Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday musings

OBAMA UPDATE: is President Obama starting to "own" the economy? Some in Elkhart, IN, upon which is focusing as a good example of economic trouble, suggest that the "stimulus" bill hasn't brought the jobs and fast relief promised.

And by the way, any see Obama's speech yesterday at the University of Notre Dame as some kind of triumph for the pro-choice position. But Ramesh Ponnuru points out today correctly that this is incorrect:
"President Obama's speech at Notre Dame yesterday is another sign that pro-lifers are slowly winning the political battles over abortion. It was not the speech of a man who is confident that his position is right and popular. It was the speech of someone who is trying to minimize a problem—which is what the association with abortion assuredly is for the Democratic party. . . ."
Indeed--read the text of Obama's speech.
There's barely any defense of the pro-choice position in it.
He mainly urges everyone to disagree with civility. Ponnuru is right.

Are Republicans/conservatives in deep, deep trouble? Nope:
"We've been hearing a great deal about how the troubles of the GOP have reduced the party to a mere one in five voters. Eh, maybe not, Gallup reports. They asked, "In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent? (Asked of independents: As of today, do you lean more to the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?)" Their most recent poll, conducted May 7–10, splits 32 percent for each party, with 34 percent for independents. When they press the independents for which party they lean towards, it comes out to another split, this time 45 percent for each. In early April it had been 53 percent for Democrats, 34 percent for Republicans."

SPEAKING OF HATE, INTOLERANCE, ETC DEPT: did you know that David Axelrod, top adviser to President Obama--you know, the head of the administration that declares it's all about hope, love, and change--referred to Miss California, Carrie Prejean, as a dog?
All because she doesn't agree with many Democrats on the gay marriage question.
Why can't we all just get along?

BASEBALL DIARY: so the Tigers continue to be weekend champs, beating Oakland yesterday 11-7 to sweep another weekend series, and hopefully put the Minnesota nightmare behind them. It was good to see players such as Curtis Granderson and Ramon Santiago step up (who thought HE would be a power guy!) and to see Zach Miner do a solid job in relief. It is troubling though to see Armando Galarraga, earlier in the season one of the Tigers' most dependable starters, struggle yet again and fail to make it out of the first inning. But--there are rumblings that Jeremy Bonderman might return soon...

FAVORITE TEAM UPDATE: the Detroit Red Wings took a 1 game to none lead in their Western Conference finals series against the Chicago Black Hawks, winning yesterday 5-2. Nothing surprising from the Wings--they took advantage of the odd-man rushes and opportunities the younger, less-experienced Black Hawks gave them. The Hawks gave the Wings a lot of trouble this season, though, so this series has a long way to go. But it was good to see the Wings come off of a tough series, yet take of business.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE: so Tony Kornheiser will give up his duties on ESPN's MNF--apparently he has a fear of flying--and former Raiders/Bucs coach Jon Gruden will replace him. This may be a very good change--Gruden has an interesting personality, speaks well, and certainly knows the game. I'll miss Kornheiser a little bit, though--I thought he did a good job at getting at the larger importance of games and matchups, and at asking the questions ordinary fans wanted answered. But it will be interesting to see how Gruden does. MNF is no longer the huge attraction and event it used to be--the fact that it's now on a cable network, that the real prime games go to NBC for its Sunday night games, and the passing of Howard Cosell and such giants all have contributed to that. It will be interesting to see if Gruden's arrival and his outspoken ways can help ESPN make Monday Night Football a big deal again...

MORE SPORTS--MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL'S WORLD SERIES UPDATE: hey, it's-about-time-kinda good news time...:
"Major League Baseball is going to turn back the clock for the start of World Series games this season. The first pitch of World Series games will happen shortly before 8 p.m. this season, shortly after Fox's pregame show, which will now begin at 7:30. The new first pitch time is approximately 40 minutes earlier than World Series games in past years. This year will mark the first time in more than 30 years a World Series game will begin before 8 p.m., according to"
Excellent--now maybe people who just can't stay awake until midnight or 1 in the morning will be able to see more of these games, and they won't always go until the wee hours. Good call, MLB...