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British ‘Elite’ Behind Surveillance Of Trump Team

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George Papadopoulos Reveals British Elite Were Behind Spying Of Trump Campaign
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George Papadopoulos has actually implicated participants of the British ‘elite’, consisting of individuals linked to the Royal Household, of coordinating the unlawful security of the Trump group.

In a Thanksgiving day tweet, the previous Trump project consultant validated that the British as well as Australians conspired to snoop on Trump throughout the 2016 political election.

Thegatewaypundit.com records: As Papadopoulos launched this, MSM in Australia launched a post trying to challenge the previous Trump project volunteer.

What the Aussie information is not reporting is that Head of state Trump Trump purchased FISAs, messages as well as FD302 s declassified on Sept17 Since after that the Aussies as well as the Brits have actually been asking him not to launch the memoranda. These memoranda will certainly disclose the function of both federal governments in Obama’s unlawful snooping procedure on the Trump group.

Most of us recognize that the Obama group existed to the FISA Court to acquire warrants to snoop on the Trump group. Actually, the Obama group utilized Russians to snoop on the Trump group–.

We understand that there was a prohibited FISA warrant to snoop on Carter Web page. There might likewise have actually been unlawful warrants on Papadopoulos, General Mike Flynn as well as Paul Manafort. The Aussies would certainly be wise to overlook the lies advertised by their media too.

It’s time to bring the Obama mobsters as well as their international allies to justice.

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Chicago Bears Q&A: What’s with Luke Getsy’s conservative approach? Why didn’t Ryan Poles get a receiver in free agency?

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Chicago Bears Q&Amp;A: What’s With Luke Getsy’s Conservative Approach? Why Didn’t Ryan Poles Get A Receiver In Free Agency?
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The Chicago Bears take a 2-2 record to Minnesota for Sunday’s NFC North battle with the Vikings. The Tribune’s Brad Biggs answers questions about the conservative offense, the porous run defense, the still-developing offensive line and more in his weekly Bears mailbag.

Luke Getsy has severely underwhelmed so far as offensive coordinator. Is this level of conservative play-calling what we’re in for during his tenure or are we going to see an evolution of a playbook that eventually leads to more explosive plays? — @hockeyfrank26

There was a handful of questions about that this week, and it was a fair question after the first three games. It was Air Getsy on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, and anyone suggesting the Bears were too conservative against the New York Giants probably wasn’t tracking the play distribution.

Quarterback Justin Fields attempted 22 passes, ran the ball seven times and was sacked six times. One of the seven rushing attempts might have come on a run-pass option, although it was designated as a “scramble” in the game book. Let’s call it a designed run play off an RPO. In that case, there were 34 called passing plays and 26 runs (19 handoffs to Khalil Herbert, six to Trestan Ebner and the Fields RPO run). The way the offensive line has been run blocking, that seems like a fairly aggressive game plan.

The issue is the Bears are not executing offensively. The passing game has struggled when Fields has been pressured and when he has had time. He has been very inconsistent operating in the pocket, and until that improves, it will be bumpy. You’re correct that this offense has had a critical lack of explosive plays. But it wasn’t because the Bears were hesitant to use pass plays on the call sheet.

It’s tough for Getsy to expand the playbook, too, when the Bears are struggling to sustain drives. Fields is completing less than 51% of his passes, and I’m not sure the “Let Justin cook” crowd would be real pleased with the results if the Bears started chucking it a lot more. They need to devise game plans that put them in the best position to compete and then execute them. Against the Giants, that led to throwing the ball and the Bears had a couple of nice plays and probably more missed opportunities.

Much has been said about the defense being in need of more playmakers and quality depth. That aside, the most immediate fixes may be in the schemes and individual matchups set up by the defensive coordinator. The Packers and the Giants beat them both physically and with well-designed and executed plays. Now that there are four weeks of film for opponents to study, do you think opposing offensive coordinators have found the weak spots and are exploiting them schematically? Or is it a matter of their guys beating our guys or our linebackers not setting up the alignments correctly, or all of the above? — Chris R., Midlothian

When a defense is being consistently trampled — and that is where the Bears are, allowing a league-high 183.3 rushing yards per game — it is everything. It’s scheme, personnel and execution. The scheme makes the Bears susceptible to the run as they ask the defensive linemen to penetrate first. But the Bears made adjustments against the Giants and were not just sitting in a Tampa-2 shell against an offense that wasn’t going to throw much.

The Bears need to overhaul their personnel on the defensive line, and that’s a point I tried to make after the game. You can’t look at this roster and say the Bears just need to fix the offensive line and get better wide receivers for the quarterback. They need to improve their front seven and get some difference makers. They will have a tough time defending the run all season, and when they encounter teams with good running backs and good passing games, they will be in conflict.

Look at the Minnesota Vikings this week. They have Dalvin Cook in the backfield and arguably the best wide receiver in the league in Justin Jefferson. The defense needs to be better at the point of attack and the linebackers need to play with better eye discipline so they’re not gashed on quarterback bootlegs.

