Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Entertainment, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Between Two Ferns, Elections, History, Laugh-In, Obama, President, Richard Nixon, Rush Limbaugh, United States, YouTube
Oh, wait. That’s not President Obama. It’s that other president who stonewalled Congress, lied to the press, deceived the American public, kept enemies lists, spied on reporters, used the IRS to harass political opponents, rigged his second-term election victory, and spent his last days in office engulfed in corruption, scandal, and disgrace.
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Comics, Japan | Tags: 1950s, Animation, Cartoons, Comics, Japan, toys, vintage
Casper the Friendly Ghost
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Amanda Seyfried, Jimmy Fallon, Lindsay, Lindsay Lohan, Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex, Mean Girls, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, TMZ
Note: Mean Girls is not just a chick movie. Along with rare smart-fluff stealth-comedy classics like Legally Blonde, Lots of guys dig it, too. Why? Tina Fey. It’s Tina Fey’s movie writing/directing debut, and it’s a pop-culture time capsule. Though Lohan is its star character, her fellow cast members–particularly Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried–rocketed to fame, whooshing right past the fading Lohan. (It’s also the last movie where Lohan looked healthy and promising) The abundance of ensemble talent in Mean Girls helps make it an enduring favorite.
Lindsay Lohan wasn’t spewing BS on “Jimmy Fallon” Thursday night — talking about a “Mean Girls” reunion — TMZ has learned, it’s been in the works for weeks.
[Order Mean Girls on Blu-ray from Amazon]
FYI, 2014 is the 10th anniversary of the film’s release – and sources tell us, co-writer Tina Fey has been leading the charge for a reunion to commemorate the occasion … wrangling the entire cast over the last month.
[Bonus quiz: Bonus: Which Mean Girls cast member is now the co-star of Masters of Sex? Answer after the jump]
And Lindsay was apparently the last to know about it — she went on “Fallon” Thursday talking about how she had just run into Tina who mentioned the reunion idea to her … and Lindsay was into it.
It’s unclear how the reunion will come together — Jimmy suggested hosting it on his show — but we’re told it could also materialize as a comedy sketch … maybe on an awards show…
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Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Chris Christie, Chris Cillizza, Chris Matthews, CNN, Hardball, Michael Smerconish, MSNBC
Buzzfeed‘s Dorsey Shaw delivers the goods, with this helpful description:
First, Hardball host Chris Matthews thanked his guest Chris Cillizza by calling him “Chris Christie,” then everyone laughed, then everyone sat in silence on the air for a good 15 seconds. The show wasn’t even live…
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Economics, Mediasphere | Tags: Cannabis, Colorado, Colorado General Assembly, Hemp, John Hickenlooper, pot, Reefer
Amid all the articles pimping the successful $2 million tax heist in Colorado, what’s often not mentioned is that this is less than the newly-minted state pot dealers claimed they’d pull in. Breitbart.com‘s William Bigelow offers this unwelcome measure of sobriety:
The bullish predictions about the revenue Colorado would accumulate from sales of recreational marijuana may have been quite premature. In February, Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget office estimated that recreational pot shop sales added to medicinal marijuana sales would approach $1 billion in the fiscal year beginning in July; the budget office suggested $134 million in tax and fee revenues entering state coffers.
But in January of 2014, Colorado only brought in $2 million from recreational pot shop sales, far short of what would lead to a successful prognosis from Hickenlooper’s budget office.
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Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Education, Think Tank, U.S. News, White House | Tags: BarackObama, George W. Bush, James Madison, Jonathan Turley, Obama, Separation of powers, United States, White House
The president’s executive overreach erodes constitutional checks and balances (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Bambi is not a dictator, but there is a danger in his aggregation of executive power
Another Op-Ed warning about Executive overreach in the Obama era is not unique. What is unique, is that it’s in the LA Times. Does Obama want to be a ruler, instead of a president? Interestingly, the LA Times included this link in the body of the article: Photos: A peek inside 5 doomed dictators’ opulent lifestyles. Think Obama’s personal luxury is overstated? Kings and Queens are required to manage their affairs more modestly than modern U.S. presidents. As Mark Steyn likes to point out, the operational cost of the White House exceeds operating cost of all the remaining Monarchies on earth, combined.
