Obama Lauds Gators

As well he should:

President Barack Obama has welcomed the Florida Gators to the White House and congratulated them on a second national championship in football in three years. Obama welcomed the Gators to the East Room and sa[id] their excellence on and off the football field is worthy of praise. Obama says being a champion doesn't end when the clock runs out and noted that the team volunteers 400 hours each year.

. . . In a moment of levity, Obama says he still supports a national playoff system instead of the current bowl system. But the president also says he's confident the Gators could've defeated any team out there.

Damn straight they would have Mr. President. This is an Open thread.

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    in case you need something to worry about (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 04:45:53 PM EST
    Pakistan teetered on the brink of collapse today as Taliban fighters threatened to overrun the volatile country.

    As violence broke out in the disputed north-west corner, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the state, which has nuclear capability, now posed a 'mortal threat' to the world.

    'I think the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists,' she added.

    oops (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 04:47:15 PM EST
    heres a link

    "Teetered on the brink of collapse" (none / 0) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:56:32 PM EST
    is a wild overstatement.  Somebody pointed out yesterday that although the Taliban have moved in 60 miles from the capital, those 60 miles are ugly, mountainous terrain with few roads.  It's not exactly like the 60 miles between Boston and Worcester.

    It's very bad stuff, but as far as I can see, there's zero threat to the Pakistan government at this point, so "teetered on the brink of collapse" is really absurd.


    BTW (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:05:34 PM EST
    Must see TV tonight is Game 3 of the Bulls-Celtics.

    and the great Bill Simmons provides the appetizer. The Gator related note:

    10. The Agitator

    There's hate and there's sports hate. Real hate is not OK. Sports hate is OK. We are fans. We are allowed to "love" certain athletes and "hate" others. It doesn't mean we actually love them or hate them. So under that umbrella, I present you with the following statement: I hate Joakim Noah. I hate looking at him. I hate his hair. I hate how he dunks. I hate the way he high-fives. I hate every reaction he has. I hate his game. I hate the way announcers pronounce his name. I hate the story that I've heard a million times about his tennis-playing father.

    I want the Celtics to win for a variety of reasons, but one of them is because it means Joakim Noah would lose. I want him to cry when it's over. And we are only two games in. I can't imagine how I'm going to feel about him by Game 5. He's like a cross between Bill Laimbeer, Marcus Camby and Lisa Bonet. Near the end of Game 2, he wandered over to the Boston bench after a whistle and lingered there pretending to be disappointed about a call -- breaking the NBA code of "don't hang out for too long near someone's bench," because, you know, he's a complete jerk that way -- and I was screaming at Kevin Garnett (on my TV), "PUNCH HIM! PUNCH HIM! DON'T LET HIM GET AWAY WITH THIS! YOU'RE NOT PLAYING ANYWAY! PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE!!!!" I hate Joakim Noah. I hate him.

    Little does he know, but I already exacted my revenge on him a few months ago, when I took my daughter to a Clippers-Bulls game. She was entranced by Noah's hair for some reason and asked me in all seriousness, "Is that a girl?" I thought it would be funny to convince her that, yes, Joakim Noah was a girl. She didn't fully believe me for about a quarter. By the end of the game, Noah was her favorite player and she was excited that girls could play in the NBA. We came home and she said, "Mommy, we saw a girl play at the Clippers game!" My wife thought it was evil that I did this. She made me feel bad. Now I feel happy. I love that it happened. Just retelling the story makes me happy. I hate Joakim Noah.

    (Of course, if he played for the Celtics, I'd love him.)

    Y'know, BTD, I'd bet that (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:17:28 PM EST
    if you really looked (and it likely wouldn't take that long), you could find yourself a nice black-velvet painting of Tim Tebow to hang over your mantel.

    Or TV - whichever you pick.


    Kind of surprised this post did not (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:10:44 PM EST
    include a video or, at the very least, a photo of Tebow and Obama shaking hands and/or embracing.

    I am pretty sure (none / 0) (#20)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:19:05 PM EST
    that no true Gators fan would demean Tim Tebow by including him in the same photo frame with a mere president.

    Ha. Still googling, but (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:20:15 PM EST
    so far all the photos feature the Pres. front and center.

    Here's an arm's length photo: (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:26:12 PM EST
    I actually think (none / 0) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:19:17 PM EST
    political hate is ok as well in the same sense that sports hate is ok.

    in fact (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:19:37 PM EST
    I think its healthy

    Man (none / 0) (#13)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 06:02:03 PM EST
    I really, really hated the Jordan-era Bulls but it's hard for me to summon up much animosity towards the current version.  And in the playoffs it's more fun to root for the underdog anyway.

    Simmons is a Boston fan (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 06:04:47 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#15)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 06:11:27 PM EST
    And I still hate the Celtics a lot!  Gawd, who could root for that team.

    Boo (none / 0) (#40)
    by CST on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 11:03:18 PM EST
    we CRUSHED the bulls tonight

    Congratulations (none / 0) (#42)
    by Steve M on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 03:22:58 AM EST
    How many points did you score?

    hahaha (none / 0) (#43)
    by CST on Fri Apr 24, 2009 at 10:34:15 AM EST
    Well my mother gave us all alter-egos on the Celtics, and mine is Ray Allen so I scored 18 points.  But you should've seen the game I had in game 2... the last second 3-pointer was beautiful.

    Yes, I realize we are crazy.


    Republicans block Sebelius nomination: (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:29:13 PM EST
    from Think Progress:

    The Senate was expected to confirm President Obama's choice for Health and Human Services Secretary today, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D), but Senate Republicans refused to allow the vote, calling her a "fairly contentious" candidate:

    At the start of the session today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proposed taking a vote after five hours of debate. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected, arguing that lawmakers needed more time to consider her "fairly contentious" selection.

    A handful of Republicans have complained about Sebelius' support for abortion rights and her failure to report the full extent of campaign contributions she received from a physician who performs abortions.

    The Wichita Eagle editorial department blog writes of the GOP obstruction: "Many of the Kansans of both parties who elected Sebelius to statewide office four times may have trouble recognizing thier cautious, middle-of-the-road governor in the portrait painted nationally of an abortion- and socialism-loving tax cheat."

    When are the Dems going to stop asking permission to be the majority?

    This is getting offensive (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:37:32 PM EST
    I'm getting really tempted to toss them a bone with "abortion" printed on it. They can gnaw on it while the rest get on with the business of fixing this country.

    Some GOPer yesterday was questioning SoS Clinton on "exporting abortion".

    Sebelius is "fairly contentious"?! AAAAARGH! They look like bleepin' fools.


    see "political hate" (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:41:39 PM EST

    Very sensitive topic in Kansas. I don't believe (none / 0) (#23)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:33:54 PM EST
    its rooted in hate.  

    The issue is that Kansas law permits late term abortions, after 21 weeks, if a doctor determines that a woman or girl faces death or "substantial and irreversible" harm to a major bodily function, a provision that has been interpreted to include her mental health. Consequently, some real late term abortions occur.  

    While motoring into Kansas from Oklahoma on I-35, one will pass a billboard just shy of the Kansas border in which reads "Wichita, abortion capital of the world." Actual pictures of some late term aborted fetuses are posted on the sign. Needless to say, it is not a pleasant sight and sort of indicative of the general mood in that state toward abortion.



    but that law isn't unique to Kansas right? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:45:11 PM EST
    and it should include mental health.

    I'm not entirely sure about other states. (none / 0) (#28)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:57:04 PM EST
    I believe the language of the statute is rather vague in Kansas as to the definition of viable fetus and harm to mental health. I do know that the law and its application attracts many non-residents to the state for the late-term procedure.

    Curious (none / 0) (#30)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:59:33 PM EST
    Is there a link to some evidence for this, or an article I can read about it?

    I do know that the law and its application attracts many non-residents to the state for the late-term procedure.

    It might take me a bitI can't immediately (none / 0) (#32)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 08:08:09 PM EST
    recall whether I read it in either the Lawrence or Topeka newspaper.

    Well, don't worry about it. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 08:19:11 PM EST

    Here ya go... (none / 0) (#36)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 08:39:11 PM EST
    For the past decade, almost half of the abortions performed in Kansas have been for women who didn't live here.

    They come from far as California, Maine and even Alaska. But mostly they just cross over the state line from Missouri.

    Data recently released by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment show that last year was no different. Of the 10,836 abortions done in Kansas in 2007, 5,162 (about 48 percent) were performed on women who lived outside of the state.

    Those on both sides of the abortion issue have theories for why the out-of-state numbers are so high and what it adds to the debate in Kansas.

    Most of the out-of-state numbers are attributed to the lack of abortion providers in Missouri.

    Other contributing factors are the differences in state laws, especially in regard to those under age 18, and the late-term abortions performed by Wichita-based Dr. George Tiller.
    Two of Kansas' high-profile anti-abortion organizations point to Tiller's clinic in Wichita as the main reason for the out-of-state numbers.

    Tiller's practice, one of the few in the country that offers late-term abortions, draws women from both coasts and many places in between.

    In 2007, as in years past, abortions performed past 22 weeks of pregnancy made up a small percentage of Kansas' overall total, less than 4 percent. Yet more than 90 percent of the women getting late-term abortions were from outside Kansas.

    [Emphasis added]



    Here is a link to a story in the LA Times, (none / 0) (#34)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 08:31:30 PM EST
    from when Tiller was acquitted of all charges in the recent trial:

    Doctor acquitted by Kansas jury in late-term abortion trial:

    And a snip:

    Tiller was charged with 19 criminal misdemeanor counts. Kansas law requires that a physician get a second opinion from a doctor with whom he or she has no legal or financial ties before terminating a pregnancy of longer than 22 weeks when the fetus is considered "viable" (able to survive outside the womb). The consulting doctor must agree that continuing a pregnancy to term would cause "substantial and irreversible harm" to the woman, including mental or emotional harm.

    The criminal charges were based on cases involving mostly teenagers. One patient was a 10-year-old who was 28 weeks pregnant; another, 24 years old, was 30 weeks pregnant.

    Many of the abortions Tiller performed were of fetuses found to be medically compromised.

    In 1999, the law was interpreted to mean that the second doctor had to be from Kansas, a problem for Tiller, whose patients -- mostly from out of state -- had always been referred by their own physicians. Few Kansas doctors were willing to consult on his cases. Tiller testified that he called about 100 retired physicians whose licenses were still active, but that no one would help him.

    He considered challenging the requirement in court, but changed his mind after Larry Buening, executive director of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which licenses and disciplines medical practitioners in the state, urged Tiller to contact Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, a physician in Lawrence, 2 1/2 hours away.

    Buening's recommendation of Neuhaus, said Tiller's attorneys, meant that Tiller had followed in good faith the advice of a public official and thus did not commit a crime.

    Not sure if that helps...


    Helps, thanks (none / 0) (#41)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 11:11:28 PM EST
    I would like to see numbers as it doesn't seem like a "common" practice. [that's just me :)]I understand crossing state lines because of all the various laws including on the basic ones. I guess all the states numbers reflect the laws of both the state and the surrounding states. I've only lived in NY and CA, so I tend to forget there are more restrictive laws in other states while typing :)

    I'd like to know who got the 10yo pregnant and if he was prosecuted. . . O.M.G.

    I have to give the Gov props for vetoing the Milk Labeling bill today.  ;)


    is linked to the controversial Dr. Tiller, who performs the late term abortions. At one point, Senator Brownback, a Republican, was endorsing Governor Sibelius for cabinet post. Did he withdraw his support?

    Only one doctor in the whole state (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by nycstray on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:46:33 PM EST
    or is he just one they hold up as the devil?

    I would not be surprised (none / 0) (#29)
    by Steve M on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:57:47 PM EST
    if there is only one doctor in the state who performs late-term abortions.  Heck, there are entire states with just one or two abortion providers.

    Yes, and one of only several in the entire (none / 0) (#37)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 08:52:05 PM EST
    country, as the above-referenced links confirm.

    As I recall, he is the only doctor in the (none / 0) (#31)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 08:00:30 PM EST
    state that will perform the procedures during late term. This is from his website:

    Kansas law allows for post-viability abortion procedures when continuing the pregnancy is detrimental to the pregnant woman's health. Each person's circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-base basis.

    My first post (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Okiedem on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:49:00 PM EST
    Hey BTD. I've been a huge fan of your posts for awhile now.  I am a die hard Sooner, but want to congratulate your Gators for the win and their trip to the White House.  Here's to a rematch in Pasadena and I hope it's my beloved Sooners meeting President Obama this time NEXT year!

    Enough With The Gator Worship (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by john horse on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 06:18:49 PM EST
    While BTD is busy cheerleading the Gators, the Florida legislature is destroying our state universities.  

    FSU may have to close its Panama City campus and cut 21 programs including "anthropology, molecular biophysics, oceanography and software engineering."

    Here in Washington state (none / 0) (#18)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 06:35:05 PM EST
    The University of Washington is pushing to raise tuition 28% in the next two years....and they're winning.

    More tax on the already over-burdened middle income set and below, and more movement toward a caste system.  


    Universities Also Cutting Enrollment (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by john horse on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 08:33:15 PM EST
    I agree that the doors of opportunity are being closed.  Here in Florida, in addition to increased tuition and program cuts, the universities are also capping enrollment.

    Add years of mismanagement by the state legislature (Florida for decades has been a one party state ruled by the GOP) and you've got one hell of a mess.


    NFL Draft Day tomorrow... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 06:30:27 PM EST
    wish we didn't have to wait practically all day for it; can't imagine how the draftees feel!

    My daughter and her boyfriend are going to the stadium tomorrow:

    On Saturday, April 25, the Ravens will hold their 12th annual Spring Football Festival, presented by Verizon Wireless, at M&T Bank Stadium starting at 3 p.m. The family-friendly event consists of various elements in which fans can participate, including interactive on-field activities, a locker room tour, player autograph sessions, Poe's Mascot Game and watching the 2009 NFL Draft live on SmartVision and TVs throughout the stadium.

    Immediately following the football festivities, the Orioles will host the Texas Rangers at Oriole Park for a 7:05 p.m. game. By purchasing the SFF/O's packaged ticket, fans automatically have admission into the baseball game. The first 10,000 fans (age 15 and over) will receive a Draft Day O's/Ravens rally cap presented by MASN.

    Looks like a fun afternoon - and it's supposed to be a beautiful day.

    For some reason - wishful thinking? - (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 07:49:18 PM EST
    I keep thinking it's Friday...draft day is Saturday.  D'oh!

    transparency and gov't are two word that don't (none / 0) (#4)
    by coast on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 05:11:53 PM EST
    appear to go together. Case in point, the fed and treasury pressuring BofA to go thru with the Merrill merger and telling them not disclose the $12 billion dollar pretax loss for fear of increasing the economic crisis at the time.  Also, alledgidly telling the bank that it would receive more TARP money but they were not formally stating this at the time because BofA would have to disclose that as well.

    Ah, gentleman that's called fraud for nondisclosure of a material fact.  Me sees a lot of lawyers drooling over this softball.  BofA, Merrill and possibly the auditor will all be sued and/or testifying before some panel on this one, beyond the investigation by Mr. Cuomo.

    Mr. Lewis can go ahead and begin packing for a short stint in prison.  Not sure what you can do to Paulson and Bernanke.

    Hit and Run...I love it (none / 0) (#39)
    by easilydistracted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:03:47 PM EST