What makes the “play action” part of a play-action passing game so difficult for some QBs? Aaron Rodgers and Daniel Jones (at least on Sunday) did a great job with a fake handoff to freeze the linebackers. Others are awful. Justin Fields’ fake handoff typically is nowhere near the running back and therefore has little to no impact on the D. Thoughts? — Jim A., Plymouth, Minn.

For play action to work at its best, the running game and passing game have to match each other. The beginning of the play needs to look like a run in terms of formation, alignment, down and distance. Play-action passing becomes particularly effective when an offense can break its tendencies. In other words, it gets aggressive throwing the ball on downs that it typically runs. It flips the script and takes a shot when the defense has data and information that suggest a run is coming.

The best play-action throwers, and Rodgers is certainly one of those, are able to anticipate and see windows and throw with location — not accuracy. Accuracy is when you are talking about the pass being completed. Location is ball placement. That’s when a quarterback hits a receiver in stride and a 12-yard dig route can turn into a 25-yard gain because the receiver is immediately in position to get upfield. When Rodgers hits his back foot, the ball is coming out. Timing and rhythm are there.

Jones isn’t a polished play-action thrower, but he’s good with sleight of hand and hiding the ball, and with Saquon Barkley in the backfield, he grabs the eyes of defenders. Linebackers are taking two steps downhill and now they have to backtrack when the quarterback keeps the ball. The problem the Bears had is their edge or force defenders did not play with good eye discipline, and that left them vulnerable to Jones escaping on the edge and really gashing them.

The Bears don’t have great timing and rhythm in their play-action game, and when Fields throws it, too often he’s late in letting the ball rip.

Justin Fields must feel like instead of being drafted in the NFL, he transferred to a Division II school. Is there any offense in the NFL with less proven, less high-profile offensive players than the Bears? Whether you look at O-line (with Cody Whitehair injured), WR, TE or RB, the Bears have to be near the bottom in aggregate starting salary by position group. Fields needs to make lemonade out of lemons in this offense. — Bob B., Chicago

Did you get a good luck at the Giants depth chart on offense Sunday? With the injuries they have at wide receiver, I would take the Bears group. That isn’t saying a whole lot, but you’re not exactly breaking new ground here. The Bears need a lot of new personnel on offense. We knew that when training camp opened, we saw it in the preseason and it’s even more glaring now during the regular season.

It’s well-documented that Justin Fields hangs on to the ball too long. Is this a symptom of the limited offensive skill players and their inability to get open (we don’t get the downfield view on TV) or his ineffectiveness with reads and progressions? — John P.

It’s a function of a lot of things. Fields is still inexperienced with only 14 career starts. The Bears have talent issues at wide receiver and on the offensive line. In a timing-based system — and all passing offenses require excellent timing — it can be problematic when the ball doesn’t come out with rhythm.

Sometimes, though, when Fields holds the ball too long, it leads to big plays. Those are the off-schedule plays that can turn into huge gains. We’ve seen more of those turn into runs, but there was the long touchdown pass to Dante Pettis against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 that was the result of a broken play.

I think we will start to see more explosive plays in the passing game that are a result of Fields holding on to the ball and waiting for something to come open downfield. He needs to keep his eyes up and climb the pocket better. When that happens, the Bears should see improved results.

I like the realistic route Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus have taken in inheriting the Ryan Pace roster and financial situation. That said, I struggle to understand how they could’ve taken such an inactive approach to improving the wide receiver position in Year 1. I get that Justin Fields isn’t their guy in that they didn’t draft him. But if you’re kicking the tires on his rookie deal, don’t you get a few people around him who can make plays to see what you’ve walked into? They let Allen Robinson go, fine. But Byron Pringle is just a guy and Velus Jones Jr. was a stretch. Darnell Mooney isn’t a true game-changer. Why wouldn’t the Bears have at least tried to bring in a guy like Christian Kirk or JuJu Smith-Schuster to help Fields develop? It seems like with a few weapons this team could be playoff-caliber. — Jeff G., Palmetto Bay, Fla.

Fair question. The first thing I would say is the list of available free-agent wide receivers back in March wasn’t great. Robinson, who clearly wanted to head elsewhere, was one of the top options. Kirk, whom you referenced, signed a huge deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars that was roundly criticized. Just as you submit that Mooney isn’t a game-changer, I don’t think Kirk is either, and $72 million over four years is a huge payday. Kirk has been productive for the Jaguars with 20 receptions for 327 yards and three touchdowns, so maybe that contract doesn’t look quite as bad as some thought at the time.

I would put Smith-Schuster in a similar category as Pringle. I’m not sure they are very different, and Smith-Schuster has been banged up a little in recent years. He’s definitely not a difference-maker. Chris Godwin was destined to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Los Angeles Chargers moved to re-sign Mike Williams. The Dallas Cowboys re-signed Michael Gallup, who was injured, and after that you were looking at guys like D.J. Chark. The big wide receiver moves of the offseason were made in the trade market, and I can understand Poles wanting to have his top draft picks in 2023.

