March Madness Day 4 Open Thread

The investments:

Indiana -11 over Temple, Illinois +8 over Miami Florida (3 units), Mississippi -3 over La Salle, Ohio State -7 over Iowa State, Minnesota +8½ over Florida, Duke -5 over Creighton (5 units), San Diego State -7 over Florida Gulf Coast (5 units), Kansas -6 over North Carolina (3 units.)

Go Gators!

Yesterday - 5-3 ATS (22-16 in MM), +6 units (+17 units in MM.)

Open Thread.

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    The NYTImes (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:50:39 AM EST
    is at it again.

    On their front page, as a tease for their article about the Supreme Court's consideration of two cases relating to gay marriage, the Times says:

    WASHINGTON -- Even supporters of abortion rights believe the 1973 Supreme Court ruling went too far, too fast, a lesson opponents of same-sex marriage hope the court, hearing two cases, will take to heart.

    I am a supporter of abortion rights. I do not think the 1973 court decision went too far.

    In the text, continuing their assault on abortion rights, the Times even resorts to the Fox News non-attribution attribution, "Some say"....

    What is with the Times?

    "Even supporters..." (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:32:05 PM EST
    You're right. I'm around a lot of different folks. Never once heard anyone saying even though they were a liberal that Roe v. Wade went too far.

    Not even a strawman, it seems. Strawbaby maybe.


    thanks a lot NYT (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by ruffian on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:08:47 PM EST
    for providing Peggy Noonan her talking point this morning. Was wondering where she came up with that gem.

    This talking point has been bandied about (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:22:56 PM EST
    on lots of national news and Sunday shows (even NPR) for amount the last month.

    The misogyny is not just in the Republican party.


    When I first started playing golf (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 03:47:52 PM EST
    my grandmother taught me the main rule to follow was "play it as it lays".

    She would have been proud of Sergio Garcia today.

    Unbelievable - thanks for sharing that! (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 04:20:30 PM EST
    What a gamer.

    Anne (none / 0) (#13)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 04:30:58 PM EST
    even when we don't agree, we can usually find some common ground somewhere.

    You're talking to the woman who's (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 04:39:34 PM EST
    married to a Republican - albeit, at this stage, his affiliation is in name only.  Somehow over the last 33 years of marriage, we've managed not to let politics spoil the common ground we clearly have!

    I must be doing something right - he's much closer to my side of the aisle than I have ever been to his...


    That's because his side of the aisle ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:48:40 AM EST
    ... wishes it was in the lsnd o'cotton, old times there are not forgotten, and would dearly love to refight the Civil War -- only this time. they're rooting for the other side.

    I've read this three times, and I'm still (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:28:27 PM EST
    trying to figure out if you've called my husband a bigot.

    I know I've mentioned this before, but my husband's father died when he was 17; they didn't have the best of relationships.  In one of our conversations about politics, one in which he kept distancing himself from the GOP position, I asked him why, if he didn't agree with them, he was still registered as a Republican.

    Long story short, his dad was a Republican, and my husband hanging on to that affiliation was a way of hanging on to his dad.

    Weird, I know.  But I've stopped bothering him about it; it's just not that important to me, and if it's a talisman for him, who am I to take that away, or ask him to give it up?


    That was incredible. (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:07:31 PM EST
    Thanks for sharing it.  I'd also like to see the shot that put the ball there :)

    That was a great shot. It could have gone (none / 0) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:41:55 PM EST
    so wrong. Kudos to Garcia for playing the ball.

    I'm surprised it was legal to use a cart... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 07:39:27 PM EST
    ...to help climb the tree. I wonder if it is, actually. I remember Craig Stadler getting DQ'd because some viewer called in and reported that he'd put a towel under him when he got on his knees to hit a shot that had settled under a very short tree. He's used the towel simply so he didn't get his pants muddy or wet.

    I love golf.


    Big deal.. (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by desertswine on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:43:57 PM EST
    once I hit a golf ball through a windmill, while the blades were turning!  I'm not even gonna mention the dragon.

    Three words: Florida Gulf Coast (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:10:58 PM EST
    Even though they are going to beat my Aztecs, the Eagles are definitely the Cinderella story of the last who knows how many NCAA tournies. They best Butler, VCU and George Mason hands down in the David vs. Goliath dept. FGCU is the first 15-seed to ever make the sweet 16. And they are no fluke. Legitimate Final 4 contender. Which is why I love university hoops.  

    FGCU plays in the Atlantic Sun Conference (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:12:30 PM EST
    Not only did no one before this tourney no any of the teams in the Atlantic Sun conference, I doubt anyone even knew there WAS an Atlantic Sun Conference playing D1 ball.

    And I don't thing BTD would disagree... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:19:15 PM EST
    ...that his Gators will have their hands full. FGCU is not going to be intimidated or nervous, IMO, at least not until maybe a final four football stadium kind of atmosphere. Until then, they are as athletic and talented a team as I've seen all year, so they have as good a shot as anyone. What a great story they are.

