In a segment titled onscreen "What's the Matter with FL," MSNBC's Alex Wagner today continued her network's efforts to flog conservative Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for his voter "purge." This despite the fact that the "purge" -- which targeted a mere 0.02 percent of registered voters in the state-- has not disenfranchised a single eligible voter and has in fact brought to light noncitizens who were illegally registered to vote. What's more, neither Wagner nor anyone else on her panel informed viewers that the Obama administration itself appears to be violating federal law by not helping Florida with its voter rolls cleanup effort.

To service her network's spin on the matter, Wagner turned to Rolling Stone magazine's Eric Bates and Ari Berman, the latter of whom insisted that the Sunshine State's efforts were part of a GOP effort to "depress the turnout" of Obama-friendly voting blocs.

It's the Monday after a woefully disappointing unemployment/jobs report and the day before the Wisconsin recall looks likely to blow up in Democrats' face. You're MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts. How do you rally the Democratic base? It's as simple to turning to an old network standby: blasting those dastardly Republicans for "voter suppression" efforts.

On two programs today -- Roberts's 11 a.m. EDT MSNBC Live and filling in at 2 p.m. EDT on Tamron Hall's NewsNation -- Roberts treated viewers to softball interviews with liberal activists who bemoaned a voter "purge" in Florida.

Comparing conservatives to Hitler is old-and-busted. The new hotness, if you ask Martin Bashir, is comparing them to Stalin.

A few months ago, you may recall, Bashir compared Rick Santorum to the long-dead Soviet dictator. Now it's the state of Florida, more specifically, the conservative Republican Rick Scott, who is getting the honors. "Why is the Sunshine State in the midst of a purge that even Josef Stalin would admire?" Bashir rhetorically asked on the way out to an ad break on today's program. The "purge," by the way, is one admitted by a Democratic official in Broward County, Florida, to be "very, very microscopic" in nature.

Leftist radio talker Mike Malloy is really obsessed with executing conservatives. When the Navy SEALs shot Osama bin Laden, he asked when they would "drop in on George Bush," since he "was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden."  

On Tuesday, Malloy wished death on Thanksgiving for Florida Gov. Rick Scott. "And then this miserable son of a bitch has the audacity to go to a homeless shelter? It's a wonder somebody didn't hold his head down in a vat of turkey gravy until he stopped squiggling! He goes to a homeless shelter and talks about how he cares...? Mmm-hmm!" (Listen to the audio)

The New York Times once again checks in with a hostile peek at Florida’s conservative Gov. Rick Scott. Don Van Natta Jr. and Gary Fineout reported from Miami on Scott’s poll travails, even suggesting his current low standing could cost the Republicans the state in the 2012 presidential election, a mere 16 months away: “Sinking Poll Numbers May Put Florida in Play – Strategists Sy the Governor’s Unpopularity Could Cost Republicans in 2012.”

In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path.

Gov. Rick Scott at the budget signing in May, which was marred by reports that some Democrats were removed from the event

So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?

In a post time-stamped on Saturday at 12:16 p.m., has a story (HT Ed Driscoll via the PJ Tatler) headlined "Florida and Texas in jobs p*ssing match" (except that there's an "i" where I typed an asterisk).

Since the story has been up for at least 12 hours (maybe longer, given that the its URL is dated May 20; Update, May 22, 5 p.m.: The comments at a cached CNN Political Ticker tease for the story go back to May 20 at 4:21 p.m.), it's hard not to conclude that CNN and writer Tami Luhby like its title just the way it is.

A screen cap of the top section of the item is after the jump, so you don't have to go there if you're offended by CNN's language:

According to Time's Michael Grunwald, it was insane for Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) to reject $2.4 billion for a Tampa-Orlando high-speed rail project.

And yet in the same Swampland blog post he confessed that a similar high-speed rail project going forward in California is dubious at best and that Scott's rejection of the pork project means that the money is now broken up to aid rail upgrades in other parts of the country where there's actually substantial ridership already.

Of course Grunwald gave no credit to Scott but rather to Obama for redistributing the rail money (emphasis mine):


Horror writer Stephen King on Tuesday bashed Ronald Reagan and a number of Republicans at a Wake the State rally in Sarasota, Florida.

His main beef with conservatives is they allow him to pay too little in taxes (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

Florida’s new Republican Gov. Rick Scott is moving to cut state bureaucracy, reduce regulation and make the state a more business-friendly environment, and is meeting resistance among the old political guard in Florida. But instead of hailing the governor’s fresh blood and independence (as it had done previously with liberal Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida), the New York Times does its best to paint him as an ideologue in over his head.

From Lizette Alvarez and Gary Fineout’s Tuesday report from Tallahassee, “Florida Republicans at Odds With Their New Executive.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) "slaughter[ed]" the "gift horse" of a federal grant for a Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail project,  Time magazine's Michael Grunwald complained a few days ago.

Grunwald isn't alone among liberal journalists who believe high-speed rail to be a no-brainer, a sure-fire "investment" in economic growth.

But is it really, especially when that money could be plugged into other infrastructure investments that make more long-term sense economically?

For his part, Gov. Scott has suggested he'd welcome federal money for port upgrades in Miami and Jacksonville, something the feds are unwilling to do.

But a story posted Thursday at the website for the Miami Herald could highlight the wisdom of plunking money into port upgrades as opposed to high-speed rail:

"It's one thing to look a gift horse in the mouth. It's quite another thing to slaughter a gift horse and send its disemboweled corpse back to Washington."

That's how Time magazine senior correspondent Michael Grunwald characterized Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott's decision to spurn a federal Department of Transportation high-speed rail grant for the Sunshine State.

"This was the nation's most shovel-ready high-speed project, and the state wasn't required to spend a dime to build it," Grunwald noted in his February 16 Swampland blog post.

Is Ed Schultz really this dumb or simply incapable of honesty?

Within the first 10 minutes of his radio show yesterday, Schultz was bellowing about an alleged connection between the massacre in Tucson and remarks by Rep. Michele Bachman, House candidate Jesse Kelly and other Republicans (audio) --

SCHULTZ (initially referring to Congresswoman Giffords' medical condition): The latest medical update is she is responding, it's been consistent  since they started to try to get responses out of her, which is very positive. But if you want to talk about the political climate in this country, if you really want think the conversation in this country plays into the fear-mongering, or should we say that the conversation in this country leads to the angst and the anger, well then hell, let's just have that conversation. In fact, let's go back to Jesse Kelly. Any of you know who Jesse Kelly is? Here's a name that hasn't been thrown out during the coverage. He was Giffords' tea party opponent! Congresswoman Giffords! Ran against Jesse Kelly! Now listen to what he said during the campaign.