NBC just hired Adam Rippon to join them for the rest of the 2018 Olympic Games

Image result for adam rippon a star is bornNBC just hired Adam Rippon to join them for the rest of the 2018 Olympic Games

He won’t be competing in any more events, but the Winter Olympics are far from over for figure skater Adam Rippon! NBC has hired the 28-year-old bronze medalist as a correspondent for the rest of the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to USA TODAY.

Marco Rubio Feeling The Heat In South Florida



One of the NRA's favorite sons in congress has been getting lambasted for his stupid media appearances this week and his inane tweets, such as this one: Not surprisingly editors chose to use misleading headline.Should say that gun law ALONE wont prevent mass shootings https://t.co/vmKZmtA8ly - Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 16, 2018 Bess Kalb, a senior…

Florida students to march on Washington in call for gun reform



Students who survived a mass shooting at their Florida school on Sunday announced plans to march on Washington in a bid to "shame" lawmakers into reforming laws that make powerful firearms readily available.

School Shooter Nilolas Cruz Foster Parents Speak Out

School shooter’s brother committed to mental facility


Florida school shooting: Family that took in Nikolas Cruz is devastated
James and Kimberly Snead
PARKLAND, Fla. —Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said. How the 19-year-old turned into a killer still baffles them.

Students to Boycott Schools Until Congress Acts on Guns

Women's March group calls for national school walkout over gun control


Students to Boycott Schools Until Congress Acts on Guns

In response to Wednesday's school shooting in Florida, high school students and teachers across the country are planning walkouts this spring to push Congress to act on guns. On Twitter, students used the hashtags #NationalSchoolWalkout, #April20 and #April20Walkout to plan mass boycotts on the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999, as well as a separate walkout on March 14.

WATCH: Shooting Survivor Makes Passionate Speech At Anti-Gun Rally: 'We Call B.S.'




Stoneman Survivor Makes Passionate Speech At Anti-Gun Rally: 'We Call B.S.'

Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of this week's latest school shooting, addressed an anti-gun rally in Ft. Lauderdale today. It was heartbreaking -- and powerful. "We are going to be the last mass shooting," she vowed. "Just like that, we are going to change the law. That's going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that…

Students Who Survived Florida Shooting Want Politicians To Know They're Angry








Parkland Students Go After Rick Scott, Rubio, Paul Ryan As NRA Enablers



Some of the Parkland students have been unusually vocal and blunt in their assessment of who's to blame for school massacres: Republicans who take money from and are enablers for the National Rifle Association. Their rage is so strong it might even effect change in this sick culture. Here they are this morning on CNN. Source:…

Parkland shooting survivors rail against gun lobby and Trump at rally

Image result for Rally to Support Firearm Safety Legislation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,

Watch Video Below


At times their voices broke with emotion or rage, but each person who addressed the Rally to Support Firearm Safety Legislation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday was united in their message: The Parkland school shooting should never have happened.
"If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a 'terrible tragedy,' I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the NRA," said Marjory Stoneman Douglas High sophomore Emma Gonzales.
In the crowd, students held up photos of their classmates who were killed, and at times responded to speeches with chants of "vote them out."

Days after 17 people were killed in a horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, hundreds gathered in nearby Fort Lauderdale for a gun control rally.
At Saturday’s rally — which coincides with President Donald Trump’svisit to the area — Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez delivered a fiery speech in which she said that the students were going to help change the laws to stop further mass shootings. And she specifically called out the president and the NRA.
Noting that many are now pointing out accused shooter Nikolas Cruz was ostracized by classmates and the other mental health red flags raised by his prior behavior and actions, Gonzalez exclaimed that even with those warning signs Cruz couldn’t have done as much damage without a gun.
“We know that they’re claiming that there are mental health issues and I am not a psychologist but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn’t just a mental health issue,” she declared. “He wouldn’t have harmed that many students with a knife! How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the shooter’s fault?!”
Saying the fault lies with those who helped get the gun in Cruz’s hands and didn’t take it away when he showed “homicidal tendencies,” she then hit the president for his close relationship with the NRA.
“If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association,” Gonzalez pointedly stated.
After highlighting how much Trump has received in donations from the NRA, she shouted “shame on you” to every politician that has accepted contributions from the gun lobby.
She went on to “call BS” on those who say gun control won’t work to stop shootings:
“The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and our parents to call bs. Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers nowadays saying all we are is self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submissions when our message doesn’t reach the ears of the nation. We are prepared to call bs. Politicians, politicians who sit in their gilded houses and Senate seated funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this, we call bs. They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call bs. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call bs. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call bs. No, they say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call bs. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about. That we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call bs. If you preregistered to vote, contact your local Congresspeople.”
Currently, the president is staying at Mar-a-Lago, which is only a short drive away from where the rally was held Saturday.

