The Tampa City Council on Thursday said they would ask Florida Gov. Rick Scott to ban firearms outside the Republican National Convention later this year.
The council has already issued a citywide ban on items like pieces of wood, switchblades, slingshots, containers of bodily fluids and even squirt guns. A so-called "Clean Zone" around the convention area would prohibit string longer than six inches, glass containers, light bulbs, portable shields and gas masks. A smaller protest area would prevent demonstrators from having camping gear, bottles, cans and umbrellas. The Secret Service has said that only law enforcement will be able to carry firearms inside of the convention center.
But Tampa now needs Scott's help because state law prevents local governments from regulating guns. City officials believe that Scott has the executive power to temporarily suspend that law.
"We believe it is necessary and prudent to take this reasonable step to prevent a potential tragedy," council member Lisa Montelione wrote in a draft of the letter to the governor.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said that the state law makes the city "look silly."
"The absurdity of banning squirt guns but not being able to do anything about real guns is patently obvious," Buckhorn explained last week. "Given the nature and the potential dynamic of this event, I think it would make sense that you would not want firearms introduced into that environment by people other than law enforcement."
The mayor suggested that Tampa could "become fodder for the late-night comics because of something that has nothing to do with us and nothing to do with our ability to control the situation, and it's elevated by Trayvon Martin, obviously."
Legal experts told the Tampa Bay Times that in the emotionally-charged protest environment, another tragedy could take place that was covered by Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law that allows gun owners to use deadly force in public places without a duty to retreat.
"Political leaders mindful of public safety should be able to solve Tampa?s gun control problem," a New York Times editorial said earlier this month. "But there?s scant few of them in the statehouse. The scene developing in Tampa is a national embarrassment that spotlights how timorous American politicians are before the gun lobby."
The National Rifle Association did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
This week, the space shuttle Enterprise made low altitude passes over D.C. and New York City on the way to its retirement on the deck of the USS Intrepid, and despite setbacks, America's love affair with space travel was on full display up and down the east coast. Sadly, we find ourselves without ground to orbit capability, even as the sleek spacecraft wowed onlookers below one last time. But that does not have to be permanent. In that spirit of optimism, a little more info on the asteroid miners featured here last week, came out:
Asteroid mining promises to be a multidecade effort requiring many billions of dollars of investment. But in that respect ? and in the technological challenges that must be overcome ? it's similar to deep-sea oil drilling, said Planetary Resources co-founder and co-Chairman Peter Diamandis.I can't imagine a better use for fossil fuel extraction technology than mining the asteroids for precious stardust forged in the heart of ancient supernova. Forget about the jobs or the science, think of the end goal: We're talking about panning for celestial gold!
"They've literally created robotic cities on the bottom of the ocean, 5, 10 thousand feet below the ocean's surface ? fully robotic cities that then mine 5 to 10 thousand feet down below the ocean floor to gain access to oil," Diamandis said.
A cyberbarrel of oil for your thoughts.
And how about crowd-sourcing some real pennies for cartoonist, Stephanie McMillan, who has given me permission to reprint her cartoons. Here?s the link to Paypal where you can donate to her if you like her cartoons. CLICK HERE (then click where it says DONATE).
Being ferociously uncoordinated I've never been much at team sports and still less at those that require skill.I've always liked baseball though and it looks like it would be fun to play but I wouldn't know.When I was quite young I went to the ball[...]
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So what are your commuting nightmares? Though public transportation isn?t a practical option for me, those experiences count too. Do you avoid the juvenile garbage that is ubiquitous on morning radio and opt for music like I do? Let it out here. This is[...]
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For-profit schools are overpriced, poor-quality ripoffs. The best of them are worse than the worst public colleges. Better to just bar them from receiving tax dollars. But that would be defying our corporate masters.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThis is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.Find the past "On This Day in History" here. April 28 is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years)[...]
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Ed Brayton: If Romney wins, his Supreme Court choices will be doing damage for decades to come.
Stonekettle Station: The Republican primary demolition derby produced a farcical result, so let's take the VP choice in the same direction.
This Awkward Life: Watch for the 10 signs that you might be a political d-bag.
Ehrensteinland: If Romney seems stiff and robotic, maybe there's a reason.
Round-up by Infidel753; tips to mbru [at] crooksandliars [dot] com.
Visual source: Newseum
Komen Works to Revive Its ImageKomen can't recover its image until CEO Nancy Brinker and her board loyalists resign. That stubborn fact won't go away.
Although the breast cancer foundation rescinded a decision to curb funding for Planned Parenthood, support for affiliates in Indiana, above, and elsewhere still lags.
Let?s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.The best "centrist" article you'll read in a long time. It's so obvious, even the "worship at the alter of non-partisan" crowd is coming around, and these two are well respected for their knowledge of Congress. The fact is that it is the Republicans that are the problem. Good for Mann and Ornstein for saying so.
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
Frank Luntz, in attempting to correct myths about conservatives, writes that conservatives are really your Occupy Wall Street allies.
Fully 66 percent of conservatives consider the growing gap between the rich and the poor a ?problem,? according to a poll I conducted in January, while 21 percent call it a ?crisis.?Even if he is correct, that has nothing whatever to do with the radical Republicans in Congress (see Mann and Orenstein). PS, for Luntz to claim kinship means Occupy has won the debate (see Boehner and the House get slammed on Congressional defense of student loans and how it's paid for).
Judging by this week?s debate, you would think that student loans are young people?s only priority. They?re not. In fact, a cleverly designed survey released this week by Harvard University?s Institute of Politics asked respondents ages 18 to 29 to choose between pairings of issues to determine which ones they felt were more important. Among domestic issues, creating jobs almost always won, while combating climate change almost never did. Immigration is also a losing issue (except when paired with climate change), while access to affordable health care is a winner. I found the results so interesting that I wanted to share them. Enjoy. [link]Kathleen Parker writes Yet Another Stupid Article (YASAź) about how Obama's slow-jamming the news on Jimmy Fallon is good for John McCain. I will remind you that when Bill Clinton played the sax on Arsenio, the world ended as we know it. Clinton, of course, went on to lose the election in 1992?oh, wait. He didn't lose. Never mind. And do note the complaint against Obama isn't that the bit on Fallon didn't work. It's that it did. Note to Parker: when you got nothin', you write nothin'. It's a pundit risk whenever you start a column.
Does all of the above this mean that the Post model is wrong in recent elections? Not really. If you care about estimating vote share (which I don?t), there are clearly cases between 1992 and 2008 where the model overestimates the incumbent party?s vote share by 3-5 points, and also a couple cases?in particular, 1996 and 2000?where the difference between the model?s prediction and what actually happened is small. If you care about picking the winner?and this is what I?m more attentive to?in only one case (1992) did the model call the popular vote winner incorrectly. (Of course, I would never rely on only one model anyway. Averages of models are more likely to be accurate [pdf].)The model called 1992 wrong? That's the year Clinton played Heartbreak Hotel on Arsenio.
This week's episodes originally aired November 4, 2005.Duck Dodgers In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock, Season 3, Episode 19 [...]
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