Lock and Load
After the terrorist shooting at NAS Pensacola that tragically left three servicemen dead and several others wounded, President Trump and his administration immediately called for a review of the decades-long training program that trains foreign military personnel on U.S. bases.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, as well as Reps. Neal Dunn and Matt Gaetz, all called its temporary suspension and questioned how a radicalized Royal Saudi Air Force pilot trainee was about to commit the act of terrorism.
The shooter was eventually shot and killed by responding local police, but there lies the problem.
Outside of military police, bases like NAS Pensacola are gun-free zones, and many, including Sen. Scott, believe that military personnel on base should be able to carry a firearm.
Scott has called for military officers to be allowed to carry a sidearm, stating that “It defies logic that our men and women in uniform, who we train to operate multi-million dollar pieces of military equipment and trust to keep our country safe, are not allowed to carry firearms on U.S. military bases.”
Oh, I almost forgot. Today the U.S. of Representatives will vote on those two articles of impeachment.
Visit The Floridian
Gov. DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis love on all kids.
Florida’s first family, minus the two rugrats, attended the annual Department of Children and Families (DCF) Child Protection Summit in Orlando, where child care professionals convened to discuss the “best practices” for protecting and caring for children.
“As the future leaders of our state and country, our children are our greatest resource, making their safety and well-being paramount,” said Governor DeSantis. “Child welfare professionals work hard to ensure that every child grows up feeling safe, loved and happy. My administration will remain committed to making investments that support our children and strengthen Florida’s families.”
Christmas Comes Early Thanks to Santa DeSantis
Gov. DeSantis has decided to spread a little more holiday cheer to state employees, calling for state offices to close done on Christmas Eve day and New Year’s Eve day.
“House defends marijuana law in high-stakes case,” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders – Tallahassee— In a Florida Supreme Court case with major ramifications for the medical-marijuana industry, the Florida House contends a disputed 2017 law helps prevent “diversion” of pot to the illegal recreational market, minors and other states. House attorneys late Monday filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn a July ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal that said a key part of the law conflicted with a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. That key part of the law involves what is known as “vertical integration” — a system in which a limited number of companies that receive medical marijuana licenses must handle all aspects of the cannabis trade, including growing, processing and distributing the products. The alternative to vertical integration would be to allow companies to play different roles, potentially leading to more players in the industry.…
“Jacksonville Siblings in Amber Alert Found Safe 2 Days Later” by Spectrum News’s Kevin Connolly , Spectrum News Staff and Anthony Leone – The two young Jacksonville children at the center of an Amber Alert were found unharmed and sheltering in a “dilapidated pumphouse” about a quarter-mile north of their home, Sheriff Mike Williams said Tuesday. Braxton Williams, 6, and sister Bri’ya Williams, 5, had last been seen in the 10200 block of West Beaver Street at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Tuesday afternoon that the children had been found safe. During a news conference, Sheriff Williams, who is unrelated to the children, said the siblings were found by an urban search-and-rescue team comprised of firefighters and Sheriff’s personnel at about 3:35 p.m. The children were in the pumphouse, which is in a densely wooded area about a quarter-mile north of their home.
Galvano on the hot seat in 2020?
Pushing back against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ immigration policy could turn out to be very problematic for Senate President Bill Galvano in itself, but not addressing the healthcare plans for state employees could be an even bigger problem for ‘G-Money” Bill.
“Senate President Bill Galvano said Tuesday he is reluctant to move ahead with changes to the state-employee health insurance program during the upcoming 2020 legislative session. “I don’t foresee major modifications going into this session,’ Galvano, R-Bradenton said Tuesday…” (NSF)
“Visit Florida should stay alive, Senate President Galvano says,” by The News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner – Tallahassee ― Senate President Bill Galvano defended the need for Florida to market its tourism industry against images of hurricanes and polluted waters, as a battle is again shaping up with House leaders over the future of Visit Florida. Addressing reporters Tuesday in his office, Galvano, R-Bradenton, said his House counterparts and other Visit Florida critics make valid points that regular tourism marketing can be handled by local governments and businesses. However, Galvano said Visit Florida, a tourism-marketing agency that receives public and private funding, is needed to offset negative media attention.
