Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday's musings

Buffalo 30, Indy 7: The Colts treated this final regular-season game as an exhibition game, and why not--given that the game was played in frigid conditions and heavy snow. But the most important starters on offense played a quarter, drove for a touchdown despite the cold, and hopefully maintained their edge. We'll see if the strategy works--the Colts now won't play until the weekend of January 16-17.
Bears 37, Lions 23: well, at least for the Lions, the season is over. Two more wins than last year; but is a 2-14 season "improvement"??? No, of course not. The Lions have a tiny few building blocks--Matthew Stafford, DB Louis Delmas, TE Brandon Pettigrew. But they still have a long, long way to go...but then, what else is new. Jim Schwartz found out this year how hard it is to break a culture of losing.

Both Michigan teams from major conferences got needed wins over the weekend. The University of Michigan beat Ohio State, 73-64. Most important to this observer were the big games the Wolverines got from their stars, Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, and the added energy with which Michigan played. But they've gotta play with that energy every game! When will teams learn that...
And Michigan State beat #25 Northwestern, on the road, 91-70. Everyone contributed for the Spartans, including their bench, which outscored the Wildcats, 40-18. Will the Spartans again build towards that March run? Maybe they're doing so now...

The criticism continues to pound the administration, including from those who want to support Obama, such as this CNN op-ed piece from a progressive academic who points out problems with the administration's message:
"...the response to the Undiebomber underscores a problem the current administration does not share with its predecessor, which not only "stayed on message" but largely controlled it for the first six years of Bush's presidency: the ability to communicate a clear vision to the American people. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially suggested, in a tone intended to reassure, that the failed terrorist attack proved the system works. A few days later, when that comment could no longer even pass through airport screening machines, the president reversed course, calling the event a systemic failure of catastrophic proportions.
Napolitano's gaffe (which, to be fair, she later sought to correct) was not an isolated incident. It is emblematic of a seat-of-the-pants approach to speaking with the American people about issues that really matter to them that is increasingly undermining the administration's credibility (and with it, its poll numbers). Just two weeks ago, on the Sunday morning talk shows, one member of the White House economic team confidently asserted that the recession was over -- a statement that was tone deaf at best to a nation in which one in six people is out of work or has given up looking and one in five families is in danger of losing its home. An hour later, a second senior member of the White House economic team responded on a different show that the recession is definitely not over."

Indeed, what are the central themes of this administration? With Reagan, it was less taxes, tough on communism. With W, it was the war on terror and less taxes. With Obama...they don't come to mind.
Perhaps this is why in today's latest poll results, Gallup shows the president's approval rating at only 49%, while Rasmussen shows that those who oppose the Democrats' health care plans outnumber those who support them 52-42%.