Opinions to go Online

The unique perspective and provocative opinions of Joe O’Neill

Republican Apprentice

Nobody, it is said, likes scripted politicians. Those blatantly self-serving, risk-averse hucksters and panderers. Such calculation. Such orchestration. Such focus groups. Such is politics. But there’s a reason why they keep doing it. That’s because going off-the-cuff blunt is only effectively attention-getting and viscerally appealing–until it no longer is. Sooner or later you sound like [...]

TMA’s Print Exhibit

Through Sept. 20, the Tampa Museum of Art will be displaying Andy Warhol and other postwar-era, cutting-edge printmakers such as Chuck Close and Frank Stella. Three decades of Warhol’s career are chronicled, including those famous portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Mao Zedong–and how often do those two even show up in the same sentence? There’s [...]

“Flori-duh” Updates

* Marion County rarely generates national attention. But that all changes when your county commission announces that, upon further, uh, reflection, they will re-hoist the Confederate flag in front of a prominent government building. It had been taken down last month in the outrage aftermath of the Charleston mass murders. * Florida Carry Inc. is [...]

Foreign Fodder

* Persian puzzle. When I was in Iran back in 1999, I remember leaving with this impression: We can work with these people. Yes, this government is an ideological outlier with terrorist proxies all around the Middle East. But the people, except for some hard-core clerics in Qum, were uniformly welcoming and hardly anti-American. The [...]

Bulls’ Branding

A new football season, a new promotional pitch at USF. “Bulls Unite” is the tag line on billboards, print ads and TV and radio spots that are showing up this month. Marketing is important to a university that has seen average attendance decline by 10,000 a game from 2010 to 2014. “Last year was all [...]

Quoteworthy

* “We had a very specific choice: a deal we largely disagreed with, or a chaotic default.”–What Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told his Parliament before it voted to approve a harsh austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors. * “In the coming months, we’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more about the risks of this [...]

Tampa’s Agenda: History And Future

The announcements came in the same, mid-July week. One had to do with Riverwalk additions, the other was about a consultant hired by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. One had to do with plans for waterfront historical monuments, the other had to do with corporate recruiting. They are about this city’s history, which not [...]

Millions And Mutants

The money that some high-profile, football-and-basketball-playing universities get from network TV and apparel-and-equipment deals–well into nine figures for multi-year partnerships–is obscene. Then there are the multi-millions routinely doled out to head coaches to deliver enough wins to meet market demands. Any wonder that schools, and North Carolina and Florida State are merely the most recent [...]

Things That Go Trump In The Night

No, there will not be a President Donald Trump. Of course not. We haven’t come to that. But that we’ve come to the point in American history that an uber-wealthy, pompous, political streaker is topping early polls, says something sad about this country. But, no, there won’t be a Trump presidency. No more than there [...]

Russia Not Greatest Security Threat

According to four-star Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., President Barack Obama’s nominee for Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Russia presents “the greatest threat to our national security.” Yes, Russia has military heft and it has Vladimir Putin, who continues to wax nostalgic for Josef Stalin. And Putin, still a KGB punk at his core, has been [...]