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Dany's RaaD Roundup

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

Helen Thomas Tells Her Story to Playboy

A little bit of time has passed since Helen Thomas has left the White House Press Corps and recently Playboy wanted to get her side of the story about what happened, along with that though, they got a great retrospective of her time at the White House covering almost 1/4 of the Presidents of the United States (the last 10 Presidents). I don’t know what to think about Helen Thomas, she is a great reporter who said some things that I didn’t agree with, but I still think she should be sitting up front in the White House Press Corps asking the tough questions that no one seems to ask anymore. Sadly, I agree with her view of the current state of journalism in the US.

This is a great in depth interview with her, check out the Playboy interview here (or here).

To get an idea, here are of my favorite exchanges:

PLAYBOY: So is this how you pictured retirement?

THOMAS: I’m not retired! I was fired. In fact, I’ll die with my boots on. I’m still writing and I’ll continue to write and ask hard questions. I will never bow out of journalism.

PLAYBOY: Take us back to the White House courtyard on May 27 when Rabbi David Nesenoff pointed his camera at you and asked for your comments on Israel.

THOMAS: He pulled that thing out like a jackknife. I mean, he started out very nice, introducing me to these two young boys who wanted to be in journalism. He said, “Got any advice? Go for it.” I didn’t know it was Jewish Heritage Month, which is why he was at the White House and also why he asked “So what do you think of Israel?” That’s when I said, “They should get the hell out of Palestine.”

PLAYBOY: Did you realize how controversial those words were as you spoke them?

THOMAS: I knew I’d hit the third rail. You cannot say anything about Israel in this country. But I’ve lived with this cause for many years. Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist—but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. Why shouldn’t I say it? I knew exactly what I was doing—I was going for broke. I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up.

PLAYBOY: What was life like in the immediate aftermath as millions started viewing the video on YouTube?

THOMAS: I went into self-imposed house arrest for two weeks. It was a case of “know thyself.” Isn’t that what Socrates said? I wanted to see if I was remorseful—and I wasn’t.

PLAYBOY: Did the phone ring off the hook?

THOMAS: No. Nobody called. But I still have some friends in the White House press pool, who reached out to me. I understand they formed Jews for Helen Thomas at one point.

PLAYBOY: That’s interesting.

THOMAS: I also heard from Jimmy Carter. He called a few weeks later.

PLAYBOY: Has there ever been an honest press secretary?

THOMAS: Jerry terHorst. He lasted one month. He was President Ford’s press secretary. He had covered Ford in Washington. He had been here for 29 years as a reporter from the Grand Rapids paper and then The Detroit News. He understood the press. But he was incapable of lying, and he quit when Ford pardoned Nixon, on the very day. He couldn’t take it. Poor Jerry Ford. He just wasn’t ready to be president. He had prepared himself to be Speaker of the House and stepped into those shoes okay, but he just wasn’t equipped for the big job. We saw that Betty Ford struggled too, of course.”

Thanks to Playboy for the above pic, to Firetown for the pic below of Helen Thomas Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS and to No Agenda (subscribe here) for informing me about this interview.

Enjoy

Dany

March 21, 2011 12:45 pm Posted by | DC, Iraq, Israel, magazines, Middle East, military, newspaper, Palestine, photography, podcasts, politics, Religion, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

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)
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I love the metaphor of Barack Obama as Luke Skywalker, it’s geektastic!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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Enjoy

Dany

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

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

Tech Roundup for the Week, Roger Ebert’s New Voice, US National Broadband Internet, Apple vs Google and even Nanomicrochips Inside Living Cells

There were a few interesting technology related stories I came across while sifting through Engadget recently, so I thought I would share what I found.

First, Roger Ebert, one of the most profound and prolific film reviewers in history has had many medical problems of late, thankfully he is still with us and reviewing films again, the problem is after all his health ordeals, he was left without a lower jaw and unable to speak… until now with some interesting help from CereProc. Here is the Engadget article, but just watch the video below, it’s hard to deny that this is an amazing step forward in science:

Recently, the FCC submitted its National Broadband Plan (download the pdf) to Congress, which includes a laundry list of goals for the next decade, essentially to provide access for “every American” to “robust broadband services,” meaning 100 million US homes with “affordable” access with 100MBps download and 50Mbps upload speeds, which sounds wonderful, but let’s see what their definition of affordable turns out to be. Here is the Engadget story with the reactions from Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Google and Comcast executives.

The above illustration is from Daniel Adel of the New York Times and it adds to the hyperbole around the idea that Google and Apple chief executives that were once close are now at war, iPhone/iPad vs Android. Here is the Endadget article that goes into the details.

Lastly, it looks like we’re on the road to implanting microprocessors… or in this case even smaller nanoprocessors into living cells. At this point, current research has been able to obtain 90% cell survival after such a dramatic procedure. It will be interesting to see where this ultimately takes us in the coming decades. Here is the Engadget story along with the original research article by Gómez-Martínez R.

Enjoy

Dany

March 18, 2010 9:43 pm Posted by | apple, art, cartoons, clips, crazy celebs, DC, economy, Law, movies, nature, newspaper, politics, science, software, technology, vaporware, Verizon, 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

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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:

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

The Daily Show Weekly Roundup

In my constant attempt to keep up with the week’s absurd news, it’s time again for my Daily Show roundup for the week of October 12th, 2009:

CNN‘s constant lack of actually digging deep into any issues or arguments, but instead, just leaving it there.
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A DC protest is only as good as who is actually protesting and apparently none of the major cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC and Fox News) found a gay rights march on Washington, DC worthy of as much airtime as the tea party protests.
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John Oliver spends over 10% of The Daily Show‘s airtime (over 3 minutes of a 30 minute show) covering the gay rights protest in DC.
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Giant baby gets denied health insurance and apparently Senator Olympia Snowe is the savior of Health Care?
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When both Republicans and Democrats were outraged at ACORN with their latest 2009 undercover video scandal and passed a bill to defund them, the reaction from 30 Republican Senators to further clean up government contracts with Senator Al Franken‘s bill against keeping contracts with companies that squelch lawsuits by victims of rape is the worst show of hypocrisy, but I am glad the bill ultimately passed.
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H1N1 Swine Flu, what’s more dangerous this year, getting sick with the flu, getting the flu vaccine, that there might not be enough flu vaccine for everyone this year or should we just FEAR EVERYTHING for fear’s (or cable news’) sake?
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As the RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, attempts to revamp the image of his party, he not only inadvertently condescends to the black community, youth and a tech savvy generation, he ends up turning himself into the much maligned Microsoft Clippy and reveals that the RNC has no unified focus or message to build on.
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Enjoy

Dany

October 17, 2009 3:12 pm Posted by | clips, DC, medicine, newspaper, politics, science, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The George Washington University, The Top Twittering College… Also THE Most Expensive College (Update: NOT the most expensive anymore!)

Well, not only has my alma matter, The George Washington University, remained the MOST EXPENSIVE college/university in the USA, according to CNN Money, but it’s now the #1 Twittering college/university. The coolest part though is the Washington Post article points out that this was a trait noticed by our current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates during lectures they gave to GWU students! I loved my time at GWU, I miss Washington, DC now.

Thanks to Brian for sending this article, he didn’t even GO to GWU! Also, thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the above pic.

Enjoy

Dany

*Update 10/15/2009 – Here is the official event details that brought both Hilary Clinton and Robert M. Gates to GWU, along with the video:

*Update 1/11/2010 – I’m happy to announce that The George Washington University is NO LONGER the most expensive college in the USA! Thanks must go to Sarah Lawrence College, Georgetown University and New York University for being $200-4000 dollars more expensive than The George Washington University!… sadly, Washington DC college students leave school with the highest level of debt in the USA! Which is reported by the Project on Student Debt.

October 13, 2009 10:45 pm Posted by | college, DC, lectures, New York, newspaper, NYC, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

Bill to Define Marriage for Washington DC to Go to Congress

I can’t believe that it is almost halfway into 2009 and we are still arguing about defending marriage. Congress has presented a bill to define marriage as between one man and one woman in Washington, DC. This came about because the DC city council recently decided to recognize same sex marriages that couples obtained from other parts of the country where same sex marriage was legal. Congress has ultimate say over the laws in Washington, DC so to follow up their 1996 federal defense of marriage act, some conservative members want to extend this definition to The District as well.

It is hard to believe that with all the progress we have made in recent years that we are still so close minded at times. It is the same representatives who want big government out of their personal affairs behind the closed doors of their own homes that want to prevent two people from getting married because they don’t happen to be a man and a woman. The idea of a government being able to explicitly tell me who I could not marry seems like the definition of a big overreaching government to me. If our government wants to define marriage, the only definition I would support is that: Marriage should be between two consenting adults.

I used to live in Washington, DC for years and I would hate to see it regress to a city where separate but equal was still in existence, only instead of it being in regard to the school system, it referred to the rights of couples.  I know this message does not had much power, but I am including a link here so you can find the contact information for your congressional representative, so make sure you let them know how you feel about this issue, I hope you agree with me, but if you don’t, let your representative know that too. I am about to contact my member of Congress right now.

Just remember, gay rights is also a national security issue as well. Every year dozens of qualified and willing US soldiers are discharged because they reveal they are gay, even when they are Arabic translators or are willing to be redeployed to the battlefield. If Democrats were smart, they would be out front on this issue to show that they are strong on national security and anyone who is against gay rights is really hurting our national defense at the same time.

Thanks to Jeff for the link to this Washington Times article and thanks to Salon for the above pic.

Dany

*Update 22 May 2009: My NY reprepresentative in the House, Carolyn B. Maloney is against this bill and supports equal rights for all couples, so that makes me a bit happier.

May 22, 2009 5:05 pm Posted by | DC, Law, newspaper, politics, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

FAIL Newspaper Edition

Exposing failure is huge on the internet now and for some, it’s even become a revered badge of honor. I’ve seen a lot of failures, but this one that I found thanks to the amazingly funny Jefferson takes the cake. He even introduced me to the failblog because of this and I’ve posted (below) a more recent epic failure they found.

Enjoy

Dany

November 20, 2008 11:31 pm Posted by | Law, newspaper | Leave a comment