Sunday, June 26, 2022

Vote him out: desantis

 While I have a lot to say about Desantis, I want to start by talking about Disney.

Florida spent time to craft legislation to try and keep talk of homosexuality out of the grade school classroom. The story goes that the original legislation was specifically about anything other than a “traditional” heterosexual relationship. But it evolved so that it could be disguised to a point.  Many people saw it for what it was.  Some people defended it because it’s “not that bad” or “aligns with their personal views”…

But that’s the point.  It aligns with one point of view.  And the problem with hastily crafted legislation is that it always has unintended consequences.  In the legislation itself, there are penalties to teachers and school boards for engaging on the topic.  That can’t be good. 

And there’s the outside consequences. Make no mistake: Bob Chapek bumbled his response to the bill. This could have gone a lot of ways and unfortunately for him (and the company) he picked the wrong way, annoying everyone. 

The governor responded stupidly with a comment about producing a movie (Mulan) in China, telling Disney to mind their own business.  And of course mentioned something he signed into law regarding corporate training; Disney can’t teach about diversity and inclusion, based on the law. More on that below.

Florida has (well had) a very incestuous relationship with Disney, dating back to 1967.  Disney and the state generally played nice, though they sometimes exchange barbs.  But until governor Ron and ceo Bob got tangled, it was typically ironed out quickly. Disney is the largest tourism business in the country and provides more in revenue to the state than any single business, and more than most combined. 

…but now comes the consequence: governor Ron made good on the threat to undo Disneys special improvement district in retaliation for the hubbub about the so called “don’t say gay” bill. 

Look, I’m not a fan of how the original legislation went down and how Disney has the power to operate as a self governing entity.  But surely the answer is NOT to cobble together something quickly just to undo it.  The (unintended) consequences to the state, to tourism, and to the theme parks we love would be monumental.  And not in a good way.

The governor acts like a tyrant and has now shown that no one, no company, is above his wrath. He will go after anyone.

And for those reasons, it is time to vote him out. I’m sure he will continue to attack Disney and other large employers in the state.  In fact he’s already stated his intention to continue attacking Disney  

There’s too much at stake. We can’t let him remain in office.

Want more? Read on….

His history started before his election to governor. Everyone who was familiar with desantis knew he never finished things. He quit previous jobs and even quit Congress to run for governor. 

He runs on 45s coattails and winds up winning in Florida by a slim margin of a couple of thousand votes. (And by the way, quit on 45 a while after winning)

One thing that helped him was this: a few years before, we the people of Florida, voted to restore voting rights to felons who served their time. The GOP and former gov Scott didn’t like that much, and dragged their feet to not allow it. Then, when desantis won, he told us he was basically going to spend every cent it took (our tax dollars at work) to ensure that they couldn’t just vote again. 

And so began the assault on democracy, which culminated with a court throwing out most of the voting restrictions he helped create. 

For some reason, the legislature decided he could draw new voting maps. Typically this is done by committees who review the population and ideally should just draw boundaries to represent that population. One person creating maps for political (and if we’re honest, racist) reasons can’t be good for democracy. 

One of his platform items was not to allow fracking. Which he immediately reneged on, though there still hasn’t been any movement on that front specifically. Still, environmental protections appear to be no more than an inconvenience to him. 

We had the surfside tragedy and he promised change. But over the course of two legislative sessions - and two special sessions - that was never discussed. Nor was the “insurance crisis” we have going on in the state. 

Context: The state of Florida, after hurricane Andrew (in 1992!) saw many insurers leave the state and the state setup something called the joint underwriters (or colloquially "citizens insurance") as a stop gap. And it has grown every year. You have to have insurance to have a mortgage.  No one writes policies. So... 

Now our only choice is to ostensibly buy homeowners insurance from the state. Which is decidedly not a principle of small government.

The list goes on of course. The legislature also found time to pass a bill proposed by energy companies in the state, and the governor was all in on it. The summary: we voted to make it constitutionally allowable for homeowners to go off the grid and install solar. This new legislation undoes that; you have to remain hooked up to the energy company AND pay them a monthly fee of the revenue they “lost” on you as a customer. And there are other punitive things included. So much for freedom.

He also was a big proponent of the anti-riot bill, which essentially would give police broad authority (mostly under his discretion) to call whatever they want a riot. This one is tied up in court, but two things happened after. First, he proposed authorizing a private military under his direction (a militia if you will) to handle situations. And second, he was encouraging the trucking convoy to disrupt commerce because it suited his purpose.  And by the law he signed, technically they could be considered rioters. And then there were the protestors at Disney of course. They were rioters under the law, but nothing happened. So tell me what this is really about?

