Monday, November 9, 2009

Is Former Baseball Great Sammy Sosa Bleaching His Skin?

Anybody who was hanging at the Latin Grammy Awards over the weekend may have been surprised to see former baseball great Sammy Sosa. Not because he's an athlete at a music awards show, but because his skin tone seemed a bit lighter than what many folks remember. In photos from the night, Sosa seems to have brightened quite a bit from the last time we saw him. Is he bleaching his skin or is he suffering from vitiligo, a disorder that causes depigmentation of the skin? According to former Chicago Cubs employee and Sosa friend, Rebecca Polihronis, neither is the case. Polihronis told the Chicago Tribune:

He's not trying to be Michael Jackson. He is going through a rejuvenation process for his skin. Women have it all of the time. He was surprised he came out looking so white. I thought it was a body double. Part of (the photo appearance) is just the lighting. He is in the middle of doing a cleansing process to his skin. The picture is deceiving. He said, "If you saw me in person, you would be surprised. When you see me in person, it is not going to seem like the picture." People who saw him in person did not react the same way. He can't believe it is such a big deal.

The skin rejuvenation process is supposed to help make someone look younger, remove wrinkles and blemishes. That still doesn't explain Sosa's green eyes in the picture (he was born with brown eyes) and his now straightened hair. Is Sosa, who is Dominican, ashamed of his appearance? It wouldn't be a surprise since there are many Caribbean Latinos who are ashamed of their blackness. In the last U.S. census, almost 80 percent of Puerto Rico's 4 million residents checked off "white" as their race. It's not uncommon to find dark-skinned Latinos with the "white is right" mentality.

This could be the case with Sosa. Journalist Raquel Cepeda ran into the slugger a year ago at a film festival in the Dominican Republic and noticed the difference in his appearance.

"When he sauntered into the lobby of the venue in Santo Domingo, I almost caught a whiplash when I caught sight of him," Cepeda wrote on her blog, "There was something different about him. Sure, all people evolve as their circumstances change, but this was different. Sosa was a little lighter than when I saw him last. Maybe he was sick, I thought. He was wearing what looked like an ill-fitting zoot suit, and his hair was conked-permed straight. I swear he was wearing light contacts."

This was a year ago. Could this be the new, permanent Sammy Sosa that we're seeing?

"He has always been concerned with the way he looks," Polihronis said. "Probably just bad timing going to an awards show. He was doing a dermatological skin process after years and years [of playing baseball] in the sun. It did come out looking weird [in the picture'."

Prosecution in Closing Arguments Says Gotti Ran Massive Cocaine Trafficking Operation

It’s now down the final lap: closing arguments in racketeering trial of John Gotti Jr. Prosecutors hope they can nail it this time after seeing the last three trials end in a mistrial.

On Monday, during closing arugments, the prosecution told a federal jury in New York that Gotti built and “ran a massive cocaine trafficking operation”, according to the New York Daily News.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Trezevant told jurors Gotti did “whatever was necessary” to run the drug operation, the Daily News reported. The defense was scheduled to deliver its closing in the afternoon.

To read more click here.

FBI’s Shawn Henry Talks About Prospects of Cyber Jihad Attacks

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Orlando shooting: accused was 'mentally ill'

A man accused of shooting six people, killing one, at a Florida company where he used to work had become severely mentally ill as he watched his life crumbling away, according to his lawyer.

Jason Rodriguez, who allegedly opened fire randomly in an office building in Orlando on Friday, "is a compilation of the front page of the entire year - unemployment, foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce - all of the stresses", said Bob Wesley, a public defender. "He has been declining in mental health."

Mr Rodriguez, 40, allegedly went on a shooting spree at the offices of Reynolds, Smith & Hills, an engineering company which had sacked him in 2007 for what it said was substandard work.

He has been charged with murdering Otis Beckford, who was next to the company's reception desk when he walked into the offices.

According to prosecution papers, Mr Rodriguez later told the police: "I'm just going through a tough time right now, I'm sorry." Prosecutors said that when asked by a reporter to explain what he did, he replied: "They know why I did it; they left me to rot."

Now unemployed, Mr Rodriguez could not pay the child support he owed for his eight-year-old son and he had nearly $90,000 (£54,000) in unpaid bills.

