Tuesday, April 11, 2006

America's Shame: Black Urban Communities Like Third World Countries

I'm glad CNN's exposing this, but the best examples of modern racism are not in what we say, but what we do. In this case, what we've done is permitted the private sector to avoid investing in the poorest areas of the inner city. Moreover, urban economic development programs have largely failed our cities. They're better at drawing big developers than creating a foundation for small business investment and growth.

Terrible. And with no end in sight.

Texans Pondering Bush Or Young - What's This About Indy and A Trade? - Houston Chronicle

A Young-Bush debate in Nashville? Hmm . . .

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Let's see if we can get this straight. The Texans are going to give Bud Adams a choice between Vince Young and Reggie Bush?

Based on their recent flirtation with North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams, the Texans may be putting themselves in position to be haunted for years by Young or Bush.

The only thing that could be worse than Young's going to Tennessee would be Indianapolis' pulling off a trade to get Bush. Then four times each season, the Texans could play against one of the stars they passed up.

The more we think about the Texans' recent interest in Williams — the best defensive player in the draft, by the way — the more it makes sense. They're going to need an impact defensive player to chase Young all over the field twice a season for, say, the next 10 years.

Bush, who is one of the greatest prospects in history, can do a lot of things — leap tall buildings in a single bound, for instance — but he can't harass Young when Young leads the Titans against his hometown team twice a season.

Today, Young makes what could be the first of many trips from Houston to Nashville. The Titans are rolling out the red carpet for Young and agent Major Adams.

The Adams & Adams Show

If Tennessee uses the third pick in the draft on Young, his agent is going to become so close to Bud Adams that people might start to believe they're related.
Just think. Rather than throw up the Horns with Austin sideline buddies like Matthew McConaughey and Roger Clemens, Young can hang out with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Keith Urban and Victoria's own Cowboy Troy.

Houstonians can be sure that Adams — Bud, not Major — has been sitting behind his desk in his Galleria-area skyscraper soaking in all the Vince Young controversy.

The Budster knows that University of Texas fans — not to mention many others — want the Texans to use the top pick on Young.

He knows when the Texans select Bush or Williams (yeah, right!) that a lot of Houstonians are going to be so angry they'll be seeing burnt orange. He also knows that if the Titans draft Young, he'll get some UT fans from Austin to go with the UT fans he already has from Knoxville, Tenn.

If Adams pays attention to the national media, he'll see that many reporters believe Matt Leinart is a higher-rated prospect than Young. But if Adams needs to make a case for Young over Leinart, no matter how he crunches the numbers, they'll always look like this: 41-38, 266, 200.

And, Bud, that's not the combination to a safe.

Titans' contracts expiring

For more than a decade, Adams has been letting general manager Floyd Reese make personnel decisions, with input from coach Jeff Fisher. But Reese is in the last year of his contract. So is Fisher, although the team has an option year for the coach.
If Adams were to suggest to Reese and Fisher that he thinks the Titans might be better off drafting Young, they're not in position to put up much of a fight. Not that they would, anyway, because both already know what an incredible prospect Young is — just like Bush.

The Titans also have two injury-prone running backs in Chris Brown and Travis Henry. If the Texans were to actually draft Williams before New Orleans used the second pick on offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Tennessee would have a difficult decision.

Young or Bush.

Bush or Young.

Thank you, Houston.

No matter what the Texans do with the first pick — Bush or Williams (get serious!) — it says here that when the Titans make the third pick, The Eyes of Texas will be on Tennessee.

John McClain covers the Texans and the NFL for the Chronicle. john.mcclain@chron.com.

Pearl Jam Tickets On Sale For All Concert Dates!

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Confirmed - Leinart Bolted Leigh Steinberg - Story Broke By Nikki Finke's Daily Deadline

Here's the story by Nikki below and linked to via the title of this post. ESPN did not break this story.

EXCLUSIVE: USC Megastar QB Matt Leinart Leaving Steinberg, Going to CAA?

EXCLUSIVE: I've just learned that USC megastar quarterback Matt Leinart sent a termination letter late last night to his reknown sports agent, Newport Beach's Leigh Steinberg who just signed him in January. Steinberg confirmed this to me today. This is huge news considering that the NFL draft is on April 29, and Leinart is expected to be the No. 2 pick behind USC running back Reggie Bush. (Both are Heisman Trophy winners.) But what makes this an even bigger story is that sources tell me that Leinart is expected to soon sign for his multimillion dollar football contract negotiations with CAA, a first for the Hollywood talent agency in this arena. The agency has daily contact with the sports celeb because it already represents him for marketing deals like off-the-field endorsements, licensing, autograph shows, public appearances and charity work.