You raise a valid point and it’s a fair criticism of the team’s approach to this season, but you have to consider the reality that there simply wasn’t a big supply of receivers in free agency and definitely not guys I would look at and say, “You sign him and you’re getting a legitimate No. 1.” The Bears have to completely remake this position in the offseason, and it will be interesting to see what moves they make.

What is your opinion on the handling of Teven Jenkins this season? He has appeared to be the best lineman, but this coaching staff seems to treat him more as a stopgap rather than a long-term piece. I’d like to hear your thoughts. — @danheinz3

We are four games into a rebuilding season with a new coaching staff and front office, and while I know people want immediate answers, it’s unusual when you get those in evaluating football players. Jenkins has looked good and has got a chance to get significantly better. I was skeptical if the move to right guard would work, especially considering the time he missed during training camp. I was wrong.

It’s still a new position for Jenkins, and the coaches are setting a standard for practice and games. Matt Eberflus told us Lucas Patrick was moved into the starting role because Jenkins had a poor Wednesday practice, but they didn’t push him to the side. He continued to rotate in every two series with Patrick. Let’s see how last year’s second-round draft pick performs over an entire season. Then we will have a much better idea if he’s part of the future on the line or just a guy who is in there until an upgrade can be acquired.

What wide receiver do you think the Bears will aggressively pursue before the trade deadline? — @chi_773ale

Do you really think a wide receiver who can be a difference-maker for the Bears beyond the second half of this season would be available in a trade? Unless the Bears are in the race for a playoff spot near the end of October, what would be the point of being an aggressive buyer in the trade market? To what end? The Bears would have to spend 2023 draft picks to make a move, and then I would be answering mailbag questions from January through March about why they used draft capital on a position at which they might be better off drafting talent. This is not the season to be an aggressive buyer when it comes to trades. I could see the Bears being an aggressive seller, but I’m not sure who they have to deal. It’s something to keep an eye on the next few weeks.

When will they figure out the O-line? They can’t keep rotating guys in and out, playing different positions. Set the best players in their spots and let’s go. — @jht728

The offensive line had an especially rough game against a Giants defense that can be unpredictable with unscouted looks and different pressures, something defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is known for. I thought the offensive line, relative to how it played last season and the skepticism about the unit during training camp and the preseason, was OK through the first three games. Did the line play great? No. Was it terrible? No. It was improved over last season and better than I expected. Any critique of the offensive line has to point out the team is third in the league in rushing, averaging 177.3 yards per game, and fourth with 5.2 yards per carry.

Just like the Bears are evaluating quarterback Justin Fields to determine how he figures into their future, they are going through the same process with the offensive line. Sure, they would love to feel great about five starters right now, or even four, but you have to understand where they are coming from in installing a new offense. I believe line coach Chris Morgan has done a pretty good job to this point, and there’s reason to believe this unit can get better as the season unfolds.

Will there be more rocky weeks the rest of the way? Probably. It’s unrealistic to think the Bears won’t have issues against some of the top front sevens. Fields was sacked 10 times through the first three games, more than the Bears would like but not an alarming total. Go back and watch those plays, and there was a chance for him to avoid the sack on at least four of them and to do so with a check-down completion on a couple.

The broken right thumb Lucas Patrick suffered at the start of training camp forced the Bears to adjust. That happens. He has rotated with Teven Jenkins at right guard, and with Cody Whitehair likely out for at least a few weeks — Whitehair could land on injured reserve this week — the rotation is done for the time being. I think you will see Patrick at left guard and Jenkins at right guard Sunday in Minnesota. Center Sam Mustipher had a rough game against the Giants. Based on how he played the first three weeks, he should bounce back against the Vikings.

Other than PR/KR, how much do you think Velus Jones Jr. will play next week? — @topofthemorrow

We’ll have to see. Jones didn’t play on offense against the Giants. I imagine he could get a little time against the Vikings, and the Bears would be wise to seek ways to get him the ball in space. I don’t think we will see him play a ton of snaps, though. He has missed a lot of practice time since mid-August with his hamstring injury. But finding packages to use him should be a priority.

The pass rush has been lackluster or nonexistent throughout four games. What’s the problem? Miss Khalil Mack? — @just_acy

The problem is pretty evident. The Bears are not stopping the run. When you don’t defend the run well — the Bears rank last in the NFL — you don’t earn the opportunity to rush the passer. You can complain about the pass rush in the loss to the Giants, but how many legitimate chances were there to get after Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor? Five? Six?

The Bears actually rank 13th in the league in sacks per pass attempt at 6.93%. So it’s not nearly as bad as you think. It’s just that they hardly are getting any chances to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback — and they won’t until they do a better job of stopping the run and forcing opponents into second- or third-and-long situations. Of course the Bears would be better with Mack, but this isn’t a woulda, coulda, shoulda world.

