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Columns, Perspective

  1. Dockery: State budget shortcomings clearer


    Now that some time has passed since the Florida Legislature produced a state budget and the governor cut $461 million from it, we're starting to see the results.

  2. Column: Could Biden be the anti-Hillary candidate?


    There seems to be a lot more talk in Washington and in political operative circles around the country about the prospect of Vice President Joe Biden running for president in 2016. Interesting.

    Vice President Joe Biden is uninhibited and impossible to script — which makes him seem authentic.
  3. Column: How crime affects the Supremes


    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, never one to avoid a good fight, tried to undercut Justice Stephen Breyer by suggesting that federal judges don't face everyday violence.

    But wait …

  4. Ruth: Jolly draws opposition from both sides of Tampa Bay


    Perhaps former Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern expected to arrive in Pinellas County with all the adoration and folderol of Elizabeth Taylor sitting upon a massive sedan chair atop the shoulders of slaves entering Rome in Cleopatra.

  5. Ruth: A curious pick for Hillsborough EPC chief


    With the arrival of Janet Dougherty to lead the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission, Ronald Reagan's famous axiom about "trust, but verify" was never more timely —or relevant.

  6. When renewing vehicle tags, beware of third-party vendors and their fees


    One of the key functions of the Tax Collector's Office is to renew and provide related services for automobile tags. Each month, our office mails out renewal notices for tags that will expire on any given customer's date of birth in the following month. Customers have the option to renew tags either in person, online or …

    Mike Fasano
  7. Ruth: Surprise! Lindsey Graham and I are tied!


    Since I announced my candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination a few months ago, the groundswell of support has been overwhelming.

    Campaign manager Gracie the goldendoodle works on strategy.
  8. Retiring the rebel flag would be the Southern thing to do


    I proudly consider myself a child of the South. I've lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line nearly my entire life with a few exceptions, including a couple of months in Pennsylvania, where I was born. My parents were both born and reared in the South during the civil rights era. My father is from Jacksonville, and my …

  9. Column: The sunny side of greed


    In the dire prophecies of science fiction writers and the fevered warnings of left-wing activists, big corporations will soon rule the Earth — or already do.

    Fine with me.

  10. LeMieux: U.S. Supreme Court overreaches


    Is America giving up on our constitutional democracy?

  11. Column: The next few days will transform Greece and Europe


    As it turns out, the Greek crisis ends not with a bang, but with a referendum.

    Greeks line up at an ATM in Thessaloniki on Monday, the first day of a 60-euro daily withdrawal limit.
  12. Column: Heroes on the bench


    As time passes, we will see the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage as the moment when we started to embrace the court as a leader in social progress, not as an institution to be feared because of the backlashes its more progressive decisions could supposedly generate.

  13. Nickens: Sunshine Law case brings positive change to Florida government


    About 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott's office emailed to reporters his daily schedule, which is a public record.

    Gov. Rick Scott’s official Twitter account, @FLGovScott, tweeted this picture Tuesday morning of him signing the state budget. He did it in private.
  14. Ruth: Hunting bears for no reason


    Somehow it is fitting that one of the leading voices in support of declaring open season on bears is Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission chairman Richard Corbett, who happens to be a shopping mall developer.

  15. Column: The gun owners' argument


    In the aftermath of Charleston, as we all wring our hands over gun laws or the lack thereof, I've been watching a series of videos by a guy named Colion Noir.

    Colion Noir — real name, Collins Idehen — is the star of an Internet lifestyle channel that aims to make guns hip beyond the white, male, rural set.
  16. Day: Wider roads are not the answer for traffic-clogged Tampa


    A nearly 20-year-old plan to further expand Interstate 275 through historic Tampa Heights is the source of great upset for many Tampa residents.

    Highway expansion plans would likely obliterate this church-turned-community center in Tampa Heights. The DOT has shown little compassion as it has bulldozed through neighborhoods.
  17. Ask the nearest hippie? Not here


    Justice Antonin Scalia has revealed himself as a square, that arch-nemesis of the hippie. In his dissent to Friday's 5-4 decision overturning state bans on gay marriage, Scalia included what is probably the most prominent Supreme Court mention of "hippies" ever.

    In his dissent Justice Scalia told people to ask the nearest hippie about freedom of intimacy.
  18. Perspective: When Jeb took down the Confederate flag in 2001

    State Roundup

    In 2001, after he had the Confederate flag removed from the state Capitol, then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was besieged with criticism. In angry email after email, critics called the decision a cave-in to political correctness and an affront to Southern pride and history.

    A version of the Confederate flag — the “Stainless Banner” — flew outside the Florida Capitol in 1996.
  19. Perspective: The work still before us all


    In 1965, the City College of New York student government received a telegram from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — one of many he sent to allies around the country — urging that if they shared his vision and commitment to equality and racial justice, they join him in Alabama for a "peaceful, nonviolent march …

    This monument, erected in Haneyville, Ala., to honor slain rights activist Viola Liuzzo, was defaced several times. After one incident in 1997, activists gathered to pray but let the offending graffiti remain as a reminder of racism.
  20. Perspective: Flags furled, guns remain


    It was only a few days ago that the world saw white supremacist Dylann Roof posing stone-faced with Confederate flags and license plates. Sometime after the pictures were taken, Roof allegedly shot dead nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., using a legally acquired .45-caliber Glock …

    Confederate battle flag in one hand and gun in the other, Dylann Roof posed for this undated image, which appeared on, a website the FBI is now investigating.