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Reposted from Vetwife by JaxDem
Florida Governor Rick Scott (L) formally introduces Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera prior to a luncheon at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee, Florida on January 3, 2014. Lopez-Cantera, a former state House member from Miami, will handle legis
I wrote a diary last week about how Scott in Florida was not getting the respect he wanted down here in Florida.  He does however have the respect of the Koch brothers.  Afterall, he is not nickle and diming them to death.  In their case it would be million and billion dollars compared to nickle and dimes.

   Joan has a piece up today regarding Medicaid money and how Scott and the Koch's are standing in the way.  The Florida legislature is ready to expand.

Think about the concept of the Koch's and Scott  standing joined at the hip for just a minute.  He is their dream candidate on all fronts.  He holds 29 electoral votes in a state that he was twice elected governor.  He is a tea party favorite.   He is rich beyond most people's dreams and owns his own jet.  He does not have to go begging for billionaire money.  He is a Navy veteran.  He is like teflon.     When we think of all the clowns in the clown car, we cannot ignore Rick Scott's ambitions.   Why is he not the frontrunner?  His company had a felony scandal but Scott himself was never charged.  Chris Christie may be looking at indictment.  Rick Perry did look at indicment.   Scott Walker has his craziness.  Rick Scott will run for something.. Count on it.
  Jeb Bush is a Bush, married to a Latino and has not been in politics in over 10 years. He is not all that chummy with the Koch's.    

I ask myself, why is Scott not the GOP favorite.  HE IS THE FACE of the republican party.  He not only is the face of the party, he gets away with not answering questions.  
He IS the face of the tea party.

This is a question worth asking. Now I ask, why is Scott all aligned with the Koch Brothers tighter than before.  Is he seeking a Senate or Presidental Run?  If not, then why not, GOP?  He is your guy.  

Reposted from Joan McCarter by Vetwife
Gov. Scott breaks ground on Embraer’s new Engineering and Technology Center, Melbourne, Florida. November 28, 2012
Florida's Senate President Andy Gardner offered a compromise Tuesday to try to get the state's legislature out of a budget impasse. That impasse could be resolved, the Senate has maintained, by accepting Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. So, to try to get a recalcitrant House and Gov. Rick Scott to agree, Gardner modified the Senate proposal.
The Senate's proposal, referred to by Gardiner as FHIX 2.0, bypasses putting people into Medicaid starting in July as was initially proposed and instead requires those eligible for the FHIX coverage to wait until January. The state plan also would have to obtain federal government approval.

The proposal also gives people the option of staying on the federal health insurance exchange, rather than going into the state's privately-run option.

The proposal requires federal approval and, if the federal government rejects any piece of it or recommends changes, the plan would have to come back to the Legislature for final approval.

"We look at next week as starting the dialogue or the discussion," Gardiner said.

That was quickly rejected by Scott and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli who still want their federal healthcare money to come in a form that is somehow not tainted by Obamacare. But here's who's really pulling the strings on this one:
Americans for Prosperity also objected to the changes. State Director Chris Hudson, said the changes aren't a compromise.  The Senate, Hudson said in a release, "is just dressing up a failed model from other states and hoping it sticks."
The legislature begins its special session next week, in which it will attempt to fulfill Scott's impossible dream of a budget that "keeps Florida's economy growing will cut taxes and give Floridians back more of the money they earn, not inevitably raise taxes in order to implement ObamaCare and grow government." The people left out of that dream are the 800,000 uninsured Floridians who should be getting Medicaid.

Wed May 20, 2015 at 03:46 AM PDT

Community Quilt for Gordon20024

by Sara R

Reposted from Community Quilt Project by Vetwife

CelticLassie's quilt.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts...

It is a shock when you learn that a friend has cancer.  Gordon20024 recently learned that he does.  He is a person who is always there for others, as many Kossacks in several groups know well.  So now it is time for us to be there for him...  We can do this with a community quilt, full of words of love and support, that he can take with him to treatment or use anytime at home as he heals.