Darren Soto, Mike Bost Team Up on Soil Quality Bill

Darren Soto and Mike Bost
Darren Soto and Mike Bost

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., is teaming up with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., to allow more experts, including Certified Crop Advisors and Certified Agronomists, to act as Technical Service Providers for nutrient management.
Bost and Soto introduced the “Nutrient Management Technical Service Provider Certification Act” which gives more options for agriculture producers to access nutrient management technical assistance on Thursday.
“Our bipartisan bill cuts red tape and gives our farmers more resources to improve soil quality,” Bost said. “The Department of Agriculture has said that it lacks the manpower to provide technical assistance to farmers trying to implement nutrient management practices.  I appreciated working with Rep. Soto on a solution that expands options for farmers seeking technical assistance related to these practices.”
“I’m proud to work with Rep. Bost in support of our nation’s farmers,” Soto said before insisting his proposal will help the Sunshine State. “Currently, in Florida, we only have access to six USDA certified Technical Service Providers (TSPs) for nutrient management – with only four of them actually located in the state. This legislation will help to expand access for our Florida farmers who use fertilizers to obtain professional technical assistance.”
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), Agricultural Retailers Association, Land O’ Lakes, American Society of Agronomy and the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association announced their support of the bill.
“Agribusiness retailers’ commitment to professionalism is evidenced in their decision to employ agronomists who have achieved the CCA or CPA certification,” said Chris Jahn, the president of TFI. “USDA recognition of these agronomists as Technical Service Providers is a win-win for farm profitability and the environment.”
The bill was sent to the House Agriculture Committee on which both Bost and Soto sit. They have not reeled in any additional cosponsors of the legislation yet. So far, there is no counterpart to this bill over in the Senate.


Source Sunshinestatenres.com

Sen. Bill Nelson Enough Is Enough

Dear Friends,
I just left Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where I met with local officials and community leaders in the wake of this horrific tragedy.
I saw the blood on the ground and the bullet holes in the hurricane-proof windows. I talked to the investigators working to piece together what led to this terrible massacre.
Tragedies, such as this, should never happen. And, at some point, we as a society have got to say enough is enough.
Here's what I told the press gathered outside the school earlier today:

Sincerely,
Signature


Rep. Deutch Statement on FBI's Failure to Investigate Tip on Stoneman Douglas Shooter


 
 Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), representing the Parkland community and a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, released this statement following the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) announcement that a tip on the Stoneman Douglas shooter was not investigated:

“This has been an excruciating few days for the Parkland community. Now, it appears that this tragedy could have been prevented.

“The American people should be encouraged to say something if they see something. But we also must be assured that these tips will be processed swiftly and thoroughly so we can avoid future tragedies.

“I will be in close communication with the FBI so that we get to the bottom of this. The FBI and the U.S. Congress must conduct a full oversight investigation of the FBI’s internal processes, procedures, and, in this case, apparent failures.

“We need answers from the FBI to ensure that if people offer their assistance, the FBI will follow through. And we need action from Congress to enact meaningful legislation that will stop horrific gun violence and make our communities safer.

“Parkland deserves nothing less.”

Video Vault: 13-year-old Adam Rippon Eyes Olympics







This news clip has resurfaced of Rippon talking about his Olympic dreams – when he was 13.
He was fresh off a competition in Luxembourg, but the most adorable part is his excitement over taking his first plane and train rides.

Broward teen charged with 17 murder counts in school attack

Image result for Nikolas Cruz,

An orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past and an AR-15 rifle was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning after being questioned for hours by state and federal authorities following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years.
Fourteen wounded survivors were hospitalized as bodies were recovered from inside and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Nikolas Cruz, still wearing a hospital gown after being treated for labored breathing, and weighing in at 5-foot-7 and 131 pounds, was ordered held without bond and booked into jail.
His former classmates thought they were having another drill Wednesday afternoon when a fire alarm sounded, requiring them to file out of their classrooms.
That's when police say Cruz, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets. It was the nation's deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years ago.
"Our district is in a tremendous state of grief and sorrow," said Robert Runcie, superintendent of the school district in Parkland, about an hour's drive north of Miami. "It is a horrible day for us."
Authorities offered no immediate details about Cruz or his possible motive, except to say that he had been kicked out of the high school, which has about 3,000 students. Students who knew him described a volatile teenager whose strange behavior had caused others to end friendships with him.
Cruz's mother Lynda Cruz died of pneumonia on Nov. 1 neighbors, friends and family members said, according to the Sun Sentinel . Cruz and her husband, who died of a heart attack several years ago, adopted Nikolas and his biological brother, Zachary, after the couple moved from Long Island in New York to Broward County.
The boys were left in the care of a family friend after their mother died, family member Barbara Kumbatovich, of Long Island, said.
Unhappy there, Nikolas Cruz asked to move in with a friend's family in northwest Broward. The family agreed and Cruz moved in around Thanksgiving. According to the family's lawyer, who did not identify them, they knew that Cruz owned the AR-15 but made him keep it locked up in a cabinet. He did have the key, however.
Jim Lewis said the family is devastated and didn't see this coming. They are cooperating with authorities, he said.
Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior at the school, said Cruz was expelled last school year because he got into a fight with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. She said he had been abusive to his girlfriend.
"I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him," she said.
Cruz was taken into custody without a fight about an hour after the shooting in a residential neighborhood about a mile away. He had multiple magazines of ammunition, authorities said.
"It's catastrophic. There really are no words," said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
Frantic parents rushed to the school to find SWAT team members and ambulances surrounding the huge campus and emergency workers who appeared to be treating the wounded on sidewalks. Students who hadn't run began leaving in a single-file line with their hands over their heads as officers urged them to evacuate quickly.
Hearing loud bangs as the shooter fired, many of the students inside hid under desks or in closets, and barricaded doors.
"We were in the corner, away from the windows," said freshman Max Charles, who said he heard five gunshots. "The teacher locked the door and turned off the light. I thought maybe I could die or something."
As he was leaving the building, he saw four dead students and one dead teacher. He said he was relieved when he finally found his mother.
"I was happy that I was alive," Max said. "She was crying when she saw me."
Noah Parness, a 17-year-old junior, said he and the other students calmly went outside to their fire-drill areas when he suddenly heard popping sounds.
"We saw a bunch of teachers running down the stairway, and then everybody shifted and broke into a sprint," Parness said. "I hopped a fence."
Most of the fatalities were inside the building, though some victims were found fatally shot outside, the sheriff said.
Sen. Bill Nelson told CNN that Cruz had pulled the fire alarm "so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall."
"And there the carnage began," said Nelson, who said he was briefed by the FBI.
The scene was reminiscent of the Newtown attack, which shocked even a country numbed by the regularity of school shootings. The Dec. 14, 2012, assault at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 26 people: 20 first-graders and six staff members. The 20-year-old gunman, who also fatally shot his mother in her bed, then killed himself.
Not long after Wednesday's attack in Florida, Michael Nembhard was sitting in his garage on a cul-de-sac when he saw a young man in a burgundy shirt walking down the street. In an instant, a police cruiser pulled up, and officers jumped out with guns drawn.
"All I heard was 'Get on the ground! Get on the ground!'" Nembhard said. He said Cruz did as he was told.
The school was to be closed for the rest of the week.

Rep. Deutch Statement on Tragic Shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School

Rep. Deutch Statement on Tragic Shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School
 
(Washington) Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), representing the residents of Parkland and Coral Springs, Florida, issued this statement after today's tragic school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School:

"Today was a horrible day for Parkland, South Florida, and our nation. We are grateful for our first responders, local, state and federal law enforcement, and especially the teachers and staff who heroically fought to protect their students. We mourn the lives taken, and we will be here as a community for the families and for one another.

