deletion of emails pertaining to the Rick Scott transitional government’s (likely) corrupt hiring practices. Also see “iDelete.”

Flori-duh: Mythical Florida as described in the corporate lie that the stupidity of the voters, and not the electronic voting machines, keeps screwing up and or stealing our elections.

FTD, also “Fuck the Doomed”: The conservative healthcare plan for the rest of us, in three words. After a quote from the cult classic movie, Where the Buffalo Roam starring Bill Murray. Also FTA, “fuck them anyway”, the essential response from conservatives when you point out that FTD is actually more expensive than a less aggressive stance toward the sick, the poor and the old.

Ginoke Trees: a kind of tree found only in Rick’s Scott’s Florida, capable of thought, planning, and hard work. Used in a Rick Scott inaugural sentence. “The Ginoke trees that surround us are what they are, because they had a plan.”

Glitch: A random excuse used by software vendors and elections officials to describe Machiavellian screw-ups with the voting. Seldom explained, and soon forgotten. 2. An excuse used to conceal a stolen election. e.g. “When they stole the election for Rick Scott, they likely did it in Hillsborough County.”

Gulag, Inc.: Program of privatizing all prisons, providing a profit incentive to incarcerate as many law-abiding, and non-law abiding citizens, as humanly possible.

Hillsborough Glitch: the one that either elected Rick Scott or prevented a recount. We will never know which. The glitch that resulting in the hand-rescanning of 38,000 early voted ballots, in the middle of the night which has never been explained to the public.

iDelete: The event in which Rick Scott, through a staffer, fortuitously deleted some 200 emails off his iPad during the same time E-Gate was coming to light.

I-4 Apartheid: Current voting restrictions attempting to reduce minority, student, GLBTG, poor, middle class participation in the 2012 elections.

Junta: a perfectly reasonable description of Rick Scott and the Republican supermajority in the Florida legislature.

Koch Stasi: Americans for Prosperity and other Koch intelligence and intimidation networks. The string-pullers of the tea party movement.

Koch Suckers: referring to the Koch brothers, and or their willing serfs such as Rick Scott.

Koch Whore, also “Koch head”: A politician who deliberately “lifts skirt” i.e. is willing to hurt the public they serve through act, vote or speech, in order to court Koch or big business financial support for present or future political position.

Lincoln Day Dinner: an excuse to get clubby with wealthy donors to the GOP while the teachers you are beggaring are screaming to keep their jobs just outside the walls of a resort where you are hob-nobbing.

Magic Coupon: Voucher. Any worthless promise given as the bait-and-switch for privatizing public programs and institutions.

Motherfuckers: metaphorically speaking, people who will not stop at merely “schtupping your mom”. See previous reference to Koch Whore for similarities.

NARO, aka the New Ayn Rand Order: the deflection of blame for any self-interested atrocity by use of Ayn Rand as an excuse kewpie.

Obama: Rick Scott’s catch-all prefix to any number of words, policies, concepts, or anything in the physical universe, which can be blamed for a great evil. (Obamamath, Obamaliberal, Obamarail, Obamacare, Obamamosque etc.)

Pornservative: Perversely pornographically conservative. Or, a flagrant, pornographic distortion of conservative values personified in vote, speech or act.

Republican Super-pejorative: The republican supermajority in the Florida Legislature.

Ricky-World: an altered bizaro universe, cosmology, or ethos, whose logic is vastly divergent with the real world occupied by those of us who are not Rick Scott.

RILAB: “Run it like a business” , also LGTW “Let’s get to work” also RILAFWH, run it like a fucking whore house.

Screwed Pooch: The 2006 election race of Jennings v Buchanan in the 13th congressional district, Sarasota County. 18,000 under-votes were noted on touch screen iVotronics machines by ES&S, Inc. Buchanan won by 369 votes, after a recount on Nov. 13.

SOFARRM: The totally illegal regulatory reform initiative by Rick Scott to hold up all regulations (AKA laws) for his personal review and ruling prior to permitting them to be implemented, regardless of the fact they were voted on by previous legislatures. Acronym for the program outlined in his inaugural address.

Staffer: catch-all waste-basket of blame in the Rick Scott administration.

Teabaggers, teapotters etc.: Members of the tea party used by Kochs for nefarious purposes which often run directly contrary to the interests of all people, teabaggers or otherwise. Also Koch-baggers, Hate-Baggers

Tea scorn: the especially rancid brand of intolerant scorn used by the tea party.

Tea-Pawns: tea party member.