“There are certain things we do have to message and mitigate,” Galvano said. “For example, whether it’s Zika (an outbreak of the Zika virus in 2016) that cost our tourism industry millions, tens of millions of dollars. You have red tide issues. Algae. Hurricanes. Things that are important to re-message or explain.
“Just a straight up advertising, ‘Come to Florida,’ I would agree we have private business interests that can do a good job of that on their own,” he said. House Speaker Jose Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican who has supported eliminating Visit Florida, reiterated in a newspaper column this month that tourists would still be drawn to Florida without taxpayer-paid promotional efforts.
“Florida’s senate president downplays concerns that toll roads would ‘jeopardize’ panthers” by WFTS Tampa Bay’s Forrest Saunders – Legislative leadership is swatting down claims one of three approved toll roads would destroy the already endangered Florida panther. Senate President Bill Galvano said Tuesday morning he felt the claim was “overstated.” The worry spawns from recently surfaced U.S. Fish and Wildlife emails sent in March and obtained by the South Florida Wildlands Association. In them, a biologist warns superiors a section of the M-CORES roadway could “jeopardize” the panther. The scientist’s concerns centered on vehicle collisions hurting numbers. Also, development along the route eating up panther habitat. Galvano remained confident the Florida Department of Transportation would avoid any environmental harm as it continues to plan the official routes expected to cover more than 300 miles of Florida. “No, we’re not going to destroy the environment for the sake of particular infrastructure,” said the Republican leader. “But, there are ways to accomplish what we need to do in order to sustain our state.” Galvano helped champion the M-CORES project last session saying the roads would develop rural Florida and prep the state for ongoing population growth. He pointed out M-CORES is more than just toll roads. The project also plans to bring better broadband access and water and sewer service to rural areas along the routes.
Shame on Republicans?
“Republicans have one last chance to stand up,” Opinion by Mac Stipanovich for the Sun-Sentinel – Every member of Congress takes an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” The current crop of Republicans in Congress, unlike their predecessors in the Nixon era, are not going to be fabled for fidelity to their oaths. The reasons for their faithlessness are unfortunately as common as dirt these days: fear and moral bankruptcy. Courage is perseverance in the face of fear. Heroism is courage above and beyond the call of duty. Cowardice, on the other hand, is shirking your duty because of fear. Thus far in President Donald Trump’s impeachment saga, not one hero has emerged from the 197 Republicans in the House. If there is any courage among them, it is carefully concealed. There is, however, an obvious abundance of cowardice. But let’s deal with the moral bankrupts before focusing on the faint of heart. Right and wrong are beyond the ken of the amoral majority in the House minority. They simply do not care what Trump does. On impeachment, they argue the requisite burden has not been met to prove Trump did what they do not deny he did, or they see nothing wrong with what he did if he did it. Scowling, shouting and cavorting for the television cameras, they are rodeo clowns trying to distract the bull of public opinion from the facts and from the conclusions to which those facts inexorably lead Winning, which means successfully providing cover for Trump’s malfeasance, is their goal, not defending the U.S. Constitution. Thoroughly compromised and proud of it, there is no tragedy in their voluntary debasement to temper my contempt for them.
Shame on Florida Democrats?
The Florida Democratic Party is pushing the narrative that the Trump administration hates Cuban exiles, saying that Trump has deported more Cubans than any of his predecessors. They also have railed against the current administration over their “inhumane” deportation polices of illegal immigrants who cross over.
