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Mastrmynd, Magic, what's good?

Updated May 22, 2018
By Greg Bluestein
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Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams won the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s top office on Tuesday, defeating ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans and advancing her quest to become the nation’s first black female governor.

She will face one of five Republicans in November in the race to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal, a competition that will test whether the state is truly competitive after more than a decade of GOP rule.

Abrams attracted national attention, big-name endorsements and millions of dollars in outside spending with her “unapologetic progressive” platform to flip the Georgia governor’s office for the first time since 2002.

FOLLOW LIVE: Primary election results

But she faced a stiff challenge from Evans, who tried to frame herself as the more ardent progressive. Evans fueled her campaign with nearly $2 million of her own money, pummeling Abrams with criticism for supporting a 2011 Republican-backed measure that cut awards to the HOPE scholarship.

Each of the Democratic and Republican candidates tried to carve out his or her niche in a race that attracted more than $22 million in campaign contributions – and flooded the airwaves with more than $13 million in TV ads.

The Democrats largely abandoned centrist talk to appeal instead to left-leaning voters with a promise of implementing gun control, increasing financial aid for lower-income families and taking steps toward the decriminalization of marijuana.

Stacey Abrams visited the AJC to discuss her run for governor. We had three questions for her.
That’s a stark contrast from more moderate appeals from a generation of Democratic candidates for governor, who often sought the National Rifle Association’s endorsement and touted fiscally conservative policies.

They are echoing many in the party’s base who insisted on that shift. Claudia Colichon, who lives in north Atlanta, said she demands candidates who embrace mass transit funding and fight for gun control.

“There needs to be a progressive change,” said Colichon. “People are seeing that conservative policies aren’t working.”

Abrams attracted far more national attention, picking up support from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and a string of other high-profile Democrats. Abrams raised about two-thirds of her campaign funds from outside the state, and national groups funded about $2 million worth of ads supporting her.

Evans mounted a lower-key campaign focused on local endorsements and smaller gatherings. The election-eve activities highlighted their differences. While Abrams held a large get-out-the-vote rally, Evans slung beers for supporters at an Atlanta bar.

Both Abrams and Evans united around a host of issues, including expanding Medicaid, growing the medical marijuana program and continuing Deal’s criminal justice overhaul. And both are outspoken opponents of “religious liberty” measures they say amount to state-sponsored discrimination.

The two attorneys also both were the products of hardscrabble childhoods that shaped their views of government, served together in the state House in their 30s and had up-close views of the tragic toll of substance abuse on their families with siblings who faced legal trouble.

But they’ve clashed on other issues, including how aggressively they oppose the NRA, how they would handle the state’s $26 billion budget and even how they would address Stone Mountain and other Civil War monuments.

The biggest policy divide, however, centered on the HOPE scholarship, which provides tuition aid to Georgia college students who maintain a “B” average.

Evans said Abrams betrayed her party by working with Republicans seeking cost-cutting moves to reduce the program’s awards in 2011. Abrams countered that more “seasoned” Democrats sided with her in that vote because they knew negotiating with the GOP would prevent deeper cuts.

The other central disagreement in the race involved strategy.

Evans banked on a more conventional Democratic plan to win over independent voters and moderates, particularly suburban women, who have fled to the GOP. Abrams has staked her campaign on energizing left-leaning voters, including minorities who rarely cast ballots.

The two competed for support in an increasingly diverse electorate and at times racial tensions surfaced.

There was the moment last year when Abrams supporters shouted down Evans at an Atlanta conference of progressive activists with chants of “support black women.” Evans, who is white, drew scorn with a video at Ebenezer Baptist Church that faded her face into the image of Martin Luther King Jr.

For Democrats, the divisive primary for governor was somewhat novel. Jason Carter, the party’s 2014 nominee, faced no Democratic competition. And former Gov. Roy Barnes steamrolled over opposition in 2010 during his failed comeback bid.

The party has also largely avoided fierce primary battles between black and white candidates for governor since the 1990 vote, when then-Lt. Gov. Zell Miller trounced former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.

Evans, who represented a Smyrna-based district, faced an uphill battle from the moment she entered the race. Black women form the largest bloc of voters in the Democratic primary, and Abrams’ campaign predicted African-American turnout overall could make up 65 percent of the vote.

To make inroads, Evans staged a slate of smaller rallies and meet-and-greets, and she relied heavily on prominent black officials to spread her message. She also spent far more heavily on TV than Abrams, inundating the airwaves with a HOPE-themed pitch.

Follow This: Georgia Legisl


Well, looks like they cribbed some stuff from Night Nurse, maybe?

top notch cast, I hope this is well put together.
Fictional film folks operating outside the law rarely receive the best medical treatment (just ask Tom Cruise’s on-the-run cop in Minority Report). But what if there was a specific place where lawbreakers could go and have their wounds treated?

In the new, near future-set, action-thriller Hotel Artemis, Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs) plays a character called The Nurse who runs a secret, members-only hospital for criminals. The film is written and directed by Drew Pearce and costars Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Sofia Boutella (The Mummy), Jeff Goldblum (Thor: Ragnarok), Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta), Jenny Slate (Saturday Night Live), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy).

