The State of Pettiness and Disrespect
We all watched President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night, many of us rooting for a speech that would be bipartisan and uplifting and would highlight the greatness of our country.
The speech delivered that, but unfortunately, Speaker Nancy Pelosi felt compelled to make the annual address to the nation all about herself.
Pelosi wanted eyes focused on her so she decided to tear up the speech once the president finished. She later said her reason for tearing up the speech the president handed her was because it was “better than the alternative.”
The Democrats utter hatred for the president has all-but destroyed their political party.
From putting together an unsubstantiated impeachment inquiry and trial, a trial that will end today when the Senate votes to acquit the president, to the disastrous Iowa Caucus results tabulation.
We hear the Democrats had to bring in an expert, bipartisan counter to help them get to a total, but still, the count is still not all complete.
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Burning Calories for A Good Cause
Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried takes part in Sen. Lauren Book’s “42 Hours for the 42 Million” walk-a-thon in the Capitol this week. The event brings awareness to the millions of cases of child sexual abuse.
No Apple for these school teachers- Florida Democratic legislators are once again at odds with each other. This time black legislators are pushing back against state Reps. Anna K. Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith for trying to undermine the funding for the state’s School Choice Scholarship program.
“Pro-LGBTQ Florida reps oppose school choice for LGBTQ and minority students” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Two of the most outspoken pro-LGBTQ and race equality elected officials in the Florida legislature, controversial Reps. Anna K. Eskamani (D) and Carlos Guillermo Smith (D), are facing significant backlash over their effort to “bully corporate donors” of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program into pulling their contributions from the education initiative that supports LGBTQ and black students attending private religious schools. A press conference held on Tuesday by the Florida African American Ministers Alliance for Parental Choice in the state Capitol, had with some 100 black and Hispanic pastors and parents in attendance to push back against Smith and Eskamani’s anti-school choice push. Smith and Eskamani argue that they just want to change policies at some private religious schools they deem to be discriminatory. The pastors and a bipartisan legislative presence, which included Reps. Byron Donald’s (R), Al Jasquet (D), James Bush III, and Wengay Newton (D), countered Smith and Eskamani’s “attack” against parental school choice. “
“Nancy Pelosi rips up Trump’s SOTU address” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – President Donald Trump’s State of the Union addresses surprised everyone when he acknowledged and awarded Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in addition to surprising a woman and her children with the return of her husband and their father’s from deployment to Afghanistan. President Trump’s speech was pro-America and pro-Trump as he outlined all of the accomplishments he has made since taking the oath of office. Unfortunately, seconds after he finished his speech, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) showed just how deep her disdain and contempt for the president and the American people is when she immediately ripped up the written SOTU she was furnished. The optics of her ripping up the document was utterly despicable and un-American, not to mention a lack of respect for the chamber of which she presides over.
“Todd Chase Enters Race to Replace Yoho” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Rep. Ted Yoho (R) announced last year that he would not be seeking reelection, so all eyes have been on the sunshine state’s 3rd congressional district in the upcoming 2020 election. Looking to keep the district red, Republican Todd Case, a business leader, a Navy Veteran and a self-proclaimed conservative warrior, announced today that he would be entering the race by releasing an advertisement titled “the Pilot.” In the advertisement, Chase comments that “as a Navy pilot, I flew missions on the front lines of freedom. As a technology entrepreneur I saw how innovation creates jobs and hope powers and confidence.” He added that “as a local leader, I fought, often times alone, to remind other leaders who they work for.” Then, he informed that his goal in running for office is “to bring conservative values, backed by real world experience, to Washington where politicians spend too much time attacking each other instead of attacking the challenges that stand between us and the future.” Chase, who is a Harvard MBA, asserted his support for President Trump, expressing that “like the President, I believe America’s strength begins at home, with better paying jobs, lower taxes, and a commitment to back our men and women in uniform – during and after their service – with everything we’ve got.”