I get that it was the preseason, but I don’t even see any whiffs of the type of offense we saw in the first half against Cleveland. Where did that game plan go? Were things really that different in the preseason game to throw all that out the window once the games counted? — @mosconml

You also didn’t see any of the Browns’ best defensive players on the field in that first half. Justin Fields and the Bears offense might look like that if teams would sit five of their best defensive players like the Browns did in that game. It was basically a first-team offense against a second-team defense.

If the over/under is 130 on Dalvin Cook’s running yards this week, are you thinking over or under? — @mike__chicago

That’s a really high figure, even against a porous run defense. The Bears have done a nice job against Cook in seven career games. That was under a different scheme with some different personnel. Cook has 130 carries for 480 yards (3.7 per attempt) with two touchdowns against the Bears. He did run for 132 yards on 24 carries on Dec. 20, 2020, at U.S. Bank Stadium, a game the Bears won 33-27.

Cook has not gone over 100 rushing yards this season and has topped 130 only once in his last 13 starts with a 205-yard effort in a Week 14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. The challenge is keeping Cook from running loose while also not allowing wide receiver Justin Jefferson to beat them over the top. Cook will get his yards, but the Bears need to eliminate explosive runs. I’d go under just because that’s a pretty big number.

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ASK IRA: Do Heat have any wiggle room in competitive NBA East?

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Ask Ira: Do Heat Have Any Wiggle Room In Competitive Nba East?
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Q: Last season the Celtics were 16-19 in December and ended up in the NBA Finals. The Heat have the vets that have been to the Finals. Why not experiment during the first three months of the season? – Stuart.

A: Because with so much quality at the top of the Eastern Conference, I’m not sure that even the slightest blip during the season can be overcome in time to avoid traveling for the first round of the playoffs Look at last season’s standings, with the Heat finishing atop the East by two games, and the Celtics, 76ers and Bucks all tied for second. Now factor in what the Nets might be with Kyrie Irving available for the full season and Ben Simmons injected into the mix with his defense, and it is possible that a solid record still leaves you on the road for a daunting No. 4-vs.-No. 5 opening-round series. Last season, Heat-Celtics came in the East finals. This season, there is potential for such a series in the first round. Such tests are best avoided. And that means experimentation might be best avoided, as well. Getting a top-three seed could prove worth the effort of such a chase.

Q: Always enjoy reading your take. Here’s my question, now that the Heat have extended Tyler Herro and locked what looks like a core of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Herro, why not go all in even into the tax and bring in a power forward to make this team a monster? You would have a heck of a bench with Victor Olidapo and Caleb Martin coming in to spell the starters. P.J. Tucker was a nice complimentary piece, but was almost like a Lego piece where it’s plug and play. Kelly Olynyk or Jae Crowder look like they could provide a serviceable two years until Nikola Jovic is ready for his role. Taxes be darned. – Mike, Pembroke Pines.

A: Of course, it’s easy to spend someone else’s money. Foremost, the Heat seemingly do not have the matching salaries to work a deal, at the moment, for Jae Crowder or Kelly Olynyk. But, yes, those would be worthwhile expenditures. The Tyler Herro extension did not upgrade the current roster, but merely protected the future. There still has yet to be a win-now upgrade this offseason.

Q: Every year is the same story, never picked as favorite to win the conference or NBA championship, but end up proving them wrong, again and again. – Ernesto.

A: Which is why I’m sure the Heat’s executive offices and coaching suite hardly are upset about the league’s annual survey of general managers forecasting them for a fifth-place finish this season. The Heat seemingly love nothing more than carrying a chip on their shoulders.

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Mike Preston’s Ravens mailbag: Answering questions about the defense, John Harbaugh and more | COMMENTARY

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Ravens Q&Amp;A: Olb Daelin Hayes On Learning From A Frustrating Rookie Season, Reuniting With Kyle Hamilton, The Importance Of Community Service And More
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Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston will answer fans’ questions throughout the Ravens season. Fresh off Baltimore’s 23-20 Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills, plenty of questions remain with the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals coming to town for a “Sunday Night Football” showdown.

Here’s Preston’s take:

(Editor’s note: Questions have been edited for length and clarity)

Mike, please tell me the qualifications Mike MacDonald has for being the defensive coordinator besides being a gift to the Ravens from John Harbaugh’s brother. The defense seems to be worse than ever. Based on Harbaugh’s decision to go for a touchdown on fourth down rather than a field goal, it shows he has no confidence in his defense to hold the Bills’ offense. Martindale must be laughing in New York since he is the one who took the fall after last season for the poor defense due to all the defensive injuries.

Bob Kronberg

Mike Preston: If there is one thing I have learned from former Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome since covering this team in 1996, it’s patience. Newsome was always willing to give his assistant coaches, front office staff and players time to improve and develop. Before training camp started, I wrote that because of some newly hired coaches and players returning from major injuries, it would take three or four games to figure out where this team is headed.

