RaaD Movies, News and Technology

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

The Daily Show and Colbert Report for December 19th, 2010

It is rather amazing that the Republicans can still balk at the idea of passing the 9/11 first responder health bill especially after all the negative health effects facing those first responders. Well, here is just some of the outrage and video montages put together this week on this issue:
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Former Governor and Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, promotes his book, Can’t Wait Till Christmas.
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Former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, promotes his new book Beyond the Crash. He talks about global demand or current lack thereof and financial markets.
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Ricky Gervais is just insanely funny and he has a new HBO standup special, Out of England 2.
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Hmm, what would you do with a Goldman Sachs MasterCard? Thanks Buckley T. Ratchford for losing your credit card for the Colbert staff to find on the street.
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Stephen tackles gay marriage so you don’t have to by interviewing lawyer David Boies.
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All I can say is that Colbert won Twitter for 2010. He won the first Golden Tweet from Biz Stone.
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Stephen Sondheim promotes his book Finishing the Hat and explains how his first musical was edited.
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Pancakes are going to be the terrorist scourge of of 2011 since they are invisible to TSA x-ray scanners.
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Enjoy

Dany

December 21, 2010 2:33 am Posted by | books, clips, DC, health, Law, London, medicine, New York, NYC, politics, technology, travel, 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

This Week in News with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for October 16th, 2010

This week there was a walk off by Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg when Bill O’Reilly came on The View to promote Pinheads and Patriots, when he said Muslims attacked us on 9/11, but I searched for the video of the ENTIRE segment because when you watch the entire 14 minute segment, instead of just the standard 5 minute version of the video that is circulating the internet. The FULL version shows that the walk off was much ado about nothing, and I agree with Barbara Walters that it should not have happened because political discussions should commence in a way that people don’t just blow up and walk away, we should be able to talk out our differences civilly. Shortly after the ladies walked off stage, Bill O’Reilly amended what he originally said to rearticulate his point in a way that even the most knee-jerk liberal could agree with. All in all, it’s a non-story, if anything, showing just how uncivil our discussions on politics have become. I agree with O’Reilly‘s final, amended, stance on the 9/11 attack and who attacked America. Thanks Devon for telling my about this event.
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Elections are coming up in November, so it’s always fun to hear about all the unforced political errors, from the likes of Carl Paladino or Jerry Brown.
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Johnny Knoxville‘s new Jackass 3D is going to be screening at the Museum Of Modern Art, in NYC, just for THAT, I had to add this interview from The Daily ShowMOMA!!!!
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When the money could be coming from extremist Muslims, that’s apparently worse for Fox News than if money was coming from China… interesting.
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Eric Cantor, promoting his new book Young Guns did an extended interview, where Representative Cantor and John have a great debate over where government should be spending money. If the Republicans take over the House after the November election
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Condoleezza Rice promotes her book Extrordinary Ordinary People where she shares her view of just how important an education is to give the best chance at success in life. Now that is a message I can get behind. I just wish that it wasn’t so expensive to actually get that type of solid education.
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Here is a wonderful interview with the hilariously dark David Rakoff. Who knew talking about cancer could be so funny? He wrote the book Half Empty, which he was in the middle of writing when he found out he had a tumor.
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Stephen Colbert looks at how much of a threat Islam is for schools, soup and breakfast and it’s hilarious.
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Colbert reviews The Secret History of MI6 and all their… juicy secrets.
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Colbert interviews Austan Goolsbee, the new chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors
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The transitive property rarely makes it into comedy acts, but I guess anything is possible when Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell are involved.
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GOATS ARE TAKING AMERICAN JOBS! In this case, the scapegoats… are actual goats. There are very few times in history when goats were being scapegoated, unless you count when goats assassinated Archduke Ferdinand.
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Enjoy

Dany

October 16, 2010 8:52 pm Posted by | art, books, China, clips, DC, Delaware, economy, health, Islam, New York, NYC, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Daily Show Recap for August 28th, 2010

It has been a while since I’ve done a Daily Show roundup. Here are a few select stories from the past week:

Jon Stewart points out that the man FoxNews’ morning show Fox & Friends has been railing against (Alwaleed bin Talal) for funding the Imam that wants to build a mosque near the World Trade Center is also the same man who is the largest shareholder in Fox News’ parent News Corp outside of Rupert Murdoch’s family as well as being someone invited to meetings with former President G.W. Bush.
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Here is a clip of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on Fox News showing the connection that Fox News has with the man they now rail against without naming him specifically
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After Rod Blagojevich was convicted on 1 count of lying to the FBI, he does an extended interview with Jon here
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Before I talk about this next clip about the Dr. Laura “scandal,” let me just say,  this annoying story is just another example of a public figure confusing the difference between the 1st amendmant’s right to free speech and what most people confuse that right to mean. The 1st amendment does not give the right to say whatever you want and then expect no one to get mad or offended when you exercise their right to free speech. The 1st ammendment guarantees that the government will not punish you for exercising the freedom to speak your mind. Just like you have the right to free speech, others have the right to be mad at the words you say.

Here is an interesting look at how Sarah Palin reacted to the whole Dr. Laura N-word story and a way to say a bunch of funny ethnic slurs on air, so if you don’t want to hear a plethura of slurs, don’t watch this next clip (don’t tell me I didn’t warn you)
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Isabella Rossellini FRIGHTENS us with a new bed bugs PSA she made with the Sundance channel (watch it in it’s entirety here)
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Glenn Beck seems to just be crazy, basically saying to fight the government and do what he says.
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Here is a fun and lighthearted interview with the mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg and he talks about the NYC mosque issue and just how diverse the neighborhood is around the World Trade Center site.
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Enjoy

Dany

Stewart points out that the man Fox

News has been railing against for funding the Imam that

wants to build a Mosque near the WTC is also the same man

who is the largest shareholder in Fox’s parent NewsCorp

outside of Murdock’s family.

August 28, 2010 2:36 pm Posted by | clips, crazy celebs, DC, Law, movies, New York, NYC, politics, Religion, tv | Leave a comment

The Daily Show Roundup for the Week of July 2nd

The first half of the David Axelrod interview, actually, the only part that made it to air was pretty boring, here are the links (part1, part2) in case you want to see it, but the internet unedited version is a lot more substantial and interesting, so here is that 13+minutes of the interview
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Everyone blames previous administrations, it seems to just be a part of politics as usual. Obama supporters blame Bush, Bush‘s people blame Clinton, hell, let’s just blame Clinton and Jimmy Carter for the Gulf oil spill too!
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Joe Biden is just a gaffe machine, I’d say more, but that pretty much sums it up
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It’s sad that for someone to become a member of the Supreme Court, you basically have to now have no prior opinion on anything… except that a Jewish Christmas should be spent at a Chinese restaurant.
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Olivia Munn is back helping us understand what it means that we uncovered families of Russian spies in America
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Here is an interesting interview with Jere Van Dyk, a journalist captured for 45 days by the Taliban
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Enjoy

Dany

July 4, 2010 1:30 am Posted by | clips, DC, economy, Law, Louisiana, New York, NYC, politics, Religion, tv, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in The Daily Show for May 15th, 2010

I used to think that the term “a perfect storm” was only used for rare, unexpected, horrific occasions, not for what seems like almost commonplace bad days.
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I’m glad that President Obama named his new Supreme Court nominee, I don’t know much about Elena Kagan, but at least I haven’t heard anything yet that I don’t like about her. What’s interesting is looking at her Wikipedia page from just before her nomination (here) and then compare it to the current version (here) to see how it has changed upon being placed on the national scene. The media on the other hand is just hankering for a controversy, even if they have to create it themselves, so why not compare everything to recent fuck ups from the past? Well, there seems to be a President Bush fuck up for that… for every President Obama problem there seems to be an analogous but worse comparison to the Bush administration.
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I never thought I would hear the term “Nazi tourettes” or see a comparison to Nazism that Glenn Beck didn’t wholeheartedly embrace, but with this and his recent opinion supporting Mirandizing the NYC Time Square car bomber, Mr. Beck has really been surprising me lately, thanks for the clips Louis Black!
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It is nice to know that BP, Transocean, Halliburton and the US gov’t all decided to not take the blame for the Gulf oil spill.
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We, the American people,  are going to have to accept that everything has trade offs, if we decide want to mine for coal (which the US rules the world in supply of), there will be the occasional mining disaster (like we had earlier this year in West Virginia) or if we want to drill our own oil, that has risks and if we don’t feel that’s worth it, we can always pay more to other countries for their oil and accept things like the Exxon Valdez disaster possibility, or even pay more money for expensive nacent cleaner fuel technologies like wind/solar power or even go for nuclear power and just accept that we need to dump the spent fuel somewhere. None of our options are both cheap and easy, there’s a potential downside to all our power options.

Enjoy

Dany

May 15, 2010 7:39 pm Posted by | clips, DC, economy, Law, Louisiana, Middle East, New Orleans, New York, NYC, politics, technology, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia | Leave a comment

The Week of The Daily Show for May 8th, 2010

This week was interesting, watching the ever growing news story about the car bomb in NYC’s Time Square unfold in the span of a couple of days.
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The national news just keeps growing, it’s not enough to have car bombs in NYC and BP’s oil spill off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana, but now we have 10 feet of flooding in Nashville, Tennessee
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Here is a lovely clip of Howard Dean‘s political hypocrisy when a former party member leaves that political party to run as an independent in an upcoming election along with amazingly contradictory feelings about what the American people want
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Is this really what happens to America when I leave for more than 4 months? Really!?!?

Enjoy

Dany

May 9, 2010 2:00 am Posted by | clips, DC, Louisiana, New Orleans, NYC, politics, Tennessee, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

This Week in the Daily Show for March 11th, 2010

There were a lot of interesting clips this week, from The Daily Show but I saved the best (and longest) for the end, a 3 part extended fully web-exclusive interview.

