Hardy, Wieters return to Orioles lineup
Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy and catcher Matt Wieters returned to the lineup on Wednesday night after the pair was sidelined with minor injuries sustained over the weekend in Boston.
Bundy, Machado continuing to make progress
Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy threw eight curveballs in Wednesdays bullpen, the first time he's thrown that pitch since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in March upheld a judge's decision last summer to dismiss three sexual abuse cases against Kevin Clash, the Dundalk native who served as the voice of Sesame Street's "Elmo" puppet.
Democrat Douglas F. Gansler sharpened his public attacks against rival Anthony G. Brown, charging Wednesday that his chief political opponent "did absolutely nothing" during his tenure as lieutenant governor and failed at the two main tasks he was given.
From Cherry Hill to a West Side high school a few miles away, scores of families and friends turned out Wednesday night to mourn teenagers killed in recent days, and to decry persistent violence in the city.
A prospective student at the Community College of Baltimore County sued school officials in federal court this week, contending that he was denied admission to an academic program based on an expression of his religious beliefs.
MESA, ARIZ. — Michael Phelps couldn’t say it enough times, even joking that he would bore questioners with his repetitive explanation for returning to competitive swimming.
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The president-elect’s efforts to win over Republicans — in keeping with a campaign promise to end Washington gridlock — ignited a backlash within his own party. Obama has dedicated 40% of the package to tax reductions, divided evenly between business and middle-class tax cuts. But Democratic leaders are dissatisfied and want more focus on direct spending, less on tax relief.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) told reporters Wednesday the package needed a single focus: “Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.”
“It must create jobs immediately, and it must contribute to the long-term stability of our economy to continue to create jobs,” she said.
Last Thursday, House Democrats proposed an $825 billion stimulus package that is shamefully laden with pork that does not appear to have much to do with job creation for the purposes of economic stimulation:
GOP lawmakers also balked at the thousands of individual projects designated for funding in the House plan. “Oh, my God,” House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said to reporters. “My notes here say that I’m disappointed. I just can’t tell you how shocked I am at what I’m seeing.”
Acknowledging concerns about potential government waste, Congress is creating a Web site — http://www.recovery.gov — to allow the public to track stimulus spending and file complaints. Obey said about 60 percent of the spending portion would assist states, local governments and local nonprofit organizations in providing social services, and that most of the money would be spent based on funding formulas.
“No earmarks,” the chairman asserted.
And yet looking at the House Bill, it appears to be more of the same borrow and spend that has gotten us into so much of our economic woes in the first place.
The House measure is far larger than lawmakers envisioned when the stimulus idea surfaced last fall and, as the recession shows signs of worsening, Democrats predict the price tag could grow to nearly $1 trillion before the bill reaches Obama’s desk.
The Senate has yet to add their own “wish list” to the bill.
To fathom what “1 trillion” is like, Thomas Sowell put it into these terms: “one trillion seconds ago, humanity still hadn’t figured out how to read or write yet.”
Hugh Hewitt on his radio program brought attention to a new website, ReadtheStimulus.org, where you can read the entire 334 page bill in pdf format. The site also has a search function, so you can type in keywords and find (or not find) specific passages in the bill; such as a search for whether or not there’s any mention of “nuclear power plants” (there isn’t any). The site will also update with future versions of the bill, including what comes out of the Senate.
The president-elect is a hoops player. The House proposal amounts to the greatest head fake ever. He had many of us believing that the stimulus package would actually embody a centrist approach, using proven methods of economic growth based in tax cuts and real infrastructure improvements like nuclear power plant construction.
Either the president-elect demands it be overhauled in the Senate or we will know in the first month just how far to the left the new president really is on matters domestic. At least then we can put away the idea that he is about transforming politics. Pork and payoffs by any other name are still pork and payoffs.
Many of us have been saying the Obama presidency will be dangerous to this country, now even more proof.
First he wants to set up a permanent campaign in which they will pressure other Democrats to obey his wishes:
Organizers and even Republicans say the scope of this permanent campaign structure is unprecedented for a president. People familiar with the plan say Obamaâ€™s team would use the network in part to pressure lawmakers â€” particularly wavering Democrats â€” to help him pass complex legislation on the economy, healthcare and energy.
