RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

This Week in The Daily Show and The Onion for May 22, 2011

I love how much effort goes into the stories The Onion come up with, whether it is from their Onion videos or their print stories, their stories are hilarious with biting humor. This week, they take on public education funding and being a political junkie myself, it was wonderful reading this article.

I love the juxtaposition between Common and Ted Nugent that Stewart makes. There sometimes is just no way to square the circles that FoxNews creates on a weekly basis.
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Jon Ronson has a book The Psychopath Test (buy it here). After just a couple of years of medical training, I sometimes forget what psychology knowledge isn’t common knowledge for the public. Watching this interview was a lot of fun for me.
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Annie Jacobsen authored a book on the goings on at Area 51 (buy it here) over the years. First off, no aliens, but President Clinton did have to petition for access to their records after being denied access… wait, I forgot, officially, Area 51 does not exist…
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Watching the depth and breadth of Newt Gingrich‘s fall from grace amongst his Republican peers after he pooh poohed Representative Paul Ryan‘s budget and Medicare plans was amazing to watch.  The sheer gall of him trying to blame Meet the Press and then later saying that using that appearance in advertisements against him or Republicans would be considered lies was just stunning.
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After the  extensive interview with David Barton earlier this month, here is an extended interview with Constitutional Scholar Richard Beeman to provide a different perspective on the history of how the Constitution has changed over the years though amendments and legal judgments over the years in America.
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Thanks to Jeff for finding the hilarious Onion article. Thanks to The Onion for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

May 22, 2011 4:56 pm Posted by | books, clips, DC, economy, education, health, Law, medicine, military, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Breaking News Osama Bin Laden Dead with This Week in the Daily Show and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Week of May 1st, 2011


Tonight there was breaking news that President Obama confirmed around 11:45pm on the night of May 1st: US forces have killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottaban, Pakistan and those forces now have custody of Bin Laden‘s body.

Here are the remarks from President Obama for the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, I must say, it has one of the best and most unexpected openings I would ever think a President would have, I felt like I was back watching wrestling back in the 1980’s.  Obama also makes fun of himself and his Vice President, Joe Biden, with a funny movie trailer.

Seth Meyers headlines the same dinner and in his 20 minutes he hits on things like a lack of birth certificate jokes, Arianna Huffington, Jon Hamm and Zach Galifianakis.

If polls of Republican and Democratic candidates 18 months prior to the election are so useless at predicting who will actually win the ultimate election, can we stop referring to them now? I guess we could fill all that dead airtime on all the 24 hour news networks with more footage of crazy cat videos.
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It’s interesting to see how the different protests during the local town hall meetings are shaking out, while some prominent Republicans are getting booed, some democrats have to sit through a protest with people who ultimately sing that they love the President… by the way, I am VERY confused by that last one.
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I heard about this interview with Gigi Ibrahim from No Agenda (subscribe here). I can’t believe that the story isn’t getting more press that Ibrahim was taught to do this from the American University in Cairo!
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Here is a nice tirade over the latest news regarding funding 9/11 first responder health treatments. My only comment is that if we are checking 9/11 responders on this, instead of getting mad about it, just check any group the government gives money or aid to against the terrorist watch list, so that we never get any scandals in the news about terrorists receiving aid money from the US government. Shouldn’t THAT be what we are avoiding?
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Elizabeth Warren comes back to explain again why she feels her new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is necessary and what has been happening since the agency was created. Currently, the agency takes effect this summer. You can track what her agency is doing at ConsumerFincance.gov
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William Cohan chronicles the history behind Goldman Sachs and how they are the best financial company to make money by exploiting everything possible that is legal.
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Thanks to the AP for the above photo.

Enjoy

Dany

May 2, 2011 12:07 am Posted by | clips, college, comedians, DC, economy, education, Egypt, Islam, London, Lybia, Middle East, military, New York, newspaper, NYC, photography, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | 1 Comment

This Week in The Daily Show for March 5th, 2011 and the New Dead Island Game Trailer

