Thursday, July 29, 2010

Battle of the Web Videos

The Republican Governors Association and the Democratic Governors Association are turning to web videos as those November midterm elections approach. Over the weekend, at the Netroots Nation convention in Las Vegas, the DGA launched FighttheRight2010 as well as this ad that uses clips from “The Lord of the Rings” to “Animal House” to "300" to urge activists: “We never surrender. ” Meanwhile the RGA has come out with a new web video called "14 weeks" as part of their RememberNovember campaign that was launched last April--casting Democrats and the White House as tyrants pushing against the American people.

14 Weeks from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not Quite Viral...

But Rick Astley has finally made it into a campaign commercial—and it isn’t because you got Rick-roll'd.

Sunshine State News says, “The campaign team of Attorney General Bill McCollum unleashed a new line of attack on Florida GOP gubernatorial rival Rick Scott on Tuesday -- by bringing out pop culture references. On Tuesday, McCollum attacked Scott’s record at HCA/Columbia by referring to an internet meme involving '80s pop star Rick Astley. Later on Tuesday, the McCollum campaign released its take on Scott’s recently concluded bus tour across the state with a web video which included clips from the action film “Speed” with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.”

The Diva and the Diplomat

Aretha Franklin and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice duet for a good cause in Philadelphia (courtesy ABC's GMA).

<br> <br> <br> <br> <div class="yt-alert yt-alert-error yt-alert-player yt-rounded"><br> <img src="" class="icon master-sprite" alt="Alert icon"><br> <br> <div class="yt-alert-content"><br> You need Adobe Flash Player to watch this video. <br> <a href="">Download it from Adobe.</a><br> </div><br> <br> </div><br><br>

Sen. Scott Brown: Capitol Hill's Most Beautiful

Senator Scott Brown’s been named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill", but the Reliable Source says that unlike most of the honorees, Brown declined to give an interview or pose for a picture. They write, “ His press office did not return our calls to explain his bout of shyness." Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), and Rep. Duncan D. Hunter also made the list.

Why so bashful Sen. Brown?

Iran vs the Octopus

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Paul, the World Cup predicting Octopus, represents all that is wrong with the western world. "Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values," he said during a speech in Tehran, accusing Paul of "spreading Western propaganda and superstition.” Paul was mentioned on a number of occasions during that speech in Tehran over the weekend. Paul the Octopus recently became an international celebrity after correctly predicting the outcome of all German World Cup matches.

That Hair!?! So Yesterday!

California Senator Barbara Boxer and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina are battling for Boxer's Senate seat. However, the more important issue in this election is who’s got the better hair. After winning the Republican nominantion, Fiorina was caught off mic commenting on Senator Boxer’s coif, noting it was a bit out of date.

Public Policy Polling is hoping to settle the feud once and for all—asking voters which hairdo they prefer. Respondents were asked, "Do you have a higher opinion of Barbara Boxer's hair or Carly Fiorina's hair?" The result was Boxer 19%, Fiorina 14%, and 67% not sure (or perhaps didn't care). Gawker examined the crosstabs and found, “young people preferred Barbara Boxer's hair by a wide margin, possibly casting into doubt Fiorina's contention that it is "so yesterday." Registered voters between the ages of 30 and 45 were split (ends!) over the hair question, with 21 percent having a higher opinion of Boxer's and 19 percent having a higher opinion of Fiorina's.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today's Readout

The Tea Party Caucus is official in the House and the English language according to Sarah Palin:

Broadway Night at the White House

Ben Folds Ode to Levi

Ben Folds is out with a new song—and it’s about Levi Johnston. It’s called Levi Johnston's Blues, and it’s a song about the trials and tribulations of being Sarah Palin’s grandbaby daddy. Perez says this song will be part of a collection of music Ben Folds collaborated on with British author Nick Hornby! (WARNING: explicit language)

Sarah Palin's Children's Book

According to the Associated Press, Sarah Palin was working on a biography for the tween crowd.
Christian book publisher Zondervan is delaying publication of a Sarah Palin biography for young readers.

Cheryl Lundberg, Zondervan's director of customer service, said in an e-mail that after "careful review and discussion," it was deemed that October was not an "optimal time" to publish the book. She said no decision had been made on when the book would be printed.

"Speaking Up: The Sarah Palin Story," had been slated for release in September and publication in October. It was to be part of a series of biographies aimed at 9- to 12-year-old readers that featured Christians in the news.

