Thursday, April 1, 2010

Breaking News: Brett Favre Announces Donovan McNabb Will Retire

Capt. Gridiron

Brett Favre has yet to officially declare whether he will play this next season in the NFL but indications point to his timely return to the Vikings after the training camps end.

With rumors of Donovan McNabb looking to get out of Philadelphia and into a Vikings uniform, Favre took it upon himself to shot down any chance that Donovan will be the QB in Minnesota. In fact, Favre announced that McNabb has retired from the game altogether.

“McNabb has grown weary of playing in Philly, and he’s had enough,” stated Favre via a phone call from his Lousiiana home. “He definitely won’t be coming to Minnesota. Not if he’s retired. Yeah, he’s retiring.”

McNabb has missed extensive time over the past several years with injuries and the Eagles have announced this month that they have put the Pro Bowler on the trade market.

P.S. Have a good April Fool’s Day

Eagles Are All Business in Dealing with QB Situation

by Zach Wallenson
I get it. The Philadelphia Eagles have three starting-caliber NFL quarterbacks, and all of them have one year remaining on their contract. However, at what point should a franchise trade its still-capable aging Pro Bowler who has been the face of the organization for a decade?

The Eagles have three options at quarterback, a realization that has created a media circus surrounding the team and its 34-year-old signal caller Donovan McNabb. Each quarterback could absolutely start for many NFL teams, but all three have significant pros and cons.

McNabb, although still extremely productive by NFL standards, is beginning to age and will almost certainly not resign with the Eagles following this season. McNabb, who has led the Eagles to five conference championship game appearances and one Super Bowl loss, will make $11.2 million this season.

Kevin Kolb, the quarterback the Eagles apparently want to replace McNabb as soon as this season, is a fourth-year player and former second-round pick of head coach Andy Reid and the Eagles. While Kolb has only started two games in his young career, fans and analysts quickly anointed him McNabb’s replacement after the University of Houston alum became the first quarterback in history to throw for more than 300 yards in each of his first two starts.

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick is still stuck behind both McNabb and Kolb, and has yet to be used as anything more than a wildcat QB in the Eagles’ offense. Vick was famously incarcerated for 23 months after pleading guilty to federal dog fighting charges. Although Vick has kept quiet in Philadelphia, he has voiced opinion on his NFL future, stating he knows he’s a starter and would like another chance. No matter what changes occur this summer to the Eagles QB depth chart, one thing is for sure, Vick will not be the starting quarterback.

On Tuesday, ESPN reported that according to an Eagles’ senior official, the team would have already made a deal had they been offered a reasonable return. With rumors flying around the NFL on a daily basis, it seems McNabb’s days in Philadelphia are numbered, a harsh recognition for a die-hard fan base that once booed Santa Claus.

Does McNabb deserve better? Probably, but like anything else in sports, it’s all about business. If the Eagles truly believe Kolb will bolt after this season if he isn’t anointed the starting quarterback position, then as difficult as it is to say goodbye, McNabb must be traded.

The ideal situation would be Kolb signing an extension, and McNabb starting one more year, because even entering his mid-30s, McNabb still posted a 92.9 quarterback rating, a number Kolb will be hard pressed to match as a first-time starter. The Eagles simply can’t enter next offseason with McNabb a free agent and Kolb angry enough to leave despite a clear opportunity to lead the Philadelphia offense.

I understand he is probably the best quarterback in Philadelphia’s history, and should probably be treated like a hero with one more shot to bring home a title, but he isn’t in the same class as someone like Peyton Manning, a completely untradeable figure. In football, even the greatest stars often end their career in places never thought to be previously possible.

Joe Montana ended his career with the Chiefs, and Brett Favre didn’t exactly leave Green Bay on great terms. The point being, McNabb is still a great quarterback, and honestly he probably gives the Eagles the best chance to win this year, but in a business like the NFL, risking the future for a one-year fix is simply not smart or logical.

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War reporter Michael Yon wants answers on Seattle Airport arrest, supports ALG FOIA request

April 1st, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Michael Yon continues to question why he was arrested upon arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for his refusal to answer a question about how much money he makes.

