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Blue The Nation | September 2, 2014

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Florida Adorably Overreacts to Scandal, Bans All Computers And Smart Phones

Florida Adorably Overreacts to Scandal, Bans All Computers And Smart Phones
Jonathan Nathan

Oh Florida. If only you were a hilarious screwball comedy troupe. You’d be so great. Instead, you are somehow allowed to continue being an actual semi-autonomous member of the United States of America, with a ridiculously inept government run by almost-people. The latest unbelievable, but entirely true, thing to happen in Florida is that those adorable klutzy Republicans have accidentally banned computers in a hurried, ill-advised overreaction to a scandal involving their own Lt. Governor. The only thing that would be funnier is if they had banned computers on purpose, which would jibe perfectly with their large population of out-of-touch old people. On second thought, that would actually not be as funny as this.

So here’s the way it all went down. A supposed charity for veterans, Allied Veterans of the World–you know, one of those 501(c)(4) organizations that the IRS should never scrutinize at all–turned out to not really be a charity for veterans. Instead–whoops!–it was an online gambling company running almost 50 internet slot-machine parlors. Easy mistake to make: you step out your front door all set to donate money to veteran-y stuff, you make a wrong turn at Albuquerque, and you realize you accidentally set up dozens of extremely profitable internet gaming operations. Not only that, but you also take the money that’s been donated to you and, as per the Huffington Post, spend it on “boats, beachfront condos and Maseratis, Ferraris and Porsches.”

Then it was revealed that Republican Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll’s public-relations firm, 3N&JC, had done some work for the not-charity, and also had a weird name. This was just more bad PR for the already unpopular governorship of Rick Scott, so Carroll had to take the fall and resign. When Scott loses his re-election bid next year to Nan Rich, Debbie Wasserman Schulz, Charlie Crist, or a pile of wet cardboard–literally any of whom could defeat him at this point–the national Republican narrative will presumably be that this scandal derailed his administration.

But they weren’t done with their ludicrous attempts at “damage control” just yet. Scott and his Republican legislative caucus passed a law that banned internet cafes. Yeah, that’s right. They banned internet cafes. The reason is that these “internet gambling parlors” are technically internet cafes. They sell internet time to customers who then use that time to play online slots. So the new law bans all internet cafes. Additionally, because it was poorly written, it bans quite a few classics of the arcade game industry, like those coin drop games. Because those are truly the bane of society (only half-kidding there.)

Oh, also, according to legal experts, the law bans all computers and smart phones. Oopsies!

In their haste to Do Something About This Problem, which was only a “problem” because of bad PR for the governor’s administration, they apparently forgot to not write a law which bans any “system or network device” which could be used to play internet slots. Which, obviously, is literally any system or network device. You can probably play internet slots on a newer-model toaster oven these days.

So because internet slot machines apparently constitute a huge problem worthy of the government’s focus and resources, Florida Republicans banned all computers and smart phones. You know how when you’ve got like a really annoying mosquito in your bedroom, you set fire to your entire house and then kill yourself with pills? It’s basically like that.