Daily Archive: 03/29/2011

Mar 29 2011

Regional Finals Day 2

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2011

Tennessee is out which is the only program that compares, but Geno has a light bench they say though I don’t recall hearing about any exceptionally sucky recruiting years recently.

Conventional Wisdom also contends that they match up well against Duke and I still think that a primary motivating factor is that the men are still in it when everbody knows it’s the Lady Huskys who are the Basketball power of Connecticut.

UConn Huskies

UConn Husky, symbol of might to the foe.

Fight, fight Connecticut, It’s vict’ry, Let’s go. (go. go. go)

Connecticut UConn Husky,

Do it again for the White and Blue

So go--go--go Connecticut, Connecticut U.

C-O-N-N-E-C-T-I-C-U-T

Connecticut, Conneticut Husky, Connecticut Husky

Connecticut C-O-N-N-U!

Sorry Gonzaga.  I was rooting for you.  Notre Dame is probably the second best team in The Big East.

Monday’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
1 Tennessee 33 – 3 59 2 *Notre Dame 29 – 7 73 Southeast
1 *Stanford 31 – 2 83 11 Gonzaga 30 – 4 60 West

DePaul would have been just another Big East meeting.  It’s so much more fun to crush an opponent from the ACC.

Texas A&M has lost to Baylor 3 times so far this year-

  • 63 – 60
  • 67 – 58
  • 61 – 58 (Big 12 Finals)

On the other hand Baylor is just a two hour drive away.

Current Matchups

Time Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
7 pm 1 Connecticut 35 – 1 2 Duke 31 – 3 East
9 pm 1 Baylor 34 – 2 2 Texas A&M 30 – 5 Southwest

Follow the 2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

If you don’t like squeeky shoes you can look for alternate programming here-

If you like a more traditional bracket try this NCAA one, they also have a TV schedule.

Mar 29 2011

Evening Edition

I’ll be sitting in for ek hornbeck who is Live Blogging the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championship Games for the next few days. Come live blog the Women’s Regional Finals Day 2 with us.

  • Gaddafi troops reverse Libyan rebel advance

    By Maria Golovnina And Michael Georgy – 1 hr 58 mins ago

    TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi’s better armed and organized troops reversed the westward charge of rebels and world powers meeting in London piled pressure on the Libyan leader to end his 41-year rule.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron, opening the London conference, accused Libyan troops of “murderous attacks,” while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said military strikes would press on until Gaddafi loyalists ceased violence.

  • France and U.S. to help Japan in nuclear crisis

    By Shinichi Saoshiro And Yoko Nishikawa – 6 mins ago

    TOKYO (Reuters) – France and the United States are to help Japan in its battle to contain radiation from a crippled nuclear complex where plutonium finds have raised public alarm over the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

    The high-stakes operation at the Fukushima plant has added to Japan’s unprecedented humanitarian disaster with 27,500 people dead or missing from a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

  • Mar 29 2011

    Punting the Pundits

    “Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

    Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

    Dean Baker: The Deficit Hawks Target Nurses and Firefighters

    Many people might think that the country’s problems stem from the fact that too much money has been going to the very rich. Over the last three decades, the richest one percent of the population has increased its share of national income by almost 10 percentage points (Excel spreadsheet). This comes to $1.5 trillion a year, or as the deficit hawks are fond of saying, $90 trillion over the next 75 years.

    To put this in context, the size of this upward redistribution to the richest one percent over the last three decades is roughly large enough to double the income of all the households in the bottom half of the income distribution. The upward redistribution amounts to an average of more than 1.2 million dollars a year for each of the families in the richest one percent of the population.

    Eugene Robinson: Newt Gingrich on Libya policy: Firing in every direction

    If you don’t like Newt Gingrich’s carefully considered and passionately argued position on the U.S. intervention in Libya, just wait. Recent history suggests that within days he’ll be saying the opposite of whatever he’s saying now.

