Thursday, March 31, 2011

Basketball nuggets...

Jody got some comments from the three other UK signees on Michael Gilchrist's play last night.
Kyle Wiltjer: "He’s just so long and so strong at that position. He’s a tough defender and is just so effective at both ends of the floor. I’m glad he’ll be with us."

Marquis Teague: "That’s Mike. He’s going to get a double-double every night, he gives high energy and he just wins. That’s Mike."

Anthony Davis: "Mike got a lot of rebounds, he worked hard on the boards to get the rebounds and put them all back in. He don’t like doing any media interviews but I have no problem with it, I’ll talk for him. Mike is my man. He is going to have to get used too it because he’s going to have to do a lot of media interviews.
Anthony Davis was a beast last night. Here's some more on Davis.
The 6-foot-10 Chicago native playing in front of his home crowd, hit 5 of 8 from the field and finished with 14 points, six rebounds, four blocked shots, two steals and one assist.

"It was excellent," Davis said. "I had a really good time. Playing in my hometown and especially putting a lot of pressure on myself because (Chicago native) Wayne (Blackshear) only got to play eight minutes. I think I did excellent job of representing Chicago."

Davis said the game marked a good spot in his career, which has gone from an unknown just more than a year ago to perhaps being the No. 1 player in the country. Scout.com has him ranked No. 1 and the other services have him in the top five.

"All the hard work pays off," Davis said. "If you don’t put in all the hard work, then you are not get anything out of it. I tried to work as hard as I could and it’s paid off."
Evan Daniels has his article on the game over at Scout.

2011 Preseason Baseball Predictions

It's hard this season for the predictions in the National League. Adam Wainwright is out for the year for my beloved St. Louis Cardinals.

The Phillies are having the worst spring ever. Chase Utley will miss significant amount of time with a knee injury. Dominic Brown, who was the early preseason pick for Rookie of the Year in the National League, is injured and likely won't play in the major leagues until May. Brad Lidge just got injured, too. As for their starting pitching, they are stacked.

All of that said, here are my predictions. Keep in mind that when the Kentucky Wildcats win the NCAA Championship, the New York Yankees have won the World Series in all but one year. I hate the Yankees as much as the next person but one cannot just ignore historical trends like that.

I've updated this since Kentucky lost.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
EAST: Philadelphia Phillies
CENTRAL: Cincinnati Reds
WEST: San Francisco Giants
WILD CARD: St. Louis Cardinals

NLCS: Philadelphia Phillies over Cincinnati Reds

AMERICAN LEAGUE
EAST: Boston Red Sox
CENTRAL: Minnesota Twins
WEST: Oakland Athletics
WILD CARD: New York Yankees

ALCS: Boston Red Sox over New York Yankees

World Series: Boston Red Sox over Philadelphia Phillies

POSTSEASON AWARDS
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
MVP: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Rookie of the Year: Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Cy Young: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
MVP: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays

John Clay: A Must Read

Without a doubt, John Clay is one of my favorite writers at the Lexington Herald-Leader. This is just another reason why. He reminds readers that while everyone goes after John Calipari for the two vacated Final Fours, nobody bothers to remember that UConn's program was vacated in 1996. That Gene Keady's Purdue team was vacated. Larry Brown, too.

Here's an excerpt, which I recommend that you READ IN FULL:
In Calipari's case, his 1996 UMass trip to the Final Four was "vacated" after it was discovered star player Marcus Camby accepted gifts from an agent. Calipari's 2008 Final Four appearance at Memphis was "vacated" after the NCAA ruled Derrick Rose ineligible when he failed to cooperate with a review service and his ACT score was invalidated.

Never mind that Calipari wasn't implicated in either case. Never mind that, at last count, 34 coaches have fallen victim to having their NCAA Tournament appearances "vacated."

Lute Olson is on that "vacated" list. Jim Valvano is on that list. So is Larry Brown, Gene Keady, Steve Lavin and, yes, Jim Calhoun.

And yet on the ramp-up to Houston you haven't heard anyone mention that Connecticut's NCAA appearance in the 1996 tournament was erased. In fact, we've barely heard much about the fact Calhoun will serve a three-game Big East suspension next year after the NCAA ruled he did not foster a culture of compliance within the UConn basketball program.

In Newark, we didn't hear a peep about the fact Kansas was placed on probation after Roy Williams left for North Carolina because, according to the NCAA, "three representatives of the university's athletic interests" provided cash and clothing to graduating players.

When San Diego State was a feel-good story for grabbing a No. 2 seed, no one talked about how Coach Steve Fisher had two Final Fours (1992 and 1993) vacated at Michigan.
Tell your friends that they, too, should read it in full.

Major props to John Clay for this. Let's hope other outlets pick up on the story.

Future Wildcats excel in Chicago

Last night was the McDonald's High School All-American basketball game in Chicago. There were four Kentucky Wildcat signees playing in the game. Of all the teams in the Final Four this weekend, there were four players signed. All four for Kentucky.

Anthony Davis was a beast. It's interesting that he grew six inches in a season, from point guard to power forward. He dominated on both sides of the court.

It was Michael Gilchrist that was named as a co-MVP for the game. He was solid with a double-double, scoring 16 points and raking in 12 boards.

Stats:
Anthony Davis: 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks
Michael Gilchrist: 16 points and 12 rebounds
Marquis Teague: 9 points and 3 assists
Kyle Wiltjer: 11 points

These are signs of the future.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

UConn does this and Calhoun gets 3 game suspension?

SLAM Magazine has an article on Nate Miles that further implicates UConn coach Jim Calhoun in this whole mess. I'm posting some excerpts but you really need to read it in full. I'd hate to be a UConn fan because they got lucky with Calhoun getting a 3 game suspension.
Lost in the hype, though, is that Walker wasn’t even the most coveted recruit in his freshman dorm room. That honor would belong to his roommate, Nate Miles, whose highly-publicized expulsion from UConn and ostracism from the big-time college basketball world is keeping him in the same place he started: Toledo, Ohio.

Connecticut head basketball coach Jim Calhoun said that Miles had “as much basketball ability” as any recruit he’d brought to UConn, a tall statement for a program that has won two national titles and produced the likes of Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton and Rudy Gay.[...]

But whereas scoring on the court was easy for Miles, scoring points on tests was a totally different matter. Miles’ poor grades forced his legal guardian to move him—he attended five schools in four states, to be exact—so that he could stay eligible to earn a D-I offer. In short, it worked. While playing for Texas Cornerstone in 2006, Miles lit up a Chicago tournament with a 40-point performance and a half-court buzzer-beater that earned him the undivided attention of Connecticut assistant coach Tom Moore.

Moore introduced Miles to a man named Josh Nochimson. As a former UConn team manager who was Richard Hamilton’s business manager as well as Luol Deng’s agent, Nochimson being anywhere near Miles was an NCAA violation.

“Right after the game, Tom Moore introduced me to (Nochimson) and got me on the phone with him. Ever since that day, we were just connected,” Miles said.

Eight days after first speaking with Nochimson, Miles committed to UConn.

“Coach Calhoun told me that I had a chance to be a great player,” Miles said, “all I had to do was listen to him.”

Unfortunately for Miles, he took Calhoun’s advice.[...]

One of the journalists who started digging was Dan Wetzel, author of Sole Influence and Yahoo! Sports columnist.

“Rip was willing to do a story about (Nochimson) because he thought a lot of guys were getting ripped off, for lack of a better term. We wanted to know where his money went,” Wetzel said. “Well, we heard he was taking Rip Hamilton’s money and using it as feed money to get his agency going by paying college kids.

“We were going to do a story on what a weird business (it was), stealing from your one client to get the younger kid. Probably, his most dedicated client was Nate Miles.”

Along with Adrian Wojnarowski, Wetzel unearthed all the incriminating evidence involved with the situation. Phone records showed that Nochimson, an illegal recruiter by every NCAA standard, was regularly in contact with Miles and the UConn coaching staff.

“You had UConn, (which) knew about them having the relationship, then you have phone records where they were clearly in contact—they were averaging, like, three calls a day between some member of the staff and Nochimson—there’s no way you’re talking to somebody three times a day for three years and not know what’s going on,” Wetzel said.

UConn released a bizarre press release acknowledging the situation, referring to Miles only as “the student-athlete mentioned in the article” and saying Miles “departed” from the school before playing a game.[...]

“They knew—Coach Calhoun and everybody on that staff and everybody at the University of Connecticut knew—that the story was going to break with Josh, so they railroaded me out of there,” Miles said. “Coach Calhoun, no disrespect to him, he’s a good guy, he showed he cared about me while I was there, but they expelled me because—this is how I feel—because they knew that story was going to drop with Josh.”

Even after the NCAA investigation, the Connecticut brass hardly suffered. Calhoun was ordered to serve a pathetic three-game suspension, but he gets to serve it next year after UConn’s money-making games in the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Tom Moore, who not only looked the other way, but initiated Miles’ relationship with Nochimson, actually made money in the long run. He took the head coaching job at Quinnipiac and suffered no consequences. He coached the Bobcats to a second-place finish in the Northeast Conference this past season.[...]

“I was doing what (UConn) was telling me to do. Calhoun and everybody on that staff knew Josh was doing that stuff for me. Everybody knew,” Miles said. “They were talking to Josh as much as I was talking to Josh, but at the end of the day, the only ones who lose are me and Josh.”

