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Category Archives: U.s. Armed Services

June 15, 2012 Headlines: Political Sabermetrics, Olympic bi-partisanship, ‘n’ doping

Moneyball’ Godfather Bill James Tackles Politics In Super PAC Age

Huffington Post Fri 15 Jun 2012

WASHINGTON — A political candidate being dramatically outspent by his opponent has few options. He can pin his hopes on a strong debate performance, dig up dirt on the opposition, or cut a particularly buzz-worthy television ad. Or he can do what other industries, led by Major League Baseball, have done before: worship at the altar of Bill James…That’s because much of what James has to offer candidates facing financial deficits is quirky and unconventional. Often it involves throwing the traditional campaign playbook out the window.

“If you’re outspent in a campaign, what you absolutely cannot do is start a pissing contest, pardon my French,” James wrote in an email. “If you’re outspent and you start talking about your opponent being corrupt and senile, you’re in BIG trouble, because he’s got a lot more guns than you have.”

1. Instead of going negative, he advised, a candidate should do the exact opposite. “Talk about your opponent in the nicest terms that you CAN, in order to take certain weapons away from him,” James wrote. “If you’re speaking well of your opponent and your opponent is savaging you, there is a chance he comes off looking like an ass and you can win the election.”

2.  A candidate run on a platform distinct from either major party (anti-drug war, pro-gay rights). Or a candidate could obsess over an issue completely off the beaten path.

Mitt Romney Showed Political Courage And Consistency By Supporting Obama Olympic Bid

Mediaite Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:42 PM PDT

Color me shocked. After researching Mitt Romney‘s record procurement of federal funds for his 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and subsequent bragging about it, I did some checking to see how badly he flip-flopped when President Obama flew off to Copenhagen in search of an Olympic bid for Chicago. As it turns out, while all the other conservatives in the world were shaming themselves, Mitt Romney was unqualified in his support.

Barack Obama as the Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies center fielder Carlos Gonzalez is unable to catch a double by New York Yankees batter Mark Teixeira. REUTERS:Ray Stubblebine

Washington Post  Fri 15 Jun 2012, 06:30 AM ET

President Obama’s problems heading into the November election are less rooted in the ongoing economic struggles in the country than in a widespread sense of unmet expectations among those who backed him in 2008, according to a recent focus group conducted by Democratic pollster Peter Hart in Colorado. “People are disappointed in economic conditions and the amount of debt the President has racked up, but he hasn’t lost these voters because of these problems. They sense that this is all a show. There is no roadmap, no program, and no conviction of where the President wants to lead the country. Participants say that Obama reminds them of their hometown baseball team, the Colorado Rockies (lots of promise but not a pennant).”

Participants in the group, which consisted of 12 people (10 of whom voted for Obama in 2008, but only four of whom are committed to him in 2012), also compared the president to former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (“he says all the right things, but when it comes down to it, he can’t perform,” writes Hart) and TV infomercial salesman Billy Mays (“‘too showy,’ putting on ‘a snazzy sales routine’”.)

Lance Armstrong faces fresh doping charges from USADA

Washington Post  Wed 13 Jun 2012

Lance Armstrong

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency brought formal doping charges against former cyclist Lance Armstrong in an action that could cost him his seven Tour de France titles, according to a letter sent to Armstrong and several others. As a result of the charges, Armstrong has been immediately barred from competition in Ironman triathlons, a discipline he took up after his retirement from cycling in 2011.

NFL, military partner to discuss brain injuries

Washington Post  Wed 13 Jun 2012

In a conference room on the third floor of the Pentagon, introductions were made and the conversation quickly turned to concussions…“Just the knowledge of what a concussion is has totally changed,” said Mike Rucker, a retired defensive end who had military personnel seated on either side of him. “We thought a concussion was when somebody was knocked out and was unresponsive. Now we have the understanding, no, it’s those little stars that you see.” Beset by the ongoing concussion issue, the NFL has partnered with the U.S. Army and Marines to try to change attitudes of both athletes and troops toward brain injuries. While the NFL has worked with the USO and sent its athletes to military bases around the world since the 1960s, both sides say this is the first formal undertaking aimed at effecting change on this issue.