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Reposted from DKos Asheville by Vetwife

Good day and welcome to DKos Asheville. This is the weekly DKos Asheville open thread for Saturday, May 15th. We try to get together every weekend to share with everyone what we're all up to in Western North Carolina and beyond. We hope this group and others serve to invigorate us locally and regionally here on Daily Kos, building on the sense of community that's grown through our online engagement. DKos Asheville and other local and state groups can give us all a better sense of connection, a better understanding of who we stand with, work with, and share with. We hope this local and wider community can help leverage our orange passion for progressive politics to elect more and better Democrats.

Tip of the week:
1- Learn about registering voters in your state. Takes just a few minutes.
2- Aquire voter registration forms and keep them with you.
3- Make this shirt and wear it.


4- Register voters.
5- Follow up with legal requirements within required times.
6- Feel good, make a difference.

Please follow us below the fold. This week's edition is an opportunity to talk about North Carolina politics and discuss what we can do to support each other and build networks. I've put together a North Carolina news and issue round up that I hope you enjoy. Please help shed light on these stories.
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Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Vetwife
Florida Governor Rick Scott (L) formally introduces Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera prior to a luncheon at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee, Florida on January 3, 2014. Lopez-Cantera, a former state House member from Miami, will handle legislative work for the governor and will be his running mate next fall -- a political plus in heavily Hispanic southeast Florida. REUTERS/Bill Cotterell  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX186PY
Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (right) with his boss Gov. Rick Scott
If you're looking for the next big GOP primary battle, it may just be in Florida. Rep. Ron DeSantis quickly consolidated support from big-named anti-establishment groups like the Club For Growth, FreedomWorks, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, and they're already preparing to go to war with likely Senate contender Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a close friend of retiring Sen. Marco Rubio.

Politico's Marc Caputo tells us that D.C. Republicans aren't happy to see their old intra-party rivals mucking around in another race. Last year, this group targeted now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and came close to unseating Sen. Thad Cochran. To add insult to injury, DeSantis' consulting firm Jamestown Associates was blacklisted by the NRSC for trying to torpedo McConnell. But it's unclear what, if anything, national Republicans will actually do to stop DeSantis besides anonymously complain.

Senate Conservatives Fund chieftain Ken Cuccinelli is already hitting Lopez-Cantera's record in the state House, accusing him of raising taxes, backing in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, and voting for a 2009 budget that accepted stimulus money. Lopez-Cantera said that the state House tried to keep tax hikes and stimulus money out of the budget, which may be true but probably won't deter any attack ads.

But this primary probably won't shape up to be just a duel between the establishment-flavored Lopez-Cantera and the tea partying DeSantis. Potential candidate Rep. Jeff Miller is very socially conservative, and he could eat into DeSantis' support. But Miller, a 14-year congressional veteran and chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, can't exactly sell himself as an enemy of the establishment the way someone like the sophomore member DeSantis can. Ex-state Attorney General Bill McCollum, Rep. David Jolly, former Sen. George LeMieux and state Sen. Don Gaetz have also talked about running, and they could further complicate things.

Reposted from Vetwife by Vetwife
I have been trying to plan a trip to DC for a very long time regarding the quest of making Veterans equal regarding Pre 911 and Post 911 benefits.   The Presidential Medal of Freedom for Dr. Ferguson Reid idea I believe so strongly about gave me the perfect opportunity to make the journey.

I orginally had planned and desperately wanted to go to the Roanoke meetup, however
the scheduling of some meetings that were made, the trip distance between my journey from one side of Virginia to the other plus my problem with altitude sickness kept conflicting with the business in DC.  I had to figure out which thing to do and not miss my mission PLUS meet Dr. Ferguson Reid, Fergie Jr. and keep my appointments..  This was really hard.  Sorry Randalt and Gordon..  I really tried to figure it out.

Follow me below the yellow cloud.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Vetwife Editor's Note: We have to support this effort.. Dr. Reid has offered his advice to Florida -- Vetwife
photo of Dr. Wm. F Reid
Dr. William Ferguson "Fergie" Reid, the first African American elected to the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction
While much of the media is focusing on presidential hopefuls for 2016, the state of Virginia has key elections coming up this year—elections for the Virginia House of Delegates. A primary election will be held on June 9 and the general election will be on November 3.

A unique effort is underway in Virginia to get voters registered and out to vote, not just this year, but in the election years to come. The impetus and inspiration behind this drive is a civil rights icon in Virginia, Dr. William Ferguson Reid, known to many as "Fergie," who was the first black man to win a seat in the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction.

