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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,730

Journal Archives

Sarasota GOP to honor Gov. Ron DeSantis as 'Statesman of the Year' at October dinner

Gov. Ron DeSantis is speaking at a Sarasota GOP fundraising dinner in October where he will be honored with the party's "Statesman of the Year" award.

The statesman dinner is the local party's biggest annual event, and one that has drawn a slew of high-profile Republicans. Former President Donald Trump twice received the statesman award.

“Gov. DeSantis is the most effective and popular Governor in the United States among Republicans and we are thrilled to honor him with this award,” Jack Brill, acting chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, said in a statement.

DeSantis is receiving the award on Oct. 15 at the Sarasota Hyatt Regency.


Sarasota Republicans are showing their in-your-face assholishness once again.

DeSantis to Biden: 'I don't want to hear a blip about COVID from you'

The governor’s comments came after Biden told DeSantis to “get out of the way” of mask mandates.

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out at President Joe Biden a day after Biden told the Republican governor to “get out of the way” of mask mandates.

During a stop in Panama City on Wednesday, DeSantis accused Biden of “helping facilitate” COVID-19 by not securing the border with Mexico. He said immigrants crossing the border are spreading variants of the virus.

“You have hundreds of thousands of people pouring across every month,” DeSantis said. “Not only are they letting them through, they’re farming them out all across the country, putting them on planes, putting them on buses. Do you think they’re worrying about COVID for that? Of course not.”

DeSantis said the immigrants are crossing the border from all over the world, and “whatever variants there are around the world, they’re coming across that southern border.”


DeSantis is really working hard to beat Abbott in claiming the Biggest Dipshit Governor crown.

PepsiCo to Sell Tropicana, Naked Juice Brands to Private-Equity Firm

PAI Partners to pay $3.3 billion for a controlling stake in juice business

PepsiCo Inc. plans to sell the Tropicana orange juice brand to a private-equity firm, parting ways with one of its most famous holdings in a bid to boost growth.

The snacks-and-beverage giant will sell Tropicana, Naked and other juice brands in North America to private-equity firm PAI Partners, it said Tuesday, confirming an earlier Wall Street Journal report. PepsiCo will receive pretax proceeds of $3.3 billion and retain a 39% stake in the new joint venture in a deal valued at roughly $4.5 billion.

Over the past several years, fruit-juice sales have been under pressure as consumers reduce their sugar consumption. PepsiCo said last year that demand for its orange juice rose during the pandemic, as more people made breakfast at home, but overall juice sales continued to decline at the company and across the industry.

Consumption of fruit juices and fruit drinks fell 19% to 2.8 billion gallons in 2020 from 3.4 billion in 2011, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. Over the same period, PepsiCo’s sales of those products fell 36% to 436 million gallons.


Interesting change in consumer tastes and preferences.

Florida woman arrested after exposing herself on plane, police say

She is facing charges of disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, assaulting a law enforcement officer and unlawful occupancy.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A Florida woman is facing multiple charges after police say they took her off a plane at the Rapid City Regional Airport for exposing herself and becoming unruly.

According to police, an officer at the airport was notified Friday night of a disruptive passenger who was exposing herself to others on the plane. The officer says he could smell that she had been drinking. The officer told the 41-year-old Daytona Beach Shores woman he would escort her off the plane.

Police say when she pulled away and kicked the officer, additional officers arrived to take her out of the airport. She is facing charges of disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, assaulting a law enforcement officer and unlawful occupancy, the Rapid City Journal reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration reports there have been 3,615 unruly passenger reports in a year-to-date analysis, many of which are related to wearing face masks.


This time it's Florida woman...

'Freedom,' Florida and the Delta Variant Disaster

Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, isn’t stupid. He is, however, ambitious and supremely cynical. So when he says things that sound stupid it’s worth asking why. And his recent statements on Covid-19 help us understand why so many Americans are still dying or getting severely ill from the disease.

The background here is Florida’s unfolding public health catastrophe.

We now have highly effective vaccines freely available to every American who is at least 12 years old. There has been a lot of hype about “breakthrough” infections associated with the Delta variant, but they remain rare, and serious illness among the vaccinated is rarer still. There is no good reason we should still be suffering severely from this pandemic.

