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Tag Archives: Michelle Obama

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

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

Mike Rizzo on Nats Political interests

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

Sports ‘n’ Politics Fri, Sept 14 2012

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

US Olympians honored in White House ceremony

Washington Post    Fri, Sept 14 2012

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

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

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

Washington Post (blog)   Wed, Sept 12 2012

Golf great Arnold Palmer

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

Obama Places Virtual Ads in Madden NFL 13

BET   Tues, Sept 18 2012

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

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

Muhammad Ali to receive Liberty Medal on Thursday

Bellingham Herald   Wed, Sept 12 2012

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

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

Even President Obama makes crack at Miami Dolphins

Sun-Sentinel   Wed, Sept 12 2012

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

Olympic Champ Tyler Clary — Declines White House Invite … I’d Rather Race Cars   Wed, Sept 12 2012

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

Congress to help NFL with doping standoff

The Hill (blog)   Wed, Sept 12 2012

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

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

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

Proposal for downtown LA NFL stadium advances to City Council

Los Angeles Times   Fri, Sept 14 2012

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

Shaq brings full court press to Hill

Politico   Fri, Sept 14 2012

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

Md. governor to hold fundraiser with Ravens player

The News Journal   Wed, Sept 19 2012

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

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

Afro American   Wed, Sept 12 2012

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

Mayor Johnson, Ed Secretary Duncan meet in Sacramento

Sacramento Bee (blog)   Wed, Sept 12 2012

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

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

Globe and Mail   Wed, Sept 12 2012

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

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

WHAS 11   Fri, Sept 14 2012

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

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

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

Mayor Dyer explores stadium options with Orlando City president

WFTV Orlando   Tues, Sept 11 2012

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

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock gets national audience with segment on ESPN

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


Denver Post (blog)    Tues, Sept 18 2012

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

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

Yahoo! Sports (blog)   Sun, Sept 9 2012

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

President Barack Obama Does The Gator Chomp [Photo]

FanSided (blog)   Sun, Sept 9 2012

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

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

Yahoo! Sports (blog)   Tues, Sept 18 2012

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

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

Star Tribune   Tues, Sept 18 2012

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

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

Condoleeza Rice claims the Browns as her team

Yahoo! Sports (blog)   Wed, Aug 15 2012

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

Gov. Jerry Brown weighs protections for California sports fans

Los Angeles Times  Wed, Aug 15 2012

Mariah Tauger/ Los Angeles Times

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

President Obama congratulates Team USA basketball: ‘You all make us so proud’   Sun, Aug 12 2012

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

Commissioner Stern awarded Olympic Order

Jacques Rogge & David Stern    Sun, Aug 12 2012

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

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

Washington Post   Sun, Aug 12 2012

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

Obama congratulates Cameron on successful Olympics

USA TODAY (blog)   Sun, Aug 12 2012

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

Michelle Obama teases Gabby Douglas over fast food

The Seattle Times   Mon, Aug 13 2012

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

Romney, GOP put NASCAR Tech on big stage

Mooresville Tribune   Wed, Aug 15 2012

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

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

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

Romney Gets Fundraising Lift From Nascar

Wall Street Journal (blog)   Wed, Aug 15 2012

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

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

ABC News  Sun, Aug 12 2012

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

Biden: I dreamed of winning the Daytona 500

Politico (blog)   Tues, Aug 14 2012

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

Ann Romney to raise coin for Connie Mack at RNC baseball-themed event (blog)   Thur, Aug 16 2012

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

Steve McMichael plans to run for mayor   Thur, Aug 16 2012

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

Mayor, Boston Pizza play road hockey for a cause

Orangeville Citizen   Thur, Aug 16 2012

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

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

Empty seats plague London Games

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

CANOE   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

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

Bill Clinton talks Cardinals QBs with Larry Fitzgerald

NFL News   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

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

Olympic organizers defend choice of flag   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

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

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

Newstrack India   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

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

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


News One   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

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

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

Washington Post   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

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

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

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

Pakistan Daily Times   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

By Muhammad Ali 

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

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

Political ads during Olympics? Bush waved Iraqi, Afghan flags

Los Angeles Times   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

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

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

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

Sydney Morning Herald   Sun, 29 Jul 2012

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

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

Shevchenko gives up soccer for politics

Calgary Sun   Sat, 28 Jul 2012

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

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

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

Sports Team Owners Send Cash to Presidential Picks

Forbes   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

Romney donors:

Woody Johnson, New York Jets

Marc J. Leder, Philadelphia 76ers

J. Joe Ricketts’s family, Chicago Cubs

Peter Karmanos Jr., Carolina Hurricanes

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

James Dolan, New York Knicks

Dean A. Spanos, San Diego Chargers

Dan Snyder and Dwight Schar, Washington Redskins

Obama backers include:

Stephen Pagliuca, Celtics

Robert Epstein, Boston Celtics

Robert C. Pohlad, Minnesota Twins

Robert K. Kraft, New England Patriots

Jonathan M. Tisch, New York Giants

James Lassiter and Michael Rubin, Philadelphia 76ers

Dale Rosenbloom, St. Louis Rams

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs

Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards 

Twitter Competing in Two Sports: The Olympics and the US Election   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

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

The Hill   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

NC ad to slam Obama on economy during Olympics

USA TODAY  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

Michelle Obama greets US athletes at London Olympics

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

New York Post   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

Michelle Obama cheers on Olympians and kids at London events

New York Daily News  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

Washington’s Influence Olympics: The Opening Ceremony

Center for Responsive Politics   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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


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

United Kingdom: BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Deloitte,

Germany: Adidas and BMW

Japan: Panasonic

South Korea: Samsung

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

Luxembourg: ArcelorMittal

Australia: Westfield Group

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

Politicker   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

Michael Vick Thinks President Obama Has A Point

Bleeding Green Nation   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

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

Huffington Post  Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

Congress asks NFL, NFLPA to begin HGH testing in letter

NFL News   Fri, 27 Jul 2012

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

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 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 14, 2012 Headlines: Let’s Move, Prez plays b-ball w/ Clooney, Vikes score stadium…

Mark Kauhane – for Councillor, Maple Ridge

Mark Kauhane

Abbotsford Mission Times Mon, 14 May 2012 23:20 PM PDT

Long-time minor baseball president and Maple Ridge resident Mark Kauhane is running for Maple Ridge council. To help voters make their choices on election day, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows TIMES asked candidates a series of questions on issues of importance

Ukraine warns of football boycott ‘humiliation’

The Irish Times Mon, 14 May 2012 17:24 PM PDT

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Viktor Yanukovich has warned the West that he will not allow his country to be humiliated, as European Union leaders consider boycotting next month’s Euro 2012 football matches in Ukraine.

St. Louis Rams’ dome plan seeks roof panel that would open

Columbia Missourian Mon, 14 May 2012 13:53 PM PDT 

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams and the public entity that operates theStadiu are far apart in their plans on how to improve the facility. While St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is urging rejection of the Rams’ plan, his top aide said it is far too soon to sound the alarm that the city may lose an NFL team for the second time since 1987. The Rams’ proposal was released against their …

$37M, 10-year tax break for Hornets approved

Greenwich Time Mon, May 14, 2012 6:59 pm

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The New Orleans Hornets will continue receiving a tax break that saves the NBA team $37 million over 10 years.

The Senate sent the tax break bill to the governor’s desk Monday with a 28-7 vote. The measure, supported by Gov. Bobby Jindal, is part of the state’s deal to the keep the Hornets in Louisiana and a piece of the agreement with new team owner Tom Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints.

First lady has plan to get kids involved in sports

The Associated Press  Mon, May 14, 2012 at 6pm

DALLAS (AP) Michelle Obama remembers sitting in front of her television many years ago and watching Mary Lou Retton, Nadia Comaneci and Carl Lewis as they competed in the Summer Olympics. ”Like so many others,” she said, ”I was awed and inspired by those athletes.”


Minnesota governor signs off on hard-fought, $975 million Vikings stadium deal

Newser May 14, 2012 – 4:pm CDT

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday signed off on a hard-fought agreement to build the Minnesota Vikings a $975 million stadium at the downtown Minneapolis site of the team’s current home, the Metrodome. Dayton, who championed the deal, signed the bill to mostly cheers, whistles and chants of `Skol Vikings,” the team’s fight song, during a Capitol ceremony attended by team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, business and labor leaders, construction workers and fans of the purple and gold.

David Cameron may meet Mitt Romney in London

The Telegraph  12:50PM BST 14 May 2012

David Cameron is hoping to meet Mitt Romney when the Republican US presidential candidate comes to London this summer for the Olympics. It is understood the Prime Minister’s office has been talking to the Mitt Romney campaign team about the possibility, although nothing has been fixed in their diaries.

London 2012 Olympics Countdown Calls for Friendly Competition

Dip Note, U.S. State Department MAY 13, 2012

Today marks 75 days until the start of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. As London prepares to welcome the world for the Olympics, the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. organized a medley of sports activities, or “Embassy Olympics,” in recognition last month of the “100 Days To Go” mark.

S.F. Mayor Ed Lee courts Golden State Warriors

San Francisco Chronicle  Monday, May 14, 2012

It’s official – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is openly calling on the Golden State Warriors to jump the bay and return to San Francisco “in time for the 2017 NBA season.”


Clooney, President Obama’s Basketball Game

People Sunday May 13, 2012 09:50 AM EDT

It’s not often that one’s weekly schedule includes things such as: “Dinner at home with President” or “Boyfriend plays pickup game with Leader of Free World. ”So you can forgive Stacy Keibler for still looking a bit wide-eyed after last week’s visit to California by President Barack Obama. A day after George Clooney hosted a multimillion-dollar fundraiser