Florida Seeing Nearly 300 COVID Deaths Per Day

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New York Times: “More people in Florida are catching the coronavirus, being hospitalized and dying of Covid-19 now than at any previous point in the pandemic, underscoring the perils of limiting public health measures as the Delta variant rips through the state. … This week, 227 virus deaths were being reported each day in Florida, on average, as of Tuesday, a record for the state and by far the most in the United States right now.” Washington Post: “More than 17,000 people are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 in Florida, which has the most hospitalizations for Covid-19 of any state in the country.”

Trump Got the Debate He Wanted, But Will it Help Him?

The day after the debate
Does it feel like something changed at that first presidential debate of 2020? Putting aside that it was exactly the kind of debate that the year 2020 deserved, it felt like during all that bellowing, bullying, heckling, and lying, Trump pushed a few more voters away.

I’m not a pollster. My observations are just that: the most elemental of research, what I see and hear around me.

The day of the debate, I heard Trump supporters talking about recording the show like it was a ball game their team was likely to win. I heard laughter about Biden. On a neighborhood walk, I saw mostly Trump/Pence signs. They appeared early and continued to outnumber Biden signs.

The day after the debate, I heard no chortling about how well Trump did. In fact no one mentioned the debate at all, the subject just too painful. When I came home, it seemed that my neighbors’ yards filled with Biden signs overnight. No matter where my eyes fell, there was a Biden/Harris sign in view.

The official polls reflecting post-debate sentiment won’t be out for awhile. But I’m cautiously optimistic they’ll back up what I’m seeing and show that Trump is sliding just a bit, losing support every time he opens that tight, pursed mouth to let all that anger out.

Watching Trump live-tweet Biden in person was hard. But it might be what it takes to turn enough Americans away from his nightmare presidency.

Why Are Guns So Far Being Held Blameless in Parkland Teen Suicides?

Guns continue to get off the hook in the deaths of two teens who attended Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Even though drug overdose is the method used in 70 percent of potential suicides, it’s only responsible for about 12 percent of the deaths. Guns are far, far more effective. Of the comparatively smaller 6 percent of people who attempt suicide by using a gun, they find “success” about 82 percent of the time. That makes guns responsible for more than half of our country’s suicides.

The role of guns, and access to them, has so far been ignored in the stories about the two teens at Stoneman Douglas. I have yet to find one that asks, let alone answers, the question of where the guns used by the teens came from. But states with the most guns have the most youth suicides.
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Fox News: Trump May Take Current Disaster Funds from Florida, Texas to Build Wall

Event canceled due to emergency in Trump’s base
It wasn’t surprising to hear that Trump was targeting disaster relief funds earmarked for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the wildfires in California. After all, Hillary Clinton won handily in both those places in 2016 and punishing them by taking away desperately needed funding is exactly the kind of mean-spirited, cold-hearted retribution we’ve come to expect from Trump.

But now even Fox News is reporting that Trump will also strip disaster recovery funds from two big states he won: Florida and Texas.

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A Tale of Two Lifestyles

As federal workers borrow from their kids, max out their credit cards, sign up as dog sitters, and even write paid online makeup reviews, federal elected officials are enjoying a very different lifestyle.

Don’t look into the eyes
Florida’s new senator, Rick Scott, is set to be feted tonight by the New Republican PAC at an event they’re calling the “Sunshine Ball” at the ritzy Andrew E. Mellon auditorium in the heart of D.C.

Donors/clients/customers/johns who attend at the “platinum level” will pay $100,000 but in return they’ll get ten tickets plus a photo opportunity, presumably with Voldemort himself.*

Not only that, but attendees will enjoy the rarefied atmosphere of the Mellon Auditorium. A D.C. venue review site describes the circa-1934 building’s, “dramatic roman doric columns, marble floors inlaid with gold, and spectacular auditorium standing more than 60 feet in height and embellished with limestone pilasters, gilded relief carvings, and polished oak where colossal luminaries, made of brass and burnished aluminum, are suspended from the ceiling.”

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How Bad Ballot Design Likely Killed Bill Nelson’s Senate Career

If you’re still mad at Florida for denying Vice Pres. Al Gore the presidency in 2000, you’re probably not any happier with us for denying the Senate another Democrat, in the form of Bill Nelson.

There’s a tragically simple explanation for why the Senate vote went off the rails in the county where Fort Lauderdale is:

Bad ballot design. Like, spectacularly bad design.

In civilized counties like mine, here’s how the ballot looked:

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