“Melania Trump to Join Trump’s 2020 Campaign With Two Fundraiser Events” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – First lady Melania Trump will headline a pair of campaign fundraisers for her husband’s reelection campaign next month. The first lady is listed as the host of a March 18 fundraiser in Beverly Hills and a March 25 event at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club, according to Politico who cited the invitations of the two events. The fundraiser event will raise money for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising account for the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. During Super Bowl weekend, Melania briefly addressed supporters at a gala event at Mar-a-Lago. “I’m looking forward to campaigning and fighting for Americans and our great nation. Thank you so much,” Melania said. Although Melania has largely steered clear of politics, she has sent out fundraising appeal defending her husband. “Democrats and the opposition media are doing everything they possibly can to discredit Donald with false accusations by spreading their fake news and making it appear that he does not have the support of America’s voter,” she wrote in a fundraising email before the Midterm Election. “This is a battle we must win together. I’m asking you and other Americans across the country to personally register your support and help prove that the Democrats and media are wrong.”
“House Democrats Slam Trump Ahead of SOTU Address” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Tonight, President Trump will be addressing the American people at the State of the Union Address, one day after the Iowa caucus debacle where a clear winner for the Democrats has still not been announced. In response to the upcoming address from the President, Florida’s Democratic Congressional leaders and Terrie Rizzo, the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, are slamming the President for his broken promises to Floridians. Joined by Florida Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Darren Soto, Rizzo slammed President Trump and his mission to “undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and his failure to protect people with pre-existing conditions.” They added that “Trump’s actions are a threat to health care in Florida.” Shalala, representing Florida’s 27th Congressional District, elaborated that her district “has the largest enrollment in the Affordable Care Act of any Congressional district in the country.” She added that “those 100,000 people that get their health care – very good, comprehensive healthcare – through the Affordable Care Act are at risk.” Rep. Mucarsel-Powell commented that “at last year’s State of the Union Address, President Trump claimed that he would make protecting people with pre-existing conditions a priority for his administration.” However, “what we’re seeing is that he continues to attack the ACA.”
“Florida lawmakers ready to levy big fines on sewage spills as 2020 bill advances” by WFTS Tampa Bay’s Forrest Saunders – A crackdown on illegal sewage dumping is making progress in the legislature. House Bill 1091 and its Senate companion have now both cleared their first committees in the legislature. Representatives in the Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee unanimously supported their version, Tuesday afternoon. If approved, the bill which would raise all existing fines for illegal sewage dumps by 50%. The legislation is largely targeting local governments, which the bill’s sponsor said choose to pay current fines instead of investing in better sewer infrastructure. “They look at it as the cost of doing business,” said Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay. “They’d rather pay the fines than fix the problem. So, we’re going to increase the fines and hope it fixes the problem.” Fine estimated about three billion gallons of sewage was dumped into Florida waterways over the past 10 years, killing fish and contributing to algae growth. He was hopeful his measure to levy higher fines would reach the governor this year after it failed in the last session. “This is a priority of Gov. DeSantis,” Fine said. “We have great committee chairs coming up. I’m very optimistic— you never know. Still have a long way to go, two committee stops on each side— but I am optimistic.” Municipalities worried last year high infraction costs could bankrupt them. Lawmakers reworked how fines are assessed to help, removing per-gallon penalties. Next Wednesday is the 30th day of the 2020 session, marking the halfway point. To date, lawmakers have yet to send a single bill to DeSantis’ desk.
So, what’s the hold up?