Enjoy The Daily Show this week.

Dany

Iraq may be a confusing and complicated place, but I don’t remember any election where some of the candidates running for office were killed being called a success… I guess until now?
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Jon Stewart interviews Harry Markopolos, the extremely angry investigator who sent letter after letter trying to inform the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about Bernie Madoff for years before his $60+ billion dollar scandal came to the press. He has a new book No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller. Maybe he would make a good head of the SEC?
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Liz Cheney may want to publicize the identity of Justice Department lawyers who represented terror detainees, which on its own, sounds fine to me, but demonizing them with a scary commercial making them seem like evil people and even branding them The Al Qaeda 7 is just wrong. There are tons of reasons to hate lawyers, the fact that they may defend people you don’t like, even if they are potential terrorists should not be one of them.
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Virginia is for lovers… unless I guess you are gay. It may be getting harder and harder to be gay and work or be gay and go to college now in Virgina.
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Glenn Beck‘s interview with disgraced NY Representative Eric Massa did not go exactly as he expected, but at the same time, there were a ton of things that Rep. Massa said that I never thought I would hear come out of a politician’s mouth.
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After all the news scandals have come out about NY Governor David Paterson, I am very surprised that he is still in office, but at the same time, I guess if President Clinton could remain in office after years of scandal in the press, nothing is impossible. Can we please just throw all the dirty politicians out of NY State government though? It is getting embarrassing to be from such a corrupt state, although I’ll always love being from NYC.
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Vice President Joe Biden goes to the Middle East to try and jump start the peace process again now that the Palestinians finally agreed to come back to the bargaining table, then Israel announces more settlement projects on the same day… can we stop giving Israel so much of our money every year for such an insult and for wasting Joe Biden‘s time?
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Jerry Seinfeld comes on The Daily Show to promote his new show The Marriage Ref. It sounds like a great way for a panel of comedians and celebrities to make fun of problems in peoples marriages and each other… that actually like a pretty good show idea.
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Lastly, a great interview… well, more a heated half hour conversation between Jon Stewart and Marc Thiessen, the writer of Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack. I don’t agree with the inflammatory nature of Mr. Thiessen‘s thesis, but at the same time, I don’t think my opinion is as far from his as I expected it to be.
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March 14, 2010 2:22 am Posted by | books, clips, comedians, DC, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, New York, NYC, Palestine, politics, Washington, Washington DC | Leave a comment

The Book of Eli Review

I just returned from a screening of The Book of Eli down here in Grenada and I was very surprised with what I found. I was able to keep myself pretty sequestered generally from what the movie was about, with my only exposure being the provocative movie posters in the NYC subway system that elicited vague religious undertones and starring Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis made me initially interested in seeing this movie. It was only as the movie progressed that I realized that the film also featured such famous names providing strong performances such as Gary Oldman, Jennifer Beals, Michael Gambon and Malcolm McDowell.

The biggest thing that needs to be pointed out before anything else is the violence in this film. To say this was a violent movie does not adequately put that into words. This is a hyperviolent film, which may have been filmed in muted colors, sometimes so washed out in white sunlight in a comic book sort of way, but nonetheless, EXTREMELY violent with heads and other body parts getting chopped off, many people shot to death and an impressive array of handguns all the way through a 50 caliber machine gun and rocket launcher. So, if that’s a concern, just file this movie away, it’s not for you.

OK, one thing I’ve come to realize is that there are very few actors I can trust the judgment of, but Denzel Washington is one of those actors that almost never steers his fans wrong, seemingly unable to provide a bad performance or picking an uninteresting project, but I am surprised with how good Mila Kunis‘ performance was, maybe I shouldn’t be though considering how much I liked her in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but it took her taking her hair down for me to even recognize her in this world.

The film portrays a world approximately 30 years after the world has ended… or at least since nuclear war has ravaged at least America, if not the entire world and the only modern remnants that remain from that “before” are beaten up cars, a 3rd generation iPod, some KFC wet naps and a Motorola bull horn. Denzel plays Eli, a man on a mission, very much like from an old western to head out “west” for him to complete his mission: find a safe place to bring a sacred holy book. His entire journey shows us just how far the world has fallen because of the apocalypse, the most basic needs (food, water and maybe some of the more base needs) are just about the only things worth fighting for and all that’s left is to barter for them.

As long as you can stand the hyperviolence and are interested in seeing how faith could be used either as a club or a savior, go and check out The Book of Eli. After seeing this film I wish I could be coming home to Mila Kunis right now, but I AM very glad that I’ve got my warm bed and an apartment full of all my creature comforts to come back to at least, even if my air conditioner is currently broken!

Enjoy

Dany

March 9, 2010 11:33 pm Posted by | Grenada, guns, movie reviews, movies, New York, NYC, Religion | 2 Comments