Presidential Politics

Black Senator Made History in 1870
Just five years after the end of the Civil War, Congress' first black member of Congress, Hiram Revels, took his seat in the U.S. Senate - but not without a fight from Democratic senators. Revels would be followed by other black congressmen during Reconstruction.

Black Conservatives Conflicted on Obama
I recently wrote about how ideology conflicted with race in a story about black conservatives and Republicans feeling tempted to vote for Obama. It was the most e-mailed story on Yahoo! News, and quickly prompted NPR, CNN and Fox News to do their own versions of the story.

Washington Baseball

Bush Follows JFK in Opening New Washington Ballpark

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER Associated Press Writer
March 29, 2008

Old RFK Stadium now seems like a relic from a futurustic past, but it was considered one of baseball's most distinctive ballparks when it opened in the early 1960s. In this story, I take readers back to the first baseball game at what was then called D.C. Stadium, highlighted by JFK's opening toss. (And no, he wasn't booed.)



Government and Animals

Video Shows 'Atrocious' Abuse of Pigs
My exclusive story on a PETA video of a hog farm generated a lot of interest on the Web. More

Film Prompted First Humane Slaughter Law
Febuary 27, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) - A film showing slaughterhouse workers abusing animals spurs demands for the federal government to put a stop to the abuse. That happened this year - and also a half-century ago, when a Seattle animal rights activist filmed hogs being mistreated at a Washington state slaughterhouse.

The 1950s film helped trigger a fierce debate on Capitol Hill over whether animals deserved some federal protection in their final moments. Congress ultimately decided that they did, and 50 years ago this summer, lawmakers passed the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which required that meat purchased by the federal government come from processors that humanely kill their livestock. More

Dole recalls work on humane slaughter

Dairy farms stand to lose in downer ban


Hollywood & Washington

Franken Tries Switch from Comic to Congress

July 5, 2008, AOL
WASHINGTON - Moving from celebrity to senator isn't exactly an untraveled path. But that doesn't mean comedian Al Franken, who is vying for a Senate seat in Minnesota, will coast to Capitol Hill on a wide, smooth road. If he can overcome his past, colorful commentary, Franken would join a long list of entertainers who have found a second or third career in elected office, most notably former President Reagan.

Celebrities Donate to Many Presidential Candidates

The Associated Press
Sunday, January 13, 2008

WASHINGTON -- The nation's capital may be Hollywood for ugly people, but Hollywood celebrities are still attracted to Washington politicians.

A host of movie stars, directors, writers, producers and singers have contributed to presidential hopefuls for the 2008 election, with many making donations to competing candidates, an Associated Press review of campaign records has found.

Actor Michael Douglas, for example, has contributed to five current and former Democratic presidential candidates. As of Sept. 30, the latest reports available, he had donated the maximum $4,600 _ $2,300 for the primary campaign and $2,300 for the general election _ to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd, and $1,500 to Dennis Kucinich.

Sports & Politics

Strasburg's debut tops Walter Johnson's
Like Walter Johnson a century before him, Stephen Strasburg surrendered only two runs in his first game. But Strasburg piled up nearly five times as many strikeouts as the Big Train.

Obama's First Pitch Will Mark 100-Year Tradition
A look back at a century-old tradition of presidents making first pitches in Washington, including anecdotes from Taft, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and JFK.
Obama throws high and wide in historic first pitch

Gov't Fitness Efforts Haven't Stemmed Kid Obesity
My reporting shows that a half-century ago, government leaders from Nixon to JFK were alarmed with the inactivity of American youth, but were not successful in reversing the trend.

NFL players lobby Congress in battles with league
My story about NFL players lobbying Capitol Hill is the basis of an ESPN on air report.

APNewsBreak: Federal gov’t weighing action on BCS
I broke the news that the Obama administration is considering actions, such as an antitrust investigation, on college football's BCS.

Act of Congress paved way for Saints, Super Bowl
A historical look at 1966 legislation that approved the merger of the AFL and NFL, and a quid pro quo for two powerful Louisiana members of Congress that led to the birth of the New Orleans Saints.

Justice Dept. won't support Jack Johnson pardon
This was the most e-mailed, most recommended and most viewed sports story on Yahoo! News.

Can baseball help bring US and Cuba together?
I explored how "baseball diplomacy" can do for U.S.-Cuba relations what "pingpong diplomacy" did for the United States and China.

Goodell defends NFL's handling of head injuries
The commissioner faces tough questioning from lawmakers, who press him to acknowledge a link between head injuries and later brain diseases.

Allen Stanford lobbied for Cubans to play in tournament
The billionaire financier, now awaiting trial, sought to get U.S. permission to include Cuba in an international cricket tournament.

Efforts to reform BCS face tall order in Congress
Despite thundering from lawmakers, Congress is unlikely to pass legislation to overhaul the controversial system for determing college football's championship.

Supreme Court takes case over licensing of NFL apparel
Legal scholars say the high court could give football sweeping protections from antitrust laws.

Baseball, State Dept. Pitch Diplomats
The International Baseball Federation and State Department are joining forces in an attempt to bring baseball back to the Olympics.

NFL union chief, player meet with lawmakers
The union takes its case to Washington, hoping to head off an owners' lockout.

Champion Phillies visit fellow underdog Obama
The president compares his own campaign with the Phillies' championship season during White House visit.

Online Poker bets $3 million it can reverse Web gambling ban
But the group faces a tough defense: the National Football League.
APNewsBreak: Group says poker winnings are frozen

McCain seeks pardon for first black champ
My story on efforts to get a pardon for the late Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, was the most e-mailed article on Yahoo. AP Video Interview
McCain presses Obama to pardon black boxer

Congress tackles college football
Lawmakers take a look at the BCS, with one congressman suggesting a name change: BS.

NFL blitzes Washington with lobbyist, PAC
The NFL establishes a Washington office, hires a full-time lobbyist and creates political action committee to make federal campaign donations.

THE INFLUENCE GAME: Lobbying to land the Olympics
While the lobbying effort this year is focused on the International Olympic Committee, last year Chicago 2016 spent money lobbying the U.S. government to get behind the effort.

U.S. extends visits of foreign athletes
The next big Dominican baseball prospect will not face a limit on his playing career in the United States, now that U.S. immigration officials have agreed to let foreign athletes keep playing here as long as they leave the country after 10 years and apply for a new visa.

Federal regulation worries Ultimate Fighting
UFC wants to ensure it's not included in legislation aimed at regulating boxing.

Congress took aim at baseball's first commissioner

Baseball's first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, faced an impeachment effort in Congress, because he was essentially moonlighting from his day job: federal judge. Amazingly, no law back then prevented this, and the impeachment effort fizzled. But Landis continued to face criticism.