Sunday, April 29, 2007

Observations on French presidential election

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival promo card from 2004
Thursday May 3rd, 2007

Dear X:

Thanks for the note the other day. Sorry for the delay in responding.

I'm sorry to say that my hopes to write about the election comparing the French 2 news coverage with American coverage -what there is- and why that is the way it is, has just about ended due to other time conflicts.
Perhaps I'll post some nuggets before the election, as well as my take on that crazy situation with FC Nantes goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.
Based on the video I've seen, and my own experience playing fullback, the Nantes fullbacks aren't exactly what you'd call "strong" on plays in front of the net!
It's like a shooting gallery.
That a guy would go from hero to... well, whatever you call his status in French, is amazing to me.
Will be watching the highlights of the Sarkozy-Royal debate later tonight before the latest installment of Survivor.

Per your comments to me about what Joshua Boswell wrote on his excellent French election blog,
"Sarkozy either wear's his heart on his sleeve or is an excellent actor, for whenever he talks about the value of work and his intent to act, he comes across convincingly and charismatic," I quite agree.
A big heart and a big brain do make a nice combination in a politician running for president, perhaps we should try that over here, too.
Having watched the France 2 footage of Sarkozy's visits to myriad factories, especially his visit recently to Valenciennes with J-L Barloo, I think he expresses a level of genuine understanding that was noticeably lacking whenever John Kerry went to a factory or venue
designed to show him mixing it up with "regular people" and not just wind surfers.
(Kerry famously calling Green Bay's Lambeau Field "Lambert Field," the actual name of the St. Louis Airport where Charles Lindbergh was prior to leaving for Long Island on his Paris trip in 1927, really was a direct hit on his credibility if you ask me.
Just another reason why I found it so easy to vote for President Bush for president in 2004, my first time ever voting for a Republican president, I remind you, despite disagreeing with him on so many issues.
At a minimum, regardless of policy disputes, American voters expect you to be in sync with the country's rhythms and traditions, and Kerry will never be that.
He'll always be the aloof guy dropping by.)

Sarkozy: "I want your confidence, I want to be the candidate of the French people. While two other candidates chat away in a rich Paris hotel, my hotel is this factory. Along with J-L Borloo, I promise that by the end of my presidency, the unemployment rate will drop to 5%."

I suppose it goes without saying that I am ridiculously envious of you being in Paris during the last few days of the election campaign. Wish you had more time to take photos of some of those places I mentioned previously, so I'd have a before and after comparison to some older postcards and photos.
You know what they call a Big Mac in France...
Before it's too late, why don't you send me a postcard with your final prediction of the election results on it, so that we can have it on record for history's sake, and I can wave it around should you ever engage in that revisionism you're always decrying in others!
Me, I see a Sarkozy victory, and wonder how the American medis will spin a Royal loss:
gender, politics or time for a "change" in old ways of thinking?

Documentary Film about 1955 Indiana H.S. Champs: Indianapolis Crispus Attucks

South Beach Hoosier found these reviews while taking a break from digesting today's first round of the NFL Draft.
Naturally, this film is NOT likely to be playing in South Florida any time soon, despite the fact that the director sold her home in Miami in order to finance it.
I'll have to wait awhile to get my Hoosier fix.

See also:

Washington Post
'Something to Cheer About': A Coach's Net Values
By Stephen Hunter, Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 27, 2007

As nearly everyone who has ever dribbled a basketball knows, the most famous jump shot ever taken left the fingers of a young man on the night of March 20, 1954. The shooter was Bobby Plump, of tiny Milan, Ind. The ball went through the hoop, time ran out, and Milan became one of the smallest schools in Indiana history to win a state championship. Thus are legends born, then filmed, as "Hoosiers" was in 1986, with much fictionalization.

But . . . there's more. There's always more. The "more" kicked in the next year, when a school Milan beat on its way to the championship -- in the quarterfinals, 65-52 -- returned to the Indiana state tournament. That school was Crispus Attucks of Indianapolis. Attucks won the state championship in '55 and '56 (and again in '59), and sophomore guard Oscar Robertson went on to be an all-American at the University of Cincinnati and have a great NBA career. Attucks was the first all-black school -- it was a residue of the segregation then just beginning to loosen its grip on American society -- to win a state championship.

More to the point, as many would argue -- including the makers of the film "Something to Cheer About," an affectionate tribute to the Attucks program under the leadership of visionary coach Ray Crowe -- the success of Attucks changed basketball forever. The wide-open, driving, fast "black game" Crowe emphasized was just beginning to overcome and supplant the set-offense, slow-paced "white game." It signified what would be vouch-safed famously when the University of Texas-El Paso (then Texas Western), with five black starters, beat the University of Kentucky in 1966 for the NCAA championship.

One could even argue that the Milan victory was the high-water mark of white basketball, with its plodding offense, carefully regulated number of passes, and two-handed set shots. In fact, few remember that the game itself -- unless you had a rooting interest -- was rather boring. Milan played a slow-down offense to offset its opponents' power and speed (the opponent was a big-city school, Muncie Central) and Plump dribbled in place at the top of the key in the fourth quarter for four minutes with the score at 30-30, then took a shot -- and missed. Muncie rebounded, drove the court, but failed to score; the ball came back to Plump, who stalled, and then began the drive to the hoop for what would become his famous jumper. But the "Hoosiers" folks left out the 240 seconds of . . . nothingness . . . from the movie.

Whether or not there are such things as white basketball and black basketball, what is before us is a modest documentary, actually made in 2002 but only now gaining national release, which celebrates Attucks and that particular team, but most importantly coach Crowe, by all accounts a remarkable man.

It is said that in those days black teams, when they played white teams, were obligated to be gentlemen first and athletes second, to swallow the one-sided refereeing they were bound to receive, never to shower in the host school's facility and never to seem unsavorily preoccupied with winning.

Crowe changed that. A disciplinarian, he had one advantage in that he'd grown up around whites and didn't feel, as did many in segregated circumstances, uncomfortable in their presence. Liberated, therefore, from the pretense of "gentlemanly" behavior, he encouraged his players to run, shoot, jump and, most of all, win. But he was no run-and-gun guru: He counseled physical conditioning, disciplined offense, teamwork and obedience to his strict rules, which emphasized education as much as sports. And it must be said that he also was the beneficiary of extreme luck, with a roster including not only the one-in-a-million Big O, but also Hallie Bryant and Willie Merriweather, outstanding athletes who went on to college and then semipro and Harlem Globetrotter careers.

The filmmaker is Betsy Blankenbaker; she's not gifted and everything about the film is rudimentary, a mesh of old footage and stills (skillfully done) and talking heads (who do become tiresome). She evidently had access to Robertson for just one afternoon, and we never see him mingle with his former teammates (no reason is given). Instead, we see them, separately, at a celebration of their victory, old, dignified men, proud and strong but restrained. She got to Crowe in the last years of his life (he died in 2003), so that this remarkable man's wisdom, the force of his personality, his commitment to winning the right way or no way, are recorded.
Any hoop-dreamer of any color will enjoy the movie's brief 64 minutes.

Something to Cheer About (64 minutes, at Landmark's E Street Cinema) is not rated.
© 2007 The Washington Post Company
Chicago Sun-Times
Plenty to 'Cheer' in hoops doc
April 27, 2007

There has never been such a grandiose stage for the professional basketball player. During the NBA playoffs you will see a culture of players free-lancing, chest thumping and bringing bling to everything, including a seat at the end of the bench. I miss the congruent poetry of basketball, which is why I took to the loving documentary "Something to Cheer About."
The film's catalyst is Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis. In 1955 Attucks won the Indiana state championship, becoming the first all-black school in America to capture a state crown. The Tigers were led by future NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson. A year later, Robertson took Attucks to another state title as it became the first Indiana prep team to complete an undefeated season.
Filmmaker Betsy Blankenbaker's father was a friend of Tigers head coach Ray Crowe (1950-57). She sold her Miami house to fund this 64-minute film, enlisted Robertson and former Tiger Willie Merriweather as co-producers, and embarked on gathering the important oral histories of the surviving players. Blankenbaker began her film in 2000. Four Tigers died during the project. Crowe died in 2003 at age 88, shortly after Blankenbaker finished "Something to Cheer About."
One of Blankenbaker's key acquisitions here is the grainy black and white footage of Crispus Attucks in action during the mid-1950s. It is stunning stuff. Check out the 1955 state championship between Crispus Attucks and Gary Roosevelt and dig the players' Chuck Taylor Hi Tops. Notice the way the team plays for a common goal.
Blankenbaker drives home the point that basketball was a community within a community at Crispus Attucks (the school was named after the African American who had been killed by British troops in the Boston Massacre that preceded the Revolutionary War). Nearly 14,000 fans attended Tigers games, although the team never had a home court. They played at Butler Fieldhouse, Arsenal Technical High School and along the countryside where some farmers had never seen African Americans. The team practiced in a 200-seat gym.
Crispus Attucks opened in 1927 and, according to Indianapolis legend, the Ku Klux Klan had a parade that celebrated the separation of black and white students. In the documentary, cheerleader Maxine Coleman recalled how students were taught to "represent ourselves and our parents wherever we went." Although Blankenbaker uses many present-day interviews, I wanted to learn more about what former players were doing today.
The Tigers had their own tune "The Crazy Song," which fans sang when victory was assured. Written by Attucks teacher Edwina Bell, "The Crazy Song" was not a pep rally song or spirit anthem, it was more of a doo-wop-meets-Cab Calloway number with swaying lyrics like "Hi-de-hi-de, hi-de-ho/That's the skip, bob beat-um/That's the crazy song." The song has a prominent place in "Something To Cheer About."
The dignified tone of the team was set by coach Crowe, a stern father figure. Crowe's players had to be in school in order to obtain playing time on the court. He benched players for what today would be termed as "trash talking." NBA great and Chicago native Isiah Thomas told Blankenbaker that black basketball coaches of this era were some of the "most inventive, free thinking" coaches in the game's history. Crowe deployed a liberating fast-break offense, and he was a pioneer in the democratic triangle offense that Tex Winter and Phil Jackson deployed during the Bulls' 1990s title runs.
Crowe emerges as the hero of "Something To Cheer About," while Robertson is the conscience. Thomas recalled Robertson's influence on his own career, citing Big O's line, "You play as you live."
How much can one coach influence a student?
Robertson earned a business degree at the University of Cincinnati. He was co-captain of the undefeated 1960 U.S. Olympic Team, when United States hoopsters excelled in the international arena. He was president of the NBA Players Association from 1965 until his retirement in 1974. And this season marks the 30th anniversary of the Oscar Robertson Rule, a 1976 class action settlement between the NBA and its players resulting from a lawsuit brought by Robertson six years earlier, which paved the way for free agency and changed the balance of power in pro sports. This legacy would have been unlikely without Crowe's imprint.
Robertson doesn't have as much face time in "Something to Cheer About" as Crowe, but Robertson's memories are stirring, notably when he admits he cannot get over the fact how the Tigers' 1955 and 1956 victory parades were diverted into the black community from the traditional downtown Indianapolis route.
"Something like this can bring a community together," Robertson said in a phone conversation earlier this week. "When we got into the state finals in 1955, cheerleaders from all the other schools came out to cheer for Crispus Attucks. We were known as Indianapolis Attucks and even headlines said the Indianapolis Attucks won the state title." In 2005 Robertson told the Indianapolis Star how the Tigers' success "sped up integration." Their triumphs were reported by the Chicago Defender and Pittsburgh Courier.
The Golden State Warriors are in this year's NBA playoffs. When introduced, former Indiana Pacer Stephen Jackson conducts a fake police frisk with his hands behind his head. He's spoofing his charges of probation violation for discharging a firearm in an Indianapolis strip club parking lot. "Something To Cheer About" is for someone who wants to know about basketball in the compelling shadows before today's game.
These were cheers that changed America.

