Wednesday, December 30, 2009
On the cusp of a new year, POTUS is taking a look back at the political events that transpired in the 2009. It feels like there was so much that happened over the past 365 days. As we remember the year that was, we present to you POTUS '09 Retrospective--a unique look back at President Obama's first year in office. But trust me, this is not your typical "Year in Review." Be sure to listen tomorrow at noon ET and catch the replay all weekend.
Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize
The August Health Care Town Halls
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Every news outlet does their own "Year in Review" features, but here at POTUS we like to put a little bit of a twist on things. Hear the POTUS '09 Retrospective starting at noon ET on New Year's Eve. In the mean time, here's a sample of what you'll hear all day New Year's Eve (produced by yours truly).
Twitter and Politics in '09
Comedy and Politics in '09
Music and Arts at the White House in '09
Hollywood and Washington in '09
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Politico's blogging about Sarah Palin's hat-flap. While vacationing in Hawaii, she was spotted in a McCain campaign visor; with the McCain name scratched out in black ink. The Reliable Source is says Rep. Blumenauer is in a fruitcake frenzy!
Former Vice President Al Gore is going for Poet Laureate. And more climate change/climategate news.
The White House is re-planting their kitchen garden in the middle of winter? And "24" meets "The Kennedys."
It might not have reached the heights of the Watergate and Lewinsky years, but the political scandals of 2009 had something juicy for everybody.
Republicans went for sex, Democrats for money, and former Gov. Sarah Palin simply bailed out on Alaska. But for sheer bizarreness, the award has to be split between the state dinner gate-crashers and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached for trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat--before quitting and winning his own seat on The Donald's 2010 Celebrity Apprentice.
"Sex. Greed. Greed. Sex. Wherefore does this year differ from all other years?" asks Brookings Institution political scholar Stephen Hess. Hess does have a favorite: "Scandal of the Year should be gate-crash-gate, which combines scam, security, reality TV, and two characters who are delightfully hateable."
Click here for the Washington Whispers Top 10 Political Scandals of 2009.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Former Obama campaign manager, David Plouffe lost his own bet and Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance on The Tonight Show--hilarity ensues.
Dr. Jill Biden was featured on the CBS Early Show Sunday morning. Unfortunately, you won't be getting a photo with her or anyone else from the administration (ahem, POTUS and FLOTUS) thanks to the Voldemorts.
And Tom DeLay is two-steppin' on the cover of "Texas Monthly" magazine. Also...because hookers are the new black in 2009...Ashley Dupree is back in the news talking about her new gig.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Mmm...Reindeer filet, Thyme Marinated Elk, Peanut Meringue! What was on the menu for the President's Nobel banquet.
The 10 dumbest quotes of 2009 and the year of Obama--Michelle Obama that is.
It is my firm belief that anything set to the theme song from "The Price is Right" is automatically funny (please see audio file below for hilariousness). President Obama accepted his Nobel Prize yesterday in Oslo, Norway and while he faced criticism from home about the award, Norwegians were none too please with the President either.
AND...Michelle Obama is the MOST fascinating person of 2009--at least according to Barbara Walters. I might just be me, but I'm getting a weird vibe between Michelle and Barack. They both have been joking with each other in a bit of a bizarre way. ("Revenge" and "Resentment" Mrs. Obama? Really?!)
Last, and certainly least, Tiger Woods...Tiger minus 13 mistresses minus 1 Congressional Gold Medal (ouch).
Thursday, December 10, 2009
(It's a 2-parter today)
If that's not enough fun for today. I also talked with Press Pool host, Joe Mathieu about a Republican candidate for Illinois Comptroller who is a lover of beer (to say the least).
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Okay, so maybe it wasn't a killer tomato. But Sarah Palin was the target of a 'drive-by fruiting' on Monday in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, her faux son-in-law grandbaby's daddy, Levi Johnston was a guest on "The Joy Behar Show." They talked turkey, Playgirl, and about HIS UPCOMING BOOK!! Will this never end? (Probably not)
I saw this posted on Salon.com's War Room blog and thought it was hilarious.
It's nice of the State Department to provide the public with transcripts of all the public remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It'd be even better if the transcripts gave any idea of what Clinton actually said.
That wasn't the case with one that State released earlier this week, of comments Clinton made at the Amsterdam News Educational Fund's 100th Anniversary Gala. And the result ended up -- unintentionally, no doubt -- being pretty funny.
Since the time when an alert reader sent me the transcript a couple days ago, someone at State evidently had the good sense to pull it down from the department's Web site. But through the magic of LexisNexis and Google's cache, it lives on. Here it is, unedited and in full:
Thanks to Alex Koppelman for finding this gem! Now everyone...start playing Mad Libs! Email me with yours and I'll post the best one!
Nick, thank you so much. Thank you (inaudible) to Michelle (ph) and everyone who could be gathered at this wonderful event. (Inaudible) I’m just happy to (inaudible). (Applause.) Being with so many friends, with so many people, (inaudible) so grateful. And this is why I am so grateful. I am delighted to have you with us (inaudible) in celebrating the Amsterdam News and helping it to raise money for digitizing its records. This is one of the great archives (inaudible). (Applause.)
(Inaudible) here as well. Susan and Bill Tataum, (inaudible) all these wonderful (inaudible) and in their home, visiting Bill (inaudible) and speak with him. And like everyone here tonight who (inaudible), I was a recipient of all the (inaudible) and I feel better for it. I also know (inaudible).
(Inaudible) one of the most thoughtful, provocative, (inaudible) experiences that I ever had. (Inaudible) and I will always remember Bill’s (inaudible) and energy (inaudible). I also want to just say I think I (inaudible) with a lot of my friends (inaudible) and especially (inaudible). (Applause.)
(Inaudible) be there for you when (inaudible) that you so well deserve because (inaudible). (Applause.) (Inaudible) to raise money for a worthy cause and it’s a night of (inaudible) of American history. (Inaudible) and it’s especially exciting to be here to celebrate the 100th anniversary. Now, recently in Russia where journalists are harassed and (inaudible), in China where bloggers and internet (inaudible) face evermore (inaudible) censorship. And I’ve met with writers who’ve been (inaudible). They (inaudible) sit up and take notice and change their ways forever. (Inaudible) proud.
Thanks (inaudible). (Applause.)
Senator Harry Reid made some controversial remarks yesterday on the Senate floor and Senate GOPers are using his comments in the health care debate. Also, check out this new video making it's rounds on the web..."I Guess I'm a Racist."
The 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors took place in Washington on Sunday. The event was all glitz and glamor, but rest assured that security was tighter than usual--thanks to the Voldemorts.
And your daily dose of Sarah Palin news. Today's edition includes a healthy serving of tomatoes and a battle of the campaigns.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Essence White House Correspondent, Cynthia Gordy originally posed the question to Gibbs and blogged about Tim's interview on The Huffington Post and Essence.com earlier:
The White House is kicking off its Jobs Summit today, bringing together business executives, finance experts, economists, small business owners and labor leaders to discuss ways to spark job creation. President Obama announced the summit last month, after the latest jobs report showed that unemployment shot up to 10.2 percent in October.
Even more daunting are the Depression-proportioned unemployment rates for African-Americans, particularly for young black men between the ages of 16 and 24 who are facing joblessness at 34.5 percent. It's an emergency state of affairs that has triggered groups such as the NAACP, National Council of La Raza and the Congressional Black Caucus to push for the White House to take more action. Health care reform for the future is well and good, but with so many people out of work today, something's got to be done.
I asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, at the briefing yesterday, whether any sessions at today's Jobs Summit would specifically address the higher unemployment rate among minorities. The question seemed to catch him off guard, given his vague answer.
"Well, I think that obviously that will be part of -- I believe that will be part of the discussion. There are going to be folks representing a lot of different groups. There will be mayors be here that obviously have a keen interest and awareness in this, and I anticipate that that will be something that's discussed."
It didn't strike me that the issue ranks particularly high on the White House radar. Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, had a similar impression about Gibbs' response to my question, when asked about it today on the Sirius XM radio show, The Morning Briefing, hosted by Tim Farley.
"His response leaves me feeling that he does not understand what we're talking about, or doesn't care or appreciate what we're saying," said Ellison. "With an answer like, 'Oh, we're doing something for everybody and they're in there too and that's just fine,' it just strikes me as slightly dismissive and not focused. And I think he needs to get focused because when you're talking about 34 percent unemployment among minority youth, while the rest of the country is facing 10.2 percent unemployment--it's bad for everybody, but it's not the same for everybody, and we've got to have the press secretary for the President get that. He needs to say, 'We're doing specific things for this group of Americans who are specifically damaged in this economic recession. Extra help for extra hurt."
I'll be interested to see what kind of ideas -- and more importantly, what kind of follow-up -- come out of the summit. Here's hoping that it's more than just talk.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Last night, I thought it would be funny to comapre the ratings from President Obama's address at West Point Military Academy to the Victoria's Secret Fashion show. I'm not trying to be inapprirate; the President's ratings on primetime television have plunged since he took office in January. It's a question of what makes sexier television--war or lingerie.
But I digress...President Obama delivered his address last night at 8pm and all the networks pushed back their programming to accomodate him. Tuesday night isn't a huge television night, but the President did manage to bump a classic television delight--"A Charlie Brown Christmas." MCall.com reports.
But the administration may also face an unforeseen enemy as it lays out its
long-awaited plans. And they are loud and they are legion: We're talking
preschoolers and their parents.
That's because ABC-TV was
present its annual screening of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at 8 p.m.
night. And we don't know about you, but that show is pretty
around our house and not to be trifled with lightly.
to the White
House may be in order here. We hear it's pretty easy to get
through these days
UPDATE: We've since learned that the 'Charlie
Brown' broadcast has been moved to next week.
An update on the "Voldemorts"...
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Instead of hosting the dinner in the White House State Dining Room, Prez Obama's first dinner will be in a tent on the South Lawn. It's a pretty disgusting day here in Washington. It's raining, cloudy, and cold. Luckily for the President and his guests, this isn't just any tent. It's heated, with walls, windows, and a hardwood floor. Their expected to host about 320 guests at the dinner--bigger than most dinners held by former President George W. Bush, but smaller than the 700+ guests invited by President Clinton.
As I said, Hollywood will intersect with its Indian counterpart tonight. LaLaLand heavyweights, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg will all be in attendence. Jonathan Martin at Politico already reported seeing actor Blair Underwood arriving around noon. Hollywood super agent, and brother of COS Rahm Emanuel, Ari Emanuel will also have a seat at the table. Some of the biggest celebrities coming are from India. Actress Ashwarya Rai (aka the most beautiful women in the world) and actor Ahbishek Bachchan flew in from India just for the occasion. For those of you who don't know who this power couple is, google them. They're like the punjabi version of Brad and Angelina.
Foodwise, the menu has been kept pretty much under wraps. At last report, herbs from the White House were going to be worked in as well as honey from the White House beehive. Also, the dinner itsef will have 'Indian touches.'
From the looks of it, this will be an impressvie first state dinner for the President. WH Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers was trying to keep costs down by using more of what belongs to the White House and renting fewer items than in the past. Tonight's china is a pattern selected by former first lady, Laura Bush. It's a Lenox gilt-edge green basket weave border which will perfectly match the gold ballroom chairs with green cushions being set out for the event.
First up...more details regarding tonight's state dinner at the White House are leaking out. Academy award winner, Jennifer Hudson is schedule to perform. Oprah's show is going off the air, but not without nabbing another big time interview. And the RNC is being turned on its head.
To call a carry-out food store "Obama's Fried Chicken" is offensive enough, but to feature it in a music video? And former Bush flack, Ari Fleischer, is stepping up to bat for the Bowl Championship Series.
The Governator!! What will we do when he leaves office?
And if you love "The Office" on NBC, imagine what "The Briefing" would sound like!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Not everyone who came to see former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin left a happy customer. Also, there's only one person who Palin's "Going Rogue" didn't outsell in its first day. And former House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay takes to the dance floor Tuesday to dance the Texas Two Step.
You can see all the pictures here
Plenty of reaction to Saturday's Senate health care vote. Politico's Patrick Gavin listed the best clips from the debate. Also, San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom, has been very quiet since reneging on bid for Governor. Well, he's talking now...
Shield your eyes...Tom DeLay will be Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday night for the season finale! And the Sarah Palin book tour continues with a surprise stop in Asheville, NC...
President Obama will try as hard as he can to look cool holding a turkey on Wednesday. Lastly, someone has made a song about Louisiana Congressman, Joseph Cao...
Today on the Morning Briefing, host Tim Farley spoke wiht former HHS Secretary and current University of Miami President, Donna Shalala, about the Senate's health care vote this past weekend and the new mammogram recommendations. Listen to his interview here:
Since the Steelers had a bit of a rough weekend, I thought Steeler fans would appreciate this post:
Congressman Tom Rooney got a very special birthday present from his staff last week. Rep. Rooney (who's family own the Pittsuburgh Steelers) got what every member of Congress needs--a Snuggie! But this wasn't just any Snuggie, it was a Snuggie emblazoned with the Pittsburgh Steelers emblem. Rep. Rooney said, “I was pleasantly surprised to get the Snuggie. It took a lot of thought from my great staff.”
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Joe and I discuss the story that just won't die--Sarah Palin. She's added Fort Hood, Texas to her book tour and on Monday she'll stop at another Army base. We also talk about a new documentary meant to highlight the Tea Party protests happening in DC and around the country.
This is the trailer for "Tea Party" Stay tuned for more on this. I'll be interviewing the director, Pritcehtt Cotton, next week. For now, here's the trailer:
Obama's Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner
The ideal metaphor for the new reality of U.S.-China relations: The U.S. Embassy has been straining, in vain, to get the Chinese government to change the official Chinese transliteration of Obama, from 奥巴马 to 欧巴马—basically, from Ao Ba Ma to Ou Ba Ma. As is often the case when China incorporates a foreign word into Chinese characters, the original Ao Ba Ma spelling popped up organically some years ago and stuck, even though it is not a correct translation. Now, as a great piece on Danwei.org explains, the U.S. is trying to persuade China to change it, but China, so far, says no way. The moral: When you can’t even get your counterpart in a negotiation to spell your name right, you are probably in for a rough ride.
The ideal metaphor for the new reality of U.S.-China relations: The U.S. Embassy has been straining, in vain, to get the Chinese government to change the official Chinese transliteration of Obama, from 奥巴马 to 欧巴马—basically, from Ao Ba Ma to Ou Ba Ma. As is often the case when China incorporates a foreign word into Chinese characters, the original Ao Ba Ma spelling popped up organically some years ago and stuck, even though it is not a correct translation. Now, as a great piece on Danwei.org explains, the U.S. is trying to persuade China to change it, but China, so far, says no way. The moral: When you can’t even get your counterpart in a negotiation to spell your name right, you are probably in for a rough ride. The ideal metaphor for the new reality of U.S.-China relations: The U.S. Embassy has been straining, in vain, to get the Chinese government to change the official Chinese transliteration of Obama, from 奥巴马 to 欧巴马—basically, from Ao Ba Ma to Ou Ba Ma. As is often the case when China incorporates a foreign word into Chinese characters, the original Ao Ba Ma spelling popped up organically some years ago and stuck, even though it is not a correct translation. Now, as a great piece on Danwei.org explains, the U.S. is trying to persuade China to change it, but China, so far, says no way. The moral: When you can’t even get your counterpart in a negotiation to spell your name right, you are probably in for a rough ride.
I actually saw the game a few months back, but assumed it was just a small group of people playing this poorly designed, very basic computer game. Apparently I was wrong.
Michael Russotto is the only mastermind out of 8 people behind the game not afraid to reveal his identity. He says over 13,000 members have already signed on, and hundreds of people play everyday. Michael is one of Obama’s harshest critics. “He is purposely destroying the economy of the United States,” says Michael. “The policies that he is enacting, it’s a guarantee of destroying us.”
This entire attitude is put in “2011: Obama’s coup fails”. Raids, skirmishes, assaults, hacker attacks and riots are at a player’s disposal as they try to win the game by fighting Obama and his troops. With player nicknames such as “fascism rising”, “osama” and “saddam”, critics call the game a promotion of domestic terrorism. But Michael Russotto explains that the game is not as violent as it may seem.
“Not one person in the Obama administration is killed, no one is assassinated,” Michael told RT. “They get captured … by American citizens who don’t want the United States to become any kind of dictatorship.”
And may I ask why you would continue to promote a video game that requires you to work behind a METAL DOOR in an UNDISCLOSED LOCATION in New York?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Meghan McCain and Tyra Banks love fake hair
Palin's stylist speaks
Al Gore on 30 Rock tonight
Turkey and football with Prez Obama and Troy Polamalu
Christmas with the Sanford family--minus the Argentine mistress
John Kerry's reaction to his daughter's DUI
Things to do beside read the 2,000+ page health care bill
The Going Rogue Index
Santa Baby, Don't Forget the H1N1 shot
Gratuitious: The End of an Era
Video Pic of the Day: (tip: fast forward to 40 seconds in)
I think the Gregory Brothers are hilarious! They do the Autotune the News bits. This is their latest.
As always, the New School keeps the roundtable lively with a vibrant discussion about Attorney General Eric Holder's testimony on Capitol Hill regarding the 9/11 terror trials. Should KSM have to face a military tribunal instead of a civil trial? On a lighter note, Sarah Palin's media blitz, is it a blessing in disguise for the GOP? And finally, the new mammogram recommendations. Could this be a study orchestrated by the insurance companies for their own gain? Is rationing a legitimate concern among American women? We bring in Silver Star Art Studio VP, April Tabor, and CEO of the Penny Institute, Brian Taylor.
Find out this Saturday on POTUS (Sirius 110/ XM 130) and The Power (XM 169)
Organizing for America, the campaign arm of the White House, just announced the winner of their health reform video contest and let's just say that the victor's message was than subtle. Also today, President Obama's first state dinner is next week and the tightly guarded list of invites has started to leak...
Tomorrow: Sarah Palin's released locations and dates for the 2nd half of her book tour and one of the stops is a wee bit controversial.
The U.S. Postal Service, citing security and privacy concerns of children, will no longer forward "Dear Santa" letters to the Alaska town of North Pole, putting in jeopardy the town's 55-year-old volunteer letter-answering effort by the town.
The concern is that names, addresses and other private information about small children could get into the wrong hands.
Postal Service officials note that a postal worker last year in Maryland recognized a volunteer in the agency's Operation Santa program as a registered sex offender, the Associated Press reports.
The Postal Service now prohibits volunteers in such programs to have access to children's last names and addresses.
Mayor Doug Isaacson says the Postal Service is "running roughshod" over the city of North Pole, whose identity is tied to Christmas, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.
"What grinch would conceive of something so sinister?" Isaacson tells the paper. He says businesses and civic organizations in the town of 2,200 gear up for the program every year "when we're able to really demonstrate the spirit of Christmas."
Alaska Senator, Lisa Murkowski, issued a letter to the postmaster general asking him to keep the 55 year old tradition:
“Children across the world will be anticipating a letter from Santa this Christmas,” she wrote. “I believe that a small action by the Postal Service to continue the tradition ... could go a long way to bring joy to these children and their families.”
Santa doesn't do "Return to Sender!" What does this say about the state of the US Postal Service?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
"The Quinnipiac University poll showed 48 percent of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, compared to 42 percent who disapprove.Newsweek had an interesting article discussing President Obama's popularity declining among women. POTUS host Charles Ellison references the historical relationship between black men and white women affecting the President's loss of support in that block, but I think if you're going to go down that road, you need to also discuss the relationship between black women and white women in America.
The president also scored low marks from Americans on his handling of the situation in Afghanistan, with just 38 percent saying they approved of his approach, but a majority did say it was the "right thing" for US troops to be in the country."
It's debatable as to whether the GOP is using activist images to inflame some historically troubled relationship between two sects of the American public. It's a tricky accusation to say this is a strategic move from the GOP, but I do agree that white women are losing faith in the President. Women helped put Obama in the White House, but like the young voters who also came out to support him, the number of remaining supporters are dwindling. However, support among black women remains high.
Here you have an administration that includes high-powered, successful, and independent black women in some of the most visible positions. You have UN Ambassador Susan Rice, domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and the newly confirmed Surgeon General. Not to mention the most visible black women at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue--Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama has been asserting herself as a force in the administration and has even been put on the trail to help push for health reform.
So what of the historical tension between black and white women? Could the visibility of strong, independent black women, especially FLOTUS, be one reason for the President's decling in support from white women?
Just something to think about...