Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's a Beautiful Day

As some little known Irish band called U2 would say, "don't let it get away!"

I'm headed back to the bat-lair later today so expect light blogging this weekend.

No matter what those to the left of me say, I will forever be supporting Senator Joseph Lieberman.

KOACH has some nice Jewish humor for the month of April. I think I've seen this one before.

Evan Bayh on border control:
Sen. Evan Bayh, Indiana's Democratic senator, said Congress needs to reconcile three issues: better control of the border, dealing with illegal immigrants already here and filling jobs for which there are few takers.

"We've got to provide for security," Bayh said, "but we've got to do it in a way that doesn't damage our own economy and in a way that is realistic."
Happy birthday goes out to blues rocker Eric Clapton who turns 61 today.

Will Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist split the Republican Party?
By pushing his way to the front of the volatile debate over immigration, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has reignited complaints that his presidential ambitions conflict with his leadership duties at times and put him at odds with his GOP caucus.

Frist (R-Tenn.) pointedly told the Judiciary Committee on March 16 that unless it produced a comprehensive bill by Monday, he would send his own proposal to the Senate floor. The committee worked overtime to comply, but Frist still arranged for his bill -- which places more emphasis on border security -- to draw several hours of debate before yielding to the committee measure as the vehicle for amendments and votes, which will start today.

Frist's tactics rankled some GOP colleagues who wanted more time to talk through the divisive questions of illegal immigrants, border fences, guest-worker options and other matters.

"We should have had a much more ambitious process of trying to build consensus and bringing people and different views together before we engaged in debate on the Senate floor," Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) said in an interview. "As majority leader you can't be single-minded. You've got to deal with a confluence of challenges and priorities, on behalf of the president, on behalf of the overall party and on behalf of the institution."
I don't know if this will work to Frist's advantage but I don't see him getting the 2008 GOP nomination.

I'm siding with the Beatles on this one.
Founded in 1968, Apple Corps is owned by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison. Apple Computer was founded in 1976.

At issue is a 1991 deal between the two companies in which both agreed to certain definitions that would regulate both firms' use of the logo.

It's interesting to note that the deal was agreed one year before the invention of the WorldWide web. The current litigation clearly underlines the impact of convergence between computer and media companies.

Apple Corps is demanding millions of dollars in damages and that Apple Computer remove all traces of the apple logo from its music sales and consumption products.

It argues that Apple Computer had agreed not to use the logo in connection with any CD releases of musical content. It wants the judge in the case, iPod user Judge Martin Mann, to agree that the original definition should include online sales.
Apple Computers argues that permanent downloads are the "new CD's." BS!! Downloads do not replace CD's. Downloads take up space on a PC. I know. When I was a freshman in college, I copied most of my collection to my laptop only to delete all that by the time I started my sophomore year. It was taking up too much space. I did not share any of that music with others, only myself.

Groovy. Now I can watch the John Mellencamp concert. I haven't watched a concert online since Act for Change in 2004.

Speaking of Mellencamp, he explains how this spring's tour came into existence.
Mellencamp, whose "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." is featured in commercials promoting this year’s NCAA Tournament, agreed to perform largely because of his relationship with former IU president Myles Brand, who now heads the NCAA.

"Myles asked me for the last three or four years ... and I’ve always had something scheduled, or you know – somethin’– so Myles, kind of, he made the game in Indianapolis. I can’t say no!"

Brand said he had been hoping for a few years to get Mellencamp, who donated $1.5 million to IU for an indoor sports facility, to play on Final Four weekend.

"It always seemed like a good idea," he said. "And it turned out this year, it worked."

Indianapolis’ Monument Circle will be transformed into an outdoor concert arena, with massive video screens that will show the concert and the games between Florida and George Mason and Louisiana State and UCLA.

"I’ve never really seen an event like this, other than Simon & Garfunkel playing in Central Park for free," Mellencamp said. "So I’m kind of excited about it."[...]

Sunday’s show will be the third stop on a 15-date Midwest and East Coast tour for Mellencamp. The tour is an offshoot of last year’s Words & Music tour.

"I didn’t really intend to go out and play this spring at all," he said. "But when this NCAA thing came up a couple months ago, I said, ‘Look, if we’re gonna have to go to all the trouble of rehearsing, just book us more shows.’"
Here's a review of the latest review at the Detroit Second City.

Thank you, John Kerry, for stepping up.
John Kerry urged the U.S. Coast Guard to allow a Chasidic Jew to wear a yarmulke while on duty.

The Massachusetts senator wrote a letter Wednesday to the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in defense of Jack Rosenberg of Spring Valley, N.Y.

After being sworn into the Coast Guard Auxiliary last year, Rosenberg was told by his commander that he was not permitted to wear a yarmulke while on duty.

According to current Coast Guard regulations, "religious items" must be "concealed or worn only during religious services."

Kerry is the principal sponsor of the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which would require employers to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious practice or observance.
This next article was linked from JTA. Yes, it is from the Courier-Journal. I've been too busy with academics this semester but there has been too much legislation with "religious overtones" this year.
A letter signed by officers of the Community Relations Council, the public policy arm of the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville, cited as examples bills authorizing the posting of the Ten Commandments and the motto "In G-d We Trust" at the Capitol; a governor's prayer breakfast at which only Christians spoke; and a church group's survey asking legislators whether they had professed faith in Jesus.

"We believe that our elected officials should focus less energy on legislating religion itself, and should spend more effort on legislating good policies based on the fundamental moral values shared by all our citizens," the letter said in part.

H. Philip Grossman, the lead signee of the letter, said various events created "a whole feeling of perhaps marginalizing not just the Jewish community, but a lot of other communities, and not just Jews and other non-Christians but also certain Christian groups."

"We wanted to speak to that, because it seemed like it was just a freight train running through," Grossman said.

The letter, which also was sent to Gov. Ernie Fletcher and appears on today's Forum page, received mixed reactions in Frankfort and in the state.

"Would I be out of line if I said amen to that?" David Howe of McCreary County said of the letter. "I agree with them wholeheartedly."[...]

Rep. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, who is Jewish and who sponsored a resolution calling on legislators to disregard the survey, called the council's letter "right on." The House has not yet voted on her resolution.

The Jewish Community Federation council includes representatives of synagogues, agencies and others in Louisville's Jewish community, the largest in the state at more than 8,000.

Gov. Fletcher's press secretary, Jodi Whitaker, said: "We have received the letter. We appreciate the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville's thoughts, and we are working on an appropriate response to their letter."

John McGary, spokesman for House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said the speaker has made an effort to invite people of various faiths, including Jews and Muslims, to open House sessions with prayer.

A spokeswoman for Senate President David Williams said he was busy with budget negotiations last night and could not comment.

The council's letter criticized a proposed state constitutional amendment supported by Williams that would prevent state courts from barring Ten Commandments displays in public places. That measure is pending.

Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro -- who sponsored another bill allowing the Ten Commandments and other religious texts in public historical displays -- said he has "not noticed an increasing emphasis on religion in this session as compared to others."[...]

Kathryn Johnson, president of the Kentucky Council of Churches, however, said she agreed with the Jewish council's letter.

"While we're very devoted to the way faith shapes our citizenship, we also feel called to the creation of a community in which all seek wholeness and faithful living," said Johnson, who also is a professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Khalid Kahloon, executive director of the American Muslim Association of Louisville, also agreed with the letter.

He said the Jewish community, because it is long established, represents "the voice of religious minorities in this community. … I'm glad they're doing it for the rest of us."
Steroid investigation is imminent.

Former Senator Tom Daschle will deliver the Dole Lecture.

Again, blogging will be light this weekend.

Back from the hiatus...

I've never found a break so refreshing. Now for the sad news, I have a deadline for a column that must get finished prior to Shabbas so if blogging is light on Friday, that's why. But you can find my baseball picks here.

Last night, I watched the Dick Gabriel-produced documentary about the legend of the late University of Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp on KET. I'm glad that it was finally aired. Rupp is a legend in college basketball, especially within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Will John Mellencamp have a new record deal soon? I don't know for sure but I would wager to guess that it is a very good possibility.

Sen. George Allen's re-election campaign has taken a huge toll on his staff. His chief of staff has taken a leave of absence to manage the campaign.

Folk-rocker Paul Simon will have a new album, Surprise due out in May. Simon will make another appearance on Saturday Night Live.
The 11-track collaboration with producer Brian Eno hits stores May 8 internationally and May 9 in North America, Billboard.com reported Tuesday.

It will mark Simon's first album since You're the One in 2000 and features guest appearances by guitarist Bill Frisell, drummer Steve Gadd and pianist Herbie Hancock.
How do things look in the TV Pilot world? It looks like Danielle Panabaker may be on the tube this fall.
Shark, from 20th TV and Imagine TV, centers on a celebrity attorney (James Woods) who becomes a prosecutor. Panabaker will play the attorney's teenage daughter.

On the feature side, the actress has been cast in Mr. Brooks opposite Kevin Costner.
Here's an article behind the saga of "Lazy Muncie."

In college basketball, LSU would become the second school to achieve the feat if both men's and women's basketball teams win the title next week.

My condolences to the family of Thomas "Red" Saltsman.

Congrats to Ehud Olmert, the next Prime Minister of Israel.