His former mother-in-law, America Holloway, said he was a schizophrenic who, when not taking his medication, was paranoid and angry, blaming others for all of his problems and convinced everyone disliked him.

Miss Holloway believed Mr Rodriguez's decline had spiralled because he had been unable to afford treatment.

According to his arrest affidavit, he believed the engineering company was blocking his application for benefits.

He had been an engineer with the company but his most recent job had been working in a fast-food restaurant.

"Nobody intentionally goes from solving complex mechanical problems to trying to solve what type of condiments to put on a sandwich," said Mr Wesley. He said his client's situation appeared to be a "classic stress overload".

U.S. Waiting for Race Relations to Improve Under Obama

Hope for long-term improvement still abounds

PRINCETON, NJ -- A year out from the 2008 presidential election, the high hopes Americans had for race relations right after Barack Obama's victory at the polls have yet to be fully realized. Currently, 41% of Americans believe race relations have gotten better since Obama's win; another 35% think they have not changed, while 22% say they have gotten worse. Last November, 70% thought race relations would improve as a result of the landmark outcome.

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China to give Africa $10 billion dollars in loans

Wen Jiabao also pledged to cancel debts of 31 African countries

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Sunday pledged to give Africa 10 billion dollars in loans, brushing off criticism of "neo-colonialism" as China boosts its presence on the continent.

"We will help Africa build up its financing capabilities ... We will provide 10 billion US dollars for Africa in concessional loans," Wen told a Forum on China-Africa Cooperation which opened in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.

His pledge was included among measures he said would be taken over the next three years, including cancelling debts of African countries to increase his country's role in the continent.

The Asian giant pledged five billion dollars in assistance over three years at the last Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit, held in Beijing in 2006, and has signed agreements to relieve or cancel the debt of 31 African nations.

It will also provide a one-billion-dollar loan for "for small and medium-sized businesses," Wen said.

"China is ready to deepen practical cooperation in Africa," he said, adding that Beijing was prepared to take on a role in "the settlement of issues of peace and security."

China will also remove tariffs on 95 percent of products "from the least-developed African states that have diplomatic relations with China," he said.

Wen also said China would help build 100 solar power and bio-gas plants and increase infrastructure and agriculture projects.

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Racial disparity: All active ethics probes focus on black lawmakers

The House ethics committee is currently investigating seven African-American lawmakers -- more than 15 percent of the total in the House -- and privately, some black members are outraged.

The House ethics committee is currently investigating seven African-American lawmakers — more than 15 percent of the total in the House. And an eighth black member, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), would be under investigation if the Justice Department hadn’t asked the committee to stand down.

Not a single white lawmaker is currently the subject of a full-scale ethics committee probe.

The ethics committee declined to respond to questions about the racial disparity, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are wary of talking about it on the record. But privately, some black members are outraged — and see in the numbers a worrisome trend in the actions of ethics watchdogs on and off Capitol Hill.

“Is there concern whether someone is trying to set up [Congressional Black Caucus] members? Yeah, there is,” a black House Democrat said. “It looks as if there is somebody out there who understands what the rules [are] and sends names to the ethics committee with the goal of going after the [CBC].”

African-American politicians have long complained that they’re treated unfairly when ethical issues arise. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are still fuming over Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to oust then-Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) from the House Ways and Means Committee in 2006, and some have argued that race plays a role in the ongoing efforts to remove Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) from his chairmanship of that committee.

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The Film 'Precious' Makes $1.8 Million Opening Weekend

"Precious," the hardcore drama about incest, sexual abuse, literacy, the welfare system and survival in urban America did huge business at the box office it's opening weekend--it's was in limited release. The film, an adaptation of The New York Times Best Seller "Push" by Sapphire, opened in 18 theaters and earned $1.8 million (or $100,000.00 per screen, more than 10 times the average for a new film).

The movie was directed by Lee Daniels ("Monster's Ball" and "Shadow Boxer") and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry is already getting Oscar buzz. This type of box office engagement will only help boast the profile of this independent film with the Academy. Daniel's "Monster Ball" garnered Halle Berry her Oscar for Best Actress in 2002. "Precious" stars Mo'Nique, Gaby Sidibe and Mariah Carey are receiving Oscar buzz for their breakthrough performances. The movie also features strong appearances from Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz and Sherri Shepherd.

