The Volante Verve counted down the top seven blogs on the internets and ONTD proper managed to rank forth on the list. But that's not all: there is actually a mention of THIS blog thrown in:
4. Oh No They Didn’t! (http://community.livejournal.com/ohnot
Submitted by Jessica Kokesh
If TMZ and Perez Hilton make you feel dirty just by thinking about them, come on over to ONTD for all your celebrity and entertainment news. Posted by the community members, ONTD’s content updates hourly with updates on Amy Winehouse’s crazy vacation, discussion posts on reality TV shows like Rock Love Bus and photo spam posts of good-looking people. The real highlight of ONTD is the use of animated .gifs, macros and netspeak by its 50,000 members in the highly colorful commentary. ONTD also has several spin-off blogs, including ONTD Political.
So then, what have we learned? That out of all the various spin-offs and sub-blogs, that clearly ONTD_Politcal is the most awesome! :D Congrats to ONTD for the mention and this community for the mini shout-out!
SOURCES: 1 and 2
Lack of Measures 'Absurd,' Guests Say
By Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 30, 2009; Page B01
Downtown Washington resembled a militarized zone last week for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but some major contributors who had direct contact with Obama said they were surprised to find what they viewed as porous security surrounding the president-elect and vice president-elect.
Three contributors who raised $300,000 or more for the inauguration said they were never asked to show identification to retrieve dozens of tickets, including VIP passes that allowed them and their guests to meet privately with Obama. One of the three said ticket checks were so lax that no one noticed when, after a breakfast for contributors, a friend whose name hadn't been submitted for a background check tagged along into a VIP room to take pictures with Vice President-elect Joseph Biden.
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Biden Backs Off Geithner on China
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said the administration has made “no judgment” on whether the Chinese have manipulated their currency, an accusation that would have international legal ramifications.
“The policy of this administration is going to be to say to China, which occasionally the last administration was reluctant to do. `You're a major player on the world scene economically, and you've got to play by the rules that everybody else plays by,” Biden said. “There's been no judgment based in the administration that there has been a manipulation because, as you know, that word triggers, within trade agreements, certain responses.”
Geithner said in a written statement as part of his Senate hearing that the Obama administration “believes that China is manipulating its currency.”
If the U.S. accused China of “manipulating” its currency, a term the Bush administration avoided using, it could lead to a World Trade Organization complaint against the country.
Biden sought to make clear the U.S. is not officially making that claim
“As far as the determination of ‘manipulation,’” he said, “we've not gotten there yet.”
JOE BIDEN covers up someone else's gaffe!? JOE BIDEN!? Holy shit, change really has come to America. Well, I guess he was just keeping his promise to the voters:
Obama signs first law without Web comment
Updated: Thursday, January 29th, 2009 | By Angie Drobnic Holan
One of President Obama's major campaign planks was making government more open and accountable. It's a reaction to a habit in Congress of rushing bills through the House and Senate without giving people much opportunity to know what the bills would do. Indeed, sometimes members of Congress don't even know what's in the bills.
So Obama pledged during the campaign to institute "sunlight before signing."
"Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them," Obama's campaign Web site states. "As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days."
But the first bill Obama signed into law as president -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- got no such vetting.
In fact, the Congressional Record shows that the law was passed in the Senate on Jan. 22, 2009, passed in the House on Jan. 27, and signed by the president on Jan. 29. So only two days passed between the bill's final passage and the signing.
The legislation was not posted to the White House Web site for comment in any way that we could find.
We see no way the bill could be deemed emergency legislation, even taking the broadest view. The bill overturns the effects of a Supreme Court decision that limited when workers could sue for pay discrimination. Most pertinently, the bill is retroactive to the time of the court decision -- May 28, 2007. Obama earned a Promise Kept from us for signing the law. But it would have the same effect if had been signed a few days later, so it's clearly not an emergency.
We asked the White House about this and if they planned to begin posting laws to the Web site for comment soon, but we got no response.
Obama signed the measure at 10:20 a.m. About two hours later, the White House posted the bill on its Web site with a link that asks people to submit comments. But the bill was already signed at that point.
We recognize that Obama has been in office just a week, but he was very clear about his plan for a five-day comment period, and we can't see why this one needed to be rushed. It is somewhat ironic that with the same action, Obama both keeps and breaks a campaign promise. But there it is -- his first one. Promise Broken.
Below is audio of the full Melissa Etheridge interview from the show today.
Regarding the "reaching out" and the ongoing dialogue that both Melissa Etheridge and Rick Warren (and his defenders) have talked about, she told me that she and Warren "email," though he has "been sick," so they haven't been able to get together. But, she says, she plans to visit his church, and that she hopes he will will visit her home.
We talked about the role of gay celebrities as well as of gay activists and the dilemmas that arise. We also talked about Warren's beliefs, most of which it doesn't seem she had known in full. Still, she discussed the "experience" of meeting with him as something powerful and important. She describes their having been booked for the same event (where she had to deal with him) as the "universe handed me something." Below are a some highlights, but I suggest, for context, you listen to the entire interview and give Melissa Etheridge a fair shake. Let me know your thoughts.
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Listen to the interview here
Oil giant breaks record for full-year earnings despite quarterly slump
[Unknown LJ tag]
HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33 percent from a year ago.
The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which the world's largest publicly traded oil company set in 2007.
The extraordinary full-year profit wasn't a surprise given crude's triple-digit price for much of 2008, peaking near an unheard of $150 a barrel in July. Since then, however, prices have fallen roughly 70 percent amid a deepening global economic crisis.
In the fourth quarter alone crude tumbled 60 percent, prompting spending and job cuts in an industry that was reporting robust, often record, profits as recently as last summer.
With piles of cash and diversified operations, the majors like Exxon Mobil have fared better than many smaller oil and gas companies, but Friday's results show no one is completely insulated from the ongoing malaise.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon said net income slid sharply to $7.8 billion, or $1.55 a share, in the October-December period. That compared to $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the same period a year ago, when Exxon set a U.S. record for quarterly profit. It has since topped that mark twice, first in last year's second quarter and then with earnings of $14.83 billion in the third quarter.
Revenue in the most-recent quarter fell 27 percent to $84.7 billion.
On average, analysts expected the company to earn $1.45 per share in the latest quarter on revenue of $69.1 billion.
Meanwhile, Exxon rival Chevron said it earned $4.9 billion in the fourth quarter though revenues plunged 28 percent with oil prices in sharp decline.
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, reported Friday it earned $2.44 per share in the three months ended Dec. 31. It earned $4.88 billion, or $2.32 per share, in the quarter a year ago.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.81 per share.
San Ramon, California-based Chevron says revenue dropped to $43.1 billion, from nearly $60 billion a year ago.
For the full year, Chevron made $23.93 billion, or $11.67 per share, compared with $18.69 billion, or $8.77 per share, in 2007.
there's a little graph at the sauce that shows the earnings, but it didn't translate over here so I left it off.
Really, isn't this a little obscene? I guess Exxon isn't worrying about layoffs...
Elizabeth Cheney, Bush Legal Counsel
What a 1988 college thesis by the former vice president's daughter tells us about the Bush presidency.
When I worked at the library at Colorado College, I quickly discovered the job had few perks. The free book loans on demand were little better than subprime mortgages when you realized anyone could get them. The only "exclusive" benefit was the chance to keep manuscripts the library threw out. Usually, I had a limited selection of titles, like Proceedings From the Third Workshop on Genetics of Bark Beetles and Associated Micro-Organisms. But occasionally I stumbled across a gem. Rummaging through a bin of discarded books one day, I saw an unusual spine: "CHENEY The Evolution of Presidential War Powers 1988."
In 1988, while Dick Cheney was Wyoming's sole representative in the House of Representatives, his daughter's senior thesis was quietly published in Colorado Springs. The 125-page treatise argued that, constitutionally and historically, presidents have virtually unchecked powers in war. Thirteen years before her father became vice president, she had symbolically authored the first legal memorandum of the Bush administration, laying out the same arguments that would eventually justify Guantanamo and extraordinary rendition, wiretapping of American citizens, and, broadly, the unitary theory of the executive that shaped the Bush presidency.
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So was it all planned from the get go?
1. Start a war.
3. Claim unchecked power
Please exploit these resources:
(The Intelligence Daily) -- Former White House senior adviser Karl Rove said he would ignore a Congressional subpoena that calls for him to appear before the House Judiciary Committee Monday to give a deposition on the politicization of the Justice Department.
In an interview Thursday with right-wing talk show host Bill O’Reilly, Rove, who is also a Fox News contributor, said one of former President Bush’s last acts before he left office was to have White House Counsel Fred Fielding write a letter stating that Rove was protected by “absolute immunity” and that he can legally ignore a congressional subpoena.
“I’ve been directed on Jan. 16, by the outgoing president’s legal counsel not to respond to a subpoena...exerting privilege on behalf of the former president,” Rove said.
Here is the basic diagnosis of what ails the Republican Party from Dr. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader. The internal organs are fine. No problem with the composition of the blood that pumps through the party's activist veins. The brain is top-notch -- Republican ideas are well considered, broadly desired, and politically feasible. The body, however, looks ragged; the accent is too...regional (Southern?). The GOP needs to get some exercise. It needs a jot of cologne here, and maybe a hair transplant there. McConnell subscribes to what might be called the "sales job" theory of Democratic dominance. That is -- the message is fine; the techniques used to communicate it are not. The "sales job" theory is quite attractive to many Republicans because it relieves them of having to question whether Americans, at their corps, are beginning to distrust what the party stands for, what the party does, who the party is. What a relief! All that's need are some cosmetics. Maybe it's Mabeline. McConnell's view is shared by many Republican current office-holders. It is not the view that Republican strategists tend to hold, and it certainly is not the view of the younger conservative intellectuals, like the Atlantic's own Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. The massive data compiled by Gallup about party identification suggests that the party has an identity problem.
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Republicans and Latino Voters: Has the GOP Shifted on Immigration Reform?
Some blamed losses in the fall on losing support from Latino voters, among other groups
After their dramatic losses in the fall elections, Republican leaders spent weeks publicly flogging themselves not just for losing the support of millions of Reagan Democrats and suburban moms—but for pushing away Latino voters, in particular, one of the country's fastest-growing demographic groups.
Many placed the blame for the loss on conservatives in their own party, pointing to the heated Republican opposition to a series of failed immigration reform bills in 2007. "[T]he very divisive rhetoric of the immigration debate set a very bad tone for our brand as Republicans," Sen. Mel Martinez, a Florida Republican, said after the election. "There were voices within our party, frankly, which if they continue with that kind of rhetoric, anti-Hispanic rhetoric...we're going to be relegated to minority status."
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Limbaugh: Friend or Foe of GOP?
Rush Limbaugh Was Once Named the Leader of the Republican Party
As members of the Republican National Committee try to regroup from the disastrous election cycle and prepare to choose the party's next chairman, some Republicans are left wondering whether conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has emerged as a leader – albeit an unofficial one – of the GOP.
In the week since President Obama took the oath of office, Limbaugh's name was dropped by the new president as someone Republicans should not listen to, spurring the radio superstar to boast that he believes Obama is "frightened" of him.
In today's Wall Street Journal, Limbaugh penned an op-ed in which he proposed his own version of the stimulus package.
And when one Republican congressman spoke out against Limbaugh – effectively calling him a hindrance to the party – the talk show host booked the congressman on his syndicated radio show, allowing him an opportunity to grovel and ask for forgiveness.
"I want to express to you my very sincere regret for those comments," Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., told Limbaugh.
"I just wanted to tell you Rush, and all our conservative giants who help us so much to maintain our base and grow it and get back the majority, that I regret those stupid comments," said Gingrey.( Collapse )
The U.S government acknowledged Friday that a shipment of peanuts from the plant linked to a salmonella outbreak contained a "filthy, putrid or decomposed substance" later identified as metal fragments. The shipment was returned to the U.S. in April, months earlier than reflected in a federal tracking database.
The rejected shipment _ coming across a bridge between New York and Canada _ was logged by the Food and Drug Administration but never tested by federal inspectors, according to government records. The incident took place in mid-September, the records show, weeks before the earliest signs of the outbreak.
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Erasing Blagojevich: Disgraced Ex-Governor's Name Stricken From Signs, Roads, Web Site
Illinois workers moved as quickly as possible to erase Rod Blagojevich from view Thursday. Just minutes after the Senate voted unanimously to convict the former governor and to ban him from ever holding public office in Illinois again, state employees took down Blagojevich's picture and gold nameplate from the state capitol welcome sign.
"Was that quick enough?" one worker said to laughter.
An employee standing nearby as the picture was taken away said, "Do we need someone to throw a shoe?"
A picture of newly installed Gov. Patrick Quinn was quickly added to the top slot.
The Illinois state web site also scrubbed Blagojevich within moments of his conviction. On Thursday evening, the front page read:
SPRINGFIELD - January 29, 2009. Former Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn has become the 41st Governor of the State of Illinois, having taken the Oath of Office at 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, 2009. The Oath of Office was administered by Illinois Supreme Court
Justice Anne Burke in a brief ceremony in the Chamber of the Illinois House of Representatives.
"I pledge an open and fair state government worthy of being called the Land of Lincoln," Quinn said. "The people of Illinois have the right to expect integrity and diligence from their elected officials."
On Thursday, the Illinois Senate convicted Governor Blagojevich on Articles of Impeachment the House passed earlier this month. Therefore, under Article V, Section 6(c) of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, the Lt. Governor assumes all duties and powers of Governor.
And the massive signs at Illinois Tollway plazas reading "Open Road Tolling-- Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor" will soon be changed, the Tribune reports.
The 32 signs, which Blagojevich erected in 2004 at a cost of $480,000, were among his most prominent personal displays and provoked strong criticism that he was using state initiatives and money for personal political gain. It will cost around $15,000 to change each sign, the paper reports.
by Mark Leon Goldberg
This is very exciting news. The Pulitzer prize winning author of "'A Problem From Hell': America in the Age of Genocide" and "Chasing the Flame," a biography of slain UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello, was just appointed the Senior Director of Multi-lateral Affairs at the National Security Council. This means she will have a direct hand in formulating U.S. policy on the United Nations, G-8, and other global forums.
The MSM is predictably honing in on "monster-gate," which is sort of silly considering she has apologized profusely for the comment and Secretary of State Clinton has accepted her apology and everyone seems willing and eager to move on.
The real story here is will Samantha Power take to working in government? In "A Problem From Hell" (which is probably number one on my list of all-time best foreign policy books) Power describes how government is not well structured to respond effectively to humanitarian crises. Part of the problem, she shows, is that individuals in government sometimes react to these crises in politically expedient ways that do not do much to address or reverse ongoing genocide or mass atrocity. This is less a critique of specific individuals than it is a condemnation of American foreign policy making more generally. Now that she is embedded in the U.S. foreign policy making apparatus the big question on my mind is whether or not she falls victim to the very processes she criticizes so ably in her book.
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It took soooo long to find an article on Google News that focused more on her work (she won the Pulitzer) than her comment about Clinton.
Anyway, Samantha Power > most of the appointments so far
she would have made a kickass SoS herself, maybe 2012?
After five rounds of balloting, the race for the chairmanship came down to a choice between Steele and Katon Dawson, the South Carolina GOP chairman who secured strong support from party insiders but failed to garner the 85 votes necessary to win.
Steele emerged as the winner after the sixth ballot, winning with 91 votes. A candidate needed a simple majority of 85 votes from the 168-member committee to secure victory.
For the duration of his campaign, Steele fought perceptions that he was too moderate to lead the party because of his blue state roots and his former membership in the Republican Leadership Council, a group that sought to curb the influence of social conservatives in the party.
“I’m proud to say I’m a conservative, have been, always will be,” Steele told CNN earlier this month. “So this notion that I’m a moderate is slightly overblown, and quite frankly a lie.”
Steele brings a national profile to the committee, having shot to fame in the political world during an underdog Senate bid in 2006 distinguished by a series of clever TV commercials. He has since become a fixture on cable talk shows, experience that boosted up his reputation as the best communicator among the field of RNC candidates.
Angry senator wants pay cap on Wall Street 'idiots'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One day after President Barack Obama ripped Wall Street executives for their "shameful" decision to hand out $18 billion in bonuses in 2008, Congress may finally have had enough.
"You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses," an angry Sen. Claire McCaskill says.
An angry U.S. senator introduced legislation Friday to cap compensation for employees of any company that accepts federal bailout money. Under the terms of a bill introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, no employee would be allowed to make more than the president of the United States.
Obama's current annual salary is $400,000.
"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer," an enraged McCaskill said on the floor of the Senate. "They don't get it. These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18 billion in bonuses."
McCaskill's proposed compensation limit would cover salaries, bonuses and stock options.
On Thursday, Obama said the prospect that some of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout could end up paying for bonuses to managers of struggling financial institutions was "shameful."
The president said it was the "height of irresponsibility" for executives to pay bonuses when their companies were asking for help from Washington.
"The American people understand we've got a big hole that we've got to dig ourselves out of, but they don't like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they're being asked to fill it up," Obama added.
McCaskill's proposal comes three days after struggling banking giant Citigroup -- which has taken about $45 billion from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program -- reversed plans to accept delivery of a new $42 million corporate jet. The company changed its mind under Treasury Department prodding.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Friday defended corporate bonuses, saying that cutting them also means slashing jobs in the Big Apple."If you somehow take that bonus out of the economy, it really will create unemployment," he said on CNN's "American Morning." "It means less spending in restaurants, less spending in department stores, so everything has an impact.
I am liking this idea. They don't deserve bonuses if jobs are being cut.
"I’d like to see Obama naked. I think great leaders, charismatic leaders and men who are so confident and who have achieved so much, usually have big penises. I think there’s a correlation between the level of confidence, the level of the way a man can hold a room and the way he conducts himself in life, with his penis size — with his comfort with his penis size. So much of male psyche is taken up with how big your cock is; it’s a huge deal in our lives, and so when you’re confident about your penis size, it shows. Well, just look at him. Just the way he’s so kind of elegant and very confident in his body and himself. Also, someone told me that they worked out with him in a gym in Chicago, and it was big."
lolololololol! And yes, I did get quite the chuckle out of writing the title to this post and naming the image.
From their shared loathing of Rahm Emanuel to the insurgency led by the minority leader (“he took us by the throat”), the inside story of why not a single House Republican supported the president’s stimulus package.
"Rahm, you don't waste a crisis," a senior Republican, speaking on the phone in a mock dialogue, pretended to tease White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel the day before the stimulus bill vote in the House of Representatives. "Rahm, you're making the Clinton mistake going for spending in a crisis. Reagan radically adjusted the tax code in his crisis. Rahm, all you’re trying to do is scare people, like Hank Paulson did with the TARP. It won't work this time. We're wise to it. Rahm, you won't get ten votes from us. Not ten."
“Rahm hates us and lets us know it, and we hate him back,” said a senior Republican.
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Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest Internet retailer, posted an 8.7 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit after promotions and discounts lured consumers to its Web site. Sales beat estimates, sending the shares up 13 percent. Net income climbed to $225 million, or 52 cents a share, from $207 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, the Seattle- based company said today in a statement. Sales rose 18 percent to $6.7 billion, compared with an estimate of $6.45 billion in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.And McDonald's:
US fast-food giant McDonald's said Monday its 2008 net profit soared 80 percent from a year, lifted by growing demand from consumers seeking low-cost meals in a deepening global recession. Net profit for the full year totaled 4.3 billion dollars, compared with 2.3 billion in 2007, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said in a statement. Excluding exceptional items, earnings per share were 3.76 dollars, widely exceeding consensus market forecasts of 3.63 dollars. The robust annual results came despite a sharp 23 percent decline in fourth-quarter net profit to 985 million dollars, from 1.273 billion in the 2007 fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter earnings per share were 87 cents, above expectations of 83 cents. "2008 was a strong year for McDonald's," chief executive Jim Skinner said in the statement.Source
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is an open letter to Rush Limbaugh from Ralph Nader:
The Rush Limbaugh Show
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121
Dear Mr. Limbaugh,
The Associated Press reports your new contract with Premiere Radio Networks will enrich you with at least $38 million a year over the next eight years. You are making this money on the public property of the American people for which you pay no rent.
You, Rush Limbaugh, are on welfare.
As you know, the public airwaves belong to the American people. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to be our trustee in managing this property. The people are the landlords and the radio and TV stations and affiliated companies are the tenants.
The problem is that since the Radio Act of 1927 these corporate tenants have been massively more powerful in Washington, DC than the tens of millions of listeners and viewers. The result has been no payment of rent by the stations for the value of their license to broadcast. You and your company are using the public's valuable property for free. This freeloading on the backs of the American people is called corporate welfare.
It is way past due for the super-rich capitalist -- Rush Limbaugh from Cape Girardeau, Missouri -- to get himself off big time welfare. It is way past due for Rush Limbaugh as the Kingboy of corporatist radio to set a capitalist example for his peers and pay rent to the American people for the very lucrative use of their property.
You need not wait for the broadcast industry-indentured FCC and Congress to do the right thing. You can lead by paying a voluntary rent -- determined by a reputable appraisal organization -- for the time you use on the hundreds of stations that carry your words each weekday.
Payment of rent for the use of public airwaves owned by the American people is the conservative position. Real conservatives oppose corporate welfare. Real corporatists feed voraciously from hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare gushing out of Washington, DC yearly.
Whose side are you on? Freeloading? Or paying rent for the public property you have been using free for many years?
I look forward to your response.
PO Box 19312
Washington, DC 20036
As his impeachment trial began Monday, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich kicked off a national media tour to explain that his alleged senatorial pay-to-play scheme was merely an elaborate plot to surprise U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald with a Senate seat on his birthday. "You try to do something nice for someone, and look what happens," the embattled governor told reporters at a press conference during which he unveiled a birthday cake for Fitzgerald. "People get wind of it, so you try to cover up the big party you planned, then things get out of hand and the story ends up involving a children's hospital, threats to the Tribune, and a half-million-dollar bribe. Next thing you know, you're getting investigated by the very person you wanted to do something nice for! Pat, I'm sorry your birthday surprise was spoiled." Before taking questions, Blagojevich changed into a plumber's outfit and attempted to sneak out of the room, saying in a thick Italian accent that the toilet was backed up and he had to fix it right away.
Edited to add visual accompaniment.
Teri Hatcher says President Obama owes her an autograph! The "Desperate Housewives" star met the Pres at a fundraiser a few months before his nomination. The Golden Globe winning actress tells "Extra," "I said to him, 'This is the only thing I would have left my daughter at home for is to come and meet you'... And he said, 'I'll have to get you an autograph on a napkin.'"
Hatcher says Obama still owes her the signature he promised for her 11-year-old daughter Emerson, but she understands the Chief has his priorities in order. "First you can handle the economy. Then you can handle the war. Years from now when things are better, maybe you'll send an autograph," she joked.
Aretha Franklin is considering donating the hat she wore while singing My Country 'tis of Thee at President Barack Obama's inauguration to a US Government museum.
The grey felt hat with a Swarovski rhinestone-bordered bow drew widespread attention after the January 20 inauguration and prompted hundreds of calls to the Detroit millinery shop where the hat was made.
The Queen of Soul says the Smithsonian Institution wants the hat for an exhibit on Mr Obama's inauguration.
Franklin said in a statement it would be hard to part with the hat since the day was "a crowning moment in history".
But, she says, she is considering the request.
The institution specialises in preserving historic American artefacts.
So if the hat's made out of felt, that means it'll probably be easy to make by hand, of course. Wow, imagine that. We can have an Aretha Franklin hat party lol!
President Obama’s pick for secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle, filed amended tax returns and paid more than $100,000 in back taxes on Jan. 2, administration officials said on Friday.
Mr. Daschle concluded that he owed the taxes for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by Leo Hindery Jr., the founder of a private equity firm known as InterMedia Advisors, the officials said.
Mr. Daschle was chairman of the firm’s advisory board. In a financial disclosure statement filed this month with the Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Daschle reported that he had received large amounts of income from InterMedia, including more than $2 million for consulting and $182,520 in the form of “company-provided transportation.”
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That's the message of some twisted group called the International Healing Foundation, which just sent out the attached press release in the wake of the TV movie Prayers for Bobby, in which a mother realizes the church shouldn't judge gays, especially since that kind of oppression helped drive her son to suicide. What IHOP--I mean IHF--feels is that it's not the church's obstinence--or anyone else's--that should be cured, it's gayness itself.
They believe in using "compassion and love" when dealing with anyone experiencing "SSA" (i.e., same sex attraction), but their main compassionate and loving point is that sexuality can be changed like a pair of jeans!
Vomit! When will these morons realize that (a) You can't change sexuality, you can only make people suppress their real feelings in shame; (b) If you could really change sexuality, why not urge some straights to go gay, just for fun?; and (c) Their attitude is just the kind of pigheaded "logic" that leads to suicide!
- 'PRAYERS FOR BOBBY' ON LIFETIME PROMOTES HALF-TRUTH The Question is: How Do We Love Gays the Right Way?
Lifetime aired the heart-wrenching made-for-TV movie "Prayers for Bobby" this weekend. It tells the true story of a son driven to suicide by his mother's refusal to accept his homosexuality. After Bobby's death, his mother, Mary Griffith, concludes that gays are born that way and the church was wrong in their judgment of those who experience same-sex attraction (SSA). We too believe that many people of faith are misinformed about this issue.
At the International Healing Foundation, we are fervent in our mission to promote the facts about SSA with compassion and love. We believe that people are not born with SSA and that changing from gay to straight is possible. We also believe that families and people of faith must learn how to love those who experience SSA. Over the past twenty years we have developed groundbreaking, successful solutions to these highly volatile issues through Coming Out Straight for individuals, and Gay Children, Straight Parents for families.
Each book presents the meaning and causes of SSA and the process of transformation. Gay Children, Straight Parents is a plan for family healing, teaching everyone how to love "gays" the right way. If Mary Griffith, and others like her knew this information, their children would find the love they desperately need. "People can and do change their sexual orientation. I've done it, and I've helped others do the same," declares sexual reorientation special Richard Cohen, M.A. Cohen further states, "There is no conclusive evidence that anyone's sexual orientation is determined from birth; no one chooses to have SSA; and change is possible." We grieve for Bobby's passing. We grieve for his family's loss. We know that these tragedies can and must be prevented. We have solutions and there is much hope.
EDIT: If anyone's interested, Lifetime has the full movie up on their website!
Within hours of his unanimous impeachment Thursday afternoon, Lightnin' Rod Blagojevich had a job offer, and not delivering pizza, like he'd joked to Greta van Susteren just the night before. Nope, a reality TV creator/producer, Terence Michaels (VH1's Shooting Sizemore and Showtime's I Can't Believe I'm Still Single) is ready to turn on the cameras--and ready the &$#!@% expletive beeper:
Now that Blagojevich is looking for a job, he needs to call me asap. I can get him paid legally to star in his own reality show. But he has to star in it once he agrees. He can't sell his spot to someone else.
Cat Noel who appeared on one of Wife Swap's most popular episodes, has this advice:
You've exposed so much of your life already, why don't you just go all the way?
John McCain seems to be re-establishing himself as Obama's rival this week, criticizing the new president on multiple fronts.
During an appearance today on Fox News, McCain adamantly defended conservative talk host Rush Limbaugh when asked about an alleged statement by President Obama telling congressional Republicans that "you can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."
McCain described Limbaugh as a bastion of conservatism and free speech, and seemed to lament Obama's choice to jump down into the trenches. But, as Think Progress points out, this isn't a fair portrayal considering that Limbaugh's statements are on air and directed towards an audience of over 20 million listeners while Obama's alleged remark was "made in a private meeting with Republicans and then leaked to the press."
On top of McCain's Limbaughphile position, he also criticized Obama today on what he describes as the new administration's unwillingness to negotiate with congressional Republicans over the stimulus bill. Via Reuters:
"A group of us Republican senators are working on coming up with an alternative package that I would hope would have some elements to it that Americans would support," said McCain, who lost the November 4 U.S. election to Obama, a Democrat.
"One, we have to have an alternative and two, we still hope that the administration -- although time is running out -- that the administration will sit down and do some serious negotiating, which they have not done," he said.
by David Brooks
Throughout 2008, Larry Summers, the Harvard economist, built the case for a big but surgical stimulus package. Summers warned that a “poorly provided fiscal stimulus can have worse side effects than the disease that is to be cured.” So his proposal had three clear guidelines.
First, the stimulus should be timely. The money should go out “almost immediately.” Second, it should be targeted. It should help low- and middle-income people. Third, it should be temporary. Stimulus measures should not raise the deficits “beyond a short horizon of a year or at most two.”
Summers was proposing bold action, but his concept came with safeguards: focus on the task at hand, prevent the usual Washington splurge and limit long-term fiscal damage.
Now Barack Obama is president, and Summers has become a top economic adviser. Yet the stimulus approach that has emerged on Capitol Hill abandoned the Summers parameters.
In a fateful decision, Democratic leaders merged the temporary stimulus measure with their permanent domestic agenda — including big increases for Pell Grants, alternative energy subsidies and health and entitlement spending. The resulting package is part temporary and part permanent, part timely and part untimely, part targeted and part untargeted.
It’s easy to see why Democrats decided to do this. They could rush through permanent policies they believe in. Plus, they could pay for them with borrowed money. By putting a little of everything in the stimulus package, they avoid the pay-as-you-go rules that might otherwise apply to recurring costs.
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Yeah, I know it's the NYT so it can't be trusted, but still.
A judge set bail at $3 million Friday for the former BART police officer accused of killing a 22-year-old man at a BART station on New Year's Day.
Johannes Mehserle's explanation of how he shot Oscar Grant was inconsistent, and he was a danger to society and a flight risk, said Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson.
"That is the type of bail that will go a long ways toward ensuring future appearances in court," Jacobson said.
Mehserle's father whispered, "Oh my God" and shook his head from side to side as the judge spoke.
As of 8:30 p.m. Friday, Mehserle remained in the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
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