YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: lucky Bondi, lucky Obama, unlucky cities and an unlucky vase



THAT HILARIOUS MOMENT WHEN ATTORNEY GENERAL PAM BONDI SHOWS HERSELF TO BE EXACTLY THE CARICATURE WE ASSUMED HER TO BE, THIS TIME TALKING TO STUDENTS AT HER ALMA MATER: “Although Bondi’s comments focused mostly on her record as attorney general, she also fielded questions about how she managed to become attorney general, her time as a student at UF and her time in law school. And it is here, rather than her discussion of her views on current policies, that most exemplified the Rick Scott administration’s disconnect with the average young Floridian. ‘When I was in college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do,’ she said. ‘I wasn’t even sure I wanted to practice law

When I was in law school, I did a certified legal internship at the state attorney’s office, and my dad conspired with Bill James, who was the state attorney at the time because my dad was so worried I didn’t want to practice law. And so I did this internship at the state attorney’s office, and when you’re certified, you can try jury trials when you’re in law school, so I had four jury trials when I was in law school. Never wanted to do anything else.’ In what was apparently meant to be an effort to connect with those of us students who aren’t sure what direction we want to go post-graduation, she instead told a story of the well-connected being afforded valuable opportunities in spite of a lack of drive to earn them. An earlier claim in the evening of ‘I don’t think I’ve ever made a resume in my life’ is the type of situation that students from modest means will likely never encounter. We cannot get a firsthand preview of life in a high-profile profession before deciding to work for it, and we will probably not get a job handed to us once we graduate without needing to apply.” (via the Independent Florida Alligator)



[youtube 4vvBAONkYwI]


AND THIS IS WHY HHS SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS WAS GRANDSTANDING WITH MAYOR BUDDY DYER YESTERDAY. THE TIDES ARE TURNING. THE REPUBLICAN HATE NARRATIVE WILL TAKE A HIT: “Bashing Obamacare will always have resonance for the GOP’s conservative base. But if you’re trying to win the votes of independents, it’s more profitable to target a failed program than a successful one. Critics will doubtless try to blame Obamacare for anything bad that happens to anyone’s health insurance before the November election. But all of this is just noise without the central narrative of a “failed program.” Attack ads against vulnerable Democratic senators, such as Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, are already trying to paint Obamacare as a character defect — the president and his supporters ‘lied’ when they said everyone could keep their insurance. The response from Democrats should be to shift the focus to the actual program and its impact. Imperiled incumbents can point to constituents who are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act in life-changing ways.” (via Washington Post)


HMMMM, SOUNDS VAGUELY FAMILIAR. GENTRIFY OR DIE, ETC.: Cities are transforming, and it's palpable. The reliable no-frills coffeehouse shut down and two months later, there's an artisan bakery selling baguettes for $6. Your favorite barber tells customers he can no longer afford the rent; meanwhile a chain salon around the corner has an hour wait.  These scenes are all too familiar for the urban dweller, from Philadelphia to Portland, Oregon. On the surface, they're hallmarks of gentrification. That narrative starts with educated middle-income (and typically white) 20- and 30-somethings moving into a predominantly working-class community for bigger bang for their buck. Other yuppies follow suit. Eventually the neighborhood is made amenable to their palettes and preferences. Property values rise, minorities are displaced, and the public promenades that reflect urban diversity begin to look and feel otherwise. A spate of mainstream articles, books, and policy papers published in the last decade have warned civic leaders about this "new" form of urbanization. However, gentrification isn't new -- it's actually baked into the economic forces that have been driving urban development since the 1950s. If we want to address gentrification's ills, we need to address this force that undergirds it. (via The Atlantic)


GASP, A TANTRUM IN THE MIAMI ART WORLD ENDS IN PIECES!: A Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $1m vase at Miami’s new art museum in what appears to be a form of protest. Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief after Sunday’s incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). According to a Miami Police Department arrest affidavit, a security guard told officers that Caminero picked up a colored vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. When told to put it down, the security guard said Caminero smashed it on the floor. A police affidavit says Caminero told officers he broke the vase to protest the museum’s lack of local artist displays. Caminero, a painter who lives in Miami, declined comment when reached by telephone Monday. He said he will have an afternoon news conference Tuesday. ‘I’m going to answer all the questions,’ he said. The police affidavit lists the value of the vase as $1m, quoting the museum’s security officials. Criminal mischief can be a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison when the property damaged is worth more than $1,000. (via The Guardian)



[youtube AmCTZT6w6Mw]





We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.