Happy Thanksgiving! Now give me some cash!
Elected officials and candidates for office across the country were all too eager to wish their constituents, or possible constituents a Happy Thanksgiving, but almost in the same breath, these politicos were also asking those very same supporters for some cold hard campaign cash.
We all get it. It’s the name of the game in politics. Beg for money, even if it’s the day after Thanksgiving.
Out hustling for campaign dollars were some of Florida’s most notable politicos, including Reps. Charlie Crist (D), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), and State Senate Candidate Rep. Jason Brodeur, to name a few.
Here Charlie spells out his concerns over possibly losing his congressional seat…
“Charlie Crist fundraising against NRCC and ‘well-funded challengers’” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – In his most recent fundraising email ask, Rep. Charlie Crist (D) is sounding the alarm of the tidal wave of campaign cash his campaign will soon have to confront. Crist’s fundraising letter mentions his “well-funded challengers” and the NRCC threat he faces. Rep. Crist will once again be targeted by Republicans as this “toss-up” congressional seat is seen as being vulnerable, and possibly a pick up for national Republicans…
Oh by the way, President Donald Trump faked out the entire country when he snuck out of Mar-O-Lago and flew to Afghanistan for Thanksgiving.
“Trump, The Sneaky Commander-In-Chief” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – While White House embed reporters slept focused on their thoughts for the next story they were going to write about President Trump Wednesday night, Trump somehow snuck out of Mar-A-Lago and arrived in Afghanistan to thank U.S. troops for their service, and sit down with them to eat. According to the report, Trump snuck out of the “Winter White House” and board a small, undescriptive plane with blue seats and a port-a-potty. The plane took off from an “undisclosed airport” most likely from Palm Beach County Park Lantana/Airport or North Palm Beach County Airport. The White House tapped one Fox News reporter to go along the trip back to Joint Air Base Andrews, where the rest of the traveling press was waiting.
Visit The Floridian
“Latest Florida polls could show momentum for Trump” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Going into the House impeachment inquiry hearings, the latest head-to-head Florida polls between the top Democratic presidential candidates and President Donald Trump had the president leading all of the candidates, but trailing vice president Joe Biden by two points. Depending on how you look at it, the president could be in good shape going into 2020, or it could appear that his reelection chances have greatly diminished. With the last poll commissioned by The New York Times/Siena in mid-October, it will be interesting to see how voters across the political spectrum now see the contest for president after the first two weeks of the impeachment hearings.
What’s with Gwen Graham?
Much like Andrew Gillum, the former Gubernatorial candidate seems quite bitter nowadays and is using social media to bad mouth her favorite target, Gov. Ron DeSantis.
We all welcome spicy political dialogue, but Gwen has crossed over into the political DMZ.
“I will continue to hold @GovRonDeSantis accountable when he supports policies that are bad for Florida. Here he again shows his true colors. Florida, he isn’t moderate or reasonable. Don’t be fooled by the spin. The Gov is a @realDonaldTrump sycophant.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis was rooting for both FSU and Florida this past weekend as the two schools squared off during their annual pigskin matchup.
Too bad, so sad to all of you FSU fans. Many of you didn’t have much hope of defeating Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s and Sen. Marco Rubio’s Gators. Final score was 40-17 Gators.
“Clinton supporter Randy Henderson (R) runs for congress” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Three-time Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson (R) has decided to run for congress in Florida’s 19th congressional district. “I believe this experience provides me the background to lead the charge for serving citizens in District 19 and bring focus and support from Washington to our district,” Henderson said in a press release. But while some will welcome Henderson’s entrance into the soon-to-be crowded race to replace Rep. Francis Rooney (R), with the race beginning to get crowded, and bigger-name candidates about to enter the race, can Henderson raise the millions of dollars to need to run and win this Republican-leaning seat? Regardless of the money he will have to raise, Henderson will be dogged by the image of him sharing the stage with former President Bill Clinton in 2016 when he campaigned for Hillary Clinton against President Donald Trump.
War On Iguanas
Larry the Lizard, Igor the Iguana, and the rest of the 1000’s of dinosaur-looking invasive reptiles are considered to be Public Enemies # 1 to many Floridians. Because these slippery non-indigenous little monsters are gobbling up all kinds of foliage and eating precious sea turtle eggs, an open death warrant has been signed by authorities to help eradicate these nuisance reptiles.