Critic's rating: Three Stars
Featuring: Oscar Robertson, Ray Crowe and others.
Truly Indie presents a documentary written and directed by Betsy Blankenbaker.
Running time: 64 minutes. No MPAA rating.
Opening today at Landmark Century.

© Copyright 2007 Sun-Times News Group

Los Angeles Times
MOVIE REVIEW 'Something to Cheer About'
A documentary revisits a mid-1950s basketball team.
By Sam Adams
Special to The Times
April 27, 2007

In the documentary "Something to Cheer About," former players at Indianapolis' all-black Crispus Attucks high school recall having to step aside when white folks walked toward them on a busy sidewalk. But on the court, especially under the leadership of coach Ray Crowe, they made room for no one.
In 1955, Attucks became the first all-black team to win a state championship, a feat repeated for the next two years. Indiana Pacer Isaiah Thomas praises the "inventive and free-thinking" coaches of the era, while Sen. Richard Lugar calls Crowe's style, relying on frequent passing and fluid play, "a breakthrough in Indiana basketball."
The former Attucks players who line up for Betsy Blankenbaker's camera have a simpler explanation: Crowe taught them to win. Previous coaches were mainly concerned that the players comported themselves like gentlemen, no mean feat in a segregated era when the team had to travel long distances to find enough schools that would play them to make up a full season.
Crowe, who narrator Willie Merriweather says wanted the game to make the boys rather than the other way around, coached his players in life as well as basketball. Merriweather, later
All-American at Purdue, says he would have dropped out of high school if not for Crowe's paternal influence. But he also expected them to win games, which they did with astonishing and often unbroken regularity.
The most famous Attucks alumnus was Oscar Robertson, who went on to become a 12-time NBA All-Star during seasons with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. Thomas calls him "a great thinker of the game," but his fellow players recall him first as a scrawny kid who was allowed to join their pickup games only because he owned his own basketball. Robertson later grew to 6 feet 5, but the nickname "Big O" started out as a joke.
The players' memories amply document the inequities of segregation, recalling a time when they could sell 10,000 tickets to a game at Butler University's field house (having long since outgrown their own facilities) but were still not allowed to eat in the school's cafeteria. Attucks player Bill Hampton describes the prevalence of corrupt officiating, which effectively added the invariably white referees to the other team's roster. "You looked at it like you're playing [against] seven guys, and they're playing [against] five," he says.
But the movie could have had much greater resonance were it not focused so monolithically on basketball. One wonders what life was like at Attucks High, or how the players' success on the court affected their lives off it. Blankenbaker treats her subjects with respect, but always from a distance. The movie never gets under their skin or develops an emotional narrative to go with its historical recitation. It's full of abrupt leaps and blunt conclusions, redundancies and omissions (among them the fact that Attucks, after winning another title in 1959, never returned to the Final Four).
"Something to Cheer About" is the outline of a great story, but it never fills in the gaps.

"Something to Cheer About." MPAA rating: unrated.
Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Exclusively at Laemmle's Grande, 345 S. Figueroa St., downtown L.A , (213) 617-0268.

Copyright Los Angeles Times

The Village Voice
Tracking Shots
'Something to Cheer About'
by Robert Wilonsky
April 24th, 2007

Something to Cheer About
Directed by Betsy Blankenbaker
Opens April 27, Quad Cinema

In 1927 Indianapolis, the Ku Klux Klan opened the all-black Crispus Attucks High School with the intention of keeping black children out of allegedly superior white schools. The plan backfired, and Attucks became one of the premier schools in the entire country. By the 1950s, it was also home to one of the greatest basketball teams in the country, led by future immortal Oscar Robertson. Several Attucks Tigers, all spry and thoughtful 50 years on, are on hand here to retrace old footsteps on the hardwood and claim their place in history, but Betsy Blankenbaker's doc doesn't possess the kinetic charge of the tale itself; it's too reliant on talking heads and faded photos. Cheer feels amateurish for a generation raised on sports films.
Shoulda been a slam-dunk too.

New York Times
April 27, 2007
Victories Beyond the Basketball Court

Short, sweet and sentimental, "Something to Cheer About" tells the story of Indiana's Crispus Attucks Tigers, who, in 1955, became the first all-black high school basketball team to win a state championship. Like last year's "Glory Road,"
Betsy Blankenbaker's documentary celebrates a victory over much more than just rival teams.Between grainy clips of game film, original team members like the legendary Oscar Robertson, a producer of the film, and the former Harlem Globetrotter Hallie Bryant recall a time when basketball was their release from poverty and segregation.
The team's unusually athletic playing style soon drew crowds of 10,000 and more while confounding its white opponents — who were eager to split the gate but not so eager to socialize afterward.
A trickier problem was the racism of many white officials. "We always believed we could beat any team that we played against," says the former player Stan Patton. "The only two people we had to beat were the referees."
Plodding but heartfelt, "Something to Cheer About" pays tribute to a time when basketball scholarships and professional opportunities were practically unknown.
Back then, a player's only opportunity was to make history.

SOMETHING TO CHEER ABOUT Opens today in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Washington.
Written and directed by Betsy Blankenbaker; directors of photography, Robert Shepard and Dustin Teel; edited by Steve Marra; music by Steve Allee; produced by Ms. Blankenbaker, Willie Merriweather and Oscar Robertson; released by Truly Indie.
In Manhattan at the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village.
Running time: 64 minutes.
This film is not rated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dolphins' 2007 NFL Draft needs: Is Trent Edwards the new Bob Griese?

Just wanted to get in my two cents like everyone else -before it was too late- about what's shaping up to be THE most important Dolphins draft since the 1967 draft that produced my childhood mentor-by-example, the 1966 Heisman Trophy runner-up to Steve Spurrier, Purdue's Bob Griese, once the subject of a forty-page paper I wrote while at Fulford Elementary in North Miami Beach, circa 1971, complete down to having his PAT stats while at Purdue.

[I'll have much more on my Griese connection in the future, including one of the highlights of my childhood, scoring a TD after intercepting a pass of his in a flag football game, while up at the sports camp he operated in the early 70's with then-Dolphins wide receiverand former Iowa Hawkeye and holder for Garo's kicks, Karl Noonan, in Boca Raton at St. Andrew's School, site of the the Dolphins' first training camp.

(One of my counselors was a young Roy Firestone, the future 7-time Emmy winner, but then just a very smart and funny University of Miami student who also did some work at the then-Channel 4, WTVJ.)

I returned it the equivalent of about 70 yards for a TD, twice faking him out so bad that the last time, he wound up rolling on the ground, something I was somewhat used to since I was usually the fastest kid by far on any team I played on.

Afterwards, while standing in the end zone being congratulated by my teammates -which for that game, included one of my counselors/instructors, Dave Elliott, the University of Michigan DB and son of University of Miami head coach and future Pro Football Hall of Fame Director, Pete Elliott- still somewhat stunned by what I'd done, Griese walked over to me and yanked HARD on my flags to make sure that I hadn't cheated by tieing each side within itself, thereby making them shorter, then, after seeing them come off, said, "The touchdown is good."

Then, he turned towards me and said "Congratulations, but how did you know to roll from one side of the field to another, the weak side to the strong side?" or words to that effect.

I told him that the moment I saw the pattern he'd given the receiver I was covering, I recognized it as a pass play he'd often employed successfully to Paul Warfield, whereby Griese looked hard at the CB to make him bite and commit, and then open up his body and throw in the opposite direction towards the outside, where the CB thinks he has a play but is almost always beaten by the wide receiver."

As a devout Dolphin fan who'd had season tickets starting with the perfect 17-0 season of '72, and who'd only missed two home games -whether exhibition, regular season or playoff - from 1971-78, I knew their plays like the back of my hand.

After listening to my explanation, Griese smiled and laughed and said that I'd been 100% right.

Later that week, I was with him the moment he first learned thru the newspaper that the NFL had decided to outlaw his favorite means of drawing a defense offsides by bobbing his head, which had resulted in so many favorable penalties extending drives over the years.

The play I described to Griese is sort of like the play that QB1, Jason Street demonstrated to Matt Saracen in Dillon Panther Stadium at midnight with "Smash" Williams and Tim Riggins in one of the best scenes of the year of Friday Night Lights, one of my favorite TV shows from Day One. ]

I came late to this Sun-Sentinel QB story after having already read most of Armando Salguero's Herald QB stories, and having made copious notes in my legal pads about various players that WQAM radio hosts Orlando Alzugary, , Jim Mandich, and "The Hammer," Hank Goldberg, have discussed at length over the past few weeks on their respective shows, especially after the NFL player workouts in Indy.
I thought I'd share some thoughts about whom I think the Dolphins should draft, QB-wise -in the second round- of this weekend's NFL Draft, but first, I feel the need to go over this particular Sun-Sentinel story with a red pencil.

First, for information purposes, keeping with the intent of this blog's name, Michigan State's Drew Stanton, consistently mentioned as being part of the second-tier QB group who'll be available to the Dolphins with their second pick on Saturday, is, according to numerous local media reports, now living just down the street from me over the county line in Aventura, the so-called "City of Excellence," so he can train in a climate and atmosphere more conducive to his getting maximum potential out of his natural talent, and give him a chance to work out in person for Cam Cameron.

(That "Excellence" moniker can't be said for the city's email system, which marked as "spam" an email I sent to the Aventura mayor and the city manager recently to alert them to a water leak on the sidewalk off Biscayne Blvd., after the SFWMD and the media were bombarding us with info about calling in any water leaks you spotted on account of the new water restrictions and the longstanding drought conditions at Lake Okechobee, )

Also, curiously, reference is made in the story to the "radio comments" of Giants' Hall of Famer and CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms without any specific show be credited. Just for the record, Phil has been making his comments on Hank Goldberg's program of late, just as he does during the NFL season.

Yours truly has originally planned to write down Phil's prescient comments just as quickly as possible, while taping the program, to share his insightful comments with you here, but that plan was too hopeful and not accomplished with the exceptions of a few notes below.

For more of Phil, see the Sun-Sentinel's usually prescient Ethan Skolnick's interview:

More than any other current NFL TV analyst, I tend to agree with Phil's intuition close to 100% of the time, which is saying something.
Sort of like the NFL version of Slate's Mickey Kaus, whom I used to talk to occasionally when I lived in DC and he was still toiling at The New Republic, while yours truly worked his second job at the Border's Books on 18th & L Street, which was the bookstore that most of DC's media flocked to at lunch or after work due to its great location, near the DC bureaus of ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, et al.

WQAM's NFL draft programming starts Saturday with pre-draft material starting at
10am Kenny, Bo and Alex Marvez 12pm QAM's NFL Draft Coverage and then settles in for the afternoon at noon 'till the 6:30 Marlins coverage.

You might want to avail yourself of the info package they've assembled on the station's draft page,, which, conveniently, includes the Phil interviews as well as ones Hank and Jim have conducted with other guests on various draft prospects.

Stanton is not Phil's "type of quarterback," per se, and while describing Toby Karotti as "not a great thrower," he did say that he'd heard that he was the second-best thrower at the Indy workout, while lumping Ohio State's Troy Smith and the gators Chris Leak as "projects," doubting they'll ever get a real chance to start at QB in the NFL.