Though the plan still is emerging, one source with knowledge of the internal discussion said the organization could have an annual budget of $75 million in privately raised funds. Another said it would deploy hundreds of paid staff members â€” possibly one for every congressional district in certain politically important states and even more in larger battlegrounds such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina
Concerns about Obamaâ€™s ambitions are coming from state party leaders as well as from Capitol Hill.
â€œThe party needs to be rooted not just around one individual, but it needs to have a grass-roots base that can survive the times and even endure past whoever may be in office,â€ said Jerry Meek, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. â€œObama brings a lot to the table, but, on the other hand, state parties exist for more than serving the objectives of the president and are in the business to elect county commissioners, school board members and members of the legislature.â€
What fascinates me is his faith that his supporters, almost all of whom are Democrats, can be counted on to side with him on policy against â€¦ other Democrats. Thereâ€™s no reason in principle to believe thatâ€™s true â€” Obamites logically should prefer his position on economic recovery to McCainâ€™s, but to Chris Doddâ€™s or Barney Frankâ€™s? â€” but itâ€™s perfectly sensible if you view Obamamania as a cult of personality with The One as the object in whom all trust is reposed. (See also.) He does a superb job of cultivating it too, from using the paparazzi to enhance his status as an icon to dumping one dopey Lincoln allusion after another on a media thatâ€™s itching to make the comparison. In theory itâ€™s a bad idea to have a party â€œrooted aroundâ€ one individual â€” but The One isnâ€™t just any individual, or so we should believe. If Lincoln told you to dial up some Blue Dog Democrat and ask him to vote for another bailout, youâ€™d do it, wouldnâ€™t you? Well, there you go.
This cult of personality is just downright creepy. I mean really, the guy is a naive neophyte with hardly any record of accomplishment. How in the world can anyone compare this man to Lincoln, how in the world can anyone fall for this mindnumbing cult?
Just makes me wince at the ignorance in our country.
In what would be another unprecedented step, Obama’s political staff is deciding whether to create a service organization that would use the vast corps of its grass-roots campaign supporters. As described by one source knowledgeable with the discussions, this nonprofit arm would be used to help victims of natural disasters, but would do so under the Obama umbrella while continuing to build the overall network’s massive e-mail database.
So his own personal FEMA. WTF! A private organization answerable to no one. Scary.
2014 NFL schedule: Steelers, Cowboys, Colts dominate lineup on Sunday and Monday night (Shutdown Corner)
The NFL has a lot of television network partners to keep happy, and that job got more difficult when CBS was given a package of Thursday night games this season.
The league for years used "Monday Night Football" to show its highlight game each week, but when NBC landed "Sunday Night Football" and ESPN went to Monday night, the league puts its best games on Sunday night. This year NFL needs to make sure CBS and FOX were happy with their regular Sunday schedules, give CBS some good games for Thursday night, and still make "Sunday Night Football" and "Monday Night Football" must-watch events.
That's not easy.
[Click here to see the full 2014 NFL schedule]
The NFL placated NBC and ESPN this week, a day before the schedule was released. ESPN was given a wild-card playoff game. A divisional playoff game was added to NBC's schedule through 2022. That move made it seem like the Monday and Sunday night schedule in 2014 might be watered down a bit. Shutdown Corner's Anwar Richardson and Frank Schwab will take a look at the Sunday and Monday night games, week by week, and see how entertaining the prime-time schedule will be this season:
WEEK 1 Sunday: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Monday: N.Y. Giants at Detroit Lions; San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals
Frank’s take: Very nice Sunday night game. The Giants have improved and the Lions are entertaining. I wouldn't have thought this a year ago, but Chargers-Cardinals isn't bad at all for the second part of the doubleheader.
Anwar’s take: NFL fans have been craving football for months. It really does not matter what games are rolled out on in Week 1. We will watch every minute of each game.
Verdict: Stay up, call in sick on Monday ... and then again on Tuesday.
