Thanks to Republicans, you may have cracked open your last craft beer

But before the growler bill they were advocating got to a vote, the Senate Rules Committee passed an amended bill that would allow the sale of growlers but would also heavily restrict the sale of virtually all craft beer sold by microbrewers.

Published in the Tampa Tribune, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Chris Ingram

In what has to be the new poster child of the laws of unintended consequences, craft beer brewers and their beer-drinking enthusiasts have to be scratching their heads and asking, “What happened?”

Craft brewers — or microbrewers — had gotten the Florida Legislature to consider a bill to allow the sale of growlers, half-gallon sized containers of beer that are prohibited by state law. Along with Florida, growlers are illegal in only two other states.

But before the growler bill they were advocating got to a vote, the Senate Rules Committee passed an amended bill that would allow the sale of growlers but would also heavily restrict the sale of virtually all craft beer sold by microbrewers.

The devil is in the details.

SB 1714 would permit the sale of growlers by microbrewers who sell fewer than 2,000 kegs of beer per year. So far so good, but not great. Brewers producing more than 2,000 kegs per year would be permitted to sell growlers, but they would also be required to distribute all of their beers, regardless of size, through an established beer distributor.

craftbeer1
Fla. Senate leaders want you to pay more for craft beer.

The effect of the distribution requirement would be higher costs to consumers, since the beer distributors would be due a large cut for their role as a middle man. Adding insult to injury, any microbrewery in the state producing over 2,000 kegs would have to sell its beer to the distributor and then buy it back (after a mark-up from the distributor), to sell their own beer in their own microbrewery.

Absurd!

Is it any wonder we call it the “Flori-duh” Legislature?

The bill is being pushed by (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune.)

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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The Republicans’ “strategic incompetence”

The Republicans clearly lost the PR battle over the shutdown and the debt ceiling limit extension. Unfortunately for the GOP, the spiraling federal debt as an issue of concern appears lost on most people. It’s significance is quite simple really: The money we’ve borrowed will have to be paid back, and it’s going to be painful.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, October 19, 2013

You might call the Republicans’ recent efforts related to the federal government shutdown and their battle with the Democrats over the debt ceiling as “strategic incompetence.” 

Strategic incompetence is the act of appearing to not know what you are doing, all the while, knowing exactly what you want to accomplish by pretending to be incompetent.

My friend Roy engages in strategic incompetence from time to time. For example, after his wife had their son, Roy decided he didn’t like changing diapers. So he would pretend to be incompetent by fumbling with the diapers, never getting the child clean enough, and otherwise incorrectly changing the diaper and upsetting the baby. In the end, his wife believed Roy was not competent to change the diapers, and she told him he didn’t have to do it anymore — which is exactly what Roy wanted.

By shutting the government down over the train wreck that is known as Obamacare and having threatened to not increase the debt ceiling, the Republicans appeared — just as Roy appeared in the eyes of his lovely wife — to be incompetent in the eyes of voters.

The strategic part of the GOP’s shutdown and debt ceiling plan was Continue reading “The Republicans’ “strategic incompetence””

For voter suppression, take I-95 north

The reaction to last month’s Supreme Court ruling that rendered Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional was full of typical hyperbole about the impact the court’s decision will have on minority voting rights.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The reaction to last month’s Supreme Court ruling that rendered Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional was full of typical hyperbole about the impact the court’s decision will have on minority voting rights.

The overturned section related to the formula by which nine states and some jurisdictions in other states (including just six counties in Florida) are brought under Section 5, which requires them to get federal permission – “preclearance” – for even the most minor changes in voting procedures.

In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote Section 4 “[uses] obsolete statistics,” and that the coverage formula “violates the constitution.”

To wit, the Supreme Court did not overturn the act itself, just Section 4, and effectively Section 5. Congress is free to consider rewriting the law, though if it wants to ensure fair voting it should look elsewhere.

Such as the 15 states (mostly in the Northeast and in states that strongly tend to favor Democrats), that don’t permit any form of early voting or “no-excuse needed” vote by mail (previously referred to as “absentee” voting). Among those states are New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Despite the fact that these Democratic Party-leaning states have more restrictive voting opportunities than Florida, our state and its Republican elected officials are frequently vilified by the media for so-called “voter suppression.”

