COMMENTARY: Moscow Mitch Madness

The Gantt Report, By Lucius Gantt

     I have always been politically independent. I’ve tried to be fair when writing about politics. I write about both major political parties, I criticize both and I praise both when praises are due.

     But “Moscow” Mitch McConnell has exposed himself, the corny hats and white sheets have literally come off his back!

     The Minority Leader in the United States Senate made it very clear recently when he decided to kill attempts to support a special commission to investigate the January attack of the U.S, Capitol and on American Democracy.

      Republicans don’t want to investigate the storming of the symbolic building that is the cornerstone of American government by Donald Trump supporters because the “Big Lie” by the big liar is something GOP members feel they have to perpetuate in order to win the next elections.

     Republicans don’t want to know if the insurrection at the Capitol was planned, who orchestrated the attack, who helped finance the attack and who did, or did not, call in reinforcements when Capitol Police were being beaten with flag poles, pepper sprayed and killed on Capitol grounds.

      Republicans don’t want American citizens to know who former President Trump talked to before, during and after the insurrection. They don’t want Americans to know if Donald Trump laughed after hearing that klansmen and neo-nazis were calling for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and white nationalists had constructed a noose to hang Republican Vice President Mike Pense.

      No need for poppycock, Mitch McConnell made the political decision to ride “The White Horse”. He decided to put his hands in the hands of the man who punked him by lying to him about President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win and convinced Mitch that the only way to control the U.S. Senate was to embrace the racist theory that only a separatist could, or should, become the President of the United States.

     If you don’t know, only about a third of Americans are “card carrying” white supremacists but most members of the current Republican party, and also many “Dixiecrats”, are very much opposed to immigrants or any sympathizers and supporters of Black Lives Matter or other diverse organizations.

     The Democrats that are in reality modern day “Dixiecrats”, feel if they come out strong against white nationalism theory and philosophy they will lose a lot of white voters.

     The Black block vote is not the only “block”. There is a white racist block vote too.

     Democrats want to stay in power and they can but they have to be able to effectively respond to Republican misconduct and misinformation.

     Democrats, other than the “squad” of so-called progressive Democrats, seem as quiet as mice when big lies and little lies are told on Fox News and other conservative news outlets.

     Readers of The Gantt Report get multiple emails every single day about how and why your friends, family and neighbors should donate money for Democratic campaigns but Democrats can’t send you emails about why Democrats are unwilling to stop filibusters, they can’t send you messages about how you can get a job or a contract to provide services for Democrats and you’ll never get an email about equal opportunities, equal justice and equal rights for ALL Americans regardless of ethnicity or skin color.

     Moscow Mitch Madness is not coincidental, it is calculated. Republicans show their love and their willingness to do what Trump tells them to do because they are afraid not to.

     Democrats, Democrats what you gonna do when they come for you? They have already come for the people, the government, the Constitution and the American way!

     Stop the Moscow Mitch Madness. Fight for what’s right! 

Orange County War Memorial Virtual Commemoration Ceremony; Public Invited

Residents are invited to join Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and the Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council on Memorial Day for a wr memorial virtual ceremony to remember and salute the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our Armed Forces.

The virtual ceremony will focus on those who sacrificed their lives as part of the national commemorative program marking the anniversary.

Mayor Demings along with members of the Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council will deliver remarks. A wreath laying ceremony will follow the remarks and a proclamation will be read observing the day.

Scheduled speakers include:
First Sergeant Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones, U.S. Army (Retired), Chair, Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council
Sergeant Fred Robinson, U.S. Marine Corps (Veteran), Vice Chair, Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council and
Major Lorraine Holland, U.S. Army (Retired), Sergeant At Arms, Orange County Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Council

The public may access the Orange County War Memorial Virtual Commemoration Ceremony through YouTube (https://youtu.be/gRXZWIGD_Ek) or Vimeo, beginning at 9:00 a.m. May 31, 2021.

Tune in LIVE here on Monday at 9:00 a.m.

To learn more, visit http://www.ocfl.net/VeteransEvents

Lashawn Jackson: Hometown Hero

BRITISH ISLES (May 17, 2021) Seaman Lashawn Jackson, from Orlando, Fla., stows line aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) during exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield, May 17, 2021.

Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield, conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO on behalf of U.S. Sixth Fleet, is a live-fire integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) exercise that improves Allied interoperability using NATO command and control reporting structures.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan T. Beard/Released)                   

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As COVID Restrictions Loosen, Safety Urged on Public Transportation

Michayla Savitt

TAMPA, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that people two weeks out from receiving their last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can interact with others without a mask on, and without social distancing. However, COVID-safe behavior will have to continue on public transit, even in states such as Florida that have ended mask mandates.

Gov. Ron Desantis lifted the statewide mask mandate on May 3, but the Transportation Security Administration still requires masks at airports and onboard airplanes. 

Tampa International Airport communications manager Danny Valentine said the airport has workers who enforce the measure.

“If they see someone without a mask on or wearing it improperly,” he said, “they can either ask them to pull up their mask over their nose, or they can offer to give them a mask if they don’t have one.”

The CDC continues to advise that masks, when worn properly, are an effective way to prevent transmission of the virus, and that anyone older than 2 years of age should wear them in public settings.

Kids younger than 12 aren’t yet approved to get the vaccine. Dr. Amit Arwindekar, North American medical director for United Healthcare Global, said that age group doesn’t usually see serious COVID symptoms, but still can spread the virus to others.

“So, if you’re going to travel with children under the age of 12, we really encourage you to delay if you can,” he said. “If not, make sure they wear their mask, make sure that they’re washing their hands, and doing everything you can to keep them from getting sick, so that they don’t spread it to other people.”

According to the latest CDC data, nearly 37% of Florida’s population is fully vaccinated, and 5.3% of COVID tests were positive, a downward trend from the last few months.

While COVID rules have relaxed for some activities, Arwindekar said things haven’t returned to normal.

“If you’re taking public transit, if you’re getting health care, or if you’re in a tight space with other people – like sitting in an airplane, in a bus, in a car with people you don’t live with,” he said, “then it’s important to still maintain those public-safety measures: wearing your mask, washing your hands, distancing wherever possible.”

He also urged careful planning for international trips, since the U.S. State Department has placed “Do Not Travel” notices on 80% of countries.

COMMENTARY: Message to Black Women

By Lucius Gantt, THE GANTT REPORT

      Ladies, this column is for you. I have two daughters and what I’m writing about is nothing that my daughters haven’t heard from me before.

      Sisters, you never know who you’ll fall in love with. Most women want a “good” man but what is a good man?

      Well, an intelligent man will open your mind, a handsome man will open your eyes and a gentleman will open your heart!

      No man, or woman, is perfect but if a man is honest with you you can deal with almost any situation as long as you know what’s really going on.

     Honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, productivity, integrity, morality and other characteristics are not necessarily the first things that many women consider when evaluating potential suitors, boyfriends and spouses.

     When women discuss men with each other you might have heard questions like, “What kind of car does he drive?”, “Where does he work?” or “Where does he live?”.

      I told my daughters, don’t worry about the car, concern yourself with the man inside the car, don’t worry about the job, concern yourself with whether the man can provide, protect and perform and don’t worry about where the man lives, concern yourself with how he lives and how you’ll live together once you get together. A man can have a house but he needs a woman to make it a home!

     Some women prefer to date thugs. I’ll be the last writer to tell women who to relate to but the thugs I know like THOTs.

     Who wants to seek a romantic moment on a date to the Trap House? Who wants to plant a kiss on the plexiglass shield at the jail house. And, who wants to raise the kids alone when the guy you’re attracted to is never at home?

      A good man will never put his woman in danger. Only a fool would demand that his woman jump in the car to go on a drive by shooting with him.

     When you suggest that your man should kill someone that hit on you at the mall a plethora of terrible things can happen afterwards.

     Life is a double-edged sword and any bad or harmful thing you tell your man to do to someone can also be done to him.

      Men and women have to work together to stay together and have a good life. The Bonnie and Clyde life you might think you like might end up being a death sentence because once you start shooting at folk, people will clap back and bust caps at you.

       A strong woman will never be happy with a weak man, and vice versa.

      I know women have strong emotions but you can’t let your emotions cloud the facts.    

      The man you chose is not necessarily the man he will become, he is the man he is right now.

      If a man can’t change or control you, tell me, how can you manipulate him?

      There’s no rush. It takes time to tell what kind of partner you’re considering. You have to experience a man, or woman, in good times and bad, on regular days and on holidays, when the money is flowing and when the piggy bank is empty.

      Black women, Black men can’t make it without you. We love you!

      If you run us away, who will kill the snakes and the spiders?

      Brothers and sisters unite!

GOP Soul Searching

THE GANTT REPORT by Lucius Gantt

     The GOP is currently soul searching. I’m not talking about their spiritual soul, I’m talking about their political soul.

