Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Two-year-old boy's birthday party is all about his favorite personal-injury attorney

Here's your feel-good story of the day....

A parents of a two year-old boy in Louisiana threw a birthday party for the little tyke built around his favorite TV personality: a personal injury attorney named Morris Bart.

From the Acadiana Advocate:
When her son turned 2 years old earlier this year, L’erin Dobra had the typical quandary — choosing a birthday party theme. Pirate? Firefighter? Superhero? Harry Potter? What?

“Before he could walk or talk, every time the Morris Bart commercial would come on, he was just fixated,” she says. “You couldn’t talk to him. You couldn’t do anything with him. He would just sit and stare at the TV. You could call his name, give him a toy. He didn’t care. He just wanted to watch the Bart commercial. He’s been that way ever since, and when he started talking he would say, ‘One call’ or ‘Bart, Bart, Bart, Morris Bart, Morris Bart.’

“They were not his first words, but they were a close second and third,” says Dobra.

Click here to read the complete story.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The way we were...1980s promotional film for Miami and Dade County

Great find from the hard working people at the Wolfson Archive who write:
TV newsrooms are busy places and brevity is highly valued. So the terse words "Metro Video" scrawled on the label of WTVJ archive tape X274 were perfectly adequate at the time.

We'd like a little more information about this video, but thirty years ago nobody in the newsroom had the job of explaining things for future generations.

So we've got this video, pretty clearly produced to promote Miami and Dade County as a tourist destination to potential tourists far and wide with pretty pictures and an original song.

Watch and listen an we think you'll agree with us -- that the song, with lyrics like "On Key Biscayne we'll go sailin' / Metrozooin' and Metrorailin'" is not as pretty as the pictures.

And if you have any information about who produced this video, under what circumstances, and where the rest of it ended up, let us know with a comment.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Michael Putney blasts 'stinky' PAC tied to Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Commissioner Jonah Wolfson


Michael Putney
This morning, Local 10's Michael Putney closed out "This Week in South Florida" with a blistering commentary directed at Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

Putney is, inarguably, South Florida's most experienced and respected political reporter. In his four decades in Miami he's chased more than a few crooked pols down courthouse steps around town.

So he didn't waste any time in calling out Levine and Miami Beach Commissioner Jonah Wolfson for their involvement in raising money for a sketchy political action committee chaired by Wolfson.

Last month, the Miami Herald's Joey Flechas reported the PAC, Relentless for Progress, had raised $500,000 in just 30 days.

Putney hit Levine and Wolfson for "strong-arming" city vendors into making huge contributions to the PAC.

There's a Miami Beach city ordinance that prohibits vendors who do business with the city from contributing to candidates' campaigns. So Levine and Wolfson skirt the law by calling vendors and asking them to contribute to the PAC instead.

In his commentary Putney mentions one of the PAC's ads that's now running on cable channels county-wide and that features a walking-talking Mayor Levine.

The ad was crafted by a Tampa-based firm called the Victory Group that coincidentally was responsible for producing Levine's campaign spots when he first ran for mayor in 2013 and when Levine was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton. Ironically, the Victory Group's client list is top-heavy with Republican politicians.

Read Putney's commentary below, or watch the video at the top of this post:

Before we leave you this morning, a personal perspective about a political fund-raising campaign underway on Miami Beach that doesn't pass the smell test. The money....about a million bucks so far... is pouring into a political action committee called "Relentless for Progress."

Some of that money is paying for this TV ad featuring Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who is seen bragging about all the good things he and his commission buddies are doing. In fact, there are a lot of good things going on...on the Beach, thanks to Mayor Levine.

[Levine's] a smart guy, a successful businessman and a leader in the campaign to raise awareness about sea level rise and climate change and he was a champion for installing huge pumps on South Beach to alleviate tidal flooding. Good for him. The mayor was also right to stop bars on Ocean Drive from serving drinks outside after 2 a.m. so it didn't become another Bourbon Street.

But the Mayor and his friend Jonah Wolfson, a Miami Beach commissioner who's term limited, are engaged in a fund-raising campaign that just stinks. Their political action committee is strong-arming city vendors for big contributions. The city attorney says it's OK legally and perhaps it is.