But who is really at fault? The Democrats themselves. Stay tuned for more a bit later today…
“Florida Crystals sells Margate rentals for $60M” by The Real Deal’s Katherine Kallergis – Florida Crystals’ real estate arm sold a rental community in Margate for $60.25 million. FCI Residential, led by managing director Juan Porro, sold Toscana apartments at 3050 Toscana Lane West to AvalonBay Communities’ Avalon Toscana LLC. The 240-unit, 276,412-square-foot property sold for $251,000 per apartment. Units range from 793-square-foot one-bedrooms to three-bedroom, 1,355-square-foot apartments. Amenities include a pool, gym, spa treatment rooms, business centers and a community playground. Chris Conklin, managing director of investment sales at Walker & Dunlop, represented the seller. The deal is likely the largest real estate transaction to close in Margate this year. FCI paid $8.6 million in 2013 for the 10.4-acre site and developed the apartment complex in 2015. The property is near the Florida Turnpike, Sawgrass Expressway and other major highways.
“Parental consent could keep moving Florida Senate” by News Service of Florida – A controversial proposal that would require parental consent before minors could get abortions likely will go before a key Senate committee during the first week of the 2020 legislative session, Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said Tuesday. Galvano said the Judiciary Committee is expected to consider the bill (SB 404), which was approved by the Senate Health Policy Committee last week. The session starts Jan. 14, and the Judiciary Committee is tentatively scheduled to meet Jan. 15. Galvano said he thinks the bill will be approved by the Judiciary Committee. The House version of the bill (HB 265) is ready to be considered by the full House after the session starts. The proposals have drawn heavy debate from abortion-rights supporters and opponents. Florida law already requires parents to be notified if their daughters plan to have abortions. The law also provides for a judicial waiver process that allows pregnant teenagers to circumvent the requirement. But the proposals, sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, would go further by requiring parental consent, rather than notification.
DeSantis orders flags flown at half-staff in honor and remembrance of the late state lawmaker John Broxson who passed away last week.
Impeachment day is here
House Democrats will get their say today as they will vote on the two articles of impeachment put forth by the House Judiciary Committee last week.
Expect Trump to be impeached, and expect a few defections. All of Florida’s Democratic congressional delegation have stated that they would vote to impeach, so no surprise here.
Get the rundown on the lowdown about the impeachment process. CLICK HERE
“Rick Scott wants military officers to carry guns on base” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – U.S. military installations are “gun-free zones,” but after the recent NAS Pensacola shooting, that might change. U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R) is pushing for military officers to be able to carry a firearm, saying that it was “time for this policy to change.: “It defies logic that our men and women in uniform, who we train to operate multi-million dollar pieces of military equipment and trust to keep our country safe, are not allowed to carry firearms on U.S. military bases,” stated Scott “ It’s time for this policy to change. The terrorist attack at NAS Pensacola shows that it’s more important than ever for our men and women in uniform to be in a position to defend themselves. I will work with the leadership of the Armed Services Committees and the Department of Defense to see what needs to be done to change this policy and allow military officers to carry firearms on U.S. military bases.”
“Trump surging past 2020 Democrats in new USA Today poll” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With the new USA Today poll showing that President Donald Trump leading all of the Democratic field of presidential candidates, Republicans should not rest on the laurels as the impeachment of the president moves to the U.S. Senate. It is rumored that several moderate Republican senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney, could break from the Senate GOP caucus and side with Democrats. The USA Today poll shows that even after weeks of impeachment inquiry hearings, Trump is leading the entire field by 3-10 percentage points. And as expected, President Trump is making it known that he is up in the polls, tweeting USA Today poll results just moments ago. “The new USA Today Poll, just out, has me leading all of the Democrat contenders,” tweeted Trump “That’s hard to believe since the Fake News & 3 year Scams and Witch Hunts, as phony as they are, just never seem to end. The American people are smart. They see the great economy, & everything else!”