“This is really original,” Brown recently told EW about what drew him to the film. “You’ve got a hospital for criminals, so these are bad guys, but he’s got a purpose beyond just himself, so he’s a good bad guy. … It’s got a dope cast. … It was one of Jodie’s first movies in several years. You’re working with one of the icons of the game, so there was nothing but pluses all the way around for your boy.”

Hotel Artemis will be released on June 8. Watch the film’s trailer, above.

Reporting by Maureen Lee Lenker

There's a lot of Trump support in the suburbs, wealthy and middle-class and working-class areas alike..

I may check out the protest event, we'll see how it goes--
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - President Donald Trump is set to speak at a rally Saturday night in Michigan's Washington Township. You can watch the event live here.

When is the rally?

The rally is scheduled to be held April 28 at Total Sports Park on Powell Road. The event is expected to begin around the same time as the White House Correspondents Dinner. 

More Headlines
Donald Trump, James Comey Trump on Comey: 'He lied all over the place' 
Trump hails breakthrough at Korea summit, praises Xi 
US and Israeli officials intensify the drumbeat against Iran 

TIME: 7 p.m.
WATCH: ClickOnDetroit plans to stream it live here

Why is Trump coming to Macomb County?

The President will visit a county where he received 54 percent of the vote in the 2016 General Election. Macomb County helped him become the first Republican presidential candidate to win in the state of Michigan since 1988. 

During a rally in Warren on Oct. 31, 2016, Trump declared he would win in Michigan as he campaigned against Obamacare. He promised changes to the national healthcare law. 

The rally was held at the Macomb Community College campus in Warren. Several thousand people attended. Hundreds were turned away at the door because the venue was filled to capacity. 

Trump to be met with protests

On Saturday, Rally for Victory in Macomb will hold a counter-demonstration.

"We want to set an example in this county, especially for our young people, to prove that when you stand up for your values and organize, you can make real, lasting change," said Dan Colling, trustee for Lake Shore Public Schools and an organizer with Rally for Victory in Macomb.

The Rally for Victory in Macomb will be held at UAW Local 400 at 50595 Mound Road in Shelby Township from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Latest Flicks / Traffik: Paula Patton, Omar Epps
« on: April 21, 2018, 05:41:51 am »
I checked it out yesterday.  It was pretty decent, I'd give it a B.  All the actors, Paula, Omar, Rosalyn Sanchez and Laz Alonzo do a really good job.

The lead-in to the main plot happened a little slower than I expected.  The movie's barely 90 minutes, though..
There's a twist that's hinted at earlier on, but I didn't see right away.
The climax wasn't as action packed as I would have hoped.

I wouldn't mind seeing the main actors together in another film.

Other Comics / Motor City Comic Con Media Guests 2018
« on: April 17, 2018, 03:56:06 pm »

Looks like the Black Lightning principals will be there- Cress Williams, China Ann McClain, Nafessa Williams-- neat!

As expensive as these events tend to be, I have to keep reminding myself that it's a rare chance to meet some of these people in person, lol.

Vox Populi / Deneen Borelli, CRTV
« on: April 11, 2018, 02:27:59 pm »
I'd never heard of her before today-

Somebody on my Facebook feed shared one of her vids--

She's very cute, but sheesh... quite the GOP cheerleader.. lol.. ah, bless her heart..

And apparently CRTV is a paid-subscription based TV/web network, exclusively conservative-based, Fox without the Murdochs, I suppose.

Hudlin TV / BET orders a Boomerang Reboot
« on: April 10, 2018, 04:47:19 pm »
-- Are Mr. Reggie and Eddie involved as producers?  Hmmm...

New president Scott Mills talks with THR about his vision for the Viacom network, which also has picked up a Will Packer comedy and a drama inspired by the life of 'Soul Train' mastermind Don Cornelius.
BET is doubling down on scripted programming.

Under orders from new network president Scott Mills, the Viacom-owned cable network has handed out straight-to-series orders for a half-hour comedic reboot of 1992 Eddie Murphy feature Boomerang; comedy Peachtree Place, produced by Girls Trip's Will Packer; and a drama, American Soul, inspired by the life of Soul Train mastermind Don Cornelius. 

All three pickups are part of a push to lean into what Mills says BET viewers want most: premium scripted content. It's the first programming mandate to come from Mills, who in December was tapped to take over for Debra Lee (with the latter remaining chairman and CEO of the Viacom-owned cable network). Mills inherited the role after serving as Viacom's executive vp and chief administrative officer, overseeing human resources, real estate, facilities and security. He previously worked for BET Networks, serving as president and COO, where he led business operations.

"The shows that have been most successful on BET are all scripted: The Game, The New Edition Story, Being Mary Jane, Real Husbands of Hollywood. When you succeed in that space, it has a wonderful effect on the brand," Mills tells The Hollywood Reporter as part of an exclusive interview ahead of BET's upfront announcements.

