Friday, December 25, 2009

President Barack Obama : A Historic Moment : Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul on Party-Line Vote - NYTimes.com

Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul on Party-Line Vote - NYTimes.com

President Barack Obama sent out the following email:
"Andis --

Although it's Christmas Eve, I wanted to share some exciting news: The Senate just passed a historic health reform bill.

In all the back and forth, it's easy to lose sight of what this incredible breakthrough really means. But consider this: This Christmas, there are millions of Americans without health insurance who risk losing everything if they get sick.

There are mothers and fathers who wonder how they'll provide for their children because an illness has wiped out their savings. There are small business owners who worry that they'll have to lay off a long-time employee because the cost of insurance is rapidly rising.

If we finish the job, all this can change. We will have beaten back the special interests who have for so long perpetuated the status quo. We will have enacted the most important piece of social policy since the Social Security Act in the 1930s, and the most important health reform since Medicare in the 1960s.

In Decembers to come, millions more will have access to affordable coverage. Parents will have the security and stability of knowing their insurance can't be revoked at a moment's notice. And the skyrocketing costs plaguing our small businesses will be brought under control.

When you make calls, write letters, organize, this is the change you're making -- a better life for your family and for men and women in every state.

There is still more to do before I can sign reform into law -- a last round of negotiations and final votes in the Senate and the House -- and I'm counting on your help every step of the way. But for now, I hope that as you celebrate this holiday season, you remember that the work you are doing is making our union more perfect, one step at a time. For that, I am grateful to you.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays,

President Barack Obama

P.S. -- Organizing for America supporters are signing a note of appreciation to all the senators who have worked so hard to make this possible. I hope you'll join them:

http://my.barackobama.com/SenateLetter"

Music City Bowl : Clemson vs. Kentucky : YPPSYS NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 Season

December 27, 2009, Sunday

10. Music City Bowl, Nashville, TN, Clemson vs. Kentucky, 8:30 pm

YPPSYS I ranks Clemson 21st with a rating of -0.1 and Kentucky 64th with a rating of -1.9, a difference of 1.8 x 9 = 16.2 points. YPPSYS II by schedule-adjusted margin of victory rates Clemson at 8.2 and Kentucky at 0.8, or an advantage of 7.4 points to Clemson.

Our call: The opening line was 7.5 points and had dropped to 7 points at the time of this posting. Kentucky QB Mike Hartline, who has not played since October due to an injury, may play in the bowl game, thus giving Kentucky the passing game it has otherwise lacked this season ever since his injury, so he might be quite rusty, but this adds a substantial element of uncertainty to this game. By comparative scores, Kentucky lost to South Carolina 28-26 on the road while the Tigers lost to the Gamecocks on the road 34-17. We call it for Clemson 32-24.

NCAA FBS College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2009 / 2010 utilize YPPSYS ratings and rankings (yards per play advantage - offense and defense, won-loss record, schedule of difficulty according to Massey Ratings) and YPPSYS II for the top 40 teams (YPPSYS II = YPPSYS I supplemented by MOV, margin of victory plus the schedule difficulty recalculated based on YPPSYS ratings).

YPPSYS COLLEGE FOOTBALL RATINGS AND RANKINGS - NCAA DIVISION I-A (FBS) are based on net yards per play advantage (NAYPPA), strength of schedule, defense and adjustment for losses through December 5, 2009, after Week 14 of regular season games.

NAYPPA = net yards per play advantage (YPP OFF minus YPP DEF)
YPP OFF = net yards per play gained on offense
YPP DEF = net yards per play allowed on defense
Schedule = Schedule difficulty thus far in the season according to Massey Ratings
(SchP=Schedule Partial)
YPP Team Statistics are based on data found at
cfbstats.com
Odds are taken from Todd Beck's College Football Prediction Tracker
as of Wednesday, December 16, 2009 9:42:07 AM

The prognostications cover numerous bowl games and great match-ups. Few games can be said to be mis-matched and ultimate winners are in doubt in many.

We make no warranties as to the truth or accuracy of our information. As always, we do this in good fun only - do not rely on our predictions for anything - and we disclaim any and all liability for any reliance upon our prognostications. Football is sport. May the best team win.

Holiday Greetings !



M E R R Y


C H R I S T M A S

from

LawPundit

College Football Bowl & Championship Game Predictions & Results (updated as scores come in) - NCAA I ( FBS, FCS), II, & III & NAIA - 2009/2010 Season

NCAA Division I FBS (the old Division I-A)

The 2009/2010 NCAA Division I FBS bowl season started off with surprises and we would not be surprised if this continues throughout the remaining bowl games. The BCS looks bad.

Fresno State and Wyoming opened the bowl season in style in the New Mexico Bowl, as underdog Wyoming won in two overtimes 35-28. The surprise in the game was that the Cowboys put up more total offense than the Bulldogs and thus deserved to win. We predicted a Fresno State win but beat the line. Is it significant for future bowl games and rankings that the #5 in the Mountain West Conference beat the #3 in the Western Athletic Conference? Our NCAA I FBS bowl record is 0-1 in predicting the winner and 1-0 against the spread.

Rutgers beat UCF convincingly 45-24 in the St. Petersburg Bowl, as the Scarlet Knights outgained the Knights of Central Florida 380 yards to 255. The stronger Rutgers defense was the difference in the ball game. We had predicted a narrow UCF win. Our NCAA I FBS bowl record is 0-2 in predicting the winner and 1-1 against the spread.

Middle Tennesse State vanquished Southern Mississippi 42-32 on the strength of a great performance by the Blue Raiders passing and running quarterback Dwight Dasher, who passed for 162 yards and ran for 201 yards against the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. As written by Mary Foster at Yahoo Rivals.com, The 201 yards eclipsed the old record of 200 yards set by Vince Young of Texas against USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl. We predicted a Blue Raider win. Our NCAA I FBS bowl record is now 1-2 in predicting the winner and 2-1 against the spread.

BYU confirmed the strength of the Mountain West Conference and threw more logs into the fire burning under BCS by beating Pac 10 Oregon State 44-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl. As if Utah's win over Alabama last bowl season was not worth pondering, the BCS match-ups this year are a scandal of the first rank, matching the unbeaten "outsider" teams TCU and Boise State with each other rather than having them each play, and, embarassingly for the BCS, perhaps beat BCS Big 6 teams. In our book, the current BCS arrangement violates the principle tenets of the U.S. anti-trust laws and should be disbanded as a tragic anachronism ushered in by clueless university presidents viz. chancellors and similarly deluded non-athletic academics. We predicted a Brigham Young victory. Our NCAA I FBS bowl record is now 2-2 in predicting the winner and 3-1 against the spread.

Utah won its ninth straight bowl by beating Cal 37-27 in the Poinsettia Bowl. There is a reason Utah keeps winning these games, including last year's blowout of Alabama, but that reason has not yet filtered into the anachronistic ranks of those who make the national football polls or run the BCS. Utah was the better team and also won almost every statistical category against the Bears. The Mountain West Conference is now 3-0 in bowl games, having knocked off two Pac 10 teams of a conference unjustifiably ranked way above it by BCS and other pollsters. That faulty conference ranking greatly affects the alleged schedule difficulty of each team and greatly skews the team rankings - as we have shown at YPPSYS II. Would Alabama beat TCU or Boise State? Maybe yes and maybe no, but we will never know, thanks to BCS. We predicted a Ute victory. Our NCAA I FBS bowl record is now 3-2 in predicting the winner and 4-1 against the spread.

SMU thoroughly thrashed Nevada 45-10 in the Hawaii Bowl as the string of upsets in college bowl games continued, and a Mustang team that lost 30-27 to lowly Washington State early in the season now came of age. Nevada lacked two of its 1000-yard rushers due to academic ineligibility and an injury (Vai Taua and Luke Lippincott) but it was Nevada's weak defense which proved to be the difference, as the Mustangs put up 534 yards offense against the Wolf Pack, 460 of those in the air against the nation's second worst pass defense. You can't be successful in modern college football without a decent pass defense. We did predict a Wolf Pack win (who didn't ?) and lost that one, but we did beat the spread. Our NCAA I FBS bowl record is now 3-3 in predicting the winner and 5-1 against the spread.

(keep checking at LawPundit as scores come in - we will update this post and put it at the top of the posting list whenever we make a change)

NAIA


We predicted a win by Sioux Falls - who plan to move to NCAA Division II in 2011 - but it was much closer than expected as the Cougars defended their NAIA Football Championship against the Lindenwood Lions 25-22 in the Russell Athletic 54th annual NAIA National Championship game. The win was the 29th in the row for Sioux Falls, who thereby supplanted NCAA Division III Mount Union as the current holder of the longest winning streak in college football. Mount Union's 29-game winning streak was snapped in this year's Division 3 championship game.

NCAA Division III

We predicted a win by Mount Union by 3 points, but they lost in the championship game, where the NCAA Division III football championship playoffs otherwise went pretty much as anticipated. The two teams that nearly everyone predicted to be in the finals (the 2009 Stagg Bowl) played each other again for the 5th year in succession in a series still led by Mount Union 3-2. This year, the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks won 38-28 in a fairly even game statistically as the opposing Mount Union Purple Raiders played a poor first half, trailing 28-14 at halftime. Mount Union rebounded to tie the game 28-28 in the second half, but then committed three costly fumble turnovers in the 4th quarter, cutting off their own scoring opportunities and handing the game to the Warhawks. The loss marked the end of Mount Union's nation-leading 29-game win streak. Mount Union has to learn to hold on to the ball in inclement weather, as they lost similarly in 2007 due their inability to hold on to the football when the weather was bad.

NCAA Division II

We predicted a win by Northwest Missouri State by 5 points. After four straight years of being in the NCAA Division II football championship game - and losing - the Bearcats finally broke the jinx in their 5th attempt and beat the Grand Valley State Lakers 30-23 for the championship. Although Grand Valley held the football for 37:27 minutes as opposed to only 22:33 minutes for Northwest Missouri, the Bearcats gained 6.5 yards per play as opposed to the Lakers 4.9 yards per play, thus virtually balancing the teams' total offenses in a game that was fairly equal statistically.

NCAA Division I FCS (the old Division I-AA)

We predicted a Villanova win over Montana by 4 points, and the Wildcats beat the previously undefeated Grizzlies 23-21, who lost in the championship game for the second straight year and for the third time in the last six years. Maybe 2010 will be charm, in a year when the playoffs will be expanded to 20 teams and the championship game will be pushed into January. Take a look at some fine game photos by David Swanson at Philly.com Sports.

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