Florida cracks you up


The expression \”cracker\” was in use during the Elizabethan era to illustrate someone who brags. The original root of this is the Middle English word crack meaning \”entertaining conversation\”.  Many people recognize the term to \”crack\” a joke. It is recognized in William Shakespeare\’s King John (1595): \”What cracker is this … that deafens our ears / With this abundance of superfluous breath?\”

In Ben Smith’s article 2008, former President Bill Clinton used the term \”cracker\” on Larry King Live to depict white voters he was trying to win over for Barack Obama: \”You know, they think that because of who I am and where my politic base has traditionally been, they may want me to go sort of hustle up what Lawton Chiles used to call the \’cracker vote\’ there.\”

Well Florida was “cracking jokes” during this midterm election. Putting politics and Florida in the same sentence could be considering “cracking a joke.” Rick Scott is the new Republican governor.  Some outside Florida may recognize Richard Lynn \”Rick\” Scott as the businessman, former healthcare industry executive, attorney, founder of Conservatives for Patients\’ Rights (CPR) – see funny – CPR.  What’s funnier, in 1987 Scott helped establish the Columbia Hospital Corporation with two business associates. In the USDOJ.GOV 2003 press release HCA Inc. (formerly known as Columbia/HCA and HCA – The Healthcare Company), eventually became the largest private for-profit health care company in the United States. Keep in mind, Rick Scott earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University.  It should really crack you up laughing to know that he was forced to resign as Chief Executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997 amid a scandal over the company\’s business and Medicare billing practices. That USDOJ.GOV press release went on to explain HCA Inc. had to pay the United States $631 million in civil penalties and damages stemming from false claims the government alleged it submitted to Medicare and other federal health programs.  Today Rick Scott is laughing all the way to the governor’s office.

The HeraldTribune.com wrote a common sense article in October 2010, The risk of choosing Scott in which they posed the question, “Will party loyalty and blind faith trump Florida\’s best interests?” Yup! During that scandal the article states Scott pleaded the fifth 75 times when questioned by the government. Now when people think of Florida what comes to mind? Disney, South Beach, snow birds, Daytona – maybe – but older retired people always comes to mind.  To date there are approximately 3,307,686 Medicare recipients in Florida. Lots of people who will depend on a governor with a history of Medicare fraud and who pleaded the fifth 75 times! Now that would crack anybody up.

As was mentioned, putting politics and Florida in the same sentence could be considering “cracking a joke.” Back in 2000 Clint Curtis at the request of Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Florida) was asked to write a computer program for a touch screen voting machine that would make it possible to change the results of an election undetectably. The technology, Curtis gave details, could be used in any electronic tabulation machine or scanner. Curtis understood initially that the endeavor was meant to detect Democratic fraud, but later learned that it was intended to benefit the Republican Party. It was the pregnant chad hullabaloo in that year\’s presidential election that led Palm Beach County to replace its much- smeared punch-card system with touch-screen machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems in December 2001.

Curtis continued to tell his story and even passed a polygraph test. He testified in Washington.  You can watch the video:  Murder, Spies and Voting Lies: Rigged elections exposed (Part 1) and  Murder, Spies and Voting Lies: Rigged elections exposed (Part 2) Curtis ran a campaign to unseat Republican incumbent Tom Feeney in 2006. Feeney refused to debate and/or address Curtis directly. Feeney\’s strategy was to trivialize Curtis and it worked.

Feeney was named one of the \”20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress\” in a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in 2006. The group stated that his ethics issues arise from golfing trip to Scotland. The trip was paid for by former lobbyist and convicted criminal Jack Abramoff. The trips were taken in obvious violation of House travel and gift rules. Feeney also had issues from his failure to disclosure his ownership of rental property. In the end being unethical doesn’t matter. Curtis lost the general election, acquiring 42 percent to Feeney\’s 58 percent of the vote, or 89,863 votes to Feeney\’s 123,795.

So Scott getting election should not come as a surprise in 2010, after all it’s cracking you up… The Florida State Legislature passed the $70.4 billion FY2011 Florida state budget on April 30, 2010. The state received $1.3 billion from the federal government under H.R. 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the President signed into law on August 10, 2010. All that money – just cracks you up and so will this:  Rachel Maddow  reported on Rick Scott and his \”Conservatives for Patients\’ Rights\” ad campaign against health care reform Just common sense!

Work Cited and Resources:

The Office of Policy and Budget (OPB)(Florida)  http://www.flgov.com/opb_office

Smith, Ben (2008-09-24). \”Bill Clinton: Will respect Jewish holidays, then \’hustle up … cracker vote\’ in Florida – Ben Smith\”. Politico.Com.  http://tinyurl.com/3od5vt

HCA, Inc.  Press release http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2003/June/03_civ_386.htm

Disaster Of The Day: HCA http://www.forbes.com/2000/12/15/1215disaster.html

Does My Vote Count in Florida http://tinyurl.com/3xyaauv

More Questions for Florida http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2004/12/66002