Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Biden on "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"

Circulating on the web on Tuesday was an old video of then-Senator Joe Biden appearing on the PBS game show, “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” In the show kid contestants would try to win prizes by using their knowledge of geography to track down the fictional crook. The clip is from Nov. 8, 1993, where the game show’s host Greg Lee receives a phone call from a certain Delaware senator.  

Pardon the Interruption

I apologize that my blog has been idle for so long. In addition to blogcasting in the morning, I've been doing a lot of on the ground reporting. We'll be rebooting the Readout in the new year, but for now, we'll start posting again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trumps "big surprise" at the RNC

Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that he was working on a "big surprise" for the Republican National Convention, although the real estate mogul remained coy about what was in store. “Today I am working on my 'big surprise' for the @RNC convention. Everyone will love it,” he tweeted. Trump adviser Michael Cohen said the reality television star would play a "unique and interesting" role in Tampa. Trump tweeted last week that he had turned down an offer to speak at the convention, and his name did not appear on the first wave of convention speakers released by the Republican National Committee.” More from The Hill’s Twitter Room.
Photo Credit: Vanity Fair

Obama does damage control for the First Lady

President Obama was trying to do some damage control for the First Lady. In an Iowa radio interview, he tried to set the record straight on his wife's ribbing of Gabby Douglas for eating McDonalds after her gold medal win (video above)."You know, the truth is the first lady was teasing Jay Leno, not Gabby, because Gabby can afford anything because she’s so fit," Obama said in an interview with KSTZ-FM in Des Moines. "But the first lady’s been getting on Jay Leno a little bit about getting some exercise." He also talked about back to school shopping for Sasha and Malia. "I've got to admit, Michelle doesn’t trust me with all that stuff. She's just better organized than I am," Obama said. "My general theory is, you know, they look fine. You know, why do they need new stuff?" he asked. More from Politico’s 44.

Romney teaches Ryan how to prepare his favorite snack: Honey peanut butter sandwiches

Photo Credit: thecompetentconservative.com
Peanut butter and honey sandwiches are the preferred campaign trail food for Mitt Romney. The Hill’s Twitter Room says, “Romney and his new running mate Paul Ryan have kept up a rigorous campaign schedule since Romney's VP announcement on Saturday, but thanks to Romney's personal assistant the world knows they had time to stop for a sandwich. Garrett Jackson, Romney's "body man," tweeted the first picture of Romney and Ryan together before the announcement. And he later tweeted a photo of Romney teaching Ryan his method for his favorite snack. Follow Jackson for more inside-the-bus tweets @dgjackson.

Michelle Obama to host White House dinner for kids

Photo Credit: Michelleobamawatch.com
As part of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, she is hosting children from across the nation at the White House for a kids' "State Dinner." The dinner is actually a luncheon, and 54 children who submitted winning healthy lunch recipes are attending with their parents. "Following the luncheon, the kids will be treated to a performance by Big Time Rush, and will have the opportunity to visit the White House Kitchen Garden,"  the White House said in an announcement Wednesday. The winners -- one child from each state, the three territories and the District of Columbia --submitted recipes for everything from fish tacos to "Bunny Bisque and Secret Service Super Salad." More from Politico’s 44.

Meghan McCain rips Joe Biden

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Sen. John McCain’s daughter thinks Vice President Joe Biden’s “unchained” comment was “stupid.” Meghan McCain ripped the VP on Tuesday for saying that Wall Street and Mitt Romney will put Americans “back in chains." "I'm so sick of this BS from him," she told KTAR radio,  "I cannot stand Joe Biden because I think stupid is worse than being mean." She went on, "It's ridiculous and it's ignorant. ... If I were Obama I would've never picked Joe Biden in the first place. I think he's an idiot. And I know people think it's cute because he's like crazy grandpa or whatever and they like his gaffes but I think it's offensive." More from Politico’s Click.

