On the other side of the picket line will be those resisting America's rightward shift: Code Pink matriarchs clad as papier-mâché vulvas, carbon-neutral nouveau hippies, and the moldy leftovers of the Occupy movement. More than 15,000 protesters are expected. Videos threatening violence, supposedly by international hacker group Anonymous, already have been uploaded online.

"Mayor Buckhorn can shove his authoritarian zones up his ass," says a masked protester in one video. "When protest becomes illegal, there is no other option left but to fight."

Buckhorn says demonstrators have nothing to fear: "I've been very clear from the get-go that if you're coming here to protest, you're welcome. But if you step out of line, and if you're coming here to cause mayhem, we are going to deal with you."

The mayor is a cheery man with bright, beady eyes dropped like blueberries onto a doughy face. In true American fashion, he'll be happy if he can survive August with maximum profit and minimum scandal.

"I'm agnostic until the convention is over. For me, it's not about red-state, blue-state. It's about green," Buckhorn admits, estimating the convention will bring Tampa more than $175 million.

Bipartisan bonhomie goes only so far, though. The Secret Service prohibits guns within the convention center, but in a state with more than a million concealed-weapons permits, Tampa will be swimming in sidearms. When Buckhorn asked the governor to ban concealed weapons temporarily in town during the convention, Scott scoffed.

"I'm not an anti-gun kind of guy. I've got guns. Up until probably six months ago, I had a concealed-weapons permit," Buckhorn boasts. "But to interject guns into a potentially combustible environment to me is absurd."

He says Scott's snarky response was probably written by the NRA. "He has his opinions about the Second Amendment, and he isn't going to let the safety of the public or our police officers get in the way of it."

Scott's decision isn't popular in left-leaning Tampa, but it has gone down well in nearby, rabidly Republican Hillsborough County.

"Who's more likely to have a gun: a pinko commie liberal or a God-fearing Republican?" reasons Joseph Wendt, a Romney supporter in the area. "If you're a bunch of liberal activists going to protest a conservative event where people are legally allowed to carry guns, you better behave."

Buckhorn's stance hasn't exactly endeared him to progressives plotting to protest the convention, either. They decry his plan to put them in three "clean zones" located several blocks from the Times Forum. And they fear retaliation from the 4,000 heavily armed police officers — paid for by a $50 million Homeland Security grant — who will cordon off downtown.

"We're not going to do anything illegal," says Corey Uhl, head of Students for a Democratic Society at the University of South Florida. "But with the recent frameups of NATO protesters in Chicago, you never know what the government will do."

Others arguably already are breaking the law. A group called the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign rented the land behind an Army surplus store near the Forum. They spread mulch on the parking lot, set up a portable toilet, erected Pepto-Bismol-pink tents, and called it "Romneyville." Local officials say the tents violate zoning laws, but protesters say they'll handcuff themselves to fences rather than leave.

"Republicans can't ignore us," says Bruce Wright, one of the campaign's organizers. "This is the future of the United States if things don't change."

Buckhorn's office has tried to contain the craziness by barring protesters from bringing props such as puppets and masks. But he will have his hands full with Code Pink's vagina costumes.

The outfits were inspired by an incident last year when a Democratic state rep joked that the only way for a Florida woman to avoid Republicans' invasive reproductive regulations was to "incorporate her uterus." Republicans scolded him for using the word on the House floor.

"These stupid old-boy white men want to legislate our vaginas," says Anita Stewart, a home healthcare practitioner. "They came out of a vagina and spend the rest of their lives trying to crawl back up in one, but they don't want to hear the word.

"We're not in the 17th century anymore," Stewart says. "Vagina!"


"Governor!" The shout spun Rick Scott away from his budget presentation and toward the press pool. "You benefit from hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars every year," asked a reporter he didn't recognize. "So would you be willing to pee into this cup to prove to Florida taxpayers that you're not on drugs, that you're not using that money for drugs?"

"I've done it plenty of times," Scott stuttered.

"Would you pass this forward to the governor?" the reporter said, handing another journalist an empty plastic piss cup.

Sadly, Scott didn't take a leak. But the governor had been punked. Two months later, the stunt aired on an episode of The Daily Show, lambasting Scott for his welfare drug testing.

It was the most visible victory yet for a native son bent on airing his home state's unparalleled craziness. "When I first came to Florida as a boy, I said to myself: One day I'm going to ask the governor of this state to give me a urine sample in the middle of a press conference," says Aasif Mandvi, the comedian turned satirist. "Finally my dream came true, and I can cross it off my bucket list."