      The Gantt Report has a history with members of the Republican Party. I don’t need Arbitron or Neilson media raters to tell me, Stevie wonder can see that Republicans of all races, creeds and colors read The Gantt Report just like everyone else.

      Can you imagine Congressional Republicans donning their dusty cowboy boots and line dancing all across the Capital rotunda to the sounds of Boys to Men’s “The End of the Road” or the Temptations “I’m Losing You”?

     Only about a third of Americans are die hard nationalists, supremacists and separatists but the ultra-conservative right wingers appear to have a death grip on most of America’s elected Republicans who sincerely feel they can’t even win a rat race without the blessings and support of the political Devil in Chief, also known [as the] lying, losing former President of the United States.

     Perpetuating The Big Lie about Joe Biden’s overwhelming victory in the 2020 election, disparaging democracy and disrupting governmental processes is just a taste of the poisonous drink that Republicans are drinking.

     How long can this political madness go on? Not long!

     You see, America’s political parties have a history of going through changes. For example, at one time in America, the Democrats that you love, also called “Dixiecrats” back in the day, insisted that full equality for their region (the South) required the government to acknowledge the legitimacy of slavery outside the South. The Southern demands included a fugitive slave law to recapture runaway slaves; opening Kansas to slavery; forcing a pro-slavery constitution on Kansas; acquire Cuba (where slavery already existed) and accepting the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court.

      I guess you could say, back then Democrats acted like Republicans and Republicans acted like Democrats.

      The idea and the practice of politicians caring more about themselves and their reelections and less about the needs and wants of their constituents is nothing new.

     So, sucking up to and bowing down to the worst President in American history is not at all surprising.

     Why haven’t the Democrats taken advantage of Republican missteps and misdeeds? 

     Well, you know the answer, the Democrats can’t inform the people about a political dilemma because they can’t respond to political changes because the highly paid Democratic consultants don’t have a true political message infrastructure.     

  They can’t get information to voters and citizens in an accurate, professional and timely manner.

    Anyway, the truth is an absolute defense. All Americans should be proud the Republican Representative Liz Cheney, has the balls, so to speak, to stand up and tell the truth about the falling and failing of the world’s most recognized democracy.

    As I’ve said before political parties don’t deserve respect, individual politicians do!

     Most Republican souls are already lost. When the people get fed up, there is nothing the GOP, Grand Old Puppets, can do about it!

New Mid-Block Crosswalk for Parramore

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The City of Orlando is constructing a new mid-block crosswalk on Parramore Avenue, at Z L Riley Park, that will improve safety, connectivity and accessibility for District 5 residents. 

The new crosswalk will feature a decorative, textured, red brick pattern designed to increase visibility. The project also includes curb-side concrete islands to shorten the crossing distance while improving pedestrian sightlines, speed tables to reduce speeds at the approaches of the crosswalk and new signage and pavement markings. 

According to District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill, the project is expected to start on Thursday, May 20 and be completed by Friday, June 4.

Hill says Parramore Avenue will not be closed during construction. Traffic will, however, be flagged while working is going on.

“Breakthrough” COVID death: 75-year-old dies from virus a month after 2nd vaccine dose


by Frank Butler, Orlando Advocate

According to ABC News affiliate abc7 in Chicago, Illinois public health officials began releasing data Wednesday on what it calls “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases, where fully-vaccinated people still get the virus– and sometimes die.

According to the data, more than two weeks after his second vaccine dose, 75-year-old Alan Sporn told friends he felt like he had been set free from worry about the coronavirus. Two weeks is the stated time for becoming “fully vaccinated” from the coronavirus.

Thinking it was safe to do so, he went out with friends to celebrate. But just a few days later, one of the friends at the celebration tested positive for COVID-19, and so did Sporn. Two weeks later– or one month after receiving his second shot– Sporn was dead from Covid-19.

When Covid-19 shows up after the 14th day of being fully vaccinated, the virus is said to have “broken through” the vaccine’s protection. This “breakthrough” infection happens rarely and most cases are mild or asymptomatic. In Illinois at least 97 fully-vaccinated people have been hospitalized and 32 have died.

Put in perspective, out of nearly 4 million people fully vaccinated, less than 1/100th of 1% will experience this breakthrough infection.

“When people hear these numbers, they have to recognize that no vaccine is perfect, but this vaccine is still very, very, very good,” said Dr. Stephen Schrantz, Infectious Disease Specialist, Univ. Of Chicago Medicine.

