Monday, March 29, 2010

Insight Communications hates Baseball Fans

Insight Communications has yet to include the MLB Network on their lineup. This is unfortunate. It's a disgrace. Please Insight, add the MLB Network to your lineup. You have the NFL Network but you are showing how much you hate the baseball fans in areas where Insight is virtually the only cable option. Time to start considering a satelite option instead of cable...

In other news....

Comedians Jason Segel and Ed Helms will be starring in Jeff Who Lives At Home.
Jason Segel and Ed Helms are going to be the lead in the stoner comedy Jeff Who Lives At Home by Jay and Mark Duplass. Producing the film with them will be Up in the Air director Jason Reitman (Watch a video of our interview with Reitman here).

The film which is written by the Duplass brothers, follows the day in the life of two brothers. One is a slacker (Segel), and the other is more well adjusted, but slightly overbearing (Helms). The film is set to shoot in Louisiana next month.
Ben Stiller has a new movie out, more of an indie type than his usual mainstream studio releases.
THIS month Ben Stiller, who has appeared in nine movies that have earned more than $100 million in domestic grosses, served as honorary chairman of Film Independent’s Spirit Awards. The incongruity was not lost on Mr. Stiller, who had some fun with it onstage. “I think it says volumes about the organizers of this event that even though I’ve been in over 350 studio movies during the last five years,” he said, “the Spirit Awards were bold enough to say, ‘You, Ben Stiller, epitomize our core values.’ ”

What Mr. Stiller neglected to mention was that his new film, “Greenberg,” happens to be a small-scale production with an auteur pedigree (written and directed by Noah Baumbach) and is as intimate and independent-minded a movie as he has done in years.

“I never thought my path would progress the way it has,” Mr. Stiller said recently in an interview at a Manhattan hotel. The son of the comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, he first made his mark in sketch comedy, on “Saturday Night Live” and his own short-lived but fondly remembered early 1990s Fox series “The Ben Stiller Show” (on which his friend Judd Apatow got his start). He thought of himself more as a director. As for acting, “I just didn’t think I’d get that opportunity,” he said.
Jay Baruchel talks about Jay and Seth Vs. The Apocalypse.
Fine, right. So Rogen and Baruchel are both incredibly busy guys, and "Jay and Seth" has been continually pushed aside as a result. The question remains though... when are we going to see this movie get made?

"I'm not gonna-- I know better than to make any promises that are going to make me or Seth look bad," Baruchel said. Drat. Lesson learned. He offers some encouragement though. "This is something we both very much want to do, which would be the two of us in LA when the world ends, basically. Playing ourselves."
IFC looks at post-Apatow careers of the stars of Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared.

Before the holiday...

The ADL found Jimmy Carter's apology to be insincere.
"As far as I'm concerned, there is no 'Al Chet,' " Abraham Foxman, ADL's national director, said in the statement, referring to Carter's evocation of a prayer for forgiveness said on Yom Kippur. "President Carter's recent comments on Israel are profoundly disappointing and leave little doubt of the insincerity of his apology."
In other developments, is the president alienating Jewish voters?

Ron Kampeas offers his thoughts on the new host of ABC's sunday political show, This Week.

Religion may have been the reason as to why Hank Greenberg hit as many home runs as he did.
Evidence has finally been published that seems to resolve a 72-year-old mystery. When Hank Greenberg of the Detroit Tigers made a run at Babe Ruth’s season home run record, falling two short with 58 in 1938, was he pitched around because he was Jewish?

It is impossible to know what was in pitchers’ hearts, but it is also impossible to ignore the statistical record. In short, the American League didn’t seem exactly thrilled with Greenberg’s pursuit.

Until the Web site recently published game logs for the 1938 season, the subject of anti-Semitism during Greenberg’s record chase was a matter of opinion.

Some members of Greenberg’s family and legions of his fans believed that anti-Semitic pitchers had walked Greenberg often to keep him from a fair shot at Ruth, who set the record in 1927. Greenberg, however, called such a view “pure baloney.” To shift responsibility for his falling short of the record onto others would have been out of character.

Greenberg received many more walks as he chased Ruth in 1938 than he did in the rest of his career. Almost no other hitter going after the home run record had anything like Greenberg’s late-season spike in bases on balls. He had 119 walks to lead the A.L., the only time he did so, and they accounted for 17.5 percent of his 681 plate appearances.

But the way pitchers handled Greenberg early in the season was clearly different than the way they approached him as Ruth’s record came into view. Greenberg had four three-walk games in the final two months of the 1938 season, three in September.

By comparison, he had no three-walk games in 1937, when he drove in 183 runs; one in 1935, when he won his first Most Valuable Player award; and three in 1940, his second M.V.P. year.

Over all, Greenberg walked in 15.9 percent of his plate appearances through the end of August 1938. In September, that rate jumped to 20.4 percent. His walk rate was 14.5 percent in 1937 and 15 percent in 1939.

Something changed down the stretch in 1938, and it was not in Greenberg’s approach.

He said he felt “if I, as a Jew, hit a home run, I was hitting one against Hitler.” So he had compelling reasons not to take a walk.

Greenberg’s treatment stands in contrast to the other single-season record challengers. In 1932, Jimmie Foxx also finished with 58 home runs. Foxx walked in 16.6 percent of his plate appearances that season; that September, his walk rate was 17.1 percent.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 NCAA Elite 8

(5) Michigan State vs. (6) Tennessee

(5) Butler 63, (2) Kansas State 56

(2) West Virginia 73, (1) Kentucky 66

(1) Duke vs. (3) Baylor

Friday, March 26, 2010

Louisville market dominates the NCAA

Hat tip to the Courier-Journal's Eric Crawford on this tidbit.

For fans of NCAA basketball, it has been an upset-filled March. But there are no surprises in household viewing patterns among the top markets tracked by Nielsen. More than a quarter of households in the Louisville, Ky., market tuned in to watch the University of Kentucky beat Cornell on March 25. The Louisville market is once again the highest-rated DMA for NCAA Tournament games, averaging a 16.6 household rating through the first two rounds.

While Louisville is a mid-sized market, with no pro sports teams, it dominates NCAA viewership and is at the heart of a "basketball belt," an enthusiastic cluster of markets from Raleigh to Oklahoma City that boast 9 of the top 10 DMAs in tournament viewing.

Kentucky-West Virginia set for 7 ET

Kentucky and West Virginia are set for the 7 PM nightcap on CBS this Saturday. Butler and Kansas State have the early game at 4:30 PM.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cousins loves Kentucky

Apparently, Damarcus Cousins' decision to go to the NBA is tougher now that he's played at Kentucky.
DeMarcus Cousins readily admits he has thought about playing in the NBA for several years now. He’ll even acknowledge that he thought he would jump at a chance to leave Kentucky after one year for the NBA when he signed with the Wildcats a year ago.

Now he’s not quite so certain about his future, even though he’s had a monstrous freshman season going into Thursday’s game against Cornell in Syracuse, N.Y.

“Whenever I do decide to leave, I will miss this a lot, probably more than I ever thought,” Cousins said. “No matter where I have played or been, I have never been accepted like this. It just feels so good to be accepted.

“It is going to be a tough decision, much harder than I thought it ever would be. I have always dreamed of that next level, but we’ll have to see. Life is good at Kentucky for me.”

How good?

“I like everything about being here. The whole college life, the fans, the coaches, the team. I mean everything. It is like a big dream, especially with the success we are having. It is a perfect life right now,” said Cousins, who averages 15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

“On campus, I have a lot of fun. Students come up and talk. It is just fun everywhere we go. We have the best fans in the nation, and students come up, too, just like we are normal people. I love being around all these great people.”
Smart people, bet on Kentucky.
It’s being billed as not just David vs. Goliath, but the kids who excel in the classroom against the ones who don’t even go.

Cornell and its Ivy League reputation vs. Kentucky and its team full of NBA prospects.

A Cornell coach in Steve Donahue who's spent nearly his entire career coaching at the finest academic institutions vs. a coach, Kentucky’s John Calipari, who's had a couple Final Four banners removed for transgressions that took place under his watch.

2010 NCAA Sweet Sixteen: Friday Edition

(5) Michigan State 59, (9) Northern Iowa 52
(6) Tennessee 76, (2) Ohio State 73

(1) Duke 70, (4) Purdue 57
(3) Baylor 72,(10) Saint Mary's 49

St. Louis: Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery
Houston: Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

2010 NCAA Sweet Sixteen: Thursday Edition

(1) Kentucky vs. (12) Cornell, 9:57 PM
(2) West Virginia vs. (11) Washington, 7:27 PM

(5) Butler 63, (1) Syracuse 59
(2) Kansas State 101, (6) Xavier 96 (2OT)

Salt Lake City: Gus Johnson and Len Elmore
Syracuse: Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health Care

Rob Kutner looks the the big losers in the new health care bill. Here's just one excerpt:
Emergency Rooms
For decades, they've saved millions of lives and staunched life-altering injuries. But they've also set millions of broken legs, doled out billions of cough drops, and told zillions of people that that festering red thing, "is probably not herpes." Who among us can forget that entire thrilling season of E.R. about what turned out to be a mistaken lint allergy? But now "America's Random Care Specialists" will tragically lose all that wonderful diversity of condition, urgency, and ability to pay. Good luck sustaining your business purely on customers who could die at any moment!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Politically speaking...

While the cost of health care reform will will most likely be an issue, there's another issue in foreign policy that could cost a congressman or senator their seat in office. That issue? Israel, according to Politico.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Washington this week amid unaccustomed tension between the two allies — a strain that is now playing out in House and Senate races across the 2010 election landscape.

The White House-Israel feud over settlement building in East Jerusalem has Republicans racing to attack the White House as squishy and disloyal to Israel, weak-kneed on foreign policy and even soft on Iran. Democrats, meanwhile, are dealing with sensitive intraparty conflicts between those who want to reiterate America’s strong support for Israel and a more dovish wing that insists a tougher approach to Israel is the best way to push the peace process forward.

I think candidates are just hiding under their desks because no one wants to get into this,” said Steve Rabinowitz, a longtime Democratic strategist and Clinton administration official who has advised Jewish groups. “This week, the answer is to just not dance.”[...]

For many Republicans — particularly conservative Christians who are strongly pro-Israel — President Barack Obama’s nuanced approach, and its results so far, represent a betrayal of a key ally. Many also view the ongoing debate as a proxy for the debate over the muscularity of American foreign policy.[...]

For Democrats, the issue is less cut and dried. Democratic candidates must straddle the divide between the party’s hawkish pro-Israel wing and a constituency that views the intransigence of Israel’s conservative government as a serious obstacle to peace.

It’s easier to be a Republican on this issue. It’s a lot harder to be an honest Democrat,” said Rabinowitz. “I just don’t think it’s in a Democrat’s interest to follow Eric Cantor or Sarah Palin. If you’re a Republican candidate, no problem.”[...]

Toomey’s Democratic opponents, however, spoke in far more muted tones. Sen. Arlen Specter took to the Senate floor to call on “all parties to cool the rhetoric, avoid public recriminations, determine exactly what happened and consider some fundamental questions.”

Specter’s Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak, offered a diplomatic statement highlighting the need for a “stronger U.S. leadership to move us down a road map for peace and to achieve a comprehensive peaceful resolution that includes a two-state solution.”

In Florida’s Senate race, a spokesman for Republican candidate Marco Rubio told the pro-Israel publication Commentary that the White House had “sent a message that America is not as committed to Israel as it once had been.” Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, meanwhile, put out a coolly worded statement criticizing the administration for using “undiplomatic language” with Israel.[...]

A February Gallup survey found Democratic voters evenly split on whether they sympathized more with the Israelis or the Palestinians. Republicans are far more united in their support for Israel, the poll found, with 85 percent saying they sympathized more with the Israelis.

“When Democrats attack the White House on this, they’re being more cautious because there is a wider coalition,” said Raphael Sonenshein, a political scientist at California State University at Fullerton.

Doug Pike, a Democratic House candidate in the heavily Jewish Philadelphia suburbs, discovered the perils of alienating part of that Democratic constituency when he lost the endorsement of state Rep. Josh Shapiro, who complained about Pike’s support for J Street, the liberal-leaning Israel policy organization.

Your own constituents and the greater pro-Israel world are more fractured this week, and it’s not worth offending either side,” said Rabinowitz. “It’s always been a trap among the left, the center and the right. You had to dance a dance, and now it’s even more so.”

For some Democrats, taking on Obama aggressively was the most logical response. Florida Rep. Ron Klein, who represents a heavily Jewish, Palm Beach-based district, said he was “deeply disappointed” in the White House. Dan Seals, a Democrat running for an open House seat in suburban Chicago, scolded the administration for its “unhelpful rhetoric.”[...]

Troy said the conservative movement’s unification around Israel comes as a welcome diversion at a time when the broader conservative coalition is experiencing deep rifts — particularly between evangelicals and tea party activists, who have found themselves at odds over the centrality of social issues.

“There has been a sense that Obama has not been [as much of] a supporter of Israel as he could have been,” said Troy. “Mark my words: Whoever is the Republican nominee in 2012 is going to be hitting this issue hard. This just will not be forgotten.”
The Israel issue will not go away--Republicans will keep reminding voters, especially Jewish voters, of that.

In other Israeli-related news, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the AIPAC conference.
The prime minister reiterated his stance on construction in Jerusalem, and told his audience of some 8,000 pro-Israel activists, "The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel cannot be denied. The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied.

The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 year ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital."

He continued to say, "In Jerusalem, my government has maintained the policies of all Israeli governments since 1967, including those led by Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin. Today, nearly a quarter of a million Jews, almost half the city’s Jewish population, live in neighborhoods that are just beyond the 1949 armistice lines. All these neighborhoods are within a five-minute drive from the Knesset. They are an integral and inextricable part of modern Jerusalem. Everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement. Therefore, building them in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution."

As an example to the Jewish people's link to Jerusalem, he told his audience of a signet ring he has in display in his office: "The ring was found next to the Western wall, but it dates back some 2,800 years ago, two hundred years after Kind David turned Jerusalem into our capital city. The ring is a seal of a Jewish official, and inscribed on it in Hebrew is his name: Netanyahu. His name was Netanyahu Ben-Yoash."

Netanyahu then mentioned the Holocaust, and the price the Jewish people had to pay: "Ultimately, two of history's greatest leaders helped turn the tide. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped save the world. But they were too late to save six million of my own people."

He stressed that "the future of the Jewish state can never depend on the goodwill of even the greatest of men. Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself."

Ashley Judd prefers John Calipari

Ashley Judd was profiled recently by the New York Times.
Having just attentively watched Kentucky Coach John Calipari’s postgame news conference after his team’s 90-60 blowout of Wake Forest on Saturday night, the Wildcats super fan Ashley Judd was already game-planning for the round of 16.

With top-seeded Kentucky (34-2) was set to face the winner of Sunday’s game between No. 12 seed Cornell (28-4) and No. 4 Wisconsin (24-8) in the East Region on Thursday in Syracuse, she asked a Wildcats official which team Kentucky would rather play. He told her that Cornell was the preferred opponent because it is difficult for a team to comeback if they fall behind early to Wisconsin, which plays a slow and deliberate style. (Cornell defeated Wisconsin, 87-69.)[...]

Afterward, Judd raved about Calipari and what he has accomplished this season in his first year at Kentucky.

“He’s perfect for Kentucky,” she said. “He has a personality as big as our program. It’s a really good fit. We love him.”

Judd was not nearly as fond of his predecessor, Billy Gillispie, who was fired last March after two seasons of disappointment in which he posted a 40-27 record. In his first season, Kentucky lost in the first round of the N.C.A.A. tournament and failed to make the tournament his second year, the first time since 1991 that the Wildcats had missed the tournament.

Judd said her relationship with Gillispie was “always very cordial,” but she had her doubts about him.

“I knew he wasn’t right for us,” Judd said. “He had an ism.”[...]

Calipari has the Wildcats being mentioned as the favorite to win this season’s national championship, which hasn’t happened since 1998 for the college basketball power.

“I dreamed of it being this high this fast because I have visions of grandeur as a Kentucky fan,” Judd said. “But I probably, if backed into a corner, would have said, ‘No, for real, we can’t.’ But now that we are, it’s pretty impressive. It’s pretty incredible.”

She added: “But you know, we’re used to that. We’re used to winning 30 games a season. We’re used to accolades in the postseason, so on one hand it feels like an entitlement and on the other hand it is pretty intoxicating.”

Currently attending Harvard University’s Kennedy School for a masters in public administration, Judd plans to be in Syracuse on Thursday for Kentucky’s next game.

“I can do homework in Syracuse,” Judd said. “I heard they have a library, right?”

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chris Evans is Captain America

Chris Evans has been offered and accepted the role of Steve Rogers in The First Avenger: Captain America.
Chris Evans will play Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America.

Sources tell us the actor has not only accepted Marvel's offer, first detailed on Friday, but that the dealmaking moved so fast it's now all about dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

Marvel would not comment on the development, and CAA, which reps the actor, declined comment.

