10/10/2015 archive

Senior League Division Series: Cubs @ Cardinals Game 2

Yesterday’s game

Bottom 1st Ground Rule Double, RBI Single.  Cardinals 1 – 0.

Bottom 8th Solo Shot.  Cardinals 2 – 0.  Walk, 2 RBI HR.  Cardinals 4 – 0 Final.

Cardinals lead Series 1 – 0.

Analysis and Setup

Well, if you’re a glass half full type and a Cubs (98 – 66) fan (and seriously, if you’re a Cubs fan how can you not be a glass half full type) you say to yourself-

“They hung tough until the 8th Inning and it’s only the first game, on the road, and all we need is a split at Busch Stadium and we’re golden.  Go Cubbies!”

It wasn’t that close.  The Cardinals (101 – 62) beat them like a drum.  The Cubs haven’t scored a Run since the 5th inning of the Wild Card game.

Lester did just about as well as Lackey, but with far more drama.  The Cubs Bullpen, not so much.

So, pick ’em.  I want the Cardinals to lose just as much as the next guy, maybe more, though my Metropolitans sure looked good last night.

The Cardinals will be sending Jaime Garcia (L, 10 – 6, 2.43 ERA) out.  The Cubs will respond with Kyle Hendricks (R, 8 – 7, 3.95 ERA).

Game time is 5:30 on TBS.

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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Gail Collins: House Speaker Chaos Crisis Inferno

The Republican majority in the House of Representatives can’t pick a new speaker. It’s hell! Double-disaster! If things don’t get resolved the whole party could fragment, possibly creating an opportunity for the long-awaited resurrection of the Whigs. [..]

Personally, I hope that if we have to have a new leader from the Freedom Caucus, it’s Representative Raúl Labrador of Idaho. Just because … Speaker Labrador.

But there are other options – like Newt Gingrich! It turns out you don’t have to actually be in Congress to be elected speaker of the House. And Newt said in a radio interview that if the Republicans came and begged for his leadership, it would be like “when George Washington came out of retirement, because there are moments you can’t avoid.”

Coming soon: Gingrich Crossing the Delaware.

The speaker of the House can be anybody. The Republicans could just pick a popular celebrity. Think how much more pleasant it would be hearing that the government had just shut down if Tom Hanks was the one breaking the news.

Ari Berman:  Jeb Bush Is Completely Wrong About the Voting Rights Act

At an event in Iowa today, Jeb Bush was asked whether he believed the Voting Rights Act (VRA) should be reauthorized by the Congress following the gutting of one of its most important provisions by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Bush responded: “If it’s to reauthorize it to continue to provide regulations on top of states as though we’re living in 1960, because those were basically when many of those rules were put in place, I don’t believe we should do that. There’s been dramatic improvement in access to voting, exponentially better improvement, and I don’t think there’s a role for the federal government to play in most places.”

Bush is wrong on multiple counts. [..]

 In 2006, Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush, signed the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA, which passed the Congress by a vote of 390-33 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. President Bush recently traveled to Selma with President Obama to observe the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma. It’s a shame Jeb didn’t make the trip-he might have learned something.

It’s sad, but not surprising, that the same guy who said African-Americans just wanted “free stuff” from the government is now claiming that the VRA, the country’s most important civil-rights law, is no longer necessary.

Robert Reich: Hillary, Bernie and the Banks

Giant Wall Street banks continue to threaten the wellbeing of millions of Americans, but what to do?

Bernie Sanders says break them up and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated investment from commercial banking.

Hillary Clinton says charge them a bit more and oversee them more carefully.

Most Republicans say don’t worry.

Clearly, there’s reason to worry. Back in 2000, before they almost ruined the economy and had to be bailed out, the five biggest banks on Wall Street held 25 percent of the nation’s banking assets. Now they hold more than 45 percent.

Their huge size fuels further growth because they’ll be bailed out if they get into trouble again.

This hidden federal guarantee against failure is estimated be worth over $80 billion a year to the big banks. In effect, it’s a subsidy from the rest of us to the bankers.

And they’ll almost certainly get into trouble again if nothing dramatic is done to stop them. Consider their behavior since they were bailed out.

Eugene Robinson: Chaos Is the GOP’s New Normal

At this point, I worry we’re going to start finding members of the Republican establishment curled up in their beds, eyes clenched shut and ears covered with trembling hands, moaning “make it stop, make it stop, make it stop.”

Pity their suffering, but remember that they brought it on themselves.

The insurrection that propelled billionaire Donald Trump into the lead for the GOP nomination and ultimately made House Speaker John Boehner surrender his gavel in frustration rages on unabated. This was no mere summer skirmish. If anything, the rebellion is gaining strength. [..]

n the Democratic Party, the conflict is ideological-left vs. center-left. In the GOP, the struggle looks existential.

Put another way, it’s not hard to imagine a party in which there’s room for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and you can easily imagine one supporting the other as standard-bearer. But a tent that can hold, say, both Trump’s view on undocumented immigrants-hunt them down and kick them out-and Bush’s support for compassionate reform? That’s not a political party, it’s a food fight.

The Republican establishment may ultimately find some way to drag one of its presidential candidates through the primaries. But chaos, Trump has shown, is the GOP’s new normal.

Joan Walsh: Boehner and McCarthy Reap What They Sowed

The chaotic House GOP leadership battle-if it can be called a battle, when virtually no one wants to be leader-is normally blamed on fractious right-wing extremists in the so-called “Freedom Caucus.” But when House Speaker John Boehner and his would-have-been successor Kevin McCarthy wonder who’s to blame for their troubles, they should start by looking in the mirror.

Since Boehner came to power in 2011, his leadership team has encouraged the far right in its crusade against government, governing, and compromise. They’ve fostered the extremists’ delusions that they can do things they simply can’t, with a Democrat in the White House-repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, hold the debt ceiling hostage to force huge budget cuts.

Boehner and McCarthy (and before him Eric Cantor, who was defeated by a far-right primary challenger last year) can do the math: time and again they turned to Democrats to pass measures to keep the government open and avoid disaster, but only after they tried and failed to mollify the far right. This only encouraged the “Freedom Caucus” members in their delusions of power-and enraged them that they were being kept from wielding it.

Michelle Chen: Is DC About to Pass the Best Sick Leave in the Country?

For most Americans, a sick day is a workday. If you want to get paid, you don’t stay home. Not even when you or your child are ill, not even if you just gave birth.

Most private sector workers in the US have no paid medical leave benefits; just 12 percent have employer-sponsored paid family leave. Most low-wage workers risk income or losing their job if they take a single sick day. But in the nation’s capital, workers might soon be able to take four months for medical care. A new proposal in the DC city council would offer 16 weeks of paid medical leave-the strongest such policy in the country, according to Council Members David Grosso and Elissa Silverman, who introduced the bill this week.


Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

Once again this week’s H & F news is abbreviated due to other pressing matters.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Ask Well: Reversing Diabetes

By Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times

Is Type 2 diabetes reversible?

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed in some people, at least temporarily, but it may take extreme measures.

Lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise are most likely to have an effect early in the course of the disease, shortly after a patient moves from prediabetes to diabetes and is still producing some insulin. At that point, “if you can reduce your body’s requirements for insulin by losing weight, you may be able to go back to the prediabetes phase,” said Dr. Judith Fradkin, director of the division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Calcium Doesn’t Improve Bone Density, Analysis Finds

By Nicholas Bakalar,  New York Times

Calcium, eaten in foods or taken as supplements, has little or no effect on bone density or the risk of fracture in people over 50, according to two large reviews of studies in BMJ.

One analysis reviewed 59 randomized controlled trials of the effect of dietary and supplemental calcium on bone density. Together, the trials included 13,790 men and women over 50. The data showed that more calcium in the diet or taken as supplements increased bone density about 1 percent to 2 percent – too little to have any effect on fractures.


The Breakfast Club (The Fifth)

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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This Day in History

Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns; Imperial rule ends in China; Achille Lauro hijackers forced to land; Movie legend Orson Welles dies; Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi born; Actor Christopher Reeve dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.

Orson Welles

On This Day In History October 10

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.

October 10 is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 82 days remaining until the end of the year.

On October 10, 1935, George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess premieres on Broadway.

Porgy and Bess is an opera, first performed in 1935, with music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. It was based on DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy and the play of the same name which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward. All three works deal with African American life in the fictitious Catfish Row (based on the real-life Rainbow Row) in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1920s.

Originally conceived by Gershwin as an “American folk opera”, Porgy and Bess premiered in New York in the fall of 1935 and featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers-a daring and visionary artistic choice at the time. Gershwin chose African American Eva Jessye as the choral director for the opera. Incorporating a wealth of blues and jazz idioms into the classical art form of opera, Gershwin considered it his finest work.

The work was not widely accepted in the United States as a legitimate opera until 1976, when the Houston Grand Opera production of Gershwin’s complete score established it as an artistic triumph. Nine years later the Metropolitan Opera gave their first performance of the work. This production was also broadcast as part of the ongoing Saturday afternoon live Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. The work is now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire and is regularly performed internationally. Despite this success, the opera has been controversial; some critics from the outset have considered it a racist portrayal of African Americans.

Summertime” is by far the best-known piece from the work, and countless interpretations of this and other individual numbers have also been recorded and performed. The second best-known number is “It Ain’t Necessarily So“. The opera is admired for Gershwin’s innovative synthesis of European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk music idioms.

Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a disabled black beggar living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina. It deals with his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin’ Life, the drug dealer. Where the earlier novel and stage-play differ, the opera generally follows the stage-play.

