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Dany's RaaD Roundup

US State of the Union and the Republican Response 2011

Last night President Obama took to the airways and gave his State of the Union speech in front of Congress to the US. If you missed it, I have posted it below.

After the State of the Union, Rep Paul Ryan gave the Republican Response to the President’s speech, you can see that video below if you did not get a chance to see that as well.

After watching both speeches, it is clear that the two men have different views of what makes America strong, but I have to hope that with all the areas that they agree, in the end, good laws and reforms will come from it. I do not believe that in the end, the entire 2010 health care reform bill will be repealed, but the most egregious sections of it will get changed. Reducing our deficit will not be easy, but cuts to research will only handicap our future and any reform to seriously cut spending will have to deal with both military spending and entitlement spending like Medicare, Medicaid Social Security and other healthcare related programs, since those programs alone already account for over 80% of our federal spending(image below) which come from this federal spending breakdown (image below).

Enjoy

Dany

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January 26, 2011 2:19 pm Posted by | Arizona, China, clips, college, DC, economy, education, health, Law, medicine, military, politics, science, technology, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 16th, 2010

Never forget, advancing age does not decrease intellect or sexual desire, it may increase refractory time, but enjoy this piece about sex amongst Florida’s elderly population.
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I have never seen anyone promote a book like Denis Leary and I have also never seen an interviewer hilariously insult the book and the author as much as with this interview. You can check out Suck on This Year here.
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Here is an interesting look at history and I would not want to read any version of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that took out “the N word.” What would happen if we took all the Martin Luther King Jr. speeches where he used the word “negro” and replaced it with “African American?” There would be an uproar. I have also never heard of anyone publishing any of Thomas Jefferson‘s writings with his language white-washed either. Please just read the entire uncensored version here or get it from Amazon.
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All hail stupid, hastily put together and poorly thought through law proposals following a tragic event! Is it really good to know that a government for the people, by the people can end us up with officially that are just as stupid as some of the rest of us?
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Watch this extended interview with former governor (and most likely Republican Presidential candidate in 2014) Tim Pawlenty. He and Jon have an interesting discussion about the role of the federal government. He has a new book out called Courage to Stand.
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Now it’s time to make fun of how politics crept into the Obama Tucson mourning speech criticism a meer few minutes after the speech ended on most of the 24hr news organizations.
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Now you too can become a member of Congress, it’s easy, just watch this entire clip with your right hand raised in the air, just like 2 of our officially elected Congressmen did (story here)!
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When I heard Lithuania had it’s own perfume, it instantly reminded me of the old Snickers Gheorghe Mureşan commercial.
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Former Facebook programmer and Obama campaign worker Chris Hughes promotes his site jumo.com, where you can find charities  that interest you, follow them and donate.
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Using sarcasm, The Word is just good for you… also, you gotta love the blood libel reference that keeps Sarah Palin in the news cycle almost indefinitely.
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French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, co-author of Public Enemies, talks about God, debate and the inescapable black hole of political rhetoric.
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Who knew that snackrifice would enter  the lexicon? May the power of Dorito-Christ compell you!… or at least absolve you of your sins, or at worst, be offended by it.
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Lastly, after the Christmas weekend blizzard here on the east coast of the US, I found this lovely time lapse video documenting the snowfall with one shot every 5 minutes from a Canon DSLR.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 17, 2011 12:02 pm Posted by | Arizona, books, censorship, clips, crazy celebs, DC, Florida, food, guns, health, Law, Minnesota, photography, Religion, sex, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

President Barack Obama’s Speech in Arizona after the Tuscon Shooting

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There is little I can say about the recent tragic shooting in Arizona, other than that I feel for the family and friends of those that died and those who were injured (currently 14 injured and 6 died). Above I posted the speech that President Obama delivered, or you can read the transcript, in case you have not seen it yet, watch it, it is a wonderful speech that is heartfelt and takes the politics out of the story and just tells the story, unlike most of the 24-hour news media has done since the shooting.

Enjoy

Dany

January 14, 2011 5:48 pm Posted by | Arizona, clips, college, DC, guns, health, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Election Ballot Measure Resuts from Across the USA, The Daily Show and Colbert Report for the Week of November 6th, 2010

This week was a big election week in the USA, there are a lot of news sources where you can find the individual results from the House of Representatives, the Senate and all the different Governors races across the country, but what really interests me is how each state carves out their own differences from one another. Many states had a number of different ballot measures up for a vote as well this past Tuesday. Here are a few of the general trends I noticed: marijuana ballot measures for partial legalization or even just for medical purposes failed across the country wherever proposed, taxes were generally lowered or proposed increases failed, veterans gained new tax advantages and some states passed constitutional limits on the federal healthcare mandate. Of all of these trends, I was most surprised that all the legalization of marijuana measures failed.

Here are the interesting results from the 2010 midterm election state-by-state thanks to the NY Times State-by-State election results (for more details check out the Ballotopedia’s page on all the 2010 ballot measures):

Arkansas: A constitutional limit was set for interest rates to 17%.

Alaska: Not exactly a ballot measure but a write-in, Lisa Murkowski is currently ahead in the district reporting and is projected to win. It just goes to show how important the right to vote is, each vote counts.

Arizona: A constitutional amendment preventing the mandate to purchase health insurance passed and legalization of marijuana for medical purposes failed.

California: Legalization of small quantities of marijuana for any purpose failed.

Colorado: Defining a “person” as starting at “beginning of the biological development” failed and a measure to prevent mandated health insurance failed, meaning that at this point Colorado will uphold the federal mandate to purchase health insurance.

Florida: Eliminates public campaign financing, relaxes limits on public school class sizes and calls for a federal balanced budget amendment.

Idaho: Allows University of Idaho to charge tuition now.

Illinois: Changes the process of recalling a governor through special election instead of via impeachment.

Kansas: Prevents the legislature from removing suffrage for the mentally ill.

Louisiana: Increases the property tax exemption for disabled veterans, while general limits to property tax increases failed.

Maine: Allows a new casino in Oxford County be built, voting rights for legal noncitizens in Portland failed.

Maryland: Baltimore‘s Orphan Court judges must now be bar members.

Massachusetts: Eliminates sales tax on alcohol, but attempts to reduce the sales tax from 6.25% to 3% failed.

Michigan: Prevents certain felons from holding elective office.

Missouri: A property tax exemption for disabled former prisoners of war passed, they prevented cities from using income taxes and prevented governments from collecting real-estate taxes.

Montana: Limits fees and rates for payday and other loans and continue to prohibit any new real estate taxes.

Nevada: Consolidated Reno and Sparks County governments.

New Jersey: Now dedicates state wage taxes to benefits only.

New Mexico: Fails to pass an extension of term limits for county officials to three terms instead of two terms, establishes a new scholarship program for veterans and a property tax exemption for veterans organizations also passed, they will now issue bonds for improvements to senior centers, library acquisitions and public schools, but not for public colleges. New Mexicans were VERY busy at the polls this week, if the people are voting directly on all these issues themselves, I wonder WHAT the local government is actually doing THEMSELVES.

New York: Returns city term limits to two terms.

North Carolina: Prevents felons from being elected sheriff.

North Dakota: Places oil and gas tax revenue in a trust fund while a measure to prevent hunting in fenced enclosures failed.

Oklahoma: Prohibits mandated purchase of health care, requires identification for voters, set term limits for statewide officials, makes English the language of official state actions and forbids the use of international law or Sharia law in state court decisions. This makes Oklahoma the first state in the US to forbid the use Sharia law in their courts.

Oregon: Expands eligibility of subsidized home loans for veterans, increases mandatory minimum sentences for sex crimes and DUIs, fails to allow sales of medical marijuana, prevents the building of a casino in Multnomah County, extends dedication of 15% of lottery proceeds to wildlife, water and recreation.

Rhode Island: Attempts to remove “and Providence Plantations” from official state name failed and issues bonds for higher education facilities, transportation and open-space projects.

South Dakota: Passed a measure ensuring the right to a private ballot in all elections, broadens their smoking ban, but their attempts at legalizing marijuana for medical purposes failed.

Utah: Affirmed the right to a secret ballot in all elections and passed a property tax exemption for nonprofit water operations.

Vermont: Changed their voting-age requirement (18) to only be applied at time of the general election.

Virginia: Passes a property-tax exemption for disabled veterans.

Washington: Attempts to remove the worker-paid share of health benefits failed, failed to increase the income tax on wealthy and lower other taxes, failed to close state liquor stores/deregulate liquor sales, ends certain sales and excise taxes and lowers food-processor taxes, while lastly fails to issue a bond for energy efficiency in schools.

Bipartisanship will remain dead as Republicans will not compromise, even after railing against Democrats for failure to work with them in compromising on issues… and once again Fox News attacks Obama for something he said that was milder things that Republicans had said previously.
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Jon interviews Chris Wallace from Fox News. Here is the extensive interview of them talking about political coverage from cable news:
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David Sedaris comes on The Daily Show to promote his new book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
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Jonathan Alter provides a different type of analysis about President Obama‘s first 2 years of the administration.
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Colbert interviews David Frum as he talks about the direction of the Republican party and how he does not think it is sustainable for the future of the Republican party.
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Doris Kearns Goodwin gives some presidential perspective to the last 2 political waves from the 2008 and 2010 elections.
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All I know is I hope Spider-man wins in Alaska as a write-in, unless it’s really Joe Miller in disguise.
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Here is an odd bit of muddled political commentary from Elvis Costello along with him performing a new song from his album, A Slow Drag With Josephine, and then a duet of All I Have to Do Is Dream with Stephen on The Colbert Report, not really my cup of tea except for the duet (1st video), but if you like it, get his new album National Ransom.
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Enjoy

Dany

November 7, 2010 1:49 am Posted by | Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, books, California, clips, DC, economy, Florida, health, Idaho, Illinois, Islam, Kansas, Law, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, medicine, Michigan, military, Missouri, Montana, music, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, NYC, Oklahoma, Oregon, politics, Religion, Rhode Island, South Dakota, tv, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Arizona Immigration and The Daily Show for the week of May 1st, 2010

The Daily Show has an interesting take on the Apple next generation iPhone appearance in the tech media, especially interesting with Jon Stewart being a huge Apple fan. Apple in 1984 was fighting the man and now in 2010 may have just BECOME the man.
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In this 3 part extended interview, Jon talks with Ken Blackwell, writer of The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency (buy it here), it’s an interesting discussion of rhetoric vs policy.
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Even though the US feels like it’s in perpetual election season these days, other countries hold campaigns and elections as well. The British are going through their first election cycle with US style TV debates and microphone gaffs now. Let’s see how things are going for them.
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The other major piece of news out of the US has been the immigration debate stemming from Arizona passing an immigration bill. Most news sources aren’t talking about what the impetus was for the boarder bill (read the bill here). Pretty much only the author of the bill, ABC (in 2009) and the guys on No Agenda (subscribe here): Phoenix, AZ has become the #2 city in the world for kidnappings, only behind Mexico City and the kidnappers have primarily been Mexican gangs. Now, I disagree with the way the bill has been written, but I do think that SOMETHING needs to be and boarder control isn’t unreasonable, I just think that there are serious problems with local police being tasked with asking for citizenship papers from people who look suspicious. I just wish that this was brought up as part of the debate on the immigration issue by more people.

Enjoy

Dany

May 3, 2010 1:03 pm Posted by | apple, Arizona, books, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, London, podcasts, politics, tv | Leave a comment