Jonathan Turley writes:
Recently, a bizarre scene unfolded on the floor of the House of Representatives that would have shocked the framers of the Constitution. In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he had decided to go it alone in areas where Congress refused to act to his satisfaction. In a system of shared powers, one would expect an outcry or at least stony silence when a president promised to circumvent the legislative branch. Instead, many senators and representatives erupted in rapturous applause; they seemed delighted at the notion of a president assuming unprecedented and unchecked powers at their expense.
“The United States is at a constitutional tipping point: The rise of an uber presidency unchecked by the other two branches.”
Last week, Obama underlined what this means for our system: The administration unilaterally increased the transition time for individuals to obtain the level of insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act. There is no statutory authority for the change — simply the raw assertion of executive power.
Our system is changing in a fundamental way without even a whimper of regret. No one branch in the Madisonian system can go it alone — not Congress, not the courts, and not the president.
This massive shift of authority threatens the stability and functionality of our tripartite system of checks and balances. To be sure, it did not begin with the Obama administration. The trend has existed for decades, and President George W. Bush showed equal contempt for the separation of powers. However, it has accelerated at an alarming rate under Obama. Of perhaps greater concern is the fact that the other two branches appear passive, if not inert, in the face of expanding executive power. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Diplomacy, Global, Politics | Tags: Arab-Israeli, Israel, Israel Democracy Institute, Israeli, Israeli Jews, John Kerry, Kerry, Palestinian people, United States
This poll is interesting, I recommend visiting the source site for detailed results. While it’s easy to see Kerry as a polarizing or unpopular figure, it would be useful to see how Kerry compares to previous U.S. Secretaries of State. I’m inclined to think Kerry’s unpopularity is not unique. It’s the office, not the person, that invites distrust in the Israli-Arab world, we’d have to compare him to his predecessors. Or–it could be that Kerry stands out as a distrusted figure?
One thing is clear: The legitimization of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments in the U.S. and Europe is on the rise. [example: 23 percent rise in anti-Semetic incidents in Netherlands] And the global wave of systematic anti-Christian violence is deeply troubling. Obama’s hostility to Israel contributes to, or reflects, the shift in anti-Israel opinion in the west, particularly on college campuses. The distrust of the U.S. in Israel should surprise no one.
The Israel Democracy Institute‘s summary begins like this:
- Which Side are the Americans Pressuring?: 74% of Israeli Jews believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring Israel than the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, while 12% believe they are equally pressuring both sides and 5% believe they are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians. (Israeli Jews who see Israel as under more pressure include 86% of the self-defined right-wing, 57% of the center, and 50% of the left-wing.) Among Israeli Arabs, 29% believe the Americans are more strongly pressuring the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, 26% believe both sides are being equally pressured, and 25% believe Israel is under more pressure.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry‘s Concern for Israeli Security:64% of Israelis (66% of Jewish Israelis and 53% of Arab Israelis) do not trust Kerry to take Israel’s security into account as a crucial factor in the framework agreement. 32% of Israelis (31% of Jewish Israelis and 32% of Arab Israelis) do trust Kerry to take into account Israel’s security. (Jewish Israelis who trust Kerry on security include 18% of the right, 39% of the center, and 79% of the left.)
- US Secretary of State John Kerry’s Motivation: 60% of Israelis (61% of Jewish Israelis and 56% of Arab Israelis) believe that Kerry’s main motivation for reaching a framework agreement is a personal interest in making history as a statesman where others before him had failed. 21% of Israelis (22% of Jewish Israelis and 16% of Arab Israelis) believe Kerry is motivated by honest concern for the future of the two parties, and 9% of Israelis (8% of Jewish Israelis and 14% of Arab Israelis) believe he is equally motivated by the chance to make history and concern for the parties.
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Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Andaman Sea, Beijing, China, Chinese government, Liu, Malaysia Airline, Monday, Washington Post
Malaysia Airlines flight vanishes over South China Sea: Vietnamese air force jets reportedly spot two large oil slicks thought to be the airliner that disappeared with 239 on board, including three Americans.
BEIJING — For The Washington Post, William Wan and Liu Liu report: For three days, relatives awaiting word on the vanished Malaysia Airlines jet have endured a cruel roller coaster of emotions.
“One of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones…”
First came the shock. Then, with each development that has emerged, they have careened between hope and despair. But by Monday, the predominant emotion was anger.
“…or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.”
The Malaysian government announced that it has now expanded the search west into the Andaman Sea, far from the plane’s intended northeasterly flight path towards China
Gathered at a hotel in northeast Beijing, many still resented Malaysia Airlines for having sent no one to explain anything during the first 15 hours after the plane’s disappearance. They blamed the Chinese government for not even meeting with them until Monday, three days into the crisis.
More than 100 of them signed a petition demanding answers and government assistance. Representatives selected from the families brought their protests to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.
And Monday afternoon, when Malaysia Airlines officials returned for yet another briefing with little more to offer, some relatives threw water bottles at them in frustration. The question-and-answer session Monday eventually devolved into crying and shouted demands:
“All you have to say is empty talk!”
“Why have you waited until now to show up?”
A vice director from China’s civil aviation air safety center tried to assuage the crowd.
“I am the same as everyone in that I haven’t slept for two days,” the official said. “We are still searching. There is no evidence to show the plane has had an accident.”
Another official reassured the families that they had read their petition. “Your concern is our concern.”
Beginning Saturday night, the families were kept in a conference area of the Lido Hotel in Beijing, sectioned off from a media scrum outside, where officials could address them out of journalists’ earshot. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, Global, Politics | Tags: European Union, KIEV, Kremlin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, RUSSIA, Switzerland, Viktor Yanukovych, Vladimir Putin, Yukos
Former Russian oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky leaves the Wall Museum in Berlin on December 22, 2013 in Berlin after giving a press conference a few days after he was released after 10 years of jail. David Gannon/AFP
Geneva (AFP) – Former Russian oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in prison in Russia, has applied to become a resident of Switzerland, his spokesman told AFP on Monday.
“His application for residency was filed a while ago,” said spokesman Boris Durande, without specifying which part of Switzerland Khodorkovsky intends to settle in.
The 50-year-old foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been living at a Zurich hotel since shortly after he was pardoned and released from jail on December 20.
He was once Russia’s richest man and an influential politician with presidential ambitions who openly opposed Putin when the former KGB spy first entered the Kremlin in 2000.
Khodorkovsky’s arrest in 2003 and subsequent convictions on fraud and embezzlement charges have been widely condemned by Kremlin critics as an effort by Putin to silence his most potent rival.
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Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: 2016: Obama's America, America, Andrew Breitbart, Barack Obama, Christopher Hitchens, Dinesh D'Souza, Gerald R. Molen, media, Obama, The Kelly Files, United States
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza said that after the success of 2016 Obama’s America, he didn’t want to just make a sequel, another film about politics, or another biography, he wanted a “bigger idea”. If you’ve seen the trailer America, it’s nothing if not ambitious. Watching his appearance on The Kelly File last night, I was struck by his artful command of the medium, using his time well to convey his message and promote the film. (though producer Gerald Molen didn’t get much air time) Dinesh D’Souza immigrated to the U.S. in 1978. He says,
“…[I] chose America because it’s a place where I can be the architect of my own life.”
Note: I see that 2016 Obama’s America is in the collection at Archive.org, available as a free download.
