This is XXXXIV of MY STUPID STATE where I document what happens when a state full of Democrats elect a veto-proof, right-wing legislature along with a teabag, CRIMINAL governor to lead us. (Once again, yes--an actual bona-fide criminal who literally stole from seniors, who subsequently elected him.)
This is my documentation of my beloved but idiotic state's slow descent into chaos.
From the moment on that God-awful day Rick Scott took office, he has been on an unholy crusade to ruin public education. Despite Florida already ranking near the bottom in education, the bald-headed bastard proposed completely gutting k-12 education by $1.75 billion. But it was MUCH worse than even that: Although he justified the cut by saying we have a huge state deficit, he planned to use that money not to pay down the debt, but to give it all away through massive corporate tax breaks. It was so bad that Rachael Maddow devised the "Rick Scott test" as a metric to measure how bad the other governors were. Thankfully, Rick Scott's GOP legislators bravely
rolled over pushed back... and only allowed a $1.3 billion cut, which is still a freaking state record.
With our schools in free-fall, programs cut, teacher take-home pay decimated, and children suffering, even this pathetic and apathetic state gave the legislators an outcry. The shell-shocked legislature restored about 75% of the funding (but not before the requisite bashing of non-political state employees).
Unfortunately for Scott, trying to make teachers destitute, give them unfair higher standards than charter schools, and attempt to drug-test them like criminals, for some reason, had a negative impact on his polls (among other things). After almost two years of refusing to set foot into a public school, he suddenly realized that our children's teachers were much more popular than he was. (Actually, I think he's only slightly ahead of toxic mold, which at least has a reason to screw over people.)
Hence, this week, Gov. BatBoy announced, with much fanfare, a "listening" tour of some of our public schools, closed to the public, of course.
From what I hear in these closed sessions, he brings a giant banner that says "Promise Kept-One Billion for Education". Apparently thinking we are all f-ing idiots that he gutted education by $300 million more than that last year.
The sessions are primarily Rick Scott giving out his talking points, ("listening" means listen to me, dammit), and questions afterwards. Although these sessions are invite-only, his handlers couldn't find hardly any teacher in favor of his asshattery, so he has been getting a mouthful. Rick Scott heard horror stories of trying to teach starving, neglected, and homeless children with few resources... and then condescendingly told them that eveyone asks him for more money. (If the hungry 3-year old was a big corporation, then we'd talk.)
The teachers he has talked with point out he didn't say he would do anything different. Condescending, unhelpful, and an asshat. Mission accomplished.
But just in case you think his contempt is limited to teachers, wait until they get unemployed.
Florida is now DEAD LAST in the nation of unemployed workers receiving benefits.
This might explain why in the first quarter of 2012 more than 60,000 workers were denied benefits for procedural reasons, an increase of more than 200 percent from the year before.No live person, no phone calls, no letters. Plus, only online documentation of job searches. Next session the legislature is planning on eliminating all notices through the mail as well, so you had better get your email! One lawyer in that article said the process has turned into a game of "gotcha". Make it hard to do, easy to make mistakes, then deny.
The U.S. Department of Labor is currently investigating. (Wait your turn, Labor!)
Florida is the ONLY state in the union that is requiring online only. Every other state has at least a telephone application option for those unable to do it online.
So you are an older, low-wage worker with a family and got thrown out with no notice... very common now in this GOP hellhole.
Naturally, the first thing you are going to want to do is buy a computer and get cable internet service.
Can't afford it? GET A JOB! (Oh right...) You say you worked construction and aren't tech savvy? Well, maybe you shouldn've taken a few courses. It's not like tuition suddenly skyrocketed under this regime.
Online forms not clear? Yeah, no kidding. They are notoriously and (problaby purposefully) confusing. But that just means you have to WANT it baby! We can't afford to pay for people to answer your questions. Learn how to talk to the paperclip guy!
And God help you if you do it wrong. (Seriously, you better pray if you made a mistake.)
Naturally, this is something Rick Scott is very proud of. NOT KIDDING. Check out the new verbiage that just went up this week on the main claims page for the FL Dept. of Econ. Opportunity:
Yes, thanks to our illustrious governor, claims are down!! But not because people are back to work--it's because Gov. Dick Rott is purposefully being an ass to people simply trying to apply for their benefits!
It's called kicking someone when they're down. No wonder Mitt Romney loves the guy!