Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday's trackings

THE PROBLEM WITH LIBERAL REPUBLICANISM DEPARTMENT: as seen in California under Arnold Schwarzenegger, unfortunately:
"Under Arnold Schwarzenegger, the best governor the states contiguous to California have ever had, people and businesses have been relocating in those states. For four consecutive years, more Americans have moved out of California than have moved in. California's business costs are more than 20 percent higher than the average state's. In the last decade, net out-migration of Americans has been 1.4 million. California is exporting talent while importing Mexico's poverty. The latter is not California's fault; the former is. If, since 1990, state spending increases had been held to the inflation rate plus population growth, the state would have a $15 billion surplus instead of a $42 billion budget deficit, which is larger than the budgets of all but 10 states. Since 1990, the number of state employees has increased by more than a third. In Schwarzenegger's less than six years as governor, per capita government spending, adjusted for inflation, has increased nearly 20 percent."

BASEBALL DIARY: I knew it. I just knew it. The Tigers always have trouble with the Minnesota Twins...and last night they opened a 3-game series with them. Sure enough, the Tigers lost at home, 7-2. A lot of the blame has to go to Twins' twirler Francisco Liriano, who held the Tigers to two hits in 8 innings. But part of the problem also lies with the Tigers' inconsistent offense--especially Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, who both need to get going.
Overall, some teams just seem to have a hex over others...and for the Tigers, their nemesis is the Twins.
But elsewhere, the news was better. The Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-2, with Ryan Dempster's pitching and Ryan Theriot's hitting leading the way. The Cubs have now won 4 straight, all at home...and they're playing more consistent baseball.
And the Texas Rangers won again, on the road at Seattle, 6-5. Once again, adequate pitching (from Kevin Millwood, who has been the Rangers' best starter this year)...and the offense came through again, with Chris Davis and Michael Young hitting home runs. The Rangers lead the majors in home runs with 46...and that's with Josh Hamilton, currently on the DL but due to come off next week, not producing much yet. I suspect, however, before too much time passes, he will.

MORE PROBLEMS WITH LIBERALISM DEPARTMENT: cities hunger after the Obama administration's "stimulus" money. But guess what? Layer after layer of federal bureaucracy and red tape greatly slows down the process. Who woulda guessed:
"With the stimulus money routed through an array of federal agencies, the city needs an extra hand to deal with the different deadlines, eligibility standards, and reporting requirements for each funding stream. It’s a situation that tries the patience of Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore. “If you have one in every five unemployed — until you have had that happen, you don’t really know the true meaning of the word ‘patience,’” said Moore, whose city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. “I would like to see it moving quicker. But I’ve learned I have to live with the rules and regulations.”
This is exactly the criticism that conservatives have always made against big-government liberalism--that it leads to all this bureaucracy. And here we see that criticism validated again.

SO THE REPUBLICAN IS DEAD/DYING/BECOMING MERELY A SOUTHERN, REGIONAL RUMP PARTY, HUH? DEPARTMENT: yet more evidence that this isn't true, this time from New Hampshire:
"And now there are all kinds of interesting developments in New Hampshire: "Although [former senator John] Sununu has not indicated that he plans to run in 2010, a hypothetical matchup for Senate between Hodes and Sununu is likely to be a close match. If the election were held today, 46% of New Hampshire likely voters say they would vote for Sununu, 41% for Hodes, 2% for some other candidate, and 11% are not sure. Both candidates have the full support of their partisans, and Sununu holds a narrow 38% to 31% lead among Independents." This is for Judd Gregg's seat; some GOP folk want to persuade him to reconsider his retirement. "Currently, 52% of New Hampshire likely voters said that if the 2010 election were held today, they would vote for Gregg, 36% said they would vote for Hodes, 2% would vote for some other candidate, and 10% are not sure."
Gosh, and I thought the Republican Party was dead in New England. Who knew?
And by the way, it's early, but right now Republican chances to win a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois look optimistic, too.

I think David Brooks in today's NY Times misses the boat in a couple of ways, when he writes:
"The emphasis on freedom and individual choice may work in the sparsely populated parts of the country. People there naturally want to do whatever they want on their own land. But it doesn’t work in the densely populated parts of the country: the cities and suburbs where Republicans are getting slaughtered. People in these areas understand that their lives are profoundly influenced by other people’s individual choices. People there are used to worrying about the health of the communal order."
Sure. But Brooks forgets other facts of life in the suburbs--there, people own property. They own homes. They raise children. They don't want high taxes; they need all the income they can get, to support and maintain their property and to support their children. And they worry about crime--that is, threats to their homes and to their children. Thus they want a good, strong police department, and they want law and order. And I still think the GOP is strong on those issues--maybe one thing Republicans can do is to remind of how Republicans, in their views of crime, police, and the courts, have so often stood behind the police and prosecutors, and have stood against the desire of some liberals to rob criminals of responsibility for their actions and instead blame "society" for them.