Evans was offered the role in Marvel Studios' production last week, but there was some question of whether he would accept. Factoring in to the choice was the fact that Evans played Johnny Storm, the flame-covered superhero known as the Human Torch in Fox's "Fantastic Four" movies. Was he ready to play another superhero and take on the trappings that come with such a high-profile part?
It's an imteresting selection seeing as how they are looking to reboot the Fantastic Four movies.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wildcat Roundup

The momentum is with the Kentucky Wildcats and there's no denying that after a rout last night against Wake Forest.

While Coach John Calipari tried to lay down the claims of Kentucky being the new favorite, Mark Story has an article up.
As word spread that No. 1 overall seed Kansas was in deep doo-doo Saturday against Northern Iowa, an unusual crowd gathered around a TV near the media room buried deep inside the bowels of the facility.

As the Jayhawks struggled to survive, female University of Kentucky cheerleaders kneeled, expectantly, in front of the television. Members of the UK pep band celebrated with every Kansas misfortune.

As the last tenth of a second ticked off on the TV and mighty Kansas fell, the UK kids let out a mighty roar.

It's a whole new tournament now.

On the day when the ground shook beneath the 2010 Big Dance, the Kentucky basketball team looked every bit like what it now is:

The favorite to claim the national championship.

With Darius Miller (20 points, nine rebounds) turning in the game of his Kentucky career and DeMarcus Cousins both keeping his cool and playing some dominating basketball (19 points, eight boards), UK blitzed Wake Forest 90-60 Saturday night.

Apparently, among the few people in the New Orleans Arena at the time UK-Wake tipped off who didn't know that Kansas had been ousted were the Kentucky players.

"We weren't allowed to know what the results of that game were," Cousins said. "We were told to focus on our own game."

Said Kentucky Coach John Calipari: "I made them turn the TV off to think about our game. Don't worry about that game. When they went out (for warm-ups), I was saying 'Wow.'"[...]

Said Calipari: "I don't know if we are the overwhelming favorite. Everybody was picking us to lose today. They were also saying we'd be the first No. 1 out. So how do they change those talking heads overnight?"

Pretty easy. Kansas is gone. And Kentucky rolled through New Orleans looking every bit like a championship-worthy team.
ESPN's game recap threw in some quotes by famous Wildcat alumnus Ashley Judd.
Ashley Judd grabbed a copy of the Kentucky-Wake Forest boxscore and stared at the final numbers, shaking her head in wonder.

"It was flashbacks to '96 -- a team that was so good we actually got mad if the other team touched the ball," said Judd, one of Kentucky's most famous fans. "That was a really spectacular win."[...]

Sitting two rows behind the Kentucky bench, Judd was jubilant, happily posing for a photo with four students who had painted their chests white and blue, spelling out "CATS" when they stood side-by-side. And the actress' reference to the 1996 national championship team seemed appropriate. That was the season Tony Delk set a school record for 3-pointers in an NCAA tournament game with seven -- a record broken Thursday when Eric Bledsoe hit eight.

The last time Kentucky had played Wake Forest also was in 1996, during the NCAAs. The Wildcats won that game by 20.[...]

"I thought we had a great chance before Kansas lost," Judd said.
Larry Holder with CBS Sports says these Wildcats won't beat themselves.
Be on alert, Kentucky. You're the team everyone's waiting to gag next.

Sorry to disappoint, though, because Kentucky sure ain't Kansas.

No. 1 seed Kentucky toyed around with another NCAA tournament foe Saturday as the Wildcats pummeled ninth-seeded Wake Forest into rubble 90-60 and laughed about it. Chris Paul could have taken the short stroll from his downtown New Orleans condo and thrown on a Wake Forest jersey and the Demon Deacons still would have been demolished.

It wasn't even 30-point win close. The Wildcats could have won by 50 if they wanted. Now that Kansas is a goner and after two impressive performances, you can call Kentucky the favorite.[...]

don't want to hear it that Kentucky is too young. It's not a viable argument. When you have this much talent, experience is overrated.

Wake Forest's Ishmael Smith doesn't buy it either.

"I do think they are every bit as good as deserving, and all the accolades those guys get. They deserve every bit of it. ... It never hurts to lose to the No. 1 team in the country now that Kansas has lost," Smith said. And he would know, considering he just got pulverized first hand by Kentucky.

The Wildcats have far too many weapons. Experience didn't help Kansas any. Not knowing any better looks like the best option to me. No one said that when then-freshman Carmelo Anthony charged Syracuse to a national title or when Michigan's Fab Five made two consecutive championship game trips.
Gary Parrish called it as soon as the brackets were announced.

2010 NCAA Second Round: Sunday Edition

(2) Ohio State 75, (10) Georgia Tech 66
(5) Michigan State 85, (4) Maryland 83

(1) Syracuse 87, (8) Gonzaga 65
(6) Xavier 71, (3) Pittsburgh 68

(2) West Virginia 68, (10) Missouri 59
(12) Cornell 87, (4) Wisconsin 69

(1) Duke 68, 8) California 53
(4) Purdue 63, (5) Texas A&M 61 (OT)

Buffalo: Gus Johnson/Len Elmore
Milwaukee: Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel
Spokane: Tim Brando/Mike Gminski
Jacksonville: Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg

Saturday, March 20, 2010

2010 NCAA Second Round: Saturday Edition

(9) Northern Iowa 69, (1) Kansas 67
(6) Tennessee 83, (14) Ohio 68

(5) Butler 54, (13) Murray State 52
(2) Kansas State 84, (7) Brigham Young 72

(1) Kentucky 90, (9) Wake Forest 60
(11) Washington 82, (3) New Mexico 64

(10) St. Mary’s 75, (2) Villanova 68
(3) Baylor 76, (11) Old Dominion 68

Providence: Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery
San Jose: Spero Dedes/Bob Wenzel
New Orleans: Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas
Oklahoma City: Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tubby Smith headed to Auburn?

Is former Kentucky and current Minnesota Coach Tubby Smith headed back to the SEC? It's what a CBS Sports blogger is reporting this morning.
Auburn is "close to hiring" Tubby Smith as its new basketball coach, a source that I trust told me Thursday night.

It could be nothing, but it is known that the school might be looking for an African-American coach. And Tubby getting back to the SEC would make sense. It's not the pressure cooker of Kentucky. It's a new building and a lot of rebuilding with the Tigers.
The Sporting News has thoughts on who other possible candidates for Jeff Lebo's former job are.
Other possible candidates are Texas-El Paso coach Tony Barbee, Missouri's Mike Anderson, former Auburn player Chuck Person, and former NBA coach Sam Mitchell.

Smith had a 45-19 record at Georgia. In his 10 seasons at Kentucky, Smith had a record of 263-83, including an NCAA Championship in 1998. His career record is 443-174.
The Birmingham News has more:
Auburn, which has spent $90 million on a basketball arena that will open next season, is prepared to make another sizable investment in the sport when it hires its new basketball coach.

People familiar with the search process say the university is willing to significantly increase what it has paid former coaches in order to attract someone with a proven record to replace Jeff Lebo, who was fired last Friday. A list of candidates includes coaches who could command high salaries, such as Minnesota's Tubby Smith, who has SEC experience at Kentucky and Georgia. Auburn may make a play for him.[...]

The four highest-paid coaches in the SEC are Kentucky's John Calipari, at $3.9 million; Florida's Billy Donovan, at $3.4 million; Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, at $2.4 million; and Alabama's Anthony Grant, at $1.8 million. Lebo was the lowest-paid coach in the SEC, at $750,000 annually.

Depending on who Auburn hires, the new coach's salary could be close to that of football coach Gene Chizik, who will make $2.1 million this year.
In the same article, there's the ever-so-classic denial:
"There's always talk about coaches leaving and players leaving. It's part of the business. We're happy here," Smith said in a follow-up story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Of course, Minnesota's AD has heard the rumors. Remember, Tubby Smith left the pressure cooker of Kentucky for a university whose fan base appreciated winning but didn't have the extra pressure of WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Director Joel Maturi says he's "heard the rumors" that Auburn may make a play for Gophers' basketball coach Tubby Smith, "but I haven't gotten the call," he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press this morning.

Maturi said neither Auburn nor Smith has contacted him about the rumors.[...]

Maturi said in a Pioneer Press story Thursday that Minnesota can't afford to give Smith a raise because of a salary freeze, and the school can't compete with the $2 million salaries of other successful coaches in the Big Ten.

"We can't match that. We won't begin to match that," he told the newspaper.

Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs has not publicly identified who Auburn is considering, but has said no official contact would be made with candidates until after their basketball seasons are complete. Minnesota faces Xavier in the NCAA Tournament today.

2010 NCAA First Round: Friday Edition

(5) Michigan State 70, (12) New Mexico State 67
(4) Maryland 89, (13) Houston 77
(10) Georgia Tech 64, (7) Oklahoma State 59
(2) Ohio State 68, (15) UC-Santa Barbara 51

(1) Syracuse 79, (16) Vermont 56
(8) Gonzaga67, (9) Florida State 60
(6) Xavier 65, (11) Minnesota 54
(3) Pittsburgh 89, (14) Oakland 66

(12) Cornell 78, (5) Temple 65
(4) Wisconsin 53, (13) Wofford 49
(10) Missouri 84, (7) Clemson 78
(2) West Virginia 77, (15) Morgan State 50

(1) Duke 73, (16) Arkansas-Pine Bluff 44
(8) California 77, (9) Louisville 62
(5) Texas A&M 69, 12 Utah State 53
(4) Purdue 72, (13) Siena 64

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CBS gaffe blacks out early minutes

It was 7:15 and UK tipped off, yet the Kentucky-East Tennessee State game from New Orleans was somehow missing from WLKY-32 in Louisville. Why? CBS offices in New York screwed up somehow.
In the first five minutes and 36 seconds of Kentucky's first-round game of the NCAA tournament on Thursday night, the Wildcats posted 12 points, East Tennessee State University put up 10, and a slew of fans made “quite a few” complaint calls to the Louisville CBS affiliate broadcasting the game.

That's because the beginning of the game was blacked out by the University of Northern Iowa-University of Nevada, Las Vegas game after CBS in New York City inadvertently switched the satellite channels the Louisville station received, said Glenn Haygood, president and general manager of WLKY.

CBS has the power to remotely control affiliates' coordinates, primarily for regional commercial programming, Haygood said.

He said WLKY had verified the station was tuned to the right coordinates before the game, but sometime between then and tipoff, CBS switched the coordinates, apparently inadvertently.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” Haygood said.

When the game tipped off just after 7:16 p.m., WLKY notified CBS of the problem and in about eight minutes, the coordinates were switched back while the University of Kentucky game was at a commercial break in the first time out, Haygood said.

2010 NCAA First Round: Thursday Edition

Everybody excited about March Madness... the big NCAA tournament? Here's how it works: It starts at 65, then 64, then 32, then 16. It's just like Bush's approval rating."
--David Letterman, The Late Show with David Letterman, March 14, 2006
(1) Kansas 90, (16) Lehigh 74
(9) Northern Iowa 69, (8) UNLV 66
(6) Tennessee 62, (11) San Diego State 59
(14) Ohio 97, (3) Georgetown 83

(5) Butler 77, (12) UTEP 59
(13) Murray State 66, (4) Vanderbilt 65
(7) BYU 99, (10) Florida 92 (2OT)
(2) Kansas State 82, (15) North Texas 62

(1) Kentucky 100, (16) East Tennessee State 71
No. 8 Texas vs. No. 9 Wake Forest, 9:35 PM (OT)
(11) Washington 80, (6) Marquette 78
(3) New Mexico 62, (14) Montana 57

(11) Old Dominion 51, (6) Notre Dame 50
(3) Baylor 68, (14) Sam Houston State 59
(10) Saint Mary's 80, (7) Richmond 71
(2) Villanova 73, (15) Robert Morris 70 (OT)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kentucky Basketball: The Tradition

"They had it before, they had it during you, they'll have it when you're gone."
--Al McGuire on the tradition of Kentucky basketball

John Grisham Novels Enter Digital Age

NY Times:
John Grisham, the blockbuster writer of legal thrillers and until now a holdout against e-books, is entering the digital age.

In a statement on Tuesday, Random House, the worlds largest trade publisher, said it would release 23 of Mr. Grisham’s backlist titles, starting with “A Time to Kill” and including “Ford County,” the author’s most recent book, a collection of stories, as e-books.

Mr. Grisham is one of the country’s most popular writers. According to Random House, his books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.

“This is one of our most exciting e-book initiatives to date,” Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor-in-chief of Knopf Doubleday, which releases Mr. Grisham’s books in hardcover, said in a statement, “and is certain to usher in a new generation of Grisham readers and e-book adopters.”

Arnie Duncan wants tourney ban

In other political and basketball news, Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan has some harsh words for basketball fans. Duncan wants teams with over 40% graduating in six years to be playing in the tournament. In that case, Secretary Duncan needs to speak with NBA Commissioner David Stern. In most cases, the star players play for one season and leave. In some cases, two seasons. It's very rare these days to see a ballplayer playing for four seasons.
If U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had his way, a dozen of the teams in the men's NCAA basketball tournament would not be eligible to play in it, including top-seeded Kentucky.

Duncan proposes teams with graduation rates of less than 40% be banned from postseason play.

"That's a low bar," Duncan said Tuesday. "If you can't graduate two out of five of your student-athletes, how serious are you about the academic part of your mission?"

The schools that have men's basketball teams with graduation rates of less than 40% are Arkansas-Pine Bluff (29%), Baylor (36%), California (20%), Clemson (37%), Georgia Tech (38%), Kentucky (31%), Louisville (38%), Maryland (8%), Missouri (36%), New Mexico State (36%), Tennessee (30%) and Washington (29%).

Is Kentucky's David Williams a gambling hypocrite

It appears to be the case according to Jake.
The hot rumor today is that David Williams is set to kill instant racing - despite strong Republican support - because he wants to be seen as a staunch conservative when he runs for governor.


If he’s planning a run for governor, he may not want to choke the life out of the thoroughbred industry.

He may also want to clean up his tracks that lead back to all of the out-of-state casinos he’s recently visited. Especially the ones I have visited to to conduct interviews and review security footage.
Also, from Page One, State Representative Steve Riggs is right on the money. This is no different than a wet-dry vote and most sane voters are in favor of expanded gaming in this state. It's conservative Christians that prefer to force THEIR BELIEFS on the rest of this state. Potential revenue for Kentucky is going to states like Illinois, Indiana, and soon, Ohio.
“Over the last two months I have met with House leaders and many of those we serve with to argue that voters in counties without race tracks should not be able to decide what happens in the seven counties that do have them,” said Rep. Riggs, who has a strong interest in the subject as chairman of the House Local Government Committee. “Many are agreeing with me that this is no different than a wet-dry vote concerning alcohol sales. If Jefferson County voters cannot dictate what happens in other counties, for example, why should they be able to dictate what happens in ours?”
Matt Jones at KSR slammed Daniel Mongiardo, I mean Kim Geveden.
That press release reads as if it was written by the lamest person who thinks they are cute in the state. Here is a little secret folks…I run the largest Kentucky blog on the internet and probably put more hours into following Kentucky basketball than any person that doesnt work at, or play for, the program. And you know what, I WENT TO DUKE. Why? Because it is a good school, even if it is full of the dorkiest, most annoying basketball fans in the world. And you know what else? I HATE THEIR BASKETBALL PROGRAM with a passion that isnt really matched by anything except for my dislike for Jay Leno, Skip Bayless and black olives. And you know what else? IF YOU ASKED ME TO BET FOR DUKE, I WOULD PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE. I hate them that much.

So no, Mongiardo you didnt score any political points…you looked like John Kerry shooting the geese…talking about something you dont know in a way that makes you look smug and ridiculous. I have no dog in the Senate fight and three of the four candidates (besides Paul) have been on our podcast and all seemed likeable. But folks, you are running for Senate, not for President of the UK Alumni Assocation. If going to Duke means you cant cheer for UK, then you come take Kentucky Sports Radio out of my cold, dead hands.
Take that Kim!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kentucky violates NCAA rules with basketball-playing dog

Coach John Calipari has brought shame upon Kentucky with the recent news dealing with NCAA violations regarding Fetch, the basketball playing dog.

Kentucky Violated NCAA Rules While Recruiting Basketball-Playing Dog

Basketball over politics

In Kentucky, everyone knows that you should never go public with being a Duke fan. That's Rand Paul's mistake. Trey Grayson is a Kentucku graduate.

Trey Grayson, as I reported yesterday, posted a video on his website with regards to Rand Paul and Duke.

An ESPN blogger picked up on the story.
In an ideal democracy with informed citizens and open public debate about important issues, you wouldn't think basketball allegiances would come into play. As we don't live in an ideal democracy, and as the political issue in question here happens to be the race for a U.S. Senate nomination in Kentucky, you'd have thought wrong. It is.

Current Kentucky secretary of state Trey Grayson is in a pitted fight against Rand Paul, son of iconoclastic 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul, in the U.S. Senate Republican primary in Kentucky. Seeking to pull the timeless "he's not one of us" political gambit, Grayson created a truly hilarious political ad featuring video of Paul saying the words "I'm Rand Paul, and I'm a Duke Blue Devil." Ah! Outsider! Get him away!