In March of this year, Reid celebrated his 90th birthday and he is still going strong. In honor of that 90th birthday and his long history of expanding voters' rights, people are committing to registering new voters for the election. This commitment is being called "90 for 90." Each person in the campaign will register 90 new voters in each of Virginia's precincts.

"If all volunteers and candidates worked together to register 90 new voters in each of the Commonwealth's precincts, our efforts would result in a quarter million new voters for the Old Dominion."

What a birthday gift that will be for Dr. Reid and for the people of Virginia!  

Follow me below the fold for the details, more about Fergie, and how you can get involved (you don't have to be from Virginia).

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Reposted from Beach Peanuts by Vetwife

Rick Scott has taken his years-long fight to keep people from getting access to health care to monumental levels of absurdity recently in Florida, and if it weren't for the fact that people are dying every day because he and ideologues in his party are using them as political footballs, it would be funny.

It's not.

Now he's twisting his excuses to block Medicaid expansion into a pretzel of fail. Picture Scott as a snake swallowing it's tail and that's about where we are now. He's threatening to sue President Obama because funds for hospitals are at stake, thanks to all of Scott's and the GOP's political tactics just to avoid giving the working poor access to health care. Yes, the man who refused to take Florida taxpayer dollars from the feds for Medicaid expansion (which went to other states who DID expand Medicaid) is now threatening to sue the President because Florida may not get LIP funds without it. 

Yes. Chew on that for a moment.

So far the lawsuit is just a threat and nothing has been filed, but that hasn't stopped Scott from heading to his base (FOX news) to whine and complain while trying to distract people from the meltdown now occurring in his own party as they attempt to balance the budget. Some Republicans in the legislature are having second thoughts about their monumental Medicaid blunder, while others are steadfast in their effort to keep low income families in Florida from having any access to the care they need. So now the GOP may not be able to pass Scott's budget, and this mess of their own making is about to blow up in their faces.

In his attempt to distract everyone from reality, Scott said this, about the Obama administration, to FOX viewers last night:

"They don't care about the low-income families because they're willing to walk away from a program. This is the Sopranos," Scott said during an interview with Fox News on Thursday night. "They're using bullying tactics to attack our state. It's wrong. It's outrageous."

I must have missed the episode where Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts held a gun to the head of a rival while trying to give them money for people who couldn't afford health care.

The White House responded:

"It's difficult to explain why somebody would think that their political situation and their political interest is somehow more important than the livelihood and health of 800,000 people that they were elected to lead," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing Thursday.

"Difficult to explain" is putting it mildly, which is why Scott's having so much trouble doing it. Worse, here he comes with yet another taxpayer funded lawsuit to add to all the others, including Pam Bondi's failure to block Obamacare altogther before the Supreme Court. Because Scott and the GOP "care about Florida families" and their hard earned money.

Nice try Rick, but anyone who has watched this ugly chapter in Florida "governing" history unfold is well aware of who the real bullies are. You and Republican lawmakers in Tallahassee have perfected not caring about low income families to an art form. This is a mess of your own making that's coming home to roost.

In other words, as Tony Soprano said, this is "like King Midas in reverse." Everything you touch is turning to s--t."

Cross posted at Beach Peanuts

Reposted from SemDem by SemDem

To say Bush was a horrible governor would be an understatement.  Because of him we have the Stand Your Ground law, which has put every minority in this state in a gun nut's crosshairs.  He illegally interfered with Terri Schiavo's wish that she not be a living potato.  He ran the most dysfunctional Department of Children and Families in the nation and dismantled any form growth management in this state. Florida has deteriorated rapidly from 17 years of complete GOP rule, with Jeb and Scott being the worst offenders.

The failure that is rarely talked about, however, is John Ellis Bush's disastrous education policies that stemmed from his obsession over testing.

Out of the 180-day academic year, Miami-Dade County schools will administer standardized tests on EVERY DAY BUT EIGHT!  This includes 18 exams required exclusively by Florida, five by the district, two federal, and dozens of assessments covering placement to state guidelines.  

None of these include the standard tests that teachers are supposed to give.

 Students, parents, reading teachers, principals, business and professional organizations, testing experts, consultants, and concerned citizens are so outraged that even the GOP, which at first strongly supported Jeb's million test march, now admits it was wrong.  It has gotten so bad that severely disabled children are forced to take the test, even a child who is blind and missing most of his brain!

