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Ed Rendell Insulting Everyone

Hey, so here’s Campbell Brown, talking about Ed Rendell’s comments yesterday. Regarding the next Homeland Security chief, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Rendell said, “Janet’s perfect for that job, because for that job you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19, 20 hours a day to it.” Turns out an open microphone picked up on that and CNN broadcast it to the world.

Earlier this year, of course, Ed Rendell said that Barack Obama would have trouble in Pennsylvania because “you’ve got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate.” (He explained this by saying that if Lynn Swann were white, he would have won by 17 percentage points instead of 22.)

So what’s next for Fast Eddie? Calling John McCain older than dirt? Saying Ron Paul’s followers are bonkers? Maybe making fun of the way Arnold Schwarzenegger talks! Let’s see what he had to say yesterday:

Asked to explain the comments yesterday, Rendell said: “What I meant is that Janet is a person who works 24-7, just like I do. She has no life; neither do I.”

For example, he said he arrived home Tuesday at 10:30 p.m., flipped on the television, and watched a budget program on Pennsylvania Cable News until 1 a.m.

“No person who has a life would do that,” he said. “That’s why, among other qualities, I hope, I am well-suited to be governor. To be governor and do the job well, you can’t have a life.”

Ahh, I see, he has no life, just like that barefoot lady in the Homeland Security office kitchen. Does he also have no family? (Midge and Jesse Rendell could not be reached for comment.) The Inquirer also reminds us that Rendell has not let old people off the hook, either:

Two years later, while running for a second term as governor, Rendell told the editorial board of the Lancaster New Era that gambling brings “brightness and cheer” to some seniors who otherwise “lead very gray lives.”

“But if you put them on the bus, they’re excited,” he said. “They’re happy. They have fun. They see bright lights. They hear music. They pull that slot machine, and with each pull they think they have a chance to win.”

Man, this dude is a one-man comedy machine. Women, white racists, oldheads, his family, even the Philadelphia Eagles… who won’t he insult? I think this man needs to be appointed Secretary of One-Liners in the new Obama cabinet.

Rendell downplays remarks about Arizona governor [Inquirer]
Ed Rendell Thinks Napolitano Will Do Well At Homeland Security, Despite Her Vagina [Wonkette]

Predicting Sports Is Hard

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Ex-City Paper editor and Johnny Doc spokesman Brian Hickey made his picks for Euro 2008. Let’s see how he did in the first round:

Portugal vs. Germany [Already complete 2-3]

Croatia vs. Turkey (2-2, Croatia advances on PKs)
Netherlands vs. Russia (3-1)
Spain vs. Italy (1-0)

Not to be nitpicky or anything, but the only one he got right was the one he picked after the game was over. Predicting sports is hard, which is why I like to stick to betting on sensible things where you can get good odds, like American Gladiators.

Photo by gereg, Creative Commons license

Problem Gambler Can’t Use New Chips

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Back in 2004, a man only identified as S.D. lost money in Atlantic City. He did the only sensible thing: He went to the Casino Control Commission and asked he be banned from gambling in Atlantic City for life.

Whoops! Turns out he loved to gamble, and since New Jersey shares its list of banned gamblers with other states, now S.D. can’t really gamble anywhere. Yesterday, a state appeals court ruled the Commission didn’t have to reverse the ban when S.D. asked.

It’s a shame for our mysterious problem gambler, since Atlantic City has introduced a new chip that’s worth $25,000. (We bloggers call that “a day’s pay.”) The $25K chip is the highest denomination the state offers, but Caesars notes they have special plaques for its customers who make single bets of $50,000 or $100,000. You may begin weeping now.

Court: Casino panel doesn’t have to lift voluntary lifetime ban [The Star-Ledger]
High rollers raise stakes with new $25,000 chip [AP/Courier-Post]

Brackets Make Sports Worthwhile Again

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There are a couple of lulls in sports fandom throughout the year, but none worse than the post-Super Bowl drought. Most of the subplots of February after the big game involve off-the-field stuff: Free agency signings, trade rumors and the great NCAA at-large bid vs. Not In Tournament question. Most of the games are tired regular season teams playing out the string or resting for the playoffs or exhibitions, in the case of baseball.

But once March rolls around, college basketball’s Championship Week begins and we get to celebrate what might be the two best sports days of the year: Days 1 and 2 of the NCAA Tournament. Not only do you have a vested rooting interest — your bracket — but everybody also gets together and roots for the underdogs to win.

This year, we even get to root for the local teams, as Temple, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova all got in. Joe’s has the highest seed, an 11, despite Temple finishing 2nd in the Atlantic 10 and beating the Hawks in the finals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. TU and Villanova are No. 12 seeds. Temple kicks things off Thursday afternoon at 12:30 against Michigan State (winnable); Joe’s plays Oklahoma at around 6 p.m. Friday (very winnable!) and Villanova has a late-night Friday game at 10 against Clemson (not as winnable as the other ones).

I suggest you go print out a bracket and fill it out in pen first, as that makes it easier. And if you do that, please use the one from the NCAA’s website, which has this disclaimer: “The NCAA opposes all sports wagering. This bracket should not be used for sweepstakes, contests, office pools or other gambling activities.”

The NCAA opposes all sports wagering and, therefore, does not want me to bet on pro football. Does the NCAA lobby Congress to ban casinos? You know, if the NCAA was so concerned about people betting on games, maybe every game can just end in a tie instead. That seems like a better idea. Until there are three-hundred national champions, things just aren’t fair.