I commend and applaud Jack Rosenberg for wanting to serve his country. I applaud him for wanting to wear a kippah on his head as well. If I had my way, I'd wear one every day.
He underwent a full military background check. He had several sets of fingerprints taken. He passed the boating test and the written course.

"But as soon as I got sworn in and got ready to put on the uniform," Mr. Rosenberg said, "the commander came to me and said it's going to be a problem."

The problem was on top of Mr. Rosenberg's head. He is a Hasidic Jew, and he wears a skullcap at all times except when showering or swimming. The skullcap clashed with the uniform.

Wearing a visible piece of religious garb violates Coast Guard regulations. It says so in the Coast Guard manual, right between "Umbrellas" ("Plain black or navy blue, expandable, straight handle. Must be carried in left hand.") and "Backpacks" ("Must be carried in left hand when in uniform"). "Religious Items," the manual says. "Concealed or worn only during religious services."[...]

Things looked grim. Mr. Rosenberg's smart blue dress uniform hung unworn in a closet in his home in Rockland County. He was not about to compromise on the skullcap, which Orthodox Jews commonly wear to remind them of God's position above humankind.

"If my religion requires it," Mr. Rosenberg said, "there's not a choice."

A relative referred Mr. Rosenberg to a state assemblyman in Brooklyn, Dov Hikind, who has many Orthodox constituents. Mr. Hikind wrote on March 7 to the commandant of the Coast Guard, reminding him that a homeland security expert at the University of Maryland had recently called the Coast Guard "vastly understaffed and underresourced" and that turning away a willing volunteer might not be a good idea.
That does appear to be a problem. If I recall correctly, we have the freedom of religion in the United States.

Second City's TourCo is headed to Georgia State University today for an 8 p.m. performance.

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch was pleased by Evan Bayh's remarks the other day.
Here in New Hampshire, I think voters will be watching carefully to see which candidates stand with New Hampshire to protect its traditional role. That's why I was so pleased to read Sen. Evan Bayh's comments earlier this week. It is clear he is a true friend to the New Hampshire primary.

Candidates, like voters, understand the importance of the New Hampshire primary and the role that it can play in testing their readiness to be President.
An oldie but it will get you in the mood for MATZAH!

I've seen some interesting menus but this is one of the strangest that I've seen in my life.
Bradley’s annual postseason men’s basketball banquet, which will be themed “A Sweet Evening with the Braves,” has been rescheduled for Friday, April 21 at the Peoria Civic Center. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth and must be purchased by April 19 through the Chiefs Club Office, located in Haussler Hall.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. for an hour-long reception and the dinner program will begin at seven o’clock. The evening will include several video tributes, autograph opportunities with the team members, presentation of the annual team awards and speeches by the team’s graduating seniors. Bradley Basketball Sweet 16 merchandise also will be available for purchase. The dinner menu will include stuffed Jayhawk (Chicken) Italiano with mozzarella cheese, angel hair Panther pasta and Bracket (pineapple) Upside Down Cake for dessert.
Yes, styles are different in the fourth district.

Here's an interview with Natalie Portman.

I can't help but ask: does this impress Ed Asner?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Onward's thoughts on. . .

Fantasy baseball - this guy (http://www.whatrevolution.blogspot.com) is crazy

Democrats - Need to be more assertive - Feingold is on the right track, watch that guy

KY Dem's video - I bet the whole Wildcat team saw it, and probably Wildcat fan Austin Kearns too

The Reds - Will finish in the top 3 of the NL Central

The NIT - Worst tournament ever - yet the Cards were the last team standing.

Evan Bayh - Still don't know what he stands for, and I think he intends to keep it that way

IL-6 - Tammy Duckworth has lots of money and backers, but Henry Hyde's district is just too darn conservative

Barry Bonds and Steroids - Lets move on, folks.

The sports media - See above.

George Mason - Lucky. Will lose to Florida

Hillary Clinton - I'll support her. But only if Feingold doesn't gain momentum, and Gore doesn't run.

Taequan Dean - Not the go-to guy he tried to be. He sure can shoot, though.

Rick Pitino - I still refuse to doubt anything he does.

Tubby Smith - Hanging on by a thread.

The Bulls - Need to trade whatever they have to (including a possible first round pick) for Paul Pierce.

Friendster - Lots of fun for a few minutes a week.

My Fantasy Team - Plenty of 5 tool guys, but probably needs Barry Bonds to remain healthy and play 100 games in order to contend.

I'll try to post more and contribute more later as things like baseball and the elections heat up.

From Onward (NOT THE KYDEM)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Power of Music

This is an open thread mainly because I'm taking tomorrow off from blogging.

Tomorrow's pretty much going to be an all-music day for me--like it has been for the past five years.

In other news, it looks like actor Mark Feuerstein is in a pilot about brain surgeons. I hope the show gets picked up.
The project centers on a rising-star brain surgeon (Mark Feuerstein) who is doing a fellowship under the guidance of a brilliant but unpredictable surgeon (Stanley Tucci)
It's being made for CBS.

See ya Thursday!

Will the Friends reunite?

I honestly don't know. TV Guide reports that Matt LeBlanc may be the only one holding out so far.
"I'll be there for you...." "And so will I." "Me, too." "Count me in." "I'm game." "Eh, I dunno about this." That's pretty much the scenario that's being reported by Newsday regarding a Friends reunion. Five of the sextet were into the idea — and Kathleen Turner even claimed to have been approached about reprising the role of Chandler's father — but, Lisa Kudrow is being quoted as saying, "One member has said no. It's one of the guys. I'm gutted." C'mon, after Joey, would anybody really miss Matt LeBlanc if the show went on without him? I hear Ugly Naked Guy is available to fill in.
What about Arrested Development? Series creator Mitch Hurwitz plans to kill the series citing creative burnout.

Jim Les will be on the Fox Sports Network today. I just turned it on around 3:22 so I don't know if I missed it or not.
The Bradley men’s basketball team saw its season come to an end in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 last week, but fourth-year Braves head coach Jim Les is still working toward the Final Four.

Les joined Illinois head coach Bruce Weber, California head coach Ben Braun and Alabama head coach Mark Gottfried to tape the Dell presents March Madness Coaches Show Monday evening in Chicago. The show, which was hosted by Tim Brando and Marques Johnson, will air today at 3 p.m. in all markets on the Fox Sports Network, including the network’s affiliate broadcast on cable systems in the Peoria area, FSN Midwest.
Bruce Weber and Ben Braun were just on the show.

They are getting ready in Monument Circle.

Reagan Defense secretary Casper Weinberger has died.
Caspar Weinberger, the Reagan-era defense secretary whose intervention in Jonathan Pollard’s case led to a life sentence for Pollard, died at 88.

Weinberger died in Maine, his family said. Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst who pleaded guilty to spying for Israel, reached a deal with the prosecution that would have spared him a life sentence. However, Weinberger intervened with a confidential 46-page memo to the judge, who threw out the deal and sentenced Pollard to life in 1987. Pollard is still in jail.

Breaking: Kelvin Sampson to Indiana Hoosiers

Oklahoma Sooners coach Kelvin Sampson is replacing Mike Davis as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington according to ESPN's Andy Katz.
Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson is expected to leave the school to become the next head coach at Indiana, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

Sampson already told OU athletic director Joe Castiglione of his plans and was scheduled to meet with the Sooner team Tuesday afternoon.

A news conference announcing his hiring at Indiana could take place as early as Wednesday afternoon in Bloomington.

Sampson replaces Mike Davis, who took over for Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight in 2000.

Negotiations with Sampson heated up in the past week as the Hoosiers zeroed in on him after making overtures through a search committee to Gonzaga's Mark Few and Memphis' John Calipari.

The hiring of Sampson means the Hoosiers will break away completely from the Bob Knight era, instead of looking at former Hoosiers Steve Alford of Iowa or Orlando Magic assistant Randy Wittman.

Ironically, Oklahoma and Sampson lost to Davis (and Indiana) in his only trip to the Final Four in 2002.

Did I just lose my mind?!?

Do my eyes decieve me? Did I just read that Andy Card has stepped down as the White House Chief of Staff?!? Never thought I'd see that happening in the second term.

Election Day 2016 will be between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John Thune according to David Kranz of the Argus Leader. I think the 2016 candidate is likely to be the VP that we elect in 2008.

More on Andy Card...
White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. announced his resignation this morning after nearly 5 1/2 years as President Bush's top aide. Bush said Card will be replaced by Joshua B. Bolten, the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Card will serve until April 14 to provide a transition period. The move could presage broader staff changes as Bolten takes over an operation hobbled by political problems heading into a crucial midterm election season.
I thought this would be longer but news has pretty much been slow today. No wait, it's because I started Redbirds Fun.

Moment of Zen

Adam Morrison's Five Stages of Grief

Monday, March 27, 2006

Kentuckian headed to Women's Final Four

Jade Perry of Central City (I love Muhlenberg County) is headed to Boston for the 2006 NCAA Women's Final Four as the Maryland Terrapins won today.

LSU is also headed to the final four this year.

Jon Stewart's bookie will not let him do an office pool as he is on three year's probation.

My condolences to Senator Robert C. Byrd and his children, granchildren, and great-grandchildren on the loss of Senator Byrd's wife, Emma Ora Byrd.

I'd like to take this moment to commend Gov. Fletcher for signing into law the legislation that will keep protestors at a distance at military funerals.

