Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday stuff

It appears that the Obama administration is deliberately avoiding using the words "war on terror."
They don't like the phrase. One expert probably familiar with administration thinking says:
"The thinking has evolved, he said, to focus on avoiding the kind of rhetoric "which could imply that this was a struggle against a religion or a culture."
But, question: who on earth could believe that the phrase "war on terror" was directed at a particular religion? Why would those in the Middle East believe that? No religion is mentioned.
Could some Arabs be protesting a bit too much? Could they have a bit of a guilty conscience?

Unfortunately the ND men's hoops team lost yet again today, at #3 Pitt, 93-80. It's no shame to lose at Pitt. But unfortunately the Irish have lost 5 in a row, they're going to fall out of the top 25, again they give up a ton of points and just can't nail teams down defensively, and they're in real danger of not making the NCAAs this season (they were seen as a lock before the year began). That's why, as I've said before, the season is in crisis right now, and it's got to be tough on the Irish players. Can they rebound? Or will they just melt down?

No good news for Detroit Piston fans either--they lost again to Boston at home, 86-78. They fought hard, and battled, and were in the game for much of it...but couldn't come away with a win. Can this team really be a factor in this year's NBA playoffs? Right now it doesn't look like it. Only good news is--the playoffs remain a ways away...

Meanwhile, in Iraq, their most recent election is hailed as a great success:
?Iraqis held their most peaceful election since the fall of Saddam Hussein on Saturday, and voting for provincial councils ended without a single major attack reported anywhere in the country. "No security breaches took place during the election. Things went as we planned and as we hoped," Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al-Askary said."
Kudos for the Bush administration, anyone?

On the Obama "stimulus" package, Ben Stein today makes good points, and introduces important perspective we're not hearing from many:
"Only 10 percent of the "stimulus" to be spent on 2009. Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ (or both) members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions or other Democrat-controlled unions. This bill is sent to Congress after President Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for the president to have read the whole thing. For the amount spent, we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000."

The Republican National Committee has a new chairman--an African-American, Michael Steele.
National Review's man on the scene is, well, hopeful--but he knows it's a tough job:
"What will Republicans be getting in Steele? Maybe the ideal television presence, a dynamic and energetic speaker who cheerfully brings a Republican message to communities that aren't always initially receptive. The contrast with Duncan's seemingly invisible media presence will be clear. But Steele's bid was hindered by questions about whether he would excel as much at the parts of the job that aren't in front of the cameras—the day-to-day management and fundraising. In the coming year, Republicans will learn one way or the other."
As for me, I'm hopeful--we need energy and dynamism, and Steele can bring that.