Daily Archive: 03/22/2011

Mar 22 2011

Round of 32 Day 2

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2011

Not a good night for underdogs, only North Carolina and Gonzaga beat the seeds.  Advancing underdogs playing tonight are Purdue and West Virginia.

Connecticut gets their own channel, ESPN, for their 7:00 pm game, everyone else shares time on ESPN2.  I like the Lady Huskies, don’t get me wrong, but it does seem kind of unfair especially since if they play to form the game is going to be a snooze fest anyway.

Now tomorrow night will be my first one without basketball in 8 days, but instead of being sensible and taking a nap I have some out of town errands if the weather holds.  Men’s Round of 16 starts Thursday, Round of 8 (Regional Championships) Saturday.  The Women’s Round of 16 starts Saturday and their Regional Championships (Round of 8) on Monday.  Men’s Final 4 on Saturday the 2nd, Championship Monday.  Women’s Final 4 on Sunday, Championship Tuesday.

And then it’s done until next year.

Yesterday’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
3 *DePaul 25 – 9 73 6 Penn State 24 – 10 75 East
2 *Duke 30 – 3 71 10 Marist 30 – 3 66 East
1 *Tennessee 32 – 2 79 8 Marquette 23 – 9 70 Southeast
4 *Ohio State 23 – 9 67 5 Georgia Tech 23 – 11 60 Southeast
2 *Notre Dame 27 – 7 77 10 Temple 23 – 9 64 Southeast
1 *Stanford 30 – 2 75 9 St. John’s 21 – 11 49 West
4 Kentucky 24 – 9 74 5 *North Carolina 26 – 8 86 West
3 UCLA 27 – 5 75 11 *Gonzaga 29 – 4 89 West

Current Matchups

Time Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
7:05 pm 1 Connecticut 33 – 1 9 Purdue 21 – 11 East
7:05 pm 3 Miami (Fla.) 28 – 4 6 Oklahoma 22 – 11 Southeast
7:10 pm 2 Xavier 29 – 2 7 Louisville 21 – 12 West
7:15 pm 4 Maryland 24 – 7 5 Georgetown 23 – 10 East
9:35 pm 3 Florida State 24 – 7 6 Georgia 22 – 10 Southwest
9:40 pm 4 Michigan State 27 – 5 5 Wisconsin-Green Bay 33 – 1 Southwest
9:40 pm 2 Texas A&M 28 – 5 7 Rutgers 20 – 12 Southwest
9:45 pm 1 Baylor 32 – 2 9 West Virginia 24 – 9 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 22 2011

Evening Edition

I’ll be sitting in for ek hornbeck who is Live Blogging the NCAA Championship Games for the next few days.

  • Gaddafi shells towns, rebels pinned down in east

    By Maria Golovnina and Michael Georgy

    TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi’s forces attacked two west Libyan towns, killing dozens, while rebels were pinned down in the east and NATO tried to resolve a dispute over who should lead the Western air campaign.

    With anti-Gaddafi rebels struggling to create a command structure that could capitalize on the air strikes against Libyan tanks and air defenses, Western countries had still to decide who would take over command once Washington pulled back in a few days.

  • Japan battles crippled nuclear plant, radiation fears grow

    By Risa Maeda and Kazunori Takada

    TOKYO (Reuters) – Rising temperatures around the core of one of the reactors at Japan’s quake-crippled nuclear plant sparked new concern on Tuesday and more water was needed to cool it down, the plant’s operator said.

    Despite hopes of progress in the world’s worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami that left at least 21,000 people dead or missing, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it needed more time before it could say the reactors were stabilized.

Mar 22 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”

Bob Herbert: Separate and Unequal

One of the most powerful tools for improving the educational achievement of poor black and Hispanic public school students is, regrettably, seldom even considered. It has become a political no-no.

Educators know that it is very difficult to get consistently good results in schools characterized by high concentrations of poverty. The best teachers tend to avoid such schools. Expectations regarding student achievement are frequently much lower, and there are lower levels of parental involvement. These, of course, are the very schools in which so many black and Hispanic children are enrolled.

Eugene Robinson: Those Useful Tyrants

Anyone looking for principle and logic in the attack on Moammar Gadhafi’s tyrannical regime will be disappointed. President Barack Obama and his advisers should acknowledge the obvious truth: They are reacting to the revolutionary fervor in the Arab world with the arbitrary “realism” that is a superpower’s prerogative.

Faced with an armed uprising by democracy-seeking rebels, Gadhafi threatened to turn all of Libya into a charnel house. The United States and its allies responded with overwhelming military force that is clearly intended to cripple the government and boost the revolt’s chances of success.