Right now, the Ravens are in the same situation as most teams in the NFL. Few teams are playing at a consistently high level.

Bob, if you thought Macdonald was going to walk in and wave a magic wand to make things significantly better, then you were way off base. Back in 1996, it took then-coordinator Marvin Lewis two or three years to straighten out his defense because they were used to playing the style taught to them by former Cleveland coach Bill Belichick.

I don’t know all of Macdonald’s pedigree, but he spent seven years in Baltimore as an assistant before going to Michigan, which means he spent a lot of time working in basically the same pressure system instituted by Lewis and other former coordinators such as Rex Ryan and Martindale. I expected to see communication problems, especially on the back end, because most of the starters were held out of preseason games and every coordinator wants to put his signature on his defense. The Ravens haven’t disappointed because they look as unorganized as the old Keystone Cops.

Well, let’s see if that changes.

Macdonald can’t be blamed for some of the team’s other defensive shortcomings. Both inside and outside linebacker play has been poor, so much so that outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul played all but nine snaps against the Bills despite not having a full week of practice. That’s an indictment in itself.

The Ravens play tight coverage for nearly a half, but then lose focus once the other teams adjust. The pass rush has been poor for about four years now, and yes, I would have gambled on selecting a pass rusher in the first round instead of taking Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton.

With all that said, the Ravens had the worst pass defense in the NFL last year, and they rank last again so far this season. This isn’t Major League Baseball, where you can bring up some minor league prospect to help. This staff has to work through it and find the strengths and weaknesses of its players. We can point fingers at what went wrong and who was to blame at the end of the season. All you can do now is just hope and wait.

In the 2012 season, it was reported Harbaugh almost lost the locker room. Any chance of that happening here? I know it’s football and emotions are high, but you don’t see these sideline blowups between coach and player from the Ravens.

Jay Parker

Preston: Oh, I’ve seen blowups before between assistant coaches and a player, but never a head coach and a player. Assistant or position coaches are usually the buffer and liaison between the head coach and the respective players, which is why cornerback Marcus Peters’ blow-up on the sideline Sunday with Harbaugh was so strange. I understand the emotions and tempers flaring but attempting to get in the face of a head coach is a major no-no in the NFL.

I never thought Harbaugh was close to losing his locker room in 2012. Harbaugh is an old-school coach who believes in hard work, team and discipline. He was hired by owner Steve Bisciotti to restore a much-needed work ethic because the Ravens had gotten away from that under Harbaugh’s predecessor, Brian Billick. But in 2012, the Ravens had some veterans — linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed, receiver Anquan Boldin and safety Bernard Pollard — who were used to doing it their own way. It was natural for them to “bump heads” with Harbaugh but they put their differences aside because they wanted to win a Super Bowl.

After that happened, it was time for the great departure of those alpha males.

In the case of Peters, it was nice to see a player show some emotion and care because clearly Harbaugh has no faith in his defense, which is why he gambled on that fourth-down call late in the game. Harbaugh has to be careful not to let this situation fester because Peters is respected in the locker room and can influence young players.

Harbaugh is smart enough to figure that out and the two will come to some type of resolution. If not, that could become a major problem in the months ahead.

Mike, since Lamar Jackson entered the league, the teams you need to beat to get to the Super Bowl in the AFC are the Bills, Titans, and Chiefs. Include the Steelers because they are the Ravens’ archrival. Lamar’s in his fifth year and he’s only beaten those teams one time each. Is it time to start asking the question (or past the time) if he can win the big games on the biggest stage?

Jason in Federal Hill

Preston: I’ve been asking two similar questions for two years now. One, can Jackson take the Ravens deep into the postseason? And two, can he win a Super Bowl? He has done just about everything else as far as training, conditioning and film study to improve his overall game, but there is still doubt about him being able to win big games in crunch time with his arm. Jackson wants a new contract but for the kind of money he is demanding, he needs to show he can win big in the postseason. Former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco did in 2012, and then the Ravens made him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.

To me, if you want to get paid big then you have to deliver big, even though I’m still not sure I would give Jackson a fully guaranteed contract.

Why is it that my family and I can easily predict if the Ravens are running or throwing based on their offensive formation? If we can see it, I assume a trained NFL eye can easily predict what they are doing. How is Greg Roman regarded among his peers? Are most teams with an electric running and throwing quarterback running double tights and incorporating a fullback into their attack?

Jesse Walker

Preston: I have had some problems with Greg Roman’s offenses in the past but not this year. Right now, the Ravens are averaging 359.3 yards per game — 217.3 passing and 142 rushing. They are also averaging 29.8 points.

What’s not to like?

