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Florida’s anti-Obamacare governor and his tea party allies in the Legislature pay less for state-funded health insurance than janitors, cops, or teachers.
Last year, political neophyte Rick Scott spent $73 million of his own money to bring the tea party’s anti-government, pro-privatization agenda to the Florida governor’s office. Today, the former executive pays just $30 a month for health care—and lets taxpayers cover the rest.
The governor, a proud bearer of the Republican Party’s deregulation standard, has spent his first half-year in office decrying government waste: He’s laid off thousands of Sunshine State employees, slashed their benefits, turned down (most of) the federal government’s health care dollars, and put extra financial pressure on Florida retirees and Medicaid recipients. But Scott and his dependents pay one-fifth what a janitor in the state Capitol pays for health insurance…and less than 3 percent of what a retired state trooper pays for life-saving coverage.
When asked about the double standard, a spokesman for Scott declined to comment, calling his family’s cheap state coverage “private matters.”
But the matter has huge implications for citizens of the state. Scott sits atop an upside-down benefits system that heavily subsidizes health care costs for the best-off state employees while forcing loyal rank-and-file workers to spend more of their shrinking paychecks for basic coverage. According to Gary Fineout, the longtime Tallahassee reporter who broke the story:
Scott is among nearly 32,000 people in state government who pay relatively low health insurance premiums. It’s a perk that is available to high-ranking state officials, including those in top management at all state agencies. Nearly all 160 state legislators are also enrolled in the program that costs just $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage.
So who pays to give Scott and his cronies their cut-rate coverage? Taxpayers do. It’s not clear how many of the state’s 32,000 top-ranking VIPs cover themselves, and how many get their entire families on the state plan. Depending on that breakdown, Floridians are paying between $1.3 and $4.8 million every month to extend this perk to their political elites. That could amount to as much as $57.6 million a year—12 times what the state spent on public broadcasting before Scott decided to defund the radio and TV stations, calling them “a special interest.”
- FL Gov. Rick Scott Simply Refuses To Take Money For The Affordable Care Act (crooksandliars.com)
- Wendell Potter: “Obamacare” Hater Rick Scott, Now Florida’s Governor, Is Doing Exactly What He Claimed, Falsely, Federal Reform Would Do (huffingtonpost.com)
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott Hosts Anti-Abortion Law Celebration (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- Gov. Scott getting low-cost health insurance from the state of Florida! (tomhuff.wordpress.com)
- Rick Scott Mocks Jobless (theawl.com)
- More Political Dirtbaggery: The Hypocritical Republican (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Two CNN Anchors Try, But Fail, To Get Florida Governor Rick Scott To Answer Their Question (mediaite.com)
- Florida Guv Denies Health Care to Millions (annarborlaw.org)
- Rick Scott, what hath thou wrought? (blogs.jta.org)
The GOP should be held accountable for their unAmerican activities:
It’s the Renaissance, stupid.
The economy is not what ails us today. No, what ails Americans is what Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and their artistic spawn have wrought in the culture, starting 500 years ago. The Renaissance has dragged us all down.
Tea party queen and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is convinced that America is sinking into tyranny. Why? In a remarkable profile of the candidate appearing in the Aug. 15 issue of the New Yorker magazine, the artistic flowering of the Italian Renaissance takes a beating for having done away with the god-fearing Dark Ages.
Yes, America was a happier place in the Middle Ages.
- Michele Bachman is worried that the Renaissance really screwed things up (americablog.com)
- You: Michele Bachmann is worried about the Renaissance (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Michele Bachmann’s Radical Reading List (alternet.org)
- Bachmann Anti-Enlightenment? You’re Surprised? (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Catfight Between Palin and Bachman Camps? (goldenislesteaparty.wordpress.com)
- Did Newsweek choose Michele Bachmann cover photo to make her ‘look crazy’? (via Yahoo! News) (southwerk.wordpress.com)
Let me get this straight: Romney defends raising the retirement age of people who live and breathe, bleed and heal and eventually get old and die to protect corporate tax breaks because “corporations are people”. How in the world could he possible explain the logic of that statement?
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) just completed a damaging campaign stop in Iowa where audience members responded angrily to his plans, and Romney frequently responded belligerently to their anger. In one of the most contentious exchanges, Romney defended his belief that we “should consider a higher retirement age” for Social Security and Medicare to preserve tax breaks for corporations:
ROMNEY: There’s various ways of [preserving Social Security and Medicare’s solvency]. One is we could raise taxes on people. That’s not the way . . .
