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Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Zero Sum Edition)

Needing more than momentum

Bernie Sanders won all three states in play on Saturday, trouncing Hillary Clinton in contests in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Sanders’ supporters have been saying for some time that Clinton’s inevitable candidacy is a creation of the media, while the media continues to argue on behalf of math (or at least attempts to before cutting things short in order to take yet another phone call from Donald Trump). But, the media (and math) may be right on this one. As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver argues,

“…about 65 percent of the remaining delegates are in California, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland — all states where Sanders trails Clinton in the polls and sometimes trails her by a lot… Sanders will also need to gain ground on Clinton in a series of medium-sized states such as Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky and New Mexico. Demographics suggest that these states could be close, but close won’t be enough for Sanders. He’ll need to win several of them easily.”

Yet, momentum doesn’t seem to be the problem for Bernie, as everywhere he goes he finds more supporters, human and avian, alike. And there are strong arguments for Sanders staying in the race until the end (though none of them can realistically involve the Senator winning the nomination). On the other hand, The “Bernie or Bust” crowd finds Clinton to be an inauthentic, warmongering, Republican wearing a Democrat’s clothing. The longer Sanders stays in, the more fervently it seems his young, energetic, passionate, social-media-obsessed supporters seem to disavow Hillary Clinton.

A digression: How did this large swath of twenty somethings come to support a 74-year old curmudgeon in a baggie suit? Really, Sanders is the perfect candidate for this generation. He was sitting there in congress, his ideas about income inequality and social justice collecting dust, then Millennials …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Race to the Bottom Edition)

TRUMP TRUMP

One of the more interesting developments of the post-Florida-primary week was The New York Times looking into the Republicans' “desperate” mission to stop Donald Trump from earning their party’s nomination. Even Mitch McConnell has joined the fight, which is surprising because the Senate Majority Leader’s priorities are typically as follows: reelection, stifle Obama, reelection, seek out a warm rock from which to absorb sun into his reptilian skin.

Speaking of reptiles: Rick Scott endorsed Trump this week and the Florida Times Union’s Tia Mitchell has some questions for the Florida Governor, one of which he failed to answer in a recent cringe-inducing visit to MSNBC’s Morning Joe.  

The Unpopular Crowd

OK, so the Republican establishment is willing to do whatever it takes to stop Drumpf. And John Kasich won Ohio. And he’s the most moderate candidate, right?

Kasich has balanced budgets. He has broad support among independents. He’s the Governor of the most important swing state. And he gives great hugs.

OK, Republicans: fall in line.

Not so fast… as it turns out, aside from all those previously mentioned qualifications, John Kasich is also a smug, ego-maniac with anger management issues, that nobody likes. And this makes him different from the rest of the Republican field, how?

Meanwhile, shortly after Ted Cruz locked up the Mormon vote in Utah, Jeb Bush went ahead and endorsed the guy whose own kids even find him untenably creepy. While we’re on the subject, if you haven’t seen this video of Ted Cruz’s campaign commercial outtakes, it’s definitely worth a gander, if for no other reason than to see what these assholes are willing to put their families through. 

 

A digression: Is it just me or does Heidi Cruz, especially under duress – which she appears to be in the above video – look and act a lot like Kathryn …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (It's all over now, baby blue edition)

It’s not over, technically. Important questions remain. For example:

-With Marco Rubio bowing out, who has the right stuff to win the support of Donnie Wahlberg?

-Does John “who the hell is John Kasich” Kasich have a chance in hell?

-All but finished mathematically, will Bernie court super delegates?

-Do Super Delegates use their x-ray vision to look at candidate's undergarments?

-Speaking of super powers, is the Justice League movie really going to include Aquaman? Come on, he carries a God Damn trident!

And

-How did we end up with two candidates that no one likes?

TYPICAL FLORIDA

Come one NYT. That’s a little harsh. Plenty of people like HRC. Some, like Dennis Rodman, even like Drumpf. Case and point, this graphic from last week incorporates census data and exit polls to find out what variables were correlated to a vote for Drumpf. Among the most highly correlated were being white and lacking a high school diploma, living in a mobile home, and a history of voting for segregationists, leaving little doubt as to who Florida Man supports.

But, in order to win the Sunshine state, one would imagine The Donald would need support beyond that of satirical Twitter handles and Wal-martivores. Especially with Little Marco Rubio being from the state. One would imagine.

Rubio, however, was DOA in FL. And it doesn’t sound like he’ll be throwing his weight (small and slight as it may be, according to Trump) behind his chief rival – at least from this concession speech.

IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE 

Where was Bernie on Tuesday? What happened? With computers down in polling stations across Duval County, it can be safely assumed that most Millennials in the area stayed home. But, what about everybody else?

After winning Michigan, the Ohio loss on Tuesday has to be devastating for the Sanders campaign. And it wasn’t even close in Florida. Clinton earned 74% of the vote in Miami, …   More

Flog Poll

FLOG POLL (REGGAE-NOMICS EDITION)

CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THE SILVER FOX

As I watched Sunday evening’s Democratic debate from Flint, MI, I was not alone in my being struck by how much actual policy and nuance was discussed, relative to the Republican debates, which focused more heavily on which candidate was more full of fallacies and which candidate had a tiny phallus. I was also struck by how pretty damn boring the whole thing was.

With Hillary Clinton’s commanding lead, most Dems seem content having the boring primary.

After Super Tuesday, many polls had HRC ahead by double-digit margins in both Mississippi and Michigan. Then, much to the chagrin of HRC supporters, we had to go and have  another Tuesday.

Sanders' Michigan victory surprised a lot of pollsters. And though Bernie was beaten, rather brutally, in Mississippi, his win in Michigan has given the Sanders campaign renewed hope that he’ll fare well moving forward… Or not.

Anderson Cooper will moderate as CNN and Univision host another boring ass debate tonight (Wednesday) from Miami.

WHO'S GOT TWO THUMBS, A DRESSAGE HORSE, AND IS DOWN WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?

After a sincere and potty-mouthed (for a stiff Mormon guy) scolding from ol’ Mitt,  Drumpfmentum was marginally slowed. The runner up from the 2012 Presidential election doubled down on his efforts to stop The Donald in the most logical way possible. He went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to read mean tweets.

My favorite has to be @VOTE4TRUMP_2016’s claim that he or she wished for a time machine so he or she could “go back and punch [Mitt Romney] in the throat.”

LOL, @VOTE4TRUMP_2016. Don’t we all? Wait… do we?

WHAT THE HEIL? 

Speaking of Drumpf, he seems to be doing everything he can to keep the Hitler comparisons fresh in the minds of voters, as a pledge of support from a crowd of mouth-breathers turned into an (un?)fortunate photo-op for the Republican frontrunner (below). …   More

Something for Everyone

Upon entering a Jacksonville Giants basketball game, spectators are greeted with something unique for a minor league sports team: a professional sports experience.

In spite of not having players of the highest caliber, the team's play, orchestrated by head coach Kevin Waters, is fast-paced and exciting, as well as consistently better than the opposition.

The value of the event is increased substantially by the entertainment outside of the actual game. With top class dancing and cheerleading, big money giveaways, and hilarious fan-featuring contests, the Giants have put together a spectacle that has helped make them one of the most successful franchises in minor league basketball.

The Giants came to town in 2010 as an expansion team in the American Basketball Association, an 84-team, 14-division league whose diminutive size casts a semi-serious light on the franchise.

This wasn't Jacksonville's first attempt at hosting a basketball team, nor its first rodeo with the ABA. The Jacksonville JAM were founded in 2006 and played in the ABA through 2008, when they joined the Premier Basketball League and started playing games at the University of North Florida. The team had grandiose plans to move on to play in Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, but did not survive past the 2008 season.

Determined not to follow in JAM’s disappointing footsteps, when team founder and owner Ron Sholes brought the Giants to the city in 2010, he made a point of using a professional marketing strategy that included immediately signing a contract to play in Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

The team took very little time to become successful, winning the ABA Championship in 2012 and again in 2013.

This professional model taken on early by the team may be one of the reasons for their local popularity and success. They currently hold the record for the highest regular season game attendance in ABA history, have their home games broadcast on local television …   More

Folio Weekly Magazine's EXCLUSIVE Interview with THE PRESIDENT

You probably already know that the president was in town last week; but you didn’t know that Folio Weekly Magazine scored an exclusive interview. That’s right, we’ve got that kind of clout. Before you ask why it took us this long to post this because, like, that was so last week, we are an alt weekly, folks, not the New York Times (also our fact checker was on strike*).

Okay, we actually scored an interview with the co-president. 

This is our exclusive interview with the incredibly charming, energetic and word-and-world-wise Tatiana Saleh, co-president of the Spoken Word Club at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and community outreach coordinator of Élan literary magazine. We interviewed Saleh in the midst of the beautiful frenzy of creativity being showcased at the March Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville.

We owe a special thanks to the Teen Advisory Board at the Jacksonville Public Library for serving our community by getting teens involved in their local libraries and for graciously helping us coordinate this interview.

(The interview is lightly edited for length and readability.)

Folio Weekly Magazine: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

Tatiana Saleh: I'm 18 years old, a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. I'm the eldest of five girls. I’m half black, half Hispanic. Been at D.A. studying creative writing for the past four years.

FWM: How long have you been co-president of the Spoken Word Club? 

T.S.: I became a member last year, co-president this year.

FWM: How did you feel when you became co-president?

T.S.: Responsible in the sense that when I was just a member of the club, it was just about what I wanted to say… Now it’s about helping others say what they want to say… Before Spoken Word I was really nervous speaking in public; I credit the club with being able to speak in public.

FWM: What do you do at …   More

The Flog Poll

The Flog Poll (Tuesdays with Drumpf Edition)

PANIC AT THE CRAZY SHOW

After last week, we were left wondering if both South Carolina winners were destined to be the nominees. Republicans, for their part, were freaking out. In the venomous, yet incisive way that is his calling card, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi articulated the Republicans' conundrum (Republicandrum?) thusly:

“It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.”

Facing the very real prospect that “a half-bright con man” might be their nominee, the Republican party establishment, now well aware of the fact that the electorate they spent the last eight years roiling doesn’t actually give a shit about Adam Smith or his Invisible Hand, were scrambling to get their guy Rubio to meet Trump on his own terms. At the CNN debate in Texas, the Florida Senator made valiant attempts to expose the real estate mogul as the huckster he is, taking Trump to task on the pyramid-scheme-ish sounding Trump University and suggesting that, if it wasn’t for his daddy’s money, The Donald would be “selling watches in Manhattan.” Rubio’s adopted insult-first-apologize-never strategy seemed to reach an inconceivable low when, at a rally in Virginia on Sunday, he hinted that his rival might have a small penis. Months ago I predicted in the pages of FWM, that Trump, while he wouldn’t win the nomination, would push the Republican party’s rhetoric in a much nastier direction. Hey, one outta two ain’t bad!

DRUMPF WITH POWER

But, unsurprisingly to anyone who has seen an episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, the most prescient takedown of the Republican frontrunner for President belonged to comedian John Oliver. If you’ve been on the Internets at all in the last few days, …   More

LET THERE BE LIT

On March 5, the 14th annual Douglas Anderson Writers’ Festival comes back home. After having outgrown the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts campus, where the festival began in the late 1990s, the last several festivals have been hosted at the University of North Florida, but with the $13 million expansion of Douglas Anderson’s campus, completed this year, the festival’s organizers decided it was high time to bring the festival home.

In the 20 years since its founding, the event has brought scores of the highest caliber writers to Jacksonville, including Billy Collins, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood and Richard Ford.

This year’s headliner is Andre Dubus III, best known for his best-selling novel “House of Sand and Fog,” upon which the 2003 film featuring Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley was based. Poets like Richard Blanco and William Trowbridge and fiction writers Tom Paine and Ron Carlson are offering Saturday workshops.

The 2016 festival, which features 17 writers, is the work of three D.A. creative writing teachers — Liz Flaisig, Tiffany Melanson, and Jennifer Bundy — and is funded largely by the school’s creative writing booster club.

Poet and creative writing teacher Melanson says that bringing the festival home allows the school to showcase its achievements to the community. In that way, it performs a role similar to D.A.’s Extravaganza, the annual showcase of music, writing, dance, cinematic arts, and visual arts that packs the house at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts each February.

Unlike Extravaganza, though, Melanson says the writers’ festival may have lost community understanding of its connection with the school when it was held at UNF.

Though the festival has featured some of the best-known American writers, it bills itself as “a student literary festival,” offering D.A. students a true immersion in literary arts.

Creative …   More

THE FLOG

DIGGING FOR ANSWERS

 

It has been too cold this week for gopher tortoises to climb out of their burrows, but when the weather warms up Tania Monserrate expects to see the critters inching across the sand between her house and the dunes surrounding Ft. Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach.

At least she hopes they’ll be there.

A three-story house is being built on the lot next door and Monserrate, who is expecting earthmovers to arrive any day now, says there is no turtle protection plan; she called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to check.

“Nobody gives me a straight answer or can tell me if they’re following the rules,” Monserrate says. “Spring is coming and the babies are coming. And now guys with construction trucks are going to dig and fill and bury the turtles.”

Monserrate, who worked as kindergarten teacher, says a FWC law enforcement officer visited the site this week and flagged a gopher tortoise hole on the property.

But, she says, “I haven’t seen any measuring of the burrows. It’s frustrating.”

Long-lived, inland creatures who build deep, complex burrows in dry, sandy upland areas, the gopher tortoise is indigenous to the southeastern United States. 

Over the years, development has decimated the gopher tortoise. Today it is categorized as threatened on the endangered species list. Most remaining members of the species live in Florida.

FWC rules say that construction must take place at least 25 feet away from an active burrow and that the gopher tortoises within 25 feet of construction must be removed. Monserrate says the burrows next door are well within 25 feet of the proposed building site.

Monserrate turned to the internet for help, posting the situation on Facebook and contacting Amelia Island EarthKeepers, a grassroots group of environmentalists with ties to the St. Marys Earthkeepers in Georgia. The group took swift action to try to …   More

The Flog

The FLOG POLL (Hug it out edition)

Hug it out, Bitch

Like tax cuts and a heavy predilection for horse ballet, dirty tricks have become a Republican Primary tradition in the Palmetto State. South Carolina is, after all, where Karl Rove and W. trashed John McCain with their now infamous whisper campaign.

So it was understandable, after a week of foaming malice, that some Republicans were taxed emotionally (albeit at the lowest effective rate).  After the big guns – specifically his mother, Babs, and big brother, Mr. “Mission Accomplished” – failed to help Jeb! earn more than 8 percent of the vote, the prodigal son of the Bush family tearfully dropped out of the race.  The outright dismissal of baby Bush by the Republican electorate has inspired countless think pieces, and certainly the former Florida Gov. looks much less qualified today than he did when he announced his candidacy in June. In the end, Jeb! spent $130 million and all he got was this very creepy youtube tribute:

Hey John Kasich, save one of those hugs for Jeb!

Who loves ya?

Trump on the other hand – who dominated the SC primary and Nevada Caucus, earning 62 delegates  – is likely more wealthy than he was when the race began, which according to this economist article is an amount that, while hard to pin-down, is also most certainly inflated by you know who.  After a week in which The Donald went hair to funny hat with The Pope, repeatedly professed his support for torture, and continued to talk like a fucking fourth grader (which makes sense because he “loves the poorly educated” ) The Donald’s win left many to wonder, if the Orange One might just be unstoppable.

I love you, man

If he ever recovers from the robot Rubio meme, the Florida Senator may be his party’s establishment’s last hope. That establishment, at least here in Jacksonville, threw its weight behind the Miamian last week, as Lenny Curry endorsed Rubio, leaving …   More