A poor, Trump-voting Florida town opened a government grocery store to end its food desert, but it's "not socialism"

68% of the 1600 residents of of Baldwin, Florida -- where the median income is $44k/year -- voted for Trump in 2016, and in the years since, they've lost their only grocery store, which has been a particular hardship for the large number of seniors who live there, many of whom are no longer able to drive. Read the rest

Trump's signature tax break for poor people went to subsidize a superyacht marina in Florida

Trump's 2017 #taxscam transferred more than a trillion dollars to the richest people in America, but when Trump talks about it, he likes to tout the bill's "opportunity zone" provisions that provided massive tax breaks to investors who put money into places that would supposedly create jobs and housing for poor Americans. Read the rest

Student body president at University of Florida is facing impeachment proceedings over payments to Donald Trump Jr

Because fiction, satire, and reality are all one big intertwined clusterfuck these days, the New York Times has reported the following:

Student representatives at the University of Florida introduced a bill on Tuesday to impeach Michael Murphy, the student body president, accusing him of improperly using student fees to pay one of President Trump’s sons to speak on campus.

It all began when Mr. Murphy, a senior, invited Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host and adviser to the president’s campaign, to speak on campus and paid them $50,000 with university funds. Some students say the payment was a violation of the Student Senate code — and possibly the law.

So the president (of the student body at a college) is facing impeachment because he took money from other people against their will to enrich the Trump family. What do you a call an SEO wet dream when it's actually a nightmare?

This is a pretty major upgrade in the ongoing right-wing crusade to de-legitimize higher education across the country. But I do have to admit: stealing $50,000 from your fellow students and using it to get yourself in good graces with the Trumps is exactly the kind of slimey move a Trump would pull. So in that case, good on you, Mr. Murphy, for really putting in the work to achieve your lifelong dreams of corrupt scumbaghood. I salute you with this one finger.

He Invited Donald Trump Jr. to Campus. Now He’s Facing Impeachment [Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Hannah Phillips / The New York times]

Image by Max Goldberg/Flickr

  Read the rest

Orlando cop fired after grabbing teen by hair and yanking her head

An Orlando county Sheriff's deputy was fired on the spot after video showed him grabbing a teen girl by her hair and yanking her head backwards.

The video shows the deputy, who the agency has not publicly identified, taking a girl into custody Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of the Summerset apartments off Oak Ridge Road in south Orange, about a block from the middle school. The girl screams as the deputy pulls her head backward.

Later in the video, which has been viewed more than 45,000 times on Facebook, the deputy brandishes his baton at a crowd that gathered. Near the end of the encounter, he yells at the crowd that they are all “stupid little children."

The Sheriff's office is, however, refusing to release the deputy's name.

Asked under what exemption to Florida’s Sunshine Law the deputy’s name was being withheld, the agency acknowledged the question but did not provide an exemption or further explanation Friday.

Read the rest

Florida man tries to have sex with Olaf from "Frozen" and a stuffed unicorn in a Target

"Do you want to fuck snowman? It doesn't have to be a snowman…"

Apparently—if you're 20-year-old Cody Meadar of St. Petersburg, Florida—it could also be a stuffed toy unicorn.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

A St. Petersburg man was arrested Tuesday after police said he “dry humped" multiple stuffed animals at the Park Place Target, including Olaf, the snowman from the wildly successful Disney film Frozen.

The other victim was a large stuffed unicorn.

Police said Cody Meader, 20, of St. Petersburg, entered the store around 2 p.m. Tuesday. He walked up to a display of merchandise from Frozen, picked a large Olaf stuffed animal, placed it on the floor and proceeded to rub himself against it until he ejaculated.

Then he put it back on the display.

The fact that he put it back on display might be the most egregious detail here. At least show that stuffed animal a modicum of respect by bringing home after you non-consensually violate it.

There could have been a totally-tasteless joke in here about cooling down in the warm climate of Florida. Unfortunately, it was a whopping 53 degrees Fahrenheit in St. Petersburg on the day in question. So while there's generally no excusing for ejaculating on a stuffed snowman in the middle of big box store, this guy definitely has no excuse—except for the fact that he lives in Florida.

Image via Wikimedia Commons Read the rest

Florida GOP finally admits that maybe they shouldn't have banned the phrase "climate change" after all

Climate change is real. The state of Florida is particularly susceptible to its effects, being a largely coastal landmass. Hurricanes and floods strike with increasing frequency, damaging or outright destroying homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. As a result, maintenance and repair costs are rising, too. And that doesn't even touch on the human impact—the elderly residents killed by extreme temperatures, and the food- and mosquito-borne diseases that mutate and spread through the swampy heat. The latest studies predict a two-foot rise in sea level over the next forty years.

But you wouldn't know any of that from a visit to the Florida Statehouse at any point during the reign of Republican Governor Rick Scott, however. That's because Scott had implemented an unofficial policy banning the use of "climate change" and "global warming" in all official government communications ("unofficial" only in that Scott was a conniving politician who understood that you can't legally ban words in the United States, but you can use your authority to bully people out of using them anyway). It's the same tactic that the Trump Administration has used to steamroll federal scientists. From the Miami Herald:

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Kristina Trotta, another former DEP employee who worked in Miami, said her supervisor told her not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a 2014 staff meeting.

Read the rest

Florida Man is back and he's packing a sword

There are few things that you can rely upon these days: the love of your friends and family; that our leaders lie to us in the name of profit and, constant like the North Star, that Florida will always be the weird shit capitol of North America.

