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NEWS

Our dumb state Vol. 8

Attack of the banana cream Republicans

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It’s so easy to get distracted in the Sunshine State. Just as your mother warned, staring too long into the burning brightness of the sun is likely to render you blind, impotent, cancerous or governor. So you just stand there in your little rented patch of swampland, devoid of will or direction, and take the nightmarish lashings paraded out as “news” like the lumps that they are. “I deserve this,” you mutter under your breath, rationalizing that it’s all worth it for the weather, right? Then, on cue, the state shaped like a hairdryer blows its sickeningly hot summer air up your nostrils, begging your olfactory senses to differ. Despair leads to despondence leads to disaffection, and before you know it, you’re as lifeless as a rain-soaked teddy bear mildewing outside a makeshift memorial for a dead celebrity baby. Looks like you’ve made it.

Just like us! If you count the Plexiglas ceiling of psychological exhaustion that bounces us back to this serialized rant of disgust as making it. What we’re really making is a futile cry for sanity, some little smoke signal sent up in hope that it’ll find a rescue helicopter carved out of reason. In its seven previous incarnations, “Our Dumb State” has been a lot of things: a drunk friend with a slurring yarn to unravel, a downcast glare at the crack-addled flora and fauna of the state’s most creative domestic relationships, a snake eating a baby, a redneck waterpark. Typically, it’s been a tickertape bonfire of newsfeed miscellany peppered with shards of broken politics – a collection of filthy pieces to be laughed at by the world, albeit nervously.

But on the occasion of this, our latest compendium of idiocy designed for your reading pleasure, the guffaws are almost entirely topical in nature. No less absurd than your average bestiality dust up in a trailer, mind, but somehow that much more awe-inspiring for the fact that most of them involve elected officials proudly wearing neckties. Sure, it’s easy to point and laugh as Gov. Rick Scott has his ass handed to him by protesters at a Tampa doughnut shop, but in sunny Florida, such misguided on-the-job training is just the tip of the poisonous icing. This, dear readers, is where bad policy comes to live and bad people come to die, a loud and unyielding tapestry of hucksters playing behind-the-scenes shuffleboard with the public good. Wish you were here. Wait, why are we here again? Masochism. Welcome to Our Dumb State!

HAIR OF THE DOG

Foppish blond rodent (and Florida Senate President) Mike Haridopolos had already made his way into the proverbial liberal crosshairs before dipping his claws into potential national prominence as a U.S. Senate candidate earlier this year. The Merritt Island Republican achieved just the kind of record that one has come to expect from the various prominent elephants in the room: He took a second job making $75,000 a year lecturing to some poor University of Florida students, wrote a virtual coloring book on political theory for which he was paid $152,000 by Brevard Community College and accidentally withheld more than $500,000 from his financial disclosures. All of this, of course, would make him the ideal “business” candidate for the Republicans to put forth in their haste to unseat Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012.

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