In the ad, which was posted on Grayson's site with the URL descriptor "beat-duke," Grayson says: "There are big differences between Rand Paul and me. But in Kentucky in March, there's one big difference." The Paul video rolls, and Grayon continues: "I'm proud to say I'm a Kentucky Wildcat. I'm Trey Grayson, and I approved this message because I will always cheer for the Big Blue." Groan.[...]

Anyway, to put it bluntly, both of these candidates are very smart men with very impressive academic résumés running for a very important position in a very important branch of the United States government. And the primary issue at hand here is Kentucky basketball. What's even sadder is that Wildcat love and Blue Devil hatred run so deep in Big Blue Nation that I wouldn't be surprised if Grayson's shallow strategy actually works. It seemed like a good idea for a reason, after all.

The only solution to this mess? Spurning both candidates and electing John Calipari to the Senate. It's the next logical step.
I think, in the end, this will help Grayson's candidacy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grayson for UK, Paul for Duke

Never forget March 28, 1992. As my dad said, if they are a Kentucky fan, they aren't all that bad.

2010 NCAA Tournament Pairings and Times

Times and commentators will be posted when I have them. All times aere eastern and televised on CBS, except for the opening round as that airs on ESPN.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Dayton (UD Arena)
Arkansas Pine Bluff vs. Winthrop, 7:30 PM

MIDWEST (St. Louis)
Oklahoma City (Ford Center)
Thursday, March 18
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Lehigh, 9:30 PM
No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa, 7:10 PM

Spokane (Spokane Memorial Arena)
Friday, March 19
No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 12 New Mexico State, 7:30 PM
No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Houston, 9:40 PM

Providence (Dunkin Donuts Center)
Thursday, March 18
No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 11 San Diego State, 9:45 PM
No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 14 Ohio, 7:25 PM

Milwaukee (Bradley Center)
Friday, March 19
No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech, 7:15 PM
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 UC-Santa Barbara, 9:35 PM

Regional Semifinals
Thursday, March 25
St. Louis (Edward Jones Dome)

Regional Championship
Saturday, March 27
Semifinal Winners

WEST (Salt Lake City)
Buffalo (HSBC Arena)
Friday, March 19
No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 16 Vermont, 9:30 PM
No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Florida State, 7:10 PM

San Jose (HP Pavilion)
Thursday, March 18
No. 5 Butler vs. No. 12 UTEP, 4:45 PM
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 13 Murray State, 2:30 PM

Milwaukee (Bradley Center)
Friday, March 19
No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 11 Minnesota, 12:25 PM
No. 3 Pittsburgh vs. No. 14 Oakland, 2:45 PM

Oklahoma City (Ford Center)
Thursday, March 18
No. 7 BYU vs. No. 10 Florida, 12:20 PM
No. 2 Kansas State vs. No. 15 North Texas, 2:40 PM

Regional Semifinals
Friday, March 26
Salt Lake City, Utah (Energy Solutions Arena)

Regional Championship
Sunday, March 28
Semifinal Winners

EAST (Syracuse)
New Orleans (New Orleans Arena)
Thursday, March 18
No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 16 East Tennessee State, 7:15 PM
No. 8 Texas vs. No. 9 Wake Forest, 9: 35 PM

Jacksonville (Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena)
Friday, March 19
No. 5 Temple vs. No. 12 Cornell, 12:30 PM
No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Wofford, 2:50 PM

San Jose (HP Pavilion)
Thursday, March 18
No. 6 Marquette vs. No. 11 Washington, 7:20 PM
No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 14 Montana, 9:40 PM

Buffalo (HSBC Arena)
Friday, March 19
No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Missouri, 2:35 PM
No. 2 West Virginia vs. No. 15 Morgan State, 12:15 PM

Regional Semifinals
Thursday, March 25
Syracuse (Carrier Dome)

Regional Championship
Saturday, March 27
Semifinal Winners

SOUTH (Houston)
Jacksonville (Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena)
Friday, March 19
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Arkansas Pine Bluff-Winthrop winner, 7:25 PM
No. 8 California vs. No. 9 Louisville, 9:45 PM

Spokane (Spokane Memorial Arena)
Friday, March 19
No. 5 Texas A&M vs. No. 12 Utah State, 4:45 PM
No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Siena, 2:30 PM

New Orleans (New Orleans Arena)
Thursday, March 18
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 11 Old Dominion, 12:25 PM
No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 Sam Houston State, 2:45 PM

Providence (Dunkin Donuts Center)
Thursday, March 18
No. 7 Richmond vs. No. 10 Saint Mary's, 2:50 PM
No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 Robert Morris, 12:30 PM

Regional Semifinals
Friday, March 26
Houston (Reliant Stadium)

Regional Championship
Sunday, March 28
Semifinal Winners

Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
National Semifinals
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Midwest champion vs. West champion
East champion vs. South champion

National Championship
Monday April 5, 2010
Semifinal Winners

Commentators are as follows:
Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg: Jacksonville
Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas: New Orleans
Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery: Providence
Gus Johnson/Len Elmore: Buffalo
Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner: Oklahoma City
Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel: Milwaukee
Tim Brando/Mike Gminski: Spokane
Spero Dedes/Bob Wenzel: San Jose

Note that CBS lead crew is in Jacksonville, where Duke is playing.

Texas Conservatives mess with Texas academics

Hey, Texas, listen up. You have a problem. You let your own conservatives in the state mess with you. Not just you, but the future of your state. You are trying to revise history. Guess what? It doesn't work.

The New York Times has an article up, which I suggest you read.
After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.

The vote was 10 to 5 along party lines, with all the Republicans on the board voting for it.

The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks. In the digital age, however, that influence has diminished as technological advances have made it possible for publishers to tailor books to individual states.

In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state.

Since January, Republicans on the board have passed more than 100 amendments to the 120-page curriculum standards affecting history, sociology and economics courses from elementary to high school. The standards were proposed by a panel of teachers.

“We are adding balance,” said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction on the board, after the vote. “History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left.”


Community star Donald Glover was profiled in the New York Times. At one point, Glover's name had come up as auditioning to play Barack Obama on SNL. The former 30 Rock writer has gone on to new success in front of the camera.
“When I get stopped on the street, I have to listen to know how the person knows me,” Mr. Glover said over arepas at an East Village restaurant. “If it’s an older woman, it’s ‘Community.’ If it’s a New Yorker, it’s ‘30 Rock,’ ” for which he was a writer. He added, “If it’s a dude who has on an A.S.U. hat backwards, it’s probably ‘Bro Rape.’ And the last thing you want to hear when you’re walking down the street with your mom is ‘Yo, Bro Rape!’ ”

The last credit refers to a video he produced with his sketch group, Derrick Comedy, when he was a student at New York University. It skewered frat-boy types and became the sort of Internet phenomenon comedians hope will propel them into careers so huge that they stop having time for the Internet. But even after being welcomed by traditional television —“30 Rock,” “Community” and his first Comedy Central special, which has its debut Friday — Mr. Glover said he has no intention of leaving the Web and other grass-roots outlets behind.

“In Hollywood people are risking a lot of money on your weird ideas,” Mr. Glover said. “They’re trying to make money, and so they should. It’s an expensive business. The vision will always be a bit corrupted, and I’m really fine with that. But online, hopefully, will always be like the Wild West, where anything goes.”[...]

After two seasons, which included numerous late-night sessions with the writing staff on Ms. Fey’s living room floor, Mr. Glover left “30 Rock” — and not because he had another network offer. “People think I left to do ‘Community,’ ” he said. “I left because ‘30 Rock’ is a full-time job, and I was doing so much other stuff.”

The other stuff included breaking into stand-up. “It helps me work out stuff I didn’t know was inside of me, like being the only black kid in my school, or the foster kids we had in my family,” Mr. Glover said. (Over the course of his childhood Mr. Glover’s parents hosted about 100 foster children in their Atlanta home.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

2010 SEC Tournament Results

March 11-14
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN

March 11 (Thursday)
Game 1: [W4] Alabama 68, [E5] South Carolina 63
Game 2: [E3] Tennessee 59, [W6] LSU 49
Game 3: [E4] Florida 78, [W5] Auburn 69
Game 4: [E6] Georgia 77, [W3] Arkansas 64

March 12 (Friday)
Game 5: [E1] Kentucky 73, [W4] Alabama 67
Game 6: [E3] Tennessee 76, [W2] Ole Miss 65
Game 7: [W1] Mississippi State 75, [E4] Florida 69
Game 8: [E2] Vanderbilt 78, [E6] Georgia 66

March 13 (Saturday)
Game 9: [E1] Kentucky 74, [E3] Tennessee 45
Game 10: [W1] Mississippi State 62, [E2] Vanderbilt 52

March 14 (Sunday)
Game 11: [E1] Kentucky 75, [W1] Mississippi State 74 (OT)

Thursday-Friday matchups are being aired on the SEC Network while the Saturday-Sunday matchups can be found on ABC, except in the certain markets in North Carolina and South Carolina as WOLO and WLOS have agreements to air the ACC tournament.

