But first, let's start with something fun — news that Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wants to be a politician.
Zach McCann as much this week.
Now, Coach wasn't specific about what office he wants or even which party he favors. (Records show he used to be a registered Republican but is now unaffiliated.)
But, hey, why not? Other sports stars made the jump. I'd love to see Coach jumping and screaming at all the nincompoops in Washington's center court.
Plus, politics and pro sports have a lot in common, starting with all the big money and even bigger egos.
In fact, in honor of Coach SVG, here are "The Top 5 Similarities between American Politics and the NBA."
1. Both have guys who pledge undying loyalty to a team one day — and then switch teams the next. (LeBron James, Charlie Crist)
2. Both have overhyped personalities who promise a lot more than they deliver. (Tracy McGrady, Barack Obama)
3. Both have "stars" better suited for reality TV. (Dennis Rodman, Sarah Palin)
4. Both feature a few folks better at trash-talking than delivering. (Kevin Garnett, the Tea Party)
5. Both have members with Twitter problems. (Gilbert Arenas, Anthony Weiner)
Now back to the basics:
Bondi bends. Attorney General Pam Bondi finally called for an independent investigation into the oustings of two of her top investigators. Good for her. And good for so many of you for speaking out. Also for state Rep. Darren Soto, who pressed the issue when other legislators sat silently by. If Bondi finds problems, admits them — and makes things right — we can all move on. Bottom line: If we can't trust the state's top watchdog, we're in bad shape.
Bipartisan embarrassments. Boy, did I hear from a lot of people who disgusted by the behavior of both state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, and state Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary. During a public hearing, both men ignored residents who simply wanted to be heard; the lawmakers did things like chit-chat and play on Facebook. Both men are a mess. But here's the difference: Most Democrats are embarrassed by Siplin. Republicans elected Dorworth as a future House speaker.
Bigger questions. As Workforce Central Florida lumbers from one controversy to another — involving everything from tiny superhero capes to massive lawsuit settlements — it's time to start asking bigger questions. Such as: Does this agency even need to continue to exist in its current form? What was once promoted primarily as help for the unemployed now seems largely a taxpayer-subsidized job-training tool for the private sector … and one that's wasting a lot of public money at that.
Food not barbs. I have long sympathized with Food Not Bombs. Quite simply, I don't think Americans should be jailed for feeding fellow humans. I also appreciated FNB raising awareness of homelessness in a place it was long ignored. But I also see value in compromising with Mayor Buddy Dyer and the city of Orlando, since the courts have ruled. Several group members — including those arrested — have said they agree. Yet every time talk of compromise nears, someone digs in their heels. (The group just penned a letter to the Sentinel saying so again this week.) This is where FNB alienates some of those who once cheered these guys' dedication and cause. Controversy and publicity can be a valuable tool in pursuing social justice. But if they're the end goal, you should reconsider your priorities.
Bonus similarity! One last similarity between American politics and the NBA: Both are observed and criticized by loud-mouthed, know-it-all pundits. (Marv Albert, Scott Maxw… er … Mike Thomas).
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