Phil also described Sooner RB Adrian Peterson in two words, "take him!" He's "as dynamic
an RB as I've watched since paying attention to the NFL Draft. Incredible physical talent."
"Can't miss." High praise indeed!

Though the internet's the answer to an NFL Draftnik's prayers, despite the many sites that are out there passing along info that ranges from prescient to slander, I've found that in the weeks leading up to this weekend's draft extravaganza that besides the NFL's own site, , which most of you probably already have bookmarked -or should- , another site has filled in a lot of the black holes for me.

People down here, esp. initial skeptics of Culpepper trade, like me, are VERY disappointed that we only heard two weeks ago about extent of the Culpepper injury timeline, and while nearly everyone wishes that Culpepper works out okay, the Dolphins are deep behind the eight-ball with their current crop of QBs, since without mobility, Culpepper is useless and even more fumble-prone with the offensive line the Dolphins have currently.

I like Cleo Lemon and Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron, the subject of an upcoming posting, had Lemon while out in San Diego while he was Chargers' offensive coordinator
and likes his athleticism and his command of the huddle.

The other players really seem to like him and try hard for him, which I can't say was always the case for the last few Dolphin QBs, for whatever reason.

(I should mention here that, for the benefit of those of you who aren't in the South Florida area, lots of callers to local sports radio shows are opining that Nick Saban, aka the Devil, with his "only one voice" top-down management style, intentionally left this injury situation below the surface as his ultimate screw-you to South Florida on his way out.
Word is that even the more partisan sports writers and TV reporters who cover Alabama, the ones who thought this area was "unfair" to Saban, are now starting to see that all the things they were told by South Florida media folks about Saban only a few months ago, really are TRUE.)

Due to the above news, it looks more and more likely that former Hoosier and Redskin Trent Green will be coming here after this weekend's draft, since he has already indicated to the beleaguered Browns that he wants no part of them.

At this point, it's just a question of whether the Dolphins will blink and give in to the Chiefs' draft pick demands, or whether the Dolphins will hold firm.

Personally, after reading what I could about all the potential QB candidates, I'd like to see the Dolphins draft Stanford QB Trent Edwards
and ) in the 2nd round, since Green is, even under the best of circumstances, a two-year option -though I'm open to the idea of being proven wrong.

Though the knock on him is that he is a "system" QB, I was VERY impressed with Houston's Kevin Kobb in his game against the Hurricanes last year down here.

I'll be going to the Dolphins' training facility in Davie on Saturday, catching the fan over-analysis over there "up- close and personal," while also touring the facilities and checking the new crop of Dolphin cheerleaders, and will try to post some photographs in the days to follow.

This will mark my first trip to the Davie facility, though I was a regular for the Dolphins' training camp at the then-Biscayne College in the early 70's, the outside sauna, which is where I first became a charter subscriber to Dolphin Digest, back in the day before those sorts of niche sports publications exploded on the scene.

For whatever reason, I've never had any urge to go up to their "new" place in Davie.

Here's hoping that Mueller & Cameron really do stick to their guns and pick ONLY smart talented players for a change!
A good start would be getting Penn State's Levi Brown with the 9th pick and nabbing Trent Edwards in the second round.

Dolphins' Cameron, Mueller feeling own QB pressure
By Harvey Fialkov
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
April 24, 2007

More than a year after seemingly solving their quarterback problems with the acquisition of three-time Pro Bowl selection Daunte Culpepper, the Dolphins find themselves back at the drawing board as draft day approaches.
And a drawing board is exactly what Dolphins coach Cam Cameron wanted from former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn during a February interview at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Cameron told Quinn he had seven minutes to diagram every run and pass formation, as well as each pass protection scheme, in the Notre Dame playbook, according to a report on Sports Illustrated's Web site. A former college quarterback at Indiana, Cameron recently explained why he wanted Quinn to perform such a harrowing mental exercise.

"Guys need to be able to think to play the position," Cameron said. "I want to try to find out, `Can they think fast?' ... Then the ultimate test is, `Can they think fast under pressure?'
Cameron and General Manager Randy Mueller are facing pressure to fix the quarterback situation for a team that has gone five seasons without a playoff appearance. Whether the still-gimpy Culpepper or imminent acquisition Trent Green is this season's starter, Mueller has made it clear that he wants a young quarterback to develop.

Most draft analysts believe that Quinn and Louisiana State's JaMarcus Russell will be gone by the Dolphins' turn at No. 9. Russell seems destined for the quarterback-starved Oakland Raiders at No. 1, while the Lions (No. 2) and Browns (No. 3) would be hard-pressed to pass up Quinn, who seems most NFL-ready after playing for former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis the past two seasons.

The Dolphins could trade up for Quinn and draft a quarterback in the first round for the first time since taking Dan Marino at No. 27 in 1983. More likely, the Dolphins will use one of their two second-round picks to snare a second-tier quarterback such as Stanford's Trent Edwards, Michigan State's Drew Stanton or Brigham Young's John Beck.
All have question marks.
Edwards has durability issues, with the most recent injury being a broken right foot that ended his senior season after the Cardinal's 0-7 start.

At 6 feet 3 and 226 pounds, Stanton is a classic pocket passer. Stanton recently moved to South Florida and has worked out several times for Cameron.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Stanton lacks consistency, while ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. questioned his arm strength. Former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms also recently said during a radio interview that Stanton is "not a good enough pocket thrower."

Cameron made a trip to Provo, Utah, to visit Beck, who finished his BYU career as the school's second-most prolific quarterback (11,021 yards). But because Beck served a two-year church mission in Portugal, he will be a 26-year-old NFL rookie.

"His size, arm strength and mobility are all better than advertised," according to Rob Rang of

Mueller, a former NAIA Division II quarterback who drafted Marc Bulger and the unheralded J.T. O'Sullivan during three New Orleans Saints drafts from 2000-02, realizes that drafting a quarterback early isn't always a recipe for success.

"Most of the time they're thrown out there and have to carry a team, a franchise and a city right away, and that's a lot," Mueller said. "Ask David Carr [Houston's underachieving top pick of 2002, now with Carolina] and some of these other guys, and I think you can evaluate for days and weeks and months and you won't know the answer to that question."

But at least it's a start for a team that hasn't drafted a quarterback since Josh Heupel in 2001.

Harvey Fialkov can be reached at
Copyright © 2007, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Miami Herald
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Draft might provide Fins QB of future

Lost in the Trent Green trade speculation and the intrigue about Daunte Culpepper's soon-to-follow trade or release is the fact the Dolphins still will be looking for their future quarterback even after the two dramas finally play out.
And that's where this weekend's NFL Draft serves as the climax to Miami's offseason quarterback search.
Because the Dolphins aren't just searching for one starting-caliber quarterback, but rather, they're trying to find two. The first player is expected to be a veteran to serve as steward over the 2007 season, the short-term fix to Miami's long-standing and long-term quarterback woes.
The second is supposed to be the heir to Miami's passing game. That rookie, drafted sometime Saturday, will be asked to carry Miami's quarterback hopes into the next decade.
''That's something that coach [Cam Cameron] and I have spent a lot of time on,'' Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller said. ``It's no secret we'd like to make the right choice, if a quarterback is in the future for us. Again, we don't know because I can't tell you what else is going to be there and what our other choices will be.
``But I do know this: All of the guys, and there are five or six guys who are probably first-day worthy, all have ability to play in this league. I think the hardest part is sorting out the intangibles and we've spent a lot of time on that.''

In fact, the Dolphins have spent more time trying to solve the quarterback riddle than they have spent on practically any other position.
Mueller and Cameron traveled to South Bend, Ind., to meet and work out Notre Dame's Brady Quinn. They traveled to Baton Rouge, La., for an on-campus workout of Louisiana State's JaMarcus Russell. But realizing both those players likely will be out of reach barring a Saturday trade-up scenario, the Miami brain trust also has done homework on likely second-round picks.
The Dolphins have two second-round picks and one of those could be used on Brigham Young's John Beck, Stanford's Trent Edwards or Michigan State's Drew Stanton. All have met with Cameron, Mueller or both at least twice in recent weeks. East Carolina's James Pinkney is a later-round possibility.
Mueller and Cameron are conducting a wide-ranging search while looking for a focused set of skills, with the ability to think quickly among the most important of those.
''I think guys need to be able to think to play the position,'' Cameron said. 'But, it's a lot more than that and that's kind of why guys tend to think, `Well, I'm a smart guy, I can play quarterback in the NFL.' Then you try to find out if they can think fast.''
Cameron has tested the mental speed of the quarterbacks he has talked to this offseason by simply asking them to diagram their passing schemes -- under pressure of a time limit.
''What I like to try to do -- usually we'll have it down to the group of guys that we think can think at the level that we need to run this system, but then I want to try find out, can they think fast? That is kind of the next step,'' Cameron said. ``Then the ultimate test is, can they think fast under pressure?
``Take anything we think we know and decrease the time element, it's amazing what happens to people. We are looking for that guy that when there is five seconds on that 40-second clock or five seconds in the game, that's like two days to him, the game is in slow motion. We've all seen those guys operate and that's the guy we're looking for. I would say the guys that have a tough time thinking fast under pressure are going to struggle in this business.''
The Dolphins don't think Quinn is one of those that will struggle. People within the organization say Quinn is the quarterback most likely to succeed in a system similar to the one Miami runs and that is why the Dolphins covet Quinn.
That does not cast aspersions on Russell's potential and great athletic skill. But the Dolphins simply think Quinn is a quicker thinker.
And Quinn, not surprisingly, agrees.

Although he is not nearly as gifted as Russell physically or athletically, Quinn thinks he should be the first quarterback chosen, something the Dolphins are frankly rooting against.
''I'm a competitor and as a competitor I want to be the best, I want to be first,'' Quinn said. ``The best player in the draft is the one that gets picked first. That's why I want to get picked first. Nothing against any of the other guys, but that's how I'm thinking.''
Draft experts have criticized Quinn for not playing well in big games although he has never thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in a game against a winning team. They've also criticized his ability to throw on the move and throw long passes with accuracy.
But Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, who mentored Tom Brady during his days as New England's offensive coordinator, believes the team that gets Quinn is getting a star.
''They're going to get a combination of Tommy and Peyton [Manning],'' Weis said. ``I've heard from at least 20 teams that have talked to Brady [Quinn] and say this is the closest interview they've seen to Peyton.''

© 2007 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The I-Men's Association and I-Women's Association are now the I Association

Much like the recent news about the search for a new IU President to lead the school into a new era of dynamic change, which South Beach Hoosier is embarrassed to admit that he came to later than he'd have liked, he's also coming late to this particular story of great interest to certain of you Hoosier alumni friends, too, and include it here in the hope that those of you who routinely come to SBH blog -and haven't yet heard the news from Bloomington about the organizational changes- will be up to date and resolved to either get involved -or stay involved.
February 19, 2007

Dear Letter Winner:

It is my pleasure to announce that we have merged the I-Women's and I-Men's associations into one organization. From this point forward, we will be known as the Indiana University I Association.
In consultation with the Indiana University Alumni Association and the IU Department of Athletics, we officially merged the two associations on Jan. 1, 2007.
As Ken Beckley, recently retired president and CEO of the Alumni Association, stated in a news release, "Gender-based organizations for athletes at Indiana University are no longer necessary. Our belief is that one merged association, served by female and male volunteer leaders and serving all athlete alumni, will provide more programming and more event opportunities than was possible by both of the current groups combined. The new association will ensure that all sports are served well in the future."
It is my belief and the belief of the new Board of Directors of the I Association that the mission of the I Association will remain consistent with the goals of the previous two institutions. As I Association members, we will, according to the group's mission statement, "promote alumni activities, which might assist Indiana University, the Indiana University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the Indiana University Athletics Committee."
The two former organizations voted to merge during their respective board meetings in the fall, and the IUAA Executive Council approved the merger on Dec. 8. A new constitution and bylaws have been written, and a new slate of officers and board of directors have been approved.
It is my hope and desire that you will continue to be involved in the I Association in the months and years ahead. We are only as strong as our membership is involved and engaged.
Please feel free to contact me or our executive director, Karl Zacker, by e-mail at, by phone at (812) 855-0981, or by mail at the DeVault Alumni Center, 1000 E. 17th St., Bloomington, IN 47408.