"Precious," distributed by Lionsgate, opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, November 13.

Beltway sniper's execution: Appeal nixed

by David G. Savage

The Supreme Court today cleared the way for the execution of Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad.

Scheduled for execution Tuesday evening in Virginia, Muhammad was convicted of masterminding the sniper-shooting rampage that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area in the fall of 2002. Sixteen people were shot, and 10 of them died.

The justices turned down a final emergency appeal from Muhammad's lawyers claiming that he deserved more time to develop his appeals.

Three justices -- John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor -- added a statement saying they were troubled that Virginia did not give convicts one year to file their federal appeals, as set in federal law.

But they also said that they saw no reason in Muhammad's case to stop the execution.

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Sentencing Juveniles to Life Without Parole

Posted by Adam Lange

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two separate cases to determine whether sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole for non-homicide crimes violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Sullivan v. Florida is the case of Joe Sullivan, who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole 20 years ago at the age of 13. Graham v. Florida is the case of Terrance Jamar Graham, who violated parole at age 17 and was sentenced, without a trial, to life without parole. Both cases took place in Florida, one of only six states that have imprisoned juveniles for life without parole for non-homicide offenses.

Many civil rights groups, academics, and social scientists have spoken out against these sentencing practices. Charles Ogletree — who joined in a brief submitted by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., in support of Graham and Sullivan — said that the Court should apply the same logic to these case it used to decide Roper v. Simmons, which struck down capital punishment for minors as unconstitutional.

"The same transient qualities of adolescence that the Court relied upon in Roper make it similarly inappropriate to subject a teenager to a permanent punishment of life in prison without parole. It is cruel and inaccurate, as the Court has recognized, to pass a final and irreversible judgment on a person whose character is still forming and undergoing significant changes," Ogletree said.

Has Steven Tyler Quit Aerosmith?

Joe Perry seems to think that he has. It’s very sad news indeed if it’s true.
Legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry seems to have confirmed last week’s rumours that Steven Tyler has left the Boston titans.

Speaking to the Las Vegas Sun, Perry has said: “Steven quit as far as I can tell. Right now i’m adjusting to how we’re going to go on. Aerosmith is such a powerful band, I mean it’s like a steam locomotive. You just can’t disregard 40 years of four guys who play together as well as they do.”

“As far as replacing Steve, it’s not just about that, it’s also four guys that play extremely well together, and I’m not going to see that go to waste. I really don’t know what path it’s going to take at this point, but we’ll probably find somebody else that will sing in those spots where we need a singer.”

Can Aerosmith continue without Steven Tyler? That’s one hell of a big pair of shoes for somebody to step into, isn’t it?

Katt Williams Arrested

Of course some random celebrity was arrested this weekend. Katt Williams, comedian and obvious Z-Lister, broke into someone’s home and tried to thief some jewelry Lindsay Lohan style. Snark Food has the details.

The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office reports Micah S. Katt Williams was arrested following a call from an unidentified homeowner Sunday night reporting an intruder had “gained entry by breaking into the home, and items were taken from the residence.”Katt Williams was identified as the suspect in the burglary and booked into the Coweta County Jail. Williams has been charged with burglary and criminal trespassing and is expect to be arraigned on Monday afternoon.

Sounds like he needs to watch Discovery channel and take notes on some Matt Johnston and Jon Douglas Rainey getting their skilled and sexy burglary on.

Well… That Explains It: Hasan Attended Same Mosque As 9-11 Hijackers

WASHINGTON (AP) - The alleged Fort Hood shooter apparently attended the same Virginia mosque as two Sept. 11 hijackers in 2001, at a time when a radical imam preached there.

Whether the Fort Hood shooter associated with the hijackers is something the FBI will probably look into, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The family of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 and wounded 31 at the Texas military base, held his mother’s funeral at the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., on May 31, 2001, according to her obituary in the Roanoke Times newspaper.