I’m not ecstatic about some of Roman’s calls on short-yardage situations and would prefer he run 300-pound fullback Patrick Ricard up the gut for a yard or two or put Jackson out on the edge more in some run-pass-option plays. Overall, though, the Ravens have been successful.

As far as the double tights and incorporating a fullback, most offenses should be able to muscle up and succeed in short-yardage situations. I like the Ravens’ offense being multi-dimensional.

But if this offense is going to take another major step, Jackson has to learn to be able to read and throw to the outside areas of the field.

In hindsight, do you think a defensive end like George Karlaftis should have been one of the two first-round picks this year? I’ll admit he didn’t wow me coming out of Purdue, but watching him with the Chiefs, he seems pretty relentless out there. So far, seems like Kyle Hamilton’s presence has been more of a luxury than need, especially in light that we never ended up trading Chuck Clark, and Hamilton’s snap count seems to have gone down since the Dolphins game.

Paul from Orlando

Preston: As stated above, I would have taken a pass rusher. One of the keys to having a great defense is being able to get pressure with the front four so a defense can drop seven players into coverage. Regardless, the Ravens became enamored with Hamilton, even though they already have Chuck Clark and Marcus Williams on the roster. They also selected cornerbacks Jayln Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams in the fourth round. But the problem is that defensive backs will get exposed if quarterbacks are given time to throw.

The Ravens stuck with their mantra of taking the best player available, but in this situation, it would’ve been good to “reach” on a pass rusher.

Mike, what is the status of tight end Nick Boyle? He is not even sniffing the field these days. Is it physical or is he in the coach’s doghouse?

Dan in Elkton

Preston: Dan, to be honest, I think Boyle is one of Harbaugh’s favorite players, and the team is rewarding him for coming back from major knee surgery after his November 2020 injury. The guy has worked hard to return, but I saw him struggling to catch the ball and limping after major cuts during training camp. He has done nothing wrong to be put in Harbaugh’s doghouse.

Have a question for Mike Preston? Email [email protected] with “Ravens mailbag” in the subject line and it could be answered in The Baltimore Sun.

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Erwin Chemerinsky: As a new court term begins, prepare for the law to move even more to the right

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Erwin Chemerinsky: As A New Court Term Begins, Prepare For The Law To Move Even More To The Right
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As the Supreme Court begins its new term, it’s clear that the court’s majority is determined to move the law much further to the right. The last term ended with the court overruling Roe v. Wade, dramatically expanding gun rights, rejecting the separation of church and state, and limiting the power of administrative agencies.

About half the docket for the new term is set, and what is striking is how the court is reaching out to take and decide cases to further its conservative vision of the Constitution. Traditionally the justices have focused on granting review in cases where there is a disagreement among the lower courts — with the Supreme Court’s role being to resolve these conflicts. Often in the past, the justices have stressed that they want to wait until many lower courts have ruled — until the issue has “percolated,” before weighing in.

But in many of the high-profile cases for this coming term, the court has stepped in even though there is no disagreement among the lower courts.

For example, on Oct. 31, the Supreme Court will hear two cases about whether to end affirmative action by colleges and universities, Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College. In decisions in 1978, 2003 and 2016, the court held that colleges and universities have a compelling interest in having a diverse student body and may use race as one factor in admissions decisions in carrying out their educational mission.

This is settled law. Affirmative action, like abortion, has long been a target of conservatives. The widespread expectation is that here, too, the activist conservatives on the court will overrule more than 40 years of precedents they oppose politically.

Nothing about the law in this area or how it has been interpreted by the lower courts calls for reopening this issue. All that has changed since 2016 is that three Trump-appointed justices — Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — have joined the court.

Two voting cases of potentially great significance also are before the court. Merrill v. Milligan, which will be argued on Tuesday, involves the application of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to racial discrimination in the drawing of congressional districts. A three-judge court in Alabama — with two judges who were appointed by President Donald Trump and one by President Bill Clinton — found that the districts drawn in Alabama were racially discriminatory. Black individuals make up 27% of the population in Alabama, but only 1 out of 7 congressional districts in Alabama had a likelihood of electing a Black representative.

The three-judge court ordered new districts be drawn, but the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, stopped this in an emergency order and chose to hear the case.

The court, in its prior rulings over the last decade, has already greatly weakened the Voting Rights Act. There is good reason to fear that the conservative justices will make it harder to prove that election districts are drawn in a racially discriminatory manner — or perhaps even rule that considering the race of the people in the district in detecting discrimination is unconstitutional.

Some observers worry that the court might go so far as to rule that any law that prohibits racially discriminatory effects is unconstitutional. Such a ruling would eviscerate many civil rights laws that create liability on proof of disparate impact in employment, housing and voting.

The other election case, expected to be argued in November, is Moore v. Harper. The North Carolina Supreme Court found that the state Legislature violated the North Carolina Constitution by engaging in partisan gerrymandering to ensure that Republicans win 10 of 14 congressional seats even though the state is almost evenly split between the two parties.

That court decision was rooted in law and good sense. Yet the Roberts court took review of the case even though there was no special or unusual action by the North Carolina court. The GOP challengers argue that under the U.S. Constitution only the state legislature can decide matters concerning congressional elections. This stance has never been validated and would eliminate any form of state judicial review in such cases.

If the court embraces this bizarre argument, known as the “independent state legislature” theory (Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Gorsuch have already indicated their support), then state courts would be powerless to stop even the most egregious violations of the law.

Even more frightening, if the justices accept this theory regarding congressional elections, they could well apply the same reasoning to another constitutional provision — Article II, Section 1 — which addresses state legislatures’ role in the selection of presidential electors. That provision is not relevant to the gerrymandering dispute and is not before the Supreme Court. But if the court adopts the “independent state legislature” theory, a state legislature would have the power to award the state’s presidential electors to the candidate that lost the popular vote — even in violation of state law — and change the outcome of the presidential election.

303 Creative LLC v. Elenis is another discrimination case that will be heard by the Supreme Court even though there is no controversy among the appeals courts. The issue in this case is whether a business owner may violate state anti-discrimination law on account of her religious beliefs. Lorie Smith has a business in Colorado designing websites and wants to do that for weddings, but she says she won’t do it for same-sex weddings, even though such discrimination violates Colorado law. The question is whether she can use free speech as a defense against the state law. If the justices rule in her favor, they could open the door to discrimination by business based on sexual orientation, sex and even race simply by claiming their discrimination is protected by the First Amendment.

This will be the first term for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African American woman on the court, a milestone in American history. Her voice will be greatly valued, but there remain six staunchly conservative justices who are willing to change the course of constitutional law as it has developed over the past five decades. Voting rights, racial equity and the power of states to ban discrimination are all on the line, and this is with less than half the docket set for the new term.

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Lisa Jarvis: Long COVID has become a parallel pandemic

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Lisa Jarvis: Long Covid Has Become A Parallel Pandemic
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The price of “living with COVID” in a free and open society is turning out to be much heftier than public health experts predicted.

Even with good vaccines and treatments, this year’s U.S. death toll is already much higher than that of the other virus that circulates each year, the flu. A terrible flu season kills about 50,000 people, but already more than 226,000 have died from COVID in 2022 — and even if another wave is avoided and fatalities remain at their current “low” level, another 150,000 lives could be lost over the next 12 months.

Then there’s the ballooning price of long COVID. Ongoing transmission, even if more like a slow burn than a raging fire, will mean the ranks of long-haulers will continue to grow. Long COVID has already pushed as many as 4 million people out of the workforce, according to a recent Brookings Institution report. As public concern over COVID fades, and funding dries up, it will become even harder to stem this parallel pandemic.

The government has put most of its resources behind solving the mystery of what causes long COVID. That’s essential work, but very little of it is devoted to studying how to treat and prevent long COVID. COVID long-haulers deserve better.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 5 people who contract the virus suffer lingering symptoms. Some slowly recover, but others find their quality of life drastically diminished for months or even years.

The only things that can get this parallel pandemic under control are better vaccines and treatments. But as society moves on from the emergency phase of the COVID pandemic, both may become more difficult.

Consider the increasingly challenging task of developing new vaccines. Infectious disease experts have advocated for developing universal coronavirus or intranasal vaccines — both worthwhile approaches for their potential to prevent the spread of the disease and maintain efficacy in the face of new variants. Either could significantly reduce the number of people joining the ranks of long-haulers.

But in a country that’s “over” COVID, funding to move these projects beyond the stage of good academic ideas and into actual clinical studies will dry up. And with the government no longer spending billions on COVID products, companies have far less incentive to invest in them. All of that coincides with a much more challenging and expensive climate for getting new COVID vaccines and drugs across the finish line.

One major issue is the growing challenge of enrolling volunteers in clinical studies. “It’s really hard to recruit people,” says David Boulware, an infectious disease researcher at University of Minnesota’s Medical School. Boulware, who has led several large clinical trials of potential COVID therapies, said it took over a year to convince 1,300 people to participate in an internet-based study asking whether vaccination minimizes symptoms of long COVID. During that time, tens of millions of Americans contracted the virus. They would have been eligible for the trial, but that early-pandemic enthusiasm to volunteer for the greater good seems to be evaporating.

Finding volunteers for such trials also depends on people continuing to test themselves for COVID at the first sign of a sniffle or cough. But how many people with mild symptoms are still bothering to find out if it’s COVID or a cold? If testing becomes passé, many people who ignored a mild infection could find themselves wondering why they’re struggling with brain fog or fatigue — and could also struggle to get the support they need.

For example, one theory is that long COVID is driven by virus particles that persist for weeks or months. Ideally, studies would test whether existing antivirals like Pfizer’s Paxlovid could fully clear the virus and prevent long COVID. But even in the thick of the pandemic, academic researchers have struggled to get such trials going, largely due to lack of interest from drug developers. Their task is about to get even harder, because those types of studies will hinge on enrolling people within days of falling sick.

The US federal government needs to be considering how to end the emergency phase of the COVID pandemic without putting solutions for long COVID further out of reach.

For example, one step would be for the Food and Drug Administration to shift the goals of new vaccine trials to focus on preventing infection and speeding recovery. During the early stage of the pandemic, the mandate for any vaccine or therapy was simple: Keep people out of the hospital and prevent death. The current vaccines and boosters crushed those tasks.

But newer vaccines should be aiming to minimize the number of infections, and thereby minimize the number of people at risk for long COVID. That calls for gauging whether new vaccines can prevent infection or significantly cut down on transmission. Late-stage vaccine studies should also include long-term follow-up to answer the question of whether they reduce the risk of long COVID. Promising data might in turn revive enthusiasm for vaccines and boosters at a time when the public seems less sure of their value.

More needs to be done now to ensure that efforts to develop treatments and vaccines aren’t hopelessly stalled as the pandemic’s first phase winds down. How can testing continue to be accessible and encouraged in an endemic world? What incentives can the government offer companies to keep pushing forward with new vaccines? What are the best ways to encourage the public to roll up their sleeves for studies of those new vaccines? Millions of COVID long-haulers — and potentially millions more long-haulers to come — are relying on the answers to these questions.

COVID might no longer be a public health emergency — the days of constant ambulance sirens and packed ICUs seem, thankfully, behind us. But the parallel pandemic of long COVID can’t be neglected in the transition back to “normal.”

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40 years ago, the 1982 Orioles’ magical comeback came up short. It set the stage for a 1983 World Series title.

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40 Years Ago, The 1982 Orioles’ Magical Comeback Came Up Short. It Set The Stage For A 1983 World Series Title.
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Forty years ago this week, it all came down to the 162nd game of the season.

The 1982 Orioles entered the final series of the regular season with a four-game set against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, who happened to be three games ahead of Baltimore in the American League East standings.

The Orioles needed to win each game to advance to the playoffs, and for the first three contests, they did just that, forcing a winner-take-all nationally televised Sunday afternoon game at Memorial Stadium in front of 51,642 fans. ABC broadcaster Keith Jackson described it as “quite a remarkable circumstance with a full World Series or playoff flair” as two future Hall of Famers toed the rubber: the Brewers’ Don Sutton and the Orioles’ Jim Palmer.

What’s more, it was slated to be the denouement of another Hall of Famer — longtime Orioles manager Earl Weaver, who had announced he’d be retiring at the season’s conclusion.

“The setting was too perfect,” sportswriter Jim Henneman wrote in the Evening Sun on Oct. 4, 1982.

Indeed, it was a storybook setting but not a storybook ending, as Robin Yount hit two home runs and the Brewers won, 10-2, to take the division crown. The Orioles finished with the second-best record (94-68) in the majors but missed the playoffs.

Anthony Murawski was an Orioles fan then, at age 11, and he remains one today. He can recall precise details from that summer — like rookie reserve Floyd Rayford hitting a walk-off homer in the 13th inning during a July game or Terry Crowley following suit with a pinch-hit grand slam in August. They overcame an eight-game August deficit to tie the Brewers in the standings ahead of the season finale.

It was a magical time for Murawski, and the season’s conclusion is imprinted in his memory.

“That season cemented my devotion to the Orioles because that was just an amazing thing,” he said. “And it broke my heart at the end.”

The Orioles trailed 5-2 in the eighth inning with two on and two out when pinch hitter Joe Nolan hit a ball to left field that seemed destined for extra bases. Instead, it was caught by Milwaukee’s left fielder.

“Ben Oglivie, of all people, slid into the wall and ended up catching the ball,” then-Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey said last week, “otherwise we score two runs right there.”

It was a sour end to what had been a sweet comeback. One usher cried. The front page of the next day’s Baltimore Sun read: “There is no God. Check that. There is a God, but it’s obvious now that he lives in Milwaukee.”

The baseball gods quickly backed Baltimore, though, as the Orioles returned — with mostly the same team, minus Weaver — to win the 1983 World Series, their most recent championship.

“I do think the combination of ‘81 and ‘82 carried over for that team the next year,” Henneman, now 87, said this week.

1982 was special in its own right, though. It was the year Cal Ripken Jr. began his consecutive games played streak and the year Weaver walked away (until his brief return in 1985). More than 20 minutes after the game against the Brewers had ended, half of the ballpark’s crowd remained, eager for another sighting of Weaver. It was “almost like nobody would leave,” Henneman recalled.

“They’re still out there?” Weaver asked at the time.

Weaver dutifully completed the curtain call and then led fans in a chant of “O-R-I-O-L-E-S.”

The Orioles had come up short that day, but not before staging an improbable late-season comeback and setting the stage for a title the following season.

“It was typical Oriole magic of those days,” said Dempsey.

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