Charlie Crist will formally announce his Florida 2014 gubernatorial candidacy on Monday. He served as Republican Governor of the Sunshine State from 2007 to 2011. He is now running as a Democrat. In 2010, he fell from being a prohibitive front-runner in that year's U.S. Senate race to a virtual afterthought after Marco Rubio's ascendance.
In the course of a fawning writeup about Crist's candidacy, the Associated Press, in a story carried at the Politico, made the following historically questionable claim about Crist:
Have any of the liberal journalists who have bellyached over the sequester's supposedly draconian cuts -- which amount to a mere $44 billion -- considered that it pales in comparison to the amount of money that Medicare fraud costs the taxpayer every year?
That would be as much as $300 billion a year, or three times what the U.S. government spends on education, as Chris Parker of the Houston Press noted in an April 25 story:
Given how often such blatant thievery goes undetected, no one's sure how much fraud there really is. Conservative estimates place the bill at $100 billion annually. The more adventurous peg the figure closer to $300 billion — three times what the feds spend on education.
It has left federal health care little more than an unlocked home, where street punks and gangsters, doctors and even states walk right in and help themselves to whatever's inside.
Parker also observed that some people who were involved in Medicare fraud look mighty familiar, like Democratic Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee of Texas. Houston Riverside General Hospital, the medical center she vouched for after it was hit with cuts, was found to have committed $116 million dollars in Medicare fraud – and her husband, Elwyn Lee, was once on the board.
Medicare malfeasance is, alas, a bipartisan fiasco. Florida Governor Rick Scott (R), you may recall, was CEO of a hospital company that also has engaged in felonious Medicare transactions.
While liberal journalists like E.J. Dionne have been squawking about how disastrous the sequester cuts -- in truth they are actually reductions in the rate of spending --are, the fact of the matter is they are a drop in the federal budget bucket, and are significantly less than money we as taxpayers lose every year thanks to fraud in Medicare, a program which needs fundamental reform to prevent insolvency in a few decades time.
The Times' Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear credited Scott for the embrace of Obama-care (via "proponents" who "say that doing so will not only save lives, but also create jobs and stimulate the economy") and also found a convenient "moral dimension" in the call by Catholic bishops to expand the Medicaid program, a dimension the paper never found when the Church was opposing the Obama-care requirement that religion institutions provide contraception coverage.
While the mainstream media has been transfixed with the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story, it seems many outlets in the gullible liberal media were biting on another hoax, this one involving Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a band of Satanists supposedly set to stage a rally expressing their support for the Florida Republican.
Among the journalists taken in by the fake story was MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who could not wipe the devilish grin off his face as he reported what he thought to be a legitimate news story on his January 14 program, in a segment entitled "Dread Scott." [MP3 audio here; video embedded below]
MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Wednesday outrageously compared another conservative to a brutal dictator. According to the cable host, because Florida Governor Rick Scott supported cuts for programs that included funds to programs that serve disabled residents, he's just like Nicolae Ceauşescu, the vicious dictator of Romania who killed thousands.
Talking to arch-liberal Congressman Alan Grayson, Bashir fumed, "I was reminded of Nicolae Ceauşescu in Romania, whose treatment of disabled children there, which started in the 1970s, where they were hidden and housed in the most appalling conditions." The anchor wondered, "But is this his preference for disabled children in America in 2013?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Washington Post editorial board today set out to slam Florida's Republican governor for "threaten[ing] the integrity of elections" with his voter "purge" effort and for enforcing the state's new curtailed early-voting hours.
But in their editorial on the matter, the Post misled readers with deceptive language about how the state undertook its voter roll cleanup effort (emphasis mine):
This year, as always, Florida is a crucial swing state. Because of that, the liberal media is doing all it can to gin up Democratic base voters, attempting to energize them for the November election by bashing Florida's conservative Republican governor Rick Scott and his attempt to clean up voter rolls of noncitizens, who by definition are not allowed to cast votes. The liberal media, particularly hyper-partisan MSNBC, has also attacked efforts in other states to require voter ID. Florida has had a photo ID law since 2002.
The tragic February shooting death of Trayvon Martin also led the Left to work up attacks on the Sunshine State's Stand Your Ground laws. But new polling shows that the media's attacks are just not working. Sure, Gov. Scott himself is personally unpopular, but the policies he's pursuing are, reports Steve Bousquet of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times (emphasis mine):
CBS This Morning went after Governor Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Thursday, throwing an Orlando Sentinel op-ed and a PolitiFact report at him and challenging him to answer just why ObamaCare wasn't the best option for his state to follow.
CBS questioned the governor over his opposition to Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid in Florida, and his refusal to follow the law. "But you have the third highest rate of residents without health insurance," CBS's Jeff Glor told Scott. "So I wonder if the ACA is not the right way to do things, what is?" [Video below the break.]
