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Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Novel Idea--Clippers Should Be Fan Owned Like Packers

Sell the Clippers to the people

By Newt Gingrich
updated 10:12 PM EDT, Fri May 2, 2014

Gingrich: Taxpayers should own Clippers

  • Billionaires are reported to be interested in buying L.A. Clippers if team put up for sale
  • Newt Gingrich: The team should be sold as a nonprofit to the fans, like Green Bay Packers
  • He says sports teams are public in every way except their ownership
  • Gingrich: Public builds many stadiums, provides services, has big interest in teams
Editor's note: Newt Gingrich is a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire,"which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET weekdays, and author of a new book, "Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America's Fate." A former speaker of the House, he was a candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN) -- Even before the NBA announced it was banning Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league for life, sports fans had begun speculating about which billionaire would swoop in to buy the team.
Rumors are swirling about the possible interest of "Magic" Johnson, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Oscar De La Hoya, each potential celebrity owner no doubt more popular than the incumbent. Or perhaps, it is said, a group of virtuous billionaires, the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Larry Ellison and David Geffen, will charitably unite to rescue the franchise for the City of Angels.
Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
Here instead is my modest proposal: Sell the team to the people, to thousands of fans themselves, as shareholders.
Then the Clippers would be owned not by a single incredibly wealthy patron whom we might admire or might detest, but by Americans of all races, ethnicities, religions, ages and backgrounds.
As a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers (disclosure: My wife, Callista, and I own a single Packers share and our daughter Kathy and son-in-law Paul each have one, too), I have a particular attachment to this model of ownership for professional sports teams.
Jones: Racism extends beyond Sterling
Celebrities lining up to buy Clippers
What if Sterling fights Clippers sale?
Team owners behaving badlyTeam owners behaving badly
There is something strange about the prevailing model of teams as the ultimate billionaire's toy.
That's because a professional sports team often seems like a public institution. Its logo adorns every head on the street. The jerseys of its players are sold on every corner, its apparel in every airport gift store.
The mayor and the governor make frequent reference to its fortunes in their public appearances. They parade in ceremoniously to throw out the first pitch or to sit in judgment on the sidelines.
And the people, for their part, are outraged when the team doesn't perform well; they demand management changes as if management requires the consent of the entertained. And perhaps the people do have some claim: As taxpayers, they lavish financial assistance upon their team, pouring resources into public safety for the games and constructing the opulent stadiums their champions deserve. Because it is, after all, the people's team.
It is their team -- the fans' team -- in every regard except the one that matters. At the bottom of it all, it is really the billionaire's team -- an amateur, an enthusiast, whose whims, finances, prejudices and personal foibles can hold outsize influence on the fortunes of his or her franchise.
Clippers fans were reminded of that fact rather crudely this week. What better response than to fix it once and for all, by selling the team straight to the fans, as a not-for-profit like the Packers, with a board of directors, and a strong general manager and president? The right thing to do, I think, is to give it to the people. Green Bay, not billionaires, is the model.

Now We Understand Why Cardinal O'Connor Was So Close To Jews

NY Cardinal O'Connor's Mother Was Born Jewish

Friday, 02 May 2014 07:17 AM
By Cathy Burke
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The mother of New York's beloved late Cardinal John O'Connor — a stalwart supporter of the Jewish community who once called himself a "spiritual Semite"— was born a Jew and converted before she married the prelate's father, genealogical research has found.

The cardinal's sister, Mary O'Connor Ward, told Catholic New York she doesn't know if her brother knew that their mom, Dorothy Gumple O’Connor, was born Jewish.

"I just don’t understand, if he knew, why something wouldn’t have come up before," she told the newspaper. "He was so close to the Jewish community. I think he would have been very proud of it."

Ward said she discovered her mother's heritage researching their family tree, discovering maternal grandparents Tina and Gustav Gumple had been buried in a Jewish cemetery in Bridgeport, Conn. When they died in the 1800s, non-Jews could not have been buried in a Jewish burial site, she said.

She then went to the archives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia — where the five O’Connor children were raised in a row house — and found their mother, Dorothy Gumple O’Connor, converted to Catholicism when she was 19, more than a year before she met and married their father, Thomas O’Connor.

"What brought it about, I’ll never know," Ward told the newspaper. "None of us will ever know why she became a Catholic."

Ward told the newspaper that her brother, who died in 2000, might have thought their mom was originally Lutheran, because the Gumples came to the United States from Prussia.

O'Connor became a champion for the Jewish community, famously joining a May 3, 1987, march and rally in New York City protesting the oppression of Soviet Jews.

"As I stood on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral this morning and watched you stream by, I could only be proud of those who streamed out of Egypt several thousand years ago, winning freedom for themselves and for all of us. They are your ancestors, and they are mine," he told participants. "I am proud to be this day, with you, a Jew."

O'Connor played a key role in the Vatican’s recognition of the State of Israel in 1993, The Washington Post noted.

And he wrote a book, "His Eminence and Hizzoner," with close Jewish friend Ed Koch, who was mayor during part of O'Connor's time as archbishop. Koch, who died last year, was such a fixture in the front pew at the Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral that O’Connor joked he wouldn’t start the service until Koch was seated, the Post noted.

