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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.

July 16, 2012 Headlines: Olympic hoops & Prez, PA Gov on Penn State, ‘n’ MMA for Cuomo

Obama and Biden attend tune-up games for Olympic basketball teams

Washington Post  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama basked in the glow of the Olympics on Monday, getting a courtside look at LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other members of USA Basketball. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took their seats to chants of “U-S-A” at a U.S. men’s Olympic basketball exhibition game against Brazil as the loudspeakers blared Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” images that any president running for re-election would relish.

Not so fast, Kobe, Obama sides with ’92 Dream Team

USA TODAY  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) – Add President Obama to the list of people who disagree with Kobe Bryant‘s boast that this year’s U.S. Olympic basketball team could beat the Dream Team of 1992. “This is a generational thing,” Obama said during a halftime interview with ESPN2 as it broadcast the USA’s exhibition game Monday night vs. Brazil at Washington’s Verizon Center. “I was around in ’92, I was a Bulls fan, so I’ve got to go with the original Dream Team.”

After outrage, Team USA uniforms will be made in America

Handout photo of US Olympic athletes Lochte and Lanzone wearing the 2012 US Olympic team uniforms

Chicago Tribune  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ralph Lauren’s stylish uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team, complete with a jaunty beret, have sparked a political row because the red, white and blue outfits were made in China. With U.S. unemployment hovering just above 8 percent, politicians have spoken out against the uniforms for the London Games, which start later this month, and six Democratic senators said they plan to introduce legislation requiring the ceremonial uniforms be produced in the United States…The senators said they will introduce the “Team USA Made In America Act of 2012” next week.

China burns Harry Reid over US Olympic uniforms

Politico  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

China’s state media called Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid “irresponsible” for recommending that the U.S. Olympic team’s Chinese-made uniforms be burned, and said the “ridiculous” uproar on Capitol Hill over the uniforms reeks of “nationalism and ignorance.” “The Olympic Spirit, which has nothing to do with politics, chants mutual understanding and fair play, so tagging the uniforms with politics by those U.S. politicians exposes narrow nationalism and ignorance, and violates the original Olympic Spirit,” the official Xinhua news agency wrote in an editorial Monday.

Gov. Corbett answers tough questions about Penn State scandal

WPXI Pittsburgh Mon, 16 Jul 2012

PITTSBURGH — Gov. Tom Corbett has been very quiet recently about the scandal and recent fallout at Penn State University…“First off, I’m not going to get into what the NCAA should do or will do. That’s their area,” Corbett said.

Mixed martial arts companies have donated $105000 to Gov. Cuomo during his …

New York Daily News  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

ALBANY — Mixed martial arts competitions are not legal in New York, but the industry has already showered cash on Gov. Cuomo. Two companies fighting to legalize the popular but controversial sport donated $105,000 to the governor during his first 18 months in office, a study of Cuomo’s campaign filings revealed. Zuffa LLC and its subsidiary, Ultimate Fighting Championship, dished about $55,000 and $50,000, respectively, to Cuomo, along with a total of $89,000 to the state Senate and Assembly, the New York Public Interest Research Group found.

 New Mexico Senator pushing to end doping in horse racing

New York Daily News  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

A MEMBER of Congress is threatening to cut off horse racing’s lifeline of off-track wagering if it doesn’t clean up its act. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) made the threat during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “Medication and Performance Enhancing Drugs in Horse Racing” held in Washington on Thursday. “Today, nearly 90% of the $11 billion bet annually on horse racing is from off-track wagers permitted by the IHA (the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978),” Udall said. “Congress should not tolerate doping and cheating in interstate horse racing. But the record is discouraging. This great sport has reached a terrible level of corruption and exploitation.”

Senate Passes National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act

Coin Update News  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

On July 12, 2012, the Senate passed H.R. 2527: National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act… In order to become law, the House must approve amendments to the original bill made by the Senate, and then the bill must be signed by the President. The bill will require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, up to 400,000 silver dollars, and up to 750,000 clad half dollars in recognition of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It is suggested that to the extent possible without significantly adding to the purchase price, the gold coins and silver dollars should be produced so that the reverse is convex to more closely resemble a baseball and the obverse is concave for dramatic display of the design.