Author Kim Washburn said Friday she was surprised by the decision. She said she was told this week the book was on hold "indefinitely."

Thad Allen's 'Sexting' During the Briefings

So it wasn't the call screener's fault, but there was an awkward moment during retired Admiral Thad Allen's briefing yesterday.

At one point during Monday's press briefing, while the Admiral discussed the situation surrounding BP’s new well cap, questions were taken via phone. One person who identified themselves as "Anna Bratton from the Associated Press" was next to ask a question, but instead we heard this:

So I'm guessing Admiral Allen's not interested in hearing about 'sexting' cases in New York. The operator dumped the call and proceeded to continue on with the briefing. So what happened exactly? I asked Anna Bratton:
I went to hit my unmute button and accidentally hit the hold button. Instead of hold music, our phones play AP Radio, so you heard a snippet of that. I saw it on the transcript and was confused myself at first. Was mostly just sorry I missed my question!
The audio that was broadcast was a pre-produced wrap by the AP's Warren Levinson on New York state's efforts to rewrite its laws to keep 'sexting' teens out of the web of kiddie porn laws:

Maybe it's time the Admiral's briefings get a little more sexy instead of all this talk about the Q4000 and wellbores!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today's Readout

Chris Core's in for Joe Mathieu on the Press Pool today....

The Weekend Readout

In case you missed it on Saturday, here's your weekly roundup of the stories I was following last week:

Video of the Moment

Mitt Romney Comes to Palin's Defense

Mitt Romney is not happy with his advisers for talking trash about Sarah Palin in a piece in Time. The Hill’s Twitter Room says the trouble started Thursday with a Mark Halperin piece in Time magazine that cited an adviser to Romney saying “She’s not a serious human being.” Another Romney intimate warns, “If she’s standing up there in a debate and the answers are more than 15 seconds long, she’s in trouble.” Twitter Room writes, “Trying to limit the damage from mocking a highly popular figure in the Republican base, Romney took to Twitter Friday to distance himself from his anonymous aides. He tweeted:
TIME says unnamed advisors disparaged @SarahPalinUSA. Anonymous numbskulls. She’s proven her smarts; they’ve disproven theirs.
Meanwhile on Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed, she was tweeting up a storm Sunday, talking about the Ground Zero mosque controversy. Her original tweet said:
Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.
She later replaced the tweet with:
Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.
But she still stands by her use of the (made up) word "refudiate:"
“‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

We Officially Know Nothing About the Clinton Wedding

Everything we thought we knew about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding may be untrue. The rumor-mill’s been chugging away, but there are some new developments in what we thought was fact and what's turned out to be complete fiction? Gawker says everything we heard about the guest list is untrue. "Despite being widely reported by every news outlet, one Human Events reporter contacted Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and the White House to confirm their rumored RSVP’s—none of them had even been invited. And what of the upstate New York locale? Gawker says, “The Hudson Valley News broke the story that Chelsea was marrying in Rhinebeck, NY, and the Associated Press followed suit. But now the Wall Street Journal reports that nobody in Rhinebeck believes it, including the mayor, who has heard nothing about the wedding, and says his sleepy little town's traffic and emergency services aren't ready for an event the size of Chelsea's wedding.”

I'm feeling a repeat of Clinton Wedding Watch 2009 coming on....

Barney Frank Defends Scott Brown and Daughters

On Friday, I mentioned that Senator Scott Brown was not amused by a joke comedian Kathy Griffin made about his daughters—calling them prostitutes. Now Ms. Griffin is being called out by another Massacuhsetts pol--Congressman Barney Frank.

Rep. Frank was recently on an episode of her show, My Life on the D-List, which was part of the reason he felt “compelled to comment.” In a letter to Griffin, he writes, “Since you did include me in that show I wanted to make it very clear that I thought what you did was wholly unfair and inappropriate. It’s the kind of thing that makes it less likely that I or others can cooperate with you in the future.”

As for this week's episode, the Boston Globe seems to imply that we may be hearing from Congressman about the show again in the very near future. In the episode (scheduled to air in the coming days) Griffin comments on Frank's sexuality saying, “He doesn’t know when ‘American Idol’ is on? He doesn’t care about Liza Minnelli? How is this guy even gay?”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today's Readout

Today, President Obama's headed to Maine and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's got his groove back...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bristol and Levi: A Love Story

The engagment story courtesy of Us Weekly.