    Little known fact (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:35:42 PM EST
    Florida Gulf Coast students recruited me and taught me how to play beer pong at a now closed pub in Bonita Sprimgs, FL last year while I was trying to watch a Heat game. Both the Heat and our beer pong team won.

    If it wasn't against my Gators I'd be all in on the Dunk City Eagles


    I'm picking FGCU (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:58:30 PM EST
    Go Gators!

    Good choice. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:04:43 PM EST
    UFGC is for real. You watch those two phenomenal runs that the Eagles put together this week, 21-2 over Georgetown on Thursday and then 17-0 against San Diego State today, and it's almost frightening how they collectively sense the key moment to go right for the jugular. The Gators will definitely need their A game to beat that pack.

    One other FGC fact (none / 0) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:46:11 PM EST
    they are currently the only basketball team in NCAA Tournament history that's undefeated.

    Other than Florida Gulf Coast (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:24:18 AM EST
    is there a true Cinderella left in the field?

    Slipper State (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:26:12 PM EST
    Haven't you heard of them? They're incredible on the glass.


    BTW, I'm sad Florida Gulf Coast is playing my SDSU Aztecs. I want to be able to cheer for the Coasters, but too many years going to red & black games to go against them.

    I love da hoops!


    And BTD, you know... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:29:25 PM EST
    ...Gonzaga just phucked the West Coast Conference for a decade in the tourney. I also think Olynyk's NBA draft stock went way down in these two tourney games. His 26 against Wichita seems the most quiet and unimpressive 26 I can remember a player putting up. He seemed to be off-balance, out muscled, and turning the ball over all game. Same with the Southern game.

    I don't think so. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:01:55 AM EST
    The WCC is a tough mid-major conference, with its members willing to play anyone, any time, anywhere. Second-tier schools in the WCC like USF have potential to elevate their programs, and they should.

    When I was in high school, the Dons had Bill Cartwright occupying the post and were the easily the equal of UCLA in the West as the team everyone wanted to emulate. They were a bona fide No. 1 contender, and I'd love to see them back up there again.

    In fact, Cartwright's USF was ranked No. 1 most of the 1977-78 season, and I attended the 1978 NCAA West Regionals when the Dons -- still ranked in the top five at the time, and fresh off a first round win over North Carolina -- were stunned in the second round by an unheralded Cal St.-Fullerton team. Fullerton's own Cinderella run that year brought them agonizingly close to crashing the Final Four, before finally falling to Arkansas in the final seconds in the regional finals. March Madness has a long history of great upsets.

    That's a very good Wichita team we saw this weekend, and both teams played well yesterday. Under Mark Few, Gonzaga's always been a finesse team, and they've historically run into trouble against teams that are willing to bang bodies. Coach Few would do well to recruit and incorporate some muscle into both his program and game plan.


    I made a point of mentioning (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:56:30 PM EST
    that Gonzaga had the worst strength of schedule of any #1 seed in twenty years when the bracket came out. Still, Donald was correct in his statement to me of "so what".

    A team that wins everything on their schedule may or may not be a great team even if they play the weakest of schedules. You don't know how good they are until they start meeting up with other talented teams that want to win everytime you step on the floor. Gonzaga failed in that challenge being the first #1 eliminated.

    Good luck with your westcoaster today. Me, I have to pull for the glass slipper gulfcoaster.


    With all due respect to Gonzaga, the ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:04:54 AM EST
    ... Shockers are not exactly a weak sister, and the Bulldogs didn't exactly fold. Both teams played very well yesterday.

    After Wichita State had pummelled Pittsburgh, I felt that they were going to be trouble for the Bulldogs because of their physicality. Even so, it took an unbelievable barrage of 3-pointers by the Shockers at the end of the game to finally take down the Zags.

    Like UFGC, the Shockers have serious potential for a Final Four run. If they play like they did this weekend and a few breaks go their way, I would not be surprised at all to see them playing in Atlanta two weeks from now.


    LaSalle Univ (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 03:20:12 PM EST
    of Philadelphia, perhaps?

    That's (none / 0) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 03:31:09 PM EST
    the direction the media will probably go if LaSalle wins tonight and FGCU does not. I leave LaSalle off my glass slipper list because over the years they've been to two Final Fours and have one NCAA Title (although long ago)

    If LaSalle and FGCU both lose, they may leave Cinderella aside and give the pub to freeshooting badboy Marshall Henderson.


    Small business and the ACA (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:56:57 AM EST
    Small businesses looking for health care law "loophole".

    Guess what?  They may have found it by self-insuring.

    Not Sure... (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:37:49 PM EST
    ...of what your definition of loopholes is, but they are paying for their employees medical expenses, which was, in part, one of the goals of ACA.

