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

Obama and Romney’s political gymnastics

Washington Post  Fri, Aug 3 2012

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

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

The Hill (blog)   Fri, Aug 3 2012

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

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

Los Angeles Times   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

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

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

Yahoo! Sports  Fri, Aug 3 2012

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

Picture of Obama holding baseball bat angers Turkish political circles

New York Daily News   Sat, Aug 4 2012

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

Obama Clears a Baseball Hall of Fame Coin

Wall Street Journal   Fri, Aug 3 2012

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

Virginia Gov discusses deal to move Redskins’ camp

CBSSports.com   Sat, Aug 4 2012

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

Rex Ryan avoids debate with Obama

Newsday  Fri, Aug 3 2012

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

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

Newser   Fri, Aug 3 2012

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

July 26, 2012 Headlines: Anti-Romney Olympic ad=copyright violation, Diplomat Romney in London, ‘n’ Cop canned

Olympics Committee: No Games footage in campaign ads

Washington Post   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

An ad from the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA has been pulled off YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee on copyright violation grounds, and the group has voluntarily taken the ad offline and will not be running it on television. The U.S. Olympic Committee is asking all candidates and outside groups not to use footage from past Olympics in their ads.

Romney stirs Olympic tiff as European tour begins

Romney Street in London Photo- Charles Dharapak : AP

San Francisco Chronicle   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

LONDON (AP) — Mitt Romney wanted to highlight U.S.-British bonds — and show off his diplomatic skills to boot — but he managed to rankle the Olympic hosts instead, from Prime Minister David Cameron on down. The Republican presidential candidate, taking a turn on the world stage, called London’s problems with Olympic Games preparation “disconcerting.” That prompted Cameron to retort on Thursday that doubters would “see beyond doubt that Britain can deliver.” And London Mayor Boris Johnson told tens of thousands gathered in Hyde Park: “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!” Amid the uproar, Romney tried to back off his critique, finally concluding, “I expect the games to be highly successful.”

Tony Blair Says We Should Wait a Decade Before Judging the 2012 Games

The Atlantic Cities   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

Tony Blair attended the Beyond Sport summit yesterday in London to speak about how sports, particularly the Olympics, can facilitate positive change. Since leaving office, the former Prime Minister has started a small-scale sports foundation in northeast England to train coaches and volunteers. More recently, he has become an adviser to the Labour party on Olympic legacy. In yesterday’s Guardian, Blair was quoted after the event as saying it could take a decade to judge the London Games honestly. He also emphasized the importance of maintaining political focus long after the Olympics conclude. “It’s in 10 years time we’ll know whether this has worked or not.” he said. “What is important is after the Olympics to carry on encouraging the impact of it to keep generating local sport activity.”

Mitt Romney Registered As Lobbyist For Salt Lake City Olympics

Huffington Post   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney loves to talk about his role salvaging the 2002 scandal-tarnished Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City…Romney wasn’t just the head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Romney was also a registered lobbyist for the organization, Utah state records show. Romney last worked as a lobbyist on Dec. 31, 2000, according to a spokesman for the state lieutenant governor, who oversees the registry. As a lobbyist and president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Romney didn’t just stabilize the balance sheet. He brought in a record $1.3 billion in federal dollars for Salt Lake City’s games and more from Utah. In 1996, the Atlanta Summer Olympics cost U.S. taxpayers $609 million.

Phil Knight, Chris Dudley among big Oregon donors to Mitt Romney

OregonLive.com  Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

The biggest Oregon donor to Romney in the  June report was Chris Dudley, the 2010 candidate for governor and the former pro basketball player.  He’s now given a total of $7,500 to Romney’s campaign, according to the report. Also showing up on the Romney contributors list for the first time is Nike Chairman Phil Knight and his wife, Penny.  They each gave $2,500.

Senate: Volleyball “Official Team Sport” for Mass.

abc40   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill designating volleyball the official team sport of Massachusetts. Sen. Michael Knapik, a Westfield Republican, backed the bill noting that volleyball was invented by William Morgan at a YMCA in Holyoke in 1895 just four years after basketball was invented in Springfield. The bill would need to be given final approval by both the House and Senate before midnight Tuesday in order to reach Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk this session…volleyball is too late to be the official sport of Massachusetts. That designation belongs to basketball under a bill signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006.

Mass. mayor fires cop he says slurred Sox player

Yahoo! Sports   Thurs, 26 Jul 2012

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts mayor on Thursday fired a white police officer accused of using a racial slur to taunt Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, saying the officer had ”brought discredit” on himself and the department. ”You have demonstrated through your racist comments that you cannot continue as a patrol officer,” Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella wrote in his termination notice to officer John Perrault.