Kuwait pledges sports autonomy

ESPN  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait has promised the IOC it will rid its sports institutions of political interference. The Gulf country wants the two-year ban on its Olympic committee lifted, allowing its athletes to compete under the nation’s flag at the London Games. The International Olympic Committee suspended Kuwait in 2010. The IOC said in May Kuwaiti athletes could participate at the games, but would compete and march in the opening ceremony under the Olympic flag. IOC spokeswoman Sandrine Tonge said Monday the suspension was “conditionally lifted” after Kuwait ruler Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah pledged autonomy for the country’s Olympic committee and promised new legislation for institutions governing sports.Kuwait is sending 11 athletes to the Olympics, which start July 27.

Monmouth Park’s plan to introduce sports betting draws backing of Gov. Christie

The Times of Trenton – NJ.com  Mon, 16 Jul 2012

A few weeks ago, Gov. Chris Christie announced his willingness to encourage sports betting in New Jersey in spite of a 20-year-old federal law that limits wagering on sports to four states, none of which is ours. His message to those who might not like it: I’ll see you in court. He may get his chance. Monmouth Park operator Dennis Drazin told The Bergen Record that he hopes to offer betting on professional and college sports at his racetrack this fall. That’s likely to bring a legal challenge from the sports leagues, which believe legal betting would threaten their games’ integrity, and the Justice Department, whose job it would be to defend the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).

Surrounded by crowds, President Woodrow Wilson throws out the first ball at a baseball game in Washington in this 1916 photo. The last time two candidates who served as governors were on a winning presidential ticket was 100 years ago, when Wilson ran for president in 1912. (AP Photo/File)

June 23, 2012 Headlines: Obama on Title IX, Hillary making moves, ‘n’ Miami’s Mayor’s re-elect ad

Obama reflects on being a dad in Title IX tribute

CNN Political Ticker Sat, 23 Jun 2012 11:21 AM PDT

(CNN) – President Barack Obama used his daughter Sasha as an example of the success of Title IX, a law that prohibits discrimination of women in sports and education, in a Newsweek op-ed that honors its 40th anniversary. Obama, who helps coach his daughter’s basketball team, wrote that while there are “few things more fulfilling than watching your child discover a passion for something,” prior to Title IX, “something like pursuing varsity sports was an unlikely dream for young women in America.”

President Obama to Visit Jackie Robinson Film Set

New York MagazineSat, 23 Jun 2012 15:09 PM PDT

Jackie Robinson

A few weeks after praising African-American baseball players Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson for “lay[ing] the groundwork for a more inclusive America” (and making his presidency possible), Deadline has learned that President Obama is headed to the set of 42, the Robinson biopic currently filming in Atlanta. The White House asked the studio if he could swing by on Tuesday, when he’ll be in town for a series of fund-raisers. The studio’s response: sure, no biggie.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s reelection ad airs during Heat game

Miami Herald Sat, 23 Jun 2012 16:53 PM PDT

How can a political candidate guarantee getting eyeballs on his campaign advertising? By airing it during the NBA Finals, of course. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s reelection campaign aired its first TV spot last week during Game 4 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat. The ad recaps Gimenez’s year in office by highlighting, among other things, that he lowered his salary and submitted a budget to commissioners with a lower property-tax rate. No word on whether it’s merely a stylistic coincidence that the ad features a white background and red lettering — the Heat’s colors.

Clinton selects Kwan – Sat, 23 Jun 2012 PST

The Spokesman-Review Sat, 23 Jun 2012 00:16 AM PDT

Nine-time U.S. champion figure skater Michelle Kwan has been chosen for a women’s sports council by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports also includes U.S. soccer stars Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, tennis pioneer Billie Jean King and perennial WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings. Former Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt and Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer also are on the council. The State Department says the council is meant to help the United States use its success in women’s sports “to empower girls and foster greater understanding.”

Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and ESPN’s President John Skipper announce a new collaboration between the State Department and espnW — the Global Sports Mentoring Program June 21, 2012. Photo- Michael Gross

 

DipNote, U.S. Department of State Blog Fri, 22 Jun 2012  

Harnessing the power of mentoring, the Department, in collaboration with espnW, will connect international and American women to build capacity and create sustainable sports opportunities for underserved women and girls worldwide. In the fall of 2012, approximately 20 women, ages 25-40, who have been identified as emerging leaders in sports, will travel to the United States where they will be paired with leading American women who work in a sports-related field. Participants may include women who administer or manage sports programs; manage and/or coach sports teams; work in mid-to-upper management roles for corporations with a sports-related focus; work at non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and specialize in sports journalism and mass communication, sports marketing, and sports medicine.

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 27, 2012 Headlines: Saluting our Soldiers, Barkley messes with the wrong Texan, ‘n’ Astrologers predictions

Happy Memorial Day and Thank You to all our Men and Women in uniform

Christian Slayton, 12, prays while Marine veteran Tim Chambers salutes fallen service members during the Rolling Thunder ride in Washington. Linda Davidson:The Washington Post

San Antonio mayor fires back at Barkley

Fox Sports Sat, 26 May 2012 20:49 PM PDT

Charles Barkley, you’ve messed with the wrong mayor. Barkley, the former NBA star and current TV analyst-slash-wisecracker, has bashed San Antonio for years. Now the mayor of the Alamo City is fighting back. In a new YouTube video, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro attempts to make peace with Barkley, before getting in a few jabs of his own. Seated behind a desk in what looks to be an official government address, Castro talks about the things Barkley and San Antonio have in common. Castro cites Barkley’s new dedication to fitness and support of the military. Then Castro reveals his left hand adorned with the four NBA championship rings won by the Spurs. The inference is obvious, as Barkley never won a title despite a highly decorated playing career.

GOP candidate for NC governor NASCAR race starter

Stamford Advocate Sun, 27 May 2012 02:29 AM PDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Republican who wants to become North Carolina’s governor is joining West Virginia’s current governor and a swimsuit model to handle some of the honors ahead of Charlotte’s big NASCAR race. GOP gubernatorial candidate and former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory will serve as honorary starter of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Democratic candidate Walter Dalton has no public events planned Sunday. Progress NC Action said it planned to sponsor a banner flying over the race highlighting questions about McCrory’s tenure as mayor. The grand marshal of Sunday’s NASCAR race is West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin

London 2012: Jacques Rogge confident Saudi women will make debut

Guardian UnlimitedSun, 27 May 2012 13:25 PM PDT

Jacques Rogge, IOC president

Qatar and Brunei also considering sending female athletes & Rogge defends Dow Chemical sponsorship: The International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge, is optimistic that Saudi Arabia will send female athletes to the Olympics for the first time at this summer’s Games. Rogge said the IOC was in advanced talks with the Saudis to include female competitors. Details of how many athletes and from which sport or sports are still being worked out…Rogge also reiterated the IOC’s support for Dow Chemical, rejecting demands from India that the company be dropped as a sponsor of the Games because of its links to the 1984 Bhopal disaster. Dow bought Union Carbide in 2000. Union Carbide’s plant is blamed for the gas leak that killed an estimated 15,000 people. Critics argue the purchase makes Dow responsible for lingering groundwater contamination and other issues

Astrologers Make Predictions: Will President Obama be Re-elected? Will the Saints Go To The Super Bowl?

ABC 26 New Orleans Sun, 27 May 2012 08:36 AM PDT

NEW ORLEANS—Thousands of astrologers from all around the world are in New Orleans for the Untied Astrology Conference…These astrologers are here to discuss and look to the stars to answer questions about the Mayan calendar, whether the economy will recover, and will President Barack Obama be re-elected in November…Astrologer, Christina Collins said, “The world’s not going to end…It is a long-shot but we had to ask the astrologers if they had any knowledge on our heavenly NFL Super Bowl winning Saints.

May 19, 2012 Headlines: A Letter to the Prez & a Birmingham NFL Team?

Letters to the President #1216: ‘The value of veteran players’

CNN Sat, 19 May 2012 06:20 AM PDT

Reporter’s Note: I write to the president every day of the year. Even on weekends.