Here is a great find by the Daily Show team of how when the issue is people making over $250K/year in business with giant benefits packages, 24 hour news pundits feel one way, but once you knock more than $150k/year off their yearly earnings and call them teachers, they are now treated as scum.
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When it comes to unions, any deal where it becomes virtually impossible to fire workers is bad, just look at the NY teacher rubber rooms where bad teachers just sit in rooms away from students all day and wait years before their disciplinary hearings… but that doesn’t mean that unions are bad and should be abolished and if you can’t reneg on Wall Street bonus contracts, why is it rational to do just that with union contracts? If you want to join a union, you should have that option. Unions for the public sector though are a bit tricky because the government can’t really fold and the money the workers get paid are not the politician’s money, it belongs to the constituents of the state, so any deal an official makes to increase longterm benefits only comes into play years after they are no longer on the hook for making the deal, while in the private sector, the owners that agree to these contracts are on the hook if they make a bad deal because the business could fail and have to close its doors.
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Here is an interesting interview with the Jordanian Ambassador Prince Zeid Ra’ad. King Abdullah has already dismantled the previous government, but I don’t think anyone yet knows what will come of his changes. The prince brings up some interesting possibilities, like what happens if the region unfolds into a battle between the Sunni‘s and Shia‘s on top of between the middle eastern countries that have already modernized vs the more conservative countries.
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Here’s just a bit of the absurdity what’s going on in Libya. With Muammar Gaddafi seeming to have lost his mind, although I don’t know how recent an event that actually is.
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Allison Stanger tries to explain just how much money is flowing from the US government to military contractors for her new book One Nation Under Contract. One point she brings up is that because there was no military draft, that changed the political discussion over going into Iraq and how we probably would not have gone into Iraq like we did if a draft was a possibility.
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Diane Ravitch talks about how complicated the issue of education is. How we stack up worldwide and what poverty does to education. Her book is The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I still think there needs to be a better way in a lot of these school districts to get rid of bad teachers, but it’s hard to put all the blame on them without dealing with the issues behind why the kids are doing badly in school. Teachers can’t make kids go to school and they can’t make them do their homework, sometimes the blame for why children do poorly in school is because of their family or their family situation.
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Lastly on a different note, thanks to the 404 episode465 (subscribe here) for letting me know about the new Dead Island video game trailer. I know the game won’t end up looking like this ultimately, but it certainly has piqued my interest.

Enjoy

Dany

March 5, 2011 9:39 pm Posted by | books, clips, commercials, economy, education, food, Iraq, Law, Lybia, Middle East, military, New Jersey, podcasts, politics, Religion, tv, video games, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for February 21, 2010

It would be interesting if the recent revolutions in TunisiaYemen, Egypt and many other countries in the region, lead the people if Iran to be able topple the government that they couldn’t topple after their last election.
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January Jones (who does a great job on Mad Men, but I still have yet to see their latest season) is just cute as a button as she promotes her new movie Unknown (and you know how that worked out for me from my last post when I went to see the preview for it).
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So far, proposals to cut the budget have only dealt with non-defense and non-medicare/medicaid/social security. The problem is that when you combine all those spending programs, that makes up over 80% of all federal government spending, so any cuts in spending not related to those programs, is just shaving off the top layer of snow from the iceberg that sunk the titanic. Until both parties get together and start talking about real spending cuts to the rest of the 80% of government spending (like how congress just voted to cut a military spending program on the F-35 fighter jet that the military did not even want anymore), all this is just one big kabuki theater. Although I must say, John Hodgman‘s got some interesting fiscal ideas!
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John interviews Republican State Leadership Committee Ed Gillespie. I think I will miss Michael Steele being the spotlight Republican organizer, because even though I don’t agree with some of Mr. Gillespie’s conclusions, he is much more measured and interesting to listen to.
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David Albright attempts to explain to Colbert the Stuxnet program, the damage it caused and what it could mean in terms of potential war… with a lot of help from Christiane Amanpour.
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It is time to celebrate another edition of Tip of My Hat/Wag of My Finger. Colbert tackles such issues as the sale of the Huffington Post to AOL, wales and trash tv.
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I love when secret memos get leaked out, especially when it makes news organizations seem petty and stupid. Thanks Fox News!
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Clarence Thomas is again in the news, he has an illustrious history of scandal in the news, but any time a high profile lawyer/judge has problems filling out legal documents, it makes the news.
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Jeffrey Leonard tries to explain how many big businesses are increasingly paying their small business contractors for their services anywhere from 30-90 days later than the small businesses have to pay for their own costs and how this change is really hurting the ability of small businesses from running efficiently, growing and hiring new people themselves.
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Enjoy

