Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fred Thompson Wants You to Refinance

Fred Thompson’a Law and Order gig may have gotten canceled, but you can still catch him on TV. An ad with Thompson as the latest celebrity spokesman for AAG reverse mortgages has been running for a few days now. Politico’s Ben Smith says, “We aren't in J.D. Hayworth territory here -- reverse mortgages are ordinary, accepted financial tools -- but a reader notes that Fred Thompson is also in the business of representing obscure financial firms on cable television.” He’s been an official spokesman for the company since early May.

The REAL "West Wing"

Rob Lowe has always been a pretty popular casting choice for political flicks and drama. He's played a White House press secretary and a Senator on TV, now actor Lowe is looking to make a reality show about real Washingtonians. Politico’s blogging, “Lowe has signed on to produce "Potomac Fever," a show that "will center on real-life aspiring politicos as they look to move up the ranks of power in the nation's capital," The "West Wing" star told Variety that he's "always had an affinity for the adventures of young Washingtonians" and looks forward to "[telling] their stories." No word on who will comprise the cast, but as part of the cast selection process, a variety of applicants were taped last September mingling at a cocktail reception at the City Tavern Club and partying at K Street lounge Lima.

Sen. Franken Catches some Zzzzs

Today marks day two of the Kagan confirmation hearings. Yesterday’s kick off of the hearing was without many fireworks—mostly opening statements from the committee members and Solicitor General Kagan. But Mediate reminds us of the signifigance of the event—whether or not it creates a media firestorm. They write “Every few years, we, as Americans, get to sit back and literally watch history being made in front of our very eyes. We get to see our country’s future being written. We get to watch Senator Al Franken fall asleep.” During Elena Kagan’s opening remarks today, Sen. Franken had a bit of a hard time keeping his eyes open. In his defense, I’m sure many people who watch the confirmation hearings felt the same way.

Courtney Love is Still a Hot Mess

Courtney Love was in Washington over the weekend and on Sunday night she played at DC’s 9:30 Club. Yeas and Nays is blogging that Love was late and a mess for her performance—which is nothing new--but she blamed her tardiness on a member of Congress. They write, “An hour after Love was supposed to show up, the 45-year-old songstress pranced onstage and explained that she was late because she was with a "senator friend" before beginning a bizarre three-hour-long show.” The Yeas and Nays girls took Love’s word that she was actually hanging out with a Senator and reached out to Sens. Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and Sen. Al Franken—none of which turned out to be said Senator.

I Can Haz CA Governor?

Meg Whitman’s campaign is taking some heat from a very popular internet website. FailBlog, a humor site with the tag line “helping yourself feel better everyday,” has accused Whitman’s campaign of faking a screen shot of its website in an ad attacker her opponent Jerry Brown in the race for California’s next Governor. PolitiCal’s blogging, FailBlog “demanded that the footage be excised from the video that is in heavy rotation on television stations across the state.” “We demand a written apology from the Whitman campaign and the removal of the video,” wrote Ben Huh, founder of the Cheezburger Network. The network includes FailBlog, as well as the popular “I Can Has Cheezburger?” blog of amusingly captioned cat pictures.” Whitman’s campaign said it has no intention to remove the footage.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yet Another Open Mic Moment

When will they ever learn? Rule #1 of broadcasting: Always assume your mic is hot.

Here's video from over the weekend of some Fox affiliate reporters getting caught on a hot mic making fun of Sarah Palin. Mediaite says, "Palin’s speech at California State University at Stanislaus yesterday was carried live on FOX40.com and after it was finished some reporters, apparently unaware the live feed was still going, could be heard making less than flattering remarks about the substance of Palin’s address:

“The dumbness doesn’t just come from soundbites.”

“I can’t believe she quoted Kennedy – twice.

“How am I going to write about this-there’s nothing there-answer well there’s your story.”

It’s unclear who the reporters were exactly — one blogger has suggested it may have been technicians or cameramen, though the nature of the comments suggests they were being made by people there to cover the event. The uproar in the blogosphere was enough, however, to compel Fox40.com to later release this statement explaining the mishap:

FOX40 News was the only station streaming a live signal from CSU Stanislaus during Sarah Palin’s presentation…While our cameras pointed at the CSU screen, showing the CSU camera, several reporters for other stations walked in front of our camera. Also, again, since CSU did not offer us a direct audio feed, we had to put a microphone in front of their sound system. Other reporters were overheard on that, despite several warnings that we had a hot mic, and several thousand people watching.

