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Archive for May, 2011

Atlanta Loses Another NHL Franchise

No word yet if the soon-to-be-relocated team will be known as the Jets, but it’d be safe to assume the name is in the running.

First, the Flames. Now, the Thrashers.

The struggling NHL franchise was sold Tuesday to a group that will move it to Winnipeg next season, making Atlanta the first city in the league’s modern era to lose two teams.

The Flames left for Calgary in 1980. The Thrashers are following them to Canada three decades later.

“I want to thank all the Thrashers fans that supported us in Atlanta for my two years there. Very unfortunate there will be no NHL hockey,” tweeted Evander Kane, one of the team’s most promising young players. “I will miss the great people and city of Atlanta.”

True North Sports and Entertainment announced the deal during a news conference at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre, the 15,015-seat arena where the team will play. The news sparked a raucous celebration in Manitoba’s largest city, which is rejoining the league after losing the Jets to Phoenix in 1996.

The deal is worth $170 million, including a $60 million relocation fee that will be split by the rest of the league, a source told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun.

The new team could also be known as the Jets, though a decision on the name has not been reached. The Thrashers name — which was coined by former owner Ted Turner and referred to the state bird of Georgia — will surely not be going north of the border.

Thousands of fans in red, white and blue Jets jerseys cheered, waved flags and played impromptu games of street hockey. While the deal is subject to approval of the league owners, that’s expected to be a mere formality when the board of governors meets June 21 in New York.

“It’s nice to be back in Winnipeg after all these years,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who attended the True North news conference.

The NHL will not realign its divisions for the 2011-12 season, meaning Winnipeg will play in the Southeast, a league source confirmed to LeBrun.

The NHL decided to award Atlanta a franchise during what has been called it’s infamous, “Southern Flight” when a number of teams in Canada fled for warm weather cities in the United States.  Now, with the Canadian Dollar performing better than the U.S. Dollar on a consistent basis, a return north of the border is a tempting option for a number of struggling NHL franchises.

Look for possibly flights by the Phoenix Coyotes — owned by the league, but kept afloat by influxes of cash from Glendale, Arizona via merchandising deals — to consider a move to either Hamilton, Ontario or Quebec City, Quebec.   Rumors also exist of the NHL adding a second team in Toronto; but no one thinks such a thing will happen since the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have much of a waiting list for season tickets indicating the city doesn’t have demand for a second franchise.

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Weiner Fails PR 101

(From CNN via Breitbart TV)

This just looks very bad.  Click on link to view it if it doesn’t appear in your browser.




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Big Ten Network Becomes a Series of Letters

In a way it makes sense, after all, there aren’t 10 teams in the league anymore.

(Since 1993 actually, but why get literal with them?)

The Big Ten Network is changing its name to BTN.

Network President Mark Silverman said in a news release Tuesday that the new name and logo are designed to give the network a broader brand under which it can add products not limited to TV starting later this year. He says many viewers and news media members already use BTN as an abbreviation.

The news release says TV programming will remain focused on the Big Ten sports and schools.

The network is owned by the Big Ten and Fox Cable Networks.

The conference is making a number of changes with the addition of Nebraska. Last year, it divided football teams into two divisions and called them the Legends and Leaders. Those names were widely criticized by fans.

No doubt this news is part of a Big Ten media attempt to have something else to talk about beyond the growing mess at the Ohio State University.

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At 11:00, We Find Out Just How Crazy JoAnne Kloppenburg Is

This will be fun.

And apparently I may be the only one who might hold Tom Foley — the Wisconsin Liberal Blogosphere’s “Best Legal Mind” with a suspended law license (Just finish you CLE work already and pay your dues pal)to task for his pledge he’d join the Wisconsin GOP if Kloppenburg files a suit.  For the record Tom, most Wisconsin or National Republican Operatives I know couldn’t care less that you’re gay.  In fact, if this outing by a left-wing group was correct, the old Oppo Chief at the RNC (before he was sacked in May 2010 for being a complete and utter jerk, or so I’m told) may be gay.

Heck, I don’t care that you’re gay Tom.

Just tend to think you’re a jerk; I’m sure the feeling is mutual

The campaign for state supreme court challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg said she would make an announcement at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday on a possible legal challenge against the results of the state-wide recount in the race for Supreme Court Justice.

She had until the end of Tuesday to decide whether to take legal action after losing the recount to incumbent Justice David Prosser.