Commentators for the the weekend matchups are Brad Nessler, analyst Jimmy Dykes and reporter Jeannine Edwards. Nessler and Dykes worked the daytime matchups on Thursday and I would assume the same for Friday's games. Eric Collins and analyst Mark Gottfried worked the evening matchups last night and I would assume the same thing for tonight.

Whit Watson, Barry Booker, and Joe Dean, Jr. take care of the pregame duties.

Sunday's championship game returns to ABC for the first time since 1991 when Brent Musburger and Joe Valvano did the game.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Coming Soon: The Change-Up

This is a movie that I am definitely going to see.
Universal Pictures has set Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman to star in The Change-Up, the David Dobkin-directed body-switching comedy. Reynolds was also being courted for Universal's supernatural comedy RIPD, but chose a comedy that has a priority for the studio since it bought the spec by The Hangover writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.

Bateman is a family man who accidentally swaps bodies with his best friend, a single slacker actor played by Reynolds. Each gets a glimpse at what he missed, and an appreciation of what he had. It's like Freaky Friday, except here, the married guy knows his pal is sleeping with his wife. Reynolds and Bateman each recently moved to CAA. Neal Moritz and Dobkin are producing

Jay Baruchel talks to the AV Club

Jay Baruchel, star of She's Out of My League, spoke with The Onion's A.V. Club.Here's a snippet of it.
The A.V. Club: The filmmakers involved in She’s Out Of My League talked about casting actors with experience in stand-up and improv. How did that figure into the final product?

Jay Baruchel: I’m a chronic ad-libber. So whoever hires me, often to their chagrin, should know that I will be talking a bunch of smack. My introduction to acting in the States was on a show called Undeclared, so I was Apatow-ized from the beginning. I started acting when I was 12 back home in Montreal, and in kid acting, there’s no ad-libbing. So it spoiled me. They don’t always want you to ad-lib. But on a movie like this, I think just granted the fact that T.J. Miller and Nate Torrence and I are in the same room together, we’ll all be ad-libbing. It’s never that we needed to, because the script was strong. Everything was there. But it’s almost like the script is a coloring book, and the improv is the shading. It’s like adding little flourishes in moments here and there. It was so nice, because we all find each other very, very funny, so we were always trying to make each other laugh. We also all really like each other and get along together, so in those moments, it’s real, pure friendship. It makes it real. I think it translates to fun stuff in the movie.[...]

AVC: You once compared Judd Apatow’s moviemaking process to Wong Kar-wai in terms of how he goes about influencing and shaping a movie as it goes along. How was this similar and how was it different?

JB: The thing is, I guess, that Judd’s put his time in, and he’s been slogging it out for a while. He’s earned the ability, I think, to effectively have a blueprint for a script and then just let us play and do almost like a choose-your-own-adventure story, shoot so many different versions of different scenes. In this one, it was amazing, because Jim Field Smith, this was his first at-bat as a feature director, but he was coming from the world of sketch performance in England. He came from comedy troupes. So he always knew that often the best stuff is in those moments. With this one, we had lines. It was far more developed than just a blueprint, but still, he always was cool enough to allow us to try to find our own version of things and our own voice in things. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, because a lot of the random stuff we said on set ended up in the movie.

AVC: When you’re in a situation where it’s a blueprint, where it’s an Apatow-type thing—

JB: Or Ben Stiller. He’s the same way as well.

AVC: They’re relying so much on you to come up with things. Are you coming to set with ideas in mind of what you’re going to try to do?

JB: A little bit, but I think that can screw you over. Rigidity is the enemy of acting. And I think that people who stay up all night focusing on every beat they’re going to do the next day always end up getting screwed. I’d say that the No. 1 attribute you need as an actor is to be malleable. You need to be able to change and tailor what you’re doing to what the situation dictates. So I guess I always have sort of general ideas, but the best stuff would be the stuff that came to us in the moment, always. Always, always, always. The funniest moments in Undeclared, the funniest moments in Knocked Up, the funniest moments in this movie, I think were a bit more spontaneous and figured out in the moment. I’d look over the script, and I’d try to find jokes maybe where there weren’t any, in certain moments, but for the most part, I just kind of like doing it as I’m going.

Brat Pack revisited

Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times wonders if Ed Helms is the new Steve Carell. It's an interesting question. Helms was one of the main stars of last year's blockbuster comedy, The Hangover.
Helms' career is looking a lot like Steve Carell's these days. It's not just that each got their break on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," evince a geeky likability, practice a similar brand of deadpan humor and currently star on the same hit television show "The Office (though that's part of it).

It's that both are seeing their dance cards fill up remarkably quickly -- and with not dissimilar projects.

Helms will anchor his first major feature when he shoots "Central Intelligence," a Walter Mitty comedy about an accountant (Helms) who inadvertently gets involved in an espionage plot. Sources now say the movie is to shoot this summer, with Universal, which is making the movie, currently looking for a director.

("Central Intelligence," incidentally, bears a similar premise to Carell's "Get Smart:" Dorky guy bumbles his way through unlikely high-stakes world, though Helms' trademark persona is dorkier, while Carell's is more deluded. And there's another Helms-Carell connection: the man who made Michael Scott famous is producing the untitled Civil War project in which several re-enactors get transported back to the land of Ulysses S. Grant; Helms plays one of the re-enactors and also helped write the script. That one, at least, is just in development, as is another project, the bromantic makeover movie "A Whole New Hugh" from the Judd Apatow incubator. So Helms will at least have time to breathe before he gets mixed up in those.)

There is, however, "The Hangover 2," which will shoot next fall during another "Office" hiatus, and in which Helms reprises his uptight, henpecked Stu Price character. All this comes after Helms finished shooting the Alexander Payne traveling-salesman dramedy "Cedar Rapids" last fall. And there's another, smallish movie on the way. That's a pretty hectic work pace for a guy with a network show.

Indeed, it's scheduling that's the big bugaboo for Helms, since, like Carell, the actor can only shoot during his hiatuses from "The Office." The schedule for the NBC hit was reportedly juggled so Carell could shoot "Dinner for Schmucks" at the end of 2009, which also enabled Helms to shoot "Cedar Rapids." But there's only so much juggling one can do without joining the circus.
In other news, USA Today revisited John Hughes and the Brat Pack. Susannah Gora wrote the recently published book, You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation, on the stars of the 1980 movies.
It wasn't to last. Many, including Gora, say a 1985 cover story in New York magazine dubbing them "The Brat Pack" was the beginning of the end.

"Many believe they could have gone on to more serious roles if not for that article," Gora says. "They were talented. But they had professional difficulties, personal difficulties after that."

It also didn't help that the Brat Pack was aging, unable to convincingly play teenagers anymore. "In the '80s, ensemble acting was big, too," Gora says. "And that died in the grungy '90s."

But kids still watch these movies today. "The themes that these films explore — longing, belonging, the adolescent struggle for self-discovery — are all timeless elements of the teen experience," Gora says.

Hughes influenced more than kids — he influenced other filmmakers. Judd Apatow (Superbad) has called Hughes' film characters "big inspirations."

"Although Apatow is the most high-profile example, it can probably be said every filmmaker making young adult films since the mid-eighties has been influenced Hughes," Gora writes.

Her favorite Brat Pack movie? The Breakfast Club, in which five students reveal their true selves during a day of detention together.

"Here was a movie that was all about issues I was concerned with at the time in my life," says Gora, who first saw the movie when she was 12 or 13. "Someone had actually taken the time to make a movie about things important to me."

Another bonus: the happy endings in Hughes' films.

"At the end they often found love, long-lasting friendships," Gora says. "These movies left you feeling good about yourself, your future. Not easy for a teenager."
James Franco talks about a possible sequel to Pineapple Express.

Read on

In political news Congressman Eliot Engel is unhappy with President Obama reappointing Robert Ford as ambassador to Syria.
New York Rep. Eliot Engel called Obama's appointment last week of Robert Ford a "mistake."

"Unless Syria has agreed to something I am not privy to behind the scenes -- making themselves helpful, ready to take some steps away from Iran, ready to cooperate in the region for peace and stability -- then there is some rationale for the move," Engel told The Jerusalem Post this week. "But short of that, I don’t see any rationale in it at this time."

