Not Safe For Work Delivery: Floriduh! Man Edition

What did BettyC know and when did she know it?

The Pensacola News Journal has all the details:

Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill is fuming after a box labeled “industrial strength dildos” arrived in the mail at his county office Thursday.

Underhill showed the box to reporters following the County Commission meeting on Thursday, saying it demonstrated how far the level of civility has fallen in Escambia County.

“There’s no way this is even remotely appropriate in the way that we conduct business here in Escambia County,” Underhill said while pointing to the box. “We have staff members, young people, who have to handle the mail here. I’m a sailor, you’re not going to offend me with anything, but this kind of garbage, and this is the kind of garbage put out by the same kinds of people, the same lies, the same hate, the same anger that they bring to every single issue.”

The box itself appeared to be a practical joke box and was only filled with paper and a packing slip billing for the package that included the email address of the sender.

The email address belongs to a Perdido Key resident named Scott Anderson, who told the News Journal he had no idea about the box being sent to Underhill or how his email address ended up on the packing slip.

“I’m totally stunned by all of this,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he’s only interacted with Underhill a few times on the Nextdoor website over what he said was a lack of maintenance at the Perdido Key Dog Park.

“I suppose I could’ve irritated maybe an Underhill supporter,” Anderson said. “That’s the only thing I can think of.”

Despite the box appearing to be a joke, it was no laughing matter for Underhill.

Underhill regularly comments in local Facebook groups and often takes a combative tone with people with whom he disagrees.

Underhill said laughing at the antics of his dedicated critics only makes it worse because the time and energy spent on dealing with his critics is time not spent tackling issues that matter such as funding for public safety.

Underhill pointed to the meeting on Thursday as an example. On Thursday, members of Save Pensacola Beach protesting the county’s move to remove language approved by voters last year in a non-binding referendum.

During the discussion, Underhill said he compared the group and its founder Dianne Krummel to antifa, short for anti-facists, the name given to far-left protestors who often wear masks and engage in violent attacks during protest.

“Dianne, at some point you’re going to have to trade in that yellow shirt for a black mask if you keep this up,” Underhill said.

While speaking to reporters, Underhill blamed the press for feeding what he said was “radical activism” of the group and argued that the County Commission chambers should be a place of civil discussion.

When asked if his own speech, especially online, was uncivil, Underhill rejected the idea.

“I don’t think I’m uncivil online at all,” Underhill said. “I engage the adversary. The adversary is the lies, the untruths. The reality is if we as your — especially as conservative elected officials — do not push back against the spending, if we don’t push back against the corruption, if we don’t push back against the lies that are said here, then who will?”

He seems nice.

No word on when the lube is scheduled to be delivered.

Also, The Industrial Strength Dildos are my New Wave Fem Punk cover band.

Open thread!


FloridDuh! Woman: Electoral Edition

This is a little too on the nose for even Florida if you ask me.

Loomer is originally from the Miami area, but who has lived in Arizona and New York as well, has, apparently recently moved back Florida just to run for Congress. The Democratic incumbent is Lois Frankel, who has been representing this district,  since 2017 and prior to that represented Florida as the representative from District 22, which after redistricting is now represented by Congressman Ted Deutch.  Frankel has also been the mayor of West Palm Beach, and was the minority leader in the Florida state House of Representatives.

From what I know of Loomer – deliberatively and almost shamelessly provocative, racist and bigoted, especially against Muslims, friendly with either those in the alt-right and extreme right circles playing footsie with white supremacists and neo-NAZIs or actually with white supremacists, neo-NAZIs, the men’s rights nutbars and Milo, as well as being a fantacist and a conspiracist – I think the real reason for Loomer’s run is both to suck up money through donations and to force social media platforms to let her back on. I fully expect that she is going to use her candidacy to try to force twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to let her back on and monetize those platforms because if they don’t they’re aiding her political opponent in the election. All while monetizing her election as an income stream because she doesn’t actually have any actual employment.

Open thread!

GOP Venality Open Thread: Kiddie Concentration Camps, Not Polling Well


Small comfort for the children now suffering — or dead — but if Senate Majority House Minority Leader ‘There’s two people Putin is paying’ McCarthy and Erik ‘Voice of the Gated GOP Community’ Erikson are alternately blustering and pantomiming Christianist concern about Trump’s concentration camps… it’s not good news for conservatives.

Clearly the GOP had assumed that enough voters were indifferent to human suffering that they could afford to tickle ‘the Base’ by kicking the untermenschen. Fortunately for the survival of our GOP-battered commonwealth, they seem to have miscalculated. Trump folds when he’s put under pressure, especially the pressure of being publicly shamed… and Trump’s enablers know that the I-was-only-following-orders defense doesn’t work in courts of law.

EvenTheVerySeriouslyBipartisan NYTimes has jumped ship on this…

Floriduh! Man & Woman: Easily Triggered and Not Very Bright Edition

Oy vey…

From NBC News:

A Florida man called police to report a comedian of Middle Eastern descent who he believed had told a joke that showed support for terrorism.

Standup comic Ahmed Ahmed, who is of Egyptian descent, poked fun at negative stereotypes of Muslims during a set at Off The Hook Comedy Club in Naples, Florida, on Saturday night.

“Clap if you’re from the Middle East,” Ahmed said, according to a clip posted on the club’s Facebook page.

After a smattering of cheers, Ahmed slyly responded: “All right. We got a handful of us in in here, nice. But, hey, it only takes one of us … to tell a joke.”

At least one member of the audience didn’t get the punchline.

The man called the Collier County Sheriff’s Department and told a deputy that Ahmed was organizing people of Middle Eastern descent to possibly commit terrorism.

“He said, `That’s great.’ He said, `We can organize our own little terrorist organization,’ and I don’t think that was right. I mean it really bothered me,” the caller said, according to audio of the call released by the sheriff’s department. “And I yelled out, `And the paddy wagon is going to be outside to get all of you.’ “

The man added: “My wife and I looked at each other and we felt very uncomfortable.”

The caller told authorities he was only at the club because he was given free tickets.

Ahmed told NBC News on Wednesday that the “it only takes one of us” line is in his regular act and it’s never sparked any blowback.

“I’ve told that joke about 1,000 times around the world,” Ahmed said. “Whatever he heard and what I said are two different things.”

The comic said he stuck around after Saturday’s show to meet with any fans who wanted to speak with him or snap pictures.

“Terrorists don’t do meet-and-greets,” the comic said. “We don’t say, `Death to America!’ and then, `But wait, let’s do selfies first.’ “

Deputies showed up to the club Sunday before Ahmed’s set that night, briefly interviewed him and left without incident.

“They couldn’t have been nicer,” Ahmed said of the responding deputies. “One of them said, `Don’t change anything, keep doing what you’re doing.’ That was refreshing to hear.”

Club owner Brien Spina said he’s been booking Ahmed to his club for more than a decade, and won’t stop now.

“For me it was a great joke. I stand behind him,” said Spina, who booked Ahmed for another gig, on Wednesday of next week. “His show is great.”

The comic said he has no ill will toward the caller. If anything, he wants to shake his hand.

“I want to say, `Thank you,’ to him,” Ahmed said. “He got more publicity for me in that one phone call than ever. You want to talk about a blessing in disguise.”

Given that this took place in one of the more reactionary portions of the Gunshine State, Ahmed is lucky that this guy just called the cops.

You just gotta laugh. At the morons.

Open thread!

The Only Way Out is Through: Moving Towards a New Normal and the 2020 Democratic Primary Candidates

There are several new polls out showing where the Democratic candidates stand a little over nine months before the first Democratic primary or caucus and eighteen months ahead of the general election in 2020. All of them are showing Vice President Biden with a strong plurality of support, followed by Senator Sanders, whose numbers are flat to sinking in the mid teens to low twenties, and then Senators Warren and Harris and Mayor Buttigieg all either closely clumped together or fighting for third position at this time in the high single/low double digits depending on the poll. In general they look something like this:

While I have my personal preferences at this point, who those candidates are are largely immaterial at this point as I expect that numbers will change as debates start, candidates fade, others move up, etc. That said, I think what we’re seeing with these polling results is a combination of name recognition combined with a strong desire by Democrats and Democratic leaning independents for a return to normalcy. And by normalcy I mean how things were before the President was elected and then sworn in. Specifically, for a return to where we all don’t have to watch what the President is doing and saying every day because none of us can be sure whether something dangerous is being done or announced via twitter or one of his minions is doing something behind the scenes that is abhorrent and dangerous. For a return to where the Senate actually functions within its intended design, instead of how it is functioning. Where the parties and those within them hadn’t sorted themselves so that there is really no ideological overlap at all between them because one party is a broad coalition spanning center to left, the other is a hard right party, and therefore there are no grounds for compromise and horse trading among members of the House and Senate from each party.

The problem with this politics of nostalgia, of course, is that you cannot return to past normalcy. I’ve often raised an important point in my work for the Army and DOD, in briefings, operational planning teams, working groups, etc, which is that once you break a state, a society, and an economy you cannot go back to how things were right before they were broken. You can only go forward. Things can be repaired, but there will always be scar tissue. And, as a result, a new equilibrium has to be established, which leads to a new normal. This may include some of the old normal, but it will also include other things that weren’t as part of the new normal. We saw this post WW II in our work rebuilding the countries of Europe and Asia. We saw this, and did our best to forget the whole thing, in regard to the Korean War. We saw this with Vietnam and quickly tried to ignore it. And we’ve seen this in what we’ve been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And we’re going to see this dynamic play out here in the US. If the President gets reelected, eight years of this insanity will solidify the currently nebulous and tenuous possibility of the new normal being kleptocratic white Christian herrenvolkism. If he loses, then there will be a move to a different new normal depending on who actually wins and whether the Democrats maintain their House majority and are able to flip four or five seats and retake the Senate. Regardless, there is no going back. But most people don’t understand this because they don’t think about it. And because it is painful to recognize, let alone admit and accept. Vice President Biden is a decent person, he’d be, like almost everyone running for the Democratic nomination and like Governor Weld who has announced that he will primary the President, a significant improvement over what we currently have. His hitting the President on his racism and bigotry and anti-Semitism and xenophobia right out of the gate is important, but the US he’s describing in the early days of his campaign no longer exists and it hasn’t existed for quite some time. Democrats are supporting him, though, because what he’s describing and what he’s selling is comforting. It is the false hope that the clock can be reset and we can go back to what we all thought was normal prior to about 10:30 PM EST on election day 2016. I do not know whether what Vice President Biden is selling is sustainable between now and the primaries, between the primaries and the general election. Whether Senator Sanders’ or Senator Harris’s or Senator Warren’s or Mayor Buttigieg’s or any of the other candidates’ alternative visions – of both a new normal and how to get there – will gain traction and become viable and sustainable between now and the primaries, is a question I can’t answer.

The only way out is through.

Open thread!