Keith Fitzgerald on Flipboard

@oldfitz | 9,802 Articles | 15 Magazines | 18,668 Followers | I am a political science professor at New College, a former member of the Florida House of Reps, and a former candidate for Congress.

New Drug Czar Offers Hope to Addicts

The mandatory sentencing laws that swept this country during the 1970s and ’80s filled the prisons to bursting with low-level drug offenders, many of them addicts who would have been more cheaply and effectively dealt with through drug treatment. But those who advocated treatment stood little …


Nobody Said That

Imagine yourself as a regular commentator on public affairs — maybe a paid pundit, maybe an supposed expert in some area, maybe just an opinionated billionaire. You weigh in on a major policy initiative that’s about to happen, making strong predictions of disaster. The Obama stimulus, you declare, …


Teachers Can Say ‘We Told You So'

After 20 years of pushing, expanding and replacing standardized tests, the Florida Legislature took its first baby step to reverse the trend. …


Documents: Many players contribute to standoff on Medicaid expansion

— The first casualty of the legislative process often is clarity.

Lawmakers may well complete their yearly meeting without a state budget — the one …


Thief sneaks ice cream cooler past sleeping store clerk

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. (AP) — Deputies in Florida say a thief worked for 15 minutes to drag a cooler full of Good Humor ice cream past a sleeping clerk at a gas station near Fort Lauderdale.

Surveillance cameras captured a man walking up to the Oakland Park store at 4:09 a.m. on April 2 to find the …


2015 FL Session: Marked by gridlock, greed & fierce squabbles

With just days left in the 2015 Florida legislative session, legislators are locked in a messy health care battle that has led to epic gridlock. …


Americans think immigrants used to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. That’s wrong.

If your ancestors came to the US in the late 1800s or early 1900s (or if you've talked to someone whose ancestors came then) you probably think of …


Family of boy killed by Border Patrol can't sue agent in U.S., court rules

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who killed a Mexican teenager when he fired across the border from Texas into Mexico cannot be sued in U.S. courts by the boy’s family, a federal appeals court ruled.

The unanimous ruling was issued Friday by the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing most of an …


Another shot: Congressional Hispanic Caucus drafts new bill on immigration reform

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is drafting a new immigration reform bill that lawmakers could start debating within the coming months, the chair of the caucus, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), said Thursday.

At a meeting with reporters, including Efe, Sanchez said that the members of the caucus …


Rubio: Big immigration reforms impossible now

Marco Rubio once backed an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws — but now, he says such major reforms are no longer a political possibility.

"We can't do it in a massive piece of legislation. And I know, 'cause I tried," the Florida senator who's one week into his 2016 presidential campaign said Sunday …


Private companies profit from U.S. immigration detention boom

In the women's wing of the nation's newest immigrant detention center, 28-year-old Silia Ramirez sat Thursday writing a letter to her family.

She described her day so far — yoga with another detainee in the morning, chicken fajitas for lunch — as well as her anxiety about the future. Like the 185 …


How Baby Boomers Get High

Reports over the past decade have detailed higher rates of illicit drug use, drug-related hospital admissions and overdoses among baby boomers in …


Brian O’Driscoll lines up with Gay Byrne to support same-sex marriage in Ireland

They were singing Motown soul classics, reciting rap-style poems and reading passages of prose in honour of Roddy Doyle’s The Barrytown Trilogy in the new €40m Dun Laoghaire library on Thursday night.

A gathering of younger poets and novelists, described as “an apocalyptic amount of Dublin accents”, …


Freshman's Campaign Issue Gets D.C. Attention

Freshman’s Campaign Issue Gets D.C. Attention

McSally, a former A-10 fighter pilot who championed the issue, is considered a vulnerable Republican in …


The Triumph of Corruption

Corruption today represents not a failure of individual ethics, as the Supreme Court renders it, or a side-effect of poorly designed laws, but an …

Political History

A Conservative Case for the Welfare State

The modern history of the welfare state dates from the reforms of Otto von Bismarck, chancellor of Germany in the 1870s and 1880s. He was very …

Political History

Is That an FM Radio In Your Pocket?

Broadcasters, tech companies, and musicians are clashing over the FM chips that live in most smartphones.

Broadcasters, musicians, and tech companies are fighting over the radio you didn't know you had in your pocket.

The radio is your smartphone: Even in the age of Pandora and Spotify, most phones …

FM Radio

The Recession Isn't Over For Many Families

The number of households with at least one unemployed person is still higher than before the Great Recession.

Beware of the misleading statistic that says we've recovered from the Great Recession.

The Labor Department released new 2014 figures this week showing that the number of families with at …


Asheville, North Carolina and the Rebirth of a Downtown

In the immortal words from Liberty Valance, "when the legend becomes fact, print the legend." Herewith the legend and reality of Asheville.

Here's how we got to today's post: through the past few weeks, I've done a variety of items on the attempts of long-challenged Fresno to rebuild its historic …

North Carolina

Drones Are Not as Precise as Their Proponents Claim

Civilian casualties are inevitable, and the U.S. appears willing to accept them.

On Thursday morning, President Obama appeared before White House reporters to announce that a January drone strike had inadvertently killed two Western hostages held at an al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan. The tragedy, he …


Drone Strikes on Al Qaeda Said to Take Toll on Leadership

LONDON — Revelations of new high-level losses among Al Qaeda’s top leadership in Pakistan’s tribal belt have underscored how years of American drone strikes have diminished and dispersed the militant group’s upper ranks and forced them to cede prominence and influence to more aggressive offshoots …


Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

In January, the British-American computer scientist Stuart Russell drafted and became the first signatory of an open letter calling for researchers …

Artificial Intelligence

Antibiotics in Food Increase Obesity

Recently the FDA issued a somber report: Sales of antibiotics to use in pigs, chicken, cows and seafood rose 20% between 2009 and 2013. About 32.6

Healthy Food

Italy: Suspects discussed Vatican attack

Italian authorities launched a "vast anti-terrorism operation" Friday, going after suspects associated with al Qaeda who allegedly had discussed a range of targets, including the Vatican.

Wiretaps and other intelligence revealed that the group -- some of whom had direct contact with Osama bin …


Revolving Door: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Takes Job With Hedge Fund Citadel

The former Federal Reserve chair is only the latest top regulator to head through the revolving door to the financial industry.

So Ben Bernanke wants to make a buck. Who can blame him? The guy is one of the most esteemed economists of his generation. He served his country admirably; his term as …

Federal Reserve

Nice Downtowns: How Did They Get That Way?

"Visitors think, 'That's just how Seattle is.' But it wasn't." Lessons via places ranging from Fresno to Shanghai.

I had anticipated some of the rewards and discoveries of visiting cities in the process of economic and cultural recovery and re-invention. An unexpected reward has been the chance to …


Unequal Until the End

For the affluent, old age has its challenges. For the impoverished, it's only harder.

“No one understands old but old people.”

James made this proclamation over an ancient pool table in an impoverished neighborhood of the greater San Francisco Bay. The other men gathered at the senior center nodded …

Great Recession

How Corporate Lobbyists Conquered American Democracy

Business didn't always have so much power in Washington.

Something is out of balance in Washington. Corporations now spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures—more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.18 billion) and Senate ($860 million). It’s a gap that has …


Republicans for Campaign-Finance Reform: Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie, and Ted Cruz

It's not just Democrats who are critical of the current state of campaign finance. Lindsey Graham, Chris Christie, and Ted Cruz have their own complaints.

"You're going to have money dumped in this election cycle that's going to turn off the American people. There's going to be a need and a movement …

Lindsey Graham