For crying out loud, even kids without disabilities who are doing well in school are also failing these state assessments.  An Orange County school board member who holds several advanced degrees recently took one and barely passed.  As someone who works in the field of learning, I know that tests need to go through reliability, validity and validation.  Clearly, none of this is taking place.  The problem is obviously the test, not the kids.  

All of this testing madness, which has spread like a cancer nationwide, came about because of JEB's ideological obsession along with typical Bush family ignorance. The outrage finally led to some sort of relief--not fixing the tests themselves but at least reducing the number of tests taken. The bill would scrap a law requiring school districts to come up with end-of-course tests in classes where the state doesn't administer such exams; cap at 5 percent the share of students' time that can be spent on testing; and reduce from 50 percent to a third the portion of a teacher's evaluation tied to student performance.

But the bill no longer includes language that would have allowed students who do well on the SAT, ACT or tests in high-level classes like Advanced Placement courses to skip the corresponding statewide standardized tests. The reason?

Jeb Bush's ironically named Foundation for Florida's Future.

These dead-enders oppose any and all changes to the tests. Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, withdrew that amendment after a blistering speech aimed at Jeb Bush's foundation.  Others GOP members had plenty to say:

"Obviously, the testing has gotten out of control. ... I want to have a non-subjective measure, so we can know exactly how our kids are doing," Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.

"I think we've lost our way and we need to find it again," said Sen. Don Gaetz of Niceville, another former Senate president who has backed education reform.

Gaetz, who chairs the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee, vowed to spend his final year in the Senate on a mission "to bring some order out of chaos."

Sen. Alan Hays, a conservative Republican from Umatilla, said lawmakers had the best intentions but went too far.

"It is sad that today, many of our teachers and even administrators are simply waiting to earn their retirement checks because our well-intentioned but misguided policies have taken the joy out of teaching," Hays said.

What can make this worse? The analysis also says that all four testing companies have donated to the JEB's Foundation for Excellence in Education. The foundation is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC.

Two days ago, against all odds, the GOP House approved the bill.

Teachers are justifiably upset that they can't get more of a fix.  But this is Florida, folks.  If you want change, try showing up at the polls, no matter how hard they make it.  

Unfortunately, JEB is understandably not happy with this bill since one of his "selling points" is that he was the "education governor", and he is whispering in Rick's ear.

Rick Scott, for his part, has not indicated whether he would sign it. He has ZERO incentive to do the right thing but every incentive to do the wrong thing.  The only possible reason he would sign it is if he cared even remotely about the welfare of Floridian children.

Given the examples here, here, here, and here, you might not want to hold your breath.

PS:  Last call to help a fellow blogger and kossack Ismay and her mother.  It's a very modest goal. Thank you:

Reposted from Ismay by SemDem

Recall that Cut the Cake, Inc. in Longwood, Florida was receiving death threats, harassing calls, fake orders, fake reviews and threats of vandalism from conservatives all over the nation because they hung up on a nut (on April Fool's Day) who said he wanted an anti-gay message on a sheet cake.  

The DKos community swung into action.  A thousand people uprated their Facebook page to destroy the fake reviews (all who suddenly remembered on April 2 that they used them once and didn't like them).  Real orders poured in.  They raised well over their goal on a crowdfunding site to recoup the week they had to close over the threats.

And a whole new customer base showed up to purchase their products.

The icing on the cake (pun intended) was a masterpiece for two hypothetical same-sex conservatives who will eventually embrace who they are and wish to celebrate their now LEGAL union in Florida:

 photo cake_zpsd9q4agly.jpg

Their facebook page is featuring it.  Standing up to bullies never tasted so delicious!

Sidenote:  Two words to this community: Thank and YOU!  My colleague set up my own page to help me and mom.  Never occurred to me to do that.  I asked it be taken down soon but I wanted to say that I appreciate this community more than you can possibly know.  U have showed such kindness during this painful time, and I love u all.

Reposted from SemDem by SemDem

#169 of My Stupid State series

The Democratic establishment has aligned themselves with Mr. Patrick Murphy.

Rep. Patrick Murphy was a former conservative republican, like Charlie Crist.  The difference?  Patrick still has conservative ties.