Dick Cheney's on the Internet(s)

US News and World's Paul Bedard spoke with the former Vice President's daughter recently--inquiring about her father's new found tech-y edge:

As vice president, Dick Cheney never carried a BlackBerry, didn't E-mail or carry a laptop, and really never searched the Internet. An icon of the old school, he's also writing his biography on yellow pads which his daughter Liz Cheney then downloads into a computer. "He's a little set in his ways," she says.

But other than the authorship, times are changing for the veep. "I hate to disappoint you, but he does use all of those things now," she says. Awkwardly. In his early E-mails to Liz, he would open with: "Dear Liz, this is your father speaking." Says Liz, "He's getting a little bit better at the E-mail."

Maybe sometime soon we'll see him on Facebook with former President Bush. (And we're glad to hear he's doing well post-surgery.)

But one question remains. If Mr. Vice President just started using all these new technologies, what was here doing here at the 2005 State of the Union address?

Not Quite Viral...

...but expect to start hearing more about this argument.

With the heated back and forth between the NAACP and the Tea Party Movement over racially-charged rhetoric and images, a new YouTube video has been circulating that asks, "What If the Tea Party Was Black?"

Dazed and Confused on the Hill

A number of people have been busted recently for trying to bring marijuana into the Capitol building. The Hill’s reporting, “A dozen people have been arrested with marijuana and other illegal drugs while trying to enter the Capitol in the past 18 months. US Capitol Police say that the majority of the alleged drug carriers were tourists. NBC Washington says, “You’d think that the metal detector, X-ray machine and other security you’ve got to pass through just to get inside would be a pretty good deterrent, but some folks apparently didn’t get that message.” Senate Sergant at Arms Terry Gainer said that people getting caught with illegal drugs isn't new. However, the Capitol Visitors Center may be a reason for the uptick in violations--3 million visitors since it opened in 2008.

One Supporter Haunting Harry Reid

As with many members of Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s approval rating has seen better days, but now he’s even getting criticism from the great beyond. Yahoo’s Upshot says, “It’s pretty bad when the sitting Senate majority leader is fielding political attacks from the obituary page — from a long-ago supporter, no less. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s John L. Smith flagged an obit published in his paper Tuesday for Charlotte McCourt, a Nevadan who died last week at 84:
We believe that Mom would say she was mortified to have taken a large role in the election of Harry Reid to U.S. Congress. Let the record show Charlotte was displeased with his work. Please, in lieu of flowers, vote for another more worthy candidate.
Even Reid's opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, is channeling spirits. She says her campaign to defeat Reid is God' "calling."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Joe Biden on "The Tonight Show"

Apparently his appearance left LAX travelers upset.

Vice President Biden stopped by "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday but he also unintentionally stopped traffic at the Los Angeles International airport. Sharon Waxman at the Wrap is blogging, “A spokesman for the vice president said he was unaware of the FAA temporary flight restriction that stopped flights coming in, and delayed those going out." The Veeps spokesman, Jay Carney, told Waxman, “There was no sign of any stoppage. And there shouldn’t have been one.” Oh, but there was. Passengers were stuck for anywhere from 45 minutes to four hours as a result leaving many of them fuming. A spokesman for the Secret Service also spoke with Waxman and said he was unaware of any great delays as a result of Biden's travel on Friday.

Tony Hayward Enjoying Some Gulf Seafood

via TMZ:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today's Readout

Special guest, Ke$ha makes her way onto the Press Pool today....

Palin's Mama Grizzlies

Sarah Palin's taking Facebook and YouTube by storm this morning with a new web video pushing those Mama Grizzly endorsements she made earlier this year. But in this latest campaign-style ad from Palin's SarahPalinUSA PAC, she spotlights female voters rather than candidates. Perhaps we were worng about Palin putting her presidential ambitions on hold? Decide for yourself and watch the ad below.

Mike Gravel is Back

Remebemer Mike Gravel? Former Alaska Senator? Candidate for President in 2008? Well he’s back and starring in a new web series. On Wednesday, a new web series featuring Gravel premiered on Barely Political. The show, called "I Like Mike: Our President," stars Gravel as your 44th President of the United States . Mediaite’s blogging “Barely Political debuted the trailer Wednesday, from which it appears the series will be a spoof of both real news coverage and programs like The West Wing, chronicling the Gravel presidency in great detail.”

