Sunday, May 20, 2018

Trump should cap gas prices

If you want to help with all of this consider an electric car.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD 
You're probably watching gasoline prices go up and wondering what’s going on.
Well, the answer is a lot.
The seasonal changeover is in process, the petroleum industry sees a good economy and the chance to gain massive profits while most of us are distracted by our own lives and the machinations of politics, and some of the big geopolitical players in crude oil supply still think they can mussel the United States around by playing with oil supplies, think OPEC.
Trump Tweet:
Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
With our economy, humming along these Petro players are trying to cash in while the geopolitical petroleum suppliers can’t get a handle on Trump, so they are trying a power play.
NBC News by Martha C. White:  Trump Adds Fuel to the Fire of Rising Gas Prices
How big is the impact of a rise in gas prices on our economy?
"Every penny rise generally takes out billions of dollars from the economy in other avenues, and discretionary spending is always the first to take a hit," said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.
 “The general rule of thumb is that every 1 cent per gallon more results in $1 billion less in consumption per year.”
What would the impact of gas at $3.00 for the rest of the year? About $45 billion in less spendable consumption for the year which would take a major bite out of the Trump tax cuts.
It is time for action.
The petroleum and gasoline business is a constant throughput industry and relies on a steady flow of product sales to maintain the massive amount of dollars that flow from consumer back up the chain.
Trump needs to issue a series of executive orders capping gas prices, freezing domestic crude oil and refined product exports and diverting them to domestic refiners and suppliers.
Further Trump needs to issue executive orders stopping the sale and shipment of all military hardware, ammunition, repair parts and services to countries holding us hostage with their crude oil prices. Again, think OPEC.
The oil industry from the well to the pump cannot stand even a brief hiccup in the process flow of oil and money. Let’s cause some of that foreign crude start piling up in ships that cannot unload, and OPEC tank farms and see how quick the price changes.
If you want to help all of this consider an electric car.
If you're in the market for a new car and your daily commute is less than 75 miles, there are a number of good electric cars that will meet your need. Every electric car on the road means a decrease in the amount of refined oil products we consume.
For now, it is time for Trump to step up and do what he does best call their bluff. My guess is he will win again, and OPEC and big oil will lose.
If you agree Tweet or e-mail this post to Trump or the White House and let the president know you are with him on this one.

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Contributor to: Rick Scott for Senate
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Friday, May 18, 2018

School Security a Political Football

Superintendents and school board chair persons sounded collectively like a kindergarten class that had just been told recess was canceled.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
The Florida Legislature could have done a better job setting up and funding the mandates in the school security Bill.
Every school district in the state started screaming the minute the Bill passed.
Was this accident, intention or retribution?
No one knows for sure, but public education does not seem to be the apple of the legislator’s eyes.
I am pretty sure the boys and girls in Tallahassee knew they were poking the bear when they moved funding to support the security mandate, just not enough, from school funding and left school districts hanging. Sort of a double slap in the face.
Superintendents and school board chair persons sounded collectively like a kindergarten class that had just been told recess was canceled.
These “leaders” of public education did what they do best they started looking for someone else to shoulder the burden.
For a while, it looked like the big cities and sheriffs around the state might jump in and help, but then reality set in, and they begin to see that they were being hood-winked into a never-ending funding pit with school boards going on their merry way while Counties and Cites get left filling the bag.
Suddenly, the School districts began to meet some surprising resistance. You can read about it in a Tampa Bay Times article Kathryn Varn: Pinellas commissioners won’t pay for more deputies in schools and from Caitlin Johnson Tampa Bay Times: St. Petersburg will no longer put officers in elementary schools.
Now it looks like The Pinellas County School district will use private security guards; see Tampa Bay Times Claire Mc Neill and Kathryn Varn Staff Writers: Security guards to be temporary fix in Pinellas schools.
It sounds kind of scary to me. If I had a kid in school and wasn’t already looking at Charter schools this would definitely push me over the edge.
The long-term fix being touted by many local school districts is the expansion or creation of their own “Police Departments."
This looks like a recipe for disaster on a number of levels. Most of these Superintendents and school boards can barely run a school system let alone a Police Department.
In an earlier Post, Whining about the cost of school safety, I addressed the real problem facing the Florida Public School system which is an overriding desire to live in the last century with bloated administrations, lavish non educational programs and an abiding desire to spend more money on everything but that the class room.
While the Charter school industry gradually picks the flesh off the skeleton of public education and delivers superior education and results, Public School districts have yet to offer any hint of restructuring, reducing costs or cutting non-core educational programs to help fund school safety.
They are simply playing the heart strings of school safety and hoping a big bag of cash will show up to make the problem go away.
So far, things are not looking too good.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jane Castor campaign misleads voters about its own fundraising success

Tampa, Fl 
Edited by: Tom Rask 

Campaign finance reports for the month of April show former Tampa police chief Jane Castor raised $33,540 in April from 89 donors. A political action committee called “Tampa Strong,” which is likely to support the same issues Castor does, raised $15,250 in April, with $10,000 of that from four corporations writing checks for $2,500 each.
The amount reported was low, given that Castor’s campaign three days ago claimed on Facebook (see below) to “have raised over $250,000 to date.” Their post linked to an article on FloridaPolitics.Com that emphasized that this feat had been accomplished “in just two weeks!”
The FloridaPolitics.Com article stated that the funds were raised from “more than 300 donors” and the feat had been accomplished “since she announced her run for Tampa Mayor in mid-April.” Therefore, additional funds in excess of $216,460 must have been raised during the first six and a half days in May for her “over $250,000” claim to be true.
That scenario is so unlikely that it can be safely dismissed. The Tampa Bay Times reportedthat “Castor’s campaign said it and an associated committee have raised about $250,000 so far.”  Given that a total of $224,962 had been raised through the end of April and the campaign’s claim of “over $250,000” on May 7th, it can be deduced that approximately $30,000 was raised in the first week of May.
By saying “we have raised” in a campaign Facebook post, Castor appears to be equating campaign funds with PAC funds in her messaging to voters. The campaign doesn’t mention her PAC other than platitudinally as #TampaStrong and “we are Tampa Strong.”
The month of April also saw Castor tell a Tampa Bay Times’  columnist that her police department’s 2015 highly criticized “biking while black” citations “were a mistake.” Castor’s change in position came one week before announcing her run for mayor.
In 2015, Castor defended the citations while refusing interview requests from the Times about the matter.
Castor’s designated campaign staff also didn’t respond to our April 26th request for an interview or answer questions about her May 3rd fundraiser at the private Tampa Yacht & Country Club. That event was not announced on her campaign Facebook or Twitter pages, while events in fundraising events in Seminole Heights and at Ulele Restaurant were announced through those channels.
The host committee for the yacht club fundraiser invitation listed 16 people, of which four are lobbyists. The Seminole Heights event listed a different group of people, and a “suggested contribution” of $250, compared to $500 at the yacht club event.
The presence of lobbyist Patrick Baskette on Castor’s host committee may signal that Castor is willing to spend public funds on a new Rays stadium in Ybor City. Baskette and Ron Christaldiare both lobbyists at Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, and Christaldi has taken a leading role in trying to bring baseball to Ybor.
Castor’s campaign appears to be trying to soften her previous “tough cop with arms crossed” image in favor of bright colors and approachability. Former St. Pete mayor Rick Baker’s makeover last year didn’t bring him victory in that city’s mayoral race, and even earned him some ridicule. How Castor’s policy and appearance makeovers will be received by Tampa voters remains to be seen.
Her opponents view Castor as current mayor Bob Buckhorn’s proxy and she will certainly get his endorsement in due course. Some fear that Castor will only serve four years and then step aside in order for Buckhorn to return as mayor. That prospect is either appealing or unappealing, depending largely on how satisfied a person is with how the City of Tampa has been run under Buckhorn.
Castor’s opponent Ed Turanchik raised $22,145 in April from 85 donors and leads overall fundraising with $102,100 raised for his campaign. Castor is averaging $376 per donor and Turanchik $361.
There are seven announced candidates, with Turanchik and Castor viewed by many as the candidates with the best chance of winning. However, unforced errors like this week’s misleading claims about its own fundraising could create headwinds for the Castor campaign even before hurricane season begins June 1st.
As always….the Guardian reports and our readers decide. Like our Facebook page to find out when we publish new stories. 

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This post is contributed by the Tampa Bay Guardian. The views expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet or any publications, blogs or social media pages where it may appear.
Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Guardian

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