Monday Musings: Democrats & Economic Issues, 100 Years Since World War I, Ted Yoho, Curt Clawson, All Aboard Florida and High Speed Rail

The economy is broken. Working middle class Americans are suffering greatly thanks to rising prices, stagnant wages, a dumbed down education system, and a horrendous job market anchored by the service sector, which makes up 80% of the jobs created in that recovery. Our tax code is littered with goodies for the top 1% thanks to the extension of the Bush Tax cuts and the cutting of the pay roll tax cut by the Obama Administration. 6 million Americans ages 18-24 are now either unemployed or not enrolled in school and our labor participation rate is at an all time low, while stock prices seemingly hit new highs everyday and banking firms like Citigroup are making settlements with the federal government for their role in wrecking the economy. So I ask my fellow Democrats, why are we spending all of our time and political capital on social issues when our people are hurting the most? I along with a growing majority of Americans support marriage equality but in these trying times, our economy its come first. This issue will be addressed by the judiciary rather than the legislative branch. Making progress in our recovery, takes policy change through the legislative process The majority of Americans are now worse off than they were before the recession. We need to build coalitions on economic issues that will undoubtedly progress our economic recovery- raising the minimum wage, reforming the Earned Income Tax Credit, immigration reform, leveling the taxation playing field by removing some of the burden off the middle class, reforming our student loan industry and most importantly, investing in education and infrastructure. The top down economic policy of the last three decades has been proven false in this modern globalizing society thus Democrats can and must own the issue with the proven solutions that are currently rotting on the shelves thanks to Congressional inaction.   – JS @JustinSnyderFL

100 years ago today the deadliest and most brutal conflict in the history of the European continent began. Places that are no synonymous with bloodshed like Ypres, The Somme, Gallipoli and so many more were placid tranquil places on the morning July 28th, 1914. Most naively believed the conflict between Austria and Serbia would not spill over into the rest of Europe. By August 3rd, Russia, Germany, France and Britain were all drawn into the conflict and by the end of the year Turkey was in the war and by the middle of 1915, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece were also at war. My hope is as we hit the 100th Anniversary of the start of the Great War a new emphasis is placed on learning the lessons of World War I. While World War II is deified in Anglo-American imagination, the British actually lost far more lives during World War I. France lost about 40% of its adult male population and the centuries old Russian, Austrian and Ottoman (Turkish) empires collapsed due to the war. The vindictiveness of the victorious British and French in the postwar period led directly to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini as well as the militarism of Japan. –  KK @kkfla737

I have the wonderful pleasure of living in Ted Yoho’s district. While I actually worked hard to unseat Cliff Stearns, I do not think any of us in good ole Congressional district 3 were prepared for Yoho. Arrogant, ignorant, and absolutely unwilling to accept any bit of logic, Yoho has been comic fodder for late-night comedians ever since he was elected. My personal favorite is when he called the tax on tanning beds ‘racist’ because only white people had to pay it, but there is also his questioning of the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act, his adamant support of the shut-down because it would ‘fix the world economy’, and of course the bit about immigrant children are ‘lazy’ and unworthy of instate tuition. However, his flubs have gotten so much publicity that he is being called out by republicans now. His staff has been complaining that Rick Scott’s staffers and the RPOF have told them to keep a lid on it until election day. With an easy primary and easier election (as much as I adore Marihelen Wheeler, it’s a long shot), Yoho can’t seem to be shakable even with his flubs, but his fellow Republicans are worried about his bad press. The rumor is that part of the District 5 re-drawing will include making his district more D in the hope that Republicans can get rid of him. It is pretty bad when even your own party wants you gone. I wonder what they have in store for Clawson after his epic flub this week. –   KB@BurnettKaty 

I have watched the battle over High Speed Rail for twenty years in this state. Had Jeb Bush and several prominent Democrats in southeast Florida, particularly those in Palm Beach County not co-conspired to kill the project in the early 2000s we would be far ahead as state right now. With increasing fuel costs, the need to grow commerce between the leading Florida metropolitan areas and the basic need for public transport, High Speed Rail would have given Florida a major competitive advantage economically. Instead the Scott Administration has pushed All Aboard Florida, which I supported simply because it is better than nothing but is a politically driven excuse not to pursue High Speed Rail. How popular would High Speed Rail be? How useful would it be?  Let’s look at the Northeast where airline shuttle services between the large business centers of Boston, Washington and New York began in 1961. Hourly flights by multiple airlines with backup planes ready if necessary because often times the flight would fill up.  Amtrak launched its high speed Acela Express service in the Northeast in 2000 just as we were passing our Constitutional Amendment in this state supporting a similar service. But Jeb Bush working closely with Democratic southeast Florida legislators and activists reversed the decision of voters.  Today, the airlines are struggling in the Northeast corridor dropping flights largely because of the popularity of the Acela Express. Surveys claim that 80% of the traffic between New York and Washington flew in 2000 but in 2013 75% take the train. That is a staggering statistic. However, here in Florida, getting between Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Orlando or Tampa is more difficult than anytime in the last two decades. Rumors at the time claimed Southwest Airlines closeness to the Bush family contributed to Governor Bush’s hostility to High Speed Rail. But Southwest has this past year slashed all flights between Tampa and West Palm Beach, Fort Myers and Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, and In October will end service between Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville. They have cut half their flights on the last last remaining in-state route, Fort Lauderdale to Tampa. Now more than ever High Speed Rail is needed. Rick Scott opposes High Speed Rail, while Charlie Crist has consistently supported it. That is as good a reason as any to hope Governor Crist wins in November.  –  KK @kkfla737


  1. KB, I disagree that Wheeler is a longshot. Yoho and his nonstop publicity seeking, his pander to the sliver of the voting public that calls itself the Tea Party, his unabashed racism, even in Flori-duh should mean curtains for this character! Is he pulling a Stearns, hiding out from the voting public and no-showing at the numerous candidate forums taking place in Alachua and Marion? Stearns was a disgrace in his cowardly failure to debate his opponents over the years, and I am sure nary a tear was shed when he lost his primary. The voters should not let Yoho, therefore, get away with the same insulting tactics; Yoho is a novice, and should be beatable if the voters turn out on August 26th. For the good of District 3–lets get out the vote and send Yoho back to his veterinary practice!


    1. Oh believe me, we are trying!! But the fact is that the R voting block in Clay is a huge challenge and Lake City is solidly R. Most counties here Obama got less than 30% of the vote. I would love to see her win, but I’m a numbers girl.


    2. Richard Block · ·

      The Primary on August 26th will not give us a chance to get rid of Yoho. He will be in a Republican Primary against Tea Party candidate Jake Rush. We need a great turn out on November 4th if we are to unseat Yoho with Marihelen Wheeler. Unfortunately it is a safe Republican seat.


  2. Mark Lynn · ·

    As the grandson of a World War I Veteran (PFC Warren G. Lynn) the Centennial of the start of this conflict has been on my mind. It changed the history of the World even more so than Napoleon Bonaparte.


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