Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday's musings

The fallout from the health care bill continues:
"When historians recount the momentous events of recent weeks, they will note a curious coincidence. On March 15, Moody's Investors Service -- the bond rating agency -- published a paper warning that the exploding U.S. government debt could cause a downgrade of Treasury bonds. Just six days later, the House of Representatives passed President Obama's health care legislation costing $900 billion or so over a decade and worsening an already-bleak budget outlook.
Should the United States someday suffer a budget crisis, it will be hard not to conclude that Obama and his allies sowed the seeds, because they ignored conspicuous warnings. A further irony will not escape historians. For two years, Obama and members of Congress have angrily blamed the shortsightedness and selfishness of bankers and rating agencies for causing the recent financial crisis. The president and his supporters, the historians will note, were equally shortsighted and self-centered -- though their quest was for political glory, not financial gain."

By the way, the RCP average on poll numbers for the Obama/Democratic health care bill still remains at, on average, 41% favor the plan; 50% oppose.

Nor is the Obama Administration's policy on releasing supposedly "rehabilitated" and/or wrongly-accused ex-terrorists from Gitmo looking much better:
"Prior to his release in December, Abdul Hafiz was Prisoner Number 1030 at Guantanamo Bay. Now, less than four months later, he's back home in Afghanistan and working for the Taliban -- just the latest of more than 100 released detainees who have returned to terrorism, according to the Pentagon."

Ah, the joy of March Madness, as Butler and now Michigan State make it to the Final Four. MSU did it with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, as somehow they stitched things together following the Kalin Lucas injury. Perhaps the key stat: Coach Tom Izzo has now been to 6 Final Fours in 12 years; pretty impressive. His savvy had a lot to do with the Spartans being able to make yet another March run...

But at the same time, ah, the pain--as in women's hoops, the Notre Dame women lose in the sweet 16, 77-72 in OT to Oklahoma. Hey, the Irish played a tough, talented team, and it just didn't go their way. It hurts, though, for the 4 seniors on the ND team, especially Ashley Barlow, Melissa Lechlitner, and Lindsay Schrader, who have played so hard and contributed so much to the program...and yet they never got to an elite 8, much less a final four. But life isn't always fair. They definitely kept the ND women's program on the map, and that's something to be proud of.
I think what may have done the Irish in was the fact that they never quite developed a big enough inside presence. Oklahoma had Abby Olajuwon--yes, the daughter of Hakeeom--who powered her way inside for 20 points. ND had few answers there. When the Irish won the national title back in 2001, they had Ruth Riley. I guess Coach McGraw needs to find another Ruth. But someone as special and dominant as Riley was is not easy to find...