Sunday, March 27, 2005

Kentucky Loses 

My beloved Kentucky Wildcats lost this evening to the Michigan State Spartans 94-88 in a game that went into second overtime. Kentucky tied the game at the end of regulation on a dramatic 3-point shot by Patrick Sparks that bounced from the back of the rim to the front of the rim and then through the net to send the game to overtime. The two squads were still tied after the first overtime and in the second overtime, Michigan State's excellent defense and free throw shooting and Kentucky's lack of offense eventually sank the Wildcats tonight. I have to give a major kudos to Michigan State for a game well played. Tom Izzo is an excellent coach come tournament time, right along the likes of "Coach K" at Duke in terms of tournament success. Congratulations to the Spartans on a great ball game.

UK update 

After beating Utah 62-52, my beloved Kentucky Wildcats are leading Michigan State 37-34. Rajon Rondo is in early foul trouble, leaving Kentucky without a "legitimate" point guard, but UK is out rebounding the Spartans, which is inverted from season long trends. I have an uneasy feeling about this game because State is deep like Kentucky and Tom Izzo isn't afraid to go to his bench. If Kentucky keeps attacking the boards and keeps up its good shooting, they will win this game.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Quick Takes 

I have a series of quick takes and interactions with other bloggers out there that I think readers ought to check out.

Memo to Porkopolis: The current account trade deficit that we have with other countries is essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things as stated strongly by the gentlemen at Cafe Hayek. They make essentially the same point that is made in Cox and Alm's excellent book. In fact, when our current account trade balance has significantly gone down in the past, our economy has been either in recession or in depression. Something to think about. Btw, I love the yeoman's work on Portman's pork barrel mural project going to Portsmouth. This set of posts is a must read in tracking down specific instances of Congressional pork that often goes undetected.

Joe Carter at The Evangelical Outpost, has a very thought provoking article concerning Christians and their concern for Terry Schavio. While readers may disagree with his thrust, his points are well made and should be considered by every Christian when it comes time to challenge the state's authority to kill when it trangresses moral bounds.

On a similar note, the editors of National Review Online have an excellent editorial concerning the last minute legislation passed by Congress last night here.

Finally, a note to Hugh Hewitt: thank you for the advice in dealing with a bureaucracy, but the FEC can be that stupid.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Complaints around Portman 

While I support the nomination of Rob Portman to U.S. trade representative, I do have a number of complaints around the issue that are really minor details, but must be pointed out.

First, while Portman was racking up 70-30 vote margins in the second district, he could have done more to control congressional spending than he did as noted here, here and here. His colleague, Steve Chabot has racked up better ratings from various conservative groups despite being in a tighter congressional district.

One other minor point about the coverage surrounding the nomination is the use of all of the reports and this editorial by the Cincinnati Post of the SAME LINE:
Like Bush, he's a strong defender of open markets and free trade, somewhat unusual for a lawmaker from an industrial state that has lost thousands of jobs to firms overseas

The problems with this line are twofold. First, it's one thing to have the line show up in the Enquirer's story on the nomination, it's quite another thing in my opinion, for the exact same line to appear in an editoral is a sign of a common point of view but also a sign of editorial laziness that the Post really should keep an eye on or, even better, should try to avoid. The second problem is that this line implies that somehow Portman was responsible for "thousands" of job losses in the district. If there are "thousands" of job losses in the southern Ohio district, I submit that free trade policies have little or nothing to do with the district's job losses. Instead, the assertion of job losses should be directed at the governor and the state legislature first. Portman, for what it's worth, has voted for lower taxes and generally lower spending by the federal government. To insinuate that Portman could have done anything personally with job creation as a member of Congress is ignorant and silly.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


My beloved UK Wildcats beat Cincinnati 69-60. Kentucky was down 35-33 at the half, but they attacked the Bearcats and their deeper bench proved to be a deciding factor in the game. UC went cold as the Wildcats slowly pulled away in the second half. It was a good game with a lot of passion and intensity showed by both teams. The atmosphere in Indianapolis where the game was played had to be simply electric with large contigents of fans from both schools showing up and filling most of the RCA Dome where the game was played. Next up for Kentucky is Utah. I have UK losing in this upcoming round of the tourney, so if they win and advance to the Elite 8, I will count it a blessing.

UK-UC update 

My beloved Kentucky Wildcats are trailing 35-33 at the half right now. I was exstatic with the early 11-0 run by UK, but I have to give UC credit. They didn't panic and they have fought back admirably. I think the Wildcats have to be more agressive inside against Cincinnati in order to win. This game has been a big deal here in Cincinnati with UK fans and UC fans talking a bunch of junk back and forth for true bragging rights in the city. The two schools haven't played each other in 15 years and adding to the ferment is that this city is really focused on college basketball with Cincinnati and Xavier playing a rivalry game each year for the city's bragging rights. I think that a yearly UK-UC game would be great for both programs. I mean if UK can play one "home" game a year here in Cincinnati against another opponent, I think the athletic directors at UK and UC could work out some kind of arrangement to develop a true rival

Trading up 

Rob Portman, my congressman, has been selected by President Bush to be the administration's new Trade Representative as this article from the Cincinnati Enquirer details. I think this is a solid choice for the post if for no other reason than Mr. Portman has been a consistent voice in Congress in favor of free trade. The appointment is also a good one because as this editorial from the Enquirer notes, Portman was an effective liason between the White House and Congress on many important issues, such as the creation of the Homeland Security Department and the "No Child Left Behind Act" among others. The Cincinnati Post notes that Portman was a consensus builder and an effective Congress man. Mr. Portman has been an effective advocate for this administration's policies in Congress and has been a key ally for conservative causes such as free trade. I support his nomination to the post and I think he will be an effective advocate for the U.S. in trade matters. The Senate should waste no time in approving him to his new post.

"Special interests" indeed 

Wow. I have just read an amazing article by Ryan Sager about the successful liberal effort to convince Congress that they needed to pass the "Bipartisan" Campaign Reform Act (BCRA for short), more commonly known as the "McCain-Fiengold" bill in 2001. The article is amazing because it shows one of the key architects of the reform "movement" carefully orchestrating movements between various lobbying groups primarily using Pew Charitable Trust monies.(ht:Hugh Hewitt).

"What does this have to do with me?" the reader might ask. Well, outside of the tactical maneuvers that should be studied, the reader of this blog might want to check out this interview of FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith. The dissemination of ideas through the medium of the internet is what is at stake. With internet links becoming more and more valuable, the temptation of the political class and its bureaucracy to regulate this medium will become greater as the internet matures. I have signed a letter of concern to the chairman of the FEC urging that august body to continue exemptions from campaign regulations the way more traditional media has been exempted from regulation. Please sign the letter and work together to preserve our right to distribute political speech to everyone.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?