Warmest regards,
Pat O'Connor, BS'74, Swimming

News & Announcements
I-Men Remember: Kevin Berry, IU swimming alumnus and I-Man Kevin Berry passed away in December 2006. A memorial scholarship is being established at the Indiana University Foundation. For more information, please contact Matthew Morris at (812) 856-4152, (800) 558-8311, or
Also see related articles on these Web sites:
The Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday February 21 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

South Florida quality of life issues, Pulitzer-winner Cenziper to WaPo, Hallandale Beach's neverending street light problems, et al.

A recent letter to a well-informed media friend, a transplant from Los Angeles, allowed South Beach Hoosier to connect some national and local dots he'd been pondering for awhile.
Have a couple of interesting articles for you to peruse, below.

As I'm sure you recall from your days when you were in LA, Abbe Lowell's old pre-2003 firm, from which he defended Gary Condit in the Chandra Levy case -Chandra belonged to my gym on Conn. Ave. in DC, right above M Street- was the LA-based, Manatt firm.
Discovered recently that their founding name partner, Charles Manatt, who's an ex-Chair of the DNC, was fired by the DNC -while he was toiling there as a Georgetown Law student- just days before JFK beat Nixon. Imagine how psyched he was to be in charge, even during Reagan's first term!
(Also didn't know until recently that Mr. Manatt took over as Chair of the Board of Trustees at GW -George Washington University- in 2001, just when their tuition got even more stratospeherically expensive than it already was, when my friends were going there for grad school, when it was absurd!)
I subscribe to a few of the Manatt newsletters, including their one on advertising law, which usually has much more insight than the Associated Press dispatch on the same story, days later,

I don't know if you already know this, but the firm is currently repping several retired NFL players -including Hall of Famers- in their lawsuit against Players Inc., the NFLPA's licensing & marketing subsidiary. There's been scant coverage of this on ESPN, and I'm sure that's NOT entirely by accident.

When Judicial Watch's founder and former director Larry Klayman moved down to Florida in 2003 to make a run for the GOP nomination to grab Bob Graham's Senate seat, the only place that I ever consistently saw his campaign signs were on the eastern side of the intersection of A1A and Hallandale Beach Blvd., part of my current stomping grounds, on the fence of the Victor Posner property, just north of the iconic Hallandale Beach Water Tower, just south of where the Haitian boat came ashore three weeks ago.
(For posterity and curiosity's sake, I considered taking some of them when they were still up months after he was trounced in the GOP primary. But I waited ONE day too long. They just vanished one night.)

The Posner property, just south of the SIAN project, has had a 30-40 foot mound of dirt sitting there since at least Thanksgiving, without a mandated (plastic) silt fence to prevent it from blowing out onto motorists and pedestrians on A1A.
It's a perfect example of a simple South Florida quality-of-life issue which this area never seems able to get a proper handle on, as the City of Hollywood and Broward County go round and round over who's responsible for enforcing a self-evident pollution problem that couldn't possibly be more of a thumb in the eye to local area residents.
At least five months since it showed up, it just sits there, mocking everyone who passes it

Sort of like how I followed up on a LONGSTANDING complaint Saturday night the 14th, from a friend who lives on A1A, who shares my frustration at the continuing inability of local, county and state govts. to coordinate even the simplest task.
(Though I really loved living in Arlington County for all those years, I never realized how great Arlington County's govt. was -until I left!
The contrast with the attitudes here towards problem-solving could hardly be more stark.)

And what did I discover on my latest round of sleuthing and detection, you ask, having already filled up notebooks with postings on Aventura, Hollywood and Hallandale Beach misdeeds and screw-ups that defy both common sense and imagination, which'll soon be on my two blogs?
EVERY single street light on both sides of A1A was out Saturday night, once you head north out of tony Golden Beach, until you come to the north side of HBB, where the City of Hollywood starts -along with the first five lights on the West 858 access ramp that takes you over the Intercoastal and towards US-1 and 1-95. That's consistency!

Yes, it's another tribute to the backwater city I live in, Hallandale Beach, and its incompetent and myopic mayor, Joy Cooper, and her apathetic employees and contractors: 39 street lights in a row out on one of South Florida's most prominent streets.
A street chock-full of upper-middle class folks -many of whom are elderly- who no doubt thought that their taxes were already supposed to be taking care of this sort of thing.
In walking block after block along the sidewalk, in near pitch-black conditions, encountering people still going about their life, regardless of the circumstances their own city govt, had put them in, it dawned on me that for a criminal, it's the ultimate target-rich environment, whether your interest is robbery or carjacking.
Nobody sees anything.

Yet as you may've read or heard, the state FDOT is considering labeling the A1A stretch of Broward from Deerfield Beach to Hallandale Beach a "scenic highway"
Forgetting for a moment that you can't honestly even see the beach in Hallandale Beach from A1A for all the huge towers lining the street, as is true for far too many stretches of Hollywood, how do you call a place "scenic" if you can't even see five feet in front of you at night?
Imagine having to evacuate that area at night before a hurricane?
Well I DID, after I saw Hurricane evacuation signs obscured by FDOT poles and signs that rendered them invisible.
Those older residents I spoke of earlier have special transportation needs, and when you see the basics, like evacuation signs, being poorly placed, it makes you wonder what else is not being done correctly, six weeks before Hurricanes season starts.

Yes, accountability is a completely foreign concept here in South Florida as I'm sure you've long since learned since moving here from SoCal.
I only wish I'd have started my two blogs when I first came down here in the Fall of 2003.
Mieux tard que jamais -better late than never!

I don't recall off the top of my head whether Dana Priest' and Anne Hull of The Washington Post and their Walter Reed Hospital story about insufficient care of outpatients just missed the deadline for Pulitzer consideration, but considering how much everyone in DC's media village fell all over themselves in praising them, and the fact that the Local Reporting prize went to The Miami Herald's Debbie Cenziper for her "House of Lies" series on public housing in Miami-Dade County, ask yourself the following question:
Does the idea of reporters and newspapers earning plaudits for writing about massive longstanding problems that were ignored by them and their colleagues for years seem as upside to you as it does to me?
They didn't discover the problem, they simply pointed out that it existed.
"Hey Columbus, I'm over here!"

Leaving aside for a moment the fact that Cenziper, a U-F grad, is leaving the Herald for the Post soon.. Oh, you didn't know that having won a Pulitzer, a Miami Herald reporter is jumping ship? Well, here's the story as E& P wrote it the other day:

Editor & Publisher
'Miami Herald' Pulitzer Winner Jumping to 'Washington Post'
By Joe Strupp
Published: April 18, 2007 11:00 AM ET

Debbie Cenziper of The Miami Herald won a Pulitzer Prize for an in-depth report on local housing abuse, she's found a new job at The Washington Post. In his Pulitzer wrapup on Tuesday, Post media writer Howard Kurtz casually mentioned that she would be joining the paper this summer.
The Broward (Fla.) New Times reported today that Cenziper had gotten the job months ago, but agreed to stay at the Herald until the end of this spring. She won the Pulitzer for Local Reporting on Monday.
"The news that Cenziper was leaving wasn't played quite as prominently today," New Times wrote of the Herald's own coverage of the change. "Gossip columnist Joan Fleischman tacked it on the end of her piece this morning. That's right, the Herald reported the departure of its star reporter in a gossip column based on the reporting of another newspaper."

Joe Strupp ( is a senior editor at E&P.
Links referenced within this article

So with all that in mind, now, it just seems to me that a sense of corporate shame by the Herald and the Post's mgmt., for having had collective blinders on for years about what, in retrospect, seems an obvious scandal in their own backyard, might be more appropriate.
Yes, sometimes even an optimist like me has to be contrarian when the facts are so patently clear.

Adios 'til next time!
Copyright 2007 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved.

Chadbourne's Abbe Lowell Jumps to McDermott Will
Andrew Longstreth
The American Lawyer
April 17, 2007

Abbe Lowell, a highly regarded Washington, D.C., defense lawyer, is on the move again.
After spending four years at Chadbourne & Parke, Lowell said Monday that he is hopping to McDermott Will & Emery where he will head the firm's white-collar criminal defense practice in Washington, D.C. The move will be effective April 28.
Although he called Chadbourne a "fabulous" firm, Lowell said he was not able to generate the kind of litigation opportunities he wanted.
"It's a combination of size and practice areas," said Lowell.
McDermott has some 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices around the world. By contrast, Chadbourne had around 350 lawyers in 11 offices. Last year McDermott's profits per partner were $1.41 million, while Chadbourne's were $1.08 million.
By picking up Lowell, 54, McDermott gets a lawyer with a keen understanding of the ways of Washington. Lowell served as chief investigative counsel to Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives during the impeachment proceedings of President Bill Clinton.
Throughout his career, he has also represented a raft of politicians under scrutiny, mostly Democrats, including Rep. Gary Condit during the Chandra Levy scandal.
But he has occasionally crossed party lines. Perhaps his best-known client is the disgraced former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pled guilty to charges of conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion last year.
He currently represents Republican Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, who is under federal investigation regarding his relationship with a defense contractor.
Unlike many white-collar defense attorneys at big firms, Lowell also has major trial experience. Many of his clients have tended to be individuals who have chosen to fight the government in court. In 2005, for example, Lowell represented multimillionaire Mississippi plaintiffs lawyer Paul Minor at trial against criminal charges of bribery and conspiracy. The jury acquitted him on some charges and hung on the rest. (Without Lowell as his trial counsel, Minor was convicted earlier this year at a retrial.)
McDermott will be Lowell's third firm in four years. Before joining Chadbourne in 2003, Lowell was the D.C. managing partner of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, where he headed the white-collar and special investigations group for four years.
Before that, Lowell served as a name partner at Brand, Lowell & Ryan, which he cofounded in 1983. Ever since leaving his firm, Lowell said his mission has been to find a firm where he could create more interesting work for himself than he could on his own.
"I think I have it right this time," said Lowell. "Sometimes it takes time to get it right."
Chadbourne counsel Pamela Marple, a former federal prosecutor, will also join from Chadbourne as a partner.
According to McDermott Chairman Harvey Freishat, McDermott has taken on five lateral partners in 2007 and lost one.
Hollywood Entrepreneur Accuses Judicial Watch of Misconduct
Emma Schwartz
Legal Times

