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Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.

Alabama Man Successfully Crowdfunds So He Can Buy A 20 Piece McNugget Meal

It’s not everyday that you come across a real hero on the Internet. But today, you’ve found one.

Michael Panik, a communications student at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama successfully used the crowdfunding site GoFundMe to raise $10 so he could buy himself a 20 piece Chicken McNugget meal at McDonalds.

Panik explained the motivations behind the campaign.

“A friend and mine were talking about all the ridiculous GoFundMe campaigns we’ve seen recently, basically people just asking for money to buy personal stuff: new equipment, software,” Panik said. “It’s pretty rude, honestly-just begging for money for things you want or need, that ultimately aren’t super expensive, and aren’t true necessities.”

Panik also said that he was a little bitter over the crowdfunding concept since he failed to raise money in the past on similar sites.

“I think that crowd funding is excellent, really, when used the right way,” Panik said. “I had a campaign for $10,000 to make a documentary fail back in the spring, and I’m a little bitter, but I think the concept is there. A lot of people do really spectacular things with money raised through GFM, Kickstarter, and others.”

Panik’s crowdfunding campaign for $10 was met in only a few hours. A man named Michael Brown gave him the money, saying “Enjoy!” in the comments.

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Michael Panik Photo Credit: Michael Panik/Facebook

His tongue firmly planted in his cheek, Panik thanked Brown.

“Michael Brown is a truly beautiful soul, devoted to philanthropy, and has the highest honor in my heart,” Panik said. “I sincerely hope to make him proud by using his generous donation to achieve my supreme goal.”

While not in class, Panik works as a web developer with Plexamedia, and as a technical director at a church in Rome, GA. He said that was primarily interested in filmmaking and was focused in producing documentaries. His first feature-length documentary, Thrift Store Symphony is in post-production and will premiere next fall.

“I’m so glad my Chicken McNugget scheme kind of took off just in my network, honestly, Panik said. “I’d love to see more people find this, and realize that maybe, if you want something, you should spend less time asking people for money, and going out there, working, and getting it for yourself.”

Panik wasn’t sure when he would be seeing his windfall.

“I’m not totally sure, but I hope it’s soon,” Panik said. “Ya boy is hungry.”

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Cover Photo: Screenshot/ GoFundme.com

This Marco Rubio Senate Speech Is Going Viral And Could Be A Game Changer

Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign for president has been a bit underwhelming.

Rubio (along with the rest of the mainstream party favorites) has been overlooked for the bluster and excitement of outsider candidates like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson.

Polling indicates that Rubio is a top-tier candidate, with the Huffington Post Pollster (an index that averages 157 polls from 29 pollsters) saying that he is currently in 5th place out of 16 candidates.

But for Rubio supporters, there is hope. Their man is a bit of a comeback kid- having upset the then presumed unbeatable Charlie Crist in the 2010 Republican primary for senate.

One way that Rubio could position himself is as someone who has a firm grasp of foreign policy matters and a strong vision for the future.

Well, a video widely circulating on social media may help the junior senator from the Sunshine state accomplish that goal.

The video is of a Senate floor speech Rubio gave last week before a key vote on President Obama’s deal nuclear agreement with Iran.

So far, it has been watched over 800,000 times on Facebook and shared nearly 25,000 times.

It will be interesting to see how Rubio approaches the upcoming CNN debate and whether he tries to dominate foreign policy questions.

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Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Marco Rubio Senate Office

Political Coup: Australia Gets New Prime Minister After Shocking Liberal Party Vote

Australia will get its fourth prime minister in three years after a shocking late night vote ended the rule of Tony Abbott as leader of the governing center-right Liberal Party.

According to the BBC, Abbott will be replaced as Prime Minister by the more moderate Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull defeated Abbott 54 votes to 44 in a party room vote.

