Friday, July 2, 2010

Knicks, Stoudemire close to deal

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Amare Stoudemire is close to finalizing an agreement with the New York Knicks.

Amar’e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks are making progress in talks on a five-year maximum guaranteed contract and a deal could be completed as soon as Friday, league sources told Y! Sports.

The framework of a deal is in place and the two sides are expected to talk again soon, sources said.

The Knicks’ free agency was looking a little gloomy, but this certainly helps. LeBron was reportedly more impressed with the Nets’ presentation, but now that Stoudemire has (almost) committed, the Knicks do have a stronger case to make.

If he can stay healthy, Stoudemire should thrive in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system. It’s not clear what this means for David Lee, who could play alongside Stoudemire if D’Antoni elected to run Amare at the five. Neither player is particularly good on the defensive end.

How did things fall apart in Phoenix?

The Suns made a last-ditch proposal to Stoudemire, offering him a five-year contract that guaranteed him $71 million, sources said. The first three seasons were fully guaranteed. The fourth season contained a 50 percent guarantee that could become fully guaranteed based on the number of minutes Stoudemire played in the first three seasons. The fifth season of the contract also could become guaranteed based on a minutes incentive.

The Suns put in the incentives because of concerns over Stoudemire’s past knee and eye injuries. Insurance won’t cover Stoudemire’s salary if he can’t play because of any additional problems to either of his knees or his right eye.

The Suns were wise to proceed with caution with regard to Stoudemire’s injury history. The Knicks are showing a lot of faith in his ability to stay healthy, but they are/were in a tough spot and had to commit guaranteed dollars to get him to sign.

I’m not sure why the Suns aren’t working out a sign-and-trade for Stoudemire to acquire Lee from the Knicks. He seems like he’d be a natural replacement for Amare in that offense.

Posted by John Paulsen

Source: Pierce, C's agree to $61 million deal

Jeff Goodman of has learned that Paul Pierce has agreed to a four-year, $61 million deal with the Celtics. The Boston Herald was first to report the agreement. Free contracts can't officially be signed until July 8.
Pierce opted out of the final year of his previous contract Wednesday, walking away from what would have been a $21.5 million salary in 2010-11 to test the free-agent waters.

Pierce has long stated that he wanted to retire as a member of the Celtics, and this contract should allow him to do so. The 12-year veteran has scored 19,899 points in his career, third only to John Havlicek (26,395) and Larry Bird (21,791) in franchise history.

Video: Andrew Garfield is the new Spiderman

Compare and Contrast: Canada Day and G20 Summit.

What an interesting contrast we have between the protesters at the G20 and the crowds for Canada Day.

The G20 protests cost us a billion dollars to keep the leaders safe. Thankfully no bombs were planted or world leaders were hurt on our soil. What we have are the hurt feelings of protesters who couldn't get a veggie meal in the holding pens. What spoiled little brats with nothing better to do than go and protest....what? We needed huge fences to keep the leaders safe from rioters who burned police cars and smashed windows. Unions used their members dues to protest....what? What were our unions protesting?

Now they are protesting the treatment the protesters received from the police. What wimps, they weren't pepper sprayed, no water cannons, no clubbing like they would have faced in Iran. I have no sympathy for any protesters who were detained for the evening. For those innocent people who were caught up in the round-up, sorry. The protesters created a police state in Toronto because of the bombing of the bank before the G20, they are to blame for all the costs, and we should start making them pay damages.

Then in contrast, we have the Queen visiting Canada and she came to Parliament Hill in a horse drawn carriage, no fences, no protesters (cause they would have been creamed by our vets) very little security. A peaceful day, honouring Canada and our Queen.

I loved watching the Queen and all the people who came together to see her and celebrate Canada Day.

Posted by hunter

Actor Jeffrey Jones busted again over sex offender registration

Actor Jeffrey Jones, who is best known to the over 25 set as the principal in 80s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, has been busted again for failing to re-register with a sex offender’s database in California.

Jones’s legal problems began in 2003, when he was arrested for possessing child pornography and enticing a 14-year-old boy to appear in pornographic pictures. The actor secured a plea bargain and pleaded no contest to inducing a minor to pose for sexually explicit photos. Jones received five years of probation, court mandated counseling and was required to register as a sex offender on local registries. In 2004, Jones was arrested in Florida for failure to notify local law enforcement of a change of address- an action required under Florida’s version of Megan’s Law. Jones was pursued civilly by the minor in the case when he reached legal adulthood, but the suit was “dismissed with prejudice at the plaintiff’s request” less than two weeks after it was initially filed.

