Sunday, January 21, 2007


We begin on the west coast this morning, where the St. Petersburg Times calls for former Florida House Speaker Johnnie R. Byrd, Jr. to stop his tactics to advance his own agenda and replace a number of key staff members of the Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute in Tampa which bears his family's name, or for legislators to remove him from it's board of directors.

Meanwhile, only days after the qualification deadline to run for Mayor of Tampa, the Tampa Tribune editorial page offers a strong endorsement for incumbant Pam Iorio's reelection. It states that "ordinary citizens know better. Iorio is a strong leader who has improved the city on almost every front, from fighting crime to revitalizing urban neighborhoods."

Here at home, the Lakeland Ledger noted that while a number of his Republican collegues crossed over to support some Democratic measures, Congressman Adam Putnam (R - Bartow) held firm with no votes on increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over a two year period and approving the use of federal funds for stem cell research. But the main focus of the opinion piece was to criticize Putnam for his 'no' vote on the College Student Relief Act of 2007, which would assist five million college students nationwide who have federally backed college loans by cutting their interest rates in half in five steps over a two year period.

IMHO, our friends at the Ledger should have also made note of Putnam's "nay" vote on H.R. 4, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower Part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. When it comes between helping the elderly and lower income citizens of the 12th Congressional District or the big drug companies, we really know which side our so-called Representative falls on.

Today's Orlando Sentinel editorial encourages Governor Charlie Crist to pursue his own path to inproving Florida's schools, but warns him not to weaken standards brought forth by predecessor Jeb Bush, saying that "The letter grades issued to schools each year based largely on their students' performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test remain the best way for parents and taxpayers to judge the quality of their schools."

And the Daytona Beach News-Journal continues it's focus on the main issues to face Volusia and Flagler counties in 2007. This week, their opinion piece deals with conservation and the need for a stronger commitment to preservation of enviromentally sensitive lands.

This week we'll include a look at today's editorial in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, which notes that while this Congress will not be tagged the "do-nothing" label earned by their predecessors from last year, they need to accelerate the schedule of approving budget appropriations that should have been approved before last November's elections. According to a recent Associated Press report, the delay is having an effect on federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, ATF, and DEA and their ability to hire new personnel, and the opinion is that it has the potential of complicating efforts to battle terrorism as well as an increasing violent crime rate.

Make it a great Sunday! Thanks for stopping by, and if you haven't visited lately, scroll down and check out some of the other recent posts, rants, and other BS.


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