Matt Painter is staying put at Purdue

Matt Painter had the twitter world buzzing this morning with talk that he was very closing to reaching an agreement with Missouri to be their new men's basketball coach. Being a homegrown Purdue product and Gene Keady's hand-picked sucessor, jumping from Purdue to Mizzou did not make any sense. It made even less sense when you factor in Robbie Hummel only having one year left at Purdue.

In the end, Painter stayed with Purdue after signing a new eight-year deal.

Jeff Rabajohns with the Indy Star gets a lot of credit on this one.
The school announced in a news release that Painter and Purdue have agreed on a new 8-year contract extension.

“I am extremely excited about continuing my career at Purdue. I believe we have built something very special. At the same time, I feel we have much more ahead of us to accomplish, said Painter.

“At the end of the day, my heart is at Purdue, and this is a place where I want to win a national championship.”

“I think it’s the right thing to do. It’s a better job," Keady said about Paint staying at Purdue.[...]

Keady, Painter’s mentor, said on Tuesday that salary wasn’t the issue, but Painter wanted the overall support other programs received.

“It’s about having the opportunity to win a national title with the backing of everyone,” Keady said during negotiations. “He wants to know if an assistant coach needs a car, he can get it. If something needs to be done, they’ll do it, so he doesn’t have to worry about all the nickel and dime stuff.

“It isn’t about money.”

Painter, who played for Keady, returned to Purdue as coach-in-waiting for the 2004-05 season. After a difficult first year, Painter reeled off five consecutive 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances.

Under Painter, Purdue is one of only eight programs with four consecutive 25-win seasons.

The Muncie, Ind., native was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Painter rebuilt Purdue on the strength of Midwest recruiting and player development.

His best players — JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel and Chris Kramer — were all from Indiana.

Here's the report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which talks about some of the backstory on the uproar this afternoon:
What started out as positive day for Mizzou basketball took a drastic turn this afternoon when Matt Painter turned down the school's offer to be its basketball coach, two sources close to the search said.

"He's not coming," one told the Post-Dispatch's Vahe Gregorian. The other said it was "100 percent" that the deal was off.

Earler in the day, a source told the Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz that had called Mizzou athletic director Mike Alden to say he's "in" as the school's next coach.

Even Mizzou basketball player Kim English tweeted "Yeeesssssssssss!!!" just after 1:30 p.m. today without further explanation.

But this afternoon that all changed.
There was a lot of speculation this afternoon that he was gone following a twitter post from St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz saying that a source told him Mizzou was hiring Painter.

Miklasz tweeted a statement in two postings (part 1, part 2):
If my information on Painter was wrong, then all I can do is wear it. Any or all criticism of me is justified. I take pride in my reporting and my cred, so if this has blown up on me, then all I can do is apologize profusely.
He followed that up with this:
And I know that isn't good enough for many of you. But my embarrassment is profound.
And this:
Something changed and I have no idea what it was. Thanks for listening.
When it comes to coaching rumors, I turn to Jeff Goodman at FOX Sports and Gary Parrish with CBS Sports.

Now the question remains: Who will Mizzou go after next?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cal on Jorts

You need to listen to Cal talking with Jim Rome this afternoon. KSR has the audio. Some of the conversation deals with the consequences of Jorts' tweet last year about Cal throwing him under the bus.

Cal's immediate reaction was: "He’s out. He’s done. He’s not good enough to do that."

Jorts would do a lot of conditioning with Assistant Coach Kenny Payne. It paid off.

Liz

A lot of people don't realize this but when Elizabeth Taylor died, Israel lost a really good friend.

Mad Men

I started watching the 1960s period drama Mad Men this past August. I got hooked. Of course, at the time, all I had seen was the start of the fourth season. While Mad Men is not one of those serialized programs like Lost, it is good to know the backstory. As such, after catching up on the previous three seasons within a one month period, I started watching the rest of the fourth season on the DVR.

Throughout the contract negotiations between Matthew Weiner and AMC, I have never blamed Weiner for wanting a better deal. He deserves it. After all, Mad Men is the show that really put AMC on the map for original programming.

AMC wants the show to drop two cast members, integrate product placement and lose two minutes.

As of now, AMC has greenlit production but instead of the late summer slot, it won't be back until March 2012.

The Hollywood Reporter says not to blame Weiner.
But whatever the price tag Weiner's asking for, whatever the changes he's being asked to make -- more commercial time or reduction of characters allegedly among them -- it's all beside the point now. AMC and Lionsgate balked two years ago at Weiner's salary demands and here we are again. Apparently there's been too much distance -- and too much success --- at AMC to remember where they were before making Mad Men.

They were nowhere.

AMC was a second rate movie channel (and that's being generous) until Mad Men put it on the map. No Mad Men, then probably no Breaking Bad (which itself was partly a free gift from FX). So any discussion of Mad Men's worth goes far, far beyond the value of the actual show as it relates to the money it brings in.[...]

What has happened since the last contract? Well, Breaking Bad has given AMC a one-two punch (in any order) of the best two series on television. As great as Breaking Bad is, it doesn't generate the same hype as Mad Men, despite its healthy ratings. AMC has had some misses, to be sure -- the remake of The Prisoner didn't work and Rubicon didn't catch fire. But Breaking Bad and then the massive hit that was The Walking Dead really established the channel. The Killing, AMC's next effort, is fantastic (but nobody knows yet what the ratings will be like). Regardless, it's pretty clear that AMC is a major player in high quality scripted drama.

And yet the niche channel is clearly forgetting that none of this would be possible without Mad Men. I don't begrudge Weiner anything he's asking for because in all likelihood, this is his biggest ticket. The former Sopranos writer is extremely talented and will no doubt go on to other successes. But like David Simon, the creator of The Wire who moved on to Treme, it's not about how brilliant one person is. It's about catching lightning in a bottle and cracking that bottle over the head of the culture in a way that essentially lives on in history books forever. Now that is hard to repeat. So don't begrudge Weiner whatever it is he's getting for four brilliant seasons of Mad Men.

The key here is not to blame him. AMC is already making it look like it's all Weiner's fault. People who don't care about negotiations or the minutia involved will only be upset that they won't get to see Don Draper and company until sometime in 2012. They'll be looking for blame. Perhaps Weiner should, as AMC has already done, release a statement giving some insight to his side. He's already going to have enough pressure -- as there is each season -- to make Season 5 as brilliant as the four previous. And if he doesn't, what will people say about his pay raise? That's a lot of pressure, especially for a man who doesn't like to delegate and whose fingerprints are all over everything in the show.
AMC, pay the man.

Hickey named Mr. Basketball

According to Jody Demling, Anthony Hickey of Christian County has been named as the 2011 Mr. Basketball in Kentucky.

Hickey's list of potential colleges include: WKU, Nebraska, West Virginia, LSU, South Carolina, Cincinnati, Purdue, TCU, St. Bonaventure and Butler. Butler only called on Monday.

It will be interesting to see if Kentucky shows any interest in Hickey. We have to Mr. Basketballs already in Darius Miller and Jon Hood.

Parade names All-Americans

Parade Magazine has named their All-Americans for high school basketball players. There are ten players listed on each team. It's interesting that both Teague and Gilchrist are listed on the fourth team given that they are two of the highest ranked recruits according to Rivals. Kentucky signees are bolded.

FIRST TEAM
Austin Rivers (Duke)
Bradley Beal (Florida)
Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
Chase Fischer (Wake Forest)
Adonis Thomas (Memphis)
Rodney Cooper (Alabama)
Dantley Walker (UNLV)
DJ Gardner (Mississippi State)
Trevor Lacey (Undecided)
Wayne Blackshear (Louisville)

SECOND TEAM
D’Angelo Harrison (St. John’s)
Adam Smith (UNC-Wilmington)
Tony Woten (Washington)
Chane Behanan (Louisville)
Cody Zeller (Indiana)
Trey Burke (Michigan)
Kyle Caudill (Boston College)
Jahii Carson (Arizona State)
LeBryan Nash (Oklahoma State)
Angelo Chol (Arizona)

THIRD TEAM
Wesley Saunders (Harvard)
Shelby Moats (Vanderbilt)
Devonta Abron (Arkansas)
Jarvis Threatt (Delaware)
Amir Williams (Ohio State)
Jordan Baker (Pepperdine)
Branden Dawson (Michigan State)
P.J. Hairston (North Carolina)
James McAdoo (North Carolina)
Xavier Ford (Buffalo)

FOURTH TEAM
Julien Lewis (Texas)
Jake White (Wichita State)
Johnny O’Bryant (LSU)
Tanner Wozniak (FIU)
Myck Kabongo (Texas)
Reese Morgan (Cal Poly)
Michael Gilchrist (Kentucky)
Colin Gruber (N. Arizona)
Marquis Teague (Kentucky)
Ryan Spangler (Gonzaga)

A few things...

College basketball has been keeping me busy of late so my apologies for not posting much lately. I still need to make my preseason baseball predictions--which is being done earlier than usual, no thanks to Major League Baseball. Those should be up tomorrow at the absolute latest.

