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December 9, 2007

Packers Clinch Division

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the Green Bay Packers have clinched the NFC North Division title and a playoff berth with their 38-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders Sunday.

Led by two special teams touchdowns by cornerback Will Blackmon, the Packers cruised to an easy victory after losing to the Dallas Cowboys a week earlier.

Blackmon who has missed a lot of the season due to a broken foot, scored on a 57 yard punt return and also recovered a muffed punt in the endzone for a touchdown.

Ryan Grant also had a sensational game for the Packers as he rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown. Grant has more rush yards after week 8 than any other running back in the league.

The balanced attack of the Packers allowed for Brett Favre to ease into the game, a week after separating his shoulder and bruising his throwing elbow forcing him to leave the game against Dallas. By starting he increased his consecutive starts streak to 250 regular-season games.

He demonstrated that he was still an elite quarterback, even while being banged up, as he threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80 yard touchdown to Greg Jennings.

November 30, 2007

Clinton Campaigners Taken Hostage

The New York Times reports that a man has taken two Clinton campaign workers hostage at a Rochester, New Hampshire campaign office.

Senator Clinton was supposed to appear before the Democratic National Committee today in Virginia but has canceled her appearance as she deals with the ongoing situation in NH.

As Democratic national chairman Howard Dean made the announcement in a hotel ballroom here, gasps were heard from the crowd of several hundred delegates and party officials.“Details are sketchy at this time,? Mr. Dean said. “We will keep them in our prayers and hope for a resolution of this situation.? (New York Times )

Reports from WMUR state that witnesses claim that the armed man who has taken two campaign workers hostage has a bomb-like device strapped to his chest. The man has demanded to speak to Mrs. Clinton directly.

Currently police have surrounded the building with guns drawn. "There are sharp shooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building," said another witness, who did not want to be identified. "The police are notifying all the business owners on the street to evacuate. There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office." (WMUR )

November 18, 2007

The Show Must Go On

The New York Times reports that "Saturday Night Live" continued live performances Saturday night, even during the on-going writers strike.

However this episode of NBC's late night television show was out of the ordinary. There were no television cameras, it didn't take place at Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, rather it was at Upright Citizens Brigade theater, and there was no new material.

All current cast members and some returnees performed an array of sketches that had either been previously aired favorites or ones that were scratched from prior shows. Cast members did their own makeup and even searched for their own props to prepare for the show.

“We’re like cranky trained monkeys if we don’t get to perform,? said Amy Poehler, who is also founder of the theater. “We all thought about what we’re going to do during the strike, and because we have no other skills, we just scraped this together.?

She added: “We’re treating this as an optimistic night. We’re celebrating all the hard-working people who have been laid off.? (New York Times)

Proceeds from the tickets were to go to SNL’s production staff, most of whom had had been recently laid off; some were in the audience. But the performance was less about money than community. (A sold-out live version of “30 Rock,? the Tina Fey comedy, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday at the theater.) (New York Times)

Strike negotiations are expected to resume on Nov. 26 with writers seeking to gain some sort of payment for online content that their shows provide for the networks.

November 11, 2007

Packers Win Decisively

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Green Bay Packers improved to 8-1 as they beat the Minnesota Vikings 34-0.

A week after setting an NFL single game rushing record with 296 yards, Adrian Peterson was held to only 45 yards and more importantly kept out of the end zone.

Brett Favre completed 33 of 46 pass attempts for 351 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Packers offensively. He is now 1,105 yards away from breaking Marino's all-time record for pass yards.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the game was the Packers ability to run the ball against the NFL's second ranked rush defense. Ryan Grant was able to run for 81 yards in the first quarter alone and finished with 119 yards, including a 30 yard touchdown run.

Despite the rout of the Vikings, Favre thinks they can continue to improve. "Today was awesome, but I still think there's so much more left for us to do," Favre said. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

November 4, 2007

Mystery Man???

The New York Times reports that U.S. Senator Barack Obama made a surprise appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live last night.

He appeared in a sketch that was set up as a mock Halloween party thrown by Bill and Hillary Clinton played by actors Darrel Hammond and Amy Poehler respectively.

The skit featured actors playing all the prominent Democratic Presidential candidates with a running gag of them referring to Hillary's bridal gown costume as a witch costume.

Eventually, a man shows up wearing an Obama mask. The man takes it off and it was Mr. Obama himself. He then took a shot at Mrs. Clinton stating that he didn't need to pretend to be someone else, even on Halloween. He then stated “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!?

October 28, 2007

Multi-million dollar field of marijuana found in Wisconsin

The Star Tribune reports that hunters in Walworth County stumbled upon millions of dollars worth of marijuana plants in Wisconsin, a drug enforcement agent said.

About 1,600 plants were found in two different areas on public hunting grounds, said Sgt. Jeff Patek of the Walworth County Drug Unit. The plants were 10- to 15-feet tall and ready to be harvested, he said. (Star Tribune )

More than two dozen officers had to help clear the fields of the plants and a helicopter had to be used to lift plant filled tarps to a burn pit where the plants could be disposed of.

"You had to get right up on top of it before seeing everything,'' said a hunters who asked not to be identified because the growers haven't been arrested. "They had it all hidden with vegetation.''

The fields would have provided about 800 pounds of sellable marijuana, which would be worth $2.8 million and $3.8 million on the street, Patek estimated. (Star Tribune )

October 21, 2007

Colbert Appears on Meet the Press

The New York Times reports that Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" where he discussed his entry into the South Caroline presidential primary. He also has a book that was just released titled, “I Am America (and So Can You!).?

