FLORIDA TOWN TURNS INTO TEA PARTY’S TOTALITARIAN UTOPIA FOR GOV. RICK SCOTT’S BUDGET SIGNING “EVENT.”
Political dissidents hauled away by the police. Signs critical of their leader taken down with force by party organizers. Groups of private school kids directed to chant political slogans. Is this some sort of third-world dictatorship or totalitarian regime? No, it’s The Villages, a huge retirement community in central Florida known for its strong conservative bent and a favored stop of “Tea Party” celebrities. Gov. Rick Scott held an elaborate ceremony as he signed the state’s austerity budget into law — then proceeded to take out his “red Sharpie” and veto $615 million of spending on everything from health care to land conservation approved by the state legislature. The “crowd of mainly white retirees” and kids from charter schools bused in for the occasion were told to cheer as Scott signed the bill and unleashed his vetoes. Meanwhile, Scott aides and Republican Party officials ordered local police to forcibly remove “Democrats” and individuals holding signs protesting Scott and the massive cuts in the state budget. The state GOP chairman defended that decision, saying those opposing the governor were “people whose ox got gored” in the budget.
President Obama’s tour across Europe continued on Friday as he journeyed to France for the G8 Summit. The locale may have changed but the dialogue remained fixated on a vigorous push for regime change in Libya. Only days after especially friendly meetings with UK Prime Minister David Cameron where the two leaders pledged more military operations aimed at toppling Moammar Qaddafi, Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy held a similarly joyous press conference where both leaders could not contain their excitement over the “progress” made on the “Libya campaign.” After a round of talks with Sarkozy, Pres. Obama said that “we are joined in resolve to finish the job.”
IN VERMONT, HEALTH CARE BECOMES “A RIGHT AND NOT A PRIVILEGE” WITH THE “FIRST SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM IN AMERICA.”
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin officially signed his state’s new single payer health care system into law on Thursday, marking a milestone that welcomes the first state-wide single payer program in the United States. After running on a promise to create a single payer system for Vermont, Gov .Shumlin lauded the “Green Mountain Care” program approved by state lawmakers earlier this month as a “jobs creator that “spends our health care dollars making Vermonters healthy not on insurance company profits and not on waste and inefficiency.” Critics include mostly health insurers and hospital corporations that have “lingering questions” about how single payer will be implemented in Vermont.
The controversial legislation stripping public employees in Wisconsin of collective bargaining rights passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker has taken yet another legal hit in the fight by Walker and his conservative allies to finally get the law enforced. The country judge that had previously halted the implementation of the anti-union law has ruled against the bill for a second time, again insisting that it was passed illegally when Republican state legislators rushed a vote on the legislation as Democratic lawmakers were out of state to protest the proposed bill and deny its supporters a quorum. With the Republican legislature contending that they did nothing wrong, the case will next go before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
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