Sheltering in place: ‘Anxiety Baking,’ the Complete Works of Henry James and a whole day with a can of Pledge
Well, it’s been a quiet week in Tallahassee, Florida, my hometown, out here on the edge of the swamp. Except, of course, for a few ugly scenes in the toilet paper aisle of the Lake Ella Publix and that unseemly tussle over the last package of spinach and chive linguini left in Trader Joe’s. (Hey, […]
For real? U.S. Sen. Rick Scott got lousy reviews as FL governor — and now he wants to be president?
Rick Scott really misses being governor of Florida. He misses the mansion; he misses tootling about in his private jet; he misses having the power to do cool stuff like deny voting rights to ex-felons, decree the phrase “climate change” verboten, and standing before the cameras, pretending to care about whatever lurid disaster has befallen […]
In the fight to contain the coronavirus, one element is severely overlooked: Corrections
It’s here. COVID-19 has become the latest threat to human life and the United States economy. All official guidance, be it the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments, has led to canceling and reducing travel, not only to and from areas of concern, but across the nation. Sporting events, rallies […]
Take down those paywalls: Our citizens need all the news they can get
Many of us who have spent a lifetime writing for newspapers have heard for years that the very papers we deliver each day are slipping away, changing to electronic screens on our computers, cell phones and other gadgets. I remember those who many years ago suggested that our news stories would some day be delivered […]
Harmful and inhumane prison conditions demand action by lawmakers, but is time running out?
Last October, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch, appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, warned Florida lawmakers about growing tensions in the state’s prisons. “The status quo cannot continue,” Inch declared. The situation was approaching a “death spiral, or the plane crashing into the side of a cliff or, you know, the tipping point.” Inch […]
Policy wins are great. But Election 2020 is an existential fight for the nation’s soul. This is why
You’ve probably never heard of Erica Newland. And if she had her druthers, it’s a safe bet that she would have preferred it stayed that way. But Newland, a former attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, found herself a front-line warrior in the battle to protect the Constitution from the […]
Susan J. Demas: It’s never our time: Why we won’t have a female president next year
The 2020 Democratic presidential race, which, at one point, was brimming with promise with a high water mark of six women contenders, has dwindled to one. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) exited the race Thursday, leaving just U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m crying as I write this. […]
Florida Republicans remain doggedly clueless about higher education
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE – Florida Republicans’ disdain for education is matched only by their ignorance of how education works. That doesn’t stop them from screwing around with curricula, micro-managing teachers, and undermining knowledge in their attempts to produce generation upon generation of pliant church-going consumer-cogs in the profit engine, unencumbered by critical thinking. The core education […]
In the believe-it-or-not category: Some top Republicans are supporting Dems in the 2020 presidential race
You might wonder why some of Florida’s best known Republican political consultants are way out on a limb in support of Democrats in the 2020 presidential race. It’s a long and interesting story. At its root is complete frustration with President Donald J. Trump. Two of these consultants live in Tallahassee, where they’ve made a […]
FL lawmakers promote secrecy, while citizens remain in the dark
Some Florida legislators want more privacy. They’d like to live secretly, in houses where no one can find them. Yes, as dumb as this sounds, this has become an actual bill in the Florida Legislature. The Senate sponsor is Republican Kelli Stargel, who represents parts of Lake and Polk counties. She already lives at a […]
No dang wetland should ever interfere with the pursuit of profit!
OCCUPIED TALLAHASSEE — Stop worrying your pretty little head. The state of Florida knows what’s best for that ecosystem thingamajig, so sit back, relax, maybe have one of those craft beers the kids are so crazy about, and let the governor and the Legislature take care of the water. Our water. Your water. You will […]
Remembering when blacks almost never voted and why minorities and ex-felons are still disenfranchised
In South Mississippi where I grew up, Black people almost never voted. The reason was simple: When they were bold enough to try to register, the elections supervisors often required them to pay a “poll tax” or pass a complex literacy test with obscure questions most of us could not have answered. Black veterans who […]