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COLUMN

Happytown

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So, here’s the setup, according to the Associated Press. Scott says that he may not push too hard on school vouchers or revamping the state university system to create droids, because “we’ve got to do it right.” Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon asserts that he may not press for the controversial division of the Florida Supreme Court intended to allow his every egotistical whim to bypass real scrutiny and become law. And good old Florida Senate President Mike “Hairball” Haridopolos doesn’t even want anything at all this year because he got everything he wanted at last year’s conservative legislative Christmas party. Besides, everybody’s going to be too busy with their “save my job” redistricting exercise to look up and legislate, right?

Wrong. Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, D-Weston, called her masters’ collective bluff, pointing out that this legislative session is likely to be polluted with more of the same bible-thumping. Anti-choice bills have already been filed, and other conservative hay-makers like school prayer aren’t far behind. Even scarier, that wing-nut notion known as fetal personhood(see “Planned personhood,” Jan. 27) drew the ire of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz last week. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Wasserman Schultz (full disclosure: our girlfriend) called the petition-driven personhood movement “the most extreme assault on a woman’s right to choose in a generation.” By the time you read this, the geniuses in Mississippi will have already cast their vote on a personhood amendment, and Florida is not far behind – Personhood Florida has collected 20,000 of the required 70,000 signatures the measure needs to get a state Supreme Court review and a place on our 2012 ballot. The main Personhood USA group made the mistake last week of admitting that the legislation would in fact ban some forms of birth control, so their whole story has been – surprise! – a sham. Which would be fine if it were left to fringes in their fallout shelters. It isn’t. Guess whose name is among the petition signatures? Mr. Satisfied, Mike Haridopolos. We are about to get screwed by a hairball.

Carrying on with balls, did you know that Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic’s most expensive toy, is actually a bargain at $16.6 million per year? Neither did we, until last week when we found ourselves on the website of the Orlando Pinstriped Post. (Perhaps it was due to our sports Spidey sense – the NBA season should have started last week, as well.) Dedicated to every conceivable aspect of the Orlando Magic – from Dwight’s new $100 “adiPower Howard” sneaker to the traitorous rookie who eloped with a French basketball team – the Post amplifies the obsession of the Orlando Sentinel without the codependent partner vibe. The Sentinel, through uncomfortable levels of attention, has put the Magic on a stratospherically high pedestal. Then, when the team fails to win a title (as do 96 percent of teams in the NBA), it starts to frantically, tearfully chop at the base of the tower. The Pinstriped Post, on the other hand, is a more sober Magic media outlet, notable for its wonkish – dare we say academic? – reports, such as an Oct. 18 post titled “With Some Exceptions, the Orlando Magic Overpaid Their Players in 2010/2011.”

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