The actor has been charged again this month with felony failure to update his sex offender status. Jones was required to re-register after his September birthday, but had not done so. He was arrested and freed on $20,000 bail, and is set to be arraigned on June 14th.

Tiger Woods Divorce Settlement Is Ridiculous

By Mark Lorenz

Rumor have been swirling about Tiger Woods paying out a lot of money because – you can insert your own golf joke here – he stuck his manbits in a lot of wandering tail.

But the sums rumored have been astronomical. 750 million dollars for Elin Nordegren. 750 million dollars. That’s more than the GDP of several states put together, and I’m sure several countries. For marrying a man who golfs and popping out kids. Never mind that it’s a ridiculous sum of money, somehow, a golfer managed to make about a billion dollars. There’s a story somewhere about corporate America branding things ridiculously. Do you think anyone buys products because Tiger Woods does? Are you going to run out and buy a Buick just because your favorite celebrity athlete hawks them?

If so, you’re an idiot. Inside sources say that Tiger’s divorce payout will be far less than 750 million dollars, as the golfer isn’t even worth that much. He’s still worth more than you’ll ever be worth, just not 750 million.

But think of how much 750 million could get you, if Elin were to even get that much money. You could buy all the brothels in Europe for that amount, and synthesize the sort of super-disease that Tiger Woods is probably walking around with. Grody

Kim Kardashian Has A Wax Figure At The Madame Tussauds

We thought Kim Kardashian had a plastic figure. Somehow I think they molded of her prior to her alleged surgery because this looks like her mom to me. Oh well, I can’t wait until I get my wax figure because I’m a public servant (yeah right). What ya’ll think? -Courtney L.

Netherlands shocks Brazil 2-1

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — Soccer's perennial World Cup underachievers from the Netherlands knocked off mighty Brazil on Friday, stamping the Dutch as a strong contender to finally win that elusive title.

Wesley Sneijder, one of the shortest players on the field, scored in the 68th minute on a header for a stunning 2-1 quarterfinals win over the five-time champions.

"It just slipped through from my bald head and it was a great feeling," Sneijder said.

Brazil, which also went out in this round four years ago against France, lost its composure after falling behind, and defender Felipe Melo was ejected in the 73rd minute for stomping on the leg of Arjen Robben.

The Dutch made the championship match in 1974 and '78, lost both, and rarely have lived up to their talent in other World Cups. They did this time, helped by an own goal off the head of unfortunate Felipe Melo that brought them into a 1-1 tie in the 53rd.

Robinho gave the Brazilians the lead on Felipe Melo's brilliant low pass up the middle of the field that the striker put home with a low shot.

But soon, the Dutch took control, and the end of the match presented the unusual sight of the Brazilians scrambling wildly to find an equalizer.

It never came.

Instead, it was the Oranje and their fans doing the dancing.


Prince Michael Jackson Suffering From Skin Bleaching Disorder Too?

By Kevin Eason

Could Michael Jackson's older son have the same rare skin condition that the King of Pop steadfastly maintained he had?

White patches of skin under Prince Michael's arm were noticeably visible when he wore swim trunks on a recent Hawaiian vacation, prompting speculation that the skin-bleaching disorder vitiligo could be the cause.

Michael Jackson said the condition was to blame for the gradual but steady lightening of his own skin and with his 13-year-old son displaying similar symptoms, skeptics who question the paternity of Jackson's children may finally be convinced that the singer really was the teen's biological father.

But vitiligo, an autoimmune disease, is not always an inherited disorder, Dr. Doris Day, an attending dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, told the Daily News.

"Getting vitiligo because a parent has it could happen," she said. "But it's not necessarily a direct correlation."
Parents can pass down the propensity for an autoimmune condition, but the child of a parent with one autoimmune condition could just as easily have another autoimmune disease or none at all.

In an autoimmune disorder, the body attacks itself. In vitiligo, the person's own immune system attacks the melanin in the skin, which is what determines skin color, explained Dr. Kent Holtorf.

"Vitiligo often starts in adolescence or early adulthood," he said. "Sometimes just a little virus can set it off."

Source: NY Daily News

Kevin Eason is a freelance editorial cartoonist and Illustrator from New Jersey. His brand of satire covers news events in politics, entertainment, sports and much more.

“I Love Being Black” Reaches 1 Million Facebook Fans

LOS ANGELES / The Black Report / – More than one million Facebook fans love being black and they are causing a web-frenzy over a popular Facebook page. On Sunday, June 27, the fans hit the one million mark.