At the time, Anwar Aulaqi was an imam, or spiritual leader, at the Washington-area mosque. Aulaqi told the FBI in 2001 that, before he moved to Virginia in early 2001, he met with 9/11 hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi several times in San Diego. Al-Hazmi was at the time living with Khalid al-Mihdhar, another hijacker. Al-Hazmi and another hijacker, Hani Hanjour, attended the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Virginia in early April 2001.

In his FBI interview, Aulaqi denied ever meeting with al-Hazmi and Hanjour while in Virginia.

Aulaqi, a native-born U.S. citizen, left the United States in 2002, eventually traveling to Yemen. He was investigated by the FBI in 1999 and 2000 after it was learned that he may have been contacted by a possible procurement agent for Osama bin Laden. During this investigation, the FBI learned that Aulaqi knew people involved in raising money for Hamas, a Palestinian group on the U.S. State Department’s terrorist list.

Shaker el Sayed, the current imam at Dar Al Hijrah, declined to comment when reached Sunday by The Associated Press.

Faizul Khan, former imam of the Muslim Community Center in nearby Silver Spring, Md., where Hasan also worshipped, said he was not aware that Hasan had attended services at Dar al Hijrah but said it would not be unusual for Hasan to attend more than one mosque concurrently.

Khan said he did not recall Hasan mentioning having been taught or preached to by Aulaqi.

The London Telegraph first reported the potential link between Hasan and the mosque.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Sunday it’s important for the country not to get caught up in speculation about Hasan’s Muslim faith, and he has instructed his commanders to be on the lookout for anti-Muslim reaction to the killings at the Texas post.

He says focusing on the Islamic roots of the suspected shooter could “heighten the backlash” against all Muslims in the military.

Casey says diversity in the military “gives us strength.”

Casey declined to answer questions about the investigation into the shooting, but said evidence to this point shows that Hasan acted alone. He toured Fort Hood on Friday with Army Secretary John McHugh.

Casey appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Video: The Berlin Wall Comes Down

"Twenty years ago, on November 9, 1989, the most visible symbol of totalitarian evil, the Berlin Wall, tumbled down. Two years later, the Soviet Union officially dissolved on Christmas Day 1991. The fall of the Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union transpired in relative calm, but they followed decades of repression, cruelty, and murder by the Soviet regime."

Remembering the victims of Communism:

Fechter was 18 years old, an East Berlin bricklayer who was desperate to join his sister in the West. With another teen-ager, he made his dash through a deserted lumberyard that faced a relatively low stretch of the wall. The friend made it across the no-man's-land and over the barbed wire. Fechter wasn't so lucky.

Two submachine guns fired. Fechter fell to the ground, bleeding from the bullet wounds in his back. He lay at the foot of the wall for nearly an hour, in full view of the East German border guards -- and of the horrified West Berliners on the other side. "Helft mir doch," he kept crying. But no one helped him, and he slowly bled to death.

Schandmauer. A kid murdered for wanting to live in freedom -- murdered not by accident but as a matter of policy, and not the first it had happened to, not the second, not the 10th, but the 50th in a single year -- this was the hideous shame of the Berlin Wall and of the savage ideology it epitomized. This was communism reduced to its essence: Accept slavery, or die.

by Mary Katharine Ham

Iran accuses 3 detained Americans of espionage

FILE - This undated file photo, released by, Aug. 20, 2009, shows Americans Shane Bauer, left, and Sarah Shourd. Iranian state news agency IRNA said Monday, Nov. 9, 2009 that Iran has charged Bauer, Shourd and Josh Fattal with espionage.

TEHRAN, Iran — A senior Iranian prosecutor accused three Americans detained on the border with Iraq of espionage on Monday, the first signal that Tehran intends to put them on trial.

The move could set up the Americans — who relatives say were hiking and strayed across the border from Iraq — as potential bargaining chips in Iran's standoff with the West. The announcement came as Washington and Tehran were maneuvering over a deadlock in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad alleged the three crossed Iran's border illegally, saying this was something any country would punish.

"In all countries, crossing borders would have a very heavy sentence, according to the law," he told a news conference in Istanbul before the start of a summit of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference. "Unfortunately, they crossed our borders illegally. We are not happy about that, but there is a law.

"Hopefully, they will have an appropriate answer in the court, and hopefully they will convince the judge that they did not have any intention of crossing the border illegally," Ahmadinejad said.

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Peyton Manning 40000 Yards: Single Decade Record

Which quarterback holds the single decade record for yardage? Peyton Manning – 40000 yards over ten years puts the Indianapolis Colts QB in a league of his own. Read more below.

A living legend in his own right, Manning has undoubtedly cemented his place in NFL history alongside other quarterbacks such as Brett Favre, Dan Marino, John Elway, Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, amongst others. He is arguably the best quarterback of our time, and now he’s set a milestone that puts him on a different playing field than the rest. Not literally of course.

Coming into Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans the NFL poster boy was 19 yards short of 40,000. On a completion to Pierre Garcon, he became the first to reach the milestone.

Indianapolis went on to win the game 20 – 17 over Houston, which also gave Peyton his 125th career win, and kept his team undefeated. This victory landed him a spot at #4 on the list for most QB wins.

Next weeks game against the New England Patriots could bring another milestone for Manning. All he needs to become the first player ever to throw 300 TD in a decade is 3. Do you think he will do it next week, or the week after against the Baltimore Ravens?

Check out pictures, or watch the video of the completion that brought Peyton Manning’s 40000 yards into fruition, to set the single decade record below.

Can’t Stop The Bleeding

Busted In Memphis : A.I.’s Not Starting, Thus, He’s Departing

(Iverson, shown in happier days, before learning Guitar Center has a strict, “you brandish it, you bought it” policy)

While I’m very pleased to welcome Clint and Jimmy Conley to Austin later today, I am hopeful the topic of their younger brother, Grizzlies G Mike, doesn’t come up. I hate to give this wonderful family a hard time, but I have great difficulty understanding how Mike can start for Memphis in place of Allen Iverson, even if the latter isn’t all the way back from a preseason hamstring injury. No prizes, by the way, who had an even tougher time coming to grips with 6th man status, but suffice to say, those Iverson jerseys the Grizzlies were eager to sell shall now be heavily discounted. From the Memphis Commercial-Appeal’s Roland Tillery :

The disgruntled Iverson left the Grizzlies on Saturday after he asked for and was granted an indefinite leave of absence to deal with a personal matter, the team confirmed before its game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Instead of traveling to Staples Center, Iverson boarded a flight to Atlanta in the afternoon. Atlanta is where Iverson lives during the offseason.

Griz owner Michael Heisley vehemently insisted that Iverson needed time off to handle an important family issue. A timetable for Iverson’s return is unknown.

The veteran guard did not ask for a trade or request to be waived. Heisley said the team knew about Iverson’s issue before signing him to a one-year, $3.1 million contract in September.

“I’m not going to get into the personal reason but it has nothing to do with the other stuff,” Heisley said, referring to Iverson’s public displeasure over his reserve role. “I’m the guy who said he could go. It’s a real family issue that I don’t think should be reported.”

Let’s say for instance, that Iverson isn’t going on strike and there’s a legit family/emergency tragedy here. Doesn’t it benefit both the player and the team to come up with something slightly more detailed given the additional dent to Iverson’s reputation, let alone his plummeting trade value? ESPN’s Chad Ford claims there’s zero interest around the Association in taking on Iverson.

“I can’t imagine anyone wanting him at this point,” one GM said. “Struggling teams now know he’s going to be a distraction. Contending teams have to live with the fact that Iverson puts himself above the team. Even the Clippers backed away from him this summer and Donald Sterling will do anything to sell tickets. I’m still not sure what the Grizzlies were thinking.”

No one is, especially in light of recent revelations that neither GM Chris Wallace nor Hollins addressed Iverson’s role as a starter or bench player before signing him.

“That is, in a word, amazing,” one NBA executive who explored signing Iverson this summer said. “The guy has a documented history of resisting coming off the bench. The Grizzlies had a young starting backcourt of Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo. No one thought to explore it?”

Steelers-Broncos game features top pass-rushers

Harrison and Dumervil, two of the NFL's premier pass-rushers, will be on dual display Monday night

DENVER — When cornerback William Gay was drafted by Pittsburgh three years ago, he took one look at Steelers pass-rusher James "Deebo" Harrison and had flashbacks to his college days playing alongside Elvis Dumervil.