Unfortunately, Fletcher is still seeking a second term.
During Fletcher's brief press conference, the Blackberry device he keeps on his waist seemed to cause interference with the Capitol audio system. He quickly removed it.

"I forgot and left my Blackberry on," Fletcher told the audience as he handed the device to an aide. "It continues to get me in trouble."
John McCain and Mitt Romney are now rivals. Apparently, I must have missed that...

Go get 'em, Beatles!

The FARCE is with us! Bob Saget, best known for his role as Danny Tanner on the ABC sitcom Full House, is making Farce of the Penguin. It's already looking to have an all-star cast.
Samuel L. Jackson has been signed to narrate the picture. Lewis Black, Mo'Nique, and Tracy Morgan will voice the three lead penguins along with writer/director Saget, who will play the lovelorn main character. The parody of the Academy Award-winning documentary of similar name is produced by David Permut and Saget for THINKFilm.

Saget has also gathered a number of his friends and colleagues in cameo roles, including (in alphabetical order): Jason Alexander, James Belushi, Jason Biggs, Dane Cook, Norm Crosby, Dave Coulier, Adam Duritz, Harvey Fierstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Gilbert Gottfried, Alyson Hannigan, Penn Jillette, Jaime Kennedy, David Koechner, Lori Loughlin, Jon Lovitz, Norm Macdonald, Carlos Mencia, Jeffrey Ross, Jonathan Silverman, John Stamos, and Abe Vigoda.

According to Saget, "There are more cameos to come. I'm fortunate to know a lot of incredibly talented people and they all want to be a penguin."

Saget says, "One of the gifts is Samuel Jackson narrating our film. He's a brilliant actor who will bring so much to this film comedically. I'm truly privileged that he is the voice that tells our story and that he is such an incredibly funny and dimensioned character. Lewis Black, Mo'Nique, and Tracy Morgan brought such individually brilliant comedic voices; I thought I'd written an irreverent script until each of them had their way with it!"
Somewhere, Morgan Freeman is smiling...

Just to reiterate, I am supporting John Yarmuth for Congress and Russ Salsman for Circuit Court Clerk.

Back to non-sports news...

Well, it's been an interesting weekend. The Braves didn't get to the Final Four but George Mason University did. At one time, GMU was my first choice for college. I almost went there--as a matter of fact. But it went down to Wittenberg and Bradley and I chose Bradley University over all them. However, for reasons that I will not discuss on the blog, I transferred.

When it comes to national security, Evan Bayh has it right. Bayh also supports the current primary system.
Bayh made clear yesterday he wants things to stay as they are — with no other contests between Iowa and New Hampshire.

"I hope you retain your position. I'm going to do everything I can to keep it that way," said Bayh. His words were greeted with a standing ovation from the partisan crowd of about 150.

"Now that I've won the Profiles in Courage award, that's what I believe," Bayh added, to laughter.

Bayh's remarks separate him from some potential Democratic Presidential candidates, such as Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. Richardson and Kerry have said they are fine with adding a caucus between Iowa and New Hampshire's contest.
Julian Lennon, son of the late John Lennon, is back in the studio recording a new album.

Jim Newberry has been endorsed by Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller in the Lexington Mayor's race.
Lexington mayoral candidate Jim Newberry will pick up the support today of state Treasurer Jonathan Miller, a Democrat and Lexington native.

Miller, who considers himself friends with Mayor Teresa Isaac and Councilman Bill Farmer Jr., who are also running, said he's been "blown away" by some of Newberry's ideas. Specifically, Miller cited Newberry's plan to offer scholarships to Fayette students who major in math and science-related fields at area colleges.

Miller said Lexington needs someone like Louisville's mayor.

"Jim Newberry and Jerry Abramson are different in many ways," he said. "But I think they both bring a fresh look and innovative leadership."
Better know a district! If you are a Congressman, you better be aware that you will be on a comedy show and that they will try and humiliate you.
Colbert is the speaker at next month's White House Correspondents Association dinner, attended by President Bush and members of Congress. As on his show, Colbert may well have the last laugh.

Except, of course, for Rothman, the New Jersey congressman, who was recently engaged to be married. He met his fiancée on J-Date.
What's that? Natalie Portman is not a prostitute but you should read what she had to say about actresses making big bucks.
"I don’t want to be working for money because then you are no different [from] a prostitute," Portman told Britain’s Independent newspaper. But Portman, who also starred in such flicks as Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, says that her friends and family keep her from selling out. "I have the most amazing friends in the world, who are doing such interesting and different things, and are their own people," Portman said. "They are my support base along with my parents. They are inspiring and always doing different, interesting things so I remember how to be a person by being around them."
Today in 1978, Jack Givens led my beloved Kentucky Wildcats to a victory over the hated Duke team as Givens scored 41 points in a 94-88 game.

Dan Alon, an Israeli athlete who survived the 1972 Munich games, shared his story at Yale.

Lawrence Wright will be in the slam dunk contest as a part of the 2006 NCAA Basketball Championship Weekend.
ESPN will air Dell presents The College Basketball Slam Dunk and 3-Point Shooting Championships at 9 PM ET on Thursday, March 30. The program will feature both a Men’s and Women’s 3-Point shootout, a challenge between the winners, and a high-flying dunk competition.

This year’s dunk artists include Maurice Ager of Michigan State, local Indianapolis product Rodney Carney of Memphis, Vincent Grier on Minnesota, Errol Knight of Gonzaga, and James White of Cincinnati, Lawrence Wright from Bradley.

Among the sharp shooters on the men’s side will be Marquette’s Steve Novak, West Virginia’s Kevin Pittsnogle, Notre Dame’s Chris Quinn and hometown favorite, Butler’s Bruce Horan.

On the women’s side, the 3-point shooters will include Nikki Blue of UCLA, Megan Duffy of Notre Dame, and Erin Grant of Texas Tech, Tamara James of the University of Miami, Julie Larsen of Utah and Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers.
The announcers for ESPN will be Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin, Jimmy Dykes and Erin Andrews.

This Wednesday marks two weeks until Pesach begins.

George Mason University Notable Alumni

This comes from the Wikipedia page:
Anna E. Cabral, Treasurer of the United States. Part of the law school class of 2007.
Hala Gorani, News Anchor, CNN International
Brian van de Graaff, Meteorologist, ABC 7 News
Archie Kao, Actor
Mike Kohn, Olympic Athlete
Karl Rove, White House Senior Domestic Policy Advisor (attended from 1973-1975)
Susan Rook, Former News Anchor, CNN & CNN Talkback Live
John Wilburn, Managing Editor, Houston Chronicle
Debora J. Wilson, President, The Weather Channel
Chris Widger, Baseball Player, Chicago White Sox
William Winfree, Ph.D., Physicist
Rebecca Wee, Poet
Muna Abu-Sulayman, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador
Kristi Lauren Glakas, Miss Virginia Teen USA 1999, Miss Virginia USA 2004, Miss Virginia 2005, 3rd-runner-up to Miss America
Rob Muzzio, 2-Time NCAA Division I Decathlon Champion (GMU's 1st NCAA Div. 1 Champion 1984)& 5th, 1992 Olympic Games

Despite the fact that you know who went there for two years, they are still my dark horse pick to win the national championship next Monday.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Non-NCAA Thread

NCAA Basketball is over until this Saturday when the Final Four goes down in Indianapolis, Indiana. So in that case, we'll get back to regular blogging.

Two more Jews hope to join the United States Congress. I can name at least another Jew hoping to join Congress.

Former LSU Tigers head coach Dale Brown will most definitely be in attendance this Saturday for the Final Four.

Yes, Matisyahu is a reggae Jew. I have only heard his music a few times. In terms of Jewish rock music, I must refer you to Blue Fringe. Now, that's a Jewish rock band.

How could this be? Does our state senate not care about those suffering from Alzheimer's?
Rep. Mike Weaver, D-Elizabethtown, said he will work to get the money restored.

"I would hope that when the money was taken out, they didn't realize what it was intended for," he said.
Why would the GOP have a reason to fear HRC? I'm usually an optimist but I'm not so optimistic if she is our nominee.

Expect a lot of volunteers this weekend in the city of Indianapolis.

The latest Bayh watch shows that Bayh's staff ranks second of the candidates.

If Paul McCartney could own three and only three albums, what would they be?
Q: If you could only own three albums, what would you want them to be?

A: They would be mine, mine and mine! No, that's a very difficult question; there are too many I like. But to give you three, I'll say The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. The Beatles had a lot of good ones, but to choose just one, Rubber Soul. And Luther Vandross' Dance With My Father; it's cool.
Peter and Gordon are reuniting after 35 years for a concert.

Evan Bayh calls on reaching out to Republicans.

Joe Lieberman believes that the president's illegal wiretapping is "outside the law."