Tea-Bubble: the sudden deflation of the tea party movement with the death of the Ryan Health Care Plan. On or about May 26, 2011. Coinciding with Rick Scott’s 29 percent approval rating by Quinnipiac University. Scott’s numbers were the lowest among six hated governors studied.

VQWH , also The Volusia Quantum Worm Hole: Election night in the year 2000, some 16,022 votes were counted backwards for Al Gore in the Bush v Gore presidential race in Precinct 216, Volusia County, which at the time was using voting machines by Global Election Soutions, later Diebold, later Premiere, now Dominion voting systems. No attempt has been made to explain the VQWH by officialdom since Gore conceded the race.

Walmart Jesus, also, Tea- Jesus, also JesusLITE™. The corporate branding of the word “Jesus” or the concept of Christianity for nefarious purposes. This version of Jesus bears no resemblance to that spoken of in the accepted Christian scripture. Hence they know him not.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Are we serious? "Free Speech" Zones?

This week the Orange County/Orlando PD are enforcing a “free speech zone” plan for the Orange County Convention Center during the travelling lunatic asylum called the Republican Party debates and the straw poll.
And now a word from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law….” Yadda yadda. You SHOULD know the rest. Live by it.
Time and again these zones have been found to be unconstitutional, legally unenforceable. And yet we saps continue to fall for it.
A recent article in the Orlando Sentinel concerning these two zones, capable of containing 200 people, (Wowzers! Really? Thank you Orlando for defending freedom!) failed to address the entire issue of previous challenges to the very nature of these zones.
A reporter can’t do a Nexus search, or even a Google? No? Too much?
So again, we witness journalism at its finest, by stenography.
Let’s not alert the public that this has all been tried before repeatedly. And the courts ruled in favor of those who challenged these “zones of free speech”. That in essence, the entire country is in fact, a free speech zone.
Yes, Virginia. It’s okay to protest where ever you feel like it provided that place is public.
We need to stop paying attention to these goddamn “zones” or “cages” of free speech. They are NOT repeat NOT constitutional nor do they serve anything but the status quo. Not freedom.
It is time for some or all of us to suffer arrest rather than continue to allow these piecemeal suppressions of our rights.
To that end:

Here are some new ground rules for protesting.
1.Don’t ask where you can protest. Just protest.
2.Never fill out a permit to protest. Just stop that weak assed crap right now. Stop it. Just stop.
3.Don’t be afraid to get arrested to protect the Constitution. People are dying for your right to do this. Don’t betray their sacrifice by being so weak you are too scared to stand up for freedom. Stop that. Now.
4.Say whatever you need to, to get yourself heard.
5.Don’t be afraid to be called a thug or shrink at your civic duty to protest because someone said you’re engaging in “class warfare.” Yeah? And?
6.Every so often you may need to call someone an mf. So be it. There are a lot of those in power now. Use it as it applies. Eric Cantor, for instance. The point is, stop being so polite. Defend free speech by actually using it.
7.Be inventive with your protest, creative. Perfect example. Is a large Pink Snuggie an article of clothing? Or, is it a sign? Well, it can be both, with a little bit of black electrical tape! How about these letters in black on a nice bright pink Snuggie FU GOP. They’re telling you to remove your sign? “I don’t have one. I am wearing this. This is an article of clothing, officer.” Tie them in knots. Don’t make things easy. Let them do the work figuring out what you’re doing wrong.
8.Don’t drink alcohol when protesting or do drugs as it gives them an excuse to arrest you and discredit your cause.
7.Be on time for your protest. Don’t arrive late and be all half assed about it.
Know what your aims are and what you plan to do.
8.Do not use violence in your protest. But if it is used against you, cover up, and make sure someone in your group is filming it. Get it on YouTube.
9.If you get arrested, don’t resist with anything but passivity. Battery on an LEO is a felony. Don’t be stupid. Make yourself heard, get yourself filmed as you are being arrested.
10.On film state specifically who you are, what you are protesting, and why you refused to comply with the officer’s order. i.e. “My name is John Jones of Oak Street Orlando, I am protesting the outrages perpetrated by this governor, I have every right to be here in a public place with this sign in my hand.” It’s that simple.

Let's be careful out there. But let's also quit this crap of letting Big Corp/Big Government corral us into pens. You know who submits to pens ever so politely?