The Israeli Army Meets Ke$ha--"Rock the Casbah"

There’s a video of six Israeli Soldiers performing choreography to "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha while on-duty in Hebron that was uploaded to YouTube earlier this week. It’s been taken down at this point, but since the video went viral (over 2 million views counted), it’s still available in some places on the internet (like right here thanks to Gawker TV). The news website Ynet found Palestinian Hebronites who described the bizarre display of soldiers singing and dancing with rifles at 4:30 in the morning. They write, "While soldier patrols have become part normal life, the dance was a first.”

Last night, in his primetime exclusive with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the one and only Larry King broached the Kesha—Israeli army issue. The result was a bit awkward.

Elena Kagan's Latest Endorsement

The confirmation hearings may be over, but another endorsement for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan can’t hurt—even if it’s coming from 2 Live Crew frontman Luther Campbell. Politico’s blogging, “Two decades ago, Kagan was an associate at Williams & Connolly who worked on a Recording Industry Association of America amicus brief arguing that Campbell's raunchy lyrics were not legally obscene. He wrote in the Miami New Times:
I'm happy to see that Barack Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. Even if he doesn't win the next election, by installing two intelligent, nonpartisan women as justices, the president has already cemented his legacy. Sonia Sotomayor and Kagan (if she is confirmed) will be on the bench long after he has left the Oval Office. In my opinion, Kagan is the perfect person for the job.
I'm sure the Solicitor General is happy knowing that Uncle Luke is rooting for her all the way to the highest court in the land.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Official Gulf Disaster Board Game

Looks like someone beat XBox to the punch.

via Kotaku:
This may look like the work of a prankster, some PhotoShop kid with too much time on their hands, but no, this was once (and still is, I guess) a real thing.

Released in the 1970s, this BP-endorsed board game wasn't exactly a hit, but it's sure a hit with collectors now, with old copies being dug up and dusted off in the wake of the Louisiana Gulf disaster.

The game had up to four players taking control of deep-sea oil rigs. While there was money to be made and pipes to be laid, there were also dangers, like...well, "Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1million."
If only it really were this easy to clean up the oil spill.

Ashley Dupre Wants to Sell Your Home

Everyone's favorite ex-hooker is looking to change careers again. Already a recording "artist" (I use the term artist loosely) and a columnist for the New York Post, Dupre is looking to get into the real estate business. After a short stint in L.A., Dupre's back on the East Coast, taking classes at NYU in hopes of becoming a real estate broker.

"New York City real estate has always been an interest of mine," she told the Post. "It's just something that I wanted to do. Where this goes is yet to be determined. I am so excited to be back -- there's no place like New York.

"Music has always been my passion and will remain that always. Right now my focus is on my column, Ask Ashley, every Sunday in The Post."

Sources at The New York Post say Dupre fit in well at NYU and "made a ton of friends. She dressed very cute to class, hung out with students during lunch, and has been very into the course. She was one of the top students -- often answering questions from the lecturers before they'd even finished speaking."

Intel Analyst Charged for Giving Info to Wikileaks

The U.S. military is bringing criminal charges against Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the intel analyst who claimed he gave classified combat videos and State Department records to Wired magazine says Manning was arrested in May, and was being held in Kuwait without formal charges. They also say that Manning confessed to the leak in a series of online chats with a former computer hacker. Politico’s writing, “Manning, a 22-year-old from Potomac, Md., is suspected of leaking a classified 2007 video of an Apache helicopter strike that killed 12 civilians in Baghdad, including two Reuters journalists.”

Levi Johnston Apologizes

But what exactly he's apologizing for, no one's quite sure.

Levi Johnston is coming clean. The almost Palin son-in-law told People magazine that some of his claims about the Palin family last year were lies. "I publicly said things about the Palins that were not completely true," he says. So, what are those things? Levi doesn't quite say, but whatever the lies were, he's very, very sorry. "Last year, after Bristol and I broke up, I was unhappy and a little angry. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I publicly said things about the Palins that were not completely true," he said. I have a sneaking suspicion this has nothing to do with Levi's moral compass and everything to do with his supposed reconciliation with Bristol.

Summer of Death 2010?!

