This is probably the paper-pushing government equivalent of wanting to preserve a Red Tide bloom as an homage to the environment.
But there they were, Hillsborough County's august Florida Legislature delegation voting to save the Public Transportation Commission for yet another day of back-slapping, pocket-stuffing and phantom time cards.
You would think if you had an agency charged with regulating taxi cabs, limousines, tow trucks and other vehicles for hire that had a reputation for having less fealty to ethics and competence than the Deadwood City Council, you would welcome any effort to abolish the department....
Thanks to the sound legal judgment of Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeal, it can finally be said: Mr. Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman — tear down this Pier. • Or perhaps put just a bit more subtly: Suggested schedule for first day in City Hall: a) Take oath of office; b) Kaboom! • The Pier's fate as an urban ruin was set into motion when the 2nd DCA judges rejected an effort by former mayoral candidate, Commodore Kathleen Ford, to prevent the city from imploding the inverted pyramid. That was ostensibly because she wanted to preserve docking space for her fleet, which includes a yacht, nuclear submarine, Swiftboat, kayaks, pocket battleship and a PT 109 reproduction....
In the real world, that is to say outside the Washington Beltway, it would seem a no-brainer-squared exercise in common sense to extend a 25-year federal ban on producing guns that can go undetected through a metal detector.
This doesn't even rise to the level of duh.
And yet as the Undetectable Firearms Act, first signed into law by that great liberal Ronald Reagan, is set to expire Monday, the U.S. Senate wrings its gun-lobby-donation-tainted green hands and frets about the nonexistent slippery slope of where banning guns created through 3-D technology might lead us....
I'd like to think that I'm no fuddy-duddy, which by merely using the term fuddy-duddy probably establishes my bona fides as indeed a fuddy-duddy. Still . . .
As a young man in college many years ago, I certainly participated in more than my fair share of unrestrained partying. To be sure, there is nothing capturing the college experience more than waking up on a Saturday morning smelling like a keg of beer and trying to remember the name of . . ., well let's just leave it at that....
You would think if you were about to ascend to the mayor's office in St. Petersburg, you would be anxious to start tackling the great issues of the day — crime, economic development, enhancing tourism, municipal services, transportation and most of all, figuring out how to prevent Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig from turning Tropicana Field into one giant whoopee cushion.
Instead, Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman has one nagging topic on his plate: the aging pile of bolts at the end of the Pier — the inverted pyramid that can't rust away fast enough....
With his guilty plea to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge in the District of Columbia, Fort Myers Rep. Trey Radel, R-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Starter Kit, has been under growing pressure to resign from office a mere 10 months into his first term.
It is hardly a political career builder for a lawmaker to get popped for scoring some blow in the shadow of the nation's Capitol dome by undercover cops. It's also problematic when you have positioned yourself as a faithful tea party factotum, insisting people who receive food stamps should be drug tested when it turns out you wouldn't qualify for a taxpayer-funded package of Velveeta cheese....
By now you have to believe Florida Gov. Rick Scott's protracted, snail-like, Diogenesesque search for someone with nothing else better to do with their time than agree to serve as his lieutenant governor has reached the point where our fair state's Creature of the Black Lagoon is starting to look downright Churchillian.
It was March when Scott's number two resigned amid allegations that her former flackery company had done business with a dubious veteran's charity that was involved in illegal Internet cafe gambling. It was around June before anyone noticed Jennifer Carroll was gone....
The Tallahassee Police Department might want to rethink its claim that it is committed to "a tradition of service since 1841" after its botched handling of a student sexual assault case.
It was almost a year ago when a Florida State University student from the Tampa Bay area reported to Tallahassee police that she had been sexually assaulted. Within a month, she identified her alleged assailant. But police reacted to a crime of violence as if the prime suspect in the caper had been a serial late returner of books to the FSU library....
This was probably inevitable. After repeated failed attempts to pass me around like a beaten plow horse, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. finally prevailed in foisting my homeowner's coverage off onto Larry's Bait & Tackle & Property Insurance. • It was only a matter of time before the invite to become part of Big Bertha's Bloomers and Property Insurance would get lost amid the rest of the junk mail, too late for me to opt out of this golden opportunity to do business with a company serving Florida's property insurance needs since — last week....
Far-right-hand aisle, toward the rear of the classroom. Friday, Nov. 22, 1963. It was about 2 p.m. I was a 14-year-old eighth-grader at St. Sebastian's in Akron, Ohio, when the loudspeaker crackled with the emotional voice of a normally stern principal, Sister Mary Peter. Over the next few moments, all of us sitting at our desks that day grew up just a little bit quicker.
President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. Sister Mary Peter offered a short prayer, and we were dismissed. It was a long walk home. As I entered the house, there was my mother, a rock-ribbed straight-ticket-voting Republican sitting before the television — sobbing....
This is a crisis of Limbaughobian proportions: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's decisive re-election has vaulted him to the front of the PACs to become the speculative frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Among the hand-wringers, this was cataclysmic. This was disastrous. This was beyond doom and gloom among the Torquemada wing of the tea party. Imagine having an actual Republican presidential candidate who has a plausible chance to win?...
At the time of his death last month, Rep. C.W. Bill Young was a man of immense power in Washington and had been unopposed or had easily won re-election every two years since the 1970s. Young, 82, served more than four decades in the House and was the longest-serving Republican in Congress. It was no secret that he battled health problems in recent years. What was not known was that he had been diagnosed five years ago with multiple myeloma — a cancer of the plasma cells found in bone marrow. Young's widow, Beverly, made that disclosure just last week to the Tampa Bay Times' Washington bureau chief, Alex Leary....
This is always the Kabuki dance of jurisprudence. The defendant, Dontae Morris, is on trial for the murder of two Tampa police officers. So obvious is his guilt that the only pretrial issue was whether Morris would cooperate with his attorneys in the expected death penalty phase of the proceedings.
Morris eventually agreed. And why not? He doesn't have all that much to do anyway.
The issue, of course, is the trial itself. Or more pointedly, seating a jury of 12 people. It's called selecting a jury of one's peers. But given that Morris is the poster child for being a low-life, vicious thug, do we really want to seat a jury of peers drawn from Reservoir Dogs to sit in judgment of an accused cop killer?...
Our own huckstering, wanna-be faux socialite Jill Kelley wants to recast herself as the Angela Merkel of Tampa Bay — in Christian Louboutin red lacquered stiletto heels.
In a recent Wall Street Journal column headlined "How the Government Spied on Me," Kelley bemoaned her plight after she set in motion events that led to the resignation of Gen. David Petraeus as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency amid disclosures he was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell....
Between now and Election Day next year, there will be plenty of chin-rubbing, thumb-sucking and brow-furrowing over the race between Gov. Rick Scott and the chap he replaced, Charlie Crist.
Think of this as punditry fueled by Keith Richards' medicine cabinet.
Voting patterns will be dissected. Registration tallies will be pored over. Demographics will be analyzed. And, of course, campaign contributions will be carefully scrutinized. All very fair....