Friday, February 26, 2010

Paterson Suspends Campaign

It's official. New York Governor David Paterson will not see reelection:

LMFAO Reenact Romney-Gate

Sky Blu, one half of the electro-rap duo LMFAO, posted a video message on the band’s website
last week explaining a little incident he got into a few weeks ago. Sky claims to be the person who was removed from a plane at Vancouver airport following an altercation with Republican politician Mitt Romney. In an interview with MTV, LMFAO reenact "the incident."

If I was a cheesier person, I would say, "That video made me LMFAO!"


Took him long enough to make that decision.

After a damaging story for the New York Times broke earlier this week, New York Governor David Paterson has decided to drop his bid for reelection. However, he will not resign.

The New York Post has more

Bye Bye Mr. Bayh

The news of Sen. Evan Bayh's retirement isn't anything new, but it must have struck a chord with this group. They felt the need to make a song about Sen. Bayh's farewell...and it's not exactly complimentary. (They seem to admire his dad, Birch Bayh, though).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Final Recap of Thursday's Summit

Overall, the second half the health care summit was pretty subdued. I think the President definitely scored some political points today. But if we're talking sports metaphors, with today's summit the President made a layup, but he was hoping for a half-court trick shot while blind-folded. He got a few points for the team, but in the fourth quarter, it's too soon to tell if it will be enough for the win. Politico's Carol E. Lee has a great recap of the summit, "Lawmakers agree they can agree; But they disagree on everything else:
Democrats and Republicans offered different takes on President Obama's health care summit, and just about the only thing they agreed on is that there are things they can agree on.

Speaking to reporters outside the West Wing, Democrats went first.

"I'm not overly optimistic that we would get Republican votes for the bill," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "But that doesn't mean that we couldn't incorporate some of their good ideas into legislation should they put some on the table."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed "to continue to work very hard," while knocking every member of Congress for sticking to talking points.

"Time is of the essence," he said.

LIVE Blogging Part 5

We're breaking for lunch right now (and by 'us' I mean the members of the House/Senate/Cabinet members invited to take part in today's summit.)
Here's my halftime report...stay tuned for more updates as the day goes on...

LIVE Blogging Update 4

First verbal smackdown of the day...

President Obama give Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a verbal lashing for hitting his talking points instead of contributing to the conversation.

LIVE Blogging Part 3

Little things to take note of (they're not really important, but I have to entertain myself somehow):

10:25am ET - Senator John McCain looks annoyed by Sen. Lamar Alexander's long remarks. (He also looks slightly confused by Sen. Alexander's notes)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's hair looks great! And she's suspiciously tan for having just gotten back from Michigan.

Rep. Steny Hoyer looks a little more stout than usual.

Important things to note:

Sen. Ben Nelson is absent from the summit today. It's interesting that he's not there since his state was promised the "Cornhusker kickback" in the Senate version of the health care bill.

Sen. Olympia Snowe is also absent. She recieved an invite yesterday, but declined to accept since the GOP had already decided on a delegation to represent the party at the summit.

LIVE Blogging Part 2

Just wanted to mention that P.O.T.U.S. is the only channel covering the health care summit from start to finish. CNN/MSNBC/Fox News/ and the local nets have all either broken away or aren't going near the summit. CSPAN is obligated to carry the House and Senate floor since both Houses are in session really POTUS is the only place to get unfiltered coverage of this historic summit.

But back to the summit:

11:07am ET - The first tense exhange begins between President Obama and Senator Lamar Alexander. President Obama says that he's seeing "the usual critique" in Sen. Alexander's concerns.

Now we're moving through this material....
11:10 - Senator Tom Coburn, one of the only doctors in the discussion, shifts the summit focus to preventative measures. He says that by putting the focus on prevention, the cost of health care will automatically decrease: “I hope we go back and focus on the biggest pot o’gold.”

11:20am ET - After a terse conversation with Sen. Coburn, the President points out that he does agree with the Senator's point regarding preventative medicine. This would be a good time to point out that the President is really listening to what's being said. He's not really taking notes and at times appears to be a bit bored, but you can tell from the responses he's dishing out that he's listening to EVERYONE. (And let me tell you, that's easier said than done).

LIVE Blogging the Health Care Summit

The summit got underway just a few minutes after 10:00am ET. President Obama walked from the White House across LaFayette Park with Vice President Joe Biden and a large presence of Secret Service. The President made his way around the room, shaking hands before taking his seat at the top of the hollow, rectangular shaped table.

