Today on Context Florida: Maya Angelou, Marco Rubio, transparency and Eric Shinseki

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Today on Context Florida:

As an immigrant, a man of color, Andrew Skerritt discovered Maya Angelou late, not from reading her directly but from hearing her words emanating from the mouths of women to whom Angelou gave voice.

Republicans have just discovered poverty and income inequality, which to Stephen Goldstein is a remarkable revelation considering they have caused so much of it. Marco Rubio claims, “That if states were given the flexibility, they would design and pursue innovative and effective ways to help those trapped in poverty.” But don’t believe a word of it.

Shannon Nickinson notes that when the First Amendment Foundation publicized its transparency scorecard last month, it found that on average, cities and counties in Florida had lots of room for improvement in sharing the workings of government with the governed. Fortunately, some Northwest Florida governments saw above-average scores.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki succumbed to growing pressure from more than 100 members of Congress of both parties to resign over the systemic failure that reportedly caused inexcusable deaths. Steven Kurlander writes that VA chief had apologized for trusting subordinates and accepting reports that were false, but the problem has always been that the VA health care system does not have enough money to properly attend to the health-care needs of veterans.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.