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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where we play Frankenstein inside Rick Scott's charisma vacuum, get taken for a ride down to J.J. Redick's pubic floor and dive Six Feet Under for a family photo. Scary!

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Let's see. Where were we? Sadly,it's been all hobo hallucinations and blood mirages here at Happytown™ – the menacing summer sun has been baking images of poverty paddywagons and fancy performance halls and courthouse schadenfreude into our collective third eye. It's as if we've forgotten how to flip over the political soapbox, survey our catastrophic decline and spit overwrought blame into the air. It's just not like us. We've apparently lost our heads.

Or, rather, our bald head. While we've been burning our feet on the tarmac in search of the latest stink, Gov. Rick Scott has been making headlines everywhere for being the worst thing to ever happen to anyone, ever. Sure, we've noticed his powdered dome cropping up in televised peripheral view ("Wildfires are bad!" etc.), but for some reason we've had yet to cotton to the premature revisionism meme that's been occupying cyberspace lately: The whole, "can Rick Scott get a makeover, like, now please! " thinkpieces intended to occupy the time of political blatherers in the dry run-up to next year's election cycle. Somebody grab a wig!

"If you were America's most unpopular governor, posting a voter-approval rating of 29 percent after less than six months in Tallahassee," TIME magazine opined earlier this month, "you'd be willing to go to the North Pole to beg Santa Claus to relocate to Daytona Beach."

Scott didn't go that far, of course, because he never got presents on Public Housing Christmas Day, remember? Instead, Scott took his charisma vacuum on a little jaunt to Canada a couple of weeks back to claim more than 200 private-sector jobs for Florida; jobs, it should be noted, that were already secured by his predecessor Charlie "Jesus" Crist. Also, according to the Palm Beach Post, many of those jobs don't even exist and the 700,000 new jobs he promised during his campaign still seem quite a ways off. In just the one week that Scott was in the Great White North, 636 private sector jobswere 
eliminated by just five companies in the Sunshine State, the Post points out. Oh, dear.

And that's not even the worst of Rick's woes. Gentlemen, start your abacuses! There was that $2.4 billion in federal money he rejected for high-speed rail and the 30,000 jobs that were supposed to come with it. The sheer teabag-breaking hypocrisy of keeping $370 million in federal money in state's $69 billion budget. The 8 percent cut in education spending, including $169 million for state colleges. The forced retirement plans for state employees effectively garnishing their already-static wages by 3 percent. Oh, and did we mention that the man is worth $218 million in his own right? Rick Scott quite simply does not add up. Except, maybe, for Democrats, if they can (cough) keep it up and hold him accountable for all of the state's woes next year. Please?

As for what keeps such an unappealing presence moving forward even in the face of abject hatred from everyone with a Floridian pulse, apparently it's akin to a political death wish in a vanity blender. "For better or worse, he's a true believer," Aubrey Jewett, a University of Central Florida political scientist, tells TIME. "I really don't think he cares if he gets re-elected." Nope. That would cost him too much.

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