Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 15, 2013

re Marco Rubio: Oh dear! Another predictable Beth Reinhard paint-by-numbers piece on Rubio in The National Journal, full of the usual resume/personality recitals. I'll bet I can guess what Reinhard will say about him before reading it. Yes, and so can you! That's the whole problem -Reinhard writes about Rubio by rote; Where's the plan for positive changes at McClatchy's Miami Herald -still missing!

U.S. Senate longshot candidate Marco Rubio in Hallandale Beach, FL at Southeast Broward Republican Club. June 23, 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

The National Journal
Can Marco Rubio Live Up to the Hype?
He's the GOP's Barack Obama, a fresh-faced politician with an immigrant name, a playlist full of rap, and a collection of fawning press clips. The challenge: He's selling the same old party message.
By Beth Reinhard
Updated: February 14, 2013 | 8:50 p.m. 
February 14, 2013 | 8:20 p.m.
The freshman senator from Florida had joined four veteran colleagues to unveil a proposal for the first major overhaul of immigration law in a quarter-century. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., introduced “my friend, Senator [Marco] Rubio, who obviously is a new but incredibly important voice in this whole issue of immigration reform.”
Two weeks earlier, Rubio had laid out a similar set of principles in an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal under the headline, “Marco Rubio: Riding to the Immigration Rescue.” The article came as a surprise to McCain and other members of the bipartisan group of senators who had been sketching out an immigration plan with and without Rubio for weeks. The blueprint was inspired by legislation that McCain first spearheaded in 2005.
The dig was subtle, but Rubio didn’t let it go.

Oh dear! Another predictable Beth Reinhard paint-by-numbers piece on Marco Rubio in The National Journal, full of the usual resume/personality recitals.
Bet I can guess what Beth Reinhard will say about Marco Rubio
Yes, and so can you! 

That's the problem -Reinhard writes about Rubio by rote.
Just like her last piece on him.

Even the new anecdotes she drops throughout the column sound just like the old ones she used, since they are almost always cobbled together to create the same old product: Marco the Magnificent.

It would be far better if she spoke to veteran analysts like Charlie Cook, also of the National Journal and someone whose every word I read religiously for meaning and portent, as mentioned many times here in the past, which is why I've linked to so many of his columns here over the years.

Specifically, speak to Cook about the dangers of over-exposure, which he is getting closer to everyday, and the graveyard of presidential candidates that peaked early and never made it to Election Day because they prematurely annoyed or bored America silly, or flat out didn't have the sort of practical experience needed or the ability to articulate a cogent, distinct message that resonated with the public and which could grow even larger with hard work.
Bill Bradley for instance.

Even though I was an early and very confident Senate supporter of Rubio's in 2009, when the entire Florida GOP and business establishment, along with Florida's sycophantic Mainstream Media, plus the East Coast drive-by MSM, practically handed the 2010 Republican Senate nomination to then-Governor Charlie Crist, in my opinion, Rubio needs to actually accomplish a lot more of substance sooner -and be seen LESS in a pop-culture prism- otherwise, everyone in America may be bored silly by the sight of him within two years as the new car smell wears off, just as he's campaigning for House and Senate candidates throughout the country, and actually getting most of the questions, not the candidates he's with.

Yes, just like a once interesting new TV commercial that you have now grown to cringe at within a milli-second of seeing on TV and reach for the remote.

And if and when that happens, the only thing that will be written about him will be the hit pieces by the usual suspects, especially among liberal reporters and columnists in the West, who have no secret of the fact that they resent the collective power of Cubans in the political process compared to Mexicans, who vastly outnumber them.

And Univision, of course, in their creepy stalker-like relationship with Rubio, where they are always looking to see if he's spending too much time with someone else.
es, Univision, the Spanish-language channel that the Miami Herald is always kissing the butt of and overplaying the significance of, but who will, not so curiously, not mention in print that they didn't air President Obama's State of the the Union address, which is why they won Tuesday night in the TV ratings.

Nope, no mention, as you can see for yourself. 