The Porgy and Bess original cast recording was included by the National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of Congress, National Recording Registry in 2003. The board selects songs on an annual basis that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

On July 14, 1993, the United States Postal Service recognized the opera’s cultural significance by issuing a commemorative 29-cent postage stamp, and in 2001 Porgy and Bess was proclaimed the official opera of the State of South Carolina.

The Daily Late Nightly Show (Let’s Go Mets!)

James Corden is a funny guy, but I’m not staying up for him tonight because I have things to do tomorrow.

Stephen’s other guests are Shane Smith, and Halsey.

This Week’s guests-

Trevor Noah

Senior League Division Series: Mets @ Dodgers Game 1

Meet The Mets



Step right up and greet the Mets!

Bring your kiddies,

bring your wife;

Guaranteed to have the time of your life

because the Mets are really sockin’ the ball; knocking those home runs over the wall!

East side,

West side,

everybody’s coming down

to meet the M-E-T-S Mets of New York town!

Oh, the butcher and the baker and the people on the streets,

where did they go? To MEET THE METS!

Oh, they’re hollerin’ and cheerin’ and they’re jumpin’ in their seats,

where did they go? To MEET THE METS!

All the fans are true to the orange and blue,

so hurry up and come on down –

’cause we’ve got ourselves a ball club,

The Mets of New York town!

Give ’em a yell!

Give ’em a hand!

And let ’em know your rootin’ in the stand!

Come on and MEET THE METS,


Step right up and greet the Mets!

Bring your kiddies,

bring your wife;

Guaranteed to have the time of your life

because the Mets are really sockin’ the ball; knocking those home runs over the wall!

East side,

West side,

Everybody’s coming down

To meet the M-E-T-S Mets of New York town!

Of New York town!

The New York Metropolitans (90 – 72) are the team of my heart.  The despised Dodgers (92 – 70), the carpetbaggers of Chavez Ravine, are not so much rivals as beneath contempt,

I didn’t expect much this year so this is all a pleasant surprise.

It has been a very busy and frustrating day.  Eight hours of meetings and not much progress to show for it.  I’m not going to write much more preamble except to say that I have my Mets Cap on and I’m looking forward to victory tonight.

Clayton Kershaw (L, 16 – 7, 2.13 ERA) will start for the Dodgers, the Mets will be putting Jacob deGrom (R, 14 – 8, 2.54 ERA) on the mound.  deGrom is a converted infielder who was last year’s Senior League Rookie of the Year.  This is his first playoff experience.  Kershaw is last year’s NL MVP and a three-time Cy Young Award winner, on the other hand he’s only had one Win in the Playoffs having gone 0 – 4 against the Cardinals in his last 2 Series.

Lest you think the Mets have no chance, they took 4 of 7 from the Dodgers this year.

My prediction?  Mets in 3.  Or maybe 4 or 5, I don’t much care as long as they advance.

Game time 9:30 on TBS.

Senior League Division Series: Cubs @ Cardinals Game 1

Is this the year the Cubs (98 – 65) break their 106 year drought?  Sadly, no.  They’re going against the Cardinals (100 – 62) who are rapidly approaching the Yankees both as the most sucessful and hated Baseball team ever.

I sure would like them to win though, it would make it much easier for my Metropolitans who I’m pretty sure are not going to make it through the Cardinals either if it comes to that.

TMC and I were talking and she asked me if I liked sports at all, I write about them so much.  The answer is, not really.  There are a lot of things I post because I think they make good material for the site, like Throwball Playoffs and Formula One.  Frankly they’re both pretty boring.  Some sports I won’t touch, like Professional Baskeball (beyond boring into gouge my own eyes out with a double side of Van Gough territory).

I do like the weird stuff like Curling and America’s Cup, but they’re hard to find on a regular basis and…

I like Women’s College Basketball and Baseball.  Senior League Baseball that doesn’t coddle it’s Pitcher and keep famous but ineffective geezers riding the pine after they become too fat and crippled to field.

If the Metropolitans suddenly vanished I wouldn’t hook up with the Yankees or even the BoSox.  Instead I’d probably root for the Cards because I’m tired of losing.  Sorry Cubbies.

The Cardinals have a incredibly strong organization and usually a pretty talented team.  If you want to make book on who is going to be the World Champion before Spring Training in any given year, you could do worse than put your money on the Cards.

That said, the Cubs are sentimental favorites and looked surprisingly good in the Wild Card game againt the Pirates.

The Cardinals will be sending John Lackey (R, 13 – 10, 2.77 ERA) out.  The Cubs will respond with Jon Lester (L, 11 – 12, 3.34 ERA).  The weird thing is they were #1 & #2 on the Red Sox staff in 2013.  On paper Lackey is much stronger.

My prediction?  Cardinals in 4.

Game time is 6:30 on TBS.