The goal, Mills says, is to increase original programming by 21 percent, including nine original movies and new scripted series as he looks to leverage relationships with prominent African-American writers and producers and Viacom's corporate siblings. The scripted push arrives as BET is also bringing back its signature awards shows, including the BET Awards, Soul Train Awards, Black Girls Rock and Hip-Hop Awards.

Scott M. Mills, Debra Lee   
BET Taps New President, Debra Lee to Remain Chairman and CEO
In terms of Tuesday's orders, a writer and producing team on Boomerang have not yet been determined. The 10-episode, half-hour comedy hails from corporate sibling Paramount Television. Like the original, it revolves around a successful executive who finds that his lifestyle choices have turned back on him when his new boss turns out to be a bigger deviant that he is. It's described as an updated version that explores contemporary workplace dynamics, including the changing role of gender, office politics, relationships and the conflicts between Generation X and millennials.

American Soul is inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impresario, Don Cornelius. The 10-episode drama is an unflinching look at the entrepreneur, his Soul Train dancers, crew and musicians in a cutthroat Hollywood in the 1970s and how they work, play, rise and fall against the backdrop of the show most responsible for the way African-American culture was perceived by the world. Jesse Collins, Jonathan Prince and Devon Greggory executive produce. Don's son, Tony Cornelius, will co-exec produce alongside Andy Horne. Greggory will pen the pilot and Jesse Collins Entertainment will produce.

Packer's 10-episode comedy Peachtree Place follows five 30-somethings living in Atlanta as they try to build professional and personal lives they can be proud of, but the one thing they don’t have keeps impeding their progress: love. Unresolved feelings from college are uncovered and secrets revealed, forcing these friends to finally deal with uncomfortable truths about each other. Packer exec produces; Felischa Marye will pen the series and co-exec produce; Will Packer Media's Sheila Ducksworth will also serve as a co-EP. Packer, meanwhile, also will produce three movies of the week for BET. Details on the three additional movies of the week, all set to air in 2019, will be announced at a later date.

Latest Flicks / Uncle Drew: Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery, Shaq, more
« on: April 08, 2018, 03:22:58 pm »
! No longer available

Looks like TIffany Haddish  :-* :-* :-*has a bit part here, neat.

Vox Populi / Jeff Sessions fires McCabe 24 hours before retirement
« on: March 16, 2018, 07:37:15 pm »

FILE: Andrew McCabe, then-acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, attends a press conference at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington D.C., on July 20, 2017.© Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images FILE: Andrew McCabe, then-acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, attends a press conference at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington D.C., on July 20, 2017. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday night fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire.

Sessions announced the decision in a statement just before 10 p.m., noting that both the Justice Department Inspector General and the FBI office that handles discipline had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”

He said based on those findings and the recommendation of the department’s senior career official, “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

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The move will likely cost McCabe a significant portion of his retirement benefits, though it is possible he could bring a legal challenge. McCabe has been fighting vigorously to keep his job, and on Thursday, he spent nearly four hours inside the Justice Department pleading his case.

McCabe has become a lightning rod in the political battles over the FBI’s most high-profile cases, including the Russia investigation and the probe of Hillary Clinton’s email practices. He has been a frequent target of criticism from President Trump.

His firing — which was recommended by the FBI office that handles discipline — stems from a Justice Department inspector general investigation that found McCabe authorized the disclosure of sensitive information to the media about a Clinton-related case, then misled investigators about his actions in the matter, people familiar with the matter have said. He stepped down earlier this year from the No. 2 job in the bureau after FBI Director Christopher A. Wray was briefed on the inspector general’s findings, though he technically was still an employee.

McCabe disputes that he misled anyone.

Some in the bureau might view McCabe’s termination so close to retirement as an unnecessarily harsh and politically influenced punishment for a man who spent more than 20 years at the FBI. The White House had seemed to support such an outcome, though a spokeswoman said the decision was up to Sessions.

“We do think that it is well documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and by most accounts a bad actor,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

Trump and McCabe’s relationship has long been fraught. The president has previously suggested that McCabe was biased in favor of Clinton, his political opponent, pointing out that McCabe’s wife, who ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Virginia legislature, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the political action committee of Terry McAuliffe, then the state’s governor and a noted Clinton ally. During an Oval office meeting in May, Trump is said to have asked McCabe whom he voted for in the presidential election and vented about the donations.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz put McCabe in his crosshairs during a broad look at alleged improprieties in the handling of the Clinton email case. In the course of that review, Horowitz found that McCabe had authorized two FBI officials to talk to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for a story about the case and another investigation into Clinton’s family foundation. Barrett now works for The Washington Post.

Background conversations with reporters are commonplace in Washington, though McCabe’s authorizing such a talk was viewed as inappropriate because the matter being discussed was an ongoing criminal investigation. The story ultimately presented McCabe as a somewhat complicated figure — one who some FBI officials thought was standing in the way of the Clinton Foundation investigation, but who also seemed to be pushing back against Justice Department officials who did not believe there was a case to be made.

