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Category Archives: Michelle Obama

Sept 9-18, 2012 Headlines: Olympians honored & a rejection, EA ads, ‘n’ same-sex dust up

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo (R). photo by Roberto Coquis

Mike Rizzo on Nats Political interests

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo (R) and Super Sports Lawyer Richard Brand. Photo by Roberto Coquis

Sports ‘n’ Politics Fri, Sept 14 2012

At the Biznow event at Nationals Park, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo reiterated that Stephen Strasburg’s shut down has always been the plan. In an effort to execute this move properly, they brought in Gio Gonzalez and resigned John Lannan. In response to Roberto Coquis’s question about being in Washington, DC and in a Presidential Electio, Rizzo stated that  he has not seen any “political talk in the clubhouse, players are focused on the game…The most political it gets is Bears vs. Redskins.”

US Olympians honored in White House ceremony

Washington Post    Fri, Sept 14 2012

White House ceremony for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams. Nikki Kahn:The Washington Post

Declaring himself the “Fan-in Chief,” President Obama hailed the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes Friday as a portrait of what sets America apart: Men and women of all races, faiths and backgrounds who push themselves to extend the boundaries of achievement. “What you guys did was inspire us. You made us proud,” Obama told more than 450 athletes honored in ceremonies on the South Lawn of the White House.

Arnold Palmer notes lack of bipartisanship at his Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony

Washington Post (blog)   Wed, Sept 12 2012

Golf great Arnold Palmer

Not even pro golfer Arnold Palmer could let the lack of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill go unnoticed Wednesday. Palmer, in town to pick up his Congressional Gold Medal during a well-attended ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, said he was proud to accept the award, “because I’m particularly proud of anything that the House and the Senate agree on.”…Palmer turned 83 on Monday, and is just the sixth athlete to ever earn the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that lawmakers can bestow on individuals. The other award-winning sports stars are baseball great Roberto Clemente, Olympic track star Jesse Owens, baseball barrier-buster Jackie Robinson, boxer Joe Lewis and golfer Byron Nelson.

Obama Places Virtual Ads in Madden NFL 13

BET   Tues, Sept 18 2012

In an effort to reach the youth vote in swing states, the Obama campaign dives into the video game world. In key battleground states, the Obama campaign will begin running ads in several Electronic Arts (EA) video games today to try to garner the youth vote. The campaign also hopes it will spur early voting among the gaming demographic.

Beside console games, Obama is running “get out the vote” virtual ads in casual Web games on EA’s Pogo.com and in mobile games like Battleship, Scrabble and Tetris. Obama has tried this before. Back in 2008 his team tapped EA to run virtual signage ads looking to encourage early voting in states like Florida and North Carolina in 18 games, including Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed. According to Dave Madden, EA’s svp of global media solutions, the strategy paid off for team Obama. Based on surveys conducted by EA during the 2008 ad effort, gamers were 120 percent more likely to feel positively about the candidate and 50 percent more likely to consider voting for him after seeing the in-game ads.

Muhammad Ali to receive Liberty Medal on Thursday

Bellingham Herald   Wed, Sept 12 2012

Muhammad Ali, receives the Liberty Medal from his daughter Laila Ali with his wife Lonnie Ali at the National Constitution Center, Sept. 13, 2012, in Philadelphia. MATT ROURKE — AP Photo

PHILADELPHIA — Boxing great Muhammad Ali was honored Thursday with the Liberty Medal for his longtime role outside the ring as a fighter for humanitarian causes, civil rights and religious freedom. Hundreds of people gathered on the lawn of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to watch the three-time heavyweight title holder receive an honor that his wife, Lonnie Ali, called “overwhelming.” “It is especially humbling for Muhammad, who has said on many occasions, ‘All I did was to stand up for what I believe,'” Lonnie Ali said…”Ali embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal by embracing the ideals of the Constitution – freedom, self-governance, equality and empowerment – and helping to spread them across the globe,”

Even President Obama makes crack at Miami Dolphins

Sun-Sentinel   Wed, Sept 12 2012

The Dolphins have had an unsteady relationship with presidents starting with Richard Nixon suggesting a slant pass be run for Paul Warfield in Super Bowl VI. It was run. It fell incomplete. Then there was George Bush inviting Nick Saban for a visit one night he was in town. Saban declined because it was training camp. Didn’t the President know importance of rookie skits? Now President Obama has got a small but honest jab in on the Dolphins. He was a guest of DJ Laz of the Latin romance station 106.7-FM. Laz began the interview by saying he was wearing a Dolphins uniform. “You’ve got to start with that Dolphins thing?’’ said Obama, who is a Bears fan. “Did you see that HBO special Hard Knocks? That’s a pretty good show. As I recall, you guys didn’t win any… in the preseason.”

Olympic Champ Tyler Clary — Declines White House Invite … I’d Rather Race Cars

TMZ.com   Wed, Sept 12 2012

Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary — the guy who smashed Ryan Lochte’s backstroke record — turned down an invite to chill with President Obama at the White House … all so he can race stock cars instead…. POTUS and the First Lady invited all the 2012 Olympic athletes to the White House for a special get together on September 14th…But sources tell TMZ … the swimmer has dreams of being a pro race car driver after his swimming career ends … he’s opting to be in Fontana, CA instead to test drive cars for a few days and then hit up the MAVTV 500 IndyCar event on September 15.

Congress to help NFL with doping standoff

The Hill (blog)   Wed, Sept 12 2012

A prominent House committee will work to resolve the National Football League’s (NFL) stalemate with players over doping tests, top lawmakers said Wednesday. 

The news follows a visit by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to Capitol Hill, where he met with lawmakers on doping, traumatic brain injuries and other issues facing professional football.  

Blood testing for human growth hormone has divided players and the NFL, which can’t agree on what constitutes a positive test or what experts should decide.

Proposal for downtown LA NFL stadium advances to City Council

Los Angeles Times   Fri, Sept 14 2012

A $1.2-billion plan for bringing an NFL stadium to Los Angeles passed a major test Thursday, even as anti-poverty activists pressed powerful developer Anschutz Entertainment Group to make millions of dollars in additional concessions. After 10 and a half hours of review, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa‘s appointees on the Planning Commission signed off on a set of agreements for the 72,000-seat stadium, concluding the project’s economic benefits outweigh the “significant and unavoidable” impacts it will have on traffic, air quality, noise and light glare.