People with compromised immune systems are most at risk for breakthrough infection. According to his relatives, Sporn had chronic lymphocytic leukemia and before his death, a test showed he had little or no COVID antibodies.

There is reportedly a test that will detect the presence or lack of Covid antibodies. People being vaccinated might want to ask about it.

If there is anything to be learned from this and other examples of death after vaccination it is that the Covid-19 vaccines do not guarantee no future infection. So we should continue indoor mask wearing, distancing and hand sanitizing for maximum protection.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Announces 2021 Distinguished Advocate Award Recipients

23 Legislators Who Championed Chamber-Backed, Pro-Jobs Legislation Recognized

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 13, 2021) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce today announced its 2021 Distinguished Advocate Award recipients following another successful legislative session where twenty-two of its priorities were made into law. The Florida Chamber’s Distinguished Advocate Award recognizes those lawmakers who made sure the business community’s legislative priorities were considered, and who fought tirelessly for the passage of a Chamber-backed policy or pro-jobs legislation.

“These legislators showcased extraordinary leadership as architects, sponsors, or key supporters of legislation that helped grow Florida’s economy and were included in the Florida Chamber’s 2021 Jobs and Competitiveness Agenda,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Together, with the support of a united business community, these efforts will spur further economic growth, job creation and a more competitive Florida.” 

The 23 members of the Florida Legislature honored with a 2021 Florida Chamber Distinguished Advocate Award include:

  • Senate President Wilton Simpson continued his long-running leadership prioritizing Florida’s water quality, agriculture economy and broad business climate competitiveness.
  • House Speaker Chris Sprowls oversaw passage of generational education and literacy initiatives and investments in resiliency efforts to protect Florida’s coastline communities.
  • Senator Dennis Baxley worked unflinchingly to bring long overdue transparency and accountability to Florida’s public sector unions.
  • Senator Jim Boyd advanced reforms which address the cost drivers that are destabilizing Florida’s property insurance market and contribute to skyrocketing premiums.
  • Senator Jeff Brandes led the passage of commonsense COVID-19 liability protections for businesses who prioritized the safety of their employees and customers during the global pandemic.
  • Senator Jason Brodeur modernized Florida’s Right to Farm Act which will maintain the continuity of our food supply and protect Florida farmers from frivolous nuisance litigation.
  • Senator Manny Diaz empowered the parents of more than 61,000 Florida students to make the best education decisions for their children with generational school choice legislation.
  • Senator Joe Gruters leveled the playing field between out-of-state online retailers and local, brick-and-mortar businesses by closing the online sales tax loophole, while simultaneously preventing an immediate $713M unemployment tax on job creators and cutting the Florida-only sales tax on commercial leases from 5.5% to 2%.
  • Senator Kathleen Passidomo continued her leadership in protecting Florida’s business climate competitiveness by authoring bad faith reform language to root out fraud and abuse in Florida’s auto insurance market, and working with the business community to mitigate a sweeping, new private cause of action.
  • Senator Keith Perry sponsored innovative legislation aimed at flattening the fiscal cliffs that entrap many Floridians in generational poverty.
  • Senator Ray Rodrigues led policy efforts to protect Florida’s constitution, modernize Florida’s pension system, bring transparency and accountability to Florida’s public sector unions, and invest in resiliency efforts necessary to protect our coastline communities.
  • Representative Vance Aloupis sponsored and supported early childhood education, literacy and prosperity initiatives to promote equality of opportunity for all Floridians.
  • Representative Colleen Burton led passage of commonsense COVID-19 liability protections for businesses that prioritized the safety of their employees and customers during the global pandemic.
  • Representative Cord Byrd boldly led the charge on paycheck protection efforts for public sector workers against strong opposition from labor and activist groups.
  • Representative Chuck Clemons leveled the playing field between out-of-state online retailers and local, brick-and-mortar businesses by closing the online sales tax loophole, while simultaneously preventing an immediate $713M tax resulting from the pandemic on job creators and cutting the Florida-only sales tax on commercial leases from 5.5% to 2%.
  • Representative Randy Fine empowered the parents of more than 61,000 Florida students to make the best education decisions for their children with generational school choice legislation.
  • Representative Erin Grall completed a multiyear effort to bring accountability to Florida’s early childhood education system with passage of legislation that will help ensure 100% of Florida students are ready for kindergarten.
  • Representative Chip LaMarca leveled the playing field between out-of-state online retailers and local, brick-and-mortar businesses by closing the online sales tax loophole, while simultaneously preventing an immediate $713M tax resulting from the pandemic on job creators and cutting the Florida-only sales tax on commercial leases from 5.5% to 2%.
  • Representative Lawrence McClure led passage of commonsense COVID-19 liability protections for businesses that prioritized the safety of their employees and customers during the global pandemic.
  • Representative Toby Overdorf sponsored multiple lawsuit abuse reform bills to improve Florida’s bottom-5 legal climate.
  • Representative Bobby Payne sponsored a pro-business, pro-consumer tax package and guided efforts to further protect our state constitution from billionaire special interests.
  • Representative Bob Rommel advanced reforms which address the cost drivers that are destabilizing Florida’s property insurance market and contribute to skyrocketing premiums.
  • Representative Jayer Williamson modernized Florida’s Right to Farm Act which will maintain the continuity of our food supply and protect Florida farmers from frivolous nuisance litigation.