McCabe, who turns 50 on Sunday and would have then been eligible for his full retirement benefits, had quickly ascended through senior roles to the No. 2 leadership post. He briefly served in an interim capacity as the FBI director, in the months between when Trump fired James B. Comey from the post and Wray was confirmed by the Senate.

General Discussion / missing African art discovered in London
« on: March 01, 2018, 04:44:31 pm »

'Tutu' painting by Ben Enwonwu sells for $1.6 million

'Tutu' painting by Ben Enwonwu sells for $1.6 million
Written by
Oscar Holland, CNN

Jennifer Hauser, CNN

A famous painting that went missing for decades before turning up in a London apartment has sold for over $1.6 million (£1,205,000). Often dubbed the "African Mona Lisa," Ben Enwonwu's "Tutu" smashed sale estimates at an auction in London on Wednesday.

One of a triptych of artworks created by Enwonwu during the aftermath of Nigeria's bloody civil war, "Tutu" disappeared shortly after being painted in 1974. Its whereabouts remained the subject of intense speculation for over 40 years before the portrait was discovered in a family home late last year.

Depicting the Ife princess Adetutu Ademiluyi (abbreviated as "Tutu"), the painting was subsequently authenticated and went under the hammer as part of Bonhams' "Africa Now" sale. The London auction house initially predicted a price tag of between £200,000 and £300,000 ($275,000 to $413,000), less than a quarter of the final bid.

Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" became the most expensive artwork sold at auction in November 2017, when it went for over $450 million at Christie's in New York. Look through the gallery for more of history's priciest paintings. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

According to Bonhams, "Tutu" was painted after Enwonwu encountered the princess walking in the Nigerian countryside. The artist created two other pictures of Ademiluyi, both of which remain missing.

The paintings grew in fame not only for their beauty but for the mystery surrounding their disappearance. The eventual discovery of "Tutu" is partly thanks to the efforts of Giles Peppiatt, Director of African art at Bonhams, who for years made it his mission to find them. People brought him a number of prints but they all transpired to be fakes. Then one day in December 2017, he finally found the real thing.

"Tutu" is one of three missing paintings by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu

"Tutu" is one of three missing paintings by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu  Credit: Bonhams

After receiving a tip, Peppiatt made a visit to a "modest" apartment in north London and discovered the painting had been hanging there for the last 30 years. According to Bonhams, Peppiatt said: "I was absolutely staggered when I first saw the piece. The owners, who had inherited it, had no idea of its current value." The family behind the discovery has chosen to remain anonymous.

"On discovering the long-missing work," continued Peppiatt, "I felt a little like Howard Carter peering into Tutankhamen's tomb. When Carter was asked by Lord Carnarvon 'What can you see?', Carter replied 'Wonderful things... Wonderful things.' And so it was for me on that dark December night."

"Tutu" was among 20 Enwonwu artworks made available at the Bonham's sale. His paintings "Negritude" and "The Female Form" sold for £100,000 ($138,000) and £110,000 ($151,000) respectively

Feel The Funk / chick corea at Detroit jazz festival August 2018
« on: February 24, 2018, 12:53:45 pm »

Jazz fusion pioneer Chick Corea will serve as artist-in-residence at the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival, organizers announced Thursday night.

The much-decorated pianist will lead multiple sets at the 39th annual jazz fest, which will run Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in downtown Detroit. His performances are expected to include sets with his acoustic and electric bands, along with an orchestral presentation involving his sextet.

“Having performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival in the past, I know and admire the phenomenal collection of talent the festival brings to Detroit,” Corea said in a statement. “I am excited to take on a larger role during and in the months leading up to festival as the artist-in-residence and showcase the depth of the genre through my broad range of performances and educational outreach.”

The Corea announcement was scheduled to be made during Straight Ahead's reunion show Thursday night at the Dirty Dog Cafe in Grosse Pointe. Straight Ahead, featuring violinist Regina Carter, has also been tapped to play the jazz fest later this year.

Recent artists-in-residence at the Detroit Jazz Festival:

2017: Wayne Shorter

2016: Ron Carter

2015: Pat Metheny

2014: Joshua Redman

2013: Danilo Perez

Sports Talk / Dallas Mavericks aticle on company sexism
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:03:53 pm »

■More than a dozen current and ex-employees characterize the Mavs' hostile work environment—ranging from sexual harassment to domestic violence—as an “open secret.” Sports Illustrated details the allegations in a special investigation.

By Jon Wertheim and Jessica Luther
February 20, 2018

It was an hour or so before tip–off. The Dallas Mavericks were hosting a nationally televised game during the 2010–11 NBA season. And, deep inside the American Airlines Center, a recently–hired Mavericks support staff employee was eating dinner in the media dining room. As the woman sat down, the team president and CEO, Terdema Ussery, asked if he could join her. She grew nervous, not because Ussery was her boss’s boss, or because he was one of the most prominent figures in the Dallas sportscape. It was because his reputation as a serial sexual harasser of women preceded him.

