Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday's wash

So now the president and his minions are out there loudly defending his "stimulus" bill--it turns one year old today:
"To the public, Obama explained, as he has many times before, that the stimulus plan was composed of tax cuts for most Americans along with help for state governments, extended social service benefits and huge investments in energy, education and infrastructure. "One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility," Obama said. To his Republican critics, who say the bill was a costly, debt-financed blunder that has not delivered on the promise of job creation, Obama challenged them to take up the case with people who have stayed employed or have found help solely because he and the Democratic-run Congress acted."

But of course the problem remains. The administration loudly asserts and claims that people have stayed in their jobs, that their jobs were "saved", by his stimulus bill. But there's precious little evidence for that. Meanwhile, there's a bunch of evidence of waste and mismanagement coming out of this stimulus bill--from jobs being created in nonexistent congressional districts to stories of millions of dollars being spent to spawn precious few jobs. Republicans and conservatives need to make they hit back at the Obama White House hard on this.
I see that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor is already on the case:
"Republican Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, of Virginia, said states have lost a total of 2.9 million jobs between the bill's enactment last February through December, though the administration projected stimulus would save or create 3.5 million positions."

I suspect some of the deserved skepticism concerning the "stimulus" comes from the fact that people see the strange things that local, state, and federal agencies do around this nation. Take the Connecticut state government, for example--whose Department of Children and Family Services, it has recently been revealed, has been spending money on hiring clowns.

The real question should be why they had to hire clowns. This agency is part of government. Clowns are probably just down the hall on a daily basis...

Women's hoops--St. John's 76, Notre Dame 71: the Irish had won 8 straight since losing to UConn. But they lose here on the road, against an obviously tough, ranked St. John's team that's on the rise. Key stats: 1] ND played without perhaps its best player, Lindsay Schrader, who has a bad ankle. 2] St. John's made 70% of their early shots, gained confidence, and burst out to an 18-6 lead. The Irish just need to stay steady. One loss doesn't kill you. What's crucial is what happens in March.
Men's hoops--Michigan 80, Iowa 78 (OT): Michigan has somehow managed to win two straight road games. They're playing a bit better. Key stats: Michigan's stars, Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, combine for 47 points. And Michigan shoots 51% from 3-point land, in 27 attempts. When this team shoots better, it's dangerous. They just haven't shot well.
Michigan State 72, Indiana 58: the Spartans now have rallied, with the formerly injured guard Kalin Lucas returning, to win two straight on the road. They're 21-6 on the season and, healthy, still in my judgment a big threat in the NCAAs. Key stats from this game: Lucas had 13 points and 4 assists. He's healthy. MSU shot 59% from the field. This team is deep--9 different Spartans played at least 11 minutes in this game.

Detroit 108, Minnesota 85: the Pistons still are only 19-33 on the season, but they are playing a bit better lately, as this latest blowout win shows. Key stats: the Pistons come out strong in the 2nd half and outscore Minnesota 33-13 in the 3rd quarter. They also had 46 assists. But remember they played bottom-feeding Minnesota...