Turnbull will become prime minister after Abbott sends his resignation letter to the governor-general.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott The audience, which will include approximately 200 swinging voters from Western Sydney chosen by Galaxy Research, as well as media representatives, will have the opportunity to ask the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader questions related to their policies and in particular, how it affects the local community. Gillard, Abbott Q&A session details Date: Wednesday, 11 August 2010 Time: 6.00pm (media can set up from 5.15pm) Where: Rooty Hill RSL Waratah Room 55 Sherbrooke Street, Rooty Hill NSW 2766 RSVP: chris@dashpr.com.au Schedule 6.00pm Prime Minister Julia Gillard address – Q&A 7.00pm Break for refreshments 7.30pm Opposition Leader Tony Abbott address – Q&A 8.30pm Close A limited number of seats are available for media representatives for this event. To attend this media call or for further information regarding the Gillard, Abbott Q&A session, please contact Christine Kardashian at Dash PR on 02 8084 0705 / 0416 005 703 or email chris@dashpr.com.au. ________________________________________ MEDIA RELEASE: Rooty Hill RSL to host Gillard, Abbott Q&A session Wednesday, 11 August 2010 from 6.00pm Sydney, Australia, August 9, 2010 – Rooty Hill RSL, Australia’s largest RSL club, will host the highly anticipated people’s forum with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The event will be held on Wednesday, 11 August 2010 from 6.00pm, facilitated by political editor David Speers and telecast live across Australia. Why Rooty Hill RSL? Rooty Hill RSL

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Photo Credit: Troy/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

In a statement made earlier in the day, Turnbull made clear his intentions to challenge Abbott.

“Now this is not a decision that anyone could take lightly. I have consulted with many, many colleagues; many Australians; many of our supporters, in every walk of life. And this course of action has been urged on me by many people over a long period of time,” Turnbull said.  “It is clear enough that the Government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers, ultimately the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs; he has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.”

Abbott seemed flat-footed in his response to the snap leadership election, as many in his team did not even acknowledge it would happen until hours before the final vote took place.

Abbott has been prime minister since 2013.

WATCH: Malcolm Turnbull speaks after winning Liberal Leadership Snap election. 

A Tweet sent earlier in the day on September 14 showed how unprepared Abbott was for the vote:

Turnbull is more progressive than Abbott and many others in the Liberal Party. He supports gay marriage, believes in the existence of climate change.

Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States and Democratic Party candidate for President in 2000 seemed to celebrate the change of Australian leadership in a Tweet.

Some in the Australian press are having fun with the situation. The right leaning Herald Sun had to change their front page after the results were announced. 

Even Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson signaled his support for Turnbull after the vote.

This is a developing story. We will update this story as more information becomes available. Cover Photo Credit: Clare Wilkinson/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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New Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Picks Majority Female Shadow Cabinet

Newly elected British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has already caused a stir by choosing the first ever majority female shadow cabinet.

The announcement came earlier today. But according to the BBC, there has been some anger over the fact that many of the traditional “senior roles” were taken all by men.

John McDonnell was appointed as the shadow chancellor (a position most similar with that of America’s Treasury Secretary.) Many have seen this as a controversial appointment due to statements that McDonnell has made in the past.

From the BBC: 

“The Hayes and Harlington MP [McDonnell] has previously faced criticism for telling a union event that he would “like to go back to the 1980s and assassinate Thatcher” and in 2003 said IRA terrorists should be “honoured” for taking part in their “armed struggle”, while attending a gathering to commemorate the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.”

While Corbyn and his shadow secretaries are not in government, they still have a large role to play in public life- serving as a counterweight to the ruling Conservative Party.

In a press release, Corbyn expressed his excitement of his cabinet.

“We have delivered a unifying, dynamic, inclusive new Shadow Cabinet which for the first time ever has a majority of women,” Corbyn said. “I am delighted that we have established a Shadow Cabinet position for mental health which is a matter I have long been interested in.”