Dear Mr. President,

Every year around this time I ask if you are following the Stanley Cup playoffs and every year, you say no. Actually, you don’t say anything, but I assume the answer is no. See every hockey fan I know jumps at the chance to talk about the Cup race, and since you don’t even respond, that makes me think that it’s not exactly your cup of tea.

Hot Corner: Time to set sights on NFL team

The Huntsville TimesSat, 19 May 2012 04:33 AM PDT

Artist rendition of a possible domed stadium for Birmingham. Could such a facility one day host an NFL team? (al.com)

Former Mayor Larry Langford believed Birmingham was fit to host an Olympic Games. That pie was too high in the sky. Go big and dream big, but that was way too big. We don’t know fencing, judo, or swimming like we live and breathe football.

Here’s a real knee-slapper: Forget the USFL. Alabama should go after an NFL team.

Here’s all the arguments: No stadium. No corporate footprint. Not enough money or population. The media market is too small.

And then there’s everyone’s favorite: The state already has two pro teams in Auburn and Tuscaloosa. Who’d cheer for a third?

But what if a stadium ever got built in downtown Birmingham by that new Westin? Could the Alabama Crimson Eagles get off the ground? Would our state support an NFL team with Cam Newton and Mark Ingram in the same backfield? What if the smart drafting actually fed off the built-in SEC audience?

May 17, 2012 Headlines: Got Woody? Olympics boycott Ahmadinejad, Pelosi blasts Cubs

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Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports Billionaire tied to Wright ad blitz a rising force

Your Hometown Lima Stations Thu, 17 May 2012 14:06 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (AP) – The wealthy executive who considered and then dropped a proposal to revive controversy over the relationship between President Barack Obama and his former pastor is a rising conservative maverick with ties to the Chicago Cubs baseball team. He’s also linked to a “super” political action committee that bankrolled an upset in Nebraska’s recent Republican Senate primary.

J. Joseph Ricketts, 70, a politically conservative Nebraskan known as “Joe,” built the TD Ameritrade brokerage firm into a billion-dollar empire

Defense budget debate touches on Afghanistan, NASCAR

Reuters Thu, 17 May 2012 16:27 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – War-weary lawmakers nudged President Barack Obama to speed the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan…

The department spent about $96 million last year to sponsor sporting events, including $20 million on a single NASCAR race, as part of its marketing effort to recruit volunteers, one official said. “Twenty million for one NASCAR race? Have we lost our minds?” said Representative Jack Kingston, a leader in the effort to cut the funds.

Woody Johnson: Romney camp has ‘answer’ to Clooney fundraiser

Politico Thurs, May 17, 2012,10:20 AM EDT

Woody Johnson, the Jets owner who’s one of Mitt Romney’s major bundlers, dangled the idea that the Republican’s campaign is planning on countering President Obama’s massive $15 million George Clooney fundraiser with an event of their own, to be announced next week.

“We have an answer, we can’t give it today, but we have somebody that we think will be very successful doing similar fundraising activity,” Johnson said.

Sassy Nancy Pelosi One-liner of the Day

New York MagazineThu, 17 May 2012 09:59 AM PDT

Nancy Pelosi

“Well, I hope they’re as successful with this campaign as the Cubs are on the baseball field.” —Nancy Pelosi on TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts’s plan (or not?) to spend $10 million on ads focused on President Obama’s ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright. The Ricketts family owns the Cubs.

Tilley critical of Spence gifts to lawmakers

Jefferson City News Tribune Thu, 17 May 2012 08:04 AM PDT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley has accused fellow Republican Dave Spence of hypocrisy for proposing a cash limit on lobbyist gifts then doling out sports tickets to lawmakers to win support for his gubernatorial bid.

Spence is seeking the GOP nomination to run against incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in November. Though a political novice, Spence is a successful businessman who sold his plastic container business for more than $200 million.

First Pinoy in NHL-Canada visits PNoy

 

Filipino-Canadian hockey player Josh Nicholls pays a courtesy call on President Aquino

ABS-CBNNEWS.com Thu, 17 May 2012 04:32 AM PDT

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-Canadian hockey player Josh Nicholls paid a courtesy call on President Aquino on Thursday.

