Friday Afternoon Open Thread

If March Madness is not your thing, tonight at 10 Eastern, you may want to take a look in at a crucial World Cup qualifying game for the US mens team against Costa Rica. The team is reportedly in turmoil. But as Michael Bradley says, "it is time to play."

The home team needs this one bad.

Open Thread.

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    March madness (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 08:03:48 AM EST
    is, for me, preparing my income tax return.

    I absolutely hate doing so.

    It goes against everything I believe in.
    Yet, here I go.
    Buried in receipts.

    Caitlin Halligan (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:43:16 PM EST
    Obama's appointment to the crucial DC Court of Appeals, withdrew her name from consideration today.

    The decision by Halligan is sure to revive talk among those same liberal groups that Obama simply does not have the stomach to fight for judicial nominees that his predecessor George W. Bush had. Bush, with the acquiescence of Senate Democrats, was able to land three appointees on the D.C. Circuit: Thomas Griffith; Janice Rogers Brown, a highly controversial nominee from California who recently called for a repudiation of New Deal-era legal precepts; and Brett Kavanaugh, a former protégé of Kenneth Starr.

    In his four years plus as president, Obama has been unable to fill any of the four vacancies on the D.C. appeals court. Halligan, 46, was first nominated to the court in 2010 (to replace Roberts five years after his departure), but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been unable to secure 60 votes for her confirmation in a series of cloture votes since, largely because of opposition from the National Rifle Association, which has contended Halligan is hostile to gun rights.

    The fate of another Obama nominee to the court, Sri Srinivasan, remains in doubt. Srinivasan, who served in the solicitor general's office in both the Bush and Obama administrations, has yet to be voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


    speaking of judicial nominations (none / 0) (#14)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:40:31 PM EST
    The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Jane Kelly for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals by voice vote today. She has been a federal public defender in Iowa's Northern District (Cedar Rapids) since 1994. She has the support of Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, who helped filibuster Caitlin Halligan twice. For that reason, it seems likely Kelly will be confirmed.

    According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Kelly would be the "only public defender to serve on the bench since 1891. Pres. Obama has nominated 100 former prosecutors to the federal bench."


    I very much doubt that is true, (none / 0) (#34)
    by Peter G on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 08:54:42 PM EST
    about no public defenders appointed to the federal bench.  We have two among our U.S. Magistrate Judges here in Philadelphia alone, one of whom is poised to become a federal district judge sometime soon. There are also a couple of former federal defenders among the Magistrate Judges in New Jersey.  And that's just the ones I know off the top of my head.  None on the appellate Circuit courts until now, perhaps, which is a shame.  But you can't say none on the federal bench, and I doubt it's true that there have been none who were presidentially nominated.

    CA criminal defense attorney Samuel Paz (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 09:15:05 PM EST
    was sponsored for federal district court nomination by Sen. Boxer. He withdrew his name after he was informed the White House did not want to fight for him.

    Also, federal magistrate judges are appointed by federal district judges and are not subject to advise and consent of the Senate.


    Former Asst Federal Public Defender (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 10:32:42 PM EST
    Why would they want to fight (none / 0) (#37)
    by NYShooter on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:48:59 PM EST
     for a defense lawyer? I've won more academy awards than Obama has granted pardons. There's his attitude towards defendants. I don't have to be a psychiatrist to sense that Barack Obama has suffered pain, neglect, and trauma in his early years and his obsessive drive for political success, I believe, had a darker purpose; not to lead, not to redress grievances, not to try and tip the obscene financial inequality that has grown to unprecedented levels over a few post-Reagan decades. It looks to me like his goals are starting to come into focus.....Retribution.

    Psychodrama! (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:20:30 AM EST
    I know very well how (none / 0) (#43)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:31:25 AM EST
    Magistrate Judges are selected. I was responding to the sentence in the linked/quoted story which said that Kelly would be the "only public defender to serve on the bench since 1891." It didn't say "presidentially-nominated," "Senate-confirmed," or "federal appellate bench."  Maybe that sentence was just badly written; I guess it depends what you think the reporter meant by "the bench."

    I know you know very well. It is most (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:36:20 PM EST
    liklymfarneasier for a criminal defense attorney to be appointed federal magistrate juge than make it to federal district judge.