Owen Jones, a well-known media personality and strong Corbyn supporter took to Twitter to express his opinion that Corbyn should put more women in the more powerful shadow cabinet positions.

     

 

You can read the full list of Labour shadow secretaries here.

Cover Photo Credit: DAVID HOLT/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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Miss Alabama Totally Flamed Donald Trump On National TV

I’m not going to pretend to have watched the Miss America pageant. But something somewhat interesting did take place late last night.

Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin- a 22-year-old Auburn University graduate had some choice words for the Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Take a watch for yourself courtesy of the War Eagle Reader:

That comb over is ablaze. Well, not really. But at least her answer was better constructed that this:

Photo Credit: Screenshot-War Eagle Reader/Youtube (ABC TV)

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Florida Gun Shop Sends Out Ugly 9/11 Related Tweet To Sell Firearms

A Florida based company is under fire (no pun intended) for Tweeting out an insensitive message about Muslims and 9/11- all to sell firearms.

Florida Gun Supply sent out the following message on Wednesday, announcing a sale for “9/11 week.”

That’s right. Use the coupon code “Muslim” and get $25 off any gun in the store. Wow.  But this isn’t the first time the store has pulled a racially charged stunt in order to promote their brand. Just watch this video they posted back in July about how the store is a “Muslim free zone”.  

  And oh yeah, they don’t really like Black Lives Matter too:

So much for 9/11 being about unity in America.

H/T: Observer.com

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FEEL THE BERN: Sanders Now Leading Clinton In Iowa

In a shock poll out today by Quinnipiac, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders leads former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Iowa.

Sanders leads Clinton by one point- 41% to 40%.

It is the first time that Sanders has been ahead of Clinton in a major polling survey in the Hawkeye state.

“Sen. Bernie Sanders has become the Eugene McCarthy of 2016,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said in a press release today. “He is the candidate of the Democratic left, against his own party’s bosses and their prized presidential candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton.

9-10-2015 Quinnipiac Poll: 

Sanders- 41%
Clinton- 40%
Biden- 12%
O’Malley- 3%
Webb- 1%
Chafee- 0%

The new Iowa survey was conducted between August 27 and September 8 and sampled 832 likely Democratic caucusgoers.

From the press release:

“There is a wide gender gap among Democrats today as Sanders leads Clinton 49 – 28 percent among men, with 16 percent for Biden, while Clinton leads Sanders 49 – 35 percent among women, with 9 percent for Biden.”

Cover Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“A Complex Story”: Hillary Clinton Posts Late Night Apology On Facebook

In a latenight Facebook post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized for her role in a deepening email scandal.

In the post, Clinton admitted that she should have used two email addresses during her time at the State Department-something that Colin Powell said he did during his time in the role.

Read Clinton’s full message below:

“I wanted you to hear this directly from me:

Yes, I should have used two email addresses, one for personal matters and one for my work at the State Department. Not doing so was a mistake. I’m sorry about it, and I take full responsibility.

It’s important for you to know a few key facts. My use of a personal email account was aboveboard and allowed under the State Department’s rules. Everyone I communicated with in government was aware of it. And nothing I ever sent or received was marked classified at the time. 

As this process proceeds, I want to be as transparent as possible. That’s why I’ve provided all of my work emails to the government to be released to the public, and why I’ll be testifying in public in front of the Benghazi Committee later next month.

I know this is a complex story. I could have—and should have—done a better job answering questions earlier. I’m grateful for your support, and I’m not taking anything for granted.

I understand that you may have more questions, and I am going to work to keep answering them. If you want to read more, including my emails themselves, please go here:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/emails/

Thank you,

Hillary”

Cover Photo Credit:Marc Nozell/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Fear The Cowbell: Mississippi State Fan Proclaims That “Davis Wade Stadium Is The New Death Valley” In Rant Video

Paul Finebaum, the popular radio talk show host attracts some pretty interesting fans- and that’s being nice.