WEEK 2 Sunday: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers Monday: Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts
Frank’s take: That Sunday game is interesting; pretty good test for Marc Trestman's Bears offense. And two up-and-coming teams on Monday night. Two thumbs up.
Anwar’s take: Nick Foles vs. Andrew Luck? First team to 50 points wins. Do not go to bed early.
Verdict: The boss may be getting upset, but it's time to call in sick on Monday and Tuesday again because you're staying up late for these games.
WEEK 3 Sunday: Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers Monday: Chicago Bears at N.J. Jets
Frank’s take: Always fun to watch Cam Newton. Not as fun to watch Geno Smith.
Anwar’s take: Make sure you soak up all of the offense in Week 2 because these matchups are all about defense. First team to 21 points wins.
Verdict: Catch up on your sleep, get to work early, assuming you still have that job.
2014 NFL season to open with Seahawks-Packers (The SportsXchange)
The 2014 NFL season will kick off Sept. 4 in Seattle, where the Super Bowl champion Seahawks will be honored before the boisterous 12th Man in the regular-season opener against the Green Bay Packers. A full schedule for the upcoming season -- which begins in a mere five months -- was announced by the league in a prime-time release show aired on NFL Network. More than two weeks before the NFL Draft is held May 8, rosters are far from set, but the subplots and storylines for the season ahead are coming together. The first Thursday in September in Seattle will be momentous, and for those who thought there was not enough gore in Super Bowl XLVI, Denver hits Seattle on Sept. 21.
2014 NFL schedule: League's deal with CBS leads to better Thursday night games (Shutdown Corner)
"Thursday Night Football" has traditionally been similar to holding out a cup of water for a marathon runner – they are desperate for anything to quench their thirst.
The NFL knows its fans are desperate for football, and mediocre primetime matchups were traditionally scheduled on Thursday night. It is usually the one time of year struggling teams like Jacksonville, Buffalo, Oakland and St. Louis can enjoy the national spotlight. The league must have figured it's football, and you're going to watch no matter who is playing.
[Click here to see the full 2014 NFL schedule]
However, that changed a bit this year after the NFL partnered with CBS to produce and televise seven games on Thursdays over the first half of the season. The NFL Network, which will simulcast the CBS Thursday games, will have seven late-season Thursday games all to itself. Also, two late-season games take place on Saturday, and this year’s schedule is banking on division rivalries to add more spice to the lineup.
Green Bay will kick off the season on the road against Seattle on Sept. 4 in Week 1. That game will be televised on NBC with the Seahawks opening defense of their Super Bowl title against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. While the Thursday opener has long featured the defending champion, the ensuing slate of Thursday games had been hit and miss. However, that slate has been upgraded.
Pittsburgh will play on the road against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 11 in Week 2. Baltimore was forced to play its first game of last season on the road against Denver after a Super Bowl victory, but the Ravens were given two consecutive home games to start this season.
Most NFL coaches don't like playing a divisional game early in the season, but Pittsburgh and Baltimore will kick off its AFC North rivalry after one regular-season game.
Green Bay’s home game against the Vikings in Week 5 marks the first week a team from last year’s playoffs appears on CBS' Thursday night slate. The last matchup between Green Bay and Minnesota at Lambeau Field in Week 12 in 2013 ended in a tie (26-26).
New England will host the New York Jets in Week 7, which should feature a battle of Tom Brady against Geno Smith or Michael Vick. New York is expected to determine its starter during the preseason as coach Rex Ryan faces a do-or-die season. If Ryan’s team starts off slow, this game could determine his future in New York.
CBS’ final Thursday game is San Diego at Denver in Week 8, another division rivalry that's also a rematch of last year’s AFC playoff game. Every one of CBS' Thursday games is a divisional game.
The NFL Network takes over with New Orleans at Carolina in Week 9, followed by a slew of games with marginal interest. The most interesting game (right now) is Dallas visiting the Chicago Bears on Dec. 4. Dallas is notorious for its annual collapse in December, and if that occurs again, it could signal the end of coach Jason Garrett’s tenure with the Cowboys.