Fort Lauderdale’s very one lizard hunter, State Senator Gary Farmer has been at the forefront of the critter crisis. The Floridian ran into Farmer at the Trump rally in Sunrise, Florida, where he reminded us just how much he hates Larry and Igor,
“If you don’t think iguanas are taking over South Florida, check out this bridge in Boca Raton,” by the Sun-Sentinel’s Brooke Baitinger and David Fleshler – More than 60 iguanas were spotted Thursday under a Palm Beach County bridge, further evidence that these non-native lizards are thriving in South Florida. A bridge in Boca Raton has turned out to be a popular gathering spot for iguanas.
More than 60 could be seen sunning themselves Thursday morning from the El Rio Trail, a trail popular for biking, jogging and walking. The massive grouping of reptiles was spotted on the bridge that takes Yamato Road over the trail. Iguanas, which are native to South and Central America, arrived in South Florida through the pet trade and have thrived in the region’s neighborhoods and parks.
“Florida prisons can’t go on like this, new chief says” By Tampa Bay Times’s Mary Ellen Klas – It’s hard not to notice the title of the book Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch is delivering to every prison warden and legislator who will listen: The Devil’s Butcher Shop. The book by Roger Morris chronicles one of the deadliest prison riots in American history at the New Mexico State Penitentiary at Santa Fe in 1980. For 30 hours on a February weekend, prisoners took 12 corrections officers hostage, mutilated and murdered 33 inmates, hacked some with knives, tortured others with blow torches, and raped and terrorized scores of others. Inch, who came to Florida after a brief stint as head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, urges readers to turn to the chapter titled, “Foreshadow” because he says he believes the riot was not only foreseeable, it was preventable — and Florida should take heed. “They had a lot of the warning signs that we have,’’ he explains during a meeting in his conference room in Tallahassee’s Farris Bryant building. He points to a white board on the wall and a graph that shows how Florida’s prison system had “gone from excellence, to satisfactory to marginal” — just as New Mexico’s did.
Patriots for Trump –
The influential group from southwest Florida is holding another fundraising event, this time they have former Trump advisor Michael Caputo as their keynote speaker, and Ford O’Connell as a guest.
▪ Tuesday, December 17, 2019
▪ 5:00pm to 6:00pm VIP Reception
* 6:00pm to 9:00pm General Admission
▪ SOUTHERN STYLE KITCHEN (FORMERLY Stoney’s Stone Crab)
▪ 492 Bayfront Place, Naples, 34102
OPINION: “Congress Must Act on Surprise Billing—the Right Way” By The Floridian – Patients in Florida and across the U.S. have enough complications and costs to worry about when accessing health care. Unexpected medical bills, however, add an unnecessary burden. Some of these surprise bills show up in the mail weeks, months, or even years after patients receive care that they believed their insurance would cover. Surprise medical billing has created too many headaches for patients and their families for too many years now. We appreciate Congress’ commitment to finding a solution for this longstanding flaw in our health care system. As Congress evaluates the best legislative solution, it’s crucial that it not create more problems for our nation’s hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, and health care centers and jeopardize patients’ access to care. The government rate-setting solution, which is supported by insurance companies, gives insurers the power to dictate network agreements with providers and reimbursement rates. Consequently, insurers will drive the rates to unsustainably low levels, and it will be harder for local hospitals to invest in clinical quality, recruit clinicians, and keep their doors open. What good does it do to protect some patients from surprise medical billing if the rate-setting solution threatens even more patients’ access to care?
“Florida’s red tide is back. One of North America’s rarest bird species is among its latest victims,” by WLRN’s Jenny Staletovich –A lethal Gulf Coast red tide that littered beaches with dead wildlife in 2018 is back and this time around, it’s claiming one of North America’s rarest bird species.
Earlier this month, two reddish egrets tagged as part of a research project on the dwindling species died from likely red tide poisoning in the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. Since they were tagged in 2014, the birds provided a trove of information to scientists trying to understand why the species never fully recovered from the devastating plume trade a century ago. “These birds are giving us a signal,” said zoologist Ken Meyer, director of the Avian Research and Conservation Institute in Gainesville which led the study. “It might seem insignificant, but what they’re revealing to us is that the problems that we already know are a problem, are not going away. They’re only getting worse.”
Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao will be at the Florida TaxWatch (FTW) 40th 40th Anniversary and annual meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.
Cyber Monday Warning from CFO Jimmy Patronis
“This year, online shoppers are projected to spend $143.7 billion nationwide in November and December alone. Cyber Monday provides the perfect environment for cyber criminals because many shoppers guards are down due to their expectation of good deals. We all enjoy the convenience of online and mobile shopping, but it’s important to shop smart. Be alert and verify before you click.”
Uh-oh. Somebody got their facts wrong.
“Shalala wrongfully blames Trump for Obama-created “fake” university” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – We are a month removed from Halloween and the Trump administration is still playing Trick-O-Treat. Actually, the administration’s not-so-new immigration initiative to net illegal aliens is more of a “trick” than a treat. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency set up a “fake” online university in the Detroit area to corral a ring of suspects that allegedly recruited illegal immigrants that intended to use their student visas to veil their the amount of time they spent in the U.S. illegally. The investigation netted eight on suspicion of visa fraud and “harboring aliens for profit.” But while the government’s aim was to catch the ring of criminals, who can also be called human traffickers, Florida Congresswoman Donna Shalala (R) took aim at the Trump administration, accusing them of entrapping and deporting “hundreds of vulnerable students who came to the US to study.” “This is another shameful chapter in US history written by the Trump administration,” stated Rep. Shalala.
“Quinnipiac Poll cues up 2020 Biden vs Trump cage match” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With most analysts and pundits saying that the latest Quinnipiac poll shows that vice president Joe Biden has regained his lead over the rest of the 2020 Democratic presidential field, the truth is that Biden never lost the lead. In some state polls, Biden did slip t0 second behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but the national Q poll tells a bigger, more accurate picture of how the Democratic electorate is leaning, and that lean is still in Biden’s direction. Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare for All” cost roll out was nothing short of disastrous, and considering that the two other candidates polling at the very top – Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg – both openly support Medicare for All, it’s a good bet to make that Biden will walk away with the Democratic nomination. The Medicare for All measure is an unaffordable healthcare disaster that Americans are summarily rejecting, that may have just caused Democrats a top tier, presidential candidate.
“Mexico gunbattle near Texas border between suspected cartel members, police leaves at least 21 dead” By Fox News’s Travis Fedschun – Four police officers were among nearly two dozen people killed after security forces engaged in an hour-long gunbattle with suspected cartel members Saturday in a Mexican town near the U.S. border, days after President Trump said he was moving to designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations. The shootout happened around noon in the small town of Villa Union, a town in Coahuila state located about an hour’s drive southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas. Coahuila state Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme told local media that four of the dead were police officers killed in the initial confrontation and that several municipal workers were missing. On Sunday, the Coahuila state government said that security forces killed seven additional members of the gang, bringing the death toll to at least 21.
“The new ‘three amigos’ riding into Trump impeachment inquiry” By Associated Press’s Lisa Mascaro – The “three amigos” used to stand for one thing in Washington — the pack of globe-trotting senators led by John McCain who brought American idealism to the world’s trouble spots. Now it refers to another trio, the Trump envoys who pushed Ukraine to pursue investigations of Democrats and former Vice President Joe Biden. The shift represents more than the appropriation of a name. It also marks a departure from efforts by the late Arizona senator to build bipartisan alliances and further broad foreign policy ideals pursued by Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. That approach is unrecognizable today as the GOP has become the party of Donald Trump and his “America First” approach.
“Trump signals he’s ready to KO Democrats in 2020” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – After a massive rally in Broward County, Florida where 31,177 voters were identified, President Donald Trump is ready to jump into the ring with whoever the Democrats put up to face him in 2020. Trump just posted this superimposed pic of him on an old Rocky promo pic. Hilarious! Don’t count out the Democrats, as the scrappy Pete Buttigieg is slowing gaining momentum and Joe Biden, though he seems a little gassed in the late rounds, could win his party’s nomination in the 12th round. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren could be facing a standing 8-count like the rest of the field of presidential hopefuls.