"Here were my thoughts from earlier today: https://youtu.be/veYl6g3kZOk."

Wasserman Schultz on the Broward County School Shooting

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement on the Broward County school shooting:

“As a Broward County resident for nearly 30 years and an elected official for most of that time, my heart breaks for the victims, their families, friends, and loved ones. As a parent of a Broward County high school student, and as someone with friends whose children attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it is gut wrenching that another senseless school shooting has occurred, this time in our community. 

In the United States of America, it is simply unacceptable that we allow children to run for their lives with their backpacks on. Unacceptable that we allow parents to fear for the worst while they wait to hear back from their kids, and unacceptable that we allow survivors of school shootings to live with a trauma that can never be explained away.

I stand with my community and our families and ask all Americans to keep the parents, siblings, spouses and loved ones in their prayers this evening. No American anywhere should have to feel the pain that Broward County feels today, and too many communities have felt across our country countless times before. We must do something about this senseless epidemic of gun violence and we must do it now.”

Shooting at high school in Parkland,fatalities reported

Parents wait for news after reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Joel Auerbach / AP


Image: BSO: Suspect in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School started shooting students at random, took Uber to campus

BSO: Suspect in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School started shooting students at random, took Uber to campus


Shooting at high school in Parkland, Fla.; at least 17 reported dead

Updated 2-15-08



A gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, killing 17 people and injuring at least a dozen others, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said. The shooting suspect, a former student identified by police as Nikolaus Cruz, was taken into custody in nearby Coral Springs.




A shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., 50 miles north of Miami. It has an enrollment of approximately 3,000.
•  At least 14 people were injured and transported to local hospitals, according to police. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters there were "multiple fatalities."
• The suspected shooter, identified as Nicolas Cruz, was taken into custody in nearby Coral Springs. According to officials, Cruz was a former student at the school.

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie said there are “numerous fatalities” after a gunman opened fired at a high school in Parkland, Florida, adding “It is a horrible day for us.” President Trump spoke with Florida Governor Rick Scott about the shooting and offered condolences to the families of the victims

Rep. Deutch on CNN's Situation Room Discusses Rob Porter & Administration's Failure to Impose Russia Sanctions

Rep. Deutch on CNN's Situation Room Discusses Rob Porter & Administration's Failure to Impose Russia Sanctions
 
(Washington) Yesterday, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee and a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Situation Room to express his outrage at the White House's handling of Rob Porter, a senior aide accused of abuse. He also slammed the Administration's failure to both punish Russia for interfering in our elections and to prepare our country's defences for future electoral attacks.

You can view clips of the interview here and here, or click the image below to watch the full interview.

What the 2019 Budget Proposal really means


Image result for chopping block gif

Presidents’ budgets are not legislative documents. They’re wish lists. So it’s easy to make too much of them — there’s really no penalty for swinging for the fences, nor is there much incentive to try to craft a budget that would please a lot of people.
But with the caveat that the budget is just a statement of priorities, here’s what we can glean from the choices the Trump administration announced yesterday:
  • Public health is out. President Trump’s budget proposed some steep cuts to public-health agencies and programs, including significant reductions at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
  • Medicaid is a prime target. The budget calls for steep, blunt cuts to Medicaid — cuts that would total more than $1 trillion over a decade, by the White House’s math. Those include the dramatic cuts from last year’s repeal-and-replace bills, which are obviously not going to happen. But the budget also calls for tighter eligibility rules, fewer benefit mandates and more rigorous screening for things like immigration status.
  • ACA stabilization is in? Trump’s budget called for fully repealing the Affordable Care Act. But it also says Congress should fund the law’s cost-sharing subsidies — funds Trump cut off last year. And it calls for fully funding the law’s “risk corridors” program, which helps soften the blow for insurers who have had a rough time in the exchanges.
  • Medicare is somewhere in the middle. The budget would significantly reduce Medicare spending, but a lot of those savings are pretty technical, and some are reruns from President Obama’s budgets.
  • Pharma is not completely safe. No, Trump hasn’t formally proposed Medicare price negotiations, and he probably won’t. But his budget does still call for several steps that would lower seniors’ drug costs, including creating a new cap on seniors’ out-of-pocket costs.
The bottom line: A lot of these proposals would need congressional approval, and that’s why a great many of them will never see the light of day. But this is a pretty good roadmap to the administration’s priorities — one that should make Medicaid advocates, including hospitals, especially nervous.


















