Category Archives: P2

Barack-etology 2011

For the 3rd straight year President Obama has filled out NCAA Tournament brackets for ESPN. 

ESPN College Basketball analyst Andy Katz (you can find his blog post here) was at the White House yesterday to host the segment for SportsCenter and the other ESPN platforms. The video is embedded below. Two years ago he correctly picked UNC to win the NCAA Tournament. Last year his pick of Kansas got knocked out in the second round.

You can find Obama’s brackets for both the Mens and Womens tournaments on the White House website. He will appear on SportsCenter again tomorrow morning with Doris Burke to unveil his Womens Tournament bracket. Earlier today on Sportscenter John Buccigross and Doug Gottlieb said that Obama’s signed bracket from two years ago is displayed in the ESPN cafeteria. I’ll post my bracket at some point between now and tip off on Thursday. Really struggling with it this year and coming out with a lot of chalk results and that is why I am not really surprised that Obama is going with the four #1s

Obama’s Mens Tournament Bracket for ESPN

Obama’s Womens Tournament Bracket

From ESPN’s SportsCenter earlier today. 

ESPN has entered Obama’s bracket as an entry into their Tournament Challenge. How well will he do? In a usual year I may have criticized Obama for going chalk with his bracket but in talking with other college basketball fans most of us are coming out with brackets very similar to his.
Andy Katz has had some nice exclusives with Barack Obama over the past few years.

Neil Best of Newsday pointed out, it is worth noting that Obama picked Kansas to win it all again. They are the only one of his Final Four teams that doesn’t play in a battleground state. Reid Wilson noted earlier today that one of Obama’s first round upsets is Marquette over Xavier (the alma mater of Speak John Boehner). I am not a of over analyzing the bracket from a political angle but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

What I absolutely have to laugh at is those who criticize Obama for filling out a NCAA bracket. A large chunk of the people criticizing him are probably in a office pool of their own. Just take a look at this clip from Fox “News”.

Just because Obama spent a small part of his day with ESPN we are to believe he is not paying attention to what is going on in the world? That sentiment is even more ridiculous when Obama asks people to donate to help the victims in Japan as part of his segments on ESPN. How many people do you think Obama reached out with that message by going on ESPN? I just don’t understand the people who act as though just because he is the President he shouldn’t do anything “normal”. I always point people out to this (and this).

One of the things I wanted to do on the show was, as people are filling out their brackets — this is obviously a national pastime; we all have a great time, it’s a great diversion.  But I know a lot of people are thinking how can they help the Japanese people during this time of need.  If you go to usaid.govusaid.gov — that will list all the nonprofits, the charities that are helping out there.  It would be wonderful for people to maybe offer a little help to the Japanese people at this time — as they’re filling out their brackets.  It’s not going to take a lot of time.  That’s usaid.gov.  It could be really helpful.

That is what Obama told ESPN about the events that are unfolding in Japan. What more do people want him to do? Do you have a problem with Obama filling out a bracket? Let me know here.

Houston Chronicle takes a look at just how hard it is to predict the NCAA Tournament. ESPN also takes an interesting look at the NCAA Tournament. I honestly had forgotten that it has been nine years since a #15 beat a #2.
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When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed BasketballNCAA Basketball 10

Obama plays favorites, picks all No. 1 seeds to reach NCAA men’s, women’s Final Four – The Washington Post

Obama plays favorites, picks all No. 1 seeds to reach NCAA men’s, women’s Final Four – The Washington Post

For the 3rd straight year President Obama has filled out NCAA Tournament brackets for ESPN. I am guessing the clips will air tomorrow on ESPN. I will post the videos when they become available. Two years ago he correctly picked UNC to win the NCAA Tournament. Last year his pick of Kansas got knocked out in the second round.

I’ll post my bracket at some point between now and tip off on Thursday. Really struggling with it this year and coming out with a lot of chalk results and that is why I am not really surprised that Obama is going with the four #1s.

Earlier today ESPN’s Andy Katz was spotted in the White House Briefing room by Sam Youngman of “The Hill” who is a big Kentucky Wildcats fan.
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NationalJournal.com – Secret Service Audio: The Moment Reagan Was Shot – Friday, March 11, 2011

NationalJournal.com – Secret Service Audio: The Moment Reagan Was Shot – Friday, March 11, 2011

We’re read about it and we’ve seen TV shows about it but today we shed some new light on the Reagan assassionation attempt as the Secret Service audio has finally been released. You can listen to it below courtesy of the National Journal.

