Unlike other local or national Web sites, our reporting on Quinnipiac's first poll of the 2014 Democratic candidates for governor did not lead off with how great Rick Scott is now performing, because the man trails both Charlie Crist and Bill Nelson by 10 points, even though neither is a declared candidate yet, and in the case of Nelson, probably never will be, unless he's absolutely brought kicking and screaming into the race next winter.
But we get why everyone else hailed the guv's new high water marks in both personal and job approval ratings - because they are creeping to almost even, getting over 40 percent in both categories. Combine that with the fact that he will have somewhere between $100-$125 million to spend on his re-election bid, and yes, jobs are picking up in Florida, and you do have a more formidable looking incumbent.
The question is, when will a Democrat who can beat Rick Scott get into the race? Actually, Nan Rich is running, and she was the only Democrat listed who is trailing Scott (42-36 percent). Alex Sink was not listed in the poll. As far as rumors that she will run? She tells the Times today that she won't decide until September 1.
But a word to those Florida Democrats (I think David Plouffe would call them bed-wetters) who are freaked out about Charlie Crist being their standard bearer. The poll shows that both he and Bill Nelson have a 10-point lead today over Governor Scott. That hardly looks like his popularity is weaning so much that you have to call in the calvery (i.e. Nelson), does it? And by the way, by 50-35 percent, Floridians in the poll said they didn't want Scott to be their governor again next year.
Speaking of polls, a new one came out regarding St. Petersburg's political scene, and it doesn't auger well for either Mayor Bill Foster or the Lens.
A rally is being scheduled for this Friday afternoon by a coalition of liberal activist groups against Bill Nelson and NSA surveillance. Nelson last week said he thought leaker/whistle-blower Edward Snowden was a traitor.
And aren't we all lucky that a gang-banger or lord knows who didn't pick up that loaded Glock left in a Ybor Muvico theater Sunday afternoon? It was a 9-year-old boy who found the weapon that an off-duty Hillsborough County Sheriff Deputy had decided to lay down as he uh, took a load off.
That would be 38-year-old Luke Hussey, a 13-year veteran of the force.
Shortly after 9-year-old Zane Noland had settled into his seat with his brother and dad to check out the new Superman flick Man of Steel on Father's Day, he and his pop went to the restroom. Zane opened up a stall where on top of a toilet paper dispenser sat a loaded Glock 26.
He then told his father Wesley, a Marine veteran, who took the gun into another restroom and disarmed it.
The Sheriff's Department reported that Hussey was enjoying a movie (not listed in their press release) when about 90 minutes into the flick he had an "Oh, shit" moment, realizing that the gun he took with him inside the theater was no longer on him.
Hussey then spoke to the Muvico manager, who told him that Tampa Police had been called in and had recovered the weapon.
Larry McKinnon with the Sheriff's Department said in a press release, "HCSO takes this matter very seriously and has already began an administrative investigation to determine any policy violations that may have occurred."
Most of those prevention efforts, Alexander said, came from the NSA's monitoring of foreigners' internet communications under a program known as Prism. He added that they were "limited, focused and subject to rigorous oversight."
His comments came a day after President Obama gave he gave his most forceful defense of the NSA's surveillance activities to PBS's Charlie Rose,
As to where the American public stands on the issue, well that seems to vary depending on which pollster you trust most.
But there are definitely elements on both the political right and left who are angry about the revelations.
This Friday afternoon a rally in Tampa has been called to protest the snooping, though the groups sponsoring this event all are to left on the political spectrum.
The survey out Tuesday shows the Lens — on the ballot Aug. 27 — losing 63-28 percent, with 10 percent undecided.
The poll also shows that Bill Foster may be in a major fight to survive the Aug. 27 primary, where he'll be on the ballot with Kathleen Ford and Rick Kriseman.
When asked how's he doing in the survey, St. Pete voters responded by a 56-43 percent margin that they don't think the mayor is doing a good job.
Week three of June brings some much-anticipated releases in hip hop, among some other appealing albums. Info and links for the ones you want to know about most below, plus some other ones you may not have heard of (but should know), with audio & video for your listening and viewing pleasure. Click here to check out releases that dropped over the past few months.