Kloppenburg asked for a statewide recount after preliminary figures had her losing to Prosser.

Brian Nemoir, campaign manager for Prosser, says the recount has been an exhaustive process and it’s time to move on.

“If they do file a suit we will fight that suit with all vigor.  It’s unnecessary.”

The recount results were certified last week showing Justice Prosser beating challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by about 7,000 votes.

Sources to 620 WTMJ radio talk show host say Kloppenburg will indeed concede the race.  We’ll know at the top of the hour if they are correct.

No doubt Foley’s sighing in relief and hoping that Sykes got it right; no doubt the first time in Foley’s mind.

UPDATE II: Politico is reporting their own sources are confirming the Sykes report.

UPDATE III: Open blog, insert foot.

As Tom has pointed out, I appear to have libeled him. Most likely on the gay comment, and for that I sincerely apologize for.  Maybe over the past couple of years of skimming over Tom’s posts on gay marriage and his criticisms of conservative Christians on homosexual issues, I mistook his passion on them as a piss-poor assumption that he was gay himself.

I honestly meant no harm or malice from it.

My mistake, and I apologize for it, as this quote from one of Foley’s own posts, which was passed on to me shows — I am really frickin’ wrong.

I don’t get the obsession with homosexuals, which seems to be a feature of both fundamentalist style Christianity and political conservatism. Personally I don’t think about gay people too often. Christian conservatives will often tell you they aren’t so much concerned with gay people per se, but rather their focus is on “homosexual acts.”

Maybe that’s why I’m not a conservative Christian because, trust me, homosexual acts are about the last things I care to focus on.* It makes little sense to me why self-proclaimed anti-homosexuals would want to focus on homosexual acts because the only people who should be focusing on homosexual acts are, well, homosexuals.

So again, Tom, my sincerest apologizes.  I AM AN ASS.

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Happy Memorial Day

Do take the time to remember why you have this day off and say, “Thank you.”


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Navy to Name Next Carrier After JFK

Have no issues with this.  I wasn’t among the thousands of folks hoping to see CVN-79 get named the U.S.S. America or the U.S.S Enterprise – the 9th such ship to be named as such in the history of the American Navy.

Also, President Kennedy is a legit Navy hero for his efforts to save his crew after the sinking of PT 109.  Navy heroes deserve boats named after them; it’s the sort of thing they’ve earned.

This will be the second carrier named the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, the first was decommissioned in 2007.  CVN-79 will replace the soon to be decommissioned U.S.S. Nimitz.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the next Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier will be named the USS John F. Kennedy.

The selection John F. Kennedy, designated CVN 79, honors the 35th President of the United States and pays tribute to his service in the Navy, in the government, and to the nation.

“President John F. Kennedy exemplified the meaning of service, not just to country, but service to all humanity,” said Mabus. “I am honored to have the opportunity to name the next aircraft carrier after this great Sailor and inspirational leader, and to keep the rich tradition and history of USS John F. Kennedy sailing in the U.S. Fleet.”

Born in Brookline, Mass., May 29, 1917, Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1940, and entered the Navy in October 1941.

During World War II, Kennedy took command of PT 109 at Tulagi Island in the Solomons, with a mission to intercept Japanese ships attempting to resupply their barges in New Georgia. In the early morning hours of Aug. 2, 1943, Kennedy’s ship was inadvertently struck by an enemy ship and split in half. During the course of the next six days, Kennedy led his crew members to safety and an eventual rescue. Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for the rescue of his crew and a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained when his ship was struck.

After his military service, Kennedy became a congressman representing the Boston area, he was elected to the Senate in 1953, and in 1961 became the youngest person to be elected president.

There will be ten total “Ford-Class” super-carriers, each built and named about three years apart. The new JFK is only the second to be named.

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Friday Quick Hits

It’s Friday, and I’m bored.

That’s never a good combination.

Sly’s Bid to Sabotage Ron Kind

“Blogging Blue’s” Jeff Simpson points out radio talk show host John “Sly” Sylvester has asked his minute Madison-based audience to call La Crosse  Congressman Ron Kind because crazy Lori Wallach (a Wisconsin expat out in DC who’s been called “Ralph Nader with a sense of humor” and seen as more activist than attorney in trade circles) has heard that (HORROR!!!) Kind was leaning to support the KORUS, aka the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea.

