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Robodawg asks: Chip, I was glad to hear of Georgia basketball’s pickup of Nemanja Djurisic. Is his signing likely to wrap up this year’s class? And can you give a quick run down of how the next class is looking?

Chip: As far as I can tell, recruiting for the 2011 class is likely complete for the Bulldogs. Djurisic, a 6-8 forward from South Kent, Conn., by way of Montenegro, will officially become the fourth member of the class — joining 6-6 guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Greenville (Ga.) High; 6-10 forward Tim Dixon of Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian School and 7-foot center John Florveus of Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College — when he signs during the spring period later this month. Since they will lose only seniors Chris Barnes and Jeremy Price to graduation, that actually puts them one over the NCAA limit of 13 players on scholarship, depending on what juniors Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins decide to do as far as entering the NBA draft. Georgia did place on …

AJC College Sports Recruiting

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It’s good to see these people have maintained their sense of proportion.
And since there is no overt threat of violence, this will remain on Facebook indefinitely.

No, this is not an April Fools Day joke.

Mark Zuckerberg is the next dictator to Go |ثورة على مؤسس الفيسبوك

Reopen the Third Palestinian Intifada Page now ! Freedom for all ppl مطالبنا اعادة فتح صفحة الانتفاضة… الحرية ملك للجميع
This page is established by a group of Arab and International activists who support the Palestinain cause calling for revolution against Mark Zukirberg founder and director of Facebook after closing a page which calls for Palestinian uprising.
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Reopen the Third Palestinian Intifada Page now ! Freedom for all ppl مطالبنا اعادة فتح صفحة الانتفاضة… الحرية ملك للجميع

Maybe they should just stick to that all-Muslim boycott of Facebook they promised

Hat tip: ES

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Daled Amos

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Why are any of us not surprised … this is just like spending $ 3000 for the ceramic cat on the Wheel of Fortune.

What is wrong with these people? The Pentagon is looking to spend $ 600,000 on this so-called art of a gurgling toad sculpture. Is this going to be the centerpiece in the main lobby of the Mark Center? NOPE.  To make matter worse, only an estimated 2,500 people will see this piece of art daily. This is yet just another example of what happens when people spend others peoples money. The US Treasury is going broke and we have government folks who think its a good idea to spend $ 600K on a frog. UNREAL.

A $ 600,000 frog sculpture that lights up, gurgles “sounds of nature” and carries a 10-foot fairy girl on its back could soon be greeting Defense Department employees who plan to start working at the $ 700 million Mark Center in Alexandria, Va. this fall. That is unless a new controversy over the price tag of the public art doesn’t torpedo the idea.

Decried as wasteful spending that will be seen by just a couple thousand of daily workers who arrive on bus shuttles, foes have tried to delay the decision, expected tomorrow, April 1. But in an E-mail, an Army Corps of Engineers official said that the decision can’t be held up because it would impact completion of the huge project.

Sadly, this is not an April’s Fools joke, the only fools are those that thought this was a wise purchase. All the kisses in the world will not turn this $ 600K toad into a prince.

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Live chat: Lunch at the Barry Bonds perjury trial with Mark Purdy, Day 8
San Jose Mercury News
Barry Bonds exits the federal courthouse in San Francisco, Calif., at the conclusion of another day in his perjury trial Tuesday, March 29, 2011. (Karl Mondon/Staff) Throughout the Barry Bonds perjury trial in San Francisco, Mercury News sports
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Bonds Trial Update: A very yawny
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NYT’s food columnist Mark Bittman has given up food:

I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to Congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry.

By doing so, I surprised myself; after all, I eat for a living. But the decision was easy after I spoke last week with David Beckmann, a reverend who is this year’s World Food Prize laureate. Our conversation turned, as so many about food do these days, to the poor.

Who are — once again — under attack, this time in the House budget bill, H.R. 1. The budget proposes cuts in the WIC program (which supports women, infants and children), in international food and health aid (18 million people would be immediately cut off from a much-needed food stream, and 4 million would lose access to malaria medicine) and in programs that aid farmers in underdeveloped countries. Food stamps are also being attacked, in the twisted “Welfare Reform 2011” bill. (There are other egregious maneuvers in H.R. 1, but I’m sticking to those related to food.)