Shaq brings full court press to Hill

Politico   Fri, Sept 14 2012

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal launched a campaign Friday on Capitol Hill — though not for office, much to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s relief. “Thank you for coming out, and I accept your nomination for Congress,” O’Neil joked to a packed room of about 100 congressional staffers and politicians.“Uh, he’s not running in my district,” Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, replied to the 7’1” retired superstar. O’Neal and Cleaver have teamed up with the nonprofit Century Council to help curb binge drinking at historically black colleges and universities.

Md. governor to hold fundraiser with Ravens player

The News Journal   Wed, Sept 19 2012

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley is teaming up with a Baltimore Ravens linebacker to raise money to support same-sex marriage. The governor announced in an email today that he will be attending a fundraiser next month with Brendon Ayanbadejo to support same-sex marriage in Maryland. O’Malley, a Democrat, and the linebacker are scheduled to attend a Monday Night Football party in Baltimore on Oct. 8 to raise money to support the November ballot question.

Md. Del. Burns Tackles Ravens’ Ayanbadejo on Gay Marriage

Afro American   Wed, Sept 12 2012

Maryland Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D) has once again caused a nationwide stir on the subject of same-sex marriage, this time after criticizing a National Football League (NFL) player for publicly advocating for gay marriage. The dustup was touched off when Burns, 72, sent a letter to Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti Aug. 29 urging him to muzzle linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a supporter of same-sex marriage who late last year made a video for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Burns, who is the pastor of Rising Sun First Baptist Church in Baltimore, said that “many” of his constituents and football fans “are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens…would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.”…In the video, Ayanbadejo said he believes that the legalization of same-sex marriage is “the right thing to do.” “I believe we should be doing everything we can to make Maryland families stronger, which is why I support marriage for gay and lesbian couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other,” he said. In a statement, Ravens’ President Dick Cass said, “We support Brendon’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment.

Mayor Johnson, Ed Secretary Duncan meet in Sacramento

Sacramento Bee (blog)   Wed, Sept 12 2012

But will they play hoops? Mayor Kevin Johnson is hosting a California Mayors Education Summit in town today, with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as the featured guest. Johnson and Duncan will be joined by more than 40 mayors and school district superintendents from around the state at the event in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria. Duncan – who played basketball at Harvard and later professionally in Australia – is kicking off his national “Education Drives America” bus tour with the stop here.

Edmonton city council rejects Oilers bid for more taxpayer dollars for arena

Globe and Mail   Wed, Sept 12 2012

A new downtown arena for the Edmonton Oilers hit the ditch Wednesday as city councillors rejected a bid by the NHL team for more money from taxpayers. Mayor Stephen Mandel would not say how much was asked for, or what is was for, but said the ball is now in the court of the team’s owner, pharmacy billionaire Daryl Katz.

Mayor Fischer, Lou. Business man hold meeting about NBA team in Louisville

WHAS 11   Fri, Sept 14 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The rumblings about a possible NBA team for Louisville is growing louder once again. 

On Friday, Mayor Greg Fischer took part in a meeting of community leaders to talk about that possibility. 

According to the mayor’s office the meeting was convened at the invitation of Louisville businessman Junior Bridgeman to talk about the level of interest and the conditions necessary to attract a team.

Mayor Dyer explores stadium options with Orlando City president

WFTV Orlando   Tues, Sept 11 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. — In an effort to further explore stadium options in the Central Florida area, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando City President Phil Rawlins will be touring facilities around Kansas City, Kansas…including Livestrong Sporting Park, Sporting Kansas City’s multi-purpose stadium. The trip will cultivate with Dyer and Rawlins attending a Major League Soccer match between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo on Friday night.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock gets national audience with segment on ESPN

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, was on ESPN about when he was the Broncos’ mascot in 1986. (Manuel Martinez:Viva Colorado)

 

Denver Post (blog)    Tues, Sept 18 2012

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was center stage on national television…appearing on a humorous segment by ESPN correspondent and Colorado resident Rick Reilly about Hancock’s teen-aged stint as the Denver Broncos’ mascot. The three-minute piece features hilarious archival footage of Hancock as “Huddles,” the diminutive and now extinct mascot for the Denver Broncos in the mid-1980s. Reilly goes to the 16th Street Mall with a photograph of Hancock and a photograph of the mascot, asking people on the street if they recognized either one.

President Obama does the ‘Gator Chomp’ at a Florida sports bar

Yahoo! Sports (blog)   Sun, Sept 9 2012

President Barack Obama has been catering to football fans, and the latest was during Sunday’s trip to Florida when he actually did the Gator Chomp with fans. Obama had attended a campaign rally in Osceola County and stopped by Gators Dockside Grill and Bar in the Dr. Phillips area of southwest Orange County to grab a beer. It was an impromptu stop.

President Barack Obama Does The Gator Chomp [Photo]

FanSided (blog)   Sun, Sept 9 2012

…Everyone in Gainesville, Florida knows the ‘Gator Chomp.’ The Chomp originated in 1981 and is performed by fans of the Florida Gators to show their support. While President Obama was out enjoying some food and taking in some sports, he cheesed for the camera and did a Gator Chomp of his own.

Michelle Obama tries to ‘Gator Chomp’ her way into the University of Florida’s into the University of Florida’s heart

Yahoo! Sports (blog)   Tues, Sept 18 2012

The Obama family sure likes to fire up those Florida fans when they visit Gainesville and surrounding cities. And they know the best way to do it — the Gator Chomp…Monday, Michelle Obama did the Gator Chomp while speaking on the University of Florida campus. As you can imagine, it received quite the reception. The Obama’s are big sports fans, but they also know how important the state of Florida is to the upcoming election. Earning a little goodwill while doing the official, um, chomp of the state of Florida is a good way to drum up some support. Unfortunately, the rest of the SEC — and Florida State, Miami, USF, FIU and FAU fans — might not be so keen on the demonstration.

A year after winning WNBA championship, Lynx take trip to the White House

Star Tribune   Tues, Sept 18 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Lynx are finally making their anticipated trip to the White House. It’s been nearly a year since the Lynx won the WNBA championship, but with three players in the Summer Olympics and President Obama’s busy schedule, the trip couldn’t be scheduled until now. Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve says it will be an honor to represent the WNBA at the White House Tuesday. Reeve tells Minnesota Public Radio News (http://tinyurl.com/8sxkmh6) that it’s a special day in honor of a special season.

July 29, 2012 Headlines: Olympics: empty seats, free Tibet ‘n’ Flotus balling

Empty seats plague London Games

Soldiers sit in the empty seats held by the IOC as they watch the women’s gymnastics qualification in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012. (MIKE BLAKE:Reuters)

CANOE   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON – When private security contractor G4S failed to deliver all the staff promised for the airport-style security checkpoints, London Olympics organizers called the army. When seats for Olympic events went empty on Day 1 of the Games, they also called the army. Local teachers and students, too, for help in putting bums in seats to avoid international embarrassment. London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe downplayed the Games’ latest controversy on Sunday, denying it’s “shambolic.” “This is not something we should be extrapolating dramatically from the first day of an Olympic Games,” Coe said.

Bill Clinton talks Cardinals QBs with Larry Fitzgerald

NFL News   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

These days, part of being Larry Fitzgerald means facing an unending line of queries about the Arizona Cardinals‘ unsettled quarterback situation. We’re guessing Fitzgerald assumed he’d have a respite from the questioning earlier this month when he traveled to Uganda to do some charity work. But Kolb v. Skelton followed Fitzgerald halfway around the world, thanks to Bill Clinton. The former president also was in Uganda as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, and he wanted the wide receiver’s take on the Cardinals’ hottest storyline…Fitzgerald…was in Uganda to distribute hearing aids to impoverished citizens. Larry Fitzgerald’s a pretty unbelievable dude himself.

Olympic organizers defend choice of flag

FOXSports.com   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON (AP) – London Games organizers are defending a decision to allow a former Brazilian presidential candidate to help carry the Olympic flag at the opening ceremony – in front of the winner of the election. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reportedly was surprised to see Marina Silva carry the flag. Muhammad Ali and Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, appeared with the flagbearers. The London organizing committee says Silva was chosen by ceremony director Danny Boyle ”because of her really strong environmental credentials.” Organizers say the International Olympic Committee ”was aware of our choice.”

Exiled Tibetans upset over Tibet not qualifying as a nation to participate in Olympics

Newstrack India   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

Dharamsala, July 29 (ANI): Exiled Tibetans living in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, have expressed disappointment over Tibet not qualifying as a nation to participate in the London Olympics. Tibetan activists feel the real meaning and essence of the games is missing, as Tibetan people are suffering under the repressive Chinese regime and the games do not reflect the value of sportsmanship. The Cultural Secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress, Jigme, said he wants to take this opportunity to seek support from the world for their movement of Free Tibet.

Michelle Obama Hugs Lebron After USA B-Ball Thumps France 98-71

 

News One   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON The hiccups outnumbered thehighlights, and for a while the U.S. racked up fouls faster than points. The opener wasn’t artistic. However, it was enough – easily enough…American men’s basketball team overcame some sloppy moments with a 98-71 win Sunday over France.

Michelle Obama ends UK trip with visit to military families, Olympic basketball match

Washington Post   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

LONDON — U.S. first lady Michelle Obama has met with British-based American military families on the final stop of her visit to Britain. Obama received a warm welcome from the American families when she arrived at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. Casually dressed in a sports jacket and chinos, she greeted them with hugs and high-fives, before signing autographs and posing for pictures.

July 28, 2012 Headlines: Olympics: Full slate of female athletes, Ads, ‘n’ a Royal snub

All participating teams in Olympics to have female members, says IOC president Rogge

Pakistan Daily Times   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

By Muhammad Ali 

- Greatest show on Earth begins with Queen-James Bond ‘jumping’ from helicopter and Mr Bean’s hilarious dream

…LONDON: The London Olympics 2012 started with the Queen and James Bond ‘jumping’ from a helicopter…International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge proclaimed: “The Olympic Games are coming home tonight.” Rogge also emphasised that for the first time in Olympic history all participating teams would have female members, in a development he described as ‘a major boost for gender equality’. It was Rogge’s last time as president of the IOC to watch the Olympic flag being raised at an opening ceremony. He will step down in 2013 after completing the maximum two terms.

Political ads during Olympics? Bush waved Iraqi, Afghan flags

Los Angeles Times   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120 said the commercial for the 2004 Bush campaign. HO, Associated Press : August 13, 2004

For American fans watching on television, the Olympic Games mark an escape from workaday cares and annoyances — like political advertising. That isn’t stopping President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney from trying to score a few friendly political points with pitches during the games — Obama during the opening ceremonies with a nonpartisan ode to the American work ethic and a pro-Romney “super PAC” launching spots about his winning tenure as head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. The ads all will pale in ideological fervor compared to a 2004 spot in which George W. Bush’s reelection campaign used the Olympics to trumpet the president’s democracy drive in the Mideast.  That ad ticked off Olympic officials, who said it violated their exclusive right to the Olympics name.

Michelle Obama snubs Royal Box to sit with Serena’s family

Sydney Morning Herald   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama joins Venus Williams (top left) and former gymnast Dominique Dawes in cheering on Serena Williams at the London Olympics tennis tournament. Photo- Getty Images

Serena Williams sure has friends in high places. Usually, the 14-time grand slam winner’s supporters’ box is populated by family members, but for her first-round Olympics match on Saturday there was an addition to the cast: the American First Lady, Michelle Obama. The US president’s wife was a guest of Williams… preferring to sit in the players’ box rather than the Royal Box, where dignitaries are usually planted at the All England Club.

Shevchenko gives up soccer for politics

Calgary Sun   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

KIEV – Famed Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko has quit soccer to start a career in politics with an independent party just months ahead of the October parliamentary election. Shevchenko has joined “Ukraine – Forward!”, formed this year by politicians who were expelled by the main opposition coalition that used to be led by former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the party said. “Perhaps, I will shock everyone: my future has nothing to do with soccer,” Shevchenko was quoted as saying in a statement by his former club Dynamo Kiev. “…It is related to politics.”

