Three Good Reads

Jason Linkins on Rick Scott:

[T]he more he reveals himself as the grifter he is, the more Florida voters turn against their governor. All the classic signs of a scammer are right there on the surface, they’ve just been largely obscured by the sort of P.R. Scott’s money can purchase.

That’s just a tease. Read the whole rundown.

h/t to Chez who’s also got a story about Rick Scott:

My point is this: When you’ve lost a bunch of pick-up-driving South Florida cops who hold their annual gala at a place normally reserved for rodeos, you’ve lost everyone.

And then there’s Ari Berman on Jim Messina – former White House deputy chief of staff and now manager of Obama’s re-election campaign:

During the healthcare fight, Messina used his influence to try to stifle any criticism of Baucus or lobbying by progressive groups that was out of sync with the administration’s agenda, according to Common Purpose participants. “Messina wouldn’t tolerate us trying to lobby to improve the bill,” says Richard Kirsch, former national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the major coalition of progressive groups backing reform. Kirsch recalled being told by a White House insider that when asked what the administration’s “inside/outside strategy” was for passing healthcare reform, Messina replied, “There is no outside strategy.”

The inside strategy pursued by Messina, relying on industry lobbyists and senior legislators to advance the bill, was directly counter to the promise of the 2008 Obama campaign, which talked endlessly about mobilizing grassroots support to bring fundamental change to Washington. But that wasn’t Messina’s style—instead, he spearheaded the administration’s deals with doctors, hospitals and drug companies, particularly the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), one of the most egregious aspects of the bill. “They cared more about their relationship with the healthcare industry than anyone else,” says one former HCAN staffer. “It was shocking to see. To me, that was the scariest part of it, because this White House had ridden in on a white horse and said, ‘We’re not going to do this anymore.’” When they were negotiating special deals with industry, Messina and Baucus chief of staff Jon Selib were also pushing major healthcare companies and trade associations to pour millions of dollars into TV ads defending the bill.

I encourage you to read this one in its entirety too.

Where I’ve Been

I was a much better blogger when it wasn’t 80 and sunny almost every day.

Mad Clever

Check out the new pro-train video from U.S. PIRG and Funny or Die. The only problem I can see with it is if you’re bright enough to get the subtleties (and/or you’ve ever traveled Europe), you already know rejecting high-speed rail development is a dumbass thing to do. (h/t KW via FB)

Fallon FTW

I haven’t been following the Charlie Sheen circus all that closely, but I’ve heard bits and pieces and did catch the news this afternoon that he set a Guinness World Record for fastest time to a million Twitter followers (25 hours and 17 minutes). The Internet geek in me found this part fascinating:

For Guinness, this is the second high-profile application of the brand’s records system to social media. Last month, the Nabisco cookie brand Oreo and rapper Lil Wayne squared off for the record for the most Facebook likes. Lil Wayne won that contest handily.

Is Guinness only just now starting to dabble in social media record keeping? And if so, what sort of social media records will it deem worth keeping? Very curious.

Anyway, in case you missed it, here’s Jimmy Fallon doing a spot-on Sheen:

Governor Trainwreck

You’ll have to forgive me once again for being a rotten blogtender the past few days. I’ve got some stuff cooking offline that’s left me less time to post.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share one of today’s Herald headlines:

Senators file suit against Scott over high-speed rail

This is my favorite part:

Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, and Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, contend Scott violated the Constitution when he rejected $2.4 billion for a Tampa-Orlando line after the Legislature had already voted to move ahead with the project.

“This is not a monarchy. He is not a king,” said Joyner. “This is a democracy. There are three co-equal, independent branches of government and it is necessary for them to be respected.”

I’m tempted to concede that a high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando may not be the best use of federal funds right now, but if money allocated to that project cannot be used elsewhere and will simply go to some other state if rejected, Scott’s got no business tossing aside $2.4 billion.