He joined the GOP in their effort to destroy the ACA by voting to shift insurance costs to working people from wealthy corporate families.  Because Sam Walton's family need the break, not the people who work for them.

I love getting lectures from establishment Dems that Murphy is an environmentalist who will fight climate change.  Activists like Jill Silber Sheridan tell  a different story.  When she visited Rep. Murphy's office on several occasions about climate change and the Keystone pipeline, it fell on deaf ears.  Murphy voted to approve the pipeline.  

Minority Leader Pelosi:
When the GOP voted against Nancy Pelosi, I expected that.  I did NOT expect Murphy to stand with them and vote against her as well.

Wall Street:
He voted to weaken provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial law. He is the quintessential "Wall St. Democrat"

Social Security and Medicare:
He coauthored a letter with congressional Republicans that only promised to protect “current beneficiaries” of Medicare and Social Security.  (To be fair, he never used the word "cuts" to SS/Medicare as some have said but did say "structural changes").  

Certain Democrats believe the winning strategy is to run from their own party's successful platform that has turned the economy around and gave healthcare to millions.  Unfortunately, these same Democrats are the ones in charge.  They keep trying like hell to cram anointed, conservative candidates down our throats, and then berate their own base for speaking out against them. Teabaggers don't know how good they have it.  The GOP establishment hates them but fears them.  Our establishment just hates us.

MUST READ: Robert Reich's problem with the current Democratic Party

Murphites are calling their critics all kinds of names on social media because they bought the line that we have to go after the mythical "fence sitter", instead of just motivating their base to turn out.  For crying out loud, there are many more Dems in this state than GOP, like a half-million more, but they won't come out if they can't see a difference.

We've tried running former republicans or GOP-lite candidates in almost every statewide race for 17 years and have been repeatedly met with failure.  Perhaps, just once, we can try a progressive candidate.

Alan Grayson is that candidate.  The fact that the establishment hates him is a GOOD sign.  I'd be terrified if the state party was backing my campaign in the primary. That never ends well.  Alan will fight hard and, in return, will get motivated forces who will actually fight hard for him to win.  Murphy will get little more than people showing up on election day to vote for Hillary.

Alan needs to get in the game NOW and start his campaign. I am asking everyone to contact him on his website and say that you will be all in if he decides to run.

Murphy has raised 750,000, mostly from PACs who are lining up behind him.  Alan Grayson already has national recognition.  He has a ton of devoted followers.  He is a proven fundraiser who won in a district that is 40% Hispanic.  Best of all, has gone head to head with the Kochs and WON!

Let me be clear.  If Patrick Murphy wins the primary, he will have my full support.  We desperately need to win the Senate back in 2016.  He supports minimum wage laws, gay rights, fair elections and women's rights.  Right there, that's four more things than any GOP candidate will support. If Murphy wins the primary, he will definitely get my vote. However, my time, energy, and sweat equity will go for progressive candidates I believe in.

I'm not alone.

Unrelated Update: One of my writers on my blog is a kossack who goes by Ismay.  Francis had to take family/medical leave to care for Lillian, her mother, on top of caring for her son. She has one sizable medical bill for her mom that she is trying to pay off.  She will only allow me to fundraise for this immediate issue.  I set up a quick gofundme page a few days ago but am only now publicizing it.  If you can spare 5 dollars, please do.  If not, that's cool too.  We are all just trying to make it.  

Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy
Looks like there might be a real Democratic primary in the battle to take outgoing Senator Marco Rubio's (R. FL) seat:

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 15:  Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., participates in a news conference calling for no funding of the escalation of the war in Afghanistan on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009.  (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
Rep. Alan Grayson says he’s moving closer to getting in the race for U.S. Senate, citing difficulty of Republicans to field a top-tier candidate.

“It sure does encourage me more,” the liberal Orlando Democrat said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday afternoon. “I’m closer.

“I like the fact that we got an unequivocal statement that Marco Rubio is running for president. I think he will pay a big price with the electorate if he ends up changing his mind (and runs for re-election)." - Tampa Bay Times, 4/16/15

Grayson will have to catch up to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D. FL) who has already been off to an impressive start with his campaign. I'm torn between who would be the better candidate. We will have to see. Stay tuned.
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