A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Guess who finally decided to stop playing #RipVanWinkle re #DebbieWassermanSchultz on #ImranAwan scandal and start reporting the news, instead of finessing it? The South Florida press corps. But how long will that last? Experience suggests not long at all!

The South Florida's news media has finally decided to stop playing slumbering #RipVanWinkle re #DebbieWassermanSchultz and the continuing scandal involving her now-fired staffer #Imran Awan that touches on national security and DWS's longstanding sense of entitlement, and actually start reporting the news, instead of finessing it.
But how long will that last, especially in the heat and humidity of the South Florida summer? Based on first-hand personal experience, I'd say not very long at all!

What follows below are just a few of the many, many examples of the South Florida news media -newspaper, TV and radio- and their long history of censoring negative news about the thin-skinned FL-23 Congresswoman based in Broward County, impolite and impolitic Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

For you newcomers to the blog, especially people living too far from South Florida to know or appreciate this basic point of how the powerful always protect themselves, despite the fact that FL-23's DWS and feckless and incompetent FL-24's Frederica Wilson represent adjoining Congressional Districts in Broward, and decry the ills of gerrymandering whenever asked, they represent two very different worlds of South Florida, politics and the Democratic Party.

Because of gerrymandering, DWS has a CD that reaches down into very affluent Aventura, a never-ending source of tremendous amounts of loot for the DNC and the national Democratic Party Establishment, despite it being in Miami-Dade County.
Wilson on the other hand gets a CD that stretches from Liberty City and Overtown in Miami to parts of western Hallandale Beach, a city located on the ocean and in another county.

So much for the "compactness" we were promised when drawing up political districts in Florida. So why is this?

It's simple. This arrangement ensures that nearly every single African-American voter immediately north of Downtown Miami and in southeast Broward County is in FL-24 and that nearly every single Jewish voter in northeast Miami-Dade County and southeast Broward County is in FL-23.

For Miami's Black political Establishment, the crew that has done such an abysmal job of bringing tangible resources and power to bear upon that position under Carrie Meek and her son, Kendrick, this enclave arrangement also ensures that no one from wealthy Aventura ever runs against Wilson or Miami's Black political Establishment.
They have it for keeps, to do with whatever they want.

We all know that summer is when South Florida's news media, even its Junior Varsity team's members, take a LONG snoozy siesta and says mañana whenever you inform them about something that's of public concern.
Mañana, Dave, mañana!

No, during the summer, the typical South Florida news reporter, esp. TV reporters, will only snap into place and act old school jurnalism when there's a strong chance that a hurricane will hit South Florida, or some place nearby.
Otherwise, they don't want to be bothered with pesky things like salient facts, incriminating photos and video or examples of hypocrisy and entitlement among the political classes until after Labor Day.
They need their summer slumber!

Personally, one of the more frustrating things that I've had to grudgingly accept as my reality here in South Florida during the past 13-plus years -since I returned to the area after living and working in the Washington, D.C. area for 15 years, including constantly being on Capitol Hill and knowing well its history, personalities and good and bad sides- has been the confounding and counter-intuitive way that the South Florida news media, both print and electronic, has covered influential but controversial Broward County-centric Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Most of the South Florida press corps is so cowed by here that they are practically DWS "pets," genuflecting on cue and prostrating themselves to show her that they know she's the dominant animal. They will do whatever she wants.

This is, presumably, since the local press won't admit this publicly, in order for them to maintain access to this thin-skinned, temperamental and vindictive womanwith the big mouth, as well as with her staff, who are known for turning the screws on people, including pushing back hard on the news media whenever they get too close to the inconvenient truth.

In most areas of the country, and certainly in the 1940's, '50's and '60's films that today's reporters often watched as kids, possibly for career inspiration as they got older, that sort of treatment by an influential power broker only strengthens the resolve of the press to dig harder and to not be afarid of pushing back, regardless of the power weld by the bully.
In South Florida, though, meek reporters routinely roll over and play dead when DWS asks them to.
Newspaper Editorial Boards, too.