The ilovebeingblack fan page on Facebook has reignited the Black is Beautiful movement like a virtual firestorm, taking its message of empowerment to the web. The site is devoted to cultural awareness through fashion, capturing the hearts of 1,001,010 Facebook fans worldwide. With its I love being Black apparel line, the company brings a fresh meaning to James Brown’s I’m Black and I’m Proud anthem for a post-Civil Rights generation. The company’s positive motif is part of a larger movement to inspire and uplift the Black community.

“I Love Being Black apparel is a reminder to the community – and the world – that yeah, I DO love being Black,” said Founder/CEO Kumi Rauf. “I wanted to establish an outlet to combat self-hatred and negativity from inside and outside of our community, and to do it with style.” Rauf established the company in 2003 as an outgrowth of racial tension while he was a student at UC Santa Barbara and as a social media platform to encourage positive relations between Blacks. For greater accessibility, is also in the early development stages of creating mobile applications for Android, Blackberry and iPhone users. “With this page, and soon our mobile applications, I want to bring Black people together to start a dialogue on a variety of topics and to show our love for our culture.” products are sold online and at marketplaces, festivals, expos and trade shows. Celebrities such as Kimberly Elise, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Too $hort, among others can be spotted in I love being Black apparel.

Become a fan at log onto for more information.

Tags: Facebook, black love, black beautiful, social media, African American empowerment, black proud

About provides a social media platform for web-savvy Blacks to dialogue about various topics. CEO/Founder, Kumi Rauf, is the recipient of the 2007 Urban League Top 40 Under 40 award. makes many charitable contributions to organization such as: Sistas Against Drugs & Alcohol Abuse, The Los Angeles Black Women’s Health Conference, The National Society of Black Engineers, The Urban League, among others. Become a Facebook fan

Why McChrystal Wasn't a MacArthur (Yet)

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, listens to a question from a reporter during a press conference in the Pentagon May 13, 2010. (DoD photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Obama's swift firing of Gen. McChrystal may not have been his "MacArthur moment," but rather an attempt to avoid one.

President Barack Obama’s decision to accept – or force – the resignation of his top soldier in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has been widely received as an act of wartime necessity. In a series of interviews with Rolling Stone, McChrystal and his subordinates showed poor judgement and an even poorer choice of words, disrespecting their civilian authorities, their colleagues, and the Afghan population they have risked their lives protecting. The subsequent and final White House meeting between the president and the general has made headlines as “Obama’s MacArthur moment.” The reference suggests parallels to Douglas MacArthur, another “runaway general,” and Harry Truman, the president who reined him in.

Indeed, Obama’s announcement of McChrystal’s resignation significantly resembles the wartime speech in which President Truman relieved Gen. MacArthur from his command in Korea. Like Truman, Obama has done his best to preserve the honour and integrity of his departing general, acknowledging him à la Truman as one of America’s “finest soldiers.”

More interestingly, though, Obama has also followed Truman’s lead in emphasizing the bigger picture on which his decision is based. Just as Truman reminded MacArthur’s supporters in 1951 that “the cause of world peace is more important than any individual,” so too has Obama reminded Americans in 2010 that “war is greater than any one man.” Having said that, the current president has himself equated – in degree if not in kind – McChrystal’s transgressions with those of MacArthur.

MacArthur’s insubordination during the Korean War is of course legendary. Yet Truman’s dismissal of him was not nearly as swift as Obama’s dismissal of McChrystal. In fact, it took months of insubordination, the kind of which openly defied official policy, before Truman resorted to the “Give ‘em hell” approach that many present-day Democrats have demanded of Obama on a wider scale.

MacArthur was officially relieved of duty on April 11, 1951. Truman, however, could very well have issued that same order on June 29, 1950. On that day, without consultation or approval from the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) or the president, MacArthur ordered the bombing of North Korean airfields, blatantly disregarding the U.S. policy of limiting the war below the 38th parallel.

The second opportunity to relieve MacArthur came the following month. In an unsanctioned visit to Formosa (Taiwan), the general took it upon himself to discuss with the Chinese premier-in-exile, Chiang Kai-shek, the recruitment and participation of his Nationalist Chinese troops in the Korean war effort. MacArthur also issued a statement that stressed the strategic importance of the exiled Chinese Republic and criticized the Truman administration for refusing to defend Formosa. The president’s response, far from punitive, directed MacArthur to retract his statement – which he did.