    Got an extra $150 million or so? (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:05:23 PM EST
    The Pentagon apparently does - they are looking into an overhaul of Gitmo.

    The Pentagon is considering plans for a $150 million overhaul of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- including building a new dining hall, hospital and barracks for the guards -- as part of an ambitious project recommended by the top general in charge of its operations, officials tell NBC News.    

    The proposed spending spree comes amid mounting signs of unrest among Guantanamo detainees that lawyers say is threatening their  lives. U.S. military officials confirmed Wednesday that the number of hunger strikers at Guantanamo has more than tripled in the last two weeks -- from 7 to 25 -- and that eight of them are being force fed through tubes. Defense lawyers said in a letter to Congress this week they have gotten reports that "over two dozen men have lost consciousness."

    U.S. military officials denied any lives were in danger but acknowledged that resistance and frustration among the detainees is growing, a development that a senior general said is because they are "devastated" that President Barack Obama's pledge to shut down the facility has not been fulfilled.

    And of course, how is this (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:45:26 PM EST
    going to help the detainees?  
    Except to increase their unrest, resistance, and frustration.
    They see fellow detainees being force-fed, yet money may be spent on improving conditions for......the guards?
    If this occurs, expect more unrest, resistance, and frustration among the detainees.

    Anybody who actually cared about (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:48:37 PM EST
    the treatment of the detainees would close Gitmo.

    Yep. (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:52:41 PM EST
    Absolutely true, shoephone.

    Government spokesperson on NPR (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:18:55 PM EST
    yesterday says this money won't be for Idetainees benefit. It is for the staff assigned there--so they have a place to eat!

    Speaking Of NPR (none / 0) (#41)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:30:22 PM EST
    I ran across this piece about Social Security Disability put out by their Plant Money show, and found it interesting, seems to be attracting more folks, everything is open for review, such as the recent Chained CPI to COLA

    Dutch oven cleaning advice (none / 0) (#5)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:12:49 PM EST
    I have an enameled, cast iron, dutch oven that I managed to scorch while making a batch of bacon-onion marmalade.  It has some brown sugar in the recipe, and there are now two spots of blackened residue on the bottom.  Tried soaking it twice, but this stuff is like concrete.  Anybody have recommendations for how to get it off - preferably without scratching up the enamel?

    Oy! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:02:26 PM EST
    Try hydrogen peroxide, about a half inch, with a spoonful or two of baking soda.  Simmer ten minutes.  Use a plastic scrub brush.  You may have to repeat a few times.
    Or try Barkeeper's Friend (I use this on my ceramic stove top).  With a plastic scrubber.
    Good luck!

    Barkeepers rocks :) Vinegar heated can also (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:55:53 PM EST
    be used with baking soda. I used it to revive a non-stick (of the green variety) pan after someone else used it and screwed it up.

    I didn't have any (none / 0) (#30)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:13:28 AM EST
    But good to know - think I'll pick some up to have on hand.  Thanks.

    Definitely pick some up. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:47:33 AM EST
    It's kept where the Comet is.  It's non-abrasive.
    Another alternative, similar to BKF, is Bon Ami.  I usually get BKF because, for some reason, I can't find Bon Ami very often around here.
    Just don't use them on gold, silver, or pewter.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#20)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:41:54 PM EST
    Giving it a shot right now ...

    Should'a figured you'd have an answer for that one!  :)


    The vinegar and peroxide worked! (none / 0) (#29)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:10:44 AM EST
    Had to do it three times and let the last one soak overnight, but it all came off!



    Oops - vinegar and baking soda combo n/t (none / 0) (#31)
    by Yman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:13:56 AM EST
    Glad that worked (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:56:37 AM EST
    Just, as you probably noticed, vent well when using vinegar.  Simmering vinegar stinks up the kitchen, and doesn't do much for your lungs, either!
    If you have stubborn stains, although I've never tried it, some people swear by OxyClean and water, and let it soak overnight.
    I think that nystray and I should get some bonuses from the BKF company, by the way, for touting their product!   ;-)

    I adore Oxi! (none / 0) (#36)
    by nycstray on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 09:42:28 PM EST
    You would not believe the stains I've gotten out with it. Also good for pet messes . . .

