Florida Senator calls black lawmaker a bitch, calls colleagues his "niggas"

Simultaneously racist and cringe-inducing today is the aging Republiclone lawmaker, Florida State Sen. Frank Artiles, calling a black colleague a "fucking asshole," "bitch," and "girl," and declaring that he had risen to his powerful role thanks to "six niggas" in the caucus.

He didn't pronounce "niggas" the way he might in order to be clear in his meaning, obviously, and had to explain exactly which kind of racist he was later: the ironically-appropriating kind, not the white-hoods-and-nooses kind. But now that's cleared up, everything's all good.

By Tuesday night, the Florida Democratic Party had called on Artiles to resign. Negron, after initially saying little on the incident, said in a statement late Tuesday he was “appalled” by Artiles’ comments — and that Artiles will publicly apologize to Gibson on the Senate floor Wednesday.

“Racial slurs and profane, sexist insults have no place in conversation between Senators and will not be tolerated while I am serving as Senate President,” Negron said.

The Black Caucus has scheduled an emergency Wednesday meeting.

To Gibson and Thurston, it was clear Artiles wasn’t referring to them or to any other Democrats as “niggas” but apparently to six Republicans who favored Negron for the job over Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater.

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Russia's richest invested about $100 million in Trump Florida properties

Who are the wealthy Russian citizens who've invested a total of almost $100 million worth of properties owned by U.S. President Donald J. Trump? An investigative report by Reuters digs into that question.

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Waste away at Jimmy Buffet's new retirement community

Aging Jimmy Buffett fans, aka Parrotheads, take note! Latitude Margaritavile is a new senior housing community under construction in Daytona Beach, Florida. The facility is scheduled to open in the fall and promises to "reflect Margaritaville’s authentic, 'no worries,' tropical vibe." Sounds lovely. I can just imagine my life there, nibblin' on sponge cake, watchin' the sun bake.

"A Margaritaville-Themed Retirement Community is Coming to Florida" (Mental Floss) Read the rest

Disney wants to build an "aerial tramway" between the Disney World parks

Disney's "skybuckets" are fondly remembered as the best place in the themepark to do some sneaky kissin', but they were also a magnet for antisocial behavior, from smoking weed to spitting on people to jumping out of them -- and they proved lethal to park maintenance crews. Read the rest

Florida man shot cat that "looked at him like he owned the place"

Orlando News 6 reports that a Florida man shot a cat that shat in his yard, telling officers it "looked at him like he owned the place". The cat was paralyzed and had to be killed, reports Loren Korn.

"It was just a poor judgment call," the man, who declined to share his name, said of his decision to shoot. He said he didn't know it was someone's pet but admitted to shooting at cats before, never hitting one.

"It was not my intention to hurt that cat. All I wanted to do was get it out in front of my walkway, stop pooping. For the flies and the smell is just horrendous," he said

The man said he has several health issues and is on disability. He hopes to be only punished with a fine instead of a felony, fearing he might lose his income if charged.

"I'll be homeless. Might be a death sentence for accidentally shooting some cat," he said.

Isn't "fantasizing about being the real victim" the center square on Florida Man Bingo? Read the rest

Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to "check out" endangered titles

Two employees at the East Lake County Library created a fictional patron called Chuck Finley -- entering fake driver's license and address details into the library system -- and then used the account to check out 2,361 books over nine months in 2016, in order to trick the system into believing that the books they loved were being circulated to the library's patrons, thus rescuing the books from automated purges of low-popularity titles. Read the rest

Compilation of Florida drivers discovering red lights are not optional

Believe it or not, Florida is only the 14th worst state for accidents, according to The Daily Beast's breakdown of per-capita stats. But its unique combination of aggression, stupidity and good weather (worst-state North Dakota has a pretty good excuse) puts it in a league of its own. Read the rest

Florida appeals says you can be compelled to utter your phone's passphrase

A state appeals-court judge in Florida has broken with the precedent that the courts may not compel suspects to reveal the unlock codes for their devices as this would violate the Fifth Amendment's prohibition against forced self-incrimination. Read the rest

Florida atheists pair public nativity scene with a combustible Trump-themed Distrestivus pole

Every year, the Religious Liberty Project puts Festivus poles on the lawns of public buildings that sport Christian religious holiday symbols; this year, RLP's Chaz Stevens put a "Distrestivus" pole adjacent to a nativity scene on Deerfield Beach, Florida public land. Read the rest

WATCH: Tree topples in hurricane

There's so much Florida goodness in this footage.