About George Mason

This is from his biography at Wikipedia.
Mason was appointed in 1786 to represent Virginia as a delegate to a Federal Convention, to meet in Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation. He served at the Federal Convention in Philadelphia from May to September 1787 and contributed significantly to the formation of the Constitution. However, he would not sign the Constitution for a number of reasons; the very first of his objections was that the original Constitution failed to contain a "declaration of rights". Mason continued to agitate for the addition of a bill of rights to the Constitution after the convention. This agitation cost Mason his long friendship with George Washington, and is probably a leading reason why George Mason became less well-known than other U.S. founding fathers in later years. On December 15, 1791, the U.S. Bill of Rights, based primarily on George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights, was ratified in response to the agitation of Mason and others.
Mason County, Kentucky, was named for George Mason.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

NCAA Elite 8

SATURDAY
Road to the Final Four (3:00-4:30 p.m)

ATLANTA REGIONAL (Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas/Bob Wenzel)
LSU 70, Texas 60

OAKLAND REGIONAL (Gus Johnson/Len Elmore/Tracy Wolfson)
UCLA 50, Memphis 45

SUNDAY
Road to the Final Four (2:00-2:40 p.m.)

WASHINGTON REGIONAL (Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Mike Gminski)
George Mason 86, UConn 84

MINNEAPOLIS REGIONAL (Jim Nantz/Billy Packer/Jim Spanarkel)
Florida 75, Villanova 62

Friday, March 24, 2006

Non-NCAA Thread

Again, another non-NCAA thread but I'll be posting like crazy so that I don't get too backed up (and I'm talking about two blogs here).

State Representative Mike Weaver will be having a fundraiser tomorrow at Cumberland Brews with special guest Congressman Marion Berry.

Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner will be the commencement speaker at Wake Forest University on May 15th.

My good friend, Alex Saunders, has an article published in the Kentucky Kernal. It's a good article. This time of year, I am glued to my TV.

House leaders took a shot at the Senate version of the budget.

Stephen Colbert is writing a book.

I hope the race for the first district of New Hampshire doesn't get nasty but I recieved this press release:
Manchester Democratic state Rep. Peter Sullivan, who last year announced his candidacy for the 1st District U.S. House seat, has leveled a serious charge against the newcomer to the primary race, House Democratic leader Jim Craig.

Sullivan says Craig "misused" public funds by "announcing his candidacy for Congress on official, taxpayer-funded House letterhead."

Craig said he sent the letter "only to members of the caucus to tell them that I had decided to run and that they deserved to hear it from me, and that I intended to stay on as Democratic leader if they would have me. It was my duty to tell the caucus what I had decided."
Some info on the return to Peoria:
The Bradley men's basketball team is expected to arrive home a little earlier than originally announced, according to the latest information from the NCAA's travel agency. According to information provided to athletic department officials late Thursday night, the Braves are expected to arrive back in Peoria at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon.

Rather than greeting the team at the airport, fans are asked to please gather at Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse to welcome the Braves home. The Bradley pep band and cheerleaders will be traveling home with the team and the players will be able to use the Fieldhouse sound system to address the fans.
For the record, I support Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz.

What a great run!

Despite the unfortunate loss to the Memphis Tigers last night, Jim Les and the Bradley Braves achieved a feat that had not been accomplished for 50+ years: Bradley University in the Sweet 16.

When I was at Bradley, Tony, Cellus and Lawrence were only sophomores. And I ran into Coach Les a few times. Not intentionally though. I worked in the Athletic Department.

I'm proud of this team. They put up a great fight and did so with class. They knocked off both Kansas and Pitt. True, I would have liked to see them be the lowest seeded team to win it all after Kentucky made an early exit. That said, this Bradley team has sent a message to Jim Nantz and Billy Packer: STOP UNDERESTIMATING THE MVC AND THE MID-MAJOR PROGRAMS.

As for me, I'll be in visiting P-town in the fall for a weekend even if it means getting off the campaign trail. It's been two years (this May) since I was last on campus and I miss my Bradley University friends. It's gonna be my senior year. Bradley University will forever be apart of my life even if I was only there for a year.

Again, my sincere thanks to Coach Jim Les, and seniors Marcellus Sommerville, Lawrence Wright, and Tony Bennett.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Coaching Changes

Cincinnati Bearcats Coach Andy Kennedy is the new head coach of Ole Miss and he is replaced at UC by Murray State head coach Mick Cronin.

Bradley Braves vs. Memphis Tigers



For the first time in 50 somewhat years, the Bradley Braves (22-10, 11-7 MVC) are back in the Sweet 16. They tip off at 7:27 eastern against the Memphis Tigers (32-3, 13-1 C-USA) in the Oakland Arena. The series is tied 9-9.

Yesterday, at halftime of the Missouri State-Louisville game, Chris Fowler, Tom Brennan and Hubert Davis were talking about the game. ESPN's keys are "points in the paint for Memphis." For Bradley, they believe that Patrick O'Bryant must dominate inside. Unfortunately, Tom Brennan and Hubert Davis were not as wise as SI and Jay Mariotti, they have picked Memphis over Bradley. How Sommerville and Carney matchup may decide the game. Patrick O'Bryant has sky-rocketed on the NBA Draft charts.

Bradley is now 12-7 all time in the NCAA Tournament. Coincidentally, Bradley beat Kansas and UCLA in the post-season to get to the 1950 NCAA Championship Game. They beat Pitt in the regular season that year. Memphis should be very afraid as this past season and in the tournament, Bradley has defeated five conference champions: Delaware State (MEAC season), Kansas, Southern Illinois (MVC Tournament), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt season) and Wichita State (MVC season). The Braves have never won three games in a row to nationally ranked opponents.

If you live in Peoria, you can watch at the Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse. Doors open at 5:30 central. Concessions will be open. For more on that, visit BUBraves.com. Also, Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis is asking everyone to wear their Bradley red to support the Bradley Braves.

CBS pre-game show: "No respect for the Bradley Braves. Amazing." -- Greg Gumbel

CBS TV: Gus Johnson, play-by-play; Len Elmore, analyst
WMBD AM 1470 Radio: Dave Snell, play-by-play; Joe Stowell, analyst

I will not be liveblogging the game but will record scores at the half and the final. Go Braves!!

Halftime: Bradley 30, Memphis 35

The Braves get the ball back at the start of the second half. Memphis is 27-0 when leading at the half. No 13 seed has advanced to the elite eight but it can happen and it will. The Braves are only down by five points. A win is possible.

The final score was Bradley 64, Memphis 80

I want to extend a thanks to Tony Bennett, Lawrence Wright, and Marcellus Sommerville for their service to the Bradley Braves. And to Jim Les for leading Bradley to the sweet 16. This was a great tourney run regardless. I'm thankful for my one year at Bradley, though I wish I could be at the Robertson Fieldhouse right now.

Marcellus had 1,495 points for Bradley in three years and he finishes his career ranked 11th all-time for the Braves.

NCAA Sweet 16

Once again, full NCAA Tournament coverage on the blog this weekend as we find out who goes home and who goes on.

Thursday:
ATLANTA REGIONAL (Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas/Bob Wenzel)
LSU 62, Duke 54
Texas 74, West Virginia 71

OAKLAND REGIONAL (Gus Johnson/Len Elmore/Tracy Wolfson)
Memphis 80, Bradley 64
UCLA 73, Gonzaga 71

Regional finals will air 4:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m eastern.

Friday:
WASHINGTON REGIONAL (Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Mike Gminski)
Connecticut 98, Washington 92
George Mason 63, Wichita State 55

MINNEAPOLIS REGIONAL (Jim Nantz/Billy Packer/Jim Spanarkel)
Villanova 60, Boston College 59
Florida 57, Georgetown 53

Regional finals will air 2:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Marcellus Sommervlle on Sports Illustrated

Image hosting by Photobucket

Non-NCAA Thread

Open thread. I'm too busy watching ESPN seeing if they mention the Bradley Braves. Head Coach Jim Les was on Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith last night, early this morning.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Go Bradley!!

This poem by Trey Solorio has been making it's away around the internet. I just thought I'd post it here.

'Twas the night before the sweet 16 and all through Peoria
All of the fans were talking, you could feel the ora.

GO BU signs were hung from windows with great care,
With hopes that soon, the BU Braves would be Elite and we would all be there.

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Memphis danced through their heads.

And Coach Les in his room with playbook in lap,
About to lay down for a sweet, sweet nap.

Before he knew, he was fast asleep,
While in his slumber, he dreamt of defeat.

Jim was not worried he knows how strong his team is,
Later the next day, this is where the game is:

His Braves are down 4 with just minutes to go
The fans in Oakland were pacing to and fro.

Then, suddenly with no such warning,
An onslaught of Braves came on scoring.

Coach whistled and shouted and called them by name.
"Now Patrick, Now 'Cellus, Now D' Ruff, Boogie, and J.J.

On D.A., On Bennet, On Andrews, and Franklin
Go Heemskerk, Go Brown, Go Crouch, and Lavin.

We need these baskets so sink them all!
Pass it to Patrick for G-d's sake, he's 7 feet TALL!"

As the ball was passed down, into the paint
The fans were so nervous I was sure they would faint.

Down by two, with just ticks on the clock
Patrick O'Bryant had the ball on the strong side block.

He faked left and went right, but had no where to go
Pat looked for a teammate to whom the ball he could throw.

Like a hawk watching prey, he looked with his eye
And saw Danny Adams flashing by.

D.A. darted directly to the weak side corner
There he set-up for the game winning three pointer.

Patrick threw D.A. the perfect pass,
And Danny knew if he missed, Patrick would kick his ass.

Danny let the shot fly and guess what the ball met?
Absolutely nothing but the bottom of the NET!

Who would have guessed, by a point, THE BRAVES HAD WON!
Bradley fans exploded as the arena came undone.

Carney and Williams couldn't believe their eyes,
As Tigers fans around the world let out loud cries.

