Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday's musings

Good news over the weekend for the hoops teams from Notre Dame. The Notre Dame men beat #8 West Virginia at home, 70-68. Most importantly: is not only the fact that the Irish beat a highly-ranked opponent, which it needed for its NCAA tourney resume, but that ND came a huge game, at home...and played tough on both ends, hitting big shots, defending, and racing out to a 20 point lead. The Irish didn't play tight. Yes, they had to hang on, but in a league as tough as the Big East your opponents will make runs. But can you as a team hang in? The Irish did it. Maybe they have a shot at making the NCAAs this year after all.
Meanwhile the #3 ranked Notre Dame women's hoops team won again, 81-46 over Villanova. Most importantly: the Irish beat Villanova, a team which rarely turns the ball over, makes shots, and plays a slowdown, very patient style that usually gives ND fits. Not this time--the Irish forced 34 turnovers, by far a season's high for Villanova, and won easily. That pressure defense for Muffet McGraw's team is something special. They'll need it to at least stay close to powerful UConn.
News not so good though for the University of Michigan's men's team, as they blew a 17 point lead, at home, and lost to Northwestern. Loss of defensive focus in the 2nd half was probably the key, as the Wolverines gave up 40 points and lots of wide-open 3-point looks to Northwestern in the second 20 minutes. Young players just can never get it--you can never lose focus. It should be emphasized, too--Northwestern is no joke this year in basketball, either. They've got shooters and they execute their system well.

Maybe not:
"The average price of regular gasoline in the United States is up 14 cents over a three-week period to $2.74. That's according to the national Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday. Analyst Trilby Lundberg says the average price for a gallon of mid-grade was $2.86. Premium was at $2.97. Cheyenne, Wyo., had the lowest average price among cities surveyed at $2.36 a gallon for regular. Anchorage was the highest at $3.28."

Moral? Drill, baby, drill!! We need more production...
By the way, Democrats just keep getting themselves in trouble, don't they? Now Dem Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2008 apparently spoke of Barack Obama being a good candidate because he was "light-skinned" and didn't use a "Negro dialect." I go along with Mark Steyn's take on it:
"You can talk about how light-skinned and clean the Negro is and that's perfectly okay as long as you support the president's policies or (as Mr. Obama put it in his acceptance of Reid's apology) "social justice." But, if you go along to a town-hall meeting and say you oppose the health-care bill because you're very concerned at what you hear about waiting times for MRIs in Canada, you're obviously a knuckledragging racist who's itching to string that uppity Negro from the nearest tree."

As for the 2010 electoral prospects question, more good news for Republicans today (and more bad news for Harry Reid).
A Las Vegas newspaper poll shows that Nevadans who oppose the current Democratic health care plan working its way through Congress outnumber those who support it by about 20 points. (and of course Sen. Reid is the guy on point trying to pass it.)
Oh, and Reid still trails likely Republican opponents by about 10 points. Reid's numbers haven't been much over 40% for months. Bad sign, Senator.
And at least one poll over the weekend has Republican Scott Brown leading Martha Coakley in that Massachusetts Senate race. I'll believe it when I see it--Massachusetts is just so darn heavily Democratic--but there does seem to be a lot of enthusiasm there for Brown, and so maybe he has a shot...