Dany

February 21, 2011 3:10 pm Posted by | clips, DC, economy, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Israel, Law, Middle East, movies, politics, tv, Washington, Washington DC, Yemen | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for the Week of January 30th, 2010

Megyn Kelly‘s view of Fox News’ coverage does not seem very well backed up by print or video evidence. I will just assume she missed all those different Nazi references on her own network… sadly this does not excuse Rep. Steve Cohen for using that type of rhetoric himself earlier this month though. Nice report Wyatt Cenac. The next day Jon Stewart calls Bill O’Reilly out on how HE took offense to Jon calling Megyn Kelly out on her previous statement out. Just as a by-the-by, I had no idea that Ms Kelly was a practicing lawyer.
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This may be the saddest piece on the Daily Show, that the historic town of Turkey Creek could only gather enough political power to appeal to the government once they got the bird lovering Audubon society on their side. Oh and shame on you Al Sharpton for not helping more with the issue or at least even seeming sympathetic about this issue.
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I disliked most of the Spider-Man movies, but I have liked James Franco in Pineapple Express, I have not gotten to see 127 Hours yet though. Here he talks about how he heard about his Oscar nomination.
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Jonathan Alter has a new book, The Promise, that looks at the first year of the Obama administration. Alter talks a lot about jus how badly President Obama and staff were at communicating to the public during that first year in office.
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T. Boone Pickens talks in this extended interview about his plan to get the US off of OPEC oil with his 10 year plan, even though he thought 2 years ago it was the same 10 year plan. He wants to get the US off OPEC oil with natural gas, two years ago he talked a lot more about wind power though. I just don’t know how he can say that he’s never seen any sort of damage coming from fraking though, he never gives a solid answer to the documentaries with flamable water in local faucets after fracking. Pickens does not seem to make sense, he says everyone is in and that it’s a non-partisan issue, but no one in the US government seems to be talking about it. It takes til the end of the 20+ minutes to get to the meat of the issue, one big reason nothing has moved forward with his energy plan is that energy companies are not yet convinced to give up their golden goose just yet.
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Stephen Colbert absorbs Keith Olbermann‘s audience and power after finding out that Keith’s show is over… only to experience some deleterious effects.
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Hey, you can move to Utah now and kill any suspicious animal wandering around you, by clubbing it to death, decapitating it or shooting it, as long as you have a reasonable belief that it is feral… sounds like a great way to spend Saturday night and possibly build a personal history of conduct disorder leading to a future payoff of antisocial personality disorder! THANKS State Rep. Curtis Oda.
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Daryl Bem‘s recent study shows that when people are being shown erotic images, they can predict which window that image will reveal said erotic image, at a rate of just over 53% compared to just under a 50% prediction for a neutral image.
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If you didn’t have a reason to avoid fast food. Here’s Taco Bell defending their beef taco filling even if it contains less than 35% meat, instead of the government mandated minimum of 40%… I guess in the future you might see Taco Bell selling their new beefoid burrito. Who wouldn’t want the non-harmful but also non-advantageous silicon dioxide (sand) in their food? Just don’t inhale it, it’s bad for the lungs, but so would other foods.
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I hope Brian Greene‘s new book, The Hidden Reality, explains how I could be “a bag of particles governed by the laws of physics.” The idea that math describes the possibility of alternate universes is intriguing. We still need some sort of experimental evidence, but I have no idea how we would go about obtaining that evidence. I wonder how this compares to predictive porn research, don’t you?
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Enjoy

Dany

January 31, 2011 4:06 am Posted by | astronomy, books, brain, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, movies, politics, science, sex, tv, Utah, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