Source Axios.com

Victory Fund, Dolphin Democrats, Dean Trantalis For Mayor Event

The Victory Fund is helping Dean Trantalis r campaign for mayor with back-to-back fund-raisers in Fort Lauderdale and South Beach on Feb. 22 and 23.
The CEO of the Victory Fund, Annise Parker, will be a special guest at both. She is the former mayor of Houston, which became the most populous city in America with an openly LGBT mayor when she was elected.
The Victory Fund is co-hosting the Feb. 22 event with the Dolphin Democrats, and we expect other groups may join soon as well. The Feb. 23 event is co-hosted by SAVE and is being organized by state Rep. David Richardson.
The Feb. 22 event is at Milk Money, 815 NE 13 St. in Fort Lauderdale from 7-9 p.m. The Feb. 23 event is from 6-8 p.m. at the Gaythering Hotel, 1409 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.
Please RSVP to campaign@trantalis.com to let us know if you will attend either event. Please specify which one.

Wasserman Schultz Statement on Trump Budget



U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement on President Trump's 2019 budget:

“The Trump budget dumps the costs of his tax cuts for giant corporations squarely on the middle class and those still struggling to get there, while continuing to leave much of the tab for the next generation. This cruel proposal threatens the health care of seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income families. Millions of Americans would be stripped of food on their tables, heat and air conditioning in their homes, and educational opportunities for their futures. At the same time, the President’s infrastructure plan falls drastically short of the promises he has made to create jobs and boost the economy. This budget is a wish list for Wall Street and the wealthy. Instead, as a member of both the Appropriations and Budget Committees, I will work with my colleagues to enact responsible investments which meet the true needs and adhere to the true values of all Americans.”

What Agenies and Programs does Trump plan to eliminate




Trump budget proposal eliminates 22 agencies, programs
President Trump on Monday unveiled his budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year, which makes significant cuts to some federal agencies and projects as part of an effort to slash the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.

As part of that effort, Trump has proposed eliminating funding for several agencies, grant programs and institutes.

1. The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education, which donates agricultural commodities and financial assistance to carry out school feeding programs in foreign countries.
2. The Rural Business and Cooperative Service, which provides loans, grants and payments intended to increase opportunities in rural communities.
3. The Economic Development Administration, which provides federal grants to communities in support of locally-developed economic plans.
4. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which subsidizes advisory and consulting services for small and medium-size manufacturers.
5. 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which helps communities establish or expand centers to provide before- and after-school programs and summer school programs.
6. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, an Education Department program that provides grants to support college preparation for low-income students.
7. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which researches ways to enhance the effectiveness of health services.
8. The Advanced Research Projects Agency, which provides support for Energy Department projects.
9. The National Wildlife Refuge Fund, which compensates communities for lost tax revenue when the federal government acquires their land.
10. The Global Climate Change Initiative, a proposal that reflects Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
11. The NASA Office of Education, which provides grants to colleges and universities, museums and science centers. The funding would be redirected within NASA.
12. The Chemical Safety Board, which is tasked with investigating accidents at chemical facilities.
13. The Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds service opportunities, promotes volunteering and helps nonprofit organizations find volunteers.
14. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds public television and radio stations including Public Broadcasting Service  and NPR.
15. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which funds museums and libraries nationwide with grants.
16. The Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit that provides civil legal assistance for low-income individuals.
17. The National Endowment for the Arts, which funds American artists and projects with grants.
18. The National Endowment for the Humanities, which provides grants to American humanities scholars.
19. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, which funds community development projects nationwide.
20. The Denali Commission, the Delta Regional Authority and the Northern Border Regional Commission, which fund infrastructure and economic projects in specified areas.
21. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency, which provides U.S. goods and services for foreign projects.
22. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a think tank focused on international affairs and foreign policy.


Also see Our Post, What the Budget Really Means