They've gone after the Clintons, Dick Cheney and even Tom DeLay, all in the pursuit of good government. But now the leaders of Judicial Watch are facing their own set of ethical questions from a former client who helped the conservative watchdog group make headlines.
The allegations are outlined in a lawsuit filed in D.C. federal court by one-time Hollywood entrepreneur (and four-time felon) Peter F. Paul, who claims that Judicial Watch violated its ethical obligations during its representation of him and then misled donors about its work.
"Everything they have accused the Clintons of, they are themselves guilty of in spades," Paul says.
The dispute stems from an unusual agreement between Judicial Watch and Paul. In 2001, the organization agreed to represent Paul in his public battle against the 2000 Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton, while at the same time defending him from a series of criminal securities-fraud charges.
The 58-year-old Paul, who spent nearly three years in prisons in Brazil and New York, alleges that Judicial Watch's dual role created an inherent conflict that hurt his criminal defense and prolonged his detention. He also says the group used his fight against the Clintons for fund-raising, even after it dropped out of his case.
Last week, Paul filed a complaint with D.C. Bar Counsel against Judicial Watch lawyer Paul Orfanedes, contending that he allowed Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who is not a lawyer, to interfere in the legal strategy of his case. Paul is seeking more than $1 million in damages and fees.
Richard Driscoll, who represents Judicial Watch, says Paul's allegations have no merit but would not elaborate. In a March 16 motion to dismiss, Driscoll wrote, "Factually, Paul's hyperbolic allegations fail to disclose much of what actually occurred." Judge Royce Lamberth hasn't ruled on the motion.
The story of how Judicial Watch's relationship with Paul fell apart highlights the complex alliances and practices behind the group's politically charged litigation.
Paul was once a cause célèbre for Judicial Watch. His claims eventually led the Federal Election Commission to levy a $35,000 fine against Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign. They also served as the basis of a failed criminal prosecution of Clinton's campaign treasurer, David Rosen.
Paul was not the first client Judicial Watch had aided in criminal cases. The group also represented Democratic donor Johnny Chung, a California businessman who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in connection with President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign. Judicial Watch assisted Chung in filing Freedom of Information Act lawsuits while at the same time advising in his criminal case.
Paul's suit against Judicial Watch, filed in February in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is just the latest challenge the group is facing. It is also defending a civil action filed by Larry Klayman, its founder and former director. Klayman claims that the organization defamed him and failed to uphold his severance agreement when he left in 2003 to run for a Florida Senate seat. Earlier this month, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that most of Klayman's claims can go forward.
In January, Louise Benson, a former Judicial Watch donor, also sued in a Florida state court over money she gave for a new building that the organization never built.
Klayman says the lawsuits are fighting "a pattern and practice by Tom Fitton and other directors to mislead donors."
Both Klayman and Paul are using the same lawyer, Daniel Dugan of Spector Gadon & Rosen, but maintain that they are not coordinating their litigation.
Fitton declined to discuss the cases, but he calls them a "nuisance." He says: "It's unfortunate that we have to be distracted in some part as a result of these lawsuits."

The story of Paul, the Clintons and Judicial Watch began in August 2000 at a Hollywood fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton's Senate bid.
At the time, Paul was a co-owner of a successful Internet venture that he began with Spider-Man creator Stan Lee. The company -- called Stan Lee Media -- aimed to popularize superheroes on the Internet, as Lee had once done with Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and other Marvel comic-book heroes. Paul was looking for big names to join the board. Someone like soon-to-be-ex-President Clinton seemed a perfect prospect.
To grease the wheels, Paul says he underwrote more than $1 million for Hillary Clinton's fund-raising gala in Los Angeles, where he rubbed shoulders with the former president.
But Paul's support did little to get Clinton on board with the venture. Paul says he felt betrayed and adds that he soon learned that the campaign had not reported his donation to the FEC. He thought he smelled a fraud.
Paul, of course, was no stranger to fraudulent schemes.
He first made a name for himself as an attorney and civic leader in Miami. But in 1979, he was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of cocaine possession. Paul says the charges stemmed from a sting operation he was involved in against Cuban President Fidel Castro.
After spending 30 months behind bars, Paul headed to California, where his staunch anti-Castro views quickly won him favor with then-President Ronald Reagan. Paul won an appointment to the committee organizing the bicentennial commemoration of the Constitution, where he says he worked closely with then-Chief Justice Warren Burger. While still on parole, however, Paul lied about his identity to a customs official on his way to Canada. He was charged and pleaded guilty to another felony.
Despite that setback, throughout the '80s and '90s, Paul made his mark in Hollywood, both professionally and financially. He marketed biographies for Muhammad Ali and Tony Curtis and developed the media image for the model Fabio.
Paul knew his decision to take on the Clintons would be difficult. In fact, few lawyers were willing to do so.

In 2000, Judicial Watch was at something of a crossroads. The 30-person group was only five years old, but it had quickly made a name for itself by attacking the Clinton White House.
With Klayman's fiery attitude and aggressive litigation tactics, Judicial Watch had won the right to depose a number of key figures, including Democratic fund-raiser John Huang, Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon and Nolanda Hill, a former business partner of the late Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown. And the organization's FOIA litigation sometimes won sanctions against government agencies.
Although many of its suits were ultimately dismissed, Judicial Watch used its notoriety -- and limited successes -- to raise money. In 1998, billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife -- owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review -- gave the group $550,000.
With a Republican administration in office, Judicial Watch had less fodder to motivate its mostly conservative donors. So when Paul approached the group with allegations that again would allow it to target the Clintons, Klayman was easily won over.
But Paul had other legal matters he needed help with. The dot-com bust had sent Stan Lee Media belly-up, and the Justice Department was investigating Paul's role in alleged stock manipulations with the company. The bankruptcy of his company had also wiped out most of Paul's savings. Judicial Watch agreed to foot Paul's legal bill and organize his criminal defense.
Paul's claims made a big splash when Judicial Watch filed two lawsuits in the summer of 2001 against the Clintons, one in a California court and the other with the FEC. But as Paul's political attack generated attention, his criminal case heated up.
In July 2001, he was indicted for securities fraud in the Eastern District of New York. The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges in California.
A few months earlier, Paul had gone to Brazil, where he had long run a business selling software that teaches English. The feds saw the move as an attempt to evade indictment. So they had Paul arrested in Sao Paulo in August and taken to a local prison.
Judicial Watch retained criminal-defense attorney Michael Dowd. Dowd is a well-known New York lawyer who had once been suspended from practicing law for his involvement in a kickback scheme in the 1980s. But he later made a name for himself by representing battered women and people abused by clergy.
Paul was not an easy client, Dowd says, but he doesn't recall anything amiss about Paul's relationship with Judicial Watch. "It seemed that they were genuinely interested in him," he says.
At first, Paul and his lawyers tried to negotiate some sort of immunity: Paul would dish about his company and the Clintons in exchange for an end to the criminal charges.
Discussions eventually broke down and Paul began fighting extradition -- a battle that lasted until September 2003, when he was finally brought back to America and held at a Brooklyn jail.
During Paul's first hearing in New York, he fired Dowd on the spot. According to the ethics complaint Paul filed against Judicial Watch's Orfanedes, Dowd told the court that he was not familiar with the 2001 indictment. (Dowd declined to comment on his departure.)
Paul then approached James Neville, a local criminal-defense lawyer sitting in the courtroom that day. "I grabbed him, and I said, 'How would you like to represent me?'" Paul says.
The hire didn't sit well with Judicial Watch, so Fitton, who by this point had taken over for Klayman, brought in another lawyer, Robert Sticht from Beverly Hills.
Sticht and Neville immediately fought over strategy. Paul wanted to file a habeas corpus petition challenging the extradition process in Brazil. Sticht disagreed. Neville thought the petition was a long shot but says "it certainly was a rational tactic to take." (Sticht could not be reached for comment.)
Neville felt that Judicial Watch's opposition to the filing conflicted with his obligation to zealously represent his client. He also felt the group was short-shrifting him on payment. (He eventually got $40,000, he says.)
Fitton responded by firing him. He then hired two new lawyers, Boris Orlov from Sticht's firm and Scott Black from Kostelanetz & Fink.
But the relationship between Paul and Judicial Watch was already wearing thin. Paul complained that his Judicial Watch-paid attorneys were unwilling to visit him in jail. What's more, he felt that Fitton was giving Orfanedes and Sticht legal advice, even though he is not a lawyer.
Even an outsider could sense problems. "The evidence in the case was really overwhelming," says Steve Zissou, who represented a co-defendant in the case. "You really have to say to the client, 'You have to get out of the case, you're a dead duck.'"
Instead, Paul claims that his new defense team "proceeded to file numerous motions designed to anger the court, but with little hope of success."
One of these motions brought both sides to a head during an August 2004 hearing before Judge Leonard Wexler. Prosecutors claimed in a sealed filing that Judicial Watch had created a conflict of interest by filing the motion to dismiss the indictment for outrageous government conduct, which they believed could only be proven if Paul admitted to potentially criminal behavior.
Wexler was concerned, as well. "Let me ask you one question," he told Sticht, according to the transcript. "Who is paying you? You keep flying in. You keep making all this paperwork."
Sticht did not see a problem, but Wexler offered to appoint an outside counsel for Paul to consult with. Paul, however, refused, and wound up retaining Joseph Conway, a recently departed prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Long Island, N.Y.
Within days, Conway had essentially reversed Judicial Watch's legal strategy. He dismissed the three appeals on Paul's bail and withdrew the motion over the government's conduct, indicating that Paul would plead guilty in the New York case as well as to the SEC charges in California.
Left without many options, Sticht asked Wexler to let him withdraw from the representation -- but not before making accusations of his own. In a November 2004 court filing, Sticht accused Conway of a conflict of interest because he had just left the U.S. Attorney's Office that was prosecuting Paul. (Conway said at the time that he'd never been involved with the case.)
In January 2005, Paul pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and was released on bail. In plea documents, Paul states that he takes medicine for a bipolar disorder. Two years later, he has yet to be sentenced and is currently living with his family in Asheville, N.C.
But there was still the problem of Judicial Watch's pledge to cover Paul's legal bills. In 2005, Fitton tried to get Paul to waive that commitment in exchange for $75,000. Paul declined and grew increasingly incensed that Judicial Watch continued to trumpet him in its fund-raising -- as it did when the FEC fined the Clinton campaign that December.
Fitton is not concerned that the attacks will hurt Judicial Watch's bottom line. He says the group has branched out to new issues, such as immigration. Of course, it hasn't forgotten about the Clintons. The group recently released a "poll" focused on Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House. The results: 45 percent of voters were concerned her administration would be corrupt.
(My emphasis!)

