Embattled Florida elections supervisor Brenda Snipes rescinds resignation, vows to fight governor

Scott replaced Snipes with his former general counsel general counsel, Peter Antonacci, to lead the department even though he has no elections experience. Snipes responded by rescinding her previous resignation — and will now be “fighting this to the very end,” her attorney said during a Saturday news conference.

“We believe these actions are malicious,” said Burnadette Norris-Weeks, who said that Broward County voters should be concerned about what Scott is trying to do in the Democratic stronghold by putting in an ally who could oversee the office into the 2020 elections.

Embattled Florida elections supervisor Brenda Snipes rescinds resignation, vows to fight governor – CBS News



Last election of 2018 gives Democrats cause for hope in 2020 — and despair. Here’s why.

In particular, he seems to have benefited from a motivated black electorate. With some ballots still to be counted, turnout for the runoff has met or surpassed its Nov. 6 level in a dozen of the state’s 82 counties. And of those dozen counties, eight are majority-black, mostly in the Delta region, where Espy racked up enormous margins.

Espy’s statewide total was also helped by the suburbs, especially fast-growing DeSoto County, which abuts the Tennessee border and has become a hotspot for Memphis commuters. Here, Espy collected 41 percent of the vote, far better than recent Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton (31 percent in 2016) and Barack Obama (33 percent in 2012, and 30 percent in 2008).

…[Espy] suffered in many heavily white rural areas, especially in the northeast corner of the state, where Hyde-Smith ran close to — and in a few cases even matched — the levels of support Donald Trump received in 2016.

Last election of 2018 gives Democrats cause for hope in 2020 — and despair. Here’s why.


Coast Guard orders massive 14-year oil spill to be cleaned up

The Coast Guard has ordered the company responsible for an oil spill that has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for 14 years to clean up the environmental catastrophe or face a $40,000 per day fine.

…Taylor allowed a broken oil platform off the coast of southeast Louisiana to leak an estimated 10,500 gallons to 29,000 gallons of oil per day, five to 13 times larger than the government’s initial estimates.

…Taylor’s oil spill has been a source of concern for some time. The site — Mississippi Canyon-20, which lies south of the Mississippi River delta — took a hit from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The storm wrecked Taylor’s platform and triggered the massive spill, resulting in years of legal back-and-forth between the company and the Interior Department, which has contended that Taylor has an obligation to fix the oil wells at the site.

…Taylor no longer produces oil and a trust account was established in 2008, which the government required in order to allow the company to decommission its wells. Nine of the 28 wells at the Mississippi delta site have been plugged and Taylor says it can’t reach the others without risking more spillage. The company now wants the rest of the $666 million trust to be returned to it, arguing it has done everything it can, but the Interior Department says Taylor needs to finish plugging the remaining wells.

Coast Guard orders massive 14-year oil spill to be cleaned up – ThinkProgress

Disgusting this was allowed to go on for 14 years. George Bush may not have liked black people but (sadly) BHO didn’t give a flying fuck about the Gulf Coast either.

$40,000 a day is chump change com paired to the long-term costs of cleaning it up. There should be criminal charges filed by this point.

Pluggin nine of twenty-eight well is not even close to “everything it can” do  and it sure as shit doesn’t even get close to resolving the problems the company created by themselves. Make a mess? Clean it up. All up. Completely. Or face much more dire consequences than a fine to a trust fund should be the rule of law.

Everyone saw the French Quarter attack. Few saw the mental health care failures behind it.

A review of Paul’s UMC medical records by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune raised significant questions. Four hours after he was admitted, a doctor wrote that Paul was “having auditory hallucinations” and that he was “a potential threat to himself and other people as well as gravely disabled.” 

This assessment gave the hospital a legal right to involuntarily commit Paul for up to three days for observation and treatment, with the possibility of holding him an additional 12 days following a re-examination by the coroner. And yet doctors still chose to discharge him, just one day later.

Behavioral health experts said this is not uncommon, that people in need of psychiatric treatment are released on a regular basis, a result of the state’s gutting of its mental health care funding and infrastructure.

…Paul is one of hundreds of homeless kids who cycle through Covenant House and other outreach programs every year, Foots said, many suffering from the same mental health disorders as him, some more severe. If the level of care doesn’t improve, and if hospitals continue to turn away people in need because they lack the necessary beds and funding, she fears what happened to Paul and the men he injured could become more commonplace.

“I work with these kids every day and I know they are all very troubled,” Foots said. “I see their mental illness, but they rarely get the help they need. Just like Dejuan. Those damn voices in his head got ahold of him and he just lost it.” 

…He paced frantically while hitting himself and repeating, over and over again, that he needed his medicine. 

Then, as if someone pulled a string, he slumped to the floor near the kitchen. 

Foots knelt down, her face inches from Paul’s, and locked eyes with him. She said he needed to focus, that he was in control of his mind, no one else. Ignore the people in your head, she instructed him. Staff members told Foots to keep her distance. She refused. 

…“The police told me when they got him, ‘At least he’s going to emergency. They’re going to give him some medicine. He’s going to be better and everything is going to be good,’” Foots said. “And that’s what I told Dejuan, but that’s not what happened.”

…Paul was given 10 mg of Zyprexa, an antipsychotic typically prescribed to people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. A toxicology screen came back positive for marijuana. Paul confessed that he smoked marijuana every day since he was 15 and that over the past several weeks he had rarely slept more than four hours a night. 

…According to his medical records, Paul told the doctors at UMC he had “racing thoughts about everything and feels stuck in his own head.” If he could get some Vyvanse, a drug prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he said he would feel “much better and everything would be OK.”

…In this case, however, despite receiving confirmation of Paul’s diagnosis and prior care, UMC doctors refused to give him his medication, his medical records show. There was no explanation provided in the records. 

…Warden Perry Stagg, who was seated nearby, interjected to ask Paul if he had been given his medication at the prison. When Paul said no, that the nurse said they can’t prescribe it, Stagg said they would try to figure out potential substitutes “to get him back where he needs to be.”

Since former Gov. Bobby Jindal gutted the mental health care system, taking care of people like Paul has become part of the prison’s job, Stagg said. 

“Unfortunately, the Department of Corrections has become the de facto mental health hospital for the state,” he said. “We need to get these mental health services back available on the street and try to catch some of these guys before they commit a crime.”

…“I’m an old, conservative Republican, a lock‘em up and throw away the key kind of guy. Until I came to the Department of Corrections and realized that, hey, that’s not always the answer. There are reasons for some of this stuff and some of this stuff can be corrected.”

Everyone saw the French Quarter attack. Few saw the mental health care failures behind it. | NOLA.com