"When I first came in, I saw Deebo, I was like, 'You know, we had a guy just like that in Louisville. He's quick, strong, you can't really block him, you've got to send people at him.' And that reminded me of Dumervil," Gay said.

Harrison and Dumervil, two of the NFL's premier pass-rushers, will be on dual display Monday night when the Steelers (5-2) visit the Broncos (6-1) in a matchup of two of the AFC's top teams.

The two outside linebackers are similar in stature, strength and statistics, but they're totally different players in terms of style, Harrison relying more on power and Dumervil employing his quickness.

Entering the weekend, Dumervil led the AFC with 10 sacks and Harrison, the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was right behind him with eight.

Both are short, stocky players who have long arms and instant leverage, yet Steelers coach Mike Tomlin insists the parallels end there.

"Other than the stature, I don't see any striking similarity other than they have the same jersey number (92)," Tomlin said. "They're both accomplished rushers, of course, but I think they are accomplished in their own right. I think they have physical skills that are unique to them.

"I think that Dumervil is a very skilled, detailed rusher. He uses his hands extremely well. He has unique quickness. Whereas, I think James is probably a power player first in terms how he approaches the rush concept."

It's a rare individual in the NFL whom opponents and teammates alike look down at but up to, and both Harrison and Dumervil have earned such deference.

Harrison, 31, is generously listed at 6-foot and 242 pounds. Dumervil, 25, is 5-11 and 248 pounds, although he has the wingspan of a man who's 6-foot-6, drawing good-natured barbs in the locker room about being able to scratch his toes without bending.

Dumervil is a good sport and sees the jokes about his long arms as a point of pride.

"In all honesty, it's huge because I'm shorter than most guys I go against and it's instant leverage," Dumervil said. "It really gives me an advantage."

Same with Harrison.

"Obviously, they are guys that are lower to the ground already — some people call them short; I will just say they are lower to the ground — and that gives them an advantage," Broncos safety Brian Dawkins said. "It really does because there are not too many 6-7 guys that are going to be able to get down, get lower than them to get the leverage back. They are going to play the game most of the time with the leverage already in their favor.

"Then, both of those guys have motors. I'm talking about they won't stop until the whistle is blown or until they get close enough to the quarterback to do what they have to do, and that is to bring him down."

When Dumervil was making the switch from a 4-3 defensive end to outside linebacker in the 3-4, he studied tapes of Harrison so he could learn to play standing up at times and not exclusively in a three-point stance.

"We're totally different rushers; we're probably the same size, though," Dumervil said.

So, he studied Harrison not so much for his pass-rushing moves, "but more on run situations, how to play standing up," Dumervil said. "But as far as rushing, I think Harrison stays up most of the time and I put my hand on the ground some."

That's more than Harrison knows about Dumervil.

"To be honest I don't know," Harrison said when asked what he thought of his body double. "I haven't seen him and don't watch him. I don't watch defense, I watch offense. I ain't going to lie to you, I couldn't tell you what the other guys do."

Steelers left tackle Max Starks can. He's familiar with Harrison and has been studying Dumervil all week.

"Elvis Dumervil's a great pass-rusher. He's kind of got a build like a James Harrison and he's a guy who's leading the NFL right now in sacks (actually second to Minnesota's Jared Allen, who has 10½ in eight games). So, it's not that big of a difference," Starks said. "I think if we hadn't had someone like a James and I was going against a guy who was 6-foot-5 (in practice) trying to mimic a guy that was right around 6 feet or below, that would be a lot tougher.

"But having James here and going against him for a long period of time, that's definitely an added bonus."

The same thing can be said for the Broncos' offensive line, which is accustomed to Dumervil.

Any Steelers who do need more information on Dumervil can certainly get it from Gay.

"He has the speed to get around any tackle. That's a guy we looked up to when I was at school. But hopefully we can contain him. I want to leave Mile High Stadium with a smile on my face and talk a little smack to him," Gay said.

"He's very quick, great hands and what people don't know about him is that he's strong. I remember in college he used to outlift offensive linemen and everybody. That's one thing he does have, upper-body strength and lower-body strength."