This comes via Stand With Us:
Local Organizations Promote Israeli Goods to Counter Boycott
Tomorrow, Wednesday March 30th is Buy Israeli Goods (BIG) Day! The date was chosen because the anti-Israel boycott campaign has planned a global boycott of Israeli products for the same day (March 30). Protesters will stand outside stores, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli products. March 30th is our day to show the boycotters that their efforts are doomed. If we work together, we can help Israel. TOMORROW, go shopping for Israel no matter where you live. Buy for Israel. Buy for peace. Be a big part of this BIG (Buy Israeli Goods) Day
According to Hero Complex, DC is finally getting their shit together when it comes to bringing their talent together for the Justice League movie. It's about time because Marvel is kicking their asses on the big screen. Here is this tidbit on the project:
Jeff Robinov is already thinking about DC Comics movies for 2013 and beyond, and he’s got “Justice League” and a reinvented Batman on his mind.[...]

But Robinov said a new Justice League script is in the works. Also being written for Warner are scripts featuring the Flash and Wonder Woman, who could be spun off into their own movies after Justice League. Though Wonder Woman is also in the works as a television pilot for NBC produced by Warner, Robinov dismissed that as a sticking point. “Wonder Woman could be a film as well, the same way that ‘Superman Returns’ came out while ‘Smallville’ was on,” he said, referring to the 2006 film that put Brandon Routh in the cape and the television show starring Tom Welling that is now in its 10th and final season.

Robinov knows that the most bankable part of his superhero empire has been Nolan and his Gotham City films – the studio has yet to deliver a 21st century superhero blockbuster hit without Nolan in the director’s seat. Batman will continue to be a centerpiece property beyond next year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and Nolan’s departure from the franchise. “We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman...Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”
It is very nice to know that the Nolans will stay involved with the Batman saga even if he isn't directing.

On Bellarmine...

I'm not sure if I have posted it here but credit is due to Bellarmine Knights coach Scott Davenport, the former basketball coach at Ballard High School, on leading Bellarmine to its first Division 2 basketball title this past Saturday.

Congressman John Yarmuth honored the team this past afternoon on the House floor.

Bellarmine and Northern Kentucky are rivals when it comes to athletics but even though I did graduate from NKU, when it came to men's basketball games, I stayed neutral between the two being that I did attend Ballard with Coach Davenport's oldest son and my brother played little league with his younger son.

Congrats again to the Knights.

Dickie V to the Rescue

ESPN analyst Dick Vitale was on Mike and Mike In the Morning on ESPN Radio. He thinks Brad Stevens will be similar to Mark Few in that he will have many opportunities to leave but will likely stay put. The situation is different with VCU. Just look at Anthony Grant.

The next think they spoke about was Coach John Calipari and the two vacated Final Fours. The NCAA cleared Derrick Rose about three times before they even started to investigate the matter.

Any college basketball coach or fan knows that the minute a player hires an agent, their college career is over. That is what happened in the case of former UMass player Marcus Camby. He broke the rules and hired an agent. Cal was cleared of any guilt or wrongdoing in this case.

Calipari is an elite level coach. He knows how to recruit. He would never play an athlete that was not eligible by the NCAA.

Cal took a risk with Enes Kanter. In the end, the NCAA, after the appeal, came out and said that he was not going to suit up as a Kentucky Wildcat.

Players and coaches know the rules. Kelvin Sampson, the NABC president himself, broke the rules and disgraced Indians University.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wiltjer wins 3-Point Contest

Kyle Wiltjer, the Wildcats' new big man next year, won the three point contest tonight in Chicago as a part of the McDonald's All-American festivities. Wiltjer made 17 three pointers to win the contest.

While Wiltjer is a five start recruit, he's the lowest rated of the incoming freshman class.

ESPN notes:
May be the most skilled power forward in the class. He can score from anywhere on the floor and is a match up nightmare. He can pass and handle the ball as well. Needs to attempt to improve his foot speed and quickness and add strength but this young man can flat out make plays on the offensive end of the floor against anyone in the high school ranks. We consider him a cross between Keith Van Horn and Kevin McHale.
Scout.com notes:
Wiltjer is a talented post prospect headed to Kentucky. He has legitimate touch from the perimeter and range that extends past the three-point stripe. Wiltjer has a variety of moves and can score inside. He won't overwhelm you with his speed or athleticism, but he's a smart player that plays to his strength and has an impressive all around game, especially on the offensive end.
It is really good to see another three point threat given the possibilities that a few of this year's class could very well be headed to the NBA. We don't know anything for sure. This could be similar to Florida in that if we win, they could decide to come back for more.

Next year's signees...

The first team of Parade All-Americans were announced today. Of the Kentucky signees for this fall, only Anthony Davis made the first team. Trevor Lacey, a Kentucky target, is also on the first team.

Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague were named to the fourth team, which is very surprising to me.

Parade does not have the full list on their website yet. Compare that to the McDonald's All-American lineup, which features Wildcat signees Michael Gilchrist (SF), Anthony Davis (PF), Marquis Teague (PG), and Kyle Wiltjer (PF).

Davis, a 6-10 Power Forward, will likely be jumping center next season. Wiltjer is a 6-9 Power Forward as well. Our inside presence next season is going to be similar to that of last year when we had both Patterson and Cousins playing the post.

All four Kentucky signees are five star players according to Rivals. Teague will either be starting at PG or playing behind Brandon Knight. We don't know who is going to go pro or who isn't.

I can say for sure that no matter what Terrence Jones decides to do, we will be stacked with a nice inside presence.

A Tribute to Cawood Ledford

To mark the 19th anniversary of Cawood Ledford's retirement as the voice of the Kentucky Wildcats, here is this video tribute that features Oscar Combs, Tom Leach, and the late Bill Keightley.



If you head over here, you can find some mp3s from March 7, 1992, the final Kentucky game at Rupp Arena that season.

Like many, we wish Cawood would have been able to wait one more week before retirement but the game is one of the greatest ever in the history of college basketball. Sadly, it just ended with the wrong team winning.

Tom Leach calls last 3 minutes of Kentucky-North Carolina

Listen to Tom Leach call the final three minutes of the Kentucky-North Carolina game as the audio is synched with the CBS video.

Stewart Mandel hailed as prophet

Sports Illustrated writer Stewart Mandel has been hailed as a prophet for defying the sports world in saying that the Kentucky Wildcats would advance to the Final Four.

When most sports writers were dead set on Ohio State, Mandel was not.

So raise your glasses and toast Mandel.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kentucky books trip to Final Four

For the first time in 13 years, the Kentucky Wildcats are returning to the final four.

Some interesting tidbits:
In 1996, 1998, and 2011, Kentucky knocked off an ACC team from North Carolina in the Elite Eight--Wake Forest, Duke, and North Carolina, respectively.

I love Kentucky's chances against UConn. Keep in mind this is a very different team than the one that played in Maui.

GO CATS!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Recap of Friday's Sweet 16

Someone uploaded Tom Leach and Mike Pratt's call of the final three posessions of the Kentucky-Ohio State game from Friday night. A thriller of a game, too.



Survive and advance. That's been the theme to this year's NCAA Tournament as teams play down to the buzzer at the last minute. Many games this weekend have gone down to who has the ball during the final posession.

Kentucky and Ohio State played very competitive last night. The Cats did struggle with fouls during the first half but it didn't cause too much of a hassle. Jorts picked up his second foul with less than a minute remaining in the first half. I'll take that over ten minutes remaining in the first half any day of the week.

The match-up for Sunday afternoon is set for Kentucky and North Carolina. It's a rematch of the game played in December, only Larry Drew is no longer a member of this Tar Heels team. Like many of the SEC games played on the road this season, that game was decided by 2 points. If the Cats can stay out of foul trouble--hello, Final Four, baby!

During that first game, Doron Lamb came off the bench with 24 points. Now, he's a starter for the Cats with DeAndre Liggins coming off the bench. Both Jorts, Knight, Vargas, and Jones fouled out of that game. Jorts and Vargas picked up three fouls each in the first half. Knight and Jones got their four in the second half of the game. As such, keeping them out of foul trouble will be key.

Brandon Knight hit the game winner for the second time in three games. He dominated the West Virginia game

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NCAA Sweet 16

EAST REGION (Friday on CBS, Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg)
(2) North Carolina 81, (11) Marquette 63
(4) Kentucky 62, (1) Ohio State 60

SOUTHWEST REGION (Friday on TBS, Marv Albert/Steve Kerr)
(1) Kansas 77, (12) Richmond 57
(11) VCU 72, (10) Florida State 71

WEST REGION (Thursday on CBS, Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery)
(3)Connecticut 74, (2) San Diego State 67
(5) Arizona 93, (1) Duke 77

SOUTHEAST REGION (Thursday on TBS, Gus Johnson/Len Elmore)
(2) Florida 83, (3) BYU 74
(8) Butler 61, (4) Wisconsin 54

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gene Simmons slams Israel boycott movement

KISS musician Gene Simmons slammed the boycott movement. This makes me appreciate that band so much more. Simmons made his first trip back to Israel since his childhood.
"I'm Israeli. I'm a stranger in America. I'm an outsider," he said, speaking in a hotel lobby across a valley from the walls of Jerusalem's historic Old City. "I was born here and I'm proud of it."

He said artists who avoid Israel - such as Elvis Costello, the Pixies and Roger Waters, who joined the movement after appearing in Israel in 2006 - would be better served directing their anger at Arab dictators.

