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4 posts from November 10, 2013

November 10, 2013

What Obama should have said: If you like your political dysfunction, you can keep it.


If you like your political dysfunction, you can keep it.

Too bad President Obama didn’t promise that. It would have been accurate.

Instead, he had to say three dozen or so times that you could keep the insurance plan you like under his Affordable Care Act.

“Period,” the president said for added emphasis.

But it wasn’t true for many. So finally he made an apology of sorts last week.

And then he was off to fundraise in Miami, where he headlined three Friday events. On Saturday, Obama golfed with former basketball star Alonzo Mourning at the exclusive Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie, site of the classic 1980 comedy movie Caddyshack. Then it was back to Washington.

Thus the political cycle churns: Wash with money. Spin. Repeat.

This was Obama’s third fundraising trip to Florida, and Miami-Dade, this year. Last year there was an election. So he came to Florida 15 times, often holding public events so the broadcast media would cover his remarks and so that taxpayers could help underwrite more of the bill for presidential travel and security.

The three Miami fundraisers Friday were all private, though reporters were allowed limited access.

Obama made sure to rebut Republican critics, like those in Florida, who have raised a fuss about people without insurance while simultaneously refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. That denies the possibility of coverage to as many as 848,000 Floridians.

“More people could have healthcare via Medicaid,” Obama said. “But that’s not happening because of politics.”

Republican Gov. Rick Scott ducked the issue in a written statement.

“The President’s healthcare law is causing hundreds of thousands of Floridians to lose their health insurance plans. The White House should focus on helping these families, not Medicaid, which our state just recently reformed to be more flexible, accessible and cost-conscious,” Scott said. “Unfortunately, the White House’s politics of deflection and distraction won’t give anyone their healthcare back, even after the president promised that if they liked their plans, they could keep them.”

Scott’s comments are also laden with deflection, distraction and misleading opinion.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/10/3744696/marc-caputo-government-dysfunction.html#storylink=cpy
More here

Columnist Carl Hiaasen: No free pass for Charlie Crist

By Carl Hiaasen

Good-time Charlie Crist is back.

He wants to be governor again, and polls show he would beat Rick Scott if the election were held today.

Big deal. Richie Incognito would beat Scott if the election were held today.

The polls don’t mean much because Scott, although one of the most unpopular governors ever, is about to spend $100 million to get re-elected. Anybody who thinks Florida voters won’t get fooled again has been dipping into the bath salts.

Despite a stumbling first term, Scott’s prospects for 2014 are much better than they were in 2010.

Back then he was a political newcomer with zero charisma, zero credentials for public office and a ton of money. Today he’s a sitting governor with zero charisma, zero credentials for public office and even more money.

During the last campaign, Scott spent about $75 million of his own dough, having made a fortune presiding over a healthcare conglomerate that perpetrated one of the largest Medicare frauds since the beginning of Medicare.

In a sane and sensible place, that’s a résumé that would kill a person’s chances for high office. But not in Florida, the eternal land of suckers.

More here.

Political operative at center of North Miami absentee-ballot investigation


The man at the center of South Florida’s latest absentee-ballot fraud investigation is the go-to operative when local candidates need to sway Haitian-American voters.

Nacivre Charles, better known as “Charlie,” works mostly out of North Miami and Little Haiti and is known for his passionate pitches on Creole-language radio on behalf of his politician clients and for his relentless attacks of their opponents.

On the air, he touts his accessibility, giving out his cell phone number and offering rides to the polls.

Now, the man once relegated to the background as a fervent campaign worker is at the forefront of a fraud investigation that has touched one of his close friends, North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau. Charles was her campaign treasurer when she ran for office earlier this year.

The North Miami office Charles shares with Tondreau was raided a week ago by investigators working with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. That same day, Charles was arrested for driving with a suspended license, triggering an outpouring of support on Haitian radio. It’s unclear if that arrest was related to the search.

Phone calls to Charles’ cell phone seeking comment went directly to a full mailbox. He did not respond to Miami Herald emails.

More here.

Marco Rubio: OAS should investigate Venezuela over detaining Miami Herald reporter


From an email concerning the detention and recent release of Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss in Venezuela:


Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today condemned the Venezuelan government for its recent detainment of Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss, and called on the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate the incident as part of Venezuela's continued violations of press freedom. Earlier today, Wyss returned to Miami after being detained by Venezuelan authorities on Thursday.

Rubio issued the following statement:

"The Venezuelan government is a chronic violator of press freedom that must be held accountable. Jim Wyss is now safely home in the United States, but he should never have been detained in the first place.

"Venezuela has routinely violated the Inter-American Democratic Charter to which it is a signatory, and the OAS has a responsibility to hold them accountable for it. The OAS should begin an official investigation into Jim Wyss's case, and make clear to all journalists in Venezuela and across the western hemisphere that any government that impedes their work will have to answer for it.

"At the end of the day, Venezuela's inept leaders are responsible for the country's rotten economy, rampant corruption and its dubious distinction as one of the murder capitals of the Americas. Journalists simply inform the world about what's going on, and we should demand that they be able to work freely and safely everywhere."