Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Print Media Pity Party

It’s the old Harry Truman adage, "If you can’t stand the heat get the hell out of the kitchen."

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
This week some 200 newspapers around the country all printed editorials about how bad they are being treated by everyone from Trump down to the public. All the time they were claiming their independence, value to democracy and their really hurt feelings.
It seemed to me to be the gasp of an industry on the verge of extinction.
I don’t consider myself to be part of the mainstream media, and they as a general rule they don’t consider independent bloggers as much above dirt. I don’t “report” on anything; you won’t see any “breaking news" here, and you won’t find me in a line screaming obnoxious questions at some public figure.
For the first time in modern history, the mainstream media is faced with a president who is not impressed with their efforts, coward by their persistence or particularly interested in what they say. And he is not afraid to swing back when they attack.
It’s the old Harry Truman adage, "If you can’t stand the heat get the hell out of the kitchen."
To me, the mainstream medias biggest mistake with Trump has been they have allowed him to lure the media into the gutter where many of them belong.
Since the media are frequently loose with the facts, Trump and an ever-increasing number of political and public figures feel free to do the same.
One thing I think the media may be missing, although some have seemed surprised, is the reaction from the public. They would like to blame the public’s negative and sometimes hostile reaction on “those awful Trump supporters” but the fact is the print and electronic media credibility has been slowly slipping into the toilet over a number of years.
I think it is a bit laughable that 200 major newspapers thought it was wise to dedicate their editorial page to an attack they claim is the result of one man’s effort.
The recent print media cries about their protection of our democracy are self-serving at best as they take every possible opportunity to tear down the very institutions that they claim to love with rudeness, bias, and self-interest.
If it were true that the media are the real bastions of our democracy, the I would offer we are in a great deal more trouble than we think.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vinik Tax Hike DOUBLES County Sales Tax Revenue, Increases COUNTY'S Tax Rate 100%

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

Guest post from Hillsborough County resident and small business owner Tim Curtis.

Who among the "Transit Tax Hike supporters" will tell the whole truth about Vinik's transit tax hike petition effort to raise the total sales tax rate in Hillsborough County to 8% - the highest in the state?

The so-called “one penny” or $.01 increase isn't a "1%" or even a 14+% increase. This is a county levied tax hike. It is a 100% INCREASE in the COUNTY Sales Tax Rate.

As a small business owner, the current state sales tax rate I must collect and remit to the state is 6%. The other 1% of the current 7% total sales tax rate collected is the county sales tax rate. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that an increase from 1% to 2% is a 100% PERCENT INCREASE.

The transit tax hike will DOUBLE the county's sales tax rate with the vast majority of the 100%  increase in the county sales tax revenue paid by taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Local media, including Sue Carlton and others at the Vinik bailed out Tampa Bay Times, continue misleading the public that this is a “one penny” tax hike. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Instead of this “mad dash” to unnecessarily take an additional $15-18 BILLION out of taxpayer pockets, the mad dash should be insisting elected officials properly prioritize the current and growing county revenues. Ensure our county roads, neglected for almost a decade, are fixed first and then lets talk about where additional transportation funding is needed.

Two years ago, the BOCC-appointed Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) diligently examined the county budget. They prepared a report, unanimously approved by the bipartisan CAC, containing recommendations on the budget. The CAC meticulously identified $3 BILLION in potential savings.

Why is there a “mad dash” to unnecessarily increase the county sales tax rate 100% instead of a “mad dash” to examine whether the identified potential savings in other areas of the county budget can be used to fund transportation?

Hillsborough County and the local economy is growing – both resulting in booming revenues unanticipated a few short years ago.

I personally know the misleading talking points being used by those gathering petition for the 100% county sales tax rate hike petition effort.

Last week at my place of business, I was approached by a nice young lady who asked if I would “sign her petition”. I engaged her in conversation and learned she had only recently relocated to Tampa from out of state and was doing this work to earn money.

I applaud her for that and assume a temp agency is being used to hire paid petition gatherers.

