Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday's wash

It ain't over--the opposition isn't giving up:
"Iran's embattled opposition leader urged his supporters Wednesday to keep pressing for their rights, and he joined a reformist ex-president to denounce what both men called the regime's "coup" against those contesting the outcome of last month's presidential election."
Now the question is--will the protests resume, and remain significant in size...
Meanwhile, the Iranian regime didn't waste much time in striking back:
"Iran's government was accused of blocking publication of a reformist party's newspaper Wednesday to prevent it publishing a letter from a presidential candidate questioning the legitimacy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in last month's election."

BASEBALL DIARY: the Tigers found a way to win last night on the road in Oakland, edging the As 5-3. Placido Polanco's power helped out--he had another two-run homer. But the big story was probably Armando Galarraga, who won his 2nd straight start last night. The Tigers need him. He still walked too many--6. But he gave up only two hits. The Tigers could really use another win tonight, to get to .500 on this road trip they're on. Minnesota awaits, after all...
As for the Cubs--well, once again, bewilderingly, their offense is nowhere to be found as they lose to the Pirates, 3-0.
But finally the Texas Rangers broke out their bats, scoring 9 runs last night against the division-leading Angels and winning 9-5. Kudos go to Scott Feldman for pitching capably for his usual 6 innings, and to Marlon Byrd for hitting two home runs. The Rangers too could really use another win tonight--it would mean a win in the series, get them back to only a half-game out of first, and create some momentum (hopefully).

You can tell it's a lousy, recessioning economy when good news amounts to headlines announcing that sales of this and that (in this case, cars) fell "less than expected."
Don't forget that these kind of headlines could well be the byproduct of pro-Obama media members wanting so badly for folks to believe that recovery is coming (for which they believe Obama should get the credit, of course...)
Meanwhile, kinda hard to spin this as good news:
"Construction spending fell more than expected in May, a sign the problems facing the nation's builders are far from over. The Commerce Department says construction spending dropped 0.9 percent in May, nearly double the 0.5 percent drop that economists expected. Adding to the signs of weakness, activity in the past two months was revised lower."

Al Franken is now the new junior senator from Minnesota. Ugh.
At the same time, it was obvious months ago that this was going to be the outcome. Probably Coleman should have given up the ghost way before this. Could he ever run again in Minnesota? Or will folks there brand him as a sore loser? That's the question...

So what's wrong with Obama's plans? National Review's editors summarize what should be conservative concerns very nicely:
"Very little in the Democratic bills making their way through Congress would do anything to reduce costs, while the new subsidies their authors envision would increase costs. That is why the Democrats are talking about both explicit and disguised tax increases. During the ABC special, the president hinted that reform would give doctors and hospitals new incentives to avoid unnecessary care. But since government cannot reliably distinguish between the necessary and the unnecessary, all it can do is encourage less care — and leave it to doctors and other health-care workers to administer the rationing. Obama would be well-advised, for his political health, to do no more than hint at this prospect."
Rationing--keep that word in mind.

Oh, boy, that Obama "stimulus" package was going to get right to work, spending money, creating jobs, having an immediate impact--or so they told us. But the reality is different:
"The idea behind the government's economic stimulus package was to get money flowing through the system, boost economic activity and create jobs. But an review of the latest federal spending data shows that the money is flowing at a trickle.....As of mid-June, for example, spending by the Transportation Deptartment for so-called "shovel ready" projects represented barely 2 percent of available funds. The EPA has barely touched its $4.4 billion in stimulus spending. Same for the Defense Department.According to our calculations, roughly $53 billion or one-third of the $150 billion in fiscal stimulus money available for this year has been spent as of June 19. As a percentage of the $479 billion in total stimulus funds, that represents only 11.1 percent."

Nope--note for example some recent evidence from Gallup on how the American people now see the Democrats:
"A Gallup Poll finds a statistically significant increase since last year in the percentage of Americans who describe the Democratic Party's views as being "too liberal," from 39% to 46%. This is the largest percentage saying so since November 1994, after the party's losses in that year's midterm elections."