Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Gasbag (004:365)
Olympus E-P2 with 40-150mm MK II and MMF-2 adpater
1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, 150mm

Today was a cloudy day, and it got gloomier as the afternoon wore on. I took this at the Orlando Executive Airport, right next to downtown Orlando. It's a place for personal and small business aircraft, both prop and jet. It's also the spot where the little blimps like the one above are handled.

Gasbag also reminds me of politicians, which in turn reminds me that we swore in (as apposed to swore at) our latest governor, Rick Scott. He was sworn in today as Florida's 45th governor, replacing the useless 44th, Charlie Crist, who lost the 2010 bid as US senator to Marco Rubio.

Before he ran for governor, Scott was chairman and CEO of Columbia/HCA until he was forced to resign in 1997.

He was forced to resign in 1997 after investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company.

In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA plead guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in US history. Columbia/HCA admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space. They also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, they gave doctors "loans" never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.

He was elected governor on a narrow majority and after he spent $78 million of his own money. Now he's running loose with a Republican majority in both the state house and senate.

Just like we did in 2000, Florida has once again shown it really doesn't know how to vote.

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