Thus begins our third concurrent Middle East war. No one has the slightest idea how, or when, this one will end.

Joe Conason: What’s So Scary About NPR?

While there is much stupid behavior to be found among politicians on both sides of the aisle during the embarrassing budget debate, few incidents have been more revealing than the latest Republican attempt to defund National Public Radio. The NPR budget line is minuscule and meaningless; the current “scandal” surrounding NPR is a fake and a diversion; and the repeated complaint that public radio is “liberally biased” is likewise false and fraudulent.

It has been decades since NPR-one of the least-slanted and best-reported news sources in the country-depended for a significant part of its revenue on federal funding. The amount that congressional Republicans suddenly decided to ax on an “emergency” basis, around $5 million, represents not only a tiny fragment of the network’s own financing but obviously an even more infinitesimal fraction of the federal deficit. So when Republican leaders claim that they are trying to be fiscally responsible by cutting NPR, while they insist on funding defense projects that the Pentagon doesn’t want, the lie detector jumps off the table.

Mar 22 2011

On This Day in History March 22

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 22 is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 284 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1784, the Emerald Buddha is moved with great ceremony to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.

The Emerald Buddha is the palladium of the Kingdom of Thailand, a figurine of the sitting Buddha, made of green jadeite (rather than emerald), clothed in gold, and about 45 cm tall. It is kept in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

According to the legend, the Emerald Buddha was created in India in 43 BC by Nagasena in the city of Pataliputra (today’s Patna). The legends state that after remaining in Pataliputra for three hundred years, it was taken to Sri Lanka to save it from a civil war. In 457, King Anuruth of Burma sent a mission to Ceylon to ask for Buddhist scriptures and the Emerald Buddha, in order to support Buddhism in his country. These requests were granted, but the ship lost its way in a storm during the return voyage and landed in Cambodia. When the Thais captured Angkor Wat in 1432 (following the ravage of the bubonic plague), the Emerald Buddha was taken to Ayutthaya, Kamphaeng Phet, Laos and finally Chiang Rai, where the ruler of the city hid it. Cambodian historians recorded capture of the Buddha statue in their famous Preah Ko Preah Keo legend. However, some art historians describe the Emerald Buddha as belonging to the Chiang Saen Style of the 15th Century AD, which would mean it is actually of Lannathai origin.

Historical sources indicate that the statue surfaced in northern Thailand in the Lannathai kingdom in 1434. One account of its discovery tells that lightning struck a pagoda in a temple in Chiang Rai, after which, something became visible beneath the stucco. The Buddha was dug out, and the people believed the figurine to be made of emerald, hence its name. King Sam Fang Kaen of Lannathai wanted it in his capital, Chiang Mai, but the elephant carrying it insisted, on three separate occasions, on going instead to Lampang. This was taken as a divine sign and the Emerald Buddha stayed in Lampang until 1468, when it was finally moved to Chiang Mai, where it was kept at Wat Chedi Luang.

The Emerald Buddha remained in Chiang Mai until 1552, when it was taken to Luang Prabang, then the capital of the Lao kingdom of Lan Xang. Some years earlier, the crown prince of Lan Xang, Setthathirath, had been invited to occupy the vacant throne of Lannathai. However, Prince Setthathirath also became king of Lan Xang when his father, Photisarath, died. He returned home, taking the revered Buddha figure with him. In 1564, King Setthathirath moved it to his new capital at Vientiane.

In 1779, the Thai General Chao Phraya Chakri put down an insurrection, captured Vientiane and returned the Emerald Buddha to Siam, taking it with him to Thonburi. After he became King Rama I of Thailand, he moved the Emerald Buddha with great ceremony to its current home in Wat Phra Kaew on March 22, 1784. It is now kept in the main building of the temple, the Ubosoth.

Mar 22 2011

Six In The Morning

U.S.-Led Assault Nears Goal in Libya


Published: March 22, 2011

WASHINGTON – An American-led military campaign to destroy Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s air defenses and establish a no-fly zone over Libya has nearly accomplished its initial objectives, and the United States is moving swiftly to hand command to allies in Europe, American officials said, despite some fighting reportedly continuing on Tuesday.

But the firepower of more than 130 Tomahawk cruise missiles and attacks by allied warplanes have not yet succeeded in accomplishing the more ambitious demands by the United States – repeated by President Obama in a letter to Congress on Monday – that Colonel Qaddafi withdraw his forces from embattled cities and cease all attacks against civilians.