Sheep. Think of sheep everytime you see one of those cages.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Ricky Wants to Kill University Tenure: Koch

Right now the weakling, lockstep legislators in Tallahassee are preparing to consider changes to higher education. These would mirror those done to K-12, and those changes already in place in the Republic of Texas.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is the paragon of higher education, let’s learn from him. Sure. Because that makes sense.
You have to ask yourself why Rick Scott, a man not known for his deep and probing intellect, nor even his ability to successfully string words together, simply must-must-must meddle with higher education in our state?
Koch is the answer.
A major Koch agenda is to reign in one of their perennial night terrors: an independent academia, higher education. They give seminars on morphing higher education to suit their needs at their conferences.
The BP oil spill is a perfect example of the benefits of an independent system of higher education.
USF is to be commended for their work using oceanographic research vessels to find the missing oil on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. They, along with Woods Hole Oceanographic and the University of Georgia were all instrumental in telling BP, NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the world, “no, the oil is not gone. Not by a long shot. Most of it sunk to the bottom.”
If they hadn’t been diligent in their work, we’d all be swallowing the line of filth from “officialdom” that matter can simply vanish.
This group of universities was also instrumental in challenging the laughable flow rate estimates from BP, the ones that sought to minimize the volume of oil coming from the end of their busted pipe at the bottom of the ocean, in order to save themselves from heavy, deserved fines.
Or how about the USF researcher who found more contaminated beaches despite the assurances of BP, and state and county officials, that there were none to be found west of Destin?
Try all of this without an independent academia. People get tenure at universities precisely for this reason, so that research can remain pure; untainted by corporate pressure and influence. Whether through the arts, science or math, so that inquiry can be something that benefits all of us.
The Kochs want to end all that of course.
One of their programs is reigning in higher learning. They are going after EPA internships

for example. They want to stop that. You know that radical agenda to protect the water supply?
Their attempts to infiltrate FSU are now famous. In case you hadn’t heard, Charles Koch provided millions in charitable donations this past March to the Florida State’s economics school through his foundation. But, the money comes with a hitch.
The foundation’s advisory board now has control over hiring decisions in the department. Those using the grant money must submit applications show that their research meets with the goals of the foundation, which obviously will follow along the lines of Friedmanian laisseze-faire , “pay more to the rich” cruelty, no doubt.
Sadly FSU took the money.
What’s sort of odd is, the money also came with another little hitch: the new hires taking advantage of the charitable donations for their salaries, would come into their new jobs with tenure! Their hiring also would be approved by the trust’s advisory board.
In essence, the Kochs are hiring, nay, installing, teachers in the economics department at the oldest state university in Florida. Tenure was key. They had to have tenure going in.
Who gets tenure on day-one? How is it we allow billionaires to install their operatives at a public university in our state?
So here’s our new governor fresh from his meeting with the Kochs during their “come to Muhammad” summit in Vail. You remember? The one our governor tried to sneak off to, but was only caught in the act by an enterprising reporter for St. Pete Times, otherwise we would never have heard a thing about it?
As said earlier, documents obtained in previous seminars, show that changing how universities think, how they do things, is a top priority for these Kochs. They give seminars about it at their functions. (See the link at the first reference below)
Right? So, here he is, Rick Scott come down from the mountain and all the sudden, university professor tenurship is the new target. It’s the greatest threat to freedom since the Cuban Missile Crisis! Sure! Didn’t you know that? What’s wrong with you?
Once that tenure is stripped, gone is academic independence to do work that might help write laws to protect us from corporate predators.
Soon a newly installed Koch professor is telling us that not only are there billions and billions of gallons of oil to be had in the Everglades (there aren’t) but drilling in the Everglades is actually good for our environment.
And that’s why Ricky is so damned interested in destroying tenure in our university system: because the Kochs told him to.
But the caveat for the FSU case will be framed as follows: in those cases where corporate donations are used to fund tenure, tenure can remain. The public taxpayer cannot fund university professor tenure.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pam Bondi covers Ricky's unethical backside like an accomplice

Getting awfully damned sick and tired of Pam Bondi.

Just hours before Ed Buss, former Department of Corrections Chief officer for the State of Florida was scheduled to appear Sept. 16 before an appeals court and give a deposition, Attorney General legally blocked him from doing so.

This is the news that greets us this morning: Bondi Scott-blocked his testimony.

Ed Buss was fired by Rick Scott: there it is. There was no "parting of the ways" or any of that happy horseshit they feed you.

He was hired out of Indiana Department of Corrections, then the director, to come in and take over here, because people from out of state are smarter. That must be it. Hell, Scott even entered a small bidding war with Michigan, remember? We just had to have him!

