As I age all so gracefully, and with a $1080 a healthcare premium looming over my head every month, I can’t help but think about the good ole days when healthcare coverage was actually affordable.
We all remember those days before the Affordable Care Act (unaffordable) went into effect, right?
With that said, the ongoing healthcare debate rages on and Democrats both at the state and federal level continue to struggle with the fact that the ACA is busted.
And then there are those progressives who are really reaching for the stars and pushing an even more expensive, really unaffordable Medicare For All option.
Remember the last time Medicare For All was on the ballot in Florida?
It was 2018 and the then-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum wrapped himself around the measure and lost to now-Governor Ron DeSantis, who ran on an anti-Socialism platform.
“Government-run health care does not work no matter how you slice it”– Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R)
Republicans want to scrap both of these healthcare measures, but Democrats don’t and are split as to whether to support the Medicare For All measure or not.
Oh, it is a given that Democrats will run on healthcare in 2020, so when impeachment really blows up in favor of Republicans, expected them to pivot to the healthcare topic.
Visit The Floridian
“House Democrats distance themselves from Medicare For All” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – While the overwhelming majority of House Democrats are in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, these very same legislators are at odds with each other over supporting the costly “Medicare for All” healthcare initiative that Progressives have introduced when Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Medicare for All proposition is not a popular as its supporters may think, and even some of those progressive-minded representatives like freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) appear to be siding with other moderate and some liberal Democrats in distancing themselves from the progressive healthcare plan. Miami’s other progressive freshman congresswoman, Donna Shalala, does believe that “Medicare for all” is a good initial healthcare proposition that could open the door for a broader universal healthcare system. Instead of denouncing Medicare for All like House Republicans have, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell and fellow Democrats like Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Stephanie Murphy support fixing the embattled Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Something smells funny…
“Living on Poop Street: Sewage spill fallout far from pretty,” by The Sun-Sentinel’s Susannah Bryan – Blue stockings hang from the chimney. A pretty Christmas tree sits in the corner of the darkened living room. But no one, save for the cat, is home. Robert Streit and his family live one block from Ponce de Leon Drive, the pristine Fort Lauderdale street that’s been soiled by stinky sewage for days after a main sewer line ruptured on Dec. 10. Millions of gallons of poop, thanks to tens of thousands of toilets flushing in Wilton Manors, Oakland Park and northern Fort Lauderdale, make it all the way to Ponce de Leon, now dubbed Poop de Leon by weary residents forced to deal with the stench. Streit, a lawyer who lives with his wife and three small kids, tried lighting the fireplace in the first few days to see if that might clear the air. It didn’t work, he says, so they spent most of their time upstairs, where the air was less foul. Streit’s home backs up to the Tarpon River, where pumps have been spewing raw sewage for days to keep it from flooding into the homes along Ponce de Leon.
“Legalize marijuana group drops out of 2020 Florida ballot, won’t yet endorse rival campaign,” by the Orlando Sentinel’s Steven Lemongello – One of the two major recreational marijuana campaigns in Florida has given up on making the 2020 ballot — but it’s still unclear if they will work to actively support the industry-backed marijuana petition that still has a chance for next year. In an email to supporters Monday, leaders of the Regulate Florida ballot initiative, which called for the state to regulate marijuana in the same way as alcohol, acknowledged they would not collect the necessary petition signatures before the Feb. 1 deadline. Because the signatures have 30 days to be verified by elections officials prior to the deadline, petitions need to be submitted by Jan. 1. The group had 92,540 verified signatures as of Monday, well short of the required 766,200. The group had collected enough to trigger court and financial reviews. Karen Goldstein, vice-chair of Regulate Florida, said the group was “very disappointed, of course. But as we said in the email, we’re not giving up. [Even though] we’re not making the ballot, we feel we can reform Florida marijuana laws as best as we can, depending on what happens in the election and the legislative session.”
