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Category Archives: Ann Romney

August 12-16, 2012 Headlines: Browns Rice, Romney’s NASCAR support, ‘n’ CA move to protect sports fans

Condoleeza Rice claims the Browns as her team

Yahoo! Sports (blog)   Wed, Aug 15 2012

The NFL is marketing some new fashion-forward gear for women under the slogan, “It’s My Team,” and one of the high-powered ladies modeling for it is former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

Gov. Jerry Brown weighs protections for California sports fans

Los Angeles Times  Wed, Aug 15 2012

Mariah Tauger/ Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing a proposal to better protect sports fans from violence at California’s professional football stadiums, hockey arenas and baseball parks. In the wake of violent incidents across the state, including the 2011 beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium, the Legislature this week sent Brown a bill that would require major-league sports venues to clearly post phone numbers that fans can call or text to quickly summon stadium security for help.

President Obama congratulates Team USA basketball: ‘You all make us so proud’

Examiner.com   Sun, Aug 12 2012

After the final competition finished on Sunday, the President of the United States took a minute to congratulate all the winners of the United States basketball teams at the London Olympics. Winning 104 medals during the individual competitions, there were plenty of moments that America can be proud about and then there was a special moment coming at the end with the men’s basketball team winning gold. “Congrats to the U.S. women’s and men’s basketball teams for bringing home the gold. You all make us so proud. –bo” tweeted President Obama from his official Twitter account.

Commissioner Stern awarded Olympic Order

Jacques Rogge & David Stern

NBA.com    Sun, Aug 12 2012

LONDON — NBA Commissioner David Stern has been awarded the prestigious Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He was presented the honour during the half-time of Sunday’s men’s Olympic Basketball Final by IOC President Jacques Rogge, who attended the Final in the North Greenwich Arena. Together with the then FIBA Secretary General Borislav Stankovic — who was awarded the Olympic Order in 1985 — Stern was the key figure in working towards the participation of professional basketball players in the Olympics, including those of the NBA.

IOC President Jacques Rogge calls Olympic anti-doping program a ‘system that works’

Washington Post   Sun, Aug 12 2012

LONDON — Even before the flame was out, IOC President Jacques Rogge said efforts to fight doping at the Olympics were a success. Through Sunday morning, only one athlete tested positive for a banned substance on the day of competing at the London Games. Seven more were caught in doping controls conducted since the official testing period for the games began July 16.

Obama congratulates Cameron on successful Olympics

USA TODAY (blog)   Sun, Aug 12 2012

President Obama called Prime Minister Cameron today to congratulate him and the people of the United Kingdom and London on an extremely successful Olympic games, which speaks to the character and spirit of our close ally. Both leaders commended the

Michelle Obama teases Gabby Douglas over fast food

The Seattle Times   Mon, Aug 13 2012

Olympic champion Gabby Douglas basked in the “Tonight” spotlight and the admiration of fellow guest Michelle Obama, but the teenage gymnast already is thinking ahead to 2016.

Romney, GOP put NASCAR Tech on big stage

Mooresville Tribune   Wed, Aug 15 2012

Mooresville’s NASCAR Technical Institute has been front-and-center at two high-visibility Republican events in the past week. But a school executive says the Mooresville facility isn’t picking political sides in the presidential election.

First, a race car with NASCAR Tech decals was displayed prominently at the opening of the Mitt Romney/Iredell GOP headquarters in Morrison Plantation last week. Then Romney himself visited NTI on Sunday in a high-profile campaign stop with new vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

Both events had all the making of an NTI endorsement of the Republicans, but that wasn’t the intention, insists John Dodson, NTI’s Community/NASCAR Team Relations Director.

Romney Gets Fundraising Lift From Nascar

Wall Street Journal (blog)   Wed, Aug 15 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –Mitt Romney once mentioned he was friends with Nascar team owners — and on Wednesday he proved it.At a lunchtime fundraiser here Wednesday, Mr. Romney raked in $1.5 million at Duke Mansion, alongside a handful of Nascar owners and officials. Among the notable team owners were Richard Childress, a former Nascar driver who owns the team Richard Childress Racing and Rick Hendrick, who owns the Nascar team Hendrick Motorsports. Nascar Chief Executive Brian France introduced Mr. Romney. Nascar President Mike Helton and Bruton Smith, the owner of Speedway Motorsport Inc., were also in attendance.

One sign of Ryan’s impact on Romney campaign: Big crowds

ABC News  Sun, Aug 12 2012

…Several thousand people turned out to see the new GOP ticket at a NASCAR mechanics training facility here—including over 1,700 who crowded inside the event, which was held on a repair floor inside the complex. It was the second day in a row of record-breaking crowds for the Romney campaign, including more than 8,000 who attended a rally in Manassas, Va., on Saturday. In Mooresville, Romney was presented with his own customized NASCAR by legendary stock car driver Darrell Waltrip, prompting an emotional reaction from the GOP presidential candidate who rarely strays from his usual stump speech.

Biden: I dreamed of winning the Daytona 500

Politico (blog)   Tues, Aug 14 2012

At a campaign stop in Stuart, Va., Vice President Joe Biden was so excited to meet a NASCAR owner that he ordered the press corp to scatter. “Get out of the way man,” Biden said “good-naturedly” to a photographer upon entering The Coffee Break Cafe, according to a pool report filed by POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin. “Get out of the way.” Biden then approached restaurant patron Glen Wood, the owner of a car that won the Daytona 500 in 2011.”I heard somebody in here won the Daytona!” Biden said. “This guy did what I dreamed of, man,” Biden said.  “I’d trade being vice-president in a heartbeat for having won Daytona.”

Ann Romney to raise coin for Connie Mack at RNC baseball-themed event

MiamiHerald.com (blog)   Thur, Aug 16 2012

Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, is a special guest of Mack’s “Evening at the Ballpark” fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Tampa from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 28 during the Republican National Convention week. Host contribution: $10,000. Reception contribution: $1,000 per person. Mack is the great grandson of baseball great Connie Mack.

Steve McMichael plans to run for mayor

SI.com   Thur, Aug 16 2012

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. (AP) – Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Steve McMichael says he wants to enter the political field after being a star on the football one. McMichael was a fan favorite as a member of the Super Bowl-winning Bears and he says he plans to run for mayor of Romeoville, Ill. McMichael is co-owner of Mongo McMichael’s sports bar in the Chicago suburb.

Mayor, Boston Pizza play road hockey for a cause

Orangeville Citizen   Thur, Aug 16 2012

Boston Pizza and Mayor Rob Adams are partnering to raise money by submitting a team to play in the annual Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer event at Ontario Place next month. And on the evening of Monday, September 24, Boston Pizza will be playing host to their fundraising efforts by creating an evening of entertainment and live music for residents.

August 6-8, 2012 Headlines: Aly’s Olympic Solute to slain Israelis, Pres pushes tax cut for some, ‘n’ Balling for $

Jewish gal shows up IOC with a gold salute to Munich 11

Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman wins Olympic gold-medal floor routine, Reuters

New York Post  Tues, Aug 7 2012

It wasn’t a gloved-fist salute from the medal stand, but Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman made quite a statement yesterday by winning a gold medal and invoking the memory of the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago in Munich. Raisman finished first in the women’s floor exercise, but she deserves to have another medal draped around her neck for having the chutzpah to face the world and do what needed to be done and say what needed to be said. At the same Olympic Games where bigoted organizers stubbornly refuse to honor the slain athletes with a moment of silence, 18-year-old Raisman loudly shocked observers first by winning, then by paying her own tribute to 11 sportsmen who died long before she was born.

Obama favors cutting Olympians’ tax bill

CNN (blog)   Mon, Aug 6 2012

These Olympians owe thousands in taxes

(CNN) – When the U.S. Olympic team add to its medal count, it’s not just the fans and Olympians who celebrate. So does the IRS. That’s because the U.S. Olympic Committee awards each medalist with a cash prize – $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze – money that the U.S. government has always considered taxable income. But the White House on Monday said President Obama favors a proposed bill that would keep Uncle Sam’s hands off Olympic earnings. “The president believes that we should support efforts . . . to ensure that we are doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters…referencing legislation proposed by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio that would exempt the cash awards associated with Olympic medals.

Barack Obama to fundraise with basketball game featuring Michael Jordan and Carmelo Anthony

President Barack Obama has Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony and other basketball stars committed to a fundraising event. (Saul Loeb:Getty Images)

SI.com   Tues, Aug 7 2012

Barack Obama is about to get a boost in his fundraising efforts from a number of big names in the basketball world. According to a report Tuesday afternoon from CBS.com, citing a campaign e-mail, the president will hold an “Obama Classic” basketball game as a fundraiser. Among those scheduled to participate are Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Sheryl Swoops.

President or bust: Candidate Mitt Romney meets Harry Caray statue at Chicago Fundraiser

Yahoo! Sports (blog)  Wed, Aug 8 2012

Witth the current occupant of the White House also being a fervent supporter of the Chicago White Sox (no matter what it said on Facebook recently), it makes sense that Republican candidate Mitt Romney would seek the sprawling Chicago Cubs vote. To that end, Romney visited Harry Caray’s restaurant Tuesday to raise campaign funds and to rub, eh, shoulders with the inspiration for the business, Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray. Or at least Harry’s bust.

Holy Cow! Mitt Romney & Harry Caray, Getty

No Olympic medal for Ann Romney’s horse Rafalca

Washington Post   Tues, Aug 7 2012

In Tuesday’s Olympic dressage event at Greenwich Park, Rafalca, the 15-year-old mare part-owned by Mitt and Ann Romney, received an individual score of 69.302, which is too low to qualify for the highlight of dressage competitions — Thursday’s Grand Prix Freestyle — meaning the Romneys’ horse is out of medal contention.

Major League Baseball, the New York Mets and New York City unveil the official logo of the 2013 All-Star Game

MLB.com   Tues, Aug 7 2012

FLUSHING, NY – Major League Baseball, the New York Mets and New York City today unveiled the official logo of the 2013 All-Star Game, which will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16th…”Major League Baseball hit a home run when they chose to hold the 2013 All-Star Game in New York City,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “Incorporating our city’s iconic skyline into the logo highlights that the game will be played on the world’s biggest stage.”

N.J. officials unfazed by lawsuit against plan for sports betting

NorthJersey.com   Tues, Aug 7 2012

Four major professional leagues and the NCAA sued New Jersey on Tuesday, saying that Trenton’s plan to allow betting on athletic competition poses a threat to the integrity of their games. But an array of powerful figures in the state — including the governor and a leading Democratic state senator — shrugged off the lawsuit, saying that a legal battle had been anticipated. “Listen, there’s a federal law that was passed that restricts the states that can participate in sports gambling to just four,” Governor Christie said at a State House press conference. “We believe that law is unconstitutional.”

New York senator, governor announce plans to keep Bills in Buffalo

CBSSports.com   Wed, Aug 8 2012

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the appointment of a sports expert to advise the state in its efforts to secure the Buffalo Bills‘ future in western New York. Sen. Charles Schumer, meantime, said he has asked the National Football League for changes in a stadium renovation loan program that he said would advance the same goal. The moves come as negotiations are under way between the Bills and Erie County and New York state to extend the Bills’ lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium in suburban Buffalo. The current deal expires in July 2013.

Knicks links: Assistant Secretary of State drops Jeremy Lin’s name in Taipei

The Star-Ledger – NJ.com   Mon, Aug 6 2012

Diplomats are regular people (I don’t know any, but that seems reasonable to say) so it’s not a complete surprise that Jose W. Fernandez, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, discussed Jeremy Lin with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in an official visit on Monday.According to a post by Kelven Huang and Sofia Wu on the Focus Taiwan Channel’s website, Fernandez, a native New Yorker, said he regretted Lin’s move from the Knicks to the Houston Rockets and added his hope that the California native would return to the Big Apple to finish his career.

Former mayor named head of sports authority

Northwest News and Tribune   Wed, Aug 8 2012

PLANT CITY — A former mayor who helped find a new tenant for the Plant City Stadium complex has been named chairman of the Tampa Sports Authority. Randy Larson, 57, said he looks forward to his year leading the authority, which manages Raymond James Stadium and three Tampa golf courses and is the landlord for George Steinbrenner Field and the Forum. His goal: to make the venues “accessible to the most people,” he said.

August 3-4, 2012 Headlines: Presidential Gymnastics, Rafalca places 13, ‘n’ Obama avoids date/land in the middle of one

Obama and Romney’s political gymnastics

Washington Post  Fri, Aug 3 2012

At NBC, to say we have Olympics fever is an understatement. For a few short weeks every four years, the Games overtake the presidential campaign as the more compelling news event. But competing in the Olympics and running for the White House have some things in common…Let’s use a sport that’s popular and one that, if President Obama and Mitt Romney actually tried it, would surely entertain audiences more than your typical stump speech: women’s gymnastics. Let the games begin!

Obama to US Olympic team: ‘Your country could not be prouder’

The Hill (blog)   Fri, Aug 3 2012

President Obama stepped away from election-year battles to praise America’s athletes who are competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, telling them “your country could not be prouder of you.” In his weekly address, Obama said the competitors showed the nation that “for all our differences, we’re Americans first” and that their efforts had “brought us all together this week.”

Ann Romney ‘thrilled’ by horse’s performance in Olympics

Los Angeles Times   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

Ann Romney stayed behind in London to watch her trainer, Jan Ebeling, and Rafalca, the mare she co-owns, compete in the dressage ring Thursday. Ebeling and Rafalca, part of the U.S. Olympic Equestrian team, finished 13th in their first test — the individual grand prix competition — with a score of 70.243%. The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott reported that Romney pronounced herself “thrilled to death with the performance.”

German rower leaves London after reported ties to neo-Nazis surface

Yahoo! Sports  Fri, Aug 3 2012

Nadja Drygalla, a German rower who already competed at the Olympics, is on her way home from London a bit earlier than she intended. Drygalla decided to leave the Games after reports surfaced that she is connected to a neo-Nazi group in Germany. Drygalla’s boyfriend is reportedly a leader of the Rostock National Socialists, a group German intelligence describes as neo-Nazi and racist.

Picture of Obama holding baseball bat angers Turkish political circles

New York Daily News   Sat, Aug 4 2012

Barack Obama’s publicity team were thrown a curve ball this week when a photo of the president holding a baseball bat intended to promote friendship with an important ally did just the opposite. Speaking with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday about the escalating crisis in Syria, Obama was photographed holding a baseball bat signed by legendary player Hank Aaron. In the shot, the president looks relaxed and contemplative. But some Turkish leaders didn’t seem to think so. “The photo reveals from whom our Prime Minister receives orders to rule the country,” Metin Lutfi Baydar, an opposition politician for Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) party, said in a statement. Another CHP leader, party vice president Umut Oran, called the picture “an implicit insult to Turkey and its citizens” in Parliament, Reuters reports.

Obama Clears a Baseball Hall of Fame Coin

Wall Street Journal   Fri, Aug 3 2012

Despite earlier criticism from the White House, President Barack Obama signed a bill to mint new coins honoring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y…H.R. 2527, the “National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act.” The measure, calling upon the Treasury Department to mint new coins honoring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. was sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna, a New York Republican whose district includes the Hall of Fame. A companion Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.).

Virginia Gov discusses deal to move Redskins’ camp

CBSSports.com   Sat, Aug 4 2012

ASHBURN, Va. — Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell says the Washington Redskins have chosen four sites in Richmond at which they hope to hold their training camp next year. McDonnell, speaking at the Redskins’ “Fan Appreciation Day” at Redskins Park, said executives will make on-site assessments next week. In June, McDonnell announced a financial package that would relocate the team’s three weeks of training camp each summer from Ashburn to the state capital in exchange for public funding in renovating their year-round facility. The package includes a $4 million investment by the state and $2 million from Loudoun County, as well as $400,000 from the city of Richmond to fund capital improvements at the eventual training camp site. The Redskins estimate the cost of renovations to their facility, which opened in 1992, at $30 million.

Rex Ryan avoids debate with Obama

Newsday  Fri, Aug 3 2012

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The media sat in stunned silence, unsure of what to make of the dead air. Reporters anxiously had been awaiting a Rex Ryan comeback, certain the Jets‘ coach had stayed up all night crafting witty one-liners. But when pressed Friday for a reaction to President Barack Obama‘s negative stance on the Tim Tebow trade, he surprisingly bit his tongue. “The president of the greatest country there is, and he’s talking about the New York football team,” Ryan said with a smile. “I’ll say this, I respect President Obama. And I respect the fact that this is his opinion.”

Serena Williams and Condoleezza Rice among the unexpected football fans in `My Team’ campaign

Newser   Fri, Aug 3 2012

Football fans will soon be pulling out their jerseys, but a few have gotten a jump on the season: Serena Williams, Melania Trump and Condoleezza Rice are among the NFL fans who’ll be appearing in ads promoting team-themed apparel and gear next week in a campaign called “It’s My Team.”

August 1-2, 2012 Headlines: Penn get statesman oversight, Phelps Gold ‘n’ Proposed Medal tax cut

NCAA tabs former Sen. George Mitchell as PSU integrity monitor

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, AP Photo:Dennis Cook

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review  Wed, Aug 1 2012

STATE COLLEGE — Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell will serve as the independent athletics integrity monitor at Penn State University for the NCAA. The NCAA announced Mitchell’s five-year appointment on Wednesday…Mitchell will evaluate Penn State’s compliance with the agency’s sanctions and the integrity agreement with the NCAA and Big Ten. College sports’ governing body says Mitchell will have “broad access to campus, personnel and records” and make any recommendations necessary for Penn State to comply with its requirements.

Michael Phelps’ Twitter Gets Tweets From Obama, Pele, Lil Wayne

Huffington Post   Wed, Aug 1 2012

LONDON (Reuters) – In 2008, the congratulations came by telephone: “If you can handle eight gold medals, you can handle anything,” then U.S. President George W. Bush told Michael Phelps after he swept the board at the Beijing Olympics. It was a sign of the times that just four years later, at the so-called Twitter Games, it was via the social media site that dozens of friends, musicians, sports celebrities and even the U.S. President showered Phelps with good wishes after he became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time.”Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You’ve made your country proud. – bo,” Obama, who tweets as @BarackObama, wrote. Messages from Obama are often written by his team, but the initials identify the rare messages that come directly from the president. Phelps was quick to respond: “Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA !! The best country in the world!!”

Rubio proposes Olympic tax loophole

MiamiHerald.com (blog)   Wed, Aug 1 2012

It’s doubtful that, say, Michael Phelps needs a tax break, but Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced Wednesday he was introducing the Olympic Tax Elimination Act, which would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on their medals.  His office notes that Olympians who win medals also receive honorariums: cash payments of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. We’re checking with the IRS to determine whether there’s a special tax for Olympians, or whether it all gets taxed as income. And whether the winners of the Nobel Prize, for example, also face similar taxes. Rubio’s spokesman said that Americans for Tax Reform, headed by Grover Norquist, brought the idea to the senator’s attention.

