Disney Turns Its Billion Dollar Florida Investment Back Into This Pumpkin

Bibbidy bobbidy BOO.

In March of 2023, the Walt Disney Company and Florida's bigoted governor managed to make the Rule Against Perpetuities trend on Twitter. For one shining moment, lawyers could trot out this relic of property law arcana to explain how Mickey Mouse had just spanked Ron DeSantis via a contract tied to the grandchildren of Britannia's newly coronated king. It was a glorious time!

It seems impossible to top that insanity, although Governor Ron DeSantis is laboring under the delusion that he can win the 2024 Republican presidential primary by finding ways to be even more odious than Donald Trump, so ... who knows? But, this week there were two funny developments in the ongoing fucktussle between DeSantis and The Mouse.

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Parents, Authors, Publisher Make Florida Book Censorship A Federal Case​

What we need now is a drag queen named 'Sue Florida.'

Americans are getting pretty sick and tired of rightwing scolds trying to turn the country into a year-round Jesus Camp. Now the resistance to the last couple years of moral panics is spreading beyond the awesome kids forming banned book clubs and the civil rights groups suing to throw out unconstitutional laws. In Florida, Big Bidniss is throwing its money into the fight, too, as Judd Legum writes in his Popular Information newsletter.

In response to the Escambia County School Board's removals and restrictions on school library books, the board is being sued in federal court by some very big guns: publisher Penguin (heh) Random House, five authors, two parents of children in the school district, and the freedom to read nonprofit PEN America, alleging that the school board is violating the First Amendment rights of all the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges that the school board banned and restricted books "based on their disagreement with the ideas expressed in those books." In so doing, the school board has "prescribed an orthodoxy of opinion that violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments."

“In Escambia County, state censors are spiriting books off shelves in a deliberate attempt to suppress diverse voices. In a nation built on free speech, this cannot stand,” Suzanne Nossel, the CEO of PEN America, said. “The law demands that the Escambia County School District put removed or restricted books back on library shelves where they belong.”

If "Escambia County" and "censorship" ring a bell, that would be because Escambia County is home to Moms for Liberty And Censorship activist Vicki Baggett, a high school English teacher and self-appointed Fahrenheit 451 fire crew who has filed over 150 book challenges.

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Ron DeSantis Achieves New Dickishness Personal Worst

Signs a boatload of bad bills, is bad.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has had a busy week, signing several bills that will further encrappen the state and make life miserable for LGBTQ folks, all in the hope that he'll prove himself authoritarian enough to appeal to Republican primary voters next year. He's been traveling across America's Dangling Appendage signing bills restricting people's freedom while claiming that Florida is the home of freedom, as long as you're a rightwing evangelical. (We think we'll just stop at "evangelical" from here on, since adding "Christian" to it just makes baby Jesus sad.)

Monday, DeSantis went to New College of Florida in Sarasota, the nice little liberal arts school he's ruining to turn into a rightwing indoctrination center, to sign several bills aimed at purifying Florida colleges and universities of "wokeness." It was his way of twisting the knife a bit, to remind the Liberal Elites who's in charge. Your fascists love that kind of symbolic humiliation shit, like how a former German corporal insisted in 1940 that France surrender in the same railroad car where the 1919 Armistice was signed.

But sometimes the vanquished just won't cooperate and admit they've been crushed, darn them. As Yr Wonkette noted Saturday, the official graduation speaker for New College's commencement was Dr. Scott Atlas, Donald Trump's Infect Everyone and Let God Sort 'Em Out COVID adviser, which was supposed to be a sick burn on the libs. Instead of going along, New College students scheduled their own commencement for tonight, and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley will deliver the keynote speech. It's as if those libs don't even know they've been owned. Sad!

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State/Local Politics

LA Mayor Karen Bass Showing Other Mayors How To Not Be Asshole

Here's one for the good government nerds!

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass campaigned on an ambitious goal of reducing the city's homeless population by 17,000 people during her first year in office. She's pushed for an equally ambitious $1.3 billion in funding for programs that would address the problem. She's told President Joe Biden directly that finding shelter for the almost 40,000 people in Los Angeles who are currently unhoused would significantly reduce homelessness nationwide.

During a recent interview with NPR's Adrian Florido, Bsss explained, "[I] basically said, 'If your goal, Mr. President, is to reduce homelessness in the United States by 25 percent, you can literally meet that goal in our city for such a massive problem that I absolutely believe is an emergency."

So, to borrow from New York's former mayor Ed Koch, how is she doing?

Last December, Bass launched her Inside Safe program, which would humanely move homeless people off the streets and prevent "tent cities" and encampments from returning.

"People should not be left to live and die on the streets because the city isn’t giving them someplace to go," she said. "Under my administration, we are giving people safe places to move inside, and we will ensure people can stay inside and safe for good.”

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