Leinart signed with CAA a week before signing with Steinberg in January; at the time, a CAA spokesman told Advertising Age that the agency was not about to open a sports division. But on April 5th, CAA hired IMG football agent powerhouse Tom Condon as well as IMG football rep Ken Kremer. (Yesterday, CAA also signed IMG baseball agent Casey Close, who reps Derek Jeter.) I'm told that, interestingly, Leinert had earlier met with Condon at IMG and rejected him in favor of Steinberg. Steinberg is best known for having repped the first pick in the NFL draft eight times and specializing in QBs (Steve Young, Warren Moon and Troy Aikman, Ben Roethlisberger and Mark Brunell have been or are clients). Condon, who reps QBs Peyton and Eli Manning, has repped the first draft pick the past two years running (Eli Manning in 2004 and Alex Smith in 2005). "But this year, he got nobody. He lost the competition for Matt Leinart first time around," an insider told me. I'm told CAA's first move with Condon, one of IMG founder Mark McCormack's business-is-war acolytes, aboard was to take Leinart away from Steinberg even though there was no discord in the agent-client relationship. But this does mean war now between CAA and other sports agents since the Hollywood agency is hellbent on going after superstar athletes' sports contract business, no longer content to just market sports stars. But it's a reminder of CAA's cunning legacy under Michael Ovitz, who said he wasn't going into the advertising business when he signed Coca Cola to a consultancy contract but then started making commercials for the soft drink giant.

Officially, CAA can not comment one way or another whether they have Leinart in the fold already. Under league rules, Leinart's termination letter sets in motion the five-day rule, meaning that for the next five days Steinberg (left) is still legally the QB's sports agent. (Leinart also filed the necessary paperwork with the players' union yesterday.) Of course, the rules also state that, while Steinberg had this client, no other sports agents were supposed to be talking to Leinart. And, as things stand now, no agent is supposed to contact Leinart until the five days have expired. So then how come sources are telling me that Leinart is about to switch to CAA for sports repping? "You have to make the assumption that they went to him the minute they got Condon. But how do you make the tampering case against CAA here?" one source told me. "They do it in Hollywood. They're not supposed to do it in football. It's totally against the guidelines. It's totally illegal to talk to someone who's represented about switching. The point is rarely is a case like this brought. How do you prove it?"

I'm told the phrase "sons of bitches" to describe CAA was floating around Steinberg's office after receiving Leinart's letter of termination. Ironically, USC offensive tackle Winston Justice fired Steinberg late last week because he felt Steinberg focused all his time on his other Trojan client, I hear. With his heartthrob good looks and impressive athleticism, Leinart is expected to become a twofer cash cow both in his football contract and his endorsement potential. That's incentive enough for CAA to steamroll over anything and anyone to get Leinart as a full-service client. Steinberg's the first road kill.

Latino's March Against Bush and Republican Immigration Policies - Blacks, People of Color, and Women Should Join Them

My view is that we should make it easier to become an American citizen. Also, the new Americans are not "taking jobs" from others, because the jobs they go after aren't posted on Monster.com nor do they call for W-2 forms. They're odd tasks that someone comes up with at the moment. The "taking" idea is silly.

HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) -- Massive street marches to protest a proposed crackdown on illegal immigration have energized U.S. Hispanics and may signal a new day of Hispanic political involvement.

The demonstrations, which attracted both legal and illegal residents across the country, mean politicians may face an angry Hispanic electorate in which Republicans would be the biggest losers, activists said on Monday.

Half a million people marched in Los Angeles two weeks ago, and another half a million protested in Dallas on Sunday. On Monday, there were smaller marches in more than 60 cities, all to express displeasure with proposed legislation in Washington aimed at clamping down on illegal immigration.(Watch how the rallies could change the political landscape -- 2:28)

As happened in Los Angeles, the Dallas march stunned the organizers, who expected only 20,000 people in politically conservative Texas.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine half a million people marching in a city that has 1.2 million people," said Lydia Gonzalez Welch, a board member with the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, which promoted the so-called Mega March.

"The feeling of celebration and amazement yesterday was powerful and we will make sure that power continues to be demonstrated and the local leaders will feel it," she said.

"This is the first real social movement, bottom-up,

grass-roots movement of the 21st century," longtime Hispanic activist and university professor Jose Angel Gutierrez told the Dallas Morning News.

Flexing what it hopes is new political muscle, LULAC, the largest U.S. Hispanic organization, called for supporters to boycott stores Monday and not go to work, but the results were not clear.

Organizers at all the marches, with an eye to future elections, encouraged protesters who are citizens to register to vote. They urged illegal immigrants, who cannot vote, to push those who can to exercise their right.

"We will see this transfer into political power. If we cannot change their minds, we will change them (politicians)," said Elias Bermudez, head of advocacy group Immigrants Without Borders, at a march in Phoenix, Arizona.

40 million Hispanics

There are 40 million Hispanics in the United States, although due to age and legal status, just 13 million are eligible to vote.

Of those, only 60 percent are registered to vote and turnout at the polls is usually lower than among whites and blacks, experts say.

But they are concentrated in key states such as California, Texas and Florida and, by 2020, the number of Hispanic voters nationally is expected to top 20 million.

Democrats stand to gain most from new Hispanic involvement because political analysts say that, typically, two-thirds of Hispanics vote for their party.

Despite exuberance among activists, greater Hispanic political activism is not assured because the Hispanic population is not a political monolith, experts say.