    I suspect that employers who have only young workers are either labor intensive, which carries a good chance of injury, or they will be opening themselves to discrimination issues.

    In the long run, health care costs are fairly equal for all employers, so while this may save them some dollars today, it's likely to catch up to them at some point.  Seems to me this is more like a very high deductible plan and the only difference is who pays the deductible, in this case the employer.

    It's a bad idea in that it creates an more direct incentive for employers to seek out young people and to not favor people who seek out health care and even thin out the employees that do.  But the liability for discriminating IMO is far larger than any savings.


    Well, (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:51:28 PM EST
    First of all, it's extremely difficult to prove age discrimination, and especially with smaller companies - how many people do you think will sue a company with under 50 employees for age discrimination?  How many lawyers are going to take that case? What do you think a plaintiff would get if they actually won, and how much would it cost them to do so? I can see this being a very easy way for many small businesses to freely discriminate against older workers, because the chance they are going to get nailed for it is practically zero.

    Second, as the article states, if this becomes a trend, small business insurance rates will skyrocket, as the people they are insuring will mostly be older and sicker, and defeats one of the main selling points of the whole law in the first place - the community ratings and exchanges.  Even those who support the law worry about this happening:

    That undermines a basic feature of the exchanges: the "community rating" obliging insurers to offer similar prices to all comers, spreading the cost of care among well and sick alike. In a worst-case scenario, small employers will self-insure when workers are healthy, avoiding community rating, and then immediately buy price-controlled coverage on the exchanges if someone becomes gravely ill.

    Health-act advocates especially worry that firms with fewer than 50 employees will self-insure. Those companies aren't required to offer policies under the health law but many are expected to buy in online marketplaces, also known as exchanges, scheduled to open in October.

    I'm not saying this shouldn't be an option to be explored, but I see way too many pitfalls of this, which will result in exactly the opposite of what the law intended.


    You're right in your analysis (none / 0) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:24:34 PM EST
    regarding age discrimination in America today. The only realistic chance a senior has is with a large company, flagrant voluminous violations, being granted "class action" status, retaining very smart lawyers,  and the wild card..........a fair judge. My interaction with these kinds of suits comes from the advice and council my attorneys have relayed to me when I was considering the different options available in this realm. The cases, I was told, can be tried in either State, or Federal court. The "wild card" my lawyers referred to was the fact that the quality of judges in federal court varies widely. Since they're mainly appointed, the quality the appointer is looking for may not always be ......just competence.

    Let me stop right here before I go on rambling forever. The point was, and you made it correctly, that fighting age discrimination in America today is a long-shot at best, and a pipe dream for most.

    Disclaimer: Obviously, I'm not a lawyer, and what I stated here is either my opinion, or what was suggested to me by attorneys.


    Still Not a Loophole (none / 0) (#33)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:40:33 PM EST
    The article also states, ""The idea about employers gaming the system is just a canard,"

    And while I agree with you, for companies to truly take advantage, they are going to have to get rid of people who age and who are more prone to medical expenses.  The smaller the company the more one person can really effect this option.  A 25 year old with cancer has to be fired, whether they can do it and not get caught is arguable.  But they can't remain on the payroll.  

    And while it might be hard to prove, for smaller companies one lawsuit could easily bankrupt them.  So while some folks might find this a viable option, seems like people who are not morally bankrupt and who understand risk and liability, will not choose it.  

    This isn't breaking news, rates for most insurances are based on past claims and the prediction of future claims.  Occasionally someone will get caught firing someone diagnosed with cancer or thinning out the older folks, but it's rare and certainly not a standard that effects other people rates in any meaningful way.

    The loophole that is being used and is 100% legal is trimming hours so the employee(s) don't qualify for company Health Care.


    Not really (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:51:02 PM EST
    The article states that

    "...Michael Ferguson, chief operating officer at the Self-Insurance Institute of America, an industry group...." states, "The idea about employers gaming the system is just a canard."

    As opposed to:

    But if too many small companies take a similar route, insurance plans for small businesses will be stuck with older and sicker members, say policy scholars.

    Under some conditions, such a dynamic could drive up the cost of traditional insurance by as much as 25 percent, says Matthew Buettgens, a researcher at the Urban Institute, at a time when many already worry about the affordability of coverage next year.

    "If it becomes too easy to self-insure, you're inviting employers to choose one kind of coverage if their workers are healthy and a different kind of coverage if they're sick," says Mark Hall, a law professor at Wake Forest University.

    And I completely agree with you on the dropping hours below 30 hours to make people "part-time" and not elegible for health insurance.


    And as for "canard" (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:56:13 PM EST
    Here's one for you as we begin the countdown to Opening Day:

    "In baseball, a tie goes to the runner."

    Actually, that is ALWAYS false.

    A tie should always go to the defense.

    See MLB rules 7.01, 6.05(j), and 709(e).

    Impress people at cocktail parties now.