Unchecked, MacArthur’s insubordination grew steadily more dangerous. In September, the JCS had issued a directive prohibiting military operations by non-Korean forces in the northern provinces. In October, MacArthur unilaterally lifted that restriction while directing non-Korean forces close to the Chinese border to use all means necessary to complete the occupation of North Korea.

Not until the following spring, however, did Truman’s tolerance threshold for insubordination finally give way. The writing was on the wall for the rogue general after he released a communiqué in late March opposing the president’s plan to begin peace talks with the Chinese and North Koreans.

MacArthur tested on several occasions the sacred civil-military divide, relying on and even expanding along the way his reputation as an American war hero. For Truman, this created a decision-making process that factored strategic as well as political considerations.

The Obama-McChrystal affair falls short of that kind of complexity. Obama has not yet reached the midway point of his first term, and Stanley McChrystal has only been in the news for a little over a year. McChrystal though, like MacArthur, is a repeat offender. During the Obama administration’s sweeping review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan last October, McChrystal politicized that process by arguing for a troop surge in a speech he gave in London. In making the case for 40,000 additional troops, McChrystal publicly dismissed Vice President Joe Biden’s resistance to such a measure as “short-sighted.”

Since then, the administration has agreed on an Afghanistan policy that is in line with McChrystal’s desired surge strategy. The controversial Rolling Stone article that hit the news stands June 25 exposes no policy disputes between Obama and McChrystal. It does, on the other hand, reveal the human ugliness and frustration of war. That McChrystal allowed his team to vent with a reporter present, insulting simultaneously the nation whose uniform they wear and the nation whose people they are defending, represents a severe lapse of judgement and a moment of carelessness.

In the absence of an actual policy dispute, however, Truman may very well have avoided Obama’s sternness. McChrystal, though, lacks MacArthur’s public stature, which greatly reduces his margin for error. Obama’s response may yet prove to be an intelligent preventative measure meant to stop the carelessness in Afghanistan from escalating to dangerous MacArthur-like levels.

by Louie Milojevic

PhD candidate in history, American University.

Experts Rate Bush Among Worst Presidents

During his second term in office the popularity of George W. Bush sank to depths rarely seen. The public looked at his tax cuts for the rich, starting of two unending wars, spying on American citizens, torturing of prisoners, attempts to tear down the wall between religion and government, failure to help Hurricane Katrina victims, destruction of the economy, and general incompetence, and didn't like what they saw.

Many on the left (myself included) began to call him the "worst president ever". But his few remaining supporters on the right, while admitting his unpopularity, said he would be vindicated by history. They said he would someday be regarded as a good president. Well, if that is going to happen it will be very far in the future because presidential scholars rate him currently among the worst of the 43 presidents this country has had.

The Siena College Research Institute (SRI) has been polling respected presidential scholars since 1982 and compiling a list of the best and worst presidents the United States has ever had. This year the SRI polled 238 of the most respected presidential scholars and the results were not good for George W. Bush. They put him near the bottom as one of the five worst presidents in America's history. Here are the bottom five:

43. Andrew Johnson
42. James Buchanan
41. Warren G. Harding
40. Franklin Pierce
39. George W. Bush

That's some pretty sad company for Bush to be in, but I think he deserves it. Each president was rated on personal attributes (background, imagination, integrity, intelligence, luck, willingness to take risks), ability (compromising, executive, leadership, communication, overall), and accomplishment (economic, domestic affairs, working with Congress and their party, Supreme Court and executive branch appointments, avoiding mistakes, foreign policy). Bush scored especially low in intelligence, communication, ability to compromise, handling the economy and foreign policy accomplishments.

On the other end of the spectrum are the presidents that scholars consider the best. Here are the top eleven presidents according to the 238 presidential scholars. Although I might juggle the order they put them in slightly, it's hard to argue that these eleven don't belong somewhere among the best. They are:

1. Franklin Roosevelt
2. Teddy Roosevelt
3. Abraham Lincoln
4. George Washington
5. Thomas Jefferson
6. James Madison
7. James Monroe
8. Woodrow Wilson
9. Harry Truman
10. Dwight Eisenhower
11. John Kennedy

Here's how some other recent presidents rated in this years poll of scholars:

13. Bill Clinton
15. Barack Obama
16. Lyndon Johnson
18. Ronald Reagan
22. George H. Bush
28. Gerald Ford
30. Richard Nixon
32. Jimmy Carter

George W. Bush has a long way to go to even be considered an average president. Personally, I think he may drop further. Andrew Johnson was clearly as bad or worse a president as George W. Bush, but I have my doubts about Pierce, Harding and Buchanan. Bush may actually be worse than them.

