Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things I learned today while scoping out conference tournaments and getting ready for the NCAA hoops tournament...

One is that my Notre Dame men's hoops team will not be going to the NCAAs. They lost last night to West Virginia in the Big East tourney, 74-62. WVU attacked harder, and were tougher...and that was the story of the season for the Irish. I mean, they got out-rebounded by the Mountaineers 52-32. No excuse for that.
So the Irish finish the regular season at 18-14. It's the NIT for them. An NIT title is a worthy goal...but, given the hopes and expectations with which the Irish began this season, it will ring a bit hollow.

Other bad news--the Detroit Pistons lost to the NY Knicks, 116-111 in OT. Yes, the Pistons were without both Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson. But...but...they had a 10 point lead entering the fourth quarter, and blew it to the sub-.500 Knicks. Not good.

On the good news front, as far as my favorite teams are concerned, the Dallas Mavericks won a big game on the road, 93-89 at Portland. The Mavs held Portland to only 41% shooting from the field. If this team can play consistently at this level of play against playoff teams on the road...maybe they CAN be dangerous.

In other news...Victor Davis Hanson today points out brilliantly the trouble Barack Obama would be in if he'd told the truth, during the 2008 election campaign, about what he'd REALLY do:
“Although my new spending proposals may raise the federal deficit in my first year to $1.75 trillion, I promise the American people that by the end of my first term, I will halve the federal deficit — albeit adding another $3 to $5 trillion to the national debt. “Those savings can be accomplished by upping the federal income tax to about 40 percent on those rich 5 percent of Americans who currently pay only 60 percent of our aggregate income taxes — as well as lifting Social Security caps on their payroll taxes and cutting out many of their tax deductions. “With state income taxes, federal income tax, and Social Security and payroll taxes, along with new cutbacks in deductions, some of these rich will pay over 60 percent of their incomes in taxes. That is not an unreasonable rate in comparison with past levels — or the fact that well over 40 percent of Americans do not make enough to pay any federal income taxes. “I expect that Wall Street may react negatively to these proposals. We may see the Dow fall an additional 2,000 to 3,000 points after I’m elected. It may descend to under 7,000 during my first weeks of office. And this may be the moment when the economy continues to cool and unemployment rises. “On matters of protecting civil liberties, I assure the American people that I have examined the Patriot Act, the FISA accords, and renditions — and I have discovered that they, in fact, do not shred our Constitution. I will, however, shut down Guantanamo Bay — but must keep it open another year and appoint a task force to study the issue....“Abroad, I promise to give America a new image. My first television interview will be with al Arabiya. Due to both new initiatives and my unique background, I can reassure them that no longer will the United States alienate the Muslim world. Our aim is to return to stable and friendly relations with the Middle East characteristic of 20-30 years ago. “Indeed, on matters in the Middle East, I will bring back my suspended adviser Samantha Power. I look forward to her input, along with that of Charles Freeman, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and critic of Israel, as head of the National Intelligence Council, to craft new directions in the region. “We expect to open new dialogues with Basher al-Assad of Syria and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran without preconditions. And to further the cause of peace in the Middle East, the United States will pledge almost $1 billion to help rebuild the Gaza strip that is governed by Hamas.”
Of course, he told us the truth...about none of that.

Hey, speaking of conference tournaments, there's already been a big upset--in the Big 12, #11 seed Baylor beat #1 seed Kansas, 71-64. March Madness!

An MSNBC headline today notes that the German citizens living in Winnenden are "bewildered" by the horrible school shooting that happened there yesterday.
Well...yes, be horrified. Be tremendously saddened. We all are. But remember--human beings are extremely fallible, and a few of them do horrible things. That's something conservatism teaches you...

More Democratic Party corruption, as reported by that noted right-wing paper, the NY Times:
"Top banking regulators were taken aback late last year when a California congresswoman helped set up a meeting in which the chief executive of a bank with financial ties to her family asked them for up to $50 million in special bailout funds, Treasury officials said."