Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Obama and Democrats beat the Tea Party Movement in Florida

See: tea party movement, democrats v republicans, florida special election, palm beach county

As this blogger wrote earlier in the week, the Tea Party Movement is a media creation with little real bite, but who's life is consistently maintained by a drum beat of stories by Fox News and CNN. Neither cable network will tell you when a Democrat beats a Tea Party-assisted candidate, and that's what happened Tuesday night.

But the real story is one that's to be expected: one of demographics. It's not enough to be a Democrat or a Republican, the candidate has to match the people voting for that person. Ted Deutch did; Ed Lynch didn't.

Democrat Ted Deutch soundly beat Republican Ed Lynch in the 19th Congressional District special election in Broward County, Florida. It was Ed Lynch, 44, who ran on the idea that Washington was "broken" and the "Career politicians" couldn't fit it. Moreover, The Tea Party pointed to this election as one to get behind.

The blog Red County blog entry headline on April 11th read "TEA Party Working for Ed Lynch for Congress in Florida's 19th District" and Dr. Richard Swier, the blog author wrote "Tow the conservative line or else may be the message sent if TEA Party favorite Edward Lynch wins this special election."

So what's the message sent now?

The message is that the Tea Party Movement isn't strong enough to turn an unknown Republican candidate in a district that had 65 percent of its voters back Barack Obama for President, and is replacing a very popular democrat in Rep. Robert Wexler.

Moreover, the 19th Congressional District of Florida has a strong Jewish population. According to the Sun Sentinel, Ted Deutch was firmly behind Jewish causes and lives just west of Boca Raton which is part of Palm Beach County and that's 70 percent of the voting base. Ted Deutch is a lawyer; Ed Lynch is a contractor.

Ed Lynch was outspent and outnumbered. 10,000 Tea Party Movement phone calls didn't help. And where was the anger over the Obama Health Care plan? It never showed up. Ed Lynch was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This not just proves that the Tea Party Movement is overblown, but that you have to pay attention to election demographics.

Stay tuned.

Jerry Brown investigates Sarah Palin speaking event at CSU Stanislaus

Sarah Palin 
Sarah Palin's June 25th, $500-a-plate speaking engagement at California State University Stanislaus caught the attention of California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who's launching an investigation into California State University Stanislaus's refusal to turn in requested records. According to the Attorney General's press release, Brown wants to know what the money raised was used for. Jerry Brown said:

Jerry Brown
"This is not about Sarah Palin. She has every right to speak at a university event, and schools should strive to bring to campus a broad range of speakers. The issues are public disclosure and financial accountability in organizations embedded in state-run universities. We're not saying any allegation is true, but we owe it to the taxpayers to thoroughly check out every serious allegation."

The Sarah Palin speaking engagement controversy started when Cal State University students found a shredded copy of the five-page speaking contract issued to Palin in a dumpster, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. California State Senator Leland Yee's inquiries into what CSU Stanislaus was fiscally up to were resisted and Yee learned that CSU Stanislaus hid an email about Sarah Palin's speech, so he asked Brown to step in.

The contract, which ABC News posted and you can download with a click here > SARAH PALIN CONTRACT) is with the Washington Speakers Bureau.

Sarah Palin is signed exclusively with the Washington Speakers Bureau, which reports that it is "connecting with the World's greatest minds." Her profile reads about what one would expect: Governor of Alaska (2006-2009) and 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee. It also reports that her fees - which have gained her an estimated $12 million since July 2009 - vary with travel distance. But this quote could not be passed up:

Palin is a fearless, resilient and independent voice who stands firm by the principles and values for which she holds dear. Whether working to protect taxpayers from wasteful spending or advancing the cause of special-needs children, Palin speaks passionately on her experiences confronting the issues of our time.

Does that include wasteful spending by the taxpayer supported CSU Stanislaus?

Stay tuned.

NFL Draft: Dillon Baxter future NFL star to watch at USC

See: Baxter future nfl draft, usc spring scrimmage, dillon baxter, reggie bush, marcus allen.

Dillon Baxter's a name you've never heard of until now. The USC freshman and former Mission Bay High quarterback has the Internet abuzz with his play at USC's spring intersquad scrimmage, putting on what the LA Times called "a show" and getting the attention of NFL scouts four years (OK, perhaps three years) before he's eligible for the NFL Draft.