Manatt And McKool Smith Help Retired Professional Football Players Kick Off Class-Action LawsuitOnly 10 percent of those represented by Union's commercial licensing arm receive payments

LOS ANGELES and PALO ALTO, CALIF., February 15, 2007 - A betrayal of trust of former All-Pro defensive back Bernard P. Parrish, Hall of Fame defensive back Herbert A. Adderley and more than 3,000 other retired football players is at the center of a class-action lawsuit filed by Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and McKool Smith late yesterday in federal court in San Francisco against Players Inc., the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the National Football League Players Association, the players' union. The retired players claim that they are owed tens of millions of dollars for licensing and other payments not made since 1994.
The lawsuit alleges breach of fiduciary duty by Players Inc. and claims that the retired athletes were not paid royalty and other payments from licensing and marketing opportunities using their names and images. The lawsuit states that an accounting of Players Inc.'s $750,000,000 secretive licensing business will disclose that the retired players, 90 percent of whom have received no payments, have been cheated since the day Players Inc. was formed.
"Players, Inc. has completely failed to comply with the duty of trust that it owes as the agent of these players," said Ronald S. Katz, the lead counsel for the retired players, who is a partner at Manatt. "These players built the game before the era of big salaries. Because the pensions they receive from the Union are not enough to live on and because many of these players are disabled, they need these royalty payments just to make ends meet. Given the Players, Inc. and NFLPA documents attached to the complaint, I would not be surprised to see a congressional investigation of the Union."
Co-counsel Lewis LeClair, a partner of the McKool Smith law firm in Dallas, Texas, added, "If you purport to represent all of the players but only pay a fraction of them, that is neither fair nor legal, Players Inc. has a duty to act in the best interest of all those they represent, not to ignore the vast majority of them."
Founded in 1994, Players Inc. is responsible for marketing active and retired players through licensed products such as trading cards and video games. According to the lawsuit, the organization actively solicited retired players with promises of great benefits. The retired players claim that although Players Inc. has developed a business worth hundreds of millions of dollars by claiming to represent such a large group, 90 percent of the retired players have not shared in this benefit; because Players Inc. has refused to give the retired players useful information on its finances, they have not been able to protect themselves against the organization that was supposedly acting in their interests.
Parrish, who has been an advocate for retired players for 40 years, noted that in 2006 the U.S. Department of Labor increased the amount of information that the Players' Union had to report.
"Shortly after the players' union made that report," said Parrish. "I noted that the top four officers of Players Inc. announced their resignations. That's when I called a lawyer."
"I could not get Players Inc. to answer my phone calls," said Adderley. "I do not call that adequate representation for the hard work that I put into my football career."
"The retired players need representation on issues like this," noted Parrish. "That gap will now be filled by a new organization that will be born out of this lawsuit, Retired Professional Football Players for Justice. We will be making an announcement about that shortly."
Parrish is a former defensive back who starred with the Cleveland Browns from 1959 through 1966. He led the defense of that team to a world championship in 1964. Adderley is a former cornerback who played for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys from 1961 through 1972. He played in four of the first six Super Bowl games and is one of two players in professional football to play on six world championship teams.

About Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLPManatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, provides legal and consulting services to a global client base from offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto and Sacramento, California; New York City and Albany, New York; and Washington, D.C. Manatt includes Manatt Health Solutions, a healthcare policy and strategic business advisory group, and ManattJones Global Strategies, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary that develops and implements strategies to expand client businesses and facilitate their effective competition in global markets.

For more information, visit,, and

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Brookings Institution forum on immigration, April 26th

The following is an email that South Beach Hoosier sent to Katie Busch, the Media Director of The Brookings Institution regarding an email alert he received regarding a forum they're hosting on immigration next week.
The letter that I make reference to, involving The Miami Herald's coverage of the immigration issue, will be posted in the future.
Subject: re next week's Brookings immigration forum, and the role of Rove in immigration policy
To:"Katie Busch"

Thursday April 19th, 2007

Dear Katie:

After I received your quick response yesterday, I happened to receive my weekly Bob Novak note and found this little immigration nugget, which I've highlighted for you below in red.
There's little doubt that the role Karl Rove plays in immigration policy over the next 18 months, and whether that will necessarily be subordinate to the GOP's 2008 election dynamics -and which candidate that hurts- will be a topic much discussed next week.

Many of my Republican friends in Washington and out west, who are involved in campaigns, are greatly concerned that Rove will likely sell-out lots of swing districts in order to keep CA, CO and FL in play, and that the only parties who'll actually benefit from that will be the DC-based labor unions, that only want increased membership, regardless of what existing Union
members think about that.

Those concerns only adds to my hope that C-SPAN will make an appearance, so those of us down here in the sub-tropical hinterlands, where there are no All-News radio stations -and even NPR's local affiliate is subject to being dumped for the laborious, all-day Miami-Dade School Board meetings, as happened yesterday- can follow the action.

In a couple of days, for your perusal, I'll send you a copy of a letter that I wrote about the role of The Miami Herald locally, and how they choose to consciously ignored certain aspects of the immigration debate because it didn't fit their editorial prism, even while ABC News saw the big picture the Herald was ignoring at a 2003 public forum I attended -sponsored by the
Herald no less.
The public forum was held in downtown Miami in a room at Miami-DadeCommunity College named after the Herald's former publisher, which made their oversight all the more galling to me.
It featured then-DHS Director Tom Ridge [mentioned below in Novak note] whom I knew while he was in Congress, because of an issue I was very involved with that the late Sen. John Heinz (and his staff) were spearheading in the Senate Banking Committee.
After reading it, I think you'll clearly see why this issue is of such concern to me.


Wednesday April 18th, 2007

Dear Katie:

Have you heard from the folks at C-SPAN about them possible swinging
by to air or tape this event?


Not yet Dave, but thanks for asking!

We usually won’t hear from them till 5pm the day before the event.
I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

Thanks –

Katie Busch
Media Relations Officer
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Direct Line: 202/797-6467
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007
From: "Robert Novak"

April 18, 2007
Washington, DC Vol. 42, No. 8b

To: Our Readers

Karl Rove to be kept out of immigration compromise
Earmark transparency falters in Senate
Democrats furious about Fox recess appointment
Blue Dogs stay true to party leaders
Breaux's exit dooms Louisiana Democrats.
Major McCain supporter criticizes senator's Baghdad trip

The Supreme Court's decision this morning upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion reminds conservative voters of one of President George W. Bush's successes -- appointments to the federal courts, especially the Supreme Court. The decision is not a huge victory in practical terms, but it could conceivably mark the point at which pro-lifers stop being pushed backward in the courts.
Serious Republican economics analysts are concerned about the long-range impact of the low-interest-rate mortgage foreclosures. A recession in the 2008 election year is a real possibility, especially if the Democrat-controlled Congress tries to fix it.
Remarks yesterday by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) in favor of raising tobacco taxes illustrate the degree to which Democrats are tightening their ranks on tax issues. Clyburn, who represents a rural lowland district full of tobacco farmers, received $14,000 in campaign contributions from the tobacco industry in the last election cycle -- more than all but 34 of his 435 House colleagues. His speech suggested a tax increase on the local industry as a way of holding to "pay-go" restrictions imposed by the new Democratic majority on tax and spending bills.

Bush Administration
Immigration: The White House is letting it be known on Capitol Hill that top presidential adviser Karl Rove will play no part in President Bush's forthcoming big push to pass a compromise immigration bill. Needless to say, Rove is viewed by Democrats as evil incarnate. After serving as Bush's political brain in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, he has been under intensive attack this year in the Democrat-controlled Congress with demands that he be subpoenaed to testify under oath about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. Revelations that he regularly used a Republican Party e-mail address while in the White House, and sent almost nothing through official channels, riles Democrats even more. And what's worse, his e-mails appear to be among the few that disappeared.But conservatives also view Rove with enormous suspicion, especially on the immigration issue. They tend to view Rove as Captain Ahab, with California as Moby Dick. Conservatives view his line of thought as running thus: If he can just up the Hispanic vote for Republicans by granting an amnesty, then Republicans will never lose another presidential election. Many on the right resent this notion. It is a lose-lose situation, then, to involve Rove in a process such as immigration reform that will require bipartisan cooperation.

Earmark Reform: After claiming the moral high ground on ethics and passing a bill almost unanimously that requires transparency in earmarks, the Senate's Democratic leaders have a political problem. How can they abide by their promises of earmark reform without having to abide by them?

1. Ever since the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska captured the public's imagination last year, Democrats have been on record against legislators' stealthily slipping in their favorite spending projects. But most senators, from both parties, really want to keep earmarks. An ingenious effort to reconcile those conflicting political desires created a remarkable tableau Tuesday in the U.S. Senate.

2. First-term Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) rose on the Senate floor shortly before noon to ask unanimous consent for immediate enactment of a rule requiring full disclosure of earmarks. But the Democratic leadership was forewarned. Eleven minutes before DeMint took the floor, Robert Byrd's (D-W.Va.) Appropriations Committee tried to pre-empt DeMint by announcing "an unprecedented policy of transparency and accountability." Byrd's reform would have no teeth, no enforcement mechanism to prevent earmarks from slipping through. Moreover, it would not affect any earmarks on direct spending bills, such as water and transportation bills. It would not have prevented the "Bridge to Nowhere."

3. The fact is, no one had anything except earmarks to lose by adopting DeMint's rule change. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) objected to passage of the DeMint rule, offering the excuse that the ethics bill would somehow be slowed down if an important item like the DeMint rule were implemented on a piecemeal basis. In fact, senators covet their earmarks and fear passage of a rule change.

4. DeMint's insertion of the earmark rules into that bill was significant, but it remains useless until a bill actually passes both Houses. The ethics bill passed the Senate with the DeMint rule on January 16. DeMint rejoiced at "the intent on both sides of the aisle to make sure there is more disclosure." But the bill won't reach the House floor until this summer, and there is no guarantee that the earmark provision will survive conference. Meanwhile, a water bill is already moving, and hit has more then 800 earmark projects.

5. Senators of both parties like to be on record against earmarks while still enjoying them. The problem is that DeMint and his fellow Republican first-termer, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), just won't let the issue rest. Amid thundering silence from the GOP leadership after Durbin's objection, Coburn reminded the Senate that Congress does not have a higher favorable rating than the President. "The reason we don't," he added, "is the very reason we just saw."

6. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) heard a new message from the new masters of Capitol Hill. CRS on February 22 issued a directive that it "will no longer identify earmarks for individual programs, activities, entities, or individuals." That deprives DeMint, Coburn, and other reformers of their primary source of intelligence on earmarks.

7. DeMint first attempted to bring up his rule change on April 12 under unanimous consent. Freshman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), on duty for the Democratic leadership, objected. Menendez claimed, reporter John Stanton wrote in the Roll Call newspaper, "that despite numerous news stories and notifications from DeMint that he intended to seek the UC [unanimous consent], Democrats had not been given adequate time to review the proposed amendment." DeMint announced he would try again Tuesday, and he was not alone. Besides Coburn, he was joined by Republican Senators Michael Enzi (Wyo.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and John Cornyn (Tex.). That gang of five might be called the Senate Republican reform caucus.

8. That leaves the door open for earmarks on authorization bills, like the "Bridge to Nowhere." "So," Coburn told the Senate after Durbin's objection, "we will play the same game but one step further back."

9. This is no Democrat-vs.-Republican partisan struggle. The word in the Republican cloakroom was that a GOP senator would derail the DeMint rule if the Democrats did not. The Republican leadership is not enthralled with DeMint and Coburn, and would like them to go away. They won't. They are determined to reveal who sponsors and who benefits from earmarks.

Oversight: Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales testifies tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend his role in the firings of several U.S. attorneys. But this is only the beginning of what will become a government-wide step-up in oversight by Congress.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, plans a major speech in the next two weeks to be delivered at a nonpartisan site that will depict the controversy over President Bush's dismissal of U.S. attorneys as a part of a broader pattern of corruption. Emanuel plans to say that the U.S. attorneys issue, in the public mind, "will be to corruption what Katrina was to incompetence." He will delineate a pattern of Bush Administration abuses that include the Interior Department, General Services Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Education on student loans.

If delivered on the House floor, such an attack could be lost in harsh, partisan oratory, and so Emanuel has been searching for a nongovernmental site, such as the National Press Club or the Brookings Institution.

Recess Appointments: Democratic leaders, furious over President Bush's recess appointment of millionaire Republican contributor Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium, are contemplating keeping the Senate in session most of August to stop the President from again circumventing the confirmation process. The plan would be to keep the usual August recess short so that Bush would be unable to submit recess nominations. Such a summer schedule would presumably include pro forma sessions that would keep short the official length of any recess.

Fox's nomination had been blocked because of his $50,000 contribution in 2004 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization that attacked presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) record during the Vietnam War. Kerry confronted Fox in committee hearings, and the nomination was stymied until Bush was compelled to withdraw the nomination. Bush then sent Fox to Brussels without confirmation by nominating him during the Easter recess.

D.C. Voting: Democrats are expected tomorrow to bring back the question of representation for the District of Columbia. Republicans blocked the bill last time around by offering a motion to recommit the bill and add an amendment to repeal the District of Columbia's gun ban. Such a vote would have been politically devastating for Democrats, and so they pulled the bill.

Republicans had objected to the idea that Democrats would use a rule change or a closed rule to forbid such a motion to recommit on the second go-round, but now, after the shootings at Virginia Tech, Democrats have another option. They are considering allowing a gun vote and asking their members to vote "no" on the motion to recommit, to take advantage of the recent violence.

'Blue Dogs': A piece of accepted wisdom from Election 2006 is that dramatic Democratic success stemmed partly from their openness to running moderate and conservative candidates wherever it made sense. During the campaign, the party's leaders and primary voters evinced a willingness to abandon ideological purity, leading to Senate pickups in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Montana, and a governor's mansion in Arkansas.

1. Nowhere was the non-ideological Democratic strategy more successful than in last year's House races, which saw Democrats add 30 members to their caucus and elect Rep. Nancy Pelosi to the post of House speaker. But a closer look at what has happened in the first three and one-half months of this year's congressional session shows Republicans can rarely expect help from these moderate freshmen on important votes. There are exceptions, but most of the Blue Dogs are proving to be the same kind of "rubber stamps" that they criticized their Republican opponents for being during the 2006 election.

2. All of the freshman Democrats -- the supposed moderates, conservatives and liberals -- voted for the Iraq supplemental that sets a timetable for withdrawal. Even Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.), who went to the House floor and expressed "disappointment" in his party leadership, bowed and voted "aye" when pressed. Most of them voted for the $400-billion tax hike in the Democratic budget blueprint, and several supported federal funding on scientific experiments that kill "unwanted" human embryos from fertility clinics.

3. All of the "moderate" freshmen came to the aid of Democratic union allies on the two significant labor votes this Congress. All opposed an amendment by Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.) intended to speed up the stalled reconstruction of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina by exempting federal contractors from "prevailing wage" laws. They also all backed the "Employee Free Choice Act," which would allow union lobbyists to take over workplaces through a system known as "card check."

Governor 2007
Kentucky: Despite what we perceived as a promising start, former Rep. Anne Northup (R) has flopped so far, remaining flat in the race for the Republican nomination for governor. Incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) has run ads effective in portraying himself as the victim of Democratic attacks. Northup's ads, which began just recently, have been judged uninspiring. Fletcher's previously negligible lead has quickly grown by seven points in the most recent local poll, putting him at the all-important 40 percent mark that would allow him to avoid a runoff. Northup has stayed flat at 31 percent. Fletcher's continued poor showing in the polls still holds forth hope for Northup, but he may survive the May 22 primary. There is little question that he would win the election if it were held today. Leaning Fletcher.

Louisiana: The exit of former Sen. John Breaux (D) from consideration in this race, coupled with the decision by Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu (D) not to run, makes it probable that Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) will be the next governor of Louisiana. Breaux could not have done more harm than he did to the state party. By tinkering with the idea of a run for just the right amount of time, he prevented any other candidate from raising the money that would be needed.
The most serious Democrat likely to run at this point is Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell (D), who lost his 1990 congressional race against Rep. Jim McCrery (R) after being in a car accident close to Election Day.
But no one thinks Campbell will win a race against Jindal, who announced last week that he has raised $5.1 million. Any other serious Democrat would have to start so far behind in the money game, and against a popular politician like Jindal, that it is not a winning idea.
Breaux could probably have done it, but his residency status as a Maryland voter and D.C. resident raised fears that he could run a campaign, only to be yanked from the ballot after a court challenge.
The primary election, which will be the only election if Jindal gets 50 percent, takes place October 20.

President 2008
McCain: In a private conference call with supporters of Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential candidacy, Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge indicated disapproval of the candidate's most recent visit to Baghdad.
Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania, questioned whether the Baghdad trip was McCain's idea or came from his staff, and received no clear answer. The criticism in Ridge's tone was clear: a strong supporter of Bush's Iraq policy, Ridge endorsed McCain for President on February 28.
McCain has come under fire for saying that Baghdad was safer since the U.S. troop surge and then entering the Iraqi capital under heavy security protection, including about 100 troops and two helicopters.

Thompson: Conservatives are ready to back former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and to do so with a sigh of relief, even though his conservative credentials are not impeccable. All the other candidates are just too flawed, in their view. This explains the enormous surge of support for a non-candidate like Thompson. He has already leap-frogged ahead of McCain in the latest Bloomberg poll, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to falter, Thompson has a shot to emerge as a candidate who is both credible enough and conservative enough to win a substantial share of the GOP primary vote.


Robert D. Novak

To subscribe to the free Evans-NovakPolitical Report, please see
Immigration Reform: Prospects and Possibilities
Thursday, April 26, 2007
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Congress and the Bush Administration are focused on reforming the country’s immigration policies and addressing the status of the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants. Yet what are the prospects for real reform? And can Congress agree on legislation?

On April 26, the Brookings Institution and the Migration Policy Institute will host a discussion on comprehensive immigration reform with keynote remarks by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), the sponsors of the Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy (STRIVE) Act. After their remarks, a panel of national experts will discuss the content of the proposed law and the possibilities of immigration reform in the 110th Congress.

Welcome and Introductions:
Bruce Katz, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy ProgramThe Brookings Institution

Demetrios Papademetriou
President, Migration Policy Institute

Keynote Speakers:

Jeff Flake, U.S. Representative (R-Ariz.)

Luis V. Gutierrez, U.S. Representative (D-Ill.)

Audrey Singer, Immigration Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program The Brookings Institution


Randel Johnson, Vice President for Labor, Immigration and Employee BenefitsU.S. Chamber of Commerce

Doris Meissner, Senior FellowMigration Policy Institute

Liseo Medina, International Executive Vice President Service Employees International Union

Cecilia Muñoz, Senior Vice President National Council of La Raza

RSVP: Please call the Brookings Office of Communications , 202-797-6105, or visit

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007

#IUBB, #bannersix

#IUBB, #bannersix
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana; Click photo to see video of Straight No Chaser's version of Back Home Again In Indiana, 2:37
The South Florida I Grew Up In

Excerpts from Joan Didion's Miami, 1987, Simon & Schuster:

In the continuing opera still called, even by Cubans who have now lived the largest part of their lives in this country, el exilo, the exile, meetings at private homes in Miami Beach are seen to have consequences. The actions of individuals are seen to affect events directly. Revolutions and counter-revolutions are framed in the private sector, and the state security apparatus exists exclusively to be enlisted by one or another private player. That this particular political style, indigenous to the Caribbean and to Central America, has now been naturalized in the United States is one reason why, on the flat coastal swamps of South Florida, where the palmettos once blew over the detritus of a dozen failed booms and the hotels were boarded up six months a year, there has evolved since the early New Year's morning in 1959 when Fulgencio Batista flew for the last time out of Havana a settlement of considerable interest, not exactly an American city as American cities have until recently been understood but a tropical capital: long on rumor, short on memory, overbuilt on the chimera of runaway money and referring not to New York or Boston or Los Angeles or Atlanta but to Caracas and Mexico, to Havana and to Bogota and to Paris and Madrid. Of American cities Miami has since 1959 connected only to Washington, which is the peculiarity of both places, and increasingly the warp...

"The general wildness, the eternal labyrinths of waters and marshes, interlocked and apparently neverending; the whole surrounded by interminable swamps... Here I am then in the Floridas, thought I," John James Audobon wrote to the editor of The Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science during the course of an 1831 foray in the territory then still called the Floridas. The place came first, and to touch down there is to begin to understand why at least six administations now have found South Florida so fecund a colony. I never passed through security for a flight to Miami without experiencing a certain weightlessness, the heightened wariness of having left the developed world for a more fluid atmosphere, one in which the native distrust of extreme possibilities that tended to ground the temperate United States in an obeisance to democratic institutions seemed rooted, if at all, only shallowly.

At the gate for such flights the preferred language was already Spanish. Delays were explained by weather in Panama. The very names of the scheduled destinations suggested a world in which many evangelical inclinations had historically been accomodated, many yearnings toward empire indulged...

In this mood Miami seemed not a city at all but a tale, a romance of the tropics, a kind of waking dream in which any possibility could and would be accomodated...
Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or otherwise superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and much-needed insight onto local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now, despite all the technological advances that have taken place since I grew-up in South Florida in the 1970's. On this blog, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger, disdain and laser-like attention primarily on the coastal cities of Aventura, Hollywood and Hallandale Beach.

IF you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be in stultifying traffic, be paying higher-than-necessary taxes, and be continually musing about the chronic lack of any real accountability or transparency among not only elected govt. officials, but also of City, County and State employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, work-ethic mentality that citizens here deserve and are paying for.

This is particularly true in the town I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the Perfect Storm of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, Hallandale Beach is where even the easily-solved or entirely predictable quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and the unsatisfactory management and coordination of resources and personnel.

It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and weather, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of chronic mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems again that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion. Instead the city government either closes their eyes and hopes you'll forget the problem, or kicks them -once again- further down the road.

I used to ask myself, and not at all rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?"

Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time.
Someone who wanted questions answered in a honest and forthright fashion that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change.

Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower, between beach and A1A/South Ocean Drive

Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower, between beach and A1A/South Ocean Drive
Hallandale Beach, FL; February 16, 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker
"Gentlemen, I am happy to announce that as of today we are closing down our Washington news bureau and moving the entire operation to L.A."

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker

Hollywood in Cartoons, The New Yorker
"O.K., so I dig a hole and put the bone in the hole. But what's my motivation for burying it?"

Hollywood in cartoons, 10-21-06 Non-Sequitur by Wiley, www-NON-SEQUITUR.COM

Hollywood in cartoons, 10-21-06 Non-Sequitur by Wiley, www-NON-SEQUITUR.COM
The Magic of Hollywood: A motion has been put forth that we should seek to create rather than imitate. All in favor of killing this silly notion, nod in mindless agreement...

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
South Beach Hoosier's first Dolphin game at the Orange Bowl came in Dec. 1970, aged 9, a 45-3 win over Buffalo that propelled them into their first ever playoff appearance.

