…especially if you swap out the boots for flip-flops and stick a Salt Life sticker on the vehicle.
At the time of writing:
Why are Florida’s numbers so bad compared to those of Taiwan, despite their having a similar population (and much greater density)? One of the big reasons is pictured below:
- The Independent: Florida governor suppressed Covid information before 2020 election to help Trump, report says. As former Republican operative and current member of the Lincoln Project Rick Wilson puts it, “Everything Trump touches dies.”
- CBS Miami: Sun Sentinel Investigation: Gov. Ron DeSantis ‘Ordered Public Health Officials Not To Discuss The COVID-19 Virus With The Public’
- Esquire: Ron DeSantis Is the Yammiest of the Vulgar Talking Yam’s Lackeys. “In perfect imitation of his idol in the White House, the Florida governor sidelined any real experts that he had on hand in Florida.”
- WTSP 10: Governor DeSantis does not respond to Florida mayors urging him to change COVID-19 approach
- The Palm Beach Post: Opinion: DeSantis must follow the data for an effective COVID-19 pandemic response in Florida
The right mindset allows us to surpass what we perceive to be our limits. It’s just that in Florida, the “right mindset” often means “drunk”.
The meme above reminds me of this Florida Man story from 2018, where this happened:
We later found out more details:
Today is the first day of early voting in Florida, and there are also drop boxes for mail-in ballots. If you can, vote — and remember that Orange is sus!
By now, you’re probably aware of the news that White House press secretary and Tampa Bay’s own Kayleigh McEnany (a.k.a. “Kayleigh Mendacity”) tested positive for COVID-19, making her the 13th person (so far) in Trump’s circle to do so.
Now might be a good time to recall this appearance on Trish Regan’s show on the Fox Business channel, back in February (which feels like years ago):
Like other members of Team Trump, McEnany didn’t follow public health guidelines about masks, largely as a symbolic gesture.
Even now, there are still people who are flouting common sense rules as an act of defiance. You’d think that most adults would’ve gotten past the phase where they rebel against their parents, but apparently that’s not always the case:
Florida’s governor, Ron “DipShantis” DeSantis, in a bid to help win the state for his lord and master Donald Trump in the upcoming election, has been pushing some really bad ideas this week.
First, he proposed the Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act, whose primary purpose seems to be discouraging and criminalizing dissent.
Among other things:
- It provides a loophole for people who run over protesters with their vehicles if they’re “fleeing for their safety”.
- You can be arrested for attending a protest where someone decides to pick a fight.
- You won’t be able to post bail if you’re arrested at a protest that turns violent.
- If you organize a protest and someone who attends starts a fight or engages in vandalism, you’ll be liable under RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), which is not the intended purpose of that law.
While he’s not so keen on first amendment rights, the governor is a big fan of university students’ right to party. He wants a “bill of rights” to protect college kids who might get expelled for breaking the no-parties rule that universities in the state are trying to enforce.
“I personally think it’s incredibly draconian that a student would get potentially expelled for going to a party,” he said on Thursday. “That’s what college kids do.”
But proposing that we deny bail to protesters and charge protest organizers as if they were mobsters? That’s what corrupt governors do.
And finally, there’s the surprise announcement yesterday that he signed an executive order lifting major restrictions on restaurants. Local governments can still restrict restaurant capacity, but they can only restrict capacity to no lower than 50%, and if they’re trying to restrict capacity at all, they need to clear it with the state.
President Donald Trump found a new applause line at his Florida rally this week: “Normal life. O! I love normal life. We want to get back to normal life.” The next day, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis moved to deliver on that promise — or the appearance of it.
The Republican governor of the president’s must-win battleground responded 24 hours later by canceling all state coronavirus restrictions Friday without warning, catching local governments and epidemiologists off-guard amid their own strategies to keep the coronavirus contained.
As of yesterday, we had over 18,000 cases in the past 7 days.