“Today we have kids who can’t find America on a map,” Molen said. “We have kids who probably can’t even spell America, and I think that we have, you know, left them out, we have done them a great disservice by not [… ] showing our patriotism a little more.”
D’Souza is natural successor to controversial media wizards like Andrew Breitbart, but with academic flair and debate skills reminiscent of the late Christopher Hitchens. As an ascending public intellectual, he’s a man to watch.
Here’s the introduction text from Fox News Insider:
The trailer for “America” made its television debut tonight on “The Kelly File.” Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and producer Gerald Molen joined Megyn to discuss the film.
D’Souza, who immigrated to the United States, says he “chose America because it’s a place where I can be the architect of my own life.” He said the film is about what makes America lovely.
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Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Think Tank, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Center for American Progress, Democratic Party, RT (TV network), ThinkProgress, War in Afghanistan (2001–present), White House
For The Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan H. Alder writes: Blogger Zaid Jilani has a post claiming that when he worked for ThinkProgress at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, he was pressured to toe the White House line, even when that conflicted with the positions his organization was supposedly advancing.
One of the controversial topics that was very constrained in our writing at ThinkProgress in 2009 was Afghanistan. CAP had decided not to protest Obama’s surge, so most our writing on the topic was simply neutral — we weren’t supposed to take a strong stand. . . . Flash forward a couple years, and the Democratic Party’s lawmakers in Congress were in open revolt over the Afghanistan policy. Our writing at ThinkProgress had opened up a lot on the issue, and I was writing really critical stuff. . . . But then phone calls from the White House started pouring in, berating my bosses for being critical of Obama on this policy. . . .
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Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Asia, Breaking News, China, War Room
Originally posted on China Daily Mail:
A relative of a passenger on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries
The opinions expressed in this article are those of “The Star Online” (published by Malaysian Chinese Association), and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.
There is speculation that militants from China’s Uighur Muslim minority could be involved in the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 airplane, as it occurred just one week after knife-wielding assailants killed at least 29 people at a train station in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming.
A Malaysian official said authorities were not ruling out Uighur involvement in the jet’s disappearance, noting that Uighurs were deported to China from Malaysia in 2011 and 2012 for carrying false passports.
“This is not being ruled out. We have sent back Uighurs who had false passports before. It is too early to say whether there is a link,” the official said.
Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country
View original 474 more words
Posted: March 11, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, U.S. News, White House | Tags: CBS, CBS Evening News, CBS News, James Rosen, John Sexton, media, Obama administration, Sharyl Attkisson, Washington Post
Breitbart.com‘s John Sexton reports: Earlier today Sharyl Attkisson announced on Twitter that she was leaving CBS News. Early reports suggest the split was “amicable” though Attkisson is said to have wanted to leave because she had grown frustrated with the network’s ”liberal bias.” Specifically, she felt it was a struggle to get her work on the CBS Evening News, the network’s flagship news program.
[Talk about media bias, Politico's idea of a headline, no joke: The right loses its hero at CBS. Hero? What Attkisson did is uncontroversial: apply equally tough standards to the Obama Administration and the Bush Administration. This is news? Isn't that what all reporters are supposed to do?]
The brother of a top Obama administration official is the president of CBS News
Sharyl Attkisson is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post reached out to Andrew Tyndall who was able to put some numbers to the frustration that apparently drove Attkisson out the door:
Attkisson was the 18th most used reporter in major network nightly news, with 160 minutes of exposure. In 2008, she held steady at 18th, with 145 minutes, and in 2009, she was 19th, with 152 minutes.
She hasn’t landed in the top 20 since.
In a quick chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, Tyndall said that Attkisson tallied a mere 54 minutes on “The CBS Evening News” in 2013, a third of her previous totals. That was good for a ranking of 78th among network news reporters. “She was obviously being sidelined,” says Tyndall.