But some hires are so smart, they actually are smarter than the governor! And, perish the thought, they have a conscience and they can actually add and subtract.

What Buss discovered was troubling to the governor: that privatizing 30 prisons from Bradenton to Key West would actually cost the taxpayers $25 million in as yet unpaid severance in the form of sick leave, bonuses and so forth.

He kept trying to tell people this. That on balance, there were no savings to speak of! Effectively none!

You take the pending doom of Belle Glade, which is home to the Glades Correctional Institute, which would close down in the privatization plan. How do you quantify that misery?

GCI IS the town of Belle Glade, Palm Beach County. It is the economic spine of the community. It has been for 80 years.

But, in Ricky World, it is more important to take public properties, facilities and services and hand them directly over to his corporate pals, like Geo Group Inc., the top contender for Ricky's favor in the Friends of Rick (FORK) Gulag Inc. program.

Geo Group gave $25,000 to Rick's inaugural fund, so he could put on his huge shindig. Longtime friend and lobbyist for Scott, Bill Rubin, is also a lobbyist for Geo Group. One of Rick’s transition team’s budget advisors, Donna Arduin, was a former trustee for Geo Group’s property trust.

We simply must, must, must privatize prisons, don't you get it? This has to happen, even before we improve our infrastructure. I mean like, yesterday people, even if it doesn't save any money.

This is from a recent St. Pete Times article. Here's one of the reasons why this just has to happen: because it will please those Koch suckers, Dave and Charlie, who fund Reason Foundation:

"Some of the early momentum for prison privatization came from a policy brief by the Reason Foundation, a conservative think tank with the GEO Group among its many donors, and Florida TaxWatch, a business-backed policy group. The groups proposed a privately run continuum of care model for prisoners in two regions of the state."

Geo Group’s footprint in Tallahassee politics is large. In 2008, House Speaker Ray Sansom reportedly slipped a line item or two into a bill resulting in a shift in funding enabling Geo Group to build a private prison in Santa Rosa County, where Sansom is from, called Blackwater Correctional Institute. The modern facility is located but a few miles from the extant, Santa Rosa Correctional Institute, a fully functional prison in every way.

As late as Sept. 6, 2011, the FBI were still investigating the relationship between Ray Sansom, and Geo, even seizing a computer belonging to a Santa Rosa County Commissioner in their quest.

Six hundred million dollars has been shifted in the state budget just waiting for Geo and their lone competitor in the market space, Corrections Corp of America, to come in and play with. What's wrong with you people? It's time to usher in the age of Gulag, Inc.! Come on! Get on board or get left behind.

Who cares if privatizing prisons in Arizona has been shown to be more, not less expensive to the taxpayers; creating a world in which Corp. Jail cherry picks the healthy prisoners - we got us a fine young buck over here, all his teef and evuhthing - from "the traditional models" just so Gulag Inc. can stay within the letter of Arizona law? Who gives a shit, right?

Who needs for even one shred of information to come out at this time during a lawsuit filed on behalf of correctional workers because the destruction of the state's pension system in order to make this happen is unconstitutional in the state of Florida?

Enter Pam Bondi, Ricky's accomplatrix, to shut down this line of inquiry with an emergency order. Her law degree serving once again as Ricky's fig leaf. It's disgraceful.

Explain one way keeping Ed Buss from testifying protects the citizens of Florida from crime? You can't. Face it. It is as naked and shameless a move on the AG's part as you could have dreamed up in a seedy Florida crime novel.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Florida's Chemical Jim Crow Law aka drug testing

