Recent editorials from Florida newspapers:
The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune on state GOP should pull ad with teachers' comment
Most of us were taught to be polite when we're invited into someone's home. So it's no surprise that finalists in the annual Teacher of the Year competition said nice things about Gov. Rick Scott at a recent gathering in the governor's mansion in Tallahassee.
They didn't know those interviews would be hijacked by the Republican Party and used in an advertisement for the governor's re-election campaign.
At least one of the those teachers isn't happy about it. "I don't think it's appropriate for me to be in any political ad, Democrat or Republican," middle school teacher Apryl Shackelford told the Tribune's William March.
Despite those public comments, the state's GOP continues to stand behind the ad, saying the videos taken during the gathering are public records available for anyone's use. ...
Scott's record on education is evolving. After cutting education funding his first year in office, he restored some of that funding the next year and successfully pushed lawmakers to include funding for teacher raises this year. That's what inspired the positive comments from Shackelford.
But she would rather those comments not become politicized.
She drew support last week from state Rep. Karen Castor Dentel, a Democrat from Maitland who is a schoolteacher. Castor Dentel wrote to Scott objecting to the use of the teacher interviews in a political ad, noting they were conducted by public employees and occurred during a public event paid for by tax dollars. Sure, the lawmaker may have some political motives herself here, but she is correct that the teacher interviews were misused.
Scott may not have had anything to do with the creation or distribution of the ad, but he should push the state GOP to quit running the ad. At the least, Shackelford's image and comment should be removed.
After all, most of us were also taught to treat our guests with respect.
The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla., on Twinkies' unlikely return defies anti-fat era
Hostess Brands and their stock of snacks, including the beloved Twinkie, are back, defying a major trend against sugary food.
The political culture has become increasingly hostile to sugary snacks and drinks. But Hostess Brands' rebirth proves that in America, you cannot easily dismiss a tasty, high-calorie snack.
Since November, U.S. consumers have been deprived of such Hostess Brands snacks as Twinkies and CupCakes.
Hostess Brands disappeared after bankruptcy proceedings brought on by feuding with union workers. The owners threw their hands up and decided to let someone else worry about delivering the snacks daily to consumers around the nation. The company was sold to new investors.
That also ended production, albeit temporarily. Last fall, as news of the Twinkie apocalypse spread, sales of Hostess snacks jumped 31,000 percent — that's 31,000 — according to the Dallas Morning News.
People didn't miss what they had until it was about to disappear. They flocked to the stores and snatched up the last remaining Twinkies and Ding Dongs.
Then came a period of fasting. ...
It appears that Twinkies will remain on America's 21st century menu, despite the temporary financial disruption.
Hostess Brands' bottom line — and maybe America's too — will get fatter even with all the nagging about obesity.
So no matter what New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decrees about snacks, obesity and fatty foods, Americans will continue to hanker for snacks of questionable nutritional value.
But it should be noted that the Twinkies are reportedly a little smaller this time around. That could be considered a concession to the health crusaders — as long as Americans don't eat more Twinkies to make up the difference.
The Miami Herald on Obama administration must push for stronger U.N. response:
The seizure in Panama of the Chong Chon Gang, a rusty old North Korean ship carrying last century's Soviet-era weapons from Cuba hidden under 250,000 sacks of brown sugar, may seem to have the wacky trappings of a Gilligan's Island episode with a Cold War flashback that includes a rioting crew and a captain threatening to kill himself when Panamanian soldiers boarded his ship.
But as the ship's containers begin to be cleared of the 100-pound bags of sugar and the weapons systems are exposed and analyzed by experts, no one's laughing. The case for maintaining a tough line on North Korea and Cuba has been strengthened.
The Obama administration, which has spent years tossing carrots at both communist countries, keeps finding that neither wants to nibble. They're too busy, after all, plotting against the United States and the United Nations.
Any talk of removing the communist island from the State Department's terror list remains a fool's errand when faced with more evidence of Cuba's role as a pass-through for every renegade nation and terrorist group that seeks harbor there.
The Cuban and North Korean communist dictatorships maintain Cuba was sending "obsolete defensive weapons" for repairs in North Korea so that Cuba can "protect its sovereignty." ...
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and past chair, is right to call for North Korea to be put back on the terror list. And those hoping to get Cuba pulled off the terror list should have gotten their wake-up call about the Castro brothers' ill will, too.
This is no time to be chummy with rogue regimes. Keep Cuba where it belongs — on the terror list — and add North Korea to the membership because both countries have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted.