Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday's wash

Notre Dame 74, South Florida 73: the Irish get a big win on the road. The game shouldn't have been that close; ND had a 13 point lead in the second half, but their defense got a bit lax and USF made a predictable run at home. When will the Irish learn that they've got to play defense for an entire GAME? And yet, and yet...the Irish made some big free throws down the stretch, and some big shots, and they found a way to win a close game. Let's see if it can spur them on to greater things.

Dallas 98, Detroit 93: The Mavericks were sluggish and sloppy, returning home after a 3-game road trip. But they managed to grind this one out anyway; it helped that they were playing the Pistons, who have now lost 10 games in a row. Looks like the Pistons are in full rebuilding mode for this year. Meanwhile, the Mavs are in first place in their division and have a lot of wins, but one gets the impression they haven't hit their stride yet.
Ah, well--in NBA-land, where the playoffs don't start for nearly 4 months yet (!), there's still plenty of time to find a groove, I guess...

So in the 2008 campaign, President Obama promised "transparency" and open meetings, especially when it came to health care reform. So will congressional Democrats open up their closed-door negotiations, Speaker Pelosi, and allow C-Span to televise them?:
"Republicans seized on a newly released letter from the head of the C-SPAN network calling on congressional leaders to open the final talks to the public, and cited Obama's campaign trail pledge to do just that. Asked about that promise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remarked, without elaboration: "There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail."

Translation: no.
By the way, this has been a bad day for Democrats--in Connecticut, Democratic Senator Chris Dodd is about to announce that he will not run for re-election. Same story for Dem Senator Byron Dorgan in North Dakota. And same-same for Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter.
All seem to agree that this gives Republicans an outstanding chance for a pickup in North Dakota. They all also seem to agree that Dems may be in better shape in Connecticut, as popular state attorney general Richard Blumenthal, with good approval ratings, will surely replace Dodd on the party's senatorial ticket. But still, you never know. Don't lose track of the really important thing here: with all these retirements, Democrats are showing definitively that they know the environment for them in 2010 is tough, really tough; that they're in trouble. Take heart, conservatives...

NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman in his piece today on terrorism:
"We can’t let this “war on terrorism” consume us. We can’t let our country become just The United States of Fighting Terrorism and nothing more. We are the people of July 4th — not Sept. 11th."

Calls to fix our security system, to make sure we're protected, and to understand the danger facing us are not calls to make us a terrorism-fighting nation and "nothing more." Indeed, making sure we're protected will allow us and all our people to, ahem, be all we can be...

And by the way--President Obama meanwhile reiterated yesterday his administration's determination to close the Guantanamo prison. Victor Davis Hanson, as always, takes his statement apart, piece by piece:
"Did a nonexistent Guantanamo terrorist detention center encourage al-Qaeda’s attacks all through the 1990s that culminated in 9/11? If Guantanamo serves no useful purpose other than to encourage the enemy’s efforts at recruitment, why has Obama kept it open for a year — and why is he not likely to close it for another year? Why not simply close it now? If Obama is really looking to identify the conditions that might have created a landscape for renewed attempts to harm the U.S. (there have been more terrorist attempts in 2009 than at any time since 9/11), he might consider his own administration’s rhetoric over the past year. Describing anti-terrorism efforts as “overseas contingency operations” aimed at “man-made disasters”; making references to a litany of American sins; confessing to underappreciation of pseudo-Islamic accomplishments like the printing press and the foundations of the Renaissance and Enlightenment; constantly trashing a prior American president — all of this has fostered the impression abroad that America no longer sees radical Islamic terrorists as an existential threat. If I were an Islamic terrorist, I would conclude that the present administration simply has lost interest in fighting, and that the time is ripe for a counterattack."

Indeed, one fears the counterattack is already happening.