Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday musings

"The U.S. budget deficit for the current year will be about four times last year's, reflecting government spending to ease the deep recession....The deficit is now forecast to climb by $89 billion to $1.84 trillion in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, meaning the government will be borrowing 46 cents for every dollar needed to run the government under the Obama administration's plan."

And hey, in connection with that, let's keep in mind some important statistics, which can be found here:

--that, for example, Medicare, created in 1965, wasn't supposed to cost that much; but now it costs $455 billion.

--same thing for Medicaid; it now costs us $227 billion annually.

--and remember SCHIP? Nice, not too expensive program, its backers assured us, finely targeted at poor children only. Really? And yet now, families who earn income at 300% of the poverty level qualify to get SCHIP funding. In New York, you qualify for it even if you earn money at 400% of poverty. Concretely, this means that a family of 4 which earns over $63,000 per year qualifies for SCHIP!!!

Remember all this when Democrats want to add single-payer, government-run health care to our budget, and especially remember it when they assure us it won't cost that much.

By the way, I'm sure many of you have had Democrats get in your face about Republicans/conservatives/George W. Bush/all three of these supposedly "lying" about the war in Iraq, the war on terror in general, etc etc etc. So next time, ask them what they think about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's obvious lies. Pelosi claims:
"In one version, she says she simply was not informed that any waterboarding was under way. In another version, she says she learned about the waterboarding not at the 2002 meeting but in 2003, when one of her staffers attended a briefing for Rep. Jane Harman on the subject. Pelosi says she “concurred” with the letter Harman subsequently sent to the CIA’s legal counsel objecting to the practice — but she apparently didn’t concur strongly enough to sign the letter or to send one of her own. If Pelosi really believed that human-rights violations and war crimes were being perpetrated under her nose, with funds she was appropriating, mightn’t she have bothered to jot down her signature on a letter? But the political mood was different in 2003. It took Pelosi until the run-up to the 2006 elections to discover the courage of her alleged convictions."

But the truth is this:
"To answer the inevitable question, we turn to recently released CIA records. What Pelosi knew: “Briefing on EITs, including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of particular EITs that had been employed.” When she knew it: September 2002. Pelosi raised no objection at that time; but now that the Left is demanding an inquisition to study Bush-era interrogation programs, Madame Speaker pleads ignorance. Fortunately for those with an interest in establishing the facts, Pelosi did not attend that briefing solo. Also in attendance was Porter Goss, at that time a member of Congress, who went on to become director of the CIA. He pronounces himself “slack-jawed” with disbelief that Pelosi today claims not to have known what interrogation techniques were being used. “We understood what the CIA was doing,” he wrote in the Washington Post. “We gave the CIA our bipartisan support. We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities. . . . I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues.” Note that the memo says Pelosi was given a “description of particular EITs that had been employed” on Abu Zubaydah, a lieutenant to Osama bin Laden. He had been waterboarded repeatedly by that point. If that did not make the list of “particular EITs,” then what did? Perhaps Pelosi would enlighten us?"

It's no surprise to me--it does seem sometimes that Democrats and liberals, once they've achieved power and seem secure, get rather arrogant...and become furious at those who dare challenge them (like Limbaugh does). It also doesn't help that the Obama administration chose, for some reason, to demonize Limbaugh and others, those fueling the fire. Anyway, give some on the left a little room, and they'll go ballistic. And in the end, it only hurts them.

BASEBALL DIARY: things are going pretty well for the favorite teams right now. The Tigers finished off a sweep of the Indians by winning yesterday, 5-3. Once again, we saw solid pitching from Rick Porcello, and effective hitting---note that Magglio Ordonez had two hits; maybe his slump is ending. If the Tigers keep getting solid pitching from pre-season question marks like Porcello...
The Texas Rangers beat the White Sox yesterday, 7-1. Again, a key was another outstanding outing from a Rangers starter, this time Vincente Padilla. And note two home runs coming from Hank Blalock--if he can regain his injury-free All-Star form, so much the better for this team.
The Cubs salvaged the final game of their weekend series with the Brewers, winning yesterday 4-2. Yet concern remains for their bullpen--Carlos Marmol almost blew the lead in the 8th inning when he managed to get the bases loaded thanks to a double and two walks. Luckily he got out of it. The bullpen, combined with Cub injuries to for example Aramis Ramirez, suggests that the Cubs will just have to hope to stay above water until the all-star break...and then, in the second half, they can put things together.

FAVORITE TEAMS UPDATE--the Detroit Red Wings won yesterday, 4-1. They now lead their grueling 2nd-round series, 3 games to 2. You do get the feeling that the Wings are wearing the Ducks down, as the linked article suggests--they outshot Anaheim yesterday, 39-17, and would have had more goals had they not clanked their shots off the post several times. Can they end this difficult series tomorrow night? They could sure use the rest.
The Dallas Mavericks tonight, of course, face elimination from the playoffs, fresh off that frustrating loss in game 3. They were indeed ripped off--it was a bad non-call by the officials Saturday, and even the league has admitted it. But they shouldn't have been in that position--they had a 4 point lead with 30 seconds to go have to wrap that game up, and not have it come down to a last-second shot. Hopefully they can indeed play for pride tonight, and show everyone that they'll go down fighting. That probably is all they have left.
Will the NBA realize, though, that they need better officials? It's time they did.