Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Case You Missed It

There aren't very many SNL skits that make me laugh out loud, but this pardoy of Sen. Elect Scott Brown is pretty darn funny (Mostly thanks to Jon Hamm).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union's a Big Joke

Everyone seems the think tonight's State of the Union address is a big joke...

Ellie Light...the mystery that may never be resolved. Fox News has the latest update:

A California man is claiming to be "Ellie Light," the mysterious fan of President Obama whose letters to editorial pages have been published in newspapers around the country, raising questions about the writer's true identity.

Winston Steward, 51, a health care worker in Frazier Park, Calif., reportedly has the same e-mail address as the one"Light" used to send letters to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Steward also called into the Michael Smercomish radio show in Philadelphia on Tuesday but didn't reveal himself as anyone other than the elusive Light.

The newspaper reported late Tuesday that Steward called in to reporters there and then sent an e-mail, saying, "I am Winston Steward and have been sending the letters from Ellie Light. ... I hope this ends any confusion and sets the record straight."

The prolific writer's letter has appeared in more than 70 newspapers in the last three weeks. Light has claimed to live in dozens of different cities, ranging from Long Beach, Calif., to Huntsville, Ala. -- depending on which newspaper he (or she) has written to -- fueling speculation that the letter was an inside job from the Democratic Party or Obama administration officials.

The Plain Dealer raised concerns about Light's identity after refusing to publish a letter it received on Jan. 16 that contained no hometown.


I haven't postedany blogcasts in quite a while, so I thought I would do it today. Here's my quick updates on the New York Senate race and Sen. Lautenberg's strange fascination with Lady Gaga.

Is Ayla Brown looking to get into modeling? And an update on the myseterious Ellie Light...

Hear me talk more about the Ellie Light contorversy on the Press Pool with Joe Mathieu.

Bird's the Word

Don’t ever call New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand a parakeet, because thems fightin' words. In an interview earlier this week, Senate hopeful, Harold Ford Jr., said to a radio station in Albany that New Yorkers don’t need ‘parakeets’ as their leaders. Senator Gillibrand fired back on Twitter saying, “"Parakeet?" I wouldn't allow my 6 yr old to engage in this kind of namecalling. And HF thinks he should be Senator?” (HF referring to Harold Ford Jr. of course).An hour after sending the tweet, the Senator from New York phoned the New York Post calling Ford’s attempts to spin himself as a political outsider is ‘ridiculous.’ “It’s a fraud.’ From the NY Post:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand went ballistic on potential rival Harold Ford Jr. yesterday, unleashing a barrage of attacks a day after he rapped her as a "parakeet" for Democratic insiders in Washington.

"I really don't know who Harold Ford thinks I am but I'm not gonna be pushed aside [by] his banker buddies," she told The Post in an unsolicited phone call.

"This guy aspires to be a US senator?" Gillibrand added, in by far her most scathing comments about her possible rival, whom she has generally avoided mentioning.

"Him calling me names doesn't hurt me but it affects New York because it distracts from issues."

A spokeman for Ford shot back with this comment, “Ford is someone "who will focus on creating jobs for New Yorkers, so it's no surprise the unelected senator seems so afraid of losing in an actual election.” Ouch.

All of this for calling someone a parakeet?!

When Lautenberg Met Gaga

Senator Frank Lautenberg, celebrated his 86th birthday on Saturday. And what did the Senator do to mark the occasion? He and his wife Bonnie went to see no-pants wearing, pop sensation, Lady Gaga, perform at Radio City Music Hall. Not to say the Senator’s not hip, but he just doesn’t seem to fit Gaga’s typical demo. Tickets for the Grammy nominee’s Monster’s Ball sold for up to $1,000 in NYC. No word on how much the Senator's family paid to see the singer. Politico says Senator Lautenberg did not meet the performer after the show, but he did greet several constituents who spotted him. His spokesman told Politico, “Last week in Washington was like a bad romance. I wanted my birthday to be a little more fun. It was an extraordinary experience to see and hear Lady Gaga.” I guess this means I have 2 things in common with the New Jersey Senator...we were both born in Paterson, NJ and we both enjoy a little Gaga every now and again. Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Open Invitation

Now that the high-priced talent is booked for May's White House Correspondent's Dinner, time to decide who should be invited. Every year, networks like ABC, CNN, NBC, etc. invite special guests to come to dinner with them. Last year, the pilot who landed a plane in the Hudson, Captian Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, and the man who was captured by Somali pirates, Captian Richard Phillips, were special guests at the WHCD. This year, the buzz on Twitter is that invitations should go to the less heroic and more people of reality TV fame. ABC White House Correspondent, Jake Tapper thinks the White House gatecrashers will score an invite from someone (a legitimate invite at that!) Tapper's also trying to fix up his pal and fellow White House reporter Chuck Todd with the ladies of MTV's Jersey Shore:

has @chucktodd reached @sn00kie yet to invite her to WH Corr dinner? what's "the situation" chuck?

guys, i was just joking about @chucktodd wanting to invite @sn00ki to the WH Corr. dinner. He wants to invite @JENNIWOWW #nerdprom

And Todd's response?

@jaketapper, will my chances be less if I admit i've only watched half of one episode? @sn00kie hasnt replied

@jaketapper, sad thing is, given how poorly DC dresses for #nerdprom, @sn00ki will be one of better dressed.

Keep on trying Chuck! Snooki will cave soon enough!

The Jindal Jinx

The Governor of Louisiana can rest easier knowing that all the “Jindal Jinx” talk was just superstition. Politico's blogging...

With the New Orleans Saints playing better than ever in their franchise history, fans are getting nervous about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's attendance at Sunday's National Football Conference championship game.

Jindal hasn't been to a game all season - and the team could be headed to the Superbowl. If Jindal attends, he might reverse the luck, some superstitious fans fear. There's even a Facebook page encouraging the governor to stay at home: "Just Say No to the Jindal Jinx."

Governor Jundal hadn’t been to a game all season and some thought that his presence might affect the team’s mojo. But, considering the Saints just won the NFC Championship last night and are headed to the Super Bowl for the first time, I’d say the Jindal Jinx was all a bunch of hooey.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Scott Brown to Return to His Centerfold Roots

Here's an open invitation to Massachusetts Senator Elect Scott Brown from Cosmopolitan's Editor-in-Chief Kate White.
At Cosmo, our only disappointment in yesterday's Massachusetts Senate race is that we lost an opportunity to have another woman in the Senate -- there are way too few and we'd like to see more.

We don't know for sure what Scott Brown might do as the new Senator, but we do know a bit about his character from having featured him in Cosmopolitan in 1982 as the winner of Cosmo's 1st Male Centerfold Contest when he was a law student at Boston College. Even then he knew what he stood for and what he was about. He admitted to being patriotic despite the fact that it "wasn't cool" at the time. And, of course, he was hot--and not afraid to show it. How refreshing compared to politicians who pretend to be all modest and pious and then get $400 haircuts and cheat on their wives.

So in the spirit of keeping an open mind, we'd like to invite him to talk to us again about what his plans are -- and reprise his sexy, naked centerfold shot. We'd even settle for just an interview.

Jay Leno Headlining WHCD???

If this is true, it means someone at the White House is on Team Leno!! Sorry Conan....

From Politico's Click:

Jay Leno is in line to headline this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, POLITICO has learned.

It wouldn’t be a first for Leno — he was the featured talent in 2004. But it would come at a time of late-night musical chairs with NBC's Conan O'Brien.

At the time, Bush was reported to have gotten a good chuckle out of Leno's repertoire. Would Leno get the same response from President Obama?

We may see come May 1.

From Mediaite:

The White House Correspondents’ Association is apparently not on team CoCo. The WHCA, which hosts the popular annual dinner where the press corp and various celebs get to mingle with the President, announced today that Jay Leno would be emceeing this year’s dinner. Not great timing to be sure: an unpopular comedian joking about a suddenly unpopular President. Probably not the sort of mood lightener Obama was hoping for.

According to CNN Leno was asked to fill the spot — perhaps made most famous by Stephen Colbert back in 2006 — prior to the whole debacle with NBC. Not everyone is thrilled by the choice, though judging from Leno’s last appearance at the dinner the President need not worry to much about coming under to harsh a comedic fire.

The Girl with the Curious Hand...

The Huffington Post unearthed this little gem on their blog yesterday....It's a 1984 music video starring Sen. Elect Scott Brown's wife, Gail Huff. It's called "The Girl with the Curious Hand." Perhaps a bit suggestive?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Health Reform Dead in the Water? Frank says, "Yes"

Today on the Morning Briefing, Congressman Barney Frank told POTUS' Tim Farley that the current health care legislation in conference is dead thanks to Senator Elect Scott Brown. "I think the measure that would have passed, some compromise between the House and Senate bills which I would have voted for...I think that's dead," he said. So what does this mean for the Obama administration. In Rep. Frank's eyes, health care reform is now in the hands of Republicans. "Do they want to go into the elections taking credit for maintaining the exact health care status quo or are there some Republicans who are going to work with the Democrats to try and change it?"

And any hope that Democrats had, thinking they could vote on the bill before Senator Elect Brown is installed was put to rest. Congressman Frank last night issued a statement saying that it wouldn't be right "to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened." Virginia Senator, Jim Webb, released echoed Frank's sentiment in this statement:
In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process. It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.
The future of health care reform is starting to look pretty bleak.

Here's the full interview with Rep. Barney Frank:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joe Kennedy for Senate or Jeff Johnson for Congress?

Today's the day. The good people of Massachusetts are heading to the polls to send a new Senator to Washington. Most pollsters and analysts are calling the race a toss-up, while others see Republican candidate, Scott Brown, with a slight advantage over Demorcat, Martha Coakley. The one person many people aren't talking about is Libertarian Joe Kennedy. No, he's not this Joe Kennedy. In fact, he's not even related to the Kennedy family, but having the same last name as the guy who's seat you're trying to fill sounds like something right out of a movie. Oh wait, there was a movie about that...

In "The Distinguished Gentleman," Eddie Murphy plays Thomas Jefferson Johnson, a conman looking for the next big opportunity. He finds it in a Congressional race where the incumbent, Jeff Johnson, has died. He shortens his name and gets himself on the ballot with the slogan, "Jeff Johnson, the name you know."

That was the thinking behind the latest round of robocalls in Massachusetts. From Talking Points Memo:
Boston reader A.F., a registered Democrat, received a recorded call recently from Right March PAC, a right-wing PAC led by Dr. William Greene, a conservative activist.

In the call, Greene urges listeners to vote tomorrow for Joe Kennedy, a conservative third-party candidate with no realistic shot at winning, who has been endorsed by Right March.

Kennedy is no relation to Ted Kennedy, whose death last year created the vacancy that tomorrow's election exists to fill. But the robocall's script -- which affirms that "Joe Kennedy is the name you can trust" -- suggests it may be designed to use the coincidence of names to confuse low-information voters into thinking that Joe Kennedy is the candidate backed by the famed Kennedy clan.

Surely, this gimmick will work on some folks who don't realize Joe Kennedy is not a relative of the Kennedy's, but how much could this sway the vote? Who knows...

Sleeping Obama Supporter

Here's that screen shot of the President I promised.

On Sunday, while speaking at the Vermont Avenue Baptist church, one member of the audience seemed to be less than enthralled with the Preisdent's remarks...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wyclef Jean Responds to Allegations of Fraud

With all the rumors and reports on the internet claiming that Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation may not be 100% legitimate, it was only a matter of time before Jean would respond to the accusations.

Is Wyclef's Yele Haiti Foundation Legit?

I normally don't cite MediaTakeOut as a reliable source, but I do trust the Smoking Gun and the Associated Press. There are some organizations launching investigations into Wyclef Jean's Yele charity. It looks like there are some tax discrepancies...

MTO's report:
According to the Better Business Bureau, there are a number of ACCOUNTING IRREGULARITIES. Here's an excerpt from an Associated Press report:
Even as more than $2 million poured into The Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc. via text message after just two days, experts questioned how much of the money would help those in need.

"It's questionable. There's no way to get around that," said Art Taylor, president and chief executive of the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, based in Arlington, Va.

Taylor reviewed Internal Revenue Service tax returns for the organization also known as Yele Haiti Foundation from 2005 through 2007. He said the first red flag of poor accounting practices was that three years of returns were filed on the same day — Aug. 10 of last year.

In 2007, the foundation's spending exceeded its revenues by $411,000. It brought in just $79,000 that year.

"Here's the bottom line: for an earthquake of catastrophic proportions, do people really believe that this organization is in a position to do anything right now?" he said.

The website paints an even more SCANDALOUS picture. Here’s what they’re saying:
Internal Revenue Service records show the group has a lackluster history of accounting for its finances, and that the organization has paid the performer and his business partner at least $410,000 for rent, production services, and Jean's appearance at a benefit concert.

But not all places are suggesting that the donations may go into Wyclef’s pocket. Here’s more from the AP article:
Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing for Charity Navigator, an organization that evaluates charities, said the foundation was too small to have been examined recently, although the current flood of goodwill may change that. Its revenue in 2008 was $1.9 million.

"My concern is it goes against our first tip, and that is to give only to groups with experience with disaster relief," Miniutti said. "I think it's very hard for a new organization even with the best intentions to handle something on this magnitude."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Clooney to Host MTV Telethon for Haiti

In an event scheduled to happen later this month, MTV has announced plans for a telethon to raise funds for the relief effort in the devastated country of Haiti. Actor George Clooney has signed on to host the telethon on January 22ndto raise funds for victims of the earthquake. Thus far ABC, NBC, HBO and CNN all plan to simulcast the event. Clooney said that he has been reaching out to famous friends and performers to join in from both coasts. His rep said Thursday night that the event’s logistics are still being ironed out, including what organizations/charities will be involved and which musicians will perform. Mediaite notes, "not since Hurricane Katrina have we seen this sort of united support within the broadcast television community, and perhaps only now do we start to see the scale of this disaster."

Clooney's not the only celebrity to get involved in humanitarian efforts. Politics Daily's Emily Miller has the full rundown:
Many Hollywood celebrities, including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, have announced large financial donations to relief causes for Haiti.

In press releases, tweets, Facebook updates and Web site posts, celebrities are publicizing their support and appealing to the public to follow their lead by donating to nonprofits.

Pitt and Jolie are giving $1 million to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières because "it is incredibly horrible to see a catastrophe of this size hit a people who have been suffering from extreme poverty, violence and unrest for so many decades," they said in a statement . The actress is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees.

"We are devastated by the news from Haiti," said the couple, who visited Haiti in 2006 to support musician Wyclef Jean's charity, Yele Haiti. "We will work closely with our good friend Wyclef Jean to support the humanitarian efforts on the island and help those who have been injured and left without homes and shelter."

Wyclef Jean, a native of Haiti, has long raised funds for his homeland. Since the earthquake struck, he has been leading fund-raising efforts by asking people to text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund.

Also donating to Doctors Without Borders is Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. He pledged $250,000 to the organization and Partners in Health for Haitian relief efforts, through his foundation, LiveStrong.

After visiting Haiti last year, actor Ben Stiller was inspired to start a charity called "STILLERSTRONG" with the group, Save the Children, to raise money to build schools in one community. Since the earthquake, Stiller's organization has encouraged donations to the United Nations and redirected all donations to his foundation to these relief organizations.

Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, who visited Haiti in 2002, urged people to donate to OxFam, saying, "The earthquake that has struck Haiti will have turned the city into an unimaginable hell."

In the twitterverse, celebrities pointed fans to their select charities. Actor Ashton Kutcher directed fans to UNICEF, as did singer John Legend, who tweeted Tuesday night: "A terrible earthquake today in Haiti, a desperately poor country. UNICEF is on the ground providing relief. Help!"

Rapper P. Diddy asked fans to text donations to Yele Haiti, tweeting: "God Bless Haiti!!!! God please!!!" Other celebrities tweeted for Haiti, including singer Adam Lambert, "House" star Olivia Wilde, singer Selena Gomez and actress Alyssa Milano.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey opened her show Wednesday with an appeal for donations to the Red Cross. "This is a time where we, as a global nation, should come together and support those who are in need." she said.

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