Of course you probably won't hear an apology or retraction on the network's programming, but PolitiFact.com has determined that MSNBC's Chris Matthews was in error when the Hardball host claimed on his June 4 program that a new Florida law -- which has been on hold by a federal judge -- made it utterly impossible for voter registration drives to sign up new voters over weekends. The law requires voter registration drive volunteers to turn in new voter registration forms within 48 hours after having collected them. "You don’t have to be a lawyer to own a calendar or know what a weekend is. A weekend is 48 hours," Matthews sneered at Florida GOP chairman Lenny Curry, insisting that its impossible to register new voters over a weekend without running afoul of the law
But the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald-run PolitiFact site did what Hardball producers should have done before Chris took to the air, actually look up and read the text of the legislation. In doing so, PolitiFact found that there's an exception in the law that takes weekends into account:
While the national liberal media, particularly MSNBC, have been eager to portray Florida's efforts to remove noncitizens from its voter rolls as a "purge" that is really motivated by partisan attempts at "voter suppression," the Miami Herald reporter who's been covering the story as it develops seems to see it quite differently than his colleagues.
In today's 16-paragraph page A6 story, "Legal challenges tie up new voting restrictions,"* the Washington Post's Krissah Thompson reported that many "[s]tricter ID laws and other controversial voting restrictions" could be held up in the courts until after November election.
At no point in her story, however, did Thompson note recent polling shows 70 percent of Americans back photo ID for voting. What's more, while Thompson noted Obama/Holder Justice Department staffers are working to thwart "an effort by Florida's Republican secretary of state to remove noncitizens from voter registration lists, saying it is illegal to conduct such a purge this close to an election," she failed to note that in this instance, it may well be the Obama administration that is violating federal law by refusing to assist Florida officials.
In a segment titled onscreen "What's the Matter with FL," MSNBC's Alex Wagner today continued her network's efforts to flog conservative Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for his voter "purge." This despite the fact that the "purge" -- which targeted a mere 0.02 percent of registered voters in the state-- has not disenfranchised a single eligible voter and has in fact brought to light noncitizens who were illegally registered to vote. What's more, neither Wagner nor anyone else on her panel informed viewers that the Obama administration itself appears to be violating federal law by not helping Florida with its voter rolls cleanup effort.
To service her network's spin on the matter, Wagner turned to Rolling Stone magazine's Eric Bates and Ari Berman, the latter of whom insisted that the Sunshine State's efforts were part of a GOP effort to "depress the turnout" of Obama-friendly voting blocs.
It's the Monday after a woefully disappointing unemployment/jobs report and the day before the Wisconsin recall looks likely to blow up in Democrats' face. You're MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts. How do you rally the Democratic base? It's as simple to turning to an old network standby: blasting those dastardly Republicans for "voter suppression" efforts.
On two programs today -- Roberts's 11 a.m. EDT MSNBC Live and filling in at 2 p.m. EDT on Tamron Hall's NewsNation -- Roberts treated viewers to softball interviews with liberal activists who bemoaned a voter "purge" in Florida.
Comparing conservatives to Hitler is old-and-busted. The new hotness, if you ask Martin Bashir, is comparing them to Stalin.
A few months ago, you may recall, Bashir compared Rick Santorum to the long-dead Soviet dictator. Now it's the state of Florida, more specifically, the conservative Republican Rick Scott, who is getting the honors. "Why is the Sunshine State in the midst of a purge that even Josef Stalin would admire?" Bashir rhetorically asked on the way out to an ad break on today's program. The "purge," by the way, is one admitted by a Democratic official in Broward County, Florida, to be "very, very microscopic" in nature. [video follows page break]
Leftist radio talker Mike Malloy is really obsessed with executing conservatives. When the Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden, he asked when they would "drop in on George Bush," since he "was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden."
On Tuesday, Malloy wished death on Thanksgiving for Florida Gov. Rick Scott. "And then this miserable son of a bitch has the audacity to go to a homeless shelter? It's a wonder somebody didn't hold his head down in a vat of turkey gravy until he stopped squiggling! He goes to a homeless shelter and talks about how he cares...? Mmm-hmm!" (Listen to the audio)
In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path.
Gov. Rick Scott at the budget signing in May, which was marred by reports that some Democrats were removed from the event
So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?
In a post time-stamped on Saturday at 12:16 p.m., CNNMoney.com has a story (HT Ed Driscoll via the PJ Tatler) headlined "Florida and Texas in jobs p*ssing match" (except that there's an "i" where I typed an asterisk).