And it's been this way for many, many years.

It's no understatement on my part when I say that that I've written so many pointed things over the years about #DWS and her frequently frustrating, self-righteous and often self-sabotaging behavior towards her constituents here in Southeast Broward County and in next-door Aventura, that I even forget that I've written about some aspects of her dark side.

I've written about her antics with facts and precision and shone a light on her real track record and motivations in office, not swallowed whole the rose-colored view of her offered up by South Florida's news media, especially among young, female reporters who are so easily fooled into thinking that they are all on the same team.
(Like the litany of cancer stories that came up at a very convenient time for her.)

It's crazy I know, but the treament DWS receives from most female reporters in South Florida is beyond a publicist's wildest dream.

There's very, very little journalism actually taking place.

So whether in fact-filled comments with multiple independent links on blogs like The Miami Broward News Times, back when they used to be a source of genuine conversation and heated discussion among Broward County's public policy and political crowd, including me, because of the hard work and snooping done by investigative reporter Bob Norman, now of Local10 News; here on my blog at Hallandale Beach Blog; and more than anywhere else, in countless personal conversations I've had with so many people I know, trust and respect, irregardless of politics or issues, so many of whom were Broward insiders, but people whom would confide to you, sotto voce, that even though they were liberal Democrats in South Florida, they hated DWS personally, and resented the fact that she always seemed so eager to make enemies instead of allies.

She literally can't help herself.

There are dozens of examples from which to choose from, so I will only mention a few older ones here to set up the current story involving her and her former staffer that paints her as the worst sort of DC insider -the insider with a sense of entitlement and who likes to bully others simply because she can, and she knows that the press will not call her on it.

Trust me, DWS is THE Mean Girl.

Like this in 2013:

Or 2014:

Or 2015:

Here I was specifically referencing the South Florida Sun-Sentinel completely ignoring the waves of very negative comments abt DWS from the Chicago office of Obama's HQ, that were in Glenn Thrush's book.

In 2016...

What's old becomes new again with DWS: DENY, DENY, DENY, DENY...

To Debbie Wasserman Schultz, there's no such thing as non-partisan, as I write here below, in 2009, in blue, regarding her voting against her own bill regarding swimming pool safety for children becaue she didn't want a Senate Republican who was the Senate sponsor of her bill, George Allen of Virgina, to be able to have any credit for it when he was running for re-election.

So a good bill that helped kids died because to her, the politics mattered more.

But her press secretary at the time hated for people to know that, so he furiously wrote all sorts of BS warnings to the media to try to cover her trail.

Even tried to bait me a few times publicly.
But he wasnt prepared for me to refute his crazy notions by simply linking to reporters who made my points in much-larger forums.

But the facts are there for anyone to see, all you have to do is open your eyes.

For those of you who want some much-needed critical perspective on South Florida media darling DWS, please see "Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power: Making Washington Work Again" by John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC; reporter, The New York Times, and Jerry Seib, Washington bureau chief, The Wall Street Journal. See Chapter 6 titled The Fundraising-Phenom Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

You can also do a Look Inside at www.amazon.com/ and find lots of interesting items. It's telling that in the year 2009, a real nobody from a non-competitive CD, someone with little positive impact on important national public policy issues, can be so important in Congress and SO popular on cable TV, esp. MSNBC. All because her real power comes almost entirely from her ability to generate campaign funds from well-heeled Jewish donors in South Florida and around the country, where she's flown around as part of Dem 'dog and pony' fundraisers to get Jewish donors in those CDs to give to their local Dem incumbent or nominee.
I've got lots of moderate DLC friends all around the country who were Capitol Hill staffers who've received those fundraiser invites starring her from their local Dem party, and they grimace, because they know that giving money to an event she's at only encourages her and the money folks at the DNC to be more abrasive, which doesn't help smart and hardworking Dems from competitive districts, who will get but a pittance. This book has an entire chapter on DWS and her ethics and overwhelming ambition and fundraising prowess, and is a book that garnered good to very good reviews, had a national media tour, and was written by two well-respected veteran reporters from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
It was even on the front page of The New York Times Book Review! Despite all that, though, the book itself and the stories it tells about DWS have NEVER been mentioned in The Miami Herald or the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Or mentioned in a TV newscast or on a TV public affairs program.
Not in print, not online, not even a blog post entry!
What are the odds of that? To me, given how the local media has always bent over backwards to be pals with her even before her recent cancer revelation, this lack of context is even more troubling, and quite telling about the true low state of journalism in South Florida. Not a single South Florida reporter, editor, columnist, producer or anchor has EVER mentioned it. And I've checked!
I've even asked well-placed people I know at the newspapers and the local TV shows. Nope! I particularly call your attention to page 80 re a proposed pool-safety bill she co-authored. Well, despite having bipartisan support and President Bush's interest in signing it to make it the law, in order to politically attack Sen. George Allen of Vrginia, one of the Senate co-sponsors and a Republican running for re-election, she let the bill die, rather than let something become a law that EVERYONE supported. That's DWS -she puts politics above public safety!
And still South Florida media ignores the issue and the book. Harwood and Seib discussed the book and called attention to her (creepy) efforts on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR from May 15, 2008, which generated some calls disgusted with the ethical antics of DWS. It's at www.wamu.org/programs/dr/08/05/15.php and is available in both Real Audio and Windows Media.
After you listen to it, you'll really wonder how DWS generated so much disgust with well-informed national listeners while South Florida media completely ignored what she did, or made excuses for her. Sadly, most South Florida reporters don't really want to be adversaries or thorns to elected officials and govt. employees, they want to be their pals, which explains why they are usually so easily co-opted.
And it explains why so much of what's printed and broadcast is an insult to reasonable, well-informed citizens.

Quick: Try doing an archival search for the Harwood & Seib book on the Miami Herald or South Florida Sun-Sentinel's website, using whatever parameters you want: title, authors, etc. Knock yourself out!

It won't have any results because it's NEVER been mentioned.
I have access to their archives and trust me, it's not there.

Page 80 
But her role as a "team player" in Democratic election strategy can also impede her legislative work.  Among the principal initiatives of her first term was a pool-safety bill designed to set more stringent rules for barriers around pools, and the kinds of drains manuafacturersare permitted to install. Battling uphill in a Republican Congress, she
obtained support from the swimming-pool industry and a prominent Republican co-sponsor -Senator George Allen of Virginia.

In the run-up to the 2006 election, Senate democrats wanted to hold up progress on the bill for a singularly partisan reason. Allen was in a dead-heat race against challenger Jim Webb; with partisan control of the chamber potentially hanging in the balance, Democrats didn't want to provide ammunition favorable to Allen, which he could use with Virginia voters against Webb.

Senate Democratic leaders "didn't want to give Allen a victory before the election," Wasserman Schultz says matter-of-factly. And she was in no position to object. "I was co-chair of the 'red-to-blue' campaign. It was hard for me to say, Give one of your most targeted
members a big victory." The result: a bill that had majority support in both chambers of Congress didn't become law.
Wasserman Schultz insisted she'd win passage of the bill later in any case.

And the funny thing is, this book doesn't even say anything about DWS making an ass out of herself for saying something that was not true at a June 2005 House Judiciary Comm. hearing on The Patriot Act that was nationally televised on C-SPAN, that I just happened to watch LIVE at home, not their numerous encores so beloved by liberal bloggers.

Yep, she almost had brought formal ethics charges against her by the Chair of the committee, Jim Sensenbrenner.
In fact, you should read what it says about this matter in the Congressional Record of the time.

Now, for the latests scandal...


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