Andriy Shevchenko is leaving soccer to start a career in politics in his native Ukraine. (Alessandro Bianchi:Reuters:Files)

July 27, 2012 Headlines: Team Owners donations to…, Twitter’s Olympics & Pres Campaign, ‘n’ Michelle in London

Sports Team Owners Send Cash to Presidential Picks

Forbes   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

While the two major sports league PACs have so far taken a bipartisan approach to the 2012 elections, team owners and execs haven’t. The National Football League and the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office have split their giving pretty evenly between the two parties, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Romney donors:

Woody Johnson, New York Jets

Marc J. Leder, Philadelphia 76ers

J. Joe Ricketts’s family, Chicago Cubs

Peter Karmanos Jr., Carolina Hurricanes

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

James Dolan, New York Knicks

Dean A. Spanos, San Diego Chargers

Dan Snyder and Dwight Schar, Washington Redskins

Obama backers include:

Stephen Pagliuca, Celtics

Robert Epstein, Boston Celtics

Robert C. Pohlad, Minnesota Twins

Robert K. Kraft, New England Patriots

Jonathan M. Tisch, New York Giants

James Lassiter and Michael Rubin, Philadelphia 76ers

Dale Rosenbloom, St. Louis Rams

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs

Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards 

Twitter Competing in Two Sports: The Olympics and the US Election

brandchannel.com   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

As the Summer Olympics gets underway in London, Twitter — rebounding for a pre-Olympics wobble on Thursday — has launched its London 2012 Olympics hub, driving its user base to jump on the #Olympics hashtag…Twitter is embarking on a high-profile media partnership with Sirius XM Radio to launch a news show called “Politics Powered by Twitter.” The program will serve as a daily digest for SiriusXM’s 22 million subscribers that translates the “Twitter-verse” into a new talk radio format.

Obama campaign touts ‘middle class’ in Olympics-timed ad

The Hill   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

President Obama’s campaign released a television ad Friday touting…”We’re a nation of workers and doers and dreamers. We work hard for what we get and all we ask for is that our hard work pays off. I believe that the way you grow the economy is from the middle out. I believe in fighting for the middle class because if they’re prospering, all of us will prosper,” says Obama in the ad. The 30-second spot is set to air during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

NC ad to slam Obama on economy during Olympics

USA TODAY  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

The Republican National Committee is jabbing President Obama’s handling of the economy in a new TV ad that will run during the Olympics and in markets in key swing states. The ad spotlights Obama’s $800 billion economic stimulus program as the RNC tries to capitalize on a new report on the gross domestic product that shows the U.S. economy was weak in the second quarter. “President Obama may think his economic plan worked, but looking at today’s GDP numbers, it’s clear the president is out of touch,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Michelle Obama greets US athletes at London Olympics

Michelle Obama meets members of Team USA at the University of East London. Getty Images

New York Post   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

LONDON — Michelle Obama formally opened her stint as leader of the U.S. Olympics delegation on Friday, attending a breakfast with Olympians and saying she was “just in awe” of their company….”Try to have fun. Try to breathe a little bit,” Mrs. Obama said. “But also win, right?” The first lady had a busy itinerary Friday, including promoting healthy living with more than 1,000 children, a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and then the opening ceremony at Olympic Stadium.

Michelle Obama cheers on Olympians and kids at London events

New York Daily News  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

…Later, the First Lady promoted healthy living with more than 1,000 children – most of them from U.S. military families – as well as a suited-up Beckham, Olympic gold-medal sprinter Carl Lewis and ex-NBA star Dikembe Mutombo. The event – part of the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign aimed at tackling childhood obesity – was held on the lavish grounds of Winfield House, the official residence of the U.S. ambassador in London.

Washington’s Influence Olympics: The Opening Ceremony

Center for Responsive Politics   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

This year, there are 53 official corporate sponsors of the Olympics, most of which have a multinational reach. And just about any major company that’s doing business in the U.S. is likely to a have a stake in what’s going on in Washington. Of the 53 Olympic sponsors, 29 have lobbied the federal government since the last Summer Games, even those that are not based in the U.S. In order to break down the lobbying activity of these companies, OpenSecrets Blog has put together its own influence edition of the Opening Ceremony, sorting the sponsors by their home countries to see how they stack up.

THE DELEGATIONS

United States: General Electric, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Dow Chemical, Cisco Systems, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble.

United Kingdom: BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Deloitte,

Germany: Adidas and BMW

Japan: Panasonic

South Korea: Samsung

Netherlands: Heineken, L’arche Green N.V.

Luxembourg: ArcelorMittal

Australia: Westfield Group

Former Navy SEAL’s Anti-Obama PAC Hits The Racetrack

Politicker   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

Special Operations for America, the pro-Mitt Romney political action committee formed by former Navy SEAL Team Six Commander Ryan Zinke will be sponsoring a car at NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis International Raceway this Sunday. FAS Lane racing’s Sprint Cup Series #32 car, which is being driven by Ken Schrader, will sport the SOFA name and logo along with website information and the slogan “Join The Battle.”

Michael Vick Thinks President Obama Has A Point

Bleeding Green Nation   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

Michael Vick tweeted his reaction to President Obama telling Nnamdi Asomugha that he wanted the Eagles QB to start sliding, but yesterday afternoon he had a chance to talk about it further. “I was stunned. I didn’t believe it. It was awesome. It was just one of those things that you hear that’s just hard to believe, but at the same time when you let it all soak in, you think to yourself, ‘Man, he’s got a point.’ If he’s saying it, then I’ve got to do it. So the first run of the year, I’m sliding and you’ll know it’s for him.” It has to be exciting enough that the President of the United States is talking about you, but when he also knows the nuances of your game? That’s pretty cool.

Rick Santorum Blasts NCAA & Freeh Report On Penn State-Jerry Sandusky Sex Scandal

Huffington Post  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and former 2012 GOP presidential hopeful doesn’t think the Freeh report tells the whole truth on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. In a radio interview conducted by Dallas-Ft. Worth’s KSKY 660 AM Friday, Santorum did not go into specifics, but criticized the Freeh Report, which investigated the cover up of Sandusky’s crimes. “My concern with the Freeh report… a lot of the conclusions in the Freeh report aren’t matched by the evidence that they presented,” Santorum said.

Congress asks NFL, NFLPA to begin HGH testing in letter

NFL News   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith on Friday calling on them to begin testing for human growth hormone (HGH). The letter requests “written assurances” that testing will be in place prior to the 2012 season, noting that it has been nearly one year since the new collective bargaining agreement was ratified.

July 23, 2012 Headlines: Romney HOF, No PA taxes to pay for fine, ‘n’ sports helps/hurts Obama

Mitt Romney Made the Baseball Hall of Fame, Sort Of

New York Magazine   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Occupy Wall Street and very rich man Mitt Romney have inadvertently teamed up to make baseball history. Sitting in the hallowed halls of the Cooperstown museum these days is the uniform of a theatrical protest troupe called the Tax Dodgers, a “team” that debuted along with a giant Mitt — get it?…the Occupy group “have been included in the Hall of Fame Museum not because of their political content but because they reflect baseball’s prominent place in the national landscape.”

Sen. Casey backs NCAA sanctions against Penn State

Delaware County Daily Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said Monday he supports the NCAA sanctions against Penn State and the removal of a statue of longtime football coach Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse conviction.

”The sanctions were tough but I think necessary,” he said at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon. “Even people beyond the state are terribly disturbed by what happened.”

Corbett Says Taxpayers Won’t Pay Penn State Fine, Paterno Family Furious

iradiophilly.com   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett wants assurances Penn State won’t use any tax dollars to pay the $60 million fine slapped on Penn State by the NCAA today. Corbett is relieved the NCAA did not shut down football altogether and is confident that the University, which is more than football, will still be considered world class.

Obama and Romney looking to capitalize on Olympic Games

Los Angeles Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney will do whatever they can to capture the golden glow of the Olympic Games, which begin this week in London. It appears Team Obama will start with one-on-one defense, deploying First Lady Michelle Obama to cover the Republican challenger for openers, with the president possibly joining the fray if the opportunity presents itself. Both the first lady and Romney are scheduled to attend a reception Friday at Buckingham Palace, to be hosted by Queen Elizabeth II and attended by 130 heads of state. The opening ceremonies follow that evening

Romney backs Olympics moment of silence to honor Munich victims

Reuters   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, about to visit the London Olympics and Israel, said for the first time on Monday that he supports an official minute of silence at Friday’s opening ceremony for the Games to honor Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Olympics uniforms will be ‘Made in America’ starting in 2014, USOC and Lawmakers say

Washington Post   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Uniforms worn by U.S. athletes during future opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games will be manufactured in the United States as part of an agreement announced Monday. The office of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announced the agreement Monday, one week after Senate Democrats unveiled legislation that would force USOC to adopt “Made in America” uniform standards or face the prospect of losing its charter to oversee the U.S. Olympic program.

Michelle Obama leading presidential delegation to Olympic Games

Los Angeles Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

WASHINGTON — First Lady Michelle Obama will lead a presidential delegation to Friday’s opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London…The first lady will take her Let’s Move anti-obesity campaign to the U.S. ambassador’s residence Friday, where 1,000 American and British children will be put through their paces at sports stations and get a chance to meet athletes including soccer great David Beckham. She has dubbed Saturday a Let’s Move Olympic Fun Day and is encouraging communities in the U.S. to arrange fitness events through Meetup.com.

Obama the Sports Fan: How the President’s Sports Knowledge Works For and Against Him

International Business Times   Mon, 23 Jul 2012

Obama is known to sit back and enjoy what many fellow Americans look to for solace and comfort: sports. Obama makes no effort to hide his immense interest in watching sports, with basketball being one of his lifelong passions. There is Barack-etology, in which the president unveils his NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament picks during “March Madness.” Then there are his brief appearances on Monday Night Football, pickup games with friends and colleagues, and an occasional coaching role on his daughter Sasha’s youth basketball team.

July 18, 2012 Headlines: Romney & the Pres moving towards the Olympics, Armstrong’s anti doping lobbying, ‘n’ Nets arrive

Mitt Romney Hopes Olympic Appearance Will Serve as a Distraction

U.S. News & World Report   Wed, 18 Jul 2012

When Mitt Romney travels to the Olympics in London next week, he is hoping for a round of positive media coverage of the strong leadership he provided in rescuing the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. But he will be walking a tightrope because his Democratic critics will use the occasion to ridicule him and attempt to undermine his case…Romney ran the Winter Olympics in 2002 and has been underscoring his stewardship to show that he has experience in repairing broken institutions.

Dems Hit Romney For ‘Dancing Horse’ Rafalca

ABC News   Wed, 18 Jul 2012

For the second time in the 2012 campaign, Democrats are attacking presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney with mocking references to one of his family pets. A new web video by the Democratic National Committee slams Romney for “dancing around the issues” while featuring footage of his Olympics-bound “dancing horse” Rafalca.

Armstrong’s foundation mounts lobbying campaign

Austin American-Statesman   Wed, 18 Jul 2012

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison — pictured in 2002 with Lance Armstrong, center, and then-Sen. Joe Biden Rick McKay:2002 Cox News Service

WASHINGTON — The foundation created by seven-time Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong has mounted a lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill in an effort to counter accusations by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs throughout much of his career.

City plans bid on 2018 Super Bowl

Indianapolis Business Journal   Wed, 18 Jul 2012

City and state officials announced Wednesday morning that the city of Indianapolis will bid to host the Super Bowl in 2018.

”I have four words for you: ‘Let’s do it again,’ Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said at a press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium.

FIFA picks ex-US attorney as corruption prosecutor

Contra Costa Times  Tues, 17 Jul 2012

ZURICH—FIFA appointed former United States attorney Michael J. Garcia on Tuesday as lead prosecutor to investigate allegations of corruption in world soccer. One of Garcia’s first tasks will be to inspect a Swiss court document on a World Cup kickbacks scandal to evaluate the behavior of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and other senior officials in the affair. “He will have not only to write, but the duty to have this case analyzed on ethic, moral matters and then to report back to the executive committee,” Blatter said at a news conference.

Sports Teams to Share Green Success Stories at the White House

Natural Resources Defense Council   Wed, 18 Jul 2012

President Obama loves basketball, but that’s not the reason why the reigning NBA champions, the Miami Heat, are invited to the White House tomorrow. Representatives from the Heat, as well as other professional sports teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Eagles, Portland Trailblazers, Saint Louis Cardinals, and others, are headed to Washington to discuss a game plan they all have in common–how to run a greener, more sustainable business.  Across the country, more than 100 major league sports teams have embraced NRDC’s Greening Advisor, a customized online resource designed to help sports teams find ways to green their operations through strategies like energy efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable procurement policies. Through the Advisor, NRDC has helped spark tremendous change in the way sports teams operate.

Obama honors Baylor women’s hoops

Obama hosts Baylor Lady Bears

Fox Sports Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:06 PM PDT

Smiling from her wheelchair, a 10-year-old girl with a rare disorder watched from the front row at the White House as President Barack Obama congratulated her beloved Baylor University’s women’s basketball team on winning this year’s NCAA championship…President Barack Obama is honoring Baylor’s undefeated women’s basketball team, calling the NCAA champions a ”dominant” team that scored more points than any team in women’s college basketball history.