But Florida is in the grip of a Covid surge worse than it experienced before the vaccines. More than 10,000 Floridians are hospitalized, around 10 times the number in New York, which has about as many residents; an average of 58 Florida residents are dying each day, compared with six in New York. And the Florida hospital system is under extreme stress.


Don't Want a Vaccine? Be Prepared to Pay More for Insurance.

America’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is at around 60 percent, for ages twelve and up. That’s not enough to reach so-called herd immunity, and in states like Missouri — where a number of counties have vaccination rates under 25 percent — hospitals are overwhelmed by serious outbreaks of the more contagious Delta variant.

The vaccine resisters offer all kinds of reasons for refusing the free shots and for ignoring efforts to nudge them to get vaccinated. Campaigns urging Americans to get vaccinated for their health, for their grandparents, for their neighbors, to get free doughnuts or a free joint haven’t done the trick. States have even held lotteries with a chance to win millions or a college scholarship.

And yet there are still huge numbers of unvaccinated people. Federal, state and municipal governments, as well as private businesses continue to largely avoid mandates for their employees out of fears they will provoke a backlash.

So, how about an economic argument? Get a Covid-19 shot to protect your wallet.

Getting hospitalized with Covid-19 in the United States typically generates huge bills. Those submitted by Covid patients to the NPR-Kaiser Health News “Bill of the Month” project include a $17,000 bill for a brief hospital stay in Marietta, GA (reduced to about $4,000 for an uninsured patient under a “charity care” policy); a $104,000 bill for a fourteen-day hospitalization in Miami for an uninsured man; possibly hundreds of thousands for a two-week hospital stay — some of it on a ventilator — for a foreign tourist in Hawaii whose travel health insurance contained a “pandemic exclusion.”


An English castle stood for centuries. Climate change is prompting its collapse.

KEYHAVEN, England — Fearful of a French invasion after breaking with Rome, Henry VIII erected a line of massive coastal forts along the English Channel, and one of the most imposing is called Hurst Castle. It has stood on its sandy spit since 1544, through the Napoleonic Wars and World War II. Its garrison protected the Allied forces on D-Day.

But earlier this year, a large section of the castle — a wing constructed in the mid-19th century by the best military engineers in the world — tumbled into the fast currents of the Solent strait.

Hurst Castle has done its duty, but it is hard to fight the sea — specifically, its caretakers say, the steadily rising waters and more intense winter storms of a warming world.

All nations stand to lose cultural monuments to climate change, including the United States. But Britain is especially vulnerable. The country is stuffed to the attic with heritage properties.


DeSantis did it: He finally got a Florida pandemic surge that will top all the others

The aggressiveness with which Florida governor and obsessive Trump-wannabe Ron DeSantis has sought to boost his own state's pandemic infection rates just keeps ratcheting up. DeSantis was among the quickest, in the early days of the pandemic, to repeat whatever clownish claims came out of Donald Trump's mouth as if they were holy decrees from COVID's own pope. That meant denying that the pandemic was coming, denying that it was happening when it got here, denying that government could do a damn thing about it, belittling the safety measures recommended by health experts, fudging the data, and, of course, mounting multiple publicity tours declaring that his do-nothing-and-screw-the-rest-of-you approach was “winning” the pandemic.

An ambitious Republican, DeSantis read the room and decided that bellowing about mah freedoms would be a far bigger hit with the party base than please do your part during a national emergency. So, off he went. Even a partial list of all the attacks on pandemic safety mounted by DeSantis is still overwhelming; DeSantis has focused most of his efforts not on fighting the pandemic, but toward using his office to make sure no cities, businesses, industries, or state agencies are imposing public health measures of their own.

DeSantis has signed new orders and laws nullifying vaccination and mask requirements imposed by most other entities in the state. (His orders steadfastly avoid messing with the The Walt Disney Company, though; even DeSantis knows that taking a shot at Disney will end up with someone buried twelve feet deep under the concrete footings of the latest Splash Mountain.) His all-out battle with the cruise ship industry to ensure they may not require their guests be vaccinated before welcoming them onto the world's most efficient mechanism for spreading disease is among the most famous; his new order barring mask requirements in Florida schools even as the pandemic once again soars may turn out to be the most consequential.