Posted by Ted McLaughlin

Marshall, Kagan, and Martin Luther King

Posted by Mary L. Dudziak
My post today on

Republican senators this week pressed Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on the degree to which her views mirror those of her mentor Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom Kagan clerked for in 1987-88.

You might have thought Marshall himself was before the Senate. Sen. John Kyl of Arizona opined in his opening statement Monday that Marshall's judicial philosophy "is not what I would consider to be mainstream." Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama concurred, calling the landmark civil rights-lawyer-turned-judge "a well-known activist."

Kagan reminded the senators that if confirmed "you will get Justice Kagan. You won't get Justice Marshall."

There's an irony here. While Kagan and Marshall surely have important differences, there is something they have in common, but it's not what Kagan's Republican questioners have in mind. During confirmation hearings, both were criticized not only for their own ideas, but for those of another.

Violence Rages on Just Over the Mexican Border; 21 People Killed in Gun Battle

Violence just across the Mexican border continues in a big, scary way.

The Associated Press reports that 21 people were killed and at least six others were wounded in Mexico Thursday in a gun battle between gangs just 12 miles from the border near Arizona.

AP reported that the area the town of Nogales is a prime area for immigrant and drug smuggling.

The Sonora state Attorney General’s Office said police captured nine people at the scene. Six had been wounded in the shootout.

To read more click here.

“The Underlying Narrative Remains Grim”: U.S. Economy Shed 125,000 Jobs in June, Unemployment Rate Is 9.5% - With Video

Posted By Pat Dollard

New York Times:

The United States added just 83,000 private-sector jobs in June, a dishearteningly low number that could add to the growing number of economists who warn that the economic recovery is stalling.


Over all, the nation lost 125,000 jobs, , according to the monthly snapshot of the job market released by the Labor Department on Friday. Most of the lost jobs came as temporary workers hired by the federal government to help with the census exited their jobs.

The unemployment rate, based on a different survey, declined to 9.5 percent in June from the previous 9.7 percent.

Just as last month’s government job report appeared deceptively robust, swollen as it was by 411,000 workers hired by the federal government to help with the census, so the June report appears deceptively anemic, as the government is shedding many of those same temporary census workers.

The median forecast from economists and economic forecasting firms was that the nation would add 110,000 private-sector jobs. The economy needs to add about 130,000 to 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with new workers entering the market. The labor pool is already packed with 15 million Americans looking for work.

The week or so leading up to Friday’s report offered a grim rat-a-tat-tat of statistics pointing to a slowing economy. Auto sales were off more than expected, as sales plunged 30 percent in May, a far greater drop than expected. And unemployment claims rose by 13,000 to 472,000, which is far higher than usual if one is looking for signs that private payrolls are growing in a sustained fashion.

Private job growth has risen every month this year. But that growth slowed to a worrisome trickle in May, as the economy created just 33,000 jobs that month, according to revised figures released Friday. By way of comparison, the economy has lost 7.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.

The number of long-term unemployed, those Americans out of work for 27 weeks or more, remained at its highest peak since the Labor Department began collecting such data shortly after the Great Depression.

The stakes grow too, economically and politically. This summer’s unemployment numbers will fall on the runway to the midterm Congressional elections loom this fall, with incumbents feeling particularly precarious.

The Obama administration has put much political currency into its effort to grow the economy, and most to the point, jobs. Only a month ago, after an April jobs report that showed employers added 290,000 jobs — a number revised Friday to 313,000 — President Obama declared the numbers “particularly heartening.”

And just two weeks ago, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. christened this “Recovery Summer,” with an emphasis on the jobs created by the administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus measure passed in February 2009. In fact, reports have found that millions of jobs were saved or created by the stimulus, but those numbers have been enough, at most, to tamp down the highest peaks of unemployment.

And it is not clear that even this can be sustained.

Many see consumers tapped out, states readying plans to lay off tens of thousands, and now a declining stock market, and they wonder where the economy will derive the fuel for a robust takeoff.

The underlying narrative remains fairly grim, as there are nearly five unemployed people for every job opening, and nearly half of those have been out of work for at least six months. And 3.2 million workers are about to lose their unemployment benefits. “If this should occur,” Joshua Shapiro, an economist, noted Thursday, it “would obviously not be a sign of economic strength.”

Video: The Buzz: Mel's new tirade?

Mel Gibson was slammed by high profile lawyer Gloria Allred, who said the actor has "hatred of racial minorities and women." If reports of Mel Gibson's racist rant are true, do you think it will destroy his career?