AUDIENCE: Corporations! Corporations!
ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend.
AUDIENCE: No they’re not.
ROMNEY: Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?
AUDIENCE: It goes into your pocket!
ROMNEY: Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets. Human beings, my friend
- Romney: “Corporations Are People” (reason.com)
- The Caucus: Romney to Hecklers: ‘Corporations Are People’ (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Mitt Romney Says ‘Corporations are People’, Gets Heckled at Iowa State Fair: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Romney at Fair: ‘Corporations are People, My Friend’ (blogs.abcnews.com)
- A Much Improved Mitt Romney Declares “Corporations Are People” (swampland.time.com)
- Romney in shouting match with crowd at Iowa fair (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s One Nation bus tour is on the road again, and it’s headed for Iowa — just in time for one of the most-watched pre-2012 weekends.
The Ames Straw Poll, a prominent all-Iowa Republican straw poll, is set for this Saturday at Iowa State University. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty will be in town for the poll, as will Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Former Massachusetts governor and GOP 2012 frontrunner Mitt Romney will deliver a speech to open the Iowa State Fair. Those candidates, as well as four others, will participate in a debate Thursday night.
Keeping with the spirit of the first leg of the bus tour, Palin has not released a schedule, and is not officially slated to speak anywhere. She released a video Wednesday evening prominently featuring her tour bus and images of small-town America. (Embedded below.)
“The heartland is perfect territory for more of the One Nation Tour as we put forth efforts to revitalize the fundamental restoration of America by highlighting our nation’s heart, history, and founding principles,” a statement on SarahPAC.com read.
Palin’s name is not on the ballot for Saturday’s poll, nor is she participating in Thursday’s debate.
In addition to the conservative festivities in Iowa, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be in South Carolina Saturdayto announce his intention to run for president, and President Barack Obama kicks off a heartland bus tournext week.
It is rumored that Palin will visit the Iowa State Fair Friday. Palin has not announced whether she intends to run for the presidency, nor has she announced whether she will partake in the fair’s signature delicacy, deep-fried butter on a stick.
- Palin Joins the Iowa State Fair Party (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- More of Sarah Palin and the Iowa State Fair (hotair.com)
- BREAKING: Palin bus tour to roll into Iowa (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- You: Palin Heads to Iowa (thedailybeast.com)
- Sarah Palin: back on her bus and heading for Iowa (guardian.co.uk)
- Sarah Palin’s Bus Tour Re-Launching in Iowa Thursday (michellemalkin.com)
- Palin will return to Iowa State Fair this week (iowacaucus.com)
- Surprise: Palin’s bus tour to roll into Iowa this week (hotair.com)
- Sarah Palin Continues Flirtation With 2012 Run, Will Attend Iowa State Fair (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Palin Bus Tour Going To Iowa! (alan.com)
This “feud” is hilarious…
For those who are not familiar with the characters in this “drama“:
Broderick Steven “Steve” Harvey is an American actor, comedian, entertainer, television & radio personality and best-selling author. He is best known as the star of the WB sitcom The Steve Harvey Show, and as one of the four comedians featured in the Spike Lee film The Original Kings of Comedy. Currently, he is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program The Steve Harvey Morning Show, and the current host of the television game show Family Feud (Wiki)
Cornel Ronald West is an American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Center for African American Studies and in the Department of Religion. (Wiki)
Tavis Smiley is a talk show host, author, liberal political commentator, entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist. Smiley was born in Gulfport, Mississippi and grew up in Kokomo, Indiana. After attending Indiana University, he worked during the late 1980s as an aide to Tom Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles. Smiley became a radio commentator in 1991, and starting in 1996 he hosted the talk show BET Talk (later renamed BET Tonight) on BET. (Wiki)
Earlier this week during his syndicated morning radio show, Steve Harvey went in on Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West for their constant criticisms of President Barack Obama.
After reading an email from a listener who insisted that Smiley and West’s current Poverty Bus Tour was nothing more than a hustle, Harvey added his two cents blasting the duo for using personal vendettas to go out and sully the POTUS’ name.
“I was a huge fan of Cornel West,” he said. “[But] Tavis, I seen him coming a mile away. His anger started when he had a town hall meeting, President Obama couldn’t come because of the campaign trail and he sent Mrs. Obama. He has held that grudge every since.”
To West’s squabbles about not getting extra tickets to Obama’s inauguration, Harvey offered, “Have you ever been invited to the damn inauguration? Did Bush send for you? Did Clinton send for you? Did Reagan send for you?”