“Judge while sentencing Trump campaign aide: ‘If people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work’” by CNN’s Katelyn Polantz – Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson took several minutes during her sentencing of top Mueller cooperator Rick Gates on Tuesday to comment on the Russia investigation, the significance of Gates’ choice to cooperate and the gravity of the facts that investigators found regarding Gates’ and Paul Manafort’s crimes and Russian’s interaction with the Trump campaign. At times, Jackson appeared to be commenting implicitly on Attorney General William Barr and the President’s criticism of the early Russian investigation, and especially the President’s broadsides against the facts of the matter.
Outside of the executive branch, Jackson is one of the few people to have seen more details about Mueller’s investigation, especially regarding Manafort, than the general public and witnesses themselves. In addition to Gates, she has presided over Manafort’s case and Roger Stone’s, among others resulting from Mueller’s investigation.’
“Anti-Trump conservatives launch PAC in bid to thwart his reelection” by CNN’s Devan Cole – A group of conservative political insiders opposed to President Donald Trump have launched a PAC in an effort to thwart his 2020 reelection chances and prevent his congressional “enablers” from winning reelection. The new group, named the Lincoln Project, was announced Tuesday in a New York Times op-ed penned by four so-called “Never Trumpers”: attorney George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; the well-known Republican political operatives Steve Schmidt and John Weaver, who worked for former Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, respectively; and Rick Wilson, a Republican media consultant.
According to the Lincoln Project’s website, its advisers also include three other current and former GOP strategists. “Over these next 11 months, our efforts will be dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line,” the group wrote in the opinion piece. The new political action committee represents one of the most significant actions by anti-Trump conservatives to block the President from getting reelected. Although former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld are attempting to challenge Trump in the Republican primaries, their bids have yet to gain much traction, and the new group will look to rally anti-Trump Republicans ahead of next year’s election.
“Bloomberg won’t need to disclose finances until after Iowa caucuses under new extension” by Fox News’s Bradford Betz – Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg will not be required to disclose his personal finances until after the Iowa caucuses, thanks to an extension granted this week by the Federal Election Commission. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City who sits atop a multibillion-dollar business empire, is by far the wealthiest of the Democratic contenders for president. Presidential candidates are required to reveal their investments, businesses and streams of income. Only Bloomberg, fellow billionaire Tom Steyer and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick – each of whom was late entering the race – have yet to do so. Despite his late entry, Bloomberg has been laying the groundwork for a campaign for months. Since entering the race last month, his campaign has flooded primary states with over $100 million worth of radio and TV ads. But his attorneys say he is not ready to disclose his finances. “Mr. Bloomberg requires additional time to collect information regarding complex holdings and prepare and file his report,” attorney Lawrence H. Norton wrote in a letter to the FEC on Friday. The FEC on Monday granted his request, giving him until Feb. 4 to file — one day after the Iowa caucuses.
“Trump tells Pelosi in blistering letter that Dems are ‘declaring open war on American Democracy’” by Fox News’s Gregg Re – President Trump, in a blistering, no-holds-barred six-page letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lambasted the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as an “open war on American Democracy,” writing that she has violated her oath of office and “cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!” “Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening,” Trump said, just a day before House Democrats were expected to vote to impeach him. “Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!” He went on: “You are the ones interfering in America’s elections. You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.” Pelosi, speaking to reporters Tuesday evening, called the letter “ridiculous.” She said she feels “fine” but “sad” about the pending impeachment vote. Trump specifically hammered Pelosi for daring “to invoke the Founding Fathers in pursuit of this election-nullification scheme,” and “even worse,” for “offending Americans of faith by continually saying ‘I pray for the President,’ when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense.” “It is a terrible thing you are doing,” Trump added, “but you will have to live with it, not I!”