“Florida Senate delays vote on controversial abortion bill” by Capitol News Service’s Jake Stofan – The Florida Senate has delayed a vote on a bill that would require minors get parental consent before having an abortion. The bill has drawn sharp opposition. Hundreds came to the Capitol Tuesday to protest. Some held signs reading, ‘Senator Kelli Stargel Shame on You!’ But for Senator Stargel, the bill sponsor, the issue is personal. “As a girl who had an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager, you always think that you know what your parents are going to say about the whole subject,” said Stargel. Stargel said that wasn’t the case when she spoke with her mother. “My mom said you know what, this is going to ruin your life. You need to have an abortion. I thought that through, I talked to the father of our baby, other people and through that conversation came to the conclusion that, that’s not what I wanted,” said Stargel. Stargel’s daughter is now 35, and her parents are still together. Stargel said the conversations with her family are to thank. “It worked out better for the entire family unit. That’s what’s missing I think in this conversation so frequently today and that’s what I hope this bill will help to bring together is that conversation,” said Stargel. While Senator Stargel’s parents helped her decide what to do, protesters said her bill ignores others who don’t come from functional families. “The majority of young people who do not tell their parents about a decision to have an abortion, research has shown that they do not tell them because they fear abuse neglect or abandonment,” said Lauren Brenzel with the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. The bill does include an option for children who can’t speak with their parents to petition a court to bypass the parental consent requirement. The legislation is now expected to be debated and voted on in the full Senate Thursday.
“Florida House renews debate over ending no-fault auto insurance system” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner – Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system is again on the chopping block in the Legislature, despite industry concerns the proposed change wouldn’t lower premiums as backers contend and could increase lawsuits and health-insurance rates. The House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee on Tuesday backed a measure (HB 771) that would replace a requirement that motorists carry personal-injury protection coverage —key to the no-fault system — with mandatory bodily injury coverage. The House proposal also would require auto insurers to offer medical-payments coverage, known as “MedPay,” to consumers, taking a position the Senate has backed in the past. Such coverage could help pay medical bills if motorists are involved in accidents. “We know that the PIP system is broken,” bill sponsor Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, said. “There is extreme value in transitioning to a new system without adding additional layers of policy that may not be necessary.” But in advancing the proposal, House members said more work is needed on the proposed MedPay coverage and issues related to “bad faith” lawsuits against insurers. Subcommittee Chairman Bryon Donalds, R-Naples, said he wanted to see where the proposal goes as PIP is now being used as a “quasi-health care system.” “For people in our state who just simply carry PIP just to get their insurance on the road, PIP in and of itself is not enough to deal with actual accidents when they occur on the roadways of Florida,” Donalds said. “If we actually look at the actuarial risks associated with auto accidents, no matter how else you feel about any other measure of this bill, it is clear that PIP is simply not enough.”
“Assault weapon ban gets its day before the Florida Supreme Court” by Capitol News Service’s Mike Vasilinda – A proposed assault weapons ban was the subject of tough questions Tuesday from justices on the Florida Supreme Court. The proposed ban on assault weapons had enough signatures to get a Supreme Court review of its language, even though they didn’t make the 2020 ballot. Sponsors were peppered with questions. Justices wanted to know if voters would really understand the full impact of the amendment from the summary on the ballot. “It seems to me that the chief purpose of this amendment is to eliminate long guns over the next generation in the state of Florida,” said Justice Ricky Poston. Gun rights groups called the amendment’s definition of an assault weapon misleading. “This definition is ambiguous and does not make it clear to voters the full scope of firearms that would be banned under this amendment,” said Amber Nunnally with National Shooting Sports. Afterwards, amendment author Jon Mills voiced optimism and concern. “The 2022 ballot is a go, so there the court is always an education,” said Mills. Founder Gail Schwartz, whose nephew Alex Schachter was killed in the Parkland massacre, said win or lose in the court, the effort isn’t going away. “Our amendment will save lives. Our amendment will help prevent the next Parkland and Pulse. Our amendment will help end the epidemic of mass shootings,” said Schwartz. Sponsors spent all of 2019 gathering signatures and still fell over 600,000 short, raising questions of whether they will make the 2022 ballot.