10:07 am ET - Preisdent Obama begins the health care summit with his opening remarks. He talks about the importance to wrangling in the country's deficit. He also gets personal, bringing up the story about his daughter Malia's bout with asthma and Sasha's case of menengitis. Asking for everyone to set aside party affiliation today, the Preisdent says, "Everybody here wants to make sure we have a system that works...this concern is bipartisan."

10:20 am ET - Sen. Lamar Alexander opens up for the Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tossed the baton to Sen. Alexander, preferring for him to speak for the GOP. Senator Alexander said that he hopes today's summit is productive saying, "We want you to succeed…but we’d like for you to change direction.”

10:35am ET - Speaker Pelosi invokes the memory of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in this health care debate. The Speaker makes sure to make the point clear that "We don’t have time to start over on health care.”

10:45am ET - Senate Majority Leader Reid brings up a point we've heard a lot over the past few months: “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts”

At the 50 minute mark, the President asks that the summit participants keep track of their time better...

Rep. Grayson Rescued by Nemisis, Xe Strategies

Well isn't this a funny coincidence!

Congressman Alan Grayson was never a fan of military contractors, but after an incident in Niger last week, he sure was glad to see them. Mother Jones is writing, “Rep. Alan Grayson, who made his substantial fortune by suing military contractors and later lambasted them as a lawmmaker, was indeed evacuated from Niger by personnel working for Xe Services (formally known as Blackwater). In testimony yesterday, an executive vice president at Xe stated: "Xe Services, through its subsidiary Presidential Airways, provides aviation support and medevac services to Defense Department personnel in Africa. Just last week, our personnel evacuated a congressman from Niger during civil unrest." A spokesman for Rep. Grayson confirmed the account saying, "The flight was arranged through the State Department. The Congressman did not know, and frankly did not care, who owned the plane.”

Biz Markie--Friend to Clean Energy

DJ Biz Markie is bringing some hip hop to the issue of clean energy. Yesterday Markie joined EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, actress Gloria Reuben, and Congressman Andre Carson for the conclusion of the Hip Hop Caucus' Clean Energy Now! bus tour. Politico caught up with the DJ and asked him how he would update his hit “Just a Friend” for the cause.

The Blair House Project

Instead of the "Blair Witch Project"...get it?

Today is the day of the long awaited health care summit at Blair House. The event, billed as a bipartisan effort to find common ground on health care reform, is scheduled to get underway a little later this morning, but the National Republican Campaign Committee is clearly skeptical of the summit. Yesterday, the NRCC released an ad in advance of today’s meeting—entitled “The Blair House Project.” Their web site says, “After years of shutting Republicans out of the legislative process, one photo-op will not erase the American people’s memory of Nancy Pelosi’s closed-door Congress.” We're having Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the NRCC, on The Morning Briefing in a little while. Hopefully we'll get some answers regarding the ad...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Can't Touch This

1990s rap star MC Hammer made an appearance at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) event Friday. (Weird, I know). When I saw this story, I immediately called the DCCC to get some more information. Unfortunately Hammer wasn't performing, he went as a guest of a Democratic supporter to the DCCC Race Review, which is a briefing on congressional contests they deem the most competitive.

Hammer told the world about it in a tweet containing his daily schedule:

Top 5 to-do today. 1.Gym 2. DCCC (Pelosi) 3. Lawyers (File Appeal) 4. Enjoy Bay Sunshine. 5.

And the DCCC thanked Hammer for showing up:

Thank you @mchammer for joining our DCCC Race Review! RT @mchammer: Top 5 to-do today. 1.Gym 2. DCCC (Pelosi) [...]

Spokesperson for the DCCC, Andy Card, said that there were no parachute pants anywhere in sight.

Today on the Press Pool

For some reason, today's theme on Readout was hip hop. And judging from my experience reporting on politics in Washington...whenever politics and hip hop intersect, strange things happen...

Friday, February 19, 2010


I broadcast LIVE from the Conservative Political Action Conference today. It was a really large turnout this year and I'd be interested to see if the number of conference attendees surpassed last years count.

Since I was there so early (5am call time) there weren't too many people around, but I kept myself entertained with CPAC these bumper stickers.

Here are my blogcasts from this morning (and yes! Someone did eventually bring me a bagel!)

Actress Responds to Palin-Family Guy Feud

An episode of "Family Guy" that aired on Valentine's Day featuring a character with Down's Syndrome caught the attention of Sarah Palin. In the show, "Ellen" (the character with Down's Syndrome) says her mom is the former Governor of Alaska. Actress Andrea Friedman played the character "Ellen" on Family Guy and has responded to the controversy with this statement:
My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the "Extra Large Medium" episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine's day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in " Smudge" but I was a blonde in "Life Goes On". I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line "I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska" was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm".

In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.

BURN!!!! (h/t Huffington Post)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


For those you you unfamiliar with him, Julio Osegueda was the very enthusiastic twenty year old who came onto the scene February 2009 during a town hall in Fort Myers, Florida with President Obama. It was about a year ago the McDonald's employee asked the President what the stimulus would do for him. Let's see how's he's doing today.

No Obama on Colbert Report

Where’s the love for late night television President Obama? In an interview with TIME magazine, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that the President would be interested in appearing on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. However, the Commander-in-Chief has no interest in appearing with Stewart’s counterpart—Stephen Colbert. So what was the Press Secretary’s reasoning for skipping over poor Colbert? "I have yet to see a politician best Stephen Colbert in an interview on his show. I mean, he's really, really good." While on the campaign trail the President had no problem going on the show. Before heading to Iraq, Colbert and crew even got to come to the White House to tape a message from the President to the troops.

Congressman Mike Quigley said the President has nothing to fear. Representative Quigley, appeared on the “Colbert Report” last Wednesday during the “Better Know a District” segment. In response to Gibb’s comment Quiley tweeted: I dunno, I thought I did okay last week :)

Let’s see how he did...

Special thanks to Pete Dominick for his thoughts on the situation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) begins tomorrow in Washington. Last year’s conference set a record in attendance and this year, with Glenn Beck headlining, CPAC was moved to a larger venue with the expectation of even more people showing up. The main topic will be the GOP’s strategy—especially heading into midterm election, but this year, they're getting X-TREME. At night, CPAC will transform into XPAC. Fox News says, “CPAC Organizers are trying to turn up the hip quotient with video games and rap.” Co-created with Stephen Baldwin, “Epic Nights” will feature a mystery guest--"somebody of Joe-the-Plumber stature." The XPAC site says, “It will be the scene of a late-night "rap/jam session" on Thursday and a conservative comedy lineup on Friday. I'm pumped!! The AC/DC's blasting out of my stereo as we speak!

Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration

There’s a video floating around the web that’s generating a little buzz. “Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration” has made it’s way onto a number of different blogs. It seems like some people were confused about the concept of the video—whether it was meant to support the Tea Party Movement or mock it or has nothing to do with it. Soomo Publishing, creators of the video, say it was just meant to be fun. “When people who love politics, pop culture and filmmaking are asked to humanize the sentiment of the founders in writing the declaration, we sometimes get carried away.” If nothing else, it's pretty entertaining.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where In the World is Joe Biden?

Does Joe Biden get the short end of the stick sometimes? Today, he's in Saginaw, Michigan:
On Tuesday, February 16, Vice President Biden will travel to Saginaw, Michigan, to discuss how Recovery Act investments are improving communities and creating jobs in Saginaw and across the state of Michigan. At 11:45 AM EST, the Vice President will be joined by Administrator of the Small Business Administration Karen Mills and Senator Carl Levin to deliver remarks at Delta College.
Sure it's not glamorous, but he did get to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia for the Olympics. He led the American delegation and seemed genuinely excited about the opportunity. But over the past year he's been in office, the administration has sent him to some less than desirable locales. In April, he traveled to Middleton, PA and in December he went to an East Hartford Fire Department in Connecticut. But that's his job. He's spearheading the effort and oversees the Middle Class Task Force. He's got to get his hands dirty sometimes.

Goodbye "Young Barry"

Remember that statue of President Obama that was put up in Indonesia to honor their countryman? After a number of people complained about the statue of “Young Barry,” the authorities in Indonesia decided to take it down. The statues was taken down from Menteng park and moved to a nearby elementary school where President Obama attended school. The statue of a 10 year old Obama had been targeted by critics since it was erected in Decmeber. Ben Smith notes that the "President is still very popular in Indonesia, but too foreign to merit a statue."

Joe The Plumber: "I Don't Owe Him %@$!"

Joe the Plumber seems to be over his 15 minutes of fame...

Joe the Plumber (who’s name is not Joe, nor is he a liscensed plumber) is hitting the campaign trail on behalf of Tea Party candidates. Samuel Wurzelbacher was in Pennsylvania to speak at a “Mobilize for Liberty” event supporting state PA State Representative Sam Rohrer. Pennsylvania Public Radio’s Scott Detrow says, “Wurzelbacher touched on several different points during his speech. He said he doesn’t support Sarah Palin anymore because she’s backing John McCain’s re-election effort.” Detrow pointed out Joe would just be plain old Sam Wurzelbacher of Ohio without Senator McCain. Plumber's response was blunt. “I don’t owe him s—. He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it.” So Detrow asked him, “why’s he still milking the Joe the Plumber image?” Wurzelbacher says it’s his duty to take advantage of the platform he’s been given. You can read his blog at State House Soundbites.