"The countries they should be boycotting are the same countries that the populations are rebelling," he said. "People long to be free ... And they sure as hell don't want somebody who's a ruler who hasn't been elected by them."

Simmons was making his first return to Israel since he left the country as a child more than 50 years ago.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I feel good...

I feel really good about Kentucky's chances on Friday against Ohio State. It's not just the fact that Brandon Knight is playing like a veteran with scoring 30 points on Saturday against West Virginia. It's the fact that the Kentucky Wildcats are heating up at the right time in March. Yes, this is a very different team than the Kentucky Wildcats that we saw during the 2009-10 season. We're without the five guys that went to the NBA. I have my faith in this team.

Without Enes Kanter, Jorts Harrellson has stepped up his game bigtime. If he can stay out of foul trouble, I feel really good about a deep run by the Wildcats.

The Kentucky Blog, over at the Kentucky athletic department's website, lists 16 things to feel good about as we head into Friday's game in Newark. On freshman Brandon Knight:
1.) Knight's already a tourney vet: Questions surrounded the youth of Kentucky's freshmen entering the NCAA Tournament, and rightfully so. The trio of Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and Dorn Lamb did little to quiet those for the first 39 minutes of the opening-round game against Princeton. But after hitting the game-winning shot against Princeton and then scoring a career-high 30 points against West Virginia, any anxiety Knight admitted to feeling is likely gone. He's already become one of the faces of this year's tournament.
Jorts:
4.) Harrellson's a legitimate inside threat: Head coach John Calipari wasn't sure after the Louisville game if Josh Harrellson's performance was a fluke. But a full season of work that includes 8.8 rebounds per game and a .604 field-goal percentage has confirmed what some started to believe after the Louisville game: Harrellson is the most improved big man in the country. Harrellson still isn't capable of taking over a game, but he isn't just a "garbage man" anymore. He's developed just enough back-to-the-basket moves and has a great floor presence that he's forcing the opposition to keep him honest.
I don't care if DeAndre Liggins misses all his shots but as long as he plays perfect defense like he has been, I'll be happy.
5.) Kentucky has found its "it" guy: You ever notice how most national championship teams have the kind of "it" player or "glue" guy that does a little bit of everything? He's not the best offensive player or the most talented, but he usually comes up with the winning plays. That guy for the Cats is DeAndre Liggins. We already knew Liggins was a lockdown defender, a reputation that he added to Saturday, but his energy and fearlessness of late has been contagious. He's developed an edge that's helped ignite the current eight-game winning streak. On Saturday, he shut down Cat killer Joe Mazzulla in the second half in addition to nine rebounds.
Going into Friday, we are seen as the underdog even though last year, we were the team to beat. The team that everyone expected to win.

Coach John Calipari's coachig style has benefited this Kentucky team.
8.) The great motivator: You can bet John Calipari is salivating at the scenario that is playing out. He's going to tell his players how much everyone wants to see them lose. He's going to say they're lucky to be there. He'll tell them over and over again that if they don't execute, they'll get blown out of the gym. It's the perfect scenario for one of the great motivators in the game.

9.) Extra incentive: Speaking of motivation, you don't think the fact that Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith was in charge of the committee that tabbed Kentucky a No. 4 seed won't be a factor? You can bet Calipari will use that as ammo, too.

10.) Man of March: A lot of coaches can rack up victories before the postseason, but Calipari has the numbers to prove he can win when it matters the most. Calipari is now 30-12 in the NCAA Tournament, including two Final Four appearances.
The game notes won't be up until later this week but I'll preview the game on Thursday or Friday.

Bruce Pearl fired as Tennesee Volunteers Basketball Coach

Bruce Pearl was fired today from the University of Tennessee. That's one less member of the tribe in a head coaching position in college basketball. I don't know who Tennessee has on their short list but they need to get their athletic department together. The past season has brought shame, doom, and gloom to the Tennessee program. It's a program that Bruce Pearl helped to revitalize.

NCAA Sweet 16 Times and Commentators

EAST REGION (Friday on CBS, Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg)
(2) North Carolina vs. (11) Marquette, 7:15 PM
(1) Ohio State vs. (4) Kentucky, 9:45 PM)

SOUTHWEST REGION (Friday on TBS, Marv Albert/Steve Kerr)
(1) Kansas vs. (12) Richmond, 7:27 PM
(10) Florida State vs. (11) VCU, 9:57 PM

WEST REGION (Thursday on CBS, Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery)
(2) San Diego State vs. (3)Connecticut, 7:15 PM
(1) Duke vs. (5) Arizona, 9:45 PM

SOUTHEAST REGION (Thursday on TBS, Gus Johnson/Len Elmore)
(2) Florida vs. (3) BYU, 7:27 PM
(4) Wisconsin vs. (8) Butler, 9:57 PM

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kentucky-Ohio State to air on CBS this Friday

The time is TBA but the Kentucky Wildcats will take on the Ohio State University Buckeyes on CBS this Friday.

The East bracket will air on CBS while the Southwest will air on TBS.

Similarly, the Southeast will air on TBS while the West will air on CBS.

NCAA Second Round: Sunday Edition

EAST REGION
(1) Ohio State 98, (8) George Mason 66
(11) Marquette 66, (3) Syracuse 62
(2) UNC 86, (7) Washington 83

WEST REGION
(1) Duke 73, (8) Michigan 71
(5) Arizona 70, (4) Texas 69

SOUTHWEST REGION
(1) Kansas 73, (9) Illinois 59
(11) VCU 94, (3) Purdue 76
(10) Florida State 71, (2) Notre Dame 57

What was Pittsburgh thinking?!?

If you watched the end of the Pittsburgh-Butler game on TBS tonight, you saw one of the craziest endings of a college basketball game in recent history, if not the craziest ending ever, especially for that of an NCAA tournament game. The ending of this game, no doubt, will be the most talked about item by far about this year's tournament.

Here is the rundown of the play by play:
0:01 Foul on Shelvin Mack 70-69 (BUTLER)
0:01 70-70 Gilbert Brown made Free Throw. (PITTSBURGH)
0:01 70-70 Gilbert Brown missed Free Throw. (PITTSBURGH)
0:01 Matt Howard Defensive Rebound. 70-70 (BUTLER)
0:01 70-70 Foul on Nasir Robinson (PITTSBURGH)
0:01 Matt Howard made Free Throw. 71-70 (BUTLER)
0:01 Matt Howard missed Free Throw. 71-70 (BUTLER)
0:01 71-70 Brad Wanamaker Defensive Rebound. (PITTSBURGH)
0:00 End Game

Shelvin Mack bumped Gilbert Brown out of bounds. Tough call but the right call was made. That fould brought Pitt to the line with a 70-69 score. Shelvin Mack should have just stayed clear of the guy that he ended up fouling. With the amount of time left on the clock, Butler wins.

While going up for the rebound off of Gilbert Brown's missed free throw, Nasir Robinson went over Matt Howard's back with less than a second remaining. The replays shown that there was, indeed, a foul committed.

While I highly doubt that Jamie Dixon teaches his players to foul like that, it's something that coaches are likely to bring up with their players in the future.

Over at ESPN in the game recap, officials comment on the end of the game.
Officials Terry Wymer, Antonio Petty and crew chief John Higgins were front and center at the end of Saturday's Pittsburgh-Butler game. Wymer called the foul that sent Pittsburgh's Gilbert Brown to the free throw line with 1.4 seconds left. After Brown tied the game, Petty made the foul call on Nasir Robinson that sent Matt Howard to the line for what proved to be the winning free throw.

Higgins talked to a pool reporter about why the officials checked the monitors after both fouls.

"When we recognized the foul [on Shelvin Mack], we got the clock stopped, went to the monitor. [Wymer] was right at 1.4 so that's where we put the clock," Higgins said, adding that a foul call is not reviewable.

"When the second foul happened [on Nasir Robinson], we looked at it. We went to the monitor, checked when the foul occurred and the fist came up and then set the clock."

Higgins said he the controversial ending of the Rutgers-St. John's game last week at the Big East tournament did not affect the officials' decision-making.

"We do it every day," he said. "It just happened to be a crucial part of the game. You have to do what you have to do as an official. If we get it right, we're good. If we get it wrong, we're deadbeats and we're all over SportsCenter. We did what we think is correct."

--Dana O'Neil
On Inside March Madness, the postgame special airing on TBS, the fouls were the right calls and not controversial.

But still, Shelvin Mack is likely grateful that Butler ended up winning.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

NCAA Second Round: Saturday Edition

EAST REGION
(4) Kentucky 71, (5) West Virginia 63

WEST REGION
(3) Connecticut 69, (6) Cincinnati 58
(2) San Diego State 71, (7) Temple 64 (2OT)

SOUTHWEST REGION
(12) Richmond 65, (13) Morehead State 48

SOUTHEAST REGION
(8) Butler 71, (1) Pittsburgh 70
(4) Wisconsin 70, (5) Kansas State 65
(3) BYU 89, (11) Gonzaga 67
(2) Florida 73, (7) UCLA 65

Friday, March 18, 2011

Jew Are You?