At some point, well early in the game Rick Scott knew – he just knew – he wanted to drug test everything not nailed down. It was a mission!
He was behind a measure to make the poor welfare recipients submit to drug screening in order to obtain help from the state, and from their own unemployment insurance accounts that they had already paid into before they were fired.
Oh, and, by the way? He was the principal shareholder in one of the biggest providers of random drug-screening services in the country, and certainly in Florida, Solantic Walk-In Urgent Care centers.
Ooopsie! Didn’t see that coming? No?
Leave off that what he was essentially doing was criminal-profiling by use of poverty as the screening criterion.
Let’s just talk about this fading, ever-blurring concept called, “conflict of interest.” Again, what are the three funniest words in the English language when strung together? Right! “Florida Ethics Commission.” Very good, have yourself a Klondike Bar on me.
Apparently he has never heard of this wondrous thing called “conflict of interest”. So too, our state has stopped caring for it, or seeking to define it in most situations with regard to Rick Scott. Likewise our officials and news media are more apt to let him slide until such time as he works himself out of the latest ethical quagmire he has gotten himself into, and moves on to the next, over and over, and over again in a dizzying daisy chain of Machiavellian bumbling that always seems to work out in his favor.
When he first detailed his plans to drug test some, or all, state employees, people sat up and took notice. He had a hard-on for it, lusting for everyone to start taking drug tests, beginning with those working for Florida.
In a completely unrelated thread started long ago – oh sure, you buy that, don’t you? – Scott started the Jacksonville-based company Solantic Urgent Walk-in Care, in 2000. It grew to include 32 urgent care centers statewide. In 2007 he reportedly sold a 30 percent share for $100 million to Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, a private equity investment firm in New York. His remaining stake was valued at $62 million.
“Don’t you have one of the largest drug screening companies in the state, Rick?” (this is you talking.)
“No, no, children. Shhhhh. Mustn’t notice the bad thing.”(this is Rick.)
“Are you sure?”
His answer was, yes, he did but there was no conflict of interest. End of discussion.
Well there very much was an apparent conflict of interest, despite how nicely a bland denial sounded to those who approve of his every move.
His response to the un-svengalied was essentially, ‘Well, okay but for starters I am turning my interest in that company over to a revocable trust held by my wife Anne, so there is no conflict of interest.’
(You again) “Well, that doesn’t matter; YOU would still get the money from all the drug screening eventually. YOU would also see a nice bump in value if the company ever went public!”
‘Well this company will never, ever, never do business with the state.’
Which is a very slick caveat, you have to admit, considering that he was considering privatizing prisons, and public schools.
So, yes, technically, if somehow he could mandate it via magic wand that the company would never-ever-never do business with state government ¬¬- and he had no earthly authority to make this stratospherically stupid statement - it wouldn’t be doing business with the state, it would be doing business with private corporations that he had sold off government institutions to.
See how he thinks? Is it clear now?
There were broader ethics problems with his stake in Solantic, as the St. Petersburg Time’s Michael Bender pointed out on April 13, 2011, and this is likely where his relationship with Team Scott went downhill :

“Then-Attorney General Bill McCollum's campaign questioned how a Scott administration would handle Solantic, which is regulated by the state Agency for Health Care Administration and hires doctors that are licensed by the Department of Health.
“ Both agencies are run by the governor's appointees. In the general election, Democrats alleged that Scott started Conservatives for Patients Rights to fight President Barack Obama's health insurance changes as an attempt to protect Solantic, which serves high numbers of uninsured. If more people were insured, Democrats suggested, Solantic could lose business.”