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19 comments
jesuschristodenogale
jesuschristodenogale

Owebama is a true racist. Why does the US President hate the advancement of the standard of living for Mexico’s poor? Barrack Hussein Obama; how dare you deprive Mexico these young educated and motivated people? These US educated and motivated illegal alien occupiers (brought to the US as babies) now in the US are the only hope for Mexico and you want to keep them here in the US. They could start businesses, create jobs, and improve the standard of living for the poor people of Mexico. Yet you want to be selfish and deprive Mexico of these talented youth who could make life better for all the people of Mexico. SHAME ON YOU! Have you no compassion for the poor now living in Mexico?  Gustavo Arellano, Steve Gallardo, Nicky Diaz Santillan, and La Raza need to insist that all these young educated and talented Mexicans be sent back to Mexico to help improve the standard of living for the poor Mexicans. Are you with us for the good of Mexico and its people?

Geenius
Geenius

HILARIOUS!!!,,What a pathetic 'piece of shyt' this stream of pathological lies is. Absolutely fascinating. There are 'the reasons' and 'the REAL reasons'  So why do people as bitter and resentful as this author and this joke paper, lie with this much pride and conviction to deceive? it's always over the 'definition of what is right and what is wrong'. Too bad their false conclusions and lying minds make them so pathetically mentally ill.  The mind that habitually lies is not sound and is diseased. Frustrated, desperate, always trying to force fit lies into a reality that just won't allow that square peg lie into the round hole of truth. They can't even go 24 hours without lying to themselves and others nor recognize truth anymore.

matlock
matlock

The New Times has turned into a worthless left wing political rag. Unless you are a liberal nut or in the pro illegal alien crowd there is no use for this fish wrap. I do pick up a copy from time to time when I need to light a fire.

bgray59
bgray59

Fun piece.  Looking forward to the "Gonzo  Guide" to the democratic convention.  Maybe you can show the kid with his lip torn off that Michelle's health care policy denied treatment to.

Thane.Eichenauer
Thane.Eichenauer

"And murder essentially is legal, thanks to the Stand Your Ground law."

 

Y'all are completely deluded and obviously think that if you repeat your claim often enough that someone will believe it.  

coyote_slim
coyote_slim

Wow and, will the Rethugs give Benny 'walking on the Sea of Galilee' Quayle some prime time? I mean, he bagged a bottle of baptismal Galilee for his urchin.

xinruaa11
xinruaa11

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fairymagic13
fairymagic13

Get em Issac - they're Godless Republicants and the LORD needs his vengence for the obstructionism they have wrought upon the chosen people, citizens of the United States! 

Robert
Robert

I've always been a big fan of Hunter Thompson, and I've always hated it when people try to imitate him.    

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

The corruption in the Republicant party is unbelievable.  I remember before the Iraq war stated, I was playing with my band at an expensive restaurant and some Republican corporate type was there with a bevy of girls-of-the-night and some business friends.  He was celebrating because he had already lined up a number of military contracts to support the war in Iraq - this was 2 months before the war started.  He said that he would be making millions on the war for basically doing nothing.  Iraq was a complete welfare move for military industrial types.   There was no objective to that war except making military contractors wealthy so that they would support Bush in his second run for the Presidency. 

 

They are a disgusting group of backward talking assholes! 

 

Artfan
Artfan

Ryan Sealock's illustrations for this story are delightful!

suewallick74
suewallick74

This article makes no sense.  IT'S ABOUT JOBS AND THE ECONOMY STUPID.  He's living in the past.  Our future is bleak.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

wow.....

 

Well stated

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @matlockIf you use the paper as fish wrap or to light a fire then it certainly does have worth and you've conflicted yourself. Not to mention that you must enjoy the articles or you wouldn't bother posting in response to one. Yojo.

 

saltywench
saltywench

 @coyote_slim His Mommy has a call in right now to make sure her baby gets the proper face time.

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

 @coyote_slimAs of August 29th he will no longer be an elected official... at the end of his current term in January.

 

restitutiontouscitizensfirst
restitutiontouscitizensfirst

 @suewallick74 aMEN TO THAT!  I don't think this site allows posting links - make google your friend and let your fingers do the walking . . . . Real Simple Math - Unemployment - they'll walk you through the real simple math to see that our true unemployment rate is 49%!

 
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