YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: Rick Scott-and-weave; Christie heads south; momentary legislative sanity; fetal drain; intentional poverty
YOU MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED, BUT GOV. RICK SCOTT DOESN’T MUCH LIKE ANSWERING QUESTIONS. WHAT COLOR IS THE SKY? JOBS!: “In Orlando, Scott recently sidestepped questions about why it’s taking so long to fix a new state website that handles unemployment claims. ‘For the fourth time, he did not answer our questions,’ WFTV’s Lori Brown told viewers. When she asked about the botched website, Scott said his priority was to help people get jobs, so Brown waited for Scott to walk to his car and asked if it was his job to fix the system. But all she got was an ‘excuse me’ as Scott walked past. Scott’s closest adviser, chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth, said the way Scott fields questions reflects his priorities. ‘The governor is on a mission,’ Hollingsworth said. ‘It’s to create jobs, grow the economy, improve the education system and attract new business. … His answers to questions are reflective of that.’” (via Tampa Bay Times)
ASK ME. I WON’T SAY NO. HOW COULD I?
IN THE OPPOSITE WORLD OF FLORIDA, A POLITICAL CINDER BLOCK IS SEEN AS A HOT AIR BALLOON! CHRIS CHRISTIE IS COMING, CHRIS CHRISTIE IS COMING!: “Christie’s value as a GOP ambassador in other states comes down to his charisma and ability to attract publicity and top-drawer donors from both parties. Scott is raising money rapidly but the longtime hospital executive doesn’t generate the excitement of a bombastic potential 2016 contender like Christie. The trip to Florida could be mutually beneficial: Scott gets to bask in the glow of a headliner, while Christie gets exposure in a donor-rich swing state where he could be spending a lot of time in 2016. Now, the event’s success depends on whether any new revelations emerge and how Christie handles the ongoing media storm. The New Jersey governor is only the beginining of what is expected to be a procession of national figures campaigning for Scott. As a top target for Democrats in the largest battleground state in the country, Scott’s reelection is viewed as one of the marquee races of 2014. The Democratic front-runner, Charlie Crist, served as the Republican governor before Scott. He left the GOP after his 2010 Senate campaign soured and later became a Democrat.” (via National Journal)
YOUR KINDER, GENTLER LEGISLATURE IS CONSIDERING LIFTING BANS ON ADULTERY (GASP!), COHABITATION (FLUTTER!) AND A CERTAIN STRAIN OF UNFUN MARIJUANA. GRAB YOUR CHASTITY BELTS! “Was this some parallel universe or is it possible that Florida — and Florida’s Legislature — is progressing? Here’s our story on the dramatic appeal by parents of children who suffer from rare forms of epilepsy to seek the legalization of a strain of marijuana for medical purposes. But it wasn’t the only interesting development. The marijuana debate Thursday was tempered, with the predictable questions from legislators aligned with the Florida Medical Association asking about the need for double-blind studies before allowing patient access to an herbal remedy. Then Rep. Charles Van Zant spoke. The Palatka Republican and Baptist preacher is possibily one of the most conservative members of the House. ‘I’m moved by the compassion of all of this,’ he said. He said he opposes marijuana but, using it to help desparate parents treat their children’s maladies was not ‘substance abuse. I think it’s using this wisely,’ he said.” (via Miami Herald)
THE SUPREME COURT DOESN’T EVEN WANT TO HEAR YOUR BULLSHIT SCIENCE ABOUT FETAL PAIN, THANK YOU. RELATED: ARIZONA IS ALMOST AS BAD AS FLORIDA: “Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld concurred, saying that Supreme Court precedent required him to vote to strike down the law. But he questioned the constitutional significance of fetal viability, calling it ‘an odd rule, because viability changes as medicine changes.’ Since the Roe decision, viability has dropped from about 28 weeks, he said, as doctors become able to save ever younger premature babies. Judge Kleinfeld added that the justifications offered for the Arizona law were insufficient. ‘Were the statute limited to protecting fetuses from unnecessary infliction of excruciating pain before their death,’ Judge Kleinfeld wrote, ‘Arizona might regulate abortions at or after 20 weeks by requiring anesthetization of the fetuses about to be killed, much as it requires anesthetization of prisoners prior to killing them when the death penalty is carried out.’ ‘As for Arizona’s claimed interest in the mother’s health,’ he continued, ‘people are free to do many things risky to their health, such as surgery to improve their quality of life but unnecessary to preserve life.’” (via New York Times)
WE’RE DOOMED, ON PURPOSE: “For a different view, Salon spoke last week with Frances Fox Piven, the veteran scholar of poor people’s movements who drew a new round of notoriety when she became a top target of Glenn Beck (‘Maybe they thought I was dead, so that they would have a mythical villain,’ Piven told Salon last year). In a wide-ranging interview, Piven accused Rubio of exploiting racial fears, compared Obama’s handling of poverty to Hoover’s, and blamed social scientists for contributing to contempt for the poor. She defended her 1966 blueprint for forcing a ‘political crisis’ through mass welfare enrollment, and said it would be ‘worth trying’ today. And she offered her own assessment of the War on Poverty: a set of programs made possible because social movements threatened ‘ungovernability in American cities,’ which ‘produced a very significant compression in income disparities,’ and helped elites to ‘curb an emerging movement among poor people…’” (via Salon)
BIRTH! SCHOOL! WORK! DEATH!