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

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 23rd, 2010

It’s the end of Michael Steele‘s time heading the RNC, his tenure brought poor election results during the presidential election in 2008, but good election results in 2010, but at the same time massive debt for the RNC. I am not sure if overall that is so good for the RNC, it looks like it’s up to Reince Priebus to bring in massive fundraising to pay off that debt and he needs to bring back integrity to the organization, which isn’t hard to do as long as he doesn’t spend any money at gentlemen’s clubs like Michael Steele did previously.
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Peter Bergen has a new book, The Longest War, about the war in Afghanistan. He has an interesting view of al Qaeda and the Afghanistan War. I don’t know if I agree with his logic, but he is interesting nonetheless.
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I hate defending Sarah Palin, especially when she’s complaining about and insulting people LIKE ME, even going so far as calling people like me, people with almost no standards. I will say this, there is no evidence that Sarah Palin, her crosshair imagery and colorful language about being “up in arms” or anything else she has done in any way lead to or contributed to the Tucson shooting, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her. Every time I have to defend her though, it makes me mad, because she would just as well consider me a left leaning loon and dismiss my opinions and morals at the drop of a hat. Watch the video below of her if you don’t believe me.
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If you like science, exploration and the bleeding edge of new research, you will probably enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s new PBS series Nova Science Now, on exploring the pressing questions of current scientific research.
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It looks like ailing states and cities are going broke, with cuts to public services like the police department, fire department, public schools and the addition of legalized gambling and bringing us that much closer to THUNDERDOME… sounds like a good time to ask the federal government for a bail out since only state and local governments have to balance their budgets each year, while the federal government does not have this responsibility yearly. I doubt it would go very far any time soon with a Republican controlled House of Representatives and the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke squelching rumors of a Fed bailout of states and local governments, but it might open the door to some interesting solutions proposed. Also the 2nd video is Stephen talking with Christine Todd Whitman about the state budget crisis around the US.
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How long will it take for politicians speaking out for bringing people from different parties together based on how similar we all are to make a complete U-turn? I guess if you are Rep. Steve Cohen… about 1 week before pulling out the Nazi card.
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Kambiz Hosseini & Saman Arbabi from the underground Iranian satirical show Parazit. Watch it here if you are interested in Iranian politics.
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It sounds like Dan Burton wants Congressmen lavished with pope-mobile stylish dome protection… this is so sad.
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I spent a lot of my limited patience defending Sarah Palin above, but THIS is how you deal with Palin fatigue Mika Brzezinski!
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Disintegration of schools is a very odd issue, but I don’t know how good or bad an idea it is just from polling of parental satisfaction of the system. I would want to see some test score data to see how well these school children are performing, but the idea of disintegrating the schools, just based on the idea that social engineering of public schools is a bad idea is just more social engineering to solve what may not even be a problem.
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Forever Lazy looks like the next step down the road to America completely losing all touch with style, effort and a lean body shape.
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Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan talked about his father as president and how they engaged in political discussions, the book is Ron Reagan My Father at 100.
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Chris Matthews talks about how JFK impacted him growing up and how he is in the process of writing a book about former President Kennedy.
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Enjoy

Dany

January 24, 2011 3:00 am Posted by | astronomy, books, censorship, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, Middle East, nature, politics, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in News, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for December 12th, 2010

President Clinton gives a 3omin press conference to support the tax deal that President Obama and Congressional Republicans recentyl made. I don’t like the deal, but I am more partisan than either the current or former President, so I think the deal should pass and the sooner that happens, the more likely other bills can also get greased through to the President’s desk finally. It also shows that Bill Clinton is STILL the best spokesman in politics today.
I can’t embed this video, so watch it here on CSPAN.

Oh how I love getting offended by nothing, especially around Christmas.
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Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Hugh Shelton, has some very interesting stories, but for me, none more interesting than how Veterans Affairs doctors cured his paralysis after a fall and head injury, thanks to Jeff Lang raising his blood pressure for several hours. His new book is Without Hesitation.
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When is printing money not printing money? I guess when Ben Bernanke says so!
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Seth Green promoting Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode III, which I think I need to see… NOW!
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Obama’s getting annoyed with his own base.
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Steve Martin gets grilled by Stephen Colbert as he promotes his new book.
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Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers comments on Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
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Enjoy

Dany

December 13, 2010 5:37 pm Posted by | books, cartoons, clips, DC, economy, health, Law, medicine, military, movies, politics, tv, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show and Colbert Report for December 4th, 2010