One thing I look forward to every Purim is a new video from former Daily Show and current Conan writer Rob Kutner. Here is Jew Are You?, the parody of the song by The Who:

NCAA First Round: Friday Edition

EAST REGION
(1) Ohio State 75, (16) Texas-San Antonio 46
(8) George Mason 61, (9) Villanova 57
(3) Syracuse 77, (14) Indiana St. 60
(11) Marquette 66, (6) Xavier 55
(7) Washington 69, (10) Georgia 65
(2) UNC 102, (15) Long Island 87

WEST REGION
(1) Duke 87, (16) Hampton 45
(8) Michigan 75, (9) Tennessee 45
(5) Arizona 77, (12) Memphis 75
(4) Texas 85, (13) Oakland 81

SOUTHWEST REGION
(1) Kansas 72, (16) Boston U. 53
(9) Illinois 73, (8) UNLV 62
(11) VCU 74, (6) Georgetown 56
(3) Purdue 65, (14) Saint Peter's 43
(2) Notre Dame 69, (15) Akron 56
(10) Florida State 57, (7) Texas A&M 50

Saturday Tip-Off Times for March Madness Second Round

CBS Sports tweeted the tip-off times for the second round of action this Saturday. Games will air on CBS, TBS, and TNT.

EAST REGION
(4) Kentucky vs. (5) West Virginia 84, 12:15 PM (CBS)

WEST REGION
(3) Connecticut vs. (6) Cincinnati, 9:40 PM (TBS)
(2) San Diego State vs. (7) Temple, 6:10 PM (TNT)

SOUTHWEST REGION
(12) Richmond vs. (13) Morehead State, 5:15 PM (CBS)

SOUTHEAST REGION
(1) Pittsburgh vs. (8) Butler, 7:10 PM (TBS)
(4) Wisconsin vs. (5) Kansas State, 8:40 PM (TNT)
(3) BYU vs. (11) Gonzaga, 7:45 PM (CBS)
(2) Florida vs. (7) UCLA, 2:45 PM (CBS)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dan Quayle on Golf

I'm a sports fan, too, and given a stressful job that the president has, yes, he deserves some down time. Also, he's a sports fan and like sports fans, he has every right to fill out a bracket.

Former Vice President and DePauw alumnus Dan Quayle spoke about President Obama taking some time out to golf.
"I'm glad he's out playing golf. I happen to be a golfer. I think presidents deserve down time. And believe me, he is in constant communication with what's going on... I mean, what do you want him to do, stay in his house and be on the phone with the ambassador to Japan all the time?"

NCAA First Round: Thursday Edition

EAST REGION
(4) Kentucky 59, (13) Princeton 57
(5) West Virginia 84, (12) Clemson 76

WEST REGION
(3) Connecticut 81, (14) Bucknell 52
(6) Cincinnati 78, (11) Missouri 63
(2) San Diego State 68, (15) Northern Colorado 50
(7) Temple 66, (10) Penn State 64

SOUTHWEST REGION
(12) Richmond 69, (4) Vanderbilt 66
(13) Morehead State 62, (4) Louisville 61

SOUTHEAST REGION
(1) Pittsburgh 74, (16) UNC-Asheville 51
(8) Butler 60, (9) Old Dominion 58
(4) Wisconsin 72, (13) Belmont 58
(5) Kansas State 73, (12) Utah State 68
(3) BYU 74, (14) Wofford 66
(11) Gonzaga 86, (6) St. John's 71
(2) Florida 79, (15) UC-Santa Barbara 51
(7) UCLA 78, (10) Michigan State 76

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NCAA First Four: Wednesday Edition

(16) Texas-San Antonio 70, (16) Alabama State 61
(11) Virginia Commonwealth 59, (11) Southern Cal 46

Mike Greenberg's NCAA changes...if he had his way

Mike Greenberg offered his thoughts this morning on Mike and Mike (with Jay Bilas sitting in for Mike Golic) and I must say that I agree with a lot of his commentary but not all.

I agree with Greeny that the NCAA should do away with all of the play-in games and go back to 64 teams in the tournament. To think anyone considered expanding to 96 teams...

The second one he brought up is one I disagree with. His idea is to do what the Ivy League does, which is crowm the regular season conference champion and do away with the post-season conference tournament. It is a good idea but it doesn't sit well with fans because many teams need those extra wins to get into the tourney or increase their seeding. Take the 2008 SEC tournament, for example. Georgia had to win all four of their games to play in the NCAA tourney. They did...including two games in one day thanks to the Atlanta tornado during the 7 PM game that Friday.

Crowning the regular season champ does have its advantages. Look at the Georgia situation. Because they won, an at-large team with a higher ranked RPI did not make the tourney.

The final thing to do, Greeny said, is to adopt the baseball rule for the NBA and college basketball. This one is one that likely won't sit well with NBA fans. The NBA doesn't really have the minor league depth that Major League Baseball has. In baseball, a player can declare after high school but might not sign despite being drafted. If drafted and they opt against signing, they lose draft eligibilty until after their junior year.

The NFL would never consider drafting high school players or college players until after their junior year. The NFL is different as it is more of a contact sport and players need to mature as they play the game.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ferris Bueller's Day Off as Indie Movie

Someone recut Ferris Bueller's Day Off as an indie coming-of-age movie.

NCAA First Four: Tuesday Edition

At University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio:
(16)UNC-Ashville 81, (16) Arkansas-Little Rock 77
(12) Clemson 70, (12)Alabama-Birmingham 52
I really hate to say it but retired Senator Evan Bayh really knows how to piss off some of his biggest supporters.

An excerpt from Ezra:
But Bayh did not return to Indiana to teach. He did not, as he said he was thinking of doing, join a foundation. Rather, he went to the massive law firm McGuire Woods. And who does McGuire Woods work for? “Principal clients served from our Washington office include national energy companies, foreign countries, international manufacturing companies, trade associations and local and national businesses,” reads the company’s Web site. He followed that up by signing on as a senior adviser to Apollo Management Group, a giant public-equity firm. And, finally, this week, he joined Fox News as a contributor. It’s as if he’s systematically ticking off every poison he identified in the body politic and rushing to dump more of it into the water supply.

The “corrosive system of campaign financing” that Bayh considered such a threat? He’s being paid by both McGuire Woods and Apollo Global Management to act as a corroding agent on their behalf. The “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology” he complained was ruining the Senate? At Fox News, he’ll be right there on set while it gets cooked up. His warning that “what is required from members of Congress and the public alike is a new spirit of devotion to the national welfare beyond party or self-interest” sounds, in retrospect, like a joke. Evan Bayh doing performance art as Evan Bayh. Exactly which of these new positions would Bayh say is against his self-interest, or in promotion of the general welfare?

I should say, for the record, that I got in touch with McGuire Woods to give Bayh an opportunity to comment, or offer an alternative interpretation of his career decisions. I didn’t hear from them, but I got a call back from a PR person at Fox News. “I’m going to decline the interview for Mr. Bayh,” the flack said. And I guess I’m not surprised: It’s one thing to take the positions Bayh took without much of a record on them. It’s a whole other to try to sustain them when his paychecks are being signed by people who profit from the very forces he lamented.

In our last interview, Bayh complained of the poor opinion the public had of him and his colleagues. “They look at us like we’re worse than used-car salesmen.” Yes. They do. And this is why.

SI's Mandel has Kentucky in Final Four

The more I study this Ohio State team, the further inclined I am to believe that Kentucky has a legitimate shot at making it to the Final Four.

Here's Stewart Mandel's take on Kentucky's chance.
The Pick: Kentucky

Yep -- a surprise. In any other region, Ohio State would be my Final Four pick, but the Buckeyes will have the misfortune of running into a No. 4 seed that happens to be more talented, albeit young. The Wildcats' Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight are both possible lottery picks this spring, and Doron Lamb could be a first-rounder next year. It took most of the season for Calipari's team to gel, but now they're playing like a team poised for a Carmelo Anthony/Gerry McNamara-like run to Houston.

Kentucky Basketball: A Tradition Unlike Any Other

I know I posted it last year but nothing beats March like getting ready watching the greatest highlight reelsin college basketball history.

"They had it before, they had it during you, they'll have it when you're gone."
--Al McGuire on the tradition of Kentucky basketball



Monday, March 14, 2011

Courier Journal now syndicating blogs

It was only a matter of time before Gannett did this with The Courier-Journal but they are now syndicating Kentucky area blogs at 502 Blogs. This is an excerpt from Ric Manning's comment.
502 Blogroll is a syndication service that brings together news, opinion, features and ideas from the active blog community in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We have collected RSS feeds from more than 65 area blogs and organized them by topic. Each topic is updated with fresh posts every hour.

We created this collection of Louisville-area bloggers in order to increase communication in our community and to spotlight local writers and topics of interest. And we thought your blog belonged in this select group. We also think your blog will benefit from being part of the 502 Blogs community. Newspaper websites in Nashville and Cincinnati have created similar collection sites and bloggers there say the increased visibility is bringing them more visitors.
I haven't really had a chance to check it out yet.

Bad News and Good News

Here's he really sad Evan Bayh news:
FOX News has signed former United States Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) as a contributor, announced Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News Editorial for the network. Bayh will offer commentary and analysis across all FOX News platforms and will participate in programming leading up to the 2012 Presidential elections.
It really makes me sick in my stomach to read something like that. I realize that he made numerous FOX News appearances during his career in the United States Senate but that's normal for elected officials. However, as a retired senator, a Democratic one no less, it's disgusting to read.