Sebastian the Ibis, the Spirited Mascot of the University of Miami Hurricanes

Sebastian the Ibis, the Spirited Mascot of the University of Miami Hurricanes
Before going to my first U-M game at the Orange Bowl in 1972, a friend's father often would bring me home an extra 'Canes game program. That's how I came to have the Alabama at U-M game program from Nov. 16, 1968, which was the first nationally-televised college football night game in color. (A 14-6 loss to the Crimson Tide.) After that first ballgame against Tulane, as l often did for Dolphin games if my father wasn't going, I'd get dropped off at the Levitz parking lot near the 836 & I-95 Cloverleaf in NMB, and catch a Dade County Park & Ride bus, going straight to the Orange Bowl. Onboard, I'd get next to the window and listen to WIOD's pre-game show on my Radio Shack transistor radio. A few times, I was just about the only person onboard besides the bus driver, which was alright by me. Once at the Orange Bowl, if I didn't already have a ticket, I'd buy a game program for myself and one or two for friends or teachers before heading to the ticket window, since you usually couldn't find a program vendor once inside. I probaly had a friend or my father with me for just under 40% of the U-M games I ever went to, but you have to remember that the team, though blessed with several talented players, like Chuck Foreman and Burgess Owens, was just so-so to average at best, and the games were usually played on Friday nights, so it wasn't exactly high on everyone's list of things to do. Depending upon the opponent, if I was alone, I'd often have entire areas of the Orange Bowl to myself. (Wish I had photos of that now!) For instance, I had a good portion of the East (open) End Zone to myself against Oklahoma in the mid-70's, when the Boomer Schooner and the Schooner Crew went out on the field after an Oklahoma TD, and the Schooner received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from the refs, as would happen years later in an Orangle Bowl Classic game. (Against FSU?) I was there for the wins and losses under Pete Elliott, Carl Selmer & Lou Saban, and the huge on-field fight in '73 when under eventual national champion Notre Dame (under Ara Parseghian), they called a time-out with less than a minute to go, and already up 37-0. Their rationale? To score another TD and impress the AP football writers; final score 44-0. Well, they got their wish and beat Alabama 24-23 for the title at the Sugar Bowl. A year later, thanks to my Mom's boss, she and I saw Ara's last game as head coach of the Irish in the Orange Bowl Game from the East End Zone -in front of the Alabama cheerleaders!!!- in an exciting 13-11 Notre Dame win over Alabama and Bear Bryant, a rematch of the '73 national title game. I was also present for the U-M's huge 20-15 win under Pete Elliott against Darrel Royal's Texas Longhorns, the week Sports Illustrated's College Football preview issue came out with Texas on the cover, below. I was also present for lots of wins against schools called College of the Pacific, UNLV and Cal-Poly San Luis Obsispo, which I'd then never heard of before.

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, April 28, 2007

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, April 28, 2007
Photo by Mario J. Bermudez. April 28, 2007 at Dolphins NFL Draft Party at Dolphin HQ, Davie, FL

Of cheerleaders past and present

Given South Florida's unique version of the melting pot -con salsa- demographics and mindset, these women in the photo above are surely what most South Floridians would consider attractive women. But for this observer, who's spent hours & hours at IU cheerleader tryouts and who has known dozens of cheerleaders -and wannabes- in North Miami Beach, Bloomington, Evanston and Washington, D.C., the whole time I was watching these members of the Dolphins' squad perform, I couldn't help but compare them and their routines to those of some IU friends of mine who ALWAYS showed true Hoosier spirit & enthusiasm. Sitting at my table right near the stage and still later, while watching the long lines of Dolphin fans of all ages waiting to snap photos of themselves with the cheerleaders, I couldn't help but think about those friends who always left me and other Hoosier fans feeling positive & optimistic. Was there anyone I saw in Davie who possessed these valuable intangibles: the dancing precision of IU Red Stepper -and Captain- Gail Amster, my talented and spirited Phi Beta Kappa pal from Deerfield (IL), who always sat next to me in our Telecom. classes as we took turns entertaining the other; the ebullient spirit & energy of two Hoosier cheerleaders -and captains- from Bloomington, Wendy (Mulholland) Moyle & Sara Cox; the hypnotic, Midwestern, girl-next-door sexiness of Hoosier cheerleader Julie Bymaster, from Brownsburg; or, the adorable Southern girl-next-door appeal of former Hoosier Pom squader Jennifer Grimes, of Louisville, always such a clear distraction while sitting underneath the basket? Nope, not that I could see. But then they were VERY tough acts to follow!!! And that's not to mention my talented & spirited friends like Denise Andrews of Portage, Jody Kosanovich of Hammond & Linda Ahlbrand of Chesterton, all of whom were dynamic cheerleaders -and captains- at very large Hoosier high schools that were always in the championship mix, with Denise's team winning the Ind. football championship her senior year when she was captain -just like in a movie. That Denise, Jody & Linda all lived on the same dorm floor, just three stories above me at Briscoe Quad our freshman year, was one of the greatest coincidences -and strokes of luck for me!- that I could've ever hoped for. You could hardly ask for better ambassadors of IU than THESE very smart, sweet and talented women. In a future SBH post, I'll tell the story of one of the greatest Hoosiers I ever met, the aforementioned Wendy Mulholland, the Bloomington-born captain and emotional heart of the great early '80's IU cheerleading squads, and the daughter of Jack Mulholland, IU's former longtime Treasurer. The acorn doesn't fall far from a tree built on a foundation of integrity & community service! (After he retired, Mr. Mulholland was the first executive director of the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. I used to joke with Wendy that her dad's name was the one that was permanently affixed to the bottom of my work-study checks for years, while I worked at the Dept. of Political Science's Library, first, at the Student Building in the old part of campus, and then later, after it was refurbished, in magnificent Woodburn Hall, my favorite building on campus.) In that future post, I'll share some reflections on Wendy's great strength of character and personality; my intentions of returning to Bloomington a few weeks before Fall '82 classes started, so I could help Wendy train and work-out to rehab her knee, so she'd feel confident in trying-out for the squad again, following a bad knee injury that'd left her physically-unable to try-out for the squad the previous spring, a big disappointment to those of us who cared about both Wendy and the team; my incredulity at, quite literally, running into Wendy while walking down a sidewalk one afternoon a few years later in Evanston, IL, when we were astonished to discover we were both living there, with me trying to hook on with a Windy City advertising agency, and Wendy then-attending Kellogg (KGSM) at Northwestern, right when the WSJ had named Kellogg the #1 Business School in the country. I'll also share a story about Wendy performing a true act of kindness towards me in 1982, when I was having a real emergency, and she went above-and-beyond what I had any logical reason to expect. Yet, Wendy, along with her very helpful dad, Jack, came through for me when I was in a very bad time crunch. I've never forgotten Wendy's kindness towards me, and her true Hoosier spirit. There's NOTHING I wouldn't do for Wendy Mulholland.

It's All About "The U"

It's All About "The U"
South Beach Hoosier's first U-M football game at the Orange Bowl was in 1972, age 11, against Tulane in the infamous "Fifth Down" game. In order to drum up support and attendance for the U-M at the Orange Bowl, that game had a promotion whereby South Florida kids who were school safety patrols could get in for free IF they wore their sash. I did. Clearly they knew that it was better to let kids in for free, knowing their parents would give them money to buy food and souvenirs, perhaps become a fan and want to return for future games. The ballgame made an interesting impression on The New York Times, resulting in this gem from the "View of Sport" column of Oct, 14, 1990, labeled 'Fifth Down or Not, It's Over When It's Over.' -"In 1972, aided by a fifth-down officiating gift in the last moments of the game, Miami of Florida defeated Tulane, 24-21. The country and the world was a much different place that fall because The New York Times took time and space to editorialize on the subject. ''Is it right for sportsmen, particularly young athletes, to be penalized or deprived of the goals for which they earnestly competed because responsible officials make mistakes? The ideal of true sportsmanship would be better served if Miami forfeited last week's game.' South Beach Hoosier hardly needs to tell you that this was YET another New York Times editoral that was completely ignored!

The issue I took with me the night of U-M's 20-15 upset of #1 Texas at the Orange Bowl

The issue I took with me the night of U-M's 20-15 upset of #1 Texas at the Orange Bowl
College Football, Texas No. 1, Hook 'em Horns, Sept. 10, 1973. Living in North Miami Beach in the '70's, my Sports Illustrated usually showed up in my mailbox on the Thursday or Friday before the Monday cover date. And was read cover-to-cover by Sunday morning.

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm
U-M QB Ken Dorsey, Miami Hurricanes Undefeated National Champions 2001, Jan. 2002

Miami's Romp in the Rose

Miami's Romp in the Rose
Miami running back Clinton Portis, Jan. 7, 2002

Why the University of Miami should drop football

Why the University of Miami should drop football
June 12, 1995


Steve McGuire and Miami Overpower No.1 Notre Dame, Dec. 4, 1989

How Sweet It Is!

How Sweet It Is!
Miami Whips Oklahoma For The National Championship, Pictured: Dennis Kelleher, Jan. 11, 1988

My, Oh My, Miami!

My, Oh My, Miami!
Steve Walsh and the Canes Stun FSU, Oct. 12, 1987

Why Is Miami No. 1?

Why Is Miami No. 1?
QB Vinny Testaverde, Nov. 24, 1986

Miracle In Miami

Miracle In Miami
The Hurricanes Storm Past Nebraska, Halfback Keith Griffin, Jan. 9, 1984

Special Issue: College Football

Special Issue: College Football
The Best Passer, George Mira of Miami, Sept. 23, 1963

1984 College & Pro Spectatcular

1984 College & Pro Spectatcular
A Pair Of Aces: U-M QB Bernie Kosar & Miami Dolphin QB Dan Marino, Sept. 5, 1984

Pro Football Hall of Fame Special Issue

Pro Football Hall of Fame Special Issue
Dan Marino, Class of 2005, Aug. 2005


A Portfolio by Walter Iooss Jr., Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins, Dec. 9, 2002

Coming Back

Coming Back
Jay Fiedler rallies Miami to a last-second win over Oakland, Oct. 1, 2001

Dan's Last Stand

Dan's Last Stand
At 38 and under siege, Dan Marino refuses to go down without a fight, Dec. 13, 1999

The War Zone

The War Zone
In the NFL's toughest division, the surprising Dolphins are on top, Lamar Smith, Dec. 11, 2000

Down and Dirty

Down and Dirty
Jimmy Johnson's Dolphins Bury The Patriots, Steve Emtman, Sept. 9, 1996

The Sunshine Boys

The Sunshine Boys
Now Playing in Miami: The Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson Show, May 11, 1996


Miami loves Pat Riley but wants to give Don Shula the boot, Dec. 11, 1995


Which of today's stars are locks for the Hall of Fame? Dan Marino for sure. But who else? To find out, we polled the men who do the voting. Sept. 14, 1995

Sportsman Of The Year

Sportsman Of The Year
Don Shula, Dec. 20, 1993

Dan The Man

Dan The Man
Dan Marino Saves The Day For The Dolphins, Jan. 14, 1991

Dangerous Dan

Dangerous Dan
Dan Marino Passes Miami Into The Super Bowl, Jan. 14, 1985

Super Duper!

Super Duper!
Wide Receiver Mark Duper Of The Undefeated Dolphins, Nov. 19, 1984

Air Raid! Miami Bombs Washington

Air Raid! Miami Bombs Washington
Mark Clayton (burning Darryl Green) Sept. 10, 1984

Rookies On The Rise

Rookies On The Rise
Dan Marino: Miami's Hot Quarterback, Nov. 14, 1983

New Life In The WFL

New Life In The WFL
Warfield, Csonka and Kiick of Memphis, July 28, 1975

Zonk! Miami Massacres Minnesota

Zonk! Miami Massacres Minnesota
Larry Csonka, Jan. 21, 1974

Pro Football, Miami Is Rough And Ready

Pro Football, Miami Is Rough And Ready
Larry Csonka & Bob Griese, Sept. 17, 1973

Miami All The Way

Miami All The Way
Bob Griese, Jan. 22, 1973

It's Miami and Washington

It's Miami and Washington
Mercury Morris Speeds Past The Steelers, Jan. 8, 1973

Kiick and Csonka, Miami's Dynamic Duo

Kiick and Csonka, Miami's Dynamic Duo
Larry Csonka & Jim Kiick, Aug. 7, 1972

Sudden Death at Kansas City

Sudden Death at Kansas City
Miami's Garo Yepremian Ends the Longest Game; (kneeling) placekick holder Karl Noonan, Jan. 3, 1972

New Pro in a New Town

New Pro in a New Town
Miami's Frank Emanuel, Aug. 8, 1966

Old-style "Obie" the Orange Bowl Committee mascot

Old-style "Obie" the Orange Bowl Committee mascot
The iconic image I grew-up with in Miami, before FedEx got into the picture