Legalized Sports Betting In A.C.?

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Earlier this year, several people in New Jersey were arrested for allegedly running a casino out of a Borgata poker room. While we here in this country do simply love sending people to jail for activities between consenting adults, apparently some people in New Jersey feel otherwise: They’d like to legalize sports gambling in Atlantic City!

Two former assembly members, senators Jim Whelan and Jeff Van Drew — who you may remember from attack ads that made them out to be child-rapists last year — are at the forefront of the push to legalize sports gambling in Atlantic City. Sports gambling is regulated by federal law, and New Jersey missed its previous chance to legalize it, so it could become a messy states’ rights issue that will no doubt be decided in favor of the federal government.

But, hey, who knows? I don’t know who would gamble in AC when Internet sports gambling is plentiful and no doubt has better odds. But, hey, if horse racing is the sport of kings and that’s base on killing horses and betting on it, who’s to say Atlantic City shouldn’t get a piece of the action? Well, the National Football League, paragons of virtue and holiness and sponsors of fantasy football, doesn’t think so!

“It’s bad policy because it turns human players into roulette chips with the sanction of the state,” said NFL attorney David H. Remes.

What the hell does that even mean? Oh, no, the big ‘roided-up men and their spying coaches might have their integrity ruined, wah wah wah. Human-roulette chip hybrids! What ever will we do? The NFL’s lawyer might as well as it’s bad policy because it turns human players into zombies that will overrun the earth, a la Resident Evil. Hey, we should be able to gamble on video games, too!

Bid renewed to bring sports betting to A.C. [AP/Philly.com]

Turtles, Redcoats Delay Casino

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It appears nature and the past are banding together to attempt to stop SugarHouse Casino from opening in Fishtown. The Bulletin reports environmental activists want to check if the red-belled turtle lives at the proposed casino site, because that’s a threatened species.

The paper talks to the Casino’s communications director, Leigh Whitaker: “We did an investigation during the turtles’ normal, natural nesting season. Our study found there was no evidence of turtles nesting or living on the site.” Oh. That’s not going to work. Let’s get to the other one, then.

Daniel Rubin reports American history could stop the casino from building on the site, as a bunch of history nerds think there was a British fort there and want to get a chance to excavate the site first. Nerds are always getting in the way.

Rubin, by the way, also reports this: “If a Revolutionary War fort can’t slow the SugarHouse casino, it surely can slow it.” Indeed it can.

2008 Brings Triumphant Return Of Milton

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Ohh, Milton! After dropping out of the public eye for many months after defeating only two candidates in the Democratic City Council At-Large primary, Milton Street is back!

By “Milton’s back”, of course, I mean the federal government is preparing for the fraud and tax evasion trial of the mayor’s brother. But, hey, same thing!

Friday, prosecutors filed court papers detailing their plan to nab Ol’ Uncle Milty. They’re prepared to call 47 witnesses, including Milton’s son (Thomas Milton Street Junior!) and a “woman familiar with Street’s wagering practices at Philadelphia Turf Club,” according to the Daily News. (You see? Barbaro is involved with this case, too.)

Connie Little, a former top aide to the mayor, could testify about money paid to Milton Street from Mayor Street’s campaign! All in all, it’s going to be a great little trial, and you can expect Philadelphia Will Do to cover it with the furor of an Alycia Lane uppercut.

Gambling, The Way We Want You To

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Late last week, Vice cops busted up an illegal video poker stash in a store that was simply called Variety Store. “It’s a quality-of-life issue, and obviously was a nuisance to people in the community,” said Chief Inspector William Blackburn, who is quickly being the go-to-guy for awesome news quotes. (”This product in itself glorifies the drug trade in the city of Philadelphia,” he said of a breath mint.)

From who else but Drew Carey comes another story, asking why veterans can’t play poker in the VFW but states can run lotteries, which are almost a sure bet for the house to win. (During the Dallas’ cops raid, some woman wet her pants, the report says.)

Carey, who also is totally for medical marijuana (AK-47, I bet).

The situations aren’t really the same, of course: Cops heard underage gambling was going on at good ol’ Variety Store, while the other dudes were veterans. Anyway, the state still has Gus, the second-most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania to sell lottery tickets so there’s not much anybody can do about their gambling stranglehold.

Eagles Getting Lines Usually Reserved For Temple

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The Philadelphia Eagles are twenty-two point underdogs to the New England Patriots, which Vegas Vic says could be the biggest ‘dog the Eagles have ever been.

Twenty-two point underdogs at home on the road. Are the Eagles that bad? Are the Patriots that good? Either way, Sunday night probably won’t be much fun.

Birds epic ‘dogs against Pats [Daily News]

N.J. Takes Strong Stance Against Gambling (Unless You’re Betting At A Casino. Or On Horse Racing. Or The Lottery.)

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Investigators are probing an illegal sports gambling ring in New Jersey, concerned that Atlantic City’s reputation will be sullied with betting on sports.

A source told the Associated Press more than 18 people have been arrested and a press conference is scheduled for the top of the hour. Some of the arrested have ties to organized crime! And probably Al-Qaeda!

Meanwhile, in actual crime fighting news, a six-hour standoff outside a casino ended peacefully. Also, there was near nudity! ” The man, who was not identified, was ordered by FBI agents on the scene to strip down to his inner clothing and complied at about 4:45 a.m., said state police Sgt. Stephen Jones.”

Report: Sports Betting Ring at Borgata Busted [AP/6 ABC]
Standoff Outside A.C. Casino Ends Peacefully [6 ABC]