Category Archives: Rick Scott

Stand up and take it suckers. Florida doesn’t give a damn.

A nephew recently opened a branch of his insurance agency here in town, so when my policies came up for renewal I planned to transfer them to his office. But oh no . . . thanks to our consumer-hating Governor Scott and the now-infamous 2012 Florida legislature (the one that put 11 amendments to the state constitution on the ballot that contributed to voting going on until midnight, all of which were soundly defeated) that ain’t gonna happen (see below).

scottOur odd-looking Gov (nice teeth though) began his attack on all insurance that isn’t  private (as a crooked indicted former insurance exec himself, he continues allegiance to his former cohort) on Day One.  His special target has been the state-run, wildly popular and very well capitalized Citizens Insurance, which provides wind and flood coverage. In Florida, that is our hurricane policy.  (Citizens, by the way, was established after the big national companies fled Florida following Hurricane Andrew which devastated the State.)

Scott formed a committee tasked with developing strategies to literally get rid of Citizens. He wants to provide actual cash payments to private companies who take over their policies and is also offering to share Citizens’ disaster funds with them which they need since none of them have reserves as healthy as the gay-socialist-anti’merican Citizens.  Some of this is already in place; in 2013 for the first time, wind insurance will no longer covers ‘external’ structures of the sort most subject to wind damage  – that would be pool cages, screened-in porches, sheds and carports (stuff our leaders assume the common folk could easily cover out of their movie money). Adding to the pain, there’s not another reputable company offering alternatives – not at any price. Isn’t that nice? 

So, back to my nephew and his shining new local business. Here’s the text of an email I just got from his office. Both the agent and I have now agreed that I’d put  myself at risk of being denied insurance altogether were I to attempt to support Mike’s new business by transferring my policies to him. She said:

I am running into a problem with Citizens. As you know, they are increasingly difficult to work with for us. In order for us to change the agent on the policy, they now require the policyholder to re-qualify and will not transfer documents from one file to the other. Because of the age of your home, they are going to require a new 4 point inspection which would verify the condition of the roof, electrical, plumbing and AC systems. All items must show that they are free of defects and have at least 5 years remaining useful life. This is different from the Wind Mitigation inspection that we discussed when you were in the office, which is only required in the event that you wish to have credits applied to the policy and only verifies structural elements and not condition. Unfortunately for us, if you simply renew your existing policies, you are not subject to this condition . . . .

And now, the same situation has popped up with my homeowners policy. I guess they’ve figured if Citizens can get away with this, so can they. Both policies will now remain with my current agent. Sorry Mike.

Way to support new businesses Gov! But hey, F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

When Florida votes this clown out of office in 2014 we may be able to repair some of what he’s done; till then, it’s going to hurt – a lot.

They want to rig it, not fix it

Isn’t it a comfort to know that Gov. Voldemort and his paranoid cynical minions in the Florida Republican Patty are moving aggressively, along with other Republican legislatures, to fix a non-problem that they invented out of thin air ? Just like with that earlier threat to the nation, ‘Welfare Queens’, attention must be paid!

Voter registration fraud must be stopped! And dammit, here in Florida, we’re making that happen. Just in my own tri-county area, where we’ve finished running the State lists against our own rolls, of our 100K+ registered voters, two have been proved to be cases of actual voting fraud. Two whole people.

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars plus thousands of man hours from public employees have been expended. Two cases.

Today, The NY Times (sorry, no linkee) reports that in 2005, the election reform bipartisan ‘commision of  that day, led by former Sect’y of State James Baker and former Prez Jimmy Carter, found  that 140,000 Florida voters were registered for absentee ballots in four other states – 46,000 in New York City alone. Another 60,000 were also registered  simultaneously in North or South Carolina. When a few thousand of those registered for absentee ballots in Florida, their second state, there was no investigation. Repeat, there was no investigation.

In a comment thread over at MashedPotatoBulletin about the voter ID push, I said:

I don’t think many people would object if the process were announced and then implemented over a period of years allowing sufficient time for everyone to get the ID. Once we’ve all got one, it’ll be easy to put a process in place to plug in new voters as they qualify. In fact, I think every citizen should be issued a voter ID card whether they register or not. Just get it done and cut out that silly middle step.. It could be Federal and make it acceptable for all States.