Even Barack Obama Thinks Anthony Davis’ Unibrow Is Funny

Obama Thinks Anthony Davis’ Unibrow Is Funny

BuzzFeed   Wed, 18 Jul 2012

Watching the most powerful man in the world tease a clearly star-stuck NBA rookie is my new favorite thing ever….Nowhere is this more obvious than in his interaction with Anthony Davis. From the moment he sees the rookie, the president is busting his balls. “What are y’all doing with this rookie? Is he carrying the bags?” When Kobe makes a joke about the team making Davis shave his trademark unibrow if he doesn’t carry the bags, Obama couldn’t look more delighted.

Background on Local Officials Joining First Lady Michelle Obama at Let’s Move

Whitehouse.gov (press release)  Tues, 17 Jul 2012

Washington – Tomorrow in Philadelphia, First Lady Michelle Obama will join Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as well as local elected officials from across the country to announce public and private sector commitments to get our kids healthier as part of her Let’s Move! initiative to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. The First Lady will be joined by leaders from across the country who are working to make their communities healthier.

Borough President Markowitz welcomes Nets back court to Brooklyn

Brooklyn Daily Wed, 18 Jul 2012

Looking ahead for a sweet season- Brooklynettes Christina, Jessica, and Ericka were in fine form on Friday when they served up some Junior’s cheesecake to celebrate the Brooklyn Nets backcourt. Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Brooklyn’s new all-stars are finally here! Joe Johnson and Deron Williams — both multiple NBA all-stars — were given a borough-wide welcome on Friday, amid roaring cheers from Brooklynites, the Brooklynettes carrying a giant Junior’s cheesecake.

How the Iraq war nearly ended London’s Olympic dream

Sydney Morning Herald   Wed, 18 Jul 2012

Sir Craig Reedie recounts the phone call like it was yesterday. It took place in May 2003, less than two months after bombs had begun falling on Baghdad and George W Bush and Tony Blair set about de-throning Saddam Hussein.

On the other end of the line was Tessa Jowell, Britain’s then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and what she told Reedie was not exactly what he wanted to hear. Jowell was tasked with securing cabinet approval for a London entry in the 2012 Olympic Games race but with the nation’s focus squarely on combat in the Gulf, she was struggling to get the topic on the agenda for the following day’s cabinet meeting. By this time the coalition forces had taken the Iraqi capital – Saddam was not yet captured – but debate was already raging about the legitimacy of the invasion and its political and geopolitical implications.

Bidding buddies … Princess Anne and Sir Craig Reedie in Singapore in 2005 when London was awarded the Olympics. Photo- Bazuki Muhammad

July 17, 2012 Headlines: Rendell on Penn State, Baller in Chief dissed, ‘n’ Country of origin of Olympic Uniforms

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell: Paterno Statue Should Come Down …

Pennsylvania’s former governor Ed Rendell

Sports Radio Interviews  Tue, 17 Jul

One of Pennsylvania’s former governors does not believe the NCAA should give Penn State the death penalty, but he’s not encouraging a slap on the wrist, either. Ed Rendell weighed in on the ongoing saga surrounding Jerry Sandusky, and said that the program shouldn’t get the death penalty because the student-athletes did nothing wrong. Instead, Rendell said, Penn State should be forced to give up any profits made by the football program for at least the upcoming season by donating them to charities that fight child abuse. He also minced no words in stating that keeping the statue of Joe Paterno in place would be a mistake.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama kisses first lady Michelle Obama during the Olympic men’s exhibition basketball game between Team USA and Brazil in Washington July 16, 2012. Credit- REUTERS:KEVIN LAMARQUE:LANDOV

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama Caught by Kiss Cam!

US Weekly Tue, 17 Jul 2012 08:13 AM PDT

All together now: “Awww!” Attending a Team USA basketball exhibition game in Washington, D.C. Monday, President Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle , found that all eyes were on them at the Verizon Center — with good reason. Caught by the venue’s “kiss cam”

Obama to womens Olympic basketball team: Bring home gold!

Washington Post  Tue, 17 Jul

President Obama met with the USA womens basketball team in Washington, D.C. on Monday. He congratulated the players and told them he knew they’d come home from Olympics with gold medals.

London Olympics Give Romney a Chance to Bask in 2002 Glory

NewsMax.com   Mon, 16 Jul 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney played a major role in saving the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he will have a chance to re-invoke that aura of success when the London Olympics begins Aug. 27…Now Romney can reinforce his credentials as a leader and manager as he seeks to unseat President Barack Obama, Politico reports. The presidential campaigns should be largely in a lull during the Olympics, giving Romney a chance to shine as he attends the games with his wife Ann.

In Romney-helmed games, Olympic uniforms outsourced to Burma

CBS News   Tues, 17 Jul 2012

And in 2002, when Romney was at the helm of the Salt Lake City Olympics, the outfits were produced in Burma, as the Huffington Post pointed out last night. Romney on Olympics uniforms made in China: No comment This fact was a source of some protest in 2002, particularly given the Burmese government’s history of dictatorship and long track record of human rights violations. A 2002 story from the Los Angeles Times reported on groups protesting the uniforms, made by Marker Outerwear, “because of the uniform maker’s alleged ties to inhumane working conditions in Myanmar.”

Super PACs Offer NFL Owners Another Way to Score Political Points

Huffington Post   Tues, 17 Jul 2012

The Arizona Cardinals appear to be the first team to make a donation to a federal Super PAC, which can raise unlimited funds from individuals, unions and corporations. There has long been a cozy relationship between sports team owners and politicians and the Cardinals recent donation to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s Super PAC — JAN PAC — is proof that these super PACs offer yet another way for wealthy NFL owners to ensure that the political game is rigged against fans and taxpayers….Since 2009, the NFL has racked up nearly $5 million in lobbying expenditures. It has established a PAC of its own — the GRIDIRON-PAC — which has already spent nearly $750,000 this cycle…It should come as no surprise that NFL owners are overwhelmingly Republican. (You’ll find no better example of the 1 percent than an NFL owner.) Other than the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Dan Rooney, you’d be hard pressed to find an NFL owner who leans left. (And obviously excluding the Green Bay Packers, who are publicly owned.) In the 2008 election, NFL owners gave to John McCain over Barack Obama at a rate of 6-1.