They even provided a very useful Secret Service code name directory.

Secret Service Glossary

  • Rawhide  = Ronald Reagan
  • Jerry Parr, Special Agent In Charge, Reagan’s detail
  • Ray Shaddick, Shift Leader, Reagan’s detail
  • Horsepower = Presidential Protection Division Command Post
  • Crown = The White House
  • Rainbow = Nancy Reagan
  • Stagecoach = The president’s limo
  • Halfback = The president’s follow vehicle
  • Drew Unrue, the  Agent driving Stagecoach
  • Fencingmaster = Code name for the Secretary of the Treasury

You can find a transcript here.

Yes, the West Wing did take a lot of stuff from this for the Season 1 finale.
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An American Life: The AutobiographyMy Father at 100

Colbert tackles Sharia law “threat”

Stephen Colbert tackles the growing “threat” America is facing from Halal Food and Sharia law in general

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
ThreatDown – Radical Muslim Snacks, Flying Robot Drones & Coked Up Vacuums<a>
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive

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2010 NFL Conference Championship Predictions

I came back down to earth last week with a 2-2 record but I still hold a very respectable 6-2 record for the playoffs.

Collectively we had an average week at best.
Me: 2-2
Swarheit: 2-2
rkref: 2-2
spudsfan: 2-2
Rovitz: 2-2
Faraz: 2-2
Imran: 1-3
natthedem: 1-3

Here are the overall standings so far.

Me: 6-2
spudsfan: 5-3
Swarheit: 4-4 
rkref: 4-4
Rovitz: 4-4
Faraz: 4-4
natthedem: 4-4
Imran: 3-5
Here are the lines we will be using this week. 
Packers (-4) over the Bears
Jets (+3.5) over the Steelers
I am a big fan of old school rivalries. The Bears have had a great run but it ends this week. The Packers will win and cover. I just don’t think Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher will be able to make the Packers miserable enough. Hats off to Aaron Rodgers, he truly has taken that step into the top tier of NFL Quaterbacks. What a performance it was from the Packers last week against a very good Falcons team. I was watching “Sound FX” on NFL network this week and it showed that Mike Smith wanted to go for a Field Goal at the of the first half on the play that resulted in the pick 6 going the other way. He changed his mind after consulting with the offensive coordinator. That play ended up being the final nail in the coffin. The game time temperature is expected to be 18 degrees! It would have been better if there was also snow in the forecast. Don’t expect weather to be a problem for Aaron Rodgers.

In his career, including playoffs, Rodgers is 7-3 in games when the temperature is 30 degrees or below, according to ESPN Stats and Information. In those ten contests, Rodgers has 25 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, with a passer rating of 109.4. 

Barack Obama made some news this week by announcing his plans for Super Bowl Sunday.

“Oh, if the Bears are in the Super Bowl, we’re going.” 

He would be the first President to attend but like I have mentioned before, I don’t have a problem with his trips to sporting events because he is a legitimate fan
In case you haven’t heard, the New York Jets “CAN’T WAIT!” for this Sunday. Actually words don’t do it justice. I’ll let Bart Scott explain it better. 

As I mentioned last week, people just aren’t giving this Jets team any credit. This team did go 11-5 right? This team did just beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady the last two weeks, correct? The Jets did just become the first team in NFL history to win 2 road games in the playoffs in back to back years, correct? Their 2nd year Head Coach/Quarterback are 4-1 in their short playoff careers, correct? Once again I am going with the New York Jets to win outright. Not to turn this into a lecture of some sort but what more does this team need to do? I have had people tell me this week that Mark Sanchez will have his “deer in the headlights” moment this week. People do realize that he did play in the AFC Championship game last year right? Don’t get me wrong, the Steelers are a very good team and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them win but I just think the Jets are Super Bowl bound this year. It really has been one of those years for them. Earlier this year they became the first team in NFL history to win back to back road games in overtime. There have been people downplaying the Jets win in Pittsburgh earlier this season because Troy Polamalu missed that game. In the words of the ESPN’s NFL Countdown crew, “C’mon Man!”

Speaking of ESPN, have you guys been following the Tom Jackson debacle this week?