Mar 22 2011

The Right to Know: Show Us The Money

The Supreme Court let stand a ruling from the lower court that forces the Federal Reserve to disclose details about its emergency lending programs to banks during the financial crisis in 2008.

Fed’s Court-Ordered Disclosure Shows Americans’ ‘Right to Know’

A Supreme Court order that forces unprecedented disclosures from the Federal Reserve ended a two- year legal battle that helped shape the public’s perceptions of the U.S. central bank.

The high court yesterday let stand a lower-court ruling compelling the Fed to reveal the names of banks that borrowed money at the so-called discount window during the credit crisis. The records were requested by Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. In July, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank law, which mandated the release of other Fed bailout details.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke “now must finally understand that this money doesn’t belong to the Federal Reserve, it belongs to the American people and the American people have a right to know how their taxpayer dollars are being put at risk,” said Senator Bernard Sanders, a Vermont Independent who wrote Fed transparency provisions in Dodd-Frank.

The financial crisis, which began in August 2007 and peaked after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008, focused the public’s attention on the Fed and its $3.5 trillion effort to rescue the banking system, said U.S. Representative Ron Paul, who heads the House subcommittee that oversees the central bank.

“People wanted to know more about what the Fed was doing,” said Paul, a Texas Republican. “It’s been a significant change and the American people won’t ever be complacent about this.”

Fed Will Release Bank Loan Data as Top Court Rejects Appeal

The Clearing House Association contended that Bloomberg is seeking an unprecedented disclosure that might dissuade banks from accepting emergency loans in the future.

Obama Administration

“We are disappointed that the court has declined our petitions, which deal with the protection of highly confidential bank information provided to the Federal Reserve,” the group said in a statement after the high court acted.

A federal trial judge ruled in 2009 that the Fed had to disclose the records in the Bloomberg case, and a New York-based appeals court upheld that ruling.

The Clearing House Association’s chances at getting a Supreme Court hearing suffered a setback when the Obama administration urged the justices not to hear the appeal. The government said the underlying issues had limited practical significance because Congress last year laid out new rules for disclosing Fed loans in the Dodd-Frank law.

“Congress has resolved the question of whether and when the type of information at issue in this case must be disclosed” in the future, the administration said in a brief filed by acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, President Barack Obama’s top Supreme Court lawyer.

While this is great news, unfortunately, it is a one time disclosure under the terms of the Dodd-Frank bill (pdf) and with the Republicans in control of the House it is unlikely that any amendment for future audits would pass. Obama should have worked harder for better oversight of our tax dollars.

Mar 22 2011

Taking Back America: FISA & the Lies of Barack Obama

The 2nd Circuit Court ruled that a law suit (pdf) challenging the constitutionality of the FISA law which shields government eavesdropping from judicial review, or as Glen Greenwald says, “(places) secret executive surveillance above and beyond the rule of law”, can move forward in the courts. Finally, there will be a review of the law that Obama promised to vote against, then voted for promising to revise after he was elected and now wields with the same impunity as his predecessor to cover up war crimes and protect war criminals in the name of national security. The bill not only gives expanded eavesdropping powers without a warrant but also gave retroactive amnesty to the telecommunication companies which participated in Bush’s illegal spying program.

At Salon, Greenwald explains the law suit:

In the case brought by the ACLU, the plaintiffs were a variety of human rights activists, lawyers and journalists (including Naomi Klein and Chris Hedges), who argued that both they and their sources have a reasonable fear of being subjected to this expanded surveillance, and that fear– by rendering them unable to perform their jobs and exercise their Constitutional rights — constitutes sufficient harm to vest them with “standing” to challenge the new eavesdropping law.  In response, the Bush administration argued — as always — that the plaintiffs’ inability to prove that they were actually targeted by this expanded surveillance precluded their suing; their mere “fear” of being targeted, argued the Bush DOJ, was insufficient to confer standing to sue.

In late 2008, a lower court judge granted the Bush argument and dismissed the ACLU’s lawsuit on “standing” grounds.  On appeal, the Obama DOJ — needless to say — faithfully adopted exactly the Bush argument to demand dismissal of the ACLU’s lawsuit on procedural grounds of “standing,” i.e., without assessing the merits of whether this law violates the Fourth Amendment.

Yes, the Obama DOJ is now using the very same argument that was used by the Bush DOJ. But now a three judge panel ruled unanimously that the plaintiffs do have standing:


(click on image to enlarge)

Mar 22 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 21, 2011-


Mar 22 2011

from firefly-dreaming 21.3.11