But if there's any question over whether DeSantis is countering public safety measures during a global health emergency purely as political stunt aimed at his conspiracy rubes, selling "Don't Fauci My Florida" swag through his political committee should answer that one. Screw you, experts who suggest the mildest possible safety measures during a time of 600,000 U.S. deaths. Our family members didn't die in two world wars for a world in which I would have to briefly wear cloth on my face in a grocery store.


The GOP scamming of rural Trump voters continues. A new study shows the latest.

It has long been central to Republican mythology that Democrats have nothing but seething contempt for the rural and small-town inhabitants of the Real American Heartland. Republicans sometimes pair this with vile lies about Democratic proposals that would deliver economic benefits to those regions, turning their residents against them.

An important new study of the distribution of benefits from a major new policy from President Biden and Democrats — the expanded child tax credit — illuminates the repulsiveness of this scam with unusual clarity.

The new analysis from the Niskanen Center finds that the expanded child allowance — which has started delivering up to $300 per child per month to most U.S. households with children — will shower outsize benefits on residents of rural and less populous states and will deliver a disproportionately large relative boost to their local economies.

Every congressional Republican voted against the covid-19 rescue bill, which created the current child allowance by temporarily expanding the previously existing child tax credit to poorer and working-class families, making it much more like a universal program.


Big Stone Found in Rome Gets Everyone All Excited

Earlier this month a rare almost 2000-year-old border stone from the reign of the Emperor Claudius was unearthed in the city of Rome. The stone, technically known as a pomerium cippus (boundary stone), marked the sacred limits of the Roman Empire’s capital city and dates to 49 A.D., when Claudius expanded the boundary of the city. This wasn’t a simple property marker, it was part of a series of stones that divided the urban civic world of Rome from the military powers that lay outside it. Even more interestingly it is inscribed with now-lost ancient letters invented in the first century. As the first discovery of its kind in almost a century, the discovery created a media firestorm.

While border stones are well known to scholars, this one is noteworthy for being discovered in situ. It was discovered during excavations for a new sewer system underneath the recently renovated Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome’s historic city center. In antiquity the stones marked the pomerium, the sacred boundary that soldiers were forbidden to cross with weapons. At a press conference, Claudio Parisi Presicce, director of the Archaeological Museums of Rome, said that, “The founding act of the city of Rome starts from the realization of this ‘pomerium.’’ The stones, in other words, are part of what founded and defined Rome. The enlargement of the pomerium in 49 A.D. had some practical effects on the city. The 139 border stones laid by Claudius now incorporated the Avertine hill, which previously lay inside of the city walls but outside of the pomerium, with the result of reconstituting Rome as the seven hilled city that we know today.

Dr. Lisa Marie Mignone, a research affiliate at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU, and author of an important study of the border stones published in Historia, told The Daily Beast that “[Claudius’s] goal was not to increase the civic space of Rome, so much as to celebrate his expansion of the Roman Empire itself.” All the stones that marked the new boundary bear the same inscription, which states that Claudius (and his many official titles) “extended and redefined the pomerium because he had increased the boundaries of the Roman people.” The expansion of the boundary matched the expansion of the empire. Claudius, Mignone said, had overseen the annexing of several provinces in the east but his major accomplishment was the capture of Britain. Despite the large celebratory procession (known as Triumph) and arch he was granted in the city as a result, these conquests were hundreds of miles away. Extending the pomerium was “a sacral, topographical, and physical way to showcase at Rome his renewed expansion of the boundaries of the Roman Empire.” It was a way of marking his control over both foreign, domestic, civic, and sacred space.

In addition, Claudius’s expansion of the pomerium cleared up a great deal of confusion. As Mignone told me, first-century Roman historians were unclear about where the boundary actually lay until Claudius redefined it. Ancient commentators like the Seneca and Aulus Gellius struggled to explain why the Avertine hadn’t been included within the sacred city from the start and could only suggest that it was an ill-omened location and that there was no clear explanation.

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