Florida, my old home state (and other political links)

Back when Jeb Bush was governor of Florida, right-to-lifer Randall Terry informed him that if he wanted right-to-life support for any presidential bid (everyone knew it was coming eventually) he’d have to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. Despite the years of court hearings and the special representative for Terri all finding that yes, her husband was acting appropriately in having her life support turned off, Jeb intervened.

Now he’s bragging about it in his campaign ads, promoting it an an example of his commitment to pro-life values. Not mentioned: that he was in office for years without doing anything and only acted when Terry pitched him. And that his actions only affected the Schiavo case—he didn’t attempt to actually change the law to protect others in the same boat (as the right to die law has strong support in the state, that might have cost him, politically).

•Under current governor Rick Scott, Florida is being run like a business: save money by slashing services and staff. At the link, Miami Herald looks at how Scott’s vigorous cuts to public health may have contributed to Florida being the state with the highest rate of new AIDS cases.

•Speaking of “run like a business”: executives running a major coal company steer it into bankruptcy. So naturally they get massive bonuses while the retired miners lose their benefits. At the link, Scott Lemieux discusses similar examples of the double standard—executives need constantly higher and higher pay to retain them, but workers? Similarly my former employer, Freedom Communications  (which is filing bankruptcy for the second time in several years) cut pay across the board the year I left, while giving publishers and higher-ranked executives bonuses because they were “valued employees” (I’d always suspected reporters weren’t).

•So Marco Rubio was caught drinking while underage back in his teens. No big; I loathe his politics but it’s no more significant to his fitness for president than Jeb Bush’s inability to name a favorite super-hero. Proving that when you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail, right-winger Mark Judge decides to use this as an example of how we (i.e., feminazis) are repressing masculinity. Because this is so much male behavior, and it’s about “passion and lust and adventurousness,” not anything as mundane as getting buzzed. More mockery of Judge at the link. Commenters point out that right-wingers show remarkably little enthusiasm for drug use among people who aren’t favored Republicans (e.g., Bill Clinton, Obama) or for Clinton’s sexcapades. It’s almost like there’s a double standard …

•More on the anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood group that a grand jury indicted in Texas.

•President Obama is making changes to the federal prison system including banning solitary confinement for juveniles.

•Ever see those ads for Devry University? The government says the university fudges statistics on all the graduates who get jobs after graduation.

•Echidne of the Snakes on the women of the “Vanilla Isis” movement (which appears to be breaking up)

•A conservative writer says he’s very, very worried that Trump’s success is turning the conservative movement into a “populist, white identity thing” as if it’s never been about race before. I think said writer, Matt Lewis, is just trying to distance himself and the Republicans from the obvious racism of Trump (which probably won’t play well in the election) but at the link Digby suggests right-wingers may really have convinced themselves that tort reform is the kind of thing their base cares about. And now they’re seeing it’s not …

Jeb Bush’s donors are unhappy with the way he’s spending money (though as noted at the link, it’s more about being a big spender with nothing to show for it).


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