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Written by Jack King - BT Contributor   
June 2013

Well, remember this is South Florida, where crazy things happen all the time

SPix_JackKing_6-13itting right next to my computer is a legal pad I use to make notes about ideas for future columns. There must be 75 entries on it, but I’ve never used any of them. Why? It’s simple: South Florida is the world headquarters for column ideas.

They just keep showing up. The mantra for South Florida writers has to be “I’m not making this up.” We don’t have to.

So the dilemma is: What to do with so many column ideas? Well, duh… Why not make a column out them? So here goes, in no particular order.

Every time I see a promo for giving money to the Wounded Warrior program, it makes me mad. Not because it’s not a great cause, but because our government should be taking care of these wounded veterans. We were the ones who got them wounded fighting our wars, and we should be the ones who take care of them. The way Congress treats our vets is a national embarrassment, a disgrace. All members Congress should not be paid one dime until the vets get what we promised them.

One more word about war that has been on my mind for 50 years: Can anyone give me a worthwhile reason why more than 58,000 Americans of my generation died in Vietnam?

I love the IRS-Tea Party battle going on in Congress. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants to know who at the IRS is responsible for trying to find out how much money Tea Party groups are stealing from the government. That’s a pretty novel concept. So far, after nonstop hearings, one person has been fired, but he was leaving anyway. Great job, Representative Issa.

And then, when one of the IRS employees invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify before Congress, Issa’s Republican cronies on the committee cried that she must be guilty of something. I love how these so-called public servants show such a great understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

The IRS scandal isn’t enough for Issa. He also wants to blame everything that’s happened in Libya over the past 200 years on Hillary Clinton. Granted, it was a tragedy. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed in Benghazi, but no one has asked the most important question: What was he doing there in the first place?

In press reports, Benghazi has been referred to as an embassy, a consulate, a diplomatic outpost, a CIA station, and a wide spot in the road. It is 400 long miles from Tripoli, and it is a very dangerous place. Yet Issa is stuck on asking, “What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it?”

So far, Issa’s investigative skills seem to be lacking. If he were in the journalism business, he would have been fired in his first week. Oh yes, he also voted against increased funding to beef up State Department security.

Our wonderful Gov. Rick Scott is gearing up for a re-election campaign in 2014, and the early word is that he’ll spend at least $100 million. If he wins re-election, he’ll have spent some $170 million to live in Tallahassee for eight years. You would have to pay me $170 million to live in Tallahassee for eight years.

Most polls show that Scott is universally disliked, but Republicans are willing to put up with him because it gives them full control of state government. Sadly, there no credible Democrats (including Charlie Crist) lined up to run against him. Is there a Democrat out there who can walk and chew gum at the same time?

The Miami-Dade Aviation Department just found out that the train depot at their Intermodal Center (fancy name for the car, taxi, bus, Amtrak, and Tri-Rail center near the airport), has a little problem. The train station is about 200 feet shorter than it needs to be in order to accommodate Amtrak’s longest trains, which would stick out of the depot and block NW 25th Street, a busy roadway.

You’d think that with so many engineers working on the project, one of them could operate a tape measure. But what the hell, it’s only money. Our money. And it’ll take up to $25 million to fix this monumental goof.

Glad to see that the Florida House didn’t bring up the Miami Dolphins stadium initiative. That scheme folded like a house of cards. I didn’t think it had a chance, and judging by the early voting, it was a no-go from the start.

One argument against public financing was that Joe Robbie built his stadium with private money. That’s not exactly true. The state loaned him the money at about zero percent interest through a bond program to assist new businesses. Result: We have 200 hot-dog vendors employed for four months a year.

And finally: Who put Michele Bachmann on the House Intelligence Committee?

 

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