Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25: Sniglets Before Spring Break

By Sylvia Gurinsky

President Barack Obama addressed his health care bill signing speech on Monday to all Americans. A few of them - moderate Republicans in Congress - must be kicking themselves that they can't really live up to that label on this history-making law.

Republicans such as Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine remained relatively silent. The so-called "maverick" John McCain seems to have had a reverse exorcism, taking on the personality of his 2008 presidential running mate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Are they that afraid of their constituents, of the right-wing Republicans in their states and the country?

We're now seeing the risk some supporters of the bill put themselves in, with news of the threats they've received. But they went with their consciences. So those who wanted to support the bill but didn't because of fear of political repercussions should remember the wise words of one of the most famous Democrats of all: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


Why I disagree with Marion Hammer:

The Florida Legislature, naturally pushed by their sugar daddies and mommies (including the head mommy, director Marion Hammer) in the National Rifle Association, have passed legislation that will ban state agencies from asking parents trying to adopt about gun ownership.

Gov. Charlie Crist should veto this, of course. But he's trying to burnish his right-wing-extremist credentials against Marco Rubio, so he probably won't.

Remember who to blame the next time the adopted Junior gets ahold of Daddy's gun and shoots a friend by accident.


Why I agree with Marion Hammer

Well, it had to happen sometime......

I agree with the head of the NRA, of course, over an issue that has nothing to do with guns: Florida's Driver's License Handbook.

For the last five years, the book has been printed by Ken Underwood, who has printed it for free in exchange for putting ads for his "National Safety Commission" driver education courses in the book.

Hammer says he's had provocative-looking ads in the book - too provocative for teenagers. She objects to a proposal to continue to allow Underwood to bid on publishing the book, though the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles ended his contract.

Dara Kam has reported for The Palm Beach Post:

When I studied for my license renewal last year, I had a book with cheesy ads for a traffic school, but everyone was fully dressed, so I'm not sure if Hammer and I were looking at the same thing.

But she's right that a driver's license manual is no place for provocative ads. And if the department ended the contract, that needs to be respected by the legislature. No preference should be given to any contractor, period.


For those currently watching television news in the Miami area: An extraordinary sight, as thousands of people converge along Calle Ocho in a march to protest the treatment of Las Damas de Blanco, also known as Ladies in White, in a march they conducted in Havana last week.

The Cuban military roughed up the women as they protested on the anniversary of the jailing in Cuba of 75 dissidents.

The Callo Ocho march and rally were organized by Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Other rallies and campaigns have been organized across the country in support of the Ladies in White.



Finally, word today from Friends of Marine Stadium that on April 6, the Miami-Dade Commission will consider a resolution to authorize $3 million in historic preservation funds toward the restoration of the Miami Modern facility that was built in 1964, but has been closed since after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Miami Marine Stadium seems to be structurally sound, if covered in graffiti. The Friends groups and other supporters of preservation believe the stadium, which hosted boat races and concerts, can be a popular concert and community venue once again.

I second that. So should county commissioners on April 6.


This blog will be on spring break (or I will) until Monday, April 12. Happy Passover, Easter and Spring!

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