However, I asked some very pointed but polite questions about the petition and she told me she was told “it is a one per cent increase”. When I questioned her again and showed her the math questioning how that can be, she assured me that she was told “one per cent”.

Obviously, people that was hired to gather the transit tax hike petitions know nothing about Hillsborough County or the transportation issue.

The city of Tampa power brokers behind this Vinik and associates funded transit tax hike petition effort are being dishonest and intentionally using misleading information to deceive taxpayers and voters.

But are you getting a 100% raise or revenue increase next year?

If not, then why should the county?

Especially a 100% county revenue increase that will greatly benefit Vinik, his Under Water Street development and the city of Tampa…but will be paid for on the backs of taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Eye Note: There is another citizen led transportation funding proposal that does NOT require any massive 30 year sales tax hike. Fund Transportation and No Tax Hike Is Needed!
Voters and taxpayers deserve to hear both proposals and be fully informed.
Unfortunately biased local media is suppressing information and intentionally shutting down any other proposal so they may cheerlead for Vinik's massive transit tax hike.

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

2018 Primary Election – Are you confused?

Putnam was my guy for Governor, but DeSantis has put on quite a run, I am struggling with my decision. 

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by:
E. Eugene Webb PhD
: So You Want to Blog.
You might think that since I write a lot about politics, I would have this primary election thing all figured out and be ready with a handful of recommendations on who you should vote for.
Well, you would be wrong.
Since I am a registered Republican, and my wife is a registered Democrat, we get all of mailers, door hangers and robocalls.
I have dutifully sorted through them, and I find little compelling information.
The debates are proving useless as it now seems the in-vogue thing is not to answer a debate question no matter what it is. I wish one of the debate moderators would ask a candidate for Governor what his/her name is, so we could maybe get one straight answer.
Watching a bunch of billionaires and millionaires slug it out in a so-called debate is entertaining but not particularly informative unless you consider the fact that no matter how much money these guy’s have very little of what they promise can actually be delivered.
I wish there was another woman running for governor. I am really over Gwen Graham playing the “mom” card.
In the Senate race, I am all in on Rick Scott, you will note in my disclosures, I am a contributor to his campaign.
There is something nice about having a governor who has more than enough money already, so he will not be easily influenced. It is also a concern of mine that if DeSantis wins the Governor’s office, he will immediately be on Trump’s short list for Vice President in 2020 since I firmly believe VP Mike Pence has had enough.
It would be much easier for DeSantis to roll with Trump. We might have Ron for a little over two years before he moves on, so his lieutenant Governor becomes a key decision.
In the long run, Florida might just be better off with Adam Putnam. Calm, cool headed, there won’t be a lot of fireworks from Tallahassee, but my bet is a lot of good things will get done. Adam will not be on Trump’s VP short list, so he can focus on all things Florida.
On the Democratic side, my wife is not a big fan of Jeff Green, thinks he looks a bit shifty as he talks out of the side of his mouth. She is also over the Gwen Graham “mom” thing but maybe not enough to vote for someone else. She seems to perk up when a Phillip Levine ad runs.
As to the local races, this election cycle has been a blizzard of mailers, TV ads and pseudo debates it is very hard to sort out who is the best candidate. County Commission, City Councils, School Board in all these races I would take the Tampa Bay Times recommendations with a grain of salt. Look for honesty and integrity.
I always have the biggest problem with the Judge candidates. We hardly know these people; the incumbent has a significant advantage so who do you vote for?
The Tampa Bay Times has long been a good source of information on the Judge races, although with the changes at the Times and its growing self-serving nature, you may want to do some research on your own.
It boils down to this. If you like leaders who are wealthy you have some to choose from. If you like normal, people who want to serve their community you have a few to choose from, and if you want professional politicians who like the lime light, the backslapping, the free meals and really don’t worry that much about what you think or what you need your choices are endless.
I am getting ready to fill out my mail in ballot, and if yours is still laying around somewhere in the house, now would be a good time to go get it and start making some decisions.
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