Sleaze By Any Other Name Would Still Point To Rick Scott

Rick Scott - sleaze    :     http://mariopiperni.com/

If there is a single conservative politician who epitomizes everything that is wrong with the Republican party, it has to be Florida’s crooked (if not deranged) governor, Rick Scott. There apparently is no lie too big, too blatant or too self-serving that Scott will not use in his deliberate quest to turn Florida politics into a bigger joke than it already is. Here’s his latest.

The state’s chief economist has warned the staff of Gov. Rick Scott that his Medicaid cost estimates are wrong, but Scott keeps using them anyway, according to e-mails obtained by Health News Florida.

Scott says he opposes expanding Florida Medicaid because it would cost too much: $63 billion over 10 years, he says, with the state paying $26 billion of that.

But those numbers are based on a flawed report, according to a legislative budget analyst and State Economist Amy Baker.  A series of e-mails obtained by Health News Florida shows the analysts warned Scott’s office the numbers were wrong weeks ago, but he is still using them. He cited them in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed on Sunday and at at a Washington press conference on Monday.

Scott knew that his numbers were completely off but he went with them anyway because he and his fellow Republicans would never let anything as trivial as truth or facts get in the way of blocking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As Steve Benen points out, the actual cost to Florida for Medicaid expansion would be in the range of $1 billion over the next 10 years – not the $26 billion Scott claimed.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand why Floridians elected this con man to govern them. It was common knowledge at the time that Scott had been CEO of a company that pleaded guilty to 14 counts of corporate felonies after a U.S. Justice inquiry discovered that Scott’s company had swindled Medicaid and Medicare for millions. The company was fined a total of $1.7 billion in what was to be the largest government fraud settlement in U.S. history.

The people of Florida knew this…and yet a majority of them elected him to office anyway. Now all Floridians are paying the price for the stupidity of so many. How unfortunate.

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Dirty Business in Florida

Rick Scott - Sociopath    :    http://mariopiperni.com/

Anyone following the transgressions in Florida over the last few years already knew this to be true. Now there’s no doubt.

A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.

Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.

Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours.

“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” Greer told The Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants.

It’s always been about voter suppression in Florida as it’s been in other Republican controlled states where new voting legislation was aimed at dissuading minorities from voting. Tampering with one’s constitutional right to vote is serious stuff but don’t count on the Benghazi-crazed conservative media to be talking about it much. It’s time for Eric Holder and the Justice department to get involved in a serious way.

Florida needs to clean up its act and there would be no better way to start than to boot out the sociopath they elected as governor two years ago. Did anyone seriously believe that putting a Medicare fraudster like Rick Scott in the governor’s mansion would have brought on anything other than disaster for Floridians?

Rick Scott, the poster boy for everything that is wrong with the Republican party, is up for reelection in 2014 and voting him out of office would go a long a way in sending a clear message to the GOP that enough is enough.

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Health Care For All

Rick Scott - Florida - teapot : http://mariopiperni.com/

A number of states are still reluctant to accept that this summer’s positive Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act combined with Barack Obama’s decisive win in the election ensures that ObamaCare is, and will continue to be, the law of the land. Governors in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska have all stated that they are unwilling to implement essential parts of the health care law. Specifically, they are refusing to set up health insurance exchanges and expand the Medicaid program as stipulated by the ACA.

And now comes news that after strong opposition to the health care law, Florida’s Rick Scott has begun to change his tune.

The election is over and President Obama won. I’m responsible for the families of Florida … If I can get to yes, I want to get to yes.

I don’t think anyone involved in trying to improve health care should say ‘no, no, no. Let’s have a conversation.

That might be the first intelligent thing Rick Scott has said as governor and it should be welcome news to the 25 percent of uninsured in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale corridor who struggle through life with no health insurance. Scott’s reversal follows a Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute report that concludes that there is a substantial financial benefit to be had by states like Florida that implement the law.

The researchers determined the state could save up to $100 million a year because allowing people to join Medicaid would reduce the financial burden on other state-funded safety net programs.

“It is time for Florida’s elected officials to take a serious look at this option,” said Joan Alker, research associate professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “Our study found that the state can actually save money while ensuring that a million Floridians can get the health coverage they desperately need. And this decision affects all Floridians as Florida’s hospitals will be put in jeopardy if the state does not move forward.”

This report is as good a reason as any for Scott and other governors to work with the feds on implementing the ACA. But the real kicker here, I think, is the slow realization that their president is not Mitt Romney. It’s Barack Obama.