The Elite Eight was ours, to the nation's surprise
And there Gonzaga will meet their demise.

Less than 2 hours later, on ESPN
Digger Phelps was confronted with questions of the Braves AGAIN!

He took an ounce of time to reflect,
And said with truth, "Bradley, you have earned my respect".

The night was great for players, fans, and coaches too
The Braves were still dancing, and the arena was a zoo.

Coach Les left these words, before he ducked out of sight
"Elite Eight here we come, the 'Zags will be defeated on Saturday night".

Breaking: Bob Huggins considering Kansas State

ESPN2 just broke in during an NIT game reporting CBS Sportsline is reporting that former Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Bob Huggins is considering a return to coaching and that he is looking at Kansas State.
offer to become the new coach at Kansas State, CBS SportsLine.com learned Wednesday night.

Although a controversial figure, Huggins would be an ideal fit for a floundering Kansas State program that a.) needs a jolt of energy and legitimacy and b.) has always struggled to find mainstream recruits.

Huggins knows how to plumb junior colleges and other off-the-path places for talent, and he already has a handful of players ready to follow him anywhere -- most notably 7-foot-2 center Jason Bennett, a high school senior from Jacksonville, Fla. Huggins also would be the frontrunner to sign two of the top five players from the class of 2007, O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker from the Cincinnati suburb of North College Hill, Ohio.

Kansas State athletics director Tim Weiser has spent considerable time speaking with the NCAA and other sources about Huggins' background -- which has had equal parts smoke and fire -- and has been assured that Huggins would be a solid hire.

The Braves are coming!!

No, not the Atlanta Braves but the Bradley Braves located in Peoria, Illinois!!

Just read what they say at SI.com about the Oakland regional!!!
Upset Special: Bradley over Memphis
You have to hand it to the top-seeded Tigers, who silenced all of the doubters by cruising through the first two rounds. Led by forward Rodney Carney (17.4 points per game), Memphis dominated both opponents, Oral Roberts (94-78) and Bucknell (72-56). Now here comes yet another dangerous mid-major -- upstart Bradley, the No. 13 seed. Yes, Memphis proved it deserves respect, but I still can't shake the feeling the Tigers are headed for an upset. Based on the remarkable performance thus far by 7-foot center Patrick O'Bryant, the Braves are primed to accomplish what fellow mids Oral Roberts and Bucknell could not be the first team in the tourney to topple a No. 1 seed.
I called it the other day.

Oh, and Gonzaga? Without Morrison, they will likely go home. He's out with flu-like symptoms. Bradley will likely play UCLA.

Bradley fact of the day

Legendary play-by-play man Chick Hearn used to call the games for the Bradley Braves after he graduated from Bradley University.

Make this brief...

I have a paper to write and finish before 5:30 PM.

I hate starting off linking to the university paper for the most hated university in the world but Louisville's paper had an article for the rally for higher ed.

The Women Vote 2006 Coalition will sponsor a 3rd Congressional District debate on April 6, 2006, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Masterson's.

To Dan Conley, I say right on! And to firedoglake, wake up and smell the roses! We can agree or disagree all that we want but in the end, we are all Democrats. I don't want someone to the left of me telling me to join the GOP.

The Clinton friends from the Whitewater era are right back with HRC. Speaking of HRC, I recieved the following email from a former Clinton supporter.
As a Hillary Clinton supporter, a contributor to Friends of Hillary and not an official of her campaign, I am truly disturbed at Senator Hillary Clinton's lack of support for Democratic Congressional candidates in New York. I represent no campaign. I doubt if any campaign official would ever write a letter such as this. There will be several key Congressional races in New York, including: Eric Massa vs. Rany Kuhl in NY29, Massa representing one of the "Fighting Democrats;" hopefully Jack Davis vs. Tom Reynolds in NY26; incumbent Brian Higgins vs. Jack Quinn's son in NY27, with Higgins having won his seat the first time around in a "nail-biter;" and Kirsten Rutnik Gillibrand vs. John Sweeney in NY20. Moreover, now that Sherwood Boehlert is retiring in NY24, hopefully Rahm Emanuel, the DCCC, or the New York Democratic Party will field a viable candidate to challenge the Republicans for that district. For now, Mike Arcuri,ex-Oneida County Executive and Army Veteran, will do just fine. As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I would like to apologize to all of you and your campaigns. As you can see from the list at the end of this note, Hillary Clinton has not given any money to any of the Democratic Congressional campaigns in New York. This is especially ironic, given that one of her selling points has been her claim that her successful persistence in cultivating support for the Democratic Party in Upstate New York shows that she would do a better job in competing with the Republican Presidential nominee in 2008 in Red States than would other prospective Democratic nominees. However, in the present Congressional campaign of 2006, Hillary Clinton has turned her back on Democratic Congressional candidates not only in Upstate New York but in all of the state. It is worse than that. Hillary Clinton is taking money out of all of these Districts and is giving little to no help to New York Democratic Congressional candidates. If she lacks true commitment to party building in Upstate New York, I can only imagine how she would fare in my Virginia or neighboring West Virginia. I am beginning to think, based on Hillary's performance in the present campaign, that Evan Bayh or Mark Warner might be more worthy of my support for President. If either were the leader of the Democratic Party as Presidential candidate or President, he would understand the importance of competing head-on with Republicans in Red States and Red Congressional Districts. Until such time as Hillary Clinton displays the same understanding, I am suspending my financial support for Friends of Hillary.
The British reply to Lazy Sunday got some press.
The video, a parody of English life and culture, has even been seen by some movers and shakers in the US - the pair have had emails from a writer on Saturday Night Live and an actor on hit US show The West Wing who congratulated them on their work.

Sam said: "It started off as a light-hearted video we made on a day off college, but it's taken on a life of its own.

"The juxtaposition of rap with traditionally English tea-drinking may be part of its appeal - it's a kind of cultural fusion. We're pleased people are enjoying it."
Time to update Redbirds Fun

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Madness!

Check out what The FYC has to say about the madness of March. Yes, I agree, we can beat Memphis. On Thursday. The MVC is under-rated. You saw that on Saturday when one of the teams from the Valley, the Wichita State Shockers, shocked Tennessee.
One last note of significance concerning the Braves. I talked to Dan from The Kentucky Democrat earlier this evening and he mentioned that they would not be showing the Bradley game in his locale Thursday night. Apparently some mid-major named Duke (they're in the under-appreciated Atlantic Coast Conference and are a small, private school located somewhere in North Carolina) are playing at the same time, and their game takes precedent.

I'd just like to let everyone know that all Bradley games are streamed on the Braves local station, WMBD.

If you can't catch the game on CBS (or even if you can, but want to hit the mute button because the announcers are still mispronouncing the Bradley players names...it's O'Bryant, not "O'Rourke" and Somerville, not "Summers") do yourself a favor and check it out.

You won't be sorry when you hear the beauty which is Bradley color man Joe Stowell.
Wayne Firestone will become the new president of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.

So long, Bronson. The Red Sox traded Bronson Arroyo and cash for Wily Mo Pena.

The latest Collegiate Baseball poll has UK ranked #26.

Conan O'Brien heads to Chicago for a whole week of shows.

Jon Stewart will host the Peabody Awards.

The state house has passed a bill dealing with the protests at military funerals. Congrats to Rep. Mike Weaver for sponsoring this legislation.

Make sure to vote for Bradley on this poll for the Pontiac Game-Changing performance.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bradley fact of the day: Notable Alumni

I've removed only one name on the list from Wikipedia because I am embarrassed to say that that person went to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Dr. Janet Barry 1966, 1970, the American Association of School Administrators 1996 National Superintendent of the Year
Jack Brickhouse 1937, former TV announcer for the Chicago Cubs
Charles Ebeling 1966, retired vice president of corporate communications, McDonald's Corporation
Neil Flynn , actor on Scrubs
Lillian Glass 1974, noted speech pathologist, speech communication author and speaker
Jerry Hadley 1974, leading lyric tenor for the New York Metropolitan Opera
Hersey Hawkins, 1988, professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, Seattle Supersonics, Charlotte Hornets, & the Philadelphia 76ers; Olympic bronze medalist, 1988
David Horowitz 1959, consumer advocate
Ray LaHood 1971, U.S. Congressman from Illinois' 18th District
Tami Lane 1996, Academy Award winner (Makeup, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
Ralph Lawler 1961, TV play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Clippers
Jim Les 1986, professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings & Atlanta Hawks; assistant coach for the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs; current men's basketball coach at Bradley.
The Honorable Joe Billy McDade, 1959, 1960, United States District Court Federal Judge
Congressman Robert H. Michel 1948, retired Congressman from Illinois' 18th District and longest serving Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives
Timothy L. Mounts 1959, agricultural chemist specializing in edible oilseed.
Marcus Pollard 1995, professional football player for the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts
Kirby Puckett 1980, retired and recently deceased gold-glove center fielder of the Minnesota Twins, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Only attended Bradley for one year.)
Wendy Ross 1964, assistant managing editor for the Washington Post
Matt Savoie, 2002, figure skater: U.S. bronze medalist, member of 2006 Winter Olympics U.S. team
Nicholas Scoppetta 1958, New York City Fire Commissioner
George T. Shaheen, current CEO of Siebel Systems and former CEO of Andersen Consulting and Webvan
General John M. Shalikashvili 1958, retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Richard Teerlink 1961, retired chairman of Harley-Davidson
David Vecsey, 1991, pilot of the Mars Rover Exploration Module
Tom Wagner 1960, retired vice president for customer communication and satisfaction at Ford Motor Company
Chet Walker 1960, professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers (Syracuse Nationals), Chicago Bulls. All time leading scorer for men's basketball at Bradley.
And just go here for the Bradley Braves Hall of Fame.