    My best guess is that for the moment, at least, Gingrich kind of supports President Obama’s decision to use military force against Libyan despot Moammar Gaddafi, or at least that he hopes it succeeds. But it’s hard to be certain. On Libya, the former House speaker has shown the ability to be both pro and con with equal moral certainty and intellectual arrogance.

    Dana Milbank: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya

    The National Defense University at Fort McNair was a favorite backdrop of President George W. Bush as he laid out his Bush doctrine of preemptive war.

    Five times during his presidency, Bush visited the military installation in Southwest D.C., serving up such memorable soundbites as “we’re at war with cold-blooded killers who despise freedom,” and “we will keep the terrorists on the run until they have nowhere left to hide,” and “our immediate strategy is to eliminate terrorist threats abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.”

    So it was noteworthy that Obama chose the same location for his speech to the nation justifying the U.S. military action in Libya. After ten days of confusion about America’s role in Libya – and in the world – Obama finally was prepared to articulate his “doctrine.”

    Mar 29 2011

    Accountability?

    We’ll see.

    BP Managers Said to Face U.S. Manslaughter Charges Review

    By Justin Blum and Alison Fitzgerald, Bloomberg News

    Mar 29, 2011 6:03 AM ET

    Halliburton recommended BP use 21 centralizers that help ensure cement is evenly distributed in the well and seals it. BP had only six centralizers on Deepwater Horizon, according to internal e-mails released by investigators. BP officials decided to go ahead rather than wait for the additional 15.

    They also decided to skip a test that would determine if the cement was stable, according to testimony at Coast Guard hearings. Then, on April 20, BP and Transocean managers on the rig misread the results of another test to determine whether the well’s cement seal was strong enough to hold the oil and natural gas beneath the ocean floor, according to the president’s commission.

    In the end, the companies went ahead and removed the drilling mud from the well, which took 2,600 pounds of weight from atop the oil and gas reservoir. Within hours, natural gas reached the Deepwater Horizon and touched off the catastrophic explosion.



    Authorities are examining actions by BP managers who worked both on the rig and onshore to determine whether they should be charged in connection with the workers’ deaths, according to the people. Prosecutors have been looking at charges of involuntary manslaughter or seaman’s manslaughter, which carries a more serious penalty of up to 10 years.



    Charging individuals would be significant to environmental- safety cases because it might change behavior, said Jane Barrett, a law professor at the University of Maryland.

    “They typically don’t prosecute employees of large corporations,” said Barrett, who spent 20 years prosecuting environmental crimes at the federal and state levels. “You’ve got to prosecute the individuals in order to maximize, and not lose, the deterrent effect.”

    (h/t Chris in Paris @ Americablog)

    Mar 29 2011

    On This Day in History March 29

    This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

    Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

    March 29 is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 277 days remaining until the end of the year.

    On this day in 1951, the Rosenbergs are convicted of espionage.

    In one of the most sensational trials in American history, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II. The husband and wife were later sentenced to death and were executed in 1953.

    The conviction of the Rosenbergs was the climax of a fast-paced series of events that were set in motion with the arrest of British physicist Klaus Fuchs in Great Britain in February 1950. British authorities, with assistance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, gathered evidence that Fuchs, who worked on developing the atomic bomb both in England and the United States during World War II, had passed top-secret information to the Soviet Union. Fuchs almost immediately confessed his role and began a series of accusations.

    Fuchs confessed that American Harry Gold had served as a courier for the Soviet agents to whom Fuchs passed along his information. American authorities captured Gold, who thereupon pointed the finger at David Greenglass, a young man who worked at the laboratory where the atomic bomb had been developed. Gold claimed Greenglass was even more heavily involved in spying than Fuchs. Upon his arrest, Greenglass readily confessed and then accused his sister and brother-in-law, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, of being the spies who controlled the entire operation. Both Ethel and Julius had strong leftist leanings and had been heavily involved in labor and political issues in the United States during the late-1930s and 1940s. Julius was arrested in July and Ethel in August 1950.