But in monitoring the Finebaum base, sometimes you come across some real gems. This is one of those moments.

Youtube user Stingray 26 is one bad man who loves his MSU Bulldogs.

Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a Starkville alleyway with this guy at night. It’s the mustache man.

Yeah, probably not. #SEC

H/T to Derek Ponamsky

In 2010 Interview With High School Student, Dan Le Batard Predicted What It Would Take To Go National. It Actually Happened.

This story was originally published in 2015. 

Dan Le Batard has swiftly become one of the best known figures in sports media- and that’s a surprise for the unabashedly provincial man who claims to have never loved a place as much as Miami, Florida.

Today Le Batard’s ESPN radio show moves to one of it’s prime time slots – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The slot was previously held by Colin Cowherd.

The time shift is just the latest peak in the fast growth of Le Batard’s empire. He also hosts a daily television show on ESPN with Bomani Jones and Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard (his father) called Highly Questionable.

His radio program is also simulcast on Fusion, the Miami-based cable television network geared towards millennials.

Only a few years ago, things were pretty different for Le Batard. Back in February of 2010, I was a junior in high school and a writer for my school’s paper.

While brainstorming in the office of the Lions’ Print- really just a computer lab on the second floor of Chaminade-Madonna College Prep in Hollywood, Florida, I pitched the idea of interviewing Le Batard.

He was one of the best known alums of the school despite being a bit of a mystery to the folks in the development office (They didn’t understand why he wasn’t more involved in the school’s culture.)

Le Batard and his artist brother David (better known as LEBO) were well remembered by some faculty at the school, but few students, outside of the hardcore sports fans had ever heard of Dan.

2010 Question: Would you ever want to have your own TV show?

Le Batard: maybe….eventually….if they let me do it the way we do radio, which is sloppy and would be anti-tv

I was a huge fan of Le Batard and his local radio program, and had been since it came on the air in 2004.

Le Batard and his cohost Jon “Stugotz” Weiner were unique, and even the 12 year-old-sports fan in me could appreciate that.

Over the next six years, I spent hundreds of hours listening to the show, and it helped push me to be a broadcaster and a journalist.

Many other young people in South Florida had a similar experience.

Miami sports talk had been stale and old and musty and angry for decades.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, one Miami homer and another recovering New York sports cliché machine entered the scene and changed the game forever.

Fast forward back to 2010.

After months of searching, I was finally able to find an email that reached him (I’m not sure how much of this had to do with my inexperience in my fledgling journalistic career.)

We started a short email correspondence – he was short but pleasant and willing to answer a few questions.

What follows is that original email chain, unedited.

I find it interesting anyway, because it highlights how quickly things can change in life.

Q) Where were you born and raised, and did your early years have an affect on why you became a journalist/radio host? 

Le Batard: Born in Jersey City, NJ…Came here at four….Growing up here made me want to become, from a very early age, South Florida’s sports voice….I had no national aspirations….I just wanted to talk about sports in our market

Q) You went to Chaminade High School, so why did you go there, and what were you involved in as a student? (Clubs, etc..)

Le Batard: Key Club….Speech Club…..High school newspaper….So long ago….Hard to remember….Was more involved in my church youth group…..

Q) You also went to the University of Miami and wrote for the “Miami Hurricane” during the time when Miami was really the swaggering, non apologetic, badasses that we all love. Why do you think that period and those teams where so important for the city? What is your fondest memory of this time?

Le Batard: They didn’t lose a home game the entire time I was in school….I just loved being that close to something so edgy….You could feel at the time that those teams were doing something different….I was very lucky to have UM get relevant and controversial in football when I started there….

Q)After UM, where did you work? 

Le Batard: Worked at The Herald and interned at the LA Times

Q) What is the worst story that you had to cover as a “grunt” at the Herald? 

Le Batard: Starting out, before The Herald, I had to cover city-council meetings about sewage for The River Cities Gazette, a community weekly….

Q) How did you get into radio? 

