Friday, June 26, 2015

Reactions to the SCOTUS marriage equality ruling

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Democratic U.S. Rep. from Tampa Kathy Castor celebrates the decision with her daughter Julia on the grounds of the building where it was handed down. - COURTESY OF U.S. REP. KATHY CASTOR'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor's office
  • Democratic U.S. Rep. from Tampa Kathy Castor celebrates the decision with her daughter Julia on the grounds of the building where it was handed down.

As you might imagine, there's no shortage of reactions to today's landmark ruling on same-sex marriage.

Everyone from presidential candidates to activists to local lawmakers has weighed in. Some celebrate the decision while others still somehow cling to the religious liberty defense.

Here are some highlights; some happy, some sad (we've annotated where we deemed appropriate):

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Looking to toast marriage equality? Head to one of these Decision Day events

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 2:24 PM


Needless to say, festivities abound this weekend, given the U.S. Supreme Court's historic 5-4 decision allowing gays to marry in every state.

LGBT rights nonprofit Equality Florida has several Decision Day events planned this evening throughout Florida. 

Hey, we were hoping to do a little pre-gaming ahead of St. Pete Pride, anyway.

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Sh*t happened 6/26/15: Supreme Court, Bass Pro Shops, idiots

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 8:46 AM


The weekend's almost here. And I just realized what a terrible word "almost" can be.

The U.S. Supreme Court voted in favor of maintaining federal health care subsidies, meaning millions of Americans in states without exchanges will get to keep their coverage. Socialism! Erosion of our nation's moral fiber! Big government interference! Or, you know, lots of people maybe not dying of something easily treatable.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kriseman hoists rainbow flag over St. Pete City Hall to herald Pride

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 1:56 PM

Kriseman (right) raises the flag at around 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
  • Kriseman (right) raises the flag at around 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

For the second year in a row, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman raised the rainbow flag above City hall to mark the start of the city's Gay Pride festivities.

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Supremes rule in favor of federal health care subsidies

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 11:57 AM

  • flickr user will o'neill

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, are celebrating in the wake of news that the U.S. Supreme Court  has ruled 6-3 in favor of maintaining federal health insurance subsidies for people in states that don't have their own health exchanges in King v. Burwell.

The news broke late Thursday morning of the 6-3 decision, and is considered, as the News Service of Florida puts it, "a major victory for the Obama administration."

The six supporters were Chief Justice John Roberts, who penned the decision, and justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

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Who cares? As voters evolve on LGBT issues, pockets of resistance still lurk.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner - HEIDI KURPIELA
  • heidi kurpiela
  • Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner
Sexual orientation doesn’t seem to be a big deal for local voters anymore.

St. Pete City Council has three openly gay members — Amy Foster, Steve Kornell and Darden Rice. In notoriously conservative Hillsborough County, openly gay County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has won a countywide seat not once, but twice.

Sure, these thoughtful progressives have their critics.

Beckner faces an uphill battle getting the commission to listen to him on a clearly superior method of attacking wage theft (monied interests prefer a weaker model, as do his colleagues), and was accused of playing politics by Commissioner Victor Crist.

Kornell has caught grief from the Tampa Bay Times editorial board, which called for his ouster over his cynicism toward the Tampa Bay Rays’ attempts to strike a deal with the city to look at stadiums in Hillsborough County.

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Sh*t happened 6/25/15: Some infuriating things, but mostly you're really going to shoot the bears?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM


The stranger pulled the blanket tighter around him. I poured him a whisky; he nodded his thanks, and asked who was in charge.
"Officially? No one," I told him. "In here? You stutter the flow of this place and I'll have to make an example of you."
He laughed. "Put my head on a pike outside?"
I didn't laugh. "I'll put your head on the next boat, along with the rest of you."
"The next boat?" The stranger sipped his drink, considering. "Why is that bad?"
"Only two kinds of people get on the boat. The ones that know they're being punished, and the ones that don't."

The board of Citizens, the "insurance company of last resort" for the millions of Floridians who were approved for mortgages they shouldn't have gotten in a million years (and for tens of thousands of wealthy folks who would do literally anything, including murdering orphans, to save four dollars), voted unanimously to raise its rates for South Florida homeowners. Sure, it's infuriating any time an insurance company goes "shit, we had to pay out so much that our profits suffered for once, so we're gonna pass expense that along to you," but folks who don't have waterfront property stand to actually see a decrease in their rates as the cost goes up for those that do, so ... I'm confused. Was I about to give props to an insurance company? Life is a Rubik's Cube, and the one side we complete most often just happens to be the color of "ughwhatthefuckletsgobacktobed."

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

FWC to Floridians: shoot them barrs!

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 6:16 PM

You might want to stay in that tree, lil' bear.
  • You might want to stay in that tree, lil' bear.

Despite hours of impassioned pleas from dozens of residents and environmental advocates, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which met in Sarasota, gave a thumbs-up to a proposal to lift the current ban on bear hunting in Florida, a move that will likely serve as fodder for late-night TV hosts.

The commission is appointed (and in some cases reappointed) by Governor Rick Scott and thus is stacked with people who, according to their bios on the FWC website, have profited either off real estate development just like that which infringes on remote bear habitat, employed in other ventures not known to be in harmony with nature, or are just avid hunters.

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Sh*t happens 6/24/15: New Florida budget, potential Congressional candidates, cockfighting

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM


Good morning! If your Tuesday didn't include contemplation of a run for higher political office or cheering on a cruel and unlawful south-of-the-border tradition, you probably won't see your own name below.

Rick Scott signed off on a new state budget — after cutting out a butt-ton of items only a complete Scrinch (half-Scrooge, half-Grinch, derf) would even halfway consider unnecessary. How many times a day do orphans need to eat anyway?

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mulhern and Rice are now possible contenders for Jolly Congressional seat

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 9:49 PM

Former Tampa Councilwoman Mary Mulhern in March of this year. - CHIP WEINER
  • chip weiner
  • Former Tampa Councilwoman Mary Mulhern in March of this year.

So, we're more than a year out from the primary, so anything can happen. But so far, it looks like the race for Florida's 13th Congressional seat is once again going to get weird.

While we're waiting on incumbent U.S. Rep. David Jolly to make up his mind on whether he'll vacate his seat to run for the U.S. Senate seat Sen. Marco Rubio left to run for president, the candidate roster on the Democratic side is taking shape — and that shape is probably going to be a big shape, especially if Jolly vacates.

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