Welcome to the “Gunshine State,” where our National Rifle Association-approved laws empower us to shoot you dead for texting, playing loud music, wearing a hoodie or, perhaps, any other innocent daily activity that may annoy us. Seems all we have to do is claim that we felt threatened, and we can shoot just about anybody we want. We can even provoke the argument and shoot you dead if you complain or fight back. Then it’s our word against yours. Of course, you’re dead and can’t tell your side of the story, but we Floridians trust our gun-addled legal system to protect our right to shoot first and explain later. Continue reading
Hijacking the public agenda
Republican/tea party members know they can’t win a national election, so they are going to focus on city, country and state elections.
Let’s start close to home. Ormond Beach is fighting over fluoride in the drinking water, something I thought was settled years ago. Volusia County schools fought about the history books used in the public schools. The state Republicans have keep about 300,000 people from getting Medicaid even if the U.S. government pays 100 percent of the cost the first three years and 90 percent thereafter. The Republicans have cut taxes on businesses every year but can’t find the money for health care.
South Dakota is trying to shut down the one and only abortion clinic, even as abortion is legal in the United States. Kansas is trying to pass a law a law (and you’re not going to believe this one) that any person, public or private, can refuse service to anyone they believe does not follow their religious beliefs.
South Carolina may pass a law that public schools can’t teach evolution unless they also teach “intelligent design.” Maybe we should call evolution intelligent design and stop all this nonsense.
What I’m trying to say is a very small group of very vocal people can hijack a city, county and state, because most people have a life to live and don’t have time to fight these same fights year after year. Fluoride helps your teeth, evolution is a fact and all people are equal — white, black, straight, gay, you name it. The Republican/tea party and religious groups are going to have to live with it.
By: Leon M. Blythe
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Originally posted on Erin Burnett OutFront -:
The event was the first one in almost two years. And the guests included A-listers like Bradley Cooper and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
OutFront: Washington Post’s Sally Quinn who’s covered dozens of state dinners and even attended a handful. She’s the author of “The Party: A Guide To Adventurous Entertaining”. And Creative Director for Elle magazine Joe Zee.
The Keystone XL report by the State Department was a sham, written by pipeline advocates. The pipeline will promote development of the Canadian tar sand. If the pipeline really had no effect on the economics of the tar sands development, why is Canada lobbying so hard to build it?
The Keystone XL pipeline is not in our national interests, it is in Canada’s. It will pollute our waters, poison our air, add to global warming, and drive up the price of our gasoline by using our refinery capacity to produce fuel to be sold overseas.
It must not be built.
By: David Leithauser
As President Obama’s popularity begins to vacillate in the polls, our tendency toward collective memory disorder appears to be acute. Revisionists portray the Reagan years as a golden age in American politics. Certainly, it is difficult to rate a president while he is serving in office. However, why has the media and the public chosen to forget all of the criticisms of the Reagan administration voiced during the 1980s?
President Reagan encouraged some of the most mean-spirited attitudes ever expressed in the White House. In essence, he institutionalized greed. Do you remember trickle-down economics? According to Reaganomics, all government had to do was cut taxes on the wealthy and economic prosperity would follow. Trickle-down economics worked according to its plan — the rich got richer and the poor learned firsthand about the flow of American jobs outside the United States to lower-wage venues.
Given today’s focus on income inequality, I cannot believe that today’s media goes along with this charade.
How about Reagan’s spending on defense? Sure, we won the Cold War, but has the world become a safer place? How about the funding of the Contras? To complicate matters, the Reagan administration sold weapons to the Islamic government of Iran to fund the Contra’s anti-government activities.
There is no doubt that Ronald Reagan was an excellent communicator. In fact, he and President Obama share this verbal gift, but giving great speeches is not sufficient to declare a president outstanding. Given the aforementioned problems, I am sure that honest history would assign President Reagan a place less than outstanding on the presidential evaluation list.
By: Glenn Hameroff
Who represents the moderate GOP?
As a lifelong moderate Republican, I watched the State of the Union address, along with the multiple GOP responses, and came away perplexed and puzzled as to where my party is and where it is heading.
The speaker of the House, while considered a moderate, admitted to Jay Leno that the government shutdown was a disaster to the party, and he was against it; yet John Boehner didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the ultraconservative faction.
My frustration is who represents my views? I voted for John McCain.
By Richard Guimond