Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday's throwdowns

More downbeat job news:
"...the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 496,000. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast a drop in claims to 455,000. It is the second straight week that claims jumped unexpectedly. High unemployment remains one of the biggest obstacles to a sustained economic recovery. The Labor Department's monthly report on employment will be released next week."

This on top of the bad news yesterday concerning further weakness in the housing market.

There is of course the big "health care summit" going on today. I've seen a little of it. Looks to me like both sides are simply repeating their existing positions; which, for conservatives, is okay...Republicans are getting in a lot of good conservative points on why the Democrats' plans shouldn't be passed. But in a larger sense, George Will makes an excellent point about the whole thing today:
"Today's health policy "summit" comes at a moment when, as happens with metronomic regularity, Washington is reverberating with lamentations about government being "broken." Such talk occurs only when the left's agenda is stalled. Do you remember mournful editorials and somber seminars about "dysfunctional" government when liberals defeated George W. Bush's Social Security reforms? The summit's predictable failure will be a pretext for trying to ram health legislation through the Senate by misusing "reconciliation," which prevents filibusters."

Good prediction. The Right needs to be ready to respond to this immediately--this kind of sweeping legislation should never be passed with such parliamentary maneuvering.
Furthermore, what I saw this morning fits exactly with this comment on NRO:
"...the Democrats appear to have no particular purpose in mind for this event. They’re not driving anywhere, or making a clear individual case, while Republicans clearly want to get across the point that we should scrap the current bills and start over in pursuit of a few incremental steps. The Democrats may have thought that simply putting the spotlight on Republicans when the subject is health care would make the GOP look bad. But Republicans so far seem prepared enough and focused enough to avoid that, and to make the Democrats look rather aimless by comparison."

Indeed. What did the Democrats have in mind with this summit? Did they think that, just by holding it, the public would magically come around to their way of thinking?

Wow--Notre Dame 68, Pittsburgh 53: ND still without All-American Luke Harangody; Pitt ranked 12th in the nation. But the Irish--finally!--dig in defensively and get a great win at home. They still have a long way to go, though, and the NIT still looks like their most likely destination. Key stats: Notre Dame out-rebounds the powerful Panthers 34-25, and limits Pitt to only 8 second-chance points.

Los Angeles Clippers 97, Pistons 91: like I've said, the Pistons are only playing a little bit better. They let this one get away, blowing an 8 point halftime lead, Richard Hamilton shooting only 2 for 8 from the free throw line, and getting out-rebounded 56-44.
But also...Dallas 101, Los Angeles Lakers 96: the Mavs get a huge win over Kobe and the Lakers at home. That's 5 straight wins now for Dallas. Key stats: it was the old Mavs, not the new guys recently acquired in trades, who carried Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki had 31 points, while Jason Terry had 30. But Brendan Haywood did have several key rebounds and blocks. This team is better defensively now.
Though one still has to say that the Lakers remain the cream of the crop in the NBA until it's proven otherwise...