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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,738

Journal Archives

New policy for school district after Venice chiropractor signs 500+ mask exemptions for students

A chiropractor in Venice provided more than 500 medical exemption forms for children attending Sarasota County Schools who did not want to wear a mask.

Dan Busch, a chiropractor at Twin Palms Chiropractic, has signed roughly one-third of all medical exemption forms turned in district-wide, district spokesman Craig Maniglia said Wednesday morning.

As a result, the district has tightened up its policy of what categories of medical professionals can sign an exemption.

District staff began enforcing a new mask policy on Monday, requiring students to either wear a mask or provide a form signed by a licensed medical professional, stating that the child "cannot wear a mask or a face shield (or both) due to a medical, physical or psychological contraindication."


This guy needs to lose his license.

Gov. DeSantis snubbed $820 million in federal food aid and won't say why

Nobody’s going to bed hungry tonight in the governor’s mansion. Too bad that’s not the case across the state. Yet Gov. Ron DeSantis is apparently leaving up to $820 million in federal food assistance on the table, and he won’t explain why. Does he have a reason? Or is it just a really bad one?

More than four months after Florida could have first applied for the aid, the Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau reported this week, it remains unclear if state officials are seeking the money — which is enough to feed 2.1 million children in low income homes. More than 80 advocacy groups, including the food bank Feeding Tampa Bay, signed on to a letter Monday calling on DeSantis to seek the money. But DeSantis’ office hasn’t answered repeated questions from the Times/Herald about the status of any request. Last week, the governor’s spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, didn’t directly answer the question, replying instead that Florida students can “receive high-quality nutrition directly from our schools.”

The quality of school lunches isn’t the issue. The question is whether Florida will tap available federal aid. And implying that schools are already meeting these nutritional needs ignores the fact that many children have little or nothing to eat once the school day ends.

Known as the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, the federal program deposits money to a card for families of children who qualify for free or reduced meals at school. It was created by the federal government last year to ensure that children would still be fed during the pandemic if they weren’t attending in-person instruction.


Top Florida GOP operatives paid by dark money group under investigation

Ryan Smith, a GOP consultant; Ryan Tyson, a Republican pollster, and Alex Alvarado, a strategist, all received a cut from a $550,000 mail buy for three state Senate races for sham candidates meant to confuse voters.

TALLAHASSEE — Three prominent Republican operatives got a cut from a more than half-a-million dollar payment meant for “mail,” which was paid for by a dark money group that is part of an investigation into a vote-siphoning scheme during the 2020 election, records show.

Ryan Smith, a GOP consultant who owns Tallahassee firm ‘96 Consulting; Ryan Tyson, a prominent Republican operative and pollster, and Alex Alvarado, a strategist and stepson of the printer who brokered the mail-piece project, all received a cut from $550,000 directed toward an Orlando printing company.

Luis Orlando Rodriguez, the owner of the company Advanced Impressions and Alvarado’s stepfather, told investigators that he coordinated the printing and mailing of over 500,000 political mail advertisements that were sent to voters in three key 2020 state Senate races — two in Miami-Dade County and one in Central Florida.

The details of the mail buy, which were disclosed for the first time in court records released Tuesday, underscore the influence of Republican big-hitters and how mail was used to attempt to sway the outcome of three key state Senate races in 2020. Republicans won all three races, and the victories solidified the GOP control of the Florida Legislature’s upper chamber.


Fox News Anti-'Cancel Culture' Warriors Applaud Diner Owner for Banning Biden Supporters

Pete Hegseth was positively giddy over a Florida restaurant’s ban on Biden supporters, but in 2018, when Trumpkins were similarly targeted, he whined a much different tune.

Several Fox News hosts on Wednesday praised a Florida restaurant owner’s decision to ban supporters of President Joe Biden from eating at her establishment, saying it’s “understandable” and that it could “lead to a lot more business for her.”

With conservative anger towards the Biden administration reaching a fever pitch following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the owner of Debary Diner posted a sign outside her business telling Biden voters not to enter following the Kabul terror attack.

“If you voted for and continue to support and stand behind the worthless, inept and corrupt administration currently inhabiting the White House that is complicit in the death of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan, please take your business elsewhere,” reads the sign from owner Angie Ugarte. “God bless America and God bless our soldiers.”

Discussing Ugarte’s customer ban on Wednesday’s broadcast of midday panel show Outnumbered, co-host Emily Compagno said the owner “means it” before turning to Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, who expressed the segment’s only reservations about Ugarte’s decision.


Seems to me like a good way to go out of business.

Florida Department of Health's new rule: $5,000 fines for some vaccine mandates

Source: Tampa Bay Times

Businesses, schools and governments can’t deny service to unvaccinated Floridains under a state law passed this year.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida businesses and governments that require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from customers or members of the public will soon face $5,000 fines, according to a new Department of Health rule.