At this meal, with ESPN crew members seated nearby, Ussery struck up an unusual conversation. As the woman recalls the exchange, Ussery claimed that he knew what she was going to do over the coming weekend. When the woman asked, confusedly, what Ussery meant, he smiled.

“You’re going to get gang-banged,” he asserted, “aren’t you?”

“No,” the woman responded, caught off-guard. “Actually, I’m going to the movies with friends.”

“No,” Ussery insisted. “You’re definitely getting gang-banged.”

The employee was startled but not entirely surprised. When she first accepted her job with the Mavericks in 2010, she’d shared the news with her local Dallas women’s running group. Instead of congrats, she recalls, she received warnings. “Watch out for the president,” one friend said. “Whatever you do, don’t get trapped in an elevator with him.”

When the woman recounted the dining room exchange to female colleagues at the Mavs, they too were something other than shocked. One shared that Ussery had repeatedly propositioned her for sex, even offering to leave his marriage if the woman relented—an account the second woman confirmed to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for this story.  Another woman shared that Ussery’s inappropriate behavior was one of the reasons she was quitting her sales job after more than a decade. (Reached by SI, that woman declined comment, but records confirm that her employment with the Mavericks ended at a time consistent with the chronology of this account.)

“It was a real life Animal House,” says one former organization employee who left recently after spending roughly five years with the Mavs. “And I only say ‘was’ because I’m not there anymore. I’m sure it’s still going on.”

Ussery, who left the Mavericks in 2015, was hardly alone. Interviews with more than a dozen former and current Mavericks employees in different departments, conducted during a months-long SPORTS ILLUSTRATED investigation, paint a picture of a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior: alleged public fondling by the team president; outright domestic assault by a high-profile member of the staff; unsupportive or even intimidating responses from superiors who heard complaints of inappropriate behavior from their employees; even an employee who openly watched pornography at his desk. Most sources did not want their names used for a variety of reasons including fear of retaliation and ostracization and limits imposed by agreements they signed with the team.


How Will the NBA Respond to the Mavericks’ Misconduct Allegations?
While sources referred to the Mavericks office as a “locker room culture,” the team’s actual locker room was a refuge. Says one female former senior staffer: “I dealt with players all the time. I had hundreds of interactions with players and never once had an issue…they always knew how to treat people. Then I'd go to the office and it was this zoo, this complete sh*tshow. My anxiety would go down dealing with players; it would go up when I got to my desk.”

A half-dozen female former Mavericks or American Airlines Center employees contacted by SI claim that they left the sports sector because of a work environment and structure that left them feeling vulnerable and devalued while protecting—and continuing to employ—powerful men who misbehaved. “There was built-in protection for a lot of men,” says a former male department head at American Airlines Center. “The lack of oversight and compassion within all levels of the business was alarming.”

“You don’t feel safe going to work and it’s not long before you look for another job,” says one of those women, now employed in a different sector. “And then you wonder why there aren’t more women working in sports. Really?”

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

By now, you should have read Jessica Luther and Jon Wertheim's SI exposé about how the Dallas Mavericks organization was fraught with misogyny and sexual harassment for decades. While Mark Cuban has built up a lot of equity with sports fans and media as a candid, interesting, and thoughtful voice as owner of the Mavs, the depth and breadth of this investigative story - combined with the laser-focus he had on all aspects of the franchise - makes it so that it defies credulity that he could have had no idea that it was going on.

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The piece has too many sexual harassment allegations to count from women who work or worked for the Mavs against Terdema Ussery, who was CEO of the franchise from 1997 until 2015 (he denied the allegations to SI). There were accounts of non-action from now-former head of HR Buddy Pittman. The team's now-former in-house beat writer Earl K. Sneed was accused of domestic violence by his girlfriend, later arrested for assault at the team's facilty, and had another domestic dispute with a new girlfriend, who was also employed by the Mavs. These incidents were collectively significant enough that legally Sneed was not permitted to travel to Canada with the team.

Here was Cuban's response to the story:

Reached by SI on Monday, Cuban expressed embarrassment and horror at the accusations-but insisted he had no knowledge of the corrosive culture in his offices. "This is all new to me," he said. "The only awareness I have is because I heard you guys were looking into some things…. Based off of what I've read here, we just fired our HR person. I don't have any tolerance for what I've read."

Cuban continued in an emotional response: "It's wrong. It's abhorrent. It's not a situation we condone. I can't tell you how many times, particularly since all this [#MeToo] stuff has been coming out recently I asked our HR director, 'Do we have a problem? Do we have any issues I have to be aware of?' And the answer was no."

Pressed on how it is that a proudly hyper-attentive owner could be so oblivious, Cuban said, "I deferred to the CEO, who at the time was Terdema, and to HR…. I was involved in basketball operations, but other than getting the financials and reports, I was not involved in the day to day [of the business side] at all. That's why I just deferred. I let people do their jobs. And if there were anything like this at all I was supposed to be made aware, obviously I was not."