Now, unless you make cars and electronic equipment — the only real U.S. sticking points — you might think Wallach and “Sly” are on to something.  But if you are a farmer and see the Korean Peninsula as another market for your agricultural products AND you happen to the only Congressman with river ports on the Mississippi which ship those agricultural products down barges, you might think differently.

Clearly, Sly’s trying to make his girl Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (or his boy Russ Feingold if he returns) as the “True Progressive” in the race if both Baldwin and Kind are running for the United States Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Herb Kohl.  That’s fine, he’s entitled to it.  But I doubt either Sly or Simpson were much successful with changing Kind’s mind.  Agreements like KORUS mean jobs in La Crosse, River Falls, and other parts along the Mississippi in the 3rd.

As a wouldbe-Senator, you’d think Tammy would want to learn that.

So What is the EPA’s Jobs Plan for Manitowoc?

I’ll probably have some more on this in another forum in coming days, but this sucks for the Lakeshore economy if a solution can’t be found. The S.S. Badger is an important part to Manitowoc’s tourist economy and without it, well, it won’t be pretty.

There is a Neumann Connection There After All!

Interesting catch pointed out by the Journal Sentinel’s Don Walker. Not shocked by it, but you’d think the national Club for Growth would hide it.

If you visit the national Club for Growth website, however, you might find one reason why the group is targeting Thompson. The group’s executive vice president is Chuck Pike. Pike, according to his resume, used to work for a company owned by Mark Neumann. Pike also worked for Neumann on Capitol Hill when Neumann was a congressman.

Neumann has said he is interested in running for Kohl’s seat next year.

Who Needs the President, We Only Need His Signature!

Apparently, Obama signed the Patriot Act extension via “autopen” — a Presidential first.

Constitutional scholars, go at it!

Article 1, section 7 of the United States Constitution states: “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it…”

It needs to be “presented” to him, and if he approves it “he shall sign it.”

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro seemed to suggest this was a special circumstance. “Failure to sign this legislation posed a significant risk to U.S. national security,” Shapiro said. “The President directed the use of the autopen to sign it.”

Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., wrote to the president today questioning whether an autopen is good enough.

“Mr. President, I write to request your confirmation that S. 990, as passed by Congress, was presented to you prior to the autopen signing, as well as a detailed, written explanation of your Constitutional authority to assign a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress into law,” Graves wrote.

To reporters, Graves said the autopen move set a “dangerous precedent.” What if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, he asked. “Can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

The Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was asked at a press conference just now if he thought that the use of the autopen would pass legal muster.

“I think that’s a better question addressed to them,” McConnell said. “They did the research and their lawyers apparently advised them that this was permissible. I haven’t looked at the legality of it and therefore don’t have an opinion to express on it.”

The idea of “The autopen” goes all the way back to President Thomas Jefferson.

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How to Kill a Meme Thru Auto Registration

In case you were asleep earlier this week, it became pretty apparent the Democratic Party and the Obama Administration are (or is it now were) going to use the “sudden turn-around” in the fates of Chrysler (it paid back its loans this week) and General Motors (it’s got a long, long way to go) to beat up on Republicans for opposing it.  In short, the DNC and the White House sent out a new attack ad on Monday, highlighting the 2012 GOP candidates saying the auto bailout was a bad idea — it was, these companies should have been allowed to go into a properly structured Chapter 11 bankruptcy without taxpayer handouts — while pointing out the ‘turn-around’ at the two to say, “We Democrats cared about you and your jobs.  Vote for us!”

It’s not just the Republican presidential candidates who have really begun rolling out 2012 web videos: The Democratic National Committee has released its second ad since Monday. This time — rather than an attack ad — the DNC defended the government’s unpopular bailout of the auto industry and went after three Republican candidates over their tough-love approach to the issue.

After featuring clips of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty coming out against the government’s bailout of General Motors, the ad quickly defends the U.S. Treasury’s $50 billion, majority (61 percent) ownership, with a banner reading:


While Republicans and pundits disagreed …


President Obama made the tough choice to grant American automakers a lifesaving loan.

News clips follow, saying that GM repaid its loan, added 4,000 American jobs and invested $2 billion into the economy. Sunday was the first day the Treasury could begin selling the rest of its 500 million shares, and so far it’s recouped $23 billion of the original investment. The Government Accountability Office’s sobering analysis, however, foresees the publicly traded stocks floating listlessly as the economy continues to slag along.