Not surprisingly, no one has come forward yet to claim responsibility for the remarks, which is too bad in so far as I’d be curious to compare the reporters “hot mic” impressions to the reports that were officially approved for public consumption. Watch below.

Medvedev Likes the Vinyl

While Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was in Washington with President Obama on official business, his staff went on a more personal quest: music for his vinyl collection. The Reliable Source is blogging, “Two Russian women who said they worked for Medvedev walked into Som Records on 14th Street Thursday looking for Duke Ellington, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix recordings. Apparently the Russian Pres. is a big jazz and rock fan and collects rare records. Owner Neal Becton said he was out of Ellington discs, but sold the women three Hendrix records, two by King, plus music by Gil Evans, Blossom Dearie and Mark Murphy."

VP Biden Doesn't like Smartasses

Vice president Joe Biden, was in Wisconsin on Saturday, campaigning for Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold. During his visit, he made a quick pit stop at Kopp’s Frozen Custard. I don’t think the Vice President’s staffers planned on any controversy coming out of a photo-op at a Custard shop, but they were wrong. An employee offered the Veep free custard in exchange for lower taxes and the Vice President didn't seem to like the joke very much. The manager said later in an interview with WISN that he thought Mr Biden didn't seem happy initially about the taxes comment, but that the Vice President later whispered that he was just kidding.

The Weekend Readout

Episode #1 of the Weekend Readout!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Official...I'm Working Weekends...

Good news for you (and me)!

This week, the Readout doesn't stop on Friday! Catch me and Joe Mathieu on the Weekend Readout on Saturday mornings at 9am! If that's too early for you (I know I like to sleep in), I'll post the audio right here on Monday mornings!!

Really? Obama, Lady Gaga compete for Facebook fan record

I want to know which intern at CNN noticed that Gaga and Obama had close to the same amount of friends.

Thanks to CNN for this little nugget:
Lady Gaga and President Obama don't often travel in the same circles, but they're the top competitors in a popularity contest that could have one of them setting a record by this weekend.

Facebook publicists told CNN on Thursday that the pop star and the president are neck-and-neck in the race to become the first living person with more than 10 million fans on the social networking site.

As of early Friday, Obama was in the lead, with 9,058,881 fans. Lady Gaga trailed behind with 9,023,966.

Both of them were more than 4 million fans behind the No. 1 individual, Michael Jackson, who had 13,285,811. The singer died a year ago.
Can the President 'topple' her record? (I couldn't resist)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Your Political TV Guide

Lifetime network's Sunday night drama Army Wives is scheduled to have a very special guest on the show this season. FishbowlDC’s blogging, “ For all you “Army Wives" fans out there, this is clearly a BFD.” Dr. Jill Biden, will show up as a special guest on the show. They write, “As part of Dr. Biden's ongoing efforts to raise awareness of men and women in uniform and their families, she'll appear as herself in an episode airing Sunday, August 15, 2010, at 10 p.m. ET. In the episode, “Biden visits Fort Marshall to launch a "Fun Run." On post, Biden visits military spouses to discuss challenges families face while loved ones are deployed. Many real Army wives will be featured in the episode as well.”

While we’re on the subject of special guest television appearances, Bristol Palin’s acting debut is scheduled to air early next month. She appears in ABC Family’s “Secret Life of the American Teenager” as, you guessed it, a teen mom . The Washington Post says, “Bristol plays herself in the episode of the hit scripted drama, which chronicles 15-year-old Amy's unplanned pregnancy. The July 5 episode finds Amy at a music camp for teen moms, where she befriends Bristol.”

EXCLUSIVE! Senator Sessions on "The Morning Briefing"

This morning, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was a guest on "The Morning Briefing with Tim Farley." We spoke with the Senator about the upcoming confirmation hearings for SCOTUS nominee, Elena Kagan (he's the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee), but we couldn't help but ask him about his reaction to Gen. Stanley McChrystal's resignation.

Sen. Sessions also serves on the Armed Services committee that will now proceed in the confirmation of Gen. David Petraeus as the new commander in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

See Ya McChrystal

According to ABC News: President Obama today relieved embattled Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his position as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, replacing him with General David Petraeus, currently head of United States Central Command.

Irreplaceable? I don't think so. Take it away Beyonce:

Drudge Report Link

With this headline: FLASHBACK VIDEO 2007: Obama Energy Secretary Says BP Going to Help Save World...

Since Matt Drudge gives you none, here's some context. The video was made after BP announced in February of 2007 that it had selected the University of California, Berkeley to lead a $500 million research effort to develop new sources of energy and reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment. At that time, Steven Chu was the Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Here's the full release from 2007 and here's the vid:

Abramoff Working at Pizzeria

If you happen to be in Baltimore, MD looking for a good slice of pizza, just ask Jack Abramoff where you should go. Just out of a halfway house after 43 months in federal prison, Abramoff is back in restaurant business, working at a Baltimore pizzeria, according to the Jewish Times of Baltimore. Al Kamen’s writing “the former lobbyist, who once owned a D.C. restaurant and a truly awful kosher deli, is working at Tov Pizza, helping its owner "in almost all areas of the pizza business, with perhaps a focus on marketing strategies."

Too Cool for the White House Pool

The Hill's Sam Youngman caused some confusion this past weekend during pool duty. Roll Call’s writing, “Youngman was at the ballpark shadowing President Barack Obama, who was attending the game between the Nats and his beloved White Sox— during which Nats phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg was making his second home appearance. The scribe sent a pool report e-mail describing leaving the press box at the top of the sixth inning and couldn’t help but add an admiring postscript about the rookie pitcher. “Strasburg had at that point given up three hits and one run,” he wrote. “Kid is sick.” After receiving an email from a fellow reporter asking if one of the President’s kids were coming down with a cold, Youngman wrote: “To clarify: Nobody is ill. Pooler meant that strasburg is very talented.” “I couldn’t help but laugh,” he said. “And it got quite a reaction from my colleagues in the White House press corps.”

Brian Williams Slow Jams the News

This is my favorite feature on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

The NBC news anchor stopped by to help slow jam the latest news on the Gulf oil spill.

Obama Hates the Wave, Lauded by Internet

I didn’t realize something as trivial as participating, or deciding not to participate, in the wave at a baseball game could help the President raise those popularity ratings. Sports Grid is blogging, “The Wave is seen by most as a stadium tradition that’s well past its prime, and Obama’s being roundly praised in the blogosphere for not leaving his seat. He’s even winning a bit of admiration from those who openly admit they and the president don’t generally see eye-to-eye.” Deadspin’s blogging, “The president probably gained a few more votes by refusing to take part in one of the worst stadium traditions. His daughter, on the other hand, needs a firm talking-to.” And Powerline says, “I look for opportunities to praise President Obama, really I do, but they arise very seldom. Today, however, it's hats off to our President. Why?…At some point, Nationals fans started doing the dreaded "Wave." President Obama, to his everlasting credit, looked on disdainfully and refused to participate” SportsGrid.com has more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's Readout

Rep. Steve Cohen's Got Rappers

There are no words really...

Here' the Hill's analysis:
Cohen, who represents a majority African-American district that contains the city of Memphis, has faced criticism from black politicians in his district in the past.

In 2008, he ran in a racially-tinged primary against attorney Nikki Tinker, whose campaign was criticized for running harsh ads against Cohen suggesting he was tied to white supremacist groups.

Then-Sen. Barack Obama endorsed Cohen in the race, which he handily won. Cohen faces a primary challenge this cycle from ex-Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, who is also African-American.

Translation...he's trying to get some street cred...

Sarah Palin Calls Rahm Emanuel a Liar...on Twitter

Sarah Palin took to her Twitter account on Sunday as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sat down with ABC's Jake Tapper on "This Week." Clearly, Palin wasn't a fan of the interview:
"Rahm, u lie," on Twitter Sunday after Emanuel said on ABC's This Week that Republican Rep. Joe Barton's controversial apology to BP last week exposed the political philosophy of the Republican Party. "That's not a political gaffe, those are prepared remarks," said Emanuel. "That is a philosophy."

"RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton's BP comment is "GOP philosophy," Palin also tweeted in reply to Emanuel's comments.

The White House has not responded to Palin's comments.

Sharron Angle's First Web Ad

From the LA Times:
Early indications are that both sides are prepared to go fully negative while using the Web as a key part of their campaigns. And Nevada columnist Jon Ralston reports that President Obama will return to the Silver State next month to help the endangered Reid raise more millions.

Reid’s Web presence, as expected, is pretty well established. Angle, meanwhile, has hired the group behind fellow Republican Scott Brown’s triumphant Senate campaign in Massachusetts to improve her Web presence, according to the Associated Press.

Jenna Bush's Bike Stolen

Jenna Bush Hager and her husband, Henry's, home was broken into last week. The lost two mountain bikes worth $3,500(!WHAT?!) in a break-in at their South Baltimore home Friday. The Reliable Source says, “The couple originally had Secret Service protection when they moved in two years ago (an agency van was infamously ticketed and towed from outside their place last year) but no longer; police told the Baltimore Sun, there's nothing to indicate the robbers knew whom they ripped off."

Vicki Kennedy Needs Your Help

Via Yeas and Nays:
Vicki Kennedy is trapped in London. She was mugged at gunpoint and all of her cash and credit cards have been stolen. She needs help paying for her hotel bills and promises to pay you back as soon as possible.

Or not.

Would Ted Kennedy's widow really be begging "with tears" in her eyes "freaked out" in London looking for money?

Probably not. But to recipients of the e-mail who are unaware of this long-circulating hoax, it could have appeared legit.

Kennedy's personal e-mail account was hacked Wednesday. This e-mail obtained by Yeas & Nays was sent to her closest friends.

Kennedy isn't the only political figure to have her e-mail account hacked. Sarah Palin's e-mail was hacked during the 2008 campaign, but instead of begging for dough, the hackers were looking for intel.

I'm sorry for this odd request and I'm writing this with tears on my eyes due to the situation of things right now, I'm stuck in London United Kingdom with my family, we came down here on vacation and we got Mugged at gunpoint, worse of it was that cash cell phone and credit cards were stolen , it's such a crazy and terrifying experience for us, we need help flying back home, the authorities are not being 100% helping, but the good thing is that we still have our passports, Our return flight Leave back home Today, But i still have problem in sorting out the hotel bills please help me out i promise to pay you back as soon as i get back home.

Now I'm freaked out.


Kennedy could not be reached for comment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Feel Good Story of the Day

If you can peel your eyes off the 24/7 web stream of the Gulf oil slick for two seconds, read this story!

11-year-old Olivia Bouler wanted to help clean up the oil spill, so she contacted the Audubon Society with an idea. They approved, and soon after, AOL signed on. Bouler has so far raised $110,000 selling her paintings.

Happy Father's Day

I still think there's something weird about interviewing your father for a "news story." And it weirder that CBS would allow one of their correspondents to refer to themselves in the third person...but I digress.

The CBS Early show aired an interview their correspondent (and eternally single gal), Ayla Brown, and her father, Sen. Scott Brown, as a tribute to Father's Day.

Sickening or sweet? Or both? You decide!

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Tony Hayward Re-Recites BP PSA in Opening Statement

Alvin Greene, Man of the Year

Ah, the curious case of South Carolina Senate candidate Alvin Greene. Time Magazine met up with Greene at his home (well his father’s home) to talk about the controversy surrounding his candidate. They write, “As recently as Memorial Day, Alvin Greene was an unemployed 32-year-old, facing an obscenity charge. What he became after winning 59% of the vote in the June 8 Democratic primary is now in dispute.” But Greene denies assumptions that he’s a plant or his candidacy is a hoax. He simply thinks he’s the best man for the job. And aside from Senator , there’s another title he’d like to add to his roster. While speaking to the magazine, Greene said, "And I am also the best person to be TIME magazine's Man of the Year." If he ends up somehow becoming the next Senator from South Carolina, he won’t have to worry about getting face time in the press.

