Morning Juice: GOP Cuts Everything to Save Cigs, Prosecutors Rebuked for Being Dicks, Haitians Get Conversation Starters
As I sit here puffing on my Camel Wide with the filter broken off, my lungs blackening like beach tar, I'm thanking the state's Republicans. Because it is the GOP lawmakers who fought off attempts in Tallahassee to increase cigarette taxes in order to cover a crazy huge $2.3 billion budget deficit. I've never been able to do fancy smoke rings, so instead I'll just exhale in appreciation, knowing that instead of paying more per pack, we'll see just a pesky $330 million less in state spending on nursing homes and hospice, AIDS care and prevention, and hospital reimbursements. This odd chunk of something I'm coughing up now I'll dedicate to the GOP for keeping my carton prices down, while shedding $2 million from Space Florida, $7 million from Visit Florida, and $15 million in incentives for the film industry. Now sure, you non-smokers will point out that a $1-a-pack tax would've raised $700 million, but instead we can just cut $490 million from education spending. As I snub out the last bit of my Camel, I thank you, GOP, for wrecking our state in the name of nicotine.
After the jump, we thank the State Attorney's Office for throwing out that pesky Constitution.
Judge Tosses Entire Prosecutor's Office for Complete Dick Move
Circuit Judge Susan Lebow has disqualified the entire Broward County State Attorney's Office for listening to phone calls between a murder suspect and his attorney. This was, as they say in legal circles, a complete dick move. Not because this violated the suspect's constitutional right to talk to his lawyer but because now I know those conversations I have with Mom at the jail are totally being recorded. Mom, if you're reading this, that thing you asked me to do to that guy who owes you that stuff is totally not going to happen on Tuesday.
Haitians To Get Shoes, New Way to Strike Up Conversation
Those shoes mysteriously dumped all over the Palmetto Expressway the other day are heading to Haiti, giving the people of Port-au-Prince new accessories and also great conversation starters.
Zoo Names Jaguar 'Maya' for No Apparent Reason
The Palm Beach Zoo picked the winner in its name-a-jaguar contest. David Lipps of Stuart had his entry of "Maya" selected. However, this could be overturned if the entries are disqualified by Circuit Judge Susan Lebow, who has yet to rule on the matter, and, I'm guessing here, submitted the name Judge Susan. And if Circuit Judge Susan Lebow ends up handling Mom's racketeering case, I'd just like to note that Judge Susan would totally make a badass jaguar.
-- Eric Barton