July 24, 2012 Headlines: London Mayor’s ode, doping/betting, ‘n’ Iran’s participation

London mayor’s Greek Olympic ode features Bolt

Yahoo! Sports   Tues, 24 Jul 2012

London Mayor Boris Johnson won cheers from Olympic officials after reading out a specially composed ode in ancient Greek, complete with references to athletes like Usain Bolt…the poem specially written by Dr Armand D’Angour of Oxford University…concludes: “Now welcome to this seagirt land, / with London?s Mayor and co. at hand / good luck to all who strive to win: / applaud and let the Games begin!”

Doping, illegal betting top priorities: Olympic chief

Yahoo! Sports   Tues, 24 Jul 2012

Olympic chief Jacques Rogge vowed no let up in the war on illegal betting and doping on Tuesday as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) began its three-day session ahead of the London Games. The 70-year-old IOC president – who is due to step down in September next year after a 12 year tenure – said the battles against the twin threats should also come with good and responsible governance of all sports. “The fight against doping and illegal gambling remain the absolute priorities for the IOC,” said Rogge.

Iran Media Denies Athletes to Compete Alongside Israel at Games

Bloomberg   Tues, 24 Jul 2012

Israeli media misquoted comments from the general secretary of Iran’s Olympic committee, saying Iranian athletes will compete alongside Israelis at the London 2012 Olympics, the state-run Fars news agency reported. The Israeli media “maliciously changed Bahram Afsharzadeh’s words and sought to project comments from the general secretary of Iran’s Olympic committee as they like,” the report said. “Afsharzadeh responded to journalists in the Olympic village, saying Iran respects the spirit of sports and Iranian sportsmen would not boycott matches because of the nationality of most participants,” Fars said, adding that Afsharzadeh hadn’t named Israel. Iran doesn’t recognize Israel. Iranian athletes withdrew from events at the 2004 and 2008 games when paired against Israel.

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

House Says Military Can Keep NASCAR Sponsorships

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

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

DNC Apologizes to Ann Romney For Horsing Around

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

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

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

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

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

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

Las Vegas Sun  Sun, 15 Jul 2012

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

July 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 11, 2012 Headlines: Olympics (Un-American American outfits, Quatari women to carry flag, ‘n’ Romney raising $)

Critics take on the U.S. Opening Ceremony look

U.S. Olympic Team’s Opening Ceremony outfits. Lochte, Clay, Lanzone, and Mitts. Photo provided by Ralph Lauren

Yahoo Sports Wed, 11 Jul 2012

Tuesday Ralph Lauren unveiled the outfits Team USA will be wearing during the Opening Ceremony, and fashionistas are already turning on it, slamming it for being “all wrong” and “un-American.”…the biggest objection focuses on the “un-American” beret. Such headgear is stereotypically French, even socialist

Qatari female athlete to hold flag at London Games

Newsvine Wed, 11 Jul 2012

DOHA — One of Qatar’s first female athletes to compete at the Olympics will be the flag-bearer for the opening ceremony at the London Games. Qatar’s Olympic Committee posted a statement late Wednesday on Twitter saying shooter Bahiya al-Hamad has been chosen to “raise the Qatar flag at London 2012.” “I’m truly proud and humbled to carry the Qatar flag among my fellow athletes from all over the world,” al-Hamad said on Twitter.

Obama Turns Down NASCAR Tickets To Sprint Cup Race €“ Commemorative Pass Auctioned Off At A Loss

The Inquisitr Wed, 11 Jul 2012 13:32 PM PDT

President Barack Obama turned down an invitation and free tickets to the Sprint Cup race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway; so the racetrack decided to auction off the tickets (which were printed with Obama’s name and White House address) for a children’s charity. Unfortunately for the non-profit organization, there was not much of a demand for President Obama’s cast-off NASCAR tickets even though they were for some of the “best seats in the house, The Blaze reports. According to The Sporting News, the tickets retail for $110 each and the set of four Obama Spring Cup tickets garnered only $300 on the auction block.

Fans, foes debate proposed NBA/NHL arena

Seattle TimesWed, 11 Jul 2012 16:08 PM PDT

King County Executive Dow Constantine (L), Chris Hansen (C), the venture capitalist who wants to build a new sports arena in Seattle, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (R) TED S. WARREN : AP

King County Executive Dow Constantine, Chris Hansen, the venture capitalist who wants to build a new sports arena in Seattle, talks to reporters with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. The City Council, along with the county, spent thousands of public dollars to study the existing area where the stadium district was created. The purpose was to create an area for sports venues to be located. The study was led by the person who now has called for another study to be done by the Port of Seattle.