First fan: Russian President Vladimir Putin, a black belt, takes in Olympic judo

Washington Post  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

LONDON — He clenched his fists at times, leaned back nervously at others. And when his compatriots won Olympic gold, he leaped from his seat and thrust his arms skyward. A common fan reaction — from an uncommon fan. Vladimir Putin was one thrilled Russian president on Thursday. The longtime judo enthusiast had a VIP seat to watch Tagir Khaibulaev win the 100-kilogram gold medal. When the match ended, Putin led the celebration

Ann Romney’s horse fails to win dressage but avoids offending British

The Guardian   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

Rafalca, the horse owned by Ann Romney, competes in London 2012

Rafalca, owned by Mrs Mitt Romney, was impeccably behaved and well received by Olympic equestrians in Greenwich

New era of sports diplomacy

Politico   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

The State Department, like the rest of America, has its eyes fixed on the London Olympics. But officials there aren’t just rooting for Team USA — they’re also looking for new recruits. Today’s gold medalists, after all, are tomorrow’s sports diplomats. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has been sending renowned Olympic coaches and athletes, including Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek, Kate Markgraf and Misty May-Treanor, around the globe as part of its SportsUnited initiative, which aims to strengthen ties with other countries by teaching sports to underserved youth.

President Obama doesn’t endorse Jets’ QB situation

USA TODAY   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

(CNN)–It’s still a mystery why President Barack Obama was holding a baseball bat during his telephone conversation with Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan

Obama was a guest on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday and offered his thoughts on the tenuous situation between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. “I gotta tell you, I don’t like the idea of a quarterback controversy at the start of a season,” Obama said, via the New York Daily News. “So if I was a Jets fan, I’d be pretty nervous. Sanchez is not Tom Brady yet, but he led them to the playoffs two years in a row. I think Tim Tebow seems to be a wonderful young man, and he’s got just a great winning attitude. He really steps up when things count.”

Racing presidents continue Olympic tributes with fencing

Washington Post (blog)  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

The racing presidents are continuing with their Olympic tributes. Tuesday it was race walking. Last night, fencing. It was Teddy’s race to lose as it was essentially a one-man contest with sword-bearing presidents as obstacles. Abe and George were easy targets, but Tom is apparently a fencing novice opposite of novice. It’s a little surprising that George, a former general, isn’t better with a sword.

Joe Biden adds to list of Nats’ high-powered visitors

Washington Post (blog)  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

The VP, with principal owners Debra Lerner Cohen and Ed Cohen. Photos via the Nationals

Nats Park seems to be a popular destination for government heavyweights. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit

President Obama’s campaign will host a basketball themed fund-raiser at Chelsea Piers

Capital New York  Thurs, Aug 2 2012

President Obama’s campaign will host a basketball themed fund-raiser at Chelsea Piers later this month. “Please join basketball’s greatest super stars and shoot some hoops to benefit the Obama Campaign in New York City,” says an invitation for the event on August 22. Tickets are $250 for an autograph session; for $5,000 a parent and child get a “shoot around skills session” with the players.

July 19, 2012 Headlines: Go Army, Olympic moment of silence endorsed, ‘n’ DNC “Sorry Mrs. Romney…”

House Says Military Can Keep NASCAR Sponsorships

ABC News Thu, 19 Jul 2012 05:48 AM PDT

It was another NASCAR race to the finish, but it wasn’t at the track.  It was on Capitol Hill, where in these economically tough times some members of Congress didn’t think it was a smart idea for the military to be spending millions on professional sports sponsorships as a recruiting tool…Late Thursday night, in a close 216 to 202 vote,  the House of Representatives struck down a bipartisan amendment that would have cut $72 million from next year’s $608 billion defense spending bill slated for professional sports sponsorships used to help with military recruiting.  The military services sponsor a wide range of professional sports, including bass fishing tournaments and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but it was the National Guard’s sponsorship of Earnhardt’s car that drew all the attention

DNC Apologizes to Ann Romney For Horsing Around

The New York Observer Thu, 19 Jul 2012 06:32 AM PDT

DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse told ABC News yesterday that he was sorry if new ads hitting Mitt Romney on his refusal to release his tax returns offended Ann Romney. The ads in question featured Ms. Romney’s dancing dressage horse, Rafalca, which is headed to the London Olympics. In the ads, the DNC uses footage of the prancing horse to make the claim Mr. Romney is “dancing around the issues” of his taxes and personal finances. “Our use of the Romneys’ dressage horse was not meant to offend Mrs. Romney in any way, and we regret it if it did,”

Obama backs Olympics moment of silence for Israelis killed at Munich Games

Yahoo! News Thu, 19 Jul 2012 11:17 AM PDT

President Barack Obama strongly supports holding a formal moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in tribute to 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian extremists at the 1972 games in Munich, the White House said Thursday. “We absolutely support the campaign for a moment of silence at the Olympics to honor the Israeli athletes killed in Munich,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.

Mayor hangs onto her NBA dream: If you build it, they will come

Las Vegas Sun  Sun, 15 Jul 2012

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has a perfect view of Las Vegas’ future. A balcony adjacent to Goodman’s seventh-floor office at City Hall yields a panoramic view of Symphony Park, where a proposed downtown arena could be constructed to highlight the 61-acre city neighborhood…In her mind’s eye, however, the building has been constructed. And, since the charismatic leader is dreaming her own dream, the arena is packed with locals and tourists enjoying a night of NBA action featuring a Las Vegas team. Isn’t it fun to dream — the Las Vegas Kings or Las Vegas Hornets, right? “That is the beauty of Las Vegas,” she said. “We are forever creative and forever reinventing ourselves.”

July 12, 2012 Headlines: Pres Candidates in NASCAR suits, Saudi women 2 compete in London, ‘n’ WH fitness

Who’s Driving the Presidential Race?

US News & World Report Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:07 AM PDT

Imagining what President Obama and Mitt Romney would look like if the presidential race was on the NASCAR circuit…Political races, in other words, are not much different from NASCAR races, which require money for cars, pit crews, gasoline—and therefore sponsors…imagining what Obama and Romney would look like if they were NASCAR drivers advertising their race sponsors.

Saudis to send 2 women to London Games

The Uniontown Herald Standard Thu, 12 Jul 2012 04:17 AM PDT

Saudi Arabia will send two female athletes to the London Olympics, ending the ultraconservative Muslim country’s record of fielding only all-male teams at the games. The decision, announced Thursday by the IOC, means every country competing in London will include women athletes for the first time in Olympic history. The two female Saudi competitors are judo athlete Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani and 800-meter runner Sarah Attar.

The secrets of the Obama White House … are pretty boring

Houston Chronicle Thu, 12 Jul 2012 06:27 AM PDT

White House chef Sam Kass and personal trainer Cornell McClellan answered questions about working for the Obamas as they read to more than 100 children Wednesday at the Department of Education…He said the family still has fun with a pizza or burger, but “we have some very balanced meals.” McClellan said the family does jumping jacks, push-ups, jump rope, boxing, running, soccer and basketball to keep fit…After reading to the children, the two joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan in cheering on the youngsters in relay races, shooting hoops, using hula hoops and other physical activities.

July 8, 2012 Headlines: Dressage, Mrs. Romney’s MS therapy

US Election 2012: Ann Romney’s Olympics dressage hopes for Rafalca and Jan Ebelin

Jan Ebeling riding Rafalca Photo- Jennifer Wenzel/Icon SMI

Daily Telegraph Sat, 07 Jul 2012 09:30 AM PDT

Ann Romney plans to cheer on her horse Rafalca and rider Jan Ebeling in Olympics dressage after crediting his horse riding therapy with the remission of her multiple sclerosis.

For Ann Romney, horse riding started as a therapy and distraction from the pain of the multiple sclerosis with which she was diagnosed 14 years ago. At first, she could spend just a minute or two in the saddle before the discomfort became too much. But since those agonising early days, she has made remarkable progress under the tutelage of Jan Ebeling, a German-born equestrian and instructor in the arcane sport of dressage.

June 16, 2012 Headlines: Calling Kings, Rafalca headed to London, ‘n’ Who is that NBA player/Mayor?

Happy Fathers Day!

President Barack Obama calls L.A. Kings captain Dustin Brown

Los Angeles Daily News Sat, 16 Jun 2012 18:03 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES – President Barack Obama called Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown Friday to congratulate the team for winning the Stanley Cup. Obama commended Brown and the entire Kings organization for their first Stanley Cup win and said that he looks forward to congratulating the entire team in person at the White House soon, according to the White House. Brown is the second U.S.-born captain of a Stanley Cup-winning team. Derian Hatcher of the 1999 Dallas Stars is the other. Brown is a native of Ithaca, N.Y.

Brad Sellers, mayor of Warrensville Heights, impresses President Obama during his visit to Cleveland

Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers looks up to Pesident Obama, but, physically, the president looks up to Brad Sellers. AP: Mark Duncan

The Sun Press Sat, 16 Jun 2012 03:38 AM PDT

It’s tough to upstage President Barack Obama, unless you happen to stand seven feet tall. Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers, who played six seasons in the NBA, was among the area leaders who gathered Thursday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to welcome Obama before a campaign speech at Cuyahoga Community College…National writers and photographers covering the president’s visit buzzed about the tall mystery man and turned to The Plain Dealer’s Henry Gomez for some local intel. The Obama campaign had misspelled Sellers’ last name in a who’s-who email.