Earlier this year, the Republican-led Florida Legislature passed a bill, SB 2006, banning businesses, governments and schools from requiring “vaccine passports” — essentially proof that people seeking their services have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. In May, DeSantis signed that bill into law. The legislation allowed the state’s Department of Health to issue fines “not to exceed $5,000 per violation.”

On Aug. 27, the department filed a rule that lays out how it will enforce the law. Businesses, governments and schools will be fined $5,000 “per individual and separate violation,” the rule states.

Violators will be issued a notice of their infraction, and they’ll have a chance to appeal their fines, the rule says. Once the fine is finalized, entities will have 30 days to pay it.

Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2021/09/01/florida-businesses-and-governments-face-5000-fines-for-mandatory-vaccinations/

Republicans are guilty of mind-boggling hypocrisy in their attacks on Biden's Afghanistan exit

Republicans finally have an issue on which they can legitimately criticize President Biden. In a new Pew Research Center poll, only 27 percent of Americans say that Biden’s handling of Afghanistan has been good or excellent. Even some Democrats are quite critical of the president. This is a golden opportunity for the GOP to try to reclaim its credibility as a serious party on national security.

And yet it is blowing this chance by falling prey to the same compulsions — carelessness with the truth, cynical opportunism, mindless posturing, excessive outrage, rank prejudice, blatant hypocrisy — that have been its hallmarks in the Trump years.

The fundamental problem for the GOP is that it knows what it’s against — whatever Biden has done — but it has no idea what it’s for. Appearing on Fox Business on Tuesday, former president Donald Trump fulminated about “the level of incompetence on this withdrawal.” But when pressed on how he would have handled Afghanistan, the best he could come up with was: “We should have hit that country years ago, hit it really hard, and then let it rot.” Huh? Trump went on to say “We should have withdrawn in a totally different way” without specifying what that way was.

The problem for Trump and the Trumpkins is that the Biden pullout from Afghanistan is merely a continuation of the Trump pullout. It wasn’t Biden, after all, who set a deadline for withdrawal, had his secretary of state meet with the Taliban or forced the release of 5,000 terrorists. That was Trump.


Kevin McCarthy keeps revealing how ugly a GOP House would be

Mark this down: If Republicans win the House in the 2022 elections, one of their very first acts in the majority will be to impeach President Biden for the offense of having won the 2020 election.

Okay, that’s a joke. But only partly. Republicans would not put it in those terms, of course, but that would be functionally what they are doing.

We’re now beginning to see just how ugly a House GOP takeover would be for the country. What is unmistakable is that a Republican House would be singularly devoted to using its power to avenge Donald Trump’s 2020 loss — and to whitewashing his efforts to overturn it in every way possible.

Case in point: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has now openly threatened to use a GOP-controlled House to punish private companies that comply with lawful subpoenas issued by the House select committee examining the Jan. 6 insurrection.


Sheriff Looking For 'Person Of Interest' After Reporter Attacked During Anti-Mask Rally

A reporter in Traverse City, Michigan was allegedly assaulted during an anti-mask rally, and now the sheriff’s office is seeking information on one of the two men potentially involved.

The incident was just the latest in months of reporters facing aggressive pushback, and sometimes violence, for doing their jobs.

Brendan Quealy, a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle, was covering a event hosted by a group opposed to vaccine and mask mandates in schools Thursday when a speaker from Citizens Liberating Michigan, Heather Cerone, addressed him directly.

“There’s no reporting, Brendan,” Cerone said. “We don’t authorize that. So, you guys feel like standing in front of him?”


Sultans of Swing

Mark Knopfler is such an underrated guitarist. He makes this look easy.

The Wild Mystery of the Jan. 6 Lawyer Who Vanished

John Pierce has taken on his 18th Capitol riot defendant. But their cases are now at a standstill after a bizarre turn of events.

When John Pierce, the anti-vaxxer and criminal defense attorney representing some 17 defendants charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, didn’t show up for a court date last week, a stand-in offered a suspiciously equivocal explanation.

“Mr. Pierce is in the hospital, we believe, with COVID-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive,” Pierce’s 30-year-old law partner Ryan Joseph-Gene Marshall told the judge.

A slew of credulous headlines followed about Pierce’s apparent intubation. No one by that name had been admitted to Cedars-Sinai or the UCLA Medical Center, the two major hospitals near where Pierce lives, and details about his condition were scant.

Pierce, 49, had last been in touch with prosecutors on Aug. 23.

That evening, a self-described colleague of Pierce’s named Brody Womack told NPR reporter Tom Dreisbach in a statement that Pierce was in the hospital for symptoms he thought might have been COVID-related, but were in fact the result of “dehydration and exhaustion.” (Womack, who was unable to be reached by The Daily Beast, has a commercial driver’s license but no law license, according to a public records search of his name.) The day before, Marshall told the judge in another case that Pierce had been in an accident of some sort, and was on his way to the hospital at that time. Later, a source close to Pierce said he had been hospitalized but insisted that he was not on a ventilator.


He seems nice.
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