Obama now the most influential person on Twitter

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President Obama has finally become the most influential person on Twitter. Reuters reports, until recently, Justin Bieber was more influential than Barack Obama-- at least in the world of Klout, but not any more. “Klout said on Tuesday it has overhauled its Website and rejigged its algorithms, mostly by pulling in data from Wikipedia entries, to better reflect a person's status in the real world. As a result of the new algorithm, President Obama's Klout score has finally topped Beiber's, four years after Klout launched. The social media analytics company now sucks in 12 billion bits of data every day from social networks including Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr, up from 1 billion just months ago. As part of the revamp, most users will see a bump in their scores.” More from Reuters.com.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DJs for Obama

In a new web video released Tuesday, the Obama campaign announced the launch of DJs for Obama. "DJs are about motivation, inspiration, celebration. That's why I think it makes such perfect sense to not only celebrate this man, but to motivate people to reelect him," said New York City's DJ Cassidy. They've enlisted a number of DJs for the effort including Steve Aoki, rapper-turned-DJ D-Nice and DJ Rashida, who tours with Cee Lo Green. The DJs are encouraging other artistic types to use their talents to help the campaign. "If you're a painter, paint a campaign poster, if you're a sewer, sew a campaign t-shirt. Use what you have to contribute," DJ Cassidy says in a campaign video announcing the initiative (video above). "Four years is great. Eight is what we need." More from Politico’s 44.

Who will play Paul Ryan on SNL?

Photo Credit: Livejournal.com

Now that we know Paul Ryan, is Mitt Romney’s choice for VP, the bigger question becomes, who will play him on “Saturday Night Live”? Entertainment Weekly’s Hillary Busis has a few guesses: “My money’s on Taran Killam, a versatile performer who’s poised to break out now that Kristin Wiig is moving on to greener pastures. Killam’s ridiculous Michael Cera impression proves that he can capture the essence of a public figure without mimicking him. Killam’s also got serious competition in another SNL MVP: Bill Hader, who may be the show’s best impressionist since Darrell Hammond.” More from EW.com.

Paul Ryan's "Hey Girl" Tumblr

Photo Credit: Papermag.com

Congressman Paul Ryan’s “Hey Girl” Tumblr is getting a lot of attention these days. Yeas and Nays writes, Emily Zanotti,The 30-year-old head of a Chicago-based communications and advertising firm along with Lyndsey Fifield and Lindsey Dodge, had all read an April New York Times story about the Wisconsin congressman. “Somehow we got talking about how awesome Paul Ryan would look shirtless, in a river, catching catfish,” Zanotti told Yeas & Nays. From that came the Tumblr blog “Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan,” a site filled simply with sultry Ryan pictures, stamped with phrases like, “hey girl, unlike the debt our love will never hit the ceiling.” More from Yeas and Nays.

Nobel Peace Prize winners not fans of "Stars Earn Stripes"

Photo Credit: The Guardian

Last week we told you about a group of military families who were not fans of NBC’s new reality show. Now, a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners have taken a stand against the show, “Stars Earn Stripes,” which features former first dude of Alaska Todd Palin, the AP reports. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the other Nobel laureates protested in an open letter that the show, "Stars Earn Stripes," glorifies war and armed violence. The series, which premiered on Monday night, pairs celebrities with inactive U.S. military personnel for simulated military challenges.” More from Politico’s Click.

Chelsea Clinton to follow in her father's footsteps?

Photo Credit: Politico

Chelsea Clinton isn’t ruling out a future in politics, or at least that’s what she told Vogue magazine. Politico says, “The former first daughter, who has long avoided the press, let journalist Jonathan Van Meter follow her around “for weeks” for a new profile in the magazine’s September issue. From the piece: People around Chelsea have noticed a change in her, too. “As she’s been exposed to the foundation and to what her father’s doing with his post-presidential life,” says Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, “I think a light switched on: This is the legacy I’m going to inherit.” More from Politico’s Click.

Pelosi to hang with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots

Photo Credit: Politico

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be hanging out with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots crew later this week. According to NBC, Pelosi will discuss her 25th anniversary in Congress, along with the upcoming presidential and congressional elections. The Hill says, “Pelosi is a veteran of the late night comedy circuit, having appeared most recently on "The Colbert Report" in February. During that appearance, Pelosi advocated for the Disclose Act that would have increased transparency for election spending.” You’ll have to wait until Friday to see if the Dem leader slow jams the news. More from the Hill’s In the Know.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Is CNN considering reality and late-night talk shows to boost ratings?

Photo Credit: Mediaite.com
The New York Post is reporting that CNN is thinking about injecting reality shows and late night talk shows to try and help their ratings. They write, “In the past few weeks, the No. 3 cable news channel has started seeking out reality-show ideas and big-name stars not afraid to talk politics. They have even begun working on a late-night talk show, The Post has learned. Convinced that its current programming badly needs updating, CNN execs have been making the rounds of Hollywood’s top talent agencies — something entertainment networks do several times a year but a first for the old-line news channel. Find the full story at the New York Post.

Obama's call to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Photo Credit: ABC News
President Obama called NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday to congratulate the team involved with the landing on Mars last week of the rover Curiosity. "You guys have done an outstanding job, you’ve made us all proud," the president said. "If in fact you do make contact with Martians, please let me know right away," the president quipped. "I’ve got a lot of other things on my plate, but I suspect that that will go to the top of the list. Even if they’re just microbes, it will be pretty exciting." Obama also joked about Curiosity's flight director, Bobak Ferdowsi, who has become something of an Internet sensation because of his mohawk hairdo."I, in the past, thought about getting a Mohawk myself," he said, adding that rocket scientists don't appear to be as nerdy they once were. "You guys are a little cooler than you used to be." More from Politico’s 44.

Anthony Weiner and wife Huma Abedin rent a new home

Photo Credit: Nypost.com

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner is moving on up. The New York Post says, he has made a giant upgrade in the housing department. ”After selling his "875-square foot two-bedroom Forest Hills condo," Weiner and wife Huma Abedin are now renting a "2,120-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom apartment" on Park Avenue. The new crib happens to be owned by big-time Democratic donor Jack Rosen, but a spokesman for Hillary Clinton insists that the Weiner-Abedins are paying "market rate," which the Post's "real-estate sources" peg at "at least $12,000 to $14,000 a month." More from the Post.

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords returns to Tucson

Photo Credit: Msn.com

A year and a half after the tragic shooting in Arizona, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has returned to Tucson. NY Mag says, “She had been receiving intensive treatment in Houston, but her husband Mark Kelly said that she's progressed to the point that she can do therapy in Arizona. “You know, it’s time for her to get back to as much of a normal life as possible after this type of catastrophic injury,” Kelly said. “Obviously, a big thing for her is to come home.” More from their Daily Intel blog.

Paul Ryan stays fit with P90X and Insanity workouts

TMZ caught up with Congressman Paul Ryan over the weekend. They say,There should be no doubt that Rep. Paul Ryan is up for the rigors of a presidential campaign ... because the wannabe VP has a crazy workout regimen.  As TMZ first reported, our sources in DC say Ryan works out at the House gym every morning at 6:00 AM and his routine is "fierce." When we asked him about his workout routine, the Congressman from Wisconsin named two of the most popular -- and most difficult -- workout plans around—P90X and Insanity.” See the video at TMZ (or above).

Ryan bumps Romney up on Twitter's Political Index

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Mitt Romney’s VP pick delivered a positive bump for his Twitter account. For two days, Romney passed President Obama in positive Twitter conversations, which marked the first time he had done so all week, according to Twitter's Political Index. The Hill writes, “The index, showed Romney's score jumped 25 points on Saturday to 39 and kept ticking up, to 44 on Sunday. Obama's score was 32 on Saturday and 36 on Sunday. Romney had trailed the president's score all the previous week.  Twitter also started comparing online conversations around Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden over the weekend. Ryan earned 60 on the Twitter scale Saturday compared to Biden's 37.” More from the Hill’s Twitter Room.

Julia Child, a Bill Clinton fan

Photo Credit: Usatoday.net

Julia Child, didn’t just love French cooking, she loved politics and adored former President Bill Clinton, according to her biographer. But she was disappointed when Clinton didn't give her one of the nation's highest honors. “Child received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 from President George W. Bush, but the avowed liberal would have much rather received it from Clinton, Bob Spitz, the author of "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child," told The Hill at a Wednesday discussion at the Smithsonian about the cook's life. And, as it turns out, Child, had ties to another Democratic politician — Sen.Al Franken, but during his SNL days. Franken wrote the infamous "Saturday Night Live" sketch that featured Dan Aykroyd portraying Child. In the skit, Aykroyd acted out a scene from Child's PBS cooking show "The French Chef," cutting his finger but carrying on with the cooking despite the blood squirting everywhere. Child, he added, loved the sketch and showed it to visitors at her home.” More from the Hill’s In the Know. 