    By present-day standards, the trial was remarkably fast. It began on March 6, and the jury had convicted both of conspiracy to commit espionage by March 29. The Rosenbergs were not helped by a defense that many at the time, and since, have labeled incompetent. More harmful, however, was the testimony of Greenglass and Gold. Greenglass declared that Julius Rosenberg had set up a meeting during which Greenglass passed the plans for the atomic bomb to Gold. Gold supported Greenglass’s accusation and admitted that he then passed the plans along to a Soviet agent. This testimony sealed Julius’s fate, and although there was little evidence directly tying Ethel to the crime, prosecutors claimed that she was the brain behind the whole scheme. The jury found both guilty. A few days later, the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death. They were executed on June 19, 1953 in Sing Sing Prison in New York. Both maintained their innocence to the end.

    Since the execution, decoded Soviet cables, codenamed VENONA, have supported courtroom testimony that Julius acted as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets, but doubts remain about the level of Ethel’s involvement. The decision to execute the Rosenbergs was, and still is, controversial. The New York Times, in an editorial on the 50th anniversary of the execution (June 19, 2003) wrote, “The Rosenbergs case still haunts American history, reminding us of the injustice that can be done when a nation gets caught up in hysteria.” This hysteria had both an immediate and a lasting effect; many innocent scientists, including some who were virulently anti-communist, were investigated simply for having the last name “Rosenberg.” The other atomic spies who were caught by the FBI offered confessions and were not executed. Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, who supplied documents to Julius from Los Alamos, served 10 years of his 15 year sentence. Harry Gold, who identified Greenglass, served 15 years in Federal prison as the courier for Greenglass and the British scientist, Klaus Fuchs. Morton Sobell, who was tried with the Rosenbergs, served 17 years and 9 months. In 2008, Sobell admitted he was a spy and confirmed Julius Rosenberg was “in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets classified military and industrial information and what the American government described as the secret to the atomic bomb.”

    Mar 29 2011

    Six In The Morning

    Rebels hope tribal rifts will speed their march to Gaddafi’s birthplace

    Loyalists offer little resistance ahead of battle for Sirte. Kim Sengupta joins the advancing forces.

    Tuesday, 29 March 2011

    The scale and nature of resistance from the regime’s soldiers indicated how much their firepower had been devastated by Western air strikes. There was little of the heavy shelling that had made the revolutionary forces flee in the past. This was replaced instead by sporadic rockets and small-arms clashes on the ground.

    The rebel commanders, nonetheless, remain worried after reports that the male population of Sirte had been armed and what remains of the regime’s armour and artillery on the eastern front has been deployed to protect the city. Renewed bombing of the military positions in the city by international coalition warplanes are said to have caused some damage, but the city remains well guarded.

    Mar 29 2011

    DocuDharma Digest

    Regular Features-

    Featured Essays for March 28, 2011-

    DocuDharma

    Mar 29 2011

    Federal Medical Marijuana Policy Needs Clarity

    Shortly after taking office, the Barack Obama’s Attorney General announced new Department of Justice guidelines for medical marijuana in states that had laws permitting its dispensing.

    U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said Wednesday that the Justice Department has no plans to prosecute pot dispensaries that are operating legally under state laws in California and a dozen other states — a development that medical marijuana advocates and civil libertarians hailed as a sweeping change in federal drug policy

    Well, apparently the word didn’t get out to the field and in the last two weeks there have been 28 raids on medical marijuana clinics in Montana where 26 raids took place:

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Federal agencies conducted 26 raids on medical marijuana facilities in 13 Montana cities this week, as agents seized thousands of marijuana plants and froze about $4 million in bank funds.

    The raids stunned medical marijuana advocates, many of whom believed the Obama administration’s policy was to leave states with medical marijuana laws alone.

    That belief stemmed from Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement in October 2009 that the pursuit of “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance” with existing state medical marijuana laws would be the lowest priority of U.S. law enforcement.

    and California:

    Federal drug enforcement agents Tuesday raided two West Hollywood medical marijuana stores in the first such action in the city since the Obama administration decided two years ago to take a hands-off approach to dispensaries that abide by state laws.