Minnesota governor blames player arrests on idle time

NBCSports.com  Tues, 17 Jul 2012

Now that Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has climbed fully into bed with the Vikings, by aggressively supporting efforts to build a new stadium for the franchise in Minneapolis, Dayton finds himself justifying the allegedly bad behavior of the men who play for the team…“Idle time is the devil’s play,” Dayton said

Salah al-Alam Libyan Olympic President abducted

Stuff.co.nz  Tues, 17 Jul 2012

Gunmen abducted the president of the Libyan Olympic Committee in the nation’s capital, grabbing him from his car and bundling him into a waiting vehicle, his brother said Monday…The abduction comes amid a wave of score settling between rivals of Libya’s eight-month civil war that ended with the capture and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in October.

NASCAR: Jeff Gordon is returning to Rwanda for 1st of its kind cancer center

Indianapolis Star   Sun, 15 Jul 2012

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeff Gordon is headed back to Rwanda this week for one of the most important trips of his life. The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation is a major supporter of the first-of-its-kind cancer center in a rural part of the African nation. The grand opening is Wednesday. President Clinton will be there, too, along with Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame.

Sports celebrities participate in fundraising golf outing hosted by Newark …

The Star-Ledger – NJ.com   Mon, 16 Jul 2012

Sports celebrities descended on Jersey City today for a fundraising round of golf at Liberty National Golf Club. Hosted by Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Giant Michael Strahan, the outing benefited the Newark Mentoring Movement, which  benefits providers like Big Brothers, Big Sisters. New York Giant David Diehl, former New York Jet Wayne Chrebet, “NFL on Fox” reporter Jay Glazer, former New Jersey Devil Ken Daneyko, NBC host and former New York Giant Tiki Barber and former NBA player and coach Isiah Thomas were among the players.

June 22, 2012 Headlines: Title IX’s 40th, From Russia with love, ‘n’ M.O. leads Olympic delegation

Happy 40th Anniversary to Title IX

President Nixon signing Title IX, June 23, 1972

 

Title IX at 40: Myths, stereotypes and unintended consequences

MinnPost Fri, 22 Jun 2012 03:20 AM PDT

Editor’s note: The landmark Title IX legislation was signed into law 40 years ago tomorrow by President Richard M. Nixon. The following Q&A with Mary Jo Kane, director of the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport…When Mary Jo Kane came to the University of Minnesota in 1989 she was one of a handful of people nationally conducting research on the social science of female athletes and the impact of Title IX.

Obama congratulates Miami Heat coach Spoelstra

Miami Herald Fri, 22 Jun 2012

President Obama calls Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra to offer congratulations after NBA championship Calling from Air Force One, on his way to Tampa, President Barack Obama called Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra to congratulate him on the team’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. President Obama said that the team seemed to get stronger in each game of the playoffs, and he complimented the performance of the players and coaches. He asked Spoelstra to tell the team that they are all invited to the White House, and he looks forward to celebrating their NBA championship.

Michelle Obama to lead U.S. delegation to Olympic Games opening ceremony

Yahoo! News Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:25 AM PDT

First lady Michelle Obama will lead the official American delegation to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the White House announced on Friday. The group includes women’s soccer Olympic great Brandi Chastain and basketball star Grant Hill, a member of the 1996 “Dream Team.” “This summer I’ll be cheering on Team U.S.A. at the Olympic Games in London with this distinguished group of champions who truly represent the best of our country,” the first lady said in a statement released by the White House.

Politics meets soccer in Germany vs. Greece

Associated Press Fri, 22 Jun 2012

GDANSK, Poland (AP) — Germany’s most prominent fan will be in the stands for the quarterfinal against Greece at the European Championship. Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, wins no popularity contests among the Greek contingent. So the political dimension of Friday’s game only heightens what is already an intriguing match in strictly soccer terms…German and Greek officials are trying to play down the politics. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has been a major contributor to international bailouts for Greece and was instrumental in demanding structural reforms and hugely unpopular spending cuts in return. Greek fans are unlikely to take kindly to Merkel’s presence at Gdansk Arena.

Germany beat Greece 4-2 

Rink Relations: Putin, Niinisto Face Off on the Ice

President Vladimir Putin took to the ice Friday with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto © RIA Novosti. Alexei Nikolskiy

 

Russian Information Agency NovostiFri, 22 Jun 2012 10:20 AM PDT

President Vladimir Putin took to the ice Friday with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto for a light-hearted hockey match intended to show there is nothing frosty about their bilateral relations.

Fedor Emelianenko: Vladimir Putin Thanks Him for Promoting MMA in Russia

Fedor Emelianenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Bleacher Report Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:46 AM PDT

Following Fedor Emelianenko’s 84-second demolition of Pedro Rizzo, none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped into the St. Petersburg ring and personally bestowed praise upon “The Last Emperor” for his contribution to and promotion of MMA in Russia. “I want to congratulate Fedor and thank him from all of us, martial arts fans. It is because of him this sport became so popular in our country,” the Russian premier said.

Senate okays bid to decriminalize mixed martial arts

The Globe and Mail Fri, 22 Jun 2012 12:13 PM PDT

A Conservative senator’s bid to remove the criminal prohibitions against mixed martial arts and other combat sports has been approved by the Red Chamber and is off to the House of Commons, where it will be debated when MPs return in the fall. With the popularity of mixed martial arts growing and Ultimate Fighting Championship events drawing tens of thousands of people, some provinces, including British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, have have found ways to get around the section of the Criminal Code that outlaws all combative sports except boxing.

NASCAR tickets ‘ready and waiting’ for President Obama at N.H. Motor Speedway box office

New Hampshire Union Leader Fri, 22 Jun 2012 12:20 PM PDT

LOUDON (Press Release) – Though White House staffers are officially calling it a “campaign visit,” New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Gappens can’t help but wonder if President Barack Obama’s real motivation for visiting the Granite State on Monday is to pick up his tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on July 15. The resourceful Gappens put some tickets in President Obama’s name at the “Will-Call” window in the NHMS ticket office today, just in case the “Commander and Chief” wanted to witness the largest sporting event in New England.


Obama declines NHMS offer

MANCHESTER- Today, Obama for America – New Hampshire State Director Pete Kavanaugh issued the following statement upon receipt of Jerry Gappens’ generous offer:

“Thank you Jerry for your generous offer. New Hampshire Motor Speedway has a proud history, and while the President will not be able to attend, we certainly appreciate the offer.

