Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXXVII

- It appears we're on the verge of a Federal government shutdown....just like in 1976, '77, '78, '79, '81, '82, '83, '86, '87, '90, '95, and '96. Yet somehow so many are having the vapors over this particular shutdown.

By far the biggest issue is the fight over the funding of Obamacare. Whether it's the GOP attempts at a total de-fund or repealing the individual mandate or delaying implementation for the year, it's been made pretty clear by President Obama and Congressional Democrats that it is the law of the land and it will stay in its entirety.

I'm almost to the point where I feel House Republicans should vote to pass a Continuing Resolution with Obamacare fully funded. Why? When I think of the people who so enthusiastically voted for Barack Obama twice, I can't help but think of a quote from former NYC mayor Ed Koch. Upon losing re-election in 1989, Koch was implored by his supporters to again someday run for elected office. Koch refused, simply saying "The people have spoken.....and they must be punished."

There were tens of millions of American citizens who did not heed the warnings of what an abomination the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) will become. As such, said citizens made their voices loud and clear by re-electing Obama.....and they must be punished by actually being made to utilize government run healthcare.

- Despite averaging 97 losses per year over the past three seasons, the Minnesota Twins re-signed manager Ron Gardenhire to a 2-year contract extension Monday.

I know this move outraged a lot of Twins fans, many of whom feel Gardy is no longer connecting with the players. Personally, I'm ambivalent about this transaction. If you look at the Twins roster over the past three seasons, it's really difficult to lay responsibility at the feet of the field manager. Someone equated Gardy to a chef who had his budget cut. That is, you can't blame him for not presenting filet mignon when he has Salisbury Steak type ingredients. Short of exhuming Connie Mack, there is no manager alive that could have even sniffed .500 with the current Twins roster.

So what exactly can be done to turn this thing around? I thought 1500 ESPN's Phil Mackey laid it out best.

 The problem with the Twins is that there is no singular problem.

The problem is they're all looking around the room at the Target Field offices saying, "OK, we know we've got to fix this." But that room is filled mostly with the same group of people who oversaw the infiltration of those problems in the first place.

The Twins were once one of the premiere organizations in baseball -- elite when it came to drafting, developing and building a core from within, and not all that long ago.

But now they lack innovation. They lack an outside perspective.

The Twins either need to add more innovative people to the room, or change the people who are in the room.

Mackey went to emphasize how the lower payroll teams such as Tampa Bay (28th out of 30 teams in terms of payroll), Oakland (27th), Cleveland (21st) and Pittsburgh (20th) are successfully using that innovation as well as utilizing outside ideas. What else do those four teams have in common? They're all in the 2013 postseason.

Definitely read the whole article.

- On Monday morning I received a fundraising email from Ray Ortman, husband of MN Senate candidate Julianne Ortman.

It was the second sentence in the email which really grabbed my attention (emphasis mine). 

Did you know that when my wife Julianne secures the nomination to run against Al Franken, she will be the first woman Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Minnesota history?

Maybe that’s why Republicans keep losing -- they’re putting up the wrong candidates.  

I may be reading it wrong, but I took that to mean that the GOP keeps losing elections due to the fact more women aren't being nominated to run in general elections. I sent a tweet to the Ortman campaign asking for clarification. I then went on to say that I'm willing to be set straight if I misconstrued anything. I did not receive a response as of late Monday evening.

I would daresay that Mrs. Ortman would prefer that she receive on merit the opportunity to challenge Senator Al Franken next year. At this point I am firmly in the camp of the candidate who has the best chance to oust Franken. However, I'm still in the process of vetting all three candidates vying for the GOP nomination (Ortman, Jim Abeler and Mike McFadden). And I can guarantee that my process has absolutely nothing to do with gender. But once again this seems to be another situation where we in the Republican party are handing proverbial ammo to the Democrats. If Ortman is indeed denied the nomination, the Dems will jump around like poo flinging monkeys by reiterating Ray Ortman's chanting point.

I can see a potentially problematic scenario for the GOP playing out in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. There's a persistent rumor that state senator Julie Rosen will jump into the race for the Republican nomination for governor. If that happens, all four of the other candidates (all male, all white) will hammer home Rosen's outspoken advocacy for a Vikings stadium last year. That issue alone, in my opinion, will make her candidacy DOA. However, instead of focusing on a legitimate policy issue as the reason for her ouster, leftists will use it as a cudgel in declaring the MN GOP a "white, misogynistic party."

Let's hope all our political candidates (male and female) sufficiently smack down those asinine chanting points. It really shouldn't be that difficult.


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