Wednesday Open Thread

Tonight I'll be unveiling my March Madness picks. I am sure you await with bated breath (I use the Shakespearean spelling of "bated.")

This is an Open Thread.

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    In other world news (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:31:47 AM EST
    Interesting to me.

    The pope continues to put dogma over life.

    North Korea continues to put politics over life.

    And Egyptian women are taking their lives into their own hands.

    Other than that - Go Pitt!

    It is unclear to me how the Pope can (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:39:33 AM EST
    make such a statement and still sleep at night.  

    He sleeps? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:09:36 PM EST
    I thought he was up all night poking holes in rubbers to be distributed in Africa...how else could he claim that rubbers are the part of the problem?

    Indeed (none / 0) (#24)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    You can't find a person more removed from reality than the Pope.

    He sleeps because that is not a personal thought. The man believes he is the only true god's personal spokesperson and that he speaks for god.

    That's, of course, only my personal opinion and based in having been raised a Roman Catholic.


    I would love to have the opportunity (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:03:27 PM EST
    to tell him that is isnt and he doesnt.

    good drugs (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:01:58 PM EST
    I imagine.  he can afford it.

    We can learn a valuable lesson... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:30:10 PM EST
    from those Egyptian women taking their security into their own hands...we need some self-defense training to stave off the economic assault we're experiencing, sadly it is just as rampant as sexual assault in the arab world.

    Explain (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:47:50 PM EST
    just as rampant as sexual assault in the arab world

    I've lived in the middle east and would not ever associate rampant sexual assault with the arab world.


    can't comment on the middle east (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:33:07 PM EST
    but it sure appears rampant in Egypt.  Over 80% of women polled have experienced it, and over 60% of men polled admit to doing it.

    That's pretty rampant.

    Again, this is not a comment on the rest of the middle east, just Egypt.  Every country is different.


    US (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:40:16 PM EST
    600 or so women get raped every day.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:05:20 PM EST
    and according to some polls 1 in 4 have experienced sexual assault.  That is 25% too high, and still nowhere close to 80%.

    I am not trying to start a culture war here, we certainly do not have clean hands on any issue.  However, I don't think that means we can ignore problems that are significantly worse.


    We? (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:16:11 PM EST
    IMO, we have a lot of our own housecleaning, awareness raising,  to do before we start attempting to change other cultures. The notion of considering ourselves to be superior, is problematic in itself.

    I don't see why (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:26:04 PM EST
    it has to be an either/or.

    For example, do you think that because we still have AIDS in this country we shouldn't try to fight AIDS in Africa?

    It's not about feeling superior.  It's about recognizing a problem and trying to fix it.

    I would recommend martial arts training to women in the U.S. as well.  That doesn't stop me from commending it elsewhere.


    Apples and Oranges (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 03:28:14 PM EST
    Regarding AIDs and other diseases which often can be eradicated by rather simple means.

    It is up to other cultures to work on changing their ways, laws and practices.

    The US has no business pointing the finger at other cultures in an attempt to bring them in line with our own values, morals and laws, imo.

    Perhaps the best way to change other cultures is to offer a model that is virtuous. We are nowhere near that model, imo, and need to work pretty hard to clean up our own act.


    Well (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 03:35:12 PM EST
    I wouldn't say that AIDS can be eradicated by simple means.  Or that it's not a cultural issue.

    But I digress.


    Condoms (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 03:52:29 PM EST
    Are pretty simple to use. Their use had a dramatic effect in reducing AIDS here in the US. CLean needles and blood supply as well.

    The Pope is not helping. Talk about backwards, in our own backyard.


    Simple to use (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 04:14:06 PM EST
    is not the same as simple to make used.

    And yes, the pope is beyond unhelpfull.

    I guess my point was - we still have an AIDS  problem in the U.S (as opposed to say, Malaria).  Particularly among low-income, minority, and gay populations.  That doesn't stop us from trying to help an even worse situation overseas.

    Considering that the main problem with the spread of AIDS is an educational and cultural issue (since as you pointed out, condoms are simple to use), I think it compares pretty well to the sexual assault issue.  That doesn't mean we need to give up educating people in the U.S. or trying to change the culture here as well.


    OK (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 04:30:55 PM EST
    We disagree. The issue with rape in some places is both that it is not reported and that in many cases the victim gets punished, either by law or society. Also in some of those countries the punishment is corporal, something we do not allow. That is, imo, an entirely different issue than educating men to use condoms, medical personal to use sterilized needles, or drug users not to share needles. It is much less of a cultural intervention.