So, Gay isn't the least surprised by Dumervil's breakout season.

"No, not at all, It was just a matter of time when it would come up," he said.

Just like Harrison, who was a late bloomer himself.

"You look at their numbers," Gay said. "Let their numbers speak for themselves."

Since becoming a starter in 2007, Harrison has 36½ sacks. Since becoming a starter that same season, Dumervil has 32½ sacks.

Together, they're redefining the notion of a big-time pass-rusher.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Dumervil first crossed paths at the 2003 GMAC Bowl, where Dumervil learned a valuable lesson about taking down bigger passers and Roethlisberger saw firsthand how shorter defenders could disrupt everything.

"I remember running for my life," Roethlisberger said.

"I remember bouncing off him," said Dumervil.

Both are hoping there's no repeat of that Monday night.

AP Sports Writer Alan Robinson contributed from Pittsburgh.

The Fat Man Is In Trouble

by Phillips
The whispers have been growing louder in South Bend, Indiana and now they’ve become to a roar. It shouldn’t be long before local Notre Dame fans are in full torch and pitchfork mode, chasing after the gigantic monster inhabiting the head football coach’s office. Let’s just hope the beast doesn’t try to run away, since I don’t have earthquake insurance at my condo in Bloomington.

After Saturday’s embarrassing, program-crushing, facade-crumbling 23-21 loss to Navy, Notre Dame can forget about going to a BCS bowl this year. That fact alone has probably spelled the end of Charlie Weis’ time at his alma mater. The guy came in with huge fanfare, big promises and a hurricane of hubris but so far his signature achievement was a 34-31 loss to USC in 2005. Weis originally inked a six-year contract when took the Irish job in 2004, but earned an extension just seven games into his tenure. That extension, a 10-year pact worth between $30 and $40 million runs through 2015 and reportedly has a poisonous buyout figure of between $4 and $5 million. Weis’ monstrous, poorly-conceived contract may be the only thing that saves his job this offseason.

Before this season pundits claimed that because of their laughably favorable schedule, the Irish could possibly make a BCS Bowl. At worst, the Domers should have finished with two losses. Notre Dame currently has three losses with three games remaining. In two of those games (at No. 12 Pittsburgh, at Stanford) the Irish will almost certainly be underdogs.

So what record will save Weis’ job? Or can it be saved at this point?

What more does Weis need? He’s had top recruiting classes, top quarterbacks, skilled wideouts, highly-regarded running backs, etc. Where are the results? Is he just awful at developing talent? Sure, at times the Irish have looked great on offense this year, but Weis is a head coach, the offensive side of the ball is just half of the equation. His job is to run an entire team and program. A “decided schematic advantage” means absolutely nothing if your team can’t tackle or plays with absolutely no passion.

He showed up in South Bend talking tough and showing off his Super Bowl rings. Since then he’s produced a 35-24 record, with a 1-2 record in bowl games. The Irish finished ranked No. 11 in 2005, No. 20 in 2006 and haven’t finished in the top 25 since. He also sports an 0-5 record against the hated USC Trojans.

Weis can’t blame anyone but himself for this situation or the fact that the rest of the college football world is reveling in it. After all, he’s the one who talked tough before he’d ever coached a single college football game.

GOP: Democrats Ignored Voter Wishes In Passing Health Bill

Brody Mullins reports on Congress.

Republican lawmakers on Sunday said the House’s approval of a sweeping health-care bill, passed with the support of only one Republican, showed that Democrats had misinterpreted the results of last week’s gubernatorial elections.

Republicans appearing on the Sunday morning talk shows said GOP wins in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races last Tuesday showed that Americans are opposed to new government spending and programs.

Tuesday’s votes were “an effort by the American people to send a message to [Democrats] that they are tired of the borrowing, the spending, the bailouts, the takeovers,” Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But last night, on a narrow, partisan vote, the Democrats put their liberal, big-government agenda ahead of the American people.”

Democrats said Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections were not a referendum on a health-care overhaul or other national issues. Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is chairman of the House Democratic campaign arm, said the races in Virginia and New Jersey were fought over local issues, such as property taxes, not national issues like health-care and federal stimulus programs .

