Quick Hits: Volume XXVI (UPDATED)
-It's official. In November 2012, the voters of Minnesota will have an opportunity to decide if marriage should be defined between one man and one woman, and whether it should be so stated in the Minnesota Constitution.
There have been several states which have put this to a vote and the people have voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as one woman and one man. And lest you think this is strictly an issue ginned up in the "red" states, the citizens of such liberal havens as Oregon and California have passed similar amendments.
If nothing else, the Minnesota electorate will substantially increase because of 2012 being a Presidential election year. In addition, more "values voters" will turn out due to the traditional marriage amendment finally appearing on the ballot. Combine that with the Obama administration thumbing its nose at enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act (an actual Federal law on the books), and it's feasible that not only will Minnesota vote to uphold traditional marriage but that a Republican could carry this state's ten electoral votes for the first time since 1972.
-With the House debating the marriage amendment for several hours over the weekend, the DFL naturally accused the MN GOP of taking its collective eyes of the real issue at hand, which is the state budget. Never mind that the GOP had conceded to Governor Mark Dayton's call for compromise ($34 million is directly in the middle of 32M and 36M, right?) and submitted a budget on time (which the Governor will not even address until after the session ends). As far as the DFL is concerned, it's more expeditious to smear the Republican legislative majority as being preoccupied with taking away one's "civil rights" or Sen. Tom Bakk labeling the GOP a "cult" because they cling to the time-tested economic theory that you cannot tax your way to prosperity.
I believe Jodi Boyne, Public Affairs Director of the MN House GOP, summed it up best:
DFL: no budget, no reform, no redistricting map. Didn't support original (Gov. Dayton) tax plan. Thinks GOP is cult like. Heckuva session.
-On baseball's opening day back on March 31, the Los Angeles Dodgers hosted their arch rivals in the San Francisco Giants.
Unfortunately, the hoopla surrounding Opening Day took a back seat to an awful incident of fan violence. Giants loyalist Bryan Stow was severely beaten by a Dodgers fan for apparently no other reason than donning a Giants jersey in Dodger Stadium. Stow only recently awoke from a coma but remains in critical condition at a San Francisco hospital.
Finally, after nearly two exhaustive months of investigating, authorities have a primary suspect in custody.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office is reviewing the arrest of Giovanni Ramirez, the suspect in the beating of San Francisco Giants' fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, a spokeswoman for the D.A.'s office said Monday afternoon.
Ramirez, 31, who has two prior felony convictions, was booked Sunday evening on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was apprehended in an early-morning raid by LAPD SWAT officers at an East Hollywood apartment complex after an intense, seven-week manhunt.
Police said that a tip from Ramirez's parole officer was the key break in the case.
What I find just as appalling is the fact that the Dodgers' ownership squabble unwittingly resulted in this incident. Frank McCourt, who owned controlling interest in the club, and wife Jamie (the Dodgers' former CEO) were in the midst of a tumultuous separation when this incident occurred. Speculation has been that there were financial cutbacks in an effort to enhance the franchise's value in preparation for a sale. As such, ballpark security was one of the areas which took a hit.
Now that Major League Baseball has taken over the day-to-day financial management of the Dodgers, they are no doubt gearing up for what may be a heavy lawsuit filed by the Stow family.
UPDATE: As expected....