Friday, April 1, 2011

Down among the not so sheltering palms

ON THIS SPECIAL DAY that we set aside for acknowledging fools, we need to look no farther than the sometimes-sunshine state of Florida. That's where the voters in November elected Rick Scott, a Republican, as governor. It either forgave him, or didn't know any better, for once running a company that morphed into the biggest private for-profit health care company in the nation. On the other hand, Columbia/HCA , where Scott had been forced to resign in the midst of a massive Medicare fraud scandal, pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and paid $1.7 billion in fines. As a candidate, Scott solved the problem by telling the voters that although he was a can-do businessman, he wasn't aware of what was going on in his company. (Some folks down there will believe anything. My father, who lived in Miami, was sure that Florida had such great weather that its inhabitants seldom died. Alas, he wasn't among the lucky ones.)

But more on fools: During a legislative debate in Florida on Republican hostility to unions and regulations that impact on corporations, State Rep Scott Randolph, a Democrat, declared that his wife could "incorporate her uterus" if that's what would it take to keep the GOP from demanding greater restrictions on abortion. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the Republicans were outraged that he had said uterus on the House floor. According to Randolph, he was told by them that they were concerned about young pages hearing the word. (I wonder where the R's think the young pages have been for sex education in their maturing years.)

Finally: Apparently not satisfied that there are more than adequate, if clandestine, channels to political campaign coffers, the Florida legislature recently passed a law reviving an old law that will permit political donors to dump their cash directly into what they call " leadership funds" but are nothing more than old-fashioned slush funds created by the very lawmakers who will benefit from them.. It will be all in the open with no questions asked about the propriety of the scheme. One thing it's sure do: It will clean up a lot of the laundering and lying to disguise the the revenue flow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On top of this craziness, you missed the tale this past week of Republican Congressman Sean Duffy and his proclamation that his $174,000 a year salary was insufficient. Oops! The local Republican Party that hosted Duffy is filing copyright claims in the effort to remove the video from the Internet. In addition, a Republican State Senator from Minnesota openly blamed integration and desegregation on the destruction of Minneapolis. Good stuff as the Tea Party and their Republican acolytes feel unshackled by the their November victories. I await in anticipation for what's next from the Tea Party crew.