Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday's trackings

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be under review...:
"WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates is promising to try to spare more gay troops from being dismissed from the military while the Pentagon takes a year to study revising its "don't ask, don't tell" policy. An announcement of the study, expected Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, marks a measured step toward President Barack Obama's goal of eliminating the military's policy against gays, which is based on a 1993 law. Obama has called on Congress to repeal the law, but Democrats say they want more guidance on how to allow openly gay service members to serve without causing a major upheaval."

...as the president tries to appease his liberal base, somehow, some way...but only a little, so as not to tick off independents. A tough line to walk...

Meanwhile, the increasingly-liberal Newsweek magazine has one of its columnists defend President Obama on the question of broken campaign promises:
"The bottom line is that only Beltway hatchet men and partisan activists should treat every detail of every policy proposal as a promise and then freak out when that "promise" doesn't become a reality. Should we keep tabs on a president's campaign pledges? Absolutely. Should we pressure him when he seems to abandon priorities we hold dear? Of course. But smart voters should also recognize that campaign promises aren't abstractions. They're practical political tools. Which is why it makes sense for presidents to break their promises and naive to expect them not to. They don't govern by fiat. They propose the strongest policies they can possibly hope for because they know they will end up negotiating with Congress and other stakeholders. In fact, the only way for a president to start from a good bargaining position is by proposing something bolder (such as the public option) than what he ultimately thinks he can get. "Breaking" those "promises" may be disappointing, but it isn't a betrayal. It's governing."

And much of the above makes some sense. But let's hear that kind of talk from progressive columnists when a conservative inhabits the White House as well, hmmm?

On the other hand, the very liberal NY Times columnist Frank Rich is being pretty tough on Mr. Obama these days:

"Many Americans were more eagerly anticipating Steve Jobs's address in San Francisco on Wednesday morning than the president's that night because they have far more confidence in Apple than Washington to produce concrete change. One year into Obama's term we still don't know whether he has what it takes to get American governance functioning again. But we do know that no speech can do the job. The president must act."

Meanwhile, keep in mind that another Democratic U.S. Senator in deep trouble is Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln. She trails one likely Republican opponent by over 20 points in a recent poll, and her approval rating has bottomed out in the 30s.

Women's basketball--Notre Dame 75, Rutgers 63: another impressive win for Muffet McGraw's team; on the road, their 2nd road game in 4 days, against an always-tough, physical Rutgers team. Key stats: ND had no fewer than 5 players in double figures in points. And twice the Irish answered big Rutgers runs. Hopefully this team is developing toughness. They'll need it in March. The Notre Dame women are now 20-1 on the year...