Saturday, January 28, 2012

The move might be permanent

For the next month, I will be using WordPress to host this blog. There's no real reason behind the move except that I've heard good things about that service and I want to give it a shot.

So, be sure to check out and tell me what you think!

David Cameron à Nicolas Sarkozy: jusqu'à Man!

David Cameron to Nicolas Sarkozy: Man up!

As the Telegraph reports, the British prime minister believes the French president is making a mistake by promising to remove French troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year.
The Prime Minister confirmed that Britain would stick to Nato's original timetable and pull out combat troops by the end of 2014, when Afghan forces are scheduled to take over nationwide security responsibilities.
He made the comments as he and the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, met at Chequers to sign an agreement that Britain would continue giving aid after troops left.
Mr Karzai's visit was his latest stop on a tour of European capitals trying to shore up backing for his aid-reliant government as public support among Nato members continues to slide.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, surprised many on Friday by announcing that French troops would speed up their withdrawal and leave by the end of next year, instead of by 2014.
His announcement was widely perceived in France as an electoral ploy ahead of a tough re-election campaign this spring.
Mr. Sarkozy made his announcement yesterday, which EuroNews notes was less than enthusiastically received by Mr. Karzai's government.

I'd be the perfect running mate for Mitt Romney

Hey, before you laugh, consider...

1. I've been married to only one woman (it will be 15 years in May)
2. I'm Catholic, an influential swing group in the election
3. I live in Pennsylvania, a swing state
4. I'm a Washington outsider
5. I don't drink or smoke
6. I've voted for Democrats and Republicans
7. I'm a big fan of the Olympics
8. I like Boston
9. I'm a strong believer in capitalism
10. I'm not Joe Biden

The latest "blame the media" defense

You've got to hand it to Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas -- he is perhaps the best at his position in the National Hockey League.

And he knows how to deflect more than just pucks.

You might recall on Monday Mr. Thomas opted to not attend a White House ceremony during which the Bruins team was honored for winning the Stanley Cup. He justified his decision as a personal protest against what he called the intrusive nature of government in people's lives.

The Boston Herald reports that Mr. Thomas stands by not visiting the White House and accusing the media of stoking the controversy.
Day 5 of the Tim Thomas [stats] controversy rolled on here at All-Star weekend as the players met the press at the Ottawa Westin, and it’s clear the Bruins [team stats] goalie is ready for the whole brouhaha to go away.

“I think it should. Why? Because it’s all media-driven right now, and it has been from the start,” Thomas said yesterday. “Everything I said and did was as an individual and not as a representative of the Boston Bruins. All it has to do with is me. It’s separate from hockey. That’s my personal life. Those are my personal views. Those are my personal beliefs, It has nothing to do with hockey. It has nothing to do with the All-Star Game. It has nothing to do with the Boston Bruins.”
 I did predict the fallout from his decision wouldn't easily go away, didn't I?

The New York Times adds that Thomas' snub could lead to management trading him
Thomas’s teammates were well aware of his political beliefs, and their public statements in the last week did not point to a rift in the Bruins dressing room.
“In the end, if it’s a good or a bad choice, he’s still my teammate, so I’m still going to have his back no matter what he goes through,” Tyler Seguin said at the All-Star draft, echoing what other Bruins have said about Thomas.
But team management might feel differently. The Bruins’ president, Cam Neely, said it “would have been nice” for Thomas to attend and that he had “concerns” about how the controversy would affect him.
Thomas’s no-trade clause expires at the end of this season, and General Manager Peter Chiarelli may be tempted to trade Thomas and his $5-million-a-year cap hit. Thomas’s 24-year-old backup, Tuukka Rask, has been a top-notch goalie in all three of his N.H.L. seasons.
There may be some resentment on Thomas’s side as well. A season and a half ago, when he was nursing a hip injury and was playing merely well rather than at his usual stratospheric level, the Bruins shopped Thomas around. That slight bothered him. He removed the Bruins’ black and gold colors from his pads and took the team crest off his mask.
Thomas was miffed again last season when, after a couple of off games amid a record-breaking season, Neely suggested he might not start in the playoffs.
Now, speculation is rampant that Thomas will leave Boston. Other teams are already licking their chops about what it could mean to have the greatest goalie of the era — and the most politically controversial one — in their nets.
If he were traded, would that also be the media's fault?

