Friday, October 06, 2006

Smith on MB2: I couldn't ask for a better scenario

Smith on MB2: I couldn't ask for a better scenario

New Cup driver will likely make debut at Bristol or Martinsville
By Ryan Smithson, NASCAR.COM
October 6, 2006
02:48 PM EDT (18:48 GMT)

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Regan Smith's entry into Nextel Cup racing might just signal a fresh method for promoting drivers to NASCAR's top level.

Smith will forego competing for rookie of the year in 2007 by partnering with Mark Martin in the No. 01 Chevrolet. It is a partnership that occurred quickly, and Smith seems surprised at the sharp upward turn his career has taken.

"It is going to change the way people bring young guys up because I don't have that experience in Cup," Smith said. "I didn't run seven races this year. Having Mark there will be my experience."

The split-seat arrangement is the second such deal announced this week.

On Wednesday, Wood Brothers Racing said that it would divide its No. 21 Ford next season between veteran Ken Schrader and rookie Jon Wood.

MB2 Motorsports won't field a Nextel Cup car for Smith in any of the remaining seven Nextel Cup races. Smith's Nextel Cup debut is likely to come at Martinsville Speedway, the sixth race of the 2007 season. Martin will probably drive the first five points races in order to secure the team a spot in the top 35 in owners' points.

The team is also trying to secure a full-time Busch Series sponsorship for Smith in its Chevrolets.

MB2 Motorsports has struggled mightily this season, and businessman Bobby Ginn purchased majority interest in the team this summer.

Ginn's money has enabled MB2 to purchase much-needed equipment, including a seven-post shaker (race simulator for cars). The addition of Martin and Smith also means that MB2 will be able to run three full-time teams for the first time in its 10-year history.

MB2 Motorsports CEO Jay Frye said that Martin and Smith's 2007 Nextel Cup schedule won't be finalized until after this season. It is also possible that Smith might make his debut at Bristol, the season's fifth race, which will also be the debut for NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow.

"The Car of Tomorrow is out there, nobody has a ton of experience in that, and that will be beneficial to myself," Smith said. "That is a little more equal playing ground."

Smith has bounced around the Busch Series for several years, and while he has scored just one top-10 in 80 starts, MB2 Motorsports signed him when he became available for 2007.

Smith drove this season for Team Rensi in the Busch Series, but Rensi enters next season in a hole after losing one sponsor, as well as both of its drivers.

It was never easy for Smith, 23, to learn in the Busch Series, which has been dominated by Nextel Cup veterans in recent years.

"The Busch Series has been tough this year," Smith said. "You have 20 Cup guys in every race and they are all extremely fast. Rensi gave me a great opportunity and great equipment, and I am so appreciative of that, but it's been a tough year, no denying that."

Smith is banking heavily that the experience of Martin will alleviate his significant learning curve. MB2 plans to also use Martin to test with Smith.

"Mark is somebody I have looked up to since I was a little kid. I have watched him race since I was 4 years old," Smith said. "You couldn't ask for a better scenario to come into this series.

"He can help me figure out where I want the racecars. When Jay [Frye] first sat me down to say 'Hey, this is a possibility what might happen,' it kind of floored me. I said, 'Wow, that is amazing.'"

Jeff Burton, a close friend and former teammate of Martin's, put it even more bluntly.

"I wish when I was a rookie driver, I had someone like Mark Martin to talk to," Burton said. "That team definitely stepped up their program today."

Martin joining MB2 after 19 years with Roush

Martin joining MB2 after 19 years with Roush

October 6, 2006
04:43 PM EDT (20:43 GMT)

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Mark Martin is leaving Roush Racing after 19 seasons to drive the No. 01 Chevrolet for MB2 Motorpsorts.

Martin confirmed Friday that he is parting ways with team owner Jack Roush, the man for whom Martin has won all 35 of his Cup races. He will drive 22 races for MB2 next season, including the Budweiser Shootout and Nextel All-Star Challenge, with rookie Regan Smith running the others.

"Joining MB2 is a win-win situation for me," Martin said. "I not only get to drive, but I also get to teach and I love doing both. I have had a great 19 years with Roush Racing. It was a difficult decision to move on."

Martin, 47, has been talking about retirement from the Cup Series for the past two seasons. He was set to give up his ride in the No. 6 Ford after the 2005 season, but he was persuaded by Roush to stay another year because none of the team's young drivers was ready to step into the ride.