While the state Legislature did tighten some of the rules regarding early voting in 2011, it reinstated most of them this year. But even under the pre-reinstated laws, Florida had far less-restrictive elections than in 15 states, as well as some others that permit early voting and/or no-excuse mail balloting but that are more restrictive than Florida’s.

Yet the liberal mainstream media rarely looks in its own backyard. It’s much easier to label Florida’s legislators and our governor as right-wing voter suppressors than it is to do a little research and then point out that Florida has some of the most progressive voting laws in the country – all of which were instituted by Republicans (not Democrats), and that New York (home of the liberal mainstream media) has among the most oppressive voting laws in the country.

For example, the Obama Network (aka MSNBC), noted in a propaganda report that the effort to overturn provisions of the Voting Rights Act Continue reading “For voter suppression, take I-95 north”

Bill Nelson’s big fat lie about Social Security

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is engaging in typical Democrat party scare tactics by suggesting Republicans are engaging in a risky scheme to privatize the depression-era social welfare program.

He knows you’ve been scammed, but won’t admit it

By Chris Ingram

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is engaging in typical Democrat party scare tactics by suggesting Republicans are engaging in a risky scheme to privatize the depression-era social welfare program.

The problem with Senator Nelson and his ilk in the Democrat party is that their tactic is not only misleading, but they are also lying about the law regarding Social Security entitlement, and, most importantly, they lack any honest proposals to extend the life of the program.

Social Security = legalized government theft

Earlier today I received the following unsolicited e-mail from Senator Nelson’s congressional office: Continue reading “Bill Nelson’s big fat lie about Social Security”

The Water Cooler: debt double-talk; Bitner for Chair; Wonderland

In 2006 Senator Barack Obama voted against raising the federal debt ceiling saying we needed to “get serious about fiscal discipline.” At the time of his vote against increasing the debt limit George W. Bush was president. Obama and every Democrat in the U.S. Senate voted against raising the debt ceiling and every Republican voted to increase it.

The Water Cooler is a snapshot of some of the things people are talking about in politics  

By Chris Ingram  

Washington double-talk about the debt  

In 2006 Senator Barack Obama voted against raising the federal debt ceiling saying we needed to “get serious  about fiscal discipline.” At the time of his vote against increasing the debt limit George W. Bush was president.  Obama and every Democrat in the U.S. Senate voted against raising the debt ceiling and every Republican voted for increasing it.    

 
 
 

What Rush won't tell you: the GOP's double-talk is as bad as Obama's

   Continue reading “The Water Cooler: debt double-talk; Bitner for Chair; Wonderland”

Watch your wallet, Barack Obama is in the room

Suddenly, Obama thinks fiscal stewardship, responsible government, and controlled spending are a bright idea. He’s full of the stuff that line a baby’s diaper, but hey, he’s giving it a shot – which is more than George W. Bush ever did (to my Bush defending friends please send hate mail to: openyoureyesandpayattentiontorealityandquitdrinkingtheRNCkool-aid@biteme.org)

Republicans will steal from you too, so don’t feel too confident around GOPers either

By Chris Ingram

Facing dwindling poll numbers following the Obama-care fiasco, President Obama is now attempting to fool Americans into believing his Number One concern is jobs and the economy – as opposed to socialism and a government take-over of 1/5th of our economy. O-say-anything-Bama is also touting his concern over the federal debt – which is the Number One peril facing America’s future and its children.

Suddenly, Obama thinks fiscal stewardship, responsible government, and controlled spending are a bright idea. Of course, he’s full of Continue reading “Watch your wallet, Barack Obama is in the room”

Biggest threat to America: Congress

WASHINGTON – The Senate Tuesday rejected a plan backed by President Barack Obama to create a bipartisan task force to tackle the federal deficit this year despite glaring new figures showing the enormity of the red-ink threat.

Washington politicians continue to pander, avoid tough problems, and focus on next election — not next generations. America gets what it deserves. Remember, we elected these people…

— Chris Ingram

CBO: Federal deficit projected at $1.35T

By Andrew Taylor, AP

WASHINGTON – The Senate Tuesday rejected a plan backed by President Barack Obama to create a bipartisan task force to tackle the federal deficit this year despite glaring new figures showing the enormity of the red-ink threat.

Read the full AP story by clicking here.