Dillon Baxter's 50-yard run has a USC observers mentioning him in the same name as Heisman Trophy winners Reggie Bush and Marcus Allen. In the video below, the 6-foot 199 pound Dillon's run happens at the 51 second mark:

Dillon Baxter's run is not funny. Baxter's stupid fast. In fact, Baxter may be faster than Reggie Bush was at USC; that's just by observation. Cal Football fans Dillon Baxter must be stopped.

Aside from Dillon Baxter's play, the video also has Junior Defensive Tackle DaJohn Harris' rob of the ball (not really a strip as he just took it from him) from quarterback Mitch Mustain and ran 52 yards before Mustain tackled him at the 4-yard-line.

But something the Internet isn't buzzing about, but should be, is USC Head Coack Lane Kiffin's use of a no-back, five-wide receiver formation, and a five-step drop. Lane's bring in a new and more aggressive offensive attack than when Pete Carroll was the USC coach.

Stay tuned.

How is it no one knows who Conte Cuttino is when he's the 17th Best Running Back in this Draft?

How is it no one knows who Conte Cuttino is when he's the 17th Best Running Back in this Draft?
By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Football Reporters Online

Action Photo: Conte Cuttino vs. Gardner Webb in 2008-By A.F. Chachkes for Football Reporters Online
Candid Photo by Dr. Bill Chachkes for Football Reporters Online

Why is it that every year the only players people talk about when getting ready for the draft are the kids from the schools who play in the "acronym" conferences? Ok, we know there are plenty of talented players at the FBS level and they play most every Saturday during the fall, but it's time people start recognizing the smaller school players. The "kids" who toil for four years at schools in the FCS (the former Division 1-AA), Division II, Division III, and the NAIA.

Everyone knows by now the Joe Flacco story and the the Ramses Barden story. There are some interesting stories in this draft. Fordham's John Skelton could be making history for someone as early as this fall. Then there are some others, like Northern Iowa's Jason Fiacco and Pat Grace, Stephen F. Austin's Tim Knicky, and James Mallory from Central Conn. St. But no story is more interesting the that of the Pride of Uniondale N.Y., Stony Brook's Conte Cuttino.

A 5' 10" Running back who plays much larger then his frame. Conte runs with unique power and vision while possessing swift knife-like cutting ability and above average to very good receiving skills as well Cuttino didn't just set records at Stony Brook. He engraved them into Sony Brook's and the Big South Conference ledger. 3,067 career total rushing yards (a Stony Brook record) and several mentions in the big south records for 2008 as follows: 5th all time in yards rushing in a single game with 233 against VMI on 11-15, and 12.06 yards per carry the week before 11-8) against Iona, where he had 17 carries for 206 yards. He did this while sharing time and carries with teammate Ed Gowins, and completed his career this past season while playing through an ankle injury and still managing nearly 800 rushing yards. His high school asst. coach told me early this week that he could have had well over 4000 yards in his college career if he were used more often in his freshman and sophomore seasons and if he was not injured this past year.

The back story goes even deeper then that. Growing up in Uniondale to working middle class parents who both work in law enforcement, you could say that he had a strict upbringing if you didn't know him. But his family has a strong resolve and a whole lot of faith thanks to their church-going background. Conte's dad who is also Conte, retired from the NYC department of corrections in 2006. We got to speak with him a bit about his son's ascent to athletics. "He's been an athlete since he's seven years old. We let him try all the sports. I was a basketball player, but even though my son was good at basketball, he wasn't tall enough. But football, now that's where he excelled, and very early, although he played defense first." Conte is no slouch in the classroom either, earning close to a 3.0 GPA. while majoring in business management.

Cuttino has been training under the watchful eyes of the good people at Parisi speed school at both their New Jersey and Long Island locations. We know he can play at the next level if he's given a chance, and hopefully some NFL team will do just that in a little less then two weeks.

The Jets Get Santonio Holmes For a 5th Round Pick

The Jets Get Santonio Holmes For a 5th Round Pick
by TJ Rosenthal-Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online

 In what to most people came as a surprise on Sunday night, the Jets acquired Steeler WR Santonio Holmes for a 5th round draft selection.The move immediately bolsters the Jets passing game. Holmes was the Super Bowl MVP after the 2008 season, but is facing substance abuse charges and may receive a four game league suspension as a result. Charges that he threw a liquor filled glass at a woman await him in Florida. He's been arrested on drug related and domestic violence charges three times. Should Holmes be able to 
change direction under the guidance and tutelage of Ryan and clean up his sometimes odd behavior, the Jets will have obtained a steal, given Holmes talent level and the low pick that acquiring him required.