But it's not OK morally or ethically. And when two Miami Beach commissioners asked to send the question to the Miami-Dade ethics commission, they were voted down. Unbelievable.

Demanding money from city vendors just is not right. And we're talking about "donations" that range from $20,000 to $100,000.

The ethics commission says it's going to investigate on its own, as well it should. But that will take months. Next fall's election will be long over by the time the ethics commission weighs in.

In the meantime, all that PAC money will be used to elect commission candidates who are supporters of Mayor Levine. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with running a slate of candidates.

What is wrong is taking money from people who do business with the city...who are limited in the amount they can give individual candidates, but aren't limited in how much they can give to a PAC. The PAC then helps their favored candidates. It's all very clever. And all very stinky.

Mayor Levine has a bright political future. His political action committee is dimming the luster.


Video footnote: Here's one of Mayor Levine's campaign ads from 2013 when he talked about - with a straight face - Miami Beach's "corrupt politicians." Oh, the irony!


Political Cortadito: Ethics Commission looks into Miami Beach shakedown PAC

Political Cortadito: Miami Beach PAC seems to cast wider net than city race

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pinellas County man gets a visit from environmental inspector over complaint about smoke from his barbecue grill


UPDATES: St. Petersblog has the rest of the story: CLICK HERE

The Tampa Bay Times reports, “There have been 15 smoke and odor complaints received since September 2014 related to the subject residence, none of which resulted in a citation from the county. Fourteen of those complaints came from one neighbor. Additionally, the City of St. Petersburg issued a citation to the property owner in 2014 regarding the possession of commercial grilling equipment in a residential neighborhood.


Okay, so Ronald Reagan did get a few things right.

Here he is on Aug. 12, 1986...

Now keep that in mind as you watch this video of a Pinellas County "Environmental Specialist" talking to a homeowner a few days ago because someone complained about the smoke coming from his barbecue grill. (Apparently it's perfectly legal to barbecue...but the smoke cannot leave your property.)

Video by Scotty Jordan. 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

I need your help

If you like what I do here, and you'd like to see it continue, then I could really use your help. I hope you'll consider making a donation to help keep this blog going.

Just click on the Paypal "donate" button at the top of the right-hand column and follow the instructions.

Thank you for your support and continued readership.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Marco Rubio says President Obama has 'no class' because he does 'selfie-stick videos'

A supporter takes a selfie with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 
after his announcement last April that he was running 
for president. (Alan Diaz/AP)
Click image to enlarge.


Via the Washington Post:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that President Obama has "no class."

In an interview with "Fox and Friends," Rubio argued that his GOP rival Donald Trump has not behaved in a way that is "worthy of the office that he seeks." Then, he pivoted to going after Obama.

"We already have a president now that has no class," said Rubio. The Republican, like most of his GOP opponents, has been an outspoken critic of Obama. But his disapproval has mostly been on policy, making his Wednesday comments especially notable.

"I mean, we have a president now that you know, does selfie stick videos, that invites YouTube stars there, people that, you know, eat cereal out of a bathtub," Rubio continued. "You just saw the interview he did right now, where he goes on comedy shows to talk about something as serious as Iran. The list goes on and on."

As evidenced by the photo at the top of this post, Rubio has no problem with posing for selfies, but presumably will stop the practice once he's elected president. But until then.... 

There irony here is that Rubio made his "no class" charge while appearing on a low-brow show like "Fox & Friends."

In case you don't watch "Fox & Friends," it's a show that, when compared to the Jerry Springer Show, makes the latter look like Masterpiece Theater.

"Fox & Friends" hosts once tried to roast marshmallows over an open flame using their bare hands and plastic spoons.

And just two days ago during a discussion about a shark that attacked surfer Mick Fanning, F&F co-host Brian Kilmeade wondered out loud why beach officials couldn't do more to clear the oceans of sharks to prevent the predators from coming in contact with humans.
“You would think that they would have a way of clearing the waters before a competition of this level,” he opined. “But I guess they don’t.”

“Sure,” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck agreed. “If a three-time world champion surfer isn’t safe, who is?”

But in making the charge that Obama has "no class" because he appeared on a "comedy show," Rubio conveniently ignored the fact that he once appeared on the same show.

Stay classy, and thirsty, Marco.