“Florida’s Lawmakers Send Messages With State of Union Guests” by Associated Press’s Mike Schneider – A woman who fled Puerto Rico after the earthquakes. An independent pharmacist. A Hong Kong democracy activist. They are just a few of the people invited to accompany members of Florida’s congressional delegation to the State of the Union address Tuesday night. Members of the House and Senate often send a message through their choice of a guest for the speech — though sometimes the invitee just happens to be a lucky friend or family member. Here’s a look at who members of Florida’s congressional delegation invited and the message they say they wanted to send. If a Congress member isn’t listed, he or she didn’t respond to an inquiry. Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was bringing Florida Lt. Gov. Jeannette Nunez and Uyghur human rights activist Rushan Abbas, who has raised awareness about the plight of Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China. Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott invited Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law, the founding chair of a youth activist group and a former Hong Kong lawmaker currently in graduate school at Yale. Scott called Law “an inspiration in the fight for freedom.” Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho of Gainesville was hosting a longtime friend. Irvin Gleim, a University of Florida emeritus professor, wrote a popular CPA prep book and has also written pilot training books. Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz of northeast Florida was taking his 15-year-old daughter, Anderson. Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy invited 17-year-old high school student Mimi Chen, who won an essay contest sponsored by the central Florida congresswoman about the importance of youth civic engagement.
“AOC Boycotting Trump’s State of the Union” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced that she will boycott President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, joining a few of her fellow Democrats in refusing to attend. The freshman lawmakers explained her decision in a tweet, saying that she did not want to “use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.” “After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.” She went on to describe the decision as a “deeply personal” one she did not make lightly adding that she would be on Instagram Live to take questions during the address. Another squad member, Rep. Ayanna Pressely (D-MA) followed suit in also announcing that she will be boycotting the address. She described her decision to boycott due to Trump “consistently demonstrates contempt” for American people, Congress and the constitution.
“White House Release List of Special Guests for the 2020 State of the Union Address” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – The White House released the names of the guests President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have invited to attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address, including veterans, border patrol agent, and young children. The invited guests is comprised of 11 Americans whose stories all relates to the president’s administration policy he is expected to highlight during his third State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. “From brave military families to hardworking local leaders, this year’s guests come from many walks of life. Each one represents the very best of America and people the world over,” the White House said in a statement.
“Melania Trump to Join Trump’s 2020 Campaign With Two Fundraiser Events” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – First lady Melania Trump will headline a pair of campaign fundraisers for her husband’s reelection campaign next month. The first lady is listed as the host of a March 18 fundraiser in Beverly Hills and a March 25 event at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club, according to Politico who cited the invitations of the two events. The fundraiser event will raise money for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising account for the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. During Super Bowl weekend, Melania briefly addressed supporters at a gala event at Mar-a-Lago. “I’m looking forward to campaigning and fighting for Americans and our great nation. Thank you so much,” Melania said. Although Melania has largely steered clear of politics, she has sent out fundraising appeal defending her husband. “Democrats and the opposition media are doing everything they possibly can to discredit Donald with false accusations by spreading their fake news and making it appear that he does not have the support of America’s voter,” she wrote in a fundraising email before the Midterm Election. “This is a battle we must win together. I’m asking you and other Americans across the country to personally register your support and help prove that the Democrats and media are wrong.”
“Trump campaign Blast Iowa Democratic Caucus as ‘Sloppiest Train Wreck in History’” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – President Trump’s campaign issued a statement late Monday mocking the Democratic party for its handling of the Iowa caucus results, calling the delay in reporting of results “the sloppiest train wreck in history”. “Democrats are stewing in a caucus mess of their own creation with the sloppiest train wreck in history,” Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process. And these are the people who want to run our entire health care system?” “Tonight President Trump posted a record performance in the well-run GOP Iowa caucuses with record turnout for an incumbent,” he added. “We have experienced a delay in the results due to quality checks and the fact that the IDP is reporting out three data sets for the first time,” Mandy McClure, the state party’s communications director, said in a statement. “We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report. The party added that no “hack or intrusion” were involved in the holdup. “This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results,” McClure said. The Iowa Democratic Party is releasing three sets of data this year — a tally of state delegate equivalents; a second tally of first alignment, a total number of people at each precinct that lined up with each candidate at the start of the caucuses and a third tally of second alignment of supporters choosing a different candidate if their preferred candidate fall shorts of 15%.