Making up for that is this one about former CNN commentator Larry King:
Larry King is in conversations for a contributor gig on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Make that "conversation," as there has been only one of them. Sources at Comedy Central confirm a New York Post report that the veteran talk-show host has been approached with the idea. Talks could go either way, but if they lead to a deal, King will be an occasional contributor to the satirical newscast along the lines of Lewis Black, Larry Wilmore and John Hodgman.
This could be interesting. I remember former CBS News anchor Dan Rather contributed to election night coverage a few years back.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Pairings

FIRST FOUR
Tuesday
At University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
16 UNC-Asheville vs. 16 Arkansas-Little Rock, 6:30 PM (TruTV)
12 UAB vs. 12 Clemson, 9 PM (TruTV)

Wednesday
At University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
16 Texas-San Antonio vs. 16 Alabama State, 6:30 PM (TruTV)
11 Southern Cal vs. 11 Virginia Commonwealth, 9 PM (TruTV)

EAST REGION
Thursday
At St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
4 Kentucky vs. 13 Princeton, 2:40 PM (CBS)
5 West Virginia vs. 12 UAB/Clemson, 12:15 PM (CBS)

Friday:
At Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
1 Ohio State vs. 16 UTSA/Alabama St., 4:45 PM (TNT)
8 George Mason vs. 9 Villanova, 2:10 PM (TNT)
3 Syracuse vs. 14 Indiana St., 10:05 PM (TruTV)
6 Xavier vs. 11 Marquette, 7:27 PM (TruTV)

At Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
7 Washington vs. 10 Georgia, 9:50 PM (CBS)
2 UNC vs. 15 Long Island, 7:15 PM (CBS)

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS AND FINALS
March 25 and 27, Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

WEST REGION
Thursday
At Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
3 Connecticut vs. 14 Bucknell, 7:20 PM (TNT)
6 Cincinnati vs. 11 Missouri, 10 PM (TNT)

At McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona
2 San Diego State vs. 15 Northern Colorado, 4:45 PM(TNT)
7 Temple vs. 10 Penn State, 2:10 PM (TNT)

Friday
At Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
1 Duke vs. 16 Hampton, 3:15 PM (TruTV)
8 Michigan vs. 9 Tennessee, 12:40 PM (TruTV)

At BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
5 Arizona vs. 12 Memphis, 2:45 PM (CBS)
4 Texas vs. 13 Oakland, 12:15 PM (CBS)

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS AND FINALS
March 24 and 26, New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana

SOUTHWEST REGION
Thursday
At Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
5 Vanderbilt vs. 12 Richmond, 4 PM (TBS)
4 Louisville vs. 13 Morehead State, 1:40 PM (TBS)

Friday
At BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
1 Kansas vs. 16 Boston U., 6:50 PM (TBS)
8 UNLV vs. 9 Illinois, 9:30 PM (TBS)

At United Center, Chicago, Illinois
6 Georgetown vs. 11 USC/VCU, 10 PM (TNT)
3 Purdue vs. 14 Saint Peter's, 7:20 PM (TNT)
2 Notre Dame vs. 15 Akron, 1:40 PM (TBS)
7 Texas A&M vs. 10 Florida State, 4:15 PM (TBS)

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS AND FINALS
March 25 and 27, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

SOUTHEAST REGION
Thursday
At Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
1 Pittsburgh vs. 16 UNC-A/UALR, 3:15 PM (TruTV)
8 Butler vs. 9 Old Dominion, 12:45 PM (TruTV)

At McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona
4 Wisconsin vs. 13 Belmont, 7:27 PM (TruTV)
5 Kansas State vs. 12 Utah State, 10:15 PM (TruTV)

At Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
3 BYU vs. 14 Wofford, 7:15 PM (CBS)
6 St. John's vs. 11 Gonzaga, 9:45 PM (CBS)

At St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
2 Florida vs. 15 UC-Santa Barbara, 6:50 PM (TBS)
7 UCLA vs. 10 Michigan State, 9:40 PM (TBS)

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS AND FINALS
March 24 and 26, New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana

At Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas
NATIONAL SEMIFINALS
April 2, 6 PM and 8:30 PM

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
April 4, 9 PM

NCAA Tournament Commentators and Hosting Sites

Commentators for this year's NCAA Tournament have been announced. What's different this year is that, as of now, Jay Bilas won't be doing any commentary for the games. Also, during the Final Four and title game, it appears that there will be more than two announcers.

Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg
Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Steve Kerr/Tracy Wolfson (Final Four and Champioship Game only)
Marv Albert/Steve Kerr
Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery
Gus Johnson/Len Elmore
Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner
Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel
Tim Brando/Mike Gminski
Spero Dedes/Bob Wenzel

Sideline reporters (locations not yet determined)
David Aldridge
Sam Ryan
Craig Sager
Marty Snider
Lesley Visser
Tracy Wolfson

As usual, hosting the opening round is: University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

The locations for the Thursday-Saturday matchups:
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. (Host: Georgetown University)
McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona (Host: University of Arizona)
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado (Host: Mountain West Conference)
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida (Host: University of South Florida)

The locations for the Friday-Sunday matchups:
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio (Host: Cleveland State University)
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina (Host: University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
United Center, Chicago, Illinois (Host: Big Ten Conference)
BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma (Host: University of Tulsa)

Regional locations for Thursday-Saturday:
West Regional: Honda Center, Anaheim, California (Host: Big West Conference)
Southeast Regional: New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana (Host: Tulane University)

Regional locations for Friday-Sunday:
Southwest Regional: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas (Host: University of Texas at San Antonio)
East Regional: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey (Host: Seton Hall University)

2011 SEC Tournament

First Round
(E4) Georgia 69, (W5) Auburn 51
(W3) Ole Miss 66, (E6) S. Carolina 55
(E5) Tennessee 74, (W4) Arkansas 68
(E3) Vanderbilt 62, (W6) LSU 50

Quarterfinals
(E3) Vanderbilt 62, (W6) LSU 50
(E2) Kentucky 75, (W3) Ole Miss 66
(E1) Florida 85, (E5) Tennessee 74
(E3) Vanderbilt 87, (W2) Mississippi State 81

Semifinals
(E2) Kentucky 72, (W1) Alabama 58
(E1) Florida 77, (E3) Vanderbilt 66

Championship
(E2) Kentucky 70, (E1) Florida 54

Like last year, the first two rounds aired on the SEC Network while the final two rounds were nationally aired on ABC.
Commentators:
Daycap: Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Shannon Spake
Nightcap: Dave Neal, Mark Gottfried

Kentucky wins 27th SEC Championship

With a 70-54 victory against Billy Donovan's Florida Gators, the Kentucky Wildcats have won their 27th SEC Championship.

Maysville's own Darius Miller was named as the tournament MVP.

The key stat of the game is how each team did from the free throw line. The stats for today are as follow:
KENTUCKY 24-29 (82.8%)
FLORIDA 3-8 (37.5%)

If you don't get fouled and go to the line in the process, you can't win. It's as simple as that. The alternative is being lights out from three point land, where Kentucky was 6-14 compared to Florida's 7-20. Throw in the free throws and it just isn't enough.

Despite the very close games on the road, Kentucky is heating up at exactly the right moment.

It's going to be a fun March.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Super 8 Trailer unveiled

The trailer for Super 8 was unveiled today Technically, it was released yesterday for those, myself included, tha saw advanced screenings of Battle LA. The movie is produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by J.J. Abrams. It feels like a throwback to the films Spielberg made in the 1970s and 1980s.

The movie is one of 8 being produced or executive produced by Spielberg this year.

The film stars Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, and Kyle Chandler.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gatewood hires Ralph Long

This has got to be a shocker in Kentucky politics. My initial reaction when I scrolled down my feed was "Wow." Ralph Long announced that he accepted a job as campaign manager.
Anyone who has read this blog will know that I really believe in transparency and people doing the right thing. So in that vein I think you all should know that I have taken the job as campaign manager for the Gatewood & Riley 2011 campaign for the Governor’s office.

If you have been reading this blog you know that I have been less than pleased with the performance of Steve Beshear and David Williams. If you want an example of their behavior just look at what is going on in Frankfort today regarding Medicaid funding.

I think that Gatewood Galbraith offers an alternative to business as usual in Frankfort and I have decided that I will do what I can to help him get elected Governor.

Every so often in politics there is a perfect storm, I think that time is now. It’s time to finally get the heavily financed, entrenched career politicians out of the Governor’s Mansion.
For Beshear and other Democrats, this is a most definite kick in the tuchas.

Joe notes:
This is interesting for several reasons. Ralph is fairly identical to me when it comes to ideology, and you know where I lie. I had assumed last year that Gatewood would pull more votes from the Republican candidate than Beshear, but this may not be the case anymore. Prior to hiring Long, Gatewood came out with a pretty bold stance against mountaintop removal, which certainly makes him an option for many liberals/lefties who are absolutely disgusted by Steve Beshear's "get off our backs" shtick. This only adds to the speculation that Gatewood's trying to get as many votes from left as he is from the teabaggers.