Dale Peterson's Back

He may not have won the nomination for Alabama Agricultural Commissioner, but Dale Peterson is back with another ad that’s already started to go viral. Peterson gained notoriety during the GOP primary races in Alabama after his ad got more than 1.5 million views on YouTube because of it’s fast cutting, shotgun wielding straight talk. In this ad, Peterson throws his support behind Ag. Commisioner candidate John McMillan, shotgun in tow. Once again his ad is very popular on YouTube....But as we discovered just a few weeks ago, just because their ad is popular on the internet, doesn’t necessarily mean they win the votes. We’ll see if a Peterson endorsement will propel John McMillan to victory next month.

Dumbing Down the President

CNN yesterday released a story on the public response to President Obama’s Tuesday night address to the nation. The story’s getting a lot of attention on the blogs thanks to one person’s language analysis of the President’s speech. They write, “Obama's speech may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday by Paul Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. Tuesday night's speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Payack.” Blogs from Wonkette to Mediaite to the Raw Story all picked up on the tidbit. It was even subject of the Colbert Report last night.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Inside the BP Hearing

POTUS' Patrick Ferrise was with the protesters before they were removed by Capitol Police:

Hayward's Opening Statement

One more note about this morning's hearing:

Mediaite says Hayward is sticking to the original script of his BP PSA fairly strictly. But unlike the ad, you can be sure Hayword will spend more than sixty seconds explaining BP’s plan to Congress in his opening statement. Mediate continues, “Hayward’s opening statement promises to be much less interesting than the answers Hayward will have to give off-the-cuff to questions from legislators. The similarity in language between that and the congressional statements and the BP PSA seem to indicate that BP doesn’t quite trust Hayward with a broader message, or that they have faith that those words will reflect positively on them.”

Here's the statement:
“The explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico never should have happened ─ and I am deeply sorry that they did,” begins the statement, expressing both in the introduction and throughout his explanation that he and his company grasp the magnitude of the disaster and that “BP will do what we can to make certain that an incident like this does not happen again.” He continues, in what feels like merely an expansion of the company’s 30-second ad, to explain that he has been spending much time in the Gulf Coast region and “I fully grasp the terrible reality of the situation.”

Of course, this isn’t an ad, and he is expected to come up with specific solutions to the problem and very thorough explanations of his company’s behavior. While the statements present a much more specific plan for attacking the gushing oil well and solving the clean-up crisis than the company has given before, the best solution still seems to be the relief wells, which will be finished around August. That said, he explains that the Lower Marine Riser Package is helping in the meantime and praises his group of scientists saying that, “with the possible exception of the space program in the 1960s, it is difficult to imagine the gathering of a larger, more technically proficient team in one place in peacetime.”

And the PSA:

Tony Hayward in the Hot Seat

The BP CEO has taken his seat infront of the House subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the grilling has began. POTUS (Sirius 110/ XM130) will stick with the briefing in its entirety all day. I, unfortunately, will not be live-blogging the event, but if you're looking for great up to the minute update, check out the Lede.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Really South Carolina?

Now, it's pretty bad that people are questioning the mental capacity of SC Democratic nominee Alvin (or Al as I call him) Greene, but why is no one questioning the mental capacity of SC voters?

I think Jon Stewart sums it up best. I also look forward to meeting the next Governor from South Carolina, Aaron A. Aardvark:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Alvin Greene Wins South Carolina Primary
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

It Was Bound to Happen Eventually

It was only a matter of time before the “alleged affair” rumors started. Grocery store tabloid, Star magazine, is scored an EXCLUSIVE story, that former Vice Preisdent Al Gore conducted a two-year affair with Larry David’s ex-wife, Laurie David. Apparently, she was one of the producers for his documentary/reason he won a Nobel Peace prize, "An Inconvenient Truth." The Star alleges the dalliance is the reason for the end of the Gores’ 40-year marriage. But not so fast. Laurie David told the HuffPo on Tuesday that the tabloid report is an absolute lie. "The story is completely untrue. It's a total fabrication. I adore both Al and Tipper. I look at them both as family. And I have happily been in a serious relationship since my divorce." Laurie and Larry David split in 2007.

Insert "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "An Inconvenient Truth" quips here....

Levi and Bristol--The Great American Love Story

From the pages of US magazine, to the blogosphere, Americans can rest easy knowing Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have reconciled. The mag says, "now that Mama Palin is out of the picture and Bristol is on her own in Anchorage, they spend more time together than most people think. I even think they are back together." That’s according to some anonymous Alaskan source. Even the Associated Press is reporting the story saying, “there may be a thawing in relations between exes Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.” Johnston's manager, Tank Jones, says the two are spending more time together for their son's sake. However, Jones says they're not back together. And Palin family attorney Thomas Van Flein says they recognized a "joint interest" in raising their son in a positive environment and are taking steps to co-parent in a way that serves his best interests.” Just two teenagers in love.

The Real Housewives of DC

It feels like I've been talking about this series forever--or at least since November 2009 thanks to the Salahis.

Bravo officially announced on Tuesday that the show will premiere on August 5th, but Politico’s sure we’re not going to see any pols this season. They write, “The famous gate-crasher leads a cast including Mary Amons (“granddauther of radio and TV personality Arther Godfrey”), Lynda Erkiletian (“owner of D.C.’s top modeling agency”), Stacie Turner (a “Harvard grad” and “active political fundraiser”) and Catherine Ommanney (a “feisty Brit” who is “married to a White House photographer”). No politicians—or really any politically affiliated wives. The Reliable Source notes “Bravo gave serious consideration to a lobbyist and a fundraiser,” they write, “but both dropped out, because their jobs either required discretion or were too boring.”

Housewife Stacie Turner dropped by the POTUS studios just last month.

Tuesday's Readout

Joe Mathieu is on a much deserved vacation this week, so I sat down with Todd Zwilich on Tuesday. I'm happy to report a good time was had by all:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Carly Caught on Mic

When will politicians learn to always assume a mic is hot?
via Salon's War Room:
If the first day was any indication, the California campaign between Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and Republican ex-CEO Carly Fiorina is going to be nasty.

Fiorina was caught on an open mic and camera feed Wednesday, mocking Boxer's hair. A friend of Fiorina's, it seems, had seen Boxer on TV earlier in the morning. And she "said what everyone says," Fiorina blurted. "God, what is that hair? So yesterday!"

That's about four minutes into the video. Boxer shouldn't feel too bad, though, because Fiorina spent the vast majority of the time the camera was rolling bashing her fellow Republican, Meg Whitman, for going on Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel show on the first day of the general election campaign for governor.

And Hell Has Frozen Over...

Senator John McCain and the Princess of Poughkeepsie have teamed up to take down President Obama and his tanning bed tax!

Arizona senator John McCain sent a tweet to Snooki (yes, Snooki from Jersey Shore)earlier this afternoon. Clearly someone at his office is a fan of the show, because McCain was responding to Snooki saying, “I don’t go tanning-tanning anymore because Obama put a 10 percent tax on tanning…He did that because of us” in the preview for the next season of JS. Sen. McCain tweeted:

@Sn00ki u r right, I would never tax your tanning bed! Pres Obama’s tax/spend policy is quite The Situation. but I do rec wearing sunscreen!

Hey Senator McCain, I've got a new campaign slogan for you...GTL.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names

About 4:45 into the video, Stephen Colbert shows President Obama how to get mad (and give BP CEO Tony Hayword a proper ass-kicking).

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Oil's Well That Never Ends
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

Primary Roundup Readout

Today we bid adieu to some of my favorite political ads from the 2010 midterms. May they rest in peace.


South Carolina


Transformers Coming to DC

As Senator Lindsey Graham once put it, “[The President’s] been on every channel but the food network." But can we expect to see the POTUS make a cameo in the third film of the Transformers series? With all the television appearances he's been doing, it wouldn't surprise me. (They could bill the appearance as another economic stimulus for the auto industry!) DCist is blogging, “Michael Bay's next installment of the Transformers franchise is hoping to film on location here in D.C. sometime in September. It's no surprise that the production is reportedly hitting some snags dealing with the National Park Service (Bay apparently wants to film a number of effects-heavy stunts right on the National Mall, so many of the details are predictably still up in the air)." You never know which pols might show up in filming the flick. After all Sen. Patrick Leahy did have a cameo role in The Dark Night.