It’s nice to know that the biggest revelation coming from the latest wikileaks file release basically consists of international cattyness and information that we basically already knew.
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Can we finally end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell already? If they are already there, let them stay, they already want to volunteer to do the job that other Americans didn’t want to do. I don’t know what battle Senator McCain is fighting, but while he keeps fighting against his old views, this issue just won’t die. Last time I checked, America has a civilian controlled military, all these surveys about what the soldiers think is trumped up anyway, the way our Constitution is written, if the civilian government wants to change the rules for the military, it is their decision to make and I hope they decide to repeal DADT, it is time.
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Sarah Palin may be the most reported on twitterer on mainstream news… Is that a good thing?
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Here is an interesting interview with Stacy Schiff, the author of the new book Cleopatra: A Life… I only found out this month that Cleopatra wasn’t Egyptian, but of Greek/Macedonian decent!
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Beware a Frankenbride that nobody recognizes anymore… also, go to buylife.org to donate to AIDS research.
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Colbert interviews Dan Savage as he promotes his campaign to spread the word at itgetsbetter.org to LGBT youths after all the news about recent suicides in the community. Savage even gets Colbert to agree to do an It Gets Better PSA.
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Product placement is annoying and can really take you out of a movie or tv show, but there comes a point when the placement lasts so long and is so blatant that it goes beyond bad and back to amazing… I think soap operas now have hit that point. Why not, the whole name soap opera was thus named because soap companies were originally trying to sell their products to housewives.
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Colbert interviews David Stockman, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration. He is promoting the idea of letting the tax cuts expire while cutting spending on defense.
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Enjoy

Dany

December 4, 2010 2:18 am Posted by | books, clips, DC, economy, gay, Law, military, politics, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Super Mario Audiobook Miniature, The Daily Show and Colbert Report Roundup for the Week of November 13th, 2010

I came across this audio short story from the Podcastle series (subscribe here) called Mario’s Three Lives. Anyone who grew up playing the Mario franchise of games should enjoy this 8min short audio story, I know I did! How can you go wrong with any story rated Rated PG “for plumbers, philosophy, and good ol’ fashioned shrooms?” The story is by Matt Bell:
Mario’s Three Lives

Jon Stewart comments on all the people commenting on his Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, then about Keith Olbermann’s suspension. Later in the week Jon Stewart sats down for Rachel Maddow to interview him for 50min. He talks about the reaction to his recent rally in Washington, DC. He then talks about how he tries to see the political news as a climate scientist compared to the 24hr cable news channels that seem to only report the weather. It’s a great interview.
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Debunking the huge costs that Glenn Beck and Fox News commented on, which probably costs more like ~$5million/day, what’s being wrong by overestimating costs by ~$195million/day when you can insult President Obama‘s decision making for a week? Thanks to Factcheck.org and Snopes for the sourcing of RATIONAL numbers, I’ll take their sourcing over an “anonymous Indian official” any day.
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Texas Governor Rick Perry does an extended interview to promote his new book Fed Up! I must say, he is quite riveting and learned person to listen to, but I am also glad that he is not my governor.
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All I can say is, who knew that Obama lost his dancing shoes somewhere between his inauguration and today?
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I didn’t know I wanted a McRib, but I doubt President Bush will and Harrison Ford agrees with me (that’s right, Han Solo/Indiana Jones agrees with ME) while he promotes his new movie Morning Glory. The next night Jon shows all the different places President Bush was interviewed recently.
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Rosario Dawson seems so lovely, her new movie is Unstoppable and congratulations on breaking ground on the new Girls Club in Manhattan!
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Who knew Mick Foley was such a prolific writer, his new book Countdown to Lockdown is his 9th!
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I don’t know how Rand Paul can say there are no rich, poor or middle class, that just blows my mind. It will be interesting to see how this libertarian and Tea Party member governs over the next couple of years.
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Abbe Lowell helps explain how likely it is that in 2011 there will be a lot of investigations in the House of Representatives.
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I must agree, it would be very convenient when I needed to get me a crab, to buy it from a vending machine… THANKS CHINA!
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I know I don’t usually do music, it’s not my thing, but this week, there seems to be quite a bit of it. If you like music, you’ve gotta hear Quincy Jones, he has a new book Q on Producing and a new album Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.
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Cee Lo Green has this dirty little song on his new album The Lady Killer, so if you don’t want to hear or read the explicit language. just stop here… OK, for everyone else, the song is called Fuck You (music video). He does an interview with Colbert, then performs said song below, again, beware the foul language. He sounds a bit like Gnarls Barkley… just way more cursing.
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Enjoy

Dany

November 13, 2010 2:42 pm Posted by | audiobooks, books, China, clips, comedians, crazy celebs, DC, economy, guns, Iraq, Middle East, movies, music, music videos, newspaper, podcasts, politics, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment