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Today on Context Florida: ‘good’ report bad news, Confederate Christmas and needle-exchange

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Today on Context Florida:

When is a “good” job growth report bad news, asks Dan Tilson. When it’s about Florida, and serves both to burnish Gov. Rick Scott’s ginned-up “job creator” status, and further the creation of a new socioeconomic order in the state. The ADP Research Institute June report places Florida second nationally with almost 32,000 new private-sector jobs created. On the face of it, that seems like good news. But strip away the face value of such statistics, and you’ll find the same trend that characterizes the entire Republican economic “recovery” of recent years. You’ll find about two of three of those new jobs is a low-paying service-sector one.

Expect to see the Confederate flag back in the Florida Capitol as an unwanted Christmas present, writes Jac Wilder VerSteeg. How? Broward/Palm Beach New Times writer Chris Joseph details plans by Chaz Stevens, described as “a Deerfield Beach activist and blogger,” to erect an elaborate Festivus pole this Christmas in the Capitol Rotunda. So, in addition to Christian displays like the traditional nativity scene, we’ve had the Festivus pole of Seinfeld fame, the spaghetti monster and an offering from a satanic temple. If we can have all that displayed in the Capitol, it is hard to see how we will avoid a display from The Church of the Holy Confederacy.

Florida is not an early adapter, notes Gary Stein. Most of the time, our state takes a “wait-and-see” attitude regarding nearly any health policy, social program or economic strategy that has been attempted by another state’s legislature. One such innovative program has saved at least hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of dollars and is older than CDs, cellphones, home computers, Katy Perry and Flo Rida, but you won’t see a statewide needle-exchange program in Florida.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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