There are certain jobs in elective office that carry with them a slightly higher expectation when it comes to how one behaves in public.
For example, it probably wouldn't be a good thing if we were to learn Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren was a serial traffic scofflaw with a slew of overdue library books, to boot.
The same holds true for members of the Hillsborough County School Board. We ought to have a reasonable belief those charged with overseeing the welfare of the community's children are serious, sober-minded, thoughtful stewards of the classroom....
It is a safe bet that Richard Spencer, the beefcake boy of bigotry, will show up on the University of Florida campus today accompanied by a Star Wars-esque bar scene of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites and antigovernment conspiracy theory survivalists.
Think of this as Triumph of the Will meets Deliverance.
So it is understandable, given the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Va., in August when these low-rent faux storm troopers assembled, that Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Alachua County for the duration of time Spencer will be sliming his toxic waste dump of rhetoric....
“Ah money, money, money!" the cabdriver exclaimed with no small sense of sarcasm in his Cantonese-accented English as he waved in the direction of the spectacular skyline of Hong Kong, a city that revels in its reputation as an international financial capital.
This was our first trip to Asia to visit our son, who has lived in Hong Kong for several years, and our expecting daughter-in-law....
Better late than never, even if it has taken 152 years.
You might recall that last year an effort in the Florida Legislature to create a slavery memorial on the grounds of the Capitol ran into a brick wall, otherwise known as Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, the leading Civil War revisionist.
Although the slavery memorial enjoyed unanimous support in the House, Baxley objected and argued he preferred monuments that celebrate people in a more "uplifting manner." And let's face it, being reminded of this whole slavery stuff is hardly an "Up With People" moment....
'Uh, Mr. President, we have a bit of a problem."
"What is it Spicey, and why are you wearing a dress?"
"Sir, Sean Spicer quit this miserable job months ago. I am your latest beleaguered press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders."
"Well, what is it Huckleberry? I'm a very busy man feuding with everyone from the Brownies to the Dalai Lama. Can't that guy ever wear a suit?"
"I have some breaking news, your Twitterness."...
Apparently the nation is all agog with anxious anticipation over just where the massive Amazon will select to build a second headquarters.
And the Tampa Bay area is preparing to join the growing mix of suitors trying to capture Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' eye. That's so cute.
The project, dubbed Amazon HQ2, is looking for real estate large enough to accommodate an estimated $5 billion corporate campus of at least 8 million square feet of office space with room for future growth. The new facility will inject about 50,000 new jobs into the community paying an average of $100,000 a year. ...
And this, dearest reader, is why God created lawyers.
No one has ever confused the St. Petersburg City Council with the Knights of the Roundtable meets the Brigadoon County Commission.
But that didn't stop the visionaries on the council from attempting to right a wrong by standing foursquare in favor of free speech. Say, there's a Bunker Hill moment for you.
Forget traditional City Council priorities such as potholes, rampant sewage spills and whatever that thing is going up along the waterfront....
If you have spent any time in this state, by now you have figured out the Florida Public Service Commission has about as much to do with providing "public service" as the Mayflower Madam did promoting celibacy.
So it should come as little surprise Gov. Rick Scott would nominate Ritch Workman, a hustling former state legislator, to a cushy $131,000-a-year job on the PSC. His only expertise in utility regulation seems to be his extraordinary talent for cashing campaign checks from the state's power companies....
Perhaps the best way to think of David Straz is as sort of the Michael Bloomberg of the Big Guava, an immensely wealthy man who is noodling around a possible run to become mayor of Tampa.
By all accounts the end of the Bob Buckhorn era in 2019 is tempting several people to think about running for mayor. Former Tampa police Chief Jane Castor seems all but certain to run. City Councilmember Mike Suarez has been humming "Hail To The Mayor" for years. His colleague Harry Cohen might take a shot. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik's name always gets bounced around. Former state Rep. Ed Narain and public relations executive Bill Carlson, along with architect Mickey Jacobs, also pop up as possible candidates....
We are supposed to be a beacon to the world, the "indispensable" nation preaching the gospel of democracy and freedom and all the rest of the chorus from the amber waves of grain hymnal.
We are all caught up over the controversy of standing for the national anthem at football games as a litmus test of patriotism in honor of our revered history and culture. Let us now invoke the genius of the Founding Fathers....
If we've learned anything during the Rick Scott years, it is that this is a governor to whom transparency and adherence to the state's public records and Sunshine Laws are about as welcome an intrusion as a caraway seed stuck under a denture.
Compared to the Scott cone of silence, the Freemasons are gossipy blabbermouths.
At last count, 11 elderly residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills have died in the wake of Hurricane Irma after the facility's air conditioning failed....
This is probably the price to be paid for not being a beautiful person.
For I am a simple man of simple tastes. I do not care for drinks of multiple colors and more than two ingredients. No good comes from libations of indeterminate hues and strange names invoking images of Lord of the Rings.
These misgivings always seemed to work well in a city like Tampa, a blue collar, beer and a bump kind of place. And then the beautiful people started moving in with raised pinkie tastes and a preoccupation with "craft" this and "craft" that....
In a brief fit of rare snarkiness, the thought occurred to begin these hen-scratchings by posting my Social Security number, Internet passwords and blood type to save the hackers some precious time.
But why bother? Those folks sitting in their jammies hunched over a keyboard somewhere in Bulgaria probably already have all that data. In case they missed something, let me help. The dogs' names are Riley and Gracie. Now you have just about everything. So glad to be of service....
Who knew the Tampa Bay Bucs were actually the Daisies of Dale Mabry?
It seems head coach Dirk Koetter got his hoopskirt all in a wad simply because, from time to time, attendees of Bucs games out at Hellooooo Sucker Stadium prefer to root, root, root for the opposing team. This had made the head coach of those manly men populating the Bucs roster all pouty.
"A perfect day for me is going to be all Bucs jerseys in the lower bowl and the Bucs winning by one or more," the coach proclaimed....
Florida loves its geezers — until they become annoyingly inconvenient.
We've all seen the glitzy advertising aimed at senior citizens featuring robust, active retirees enjoying the carefree lifestyles of Florida's elder set. Golf. Tennis. Cocktail parties. Beautiful people, without a varicose vein in sight.
And it is indeed a wonderful life. But don't get too old, or too infirm, or contract the most fatal geriatric affliction of all — too broke. Then you are simply a dead old coot drooling. Good luck. And goodbye....