I used to think that the mayor of the beach town of Amity from Jaws was a bit over-the top. “No real-world politician would be that deadly a combination of foolish, power-hungry, and popular,” I thought, but I was wrong. We’ve got them in spades right now, and the governor is among the worst of them.
As Florida author, podcaster, and former Republican strategist Rick Wilson tweeted five months ago:
1/ Look at any ambitious GOP governor — and all the one’s jockeying either for re-election, Senate, or a 2024 WH run (a la DeSantis, which is the worst-kept secret in Tallahassee) and they’re all VASTLY more concerned with Trump than with the health of their states.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 23, 2020
At this point, you’re probably wondering “What can I do?” And the answer, thankfully, is “plenty”.
- Just because restaurants can open at full capacity doesn’t mean you have to go. You can still support your local eateries by ordering “to go” or delivery, and tipping generously. And be sure to support mom-and-pop operations!
- Just because there’s a bangin’ party full of hot co-eds doesn’t mean you have to go. This is a hard sell to a college student (trust me, my own university career was Van Wilder-esque), but it’s not a true hardship, kids. You still have it easier than most of your forebears:
- Use your voice. Tell your elected officials what you think. Discuss this with your friends. Vote.
- Hope. The goal of disenfranchisement is for you to lose hope that you can make a difference and meaningful change, lose faith in democracy, and simply surrender to authoritarian power. Resist, take heart, disconnect from the internet and news when you need to, and remember Alasdair Gray’s words:
Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.
Here in the U.S., it’s National Voter Registration Day. First observed in 2012, it’s a day designated for reminding U.S. citizens to register to vote.
In this blog entry, I’m going to point to a couple of people who are helping the democratic process.
BetterKnowABallot.com by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Voting in the U.S. can be confusing because the systems and rules aren’t organized federally, but by state. In order to help alleviate this problem and be interesting, late-night TV show host Stephen Colbert and his team have put together BetterKnowABallot.com, a site that explains how to register to vote, vote by mail and vote in person based on your state’s specific laws.
Here’s Colbert explaining what it’s all about:
Find out more at BetterKnowABallot.com.
- The easiest way to register to vote in Florida is to do it online. Tap here to do so.
- You can also register to vote in Florida by mailing in an application. Tap here to do so.
- And finally, you go to a location in person and register to vote in Florida. Tap here to do so.
You can also request a vote-by-mail ballot, the deadline for which is Saturday, October 24:
- Learn more about voting by mail in Florida here.
- Find out more about voting by mail in your county here.
- Want to know who the supervisor of elections in your area is? Tap here.
Michael Bloomberg and company pay Florida felons’ poll tax
If you’ve never seen John Oliver’s piece on felony disenfranchisement on Last Week Tonight back in September 2018, here it is:
The piece was focused on Florida (yup, where I live), where 1.5 million citizens — nearly 10% of the adult population — have completed sentences for felony convictions but still can’t vote.
Nearly 1 in 5 black adults is disenfranchised from voting.
In the 2018 midterm elections, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, which automatically restored voting rights in the state for people previously convicted of felonies, with the notable exception of those who were convicted of murder or sex crimes. It’s fair — if you’ve paid your debt to society, you should be able to vote.
Florida’s governor — Ron “DipShantis” DeSantis, who hews very closely to Trump — has been fighting this tooth and nail. His most effective action was to add on a requirement that felons could have their voting right restored if and only if they pay all fines, fees and restitution.
Florida’s voter registration deadline is Oct. 5 and as many as 775,000 felons may have outstanding court debts — which include fines, fees and restitution — that preclude them from registering under the law passed last year by the Republican-controlled state Legislature.
This is nothing more than a poll tax, a trick that goes back to before the turn of the previous century, as a way of keeping black people from voting in southern states. Otherwise, there’d be laws that required you to pay off any outstanding taxes and traffic violation tickets in order to be able to vote.
To help right this wrong, Michael Bloomberg — for whom this is poker night money — and other people have raised $16 million to pay those outstanding fines and help restore those voting rights.