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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,920

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A man stuck his hand in a jaguar pen at a Florida zoo, taunting the cat. He got clawed.

In his 21 years at the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Capt. Eric Prosswimmer said he had never responded to an animal incident taking place in the zoo — that is, until Wednesday, when a man was injured after reportedly sticking his arm inside the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ jaguar enclosure.

Prosswimmer, a public information officer, said authorities had transported the unnamed individual — who did not sustain life-threatening injuries — to the hospital after receiving a call around 4:30 p.m.

What led to this unusual event was a too-close encounter with Harry, the zoo’s 12-year-old jaguar, the Florida Times-Union reported.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post. However, Kelly Rouillard, the zoo’s marketing director, told the local news outlets that the man had climbed over the waist-high safety barrier that separates visitors from the animals — then made “a foolish decision” to put his hand through the fence and taunt the wild cat.


Florida man. Again.

Require the vaccine. It's time to stop coddling the reckless.

P­­­ay people to get vaccinated, no matter whether that is unfair to those who didn’t receive checks for jabs. Require them to do so as a condition of going to work or enrolling in school. Do whatever it takes — and, recent weeks have shown, it is going to take steps like these — to get the pandemic under control.

Those of us who have behaved responsibly — wearing masks and, since the vaccines became available, getting our shots — cannot be held hostage by those who can’t be bothered to do the same, or who are too deluded by misinformation to understand what is so clearly in their own interest.

The more inconvenient we make life for the unvaccinated, the better our own lives will be. More important, the fewer who will needlessly die. We cannot ignore the emerging evidence that the delta variant is transmissible even by those who have been fully vaccinated. “The war has changed,” as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded.

President Biden recognized this new reality with his actions Thursday. He announced that federal employees must be vaccinated or mask up and submit continuing proof that they are not infected; he urged private employers to do the same; and he encouraged the use of federal funds to prod — okay, bribe — the unvaccinated to step up.


Already Distorting Jan. 6, G.O.P. Now Concocts Entire Counternarrative

In the Republicans’ disinformation campaign, the arrested Capitol rioters are political prisoners and Speaker Nancy Pelosi is to blame for the attack.

In the hours and days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, rattled Republican lawmakers knew exactly who was to blame: Donald J. Trump. Loyal allies began turning on him. Top Republicans vowed to make a full break from his divisive tactics and dishonesties. Some even discussed removing him from office.

By spring, however, after nearly 200 congressional Republicans had voted to clear Mr. Trump during a second impeachment proceeding, the conservative fringes of the party had already begun to rewrite history, describing the Capitol riot as a peaceful protest and comparing the invading mob to a “normal tourist visit,” as one congressman put it.

This past week, amid the emotional testimony of police officers at the first hearing of a House select committee, Republicans completed their journey through the looking-glass, spinning a new counternarrative of that deadly day. No longer content to absolve Mr. Trump, they concocted a version of events in which those accused of rioting were patriotic political prisoners and Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to blame for the violence.

Their new claims, some voiced from the highest levels of House Republican leadership, amount to a disinformation campaign being promulgated from the steps of the Capitol, aimed at giving cover to their party and intensifying the threats to political accountability.


Conservatives Blast Simone Biles For Robbing Them Of Opportunity To Criticize Her Win

NEW YORK—Accusing her of being selfish and unfit to be a gold medal gymnast, conservatives blasted Simone Biles Wednesday for robbing them of the opportunity to criticize her win.

“As of today, Ms. Biles has not only betrayed her country and her fans, but denied us the chance to pick apart every single word she would have said while celebrating a victory for team USA,” said Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, adding that if she really was the Greatest of All Time, she’d have performed and given him plenty of ammunition to call her composure and facial expressions “smug,” “ungrateful,” and “cocky.”

“What Simone Biles has done today is a slap in the face, not for just the United States, not just for gymnastics, but for me and all my colleagues, who had dozens of scathing segments attacking her skimpy uniform, her steely composure, and her recent forays into social justice. So, Simone, if you’re watching, I hope you and team USA are happy, because now America will never get to hear us call you a sore winner, and equate the gymnastic moves named after you with a tainted legacy.”

At press time, Carlson played a clip of Kerri Strug vaulting with a broken ankle, and pointed out how she wasn’t afraid to be ripped apart for winning gold.


MyPillow Guy Offers to Smuggle Trump out of Country Wrapped in Duvet Cover

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—With legal jeopardy suddenly mounting for the former President, Mike Lindell, better known as the MyPillow Guy, has offered to smuggle Donald J. Trump out of the country in one of his company’s duvet covers.