Every so often, someone on the internet starts a rumor that a celebrity or some other well known public figure has died when it’s not true. On Tuesday, after three Democratic senators were subjects of false reports of their deaths, the U.S. Capitol Police got involved in the matter. Politico says, “Several news outlets received a hoax e-mail news release, announcing the death of Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday.” Senator Leahy's spokesman, David Carle, denied the false press release saying the Senator is alive and well. Nearly identical fake releases about Sen. Frank Lautenberg and Senator Diane Feinstein also claimed that the pols were deceased. “U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider told POLITICO that the police are looking into the hoaxes but declined to say how many there were or to provide any other details.

Justin Bieber is Heading to N. Korea

Perhaps music is a form of diplomacy the State Department may consider using more seriously—but in this case, it’s just a group of hackers trying to send a teen pop star into unwelcome territory. Justin Bieber's fans are having a vote contest to see what countries he should tour. Some pranksters who hacked into the contest’s site, have made North Korea the destination of his fans choosing. A spokesman for the North Korean Embassy in London told BBC News, "any application for 16-year-old Bieber to tour would be dealt with by its mission to the United Nations, although the matter would be referred to Pyongyang." The contest ends today.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bristol Palin Is Yo Yo Ma

If the snippet of Bristol Palin’s acting debut on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American teenager wasn’t enough for you, Gawker TV’s got the whole scene. It’s pretty bad if you haven’t seen it yet, but don’t worry, Bristol says she has no plans on parlaying the appearance into an acting career. Asked if she wants to pursue an entertainment career after her debut effort, she says, "Not acting. I like doing speaking engagements and stuff like that." "Right now I'm just focused on raising Tripp.”

Michael Steele's In Hot Water

As you’ve been hearing, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is in hot water for comments he made about President Obama and the war in Afghanistan. Kevin Williamson at the National Review has an idea for the RNC, “Dump Steele, Hire Palin.” He says, “This is a job for Sarah Palin. Palin would be a much better RNC chairman than presidential candidate or freelance kingmaker. She'd raise tons of money and help recruit good candidates. I.e., she'd excel at doing the things Steele should have been doing instead of appointing himself Republican pundit-at-large… Sure, she'd be polarizing, but so is Barack Obama, and these are polarized times. And it's one thing to have a polarizing party chairman, another to have a polarizing candidate.

The blogs are mixed when it comes to answering the question of what should be done with Chairman. There are calls for him to resign from conservative blogs like, RedState and HotAir, and observations of Steele’s growing irrelevance from the Huffington Post. Mediate jokes, “At this point, the monthly Michael Steele Resignation Rallies should be an official part of the RNC’s budget.” Michelle Leiby at the Daily Caller thinks it’s time for Steele to go, but thinks he’ll try to weather this latest gaffe. She writes, “He’s shot himself so many times in the foot that he’s barely got one leg to stand on at this point. Steele weathered the many calls for his resignation after The Daily Caller broke the Bondage-gate scandal revealing that the RNC reimbursed $2,000 of a staffer’s expenses at a lesbian bondage-themed nightclub. So it would not be surprising if he tried to ride this one out too.”

Here's that gallery of Michael Steele photos I mentioned on the air....enjoy!

Today's Readout

It may be a slow news season, but that doesn't mean the gossip stops...

Friday, July 2, 2010

OBAMA: The Movie

Who knew President Obama was the original Karate Kid!

'Obama Anak Menteng' or 'Little Obama,' the movie, was originally scheduled to open during a presidential visit to Indonesia that was later canceled. In the film, a young Barack Obama battles bullies, confronts his first crush, and learns ka-ra-tay!

The Weekend Readout

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Here's an early dose of your Weekend Readout! Enjoy

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And Speaking of Twins...

Just for kicks (courtesy TMZ)

There's Some Kind of Journalistic Code of Conduct Being Violated Here

h/t the Reliable Source

On Wednesday's "Situation Room," CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux interviewed her TWIN SISTER about the Kagan confirmation hearings. How do I know that's not Suzanne with a curly wig?!

In her defense, Suzanne said the whole thing was her producer's idea.

Al Qaeda Gets into the Publishing Biz

New strategy for the war on terror...bring al-Quaeda to their knees with melodramatic tween-age vampire sagas!

via VF Daily:
Publishing powerhouse al-Qaeda has launched an English online magazine called Inspire, replete with all the bomb-making instructions and jihad-recruiting propaganda that traditional print journalism has traditionally shunned. Inspire also contains a piece by radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whose assassination President Obama recently requested. It’s called “May Our Souls be Sacrificed for You,” but the body of the article was left out of the magazine obtained by authorities. Still, judging by the title alone, though al-Awlaki may be a skilled rhetorician, it sounds like he may be a bit of an overripe prose stylist.

