Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Jun 8, 2012
June 8, 2012
Polling, Posturing, Posing and Press Releases:
Master prognosticator NATE SILVER has released his first projections for the presidential election and his forecast gives a significant edge to PRESIDENT OBAMA --for now.
According to his models, which are a synthesis of most of the available state-by-state polling data, if the election were held today, Obama would walk away with 300 electoral votes to MITT ROMNEY's 238. Looking outward to November the gap narrows slightly, but Obama still wins easily, with 291 electoral votes to Romney's 246.
Silver's blog, FiveThirtyEight, is one of the most closely watch election predictors --partly because it's part of the NY Times family, but part of that family because in 2008 it correctly predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states. So expect these number to continue to be watched closely over the coming months.
Trolling for publicity:
Hey ladies --are you on the hunt for a handsome, wealthy bachelor? CHARLIE SHEEN is looking for you, but you've gotta have a great set of tootsies! The "Rock Star from Mars" tells Rolling Stone magazine he's very fickle about feet and has refused to date girls because of their less-than-perfect toes.
Meanwhile, Chuck isn't allowed to smile in public these days --he admits the big wigs over at the FX network don't want him showing off his gold tooth. (Lee)
Warning: note adult content!
There's been a spike in the sales of neck ties, and the super-softcore porn bestseller 50 Shades of Grey is the reason. Women are buying more of the accessories used in the book. That includes clothes line rope, riding crops, handcuffs and, of course, silver grey men's ties. Fashionista.com says even the normally-conservative brand Brooks Brothers is even getting in on the fun. They recently issued a statement that said "We may not have 50 Shades of Grey Ties, but we do have eight Shades of Grey Ties." (Bartha)
The Hollywood rumor mill:
Sir ISSAC NEWTON, action hero?
OK, this sounds like a stretch, but was a member of the Parliament of England from 1689 to 1690, and in 1896, in his early 50s, he became Warden of the British Mint. Daily Variety says producer ROB COHEN is serious about it, and since he's done films like "The Witches of Eastwick," "The Legend of Billie Jean," and "The Hard Way," ya gotta take him seriously.
I'll Have Another goes for the Triple Crown. Saturday afternoon in the Belmont Stakes. The horse came from behind down the stretch to beat out the favorite, Bodemeister, by a neck to win the Preakness Stakes, and now, if he can win the Belmont Stakes, he'll be the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to pick up the title.
Easier said than done. There's been 11 other horses who have won the first two legs since 1978, but failed in the grueling 1.5 mile Belmont Stakes. The problem --while the first two legs of the Triple Crown are a mile and a quarter-long races, the Belmont Stakes is right around a mile-and-a-half. And while some horses have the juice to win the first two, others don't have the strength to take it that extra quarter-mile.
Horses that have won the first two legs, but failed in the Belmont Stakes since 1978:
--Spectacular Bid, 1979
--Pleasant Colony. 1981
--Sunday Silence, 1989
--Silver Charm, 1997
--Real Quiet, 1998
--War Emblem, 2002
--Funny Cide, 2003
--Smarty Jones, 2004
--Big Brown, 2008
Belmont Stakes odds:
--Ill Have Another, 6/5 (favorite)
--Union Rags, 4/1
--Street Life, 15/1
--My Adonis, 20/1
--Unstoppable U, 30/1
--Five Sixteen, 50/1
--Ravelos Boy, 50/1
--Guyana Star Dweej, 60/1 (longshot)
Some history: When Sir Barton became the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 1919, the phrase "Triple Crown" hadn't been invented. And he wasn't even the most popular horse of his era; that mantle belonged to Man o' War, a two-year-old who probably would've won the Triple Crown the next year but he wasn't entered in the Derby because his owner didn't like racing in Kentucky. The horse easily won the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.
Sir Barton had just two opponents in the Belmont, which was then run at 1 3-8 miles. His winning time of 2:17 2-5 was an American record.
It wasn't until the next Triple Crown winner, Gallant Fox in 1930, that the event came to be known as the Triple Crown. There were six more Triple Crown winners through 1948, and then none for 25 years until Secretariat in 1973, followed by Seattle Slew in '77 and Affirmed in '78. Racing fans have been waiting now on 34 years for another Triple Crown winner. (Maiman)
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