“This is not a dream, you’re not going to wake up from this. I’m far real-er than Sam Brownback, let me put it that way,? Mr. Colbert, the host of the popular faux news program, “The Colbert Report,? said of his candidacy. (New York Times)

Colbert officially announced that he would be running as a Democrat and Republican in the South Carolina primary on his show this past week.

October 14, 2007

Environmental Organization Endorses Edwards

According to the New York Times Friends of the Earth Action, endorsed John Edwards candidacy for the Democratic nomination on Sunday.

Compared to the other candidates, Edward's plans were favored. The group liked his proposals to fight global warming, and his opposition to nuclear power plants and the influence of lobbyists on policy, said Brent Blackwelder, the organization's president.

“Edwards is razor sharp and clear: we don’t want to go the route of nuclear power plants,? said Mr. Blackwelder. However,Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton are exploring the options of nuclear power.

Mr. Edwards, accepting the endorsement, said: “I am opposed to the building of new nuclear power plants, which is different from the position taken by Senator Clinton and Senator Obama.?

His environment initiatives include capping greenhouse gas pollution starting in 2010, and reducing it by 20 percent by 2020 and then 80 percent by 2050. In addition, his proposals include investing in renewable energy sources, and an energy fund that auctions off $10 billion in greenhouse pollution permits and repealing subsidies for big oil companies. (New York Times)

The endorsement follows MoveOn voters choosing Edwards as the candidate with the best policy concerning global warming.

October 7, 2007

Shooting Spree Kills 5 in Wisconsin

The Star Tribune reports that a law enforcement employee shot and killed at least 5 people early Sunday.

It is not known if the suspect is dead but Crandon Police Chief John Dennee said, "We're not looking for anybody anymore." The suspect is an employee of the Forest County Sheriff's Department and a part-time officer for the Crandon Police Department, said a State Patrol dispatcher.

Crandon is a northeastern Wisconsin town about 225 miles north of Milwaukee with a populaton of about 2,000.

According to Jenna Bradley, gunshots were heard at about 3 a.m. at the suspects ex-girlfriends's residence where about 10 people were for a party. Victims ranged from current Crandon High School students, recent graduates and the ex-girlfirend, said Karly Johnson.

"He graduated with my brother," she said. "He was nice. He was an average guy. Normal. You wouldn't think he could do that."

Mayor Gary Bradley declined to comment about the on-going investigation but stated that the community will unite and remain strong to prevail through the situation.

September 30, 2007

Favre Makes History

According to ESPN Brett Favre set a new record for career touchdown passes by throwing No. 421 Sunday in Green Bay's 23-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

With 4:56 left in the first quarter Favre threw a 16-yard slant to Greg Jennings for the score. Instantly Favre sprinted to the end zone and picked up Jennings and carried him over his shoulder. Favre was then showered with hugs and congratulatory statements from his teammates while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Even those supporting the Vikings were on their feet.

The game was stopped to honor one of the NFL's best quarterbacks of all-time. A video message was played from the previous record holder, Dan Marino. He stated that he loved holding the record but was glad that someone like Favre was the record breaker due to his level of competitiveness.

The record is yet another accomplishment added to a marvelous career. Brett Farve has appeared in two Super Bowls, winning one of them, was the leagues MVP for three consecutive years, holds the record for most consecutive games started by a quarterback (241), most wins as a starter (151), and most pass attempts (8,394).

Before the end of his career he has the chance to break other records as well. Including the most passing yards, most interceptions, and the most consecutive games started by any NFL player.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Favre still had the team in mind as he approached a personal milestone. "I'm so glad we won the game. There was so much emphasis on this record and not the game itself," he said. "Everyone's like, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to have a big celebration?' Put yourself in my shoes. I want to help this team win. I do not want us to get blindsided by this record and what we're actually here for."

September 23, 2007

MoveOn to Pay Full Ad Rate

According to the New York Times, the liberal activist group MoveOn.org announced today that it will pay $142,083, the full advertisement rate for its "General Betray Us?" ad.

The ad appeared in the A-section of the New York Times on the same day that General David Petraeus delivered status reports on the troop surge in Iraq. MoveOn.org was originally given a discounted rate of $64,575. Usually such a rate is allotted to “advocacy? groups on a standby basis with no guarantee of when the ad would run.

The ad generated a lot of buzz from Republicans and also Democrats. Republicans tried to link claims to Democrats that the message was unpatriotic, especially during a period of war. Rudy Giuliani who took out his own ad in response, was said to get the same rate.

Meanwhile Democrats tried to distance themselves from the ad but did not want to anger MoveOn and its followers too.The Washington Post reports that the Senate voted 75 to 25 to denounce the ad. President Bush stated "most Democrats . . . are more afraid of irritating [MoveOn] than they are of irritating the United States military."

MoveOn said it will wire the rest of the money to the New York Times on Monday and claims that Giuliani should do the same.

September 16, 2007

Romney Seeks to Ban Iranian President from U.N. Appearance

According to the New York Times, http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/romney-calls-on-un-to-bar-iranian-president/ , Mitt Romney, a Republican presidential candidate, is seeking to bar Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from appearing before the General Assembly next week.

Romney is sending a letter to the United Nations Secretary General on Monday, which states "With the disturbing news that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmandinejad is planning to address the United Nations General Assembly next week, I call on the United Nations to revoke any invitation to President Ahmadinejad to address the General Assembly. The only way he should be greeted in the United States is with an indictment under the Genocide Convention."

Last year several influential figures including John Bolton, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, lobbied http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/ahmadinejad-incitement.pdf for the United Nations’ International Court of Justice to indict Mr. Ahmadinejad for incitement of genocide. They base their argument on his calls for the destruction of Israel.

This weeks planned appearance would be Ahmadinejad's third visit to the United States. He plans to go to Venezuela after his U.S. stay to meet with President Hugo Chavez.