Apart from focusing on prospective issues like the immigration debate, “Obama has already made it clear he will use the automotive rescue, begun under President George W. Bush in 2008, as one of the central pillars of his reelection campaign, especially in the critical battlegrounds of the Midwest,” according to Politico.

Well, if you’re going to be the party of the United Auto Workers, you might want to make sure the new Chairwoman is driving some “Detroit Steel.”  Because, apparently she doesn’t.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the DNC, ripped into Republican presidential contenders who opposed President Obama’s 2009 bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler.

“If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars; they would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes,” she said at a breakfast for reporters organized by The Christian Science Monitor.

But according to Florida motor vehicle records, the Wasserman Schultz household owns a 2010 Infiniti FX35, a Japanese car whose parent company is Nissan, another Japanese company. The car appears to be hers, since its license plate includes her initials.

The DNC and Republican presidential hopefuls have locked horns this week over the 2009 bailouts, especially as President Obama has looked to build some political report by taking credit for Chrysler’s rebound, to the extent that the automaker was able to pay back the remainder of its loans from the federal government.

How did the DNC respond to the news?  Not well.

“They can try to distract from the issue if they want,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan. “But if Republican opposition researchers are snooping around garages, they should know that if Republicans — who said that we should let the U.S. auto industry go bankrupt — had their way, they wouldn’t find a single American made car anywhere.”

I’m sure the good people at Ford Motor Company, which didn’t take bailout money and is doing just fine, would probably say otherwise.

Since turnabout is fair play in politics, expect to know what Reince Priebus drives sometime next week.  For the record, I’ve never asked him because I honestly never cared.

Me?  I’ve owned and driven a Canadian-made 2004 Chevrolet Impala since Memorial Day Weekend of the same year.  It had 21 miles when I drove it off the lot, it has about 109,000 now; though for my next car I’m thinking of getting the new Ford Taurus in about three years.

Big fan of the way they redesigned it for its 2010 re-introduction.

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“Zuck” Embraces His Inner “Nuge”

Kill it and grill it!

Last year Mark Zuckerberg set out to learn Chinese. Now he’s determined to get in touch with his food. If the goats, lobsters and chickens of Silicon Valley aren’t trembling, they should be.

When he’s not too busy connecting people across the universe, Mark Zuckerberg is pursuing a new “personal challenge,” as he calls it. “The only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself,” says the Facebook founder and CEO.

It’s an odd dietary direction for the 27-year-old Internet billionaire, but since he has taken to killing goats, pigs and chickens, “I’m eating a lot healthier foods. And I’ve learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising of animals,” he says. “It’s easy to take the food we eat for granted when we can eat good things every day.”

Zuckerberg’s new goal came to light, not surprisingly, on Facebook. On May 4, Zuckerberg posted a note to the 847 friends on his private page: “I just killed a pig and a goat.”

This drew a stream of emotional comments, which were a mixture of confusion, curiosity, and outright disgust. Zuckerberg posted his own comment in response, explaining that he fixates on a personal challenge each year (in 2009, he wore a tie every day), and this year’s is about animals and meat.

Zuckerberg’s guide on this strange journey has been a well-known Silicon Valley chef named Jesse Cool. She lives in Palo Alto, eight houses away from Zuckerberg, and owns a local restaurant called Flea Street Café. Cool has introduced Zuckerberg to nearby farmers and advised him as he killed his first chicken, pig, and goat. “He cut the throat of the goat with a knife, which is the most kind way to do it,” says Cool.


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Scray Drops Out

This is a smart move politically. It now leaves a pretty much clear path for Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) to take on Dave Hansen (D – Green Bay).

Mary Scray, vice chairwoman of the Brown County Board, said Thursday that she won’t run for the 30th State Senate District seat currently held by Dave Hansen.

Scray announced earlier this year that she would run for the seat as a Republican in a recall election or in 2012 but said today that her responsibilities to her family, profession and the County Board forced her to reluctantly withdraw.

She also said that in the interest of Republican Party unity, she supports John Nygren, who has also announced plans to oppose Hansen, D-Green Bay.

Scray, who represents District 23 in Howard, is also chairwoman of the county’s Executive Committee.

Then this does raise the question as to why David Vander Leest, the organizer of the Hansen Recalls in the greater Green Bay area, is now also running in the Hansen RecallHe has even just launched a campaign website.

In other related news to this recall, Hansen has begun his air war and his running tons of TV in the Green Bay market.  Take that for what you will.

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