While there is almost nothing Cuban could say that would in any way be deemed as a sufficient response to the SI story, it's impossible to believe his ignorance plea. As the SI piece notes, and everybody reading this knows, he has touted himself as being attentive at all levels of the organization:

The very model of a modern hands-on owner, Cuban prides himself on the extent to which he is involved in team affairs. (SI obtained an interoffice email Cuban sent in 2010 complaining about production value of Mavs' telecasts. "Who exactly calls for the replays?" Cuban wrote. "You tell that person they are about to lose their job if they don't figure it out.") In the forthcoming book,  The Soul of Basketball, author Ian Thomsen asks Cuban how he is different from other owners. Cuban's response: "The big difference is, being that I'm so close to everything that's going around, you can't bullsh*t me."

Another salient point comes from the NBA writer Eric Freeman: "I would assume the guy who pulled's credentials knew why his team's beat writer couldn't travel to Canada."

"Cuban has built his reputation for 18 years on being the most hands-on owner in sports," added NBA writer Sean Highkin. "The idea that he somehow had no idea any of this was going on isn't very plausible."

It would be rash at this point to call for Cuban to have his team taken away, at least permanently. Soon-to-be former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was directly accused of sexual misconduct as opposed to presiding over it. Donald Sterling's racist telephone recording followed years and years of racial bad-will, including a housing discrimination suit that is horrifying to read about.

Nevertheless, it is just nearly impossible to believe Cuban could have been ignorant of everything presented in the SI piece, and the NBA should be leading the independent investigation as opposed to "closely monitoring" it like they said they'd do. We all have a tendency to move on to the next scandal while these lengthy internal investigations run their course, but this story should be bigger than that.

Sports Talk / Deadspin Article: "NFL's Big Threat is Apathy"
« on: February 14, 2018, 12:45:14 pm »

Biggest Threat Is Apathy

Lindsey Adler

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

One Sunday this season I forgot to watch the NFL. There were some errands to be done, probably, or maybe I was elbows-deep in some stupid binge-watch fugue state. It’s not important, really. What’s notable is not what else was on my plate, but that it was more important to me than watching a football game. At some point in the last few seasons I’ve felt my interest in the sport slowly drain away, with each football Sunday becoming less of a capital-e Event and more of a low-impact way to pass some time throughout the fall and winter.

It’s probably best that I refrain from the NFL, although I can’t say in good faith that doing so was an ethical decision on my part, or even one I was aware of making. If I have children one day, I’d like to tell them I acted on principle and turned away from a sport so detrimental to the people who break their bodies across brief and brutal careers that mostly serve to enrich their billionaire employers. I’d love to be a person who could sit here and write one of those righteous, correct, semi-insufferable essays on Why I Can No Longer Watch The NFL With A Clean Conscience, but I’m not. I want to love football, and I don’t want to give up the part of me that has allowed the game to stand in for other interests—for regional pride, and for some sense of family nostalgia. I am not ready to give up the game just yet, but I am feeling increasingly certain that it’s happening anyway, with or without my conscious consent or active participation.

I believe that people like me are a bigger risk to the sport’s future than the people who draw a principled line at the league’s handling of CTE or its response to player protests against racial injustice during the National Anthem. I know quite a few people who fall into the camp of people disturbed by brain trauma, and a few who seem to have tentatively walked away given the implicit blackballing of Colin Kaepernick. The only person I’ve met personally who said he gave up the game because of the kneeling during the anthem was a guy whose dog was sniffing my dog’s butt on Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t imagine I’d agree with that man on much more than the relative merits of dogs, but in a sense I admire people willing to walk away from something they love because they believe it’s wrong not to do so. It’s the righteous way to be.

But eventually, I think there will be more people like me, who over time become slightly bored with the game and maybe the league, and then just fade away slowly. It’s one thing for the NFL to try to recapture the fans that have given up the game for specific reasons, but it’s another to try to rekindle the passion of consumers gone apathetic.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about the NFL’s dilemma ahead of the Super Bowl, selling a WSJ/NBC joint poll as “[depicting] a developing nightmare for the National Football League: Its core audience is losing interest rapidly, a potential threat to the league’s dominant role in American culture.”

“Adults who report following the NFL closely has dropped 9% since 2014, the poll finds. More alarming for the league, however, is the makeup of the people moving away from the NFL in large numbers: Just 51% of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75% four years ago. The poll did not ask respondents why their interest changed. The Journal/NBC News poll interviewed 900 adults from Jan. 13-17. The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 3.27 percentage points.”

The piece went on to detail various reasons this could be the case, and chances are you already know those. But for me, there’s not one specific incident I can point to to say this, this is why I no longer love the NFL.

It’s the brain damage and CTE, certainly. It’s the gross labor, class, and racial dynamics that turn men into mostly disposable pawns, exploited as they make their way through the NCAA grinder and exploited again in the NFL, where they at last earn a wildly suppressed salary. It’s the simple fact that my favorite team, the 49ers, have been not just bad, but very, very boring over the last few seasons. It’s the fact that I left the Bay Area for New York and have been taken away from the culture of my team and am no longer in the television market for their boring-ass games. It’s the fact that writing about sports inevitably dulls the sensation of watching them. It’s the fact that to some extent, through maturation, I no longer need my interest in the game to prop up who I am or dictate how I relate to the world around me.