When people pointed out that Bender was right, that virtually every single way he could run it, he would still be holding a massive conflict-of-interest sign in his hands called “Solantic”, he decided to sell his remaining interests to Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe.
And it took him until April (2011) to do it.
Reflect for a moment on the Boolean anti-logic at work here: Despite the fact he was, allegedly, no longer in control of said company, he sold it anyway.
And, this is the key part, he has NEVER, EVER, NEVER disclosed the sale price, nor terms of the sale, to anyone, EVER.
This despite the fact the company was undeniably worth more after he rammed through his draconian drug testing policies.
Every public official has to disclose any business transaction, any receipt of monies, or gift, no matter how small, while they continue to serve at the public’s pleasure. It is a law obeyed by city council members and county commissioners on up the food chain.
Rick Scott has never released the details of this sale to anyone despite the fact he most certainly benefited from it, financially. And the newspapers, apparently, have stopped asking him about it.
It’s another issue which, for whatever reason, has ceased to exist.
As far as the drug testing goes? Here’s what happened.
House Bill 353 was signed into law by the Big Guy, on June 1. The measure which went into effect July 1, 2011, requires those receiving welfare checks to submit blood, urine, or hair samples for drug screening prior to receiving their state welfare checks. Oh, and once again, the accused pay for their own screenings up-front, and wait for reimbursement on the back-end from us, once they are deemed innocent by virtue of clean result.
The measure also requires the Department of Children and Families to inform families they can avoid testing, if they don’t apply for benefits.
Gee thanks.
The history of “drug test the poor” predates Rick Scott.
In 2009 there was a state senate bill for drug testing the unemployed (SB 2062) produced by Sen. Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton). Yes, the same state senator who was videoed with soft-porn images open on his personal browser, while the senate was discussing new restrictions on abortion in case you were wondering.
In any event, Bennett admitted his decision was purely economic. That the unemployment trust fund was “running dry” and so, why not trim the fat, and make sure the money was going to unemployed folks who are more deserving?
“It’s the people who really need the unemployment (compensation), those are the ones I am here to protect,” he said on a Fox interview with Steve Doocy in March 2009.
The bill died. But, the idea lived on despite a landmark Michigan federal court case, which branded such measures as unconstitutional.
No matter. Rick Scott campaigned on making it a law. And suddenly, following the November 2010 election, it seemed all the furious governors of the Kochpocaplypse and their Tea-colytes and their Tea-cozies in their respective state houses, wanted to drug test hell out of those scum-sucking poor, and the unemployed!
Yeah! Get those f-ers! The damned jobless poor! Who do they think they are?
And who among them crowed most vociferously for such measures? Yes, he who owned a 70 percent share in a multi-million dollar company that provided drug tests for $35 a-pop, one Richard Lynn Scott.
In March 2011, Scott signed a bill into law giving the state the power to randomly drug test any state employee, at any time. The $35 test would be paid first by the accused, and reimbursed should the test prove negative. Florida was first of 27 states to book this landmark piece of legislation!
Yay! Go us!
That month State Representative Matt Gaetz (R- Fort Walton Beach) took up Bennet’s fallen banner and pushed a bill in the house to random drug screen those seeking unemployment compensation.
The bill produced a lot of press for Gaetz, some contention between himself and democrats in the house, voicing meek opposition, and even some chiding by fellow republicans who knew damned-well they were trying to shoe-horn in something that was already declared illegal.
It never got out of committee.
However, the measure to go after the welfare recipients, did make it out of committee, and through both houses like crap through a goose. Rick Scott was again on the boards with another win, June 1, 2011!
Yeah! Hell yeah! Eat it, POOR!
It took a while for mega-media to catch up with what was happening in Florida, that being a stepwise assault on the U.S. Constitution.
T.J. Holmes of CNN had the governor on during his morning show June 3, 2011 to ask him, just what in hell was going on down here? It became a venue to witness what we here at Rick Scott Watch are calling The Jim Crow Chemical Litmus Tests.
All the old stereotypes that make the racists grin like a dawg, and the minorities a little fearful and mad as hell at white America, come bubbling to the surface with these Jim Crow litmus tests.
Welfare=black, to the racists; and African Americans know damned well what the power structure is talking about, when it beats up on folks who have to ask for welfare.
Offering an opinion here: this catalytic angst might just be what the whole exercise of drug testing poor people, particularly welfare recipients, is all about.
You have to remember we’re dealing with an agenda foisted on us by people – the Kochs, namely, and their friends – who have lost the taste in their mouths for mere money. There’s no buzz anymore in just collecting piles and piles of cash. No bounce, no kick, see?
And their little games have proceeded to such a degree they’re now beyond merely holding power. No, now they’re into manipulating society itself in order to ‘hit that main line.’ Currently that’s the intoxicating buzz; like Mortimer and Randolph Duke, of Trading Places, remember? Manipulating vast sums of money, swinging the congress hard right, then holding it hostage, seeing if they can actually crash the system. Ooooh yeah baby! That’s their heroin.
When they get bored with merely manipulating society, surely they will chase their dragons on to other diversions, such as genocide, perhaps, starting War III. Stuff like that, see? That’s the next kick!
Back to T.J. who is a black dude on the left side of the screen, and Scott on the right side of the screen, again, who is most definitely a white dude; each playing their awkward part in describing, assailing and defending the Jim Crow litmus test.
You would agree that after the governor signs the bill into law, might be a little late, CNN? Perhaps?
Never mind, it made for hearty television anyway.
T.J.: “You don’t know if welfare recipients are using drugs. If you don’t know, why treat them like you suspect that they are?”
RICK: “Oh, I’m not at all. I just want to make sure, our taxpayers are not interested in subsidizing drug addiction.”
This is classic Rick Scott, by the way:
Q: “Governor, what makes you think the sky is green?”
A:“Oh, I don’t. I just want to make sure everyone knows that the sky is green.”
Later T.J. really nails him down. He just keeps after it. Rick Scott, as always, is a hostile witness for the defense.
T.J. : “You believe that plenty of people on welfare are drug users but it doesn’t sound like you want to say that.”
RICK: “Sure, T.J. Studies show that people who are on welfare are higher users of drugs than people who are not on welfare.”
T.J. (Smiles. Literally chewing his own fingernails, perhaps at the pun ‘higher users’) “Sir to that point, that would stop most people in their tracks. I don’t have the studies you are referring to but, you’re saying there are people out there who need this assistance who have lost jobs and are on welfare, they have a higher tendency to use drugs.”
RICK: “Absolutely the studies show that people who are on welfare are using drugs at much higher percentages than the population.”
Okay, there it is. He said it not once, but twice. There are studies out there; someone made these studies, and, they found out in these studies, that welfare recipients to a larger extent than in the general population, are drug users.
And then he went sideways-strange. Rick Scott’s Boolean anti-logic again. It was a mish-mash of conflicting statements that came next.
“The bottom line is, if they’re not using drugs it’s not an issue. Our taxpayers don’t want to subsidize someone’s drug addiction. It’s going to increase personal responsibility it’s the right thing to do for Floridians.”
Did you notice? Drug use just became full-blown addiction with all the associated stereotypes: a meth zombie or a rabid oxy fiend shooting up a walk-in clinic.
And even if they aren’t doing drugs; Floridians don’t want to subsidize their drug addiction? What, like in the future? Like, in case they were planning on it?
I just lost my job. I am clean, drug-free. But since I know the state is going to drug test me, I had best not pick up that nasty meth habit I was planning on getting. Whew, am I glad Rick Scott is looking out for me. I don’t mind marching right on down to the Solantic and paying $35 for a drug screening.
Certainly doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
It obviously didn’t either to T.J. who demanded to know how much this was going to cost Florida?
“It’s an insignificant amount. We’ll see when we find out how many pass the drug test.”
And was it an insignificant amount?
Fast forward to late August of 2011 one month after it went into effect. Just do it.
It turns out testing welfare recipients discovered that just 2 percent tested positive for drugs. Another 2 percent elected not to pursue their claims, likely until a later date when the drugs washed out of their system.
The remaining 96 percent of those taking welfare who subjected themselves to the screening? Yeah, they were clean.
The entire welfare assistance program costs $178 million. At this rate, the drug testing of people taking this money, costs just a little bit less to run than it does in savings.
Net savings between $3,000 to $8,000 annually to the state; again, against a program that costs the taxpayers $178 million.
Wowzers! What a savings compared to the total that’s like four thousandths of a percentage point (0.004 percent)!
Now, what if we get more people to NOT do drugs! Then, it won’t save the taxpayers any money whatsoever! Awesome!
Because that just might happen after year one, in that humans are only slightly more intelligent than chimpanzees, who know damned well to take their hand of a hot stove.
But here’s the important part to some; 1,000 drug tests were purchased, in order to facilitate this program for just one month, also known as 12,000 tests a year, let’s say, at $35 a pop. That’s $420,000 which is a nice revenue stream for someone. Not saying who!
And multiply this by 0.96 and we get $403,000 coming FROM the taxpayers going TO private industry. Remember, we the taxpayers reimburse those who test clean!
We’re saving money, yes, a smidge. But 96 percent of all that money saved isn’t being used for anything but funding private industry drug testing purchases. It’s one of those exerbikes going nowhere. At first, anyway; at first, it stays put.
As savings become losses, year to year, because people beat the system, or find clean urine, or stop drugging, this becomes an an additional tax on us, that goes directly into the pockets of private corporations. And now the exerbike begins moving backwards.
And now what? Well, why don’t we only let certain “approved” drug testing companies, who are Friends of Rick (FORK), take over all the contracts? Seems to be the direction he is taking, isn’t it?
And? What happens when a monopoly is in place? The price goes up. Savings to the taxpayers go down even further because no one wants to pay for the kits which are more expensive. Now the exerbike begins accelerating backwards.
And? Now let’s say during the next legislative session, the public is so beaten down and accepting of all this drug testing and U.S. Constitution-stomping bullshit, they cave-in and say ‘sure why not, what the hell, test the unemployed while you’re at it!’
How many people in Florida are unemployed at this writing? According to The St. Petersburg Times in late 2010, there were 1.1 million Floridians out of work, of whom 612,000 were receiving unemployment compensation.
If at some point in the next year, you randomly tested each, just one time, you’re talking about taking $21.4 million from the taxpayers/bosses/those paying into the fund, and giving that money to corporations.
Oh, I’m sorry, if you’re still working at a 2 % positive rate, that’s, hold on let me do this: $21.4 million -( $21.4 million* 2%)=$20,927,000. From the taxpayers/bosses/people who paid into it, directly to corporations. Here you go!
Now assuming, no budget increases - because that’s how he rolls, right? Hold the line - $800,000,000 (Senator Mike Bennett’s 2009 figure for the Unemployment Compensation fund, which is allegedly running out) minus $20,927,000= $7.8 million.
Is unemployment going up, or down, year to year? Well, thanks to Rick Scott and company, because they created so many new jobs by demanding more stringent controls on a woman’s uterus; flying to Panama; going to New York and D.C. to hang with Donald Trump; and doing away with high speed rail and so on, it is very doubtful that the unemployment rate is going down. So, because of this, we should see ourselves spending more, not less, on this drug testing program of the unemployed if they vote it in (and they will! You watch).
Are the unemployed any more likely to make this program a “savings” to the taxpayers buy doing more drugs and getting caught? Or, in that they managed to get shit-canned the right way, i.e. laid off without cause, are these folks actually more apt to pass the drug tests and end up costing us more year to year?
Because if we want this program to pay for itself or save us money, what we really need from the public is to do some damned drugs! I mean, really; can these people just do the right thing, and get high?
Answer? Class, what say you?
My guess is, these folks will pass their drug tests at a higher rate, year to year, than welfare recipients, who are also being drug tested. This means the allegedly dwindling unemployment compensation fund, will drain faster, as more people are put on it.
Also, do we double-dip on those taking their unemployment drug tests along with their welfare drug tests? How does that work?
Uh-oh! Sounds like we need an administration, or a new agency, to keep all these ducks in a row! A new agency in Rick Scott’s “smaller, more efficient government”? What is this?
Great, so a more massive program called, ‘test the unemployed’, will end up costing private business, taxpayers and people paying into the UC fund more money by giving directly to corporations at an accelerated rate, year to year.
Why not just impose a flat, 3 percent sales tax on everything fill up a big old bucket with cash, and then FORK it over to Rick’s pals, every year?
Because, that would be too obvious, class. We have to create a crisis, stir up old hatreds and stereotypes, vilify someone poor, further divide the masses, create a cash hamster-wheel that spills off to Friends of Rick on the side, so that folks don’t notice what we’re up to.
Let’s go back to Rick Scott’s chat with T.J. Holmes on CNN for a minute and reflect upon what we heard.
Yes, he talked about a study that showed welfare recipients take drugs “at a much higher rate” than the average population.
He said it twice!
At a higher rate?
No, no! He said at “a much higher rate.”
But is it even true?
Well, Rick Scott’s Jim Crow chemical litmus test gave us one half of the data to measure his assertion, didn’t it. Two percent tested positive for drugs in a sample of more than 1,000 people. A pretty decent sized sample.
What about the general population? Here’s a figure dug up by the Tampa Tribune citing the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Services, in their 2009 study: 8.7 percent. That’s the rate of illicit or illegal drug use, estimated among the general population, of people aged 12 years and older.
So, again, Rick Scott has no idea what he is talking about. And when he goes on national television and gets backed into a corner by a reporter actually doing his job – they are so rare these days – Rick Scott just begins pulling stuff out of his ass. Rick Scott just makes it up on the fly. Rick Scott just flat-out lies into the camera.
Does this surprise you?
Most of you say ‘no’ at this point. Further, you are almost angry at me for even suggesting you should be a little shocked. After all, this is Rick Scott we’re talking about.
Well guess what? This drug testing crap is now law in Florida. It’s the law. We are spoon-feeding private industry cash, with no observable benefit to ourselves.
Oh, but, not as many people will get high? Or do crimes? Is that it?
Really? That number of 612,000, for instance represents a bubble of unemployed people actually collecting unemployment. Hey, their weeks run out, remember? Just as the number seeking welfare recipients, represents a bubble of those eligible for their program. When people fall off those rolls, or when they test positive and can’t reapply for a time, are they apt to get high, then, or not?
Take your time answering. I am sure it’s taxing your mind something fierce! No, really. Use another nanosecond to think about it.
As folks fall off those rolls, they are just as apt to do drugs as they ever were.
This is one more Ricky World example of robbing the middle class to pay corporations, while services are being gutted.
These programs don’t pay for drug education or awareness or drug treatment, and they sure as hell don’t pay for psychiatric medicine to help anyone.
This puts a dent in nothing. It solves nothing. It takes money from the citizens and hands it over to corporations, with no benefit whatsoever to anyone other than those who make and administrate drug tests. People like Solantic.
And as their prices increase, and they will, we all give them more and more money.
We have not even mentioned the lawsuits these new programs will generate, nor the considerable sum we the people of Florida will have to expend fighting them.