If it were done that way, I’d be fine with it. But of course that’s not how it’s being done because ID itself is not the point. Suppression is the point.

Onward Christian soldiers. March as to war; it’s the Republican way.

Governor Voldemort has a better idea because he knows all about health care.

My Gov don’t like him none of that Muslim-Keynan Obamacare stuff. He’s no fan of Medicare/Medicaid either (even though his criminal abuse of both made him and his co-conspirators millions). Nevertheless, we the people chose him to run things here in Florida, trusting, I assume, that he’d gotten ethically born-again.

He knows – made it clear on Day One – that Obamacare is not for Florida and so has refused to institute any of the legally mandated reforms. He has a better idea. States, he says:

. . . can do a better job . . . we should have 50 laboratories to see which is the best approach.

Yeah, that’ll work.

Here’s a little summary of his earlier career as head of Columbia/HCA (that’s Health Corporation of America):

On March 19, 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company.[21] The Columbia/HCA board of directors pressured Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO following the inquiry.[22]He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million.[23][24][25] In 1999, Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA, Inc.

I always like that getting rewarded with $10million dollars for screwing up your company part. It’s the new American way you know. Also, job creators.

In the settlements,  Columbia/HCA pled guilty and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in US history. They admitted systematically overcharging the government . . . They also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare . . .  In addition, they gave doctors “loans” never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.

That ‘overcharging the government’ part? That’s us, that’s taxpayer money he stole.

In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.[26]In all, civil law suits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle, by far the largest fraud settlement in US history.[27]

 

Muslim-commie League of Women Voters back in business

 

I am not done yet!

Gov. Voldemort loses one to Florida’s citizenry and the Leauge of Women Voters! From my paper’s Tallahassee bureau this morning:

Faced with the prospect of harsh penalties under Florida’s new elections law, the League of Women Voters of Florida has been unable to register voters for the last year — an unprecedented hiatus in the civic group’s 72-year history.

“It’s been a very difficult year for us,” said Deirdre Macnab, president of the League in Florida. “It’s had a big, big impact for our organizations.”

Since the Republican-led Legislature passed a broad election law last spring, registration drives by third-party groups, inclulding the League, have ground to a halt in the state. But those registration drives are expected to begin anew with U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s temporary injunction against the 48-hour limit, which the judge described as a “virtually impossible burden” on the third-party groups

 

 

Oh Florida, my Florida

As everyone knows, political conventioneers are the most decorous of visitors, which is why my Gov was quite annoyed yesterday when he indignantly denied a request from the Mayor of Tampa, host city to the upcoming RNC nominating convention. The Mayor had asked Scott to suspend concealed carry laws – only in the downtown  area and only for the duration of the convention.

That was too much for Scott: it would infringe on “sacred constitutional traditions” he said. Sacred. The ‘carry law’ is a precious’ right he said. Precious.

And, as any right thinking patriot knows, four days without the right to carry weapons anywhere that charged, partisan political folk gather, many of whom themselves will be carrying and many of whom will be falling down drunk (ever been to a political convention?) – why that would simply destroy our liberties and subject us forever to the whims of freedom-hating somethingorothers.

The head of the Brady Campaign said “nothing Florida does ever surprises me”. Ditto.

Why I’m so proud to be a Floridian

They don’t even bother to hide what they’re doing anymore. They’re for sale to whoever comes up with the check. Gimme the money, I’ll pass you a nice new law. More here.

Free Lego Man!

Here in SW Florida, a serious civil liberties issue is brewing.  Ego Leonard (left) was enjoying an innocent afternoon on Siesta Key when a paranoid citizen dialed 911. And the fellow was taken into custody.

Ego’s a big fella – 8 feet tall and, um, husky, but that wasn’t enough to save himself from the grasp of Sheriff’s deputies. They grabbed him, and excused their outrategous act by saying he’s ‘property’. That’s nonsense of course – one might as well say corporations are people which we know is ridiculous.

The Sheriff’s office, claiming they don’t know who owns’ this ‘property’ now has him confined, possibly in chains!  Oh, the indignity, the humiliation.

Lego Man wears a t-shirt with a mysterious message. Even now linguists at universities around the country (none in Florida; our Governor won’t permit it) are poring over the enigmatic words “No Real Than You Are” trying to  discern their meaning (it does sound a bit like something from Stephen Colbert, does it not?).