“Trump Jr.: ‘Nancy Pelosi actively trying to keep Bernie off of the trail’” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – President Donald Trump’s top surrogates held a news conference Monday evening just hours before the Iowa caucuses began, mocking Joe Biden’s performance in the polls despite “Nancy Pelosi actively trying to keep Bernie off of the trail.” “Obviously, it seems like there’s a good surge in Bernie and obviously a lot of support,” Trump Jr. said at “Keep Iowa Great” conference in West Des Moines, Iowa. “I mean, Joe Biden’s had Iowa to himself for, what, three weeks because of the impeachment sham?” He continued, “So you can see, and whether that’s by design, I don’t know if you believe that, Kevin, or not, maybe — Nancy Pelosi actively trying to keep keep Bernie off of the trail. So I mean, I would hope that with three weeks, unfettered access to Iowa, in a primary. You know, if Biden doesn’t win big, I mean he’s probably in a lot of trouble, right?” The comment from Trump Jr. comes as former Vice President Joe Biden dropped 9 percentage points in the final survey of likely Iowa caucus-goers released Monday. Biden fell to third with 15% support, tying with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In the RealClearPolitics polling average of Iowa polls, Biden slipped the last week from 23 points to 19 points. “If it ends up being Biden because they set it up — as I said, the last time they rigged a primary, it worked out really well for us. We got the perfect candidate to run against,” Trump Jr. said. “Given the history, and given all of the other things we see about his competency on the stage, it’s one thing to hide him in a field of 17. It’s another to try to hide Joe when he is one-on-one with Trump for six months and that is a fight I would pay a lot of money to see.” He drew a contrast between his family and the Bidens, arguing that he and his siblings, unlike Hunter Biden, have limited their business activities since their father entered the White House.
Rick Scott @SenRickScott -Tomorrow, I plan on asking @POTUS administration to look into whether the $12.5m @FoleyandLardner was paid by the Maduro Regime violates any laws or US sanctions. Anyone doing the work of the Maduro Regime should suffer the consequences.
Marco Rubio @marcorubio – My STEM Careers Act will soon be signed into law by @POTUS It will require the National Science Foundation & Office of Science & Technology Policy to coordinate programs for veterans transitioning into STEM careers & address barriers to entry.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP – Today, the US signed the #USMCA—a bipartisan act that will go down in history. Because of the changes @HouseDemocrats demanded, this agreement takes steps to support Florida workers, farmers, businesses & environments. Proud of the work we accomplished!
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets –Having access to counsel can skyrocket your chances of making a successful asylum application. Yet DHS has used #RemainInMexico to erect overwhelming barriers between asylum seekers & counsel. Denying due process is un-American & unconstitutional. #EndMPP #DontLookAway
Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz – Saddam Hussein died in 2006. The Authorization to Use Military Force against Saddam’s Iraq should be repealed. If we can’t claim victory now, what war is ever winnable?
Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch – In order to be an ally to the LGBTQ community, President Trump must do a lot more to address issues that affect them. By continuing to associate himself with anti-LGBTQ figures & issue discriminatory orders, he is an ally to no one but the homophobes & transphobes.
RepRossSpano @RepRossSpano – Today, @realDonaldTrump made history by signing #USMCA into law. This trade agreement is a huge win for our economy as it has the potential to create over 170k new jobs & produce over $60 billion in new economic activity. #Florida #FL15
Jimmy Patronis @JimmyPatronis – Glad to give the @floridabankers Association an update today on the great health of Florida’s economy and highlight my legislative priorities including fighting fraud on behalf of all Florida consumers.
Commissioner Nikki Fried @NikkiFriedFL– With the #USMCA’s signing today, we look forward to having Administration officials in Florida to hear first-hand from our seasonal producers on protecting against unfair trade.
Rep. Carlos G Smith @CarlosGSmith – “Publicly pressuring corporations that fund the tax credit program may be the best option for those who want to see changes in scholarship rules because the state’s GOP leaders….seem uninterested in making changes, @CarlosGSmith