Roush still has not named a driver for the No. 6 car, but team president Geoff Smith said Friday that former Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve, who won the series' championship in 1997, will not be behind wheel of that car.

"Jack Roush and I have enjoyed a very special relationship for the past 20 years," Martin said. "Jack afforded me the opportunity to chase my dreams, and there is no way to put in words what he has meant to me, my life and my career.

"I'm really glad I was able to come back a year and help those guys and Jack out, and we are going to do everything we can to keep chasing after that Nextel Cup for the next seven races."

It previously was reported that Martin was pursuing sponsorship that would enable him to run up to a dozen Cup races in 2007 with Mark Simo's No Fear Racing team.

As recently as two weeks ago, Martin was close to signing a full-time Truck Series deal with Roush. That deal is now off.

Martin also said at Dover that he had had some talks with Doug Yates about possibly racing with Robert Yates Racing, but called it virtually a dead issue.

"When Mark finally reconciled his somewhat conflicting desires, he settled on staying in Cup and running a 20-race schedule. We had no way of accommodating that desire since all of our Cup programs were previously committed," Roush's Geoff Smith said.

"And, NASCAR team limits prevented Roush Racing from putting together an additional team for Mark, so in the end Mark had to move on -- in order to stay in the Cup Series. He's meant a great deal to this organization and we certainly wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do down the road."

Joe Nemechek, the current driver of the No. 01, will drive a third MB2 entry in 2007 that will carry the number 13; the sponsorship will be announced at a later date. Sterling Marlin will continue to drive the No. 14 MB2 car.

"Our goal at MB2 is to reach a new level, and with Mark joining our organization it not only elevates our presence, but his knowledge and credibility will also be a viable asset to all of our race teams," team owner Bobby Ginn said.

"While Mark brings a wealth of experience to MB2, we are also thrilled with the acquisition of Regan," Ginn said. "He's eager, talented and will be groomed by one of NASCAR's greatest drivers of all time."

Regan Smith, 23, has never started a Cup Series race. He has one top-10 finish in 80 Busch Series starts and one top-10 in 12 Truck Series starts.

"This is an exciting time for me," Smith said. "Driving an Army-sponsored car in Nextel Cup competition with Mark Martin as your coach is an incredible opportunity. I'm going to listen well and take advantage of what has been presented to me. I am ready to give it all I have in both Cup and Busch."

Said Nemechek: "I think it's big news. ... Mark Martin and I have been friends and fierce competitors for a lot of years. Then all of a sudden he's going to be in our stable helping me, Sterling and everybody else involved in our program.

I was shocked when I first heard about it. Mark and I talk all the time. He's a tough competitor. People ask me who do you enjoy racing with on the racetrack the answer is always Mark Martin. It's a big day."

Nonetheless, Nemechek welcomes the opportunity to drive the team's newest car.

"Even before any of this started with Mark this was the plan," Nemechek said. "We've been talking about this for the past couple of months. MB2 along with Bobby Ginn at the helm need to grow our organization.

"But moving over to the No. 13 -- the new team -- it's a challenge for myself, but in the end it's going to be a lot better for the whole company."

• It was also announced that Kraig Kinser and Jesus Hernandez will continue with their MB2 developmental programs in 2007.

Kinser's schedule will include Truck, Busch and Cup races.

Hernandez will continue to run the late model series as well as selected ARCA and Truck races.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sources: Martin to drive MB2 car part time in '07

Sources: Martin to drive MB2 car part time in '07

Busch Series driver Regan Smith to share MB2 seat with veteran

By Marty Smith, NASCAR.COM
October 5, 2006
06:10 PM EDT (22:10 GMT)

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Mark Martin will drive part time in an MB2 Motorsports car for the 2007 Nextel Cup season, multiple sources close to the team told NASCAR.COM on Thursday. It is believed that Martin will run 22 races for the team.

Busch Series driver Regan Smith will drive the remaining 14 Cup races, the sources said.

An announcement is scheduled with Jack Roush and Martin at 10:30 a.m. ET Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Martin, who announced his retirement before the 2005 season, was coaxed by Roush into returning for a second "Salute to You" go-round this season in the No. 6 Ford.

Martin has 35 wins in 667 career starts, mostly behind the wheel of Roush's No. 6 car, and he also has a record 47 victories in the Busch Series.

Smith has never started a Cup Series race. He has one top-10 finish in 80 Busch Series starts and one top-10 in 12 Truck Series starts.

It previously was reported that Martin was pursuing sponsorship that would enable him to run up to a dozen Cup races in 2007 with Mark Simo's No Fear Racing team.

"I'm actively working right now to try to secure sponsorship for the 60 car for 10-12 races," Martin said at Dover. "It's not done, but that's where the focus is as of today."

As recently as two weeks ago, Martin was close to signing a full-time Truck Series deal with Roush. That deal is now off.

Martin also said at Dover that he had had some talks with Doug Yates about possibly racing with Robert Yates Racing, but called it virtually a dead issue.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Former Phils organist Richardson dies

Former Phils organist Richardson dies
Fixture's passing comes after 35-year tenure with club

By Ken Mandel /

PHILADELPHIA -- To the 73 million who passed through Connie Mack Stadium, Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park since 1970, he was known as the guy behind the organ.
That guy, organist Paul Richardson, performed for 35 seasons before retiring after the 2005 season. He passed away Monday, at his Wilmington, Del., home after a long illness.

"Paul was a character who was more than just a gifted organist," said Phillies chairman Bill Giles, who hired Richardson in 1969. "He was an entertainer extraordinaire, someone who had the feel for how to excite and entertain the crowds. He loved to perform."

A part-time realtor and organ teacher, Richardson began playing at Phillies games at Connie Mack Stadium in 1970. Giles arrived after the 1969 season as vice president of business operations. Impressed by Richardson's performance at the team's Christmas party that December, Giles hired Richardson to play at Phillies games.

He kept playing through the 2005 season at Citizens Bank Park, before health problems forced his retirement. He never revealed his age.

"It's time. I've had a great run and enjoyed every minute," he said in February. "They gave me the freedom to do a lot. Thirty-five years is a long time."

Richardson was also a fixture during the team's annual winter caravans and was honored this winter at the banquet of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.

Many of his songs were recorded. His rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was played often at Citizens Bank Park this season, and will continue to be played.

He left in February because of the health problems that weakened his legs to the point where he could no longer operate the foot pedals of his Roland AT-70 organ. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer nearly eight years ago and had been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Richardson graduated from Wilmington High School in 1950. He estimates that he missed only a handful of games over his career, which also included five seasons playing weekends at Yankee Stadium.

He was there for Tug McGraw's leap in October 1980 and Mitch Williams' famous 4 a.m. single in July 1993. He saw Kiteman's many crashes into the seats and tightrope walker Karl Wallenda's leisurely stroll across the Vet. When a streaker in cowboy boots ran the bases in the summer of 1972, Richardson quickly found an appropriate melody.

"I played that Peggy Lee song, 'Is That All There Is?'" he recalled, laughing. "'If that's all there is, my friends, then let's keep dancing.' The crowd liked that one, and it got written up in the newspapers the next day."

"Paul had a great sense of timing and a feel for the game of baseball," Phillies president David Montgomery said. "He was a big part of our in-game entertainment. He was always suggesting ways to pump up our fans."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clinton canceled 1999 bin Laden hit to protect sale of F16s to UAE


The far left blasts Bush for not believing the August pdb, one of many ways al-queda might hit us, was the end all be all. Yet the al-queda version of the august pdb was ignored by Clinton. Al-queda attacked us in Somalia in the early 90's and Clinton cut and ran. Al-queda declared war on us in a 96 "fatwa" and clinton did nothing. Al-queda attacked our embassies in 1998 and Clinton did little, of consequence, about that. Al-queda attacked the cole in 2000 and Clinton did nothing about that.

Yet there were numerous iron clad opportunities for Clinton to get bin Laden and he turned them down. The Sudan offered to hand bin Laden over to us in 1996 and the Clinton admin turned the offer down, according to Clinton and others in the admin, because they didn't have enough to try him on, even though they knew he wanted to attack Americans. They were more worried about a law enforcement approach to terrorism than a military approach(kill him). There were numerous times when we were tracking bin Laden in the late 90's in real time by satellite, and they turned those offers down. The northern alliance offered to assassinate him for us but they turned that down because they didn't believe in assassinations(law enforcement approach).

But the worst IMO, Source: National Geograpic Channel "NGC Final Report: Osama's Escape" and Micheal Schuer(CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief), was that we had bin Laden at a camp and the Clinton admin called off an attack. They worried the Father in the UAE would cancel the billion dollar F16 purchase if his son, who was with bin Laden at the time, was hurt in the attack.
Now given the lefts outrage at Bush for thousands dying on 9/11 on his watch and their anger at wanting port security "outsourced" to the UAE, surely they would be furious about this as well as Clintons other canceled golden opportunities. If Clinton had acted on any of these warnings, incidents or opportunities, 9/11 may never have happened on anyones watch, especially since it was being planned during the Clinton admin.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Woodward Violates Journalistic Ethics By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid


July 1, 1999

The Woodward technique is to get information in confidence and break his pledge not to report it in a way that reveals the source, or to simply make up stories.

Bob Woodward, who became famous for his Watergate reporting, has made millions writing books that make news because of the startling insider stories that Woodward seems to have a knack for digging up. His most recent Book, Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate, includes what appear to be transcripts of confidential conversations that President Clinton had with Bob Bennett, his lawyer in the Paula Jones case. He tells what they said as they strolled alone on the White House grounds, discussing the rumors connecting Clinton sexually with various women.

Woodward writes: "‘If you’re the White House,’ Bennett said, ‘I’m not good enough to help you.’ ‘This is a prison,’ Clinton responded. ‘I purposefully have no drapes on the windows.’ As for women, ‘I’m retired,’ the president declared, repeating himself emphatically, ‘I’m retired.’" Woodward then goes into a longer conversation in which he describes Bennett’s efforts to find out if there was any basis for the questions Paula Jones’s lawyers had asked Clinton about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. There is nothing substantive in this exchange that one could not infer from the published record, but the way Woodward presents it creates the impression that he had a tape of the conversation.

On Meet the Press on June 20, Tim Russert asked Woodward how he obtains this kind of information. Woodward responded, "There are all kinds of avenues and sources where you can get information, documents, notes and figure out, and significantly no one has challenged any of those conversations." The "figure out" is a significant slip. Instead of completing that sentence, saying "and figure out what was said," Woodward changed course, saying the accuracy of what he had written had not been challenged.

We know at least two ways in which Woodward does this. One is to make up stories. In his 1987 book, Veil, Woodward claimed he had interviewed William J. Casey, the CIA director, after Casey had brain surgery and could not speak intelligibly. Woodward didn’t know that, and he made up an interview in which Casey is supposed to have spoken 19 intelligible words. It was clear that this was a falsification not only because of Casey’s condition, but because his hospital room was guarded and Woodward was never admitted to it.

Another Woodward technique is to get information in confidence and break his pledge not to report it in a way that reveals the source. His new book includes statements Hillary Clinton made to Jane Sherburne, a former assistant White House counsel. Sherburne, who is identified in the book as the source, has said in a deposition taken by Judicial Watch that she gave Woodward details of these private conversations on the condition that they not be quoted directly.

Sherburne said Woodward had called just before his book was published to tell her that he had included her one-on-one conversations with Hillary in the book because he had been able to confirm them with other sources. Will Woodward’s employer and peers forgive this betrayal of Sherburne and breach of journalistic ethics as they did his lie about Bill Casey?

Reed Irvine is the former Chairman of Accuracy In Media and Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report.

What Will Happen to America if the Dems Win by Jed Babbin


Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: October 3, 2006

While currently there is much chatter about who will win the upcoming elections, FSM Contributing Editor Jed Babbin goes beyond the question to describing the most important element: what will our world be like if Democrats really do gain control? Not only will no bill limiting immigration ever come to a vote, no ballistic missile defense system will ever happen either..even as the majority of Americans very much want both. This is a MUST READ article that needs to be circulated widely.

What Will Happen to America if the Dems Win
Jed Babbin
October 3, 2006

Our parents taught us a lot about the world and about our government, intending to make us better citizens. And though most of it was right, so much of what they taught about the underlying subject – politics -- wasn’t. My parents were a mixed marriage. My dad was a rock-ribbed conservative and my mom was a labor democrat. My sister and I had politics for breakfast and dinner. In all my childhood, I never heard them really fight about anything other than, “your stupid governor” or “that idiot, your president.” (The most fun resulted from John Lindsay winning the New York mayoralty race. I never heard racial epithets or ethnic slurs from either parent. But “liberal Republican” was, I understood, the worst insult our language contained.). What I learned back then was what Tip O’Neill said later: all politics is local. That theory is obsolete. Some politics may be local but Senate elections are national.