Vertical video ✓ Stayed to enjoy the hurricane ✓ Big tree with 6 inch deep root system ✓ Vertical video of big tree with 6 inch deep root system 10ft from your house in Florida, where there are hurricanes ✓ Read the rest

Leaked catalog from UK surveillance arms-dealer full of gadgets sold to US cops

Cobham PLC is a surveillance vendor who sells to some of the world's most egregious human rights abusing governments; in 2014, they provided a catalog of cyberweapons and spy tools to Florida Department of Law Enforcement, from whom it leaked. Read the rest

Hurricane Hermine Strikes Florida's West Coast

Hurricane Hermine is making landfall at the time of this blog post, in the early hours of Friday morning in Florida. Millions of people are in its path, and there are related tornado watches throughout the state through mid-day Friday. A NOAA update at 1:55AM shows 2-3 inches of rain have fallen in Tallahassee, where some 70,000 people are without power already. Flash flooding is reported, and more is expected. Isolated gusts of 45-50mph have been recorded in the first two hours of landfall in the “Big Bend” of Florida's West Coast.

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Hurricane Hermine to Hit Florida's Gulf Coast with 'Life Threatening' Force

Tropical Storm Hermine officially reached hurricane status on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, reported NASA and NOAA's National Hurricane Center earlier today. When it makes landfall, it will be the first hurricane to hit Florida since Wilma in 2005. Hermine will probably touch down along the state's eastern Panhandle in the wee hours of Friday morning, and NOAA predicts that its force and the associated water surges will be “life-threatening.”

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Florida prosecutor who bumbled George Zimmerman trial is really good at putting children in adult prisons for life

Angela Corey is state attorney for Florida's 4th Circuit, where she's put children as young as 12 on trial as adults, facing life in prison -- in solitary, because children can't be mixed with adult populations -- without counseling, education, or any access to family. Read the rest

Listen: Florida congressional candidate losing his temper with a reporter

Dan Bongino is a former secret serviceman running for office in Florida. In a tweet, he suggested that coverage of his backers in Naples Daily News was "propaganda."

Asked by Politico reporter Marc Caputo to be specific, they end up on a call (after some Twitter trash talk), where things go horribly wrong for Bongino. (The action gets most classy about 7m 30s in)

Caputo's being tricky—Bongino's "propaganda" remark isn't aimed at any specific claim in a specific story, even if it was a response to a tweeted Daily News URL. But Caputo knows how to work an angry idiot, and Bongino soon shits himself on a recorded call.

BONGINO: Marc, listen, you go fuck yourself.

CAPUTO: Awwwww, Dan, you're so angry!

[Crosstalk]

BONGINO: My entire following has been developed by beating on people like you. ... My audience is far bigger than yours.

Indiscreet, so say the least. But this is a fellow who talks of himself in the third person.

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Video Shows Dolphin Stealing iPad from Woman at Orlando SeaWorld

Team dolphin all the way, you guys.

A woman at SeaWorld Orlando was trying to take a photograph of the marine mammal show with her iPad, when a dolphin popped up out of the water and grabbed it from her.

"As you can see, the dolphins can reach your loose items," a voice can be heard saying over a loudspeaker.

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Jacksonville police pension fund blows $1.8M worth of tax-dollars fighting open records requests

When Times-Union Editor Frank Denton sued the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund over breaking the law by meeting secretly to negotiate pension benefits, the fund and the city blew nearly half a million dollars fighting the case before finally losing. Read the rest

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