Le Batard: was a guest on espn radio every sunday….then they gave me the show….so i was doing national radio from my house, with my dog barking on sunday mornings, on an isdn line….funny….more than 200 radio stations….then they called locally from 790, and it made sense and sounded fun as a career transition

Q) How did the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” come about?

Le Batard: Stugotz called and asked if I wanted to do shows with Boog Sciambi….Boog couldn’t do it right away….So I did it with Stugotz….It was truly terrible….But we figured it out….Now it is slightly less terrible

Q) Why do you hate standard sports talk radio, with clichés and all?

Le Batard: Just boring to me….Outgrew it….And very little truth in most of what I hear….Too much is just uninformed, dataless gibberish

Q) Who is the most fascinating person that you have met or interviewed? 

Le Batard: Such a hard question….The most consistently introspective and interesting is Pat Riley….That’s in sports, and doesn’t include Muhammad Ali, who had lost most of his ability to speak by the time I met him…..You asking me for most consistently interesting person or most interesting journey/story?…..Because I gravitate toward the ones close to my heart (Cuban) and the different guys (Ricky Williams, John Amaechi, Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds, Trace Armstrong)

Q) Your show is very funny. Is this by design or is it a by product of the fact that you just hate the norms of how radio has been done? 

Le Batard: There is very little design with our show….Nothing worse than trying to be funny and failing so we don’t try to be funny….I like to laugh, and I think a million things that happen in sports are laughable….But all I’m trying to do is entertain myself…..

Q) How did you become a personality on ESPN?

Le Batard: ESPN realized early that sportswriters make cheap programming….That we are informed, because we learned as reporters, not just as gasbags (we became gasbags later in life, with the help of TV)….We had to ask questions and be curious and inform ourselves, and we had opinions that were informed when asked difficult questions on the spot….So when that movement started, in the 1990s, I was one of the guys who was known in writing circles as having opinions, and ESPN wanted me also to write for their magazine, which was starting, so we merged the two….they gave me tv, and i gave them writing

Q) Really, the only show on ESPN that seems to be similar to you in your beliefs and outlook is “Pardon the Interruption.” Is this a coincidence? 

Le Batard: Not at all….They started it….I followed….they taught me to mock myself….and i loved what they had behind the scenes there, a bunch of friends helping each other and laughing….when i got back from washington, i said i wanted something like that for myself in miami….so we created the radio show, working with and for my friends

Q) Would you ever want to have your own TV show?

Le Batard: maybe….eventually….if they let me do it the way we do radio, which is sloppy and would be anti-tv

Q) Why do you stay in the Miami/South Florida Market? You would never do a national show?

Le Batard: family here….this is only place that matters to me….that’s why i haven’t done in national tv on my own yet….every offer wants me in la or nyc and i’m not leaving here

Q) Why do you think people pretend to be outraged by the whole steroids scandal?

Le Batard: i don’t think they are anymore….i think they are numb….the media keeps it an issue, too late, but i’ve never seen more of a disconnect between a story the media thinks is important and fans really don’t….

Q) Would you be surprised if anyone in baseball today was doing steroids? Take Derek Jeter or Cal Ripen Jr. for example.

Le Batard: never mind baseball….i wouldn’t be surprised by anyone in sports doing it…..it helps heal….and they all need healing

Q) Who is your favorite journalist or radio host?

Le Batard: i like so many…..gary smith of sports illustrated…..scott price……michael lewis…..scott raab of esquire….charles pierce….too many to name

Q) If you weren’t in media, what would you be doing?

Le Batard: I’d be a psychologist or therapist

Q) Who or whom do you attribute your success to? 

Le Batard: Parents….Dad gave me work ethic and Mom gave me everything else

Q) Is Bristol Connecticut really that bad?

Le Batard: yes

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Watch: Senator Tried To Use Connection To FPL Lobbyist To Get Power On For Her Family Post Irma 

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