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Archive for May, 2011

NHL Franchise">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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PR 101">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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JFK">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”">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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