24/NCAA championship basketball game open thread (UPDATE: THE OBAMA CURSE IS OVER – SORTA!)

I’ll be slightly preoccupied with watching the NCAA championship basketball game tonight. :D Doubt I’ll be around much, if any, as I have a hard enough time breathing let alone typing when Duke is in a game like this. Deep breaths! Deep breaths!

Update – 11:54 PM: It’s ovah, and my boys won a hard fought battle! Butler has nothing to be ashamed of. I knew this was going to be close. Just didn’t know which side was going to prevail.

Jack Bauer

Oh dear – Has Obama cursed Duke by picking them to win tonight?

Say it ain’t so!

This summery, sports-drenched day will be capped off by the finals of the NCAA basketball championship. Will POTUS be watching? “Absolutely,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

In the announcers’ box after his first pitch, Obama predicted a victory for Duke University, though he added that underdog Butler University is a “great story.” Predicting Duke was certainly the safe answer. His personal aide, Reggie Love, played on Duke’s 2001 championship team.

“I can’t imagine what Reggie Love is going to be like if Duke wins tonight,” Mr. Gibbs said. “This building and this complex will not be big enough for Reggie’s exuberance and the rest of us to coincide in the same place.”

Props to Love for playing for a great basketball program like Duke’s, but dang, couldn’t his boss have stayed quiet on who he thought was going to win? After all, last I checked, the dreaded Obama Curse is still in effect:

Obama campaigns for Creigh Deeds: He lost.
Obama campaigns for Jon Corzine: Another loss.
Obama campaigns for the Chicago Olympics: Out in the first round of voting.
Obama campaigns for Martha Coakley: Epic fail.
Obama lobbies hard for health care: It’s now in a dangerously deep coma

Last night, Kentucky’s basketball team, #1 in the nation with a 19-0 record, gets a phone call from President Obama before the game. What happened? You guessed it, Kentucky lost to a mediocre South Carolina team.

Now, Doug Powers wrote that back in January (and no, I haven’t forgotten that ObamaCare came out of that coma – with a lot of palm greasing and federal tax $$$ changing hands behind the scenes), but if you take a look at Obama’s men’s basketball bracket, he, er, didn’t do too well with his picks. Granted, there were a lot of upsets and surprises, but still – as a Duke fan I’m feeling really uncomfortable now that I know he’s picked the Devils to win tonight. :-ss

I think it’ll be a good game and that Butler is a strong team that a lot of people are misunderestimating right now, but in the end, let’s hope the curse is lifted and that, in spite of Butler being a clear hometown/underdog favorite, Zoubs and Company bring home NCAA championship number four tonight! [-o<

VIDEO: President Obama throws the first pitch at Nationals’ home opener – AP spins

Continuing a 100 year Presidential tradition:

WASHINGTON — A hundred years after President William Howard Taft started a baseball tradition with a low ceremonial first pitch, President Barack Obama went in the other direction Monday, sailing a high, wide toss at the Washington Nationals’ home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Just as Taft’s toss forced pitcher Walter Johnson to make an athletic play, Obama’s required Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to lunge to prevent a wild pitch.

Check out this spin, from the same report:

Obama received a loud ovation from the packed crowd, with a few boos scattered in. Earlier, a video montage of presidential pitches in Washington elicited boos when it showed former President George W. Bush.

Er, um, watch the video and tell me if that sounds like a “loud ovation” with a “few boos scattered in”:

The Political Punch blog reported:

Preceding his pitch, while on the mound he pulled out a black Chicago White Sox cap – smiling wide at his allegiance – as boo’s flooded the stadium.

A short play by play, via The Politico:

Obama drew a mixture of cheers and boos from the crowd as he strolled out onto the field wearing a Chicago White Sox cap in a nod to his hometown team. It was his first trip to the stadium since taking office.

“A little high and outside,” Obama remarked after his pitch.

And, too far to the left … surprise, surprise.

Related:

Another MSM/Dem myth busted

Both The Hill and Gallup report this morning some interesting demographics on the Tea Party movement that are at odds with how Democrats and their allies in the MSM have portrayed them. First, from The Hill (via Memeorandum):

Four in 10 Tea Party members are either Democrats or Independents, according to a new national survey.

The findings provide one of the most detailed portraits to date of the grassroots movement that started last year.

The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal.

The Winston Group conducted three national telephone surveys of 1,000 registered voters between December and February. Of those polled, 17 percent – more than 500 people — said they were “part of the Tea Party movement.”

“It’s a good sample size,” said David Winston, the polling firm’s director. “It will certainly give us an initial base to follow where these folks are.”

The group is united around two issues – the economy/jobs and reducing the deficit. They believe that cutting spending is the key to job creation and favor tax cuts as the best way to stimulate the economy. That said 61 percent of Tea Party members believe infrastructure spending creates jobs. Moreover, given the choice Tea Party members favor 63-32 reducing unemployment to 5 percent over balancing the budget.

And from Gallup:

Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics
Skew right politically, but have typical profile by age, education, and employment

PRINCETON, NJ — Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That’s the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement.

[…]

Tea Party supporters are decidedly Republican and conservative in their leanings. Also, compared with average Americans, supporters are slightly more likely to be male and less likely to be lower-income.

The breakdown is as follows:

49% Republican
43% Independent
8% Democrat

70% Conservative
22% Moderate
8% Liberal

Love the “decidedly Republican” description even though nearly the same number of those polled described themselves as “Independent” as they did “Republican” but whatever. I suspect the numbers are somewhere in the middle of what Gallup reported and the Winston Group reported. The Tea Party movement is a diverse group of people who don’t all fit in one neat little box and, contra to the President’s absurd and baseless claim, the “core” of the movement has nothing to do with “birtherism” but instead concern about this nation’s fiscal future and the increasing role government has in the lives of the American people. How could the “core” of the movement have anything to do with birtherism since the movement actually started in mid 2008 in response to government bailouts?? 8-|

JammieWearingFool, predicting that the Dems will be on suicide watch this morning after reading the “first wave” of news on the demographics of Tea Partiers, writes:

It’s interesting to note that job creation and deficit reduction are the two primary issues motivating those polled [in the Winston Group polls]. Democrats used to pay lip service to the deficit when it suited them and Obama has pretended to care about creating jobs while overseeing the loss of millions of them. The media mantra that it was all about taxes doesn’t seem to wash.

It sure doesn’t seem like the pathetic attempts at portraying tea partiers as a bunch of racist, violent extremists is bearing much fruit.

Nope, it doesn’t, but in answer to Noel Sheppard’s question wondering how the MSM will react to these findings, don’t look for them nor Democrats to change their tunes on their (coordinated?) attempts at smearing those who think this administration is taking this country in a dangerously wrong direction. The ends justifies the means to this agenda-driven crowd, even if it means violating their 2001-2008 “Dissent is patriotic” motto over and over again.