Nicholls, a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, gave the President an autographed hockey stick and taught him how to hold it.

It had a Philippine flag sticker on it and a line that says: “To my President P-Noy.” Nicholls is the first Filipino to have played in the National Hockey League in Canada.

 

Iran president tests Britain on request to attend Olympics

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, (AP Photo:Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)

 

Hamilton Spectator Thu, 17 May 2012 06:40 AM PDT

TEHRAN, Iran – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that he is eager to attend the Olympic Games in London to support Iranian athletes but that Britain doesn’t want to host him.

Iranian president may visit London for 2012 Olympics: report

ANI via Yahoo! India NewsThu, 17 May 2012 02:47 AM PDT

Tehran, May 17 (Xinhua-ANI): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that he may visit London for 2012 Olympics.

Ahmadinejad said that he likes to be with Iranian athletes in London 2012 Olympic games to encourage them, the official IRNA news agency reported on Thursday.

“I like to be by the side of young Iranian athletes in 2012 Olympics, but they (host country) have problems with this issue,” IRNA reported him as saying without elaboration.

The ‘Gus Bus’ stops in Little Rock

KTHV Little Rock Wed, 16 May 2012 21:24 PM PDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Arkansas State fans are pumped up about the upcoming football season. Hundreds of ASU fans, including the governor, met coach Gus Malzahn at War Memorial Stadium Wednesday evening.

Athletes celebrate with Special Olympics opening ceremony

KTVQ BillingsWed, 16 May 2012 22:01 PM PDT

Special Olympics athlete of the year Buzz Tolliver and Billings Mayor Tom Hanel light the torch

BILLINGS – An inspirational night Wednesday for Montana special olympic athletes, fans, and friends, at the Rimrock Auto Arena..
Special Olympics athlete of the year Buzz Tolliver and Billings Mayor Tom Hanel light the torch, officially kicking off the state summer games. 
Local law Enforcement help lead the torch portion of the ceremony and Governor Brian Schweitzer spoke to the athletes and families.
Our own Rob Griggs emceed tonight’s opening ceremonies.
Competition began this morning at Rocky Mountain College.
More than one-thousand Special Olympic athletes are participating in this week’s games. 
The games continue Thursday and wrap up Friday.

 

Mayor Bloomberg and Newark Mayor Cory Booker do some high-schticking on Twitter over Rangers and Devils

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (l.) and Mayor Bloomberg

NY Daily News Thursday, May 17, 2012, 1:01 AM

The mayors of New York and Newark traded sporting trash talk over Twitter Wednesday night as the Rangers squared off at Madison Square Garden against the New Jersey Devils in Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals.

“Not even @CoryBooker can save you tonight, @NHLDevils #LetsGoRangers,” Mayor Bloomberg tweeted at the start of the game to Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, where the New Jersey Devils play.

Three hours later, after the Devils evened the series by beating the Rangers 3-2, Booker took to Twitter with his reply.

“Hey Mike Devils don’t need me 4 the save, they have Brodeur!,” referring to the Martin Brodeur, the Devils’ goaltender, who had a stellar game.

Manny Pacquiao: “I’m not against gay people”

Washington PostThurs, May 17, 2012

Manny Pacquiao during a movie premier last week. (DANNY MOLOSHOK : Reuters

Manny Pacquiao clarified his recent comments about same-sex marriage, issuing a statement in which he said he has nothing against gay people but opposes same-sex marriage.

“I’m not against gay people,” Pacquiao, the champion boxer and Filipino legislator said in a statement, written by trainer and writer Keith Terceira, on his website. “I have a relative who is also gay. We can’t help it if they were born that way. What I’m critical of are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same-sex marriage is against the law of God.”

CLEMEN’S TRIAL UPDATE

Roger Clemens trial: Cross-examination of chief accuser Brian McNamee continues with plenty of drama

Washington Post Thurs, May 17, 2012

Not 30 minutes into his cross-examination of Roger Clemens’s chief accuser in the baseball legend’s perjury trial, defense attorney Rusty Hardin cut to the chase:

“Would you agree that whether or not Roger Clemens used steroids depends upon whether you are telling the truth?”

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.