So Attkisson did not imagine that her status at CBS had changed, it really did. And given that it changed after 2009 when she started to focus on the Obama administration it stretches credulity to suggest that this was not a primary reason for the sudden change.
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Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Politics, Self Defense, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Doctors for America, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Gun control, Lamar Alexander, National Rifle Association
Emily Miller writes: President Obama is using every executive power in his arsenal to infringe on Second Amendment rights.
His latest maneuver is to nominate a rabidly anti-gun doctor to be the next U.S. surgeon general. Dr. Vivek Murthy is facing Senate approval in upcoming weeks.
[Emily Miller is the author of "Emily Gets Her Gun" order it from Amazon]
Dr. Murthy is the 36-year-old president and co-founder of Doctors for America, a group that advocates for Obamacare and gun control laws.
The group calls gun violence “a public health crisis.” It pushes for Congress to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines and calls for spending tax dollars for more gun-control research.
“Dr. Murthy sidestepped the questions about his gun-control agenda from committee members throughout the hearing…However, Mr. Murthy’s Twitter timeline is chock full of his anti-firearm screed.”
The organization also lobbies for doctors to be allowed to ask patients, including minors, whether they have legal guns in the home. If the patient admits to having guns, Dr. Murthy wants doctors to “counsel them appropriately about safety measures.”
[See also EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Controversial Surgeon General Nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy]
Gun rights advocates and many families view this policy as a violation of privacy.
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Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Self Defense, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Doctors for America, Obama, Swimming pool, United States Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, White House
Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next U.S. Surgeon General, listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
It’s not just Gun Violence that Concerns the Nominee. Dr. Vivek Murthy Also Wants to Classify Scissors, Swimming Pools, Automobiles, and Shoes as a “Preventable Disease”.
- Dr. Murthy is co-founder and president of Doctors for America, an organization that says its mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, high quality health care.
“People don’t realize how deadly hands and feet are. So many preventable deaths result from violence caused by hands and feet. Especially feet wearing boots, or shoes.”
– Dr. Vivek Murthy
Note: preventable errors in hospitals are the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second. If hospital mistakes kill more people than guns, does Dr. Vivek Murthy advocate classifying hospital care as a “health care crisis?” or as a disease? What about scissors, shoes, swimming pools, and cars? Apparently he does.
At a recent conference in Washington D.C., The Butcher, punditfromanotherplanet‘s Editor-in-Chief , had an opportunity to interview Dr. Vivek Murthy. Here are the highlights of our exclusive interview:
The Butcher: Do you think your medical background and qualifications are what led the White House to tap you as nominee for Surgeon General? Or your close political ties with the White House, and record of advocacy of Barack Obama?
Dr. Murthy: (laughing) It’s definitely the latter.
The Butcher: Have you ever been the head of a major hospital?
Dr. Murthy: No, I haven’t.
The Butcher: Have you ever been the head of a department at a major hospital?
Dr. Murthy: Actually, no.
The Butcher: A small hospital? Or..okay, let’s move on to the next question. Have you had any influence on president Obama’s tobacco habit? Encouraged him to quit?
Dr. Murthy: He assures me that he no longer smokes. I believe he tells Mrs. Obama that, too.
The Butcher: Your nomination has stirred controversy among first amendment experts, and gun-rights advocates. Is it true that you advocate treating firearms as a disease?
Dr. Murthy: Yes, a preventable disease. I’m not the first to suggest this, though it’s only one of many things that pose a grave danger, and probably should be viewed as a disease. Automobiles, for example.
The Butcher: Automobiles?
Dr. Murthy: Yes! Did you know that in 2011, 89 people were killed on the roadways of America, each day? Thousands of people each year die needlessly, because of cars. If I become Surgeon General, I will become a leading advocate for classifying automobiles a disease.
The Butcher: I’ve heard that you also view swimming pools as dangerous.
Dr. Murthy: Don’t get me started on swimming pools.
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