    In Zambia, for instance is has been difficult to get men to use condoms because of Christianity. IOW we already sent out our missionaries to change their culture so that they are like us, christian, and now have a new problem. Clearly had we not tried to make them better and more like us, they would be more likely to use condoms if it meant a way to stop epidemic painful deaths.

    Liberating others, or attempting to impose our values on other countries/cultures is usually a bad idea, imo. Look what happened in Iraq. We have lots to do here.

    Eradicating disease is another story. It does not have to come with culture lessons.


    Agree to disagree then (none / 0) (#65)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 04:58:29 PM EST
    Since I think eradicating some disease has to come with "cultural lessons".  Christianity is only part of the problem, lack of education, misinformation (from the Pope, but also from many African political leaders), and the social stigma attatched are also huge issues.  The first step to enlightenment is self awareness.  And that is a huge missing piece to AIDS in Africa right now.  That isn't coming from news reports - that's coming from someone who's lived there (not me, my sibling).  In a country with more than 20% of people living with AIDS, not one person she knew "had AIDS".  And not one of the deaths of people she knew was "from AIDS" (and there were many deaths).  How can you solve a problem that no one admits to?

    Oh, and I am in no way suggesting we impose our culture or values on Egypt (certainly not with an invasion).  Or that we send Christian missionaries to do it for us.

    But I don't think that means we can't support or promote causes in other countries.  Which is sort of why I was pointing out the martial arts training.


    Well (none / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:35:43 PM EST
    Things will change in Africa, I believe, and rather soon. All of the money we sent them was tied to abstinence only programs. That will go the way of the dodo as clearly it does not work.

    As far as your numbers go, I assumed that the 83% figure was for sexual assault, but it is for sexual harassment.

    I am certain that the number of women who are sexually harassed on a daily basis in the US is not so far from the 80% figure in Egypt.

    Martial arts training is great, I would recommend it to everyone. And it seems to be really picking up among women in Egypt as your original comment shows. Although the movement is coming from Egyptian women, not from those outside their culture.

    But kdog's initial comment probably had more to do with Saudi legal treatment of assault victims than Egyptians.

    But in a landmark case last year a judge handed down a three-year sentence to a man who had repeatedly groped a woman pedestrian as he drove alongside her in Cairo.

    I hope you are right about Africa (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by CST on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:54:37 PM EST
    Good point about Egypt, although the article is confusing and seems to interchange the words.  For example - it says that 2/3 admit to "abusing" women, but than later defines it as harrasment.  So who knows what is really meant here.

    In any event, I think we both agree this shift in attitudes is a good thing.  But anyway, time to go home and leave the office.  Have a nice night :)


    Actually I was gonna say Muslim... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:51:42 PM EST
    thought Arab was safer:)  Full disclosure, I'm part Lebanese.

    You know what I'm talking about...punishing rape victims, lashing old ladies...that kinda sh*t that is more common in the Middle East as opposed to the West....not to say it isn't a problem in the West too.


    Ah, yes (none / 0) (#29)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:54:32 PM EST
    Now, THAT is a reality.

    Social Security (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by gtesta on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:36:41 AM EST
    I've now lived through three massive busts in the stock market during my working career (1987, 2000, and 2008).
    I don't think a reasonable person can any longer make the argument that investing in the market remains appropriate for long-term financial security at the individual level.  There just isn't an appropriate level of financial information to make decisions (see CNBC and rating agencies).
    Anyway, I think the time has come to begin serious discussions about removing the cap on earings subject to Social Security, figuring out the tax rate at which the revenue remains the same (would it go from 6.1% to say 1% or 2%), then double it and add another .5% to it.  Then with the additional revenue, I would double the Social Security benefits of everyone.
    We tried the private, market-based remedy for funding retirement and it failed miserably.  Time for a bold new iniative.

    p.s.  Final Four:  Michigan State, Memphis, Pitt and UNC.  Pitt and Memphis in final...Pitt is NCAA champ.

    ss (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:15:59 PM EST
    i read on prospect yesterday that the amount of bailout money used could very well have made SS solvent for the next 75 years.  

    What does it say about a country that bails out the rich yet cries it is too poor to fund a program that enables tens of millions of seniors to eat house themselves each month?

    I guess it says "live fast, be sure to die young"


    sooo close (none / 0) (#53)
    by wystler on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:43:03 PM EST
    regarding yer post script: only MSU looks wrong ... replace 'em with Wake Forest, and you're golden



    When Cheney (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:39:52 AM EST
    said that Obama was putting us in danger because he was planning to eliminate some black sites, and close Guantanimo in a year, I think he was full of it.

    I don't believe that Obama is actually on target to eliminate the brutality still occurring at Gitmo. I have seen no evidence that extraordinary rendition is at an end either. It is not a story that is much discussed in the press. But if brutality at Gitmo and extraordinary rendition were in fact to be brought to an end, I think it would make us safer rather than less safe.

    What Obama is doing in Pakistan however, using ever more pilotless soulless drones, violating the sovereignty of Pakistan, killing civilians who happen to be in the way, is making us a hell of a lot of enemies. This is not a good idea.

    Although not much attention is being paid to this - compared to the attention being paid to AIG or Madoff - I also feel that Obama is about to squander the glow and popularity that he and we have experienced since his election and the departure of Bush and Cheney.

    I also think that Obama's embrace of Bush's Polish missile system is dangerous and foolish. Russia is reacting. A new arms race is in the offing. And it is Bush's fault. Soon it will be Obama's fault.

    No one is taking much notice of Iraq either. The killing continues. The resentment of the American occupation continues.

    More enemies.
    More indifference from friendly countries.
    Not a healthy combination.

    But D. Feinstein says Pakistan's (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:43:42 AM EST
    government ok's U.S. use of drones in Pakistan.

    Now we know... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:27:28 PM EST
    its a bad idea.

    Of course Pakistani govt. officials don't mind, they're as despised as our govt. officials are.  The drones don't fly over their houses.


    Pentagon says it may take another (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:44:44 PM EST
    10 years to find bin Laden.  Who's looking?

    I predict... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 11:34:04 AM EST
    they'll find him when there is no money left to embezzle out of the treasury, no ink left for the printers at the mint, and no credit to be had internationally...then there will be no incentive not to find him.

    If he isn't already dead, or just a CIA patsy making the occasional tape on a soundstage in Secaucus NJ.


    Feinstein says... (none / 0) (#58)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 03:29:45 PM EST
    but I read in today's Times, "Fear remains within the American government that extending the raids would worsen tensions. Pakistan complains that the strikes violate its sovereignty."

    The killing of civilians is, I believe, not in dispute.


    Even Worse (none / 0) (#78)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:35:08 PM EST
    The drones are coming from a base in Pakistan.

    I don't know about the Polish... (none / 0) (#67)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:03:33 PM EST
    Some days, reading Think Progress (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:57:50 PM EST
    almost guarantees me a pain somewhere...

    A group of eight centrist Senate Democrats "is quietly maneuvering to keep open the option of vetoing two of President Barack Obama's most ambitious agenda items this year -- climate change and health care reform." The group, which includes Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), are seeking to kill efforts to pass climate and health care legislation through a budget reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes.

    Think Progress got this from a Roll Call article - and Roll Call is by subscription, so can't tell you who the other 6 people are.

    The entire list is here- (none / 0) (#39)
    by jawbone on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:19:06 PM EST
    Corrente comment.

    Plus some commentary.


    Bill Nelson, Fl is also (none / 0) (#84)
    by Amiss on Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 12:20:55 AM EST
    a member of that crew. I am so sick of this crap by people that were "hoping" that they would act like Democrats and quit acting like Republicans.

    "bated." (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:09:16 PM EST
    I always assumed it was short of abated.  as in holding ones breath.
    not baited.  that sounds like  you have a worm in your mouth.

    I was thinking the same. (none / 0) (#51)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:31:33 PM EST
    Can't imagine Armando with a worm on a hook in his mouth!

    With BTD, the quote comes to mind, "we need a bigger boat," lol


    worm? (none / 0) (#54)
    by wystler on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:44:26 PM EST
    heck, you gotta stop fishin' in sweetwater

    bait? cut squid ... mmmmmm ...


    Ron Paul (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:10:13 PM EST
    has a new fan:

    Presidential candidates will do almost anything for publicity. But Ron Paul's appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming Bruno movie suggests he draws the line at making sex tapes with gay Austrian TV hosts.