These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts — they’d barely make a dent — will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now. And: The bill would increase defense spending.

Bittman doesn’t say it, of course, but just since Monday we’ve probably dropped enough bombs on Libya to offset these cuts.

We’re spending an average of $ 55 million a day to bomb Libyans while, as Bittman says, people here are going to bed hungry.

I don’t care where you come down on the question of whether we have a national interest in Libya or not. Until someone explains why that national interest is greater than feeding our own children, or until some decides to start taxing GE and Bank of America to pay for this, the action is illegitimate.

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Los Angeles Times
Live chat: Lunch at the Barry Bonds perjury trial with Mark Purdy, Day 6
San Jose Mercury News
Kimberly Bell leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, Calif. on Monday, March 28, 2011. Bell, an ex-mistress of Bonds, testified about physical changes in Bonds, among other things, in the Bonds perjury trial as it enters its
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Los Angeles Times
Live chat: Lunch at the Barry Bonds perjury trial with Mark Purdy, Day 6
San Jose Mercury News
Kimberly Bell leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, Calif. on Monday, March 28, 2011. Bell, an ex-mistress of Bonds, testified about physical changes in Bonds, among other things, in the Bonds perjury trial as it enters its
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Mark Purdy: Ex-lover's testimony brings sleaze to Barry Bonds trial
San Jose Mercury News
The shipment of dirty laundry arrived Monday morning as advertised. In fact, the federal courthouse in San Francisco might need to be fumigated after the testimony of Kimberly Bell in the Barry Bonds perjury trial.
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When Obama decided to go to war with Libya some Capitol Hill leaders in both parties decided to question whether the President had the authority to do so. When George W. Bush was president Obama once posed the same question, stating in 2007: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

The Constitution clearly states that only Congress can declare war and it falls upon the Executive branch to direct that war once declared. The notion that the Commander in Chief, a title designated to the President by the Constitution, can command military action freely without any checks on his power negates not only the letter of our nation’s founding charter but betrays the very nature of American government. In fact, the Founders thought it particularly dangerous to give the President such power, a point James Madison reiterated in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1798: “The constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature.”

Nationally syndicated radio host and best-selling author Mark Levin disagrees with Madison. When members of Congress began to question the President’s authority to wage war without their consent in the wake of Libya bombings, Levin said on his radio program: “I don’t believe in politicizing the Constitution. I believe the Constitution is the rock of this society. So all this talk about the attacks on Libya are unconstitutional because we don’t have a declaration of war, that’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Levin defended his position by saying that not every military action is necessarily full-blown war and said that there are numerous examples of American presidents operating outside of the Constitutional provisions concerning warfare. In his recent column “The Phony Arguments for Presidential War Powers” bestselling author Thomas Woods answers Levin’s latter justification:

This argument, like so much propaganda, originated with the U.S. government itself. At the time of the Korean War, a number of congressmen contended that ‘history will show that on more than 100 occasions in the life of this Republic the President as Commander in Chief has ordered the fleet or the troops to do certain things which involved the risk of war’ without the consent of Congress. In 1966, in defense of the Vietnam War, the State Department adopted a similar line… the great presidential scholar Edward S. Corwin pointed out that (with the exception of John Adams’ quasi war with France in which he did indeed consult Congress, despite portrayals to the contrary) this lengthy list of alleged precedents consisted mainly of ‘fights with pirates, landings of small naval contingents on barbarous or semi-barbarous coasts, the dispatch of small bodies of troops to chase bandits or cattle rustlers across the Mexican border, and the like.’ To support their position, therefore, the neoconservatives and their left-liberal clones are counting chases of cattle rustlers as examples of presidential warmaking, and as precedents for sending millions of Americans into war with foreign governments on the other side of the globe.

Woods is correct about the relative insignificance of these examples but there is also a larger point to be made about those who argue toward this end—particularly the arguments of right-wingers like Levin who push a neoconservative, hyper-interventionist foreign policy, while downplaying or patently ignoring the plain language of the Constitution that would impede this agenda.