“FEDERAL POT LAW KEY IN FLORIDA LICENSE FIGHT,” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders – Tallahassee — Pointing to a federal law that makes marijuana illegal, a U.S. district judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a Tampa firm that argues Florida health officials violated its due-process rights in a long-running dispute about a medical-marijuana license. Louis Del Favero Orchids, Inc., filed a notice that it is appealing U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The firm contends Florida Department of Health officials violated its federal constitutional rights in not granting a potentially lucrative medical-marijuana license after Florida voters broadly legalized marijuana for patients in 2016. But while medical marijuana is legal in Florida, pot remains illegal under federal law. Hinkle wrote in his ruling last month that the federal law eliminates due-process protection for Louis Del Favero under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.…
“Florida officer files discrimination lawsuit against agency” by Associated Press – An African American police officer in Florida is suing his department, alleging he was subjected to routine racial harassment and discrimination. Officer Kenite Webb, who works for the Venice Police Department, filed the lawsuit last week in federal court in Tampa. The lawsuit said that a fellow officer referred to Webb as “Black” when talking about him to a resident and placed a banana in the trunk of the vehicle they shared. Someone in the department made a yellow smiley face with a bullet through the head appear on Webb’s computer, and an investigative report was fabricated to have him decertified, according to the four-count complaint. Webb said his complaints went ignored by his superiors, including Chief Tom Mattmuller. The lawsuit alleged that “supervisors and officers made offensive gestures and derogatory comments to Webb and verbally ridiculed and criticized Webb’s race.”
“DeSantis praises Miami’s legal talent, appointing seven judges to state, county courts” by Miami Herald’s Colleen Wright – Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped by the University of Miami’s law school library on Monday to announce that he will fill seven judicial vacancies in Miami-Dade County. He elevated three county judges to the 11th Florida Circuit Court and made four appointments to Miami-Dade County Court. County judges Ramiro Areces, Christina DiRaimondo and Robert Watson were all promoted to the 11th Circuit. Appointees to the county bench include Elisabeth Espinosa, a former state prosecutor and current partner at Cole, Scott and Kissane; Julie Harris Nelson, a former state prosecutor and current partner at ROIG Lawyers; federal prosecutor Miesha Darrough and federal public defender Ayana Harris. DeSantis expressed his affinity for judges in the Miami area, having appointed two justices from Miami to fill two of the Florida Supreme Court’s three vacancies. Those justices, Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck, were quickly tapped to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.
“Florida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein” by The Hill’s Justine Coleman – A Florida sheriff is ending the controversial work release program that allowed Jeffrey Epstein to leave jail for 12 hours a day about a decade ago, according to a press release. Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw decided to terminate the program after receiving criticism for allowing Epstein to participate after almost three dozen underage girls accused him of sexually abusing them, The Miami Herald reported Monday. A judge’s order will now be required for any prisoner to do in-home detention or work outside of jail, the release said. Previously, the sheriff could decide. “This decision not only saves money by placing inmates at their home on house arrest, but also places total control of the decision-making process in the hands of the court system, and the presiding judge,” the release said. The announcement came the same day a commission studying the program released a report, and the release said the sheriff agreed with the findings. In 2009, Epstein was granted work release to go to a downtown West Palm Beach high-rise for 12 hours a day, six days a week. His accusers’ lawyers have said Epstein organized sexual encounters with underage girls during his work release. Although Epstein had paid deputies to act as his security during his release, documents showing who visited the financier have disappeared, according to the Herald. Sex offenders are not typically given work release, but a sheriff’s office spokesperson told the newspaper Epstein was not a designated sex offender before being released from prison.
“Watch: SpaceX Rocket Blasts Off From Cape Canaveral With Broadband Satellite” by Spectrum News’s Greg Pallone – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Space Coast of Florida on Monday night carrying a 15,000-pound communications satellite into space. The JCSAT-18/Kacific1 satellite, made by Boeing, will provide mobile and broadband services across the Asia-Pacific region when operational at about 22,000 miles in orbit. It will send the most powerful signals ever to that region. This launch was originally planned for November, but it was pushed back. There was a 90 percent chance of favorable weather at launch time. The more than 200-foot rocket lifted off without an apparent hitch at the top of the launch window. It was the third mission for the Falcon 9 first-stage booster. The booster for this launch previously supported the CRS-17 and CRS-18 missions, SpaceX tweeted late last week.
“Florida Democrats secure new party headquarters” by Capitol News Service’s Mike Vasilinda – For the first time in two decades, the Florida Democratic Party owns its headquarters, and the story of how they got to the new location is full of unanswered questions. For decades, Florida Democrats operated out of this historic home in downtown Tallahassee, but shortly after Jeb Bush became governor in 1999, the party was forced to sell the mansion to pay bills. Jon Ausman was a long time Democratic National Committeeman. “It was having trouble raising money but you don’t sell a capital asset for short term operating or election gains. As it turned out, we sold the building and it made absolutely no difference in any campaign,” said Ausman. In 2002, former Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox, now a convicted felon, took over the party. Maddox moved it to this Class-B rental space where it’s been ever since. Under Maddox’s tenure, two investigations were launched over hundreds of thousands of missing cash. No charges were ever filed. Eventually, the party borrowed money to pay off an IRS lean after Maddox failed to submit employee withholding taxes. Fast forward through a 20 year losing streak, and the party once again owns its headquarters.