Since the story has been up for at least 12 hours (maybe longer, given that the its URL is dated May 20; Update, May 22, 5 p.m.: The comments at a cached CNN Political Ticker tease for the story go back to May 20 at 4:21 p.m.), it's hard not to conclude that CNN and writer Tami Luhby like its title just the way it is.
A screen cap of the top section of the item is after the jump, so you don't have to go there if you're offended by CNN's language:
And yet in the same Swampland blog post he confessed that a similar high-speed rail project going forward in California is dubious at best and that Scott's rejection of the pork project means that the money is now broken up to aid rail upgrades in other parts of the country where there's actually substantial ridership already.
Of course Grunwald gave no credit to Scott but rather to Obama for redistributing the rail money (emphasis mine):
Florida’s new Republican Gov. Rick Scott is moving to cut state bureaucracy, reduce regulation and make the state a more business-friendly environment, and is meeting resistance among the old political guard in Florida. But instead of hailing the governor’s fresh blood and independence (as it had done previously with liberal Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida), the New York Times does its best to paint him as an ideologue in over his head.
"It's one thing to look a gift horse in the mouth. It's quite another thing to slaughter a gift horse and send its disemboweled corpse back to Washington."
That's how Time magazine senior correspondent Michael Grunwald characterized Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott's decision to spurn a federal Department of Transportation high-speed rail grant for the Sunshine State.
"This was the nation's most shovel-ready high-speed project, and the state wasn't required to spend a dime to build it," Grunwald noted in his February 16 Swampland blog post.
Is Ed Schultz really this dumb or simply incapable of honesty?
Within the first 10 minutes of his radio show yesterday, Schultz was bellowing about an alleged connection between the massacre in Tucson and remarks by Rep. Michele Bachman, House candidate Jesse Kelly and other Republicans (audio) --
SCHULTZ (initially referring to Congresswoman Giffords' medical condition): The latest medical update is she is responding, it's been consistent since they started to try to get responses out of her, which is very positive. But if you want to talk about the political climate in this country, if you really want think the conversation in this country plays into the fear-mongering, or should we say that the conversation in this country leads to the angst and the anger, well then hell, let's just have that conversation. In fact, let's go back to Jesse Kelly. Any of you know who Jesse Kelly is? Here's a name that hasn't been thrown out during the coverage. He was Giffords' tea party opponent! Congresswoman Giffords! Ran against Jesse Kelly! Now listen to what he said during the campaign.
We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.
Here's Kanjorski, when he was still a Congressman, discussing Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott last year (HT Mark Hemingway at the Washington Examiner):
On Tuesday's AC360, CNN's John Roberts labeled Republican candidates who have Tea Party support "very far to the right," and specifically referred to Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott as an "ultraconservative." Guest John Avlon also bemoaned John McCain's tack to the right during the primary campaign, and slammed how the senator has been called a "RINO" by many conservatives.
Roberts, who was filling in for anchor Anderson Cooper, along with Avlon, CNN liberal contributor Roland Martin and Red State's Erick Erickson, discussed Tuesday's primary results from several states for two segments during the first half hour of the 10 pm Eastern hour. Eighteen minutes into the hour, the CNN anchor asked TheDailyBeast.com senior political columnist, "[CNN anchor] John King laid it out there, that it's going to be a challenging year, to say the least, for Democrats. Some people predicting that this will be equal to, if not worse, than 1994. What do you think?"
On Friday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez implied that the president of Conservatives for Patients Rights was lying about how “under the British health care system...health care has become so scarce that mothers are now forced to give birth to babies on sidewalks.” A woman in the UK did deliver on a sidewalk recently, but Sanchez complained, “As...you might expect, that statement went unchallenged.”
The CNN anchor made this accusation 18 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Just before this, he used the occasion of a new “attack ad” from Conservatives for Patients Rights to re-air the bulk of his August 6 interview with the organization’s president, Rick Scott. Sanchez questioned the credibility of the ad: “It makes the questionable charge that health care reform will raise your taxes on everything- everything, it says- and it comes from a group whose track record, as revealed on this newscast, is dubious.” In his view, CPR is “dubious” because their president Scott “does not really seem to want the government getting in the way of his profits....He got rich beyond imagination, while his health care chain was ripping off the federal government. And remember? Scott admitted to me that his company paid a record fine of $1.7 billion for defrauding Medicare.”
So, not only is ABC not planning to include opposing voices to President Obama's health care proposals during its special presentation next week -- though ABC does claim "those in the audience" will ask questions of the president -- it is refusing to even allow groups that oppose Obamacare to purchase paid-for advertisements to air during the healthcare special.
Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights, contacted ABC and inquired about purchasing some ad time during the Obama infomercial, but was refused the sale. Scott wanted to air his 60-second ad before the healthcare show started. Though it was refused by the national network, apparently it is still possible for Scott the buy time on local affiliates should he desire it.