Consider when then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked by a reporter what part of the Constitution gave Congress the right to mandate nationalized healthcare, she simply replied “Are you serious? Are you serious?” The reporter replied that he was indeed serious and Pelosi simply ignored the question. When asked about it again later, a Pelosi spokesman reiterated that “It was not a serious question.” Pelosi’s view of the insignificance of the Constitution isn’t unusual and was also repeated by Congressman James Clyburn on FOX Business. When asked by “Freedom Watch” host Judge Andrew Napolitano what gave Congress the Constitutional authority to administer healthcare, Clyburn admitted: “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do.”

Clyburn deserves credit for his honesty. The US Constitution is where each branch of our government is supposed to derive 100% of its authority, but today’s federal government has operated outside its legal bounds for so long that Constitutional questions are often considered an afterthought, if they are even considered at all.

Liberals often argue that the modern world demands government action that could not be foreseen by the Founders, and might even cite the lack of Constitutional authority to enact government programs such as Social Security or Medicare as justification for a program like Obamacare. Liberals’ typical rationale for the legitimacy of such programs is the implementation and political acceptance of older, similar government programs. But their justification is historical precedent, not legal authority. Indeed, the federal government has operated in this virtually lawless manner for so long that liberals find it quaint or “not serious” when anyone dares challenge them on legitimate constitutional grounds.

This is similar to the argument of conservatives like Levin in their defense of presidents who wield extra-constitutional powers when waging war. Levin might cite the Korean War or Vietnam as examples of such executive power, in much the same way liberals cite Social Security or Medicare to defend Obamacare. The actual constitutionality of each takes a backseat to the ideologies being promoted, whether the interventionist domestic government welfare state so many Democrats’ desire or the interventionist foreign warfare state endorsed by so many Republicans.

Despite the Constitution stating explicitly that President Obama is unlawful in ordering a strike on Libya without consulting Congress, Levin finds this contention “Absolutely ridiculous,” in the same way Pelosi asks “Are you serious?” of anyone who dares challenge Obamacare’s constitutionality. No doubt, both Levin and Pelosi rhetorically claim that they “support the Constitution,” but their personal, mostly imaginary constitutions are simply projections of what each respective liberal and neoconservative ideologue would like them to be, not necessarily what the Founders actually wrote and ratified.

For conservatives, such constitutional hypocrisy poses a crippling problem. American conservatives’ primary critique of today’s federal government is that most of what it does is not only intrusive, inefficient and expensive, but that if we were only to follow the Constitution again such statism would become a moot point. Liberals do not have this problem as their philosophy is based, in practical terms, on an ever expanding statism. Conservatives nearly uproot their entire argument for limited government, both domestic and foreign, when they concede the need for operating outside the Constitution in areas some right-wingers find necessary or desirable—per neoconservatives’ seemingly permanent push for perpetual war through unlimited Executive power.

But we either have a Constitution or we do not—and if we do not, as both Pelosi and Levin unwittingly concede from their own perspectives, there truly is no definable limit as to what destruction of liberty or imposition of tyranny our federal government is capable of.

The American Conservative

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The final Horne: Dream shot misses the mark as Arizona Wildcats' season ends
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jamelle Horne's first reaction was to bring his hands, balled into fists, near his face. Disbelief. Dismay. Time had run out. UConn was celebrating. Arizona was stunned.
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In 1966, God was pronounced dead. More recently, it was determined that God is back. But now a team of researchers has put him on the endangered species list.

“Religion may become extinct in nine nations,” says a BBC headline today reporting on a presentation made at the American Physical Society meeting. Based on census data showing increased religious non-affiliation, the study “indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.”

“The idea is pretty simple,” says one of the researchers. “It posits that social groups that have more members are going to be more attractive to join, and it posits that social groups have a social status or utility.”

If these researchers are right that religion is on its way to extinction in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland, the more interesting question to pose is: Why these countries, and why in the 21st century?

Religion has not only continued through the course of human history but thrived in a variety of cultural contexts. Clearly, the social group competition idea could not explain early Christian history and other episodes over the centuries where religious minorities—even persecuted minorities—have continued to attract adherents and grow dramatically. And in modern societies, Islam is rapidly growing across the globe, and worldwide Pentecostal membership is surging.

The assumption that political and social progress will increasingly marginalize religion has dominated many academic circles. However, data on religious belief and practice in the U.S. and around the world defy that theory. Recent commentary and books have contested the notion. The latest—launched at an event earlier today at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center—is God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics. Authors Tim Shah, Monica Duffy Toft, and Dan Philpott analyze how and why religion’s worldwide influence is increasing.

Even with an increase in religious non-affiliation, religious belief and practice continue to be strong in America as well. More than 60 percent of Americans have no doubt that God exists, and almost 40 percent frequently practice their faith. The majority of Americans still hold to some religious belief.

The American experience also demonstrates the diverse nature of religion in religious affiliation as well as in individual religious practice. Even among the religiously unaffiliated, which might seem like a homogenous group, there is debate about whether the rise in those claiming “none” on surveys of religious affiliation are actually not religious—or whether changes in religion have left researchers asking outdated questions that no longer fit many people’s actual experience. While affiliation with organized religion may have declined, and among young adults in particular, individuals are not necessarily becoming less “religious” or “spiritual.”

According to the Pew 2007 Religious Landscape Survey, about one-quarter of the “non-affiliated” group (16.1 percent of the overall population) are either atheists or agnostics (about 1.6 and 2.4 percent of the adult population, respectively). Among the remaining three-quarters of the “non-affiliated,” who describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” about one-half are “secular unaffiliated”—i.e., those who say religion is not important in their lives (about 6.3 percent of the adult population)—and the other half are the “religious unaffiliated”—i.e., those who say religion is either somewhat important or very important in their lives (5.8 percent of the adult population).

Suffice it to say that there’s more to religion and its future than current surveys of religious affiliation can capture. The endurance of the transcendent will continue to be the subject of projections using finite models. But rather than continually revising those estimates, here’s an alternative hypothesis: As long as human nature persists, man will be wrestling with God. In other words, religion is a permanent feature of the human race.

Co-authored by Christine Kim.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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Mark Purdy: Bobby Bonds is dragged into the muck at son's perjury…
San Jose Mercury News
At heart, the Barry Bonds perjury trial is still a baseball story about a man and his legacy. And I regret to report that the story has taken a reprehensible turn for the creepy in regard to one of the best San Francisco Giants ever.
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New York Times (blog)
Mark Purdy: Bobby Bonds is dragged into the muck at son's perjury trial
San Jose Mercury News
At heart, the Barry Bonds perjury trial is still a baseball story about a man and his legacy. And I regret to report that the story has taken a reprehensible turn for the creepy in regard to one of the best San Francisco Giants ever.
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Mark Purdy: Former San Francisco Giants trainer Stan Conte looms…
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Be patient. None of the good stuff has happened yet. The Barry Bonds perjury trial was a slow starter Tuesday. Everyone largely went through the motions. First, attorneys gave their opening statements. No surprises.
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Washington (CNN) – Is the United States doing enough to help out Japan as it tries to recover from a catastrophic earthquake and ensuing tsunami?

According to a new national poll, the answer is yes.

Two-thirds of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday say that the U.S. has provided the right amount of assistance to Japan since the March 11 natural disaster. The poll indicates that 24 percent say the U.S. has not done enough to assist Japan, with seven percent saying too much assistance has been given to Japan.

As of Tuesday, the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami stands at over 9,000, with more than 13,000 confirmed missing. The tsunami also severely damaged a nuclear power plant, resulting in a possible meltdown of some of the reactors.

“Roughly half believe that Japan doesn’t need as much help as poorer countries like Haiti that have suffered from similar natural disasters in the past,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Another 12 percent say that Japan does not need any assistance from the U.S. at all because it is a well-developed country with a strong economy.”

That leaves 39 percent who believe that Japan will need as much aid from the U.S. as other countries hit by earthquakes or natural disasters in the past.

Just over seven in ten say they approve of how President Barack Obama’s administration has handled the government’s response to the crisis in Japan, with 22 percent saying they disapprove.

Could a natural disaster cause the same damage to the U.S. in the near future?

“Twenty-eight percent say that’s very likely, with another 43 percent believing it is somewhat likely. If it does happen, six in ten are confident in the federal government’s ability to respond to future natural disasters,” adds Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 18-20, with 1,012 people questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

CNN Political Ticker

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