Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday's throwdowns...

There seems to be an anti-tax "tea party" movement growing in America:
"Such is the rallying cry building across the country as taxpayers take a stand against what they see as reckless spending in Washington -- all part of a peculiar and rather sudden movement called "tea parties." Some small, some large, locals converge at the parties to voice their frustration over the federal government's economic policies. The protests have sprouted up from coast-to-coast and city-to-city since late February. The biggest one so far is scheduled for April 15, tax day, when hundreds of cities will play host to a coordinated, nationwide tea-party protest....Jenny Beth Martin, a Republican activist who's helping organize one of the higher-profile tea parties in Atlanta, said Santelli's rant led shortly afterward to a conference call of 22 activists, including herself. From there, she said, organizers put together 48 tea parties -- from St. Louis to San Antonio to Chicago -- on Feb. 27. There have been scattered tea parties since then, but the next nationally coordinated event is on tax day. She said 360 events are on the books for April 15, with "dozens more" scheduled every day -- she anticipates more than 2,000 participants in Atlanta."
We'll need to see exactly how many people show up and take part in this on the 15th.
But conservatives need to watch this movement, encourage it, and take part. A movement filled with anti-tax, anti-big-government spirit? What's not to like?

In any case, don't look for the tea party movement to die down anytime soon.
The WSJ reports today that at least 10 states are seriously considering major increases in sales or income taxes...

Many in the news media, along with many Democrats, seem to believe that President Obama's recent foreign trip to Europe went just wonderfully. Well, really didn't. For example, Mr. Obama claims that a Western victory in Afghanistan is vital, and he wanted more European help there. So how did he do in convincing other European states to do more pitching in?:
" summit succeeded summit, the president did progressively less okay. The central issue at the Strasbourg summit of NATO was Afghanistan. All 26 NATO countries have signed on to the Afghan mission as vital. As yet only Canada, Britain, and the U.S. have significant numbers of fighting troops in the country — yet the president had to mime gratitude for a European promise of an extra 5,000 troops. None of them will be combat troops, and some will be doing merely temporary duty. And the average burden of European defense spending is a mere 1 percent of GDP. What Obama welcomed through gritted teeth in Strasbourg was a mixture of pacifism and free-riding from most European allies. If this continues unabated, it will inevitably weaken military and diplomatic ties across the Atlantic — adding strategic fears to economic nervousness. Very much less than okay."

FAVORITE TEAMS UPDATE: the Detroit Pistons blasted the New York Knicks on the road last night, 113-86. Maybe they truly are better off without Allen Iverson...and, even more importantly, they're getting healthy. I note that Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said the Pistons could be dangerous in the playoffs.
And are the Dallas Mavericks coming on strong at the right time? Maybe--they blew out the Utah Jazz last night, and are hitting shots, creating good shots, forcing turnovers...
They have a chance to move up out of the 8th spot in the conference, and could be dangerous in the playoffs. But they'll have to prove they're better against the West's elite teams.

BASEBALL DIARY: the Tigers are no longer winless--they beat Toronto last night 5-1. Keys: Miguel Cabrera is off to a great start (2 homers last night), the team got a great start from Zach Miner, and the bullpen held up.
And watch out for the Texas Rangers--they're 2-0 after beating Cleveland last night, 8-5. Of course they can hit--but if they can just get a little pitching...and they got another decent start last night from Vincente Padilla.
And the Cubs won their first series of the year, beating Houston 11-6--the first time they've won their opening series in 6 years. They've still got the bats. Lou Piniella sounds a bit worried about starter Ted Lilly, though...