“The President is a supporter of NASCAR and an advocate for the American auto industry. Under his leadership he made the bold decision to rescue the auto industry, resulting in a resurgence of American manufacturing jobs that are restoring economic security. The auto rescue saved a million jobs up and down the supply chain. In New Hampshire alone 23,000 jobs depend on the vibrancy of the auto industry, and today, the America auto industry has never looked more vibrant. GM is once again the world’s top carmaker. The auto industry added more than 230,000 jobs since June 2009, and 2011 was the strongest year of industry job growth since 1994.

“This is a stark contrast with our opponent in this race who advocated that we ‘let Detroit go bankrupt’ when the auto industry was on the brink of collapse.

“Our campaign is focused on getting the middle class to victory lane. As you get ready to drop the green flag for another great race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, we thank you again for your offer, and I can assure you that supporters of the President will be there in force.”

Gov. Jindal appoints Baton Rouge businessman to Superdome Commission

New Orleans Times-Picayune Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:54 AM PDT

BATON ROUGE — Gregg Patterson of Baton Rouge has been named to a seat on the Louisiana Superdome Commission by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The board, formally known as the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, oversees the Mercedes-Benz Superdome; the nearby Arena, home of the New Orleans Hornets; the Alario Center near Westwego; the Saints training facility on Airline Drive; Zephyr Stadium, located next door to the Saints training facility; and the TPC-Louisiana golf course. Gregg Patterson is president of G.A.S. Investments and was former pitcher for LSU baseball team.

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?

May 16, 2012 Headlines: White House open for All Whites and the Irish cousin, free tix=trouble, Sports Fans unite

Mayweather supports Obama, backs gay marriage

MSNBC Wed, 16 May 2012 17:51 PM PDT

The war of words between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao takes many forms and has many fronts. So when Pacquiao went on record recently as opposing President Obama’s recent endorsement of gay marriage, Mayweather saw that as an opening, and stepped in and threw a left. Mayweather tweeted today:

@FloydMayweather
I stand behind President Obama & support gay marriage. I’m an American citizen & I believe people should live their life the way they want.

Sports Fans Coalition Spring Kickoff Reception

The Hill Wed, May 16, 2012

The Sports Fans Coalition, the largest fan advocacy organization in the country, held a spring kickoff reception Tuesday evening at the Sewall-Belmont House. Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), along with several other lawmakers, was honored for fighting for sports fans across the U.S. Guests enjoyed beer and barbecue and were encouraged to wear their favorite team’s colors.

Mitt Romney’s Fenway visit prompts renewed look at 2004 World Series remark

Romney looks onto Red Sox's Nick Punto, Jim Davis:Globe Staff

Boston Globe Wed, 16 May 2012 11:14 AM PDT

Mitt Romney’s visit to Fenway Park earlier this week has prompted renewed focus on a 2006 comment in which he reportedly told an Air Force pilot he was in Fenway Park when the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. The problem is that the team won the clinching Game 4 not in Boston but at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix noted the discrepancy in …

Mass. Democrats file ethics complaint against Scott Brown over half-court shot video

Boston Globe Wed, 16 May 2012 11:31 AM PDT

The Massachusetts Democratic Party today filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee, arguing that Senator Scott Brown abused public resources by using video shot by a government employee to promote his reelection campaign. The Globe reported last week that the video – of Brown sinking a half-court basketball shot – was recorded by his Senate communications director, during an official …

Mr. Met Joins Mayor Bloomberg To Announce Citi Field Will Host 2013 All-Star Game

Mayor Bloomberg, Bud Selig and Mr. Met

Gothamist Wed, 16 May 2012 11:34 AM PDT

The Blue Room at City Hall was an especially appropriate setting today for the announcement that the Mets will host the 2013 All-Star Game. Mayor Bloomberg was joined by MLB commissioner Bud Selig, Mets owner Fred Wilpon, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, MLB Executive Vice President Joe Torre, and Citi Field’s most beloved resident Mr. Met to make the announcement. “Competition for All-Star …

Finance deal reported for new Seattle arena

The Wenatchee World Wed, 16 May 2012 08:59 AM PDT

SEATTLE (AP) a King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn have called a Wednesday news conference to announce a financing agreement with Chris Hansen who hopes to build a new arena to bring NBA and NHL teams to the city. The arena would be built near the Mariners’ Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field where the Seahawks and Sounders play.

Pennsylvania governor, lawmakers report gifts, travel

The Morning Call Wed, 16 May 2012 06:07 AM PDT

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett accepted tickets to NFL playoff games and the National Hockey League‘s Winter Classic and top leaders in the General Assembly earned outside incomes at law firms in 2011, documents show.

Corbett accepted NFL playoff tickets provided by longtime friend and supporter, Pittsburgh lawyer Jack Barbour, on Jan. 15 and Jan. 23 last year. The tickets were valued at $140 and $185, respectively, according to annual financial disclosure statements filed with the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission.

White House welcome for All White(s)

New Zealand's All Whites Soccer club's Dan Keat

3news Wed, 16 May 2012 14:55 PM PDT

On the same day he was named in the All Whites soccer squad for their upcoming internationals, Kiwi midfielder Dan Keat was being hosted at the White House by United States President Barack Obama.

Michelle Obama Wore Moschino to Kick It With David Beckham

New York Magazine Wed, 16 May 2012 11:10 AM PDT

Michelle Obama wore a white Moschino top with an Alaïa belt and black pants to host a Let’s Move! event honoring the L.A. Galaxy soccer team at the White House yesterday. And on Monday, she wore a striped shirt and black blazer to address the 2012 Team USA Media Summit

Galaxy’s White House trip to see Obama causes media feud

Major League Soccer Wed, 16 May 2012 10:19 AM PDT

So MSNBC host Chuck Todd may not be the biggest fan of MLS, or soccer in general. But is that really a reason to make snide comments about the LA Galaxy’s trip to see President Obama at the White House to be congratulated for their 2011 MLS Cup triumph on Tuesday?

VIDEO: Obama’s Keane ‘cousin’

BBC News Wed, 16 May 2012 08:14 AM PDT

US president Barack Obama singled out Robbie Keane, captain of the Republic of Ireland football team, for a special mention at a White House reception, calling him “a cousin of mine”.

Beckham reflects on another career moment at White House

Obama and Beckham

Major League Soccer Wed, 16 May 2012 07:50 AM PDT

WASHINGTON, DC: David Beckham and the LA Galaxy stopped by the White House on Tuesday, stepping back from the challenges of their current season just long enough to savor their glorious 2011 campaign in the company of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and a room full of wowed youth soccer players from Washington, D.C.