Engel, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was one of the first Democratic congressmen to break with Obama's Middle East policies dealing with Israel and Iran, though he has said he is heartened by new policies geared to isolate Iran and shore up Israel's military capabilities.

Engel was a lead sponsor of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, signed into law by former President George W. Bush in December 2003. The act gave the president tools to form sanctions against Syria.
Why is there no Jewish-themed version of Narnia, or other fantasy adventures in the literature world. Good question. Michael Weingrad has the answer.
Needless to say, C. S. Lewis wasn’t Jewish either, though he did marry a Jewish convert to Anglican Christianity (played by Deborah Winger in the film Shadowlands). In fact, when one of her two sons from a previous marriage became increasingly observant, Lewis turned to the great Jewish historian Cecil Roth for advice on finding kosher food and shabbat hospitality for his stepson. But of course no one would suppose the author of Mere Christianity and the Chronicles of Narnia to have been Jewish himself. Tolkien had famously converted his friend and fellow Oxford don from skepticism to Christianity through a series of conversations that led Lewis to the realization that “the story of Christ is simply a true myth.”

Tolkien and Lewis’s gentility would hardly bear comment were it not for the fact that they are not isolated examples in this regard, but only the most well-known figures within an entire literary genre—perhaps the only such genre—in which Jewish practitioners are strikingly rare. I cannot think of a single major fantasy writer who is Jewish, and there are only a handful of minor ones of any note. To no other field of modern literature have Jews contributed so little.

So why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature? And a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian? Why no Jewish Lewises, and why no Jewish Narnias?[...]

To answer the question of why Jews do not write fantasy, we should begin by acknowledging that the conventional trappings of fantasy, with their feudal atmosphere and rootedness in rural Europe, are not especially welcoming to Jews, who were too often at the wrong end of the medieval sword. Ever since the Crusades, Jews have had good reasons to cast doubt upon the romance of knighthood, and this is an obstacle in a genre that takes medieval chivalry as its imaginative ideal.[...]
The article is really lengthy.

It turns out that Crazy Red Head Lady from the Oscars is actually wrote a biography of Golda Meir.

May Arnold Forster rest in peace.
Arnold Forster, an attorney who had a nearly 60-year career at the Anti-Defamation League, has died.

Forster fought against anti-Semitism and extremism, and advocated for civil rights and the State of Israel. He was 97 when he died Sunday night.

In 1938 he organized a team of lawyers to serve as the volunteer legal arm of the Anti-Defamation League. He joined the staff of ADL in 1940, and as associate national director was primarily responsible for building ADL’s law department and civil rights program. In January 1946 he was appointed general counsel, a position he held until 2003, though he retired from the ADL in 1979.
Vice President Joe Biden's speech in Israel is broken down. Of course, there are the reactions.

Some classics should never be remade

I'm sorry, Hollywood, but this time, you have gone too far. If you don't have ORIGINAL material or SEQUELS to be made, please do not tempt fate and mess with classic movies. Adapt books or video games all that you would like for the big screen. Convert board games for the big screen. But leave classics such as The Wizard of Oz alone. Unless the project is done with perfect justice, it should not be attempted.
Fresh off Disney's massive success with Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland," Warner Bros. wants to remake another childhood classic. Like, really classic.

The studio is examining two existing "Wizard of Oz" projects, with an eye toward giving one of them a modern gloss and moving it toward the screen.

One project, called "Oz," currently lives at Warner's New Line label. It's being produced by Temple Hill, which is behind a little franchise called "Twilight," and has a script written by Darren Lemke, a writer on the upcoming "Shrek Forever After."

A second "Wizard of Oz" project, set up at Warners proper, skews a little darker -- it's written by "A History of Violence" screenwriter Josh Olson and focuses on a granddaughter of Dorothy who returns to Oz to fight evil. "Clash of the Titans" producer Basil Iwanyk and his Thunder Road Pictures are behind that one. ("Spawn" creator Todd MacFarlane is potentially involved in a producerial capacity, to give you some idea of the tone.)

While the idea of a new "Wizard of Oz" movie is said to be in the development, let's-bat-this-around stage, it's been advanced seriously enough on the lot that representatives for some of the top directors around Hollywood have been briefed.

The Judy Garland-starring "The Wizard of Oz" from 1939 -- we could give you the refresher on witches, tin men, Dorothy and everyone else, but really, do we need to? -- has been given alternative treatments before. There was the 1978 black-themed film adaptation of the stage play "The Wiz." And of course about six years ago came the Broadway adaptation of Gregory Maguire's "Wicked," an alternative story of girls, witches and Emerald City politics. The property proved a huge stage hit, prompting a film version that's in development at Universal and "Wanted" producer Marc Platt.

Audiences are likely to respond to the idea of a new silver screen "Wizard of Oz" with gusto ("at least the first one was good," said one colleague we told) or with horror, precisely because the original is such a classic.
Leave the classic movies alone.

What's next, remaking Citizen Kane?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is John Krasinski the next Captain America

It's very likely that John Krasinski, best known as Jim Halpert on NBC's The Office, could very well be the next person to play Steve Rogers aka Captain America.
Insiders at the Marvel compound tell Fox 411 that he is close to landing the superhero gig of his life. John, who plays Jim on "The Office," has appeared in front of producers repeatedly since the start of the new year and since rumors began in February.

"John has read 4 times and is doing screen tests," our source tells us. "He has screen tested 2 times so far. It's very likely that he will be the new Captain America. He is a favorite among the key decision makers and has been asked to come back for more this week."

At this point, Krasinski is the main focus at Marvel.

"The big bosses are having him read with multiple actresses up for the female leads. They want to lock down the role and then they will narrow down everyone else."

Unfortunately, "The Office" star is not the chosen one for many comic fans who work for Marvel.

"It's a surprise and we are bracing ourselves for 'that guy from 'The Office'' to land Captain America. They are not really looking at the other guys, so it's time to get ready to work with him."

"If John gets offered the role, the pay will not be outrageous but it would be a multi-film deal. Marvel has big plans to tie the movies together and John would have parts in all of them since the first Captain America will be an origin story. The movie will break down how Steve Rogers becomes Captain America."

Monday, March 08, 2010

Jimmy Kimmel's Handsome Men's Club

This segment was featured last night during the post-Oscar edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live:

Avatar shut out....

Avatar, for the most part, was shut out at last night's Oscar ceremony. It didn't surprise me. Look at the story and all those viral videos with either Fern Gully or Pocahontas footage being dubbed with dialogue from Avatar.

It may have gotten financial success but it just wasn't a hit with the critics that viewers might think. Here's one Yahoo article about last night from Mike Ryan.
"Avatar" is still raking in the profits, but failed to produce the critical success that Cameron's previous film, "Titanic," generated 12 years ago. In fact, "Avatar" -- the most financially successful film of all time -- was easily the most mocked film of the evening.

Sure, it was an easy target. No other nominated film featured blue aliens. Oscar co-host Steve Martin participated in a bit where he used bug spray to defend himself against "Avatar's" jellyfish-like creatures. Ben Stiller attempted his best Na'vi impression as a presenter -- oh, that could have been much, much worse.

However much audiences may enjoy the visually stunning imagery in "Avatar," it seems, when it comes to the Oscars, nothing beats real, live human beings.[...]

"Avatar" had the unfortunate luck -- if you can call a movie that's made over $2.5 billion worldwide "unfortunate" -- of being right smack in the middle of the science fiction genre. A genre that, historically, doesn't win Oscar gold no matter how successful financially. In 1977, "Star Wars" became the most financially successful film of all time but lost the Best Picture Oscar to "Annie Hall." Similarly, in 1982 "E.T." set box-office records but lost the Academy Award to "Ghandi." The closet thing to science fiction to ever win Best Picture would be 2003's "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" -- and even that film series needed three attempts before it finally won.

This year, Cameron was frustrated that his film wasn't taken seriously as an "actor's film." He worked hard in his Oscar campaign to spread the notion that actors acting in front of green screens and using computer generated technology are just as worthy as actors not engulfed by special effects. (Actors make up the largest segment of the voting Academy.) Clearly, the campaign did not go over so well at the Oscars. However unfair it may be, it seems no one likes the idea of being replaced by a machine.
I think Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times sums it up nicely in one sentence:
My suspicion is that academy members still find it difficult to believe that films largely created and sculpted in the computer--whether it's "Avatar" or the long string of brilliant Pixar films -- can be just as worthy and artistic as the old-fashioned live-action ones.
But read his entire article as it is very good.

New John Hughes movie?