While U.S.-born Hispanics are largely sympathetic to illegal immigrants, a Pew Hispanic Center survey found that a third of them feel illegal immigrants drive wages down.

Republicans have made gains in attracting Hispanics, but could lose ground by pushing a harder line against illegal immigrants, said Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson in Dallas.

They "should take a deep breath here, and ask themselves what a failure to deal with the concerns of immigrants both legal and illegal will mean for the Republican Party," he said.

Republican political consultant Bill Miller in Austin agreed the party is in a difficult position.

"It's a real high risk situation for Republicans, and it's almost all down side," he said. "There is no more sacred issue to Hispanics."

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Leigh Steinberg Reportely Fired By USC Quarterback Matt Leinart

I'm rather surprised by this move, as Leigh's a good agent. But from what I'm reading in a number of areas, Leinart seems to think he should be the number one pick of the NFL Draft and go to the Houston Texans.

Obviously someone's really fibbing to Matt regarding his chances of being drafted either by the Texans, Saints, or Jets. His best bet is with the Gang Green, but even they may select Jay Cutler, who tests as well as Leinart in workouts.

If Tom Condon, who was hired by Hollywood Agency CAA, told Leinart he could get the Texans to sign him over Reggie Bush, that would be a terrible lie, or the dumbest action the Texans could take. But if the Texans are thinking of trading the pick, anything could happen. But Matt will not be the first selection of the 2006 NFL Draft.

I wonder how much this is connected with Leinart's showing up at events like The Atlanta Playboy Party. I wonder if Leigh was just trying to reign his client in and it became too much for the USC Prima.

We'll find out soon.

Matt Leinart At Playboy Party In Atlanta During Cable Convention - Sees Ex Girlfriend and Gets Jealous - From MySpace

I found this on a MySpace post on tghe site of a guy who calls himself "Doubledown!" (david2d) and lives in Atlanta. The actual post can be seen with a click on the title post link above.

For those who like stories, here it goes:

My friend from CNN took a job a several months ago as a VP for Playboy. We met up a last month in Miami (WMC) and then again last Saturday as he was in Atlanta for a cable tv convention. He sent me an invite for this Playboy party that they'd be sponsoring during the National Show. Well, I've been to 3-4 Playboy parties and they were are virtual hoax they sucked so bad. However, as time neared, it became apparent that this was going to be the actual Playboy Enterprises, not local girls with buddy-ears on.

I invited a couple of girls and put everyone on the list. Both invited wingmen couldn't make it. This was no time for the B-list, so I figured I'd just hangout with the girls. One came early but had to leave, the other came so late that she missed the entire fashion show and most of the rockparty that followed (both of which were too great for words).

Anyway, back to the story. The first girl is one I meet at the best-of-the-best tryouts (some reality show for models) a few weeks prior. I invited her out a few times but always got the "oh, wish I could, call me next time!" response....I'm no rookie, she probably has a boyfriend...but who cares! She's a 6'0 stunning beauty who answers when I call, so she's always invited. Anyway she meets me there around 10pm. I introduce her to the VP, we get some drinks, vip bands, it's totally on!! She's hotter than 90% of the girls working the event.

I claim the sweetest table there and we start having a blast (James's lawyer friend was with me and had 2 hotties with him also). Once we set-up shop, two cameramen start taking pics of us. The show hadn't started yet, so everyone was just watching us. All of a sudden Matt Leinart walks up, cool right? The Heisman winner and soon to be top5 pick in NFL! Well he goes right to Jessica, they hug and start talking like they know each other. (Ok, I really need to start asking people more questions...didn't know, or remember, that she was from LA). Turns out she dated him - during the national championship season! As an LSU fan I threw-up in my mouth a little when I heard that, but I was ready to move-on and party. She wasn't.

There must have been a lot of unresolved issues because it ruined both of their nights! They both got pale and neither could shake it off. *He didn't know she lived here - and - she had no reason to suspect he'd be at the freakin Atlanta Playboy party for a cable tv convention.* The karma was so bad that she left and my crew broke into pieces. James was working the big wigs, so I was all alone for like 45 mins during the party of the freaking year.

Leinart didn't seem to like me, obviously thought I was dating his ex. Haha sucka! Anyway, VP James, the girls, and the lawyer all showed up separately but at the exact same time. Then Brandon (listed on myspace friends) stepped-in as my dependable wingman and it was back on! Great, great, great, great party! Forgot my camera but here's treo phone pic of the ice sculpture...will update this if can get my hands on one of those paparazzi photos early on.




NFL-21 4/5/06


NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE appointed an eight-member committee to lead the
search for a new commissioner, the NFL announced today.
The eight members of the committee are:
• Al Davis, Oakland Raiders
• Lamar Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
• Woody Johnson, New York Jets
• Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
• Robert Kraft, New England Patriots
• Mike McCaskey, Chicago Bears
• Jerry Richardson, Carolina Panthers
• Dan Rooney, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jerry Richardson and Dan Rooney will serve as co-chairs of the committee.
Commissioner Tagliabue announced on March 20 that he will retire by the end of July.
The next regularly scheduled league meeting will take place on May 23-24 in Denver.
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