And we have to talk about covid. Florida has the third largest number of cases and deaths (perhaps it’s even higher, there were shenanigans going on with the counting) so it’s relevant. 

The governor decided that he, as an authoritarian ruler, knew all there was to know about the virus. That everyone was lying about it. And the state of Florida needed to remain open for business. He dictated everything the counties, the school boards, and even businesses could do in the state regarding covid. Small government? Hardly. 

Look I’m not saying that anyone had this figured out. We had a giant social/science experiment ongoing. The problems I had were that this seemed (as I noted) very authoritarian disguised as “freedom” and that he was doing a victory dance on everyone. It’s one thing to be assertive and say “let’s try this” … it’s quite another to say “we’re doing this and anyone who disagrees can F off.”

There was also a story (which I can not locate) about his investments in companies that provided “alternative treatments” which would suggest he increased his personal financial portfolio along the way. 

He fined people and organizations. He sued. He fired and then personally attacked a data scientist who was simply providing information. None of this is right. 

And then, almost to underscore the point, he signs legislation that essentially bans abortion.  During his assault on covid rules, he used the always-associated-with abortion statement “my body, my choice” but then signed abortion restrictions. Is it about freedom? 

He also made clear that people can and should have guns, because you know, human life is precious. Contrary to his stance on abortion. He wants to add open firearm carry - without permits - in the state.  This is something even guns rights groups oppose, so you have to wonder if this is really about racism and intimidation.

He continues the assault on our freedoms by imposing rules on schools and businesses related to what they can teach, or otherwise provide as training. And yes, I said on private companies.  

He made a comment to the effect of you can’t make white people feel uncomfortable about things. Whatever that means. 

He’s a tyrant and he’s dangerous. We must vote him out. 

[editors note: the Florida legislature did hold another special session to “fix” the insurance problem and the condo issues. Again these were hastily crafted (over mere hours) pieces of rubbish that the governor can claim help - but which will need time to figure out.  And the law of unintended consequences surely will be an issue down the road. So don’t believe any bluster that this will help. 30 years of mismanagement and poor legislation can’t be fixed in a couple of hours, sorry.  And by the way more insurers pulled out of the state after the legislation passed, so you can see it had the opposite effect on the state]

Vote him out: Marco Rubio

 My problems with Marco are centered around him being a  blowhard politician. He says and does things that sound like they have meaning but they are nothing more than words. 

He is a Republican mainly because he is Cuban. JFK was a democrat, and failed the Cuban population at the bay of pigs, and so most Cubans made a connection that kennedy failed them, and therefore all democrats support the Castro regime and communism. It’s weird, especially in light of the rise of the last person in the Oval Office, one #45 who was a wanna be tyrant, pulling pages from castros playbook. 

And yet rubio blindly supported the guy. It makes no sense. 

And of course he says he supports Latinos. But really only opposes communist regimes in Spanish speaking countries. 

By the way, in case you didn’t get the memo, most of the old white guys in the party…don’t like Hispanics.

Marco hasn’t held a single in-person town hall during his current term. Nor has he hosted a virtual one for his constituents (but I understand he’s happy to meet with his donors!). Though he has bowed to pressure slightly and does have his staff hold them from time to time. They read from scripts and take some notes. But it is not the same thing. 

He always has a big security detail around him in public and will not talk to anyone - reporters included - when he’s out. He always says he’s too busy. 

I have written to him on a variety of topics over the years. Many months later, I have gotten back a form letter that (a) is almost always vague about which topic it was about and (b) is so non-committal about anything.

Impeachment answers were “yes he committed a crime, but I didn’t vote for it because…” on the second impeachment the reason was because there was an election and we could vote him out. 

We did and there was a coup attempt that he refused to comment on, or otherwise address. Can you see why I have issues?

And then there was this: a few days after the parkland shooting, he sat on a stage and tried his best to give nothing more than non-committal answers and offer his condolences. But then one of the kids asked him a question about whether he would stop taking money from the nra.  The answer was predictable along the lines of “of course not, I’ll take money from any big donors and represent their interests.”

He has repeated the same time and again when it comes to taking money in the face of adversity - he always will take it and do what they want. 

A government by the people, for the people, and of the people. 

Tell me again what he has done for any of us? Or why he won’t even bother to talk to us - the wretched individuals who don’t support him.