US election: Mitt Romney to host £50,000 a head London fundraisers

Daily Telegraph Wed, 11 Jul 2012 13:49 PM PDT

Mitt Romney will bolster his election campaign war chest by charging wealthy expatriates up to £50,000 to meet him at lavish London fundraisers on the eve of the Olympics.

Baylor going to White House to mark national title

The Daily Jeffersonian Wed, 11 Jul 2012 14:48 PM PDT

WACO, Texas (AP) — Brittney Griner and the Baylor Lady Bears are headed to the White House for a Rose Garden ceremony. The national champion Lady Bears, who were undefeated with the NCAA’s first 40-win season, are scheduled to meet with President Obama next Wednesday. They will also visit with the Texas congressional delegation while in Washington…It will be the second time Mulkey takes a team to the White House. Baylor was also honored at the White House after its 2005 national championship. The Lady Bears were then greeted by President George W. Bush, whose Crawford ranch is only about 25 miles from the Waco campus.

July 4, 2012 Headlines: Will Middle East send women to the Olympics?

Saudi Arabia Not Guaranteed To Send Female Athletes To London Olympics, Says IOC President

Members of the Jeddah Kings United all female team attend football exercise in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (AP Photo/Courtesy of Reema Abdullah)

The Huffington Post Wed, 04 Jul 2012 23:54 PM PDT

LONDON — IOC President Jacques Rogge cannot guarantee “100 percent” that female athletes from Saudi Arabia will compete at the London Olympics, although he remains optimistic the Gulf kingdom will send women to the games for the first time…Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei have never included women in their Olympic teams. While Qatar and Brunei have committed to sending female athletes to London, whether Saudi will do the same – and, if so, how many women will be included – remains uncertain three weeks before the start of the London Games.

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 23, 2012 Headlines: London Olympics bans human right violators, Jose Canseco the economist, and MN’s fuzzy math

World leaders guilty of human rights abuses banned from London Olympics

PanARMENIAN.Net Wed, 23 May 2012 09:02 AM PDT

World leaders and politicians guilty of human rights abuses will be banned from entering Britain for the 2012 London Olympics, the foreign ministry said Wednesday, May 23, AFP reported. “Entry will be refused where an individual’s presence at the Games or in the UK would not be conducive to the public good,” Jeremy Browne, minister of state at the Foreign Office, told parliament in a written statement. “Where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the individual will not normally be permitted to enter the UK.”

Venezuela seeks to improve on poor Olympic record

Reuters via Yahoo! India News Wed, 23 May 2012 00:03 AM PDT

CARACAS (Reuters) – Socialist-run Venezuela has been unable to replicate the Olympic glories of political bedfellows Cuba, China or the old Soviet Union. Yet there is no lack of enthusiasm among the 60 or so athletes heading to the London Olympics with the dream of adding to the South American nation’s gold medal tally of one. No one will be cheering them louder than President Hugo Chavez, a sports-lover who has poured oil revenues into the “massification” of sport as a major plank of his self-styled revolution in Venezuela since taking power in 1999.

 Yes, Really: Jose Canseco Blasts Mitt Romney: A ‘Joker’ Who Believes In€˜Bullsh*t€’

Mediaite Wed, 23 May 2012 10:47 AM PDT

Former major league baseball star and notoriously nonsensical tweeter Jose Canseco was profiled today by Grantland as the bulky slugger begins his stint with an independent ball club, the Worcester Tornadoes. Besides discussing his breakfast regiment and new career, Canseco randomly veered into politics, taking the time to blast presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as a “joker” who believes in “bullshit” about fixing the federal deficit.

NFLPA Files Collusion Suit Against NFL Owners

Bleacher ReportWed, 23 May 2012 10:06 AM PDT

NFLPA Leadership

The NFL Players Association has brought suit against the owners for alleged collusion during the 2010 football season. This claim details an apparent conspiracy in which owners agreed to not exceed a secret $123-million salary cap in a year where no actual boundary existed. Domonique Foxworth, a free agent cornerback and president of the Players Association, had this to say about the impending …

CONCACAF nations lash out at disgraced ex-leaders

The Washington Times Wed, 23 May 2012 10:13 AM PDT

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (AP) – A damning list of alleged financial mismanagement by former CONCACAF leaders Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer was outlined to 40 soccer nations Wednesday, just minutes after they elected Jeffrey Webb as their new president. The Cayman Islands banker was the only candidate to succeed disgraced former FIFA …

