Saturday, December 19, 2009

Smorgasbord Saturday

How is it that this week I only worked 2 1/2 days and yet I'm more tired today than I've been after weeks I've worked much more? Must be all the pre-holiday hubbub.

With the Associated Press reporting Ben Nelson's decision to vote in favor of the Senate's health care bill, it appears we are finally close to a vote. I am very torn regarding this bill. I supported the House bill and I supported the initial legislation presented by Senate Majority Leader Reid, but I'm afraid the bill is nothing resembling its original intent and language. I am also afraid of the compromises that were made along the way, of which there were many. Whatever deal was reached with Ben Nelson on abortion rights makes me very angry. Perhaps I don't understand what having a majority means, but wouldn't you think that abortion rights would stay as they are if not progress rather than be turned back under a Democratic House, Senate and White House? Apparently not and no thanks to Senator Ben Nelson. The way this bill caters to so many groups that shouldn't have even been in the discussion is also disappointing. That fringe hysteria that was screaming about health care reform taking away their guns even got a nice bit of legislation crafted. How does the notion of health care reform include denying a health care procedure while shoring up gun owners' rights?

In case there may have been doubt, I have not lost track of Major League Baseball's winter meetings or hot stove activity. In fact, I looked up the origin of the term "hot stove" this week after my physical therapist asked me what it meant and I knew, but couldn't tell her when they started calling it that. Strangely enough, the goings-on of the Atlanta Braves have been of less interest to me than the huge moves taking place in Washington with a team I once loved (as the Montreal Expos) and now am forced to despise because of their position within the National League East. The Washington Nationals are a floundering, financially unstable team that let go their manager, Manny Acta, near the end of last season while acquiring the top pick and best player in last year's draft, Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg may not be ready to be an every day closer when the 2010 season opens and Manny Acta may be a high caliber manager who was in a mess in Washington and has nowhere to go but up with the Cleveland Indians. The Nationals may be an interesting team to watch this coming season and not because of blunders. With them bringing the best defense possible behind the plate in Pudge Rodriguez, I see good things for a team that has never really taken off.

In other baseball news, there have been some huge trades to date: Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins, and Milton Bradley to Seattle; Roy Halladay, DeWayne Wise, and Placido Polanco to Philly; Curtis Granderson to the Yankees; Garrett Atkins, Kevin Millwoord, and Mike Gonzalez to Baltimore; Mike Cameron, John Lackey, Marco Scutoro, and Jeremy Hermida to Boston; Phil Coke to Detroit; Edwin Jackson to Arizona; Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, Mark Teahen, and J.J. Putz to the Chicago White Sox; Brad Penny to St. Louis; and, Takashi Saito and Billy Wagner to Atlanta. On paper, I am intrigued by how the Chicago White Sox are stacking up. On paper, a lot of teams look much better, but we'll have to see how spring training plays out.

Over at The MountainGoat Report this week, three posts went up about Congressman Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) that I've been meaning to mention. Hopefully I'll have a post to tag on to her latest in the next day or two. If you missed them please go read "How Many Times?", "The Convenient Conservative," and "What's Really Up Those Plaid Sleeves?"

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