Adventures, Clear My Head With You EP (No Sleep)
Austra, Olympia (Domino)
Baths, Cerulean (Anticon)
Beach Day, Trip Trap Attack (Kanine)
The City and Horses, Strange Range (Paper Garden Records)
Columboid, Monster Vision (La Société Expéditionnaire)
Eddie Spaghetti, The Value of Nothing (Bloodshot Records)
Empire of the Sun, Ice on the Dune (Astralwerks)
Falling in Reverse, Fashionably Late (Epitaph)
The Gaslight Anthem, Singles Collection 2008-2011 (SideOneDummy)
Hanson, Anthem (3CG)
Heliotropes, A Constant Sea (Manimal Vinyl)
Four women from Brooklyn make up Heliotropes, which delivers hard-grinding stoner rock. This is their debut full-length, with the majority of songs featuring titles that are also names of various monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, Sasquatch). "Quatto" is the monster-thing from Total Recall; listen after the jump along with checking out the rest of this week's new releases...
"It's for the kids," replied most of them, with a grin engorged by alcohol and arousal.
Exactly which kids was unclear. The strippers' kids? The strippers themselves?
That wasn't the only question that went unanswered. There was also confusion as to what exactly the golfers were paying for — beyond a barrage of sexual innuendos involving strokes, balls and holes — when they bid on the exotic dancers to be their caddies for the day.
However the headlines this morning aren't that Scott continues to trail a man who hasn't even declared his candidacy yet, but about how Scott's approval and personal ratings are the highest in his tenure in office.
Scott's job approval rankings are almost split straight up, with a 43-44 rating, his highest approval rating since he was elected and up 7 points from when the question was last asked three months ago.
And Scott gets a divided 40 - 42 percent favorability rating, but that also is up from a negative 33 - 46 percent favorability rating March 20, and his best score so far.
However, voters still say 50 - 35 percent that Scott does not deserve to be reelected.
And think about this: Scott is working damn hard to get re-elected, while Charlie Crist, Alex Sink and Bill Nelson - all rumored to be potential Democratic candidates - haven't done a thing in terms of challenging Scott, since they're not declared candidates. And Crist and Nelson still lead Scott (the poll did not include Alex Sink).
President Obama is really in a pickle in many respects to his presidency. He went on Charlie Rose last night to defend the surveillance tactics that Edward Snowden has revealed to the world. While the country appears to be split on whether they think it's okay, some of his previous supporters are disturbed by the rhetoric he displayed on the subject in 2007, and what he's saying now.
And what to make of the announcement late last week that the U.S., after two years of bloodshed, will begin arming Syrian rebels opposing Bashar al-Assad? Well, the public needs a lot more selling, because 70 percent oppose doing it according to a new Pew Poll.
The poll shows that Americans believe the moral thing to do is stop authoritarian regimes, but they are almost evenly divided on whether we should do anything for the Syrian people.
Moving on, the GOP-led House of Representatives plan on voting for two measures this week, one being the Farm Bill, which will substantially reduce the number of people who receive food stamps.
They'll also be voting on an abortion bill as early as today that would make it illegal to have an abortion after 20 weeks. That bill, of course, is going nowhere, as the U.S. Senate will never pass it. Sort of like a lot of bills in Congress, sadly.
New Yorker journalist George Packer is getting rave reviews for his look at America through a collection of individual portraits in his new book, The Great Unwinding. There's certainly a lot of interest in the book here in the Tampa Bay area, as the region is one of the main characters in story of America over the past three decades, and much of it ain't pretty. Our conversation can be read here.
Because members of low-income working families with children who benefit from school lunch and breakfast programs would be affected by those cuts, Tampa-area Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor was joined by Hillsborough County School District head MaryEllen Elia at Tampa Bay Elementary in West Tampa to decry the House proposal.
"Food stamps were very important during the economic recession because people lost their jobs and the last thing you want is for a child to go hungry, show up to school with having breakfast and lunch, so SNAP provided that safety net for children all across this community," Castor said Monday morning as kindergarten students entered into the cafeteria behind her for their lunch period.
Scheduled for a vote in the House later this week is a proposal that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It's sponsored by Arizona Republican Trent Franks, who last week provoked outrage when he argued against an amendment would have exempted victims of rape or incest from the bill’s strict limits.
“Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject — because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low, but when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. And in this case that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation. And that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose for such an amendment,” Franks said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing (on Friday the GOP amended it to include an exception for rape and incest).
Tampa-area Democrat Kathy Castor says she strongly opposes the bill.
"This is another example of the extreme position that Congressional Republicans are taking. We thought the war on women is over, but apparently not," Castor told CL Monday morning after she wrapped a press conference regarding the Farm Bill at a West Tampa elementary school.