By the way, when it comes to Disney, he was incensed that they took a stand on the “don’t say gay” legislation. His approach was to remind Disney that they filmed the live action Mulan in a region where human rights abuses are ongoing - so they should “stay in their lane” and focus on something else. (Editors note: Disney was wrong, but why can’t it be both?)

After the Texas massacre, I contacted Rubio and suggested it was time to have an honest discussion about gun control, and that the logical first step was to ban assault rifles.

The response I received was a bunch of nonsensical BS that reminds us he is committed to helping… anyone who gives him large sums of money (see the comment above). What do the words in this message even mean?

And when a bipartisan bill on gun safety (that amounts to “baby steps” on the road to gun safety, but it’s heartening to think there was *some* movement by both parties) came to a vote, he voted against it. Spitting on the memories of those killed at the pulse nightclub and parkland - in his home state.

He needs to be voted out!

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell schools Jim Jordan on first amendment

The nfl is a mess, and a stupid joke.

They have so many things going on that are negative and idiotic, and are run by a bunch of rich old white guys.

They can stuff most of what happens, but this was gold.

Disney worker rips company over vow to pay aborti…

the article should read "guy running for office uses abortion ruling to promote his stance, calls out the company he works for, and will be reprimanded or fired"

Just to be clear: most companies have policies where you are welcome to run for political office, but you can't campaign at work, and you can't use the company in any way in your campaign.

Single issue voters

First off, people who tell me they are single issue voters tally irk me. The world is a complicated place, and you saying that it's just about one specific thing is just stupid.

I've known many people over the years who have told me that they vote based on where candidates stand on that one topic.

So I've naturally known a few folks who believe abortion is the single issue that motivates them. They would vote for any candidate who opposes abortion because life is precious, blah, blah, blah. Didn't matter what else that person stood for, they were all in on that topic.

So my question to them is: now that abortion has no protections, what will you do? Find another stupid reason to vote? Not vote at all? Actually listen to where candidates stand on issues that affect you personally?

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Judicial activism

It's funny how when the supreme court was more balanced, the gop was big on trying to help it lean more conservative in every way possible.

They warned against "judicial activism" creeping in and more progressive policies taking hold.

Then the balance shifted more conservative and douchey. Two very questionably filled seats later… and here we are.

They went after gun control in a broader way than the legal question.

They set their sights on Roe v Wade in a case that perhaps should have diminished abortion rights and instead abolished the previous ruling.

In his majority opinion alito called the original ruling "deeply flawed" and needed to be rectified.

In his dissent, Chief Justice Robert's effectively said that the majority opinions were flawed and the court went too far in its ruling.

Are you seeing it yet? That is judicial activism. They ruled on something that wasn't really part of the case.

And then, for good measure, Thomas decided to tell us they wanted to come after more previous rulings….without a case before them related to the matter.

Judicial. Activism.

…and by the way, I should also call out Susan Collins for her insistence that abortion rights were safe. The people she voted to confirm would never overturn Roe….how's that working out for you, dumbass?

Thursday, June 16, 2022

The January 6th hearings

With each day that passes, it becomes clearer and clearer that what happened at the capitol was no random act. This was a coordinated attack on our democracy from outside - and shockingly from inside as well.

As Abraham Lincoln once cautioned us, in a wide-ranging speech leading up to the civil war, the only way we can be destroyed is from within. We must always be cautious, and guard against this to not let that happen.

As I've said many times, every person. Every. Single. One. Needs to be held accountable for what they did before, on that day, and even after, to commit an assault on democracy. And we need to exercise the laws for sedition and seditious conspiracy (or more) as needed - no matter that persons position, role, or relative power. Charge them with crimes, and let it play out in a court of law.

This isn't a joke, and without punishment, they will try and again and again, and may have success in eliminating our democracy in the future...

Now as for 45, there is even more coming out about him and the things he did. And one thing that struck me was how he was grifting as he mounted his "legal defense"...he didn't do the typical things a politician does to retain power - instead he attacked democracy head on, AND cashed in on people's willingness to believe the big lie, in their thoughts, and with their wallets. So he made money and got a mob to attack the capitol on his behalf.

That's a spectacular thing to do. And he deserves to be publicly humiliated, have all of his assets seized, and go to jail.

While he's no "mastermind," he certainly did take advantage of the opportunity to make this happen.

Vote him out: desantis

 While I have a lot to say about Desantis, I want to start by talking about Disney. Florida spent time to craft legislation to try and keep ...