According to the Daily Mail, “Tuesday's launch did not go smoothly. The magazine was 67 pages long, but all but the first three pages were just garbled computer code, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites and obtained a copy of the magazine.” Sixty-seven pages is thin, even for a July issue. We’ll hold out for the iPad app.

So Long, Farewell Larry King

Forget Health Insurance! HHS Endorese Ciroc and Diddy!

That'll clear your head cold right up. No doctor's appointment needed!

via Mediaite:
The Department of Health and Human Services launched two new websites last night:, a portal to learn more about the new health care laws, and a corresponding Twitter account. At first glance, they both seem like pretty average administration sites, but to especially hawk-eyed folks like Sarah Kliff at Politico, something about the Twitter was slightly amiss – the brand new site had year-old tweets from P. Diddy and an Indian politician marked as favorites. Wait, what?

Though the favorites list was cleared this morning after Politico reached out to HHS for a comment, Kliff reports that 14 confusing “favorite tweets” showed up along with the @healthcaregov handle when it debuted. Five of those tweets came from Diddy, who at the time of the tweeting (in the wee hours of the morning on Nov. 1, 2009) appeared to be celebrating Halloween while simultaneously hawking Ciroc, the vodka brand he loans his image to: “Get your Halloween right with Ciroc! The smoothest vodka in the game! Let’s go people!Ciroc the official vodka of Halloween! :) boo!”

Tweets from former California Senate candidate Tom Campbell (also from Halloween), social networking site Mashable, and Indian Parliament member Sashi Tharoor were also suspiciously listed as some of @healthcaregov’s favorites.

The Department of Health and Human Services have a good explaination:

“An HHS spokesperson subsequently said that the favorites were a glitch. When the agency was launching HealthCare.Gov, it wanted a Twitter handle to match. The @healthcaregov account was already taken but inactive, so HHS got permission from the Twitter user to take over the account. It cleared out most of the content but missed the favorites list, the spokesperson said.”

Who is this mysterious human who used @healthcaregov before the HHS took over the handle? Finding the common factor among all the favorite tweets could lead us to a HHS official who, like Diddy, probably tossed back a few too many cups of vodka on Halloween and got trigger happy on Twitter.

A Little Light on News ESPN?

Summer is traditionally a slow news season and I guess with basketball season having ended, ESPN was looking for some extra material on Wednesday. One of the plays from the annual congressional baseball game made Sportscenter’s top ten plays. Democrats crushed Republicans 13-5 Tuesday night.

Mayor Fenty at the Go-Go

Mayor Adrian Fenty tried to show a different side of his campaign on Sunday. It’s not uncommon for candidates running for office to host musical events, but in DC there’s one demographic that can make or break a local politician—the all important Go-Go vote. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s up for reelection this year and over the weekend held a presser of sorts where Go-go vets Sugar Bear and Junkyard Band endorsed him. Of course there was music and dancing. At one point, Mayor Fenty even got on stage and did his best to move to the go-go beat.

One Night Only : Condi and the Queen

It’s Aretha Franklin and Condoleezza Rice for one night only. The two will share a stage next month in Philadelphia at a benefit concert for inner city children. The Federal Eye says, “The Queen of Soul and the former secretary of state will headline a July 27 concert at the Mann Center. According to the website, "Ms. Rice will enchant us with selections from Mozart and more and will feature Aretha on vocals with selections from her new album, 'A Woman Falling Out of Love.' This extraordinary effort is sure to be a crowd pleaser." Tickets for the show range from $24 lawn seats to $95.”

Anatomy of a Viral Video

TechPresident is blogging about a study that breaking down the anatomy of a viral video. A Cal State political scientist on Wednesday released his findings on what made the winter 2008 video "Yes We Can," such an enormous hit. Tech President’ blogging “the celebrity-filled 5-minute ode to Barack Obama and the meaning of his campaign, was an internet sensation that pulled in some 5.4 million YouTube views in its first month.” With the caveat that video virality is "complex and multidirectional," Wallsten finds. But it’s no thanks to the media. Wallsten found that "although journalists covered 'Yes We Can' extensively during its first month online, there is no evidence that media reports contributed to the video going viral."

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