Or maybe my problem is the NFL’s constant, churning administrative drama. That constant underlying churn is the league’s least-favorite word: a distraction from the game at hand. But it’s probably not the catch rule. That can be fixed, I think.

When I watched the Super Bowl, I was hoping to see Tom Brady be humbled. I was also thinking about the flow of the game, and the way the lack of punts presented a whole New Football, one where the game moved along handily and drama was sustained from down to down. But I also wondered about the people across the country gathered in groups to watch this one game. I wondered where my interest was on the spectrum of those fans, and where I was on the continuum of “do not under any circumstances talk to me during the game” people and the “I’m just here for the chips and dip” people.

I know where I used to be. I was a nightmare to watch a 49ers game with, to the point where I preferred to watch games alone. I once shamefully yelled at someone who tried to talk to me during a playoff game. I called in sick to work after the 2014 NFC Championship loss. I wore an Aldon Smith jersey on my third date with my boyfriend; when the game was over I went into the bathroom at the bar to cry because I knew Jim Harbaugh was going to get fired and the team would plunge back into the darkness. It was fun! It was probably very humiliating! But it was fun! Or, anyway, it was exciting.

Football was, for a fairly brief period of time, something about me. Every waking moment during the season was defined first and foremost by my love of football and the 49ers, even if, admittedly, I’m not all that expert in the particulars of the game. But it’s a social game, and it’s America’s Sport for now, and like most people I know who remain obsessed with sports into adulthood, continuing to care about it had a lot to do with my feelings about my family.

But now, as I find myself moving further from football as an anchor of my identity, I wonder whether I’d be able to walk—or drift—away from football if it had remained a consistent lifelong passion. Would I even have these feelings of conflict? Would they be stronger? Do I feel fairly ready to quit watching the NFL because in time I’ve realized the 49ers have nothing to do with my family at all? Am I still holding on, to the extent I am, because I’m still not ready to give up the wispy, stubborn family ties I have fashioned around this sport?

The first independently reported feature I ever wrote was about a man named Joseph Chernach who killed himself at age 25 and was found to have CTE. He played football throughout high school. His mother is now one of the moms at the forefront of a CTE awareness campaign. His brother still loves the Packers. The New York Times rewrote the story and I screamed into a pillow. For a young reporter without access to players or credentials, the CTE beat is accessible; people want to tell their stories, and most of the professional football media is busy writing about professional football. Over the next couple of years I spoke to innumerable wives and mothers and children of men who’d given their minds and bodies to the game, leaving their loved ones suffering in the wake.

Only a handful of those interviews ever made it to print, but they are inescapable in my mind when I watch the NFL. Each hit a man takes on the field is an injury against his loved ones, too. I think of the players who post beautiful photos of their families on Instagram, and wonder what the future will look like for those small kids and the women who manage the home. I ask in interviews if these players will allow their own kids to play the game, or I listen for it in other people’s interviews. I wonder why, if they say no, they allow themselves to suffer through a game to which they wouldn’t subject their kids. I wonder what forces could possibly outweigh the still-early but supremely alarming research and testimonies on what football does to a body. I wince now more than I used to; the legal hit that knocked Brandin Cooks out of the Super Bowl made me nauseous.

But it’s not just that. Increasingly during the season I wonder about the league’s distribution of access to its product outside of prime-time and regional matchups.

In my other time, I mostly focus on baseball. For a relatively small fee, I can watch every single out of market game on, regardless of my time zone or local cable package. It’s something I wish would come to football, not in the form of the expensive Sunday Ticket, which would require me to change my cable subscription entirely, but in some way that was easier to use. To watch the 49ers in New York, I have only a few options. I can hope that they’re playing a local team or wind up in the 4 p.m. national game, I can stream the game illegally, or I can hope they show up on Red Zone consistently (hahaha). It’s pretty hard to stay invested in a bad team under those circumstances, and the promise of neutral fandom doesn’t do much for me, personally.

I’ve talked about this privately many times over the course of the last year, but never expected to write it all out. Mostly, though, I know there are people out there like me—people who, despite their otherwise reasonable moral inclinations, just do not quite want to quit football. It’s an inherently shameful position, a compromise with myself and not an especially honorable one at that. But it’s where I am now, and it’s what I think about when I sit down to watch a game.

The 49ers should have some fun stuff cooking next season, especially now with Jimmy Garoppolo locked up to a big, glimmering contract, but I predict that within a few years I will slide further down the ranks of football fanatics to become a person who tunes in casually throughout the season, and makes time during the playoffs. I don’t think I have it in me to give it up altogether—as a nation full of viewers saw during the Super Bowl, football can still be very, very fun—but I don’t have much faith in that same passion, that same spark reigniting after being worn down to an ember. I want to love football, despite my better instincts, but for now, it just won’t let me.

