Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday's throwdowns

So...President Obama makes a major speech on Guantanamo, the war on terror, etc...and:
"President Barack Obama forcefully defended his decision to close the Guantanamo detention camp Thursday and said some of the terror suspects held there would be brought to top-security prisons in the United States despite fierce opposition in Congress. He insisted the transfer would not endanger Americans and promised to work with lawmakers to develop a system for holding detainees who can't be tried and can't be turned loose from the Navy-run prison in Cuba. He spoke one day after the Senate voted resoundingly to deny him money to close the prison."

Well, politically speaking, if the president wants to tilt at that windmill, he can have at it; I'm convinced it's a political loser. But it's also bad policy. I'm intrigued by the following portion of his speech:
"Obama conceded that some Guantanamo detainees would end up in U.S. prisons and said those facilities were tough enough to house even the most dangerous inmates. Obama decried arguments used against his plans. "We will be ill-served by the fear-mongering that emerges whenever we discuss this issue," he declared."

But look, Mr. President, this isn't about "fear." It's about common sense. You claim these terrorists could never escape from one of our prisons; but you can't know that. Why take the chance? Why take the chance of having one of these terrorists loose in this country, endangering our citizens?

By the way, in response to the Obama administration, Dick Cheney makes a good point, saying, basically: the Bush administration kept this country safe from terrorist attack for over 2,600 days. We dare you to do better. Indeed...

A member of the Corner makes an excellent point concerning Obama's speech today, too:
"Obama argues that Gitmo serves as a rallying point for jihadists and al-Qaeda terrorists and that this makes the United States less safe. Question: How does the president address the fact that al-Qaeda struck and struck persistently before Gitmo?"

BASEBALL DIARY: the Tigers last night won their fifth game in a row, beating the Texas Rangers 5-3. Once again the main story was pitching--Justin Verlander with yet another quality start, allowing only 1 run through 6 innings. The Tigers also got some timely hitting--Brandon Inge hit a long home run; he's becoming a very important player on this team, as his solid defense at 3rd base is key, too. It's got to be a bit frustrating for the Rangers, who came into Comerica Park as a very hot team. But they should be comforted by the fact that they haven't played badly so far in the series. Rather, good pitching by the Tigers so far has beaten good hitting, once proving true that old baseball cliche.
But the Cubs lost 2-1 to St. Louis. Ryan Dempster, the Cubs' starter, pitched well. But Chris Carpenter shut the Cubs down. That's 3 losses in a row for the Cubs; good pitching, it seems, has slowed their momentum.

IDOL UPDATE: yes, small-town-Arkansas boy-next-door Kris Allen won it, horrifying the many Adam Lambert fans out there.
Why did Allen win? Try this: enough Americans just liked him a bit more. Liked what? Maybe it was his passion when he sang, his status as an underdog, his humble persona...all of it. They just liked him. That happens sometimes. In the 1948 presidential election, Harry Truman supposedly had no chance whatsoever to beat the favored Republican, Thomas Dewey. But Truman proved to be an indefatigable campaigner, who never quit and didn't care that people gave him no chance. The great historian David McCullough later surmised that such made a lot of Americans just flat-out like him, that fighter, that underdog. American Idol isn't nearly as weighty a contest, and Kris Allen was no give-'em-hell type. But he hung in there, and stayed true to who he was. A lot of voters just liked him. Maybe that's all it was...