KY-48 Campaign news

I was sent this press release some time ago with regards to Amy Shir's campaign for the state house.
Amy Shir is the Democratic candidate to become the next Kentucky state 48th district representative, and her campaign has new strength earned by Amy’s unflagging commitment to win! Amy and her supporters are excited to report that four key labor organizations have already gone on record with endorsements. Amy welcomes the energy of:

Kentucky State AFL-CIO, Greater Louisville Central Labor Council, Teamsters, Local 89 and The Jefferson County Teachers Association

Amy Shir’s run for office is not only one of the top 10 Kentucky races to watch this year, it is one of the priority campaigns to join.
Her campaign site can be found at www.amyshir.com.

Straw Poll

Kos has a straw poll so please vote for Senator Evan Bayh.

In other news, I'm watching ESPN for much of the day - how about those Braves?!?

Okay, time to finish this paper due tonight.

Drive safely tomorrow.

Bradley fact of the day

Barbeque Kitten is the name of the improv and sketch comedy troupe on campus. Would you like to exchange recipes?

Bradley Braves get a great welcome back

Bradley returned to Peoria to a large crowd welcoming them back.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says the use of the word Braves as a nickname is ok.
Blagojevich called the win exciting and said Peorians take their basketball very seriously, referring to the central Illinois city where Bradley is located as "a little piece of Indiana."

He also addressed NCAA opposition to the use of Indian team names and mascots.

Blagojevich said – quote – "they ought to lighten up."
As you can imagine, I am still on cloud nine following that game. Jim Les was on ESPN's Cold Pizza this morning which reruns at 2 PM. I imagine that he will be on several of the sports shows for the next few days to come.

Even though the Cats lost, Patrick Sparks went out with a season high.

V for Vendetta topped the box office and made an estimated $26.1 million in earnings.

Will current State Treasurer Jonathan Miller be making a run for Attorney General? That's how things are looking right now.
As seemingly every former or current Democratic official mulls over a run for statewide office in 2007, one who is already setting his sights on a promotion is Treasurer Jonathan Miller.

Miller, who is finishing his second term as the state's figurehead money-keeper, must run for something else because he's term-limited.

He said last week that he's told Attorney General Greg Stumbo he'd be interested in campaigning for that position should Stumbo make a run for the governor's office.
Stumbo has said he is "considering" making a bid to challenge Fletcher in '07.

Other than that, Miller said, he's also taking a look at the governor's race -- possibly as a candidate or running mate.

Some jockeying among Democrats for the governor's race should begin shortly after the General Assembly goes home in early April, he said.

"People in our party really need to get started this spring," Miller said. "We're at a natural disadvantage in fund-raising. Even with an unpopular incumbent ... he still has power to rein in a lot of money."
We shall see.

Non-NCAA Thread

The NCAA Tournament pretty much shuts down the blog since I am watching as much of the games as I can. I'm still on cloud nine after that Braves victory--which explains why I may be out of it for a while.

Folk rock musician Neil Young gave the keynote at the SXSW.
"I really don't know where anything comes from," Young said. "I really write just, really, out of the air. I just hope that things hit me in a way that I can remember, and the images come together in a cartain way that makes it so that something jars me."
In political news, Ernie Fletcher cannot name another special justice.

In skating news, the World Championships start on Wednesday in Calgary, Canada.

Politicians are courting the left-wing.

Congressman Ben Chandler wants mines shut down if they have bad history.

"Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming, we're finally on our own." Those are words from the CSNY song, "Ohio," penned by Neil Young. Will Neil Young be writing a song dealing with what's going on in Iraq?
After recalling how Youngs "Ohio" helped changed public attitudes towards the Vietnam War in 1970, South By Southwest co-founder Roland Swenson looked backstage and said "Mr.Young, if you can hear me back there, we need another song," a reference to the current U.S. military action in Iraq. In response, Young told the audience, "I write totally out of the air. I really am, more than anything, a reflection of what I see. (Swenson) was trying to give me some input a few minutes ago. I hope it takes hold."
What about another reunion of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young?
The singer/guitarist did not comment on rumors of a tour this summer with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash. But he also revealed that he turned down an offer to tour on his own this year, saying, "I just turned down a promoter. We were going to go out on the road and they wanted to say it was Neil Young's Greatest Hits. That was it. They were done."
Ben Nelson has set up his 2006 campaign site.

Now for the Kosher Top Ten.
Top Ten Ways Shidduch Dating and the NCAA Tournament are Similar:
10. Someone always is walking around with a sheet of their picks in their pocket
9. Most of your friends are betting you don't make it to the third round
8. Your historical record does not dictate your future
7. In both, if you make the right selections, you could end up being very wealthy
6. Good or bad, "madness" is a term often associated with both
5. The best always need to go through some bad seeds to ultimately meet their match
4. After college you are suddenly considered too old to play
3. Someone usually gets upset
2. Getting rejected is just part of the game
1. The objective is to score a hoop
Jon Stewart has helped his Daily Show by hosting the Oscars.

Justices will rule on the merit case.

Senator John McCain has hired a former Bush political director.

Sarah Elliott led the Kentucky Lady Cats to a 69-59 victory on Saturday.

Former Senator John Edwards speaks out against the New Orleans recovery efforts.

How is it that UK and UConn never played each other before?
"That's what it's about," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said outside the Wildcats' locker room Saturday. "It's the NCAA Tournament, either win or go home. So that brings even more importance to this game. ... Certainly nobody's probably done more to raise the level of excellence at UConn than Jim Calhoun and he certainly needs to be praised for that and commended for that. I know coming in, this game is going to have a lot of hype around it because it is two excellent programs. I'm just happy to be a part of it and looking forward to the challenge."[...]

Though understandable, it's a shame that Smith and Calhoun haven't been able to pull off a meeting between the teams during the regular season.

"We were talking about that and I said, `Well, because you won't come to my place first,'" Calhoun joked outside the UConn locker room. "And he said, `No, because you won't come to my place first.' I said, `What do you mean? Connecticut is a much prettier place than Kentucky.'"[...]

"When you think about Kentucky, you know about the seven championships, the long history, the great NBA players and all that. If you're a kid and you play basketball, you kind of grow up wanting to play at Kentucky," Wildcats guard Rajon Rondo said. "I think UConn is like that just as much now. Kids grow up wanting to go to UConn. They've got a Hall of Fame coach and a lot of players in the NBA, too."
The latest Bayh watch.

Al Cross pens another brilliant article. This one on Ben Chandler and the 2007 Governor's race.

David Hawpe talks about the KY-3 race.

Joe Lieberman takes issue with his challenger's negative campaigning.

NH State Rep. Peter Sullivan has expressed his support of the Feingold censure of President Bush. Here's an excerpt from his statement:
"America is a nation where the rule of law is sacred. Unfortunately, the President has chosen to circumvent the law and to attempt to bypass congressional scrutiny. Such actions are reprehensible and deserve stern condemnation. Senator Feingold's resolution provides that condemnation," said Sullivan.

"Contrary to the assertions of the White House, this is not about national security. Of course the United States should conduct wiretaps against suspected terrorists. The problem is that the Administration has chosen to pursue a path that attempts to place its own whims above the reasonable, established law set fort in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That sets a dangerous precedent that no American should accept."

"It is increasingly apparent that the President violated the law. It is time for Congress to show courage and principles and hold the President accountable for his actions."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Go Crazy, folks!

I think Jack Buck's call from when Ozzie Smith hit the home run says it the best right now. The Braves move on to play Memphis this week as they are in the Sweet 16 by beating the Pittsburgh Panthers with a score of 72-66.

I can only imagine the kind of words that Bradley University Braves play-by-play man Dave Snell and former coach/analyst Joe Stowell were saying today and last Friday.

Bradley will play Memphis on Thursday.

GO BRAVES!

Kentucky vs. UConn

GO BIG BLUE!

The Cats, originally set to tip off at 5:00 PM, will now tip-off at 2:30 PM.

A sad end to a very down season but the Cats tried their hardest and for that, I commend them. Best of luck to Patrick Sparks, Ravi Moss, Brandon Stockton, and Preston LeMaster in future endeavors.

Bradley vs. Pitt

Go Braves!

Make sure to read this from The FYC, a Peoria native.

Chances are that I'd still be at Bradley if it were not for that transportation factor. I love Peoria, aside from the smell. I miss my friends from BU. True, I only went to three games overall but I'd go to more if I could.

Here's the preview of the game from BUBraves.com.
After its first NCAA tournament win in 20 years on Friday, Bradley never lost its focus. Despite the excitement from a 77-73 win over No. 4 seed Kansas, the 13th-seeded Braves remained poised as they approached Sunday's Oakland Regional second-round game against fifth-seeded Pittsburgh in The Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich.

"The locker room was pretty subdued and business as usual," said Bradley coach Jim Les, who added his players have exhibited a "quiet confidence" since the win. "We want to be proud, but there's still work to be done."

Bradley became the 18th No. 13 seed to advance to the second round since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Only three - Oklahoma (1999), Valparaiso (1998) and Richmond (1988) - of those have advanced to a regional semifinal.

Bradley (21-10) led by 14 with 15:38 left, but needed Will Franklin to hit two free throws and a wide-open layup to send Kansas to a second straight first-round exit. It was Bradley's first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996, and its first win since beating 10th-seeded Texas-El Paso in 1986. Les was the point guard on the 1986 Bradley team.

"Being a player is more of a personal satisfaction," Les said, comparing the two experiences. "Now it's like being a part of the tradition and history of Bradley basketball and being part of putting it back on the map. Seeing all of the people now that have been affected. It's more fun to be a part of that."

Marcellus Sommerville scored 21 points and made five 3-pointers, and Franklin added 14 points. Bradley has won eight of its last nine, with the lone loss coming to Southern Illinois in the final of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

Bradley, one of four MVC teams to reach the NCAA tournament, is trying to join conference rival Wichita State in the round of 16. The seventh-seeded Shockers advanced Saturday by defeating No. 2 seed Tennessee.

"We showed that the MVC can hang with the big boys," said Patrick O'Bryant, the 7-foot, 260-pound center who added eight points and 10 rebounds against Kansas.
This blogger is a proud former Bradley University student. I had to transfer due to personal reasons--mainly that lack of a car factor.

Bradley knocks off Pitt with a score of 72-66. Next up is Memphis.

NCAA Second Round: Sunday Edition

"Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006

WASHINGTON REGIONAL
George Mason 65, North Carolina 60
Connecticutt 87, Kentucky 83

ATLANTA REGIONAL
West Virginia 67, Northwestern State 54
Texas 75, North Carolina State 54

MINNEAPOLIS REGIONAL
Georgetown 70, Ohio State 52
Villanova 82, Arizona 78

OAKLAND REGIONAL
Bradley 72, Pittsburgh 66
Memphis 72, Bucknell 56

Saturday, March 18, 2006

NCAA Second Round: Saturday Edition

"Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006

WASHINGTON REGIONAL
Wichita State 80, Tennessee 73
Washington 67, Illinois 64

ATLANTA REGIONAL
Duke 74, George Washington 61
LSU 58, Texas A&M 57

MINNEAPOLIS REGIONAL
Florida 82, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 60
Boston College 69, Montana 56

OAKLAND REGIONAL
Gonzaga 90, Indiana 80
UCLA 62, Alabama 59

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kentucky vs. UAB

I'm excited for the game come Friday. The Cats take on UAB.

Starting for your University of Kentucky Wildcats:
F - Bobby Perry
C - Randolph Morris
G - Patrick Sparks
G - Rajon Rondo
G - Joe Crawford

It's going to be a long forty minutes starting around the approx. 9:45 PM tip time at the Wachovia Center in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Wildcats won 69-64 and will take on UConn this Sunday with a tip-off time near five PM.

Also, my former school, Bradley Braves, coached by Jim Les knocked off the Kansas University Jayhawks. I had that upset predicted so I'm glad about that.

NCAA First Round: Friday Edition

"Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006

Today's NCAA Tournament action:

WASHINGTON REGIONAL
George Mason 75, Michigan State 65
North Carolina 69, Murray State 65
Connecticut 72, Albany, N.Y. 59
Kentucky 69, UAB 64

ATLANTA REGIONAL
N.C. State 58, California 52
Texas 60, Pennsylvania 52
Northwestern State 64, Iowa 63
West Virginia 64, Southern Illinois 46

MINNEAPOLIS REGIONAL
Ohio State 70, Davidson 62
Georgetown 54, Northern Iowa 49
Villanova 58, Monmouth, N.J 45
Arizona 94, Wisconsin 75

OAKLAND REGIONAL
Memphis 94, Oral Roberts 78
Bucknell 59, Arkansas 55
Bradley 74, Kansas 73
Pittsburgh 79, Kent State 64

Thursday, March 16, 2006

NCAA First Round

"Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006

Today's NCAA Tournament action:

WASHINGTON REGIONAL
Wichita State 86, Seton Hall 66
Tennessee 63, Winthrop 61
Illinois 78, Air Force 69
Washington 75, Utah State 61

ATLANTA REGIONAL
George Washington 88, North Carolina-Wilmington 85
Duke 70, Southern University 54
LSU 80, Iona 64
Texas A&M 66, Syracuse 58

MINNEAPOLIS REGIONAL
Florida 76, South Alabama 50
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 82, Oklahoma 74
Boston College 88, Pacific 76
Montana 87, Nevada 79

OAKLAND REGIONAL
Gonzaga 79, Xavier 75
Indiana 87, San Diego State 83
UCLA 78, Belmont 44
Alabama 90, Marquette 85

Non-NCAA Thread

This will be updated freqently after I get back from class and an advising session. Of course, all updates will be at commercial breaks.

Barry Welsh is organizing a Democratic Party Volunteer Rally '06 Training Event from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 25, 2006, in New Castle, Indiana. You will find it at the Democratic Party headquarters located at 1401 Broad Street. Reminds me, I need to see Give My Regards to Broad Street with Paul McCartney eventually.

Ah, behold the power of music. Graham Nash and David Crosby are performing a concert the benefit the Grace Center for battered women. The center is in Pasadena.

Matt Gallant, former host of "The Planet's Funniest Animals, is now set to host a show that will not be named here. It's bad enough that I decided to link to it. I HATE reality TV with a passion. Gallant is a former of The Groundlings.
Born in Syracuse, New York and raised in Westport, Connecticut, Gallant opted for sports rather than performing. He attended the University of Rhode Island, where he majored in communications, studied theatre and envisioned a career as a sportscaster. He soon began work, however, as a page for NBC in New York City, which ultimately ushered him in to the world of show business. Gallant hired an agent and immediately began landing roles in a string of successful commercials. His big break soon followed in the form of not one but two jobs for MTV -- hosting both the live show Hangin' with MTV, and a magazine-style program for teens entitled Like We Care.
Will Ferrell studied to be a sportscaster. Craig Kilborn became a sportscaster. Who knows? I almost went into sportscasting but that field is so hard to succeed in because of all the talent out there.

Just to make sure you know, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner is not purple.

H.R. 4681 is the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act. This was text from an email I rceieved.
This legislation, introduced by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Gary Ackerman (D-NY), will prohibit any direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) as long as members of a terrorist group control or take part in the Palestinian government. It stipulates that until the PA meets a series of conditions, including dismantling the terrorist infrastructure and recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, they will not receive any aid from the United States. The legislation includes exceptions for humanitarian assistance and special projects that can only be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Three of the 141 members to co-sponsor are from Kentucky. Those are Ben Chandler, Anne Northup, and Geoff Davis.

Sen. Joe Lieberman should take care of his competition this year no matter what party they belong to.

Does comedy run in the family for some?

The House of Representatives passes sanctions against Iran in a committee.
The Iran Freedom Support Act passed 37-3 Wednesday in the International Relations Committee and now goes to the full House — where, with more than 340 sponsors, it’s virtually guaranteed passage. A similar bill is circulating in the Senate.

The bill expands existing sanctions against Iran by targeting foreign companies and countries doing more than $20 million worth of business in Iran.

Sponsors say the penalties are in response to Iran’s apparent efforts to build a nuclear bomb, as well as its continued support for terrorism.
First they go after KFC, now they go after the Orthodox Union? And you wonder why I don't like PETA? If they weren't so extreme in how they act, then maybe they wouldn't have such a bad reputation. Once you threaten to desecrate a gravesite, that's the last time you get respect from me and they will never gain my trust or respect again. That said, I am an animal lover and I eat kosher as much as possible.
The release of the report reignited an issue that created controversy in the kosher world. Some Jews accused PETA of launching a veiled anti-Semitic campaign intended to suppress religious freedom, while others saw the gruesome video that PETA ran on its Web site as evidence that the plant had violated the humane aspects of kosher slaughter.[...]

But Thomas said Agriprocessors has no plans to talk to PETA, let alone comply with any of its demands.

"We view PETA’s efforts as an attack on kosher slaughter. They put their political interests before the right to the free practice of religion," Thomas said.

When the news initially made headlines, some members of the kosher community were upset that slaughter at Agriprocessors appeared less humane than they expected.

But that hasn’t affected sales, Thomas said — and since the PETA video was made, Agriprocessors has opened another plant, in Nebraska.
Interesting article on how Natalie Portman started Scarlett Johansson's career.
You knew from the first, watching her steal hearts and seduce the camera in The Professional (1994), that Natalie Portman was not just another child star. And not since Jodie Foster has an adolescent actress made such a smooth transition to adult roles, or impressed so mightily as she matured.

One should dismiss the Israeli-born, vaguely exotic-looking Portman's throwaway performances in the Star Wars films as merely a lucrative marking of time, albeit romantically, and focus instead on the genuinely outstanding work she has done: very believable in Anywhere But Here (1999) opposite Susan Sarandon, blowing everyone away in Cold Mountain (2003), appealingly quirky in writer-director-star Zach Braff's indy feature Garden State (2004), and turning caustic in Mike Nichols Closer (2004).