Putting Holmes off the field issues aside for a moment,  it's gotta be fun for Jets fans to daydream about the possibilities on offense that seem to be growing by the day. This Jets team already set to Ground and Pound it with Shonn Greene and what fans hope will be a resurgent Ladainian Tomlinson, now adds Holmes.
Santonio joins a receiving corps already comprised of the lackluster but dangerous Braylon Edwards, dependable Jerricho Cotchery, and emerging star TE Dustin Keller. All of whom are steadied by an offensive line housing two pro bowlers in Alan Faneca and Nick Mangold, plus rising star D'Brickashaw Fergueson, and is considered one of the best offensive fronts in pro football.

The NFL' s "final 8" rule appeared poised to slow down teams who went far in the playoffs, from acquiring a lot of free agent talent in this uncapped year. Not the Jets.. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum failed to allow the new rule to discourage him from the goal of improving the team in their problem areas. He found other ways, such as through trades. Through letting Jay Feely , a productive and well liked kicker, walk away in order to free up money.

First it was CB Antonio Cromartie and S Brodney Pool on defense. Then one time solid kicker Nick Folk who is looking to rebound from a rough 2009 was picked up as the team readied it's farewell to Jay Feely. Future Hall of Famer LT replaced Thomas Jones weeks ago. Now it's Holmes. A speedy deep threat with great hands. A receiver who in his last 7 games against the Ravens, Rex Ryan's former team, has scored 8 TDs. Think Ryan knows the danger Holmes presents in game planning?

The Steelers are image cleaning with this move. With QB Ben Roethlisbegrer embroiled in his second sexual assault drama, the classy Rooney family, owners of the team, had to have been looking at this move as one where the brand trumps the athleticism of a player with off the field  problems. Is Ben next if he continues to put himself in negative situations..

One has to wonder how the Holmes signing also affects the mindset of the heavily courted DE Jason Taylor, who claims to need until midweek to decide if he will join the Jets or stay in Miami. Taylor visited the Jets at the end of last week. The 35 year old Taylor has had an icy relationship with Jet fans to put it mildly. Calling Jet fans "Class with out the CL" However, with Taylor's heart being in Miami his head must see a Jet team doing all they can to plug issues. 

With Holmes now a Jet, the club should seriously consider Marc Bulger. As an insurance plan. A safety valve. The former Ram QB who was released last week, owns 29 games for over 300 yards passing in his career. Bulger is now  available to become the back up QB insurance plan in case anything happens to second year QB Mark Sanchez . The move would do a lot to relieve the stress of being loaded yet one hit away from the complexion of the team changing. 

Jet fans need to look no farther than back to  1999 for proof that loading up the offense without a  dependable and proven veteran backup is like playing Russian Roulette. That year, following a tough AFC Championship loss at Denver, the Jets were ready to take that next step to the promised land. Yet they never got off the ground. QB Vinny Testaverde tore his achilles tendon in week one at home vs the hated Pats, and was deemed out for the year.  Former Notre Dame QB Rick Mirer then stepped in but failed to keep the offense moving.  One time Rutgers product Ray Lucas followed Mirer at QB and did win some games late in the year. Sadly though, the club finished 9-7 and narrowly missed the playoffs. 

Holmes adds a major weapon of speed and precise route running to the air attack for an offense that led the league in rushing in 2009. The fifth round pick that it took to trade for Holmes seems to be low for Holmes, the 2009 Super Bowl MVP. Yet  there has to be those in Steeler camp who see Holmes as the next Plaxio Burress. A player with star talent whose poor behavior will lead to a self destruction of some sort. For Jet die hards, there are only Super Bowl Dreams in Green and White. Coupled with the press that Holmes and his bad behavior at times, stay behind in the steel city.

TJ is FRO's Jets Specialist
follow TJ on twitter@thejetreport

Titans Pre Draft notes

     Titans Pre Draft notes
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
As the 2010 season slowly approaches changes have hit Titans camp. Gone is long time punter/kicker/place kicker Craig Hentrich to retirement. Center Kevin Mawae is in limbo, as is linebacker Keith Bullock. Gone are TE Alge Crumpler, DE’s Kyle Vanden Bosch and Jevon Kearse. They have also given contract extensions to players such as G/C Eugene Amano and S Donnie Nickey. They got free agents like LB Will Witherspoon, DB Tye Hill and DE Jason Babin. CB Rod Hood was re-signed as insurance and they kept Bo Scaife as well as adding Chris Simms.
Now come the primary needs and the draft. It will take work to make this a playoff contender. This team needs to get away from the occasional 8-8 records that make their fans unhappy. The defense is going through a major overhaul but looks to have the talent. Still a few pieces must be added to make it a playoff unit. The draft is always a mystery in Nashville. Fans have no idea from one year to the next what this franchise will do. Will it be offense when they need defense? Will it be defense when you need offense? Do you take the best player on the board?
The Jeff Fisher era has been known more for defense than offense. Granted, there have been years that neither worked too well. The first thing that has to happen is players such as Michael Griffin and Courtland Finnegan are going to have to get back to the top of their game. The secondary was picked apart last year and that must be addressed right away. The young guys Like Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton need to be ready now. DE’s William Hayes and Jacob Ford, DT’s Javon Haye and Tony Brown are players that must now play like number ones. They will need to feed off all their practice time together and turn themselves into a formidable defensive unit. LB’s Gerald McRath will be asked to make more than just strides now and Stephen Tulloch will have to turn it up a few more notches. There are more stories on defense but they will have to come from the draft full of defensive possibilities.
The offense is yet another huge task Fisher must tackle. Vince Young comes off a season that started with him on the bench. He took over and improved his career winning percentage by going 8-2 down the stretch. He improved his throwing motion and had better command of his passes. He showed poise and leadership abilities game in and game out. Basically he quieted his critics, at least for the time being. Of course there is RB Chris Johnson, as he comes of a season that saw him rush for 2006 yards. The challenge now will be to see if he can repeat that amazing feat. It will hard to do because he is not expected to get the same load of carries. History does not favor his long-term plans if he continues to carry the ball so much. LenDale White is in a sort of limbo as he waits to see if the team will deal him somewhere else. He is not too happy with the idea of being a backup and getting scraps for carries again. He wants to go be a feature back but the Titans want to see what happens in the draft. A team may end up needing White’s services depending on how the draft goes for backs. Javon Ringer looks like he may be ready to contribute enough now to fill the void if need be. The receiving corps is in transition and Nate Washington and Justin Gage will have to play like vets all year. Kenny Britt had a nice rookie year but the team needs him to turn it up a few notches and be solid all year. TE Jared Cook looked great in camp last year but got hurt and never looked the same. With Crumpler gone it’s put up or shut up for the young man. Then there is Lavelle Hawkins and the promise he has not lived up to. He still has the confidence of the coaches but that won’t last long if he continues to lag behind as he has to this point in his career.
The problems in the kick return game have not been fixed but without that this team will not win too many ball games. They will be looking to free agency if they cannot hit a homerun on a return type guy in the draft. They must upgrade this phase of the game to improve the field position Young will need to be more successful. Too many times in the past few years this has cost them wins.
The coaching staff will have to make adjustments as well. Fisher is still being asked by fans to open the offense up some more. It has been the topic of conversations on some sports shows on local radio. No one is trying to tell him how to coach but, maybe to be more aggressive when in the red zone. To air it out a bit more and that may even help the evolution of Young as well. Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil is in prove-it-to-me mode now after a rough first year. The Titans defense went from one of the best two years ago to one of the worst last year.
Then there is the good old draft. A place where teams go once a year in hopes of finding that star. Maybe that hidden jewel that other teams missed on. The crapshoot, as well as the wheeling and dealing begin in less than two weeks. The Titans have plenty of needs. The most glaring would be on defense where they still need a lineman, a linebacker and someone else in the secondary. A return man would be really nice if a CJ Spiller would somehow fall to them. On offense the question in the later rounds or free agency would be a receiver or another back. Players that come to mind for these spots are DE’s Derrick Morgan from Ga. Tech or maybe Sergio Kindle out of Texas. At corner somebody like Myron Lewis from Vanderbilt or Boise State’s Kyle Wilson. Javier Arenas from Alabama could fill the need there as well as a return man. Of course I have already mentioned Spiller too. These are just possibilities for a team in need of a jolt, not a spark. The days of 8-8 have gotten old in Tennessee and time is running out for owner Bud Adams in his quest for a ring.
The Super Bowl is in Texas next year. Wouldn’t it be a sight to see if the team that started in Texas could go back home and win it all? Hey let’s get crazy then and say, what about a Titans vs. Cowboys in Taj McJerry for all the marbles? Hey this is the NFL and we all know that stranger things have happened.

Jets Superfan Fireman Ed shouldn’t let his hatred stand in the way of a Superbowl Trophy

Jets Superfan Fireman Ed shouldn’t let his hatred stand in the way of a Superbowl Trophy
By TJ Rosenthal and Dr. Bill Chachkes-Football Reporters Online

So now we have heard it all. The Jets have hired a fan out of the stands to work in the personnel department. What you didn’t know Fireman Ed Anzalone was actually on the Jets front office payroll? I guess he is, the way he’s been getting and giving interviews as of late, regarding the Jets possible signing of soon to be former Dolphin Jason Taylor.

I don’t want to belittle the man for his “fan-ship” of the Jets, or the fact that he has a tough “Day Job” as a NYC firefighter, which is something I have a great deal of respect for. Regardless of how much bashing some people want to do to the Jets front office, I am sure they know a lot more about Football then at least some people give them credit for. Fireman Ed may be a passionate fan who knows a little something about football, but for him to not want Jason Taylor on the Jets because of the past comments traded back and forth is absurd.

Fireman Ed, as a “super fan,” can't afford to get in the way of the Jason Taylor saga. The symbol of Jet fans can't personalize the
trash talking that has gone on between Taylor and Jet fans for years. The rivalry has been too fierce, had too many wild endings, and has affected the outcomes of seasons on both sides for too long in a 44-year history.

Here's the reality. The Jets need a third down pass rusher. Taylor, if used wisely, can be a threat for the next two years and be expected to provide 8-10 sacks minimum given the talent that surrounds him along with the schemes devised by Rex Ryan.
Taylor's "Jet fans are class minus the C and the L" comments have to be taken with a grain of salt and instead viewed as an intensity that will be a welcome addition to a team just a few players away from being complete.

What Taylor must do, is stop the nonsense about his desire to skip OTA's. As a new member of a cohesive team as the Jets currently are, Ryan can't be forced into a corner where there are different rules for different players. Ryan was upset that Leon Washington missed OTA's in 2009 and rightfully so. What Taylor needs to do in order to ingratiate himself with the fans and his new teammates is to show up. Period. Tomlinson will. He's a future hall of famer.

Taylor will be an upgrade in a position that the Jets sorely need production out of ASAP. A blindside strip and sack of Tom Brady,
will make fans like Fireman Ed warm up quickly to him. Asking to skip out on early season team functions will however, make Taylor's entrance a more difficult one.

Let's not confuse the two though. Ed is wrong if he thinks that Jason Taylor won't make the Jets better in 2010. He will make a difference right away. When and if the Jets do sign Taylor, they will be one piece closer to the missing championship they desperately want.

Nadia Bloom - 11-year-old Autistic Florida girl found alive

From the "good news" department, Nadia Bloom , the 11-year-old Autistic girl that was missing since last Friday, was found alive Tuesday according to CBS News.

Reportedly, Nadia, who has Asperger's syndrome and attends Lawton Elementary School in Oviedo, Florida, "vanished" while rising her bike on Friday. A massive search was conducted that came up successful when Nadia was found today by a church pastor, covered in mosquito bites, but OK.

As of this writing there's no report that really explains why Nadia Bloom "vanished." But the CBS News account implies that Nadia may have been encouraged to go missing because she was reading a book called Lanie about an "adventurous girl who camps in her back yard."

Nadia was last seen near Orlando, in the Barrington Estates subdivision. But the good news is that for a change, a child was found alive, well, and save for bug bites, unharmed.

Stay tuned.

Tagged.com, San Francisco-based social network site fined $650,000

Tagged.com, the San Francisco-based social network site who's founder once bragged to this blogger was worth $700 million, was fined $650,000 by San Francisco DA Kamela Harris for "deceptive practices."

District Attorney Kamala Harris launched an investigation into Tagged.com after users complained to her office about the social network site's email campaign that resulted in 40 million to 60 million emails sent to potential new users.

According to the Contra Costa Times, Tagged.com agreed to pay a settlement of $650,000 and stop a practice where users unknowingly gave Tagged.com their entire email list. In 2009, Tagged.com had a registration campaign such that registrants unknowingly provided the social network their entire email list of friends. Tagged.com then used those emails to repeat the process.

Tagged.com, started in 2004, may claim a membership based of 80 million and be the third largest social network, but after this let's see how many people stick around. At a tech lunch event held in 2006 in Downtown San Francisco, one of the founders bragged to this blogger that Tagged.com was worth $700 million.

Stay tuned.