New Thomas Jefferson book dropped from its publisher due to "factual errors"

Photo Credit: gpb.org

A new book about the myths surrounding the life of Thomas Jefferson has been dropped from its publisher. The Huffington Post reports, “Following widespread criticism from a diverse group of scholars, as well as the threat of a boycott by Cincinnati pastors and church leaders, publisher Thomas Nelson has decided to stop selling David Barton's “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson” due to factual errors. Casey Francis Harrell, director of corporate communications for the Christian publishing house, told the Tennessean that the publisher had received several complaints about the book and ultimately confirmed the existence of enough errors to cancel it. The book is currently still available through Amazon.com, but Harrell told the newspaper that Thomas Nelson has stopped new shipments and is recalling the book from retailers. More from the Huffington Post.

The Insane Clown Possee sues FBI

Photo Credit: TMZ.com
The Insane Clown Possee is suing the FBI for labeling them a gang. The Village Voice says, “Speaking to their fans and media on the site of their 13th annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" music festival, the Insane Clown Posse expressed concern for the well-being of their fan base, which was labeled a "gang" by The Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Gang Intelligence Center's 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. To that end, the duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope announced that they, along with Psychopathic Records, have retained legal counsel to investigate and pursue legal action including monetary compensation and/or other injunctive relief on behalf of their fan base, the Juggalos.” The Village Voice has more.

The U.S. government partners with Linkin Park

Photo Credit: Article.wn.com

To provide electricity access for the more than 1.3 billion people in the world without it, the U.S. government is partnering with a group that knows a little something about wattage: Linkin Park. Politico says, “All six members of the Grammy-winning rock band, which has supported efforts at expanding energy access in the past, met with State Department energy officials on Friday. “Linkin Park described their efforts to support energy access for all through their Power the World initiative and the non-profit Music for Relief,” reads a department press release. “The band expressed their commitment to supporting and inspiring efforts at international development, disaster relief, and particularly, energy access.” More from Politico’s Click.

Paul Ryan drove the Wienermobile

Photo Credit: Pensitoreview.com

You're going to be hearing a lot about the Wisconsin Representative. So Gawker’s partner blogs found an interesting fact you may not know yet. Ryan used to drive the Wienermobile and sell meat products for Oscar Mayer in the upper-Midwest. Jalopnik writes, “At some point we'll have to get into a discussion of Janesville, where's he's from, and the now-defunct GM plant that's there. We'll have to talk about his views on diesel, CAFE standards, the bailout, and all that nonsense. But, so far as we can tell, the most important fact you need to know about the man who could be one heartbeat away from the presidency is that he used to deliver hot dogs. In a truck. Shaped like a giant hot dog.” More from Jalopnik.com. 

Paul Ryan memes

Photo Credit: The Daily Caller
With his announcement of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney may be hoping to secure the votes of middle and working class voters. But the Paul Ryan memes are already running rampant. It’s brought the return of the Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan Tumblr which pairs ipics of the Congressman with fake quotes declaring everything from his love for you, to how his budget plan works.  Political Punch says, “Paul Ryan's name, you see, is conveniently shared by several hunk-tastic Hollywood stars. "OK, so we know it's Ryan, but is it Gosling or Reynolds? #RomneyVP #Ryan," riffed Twitter user @thediscust. And enter Paul Ryan Gosling, which pairs images of Ryan (the politician) with made-up quotes. So far the Tumblr has a few entries. More from ABC and Yahoo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

'The Romney Girl' parody video

And because we haven’t had enough parody videos this week there’s a new one hitting Mitt Romney for not releasing more of his tax returns. The Agenda Project unveiled a new video starring Romney Girl—aka Miss Swiss Bank Account—declaring her love for Mitt.  You can see the full video at HyperVocal.com.

"Theapologistinchief.com" and "Mittbot.com"

Photo Credit: Politico.com
Both presidential campaigns have been busy buying domain website to use in future attacks. According to USA Today, “There is no website at theapologistinchief.com or agingrockstar2012.com yet, but these are two of dozens of web addresses Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has purchased and could use to tweak President Obama. One of the sites the Romney campaign bought this spring is "o-the-amateur.com" a frequent theme Republicans use to suggest Obama does not have the expertise to manage the economy. The Obama campaign, so far, has primarily launched websites that promote the president or defend attacks against him. However, the purchase of some domain names such as Mittbot.com, indicate the attacks could be on the horizon.” Find the full story at USA Today.