White House Boys Gone Wild

The Vice President and his wife hosted what turned into a White House super soaker fight over the weekend, but the President’s speechwriter and assistant press secretary also let their hair down. Famous DC’s blogging, “It’s going to take more than a brittle economy to keep these White House staffers down…or their shirts on.” They’ve posted pictures of Assistant Press Secretary Tommy Vietor and chief speechwriter Jon Favreau partaking in an impromptu, shirtless beer pong match at in Georgetown on Sunday.

Whoomp (There it is)...

Your Readout for Monday, June 7th:

Looks Like Someone Had Trouble Staying Awake

Last night, President Obama delivered the commencement address to high school seniors at Kalamazoo Central High in Michigan. The students beat out other high schools in the nation in the "Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge" and they were rewarded with an address from the President himself. The students were very excited...except for one kid.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Latest on the Helen Thomas Controversy

Mediaite's got the best synopsis:

(And just as I went to post the tick-tock, Thomas released a message saying she's retiring). Here’s the full announcement from Hearst:


WASHINGTON, June 7, 2010 – Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately.

Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet.

Thomas later issued a statement: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.’’

Thomas will mark her 90th birthday on Aug. 4.

The Duggars Make an Endorsement

Here’s a reality show family I never expected to hear get involved in politics—and no, it’s not the Gosselins. The Washington Scene’s blogging, “In what might be the best robo-call opening line this election cycle, TLC star Michelle Duggar tells Arkansas GOP primary voters when they pick up the phone, "Hello, I'm Michelle Duggar, and I'm the mother of 19 children." Duggar stars with her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, in "19 Kids and Counting," and is now endorsing Cecile Bledsoe, a Republican primary candidate in Arkansas's 3rd congressional district, where the Duggars live. Duggar isn't the only big endorsement Bledsoe picked up on Friday: Sarah Palin also endorsed Bledsoe on her Facebook page, calling her a "Commonsense Conservative 'mama grizzly.'"

Obama in Whoomp There it is?

What a way to start your Monday!

Since being elected President and even as early as on the campaign trail, President Obama has had to deal with a number of conspiracy theories. First, it was the rumor that he was a Muslim, then it was his “alleged” Kenyan birth certificate. But with all the pressing issues in America today, the most pressing of is is whether or not, the President has a cameo in Tag Team's video for “Whoomp (There It Is).” Gawker’s blogging that this a conspiracy theory everyone can get behind. They write, “everyone from Tea Partiers to hip hop message boards thinks Obama was an extra in the music video for the Tag Team single.” And while it sounds implausible and utterly ridiculous, even the skeptics on the blog had to admit that the guy about a minute into the video wearing shades and a Compton hat really does resemble the 44th President of the United States.

BP Buys Google/Yahoo Search Terms

When trying to keep up with news regarding the oil leak off the Gulf Coast, one would think the internet is a great place to stay up-to-date, but you may want to be careful where you click. ABC's blogging, "BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company's official website. A spokesman for the company confirmed to ABC News that it had, in fact, bought these search terms to make information on the spill more accessible to the public. But several search engine marketing experts are questioning BP's intentions, suggesting that controlling what the public finds when they look online for oil spill information is just another way for the company to try and rebuild the company's suffering public image. Analysts estimate the company is paying upwards of $10,000 per day to maintain the various search terms." A simple Google search of "oil spill" turns up several thousand news results, but the first link, highlighted at the very top of the page, is from BP with the tagline, "learn more about how BP is helping."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yet Another Caption Contest!

Larry Craig on "The Daily Show"

Yes...THAT Larry Craig appeared in a pre-taped segment on last night's episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

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Wednesday's Readout

Lots to talk about yesterday. Sir Paul McCartney make the press pool swoon; if Kevin Costner can't save the Gulf, James Cameron can; and how did the Alabama viral video candidates fair?