Scarlett Johansson can thank Portman for helping get her career on track. The latter turned down the major role in Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer (1998) that made Johansson a star because, at 17, she could no longer relate to playing a 13-year-old. Wisely, Portman also turned down the title role in schlockmeister director Adrian Lyne's remake of Lolita, in part due to her dad's counsel not to do things on screen she had not yet experienced in real life. If only every young actor was so prudent.

On stage, she was a natural to top the bill for the Broadway revival (actually a revision) of The Diary of Anne Frank, in which Frank is portrayed as something more fully fleshed than a staunch, angelic martyr.

But the 25-year-old Portman's permanent home will be the big screen, where she has the power to captivate. With good material, that is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Natalie Portman on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Are you watching? I am. Open thread for this evening's show.

Late Night News

Gen. Wes Clark will be at the University of Cincinnati on Tuesday March 21st at 3:00pm in 400C Tangeman University Center. They ask that you park in the CCM garage off of Corry St. In the Hamilton Co. Democratic Party mailing list, they point out that the "event is free and open to the public please RSVP to chandra@hamiltoncountydems.org." It seems like an interesting event and I'd go if I had a car and if I did not have a class that let out at 2:55 PM in the afternoon.

The AJC touts Evan Bayh's keys to victory. In case you were wondering, Evan Bayh is sponsoring legislation to ban protests at military funerals.
The Dignity for Military Funerals Act will require protesters to stay 300 feet from a funeral. It will also limit where protesters can gather an hour before and after funerals, as well as during the services.

Meanwhile, Representative Mike Rogers of Brighton (Michigan) and two fellow Republicans announced separate plans to introduce legislation in the House that would keep protesters 500 feet from funerals.
The gambling bill has cleared a state house committee. Thank G-d! I want my money to stay in the state, not go to Indiana.

Barry Welsh is a Feingold Finalist. Congrats!

Greg of Greg's Opinion may have to travel to Indianapolis for the Final Four weekend activities. His favorite singer, Carrie Underwood, will be joining folk-rocker John Mellencamp for the free concert at Monument Circle.
John Mellencamp, Carrie Underwood and the Wreckers; those are just a few acts that will be in town during the Final Four.

24-Hour News 8 has learned the line-up for this year's entertainment. While the RCA Dome will be packed full of basketball fans officials hope these big names will get thousands of fans and families to Monument Circle.[...]

While the ball is in play inside the RCA Dome, fans can come to Monument Circle where they can enjoy free entertainment. Some of the acts include Hoobastank, Collective Soul and John Mellencamp who's giving a homecoming concert.

"I think it's fantastic. I think the people should come out and check them out and it's a great opportunity for them to see these bands, they're great bands and it will be an awesome time," Jack Bowkus of Indianapolis said.

"I would love it. It would fit in with the city and everything so it would be nice," Zach Holland of Indianapolis said,

"There's no question that Indianapolis is excited we're just about ready for these fans," Schultz said.

The free MyCoke Fest is on Sunday, April 2, on Monument Circle. Again, musicians include Carrie Underwood, the Wreckers featuring Michelle Branch and Jesse Harper, Collective Soul, Chris Brown and John Mellencamp. The fun starts at 2:00 p.m.
Chris Brown will actually be coming to Northern next month.

Not cool...

This is not good news but I was alerted to it via email from a loyal reader.
Kentucky: For $55,000, D1 Scheduling arranged Kentucky's Dec. 23 game with Iona, which has recruited LACC players for years. Iona wouldn't say how much of the $55,000 it received. Kentucky executive associate athletics director Rob Mullens said his school was struggling to find a game on that specific date but heard Iona was available. When he called Iona, Mullens said, he was told the Gaels would play the game -- if Kentucky would go through D1 Scheduling.

"We'd never heard of D1 Scheduling," Mullens said. "If D1 Scheduling is doing something inappropriate, we'd never knowingly enter into that kind of arrangement."
I hope that there is no NCAA violations for our beloved program.

So, vas nu?

Former Senator Tom Daschle has set a timeline for a potential run for president.
Tom Daschle, former U.S. senator from South Dakota, says he will make a decision whether to run for the Democratic nomination for president within six months.

"No, I'm not interested in vice president or the cabinet," Daschle wrote the Rapid City Journal by e-mail Sunday evening.[...]

Burns said Daschle also might look seriously at the right cabinet position if a Democrat were elected president in 2008.

"Something like secretary of defense or state would be hard to turn down," Burns said.
Wanna talk basketball? I'm just glad that the Bradley Braves made the tournament. I'll have to check the bookstore and get that shirt eventually.

Moderate Republicans will be tested with the South Dakota ban on abortion.

Have you checked on the economy lately?
Among those approved was a deal that left another Chinese firm producing 80% of the magnets used in the Pentagon's "smart bombs," according to Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.
Be careful. Ernie Fletcher is not happy. Apparently, he thinks someone is going to photoshop a picture of him with the word "Retire." In all seriousness, he's upset with the state house over the budget.

Honest Reporting is launching their newly redesigned website.

Now, this is bipartisan leadership that I support.
A bipartisan slate of U.S. senators led by Jews from each party asked President Bush to urge Saudi Arabia to cancel a meeting on an Israel boycott.[...]

"Mr. President, the United States cannot remain silent on Saudi Arabia’s intolerant boycott of Israel, and should insist that Saudi Arabia uphold its obligations as a member of WTO," said the letter initiated by Sens. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and signed by 15 others.
An interesting article on Matisyahu.

Ben Chandler makes the case for Ken Lucas.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

NCAA Opening Round

Monmouth defeats Hampton 71-49. I don't think that they'll knock off the Villanova Wildcats though.

More news of the day...

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has completed his trip to Israel.
Brady, the New England Patriots’ two-time Super Bowl MVP, left Israel Saturday night after a visit coordinated by Boston’s Jewish federation and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a strong supporter of Israel.

"I think it’s important" to share the Israel experience, Brady said.
Interesting Purim article. Interesting Purim op-ed by Jeffrey Goldberg
As chance would have it, it was on Purim that I tried to cross from Iran to Iraq. Purim is the famously disorderly holiday, celebrated today, that commemorates the hairbreadth escape of Persia's Jews from annihilation at the hands of the evil vizier Haman. The Purim story is recounted in the Scroll of Esther, which was read last night, Purim eve, in synagogues all over the world — including those in Iran, which is home to a remnant of a great and exceedingly old Jewish community. Judaism predates Islam in Iran by 1,000 years.

Purim is the ne plus ultra of the "They Tried to Murder Us, They Failed, Let's Eat" subcategory of Jewish holidays, and it is a self-consciously raucous day, a Jewish Mardi Gras when even rabbis are expected to drink themselves oblivious. It is possible to imagine, though, that Iran's intermittently persecuted Jews, living today under a president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the historical truth of the European Holocaust while threatening a new Middle Eastern one, might see Purim not as a story of tragedy averted but as one of tragedy foretold.

The Purim story is suspenseful, ribald, comic and almost certainly false, a fantasy of revenge and redemption. Scholars generally agree that it is a pseudo-history introduced into Judaism about 2,400 years ago, at a time when the memory of Jerusalem's conquest by the Babylonians was still laying Jews low. In the story, the supercilious King Ahasuerus chooses the beautiful Esther to be his queen. Esther, who keeps her Jewishness hidden, has an uncle, the stoic and brave-hearted Mordechai, who does not conceal his faith, and who earns the wrath of Haman when he refuses to bow down before him.[...]

It is an outlandish story on several counts, not least of which is that ancient Persian kings tended to tolerate other gods and the men who worshipped them. Such tolerance, it must be said, is one of the main attributes of polytheism; Jews were not seen as threats to the theological order of pre-Islamic Persia.
TV Squad speaks with Fred Goss and Nick Holly from Sons and Daughters. I admit that I have not seen an episode of the show yet.
JK: What experiences did you bring in to writing the show? Are there elements of both your families in the show?

FG: Absolutely. Nick and I are both products of divorce, and teen pregnancy, the whole Jewish wife scenario is certainly taken from my life -- I'm going through the same thing with my wife in raising our kids Jewish and I'm not Jewish -- so a lot of the ideas definitely sprang out of our own personal experience with our modern extended families.

NH: Then we change it so we're not sued. But the inspiration is the worlds we grew up in.

JK: That's a funny scene, where Cameron's little daughter says, "Aunt Rae says we're going to hell because we're Jewish!"

FG: That's kind of a reverse improvisational exercise, because we started the scene by giving the four-year-old that line and then improvised everything after it, like how would you feel if you walked into the room and your daughter said that. So that was the genesis of that scene.
Red Sox Manager Terry Francona will have his contract extended to 2008.

Here's a statement by Peter Sullivan, candidate for Congress:
State Rep. Peter Sullivan released the following statement regarding the Demers Group "St. Patrick's Day Breakfast and Roast":

While the goal of helping the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth is a laudable one, I cannot, as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, accept a free ticket to this event.

While the general public is charged $75 per person to attend the breakfast, members of the legislature are offered free tickets. Given the fact that the event is hosted by a lobbying firm with an interest in legislation pending before the House, I have decided that it would raise the appearance of impropriety to attend.

As a member of the House, I have made tougher ethics law a top priority. As a candidate for Congress, I have pledged to pursue reform in Washington. I can't allow those principles to be compromised for a plate of scrambled eggs and an hour's worth of bad jokes.