Those of us who live in states that have senate races this year have a special concern: who runs the senate? Most people don’t know or care that (like every House member) every senator votes twice. At the beginning of every congress, senators and congressmen vote to organize their branches of government. They choose who will occupy the speaker’s chair (in the House), the Senate majority leader and committee chairman in both. The winner of the election, either the Republicans or the Democrats, choose the leaders and set the agenda. But the Senate is different from the House. Its special powers – confirmation of presidential nominees chief among them – makes it more important. Every senate vote – especially this year – is like a vote for a presidential candidate. Every voter’s choice in this year’s senate races is directly linked to the direction the country will go in the last two years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

If the Republicans continue to control the Senate, nothing much will change. But for the fact that Arizona’s John McCain will become chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, there would be no argument in favor of Democratic control. And there are some things that will happen if we do that should send chills up our collective national spine.

If the Democrats take the Senate, Nevada’s Harry Reid will be majority leader. Reid is a pure-as-Ivory-soap liberal, and that’s bad enough. Under Reid’s control, no bill that will limit illegal immigration will ever come up for a vote. But there’s worse.

Think about the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a Democrat-controlled Senate, Pat Leahy of Vermont will be chairman. And as long as he is, no conservative judge will ever get confirmed to any court. If Justice John Paul Stevens retires from the Supreme Court in President Bush’s last two years, the president will have to get the blessing of the ACLU before he can get any nominee to the Supreme Court through Pat Leahy’s committee. The lower courts? As Tony Soprano might say, “fuggedaboudit.” No judge who isn’t a liberal activist will be confirmed.

As bad as the judicial nominations problem will be, the Armed Services Committee – which would be under Michigan’s Carl Levin – will produce problems that are as bad or worse (even worse than what Mr. McCain would create). Levin has made a career of blocking the deployment of a ballistic missile defense for the United States. Most people think that after President Reagan said we’d build a missile defense in 1986, we’d done it. Not true. We have an experimental system that covers only a part of the country against a small part of the threat. If Carl Levin becomes chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, we’ll continue to be defenseless against almost any kind of missile attack.

You like pork-barrel spending? If you do, you’ll love the Senate Appropriations committee if West Virginia’s Bob Byrd takes over. Byrd – even under Republican control of the Senate – has been the Olympic champ of pork. If the Dems take control, he’ll have more highways and buildings named for him in West Virginia than Castro has in Cuba.

And don’t forget the Senate Intelligence Committee, which may have to be renamed if the other West Virginia senator, Jay Rockefeller, takes over as chairman. Rockefeller, like the other Dems, isn’t in favor of the NSA’s listening in on terrorists’ telephone calls to the United States. Republicans didn’t manage to pass legislation on the NSA terrorist surveillance program. They didn’t need to, as the president is acting legally and within his constitutional powers. The Democrats don’t like it, though. A Democrat senate will pass a bill requiring a search warrant before any conversations can be intercepted or e-mails read. There’s a slight problem with the Dems’ approach. If you don’t listen in, you can’t get enough evidence to justify a search warrant.

Congressional Republicans have done little to earn our gratitude these past five years. They’ve spent too much of our money and left too much urgent business undone. But if the Dems win, what the Republicans have left undone will either not be done – or will be done in a way that pleases the Democrats’ base: the hard-core Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Ned Lamont-Nutroots fringe.

The Republicans failed to close the border and control illegal immigration. The Democrats welcome illegals. They want to repopulate the welfare state with illegal immigrants who will vote for Democrats. Their idea – which Hillary Clinton supports strongly – is to add convicted criminals to the voting rolls. If you can’t get legal citizens who haven’t had their right to vote to choose you, why not rebuild your base with illegals and felons?

The other factor at play in a Democrat-controlled senate is that about half the Dem Senators are going to run for president. Just think: Biden (who would be chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee) is running. So are Kerry and Clinton. And they will all be trying to pass liberal bills to get an edge on the presidential race. The Senate will become an audition stage for the 2008 campaign. It’s probably going to happen regardless which party controls the Senate. But if the Republicans remain in control, there’s at least a slim chance that some urgent legislative business will be done. If the Democrats take control, their strategy of obstruction and delay will put an impassable obstacle between the White House and answers to the dangers America faces.

There are few certainties in politics, but here are two. First, American politics – regardless of who controls Congress for the next two years – are entering a period of unheard-of bitterness and nastiness. Second, control of the Senate is just as important as control of the White House. In the next two years, perhaps even more so. contributing editor Jed Babbin is also a contributing editor for The American Spectator magazine, and the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think and (with Edward Timperlake) Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States.