“FISA court slams FBI over surveillance applications, in rare public order” by Fox News’s Andrew O’Reilly & Bill Mears – In a rare public order Tuesday, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [FISC] strongly criticized the FBI over its surveillance-application process, giving the bureau until Jan. 10 to come up with solutions, in the wake of findings from Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz. The order, from the court’s presiding judge Rosemary M. Collyer, came just a week after the release of Horowitz’s withering report about the wiretapping of Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to President Trump. “The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Office of Inspector General] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above,” Collyer wrote in her four-page order. “The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.” “As [FBI Director Christopher Wray] has stated, the inspector general’s report describes conduct by certain FBI employees that is unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution,” the bureau responded in a statement Tuesday night. “The director has ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the report’s recommendations, including some improvements beyond those recommended by the IG.”
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump – So, if Comey & the top people in the FBI were dirty cops and cheated on the FISA Court, wouldn’t all of these phony cases have to be overturned or dismissed? They went after me with the Fake Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary & the DNC, which they illegally presented to FISA…They want to Impeach me (I’m not worried!), and yet they were all breaking the law in so many ways. How can they do that and yet impeach a very successful (Economy Plus) President of the United States, who has done nothing wrong? These people are Crazy!
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – Trump used government resources for personal gain and put himself above the law – and no person or president is above the law.” Today I laid out to @SoFlaOpinion why I’ll vote to impeach this President.
Rick Scott @SenRickScott -Let’s get No Budget, No Pay passed
Marco Rubio @marcorubio – Pleased to report that we have reached a bipartisan compromise on our bill to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) & it will pass this week.
Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz President “I predicted in January that impeachment would be an inevitability…because the will among Democrats to avoid the debate on the economy, on trade, on immigration would lead them to impeachment as their sole electoral strategy going into 2020.”
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP – All students deserve equal opportunities to succeed. Today, I was proud to see Congress come together for our students and sign the #FUTUREAct, which permanently reauthorizes funding for #HBCUs and #MSIs, including our very own @FIU and @MDCollege! #ForTheFUTURE
Ron DeSantis @GovRonDeSantis -Great work from @fdlepio’s Genetic Genealogy Team. By utilizing the power of genetic genealogy to solve cases and deliver justice to victims and their families, we are taking another positive step forward in keeping our communities safe and secure.
“Florida man shoots at coworker’s mother over sandwich order: report” by Fox News’s Paulina Dedaj – A Florida man was arrested Sunday over reports that he allegedly shot at his coworker’s mom last month because of a sandwich order. Destin N. Garcia II, 18, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the Nov. 30 shooting at a home near Greenacres, the Palm Beach Post reported. According to the report, on Nov. 29 Garcia and a coworker were working at the Subway inside the Palm Springs Walmart where a promotion for a free sandwich was being offered to store employees. Garcia allegedly told police he became upset with his coworker when she made a wrap for a Walmart manager, then ignored him when he told her she needed to pay the difference since the promotion was for subs only. The following day, around 9 a.m., Garcia allegedly went to his coworker’s home, shoved her mother and refused to leave when asked by the homeowner. That’s when he took out a handgun and fired it at the woman’s feet, missing her, police said. Garcia took off but was arrested two weeks later by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
“Man faces charge for trying to enter Disney World with gun, says he forgot he had it on him” by Associated Press – A man who says he forgot he had a firearm on him and unsuccessfully tried to get into Walt Disney World was charged Monday with a crime. Court records show Nathan Polit was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a third-degree felony. Authorities said he didn’t have a concealed carry permit. Orlando television station WKMG reports Polit was stopped at a security checkpoint Sunday when he tried to get into Animal Kingdom at Disney World. He told authorities he had moved his handgun from his vehicle to a backpack because he was worried about a vehicle break-in, but he forgot to put it back in the car.
“Florida truck driver arrested in 1980 Colorado killing” by Associated Press – A Florida truck driver has been arrested and charged in the killing of a college student working as an intern for a Denver radio station nearly 40 years ago, a break in the cold case that authorities on Monday credited to the analysis of DNA information shared on genealogy websites combined with old fashioned police work. James Curtis Clanton of Lake Butler, Florida, was arrested in the 1980 slaying…