“I sincerely appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the members of the Florida Chamber, our Policy Council and Board of Directors, as well as the more than 100 local chambers across Florida who make up the Local Chamber Federation representing job creators from every sector and corner of our state,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President. “In a session unlike any other, leaders of the business community united together as never before behind our competitiveness agenda to ensure Florida continues to lead the post-pandemic economic recovery.”

How They Voted Coming Soon
The Florida Chamber will soon release its annual How They Voted publication following the completion of the Special Session. This annual Report Card provides the grades earned by all 160 legislators based on their votes so business leaders can see who stood for, or against, job creation and economic growth. For a full recap of the 2021 Legislative Session, click here.

War in a Babylon

The Gantt Report by Lucius Gantt

     The withdrawal of American troops from the country of Afghanistan will not stop the war there nor will it stop any war anywhere.

     The war of the worlds cannot and will not be stopped by the rearrangement of soldiers and military resources.

     Every conflict is about land, money and power!

     The “war on poverty” is not about addressing the needs of the poor. That phrase is a cruel joke.

      The truer phase should be the “war in poverty”!

       All Black communities in America and around the globe are fighting for survival. 

      In poor neighborhoods, you have poor housing, poor schools, poor health, poor opportunities, poor economies, poor leadership and poor outcomes.

      I think the war is real but even if its imaginary, everyday we feel like we are at war with the powers that be, the modern-day exploiters and oppressors.

      At one time, Africans owned all of the land in Africa. Today, the Chinese, the French, the Dutch, the British, the Americans and other foreigners own or control much of the power and money in the Motherland.

     In America, believe it or not, Black people owned farms, houses and businesses in Black communities across the United States. Don’t act like you’ve never heard of The Black Wall Street in Tulsa or Rosewood in Florida or Auburn Avenue in the Peach State.

      Growing up in Atlanta, as a youth I could get everything I needed from Black entrepreneurs. I could get an insurance policy from Atlanta Life, I could get a newspaper from The Atlanta Daily World, I could get a room at the Forrest Arms or Pascual’s Hotels, I could get a ride in a Black owned taxi cab company and I could get breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Angier Avenue Tea Room. 

     I could go on and on about businesses we had but finding a Black business today with large numbers of employees and customers and  business longevity is like finding a brown needle in a brown haystack!

     Your so-called Negro leaders encouraged your ancestors to integrate and caused many Black businesses to go down the drain. We stopped patronizing each other, we stopped hiring each other and we stopped combining or money and resources.

     The idea that if we spent money with white businesses our families and our own business would thrive and progress was a devilish trick. 

     Our demise of economic, and political, power has had undesirable consequences.

      Now, we are angry. We are upset with our tormenters but we release our anger on each other.

      Young African Americans, young Africans and other young people of color are shooting and killing each other at an alarming rate.

      The devilish beasts want us to murder each other. We have to put a stop to modern day tribal wars. If beasts with badges are killing us, idiots in our communities think it’s ok to kill their friends and neighbors.

       Tell the children, resorting to gunfire to settle disagreements is bad for both victims and perpetrators, one ends up in a hospital or a grave and the other dies in a prison cell.

       Females that urge their boyfriends to gun down a man that “said something to her at the mall” are just as crazy as the killers they provoke.

      War in a Babylon is what is going on and it’s something that we have to figure out how to stop.

      Let’s work together to educate our youth on the best path to rise up themselves and to better their communities. Let’s teach our kids how to generate revenue and get paid in a conscious way, not the devilish way.

     Let’s stop the bloodshed. Let’s end the wars in our communities.