I thought they were the new "It"?
Qué pasa, Herald?

Yes, Univision, the politically-biased TV network that makes it very clear in their so-called news coverage that the only reasonable side of the immigration debate is pro-amnesty, otherwise, you are a racist. 

Oh yeah -and the supposed news network whose employees loves to take public whacks at 

That is, if they, too, aren't already bored silly by Rubio and tired of pointing-out the same deficiencies they saw/see in him, over-and-over.

On the other hand, it's good to remember that Rubio eventually got so bored/irritated with Reinhard asking him the same ol' leading questions over-and-over during his long Senate campaign, that as I wrote here at the time, towards the end, he eventually started freezing her out because he simply couldn't take the routine anymore

You might recall that was back when the Herald's then-Ombudsman took Beth Reinhard (and the Herald) to task in his once-in-a-while Sunday column for having one person perform both reporter and columnist duties, saying that it was a conflict of interest.

The Ombudsman was right, of course, and Reinhard proved why that was true by being whiny publicly in her columns about being frozen out by Rubio, which not only made her less attractive to Rubio as a person to speak with, but for voters and newspaper readers, made her 'articles' about him not at all reliable, since you already knew that she was mad at him enough to say so publicly.
But I guess I'm the only one who remembers that, huh?

Alas, the Herald's then-Ombudsman left in April of 2011 and has never been replaced, with rather predictable results from my perspective: more bias than ever in articles as well as more missing facts and context.

As many of you regular readers know, I've directly asked the Herald's top management why there's been no replacement and no mention made in the paper of what their plan is, if any, for an eventual replacement.
And, what their plan for improvement in print and online was to keep the faith of readers.
That's been met with stony silence. 
Followed by more silence.

A smart and fair-minded person representing the interests of Herald readers and ethics is not in the cards there.

Folks, it's time to face the fact that publisher David Landsberg has no actual plan for the Herald's future that positive for news consumers, because if he did, he'd have already made them public months before they went to a pay wall, and only added the pay wall AFTER getting rid of the problem step-children, adding new and curious columnists and reporters who don't take things for granted -one of the worst daily offenses there!-  and completely re-do the website from top-to-bottom, so the same stories don't appear in three separate places there, as happens now, which is acutely embarrassing for everyone, most of all, them.

That's why in my opinion, with the same people in charge, the Herald's problems are only going to get worse over time.

But if someone with some smarts and money bought the Sun-Sentinel, fired all the dead wood and made it more like some of the Swedish newspapers that I've become increasingly  used to, and read daily while I was in Stockholm last month, newspapers which are very popular, well then, you could well see will see a very interesting dynamic take place here

in South Florida.
But not right now.

Now, each newspaper and its management seem locked in a battle of lethargy to do the least amount of original enterprise reporting possible.
Ratings: Univision Wins Night By Skipping State of the Union
By Tim Kenneally
Published: February 13, 2013 @ 10:03 am

November 1, 2010
Hallandale Beach Blog endorses Beth Reinhard & Charlie Crist's departure - asks they get escort to airport so they don't miss their flights out of FL

September 3, 2010

Addition by subtraction: Beth Reinhard leaving Miami Herald, heading to D.C. and The National Journal. Herald readers finally win one!

Univision staffer attacks Sen. Marco Rubio on Facebook

No doubt after the Castro Brothers finally go adios for good, many of the Univision employees will try to move to Cuba and try to suddenly reinvent themselves as real journalists, after years of being celebrity hand-holdres, political suck-ups and amateur political science professors based in LA, NYC and Miami, forever intent on lecturing us on how important Latin America is, despite the fact that we mostly don't care about it for perfectly valid reasons, no matter how much they insist it's important.

But it's not, even with changing demographics and population changes, Americans aren't going to suddenly care about Honduras or Uruguay or Brazil if they never did before, and they can't let on that the whole thing has been a journalistic con for years to fleece advertising dollars.

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'dALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, theCity of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester forYEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials.Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl


The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)


Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.