He said the only elections last week that were based on national issues were the two special U.S. congressional elections in California and New York. Democrats won in both races. The lesson that Democrats took from those elections was that “it’s time to fix what’s been a broken health-care system,” the Maryland Democrat said.

The two Democrats who won House seats last week voted for the health-care legislation, which cleared the House, 220-215, on Saturday night.

Bob McDonnell, the Republican who won Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia, told “Fox News Sunday” that his victory showed that voters were concerned about the direction of the country under Democratic control.

He said voters in Virginia told him: “We’re concerned about what’s going on at the federal level, we like your fiscal conservative message in Virginia on taxes and spending, and that’s why we’re voting for you.”

On ABC News’s “This Week,” outgoing Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine, a Democrat, said voters showed during the 2008 elections that they wanted a more-activist government. He said the Republican Party has become the “party of ‘No,’” and that Republicans had done nothing to help the economy or improve health-care.

Nidal Hasan Sought Contact With al Qaeda: CIA Refuses Congressional Briefing; Anwar al Awlaki, Hasan Mentor, Praises 'Great Heroic Act'

From ABC News, "Officials: U.S. Aware of Hasan Efforts to Contact al Qaeda" (via Memeorandum):

.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.

It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.

One senior lawmaker said the CIA had, so far, refused to brief the intelligence committees on what, if any, knowledge they had about Hasan's efforts.

CIA director Leon Panetta and the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, have been asked by Congress "to preserve" all documents and intelligence files that relate to Hasan, according to the lawmaker.
The report indicates that Anwar al Awlaki, Nidal Malik Hasan's religious mentor at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, hailed the Fort Hood attack as an act of "great heroism." See "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing":

Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn’t exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges ....

May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance and steadfastness and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act.
Verum Serum has more, "Radical 9/11 Cleric Linked to Fort Hood Shooter: Nidal Hasan is a Hero":
I have a hard time even imagining the level of depravity and moral bankruptcy necessary to view the cold-blooded massacre of unarmed men and women as an act of heroism. It’s an act of cowardice, and Al-Awlaki is a sick and evil man. He is an enemy of this country.

You know, I spent much of this weekend defending the rights of Muslim Americans against attacks by regular commenters on this blog – people that I normally agree with. And I still fervently believe that Muslim Americans who desire to live here in peace, respecting our laws and traditions, are entitled to the same Constitutional rights to religious freedom and personal liberty as any other citizen. And I also believe that the majority of Muslims living in the U.S. fall into this category.

But anyone who has empathy on any level for the actions of Hasan, or the views expressed by Al-Awlaki, does not deserve to be an American as far as I’m concerned.

Cops: Lawrence Taylor Wasn't Blitzed

Lawrence Taylor has a storied history of substance abuse, but Miami cops tell TMZ the NFL legend looked completely sober when he was arrested late last night.

Cops say despite his bloodshot eyes in the mugshot, Taylor -- who's been arrested twice on drug-related charges in the past -- was so coherent when he was arrested for hit-and-run last night , that officers didn't feel the need to perform a sobriety test.

As TMZ first reported, Taylor was busted after cops say he left the scene of a car accident. Cops believe Taylor hit another car and then a guard rail ... and then drove away from the scene.

We're told no one was injured.

Cops tell us when they found Taylor, he was standing outside of his car -- which was missing a front tire. The tire was found at the scene of the crash .. which means Taylor may have driven several miles on just the axle.

We're told Taylor was very cooperative when he was arrested -- he was eventually released on $500 bond.

Army: Shooting suspect critical, stable condition

This 2003 picture provided by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences shows Nidal Malik Hasan in his graduation photo when he completed his M.D. degree.

FORT HOOD, Texas — A U.S. Army spokesman says the man suspected in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood is in critical but stable condition at Texas hospital.

Col. John Rossi told Fox News early Monday that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's condition has not changed since he was taken off a ventilator Saturday.

Hasan is at Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Hood.

Authorities say the 39-year-old Hasan opened fire at a processing center Thursday at Fort Hood, the country's largest military installation. Thirteen people were killed and 29 were wounded.

The shooting spree ended when a civilian police officer shot Hasan.

Rossi says the center remains a crime scene, but that the base is "working on healing."