Commenting yesterday on his Facebook page about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeal filed with the USCBP by the group Americans for Limited Government (ALG), Yon wrote, “Does the United States government have a right to arrest people for refusing to say who they work for, and how much money they earn? They arrested me. Why were Customs (CBP) people reading my private documents at the border? Is it possible to have words written on paper that are illegal? My arrest at Sea-Tac airport remains unexplained.”

ALG filed its original FOIA request to CBP one day following the arrest of the acclaimed Afghan war journalist the day following the January 5th, 2010 incident. It was denied on March 1st, and an appeal was mailed on March 31st.

The ALG FOIA request seeks to determine the circumstances around the incident including any policies or instructions that are provided to agents related to appropriate questions that should be asked of incoming citizens.

Ironically, the initial FOIA was denied just two weeks before the Obama Administration’s self-proclaimed “Sunshine Week”, where they applauded themselves for the work that has been done to increase transparency.

ALG President Bill Wilson said that the CBP denial of the FOIA request was “unwarranted,” concluding, “The American people have a right to know if citizens are going to be locked in handcuffs as a matter of national policy for not disclosing their income to Customs and Border Patrol when entering their homeland.”

Get full story here.

April Fools!

By Rick Manning

It must be a rude awakening for Americans who just woke up from a long winter’s nap.
In just the last month, the Obama Administration and Congress have:

• Taken over the entire student loan program for colleges,
• Taxed people who need wheelchairs to pay for health care for those who don’t,
• Sicked the EPA enviro police onto any business that dares to generate a carbon footprint,
• Announced a plan to make it so those who pay their home mortgages will be forced to subsidize those who don’t,
• Forced the most anti-job labor attorney onto the National Labor Relations Board over bi-partisan objections,
• Made it illegal and punishable by possible jail time for someone to choose to not have health insurance,
• And managed to embarrass the government of Israel while getting embarrassed by the government of Canada.

This is what change looks like and that is only in March.

Get full story here.

Dwindling Resource

Private Workers Forced Into Underfunded Union Plans

By Kevin Mooney

Labor unions market themselves to prospective members by promising an array of benefits that include generous, well-funded pension funds guaranteed to endure through retirement. However, the most recent government data available show that union negotiated plans are severely underfunded and perform quite poorly in comparison with non-union plans.

Among the larger pensions, those with 100 or more participants, 35 percent of non-union plans were fully funded as opposed to just 17 percent of their collectively-bargained counterparts, according to a Hudson Institute analysis of U.S. Labor Department records. While 86 percent of non-union funds had 80 percent or more of funds needed to cover costs, only 59 percent of union funds could cover the necessary financial threshold, the Hudson scholars concluded.

Although there is no requirement that says retirement plans must be fully funded at a given moment to be considered stable, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 spells out specific criteria.

Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered “endangered,” while those that fall below a 65 percent threshold are classified as “critical” under the legislation.

Union workers who have been promised substantial payouts upon retirements should become acquainted with these figures and with government records that point to disconcerting financial trends. Plan managers are required to file a document known as Form 5500 that highlights the ratio of assets to liabilities with the Labor Department. There is normally a one to two year delay in submitting these documents, which means the full effects of the financial collapse that begin in late 2008 are not reflected in the reports now available.

Nevertheless they are instructive.

Get full story here.

60 Percent

By Robert Romano

“Immediately after I become President, I will confront this economic crisis head-on by taking all necessary steps to ease the credit crisis, help hardworking families, and restore growth and prosperity.”—Barack Obama, November 7th, 2008.

60.35 percent. That’s the percent of the total economy the federal, state and local governments will control — either through direct ownership or indirect regulatory nationalization — should Barack Obama get all that he wants.

If one combines the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ estimated 2009 Gross Domestic Product of $14.256 trillion with the remainder of the 2010 federal budget excluded from that estimate, the total economy equals $16.942 trillion.

Of that, government will control $10.225 trillion under the Obama regime, leaving just $6.717 trillion in the hands of the private sector, or 39.65 percent. This inherent structural deficit is unsustainable, and will leave it to the minority to sustain the majority.

Except that’s impossible.

And yet, that’s exactly what the Obama Administration is proposing to do, under the careful guise of government interventionism. The above estimates assumes the following not-so-far-fetched events: 1) the federal government retains control of GM and Chrysler (with their combined current 26 percent of U.S. market share); 2) the Waxman-Markey energy cap and tax is enacted; 3) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are retained by the government; 4) ObamaCare withstands efforts to repeal it or find it unconstitutional; 5) the government takeover of the financial system is enacted; and 6) governments at all levels do nothing to cut spending.