Ann Romney’s Horse Rafalca Heads to the London Olympics

ABC NewsSat, 16 Jun 2012 11:45 AM PDT

Rafalca, Ann Romney’s Horse headed to the Olympics. ABC News

The Romneys won’t just be attending the 2012 Summer Olympics in London: They now have a horse in the race. Ann Romney’s dressage trainer Jan Ebeling and the horse they co-own will head to the games after coming in third today at the U.S. Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, N.J. Although an official announcement won’t be made until Sunday, Ebeling and Rafalca, a 15-year-old Oldenburg mare, are almost certain to go because of his third place spot. USEF spokeswoman Kathy Meyer said there are five dressage spots on the U.S. Olympic team. Ann Romney tweeted a photo of herself at the championships and wrote, “It’s great to be part of the Olympics again. We are so proud of Jan and Team USA. Now let’s bring home the gold!”

MLB Capsules: Grimm wins MLB debut for Texas, 8-3 over Astros

The Brownsville Herald Sun, 17 Jun 2012 00:54 AM PDT

Former President George W. Bush smiles as he takes in a baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers on Saturday, June 16, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 8-3.

Chicago Cubs, ASU butt heads on Mesa stadium

Chicago Tribune Sat, 16 Jun 2012 10:54 AM PDT

A plan for Arizona State University’s baseball team to share the Chicago Cubs’ new complex in Mesa may be in deep trouble. ASU President Michael Crow sent Mesa Mayor Scott Smith a scathing e-mail last week in which he accused Cubs management of being “erratic” and “not people of their word” in negotiating the stadium deal. ASU and the Cubs have been talking for almost a year about the university piggybacking with the major-league team to save the cost of building a replacement for Packard Stadium.

Big success, big tragedies link Oklahoma City, Dallas

The Oklahoman Sat, 16 Jun 2012 22:00 PM PDT

Cherish the success in sports, but never forget the tragedies, former Oklahoma governor and former athlete say.

Leach laments the lack of moderates in Washington

Quad-City Times Sat, 16 Jun 2012 16:16 PM PDT

Former congressman and Davenport native Jim Leach compared politics to sports, and then he corrected himself. “No coach would teach their kids not to respect the opponent,” he said. Leach gave a speech Saturday at St. Ambrose University on civility in politics, sponsored by the German American Heritage Center.

Politics and the golden foot at the 1980 Olympics

Radio PragueSat, 16 Jun 2012 08:03 AM PDT

Moscow Summer Olympics 1980, photo- CTK

Part of the American response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was a threat to boycott the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. The Soviet troops stayed put and the boycott went ahead, led by US President Jimmy Carter. To a greater or lesser extent, dozens of countries joined the protest.

June 10, 2012 Headlines: Mayor Sellers moonlights as NBA commentator ‘n’ Ann Romney’s horse headed to London?

Brad Sellers previews the NBA Finals (Video)

Former NBA Center and Mayor of Warrensville Heights Brad Sellers

News Channel 5 Cleveland Sun, 10 Jun 2012 22:18 PM PDT

CLEVELAND – While serving as the mayor of Warrensville Heights takes up a lot of his time, former NBA center Brad Sellers still finds some time to talk NBA basketball. Will LeBron James win his first ring with the Miami Heat or can Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder cause LeBron to come up short in the Finals for the second year in a row. Sellers previews the NBA Finals and also shares his thoughts on what the Cavaliers should do with their four picks in the upcoming NBA Draft on the June 10, 2012 edition of the Ford Sports Sunday.

Ann Romney’s Horse Places 3rd in Olympic Qualifying

ABC News Sun, 10 Jun 2012 18:09 PM PDT

Ann Romney’s dressage trainer Jan Ebeling and the horse they co-own, Rafalca, came in third this weekend at the United States Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, N.J. This competition, which will continue next weekend, also serves as an Olympics qualifying event for the U.S. Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Romney is avidly involved in the expensive world of dressage, sometimes known as “horse ballet,” and credits horseback riding for almost eliminating her symptoms from multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998.

May 30, 2012 Headlines: Chavez courts Obama, Booker’s beef, ‘n’ most annoying “first lady” hobby

Hugo Chavez jokes about teaming up with Barack Obama over Baseball

Daily TelegraphWed, 30 May 2012 02:01 AM PDT

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez jokingly raised the possibility of teaming up with Barack Obama to lobby for baseball at the Olympics…Chavez said, “Let’s go Obama, together. Alliances can be made, Fidel, Raul, Obama and Chavez to fight for baseball and softball”. Relations have been tense for years between Chavez and the US government, with American officials criticising Venezuela’s rights record as well as its counter-drug efforts.

Putin’s Olympics snub welcomed

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be coming to the London Olympics

Sky News Australia Wed, 30 May 2012 12:43 PM PDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be coming to the London Olympics. British MPs, who have campaigned against human rights abuses in Russia, immediately welcomed the snub. Former Europe minister Denis MacShane claimed it was a way for the newly-sworn president to avoid pressure on Syria. He said: ‘Putin now realises that he is not welcome in London because of Russia’s flagrant rejection of European values and norms and failure to investigate and punish officials who violate rule of law.’

