Seriously, Mother Nature?
|What I woke up to this morning...|
Obama 101As someone who is politically (and temperamentally) conservative, the presidency of Barack Obama has not filled me with Happy Happy Joy Joy feelings. The news this morning provides two stark examples illustrating what I find unpalatable about the Obama presidency.
On the one hand, Obama's Department of Health and Human Services has forced religious organizations to take it to court in an attempt to avoid having to violate their consciences. The administration's position is that the contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act trump any religious objections. In the administration's view, The Little Sisters of the Poor are heinous lawbreakers who must be brought to heel...
|"Don't let the kindness fool you, these nuns are evil and must be stopped!"|
The legal principle behind the Little Sisters' case is very simple: Forcing us to enlist a third party to do something which violates our faith is no different than us doing it ourselves. The Obama administration's position that enlisting the third party doesn't make you complicit makes no sense logically or legally. The Little Sisters' argument rests on the well-established legal principle that hiring someone else to commit a crime makes you just as guilty as the person who commits that crime. Unfortunately, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to wear blinders and view the issue the same way Justice Roberts viewed King v. Burwell: Obamacare Über Alles!
The 10th Circuit's ruling certainly seems to be at odds with the SCOTUS ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., but you'll forgive me if I hold out no hope that the Little Sisters will prevail should they appeal. It is clear that the conscience protections we were promised when the Affordable Care Act was enacted mean absolutely nothing to the Obama administration...
The other big news this morning is that the Obama administration has struck a bargain with these guys...
|Guardian Council of Iran|
Other than that, though, they're a swell bunch of guys. No reason not to make nice with them, right?
It sounds like something straight out of Orwell: "Nuns Bad, Mullahs Good!"
|"I think you need a shopping trip to Omaha to cheer you up."|
A Key Member of the Iran Deal Spin Team
Things That Make Me Happy: Rivalry EditionBetween free agency player movement and mandated inter-league play, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game doesn't have nearly the same level of intensity as it used to when I was growing up. When I first became aware of professional baseball as a young boy, partisans of the American League and National League used to bicker (mostly good-naturedly) over which league was superior. The players were a part of that, too. All you have to do is go back and read what they said about the meaning of the All-Star Game back in the '50s and '60s to know that each league took pride in how its players performed, and didn't pass up the opportunity to boast if it prevailed.
In those days, of course, players mostly stuck to a single team for their entire careers, and it was rare for good players to move from one league to the other. It was a huge sensation, for instance, when Frank Robinson was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Baltimore Orioles for three players you've never heard of. Robinson was a former MVP for the Reds, and demonstrated that he was far from over-the-hill by winning the American League MVP in his first year in Baltimore. He remains the only player to have ever won MVP in both leagues. If you loved baseball in those days, you knew who the stars were in each league, and you knew that the only time they'd face each other was in the All-Star Game and World Series. That made the ASG a Big Deal for fans.
It is different nowadays, of course. The All-Star rosters for both leagues are full of players who have played for multiple teams, and for both leagues. Teams from the two leagues play each other regularly, and even switch leagues occasionally (the Houston Astros spent most of their existence in the National League but are now an American League team, while the Milwaukee Brewers began their franchise in the American League before switching). It's just not the same as it once was...
But for someone like me, who grew up a die-hard American League partisan, there's still a certain degree of satisfaction to be found in seeing "my" league prevail in the All-Star Game, as they did last night.
Several members of my beloved Kansas City Royals were on the American League squad, including three starters: right fielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, and catcher Salvador Perez. Lorenzo had two hits in three at-bats, including an RBI double, and stole a base. Alcides went 1-for-2. Salvador hung tough in his two plate appearances, seeing 18 pitches (the most of any player on either team). Third baseman Mike Moustakas finished the game at that position for the AL, and reliever Wade Davis pitched a scoreless 8th inning with two strikeouts.
Now I just have to figure out what to do until Friday, when baseball resumes with the Royals taking on the White Sox in Chicago...
|US Cellular Field, home of the White Sox|
Life's Rich PageantSo, among the many amusing sights one can see on a daily basis here in Council Bluffs are roving bands of wild turkeys, strolling around neighborhoods like panhandling hippies...
|"Hey, man, you got any spare acorns?"|
HousekeepingThe process of creating archive pages for the Thought for the Day and Weekly Recommendations content isn't going well. I'm not sure whether it's because it just isn't possible to do what I want, or because I'm too stupid to figure it out...
|"Do I get a vote on that issue?"|
Also, I wanted to mention again that comments are always welcome. If you click on the link right next to the timestamp on an entry, it will bring up the Comments dialog box. I worry sometimes that people see "No Comments" and assume it means they aren't allowed. All that means is that no one has left a comment yet. I'd certainly like to hear from anyone who finds this place interesting/amusing/infuriating, etc.