Minneapolis City Council President Uses Bizarre Math To Push New Stadium For Vikings

Forbes Wed, 23 May 2012 11:24 AM PDT

The Minneapolis City Council has scheduled a vote Friday for final approval to the $975 million stadium deal for the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings. The new stadium, scheduled to be ready for the 2016 season, would be built on the site of the Metrodome, where Vikings have played since 1982. Minnesota Governor Mark signed …

Politicians and Team Owners Snooker Sports Fans and Taxpayers

Cato Institute Wed, 23 May 2012 05:09 AM PDT

This article appeared in Huffington Post on May 22, 2012. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton just signed the midnight deal that state lawmakers struck with the owners of the Minnesota Vikings to build the team a new stadium. Players and management shook hands. Fans breathed a sigh of relief that their beloved football team would remain in the Gopher State. But some important parties were missing from the celebration: the taxpayers who are stuck with the check

Ukrainian News: NOC Denies Having Spare Tickets To 2012 Olympics

KYIV Post Wed, 23 May 2012 00:55 AM PDT

National Olympic Committee President Serhiy Bubka says the NOC has no excess tickets to ХХХ Olympic Games 2012, due to take place in London, UK, reads a statement made by the NOC press service. “The Ukrainian NOC has no excess tickets to the Olympic Games and all the tickets received will be distributed via official channels only,” the statement quotes Bubka as saying.

Governor Otter wishes Yotes well at NAIA World Series

KBOI-TV Boise Tue, 22 May 2012 20:36 PM PDT

College of Idaho baseball is off to the NAIA World Series for the fifth time in school history. That kind of season gets the attention baseball fans no matter where they work, including the Capitol.

May 22, 2012 Headlines: Ukraine official busted, Steeler honored, SF gets a new stadium & team

 

Governor Corbett honors Hines Ward

Corbett honors retired Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward

WHP CBS 21 Harrisburg Tue, 22 May 2012 10:17 AM PDT

Governor Corbett today presented the following proclamation honoring retired Pittsburgh Steelers player Hines Ward during an event at the state Capitol in Harrisburg: Tribute to Hines Ward WHEREAS, Hines Ward played 14 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, during which he established himself as one of the all-time greatest NFL wide receivers, being heralded as a leader on and off the field; and …

 

 Governor, Tom Barrett, football players wish Donald Driver luck

WQOW Eau Claire Tue, 22 May 2012 10:23 AM PDT

Green Bay Packers player Donald Driver is hoping to impress the judges tonight on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Overanalyzing President Obama’s Passing Form

New York MagazineTue, 22 May 2012 13:43 PM PDT

Obama throws a football on Soldier Field following NATO working dinner in Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Two days ago, President Obama was snapped by White House photographer Pete Souza on the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field tossing a football to Lord knows who. It’s a nice shot — Obama looks downright statuesque and seems, at a minimum, not totally unfamiliar around a pigskin. And yet — probably because he is not actually a quarterback — there was also something off about Obama’s throwing form. As part of our never-ending quest to nitpick everything in the world, we asked Chris Brown — who has written about football for the New York Times, Grantland, and his own site, Smart Football, as well as in his new book, The Essential Smart Football — to take an unnecessarily critical look at Obama’s mechanics, and tell us what he’s doing wrong.

Report: Ad man behind Pete Hoekstra’s Super Bowl commercial leaves Senate run

Pete Hoekstra, Grand Rapids Press file photo

The Grand Rapids Press Tue, 22 May 2012 16:03 PM PDT

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Fred Davis, the California media strategist who developed former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra’s heavily criticized Super Bowl commercial, has told Politico that he is no longer part of the Holland Republican’s campaign.

“They chose to shift around some responsibilities,” Davis told the website Tuesday.

The Hoekstra commercial came under fire from its first airing as xenophobic when an Asian-American actress…

 State Senate District 39 candidate bio: Jack Sullivan

Santa Fe New MexicanTue, 22 May 2012 08:34 AM PDT

NM State Senate Candidate Jack Sullivan

Education: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Georgia Tech University; master’s in civil engineering, Stanford University. Experience: Santa Fe County commissioner 2000-08; captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Airborne Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Citation); former coach and president, New Mexico Youth Soccer Association; former president, New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers

Gov. LePage signs anti-bullying, concussion bills

The Boston Globe Tue, 22 May 2012

AUGUSTA, Maine—Gov. Paul LePage has signed an anti-bullying bill and a National Football League-backed measure to prevent concussions in school sports.