In the past few years, if fans have turned on "Thursday Night Football" it was generally just because any game was on, even though the matchup usually wasn't good. This year's Thursday schedule isn't great, but it's certainly better than it has been.
Here is the Thursday schedule:
Week 1, Sept. 4 (NBC): Green Bay at Seattle
Week 2, Sept. 11 (CBS, NFLN): Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Week 3, Sept. 18 (CBS, NFLN): Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Week 4, Sept. 25 (CBS, NFLN): N.Y. Giants at Washington
Week 5, Oct. 2 (CBS, NFLN): Minnesota at Green Bay
Week 6, Oct. 9 (CBS, NFLN): Indianapolis at Houston
Week 7, Oct. 16 (CBS, NFLN): N.Y. Jets at New England
Week 8, Oct. 23 (CBS, NFLN): San Diego at Denver
Week 9, Oct. 30 (NFLN): New Orleans at Carolina
Week 10, Nov. 6 (NFLN): Cleveland at Cincinnati
Week 11, Nov. 13 (NFLN): Buffalo at Miami
Week 12, Nov. 20 (NFLN): Kansas City at Oakland
Week 13, Nov. 27 (CBS): Bears at Lions; Eagles at Cowboys (Fox); Seahawks at 49ers (NBC)
Week 14, Dec. 4 (NFLN): Dallas at Chicago
Week 15, Dec. 11 (NFLN): Arizona at St. Louis
Week 16, Dec. 18 (NFLN): Tennessee at Jacksonville
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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnwarRichardson
2014 NFL schedule: What are the best games each week of the season? (Shutdown Corner)
People get jacked for the release of the NFL schedule. So do we. And though lots will change — even before we get to training camp — there are some definite must-see games on the schedule.
Our challenge? Narrowing it down to one key one per week.
[Click here to see the full 2014 NFL schedule]
Here goes nothing:
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
C'mon. It's the season opener. Even with quality games elsewhere on the schedule — including Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos playing host to his former team, the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night — you can't go away from this one. Props to the NFL for pitting the Seahawks and Packers, combatants in one of the league's most controversial games in recent seasons, and not backing down from that talk. That's uncharacteristic of the league.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
The NFL wasn't going to give CBS, which paid a fortune for the Thursday night package, a dud game. Sure, maybe this hasn't been the epic rivalry it was, say, four to five years ago, but there is no love lost between these two hard-nosed clubs. There's no added or especial juice to the rivalry this time around, just your garden-variety hatred — and a solid contempt between two talented teams that should compete for the AFC North crown.
Broncos at Seahawks
Look, we easily could have picked DeSean Jackson and his new Washington Redskins team heading up to face his former club, the Philadelphia Eagles. But who moves the needle more than Manning and a Super Bowl rematch in Seattle? The question on everyone's minds: If it was 43-8 Seahawks on a neutral field, what will it be with the 12th Man in the house? What could make it more interesting are Denver's defensive additions, led by DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward. The Broncos will be seeking whatever revenge can be gained from a regular-season game, and the Seahawks will seek to pummel them once again. Fun stuff.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
A rematch of the NFC North-deciding game in Week 17 at Soldier Field, but Bears-Packers always carries special weight. Both teams will be in the running for a division crown once more, and there's an interesting plot twist to the rivalry: Julius Peppers, once a plum free-agent signing of the Bears, now comes in as a visiting member of the Packers. But it's a loaded week, with a slate that includes Steve Smith's Ravens facing his former Carolina Panthers team in Baltimore, an excellent matchup fo the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles and several other quality matchups.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers
In something of a blah week on paper, we think Alex Smith's return to San Francisco is an interesting story. With talk of the Chiefs wanting to extend Smith long-term, and Colin Kaepernick perhaps a year from hitting the market, it stirs talk of Jim Harbaugh's decision to trade Smith for a pair of draft picks, including a second-rounder in a few weeks. Smith flourished his first season in K.C., and Kaepernick almost led the 49ers to a second straight Super Bowl. Beyond that, this should be a solid game of teams that won 11 and 12 games, respectively, a year ago.