These are not such unreasonable assumptions.

Get full story here.

After Helping Spend $787 Billion for Jobs, Timoth Geithner Claims Jobless Rates Will Remain 'Unacceptably High'

What does $787 billion get you in America these days? Apparently not a whole lot.

Timothy Geithner hopes to avoid himself and his commie boss Barack from taking the blame. He's pointing the blame at at the bailed out companies for the "unacceptably high" unemployment.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday it's "deeply unfair" that some financial institutions that got taxpayer-paid bailouts are emerging in better shape from the recession than millions of ordinary Americans. - AP

"As the president has said, we had to do some very unpopular things," Geithner said. "People looked at what had happened."

"It's not fair. It's deeply unfair," he said. "He (Obama) had to decide whether he was going to act to fix it or stand back ... and that would have been calamitous for the American economy."

Yup, they are pushing the blame on everyone else, although Obama made all these promises with taxpayer money about jobs.

Of course, none of this is Obama's fault, not the increased deficits, not the increased unemployment which they are now fixing the books to make look better than what it really is, simply none of it. It's the companies fault who were bailed out, and I am sure Obama and Geithner will make them pay in the long run for embarrassing Dear Leader.

The bottom line is, this is all by design to develop more government dependency. The bailouts and the stimulus didn't help the little guy. It made the government bigger and aided Obama's buddies in the labor unions. As usual, the big corporations are going to get the federal government's blame.

James 'probably not playing' for USA this summer

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James scores past Milwaukee Bucks' Andrew Bogut, from Australia, during the first quarter in a NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 31, 2010, in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — LeBron James has a busy summer ahead. Maybe too busy to play basketball.

Cleveland's superstar said Wednesday night that he's "probably not playing" for Team USA this summer in the world championships in Turkey. James, who was a captain on the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the Beijing Games in 2008, is eligible for free agency after the season and is scheduled to film a movie.

His crammed itinerary may make it impossible to play for his country for the third time. James also was a member of the 2004 Olympic team in Athens — and choosing not to take part this summer could jeopardize his chances of playing in London in 2012.

"I got a really, really, really, really, really busy summer," James said about an hour before tip-off against the Milwaukee Bucks. "I would love if I had the opportunity and the time to play to represent my country and go out there and do that. But there's a lot of things I need to take care of first."

So will he play?

"It's very, very shady right now," he said. "I'm probably not playing. There are a lot of decisions I need to make this summer before I decide to get back out on the court."

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said he won't worry about who is playing until July, when the Americans report to training camp. He was already aware that players such as James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might be unavailable while dealing with free agency.

However, Colangelo also warned that blowing off the world championships without a good reason and then playing in the Olympics wouldn't be allowed, just as it wasn't last time around.

"Same thing has to apply here," he said.

"If someone chooses not to play this summer just because he chooses not to play, there's no guarantee he'll be in London."

James was one of the few Americans to play all three summers from 2006-08, but Colangelo said there are "no free passes, regardless who it is." Colangelo said he hadn't heard from James, but doesn't need to right now.

"Why speculate now when it's still too early?" he said. "I don't even care at this point. I'll care when we get to July."

AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this report.

Ill. mayor shot, killed on city street

Washington Park, Ill., Mayor John Thornton was shot and killed Thursday morning as he was driving on a city street, Illinois State Police said.

City police Detective Kim McAfee said Thornton was shot twice in the chest in the pre-dawn incident, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

"We have a homicide to the mayor of Washington Park," McAffee told Illinois State Police dispatchers.

After Thornton was shot, his car crashed into a tree, police said. He was unresponsive when police arrived on the scene, officials said.

Thornton was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, officials said. St. Clair County coroner Rick Stone said the wound appeared to have been a close-contact one.

Witnesses told investigators two men -- one armed with a gun -- were seen driving away from the area, the Post-Dispatch said. Police said they arrested one suspect several hours later.

East St. Louis, Ill., Mayor Alvin Parks, a friend of Thornton, called Thornton a "good family man" adding his slaying had "shocked" the area along the Illinois-Missouri border, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat online newspaper reported.