General Secretary of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee, Volodymyr Gerashchenko

 Ukraine Olympic chief filmed offering to sell thousand pounds worth of Olympics tickets on black market

IndependentTue, 22 May 2012 10:06 AM PDT

The General Secretary of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee has been filmed offering to sell several thousand pounds worth of Olympics tickets to an undercover reporter posing as a ticket tout. Volodymyr Gerashchenko, who has been head of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee since 1997, told the reporter from BBC London News he had up to 100 tickets to sell.

Gov. LePage signs anti-bullying bill into law

WMTW Portland Tue, 22 May 2012 03:20 AM PDT

Gov. Paul LePage has signed an anti-bullying bill and a National Football League-backed measure to prevent concussions in school sports. The Republican governor on Monday put his signature to nearly two dozen bills that won final passage in the waning hours of Maine’s legislative session. The anti-bullying bill builds on existing law by providing a clear definition of bullying, an explicit prohibition on bullying, discipline strategies and teacher training on how to address bullying.

Golden State Warriors Officially Moving To San Francisco

Rendering of the Southern Embarcadero via The Warriors:Future Cities

 

SFist Tue, 22 May 2012 10:18 AM PDT

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Mayor Ed Lee and the Golden State Warriors front office are scheduled to make good on “months of rumors by officially announcing a deal to bring the NBA franchise back to San Francisco proper. According to the Chronicle , the deal will bring a $500 million, privately financed 17,000 – 19,000-seat arena to Pier 30 along the southern Embarcadero. The new arena is expected to be ..

 

Rush Limbaugh Bust, Image Credit- Julie Smith:AP Photo

Rush Limbaugh Bust Joins President, Slave, Indian Guide in Missouri Capitol

ABC News Tue, 22 May 2012 10:03 AM PDT

Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh joined the ranks of a U.S. president, a Missouri governor and a baseball Hall of Famer Monday when a bust of the controversial commentator was put on display in the Missouri Capitol building in Jefferson City…Besides Limbaugh, Tilley has chosen to add former slave Dred Scott and baseball legend Buck O’Neil of the Negro American League…A security camera, which was installed specifically for Limbaugh’s bust, will provide 24-hour surveillance of the statue, said Trevor Fox, the House’s director of communications. Limbaugh’s statue, which stands between those of 19th century painter George Bingham and former Missouri Gov. Warren Hearnes, is the only statue in the Missouri House’s Hall of Fame that has its own security camera. Other famous Missourians honored with statues in the Capitol include Walt Disney, Sacajawea and former President Harry Truman.

Crossroads up with $2.3 mill anti-Obama ad buy in Florida

Orlando Sentinel Blogs Tue, 22 May 2012 08:30 AM PDT

Crossroads GPS, dba Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is up today with a $2.3 million, three-week ad buy in Florida that the group says is intended to “to frame the [presidential campaign] debate on jobs, the economy, taxes and government debt.”
Unlike previous ads by the Karl Rove-created group, this one, called “Basketball,” is a soft-music, low-key indictment of President Barack Obama’s three-plus years in office, as “told” by the mother of two kids who can’t find jobs.
“I supported President Obama because he spoke so beautifully,” says a woman’s voice. “He promised change — but things have changed for the worse.”
Crossroads says the ad is the second in a $25-million issue advocacy campaign in Florida and nine other states: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
It urges citizens to support the “New Majority Agenda,” which is detailed at. The New York Times has a fascinating piece about how the ad was made. Read it here.

Litigation offers window into Ann Romney’s private life

Los Angeles Times Tue, 22 May 2012 05:37 AM PDT

Testimony in a lawsuit — from which she was eventually dropped — reveals the would-be first lady’s passionate engagement in dressage, a sport she believes helps her deal with multiple sclerosis…She soon fell in love with dressage, a fussy Olympic sport that is also called “horse ballet.” In dressage, a horse moves in delicate, dance-like steps to music as the rider, formally clad in top hat and tails, imperceptibly guides the animal.

FIFA break from tradition to appoint first female member to executive committee

Daily Mail Tue, 22 May 2012 04:35 AM PDT

FIFA have appointed the first female member of the world governing body’s executive committee. Lydia Nsekera, president of the Burundi Football Association, has been co-opted onto the executive committee and will be formally installed at the FIFA Congress in Budapest on Friday. Nsekera is a member of several FIFA committees – for women’s football, the women’s World Cup and the organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments.

FIFA delays appointing anti-corruption officials

Journal Gazette & Times-Courier Tue, 22 May 2012 07:34 AM PDT

FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s anti-corruption drive hit another delay on Tuesday, even as soccer’s world governing body appointed the first woman to its inner circle.