He continued, “You don’t have any real basis behind your dislike for this man…you keep masking it saying it’s not about hate. Then what is it about? Poverty existed before January 20, 2008. Where was your damn bus then?”
The Original King of Comedy, Family Feud host and suit designer didn’t stop there. After reading Smiley’s request that Obama join him for “a roundtable for two or three days on poverty,” Harvey joked, “Who in the hell got 2-3 days for your ass? I ain’t got time to sit down with your monkey behind for two, three days, let alone the President of the United States. We got three wars going on, the economy crashing and we going to sit down with Tavis ass for three days?”
Harvey ended the rant insisting that somebody is paying Smiley and West to produce the Poverty Tour, asking “where are you getting the money for these buses?” But not before performing a skit where he said he was the president of UTLO.org (which stands out for “Uncle Tom Look Out”) and that he spotted an “uncle tom” driving a bus.
“Make sure you don’t get on the poverty bus,” he mocked. “Because if you ain’t po’, when you ride the bus, you become po’.”
- Steve Harvey Slams Tavis Smiley And Cornel West, Calls Them Uncle Toms [Audio] (hiphopwired.com)
- Cornel West, Tavis Smiley continue to complain about Obama (thegrio.com)
- Tavis Smiley: Obama Is First President In My Career Not To Invite Me To The White House (mediaite.com)
- Tavis Smiley, Professional Obama Critic (oliverwillis.com)
- Why I confronted Cornel West: Words matter (thegrio.com)
- Cornel West Talks Poverty, The President (npr.org)
- WATCH: CNN Host’s Testy Exchange With Tavis Smiley And Cornel West (huffingtonpost.com)
Months ago, there was a small controversy over Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann signing a pledge put forth by social conservatives in Iowa that stated “black child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African American President.”
However well intended, many people were understandably offended by the implication that black people were better off as property. But this isn’t the first time Bachmann has put forth a perspective on slavery that is at odds with the historical record — previously she “suggested that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly” to end slavery, before citing John Quincy Adams as an example (he was a child at the time of America’s founding).
Ryan Lizza’s profile of Bachmann reveals that Bachmann’s odd perspective on slavery isn’t a series of gaffes, but rather “a world view.” Lizza explains that Bachmann is a believer in a kind of Christian conservative reimagining of slavery, where “many Christians opposed slavery” but owned them anyway and didn’t free them because ““it might be very difficult for a freed slave to make a living in that economy; under such circumstances setting slaves free was both inhumane and irresponsible.” How charitable of them!
- Bachmann’s View on Slavery: It Gets Worse (theroot.com)
- Michele Bachmann Promoted Bizarre, Revisionist View of Slavery (usnews.com)
- Bachmann’s Love Affair with Revisionist History – The Atlantic Wire (news.google.com)
- Michele Bachmann Recommended Book That Blamed North for Civil War, Praised Slavery (firedoglake.com)
- Michele Bachmann’s Troublesome Reading List (swampland.time.com)
- Michele Bachmann’s Reading List (swampland.time.com)
- Ryan Lizza on covering Bachmann (salon.com)
New Jersey Governor was once the establishment GOP’s pick to beat the current lineup on the GOP primary roster. It appears those days are over after Christie picked a Muslim judge for a state judgeship…
The crazies are at it again.
Robert Spencer said it was like if “Christie had appointed as a judge someone who was an attorney for the Ku Klux Klan, or the Aryan Nations,” and Andy McCarthy of the National Review attacked Christie for encouraging the supposedly “anti-Western, anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic, anti-assimilationist” leadership in the Muslim-American community. McCarthy appeared on the Center for Security Policy head Frank Gaffney’s radio show yesterday to discuss Christie, and during the interview Gaffney jumped into the fray.
Gaffney accused Christie of “corruption” and even suggested that the governor is guilty…
- NJ Gov. Chris Christie Accused Of Treason For Appointing Muslim Judge (alan.com)
- How do we know how smart Frank Gaffney is?…. (tagg-lines.com)
- Sharia Paranoia at Faith and Freedom Conference [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)
- Frank Gaffney Explains Breivik (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Gov. Christie Defends Appointing Muslim Judge: ‘This Sharia Law Business Is Crap’ (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- NYT: What’s behind nationwide anti-Shariah push? (msnbc.msn.com)
- Islamophobic Politics (islamophobiatv.wordpress.com)