Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday's throwdowns

Hmmm. Yesterday, a writer at the online mag Salon complains that conservatives and Republicans haven't done enough to drive the "Birthers" (those arguing that Barack Obama has no legit birth certificate, that he was not born in this country, and that Obama may secretly be a horrible person seeking to do damage to this country etc etc etc) out of the conservative movement.
That's strange, because I for example have read a number of very strong criticisms and denunciations of the Birthers on National Review Online, and by other conservatives. Here's one example; and here's another. And editorially, NR not long ago said this:
"Much foolishness has become attached to the question of President Obama’s place of birth, and a few misguided souls among the Right have indulged it. The myth that Barack Obama is ineligible to be president represents the hunt for a magic bullet that will make all the unpleasant complications of his election and presidency disappear. We are used to seeing conspiracy theories from the Left, for instance among the one in three Democrats who believe that 9/11 was an inside job conducted with the foreknowledge of the Bush administration...There is nothing that President Obama’s coterie would enjoy more than to see the responsible Right become a mirror image of the loopy Left circa 2003."
That's pretty strong. And NR was right on in saying it. I don't know what else our friends at Salon would have mainstream conservatives do. They should do a bit more research before suggesting the Birthers haven't been denounced, when in fact...they have.

Levi Johnston has been given way too much print and air-time lately...but believe it or not, there's some good sense on him and his untrustworthiness as a witness from an unlikely source: the relatively liberal Gail Collins of the NY Times:
"Given the fact that Johnston is a 19-year-old high school dropout whose mother was arrested last year on six felony drug counts, it is conceivable that he is not the perfect arbiter of normal families. But even if he were an Eagle Scout with a scholarship to Harvard, can you imagine anything worse than discovering your daughter’s teenage ex-boyfriend has been given a national platform to discuss his impressions of her mom’s parenting skills?"

BASEBALL DIARY: the Tigers won a big one last night; the Twins blew a lead in the 9th inning and lost to the White Sox, and so the Tigers had a chance to pad their division lead by another game. And they did it, thanks to young pitcher Rick Porcello, beating Cleveland 4-2. Tiger pitching remains the strength of this team. Porcello now has 12 wins. He's still only 20 years old.
Meanwhile, the Cubs at least haven't quit--they got a well-pitched game from Ted Lilly in beating Houston, 2-0. But they still trail the Rockies for the wild card by 6 games.
And the Texas Rangers continue to win--they beat Toronto 6-4. They're now only 2 and 1/2 games out of the wild card lead, behind Boston. Again, the young pitchers for the Rangers, such as Tommy Hunter in this game, and the Ranger bullpen tandem of C.J. Wilson and Frankie Francisco, have continued to get the job done.

Wow--VP Joe Biden made such outlandish claims about the so-called stimulus package today that even the mainstream media is calling him on it:
"Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed success beyond expectations Thursday for the $787 billion economic stimulus, but his glowing assessment overlooks many of the program's problems, including delays in releasing money, questionable spending priorities and project picks that are under investigation....Biden, Obama's chief stimulus cheerleader, proudly pointed to more than 2,200 highway projects Thursday funded by the program, but didn't mention the growing frustration among contractors that the transportation money is only trickling out and thus far hasn't delivered the needed boost in jobs....And Biden praised the more than 2,400 military construction projects paid for with stimulus money, but ignored the millions of dollars in savings the Defense Department lost because it hasn't competitively bid many of the jobs."
I have little doubt that some of this pushback against Biden's cheerleading is due to the hard work of folks like NRO's Jim Geraghty, who has been highlighting the failures of the stimulus for months now. Kudos to him and others like him.