And meanwhile, as this innocent fellow is in the crude custody of government, good civil libertarians (as well as those artsy types) continue the good fight. Lego Man will not be abandoned. Lego Man will be free!

Why I am going back to bed

I got two hours of sleep last night and I’m too old for that to be okay. So I was up much earlier than usual and at 6:00 am I turned on the TV for Morning Joe, which I rarely watch but what the hell else is on at 6am.

Cable box went out. I did the routine, unplugged, checked connections, gave it time, waited out the interminable Comcast reboot process. And the cable box went out.

Called Comcast. Spent 29 minutes (I timed it) on the phone (19 on hold). Their service reps are usually pretty good and even helpful, but the guy this morning must have been having a bad hair day. Eventually he sent a reset signal. And the cable box went out.  Need new box.This is the third time. All recordings will be lost. First service availability is Sunday; six days without service. Unacceptable. Comcast clearly hasn’t enough personnel to service their customers (and, I assume, really doesn’t care because in my area they’re all there is). I will rip the box from it’s hidey hole and carry it to Comcast. Where there will be a long line. I will try not to cry.

In my email this morning I find a dangerous dispute underway amongst my fellow Trustees (very local Endowment Trust). Beyond disagreement. This is not going to be pleasant and threatens to undo eight years of work. I will not think about it any more today. Tomorrow perhaps.

Also in my email this morning: Verizon tells me I’ve exceeded my monthly contract allowance on my cell and minutes are now being charged at a rate I’d rather not know about. But! But! “My account” at their website says no, no, not at all. Usage is in fact down. I must deal with Verizon. Which is best done in person and is possible because there’s a friendly store nearby. But I’m pissed anyway.

Am meeting my brother and his wife for lunch. Haven’t seen them since May, during which time I’ve lost quite a bit of weight which has made me feel great and look good! But we all know about odd family dynamics, right? When I got up this morning, I found that I’ve gained 20 pounds since last night.

And then. And then. Dear Elvis, and then I picked up my morning paper.

  • U.N. says Afghans torture detainees

KABUL, Afghanistan — Detainees are hung by their hands and beaten with cables, and in some cases their genitals are twisted until the prisoners lose consciousness at sites run by the Afghan intelligence service and the Afghan National Police, according to a United Nations report released here on Monday.

  • Gov. Scott targets university funding – not a disaster in itself; like most things it all ‘depends’. But:

Scott said that Rick Perry — the Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate — planted higher education reform in the Florida governor’s mind when the two met shortly after Scott’s election.

“He said, ‘I’ve got this plan in Texas, you ought to look at it,’” Scott recalled.

Perry was referring to the “Seven Breakthrough Solutions” policy paper created by Texas businessman Jeff Sandefer. A successful entrepreneur and energy investor, Sandefer also taught business classes part-time at the University of Texas until the school began hiring more full-time tenured professors.

Sandefer became an outspoken critic of state universities, particularly the system for promoting faculty. Tenure, critics say, places too much emphasis on research. To be promoted, faculty must publish original work. As a result, they spend less time in the classroom and often delegate teaching to graduate students.

(Ahhh. Inspiration from a State with the worst education record in the country. Way to go gov.)

  • Foreign plants and insects have slipped undetected into the US since 9/11, as customs agents were re-assigned to anti-terrorism, causing in some cases, devastating damage. It’s cost hundreds of millions – especially in CA and FL – in lost crops and higher grocery prices.

I don’t expect tomorrow will be any better.

Making Florida safe for Democrats again

My governor, Rick Scott, is hitting new lows in approval and has gone from 22% disapproval to 57% in just six months. Good work gov. Brings to mind some oldies but goodies. My favorite line? “I’m not sure what ‘market’ means.”

For those who don’t know, Columbia HCA, founded by Scott and of which he was the CEO, had to pay the largest civil criminal fine in US history for massive Medicare fraud.

When A Country Goes Insane

One job for every five looking

That’s the headline on a recent article at Common Dreams, a website I visit when I need to refresh my inner liberal, the one who’s deeply offended by a wealthy country that let’s its children go to bed hungry. Where my Governor is bragging about the 65,000 new ‘jobs’ this year – which pay around $20K and replace the lost jobs that paid $40K.

