Wednesday, June 06, 2007

College May Be Out For The Summer...

But the collegiate softball Worldseries, or whatever it is calling itself, is still going on. And you know what? It's pretty interesting stuff to watch, if not downright captivating.

I had the Bosox-Yankees game on Sunday night and between one of the innings I flipped around the dial and stumbled across ESPN2's coverage of game one of Arizona-Tennessee. For the fellow-uninitiated, Arizona is the defending champ, and the series is the best of three. Tennessee won on Sunday night, Arizona last night, bringing us game three tonight. What's different about softball is that the same pitcher pitches the whole game and every game. Tennessee's Monica Abbott and Arizona's Taryn Mowatt pitched complete games in games one and two, and are scheduled to take the mound tonight, too.

For fans of lots of scoring, you might be disappointed, because the pitchers are so dominating. But somehow the game is nevertheless riveting to watch. Sunday night's matchup won me over, leaving the Bosox-Yanks for Monday's sports page wrapup.

Last night's game had me hooked as it went to extra innings tied at zero, but Arizona scored a run in the top of the tenth and Mowatt held on in the bottom half of the inning to send the series to a game three.

Oh yeah, the girls are also, ahem, pretty foxy in most cases. But that really doesn't have anything to do with the game's draw. Really.

You should check it and them out. And if the Seattle Mariners are paying attention, Tennessee's Monica Abbott is graduating this year. I'm not an official scout, but here's a tip, Mariners' management: how about adding Abbott to your sorry starting staff?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Who's Pro-Life? Part 2

Amanda's probably right to minimize any importance stemming from the dispute and dustup between the National "Right to Life" Committee and the James Dobson wing of the Republican Party, on the one side, and other anti-abortion groups as it relates to the recent SC ruling on "partial birth abortion".

Still, I couldn't help but be pleased in seeing at least some among the anti-abortion crowd calling out the obstensibly "pro-life" but practically "pro-Republican" groups for catering to party politics more than any real "pro-life" agenda.

In Rohrbough's view, partisan politics is also involved.

"What happened in the abortion world is that groups like National Right to Life, they're really a wing of the Republican Party, and they're not geared to push for personhood for an unborn child -- they're geared to getting Republicans elected," he said. "So we're seeing these ridiculous laws like the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban put forward, and then we're deceived about what they really do."

Who's Pro-Life?

Pro-choice Republican Rudy getting the business from a Roman Catholic bishop:

"...As Catholics, we are called, indeed required to be pro-life, to cherish and protect human life as a precious gift of God from the moment of conception until the time of natural death..."

I hate to wade in with a word of discord, but the Roman Catholic church wants to cherish and protect human life as a precious gift from God? I wonder what John Huss and other victims of the Inquisition think of this?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Waiting For Thompson

Although I may never have mentioned it on this blog, I'd always thought Fred Thompson would be one of the better, one of the "tougher" candidates the Republicans could run for President. I've been somewhat surprised over the years that he never ran. Until now. Now it appears all but certain that Thompson will enter the race soon, and given the various problems associated with the present leaders of the field, it also seems highly certain that Thompson will vault to the top of the polls when he does so.

Even so, I found Robert Novak's recent gushing over Thompson rather unusual.

First, Novak makes the rather vapid point that Americans feel alienated from Washington, that bumbling, corrupt politicians have rendered Americans cynical, etc. And aside from being mush, it's an odd statement to make, coming as it does from a GOP operative and pundit, given the fact that the GOP has controlled DC for 12 years, and the presidency for the past six.

But then Novak goes on to offer a reason why American feel cynical and why Thompson represents the cure--the (unnecessary and unjust) trial and conviction of Scooter Libby.

He implied at Stamford that Republicans, along with Democrats, are responsible for making Americans cynical. While not spelling this out publicly, he deplores ethical abuses, profligate spending and incompetent management of the Iraq war. He becomes incandescent when considering abysmal CIA and Justice Department performance under the Bush administration. He is enraged by Justice's actions in decisions leading to Scooter Libby's prison sentence.

So, Novak tells us, Thompson would make Americans feel better about their government by...being more partisan and less transparent and accountable. By being even more partisan and less transparent and accountable than George W. Bush.

Yeah, that sounds like the ticket.

RIP, Steve Gilliard

Steve Gilliard, who hosted the Newsblog, passed away at age 41. Steve had been ill and hospitalized for the past several months. His death is terrible news. The Newsblog has been for me one of the four to six essential must reads of the day. I never met him but we did exchange a few emails. He will be greatly missed.

Dem Debate Impressions

For the hype CNN made about this debate (and the GOP one on Tuesday), CNN made a slop of the thing. The format for one thing. There's a panel of NH journalists and pundits asking questions...and also the Beard jumping in with questions. I couldn't figure out what this was about. Pick a format and stick with it. Use a panel or lose it. And then there was a problem with one of the panelist's mikes, where none of the candidates could hear the question. Good work guys.

However, I did appreciate the Beard's rather confrontational style of questioning, trying to put the Dems on the spot on the "war on terra", the lack of new attacks since 9/11, etc. It will be the kind of thing Democrats will face a lot more of next year. And better to try to deal with it now, because nobody up there particularly looked all that good responding. Edwards looked like he was squinting, like there was something in his eyes.

Too much time given to HRC, Obama and Edwards. In the lead up to the debate, CNN's pundits talked about the problems faced by "bottom tier" candidates in getting attention, whether at some point some of the bottom tier candidates should be denied the privilege of debate participation, etc. Then CNN went ahead and made sure that none of the "bottom tier" candidates got much exposure.

And how exactly to we even get a "top tier", "bottom tier" set of designations? Polling? But how do members of the public know who to support or even consider? Um, well, probably by seeing who gets all the media attention? A vicious, stupid circle.