“Shalala Orders Trump to “Grow Up” By The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Yesterday, President Donald Trump took a trip to South Florida to host a rally as Democrats mount their support for impeachment. Trump’s rally welcomed 20,ooo +, while Democrats numbered around 200. However, this week has also proven troublesome for the impeachment process as Michigan Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence backed down from her impeachment push, commenting that she doesn’t “see the value of kicking him out of office.” In turn, considering that Michigan is a swing state that voted for President Trump in 2016, the question arises of whether or not the swing state will be voting red the next time around. Today, Florida Rep. Donna Shalala (D), representing another swing state that voted red in 2016, took to twitter to respond to comments made against her by the President at the rally.
“Collins: Schiff will be GOP’s ‘first and foremost witness’ for impeachment hearing” By Fox News’s Ronn Blitzer – House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., is gearing up for his committee’s role in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, and the first witness he plans on calling is the man who led the first phase in the process, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Schiff is in the middle of preparing a report on his committee’s findings after conducting closed-door interviews and public hearings featuring a number of current and former Trump administration officials connected to the administration’s policies and relationship with Ukraine. Republicans have questioned Schiff’s credibility due to contact that an anonymous whistleblower had with his staff before filing a complaint which led to the impeachment inquiry, and now they want to question him before the Judiciary Committee. “My first and foremost witness is Adam Schiff,” Collins told “Fox News Sunday.” He claimed that if Schiff does not make himself available for questioning, it will reflect poorly on his credibility and the work he has done so far.
“Harris aide, in resignation letter, says ‘I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly’” By Fox News’s Adam Shaw – A top aide to Kamala Harris gave a damning assessment of the California senator’s struggling campaign in her resignation letter, declaring that she has never seen an organization “treat its staff so poorly” and accused the campaign of encouraging people to move across states — only to lay them off without notice. “This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,” Kelly Mehlenbacher, then the state operations director for Harris’ campaign, said in the letter obtained by The New York Times. “While I still believe that Senator Harris is the strongest candidate to win in the General Election in 2020, I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership.” She went on to criticize the campaign in blistering terms for pushing staffers to move to Baltimore, only to let them go without notice.
“White House will not participate in Judiciary Committee hearing” By CNN’s Sarah Westwood – Neither President Donald Trump nor his attorneys will participate in Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, they said late Sunday. In a letter to Chairman Jerrold Nadler, White House counsel to the President Pat Cipollone said, “We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings. More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with a semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.” Cipollone accused the New York Democrat in the letter of “no doubt purposely” scheduling the hearing while Trump will be at a NATO meeting in London. Cipollone said they would respond separately to the Friday deadline about their participation in future hearings. The Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment” is expected to kick off a frantic month of activity in the House.
“Gun control advocates nervous as Supreme Court takes up first 2nd Amendment case in a decade” By NBC News’s Pete Williams – The Supreme Court on Monday is set to wade into the highly charged gun control debate for the first time in nearly a decade, hearing oral arguments in a dispute over a New York City gun restriction that could have major implications for gun rights nationwide. The court has steadfastly declined to take up any gun rights cases since ruling in 2008’s Washington, D.C. v. Heller that the Second Amendment provides a right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense, and later clarifying in 2010’s McDonald v. Chicago that the right applies nationwide. Now the court’s willingness to take the New York case — even though the law at issue was recently repealed — has gun rights supporters feeling optimistic that it could lead to a ruling about the right to bear arms outside the home. Gun control advocates, in contrast, fear the court’s new conservative majority may produce a decision that the National Rifle Association could use to fight against many of the 300 local gun restrictions enacted since the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. “What’s really on the line is our progress against gun violence and the future of life-saving gun safety laws,” said Hannah Shearer of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
“Bipartisan effort to warn Americans about the current HIV/AIDS crisis” By The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – World AIDS came and went this weekend without much fanfare. While AIDS may not kill as many people as it once did due to the advances in medicine, millions of individuals around the world have refused to listen to the generational warnings to protect themselves against the HIV virus. The Floridian recently spoke to one 30-something gay man who ignorantly said that he “didn’t have to worry about dying because of all the cocktails” out there that would keep him alive “if” he contracted HIV. Unfortunately, this is the mindset that many young people around the world have. HIV still kills, and more and more people are contracting it because they feel the disease isn’t as deadly as if once was. Both Republican and Democratic politicians called attention to the disease this weekend, including President Donald Trump who expressed his support for those individuals currently living with HIV/AIDS and reaffirmed his and First Lady Melania Trump’s “commitment to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
“Rick Scott Slams Maduro For Sending Money To Cuba and Russia” By The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Over the course of this year, Venezuela has been an important political talking point as mounting pressure has actively called for dictator Nicolas Maduro to step down in order to make way for a free and democratic country. Earlier this year, Juan Guaido was recognized by multiple world leaders as the true leader of the country, but even then that divided lawmakers as Democratic Socialists could not do the same. As the year draws to a close, Venezuela and its communist regime are still an important issue to Florida lawmakers, and Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) is calling out the Maduro regime. Taking to Twitter to voice his disapproval of the communist regime, Senator Scott commented that “while his country continues to deteriorate, Nicolas Maduro sends $$ to Cuba and Russia.”