The English and the Italians are coming to Boston

Now, this is not some bad joke.

In fact, if you are a soccer fan, then the English and the Italians coming to Boston might mean one thing...road trip! The Boston Globe recently reported the details.
Organizers are planning an exhibition soccer game between Liverpool FC and AS Roma at Fenway Park this summer, according to multiple sources involved in the negotiations.
The match would be part of United States tours for both teams, the first since controlling interest in the clubs was purchased by Boston-based investors. ...

The game would be part of a tournament involving Chelsea FC and, possibly, Celtic FC. Matches will also be held in Chicago (Comiskey Park or Wrigley Field) and New York (Yankee Stadium).
Dates have not been set. Liverpool has tentatively made reservations to be in the Boston area from June 20 through July 4.
As I said, road trip. 

'To Hell with you'????

Pittsburgh's top Roman Catholic official -- Bishop David Zubik -- has left little doubt what he thinks of the Obama administration's positions on birth control.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review explains.
The Obama administration thumbed its nose at Catholics across the United States last week on birth control issues in a direct affront to religious freedom, Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik said on Friday.
The administration did so when it upheld rules requiring employer health care plans to offer contraceptive and sterilization services at no cost to women, Zubik said.
In a letter posted on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh's website, Zubik wrote: "The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, 'To Hell with you.' "
"I believe that religious liberty is being threatened by this mandate," Zubik said in a phone interview, insisting the church would never support it.
KDKA-TV notes that the bishop refused to back down when interviewed by KDKA radio
“Bishop, don’t you inflame the situation by saying the administration is saying, ‘To Hell with you,’ the Catholic faithful of the United States, in your letter?” KDKA’s John Shumway asked Zubik on KDKA Radio Friday morning.

“All that I’m saying is that I hope it receives the attention that it deserves because that’s what it feels like,” said Zubik.
It appears the bishop's editorial has not yet been uploaded to the Pittsburgh Catholic Website. Once it is, I will update this post. 

London? You can't play in London!

The Associated Press reports a dispute has erupted between the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission and the St. Louis Rams.
The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission says the Rams' plans to play one home game in London the next three years violates the team's stadium lease.
The CVC said in a release Friday that the lease requires the team to play all its home games at the Edward Jones Dome, and was awaiting a response from the team.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds that the CVC knows there is a positive associated with the Rams playing three London-based games
The commission acknowledged that the Rams playing overseas would "elevate an awareness of St. Louis on the global stage." But it added, "Our lease with the Rams requires that the Rams play all their home games in the Edward Jones Dome."
CVC President Kathleen "Kitty" Ratcliffe was unavailable for comment today. A commission spokeswoman, Donna Andrews, said she couldn't offer any additional details.
A section of the the Rams' lease at the Dome calls for the team "to play all its home NFL Games (other than pre-season NFL Games) at the Facilities." The Rams can disregard this rule if the Dome is not in useable condition or if the lease is terminated, according to that section of the lease.
Here's a guess -- the CVC and the team will reach some kind of deal that allows them to share whatever income results from the games in London.

And remember that the team's lease with the city runs out in 2014.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I always like seeing pictures of multiple U.S. presidents

Such an opportunity presents itself tonight as I find out that George H. W. Bush (and son Jeb) met President Obama today.

I do have a question: When did Mr. Bush begin using a wheelchair? And for what reason?

Hey, Pittsburgh...we're number 6

Take the time to "read" this WPXI story...chances are if you are from Pittsburgh, you definitely can!

Here's the lede:
In a recent study conducted by the Central Connecticut State University, Pittsburgh was ranked the sixth most literate city in the United States.
The news brief fails to offer you a link to additional information from Central Connecticut State University. However, being the kind of full-service blogger I am, I took the time to find such information. The Bristol Press' story is available on the CCSU Website and it identifies how the study was conducted.

A former Yale quarterback has some explaining to do

There is perhaps no more prestigious academic achievement than a Rhodes Scholarship.

There are few universities in this country with the prestigious academic record of Yale University.

There is no other athletic position on the college level as scrutinized and respected as the starting quarterback.

With those details as the backdrop, check out the confusion surrounding whether Yale's starting quarterback (ahem) stretched the truth (ahem) when he suggested late last year that he had declined to interview for a Rhodes Scholarship.

And, yes, when you lump the former head coach's resume questions into this, you have a "wonderful" story!