From Canoe.com:

Curtis Miller, 54, was arrested Monday on second-degree attempted murder charges stemming from a July 15 incident where he allegedly brandished a samurai sword to threaten a jogger during a fight over a wheelbarrow the victim claimed he found in a trash pile.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video which shows the suspect attacking the jogger, Todd Beavers, with a sword in Oakland Park, Fla., as he tried to pull the wheelbarrow away from him.

According to Canoe, Miller and Beavers both spotted the discarded wheelbarrow at the same time. Miller felt the cart should be his. So did Beaver. Miller didn't grab the cart. Beaver did. As you know, disagreements over trash found at the side of road can get out of hand pretty quickly. So, honestly, Beaver shouldn't have been surprised to find that, as he rolled the wheelbarrow home with him, Miller would give chase with a big frigging sword in hand. Beaver ran faster. Miller gave pursuit.

As the Broward County Sheriff’s Office mentioned, there's video of the incident. This would be it:

As you can see, Miller totally went all in attacking Beaver with a flurry of awkward slashes, because wheelbarrow. When it was pointed out to Miller that he was on camera, the swordsman buggered right off, giving Beaver the time to call the cops. Read the rest

Vultures occupy Florida home, fill it with vomit and excrement

It's the case of the vomiting vultures: a vacation home returned to only to find it occupied by vultures, and all the things that come out of vultures.

Siobhan Casimano described the smell as “like a thousand rotting corpses.” The vultures have destroyed screen enclosures and have overtaken the pool and barbecue. The few times the family has visited, they’ve had to park their car in the garage to avoid the birds pecking at them with their beaks.

It gets worse, because someone is feeding the vultures, because of course they are, it's Florida.

“Imagine 20 vultures trapped, biting each other — and they can bite through bones,” she said. “They would bang against my windows running away from a bird that was attacking them. Blood was everywhere. It was a vile, vicious, traumatic event. And it was Memorial Day, so no company I called would come out to help me.”

Read the rest

Florida raccoon freed from vending machine

The sheriff in Volusia County, Fla., reports that "a gentlemen was apprehended today while committing a burglary of a vending machine at Pine Ridge High School" in Deltona.

Adds the AP:

...spokesman Andrew Gant says a deputy stationed at Pine Ridge High School was notified of the trapped raccoon Wednesday and called animal control for assistance. A vending machine operator was also contacted to unlock the door. They rolled the vending machine to an open area of the school and after about two hours the raccoon was set free.

The sheriff's Facebook posting has a lot of boomer energy in the comments.

Read the rest

Florida police admit they will not be able to recover gun stolen during masked orgy

All the participants at the 3-day Volusia, Florida orgy were naked and used aliases, and for obvious reasons, DNA-based identification "is not going to be an option, which means we'll probably never find out who stole the Glock from the bedside table. (Image: Eyes Wide Shut/Warners; Askild Antonsen, CC BY-SA, modified) (Thanks, Gnat!) Read the rest

Florida homes invaded by scurrying onslaught of land crabs

Endless casts of land crabs have invaded a neighborhood in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Apparently heavy rains have driven the crustaceans to seek shelter in people's homes. Groceries have reported a run on butter. (OK, that last part isn't true.) Read the rest

Florida DMV makes millions selling Floridians' data...for pennies (and you can't opt out)

Axciom buys records from Florida's DMV (which include non-driver IDs) at $0.01/each. Read the rest

Trump Doral resort to host golf tourney run by strip club, dancers auctioned off as 'caddy girls'

How bad are things at Donald Trump's garbage Doral golf resort? On Saturday the resort is scheduled to host a golf tournament run by a Miami-based strip club. Read the rest

Florida school principal unsure if Holocaust happened now certain to lose job

When asked how his school taught The Holocaust, Spanish River High School principal William Latson said that "I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event" and that “you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

After a year of anger in Boca Raton, Florida, Latson was finally removed from the job, reports CBS News.

The school district did not initially punish Latson for his comments. Instead, he received counseling and was encouraged to expand his school's Holocaust curriculum, according to CBS West Palm Beach affiliate WPEC-TV. The district said Latson also visited the U.S. Holocaust Museum to increase his "personal knowledge" of the genocide. But the district announced Monday that Latson would be immediately reassigned because "his leadership has become a major distraction for the school community." ... The district said Latson had "made a grave error in judgment in the verbiage" of his email to the parent.

Read the rest

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for trafficking dozens of young girls for sex

Days after an appeals court panel ordered the unsealing of thousands of pages of documents from one of the civil suits arising from billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's secret sweetheart plea bargain that allowed him to escape any serious penalties for years of alleged trafficking and raping of young teens, he has been arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force and now faces charges related to dozens of sex offenses against young girls. Read the rest

Appeals court orders unsealing of the Jeffrey Epstein files

More than a decade ago, a federal prosecutor named Alexander Acosta set up a secret sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy, Trump-connected admitted multiple rapist of underaged teen girls who was thought to be running a trafficking ring for wealthy, well-connected sexual predators, that saw Epstein serving only 13 months in a minimum security facility, on a work-release program that let him spend most of that time out of a cell. Read the rest

Learning from Baltimore's disaster, Florida city will pay criminals $600,000 to get free of ransomware attack

The city council of Riviera Beach, Florida has voted unanimously to pay $600,000 to criminals who seized control of the city's computers through a ransomware attack, after three weeks of being locked out of the city systems (the city has also voted to spend $1m replacing its computers). Read the rest

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