Psychic Adviser does hand readings of presidential candidates

Want to know who will be taking the oath of office in January? Perhaps this psychic adviser can help. BuzzFeed video guru, Andrew Kaczynski posted a number of videos of Tony Leggett, a self-described “international inspirer, life coach, and psychic healer/adviser” doing hand readings of all the presidential candidates. Now the candidates clearly didn’t volunteer their palms for this experiment, but somehow Leggett was able to analyze Romney, Obama, and a few others (Obama video above). More from BuzzFeed.com.

'Romey Hood'

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President Obama has his super PAC to thank for his newest tagline—Romney Hood. ABC’s Political Punch reports, “At a fundraiser Monday night in Stamford, Conn., Obama debuted the slam on his Republican rival. The term, which drew the loudest applause and triggered a flood of buzz online, was coined not by Obama or his speechwriters but by a team of Democratic strategists working for Priorities USA Action, which floated the concept last week. Priorities USA senior strategist Bill Burton first surfaced the “Romney Hood” label for the presumptive GOP nominee in the subject line of an email blast to reporters on Aug. 1.” Check out the full story at ABC’s Political Punch.

Hillary Clinton busts a move!

Photo Credit: Newspano.com
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was burning up the dance floor in South Africa Tuesday night, busting a move during a wild foreign reception. The New York Daily News says, “Clinton — who seems to be letting her hair down more and more in what she say will be her last year on the job — was one of the guests of honor at a dinner in Johannesburg. When a jazz singer began crooning at the reception, the former First Lady appeared to be the first one out of her seat and onto the dance floor, judging from the video filmed by The Associated Press. More from the New York Daily News.

The "Jersey Shore" cast gets political

Photo Credit: MTV.com
The case of Jersey Shore wants to make sure you get out and vote. Politico says, “The MTV reality stars have taped a video for Funny or Die, urging participation in the 2012 election." A slew of curse words and political theory disputes later, the cast encourages young voters to "flex their political power" in the 2012 election. MTV"s "Power of 12" campaign is said to target the younger generation , much like their Rock the Vote and Chose or Lose partnerships. More from Business Insider.

The Koch brothers and Zach Galifianakis exchange some words

Photo Credit: Politico
The Koch brothers shot back Tuesday at Zach Galifianakis for calling them "creepy," describing the actor as “a guy who makes obscene gestures with a monkey.” Galifianakis, who co-stars with Will Ferrell in the political comedy "The Campaign," recently said, "I disagree with everything they do. They are creepy and there is no way around that. It’s not freedom what they are doing,” according to the New York Daily News. The Koch brothers, who are parodied in the film by the “Motch” brothers, responded with the following statement. "Last we checked, the movie is a comedy. Maybe more to the point is that it's laughable to take political guidance or moral instruction from a guy who makes obscene gestures with a monkey on a bus in Bangkok.” More from Politico’s Click.

YouTube parody called "Obama that I used to know" circulates the web

There’s new YouTube parody circulating on the web. The Daily Caller writes, “Two disillusioned Obama supporters lament the “Obama that I used to know” in this spoof of the summer’s other incessantly catchy song, Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Rather than the passionate, energetic rhetorician that young voters got excited about in 2008, the duo mourns the loss of the president’s earlier speeches and promises in a parody music video (above). More from the Daily Caller.

No Obama in upcoming film "Zero Dark Thirty"

Photo Credit: EW.com
Don’t expect to see President Obama in Zero Dark Thirty—the soon to be released film about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. According to USA Today, “The makers of a film say President Obama won't be a character in it. "There's no political agenda in the film -- full stop -- period," says Mark Boal, the screenwriter for Zero Dark Thirty, which is set for release in December. "A lot of people are going to be surprised when they see the film," Boal told Entertainment Weekly." For example, the president is not depicted in the movie. He's just not in the movie." Instead, Zero Dark Thirty will focus on military and intelligence officials involved in the raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader. More from the Oval.

Michelle Obama to make her third apperance on "The Tonight Show"

Photo Credit: Politico.com
First lady Michelle Obama is making her third appearance on “The Tonight Show” next week. Obama will chat about the London Olympics and White House life on Monday’s show, according to a press release from NBC. The Root says, “It's safe to say she won't have a hard time coming up with stories to share, after leading the U.S. delegation to the 2012 Games. While, at 5 feet 11, she never saw her own gymnastics career take off, she met all-around gymnastics champ Gabby Douglas and the rest of the team's gold medalists and shared handshakes and hugs with basketball players. She also played tennis with kids, met with dignitaries and had an overall experience that she described as "otherworldly."” More from the Root.com.