    The dispensaries — Alternative Herbal Health Services and Zen Healing on Santa Monica Boulevard — are among four that the city has authorized to operate. West Hollywood was one of the first California cities to regulate medical marijuana sales and is often cited as a model.

    In the tradition of the previous administration, the DOJ and the IRS began the raids after new memo (pdf) was issued that is up front about the new policy. The memo issued on February 1st by US Attorney Melinda Haag (who, ironically, represents Northern California) directly contradicts Holder’s edict. She declares that ANYONE engaging in the buying or selling of marijuana, regardless of their protection under state laws, will be punished by the federal government.

    As the Department has stated on many occasions, Congress has determined that marijuana is a controlled substance. Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and, as such, growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana in any capacity, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of state laws permitting such activities.

    The prosecution of individuals and organizations involved in the trade of any illegal drugs and the disruption of drug trafficking organizations is a core priority of the Department. This core priority includes prosecution of business enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana. Accordingly, while the Department does not focus its limited resources on seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law as stated in the October 2009 Ogden Memorandum, we will enforce the CSA vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful

    manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law. The Department’s investigative and prosecutorial resources will continue to be directed toward these objectives.

    Schedule I drugs are determined to have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” and carry the harshest penalties resulting in a prison population in which 1 in 8 prisoners in the U.S. is locked up for a marijuana-related offense. However, recently a federal agency has determined that marijuana does have a medicinal purpose. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a division of the National Institute of Health, which is itself one of the 11 component agencies that make up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, added to its treatment database a summary of marijuana’s medicinal benefits, including an acknowledgment that oncologists may recommend it to patients for medicinal use:

    The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.

    The Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that medical use of marijuana cannot be considered in any federal court deliberating on a marijuana possession or distribution case. While a solution to this would be to reschedule marijuana and put it under the regulation of the FDA but the possibility of this Congress acting on this anytime soon is nil to zero.

    That leads to the question of the administrations policies which are conflicting to say the least and appear to have some political motivation to molify the criticism of the hard right wing that is now dominating the conversation. It begs to question whether Holder is being dishonest and hypocritical? Or does he simply lack strong leadership among US Attorneys General? Either way, this isn’t the way this administration is winning any support.

    The Just Say Now campaign at FDL has a petition telling Holder to enforce his memo and stop raiding marijuana clinics.

    Tell Attorney General Holder: Stop Raiding Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

    Mar 29 2011

    from firefly-dreaming 28.3.11

    Essays Featured Monday, of March:

    Nick Lowe begins the day in Late Night Karaoke, mishima DJs

    Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                    Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

    Monday Open Thoughts from RiaD are threadbare.

    from fake consultant a reminder about Social Security: Get On The Phone Tuesday And Wednesday And Help Fight Cuts

    Gha!

    patric juillet brings another scrumptious edition of Tales from the Larder: the Tomato  

    from Timbuk3: The 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time!

    Tonight #95  

    The latest Pique the Geek from Translator How Nuclear Reactors Work. Part the Second  

    Mar 29 2011

    Evening Edition

    I’ll be sitting in for ek hornbeck who is Live Blogging the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championship Games for the next few days. Come live blog the Women’s Regional Finals with us.

  • Rebels push west before Libya crisis talks

    By Angus MacSwan and Maria Golovnina

    NAWFALIYAH/MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) – Rebels advanced west toward the birthplace of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Monday, firing mortars and heavy machineguns in sporadic clashes with loyalist forces.

    Emboldened by Western-led air strikes against Gaddafi’s troops, the rebels took the town of Nawfaliyah and moved toward Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town and an important military base, in the sixth week of an uprising against his 41-year rule.

  • Japan finds plutonium at stricken nuclear plant

    By Yoko Nishikawa

    TOKYO (Reuters) – Plutonium found in soil at the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex heightened alarm on Tuesday over Japan’s protracted battle to contain the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years.

    Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the radioactive material, a by-product of atomic reactions and also used in nuclear bombs, was traced in soil at five locations at the complex, hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.