Monday, April 09, 2012

Quick Hits: Volume LV

-Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is utterly inept. A mere three days after getting his proverbial finger slapped for usurping the legislative branch of state government, Little Lord Fauntleroy Gov. Dayton allows us to hearken back to the days of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood by visiting the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

In a symbolic gesture, Dayton on Monday, April 9, vetoed of the voter-identification bill that the Republican-controlled Legislature sent him last week.

But the issue will be on the Nov. 6 statewide ballot anyway.

"Although I do not have the power to prevent this unwise and unnecessary constitutional amendment from appearing on the Minnesota ballot in November, the Legislature has sent it to me in the form of a bill," the DFL governor wrote in a letter to lawmakers. "Thus I am exercising my legal responsibility to either sign or veto the amendment."

He said he would "do whatever I can" to urge voters to reject the amendment.

Dayton also used this moment as an opportunity to show his propensity to be a short-sighted nimrod by proclaiming the Republican majority in the legislature is merely enacting a strategy to pass "whatever polls well to enhance their chances in November." Uh, a couple of things wrong with that bilge. First, the Republicans have, for at least four years now, been proposing some semblance of legislation requiring photo identification to vote (Heck, it was one of the signature issues in the 2010 campaign). However, the GOP hasn't had a majority in both chambers of the legislature in about forty years, so any efforts to pass such a bill were in vain. Second, it appears that a majority of Minnesotans support "Right to Work." So if Dayton's overall assertion were true, such legislation wouldn't be held up in committee at this point.

But hey, such pesky little facts aren't vital when one is seemingly detached from reality.

-Can you imagine if in his first season as New York Yankees manager in 2008, Joe Girardi had expressed some sort of admiration for Adolf Hitler? That on its face would be bad enough. But to do so in an area containing the largest population of Jewish people in America? Unconscionable.

I believe that fictitious scenario is analogous to what actually took place in a real-life interview in Time magazine.

In his nine years as a big-league manager, Ozzie Guillen has spit out insult after insult in his blunt style, offending, among others, gays, opponents of illegal immigration and even fellow Venezuelans.

Guillen has managed to get away with his polarizing screeds by offering up contrition after the fact.

But not even Guillen can hug the third rail of Miami discourse — praising Cuban leader Fidel Castro — without paying a steep price.

Guillen, the Miami Marlins’ first-year manager, has come under withering criticism locally after saying he has respect for Castro and “I love Fidel Castro,’’ in an interview with Time magazine.

He has since apologized for those comments, but that hasn’t stopped mushrooming outcry from some South Florida Cuban Americans, a group his ballclub hopes will fill the team’s new Little Havana stadium in coming years.

“Ozzie is quick at the mouth; always has been,” said Andy Gomez, an assistant provost and senior fellow at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami. “He’s a great manager, but he should stick to something he knows.”

With Tuesday being an off-day for the Marlins, Guillen plans to leave Philadelphia to return to Miami for a press conference to address the issue. He has offered up a large number of mea culpas for his coarse behavior in the past. But I daresay that his job has never been at stake to the degree that it may be at this point in time.


No comments: