RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for January 9th, 2011

Hmm, we now have birds falling from the sky and dead fish washing ashore in Arkansas. Here are a few links to recent articles about this thanks to No Agenda episodes 266-268
(story1, story2, story3, story4, subscribe to No Agenda here)
Vodpod videos no longer available.

I love the metaphor of Barack Obama as Luke Skywalker, it’s geektastic!
Vodpod videos no longer available.

I am guessing that San Francisco is going to get sued over forcing McDonald’s to change the food they serve to healthier Happy Meals in order to serve it with a toy, it seems like government overreach into the private sector to me and councilman Eric Mar does not seem to do a good job explaining how they have the authority for this law to be legal. I wish McDonald’s would offer healthier options for their Happy Meals when they give out toys, diabetes has already become a major problem and it is only getting worse for more and more children and adults in the US and worldwide, but this type of government law does not seem to be the way to go about fixing this problem.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here are some choice segments from the debate over who will run the Republican National Committee and I was also surprised that anyone on Fox News would point out that everyone hates Michael Steele. Stephen Colbert also gets some ribbing in at Reince Priebus‘ expense.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here is Jon’s interview with NY senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, after listening to her, I am glad she’s one of my senators from NY, I don’t usually get to hear from her, she generally does her work behind the scenes.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Goldman Sachs is investing $450 million into Facebook and it will allow it to seem like a single investor as they then sell these shares to their own clients, thus delaying when Facebook has to file with the SEC, as there is an SEC rule for revealing a company’s financial information once they have 500 shareholders or more. Ahh, I love breaking the spirit of the law by only following it to the letter… Facebook will instead release their financial information to the public at latest in April, 2012.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

The idea of gold and silver as legal tender has been making a comeback and now with new committee subchair Ron Paul, we may see some interesting ways where he tries to weaken or at least make more transparent, the Federal Reserve. Stephen even interviews Congressman Ron Paul and David Leonhardt about this in the second clip.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto, is now out in paperback. He is a very interesting doctor who also periodically writes for The New Yorker, you can read his articles here.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s sad when Bill O’Reilly’s argument for God’s existence can be debunked by an elementary science lesson, thanks Neil deGrasse Tyson!
Vodpod videos no longer available.

As of right now, when we try and manipulate telomerase to reverse aging, we end up causing cancers to form. New research in mice may help us better understand when to manipulate telomerase to increase vitality, hopefully without increasing the risk of cancer. Stephen interviews Dr. Ronald DePinho about this after some of his new research on this issue has garnered the media spotlight.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Enjoy

Dany

Advertisements

January 10, 2011 3:17 am Posted by | Arkansas, books, California, clips, DC, health, Law, medicine, movies, nature, newspaper, podcasts, politics, Religion, science, 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.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Jon interviews Chris Wallace from Fox News. Here is the extensive interview of them talking about political coverage from cable news:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

David Sedaris comes on The Daily Show to promote his new book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Jonathan Alter provides a different type of analysis about President Obama‘s first 2 years of the administration.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Doris Kearns Goodwin gives some presidential perspective to the last 2 political waves from the 2008 and 2010 elections.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

All I know is I hope Spider-man wins in Alaska as a write-in, unless it’s really Joe Miller in disguise.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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

10 Year Old Arkansas Boy Won’t Stand for the American Pledge of Allegience Until Gays have Equal Rights to Marry

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A 10 year old Arkansas boy, Will Phillips, has refused to stand for the American Pledge of Allegiance and in the video above from CNN, he states that he refused to conform until everyone in the US had equal rights and in his mind, that means that everyone in the US, gay or straight, should be allowed to marry if they want.

It is always interesting to actually hear the opinion directly from child on national issues, as opposed to how some members of congress represent the views of children, even if his classmates call him a “gay-wad” for his stance… ahh, I remember 5th grade soooooo well now.

On a more serious note though, most interviewers talking about this issue, bring up the fact that in many of the places where gay marriage comes up for a vote in a state election, the people have tended to vote down that right, then it gets stated that the democratic process has spoken in these cases, but one issue that many people forget is that the United States is not a democracy, but a representative democracy. We are supposed to be electing officials democratically and it’s those officials who are supposed to present legislation and vote on such issues themselves and if we don’t like the laws they are creating, we as citizens are supposed to vote them out of office at the next election cycle. Now, based on the timidness of our current core of representatives toward major social changes like this, I don’t know if going back to that process would actually HELP forward the cause of gay rights, but I don’t like voting for issues at the ballot box. I would much prefer to vote for smart people who can contemplate such important and difficult issues, then I can evaluate my elected officials on how I think they handled those debates and issues… I know, I know, it’s way too Mr. Smith Goes to Washington optimistic, but a man can dream, can’t he?

Thanks to Brian for sharing the above video!

Enjoy

Dany

*Update 2009-11-22 – The Daily Show and Mick Foley weigh in on the boy who would not pledge:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

November 17, 2009 2:08 pm Posted by | Arkansas, clips, DC, Law, newspaper, politics, tv | Leave a comment