    Just tried that, too! (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Yman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 02:00:15 PM EST
    Since I had some on hand, I three a scoop in with a couple inches of water and gave it a 10 min. boil.  Really took out some of the stains on the bottom of the enameled pot that I thought were permanent.

    I use it all the time, but I've (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:36:16 PM EST
    never used it for stains in enamel cookware (since I don't have any).
    Yes, it's great, too.
    Listen, Stray, I think we need to get some compensation from those companies whose products we have been recommending.  I mean, it's only fair, right?  Doesn't have to be cash- free products would be great!  What do you think?

    Tonight's schedule: dinner and a (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:17:23 PM EST
    string quartet concert. But the waitperson just turned on the TV and dialed in FL v. NWS. FL is ahead by 6.

    Although the teams are FGC and (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:57:45 PM EST
    and Georgetown. Details.

    Florida Gulf Coast (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:13:31 PM EST
    one of the unknown schools that knocked off the University of Miami this year, and is about to deliver a knockout blow to Georgetown.

    "To the moon, Alice! Bang, zoom!" (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:11:23 PM EST
    Georgetown, we hardly knew ye. Oh, wait -- that's what Georgetown just said to Florida Bulf Coast, isn't it?

    Of course, the Hoyas' latest pratfall really should not surprise us, any more than should New Mexico's faceplant against Harvard last night. Georgetown have been ousted during the opening weekend by a double-digit seed in each of the last four NCAA tournaments, while the Lobos have actually fared much worse, not making it to the Sweet 16 since 1974.

    (As I said last night, I've never picked New Mexico in this tournament, and they've never disappointed me by winning yet.)

    And also today, No. 4 seed Kansas State lost to LaSalle, 63-61, and No. 5 Wisconsin fell to No. 12 Mississippi, 57-46.

    This year's first round matchups have not been kind to three of the four No. 5 seeds (Oklahoma State, UNLV and Wisconsin). Further, three teams projected by the NCAA selection committee to be in next weekend's Sweet 16 -- New Mexico, Kansas State, and Georgetown -- have been already eliminated from the competition.

    Sheer madness.


    What is a Hoya? (none / 0) (#19)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:13:29 PM EST
    Here you go, fishcamp, the origins of Hoya (none / 0) (#21)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:45:55 PM EST
    as explained by Georgetown University. It seems the name sprang from some not untypical academic showiness by the Jesuits, or by their students, anyway.

    I belive that it's a close relative ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:59:12 PM EST
    ... of the Billiken.

    Those crazy Jesuits! You just never know nightmarish gargoyle image they'll dream up next to frighten the children.


    It's also ... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:00:24 PM EST
    ... a first-round loser in the NCAA tournament.

    HALF: Western Kentucky 31, Kansas 30. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:04:24 PM EST
    Go, Hilltoppers.

    Lousy night for a footie match... (none / 0) (#12)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:19:41 PM EST
    here in the Queen City of the Plains-cold, windy and snowing out at Dick's.  

    Hope the home team can pull it out even with the turmoil and weather.

    Well...we've got tennis live (none / 0) (#13)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:35:15 PM EST
    from Miami at the Sony Open on Direct TV, Tennis channel. I love tennis but it's too dangerous to go up to Miami.  It was rained out once today and I think it is raining again.  Whassup CG ?

    Going to be (none / 0) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:44:31 PM EST
    between 88-90 for Sunday's matches. They may prefer rain.

    never mind...they're back. (none / 0) (#16)
    by fishcamp on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:46:33 PM EST
    some kind of technical difficulty, no rain.  I know they're lying because it's all sunny up there and dark down here.  Live TV isn't what it used to be.  

    Who was the genius who (none / 0) (#17)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:04:02 PM EST
    scheduled a soccer match in Denver in March?  I mean it's not that uncommon to have snowfall there into April and even May.



    Probably the same guy who also ... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 09:54:51 PM EST
    ... once decided that scheduling Games 3 and 4 of the 2007 World Series at Coors Field for the first week of November was also a good idea.

    Here's an interesting defense of the (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 02:08:13 AM EST
    Solicitor General:


    Speaking Of Movies (none / 0) (#42)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 09:57:32 PM EST
    soon to be released to theaters is "We Steal Secrets", dealing with Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, Democracy Now reviewed the film at the Sundance Film Festival with Director Alex Gibney

    Matt Taibbi Blogs about it

    thought it might be of interest