Producing / LeBron James to produce House Party remake?
« on: February 13, 2018, 01:37:04 pm »
Uhhh.... "fake news", Mr. Reggie?  Or....?   :o

LeBron James To Produce "House Party" Remake

February 13, 2018 | 12:40 PM

by Kyle Eustice

LeBron James To Produce "House Party" Remake
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

 NBA superstar LeBron James has signed up to produce a remake of the ’90s Kid ‘n Play film House Party, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Atlanta writers Stephen Glover (Donald Glover’s brother) and Jamal Olori are reportedly writing the screenplay.

“This is definitely not a reboot,” James said. “It’s an entirely new look for a classic movie. Everyone I grew up with loved House Party. To partner with this creative team to bring a new House Party to a new generation is unbelievable.”

James’ SpringHill Entertainment partner Maverick Carter hinted James might have a role in the film.

“There’s no plan for it now, but he’s a fantastic actor, and if he wants a role, Stephen will find a great role to put him in,” Carter explained.

They’re also eyeing artists to contribute to the film’s soundtrack.

“We’re trying out some ideas for musicians to be cast in and to be a part of the project,” he said.

The original House Party was released in 1990 to critical acclaim. The subsequent sequels, House Party 2 and House Party 3, followed in 1991 and 1994, respectively.
LeBron James to Produce 'House Party' Reboot for New Line (Exclusive)

 6:00 AM PST 2/13/2018  by  Tatiana Siegel   






Jason Miller/Getty Images

LeBron James

'Atlanta' writers Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori are penning the screenplay.

As Los Angeles hosts its first NBA All-Star shindig in seven years, LeBron James is prepping a Hollywood bash of his own.

The megastar and his SpringHill Entertainment partner, Maverick Carter, are producing a new House  Party, which will revive the Kid ’n Play–fronted New Line comedy franchise that started in 1990 and was followed by sequels in 1991 and 1994. Atlanta’s Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori will pen the screenplay.

“This is definitely not a reboot. It’s an entirely new look for a classic movie,” James tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Everyone I grew up with loved House Party. To partner with this creative team to bring a new House Party to a new generation is unbelievable.”

Fans can expect a star-studded soundtrack, perhaps even James’ good pal Drake, with whom SpringHill is collaborating on Netflix’s crime drama, Top Boy, and Vince Carter doc The Carter Effect.

“We’re trying out some ideas for musicians to be cast in and to be a part of the project,” says Carter, who adds that a cameo by James, in high demand since his well-received performance in Universal’s Trainwreck, also remains a possibility. “There’s no plan for it now, but he’s a fantastic actor, and if he wants a role, Stephen will find a great role to put him in,” adds Carter.

Warner Bros.–based SpringHill is eyeing House Party as the Survivor’s Remorse banner’s first narrative feature, with its Space Jam  remake “a ways off,” says Carter. The films join a SpringHill slate that also includes Netflix’s limited series about entrepreneur and activist Madam C.J. Walker, starring and executive produced by Octavia Spencer; Starz’s docuseries Warriors of Liberty City, about a Florida youth football team that has produced more than 40 NFL players; and NBC game show The Wall, which just wrapped its second season.

James, 33, is leading the pack among a group of hoops stars leveraging their appeal in Hollywood. Kobe Bryant is an Oscar nominee for doc short Dear Basketball, while Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi and Jason Samuels are producing an authorized doc about Stephon Marbury’s surprising second act as a basketball god in China (Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah are directing). Even less expected: Steve Nash is producing an untitled feature about the rise of ecstasy and the rave culture in Reagan-era Texas. Says the film’s producer, Braxton Pope: "Steve has great taste and is serious in a sustained way about film and creative content. He's been an ideal partner.”

In The News / Danielle Herrington new SI Swimsuit Cover Model
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:42:52 pm »
Very cool, kudos to Ms. Herrington, continued success!

'Sports Illustrated' reveals Danielle Herrington as swimsuit cover model

Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY SportsPublished 9:08 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2018 | Updated 12:42 p.m. ET Feb. 13, 2018

Danielle Herrington will be the third black woman to be featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, joining Tyra Banks and Beyonce. Buzz60's Sam Berman has the full story. Buzz60


(Photo: Ben Watts, AP)








Danielle Herrington was revealed as 2018's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model on Tuesday. She becomes just the third black woman to appear on the cover of the magazine, joining Tyra Banks (1997) and Beyonce (2005).

The 24-year-old first appeared in the magazine's swimsuit issue last year, and she was photographed this year wearing a pink bikini at Harbour Island, Bahamas. SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day called Herrington a "natural brand ambassador."

SI shared an Instagram video of Herrington learning from Banks that she was on the 2018 cover.

"I can't even believe I'm saying this. I am the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model," Herrington told SI. "I can't wait for everyone to see it. I'm emotional, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who believed in me. I put in so much work for this, and I'm feeling very accomplished, happy and excited."

MORE: Who is Danielle Herrington? 5 things about the 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit cover star

MORE: Special 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit spread lets models express themselves

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