After a relatively quiet week the Jets have been calling out Hines Ward for his dirty play the last couple of days. ESPN New York notes that the two playoff wins so far this year are worth an extra $500,000 to Mark Sanchez. Rex Ryan is just the 5th coach in the Super Bowl era to make it to the Conference Championship game in his first two years. I’m hoping Tomlinson gets his first shot at a Super Bowl ring.

Other picks:
Swarheit – Packers and Steelers
Spudsfan – Packers and Jets
rkref – Packers and Jets
rovitz – Packers and Steelers
natthedem – Packers and Jets
Faraz – Packers and Jets
Imran – Packers and Steelers
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Keith Olbermann out at MSNBC

In a move I guess we should have seen coming MSNBC terminated the contract of Keith Olbermann today. In his final segment tonight he announced that this was the last edition of Countdown. I have been a big fan of Olbermann’s work with MSNBC over the years. He was the one man on cable news trying to keep the previous administration honest while everyone else was willing to just stand there and look the other way. His segments about “Terror Alerts” were fantastic and showed a pattern of politically motivated fear tactics.

MSNBC did release a statement.

“MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Watch the video below courtesy of Media Matters.

He thanked a bunch of people at the end but MSNBC President Phil Griffin was a notable absence in that list. Of course there will be plenty of speculation that this is directly related to the Comcast NBC merger. For what its worth Comcast last year had said that they were committed to letting “Keith Olbermann be Keith Olbermann.”

NBC announced its new schedule via a press release.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo was a guest on the show tonight and was shocked about the termination.

The Olbermann exit comes exactly one year since Air America shut down.

Where does Olbermann go next? Will he end up at CNN and replace Parker/Spitzer? I don’t have any loyalty towards Ed Schultz or Lawrence O’Donnell at this time. CNN would be stupid not to try and land him at this point right?

I will follow Olbermann wherever it is that he ends up but for now I will continue to follow him on twitter. I’ll post some more thoughts on this in the coming days as more news become public.

The only appropriate end to this post is “good night and good luck.”
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Pitchforks and Torches: The Worst of the Worst, from Beck, Bill, and Bush to Palin and Other Posturing RepublicansTruth and Consequences: Special Comments on the Bush Administration's War on American ValuesThe Worst Person In the World: And 202 Strong Contenders

AUDIO: Sarah Palin: “We Gotta Stand With Our North Korean Allies” « Oliver Willis

AUDIO: Sarah Palin: “We Gotta Stand With Our North Korean Allies” « Oliver Willis

Great find from a friend of this blog Oliver Willis. You can also find him on twitter under the name @owillis.

As Chris Hayes said last night, be thankful Sarah Palin does not receive those 3 AM phone calls. 

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Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity BookAmerica by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and FlagGoing Rogue: An American Life

September 10th 2001

Do you remember what was dominating the headlines in the US on September 10th 2001? Do you remember what America was talking about leading up to 9/11? Do you remember what was dominating the headlines on TV and in the newspapers? Do you remember Congressman Gary Condit taking the 5th?


There was a guilty verdict today in the Chandra Levy case. Remember her? She was the Washington intern romantically tied to Congressman Gary Condit who went missing until her body was discovered a year later. 


That got me thinking, what else was in the news at the time here in the US and around the world? 


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Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder MysteryABC News Primetime Gary Condit

John McCain vs John McCain

Remember way back in 2000 when John McCain was actually a respected war veteran and senator? Remember the “Straight Talk Express”? Remember the support he had from the left? Do you remember the McCain as Kerry’s Vice President talk?

A lot has changed in the past 10 years, and yes, that does include John McCain’s stance on post policy issues. I have said in the past that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a politician changing his position on a given subject as more information becomes available. I think there are a lot of American politicians who could sure use the trait. I thought that in 2004 and I still believe that today. What does bother me though is when a politician changes their position on EVERYTHING. John McCain has become that politician. What makes his actions even worse is that he has done it repeatedly for personal benefit. We all know he was treated horribly in the 2000 GOP Presidential primaries but just 8 years later he went to embrace the same people in the hopes of becoming President.

I saw two great clips related to McCain this week so I will share it with you.

The first one is from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Monday.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
It Gets Worse PSA
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

This second one is from this past Monday on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Rachel Maddow’s blog also points out a similar report Keith Olbermann did during the 2008 election cycle.

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Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a LifetimeWorth the Fighting For: The Education of an American Maverick, and the Heroes Who Inspired HimCharacter Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember (Modern Library Classics)