Six million people have lost their jobs. Twenty five million are underemployed. Many will never work again. Eight trillion dollars of middle class wealth has been destroyed in the housing collapse. One out of four mortgage holders are under water, owing more on their home than it’s worth. Fifty million people are living in poverty. One out of eight Americans are on food stamps. One of every two children will be on food stamps at some point .

And meanwhile:

[The country] can’t tell truths from lies . . . Sleazy operators pass themselves off as statesmen . . . and the crowds, unable to distinguish sanctimony from sincerity, bravado from bullshit, lap it up.

Let’s just ignore:

. . . the Republicans’ response? The working and middle class need to pay. Never mind that it was Reagan and Bush I who quadrupled the national debt in only 12 years, and Bush II who doubled it again in only eight, all to grease the pockets of their wealthy base. It’s the working and middle class who need to be bled. They still have assets that can be milked from them. They can still be made more subservient, more docile.

Remember, it’s Obama’s economy. And what about the American people? The ones who aren’t the 1% who enjoyed all the economic gains of the last 30 years?

. . . they need to give up any expectation of security, or dignity. They need to give up any childish illusions that [government] is operated for any such quaint Madisonian ends as “the general welfare.” They need to put on their kneepads and accustom themselves to being grateful servants to their new feudal masters . .

And through it all:

The media genuflect before gibberish and idolize idiocy. They are the media-tors of a Gresham’s Law of public discourse where bad information drives out good. For their own slick whoring they become “players,” while everybody else is left with a debauched civic currency, a crushed economy, and a collective impotence that makes true democracy and true prosperity impossible.

God bless us every one.

Florida Republicans hate trains unless Dagny Taggart builds them

These work just fine!

Jeb Bush and now Gov. Voldemort – along with our friggin’ insance  legislature – share a scorn for the wishes of the electorate.

Around the time he got his brother elected President, Jeb discarded the results of a voter referendum in which over 60% of the voters demanded creation of a light rail project between Tampa and Orlando. Jep said  “pshaw”. Pshaw he said.

So lobbyists were chosen (financed by who the hell knows),and a multi multi million dollar advertising campaign was launched; they appealed to the segment of the electorate who have the memory of gopher turtles and could be counted on to rise up to stop a gobmint takeover of our nonexistent rails system. It worked and they got a repeal on the next ballot. It worked and bye bye rail.

Now cometh Voldemort with a legislature even more insane than the earlier one. When, as our share of the 2010 stimulus, the Feds offered a few hundred million to start building some in-State rail (and create thousands of jobs in the process), the Gov said – in one of his first acts as governor –  pshaw: give it to someone else, we don’t take charity here. So Congress gave it to Ohio. (Even John Kasich knew a good deal when he saw one.)

The leg ‘s new target is an amendment approved in 2010 by 63% of the voters to reform the completely corrupted re-districting process.

Of course money is pouring in again to turn this one around.

UPDATE: I wrote more about the redistricting effort here. (I actually forgot!)

Florida as fiefdom. Rick Scott’s fiefdom.

“Rick Scott doesn’t seem to care about Florida.”  –  Florida Senator Dan Gelber in a blog post.  (Gelber was the 2010 Democratic candidate for FL Attorney General.)

In just 6 months Rick Scott has dismantled our growth management laws and eliminated Florida Forever (the land conservation program) to allow developers to completely pave over our state; he successfully convinced the legislature to gut education spending in order to provide special interest tax breaks; he’s shown utter contempt for Florida’s open government traditions by operating more secretively than any other administration; he gave property insurance companies the green light to raise rates as they see fit; and advanced policies that will make our state’s oldest and poorest nothing more than profit centers for health insurers. And that’s just the beginning.

Scott is treating Florida much like the companies he bought and sold in his business life. Buy a company, reengineer it so it can be sold for a quick profit and let it’s defects become someone else’s problems down the road.

I’m going to be up all night reading

All Rick Scott, all the time! Words! Pictures! Abundant linkie, linkie! Even videos! I’ve just discovered Beach Peanuts.

Am trying to leave a comment over there, but it’s not posting. So perhaps this pingback will attract the attention of the blogger inkberry. If so and the good lady stops over, here is what I tried to say:

A random link just brought me here and I’m so glad to have found you. Now, instead of finishing the Rick Scott post I keep trying to close but never can because the damn news pours in too fast . . . I can just send people over to you. Which I’ll happily do. Great work.