“Spano Introduces Bipartisan TRICARE Bill to Help Veterans” By The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – The Florida legislature has been hard at work this year, and as the year draws to a close there’s still work to be done. As the leftover turkey goes back in the fridge for later, Florida Rep. Ross Spano (R) announced that he introduced a bill last week that would help National Guard and Reserve retirees. Taking to Twitter to make the announcement, Rep. Spano informed that he would be introducing “the bipartisan TRICARE Fairness for National Guard and Reserve Retirees Act (H.R. 5169) that will help ease service members’ transition into retirement.” In the National Guard Association of the United States website, in an article titled Legislation Would Close Health Care Gap for Some Guard Retirees, it’s explained that “if passed, the bill would align the eligibility age for TRICARE Standard, Extra and Prime with the age at which Guard and Reserve personnel begin receiving their retired pay.” Furthermore, “the legislation is supported by NGAUS, the Reserve Officers Association and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States.”
Adam Schiff – @RepAdamSchiff There’s only one thing less plausible than the claim Trump was actually concerned with corruption in Ukraine, as opposed to getting dirt on the Bidens: That he’s more concerned about future presidents than he is about concealing evidence of his own misconduct. No one buys it.
Rick Scott @SenRickScott – Devastating. Children in #Venezuela fainting at school due to malnutrition. Instead of worrying abut their education, they’re concerned about making it through the day. @NicolasMadur0 ’s genocide must end.
Marco Rubio @MarcoRubio Great moment during pre-game of #FSUvsUF. The two bands played our national anthem together.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP– AIDS isn’t a disease of the past, it’s a crisis now. This #WorldAIDSDayO, we remember those who have been impacted by this terrible epidemic and recommit to supporting programs like @PEPFAR & the @GlobalFund that will help end AIDS once and for all.
US Rep Kathy Castor – @USRepKCastor We’re here to show the world that true American leaders keep their promises. I’m proud to stand w/ @SpeakerPelosi & the @ClimateCrisis Committee at the #COP25 climate negotiations to demonstrate that America is committed to #ClimateActionNow! #WeAreStillIn
Commissioner Nikki Fried – @NikkiFriedFL Coming off a holiday where families come together to celebrate their blessings & share a wholesome meal — the Trump administration is resuming their attack on working families. Nearly 200,000 Florida kids could lose school meals. We can’t let this stand.
“Number of arrests made during UF vs. FSU football game released,” by WCJB Staff – Gainesville, Fla Police say a total of 15 people were kicked out of the stadium during the match-up against rival Florida State University. One person was asked to leave after a reported assault and battery, nine people were ejected for intoxication and disorderly conduct, one person was arrested for trespassing, and another for possession of narcotics. Five of the 15 people arrested are University of Florida students.
“FBI arrests South Florida student accused of planning 2 terrorist attacks against college deans,” by WSVN – Miami (WSVN) – Federal investigators have arrested a South Florida college student who, they said, threatened to use weapons of mass destruction against the deans of the Miami-Dade and Broward colleges that he was suspended from or expelled. Salman Rashid appeared in federal court and was denied bond on Monday after the FBI arrested him. He has been charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence. The FBI said they began investigating the 23-year-old in April 2018 based on his Facebook posts and conversations with undercover agents who he thought were members of ISIS.