09/20/2015 archive

On This Day In History September 20

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.

September 20 is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 102 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1973, in a highly publicized “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, top women’s player Billie Jean King, 29, beats Bobby Riggs, 55, a former No. 1 ranked men’s player. Riggs (1918-1995), a self-proclaimed male chauvinist, had boasted that women were inferior, that they couldn’t handle the pressure of the game and that even at his age he could beat any female player. The match was a huge media event, witnessed in person by over 30,000 spectators at the Houston Astrodome and by another 50 million TV viewers worldwide. King made a Cleopatra-style entrance on a gold litter carried by men dressed as ancient slaves, while Riggs arrived in a rickshaw pulled by female models. Legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell called the match, in which King beat Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. King’s achievement not only helped legitimize women’s professional tennis and female athletes, but it was seen as a victory for women’s rights in general.

Billie Jean King (née Moffitt; born November 22, 1943 in Long Beach, California) is a former professional tennis player from the United States. She won 12 Grand Slam  singles titles, 16 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. King has been an advocate against sexism in sports and society. She is known for “The Battle of the Sexes” in 1973, in which she defeated Bobby Riggs, a former Wimbledon men’s singles champion.

King is the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and World Team Tennis, which she founded with her former husband, Lawrence King.

Despite King’s achievements at the world’s biggest tennis tournaments, the U.S. public best remembers her for her win over Bobby Riggs in 1973.

Riggs had been a top men’s player in the 1930s and 1940s in both the amateur and professional ranks. He won the Wimbledon men’s singles title in 1939, and was considered the World No. 1 male tennis player for 1941, 1946, and 1947. He then became a self-described tennis “hustler” who played in promotional challenge matches. In 1973, he took on the role of male chauvinist. Claiming that the women’s game was so inferior to the men’s game that even a 55-year-old like himself could beat the current top female players, he challenged and defeated Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1. King, who previously had rejected challenges from Riggs, then accepted a lucrative financial offer to play him.

The Breakfast Club (Dig it)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast Tune: The KroppDusters – Age (Jim Croce)

Today in History: September 20th

Magellan begins globe-trotting voyage; Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal dies; Actress Sophia Loren born; Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in ‘Battle of the Sexes’; Singer Jim Croce dies in plane crash. (Sept. 20)

Something to Think about, Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis:The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio; GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

The roundtable guests are; ABC News contributor Matthew Dowd; Republican strategist Ana Navarro; ABC News’ Cokie Roberts; and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile.

Face the Nation: Host John Dickerson’s guests are: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; and GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

His panel guests are: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal; Jamelle Bouie, slate; Ron Brownstein, National Journal; and Michael Gerson, Washington Post.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: This Sunday’s “MTP” guests are: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon; GOP presidential candidates Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) and Dr. Ben Carson.

The roundtable guests are: Molly Ball; Hugh Hewitt; David Maraniss; and Maris Shriver.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper: Mr. Tapper’s guests are: GOP presidential candidates Gov.John Kasich (R-OH) and Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ).

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Thousands of refugees pour into Austria as European crisis intensifies

  Around 13,000 people entered Austria on Saturday, according to the Red Cross, after being forced away from Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia

Agence France-Presse

Sunday 20 September 2015 06.31 BST

Thousands of refugees have streamed into Austria after being shunted through Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia as Europe’s divided nations stepped up efforts to push the migrants into neighbouring countries.

The continent’s biggest migratory flow since 1945 has opened a deep rift between western and eastern members of the European Union over how to distribute the refugees fairly, and raised questions over the fate of the Schengen agreement allowing borderless travel within the 28-nation bloc.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Refugee crisis was caused by a careless West that allowed anarchy and fear to take root in the Middle East

South China Sea: Philippines may invite US back to Subic Bay

Pope to hold a giant Mass in Cuba one day after veiled critique to leaders

Important but unfamiliar: A look at who’s coming to town with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Why North Korea’s Latest Nuclear Threats Are Like Groundhog Day All Over Again

Formula One 2015: Marina Bay

Well, we’ll start off with the shortest and stupidest news which is that Alexander Rossi will be the first U.S. driver to compete in many years.  He’s in a Manor however and can’t be expected to do much with that.

More involved is the story about Lotus and Renault.  Lotus has barely been rescued from bankruptcy due to the fact they’ve not been paying their taxes, about $4.25 million in the last 3 months.  Renault has offered around $150 million for a 65% share of the team.

What makes it especially interesting is that Red Bull has dropped their engine contract with Renault and inked a deal with Ferrari.  Renault has threatened all year to either buy their own team or quit entirely, this could work out for them if their pockets are deep enough since Lotus is a mid-tier team and the Renault power plant is finally showing some competitiveness.

Fans of Scuderia Marlboro, at least those who root for the marque and not just the paint job, will be happy with the extra cash.  It may hurt the factory team in terms of elevating the competition but I’m not convinced of that.

You see the thing is that Red Bull has been running Ferrari for several years on the Toro Rosso squad.  Toro Rosso means “Red Bull” in Italian and the distinguishing feature between them and the trademark team is their Maranello engine and their generally less talented drivers.  Is it really reasonable to expect the Red Bull design group, which they share, has some magic go wizardry they’ve been holding back?

And of course Red Bull (which is sponsoring 20% of the field) has equally been threatening to quit if they don’t get suddenly competitive and that kind of ruins the deal Ecclestone has crafted for Formula One to put at least 16 cars on the grid for race day.  Do you really want to be relying on Manor to keep two cars on the track?

Of course next year we have the much anticipated Haas team which would give bad Bernie (I like Sanders) some wiggle room if Christian Horner decides to pack it in, but not much.

Against that backdrop is the fact that Mercedes has had unexpected struggles in Singapore.

It’s a street track, run at night, very hot, and hard on tires.  Since August most teams have used up their yearly engine allotments (which is supposed to save them money).  Mercedes has decided to eat any penalties and ramp up their 2016 plant that did well enough at Monza.  At Marina Bay however they’ve been consistently slower than their rivals and the chassis is causing a spectacular drop in the performance of the Super Softs (Softs are the others available) when they are worn out, much more than other teams.

Hamilton and Rosberg did not qualify well and the track does not promote passing so while the media anticipated a record breaking performance Ferrari and Red Bull are in as good a position as they’ve been all season.

Not that it probably matters much in the long run.  Mercedes and Hamilton are fairly likely to keep their prospective championships provided they can keep cars on the track, everyone else is an also ran including Rosberg who is in some danger of losing #2 to Vettel.

Now on to Climate Change.

For the last week Singapore has been suffering a choking haze fueled in part by wild fires in Malaysia.  In an effort to clear the air the government has seeded the clouds in the hope that rain would reduce some of the smoke, dust, and pollution.  It’s been somewhat successful bringing Peking levels of unhealthiness down to a more tolerable Los Angeles level.

Hurray us I guess.  Makes me wonder what the heck is going to happen in Rio.