Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday's wash

It seems evident that the government is attempting to crack down on the protests through the methods of heavy police presences and occasional violence. But it also seems evident that the protests continue, and that news of the heavy-handed methods is getting out to the Iranian people. Will the government's crackdown work? It's too soon to tell--but here's why some believe it important for the Obama administration to say more than it has so far:
"Some Moussavi supporters, however, remained firm -- even as they accused those outside Iran of turning a blind eye to their plight. "We are fighting with our lives and the world is just watching," said Ali, a Tehran University student who asked that his full name not be used. "They see how the government is trying to silence us, how they are beating us -- but they don't come to our help. It's OK. We will succeed, even if we have to fight alone."
By the way, the Iranian government is of course accusing us of "meddling" in its affairs anyway--to which Michael Ledeen today has a great retort:
"There's a useful lesson here for President Obama and those who think they can somehow be a little bit pregnant in a brothel: You're going to be accused of meddling anyway, since out there in the real world you are believed to be the leader of the forces of freedom and democracy. So stop pretending to be a sweet innocent, and get in there and fight for people who are dying in the name of our values, and who want to be part of our world."

Presidents belonging to the Democratic Party always have a tough time satisfying them, whether it be liberals, pro-choice activists, union heads, etc. Right now the president's got trouble with gay activists--you can read why here, as the Obama Justice Department recently dared to defend traditional marriage.
This is the kind of thing that drove Jimmy Carter nuts--and look what happened to him.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY UPDATE: Obama's "stimulus" package is slow to take effect, especially in Michigan:
"Michigan's unemployment rate jumped to 14.1% in May."

By the way, Michigan has had a Democratic governor since 2002 (Jennifer Granholm), under whom much of this rise in joblessness has occurred. Look for Republicans to have a real shot here in 2010.

Furthermore--and there's been a lot of this--the Obama administration's economic claims keep turning out to be questionable or, at worst, rather dishonest. Take it's claim to have, so far, "saved or created" 150,000 jobs--even Newsweek magazine doesn't buy it:
"A Republican Party Web site classifies as "fiction" the president's repeated claim that the spending already has "saved or created" a total of 150,000 jobs, and accuses him of "fuzzy math." The GOP has a point here. The fact is the economy has lost more jobs, and the unemployment rate is significantly higher, than the administration originally predicted would be the case if Washington did nothing. In fact, the original projections of Obama's economic aides have turned out to be off by a very wide margin."

BASEBALL DIARY: another bad night for the Tigers--they lose 11-2 to St. Louis, Justin Verlander (who's been terrific) had a bad night, and for the 6th consecutive game, the Tigers score 3 runs or fewer. No one seems to know how to get them out of their offensive funk, including their manager...
Meanwhile, the Cubs were rained out. But the Rangers defeated Houston, 6-1--very solid start (again!) from Kevin Millwood; and, importantly, perhaps Ian Kinsler is out of his slump--he went 3 for 4 with two homers. When Kinsler warms up, so does the Rangers' offense...