Papa John's says 'Obamacare' would raise the price of their pizzas

Photo Credit: www.allmediany.com
Pizza chain Papa John's told shareholders that President Obama's health care law will raise the price of their pies. On a conference call last week, CEO and founder John Schnatter (a Mitt Romney supporter and fundraiser) said the health care law's changes will result in higher costs for the company — which they vowed to pass onto consumers."Our best estimate is that the Obamacare will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents per order from a corporate basis," Schnatter said. More from Mediaite.com.

Basketball stars to attend Obama campaign event

Photo Credit: Tracking.si.com
The latest Obama campaign contest offers some quality time on the basketball court with the President and a few friends. Politico says, “supporters have an opportunity to attend an event with basketball stars Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, and Michael Jordan, the campaign announced Tuesday. "Imagine shooting hoops" with those stars, deputy national field director Marlon Marshall wrote in an email to supporters. Other attendees include Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving, and Alonzo Mourning. It's the latest in a long string of campaign events designed to engage grassroots supporters and boost the campaign's small donor number.” More from Politico’s 44.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New board game called "The Presidential"

The Hill’s writing about a new board game called The Presidential that lets players see if they have what it takes to win office on Election Day. In the strategy competition, which its creators call the first mainstream board game centered on the U.S. presidential election, Republicans and Democrats go head to head trying to paint the country red and blue and win 270 electoral votes. On each turn, players must decide whether to campaign or fundraise, and can get tripped up or gain momentum along the path to the White House. The $35 game is being sold online and at the Smithsonian.” Check it out at The Hill’s In the Know.

High School girls push for female Presidential Debate Moderator

Photo Credit: NYDailyNews.com
Three High School Girls are pushing for a female Presidential Debate Moderator. Daily Intel reports, “It's now been twenty years since a woman, moderated a presidential debate — the 1992 three-way event pitting the incumbent, Bush Senior, against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. For Montclair, New Jersey, rising juniors Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis, twenty years is long enough. On Monday, the three students showed up in Washington, D.C., intent on presenting the Commission on Presidential Debates with two Change.org petitions calling for a female moderator, and totaling nearly 175,000 signatures. But the commission's executive director, refused to meet with the trio. In fact, Axelrod said that, "we were turned away and we were not allowed to leave our packages there either, in case they contained dangerous material." More from Daily Intel.

Biden spotted at Nationals-Phillies game

Photo Credit: Washingtonpost.com
Spotted at Tuesday's Nationals-Phillies game:Vice President Joe Biden. A White House official confirmed the VP's attendance. Biden attended with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and a number of wounded veterans. Biden showed up to watch Nats ace Stephen Strasburg take on the last-place Phillies. Biden's office tweeted that the VP was rooting for the visiting Phillies, who went on to beat the Nationals 8 to 0.
Check it out at Politico’s44.

Twitter launches "Twindex"

Photo Credit: Wired.com
Twitter launched a new service on Wednesday called the Twitter Political Index, or Twindex for short. Wired News says, “By applying highly tuned algorithms to Twitter’s fire hose of data, the service offers a real-time look at voters’ moods, and scores which presidential candidate is trending up (and who is trending down) day to day. Twindex is a joint effort between Twitter, Topsy, and two polling groups. The collective goal is to dive into Twitter’s deep trove of data, and pull up insights faster than Gallup and other traditional polling companies. Expect to see Twindex results referenced in all political news and commentary as we head into the presidential election. Welcome to the age of big political data. More from Wired News.

Obama congratulates the five members of the U.S. women's gymnastics team

The President personally congratulated the five members of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team that took home the gold at the Olympics yesterday.  According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, the President spoke to each of the ladies of Team  USA’s Fab Five. To Aly Reisman, Obama said: “Michelle and I have watched and decided of all the Olympians you guys amaze us the most.” And To Jordyn Wieber, Obama said: “I’m so impressed by how you bounced back and led the team. Tell your parents I’m proud of them too. I don’t think I could watch if I were them.”Above is a clip of Obama in Mansfield, OH on August 1, 2012 recognizing Michael Phelps and the U.S. women's gymnastics team. See the article on Politico’s Click blog.

