Two former NBAers are vying for the mayoralties of two of America’s largest cities. In Detroit, former Piston Dave Bing just picked up the endorsement of the Free Press, and in Seattle former Sonic and Washington State Cougar James Donaldson announced his candidacy.
Obviously, it’s Bing who, if victorious, has the toughest, most impossible job ahead:
Detroit’s problem is rooted in the transformation that the US economy is undergoing.
Old manufacturing regions such as this have been declining for some time.
There is a budget crisis. Rising unemployment and population loss have reduced the amount of tax revenue coming in. Vehicle sales are falling in an area whose economy is dominated by the so-called “Big Three” car manufacturers. House prices have been tumbling.
In Detroit, the population too has been falling for years. In the middle of the last century almost two million people lived in the city. Today it is less than a million, as people have moved out to the suburbs.
Detroit’s challenge is to manage the loss of people, jobs and revenue, without allowing the city to fall further into despair. It is a tough job.
Pakistan is destabilized, riddled with terrorist elements, and in possession of nukes, and not even the Dems can agree on how those problems should be handled. But perhaps there’s hope in … cricket? Here’s the Times of India on a new U.S.-hosted cricket tournament that begins in October:
Seven Pakistani players – Inzamam ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir and Saqlain Mushtaq – are said to have signed up for the new league, which will be held twice a year. In fact, the proposal APL seems to be designed to rescue Pakistani cricketers from international isolation in the face of Indian clout.
This may sound like small potatoes but after losing host status for the 2011 World Cup, Pakistan is looking for any sort of enfranchisement when it comes to the beloved sport of cricket.
The Obama Administration has levied sanctions against Abdul Haq (not to be confused with this Abdul Haq), who attempted to launch terrorist attacks during the Beijing Games:
The Treasury Department’s target was Abdul Haq, head of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party. The action means that any bank accounts or other financial assets found in the United States belonging to him must be frozen. Americans also are barred from doing business with Haq, who is Chinese.
With that off the docket, Obama can now focus on forging a non-proliferation treaty with Lehman Brothers.
Rapper/Nets minority partner Jay-Z sounds off on the semi-recent Michael Phelps/doobage tempest in a teapot:
“You look at all these people who graduated from Princeton and Harvard, who are supposed to be pillars of the community – every day [they’re] in the newspaper arrested for some kind of financial fraud,” the New York Daily News quoted him as telling told Cigar Aficionado magazine.
“Then you look at someone like Michael Phelps. He’s 23. What’s he gonna do? He’s a kid. He’s going to experiment,” he added.
The last part of his quote rings especially true. Phelps is young, rich, and famous. That he smokes weed–once, twice, on occasion, with tidal regularity, whatever–should be neither surprising nor a source of outrage. This whole nonsense reached a nadir when Matt Lauer solemnly tsk-tsked Phelps, and then Kellog’s dropped him as a sponsor. More recently, Usain Bolt learned the costs of offending Puritan sensibilities. If nothing else, it’s absurd that Phelps’ pot-smoking generated more outrage than his 2004 arrest for DUI.
I just wish that some interviewer, in the course of Phelps’ penitential media tour, had asked him, “Isn’t all of this really f***ing stupid?”
President Obama, who’s set to aid and abet Mayor Daley’s latest, costliest vanity project, is also now throwing his weight behind the U.S.’s bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup:
“Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe,” Obama added in the letter, a part of which was released to The New York Times by the United States Soccer Federation with permission from the White House.
“That is why this bid is about much more than a game,” he added. “It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.”
Given Obama’s global popularity, this must be seen as something more than a vacant political gesture. It might just make a difference.
The feds have asked that the corruption case against former Alaska senator Ted Stcvens be thrown out. They’re doing so because of some prosecutorial misconduct (not an uncommon thing these days, it would seem). This leads Shysterball’s Craig Calcaterra, who’s a real-life lawyer and everything, to wonder whether this bodes well for Barry Bonds:
The Bonds’ prosecutors has (sic) bought some time by appealing the judge’s evidence ruling. In light of the U-turn on the Stevens case, however, one wonders if, in addition to researching and writing an appellate brief, they also aren’t reflecting on whether the whole enterprise is worth the trouble in the first place.
Worth the trouble? I’m certainly saying it’s not.
While some in the blogosphere are getting the vapors over President Obama’s decision to give an IPod to the Queen, it’s worth noting that the First Lady came up big with her gift to the five-year-old son of PM Gordon Brown:
For yesterday’s return visit, the First Lady gave five-year-old John Brown a little piece of US history: a black full-size Louisville Slugger baseball bat a marked with the presidential seal and signed by her husband.
Let the baseball assimilation of English cricket fans begin.