President Obama's Crummy Weekend

So sorry this is late, but I thought it was too funny not to post. On Tuesday, Joe and I recapped President Obama's pretty crummy weekend--including thunderstorms, a poorly attended rally, and a run-in with the Nation of Islam.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Viral Videos Don't Win Elections

Well I guess I can't technically say that, however, we did get a chance to see if viral videos had any affect on political campaigns. There were some elections yesterday and it just so happens that four candidates in Tuesday's primary elections in Alabama created campaign ads that went viral. But did their viral videos help propel them to political victory or will they just live in infamy on the web?

First up, Gubernatorial candidate and real estate developer Tim James, whose ad got more than 900,000 views on YouTube. James is currently tied for second place with state Rep. Robert Bentley, and could enter into a runoff election.

And what about everyone’s favorite Ag. Commissioner candidate, Dale Peterson? He landed in third with 27 per cent of the vote.

Gubernatorial candidate, Judge Roy Moore, took only 13 percent of the vote.

And finally, Les Phillips--the man not afraid to "call out" President Obama. Finished last in the Republican primary for AL's 5th Congressional District.

So we may not know exactly how viral ads help a campaign, but they sure are fun to watch!

POTUS with the Beatles

"Press Pool" host Joe Mathieu got up close and personal with one mister Sir Paul McCartney who is in Washington to accept the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Listen to the "Press Pool" at 12:45pm ET to hear all about the meeting!

Into the Abyss

It seems like we just keep getting news about BP's failed attempts to get the hole in the ocean plugged up for good. Doesn't anyone have an idea of what we should do?

Kevin Costner James Cameron to the rescue! The Canadian director actually met with officials yesterday for an underwater strategy session.

From People:
James Cameron, the director of Avatar and Titanic, joined scientists and other experts at a meeting with U.S. officials Tuesday in Washington to come up with possible fixes for the leak, which so far has resisted oil company BP's attempts to plug it.

The Canadian-born Oscar winner, 55, is an ocean-technology buff and has been an expert in underwater filming and manned submersible vehicles since his pioneering work on The Abyss in the 1980s.

The results of the meeting were not clear, but U.S. officials are said to be considering all options, including the use of manned submersibles, to cap the well. Cameron attended the meeting with Phil Nuytten, the head of Canadian undersea technology company Nuytco Research.

Who would have thought the fate of the Gulf Coast would rest in the hands of Kevin Costner and James Cameron?

Caption Contest!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Worst Campaigns of 2010

It’s hard to believe that 2010 is halfway over (or only six months in if your glass is half full), but Politico is commemorating the occasion with the worst campaigns of this midterm election year. They write, “Here's POLITICO's list of this year's biggest flops, to date: the candidates who remind us that while the race isn't always to the swift, it is usually to the pol who doesn't actively sabotage his or her own campaign.” Making the cut, Nevada Senate GOP candidate Sue Lowden thanks in part to her chickens for checkups comment. Senator Arlen Specter’s reelection bid and Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s campaign for Senate also make the cut.

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Last week, Facebook and the blogs were talking about an author who’d taken up residence right next door to Sarah Palin so he could write a book about being Sarah Palin. The son of writer Joe McGinnis told Politico’s Ben Smith that the move was prearranged by one of Palin’s neighbors. Vanity Fair says, “his father had been courted by Palin’s neighbor in a classic case of revenge-by-rental. A woman was renting her house and sought out the author because the Palins had crossed her (owed her money for renovations she had done at their request and never paid her for). So she knew McGinniss was writing the book and found him and offered him the house.” Bam! The Palin family’s attempts to rent the house themselves were rebuffed when said scorned neighbor allegedly did not return Todd Palin’s calls.
But not everyone's happy about McGinnis moving into the neighborhood. The editors of Sarah Palin's local paper, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, have a not-so-friendly word of warning for Joe McGinniss:
Maybe we’re out of step here, but the unanimous consensus of the newsroom is that we don’t really care if the Palins want some privacy from what they worry might be prying eyes. Fences have been known to make good neighbors and everybody knows we could use a lot more of those around here. So if the fence keeps McGinnis on one side and the Palins content, why would the “Today” show or ABC care? Finally, those who are fond of Joe McGinnis might remind him (if he doesn’t already know) that Alaska has a law that allows the use of deadly force in protection of life and property.

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