The thing is, we know that Gatewood is no "pure Lefty", so to speak. If you've ever heard him talk about guns, abortion or the federal government, you know that he's sounds more like Rand Paul than John Yarmuth. But if you're a liberal in Kentucky who's completely fed up with Steve Beshear shilling for the coal industry, are you willing to cast a vote for Gatewood in order to send Beshear a message? Or will the thought of Governor David "Friend of Simon" Williams cause you to hold your nose yet again and vote for Beshear? Or will you skip that race/write in "Daniel Solzman"?

This could certainly get interesting. Like many liberals, I'm undecided. Will Steve Beshear continue to "punch the hippies", or will he try to earn our vote? If he thinks that he can do the hippie punch for 8 more months, he might be making a major miscalculation.
I know for a fact that I would never ever consider voing Republican in this race but at the same time, I am a liberal in Kentucky who is completely fed up with Steve Beshear shilling for the coal industry. Seeing a prominent blogger managing Gatewood's campaign does send a message to Beshear.

And, Joe, since I know you likely read this, I'm not even eligible for that race. I'm not 30 yet.

Quote of the Day

“Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you.”
--Senator Rand Paul addressing Kathleen Hogan (deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the Energy Department), Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing, March 10, 2011

LINK

Later in the hearing:
He said that department standards on energy-efficient refrigerators and toilets, for example, don’t work. “We don’t even save any money,” Mr. Paul said. “We have to flush the toilet 10 times before it works.”

Jonathan Miller to leave State Government

Jonathan Miller, a longtime fixture in state government since his election statewide as treasurer in late 1999, has announced his resignation as Secretary of Finance and Administration, following 3.5 years in the position.

As he goes into the private sector, Miller is launching The Recovering Politician.

Excerpts from Jonathan's email blast:
Today, I've announced that as of March 31, I will be leaving Kentucky state government, for which I have served with both pride and humility for more than 11 years. Throw in a few campaigns, as well a tour of Capitol Hill and the Clinton/Gore Administration, and I've spent nearly my entire adult life within the political system.

It's been an amazing ride. I’ve learned everything I needed to know about this country during my last two decades in the political arena. But I’ve learned most of all that to be the change I wanted to be in office, I’d have to stop campaigning for one.

While I will always believe in the nobility of public service -- as well as the critical role of government in the nation's betterment -- I've come to conclude that some of our most intractable problems require the inspiration and leadership of the private sector. At least in the short term, I believe that our hyper-partisan, deeply-polarized political system is incapable of developing on its own the solutions necessary to deal with issues such as climate change, energy independence, and universal broadband expansion.

That's why, on April 1, I will start doing my small part to make a difference from a different platform. And as is typical with my easily-distracted mindset, my post-politics career will emerge in several different guises.

First, I will be taking the position of Senior Advisor to Wellford Energy, a firm dedicated to helping develop and finance clean energy projects across the country. This move will reunite me with my longtime mentor and friend, Harrison Wellford, former Presidential adviser, energy executive, and global expert on clean energy issues.

I will also be joining the Lexington office of Frost Brown Todd, a full-service regional law firm with offices in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee. My law practice will span energy, finance, and technology issues, but the firm also provides services in a wide variety of practice areas, and I look forward to working with this outstanding collection of attorneys.

Finally, and perhaps most relevant to my friends, I am going to re-ignite my writing career, which has been in remission for nearly five years, since the publication of The Compassionate Community.

I am very excited to announce that on April Fools' Day, I will launch "The Recovering Politician": a Web site dedicated to civil discourse on the issues of the day -- from politics, to sports, to pop culture, to faith, to whatever happens to be on my iPad at any particular moment. I'm especially pleased to report that I've already recruited 18 other "recovering politicians" as regular contributors to the site, each of them offering their own opinions on a wide range of issues, from the unique perspective of former officials with experience in the arena, but who are now freed from the biases and political pressures of incumbency.[...]

While I couldn't be more excited about my second act, I will surely miss the people with whom I've been working during the past 3 1/2 years as Kentucky's Secretary of Finance and Administration. The staff at the Finance Cabinet is composed of the most incredible mix of diverse talent. My outstanding former Deputy and soon-to-be successor, Lori Flanery, will be blessed with an incredible base of support, expertise, and creative ideas, and they with her leadership.

Most of all, I will miss working with my boss, the Governor, and his boss, the First Lady. Steve and Jane Beshear are two of the finest, most compassionate people I have ever encountered inside of politics and out. Kentucky is so fortunate to have their leadership. And I will work hard to support the Governor's re-election in November.
Thank you for your many years of service, Jonathan.

This is why 8664 won't work...

I don't work today but it's certainly days like this when 8664 is a bad idea. To get to my workplace, I take the 3rd street ramp unless 71 is so backed up to point that I just get off at Zorn and take the longer, less backed-up route. However, when the Ohio River starts creeping up to where it is now, that's no longer an option.

The 8664 gang wanted to make the interstate a surface parkway, I'm assuming along the river-front. Basically, it just doesn't work when you factor in the floods and trust me, we will see another one similar to Marhc 1997 but I don't know when yet. It's gonna happen. We're due.

The Budget Problem...DC, that is

Both the New York Times and E.J. Dionne have some good opinions on what to do with the budget problem in DC. First up, the Times:
The Senate on Wednesday voted down the House budget bill, with its string of $61 billion in mostly political cuts through Sept. 30. That formally puts an end to the House’s grandstand play. But the Senate also rejected its Democratic leaders’ own plan to cut $6.5 billion. The government’s financing is due to run out in eight days. To prevent a shutdown, the two chambers will probably have to agree to yet another short-term financing bill.[...]

Mr. Obama could well follow the example of Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, who on Wednesday called for a “re-set” of the negotiating process. The only way to have a meaningful discussion of the budget, he said in a speech, is to consider all of its parts at once over the long term, not for a few weeks or months at a time. That includes all the issues the Republicans wouldn’t deal with in their bill: cuts to the entitlement programs and to the Pentagon budget and ways to raise revenues at the same time.

The Republicans, as Mr. Schumer noted, aren’t really interested in lowering the deficit. If they were, they would never have insisted on $800 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy without paying for them, or on repealing the health care law, which saves $230 billion over a decade.

They are only interested in slashing government, no matter the cost to the country. It is time for the president — and responsible Congressional leaders of both parties — to reject their tactics and their goal.
Now, moving on to EJ:
Washington Democrats, including President Obama, have allowed conservative Republicans to dominate the budget debate so far. As long as the argument is over who will cut more from federal spending, conservatives win. Voters may think the GOP is going too far, but when it comes to dollar amounts, they know Republicans will always cut more.

In Wisconsin, by contrast, 14 Democrats in the state Senate defined the political argument on their own terms - and they are winning it.

By leaving Madison rather than providing a quorum to pass Gov. Scott Walker's assault on collective bargaining for public employees, the Wisconsin 14 took a big risk. Yet to the surprise of establishment politicians, voters have sided with the itinerant senators and the unions against a Republican governor who has been successfully portrayed as an inflexible ideologue. And in using questionable tactics to force the antiunion provision through the Senate on Wednesday, Republicans may win a procedural round but lose further ground in public opinion.

Here's the key to the Wisconsin battle: For the first time in a long time, blue-collar Republicans - once known as Reagan Democrats - have been encouraged to remember what they think is wrong with conservative ideology. Working-class voters, including many Republicans, want no part of Walker's war.[...]

Which brings us to the Washington Democrats. Up to now, the only thing clear about the budget fight is that Democrats want to cut less from discretionary spending than Republicans do. Quietly, many Democrats acknowledge that they have been losing this argument.[...]

To this point, Washington Democrats have been too afraid and divided to engage compellingly on the fundamentals of what government is there to do and how the burdens of deficit reduction should be apportioned. Wisconsin Democrats have shown that the only way to win arguments is to take risks on behalf of what you believe. Are Washington Democrats prepared to learn this lesson?
At this point, I would like to avoid the government shutdown but if they do, he GOP will get the blame.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Shame on you, Wisconsin Republicans

Major shame on the Wisconsin Republicans tonight. They've decided that they can make their own rules to allow a vote to strike down collective bargaining rights for public employees without a single elected Democrat as a part of the voting quorum. It's a major slap in the face to democracy. Democrats should not forget these--even those of you who consider yourselves to be conservative Democrats.
Senate Republicans abruptly passed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's plan to sharply curtail collective-bargaining rights for public employees Wednesday night, using a legislative maneuver to approve the measure without 14 Democratic senators who fled the state in an effort to block it.

After stripping the bill of fiscal measures that require a 20-member quorum for action, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate passed the collective-bargaining measure. Analysts say the legislation would cripple most of the state's public employee unions.

On Thursday, the slimmed-down bill is expected to go to the GOP-run state Assembly, which has already passed another version of it.[...]

The legislative maneuver used to pass the bill in Wisconsin was met with outrage by Democrats and their allies, who vowed that Walker and state Senate Republicans would pay with their jobs.

"The vote does nothing to create jobs, does nothing to strengthen our state, and shows finally and utterly that this was never about anything but raw political power," said Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. "We now put our total focus on recalling the eligible Republicans who voted for this bill. And we also begin counting the days remaining before Scott Walker is himself eligible for recall."[...]

Union leaders say the legislation's impact would be devastating for their organizations. But they also are calculating that Walker has gone too far. Activists have begun recall campaigns against eight Republican state senators, efforts they hope will culminate next year in a recall effort directed at Walker.