    In a five-minute scene, comedian Cohen tries--and fails--to seduce the Texas congressman and former Republican presidential candidate in a Washington hotel room. A spokeswoman for Paul confirmed the appearance but declined to discuss details, which were provided by two people who attended a test screening last week.


    I so cant wait to see this.

    Hmmm, Ron Paul is (none / 0) (#48)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:15:43 PM EST
    popular these days. He's been mentioned as a red flag.

    About Time (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 04:46:21 PM EST
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States, in a reversal of Bush administration policy, has decided to sign on to a U.N. declaration that calls for the decriminalization of homosexuality, the State Department said on Wednesday.

    State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the Obama administration, which took office eight weeks ago, would now join 66 other U.N. member states who supported a U.N. statement in December that condemned human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity


    VA health care (none / 0) (#1)
    by BernieO on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:10:46 AM EST
    Any thoughts, info or analysis about Obama's proposal to have Vets health costs paid by private insurance if they have it? I realize that this is intended to cut cost to the government but I am concerned that this would increase the VA's overhead because of the cost of all the paperwork that would be required - not to mention time to argue with insurance companies.

    I can just hear conservatives complaining about how the VA costs are rising, proving that government cannot effectively run a health care programs.

    Also I can't imagine insurance companies wanting to take on the extra expense of injured vets.

    See Military Tracy's (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:18:37 AM EST
    comments re this:  link

    My husband is a Vietnam veteran, who (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:41:01 AM EST
     found out last year that he might be entitled to health coverage through the VA because his Type-2 diabetes is considered to be related to his exposure to Agent Orange; the VA website has a long list of conditions that are considered related to herbicide exposure, and I have to say - as an aside - that Type-2 diabetes is one of the "better" things on that list.

    Anyway, he did qualify for coverage, anything diabetes-related is paid at 100%, and he also qualified for a monthly disability payment.  Since he did not have other health coverage, this was a welcome development; he pays nothing for it.

    Yesterday, he got the VA health newsletter.  There was a Q & A section, and in it, there was a question from someone who wanted to know why the VA was billing his private insurance company.  The answer was essentially an explanation of coordination of benefits - so I have to think that the concept of coordinating coverage where the veteran has private insurance has been ongoing for some time.

    If I can find out more, I will report back, but thought you might be interested in knowing that billing private insurance for care received through the VA is not new - I think they are just looking to expand it.


    This is a standard technique... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Pacific John on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:30:05 AM EST
    ... used with other public health care programs. For example, an adoptee, entitled to Medicaid will usually also have the family's private insurance. The primary billing will go to the private carrier, and Medicaid will pick up the rest. And still, the patient typically signs a statement accepting financial responsibility in case the first two layers fall through.

    It is a PITA because this puts the government in the business of rejecting claims, one of the major complaints against the private insurance industry.

    The way this works in practice is, when a patient pays a bill, the computer will accept or deny the claim. Often, the government will say their portion of the bill, say a large co-pay, is part of the private coverage. Then the phone calls begin, with the patient and the provider's staff making their case to the managed care people in the government.

    One aspect of this is dignity. The last thing a sick, vulnerable person wants is to hear they do not have/deserve coverage, and the last thing they want to do when they're sick is to battle the insurance company and/or the government case worker over the details of coverage.

    But it does save the government money. On net, it's clearly a source of inefficiency, but it does save tax payer dollars.


    Thanks for the info. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by BernieO on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:36:44 AM EST
    My son-in-law (none / 0) (#40)
    by 1040su on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:21:11 PM EST
    Is in the military reserves & works at the post office where he also carries family health insurance for his kids from a previous marriage. The VA has billed his postal insurance for care he's been getting there, so it's already happening

    Reversed (none / 0) (#79)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:43:45 PM EST
    The scandal abruptly cooled this afternoon, however, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told a gathering of veterans' groups that the White House had agreed to kill the idea of charging third parties for service-related veterans' health care. Pelosi said:

    Based on the respect that President Obama has for our nation's veterans and the principled concerns expressed by veterans' leaders, the President has made the decision that the combat-wounded veterans should not be billed through their insurance policies for combat-related injuries.



    Because Shakespeare and college basketball (none / 0) (#2)
    by Pacific John on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:11:27 AM EST
    go so well together. ;)

    Apparently it does :) (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:44:47 AM EST

    Although he tends to travel a lot.

    (WARNING:  I couldn't turn the sound up at work, so I have no idea if this is work friendly or not, but the video is funny).


    I s it sporting to wait until the Pres. (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:19:54 AM EST
    publicizes his brackets b/4 publishing one's own?  And--isn't The Dance already underway?

    Don't mind me.  Concentrating on WBC.

    The play in game (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:01:03 PM EST
    is ignored in many competitive brackets. It's left blank and everyone just chooses the number 1 seed against the play in opponent. The real action doesn't begin until tomorrow night...unless you consider the Gators NIT bid, whereby real action begins this evening.

    Has the play-in team ever (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:10:05 PM EST
    gotten beyond the first game?  Is the play-in team always paired first against the #1 seed?

    The play-in game (none / 0) (#25)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    is of relatively recent vintage.  No #16 seed, including the play-in winner, has ever defeated a #1 seed.  The same cannot be said of the women's tournament, where #16 Harvard did defeat #1 Stanford a few years back.  There have been a few close calls and I assume one of these years it will come to pass.

    Thanks. Is the #16 (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:17:04 PM EST
    team always pitted against the #1 is the first round?  

    Yes indeed (none / 0) (#42)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:37:44 PM EST
    64 teams in the NCAA tournament, 4 regions of 16 each, each region is seeded from #1 to #16.  Well, 65 teams of course, with 2 of them forced to play each other for the honor of being a #2 seed.

    I'm sitting here at the office wondering when I'll find time to fill out my bracket, and thinking "hey, if the President found the time, shouldn't I be able to?"  I usually submit entries for the other members of my family too - this year I think I'll put an extra one in for my not-quite-born son.


    I found that rather remarkable also. (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:01:45 PM EST
    Plus the President's picks are out there for the whole world to examine, so he can't exactly be flippant, can he?

    uhh, the Tigers play tonight also, (none / 0) (#52)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:33:48 PM EST
    Against UT Martin. I might go to the game.
    I'd love to see the Gators and Tigers face each other for the NIT championship!

    Juror question (none / 0) (#14)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 11:59:57 AM EST
    I was listening to the news about cell phones and juries on NPR and they said that law texts and dictionaries aren't allowed in the jury room.  I understand the law texts, but why aren't dictionaries allowed?  Why?

    because (none / 0) (#16)
    by Bemused on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:06:05 PM EST
      juries are to follow only the court's instructions. Terms that need to be defined must be defined by the the court. The precise  ontextual legal meaning may not correspond with the dictionary definition.

      If the jury has a question about the meaning of a term it can write a note to the judge asking for clarification. The judge then convenes the parties and hears their positions as to how the question should be answered. the court might decide to provide a definiation (perhaps even from the same dictionary the jury can't have) or it might tell the jury it must rely only on the instructions already given and use the commonly understood meaning to words.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#72)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:44:15 PM EST
    Because the jurors (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:07:02 PM EST
    are supposed to only consider admissable evidence and testimony.  But, the parties might stipulate to a dictionary definition being read to the jurors.

    Bank Failure Potential (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:07:56 PM EST
    Anyone that wants to check out a rating on their local bank by a private company (Bauer Financial), you can find it at this site.

    Bank Ratings

    With ratings from 5 stars down to 0 stars, there are currently 155 banks nationwide with a rating of zero and bordering on being taken over by the FDIC.

    You can skip a name and choose a state, and it will list all banks that headquarter in that state.

    As a Buddhist, the path of recognizing (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:18:17 PM EST
    that reality doesn't exist can be arduous.  And then somedays all you have to do is get out of bed :)

    To Find Out (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:21:40 PM EST
    That you are still in a dream?

    thank goodness for that! (none / 0) (#21)
    by cpinva on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:21:05 PM EST
    (I use the Shakespearean spelling of "bated.")

    i don't even want to consider what some might bait their breath with!

    final four: VCU and 3 other teams. hey, what can i say, i'm a CAA guy, and an eternal optimist!

    anyone making book on whether or not al franken actually gets seated during this congress?

    I didn't brush my teeth yet today (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 12:23:55 PM EST
    There is no other correct spelling of bated breath (none / 0) (#36)
    by jawbone on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:15:50 PM EST
    Some etymology.

    The expression with bated breath is recorded as appearing for the first time in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice towards the end of the 16th century. It refers to having subdued or restrained breathing because of some strong emotion.

    The verb to bate, which means reduce the intensity of; take away; or lower in estimation or amount (an archaic usage), has long since disappeared from common use.

    So it's no surprise that it's often misspelled as baited. According to Merriam Webster, bait means to persecute, harass or lure.

    Here's an example to illustrate the two meanings: She waited with bated breath to see if he would take the bait.

    CNBC (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 01:11:59 PM EST
    ran this headline yesterday:

    US Economy Is Finally Showing Signs of a Recovery

    I feel better already.

    That might be true... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:05:27 PM EST
    the first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem...hopefully the AIG bailout and bonus furor is America waking up to the problem, and the problem is monolith financial service giants like AIG.

    Once we are rid of them once and for all we will be well on our way to recovery.


    New residential construction (none / 0) (#44)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 02:01:32 PM EST
    was up 22.2% in February over January (houses and apts). Not sure where in the country that is, but I'm thinking it's weather related and not part of a financial upturn, though.

    Maybe that's what they are using as a basis for their claim. But, you're right....I, too, am feeling so much better.

    Watch yourselves out there! (none / 0) (#55)
    by DFLer on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 03:17:43 PM EST
    GOP 'trackers' stalk Dems in hunt for 'macaca' moment
    ....The National Republican Congressional Committee is sending out video "trackers" to ask provocative questions of Democratic members of Congress. The trackers, who are congressional committee staffers, were earlier reported by Congress Daily, a specialty publication distributed largely on Capitol Hill.


    USA! USA! (none / 0) (#56)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 03:20:39 PM EST
    We're in the final four of the WBC, thanks to a thrilling come from behind win in the bottom of the ninth over Puerto Rico last night.  David Wright got the game-winning two-run single.

    Keep on rollin' fellas!  This country could use a morale boost and a reason to be proud.  

    What was the fuss about Victorino. (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:06:12 PM EST
    Did he move back from the base into the path of the ball?

    Looked like a very smart play... (none / 0) (#74)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:01:23 PM EST
    to me, he was on the base and he let the ball hit 'em so he could take third.  Within the rules.

    That's why ya gotta hit the cutoff man:)


    Smart guy. No obligation to move (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:10:37 PM EST
    off base to avoid a ball in play.

    Final Four Great Nicknames (none / 0) (#63)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 04:38:24 PM EST
    Tired of too many teams with boring nicknames? In the great winning nicknames department, I'm going for a final four of The Musketeers, The Flyers, The Mocs, and The Hilltoppers.

    And an Honorable Mention to a nickname that should never go unmentioned...The Zips (who unfairly drew into the same bracket with the Hilltoppers). Disappointingly, The Fighting Artichokes have never had an invite to the dance.

    Hey, how about the "Golden Gophers" (none / 0) (#69)
    by DFLer on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:28:30 PM EST
    not that they have much of a chance of making the final four. Certainly an odd nicknam, heh?

    Speaking of nicknames... (none / 0) (#70)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 05:30:31 PM EST
    What's a Hoya anyway?

    What rocks! (none / 0) (#82)
    by DFLer on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 07:59:44 PM EST
    After shooting down alternative theories, the official Hoya basketball site says:

    The official explanation holds that there was a baseball team at Georgetown called the "Stonewalls". It is suggested that a student, applying Greek and Latin, dubbed the team the hoia saxa-- hoia is the Greek neuter plural for "what" or "what a", while saxa is the Latin neuter plural for "rock". Substituting a "y" for an "i"; "hoya saxa" literally means "what rocks".

    Also rumored to be said about the rocky banks of the Potomac river, where the university is located.


    Not as odd (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:26:49 PM EST
    as the Fighting Blue Hens of Delaware (the only mascot named for a female animal, so when they talk about the womens' teams and refer to them as the "Lady Blue Hens", they are being redundant).

    If (none / 0) (#80)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:46:25 PM EST
    those Fighting Blue Hens were in the dance they would have been hard not to choose, but my final four nicknames came from the field of 64.

    I have to laugh when I think of the Xavier Musketeers. It's not much of a reach for me to see Annette Funicello leading the cheers.


    The Golden Gophers (none / 0) (#81)
    by CoralGables on Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 06:48:50 PM EST
    were in play in the East for me, but I just couldn't get the Musketeer/Mouseketeer thought out of my mind so Xavier had to represent the East Bracket.