Saturday, March 19, 2011



U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney today called on the presidents of the NCAA and CBS to televise Thursday’s University of Connecticut men’s basketball game on CBS rather than on cable network TNT, as currently planned.

The NCAA tournament game between the Huskies and Bucknell University is set to start at 7:20 p.m. TNT is available to cable and satellite subscribers. Broadcasting the game on TNT would mean that at least 150,000 households in Connecticut would not be able to see the game, Courtney said.

In the letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert and CBS President and CEO Les Moonves, Blumenthal, D-Conn., said, “I believe the public interest would be better served by enabling fans in Connecticut to view Thursday night’s game, instead of limiting its accessibility to just those households that have cable or satellite service.

While the Department of Education continues its crackdown on mean-spirited taunting on Facebook, some members of Congress are joining the fight in Washington’s War on Bullying with a new bill aimed directly at kids who target students with disabilities.

Rep. Jackie Speier, California Democrat, will introduce a bill that would require schools to report incidents of bullying against children diagnosed with conditions like Down syndrome and Aspergers to the federal government. It would also mandate that any federal dollars that promote anti-bullying programs focus partially on that group.

“There is [currently] no requirement that as part of the anti-bullying curriculum, that there be made specific reference to children with special needs. That’s particularly dumb,” Speier said during a briefing on school bullying on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “What I want to do is create an environment where there is zero tolerance. I think that starts first with education and awareness. Then, when behavior is egregious, then people have to be called out on that.”

Speier’s initiative is part of a larger, national campaign to get the federal government, local officials and school districts to discourage incidents of name calling and taunting on school campuses and online.

The viral video sensation showing a bullying incident at an Australian school has brought the issue of bullying back into the spotlight. Here in the United States, the Obama administration has made school bullying a federal issue. Last week, President Barack Obama addressed an anti-bullying conference with First Lady Michelle Obama at his side. The administration's anti-bullying campaign has been ongoing since the beginning of Mr. Obama's term. The Department of Justice announced in December 2010 its intention to hold liable school districts that fail to protect students that are bullied.

DOJ’s website states:

The Civil Rights Division and the entire Justice Department are committed to ending bullying and harassment in schools, and the video highlights the Department’s authority to enforce federal laws that protect students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, national origin, disability, religion, and sex, including harassment based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes.


Now he's just showing off:

It's no secret that President Barack Obama is a big fan of Maya Moore, so it's no wonder that he's picked Connecticut to win the women's NCAA championship.

The president revealed another edition of "Barack-etology" at the White House, and for the second year in a row predicts UConn -- the defending national champion -- to win it all. From the Elite Eight on, Obama has UConn defeating Duke, rival Tennessee and Baylor for the title.

Though as one wag helpfully noted, perhaps we should feel fortunate that the sharpest minds in America as illustrated above are not devoting their apparent skillful acumen to what you think are the pressing issues of the day, because if you think it's bad now...

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