GOP activists are targeting some Democrats for recall. But polls show that although most people support reining in public employee benefits, they oppose removing unions' collective-bargaining rights.

"By stripping out the fiscal items and leaving only the elimination of collective bargaining, the governor has exposed himself as a fraud," said Democratic state Sen. Robert Jauch, one of the senators who left the state, who said he will return Thursday to stand with protesters. "Tonight he has guaranteed that the people of the state of Wisconsin are going to stay engaged until this government changes."

National Democratic activists are hoping that the battle in Wisconsin energizes their supporters and creates energy that carries into the 2012 presidential contest.[...]

The governor's approach appears not to be playing well with Wisconsin voters, who elected him with 52 percent of the vote last fall.

A Rasmussen poll last week found that 57 percent of likely voters in the state disapprove of the job Walker is doing, while 43 percent approve.


This is fucking slap in the face to the middle class in America. You know, those that don't make the amount of money needed for the Republicans to care about their tax breaks.

I did my job and donated to Russ Feingold's Progressives United.

Protests in Michigan's Capitiol

You think that the Republican governors would learn after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker though he could get his way. Nope. Protests are taking place in Michigan now.
Union protesters have descended on Michigan's Capitol to protest a bill that would expand the role of emergency financial managers tasked with reviving the state's struggling cities and schools, Reuters reports.

The legislation, proposed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, would give state-appointed EFMs greater authority to repair city and school finances, including nullification of employee union contracts. The emergency managers would also have the power to dissolve local governing bodies and impose new union agreements.

The state's Republican-controlled Senate is expected to pass the bill today.[...]

Critics of the bill say it's a thinly-veiled attempt to curb the power of public-sector unions, akin to measures that have drawn union ire in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. Michigan union supporters claim sharp cuts in school funding and municipal revenue sharing will push more cities and school districts into financial distress, giving the newly-empowered EFMs unprecedented oversight of public employee unions across the state.

Detroit Public Schools is currently the only school district under emergency management.
It's another attack on the middle class of America.

RIP: David Broder

It saddens me to report that Washington Post columnist David Broder died tody at the age of 81 after complications from diabetes. Broder's column was one that I tried to read whenever it was published in The Courier-Journal. Broder wrote for four decades and his work will most definitely be missed.

Robert Kaiser paid tribute to the late David Broder.
David S. Broder, who died Wednesday at 81, was the best-known and surely the best political reporter of his time. He was fair, thoughtful and astoundingly hardworking, and he earned the admiration of an extraordinary range of American politicians. His judgments could have great influence, as when he turned against Richard Nixon during the Watergate investigations in 1974. With Broder skeptical, Nixon's chances of survival seemed to shrink.

Broder first made a name for himself as a political reporter at the Washington Evening Star, a fine newspaper in its day. In 1965 he was lured to the New York Times but soon became exasperated with the office politics between the Times's Washington bureau and headquarters in New York. The Post's managing editor, Benjamin C. Bradlee, who coveted Broder's help to help make a mediocre Washington Post into a great newspaper, promised him the moon. When Broder accepted the offer in August 1966, for the princely sum of $19,000 a year - the highest salary at The Post at the time - he was the first journalist to leave the Times for The Post.

From the moment he arrived, Broder was much more than a Post reporter. He was always an informal political editor, shaping the paper's coverage and making it better. In a business dominated by hard-driving egos, Broder was an anomaly: a Midwestern gentleman, gentle in manner, always eager to help fellow reporters and to preserve the reputation of his newspaper. His standards never slipped, save perhaps when yielding to his perennially unfulfilled dreams for his beloved Chicago Cubs.

Colleagues who worked with him share similar memories about his dogged approach to reporting and his generosity. He wanted us all to care about politics, and especially about the voters. He loved voters.

Interviewing them, Broder once said, invariably reminded him "that the American people don't always have all the information in their hands, but their judgment is just about always sharp. You'll find that they don't make a hell of a lot of mistakes." This was not a cynical reporter.
May he rest in peace.

Eliminating the $1 bill?

I really don't see this study as something is going to be feasible. It's more work than it seems. Not only would the government have to convince the American public to use the coins over the bills but EVERY VENDING MACHINE in Ameica would have to be replaced! They tried with the presidential $1 coins. I've been colleting them but only for the collector's book. Other than that, if I have to choose, I choose the bills. Sure, eliminating the bills might save money in the long run but what about eliminating the penny? It costs more to make the penny than it is worth.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a formal proposal to the Treasury and Federal Reserve noting that if it eliminated the $1 bill and replaced it with the $1 coin, the country could save roughly $5.5 billion during the next 30 years. The reason, according to the agency's report, is that dollar bills have a shorter lifespan than dollar coins because they wear much faster, which in turn requires the government to spend more to print new bills.

The GAO estimates that phasing out dollar bills in favor of coins would require a four-year transition period, during which the government invests in the new currency, but following that, the government would save an expected $522 million each year from the change.

Unfortunately, as the GAO notes, there is one problem with the plan: When given a choice between dollar coins and dollar bills, Americans always choose bills.

"GAO has noted in past reports that efforts to increase the circulation and public acceptance of the $1 coin have not succeeded, in part, because the $1 note has remained in circulation," the agency wrote in its report. So if we are ever going to make the switch to dollar coins, as other countries like Canada have done, the GAO suggests the only way to do so is to phase dollar bills out of circulation altogether.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Oh, Roger...

Roger Waters, best known for his work with the band Pink Floyd, has joined the Israeli boycott movement. As such, Pink Floyd has forever lost me as a fan. It's a shame, too. I really despise it when musical artists decide that they don't care about their fans.
Former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters has officially joined the the campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel, and is urging fellow artists to do the same.

In a letter posted on the website of the Alternative information Center, Waters said he would continue to wage a boycott campaign against Israel until it ends its occupation of the West Bank and dismantles the security fence, grants full equality to Arab citizens of Israel and allows all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel.

"Where governments refuse to act, people must, with whatever peaceful means are at their disposal," Waters, a co-founder of the Pink Floyd rock band, wrote in the letter dated Feb. 25. "For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their governments racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

"My conviction is born in the idea that all people deserve basic human rights. My position is not anti-Semitic. This is not an attack on the people of Israel. This is, however, a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott."
Wait a minute. Not anti-Semitic? Not an attack on the people of Israel? Doesn't boycotting Israel hurt the economy? How is that not an attack on Israelis and their way of life?

Say what you will Roger, but keep in mind that the Libyan government is a dictatorship and many of these Arab countries are killing their own people to prevent democracy. I'm tired of this whole fucking BDS bullshit. It's pure bullshit.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Michael Moore's Speech

Please take the time to read it or watch it below:


Here's an excerpt:
America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'├ętat, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Old School Quote of the Day

"I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."
--John Wayne on John F. Kennedy

Really?!?

It's a rather sad state when Democratic politicians pretty much talk and vote like they are Republicans. No wonder this state is so messed up.

Since when did people forget that health is a basic right. That clean air is a basic right. That clean water is a basic right.

I won't lie. Ben Chandler's voting record of late is really making me regret my voting for him for Governor in 2003.

Don't get me started on the Beshear administration. All this anti-EPA talk is enough to make one sick. The EPA is there for a reason. It's called giving fines to companies that over-pollute.

If the Commonwealth of Kentucky had their way, we'd rename the Ohio River the Slurry River from all the coal slur that makes its way in there.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Beshear-Abramson campaign web makeover

Today, the Steve Beshear-Jerry Abramson campaign in Kentucky has unveiled their campaign website makeover. There is a section on jobs with a pretty cool section that highlights the 19,500 jobs the Governor has helped create for Kentuckians since mid 2009.
Governor Beshear took a stand for hard-working Kentuckians in the summer of 2009 when he persuaded the General Assembly to overhaul the state’s economic development programs. Called Incentives for a New Kentucky, the modernized and streamlined economic incentives toolbox established a more business-friendly environment in Kentucky.

Since then Beshear has helped bring hundreds of projects totaling more than $2.2 billion in potential investment into the Commonwealth. The developments represent nearly 19,500 jobs created or saved.

Apatow wants Colin Firth for spin-off

Judd Apatow is requesting Colin Firth's presence in the Knocked Up spin-off according to MTV.
"It's spinning off right now, as we speak," Apatow told me outside the fancy shmanz Vanity Fair Oscar party Sunday night.

"We're in rehearsals," Mann said, adding that her character and Rudd's character will be seen at a different place in their marriage than in "Knocked Up."

"We're really happy now," she said. "Pete and Debbie are really happy."[...]

"Well, it just takes place four or five years later and you just see where they're at," Apatow explained. "The rest is a secret because it doesn't come out until 2012 and if you already knew what it was about for a year and a half, you wouldn't even want to see it."[...]

"There will be people who are really interesting in the movie," he said. "And some familiar people who are in the movie."

I then asked if we can we expect any special guest appearances by known dramatic actors looking to showcase their hidden comedic talents, a la Eric Bana's scene-stealing turn in "Funny People."

"I'm going to hit on Colin Firth tonight and see if he can play the weird neighbor," Apatow said. "I think he might do it."
I can see Colin Firth in a role. I'm looking forward to the movie.