It appears that after quitting Hollywood in 1994 that John Hughes never stopped writing. The last movie based on something he wrote was the Owen Wilson vehicle, Drillbit Taylor. Paramount appears to be getting back in the Hughes game.
John Hughes' film career may not yet be over despite his sudden death in August.

The writer-director -- who was given an Oscar tribute Sunday -- has an unproduced screenplay, "Grisbys Go Broke," floating around the industry ether. Word crept out Friday that Paramount, which has a long history with Hughes, was picking up the script with hopes of turning it into a family comedy.

But the studio told The Hollywood Reporter that it was not negotiating to purchase the screenplay, which follows a wealthy Chicago family that loses everything and is forced to move to the sticks.

But Paramount certainly has no problem with digging back into Hughes material. Hughes' last feature was Paramount's 2008 Owen Wilson comedy "Drillbit Taylor," which began as a Hughes original but was rewritten by Seth Rogen and Kristofor Brown (Hughes' story credit appeared under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes).

The writer-director may have walked away from Hollywood in 1994, but he never lost his desire to write. After his death from a heart attack, family members found reams of unpublished and unproduced material.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

82nd Annual Academy Award (Oscar) Winners

Performance by an actor in a supporting role: Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company)
Best animated feature film of the year: "Up" (Walt Disney) Pete Docter
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song): "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Original screenplay: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Written by Mark Boal
Best animated short film: "Logorama" (Autour de Minuit); An Autour de Minuit Production Nicolas Schmerkin
Best documentary short subject: "Music by Prudence" An iThemba Production Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
Best live action short film: "The New Tenants;" A Park Pictures and M & M Production Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson
Achievement in makeup: "Star Trek" (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment) Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
Adapted screenplay: "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate) Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
Performance by an actress in a supporting role: Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)
Achievement in art direction: "Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
Achievement in costume design: "The Young Victoria" (Apparition) Sandy Powell
Achievement in sound editing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Paul N.J. Ottosson
Achievement in sound mixing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
Achievement in cinematography: "Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Mauro Fiore
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score): "Up" (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
Achievement in visual effects: "Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
Best documentary feature: "The Cove" (Roadside Attractions) An Oceanic Preservation Society Production; Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens
Achievement in film editing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
Best foreign language film of the year: "El Secreto de Sus Ojos" (Sony Pictures Classics) A Haddock Films Production; Argentina
Performance by an actor in a leading role: Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight)Performance by an actress in a leading role: Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros.)Achievement in directing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Kathryn Bigelow
Best motion picture of the year: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) A Voltage Pictures Production; Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers

Predictions for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards (Oscars)

Performance by an actor in a leading role: Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role: Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a leading role: Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role: Mo'Nique in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (Lionsgate)

Best animated feature film of the year: "Up" (Walt Disney) Pete Docter

Achievement in art direction: "Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair

Achievement in cinematography: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Barry Ackroyd

Achievement in costume design: "The Young Victoria" (Apparition) Sandy Powell

Achievement in directing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Kathryn Bigelow

Best documentary feature: "The Cove" (Roadside Attractions) An Oceanic Preservation Society Production Nominees to be determined

Best documentary short subject: "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant" A Community Media Production Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

Achievement in film editing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

Best foreign language film of the year: "The White Ribbon" (Sony Pictures Classics) An X Filme Creative Pool/Wega Film/Les Films du Losange/Lucky Red Production Germany

Achievement in makeup: "Star Trek" (Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment) Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score): "Up" (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song): "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best motion picture of the year: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment); A Voltage Pictures Production Nominees to be determined

Best animated short film: "A Matter of Loaf and Death" (Aardman Animations); An Aardman Animations Production Nick Park

Best live action short film: "The Door" (Network Ireland Television); An Octagon Films Production Juanita Wilson and James Flynn

Achievement in sound editing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Paul N.J. Ottosson

Achievement in sound mixing: "The Hurt Locker" (Summit Entertainment) Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

Achievement in visual effects: "Avatar" (20th Century Fox) Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

Adapted screenplay: "Up in the Air" (Paramount in association with Cold Spring Pictures and DW Studios) Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Original screenplay: "Inglourious Basterds" (The Weinstein Company) Written by Quentin Tarantino

30th Annual Razzie Winners

Worst Picture of 2009: Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (Aka Trannies, Too)

Worst Actress of 2009: Sandra Bullock, All About Steve

Worst Actor(s) of 2009: All Three Jonas Brothers, Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience

Worst Screen Couple: Sandra Bullock & Bradley Cooper, All About Steve

Worst Supporting Actress: Sienna Miller, G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA

Worst Supporting Actor: Billy Ray Cyrus, HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel (Combined Category for 2009): Land of The Lost


Worst Screenplay: Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (Written by Ehren Kruger & Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Based on Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures)

Monday, March 01, 2010

USA-Canada Gold Medal Ice Hockey game highest since 1980

Sunday afternoon's Gold Medal game between Team USA and Team Canada in the men's hockey tournament of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, was the highest watched hockey game since Team USA knocked off Finland in the 1980 Gold Medal game!
Canada's victory against Team USA in the Olympic gold-medal game Sunday night was the most-watched hockey game in the United States in 30 years.

The game drew an average viewership of 27.6 million, making it the most-watched hockey broadcast since the U.S. team beat Finland to win gold at 1980 Olympics. That game drew 32.8 million fans and came on the heels of the historic U.S. win against the U.S.S.R. in the "Miracle on Ice" game.

It was also the most-watched television broadcast ever in Canadian history, with an average audience of 16.6 million viewers. Nearly half of the Canadian population watched the entire game on average, while 80 percent of Canadians watched some part of the game (26.5 million). The game aired live on nine television networks in eight languages via Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium.

"That's one of the greatest sports events I have ever seen," NBC Olympic host Bob Costas said of USA-Canada on Sunday. "A script so classic that if it were a movie, they would send it back because it was unrealistic."

The game had a 15.2 rating with a 30 share, putting it far above the ratings for the 2002 gold-medal game, when Canada beat Team USA. in Salt Lake City. The game also was the highest-rated hockey game since the U.S.-Finland 1980 match (23.2/61) The "Miracle on Ice" game had a rating of 23.9/37.

The audience for Sunday's game peaked at 34.8 million viewers from 5:30-6 p.m. ET, when Team USA's Zach Parise sent the game to overtime with the tying goal with just 24.4 seconds left in regulation. Canada's Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal for Canada at 7:40 of overtime.

The number of fans watching the gold-medal game eclipsed a number of other major sports events this season, including the 2010 Rose Bowl (24.0 million), the 2009 World Series (22.8 million for Game 4, the most-watched game), the 2009 NCAA men's basketball championship game (17.6 million), the 2009 NBA Finals (16.0 million for Game 4, the most-watched game) and the 2010 Daytona 500 (16.0 million.[...]

"We've been fortunate to have a front-row seat to observe a nation of fans that appreciates winter sports, is proud of their winter sport heritage and celebrates success -- no matter which country wins -- so it was only fitting yesterday when Sidney Crosby scored the goal to give Canadians the gold that meant so much to this country," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics. "'O Canada' will never be the same."

NBC's Universal Sports will replay the gold-medal game Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The question now is: do these ratings continue over to the rest of the NHL season. I don't claim to be an NHL fan and it has nothing to do with the sport. I used to own the Anaheim Ducks when Disney owned the team following the success of The Mighty Ducks movies. That said, every four years during the Winter Olympics, I do watch Team USA play in as many games as I can.

Jack Conway releases new video on Jim Bunning

Here's the latest video from the Jack Conway for Senate campaign in Kentucky:

Jack Conway responds to Jim Bunning's filibuster

Jack Conway released this press statement following Senator Jim Bunning's attempt to filibuster the expansion of unemployment benefits.
"Jim Bunning's filibuster of an urgent extension of unemployment and health care benefits is preposterous and it isn't fair to the people of Kentucky and the nation. Without this extension, these critical benefits that help Kentucky workers and families will expire on Sunday.

"During one of the worst economic crises in generations, as people continue to lose their jobs left and right, Jim Bunning is taking this opportunity to engage in grandstanding and political posturing, despite being asked to stop even by his Republican colleagues.

"It's outrageous, and we have to stop it. Over 200,000 Kentuckians are out of work. Over one million people nationwide stand to lose unemployment and health benefits if we don't tell Jim Bunning that we won't stand for it anymore.

"This is a symptom of the Washington gridlock that is standing in the way of solutions that can help the citizens of Kentucky. We need to tell Jim Bunning that politics don't come first - the people of Kentucky do. Kentucky needs a fresh voice in Washington - a voice that puts the needs of workers and families first. If elected, I will be that voice."
Sign this petition please.