If Romney had won, it’s anyone’s guess as to how successful Republicans would have been in repealing ObamaCares. What you can be certain of is that there would have been at least four years of congressional efforts to defund the law and to hold back its implementation. That’s not going to happen now. There will still be some griping and reluctance on the part of those like Rick Perry who again stated this week that Texas will not take part in setting up the insurance exchanges, but as Rick Scott discovered, there’s some stuff in life that’s inevitable. And one of those inevitable concepts is the idea that decent health care should be affordable and available to every citizen, no matter how poor they are or where they live.

Elections really do have consequences.

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Welcome To Rick Scott’s Corrupt Florida

If President Obama loses in November, the reason might have little to do with his record of the last four years or the $1 billion each side will spend in ads and campaign events. It will have even less to do with how wonderful (not) President Mitt Romney would be. If Obama loses in November, it might very well be because of stuff like this:

Six members of Florida’s congressional delegation are pushing Gov. Rick Scott (R) to stop purging the state’s voting rolls of eligible voters, after numerous individuals were improperly flagged as non-citizens.

The state used an outdated driver’s license database in their initial effort to scrub non-citizens from the voting rolls. Officials believed that 182,000 voters on the rolls were non-citizens, and began sending out notifications that required voters to prove their citizenship within 30 days.

But plenty of legal U.S. citizens who should be allowed to vote wound up on the purge list. In Miami-Dade County, 1,638 people were flagged by the state as “non-citizens,” yet at least 359 people provided the county with proof of citizenship and another 26 people were identified by the county as U.S. citizens, ThinkProgress reported. An analysis by the Miami Herald found that Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters were most likely to be targeted by the purge effort.

The GOP voter suppression effort (see New Mexico and Colorado) would be serious stuff at any time but even more so in an election year where the winner will likely eke out a victory by a percentage point or two. And  forget not that the worst presidency of the last century was led by a man who won stole an election over Al Gore by a mere 537 votes. Voter disenfranchisement is old business in Florida. In 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush hired private contractors to purge voting listings of felons. The result was that 12,000 eligible voters were wrongly identified as felons and were unable to cast a vote on election day. Hello, George W., Dick Cheney, the Iraq war and eight years of disastrous economic policies. Obviously, votes matter.

Rolling Stone has all the details on Scott’s voter suppression scheme.

The GOP motto, ‘if you can’t win it, steal it’, is alive and well in 2012.

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Why I Love Newt Gingrich

In a perfect world, the Republican contest to find a nominee to face Barack Obama would go on forever…or at least until August. You cannot attach a number to the entertainment value of a Newt Gingrich and the thought that he might leave the race anytime soon is a sad one.

His non-concession speech in Florida was a perfect mix of Gingrich hubris, bullshit and nonsense.

We’re going to put together a package. You’re going to see, this is what a serious conservative president is like, who is bold and is prepared to change Washington, despite the screams of the establishment of both parties.

So a couple more steps. We will on that day sign an executive order that will instruct the State Department that day to open the embassy in Jerusalem and recognize Israel.

Give you just two more examples. I will sign on that day an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy. No U.S. money will go anywhere in the world to pay for abortion, period.

And finally, many of you may have noticed that the Obama administration has declared war on the Catholic Church and other religious institutions. I want you to know that, on the very first day, I will sign an executive order repealing every anti-religious act of the Obama administration as of that moment.

There you go. In the middle of the worst economic crisis of the last 80 years, Gingrich is going to spend his first 24 hours as President moving the Israeli embassy, battling abortion and working to make the U.S. a theocracy. Exactly the issues the people want their President to focus on, no doubt.

And should you wonder how Gingrich can get so much done so quickly, he provides the answer.  He’s been working on this stuff for a long time – actually, since the age of 15.

The reason I’m comfortable telling you all this is I have been studying what America needs to do, since the fall of 1958, when my dad was stationed in Europe in the Army.

See? It’s stuff like that which makes Newt so special.

Gingrich will not be the Republican nominee. That’s a certainty which I believe even he understands. But it does appear that before he calls it quits, Gingrich is determined to dig deeper under the skin of Mitt Romney and the GOP establishment than has ever been done before and in the process, piss off the last seven Republican politicians who don’t already hate his guts.

Long live the Gingrich campaign!
(The source images for this illustration are Creative Commons licensed images from photographer Gage Skidmore.)
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