After Lindell learned that Trump’s taxes would soon be made available to Congress, the pillow executive decided to help out his friend by making the exclusive duvet offer, he said.

“Donald Trump will be wrapped in a king-sized duvet cover made of a hundred per cent Egyptian cotton and finished with a sateen weave,” Lindell said.

“In our MyPillow duvet cover, Donald Trump will travel in comfort all the way to Moscow,” he said.

The MyPillow Guy said that the duvet is perfect for smuggling Trump out of the country because it is “soft, luxurious, and, most important of all, breathable.”


One new COVID-19 death confirmed among Manatee County employees

Another Manatee County employee has been confirmed dead from the intensifying COVID-19 virus outbreak that erupted among county workers last month.

Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes confirmed the death, which had been rumored earlier this week, at a news conference Friday. Hopes said the utility department employee was home under quarantine and became "rapidly ill". His spouse later found him deceased on Sunday. Subsequently, the spouse, also a utility department employee, has also contracted COVID-19. Hopes confirmed that neither of the employees were vaccinated.

"I can tell you the utilities department is one of those areas where there was a lot of vaccine hesitancy," said Hopes. "In addition to that, there was a lot of resistance to wearing a mask. And that's why you have so many cases."

This is the third death among Manatee County employees. The previous two deaths occurred during a COVID-19 outbreak in the county's IT department in mid-June.


DeSantis to block mask mandates in schools

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune

TALLAHASSEE – Amid a COVID-19 surge in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged Friday that he will block any effort to impose mask mandates, touting a forthcoming executive order to stop counties from requiring them in schools.

Days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance that everyone in K-12 schools should wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status, DeSantis was defiant at an appearance inside a Cape Coral restaurant.

“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said at the campaign-like rally, where no one appeared masked.

The Republican governor said that he will sign a Department of Education executive order prohibiting county school boards from requiring face coverings when students return to class in August.

Read more: https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/news/politics/state/2021/07/30/florida-governor-ron-desantis-pledges-block-mask-mandates-schools/5430397001/

Minnesota woman found beheaded on sidewalk

Police have a suspect in custody after a beheaded woman was found dead on a Shakopee, Minnesota, sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday.

Officers with the Shakopee Police Department responded to a stabbing report just after 2:30 p.m. local time and found 55-year-old America Mafalda Thayer's body near a downtown intersection, police said.

A search warrant application disclosed that when police arrived, officers discovered the victim's headless body, according to local reports. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police subsequently arrested 42-year-old Alexis Saborit for suspected second-degree murder and found a knife and a sheath nearby. Saborit is being held in jail on pending charges.



Ghost candidates, dark money and a 'winning formula': Florida corruption case linked to Republicans

A South Florida political corruption case has tentacles reaching Republican operatives across Florida, including Data Targeting Inc., a Gainesville firm that's been a cog in the GOP machine for more than two decades.

The scandal also extends to people tied to Associated Industries Inc., a powerful business lobbying firm in Tallahassee, records show.

Frank Artiles, the former Republican state senator who's expected to stand trial Aug. 30 on several felony charges stemming from accusations he paid a "ghost" candidate in a South Florida state Senate race, was paid $90,000 as a consultant by Data Targeting.

That firm was also intimately involved in other campaigns, including that of District 9 state Sen. Jason Brodeur, who represents part of Volusia County. A no-party-affiliation ghost candidate also ran on a liberal platform in Republican Brodeur's race, siphoning votes from his Democratic opponent.


He Hired 2 Men to Kidnap His Wife. They Ended Up Drowning.

Lawrence Handley, 53, a business executive from Lafayette, La., pleaded guilty this week to three criminal charges after a plot to kidnap his estranged wife went badly awry.

Schanda Handley was at home with her daughter and a neighbor when two men showed up at the door, dressed in what looked like blue uniforms from an appliance store.

They had a carpet steamer and asked Ms. Handley if they could demonstrate it for her. When she said no, the men forced their way into her house at gunpoint, put a hood over her head and handcuffed her and her neighbor, she said.

Then they pushed Ms. Handley into a van and drove off, leaving Ms. Handley’s 14-year-old daughter and the neighbor behind.

The kidnappers had been hired by Ms. Handley’s estranged husband, Lawrence Michael Handley, who was planning to have Ms. Handley driven to his camp near Woodville, Miss., from her home in Lafayette, La., prosecutors said. What he planned to do after that was not clear, the authorities said.

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