A New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup Win Would Be Very Awkward For Newark Mayor, Cory Booker

ForbesWed, 30 May 2012 04:30 AM PDT

Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Mayor, Cory Booker, has had an interesting last two months. During that span, he has rescued a woman from a house fire and very publicly chastised President Obama-a fellow Democrat and supposed friend-for attacking Mitt Romney’s affiliation with private equity. But there was one other Booker moment that slipped under the radar screen…

In April, Booker started a public feud with Jeff Vanderbeek, the former Lehman Brothers executive who bought the New Jersey Devils in 2004. Six years ago, Vanderbeek moved the Devils to Newark, paying $185 million of the eventual $375 million bill to build a brand new arena, the Prudential Center, in the city’s downtown area.

Booker’s beef was over a recent arbitration ruling about the revenue sharing between the team and the city that left Newark with a $600,000 bill. Booker accused the Devils of not living up to their obligation to financially support youth programs in the city. Booker called Vanderbeek a “high-class, high-falutin’ huckster and hustler” and “one of the most despicable owners” in the National Hockey League.

Golden State Warriors want to move back to San Francisco

National Post Wed, 30 May 2012 03:32 AM PDT

SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors are ready to announce what many have long suspected: The franchise wants to move back to San Francisco. The NBA team, Commissioner David Stern and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee scheduled a news conference at 10 a.m. local time Tuesday to announce the decision to leave Oakland. The earliest the team could move would be 2017, when it can escape its lease at Oracle Arena. The Warriors will unveil plans to build an arena at Piers 30-32. The waterfront site near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge – one of the most beautiful views in one of the world’s most beautiful cities – is just blocks from the Giants’ ballpark and the downtown financial district.

Jaguars ‘perplexed’ by city’s claim of lease default

WJXT Jacksonville Wed, 30 May 2012 14:42 PM PDT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Not long after Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan said he was “shocked and perplexed” by the city’s claim that the NFL team has defaulted on its stadium contract, the city withdrew its claim and its top lawyer apologized. Late Wednesday Brown wrote a definitive response: “Let me be crystal clear: the City of Jacksonville has absolutely no intention whatsoever of terminating its lease with the Jacksonville Jaguars.”

Pro Bowl returns to Hawaii in 2013

KITV Honolulu Wed, 30 May 2012 13:06 PM PDT

Nearly a year after Gov. Neil Abercrombie equated a $4 million fee to keep the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii as a “bribe”, the governor has changed his tune. On Wednesday, the league announced a new agreement that brings the game back to Aloha Stadium in 2013, and the governor couldn’t be happier. “This is wonderful news for football fans in Hawaii and elsewhere who love watching the game …

Arbitrator rules against Redskins

The Washington Redskins stretch during an organized team activity on Monday in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo:Evan Vucci)

Washington Examiner Wed, 30 May 2012 04:12 AM PDT

The Redskins and Cowboys, unusual allies, lost their fight to recoup a combined $46 million of cap space when arbitrator Stephen Burbank dismissed their grievance against the NFL it was announced Tuesday at the owners meetings in Atlanta by NFL executive vice president and general counsel Jeff Pash. The Redskins and Cowboys issued a joint statement Tuesday afternoon that closes the matter: “We pursued our salary cap claim pursuant to the CBA and we respect and will abide by the arbitrator’s decision to dismiss. We will contiue to focus on our football teams and the 2012 season.”

Gov. Corbett signs bill to protect student athletes from sudden death

Philly.com Wed, 30 May 2012 09:10 AM PDT

Gov. Corbett signed into law this morning a bill designed to protect student athletes with undetected heart conditions from sudden death while playing sports. House Bill 1610, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act, became the law…”Being sidelined for a game is better than being lost forever,” said Corbett. “This is a law of prevention, born out of a painful loss and a spirit of generosity from these families who have seen bearing their own sorrow and found hope for others.”

 Syria vows 9 qualifiers will compete in London

ESPN Wed, 30 May 2012 06:01 AM PDT

The president of the Syrian Olympic Committee says nine athletes from the war-torn country have qualified for the London Olympics and will compete “despite all pressures, media war and threats to ban them.”

Ann Romney vs. Michelle Obama: Who Has the Most Obnoxious Hobby?

The Atlantic WireWed, 30 May 2012 12:00 PM PDT

Michelle Obama and Ann Romney. Amazon; YouTube

For years conservatives have tried to turn Michelle Obama’s extracurricular obsessions — organic gardening, healthy eating, exercising — into a political symbol. But her husband’s up for re-election, which means there’s a First Lady in waiting, Ann Romney, who has her own hobbies, like the expensive horse riding sport called dressage. Obama’s new book American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America is certain to provide more material for jokes. But the wife of the Republican presidential nominee is giving her some competition in this arena. Let’s explore: Does the current First Lady or the aspiring one have the more annoying hobby?

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