CNN demonstrated this past Sunday why it’s rapidly losing viewers when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis displayed how adept he is at handling biased media during an interview with a CNN dolt posing as a news reporter.
“Do you stand behind Lee County’s decision to not have that mandatory evacuation until the day before the storm?” CNN’s Nadia Romero asked the governor Sunday while he was on the ground actively engaged in the recovery process.
“Well did you — where was your industry stationed when the storm hit?” DeSantis responded. “Were you guys in Lee County? No, you were in Tampa.”
DeSantis defended Lee County’s preparations, noting officials closely monitored the hurricane’s progress while ensuring shelters were ready. The county, he said, had good reason in the days before the storm made landfall to believe it wouldn’t be in the path of a direct hit.
“They were following the weather track, and they had to make decisions based on that,” DeSantis said. “But you know, 72 hours, they weren’t even in the cone, 48 hours, they were on the periphery. So, you’ve got to make the decisions the best you can. I will say they delivered the message to people, they had shelters open, everybody had adequate opportunity to at least get to a shelter within the county.”
DeSantis — shown in the top photo serving first responders at a Lee County Waffle House — said many residents expected the brunt of the storm to hit north, toward Tampa, and that many resisted leaving their homes.
DeSantis explained the obvious to the oblivious reporter clarifying how early forecasts showed the hurricane hitting a different part of the state and only hours before the storm actually hit that the officials, particularly meteorologists, knew where the storm would make landfall.
The candid no-nonsense governor was supported in the impacted community when in the hard-hit south Florida town of Arcadia, a man was videoed pointing to a fuel tanker saying: “I don’t know about the rest of ya’ll, but it’s here in Arcadia. So ya’ll know who we voting for.” He added. “I don’t know about the rest of you (expletives deleted) but I’m voting for DeSantis — and I’m a Democrat!”
DeSantis, and his staff do not run from questions, but answer them head-on. Outspoken Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw confronted a snarky and misinformed Peter Schorsch, of the website FloridaPolitics, calling him out for suggesting that DeSantis had not been warning Floridians about the dangerous storm, but was instead attending a high school football game.
Pushaw scorched Schorsch, not only for misrepresenting the timeline which initially showed the hurricane making landfall further to the north, but also for evidently predicting what the National Hurricane Center (NHC) hadn’t, and then keeping it to himself and criticizing Pushaw. Schorsch, now a bonified member of the media left’s anti-DeSantis tub-thumpers, was tweeting from New York, quoting the New York Times and nowhere near Florida, but 1,000 miles distant.
Pushaw’s rapid response to Schorsch came after the governor’s communications director Lindsey Curnutte corrected Schorsch for his remarks tweeting, “This is false and dishonest” and provided an accurate account of the governor’s response.
Pushaw fired off a one-two punch obliterating the jerk’s twisted logic: “You literally said he should have flown to SWFL last weekend to tell people to evacuate there. SWFL was not in the cone. You are a pathetic and disgusting misogynist, and this state is worse off because of you,” she blasted sarcastically countering his amateurish playground comments earlier when he attempted to politicize the hurricane and the state’s rescue and relief efforts and personally attacked Pushaw.
“Or is your position that the governor should have ordered an evacuation of the entire State of Florida because all of it was in the cone at one time or another?” Pushaw asked. “How in the world does that make any sense? I may be ‘new to Florida’ but I know when you’re full of [sh*t].”
WOW! I like this gal! But I sure wouldn’t want to be married to her and come home late after happy hour!
Wait! What? Last Saturday morning the DeSantis’ team was not only rushing aid to clean up Hurricane Ian’s path of destruction but also pushing back on absurd comments made about hurricane aid by the tone-deaf and dim Vice President Kamala Harris.
This week Harris told a Democrat National Committee women’s leadership forum that race, and income should be factors when it came to deciding where aid and resources would go, in areas impacted by natural disasters.