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Liberal Left Doesn't Care If Obama Administration Lied About Benghazi

Liberal TV Host Explodes With Fury, Seemingly Admits There Was a Benghazi Cover-Up: ‘So What?!’

Bob Beckel, the liberal co-host of “The Five,” exploded with fury during a tense discussion about newly-released emails that reveal an apparent attempt by the White House to portray the 2012 Benghazi attacks as a protest gone awry to protect President Barack Obama’s political career.
(Fox News
(Fox News
Beckel admitted that “someone, somewhere” likely agreed that it would be in the best interests of the president politically to change the Benghazi talking points and control the narrative. However, the liberal host then went completely off-topic, bringing up reports of Nigerian girls being forced to marry Islamic extremists and instances of “friendly fire.”
When his fellow co-host, Eric Bolling, tried to get him back on topic, Beckel lost it.
“Let me finish!” Beckel said, pounding his fists on the table. “Let me finish by saying with what I think Hillary Clinton says — we know Islamic radicals killed these people, what difference does it make anymore?”
“Because they covered it up, Bob,” Bolling shot back.
“So what?!” Beckel screamed. “Every administration covers things up.”
Beckel also said “who cares” when asked if the Obama administration should be able to cover up Benghazi details just because it makes the president look bad. He also claimed that Americans are not still interested in finding out what happened in Benghazi.
Watch the explosive segment via Jim Hoft:

The Dictator Pronounces The Actions He Will Take If Congress Doesn't Work With Him.

Obama Explains What He Will Do if ‘Republicans in Congress Refuse to Act’ to ‘Grow Our Economy From the Middle Out’

President Barack Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that he will act on his own to “create more jobs and opportunity for hardworking families,” if Republicans in Congress refuse to take the action he would like to see.
“[W]e could do a lot more if Republicans in Congress were less interested in stacking the deck in favor of those at the top, and more interested in growing the economy for everybody,” Obama said. “They’ve now voted more than 50 times to take apart the Affordable Care Act – imagine if they voted 50 times on serious jobs bills.”
“That’s why I’m going to take action on my own wherever I can,” he continued. “To grow our economy from the middle out, not the top down. To give every American who works hard a chance to get ahead.”
“That’s why I’m going to take action on my own wherever I can.”
The president, speaking about his efforts to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, added that “as long as Republicans in Congress refuse to act, I’ll keep working with cities, states, and businesses to give more Americans a raise.”

Hopefully Select Committee Will Get To The Bottom Of Benghazi

Rep. Gowdy: 'I Have Evidence' of Benghazi Cover-Up

Friday, 02 May 2014 09:04 PM
By Todd Beamon
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Rep. Trey Gowdy said Friday that he has evidence of a "systematic, intentional" effort by the Obama administration to withhold documents from Congress about the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans.

"I have evidence that, not only are they hiding it, there's an intent to hide it," the South Carolina Republican told "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren" on Fox News. "I can't disclose that evidence yet, but I have evidence that there was a systematic, intentional decision to withhold certain documents from Congress — and we're just sick of it."

Story continues below video.

House Speaker John Boehner is considering Gowdy to head a select committee to investigate the Libyan attacks on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALs.

The speaker said Friday that the House would vote on a resolution to establish the panel next week.

Gowdy, 49, a former prosecutor who is in his second House term, made the accusations in response to a question on Secretary of State John Kerry being subpoenaed — also on Friday — by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The panel, chaired by California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, wants Kerry to explain why the panel did not receive a 2012 email showing Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes counseling former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to link the Benghazi attacks to an anti-Muslim video.

The email, released Tuesday by Judicial Watch, was not among the documents the oversight panel received in response to its subpoena last year. The committee received the document this week.

Judicial Watch sued the State Department for documents relating to Benghazi last year.

Shortly after Kerry took over the top State Department job last year, he pledged to cooperate with congressional investigations of the attacks, which also killed information management officer Sean Smith, and former SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

"He said a year ago, with respect to Benghazi, 'If you have any trouble getting information, let me know,'" Gowdy told Van Susteren about Kerry. "Well, Mr. Secretary, we're going to let you know that we're not getting the information. We're going to get him to come and explain why we're getting documents 20 months late."

Gowdy cited the Rhodes email as the "straw that broke the camel's back" in leading Boehner to move for the select committee.

"Not only are we trying to get answers with respect to Benghazi, we're also now investigating what appears to be a White House cover-up in one of the worst explanations for why they didn't turn the documents over. I think the speaker just finally lost his patience. I'm glad he did what he did."

The congressman said that a select committee would "cross jurisdictional boundaries." Besides the oversight panel, the Benghazi attacks are being investigated by four other House committees: armed services, intelligence, foreign affairs, and judiciary.

"We were so pigeonholed, so fragmented," said Gowdy, who sits on the judiciary and oversight panels. "You just need one committee that can send subpoenas.

"Our chairmen have done the best job they can do, but you have a tendency to stick within your own bailiwick — and we need somebody to cross all lines," he added. "We need to have those lines disappear, quite frankly."

While Boehner will make the final decision on who will serve on the select panel, Gowdy said he would "volunteer to be a summer intern" to serve in order to keep his promise to the families of the victims "that I would get them the truth.

"The speaker will decide whether he thinks an old, washed-up prosecutor from South Carolina is good or not, but I'm going to help the committee — regardless of whatever position, if any, I have."

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