Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday's throwdowns

BASEBALL DIARY: again, the Tigers lose last night (to St. Louis, 4-3); again, for the 7th consecutive game, they score 3 runs or less. Their pitching last night (especially from Edwin Jackson) was adequate. But guys they need to produce (such as Magglio Ordonez, who made a crucial out last night with the bases loaded) aren't doing it. They're in a tough stretch...
As for the Cubs, well--John Danks of the White Sox is a solid hurler who pitched well yesterday...but the Cubs are in a horrible hitting slump, and are not at all swinging the bats well. They flailed away in a spectacularly futile fashion yesterday, losing 4-1, swinging at bad pitches left and right, failing to move runners along, etc. Might just be a long, frustrating summer at Wrigley.
But the Texas Rangers won again, beating Houston 5-4 in 10 innings. Again, the Rangers get an adequate start (from Matt Harrison), good work by the bullpen, especially C.J. Wilson, and some excellent defensive plays from their infield of Young, Kinsler, and the never-aging Omar Vizquel. Their pitching and defense, again, are remarkably improved over last year...

The protests apparently continue, with lots of folks taking part:
"Supporters of Mir Hossein Moussavi -- the country's top opposition candidate -- were turning Tehran into a sea of black as they marched in silence to express their displeasure. And he addressed the throngs, according to messages on Twitter from people who say they were at the rally."
It's important that the protests refuse to die.
Will they spread to, say, strikes in key parts of the Iranian economy? That's what to watch for...
And by the way, even the mainstream media is finally taking notice of the Obama administration's flailing to come up with a response to what's happening:
"President Obama and his advisers have struggled to strike the right tone, carefully calibrating positive messages about the protests in an effort to avoid giving the government in Tehran an excuse to portray the demonstrators as pro-American. Nevertheless, the Iranian Foreign Ministry yesterday summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents American interests in Tehran, to complain of "interventionist" comments by U.S. officials, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. In an apt summation of the administration's position, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters yesterday: "We are obviously waiting to see the outcome of the internal Iranian processes, but our intent is to pursue whatever opportunities might exist in the future with Iran."

Wait-and-see is not much of a response.
The administration still doesn't seem to grasp that the Iranian government will criticize the U.S. and denounce our "meddling" no matter what we do; they're eager to change the subject. Letting fear of their response guide OUR response is no way to do foreign policy.

Speaking of foreign policy, President Obama has a new headache:"SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - "North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July, a Japanese news report said Thursday, as Russia and China urged the regime to return to international disarmament talks on its rogue nuclear program. The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers), would be launched from North Korea's Dongchang-ni site on the northwestern coast, said the Yomiuri daily, Japan's top-selling newspaper. It cited an analysis by the Japanese Defense Ministry and intelligence gathered by U.S. reconnaissance satellites."
The lesson being--Mr. Obama's endless apologies in international speeches for this country's past actions, his talking about talking, his preaching that he's not Bush...don't make problems go away, nor do they make bad guys...not be bad guys.

More evidence of the "no" answer--a NY Times poll finds that while Obama remains personally popular, Americans are much, much more skeptical of his plans for dealing with the budget deficit, overhauling health care, taking over the auto industry, and closing Guantanamo Bay.