“It is our lowest-income communities, and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” Harris said. “And so, we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity. Understanding that we fight for equality, but we also have to fight for equity.”
The vice president’s garbled and incoherent remarks prompted anger and backlash within Governor DeSantis’ office and elsewhere. The state’s rapid response director, Christina Pushaw, tweeted, “This @VP’s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified. FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background.”
Nattering Nabobs Of Negativism: Governor DeSantis doesn’t hide his contempt for the media and his remarks this week mirrored those of Richard Nixon’s late Vice President Spiro Agnew’s “nattering nabobs,” speech more than 50 years ago.
“They want to use storms and destruction as a way to advance their agenda” he said of the media. “And they don’t care what destruction’s in their wake. They don’t care about the lives here. If they can use it to pursue their political agenda, they will do it.”
He slapped down VP Harris’s insane babbling saying: “I think she is trying to play identity politics with a storm and a natural disaster. I think it’s ridiculous. And honestly, we had the FEMA administrator in Florida with us, and she threw cold water on that, so that is not going to happen. It’s totally not appropriate. You don’t have to politicalize every single tragedy in this country. And I think people, I tell you, in Florida are really sick of the nonsense.”
DeSantis also noted during a press conference Tuesday that three of the four looters who were arrested in Lee County over the weekend were in the country illegally.
Hurricane Hoorahs: An almost full-page opinion article in the Saturday/Sunday edition of the Wall Street Journal last weekend, Oct. 1-2 (A Hurricane Test for the ‘Florida Model’) praised DeSantis for his handling of hurricane Ian quoting those elected and nonelected officials in areas impacted by Ian and analyzing his decisions. The article went on to describe the governor’s increasing popularity and programs he’s enacted, explaining why he’s considered a contender for the GOP presidential nomination, even though he hasn’t said he’s seeking it. Does anybody out there want to bet me he won’t win the race for Governor this November? Who can even remember his opponent’s name?
Thinking Out Loud: Here’s an idea. Give all of those who are on public assistance jobs rebuilding south Florida and put all the illegals to work cleaning up, before deporting them. It makes more sense than anything the confused and dazed VP Harris suggests.
DeSantis Designates DiBella: I had an opportunity to speak by phone with former Nassau County Economic Development Director and head of the Ocean Highway and Port Authority of Nassau County, Laura DiBella, earlier this week as she was headed to Lee County to assist local businesses in their effort to recover from Ian. DiBella, the state’s Deputy Secretary of Commerce, told me she is just one of the many state agencies being deployed to Fort Myers to assist local residents in their recovery efforts and predicts she’ll be there a long time. This is another no-nonsense professional distaff member of the governor’s team. Nassau County misses her talent, and the governor is fortunate to have her on his staff.
Brace Yourselves No-Growth Grumps: This past Tuesday, Oct. 4, Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its annual Reader’ Choice Awards with Amelia Island voted as the third best island to visit in the U.S coming in behind number one Hilton Head Island and number two Kiawah Island, both in South Carolina.
More than 240,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences and providing their opinions of the best places they visited this year.
In a comment bound to make no-growth isolationists and local grumps even grumpier, Gil Langley, President of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau said:. “Notable recognition such as this keeps Amelia Island top-of-mind and attracts curious visitors to our 13 miles of coastline. This is an accomplishment for the entire community and tourism industry. Together, we’ve created an award-winning destination and visitor experience, which compelled visitors to vote for Amelia Island.”
The 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at CNTraveler.com/rca and will be in its November issue.
Jumping Joe: Amelia Island is chock-a-block full of interesting people, each one with a fascinating story. I met one of its most remarkable residents a few weeks ago when good friend Joe Murphy invited me to the Amelia River Golf Club for lunch with Joe Sullivan.
Sullivan is a witty, high-energy man of many interests and talents who didn’t indicate he had plans to slow down anytime soon despite the fact he’s 96-years old.
Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1927 to a tool and dye-maker and truck-driving dad and housewife mother, Sullivan admitted he wasn’t a model primary school student, except on the football field where he was a running back. Graduating at 19 he worked at various jobs including unloading lumber from box cars until he and a few friends decided to check out the various military recruiting offices located in the city’s post office.
The U.S. Army Airborne appealed to the 130-pound 5’5” Sullivan who barely met the military’s height requirements and he was sent to Fort Benning Georgia jump school and became a member of the 82nd Airborne unit.
His first assignment following jump school was in the unit’s maintenance function as a “parachute tester,” a job title that reads like it like it was created by a stand-up comedian. However, testing the parachutes didn’t involve jumping out of airplanes but ensuring that all the harnesses, etc. were in working order and in perfect condition.
Sullivan ended up in Korea and parachuted in during General Douglas McArthur’s infamous September 1950 landing at Inchon, an amphibious invasion and a battle that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations Command.
During his many jumps into combat situations in Korea he jumped out of planes carrying tanks, howitzers and other supplies, lost equipment including side arms, hand grenades and even hooked up with a tank unit. For his efforts he was awarded three bronze stars, the fourth-highest ranking award a service member can receive. The Bronze Star is awarded for “heroic and meritorious deeds performed in an armed conflict and for those who receive the BSM, it is a signal of their sacrifice, bravery, and honor,” says the Department of Defense.
Following his military service Sullivan got serious about school and enrolled at Ohio State using the GI Bill to earn a degree in marketing. He eventually went to work for North Santiam Lumber Co, and was so successful he eventually bought the firm and relocated its Salem, Oregon headquarters to Columbus. It is still in business today.
During his career Sullivan took up golf with a passion despite never playing the game until he was in his early 30s and then shooting in the low to mid 70s. Age hasn’t diminished his appetite for the game and as we sat at the table several golfers came by to ask him about clubs he was working on for them. He converted his talents in the lumber business to making and repairing golf clubs at a workshop in his home.
An Election Reminder: Early voting begins Wednesday, October 26 from 9 am to 6 pm daily and election day is Tuesday, November 8.
In case readers missed it previously I’m once again posting a photo of Commissioner and California transplant and current Mayor Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich proudly displaying his support for the dangerous, violent and fraudulent Black Lives Matter organization as he parades through downtown Fernandina Beach. He’s pictured here wearing a Fernandina Beach Police Department cap despite not being a cop. He’s also wearing a red clown nose, but that’s understandable.
Even black rapper, record producer and businessman Kanye West said “Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam. Now it’s over,” he wrote in a social media post this week.
While spearheading a beach smoking ban saying smokers “violate my rights” California transplant Lednovich remained silent about BLM victim’s rights as that group conducted violent riots, looting, burning and assaults across the nation. Instead, he marched proudly down Centre Street displaying his BLM sandwich board. It apparently didn’t bother the clueless mayor that BLM figures, including co-founder and admitted Marxist Patrisse Cullors, conducted dealings such as buying a $6 million California mansion, to validate the fact that BLM is a massive scam.
My vote to boot California transplant Lednovich off the Fernandina City Commission Seat 4 will go to Chiropractor Dr. James Antun, who along with his chiropractor wife, Jayde, owns a clinic in town and has firsthand knowledge of the issues small businesses face hereabouts. As one reader told me Dr. Antun understands what a pain in the neck the city can be and will administer appropriate treatment.
My vote for the City Commission Seat 5 being vacated by term-limited Len Kreger will go to local Fire Fighter Darron Ayscue, a lifelong resident of Nassau County who will look out for the best interests of all city residents, not just specific minority groups.
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The final Sounds on Centre event of 2022 will be held this evening, Friday October 7, from 6-8 pm on downtown Centre Street between Centre and Front, featuring Soundwavz, playing classic rock tunes. Bring a chair and enjoy the music and the balmy October weather.