“City Sues Estate of Deceased Florida Mayor Facing Charges” by Associated Press – The estate of a recently-deceased mayor of a tiny Florida city is being sued by the city to recover money that officials claim was embezzled. Everglades City this month filed an amended lawsuit against the estate of former Mayor Sammy Hamilton Jr., who was facing criminal charges before his death last August. The city is seeking more than $120,000 plus attorneys’ fees. Grand theft and official misconduct charges were dropped against the 85-year-old Hamilton after his death. The Naples Daily News reports he was accused of bypassing city purchasing rules and using taxpayer funds for personal business expenses during his tenure as mayor. Hamilton’s family has said he was innocent. They wrote that he “was falsely accused of things he did not do” in his obituary.
NO Work, No Pay…Easy for Scott to say, but he’s right
“Scott Fights to Pass No Budget, No Pay Bill” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) continues on the path to pass his No Budget, No Pay bill that would prevent members of Congress from receiving pay if they don’t pass a budget.The freshman Senator and former sunshine state Governor has received support from both sides of the aisle, and one ally is Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D). Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) continues on the path to pass his No Budget, No Pay bill that would prevent members of Congress from receiving pay if they don’t pass a budget. The freshman Senator and former sunshine state Governor has received support from both sides of the aisle, and one ally is Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D). Taking to twitter, Senator Sinema argued that “if members of Congress fail to do their jobs, then they should not get paid.” In a Fox News Op-Ed that was written with Republican Senators Steve Daines and Mike Braun, Florida Senator Scott argued that “if Congress can’t do its most basic task, then members of Congress shouldn’t get a paycheck.”
“Deutch, House Democrats still insist they were fair to Trump,”by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the two articles of impeachment later this week that were put forth by the House Judiciary Committee last Thursday. While House Republicans contend that the proceedings were one-sided and utterly unfair, House Democrats believe that they were “very fair” to President Trump, as Rep. Charlie Crist (D) stated. But considering how the hearings played out, more questions about whether fairness to the president was achieved have arisen. The two articles were less than criminal and do not appear to fit the bill of offenses that merit removal from office. That is the plain fact. According to Rep. Ted Deutch (D), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, the newly released Judiciary Impeachment report has facts that “confirm” the president “abused his power to cheat in our elections & weaken our natl security.” Rep. Deutch added that Trump’s “obstruction of Congress” forced his committee “to pursue strongest remedy.” Deutch tweeted his remarks along with the entire report, which no one is actually going to go read from front to back. As was to be expected, the report appears to be biased against the president.
Reason to worry?
“Disparate group of Republican senators worry White House and GOP leaders ahead of impeachment trial,” by CNN’s Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, and Phil Mattingly – Senate for witnesses to testify in the Senate’s expected impeachment trial of President Donald Trump shifted attention and political pressure on Monday to a handful of Republican senators who have worked diligently to avoid the spotlight. The disparate group’s views on the trial are a concern to the White House and GOP leaders, who are worried some could break and vote with Democrats on key trial-related issues, sources tell CNN. If four of them were to buck calls from GOP leaders for a short, witness-free trial, it could upend the process and create the kind of wild uncertainty Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has been carefully “coordinating” to avoid in ongoing talks with top White House officials. The group includes moderates up for reelection, like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who may want to show independence from Trump; seasoned veterans, like Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who are retiring and who may not feel politically bound to support the President; and outright critics of Trump, like Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who have challenged his unorthodox presidency and who may want to learn more about the allegations of a quid pro quo with Ukraine that is at the heart of the impeachment.
“GOP candidate Dr. Fig Takes 2nd Amendment “shot” at Rep. Eagle” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – As mentioned earlier this year, Florida Rep. Francis Rooney (R) will not be running for reelection. In an interview with Fox News, he expressed that he accomplished in office what he set out to do. He added that he got “the money for the Everglades projects that had been languishing for many years” and that he also set out to “get this offshore drilling ban passed to protect Florida.” As a result, the race is on to replace Rooney, and the first attack has just been launched in the effort to do so. Here we go… In the soon-to-be highly contested Republican congressional race in Southwest Florida, Dr. William Figlesthaler, aka Dr. Fig, directed a tweet at Florida Rep. Dane Eagle (R), questioning him on his support for the second amendment. In the tweet, Dr. Fig expresses that it’s “interesting that Dane Eagle sends tweets promoting the second amendment, but when” Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D) “and the anti-gun lobby come knocking, he is all ears. If Dane sold out our gun rights at the state level, imagine what he will do in DC. Sick.” Dr. Fig is a successful surgical urologist, a father of 3, and is now he is looking to be a new conservative voice in the sunshine state.
“Biden Leads Democrats in New National Poll” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – In three days, the crowded Democratic field will once again hit the stage for another debate, and a new national poll shows that the top two Democrats are former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. Biden has been leading since he announced his White House bid, and he is currently sitting at 24% support from Democrats and Independent voters that lean Democrats. The NPR/PBSNewsHour/Marist poll was released today. Sanders is close behind at 22%. As well, with the Iowa caucuses just a month and a half away, voters indicated that they could change their mind. Embroiled in the current impeachment process against President Trump, Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden have tried to avoid controversy as numerous calls have been made for them to testify over Hunter Biden’s time as a board member of Burisma while Vice President Biden was in office. As it stands, both Hunter and Joe might even face questioning. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) has been a staunch critic of the two. In a recent interview on Fox News, Rep. Gaetz commented that “Biden knows the names of foreign leaders because their names are on the deposit slips his son is filling out at the bank.”
“Government funding compromise includes Rubio-backed Venezuelan aid bill” by Miami Herald’s David Smiley – A newly negotiated government funding compromise on Capitol Hill includes nearly a half-billion dollars in humanitarian aid to support Venezuelan refugees and codifies sanctions against the regime of embattled Venezuelan ruler Nicolás Maduro. Released Monday ahead of a looming U.S. government shutdown, the $1.4 trillion bipartisan appropriations package includes legislation introduced by Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and a group of more than a dozen U.S. Senators, including Florida Republican Marco Rubio, to help restore democracy in Venezuela and address what the United Nations has called one of the largest mass migrations in the western hemisphere. That bill, called the Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance, and Development Act of 2019 — or VERDAD — increases humanitarian assistance to the poverty-torn South American nation and formally recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s president. It also attempts to speed up reconstruction in the country by targeting private assets stolen by the government and requiring President Donald Trump to engage the International Monetary Fund to pull the country out of hyperinflation.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump – New Stock Market high! I will never get bored of telling you that – and we will never get tired of winning!
Alyssa Milano @Alyssa_Milano – #ImpeachAndRemove rallies are happening all over the country tomorrow (12/17)! Are you ready? We have been calling for Americans to take to the streets to #DefendOurDemocracy —now is the time!
Rick Scott @SenRickScott -The safety of our schools is always my top priority, & that includes protecting the information of our students & teachers. Proud to sponsor the K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2019 with @SenGaryPeters to further protect our schools and give them the resources they need to stay safe.
Marco Rubio @marcorubio – Included in funding bill which will pass this week is our #VerdadAct which: -guarantees sanctions will be lifted for those who support democracy & not guilty of human rights violations -provides millions in humanitarian aid to people of #Venezuela
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – The ACA has saved countless lives and brought healthcare within reach for millions of Americans. The Republican effort to strip that away cannot and will not go forward without a fight.
NEVER said “do ME a favor.” Democrats are manufacturing false evidence in real time against @POTUS because they have no crime, no victim, and no real evidence.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP – Great news! My bill to provide humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people & neighboring countries was included in appropriations negotiations for #FY2020. We must not turn a blind eye to human suffering at the hands of a corrupt regime. #SOSVenezuela
Ron DeSantis @GovRonDeSantis – Today, I am pleased to appoint Judges Ramiro Areces, Christina DiRaimondo and Robert Watson to the 11th Circuit @MiamiDadeCourts. I am also appointing Judges Elisabeth Espinosa, Julie Harris Nelson, Miesha Darrough and Ayana Harris to the Miami-Dade County Court.
“Florida trucker arrested in Colorado cold case murder of woman, 21, nearly 40 years ago” by Fox News’s Robert Gearty – A truck driver has been arrested in the cold-case rape and murder of a 21-year-old woman in Colorado nearly 40 years ago, officials announced Monday. Investigators in Douglas County, Colo., said they were able to link James Curtis Clanton, 62, of Lake Butler, Fla., to the murder of Helene Pruszynski in Englewood using DNA and genealogical testing. Clanton was arrested in Union County, Fla., and extradited to Colorado. “This was a young girl who was just starting her life,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock told a news conference. She was found stabbed to death a day after she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted, officials said. The body turned up on Jan. 16, 1980. The Pruszynski murder investigation went cold a year after the crime, officials added. It was reopened in 1998 before it went cold again. Douglas County District Attorney George Brauchler described the conversation he had with Pruszynski’s only living relative, a sister, informing her of the arrest.