Extreme Makeover: Obama Edition

ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" had a few surprise guests on Sunday and we’re not talking about your typical celebrity do-gooder. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis made cameo appearances on the show to help with the makeover of a D.C community center, The Fishing School (clip). Secretary Duncan said "My wife had a good laugh — carpentry and home improvement are not my strength.” A spokesman for Secretary Chu told Politico, "This was a great opportunity to talk to a large audience about energy efficiency and the value of weatherization to consumers' pocketbooks. Sec. Chu likes to practice what he preaches."

From Politico's Click:

ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" had a few surprise guests on Sunday: Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. The three showed up when the reality show chose to make over a D.C community center, The Fishing School.

Sadly, Duncan missed the show. "I didn't know it was on," he told POLITICO Monday. (The crew had filmed for a few hours in August.)

"I was happy to do it," Duncan said. The gang were there "for a couple of hours — and it was raining. … It was wet out there and we were walking around in mud," Duncan recalled of his reality show debut. (When asked if he's open to other reality shows, Duncan just laughed.) The secretaries walked around with hard hats on. "I didn't feel any danger," Duncan joked.

And the show's star, Ty Pennington? "He's a character," Duncan laughed.

As for Chu, his spokesman told POLITICO: "This was a great opportunity to talk to a large audience about energy efficiency and the value of weatherization to consumers' pocketbooks. Sec. Chu likes to practice what he preaches."

Back to Duncan: "My wife had a good laugh — carpentry and home improvement are not my strength,” he said. “It was fun to be a small part of that. It was a muddy but good day."

And now for the real question: when was the last time Duncan played basketball with President Obama? "Honestly? Yesterday."

And? "We're on the same team, we did quite well. We got some wins."

Family Guy's Palin Crack

I'm a pretty big "Family Guy" fan and usually I'm a fan of any political jokes Seth McFarlane throws out, but this week's episode took a pretty cheap shot. In Sunday's episode, Chris Griffin has a girlfriend--a girl with Down's Syndrome who's mother just happens to be the daughter of a former Alaskan Governor.

Sarah Palin may be a contributor for Fox News, but that doesn’t mean the Fox network has deemed the former Governor, or her family, off limits. Palin took to her Facebook page on Monday to criticize the "Hollywood" wing of employer Fox for the episode. She writes, “People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut.” Palin also posted her daughter Bristol’s reaction to the show. She said, “Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks."

If anything, I expect higher standards of comedy for the cartoon. Not to mention, how do you make Down's Syndrome funny? All in all, it was an uncomfortable joke that FAILED.

Conservatives Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh are scheduled to make cameo appearances on the show this spring. We'll see if they remain apart of the show after this incident.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stand UP! with Pete Dominick

Typically, I don't appear on Stand UP! with Pete Dominick, but today's blogcasts are by yours truly. If you get a chance, check out the Stand UP! website and be sure to become a fan of the show on Facebook!

So about that New York Times piece--the one with enough dirt on Governor Paterson that he'll be forced to resign? Even the NYTs thinks the buzz around the NYT's story is ridiculous! Washington has shut down due to the weather, but guess which government is off duty until March?!

Michelle Obama went on Larry King last night...(I wonder if he hit on her). Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson loves George W. Bush.

President Obama's cameo at the White House press briefing--a calculated move or he was just bored on a snow day?

Today's Readout...

If you're anywhere on the East Coast, I hope you're taking advantage of this snow day. Check out today's Readout with Joe Mathieu on the Press Pool. It's the best of the best on a day when the worst of the worst is outside...


Sen. Enzi's Tongue Twister

Senator Mike Enzi got caught in a tongue-twister yesterday on the floor. He got a bit mixed up when talking about the former Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich. In a floor speech opposing the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board, Enzi attempted to tie Becker to the corruption during Blagojevich's term, but had a bit of trouble finishing the sentence.

Miss Me Yet? (Update)

And the mystery of the President Bush billboard has been solved—partially. An image of President George W. Bush with the caption “Miss Me Yet?” has been circulating on the web. Some thought it was just a clever dose of Photoshop, but it turns out that the billboard is hanging right above Interstate 35 in Minnesota. News Cut says that a group of small business owners are behind the large ad. They write, “Mary Teske, the general manager of Schubert & Hoey Outdoor Advertising reports, "The Bush Miss Me Yet? billboard was paid for by a group of small business owners who feel like Washington is against them. They wish to remain anonymous. They thought it was a fun way of getting out their message." Apparently, “Various people have stepped forward around the country to claim credit -- the latest was a gentleman in upstate New York. Read more at Bob Collin’s News Cut.
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