Judge Strikes Down Welfare Drug Testing in Florida

A Florida Republican law requiring all Welfare recipients to pass drug testing has been put on hold by a Federal Court. The law is unconstitutional, due to the fact that it violates personal protections against the government invading a citizen’s privacy without reasonable evidence of wrongdoing. Statistically, Republican legislators in the state are more likely to use drugs than welfare recipients.

So… In view of the legislators ability to royally screw everything up for everyone…

Why don’t they pass a law that all elected officials in the state are regularly tested?

Federal judge temporarily bars Florida’s welfare drug-test law

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial Florida law requiring all welfare applicants to be drug-tested.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction Monday evening against enforcement of the law’s “suspicionless drug testing” of adults seeking federal welfare.

The law went into effect July 1, but a single father and the American Civil Liberties Union contend in a lawsuit that the new law is unconstitutional and violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

“Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen’s rights under the Constitution,” the judge wrote, quoting a 1997 Hawaii case.

Under the law, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services requires the drug tests of adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The aid recipients are responsible for the cost of the screening, which they recoup in their assistance if they qualify.

Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, but they do not receive a refund for cost of the test.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has championed the law, saying it provides “personal accountability.” He added it was “unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction.”

Florida is not the first state to pass such legislation. Michigan passed a similar law that was found to be unconstitutional by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 for violating the Fourth Amendment…

The GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill, and Scott signed it into law in May 2011.

“The governor obviously disagrees with the decision and he will evaluate his options regarding when to appeal,” said his deputy press secretary Jackie Schutz.

Since campaigning for governor, Scott has said that the drug-testing of welfare recipients “will help to prevent misuse of Florida tax dollars” and make sure the money goes to the children.

“Research shows higher drug use among individuals receiving government assistance, and drug abuse also forces children into welfare assistance,” Scott said while signing the bill into law.

The ACLU said the state’s own study found that of the 2,000 people who took the state drug test, only a small percentage tested positive.

“It shows that a little bit more than 2% of the welfare applicants tested positive for drugs where it’s about 8½% in the general public,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

American Fascism – Tea Party Republicanism

American Fascism = Tea Party Republicans.

The American Reich… Indeed.

Shut ‘Em Down!

You know – those Union Pension and retirement funds make up a large part of Wall Street Capital. Because Koch Industries is privately owned, it isn’t subject to  Investor pressure. However, many of their co-criminals and “pardners” are…

M&I Bank branch on Capitol Square closes after protests

M&I Bank’s branch on the Capitol Square, at 1 W. Main St., closed Thursday after demonstrators, protesting campaign contributions by bank executives to Gov. Scott Walker, gathered outside the bank and several pulled their money out.

Sara Schmitz, a spokeswoman for M&I in Milwaukee, said in an e-mail the bank shut its doors “under the advisement of the Madison Police Department and due to the significant number of protesters surrounding the Capitol.”

Madison police said hundreds of people had gathered at the front entrance to the bank.

“(The) concern was if the crowd continued to grow, it would be difficult for us to guarantee access and safety for those trying to get in and out of the bank,” police spokesman Joel DeSpain said. He said police did not tell M&I officials to close the bank.

Members of several labor unions stopped at M&I twice between 9 and 9:30 a.m., said Joe Conway, Jr., president of Local 311 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The protest was peaceful, he said.

Several protesters went inside and closed their accounts, displaying checks that totaled $192,000 withdrawn, Conway said. Schmitz declined to comment about any withdrawals.

Some of the products produced by Koch – which could be subject to boycott…

Georgia-Pacific LLC, based in Atlanta, and its subsidiaries, have approximately 300 manufacturing facilities across North America, South America and Europe, ranging from large pulp, paper and tissue operations to gypsum plants, box plants and building products operations, and more than 40,000 employees worldwide.

Georgia-Pacific’s familiar consumer brands in North America include Quilted Northern®Angel Soft®,Brawny®Sparkle® Soft ‘n Gentle®, Mardi Gras®,Vanity Fair®, and the Dixie® brand of tabletop products.

INVISTA B.V. and its subsidiaries (INVISTA) deliver exceptional value for customers through market insight, technology innovations, and a powerful portfolio of some of the most recognized global brands and trademarks in the nylon, spandex and polyester value chains, as well as other specialty products

Consumer brands include STAINMASTER®carpetANTRON® carpet fiberCORDURA®fabric, and COMFOREL® fiberfill.

 

 

Van Jones and the Koch Brother’s Plantation

About time Progressives began to push back on this pile of guano fostered by the uber-right…

The Democrats Conservative Ace in the Hole

One of the things conservatives have been extremely good at through the years is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Conservatives, since the 1994 group have had this nasty totalitarian streak demanding ideological purity mirroring that of other totalitarian philosophies. I have a feeling a lot of pundits are in for a surprise this November…

Is Jim DeMint Barack Obama’s Ace in the Hole?

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who once proclaimed that he’d rather have “30 Republicans in the Senate who believe in principles of freedom than 60 who don’t believe in anything,” continues to endorse Senate candidates and give leaders in his own party migraine headaches.

But one politician must be smiling from ear to ear when he follows DeMint’s antics: President Barack Obama.

That’s because, more than Florida’s Marco Rubio, Kentucky’s Rand Paul or Colorado’s Ken Buck — all endorsed by DeMint in GOP Senate primaries against the wishes of party strategists and insiders — the president stands to benefit the most, long term, from DeMint’s rhetoric and actions leading up to the 2010 midterm elections.

DeMint’s “believers” comment offers one of those false choices that boil everything down to extremes: Either you are a “conservative” or you aren’t. There aren’t any shades of gray.

The South Carolina Republican apparently doesn’t concede that even “conservatives” can have different styles and different opinions about how much compromise is necessary to move the country in the right direction. Continue reading

The Sno’ Ho’s Fascism

As a descendant of one of the 3/5th people in the Original Constitution, and the group of folks denied Constitutional Rights for 100 years after the 14th Amendment – you will have to excuse me for giving the side-eye to conservatives standing up talking as if they somehow own the description “Real Americans”.

Indeed, historically conservative movements such as fascism have fueled their adherents fervor by uber-nationalism focused around the definition of who was a “real citizen”. Adolph Hitler’s definition of Germans excluded whole swaths of the population, including – but not limited to Jews.

What we have here with the Tea Bagger sect of conservatism in the United States is the same sort of toxic plastic patriotism.

Your Brain on Conservatism

This is the death of America…

This is an example of how certain belief sets are propagandized and engineered on an issue, in this case supporting racism -

This is the result of the frequent application of propaganda to misinform, and to form belief sets in the populace in direct opposition to plainly available evidence to the contrary -

This from a longer piece published as Fascist America, Are We There Yet?

From proto-fascism to the tipping point
According to Paxton, fascism unfolds in five stages. The first two are pretty solidly behind us — and the third should be of particular interest to progressives right now. Continue reading

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