Quick Hits: Volume XLI
-Yet another GOP Presidential debate took place Tuesday night, this time from Las Vegas. To be perfectly honest, I'm suffering from debate fatigue, so the only saving grace for me on these nights is the banter on Twitter (my night was made when Rush Limbaugh's brother David replied to one of my tweets).
One of the common complaints amongst debate observers is the fact the candidates spent too much time attacking each other and not enough taking on the White House's current occupant. Personally, I have no problem with that, as there will be ample time for the eventual GOP nominee to savage President Obama on the campaign trail as well as head-to-head debates. With the nomination process still very fluid (one recent poll indicated 70% of Republican voters have yet to decide on a candidate), it's important that the candidates continue to distinguish themselves.
In the end, there was no consensus as to who was the clear cut winner. However, Herman Cain had to fend off more attacks than he was used to now that he has been near the top of the polls, and I thought he acquitted himself OK. Unfortunately for him, he was backed into a corner about his comments where he indicated he'd consider swapping out Gitmo detainees for Americans held captive. Cain eventually disavowed those remarks.
Other than that, there didn't seem to be any stark differences from some of the more recent debates.
- Mitt Romney wasn't dinged enough to harm his standing as frontrunner.
- Rick Perry was solid early only to peter out near the end.
- Ron Paul sounded strong domestically but shot himself in the foot when talking foreign policy (in this case, decrying aid to Israel).
- Newt Gingrich continues to be the regrettable candidate in that he's a brilliant political mind but his personal baggage will preclude any chance to be the GOP nominee.
So for now, the Romney drumbeat will likely continue.
-When it comes to demagoguery, timing is everything. So as baseball's Fall Classic quickly approaches, it's not surprising the latest issue Washington leftists decided to undertake.
U.S. senators and health officials are taking on a baseball tradition older than the World Series itself: chewing tobacco on the diamond.
With the Series set to begin Wednesday between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers — a team that started life as the Washington Senators 50 years ago — the senators, along with health officials from the teams' cities, want the players union to agree to a ban on chewing tobacco at games and on camera. They made the pleas in separate letters, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
"When players use smokeless tobacco, they endanger not only their own health, but also the health of millions of children who follow their example," the senators wrote to union head Michael Weiner. The letter was signed by Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, and fellow Democrats Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Senate Health Committee Chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa.
Now was there an actual study done which provided evidence that children indulge in chewing tobacco because their favorite baseball players do so? I'm guessing not. As a former smokeless tobacco user, I can tell you that young people in this country pick up that nasty habit the same way they do many other vices ---- peer pressure. Nothing more.
-Speaking of the World Series, I'm having a hard time getting a handle on the matchup between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals. Both teams seemed to win their respective pennants in similar fashion: Solid bullpen bailing out the sub par starting pitching combined with an explosive offense.
For me, I give a slight edge to the Cardinals, simply because they've essentially been in playoff mode for the past eight weeks. After an August 24th loss, the Cards were 10-1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the National League wildcard spot. However, St. Louis won 23 of their final 32 games just to get in the postseason. They then dispatched the team with MLB's best record, the Philadelphia Phillies, in the divisional round and then eliminated the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS, having to win two games in Miller Park where the Brewers were a ridiculous 57-24 in the regular season.
For what it's worth, I say Cards in seven.