Obama's tweet to Phelps

Photo Credit: Captainwag.com
President Barack Obama sent a congratulatory tweet to U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps who won his 19th Olympic medal at the London games on Tuesday. “Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You’ve made your country proud. –bo,” read the tweet. “Thank you Mr. President!!” Phelps wrote back. “It's an honor representing the #USA !! The best country in the world!!” Speaking in Mansfield Ohio, he congratulated Phelps again and all the athletes on Team USA. More from Politico’s Click.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More A-listers to co-host Harvey Weinstein's Obama fundraiser

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Anne Hathaway, Aaron Sorkin and Joanne Woodwood have come aboard to co-host Harvey Weinstein’s Aug. 6 fund-raising dinner for President Obama. Page Six says, “Vogue editor Anna Wintour is also hosting the $35,800-per-head event at the Westport, Conn., home of Weinstein and his wife, designer Georgina Chapman. Wintour and Weinstein teamed for an Obama dinner last year at the movie mogul’s townhouse where guests included Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Keys and Quentin Tarantino. More from the New York Post’s Page Six.

Gov. Nikki Haley's husband heads to Afghanistan

Photo Credit: www.media.thestate.com
Michael Haley, the husband of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, heads to Afghanistan for a year-long deployment with the National Guard in January, The State reports. Haley is a first lieutenant in the South Carolina National Guard and will be part of an agribusiness team in Afghanistan. “This deployment is the reason I joined the National Guard,” said Haley in a statement. “It is important to me to be able to give back.” In a news conference Monday, the Republican governor admitted: “Do you worry? Yes, of course you worry… all needs to be well on the home front. And so we will be fine here, and he just needs to take care of himself when he’s there.” More from the Daily Caller.

GOP Senators celebrate "Meat Monday"

Photo Credit: www.grassley.senate.gov
GOP Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) stuffed themselves with some delicious BBQ in celebration of the first-ever “Meat Monday.” Roll Call says, “The Senators hosted the lunch party in defiance of the Agriculture Department’s short-lived flirtation with the “Meatless Monday” movement. Cornyn’s office confirmed they picked up 52 orders of food from the Hill Country BBQ, including beef brisket, ribs, and sausage. Aides to Cornyn and Grassley, both representing major agricultural states, chowed down on the barbecue.” More from Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill.

George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs launches "Face the Facts USA"

Photo Credit: www.yorkblog.com
George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs’s launched a new site this week to help voters as the presidential election nears. Distriction says,Face the Facts USA" was launched Monday, exactly 100 days before the U.S. presidential election, and offers up one new fact each day for the benefit of American voters. “Although we live in a blizzard of information, the irony is that we are often left without clear facts about our biggest issues,” said Frank Sesno, director of the school. “The electorate has good reason to be confused and turned off by the avalanche of assertion and partisan noise making. But our hope with Face the Facts USA is that we can draw voters in fueled entirely on the power of information.” More from Distriction.com.

Obama gets some "Help" from Octavia Spencer

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President Obama’s campaign is getting some help from one of the actresses from The Help! Octavia Spencer hit the trail for President Obama over the weekend, according to The Root. They write, “Spencer, wearing a 2012 T-shirt under a dark blazer and a pin with the president's image on it, chatted, joked and took pictures with the 30 or so patrons and visitors at Heads Up Barber Shop in Charlotte. When someone said, "I loved you in that movie. Where's the pie?" Spencer answered, "You don't want me to cook.”  But she is serious when it comes to the election, "We cannot forget to show up in November -- otherwise, it's going to be back to where it was in 1980, and trickle-down effect," she said. More from The Root.

Willie Nelson to perform at RNC

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Country music legend Willie Nelson is part of the entertainment line-up for next month’s Republican National Convention. Politico reports, “Nelson is headlining a concert hosted by the Got Your 6 campaign on Aug. 29 in Tampa, Fla. Got Your 6 is a non-partisan group aimed at helping U.S. military veterans. A week later, rapper Flo Rida will perform during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., to benefit the same organization. All the proceeds from the concerts will be donated to various veteran support programs.” More from Politico’s Click.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Michelle Obama hugs players of the USA men's basketball team

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The USA men’s basketball team celebrated with the First Lady following its win over France at the Olympics over the weekend. Led by LeBron James, the players each hugged the First Lady who watched the game from a front row seat. "It was a very special moment," Carmelo Anthony said afterward, according to the AP. "For her to be sitting over there and supporting us, we just wanted to thank her for coming." More from Politico’s Click.

U.S. wrestler gives the First Lady a lift

Photo Credit: USAToday.com
Michelle Obama was front and center in London, cheering on Team USA as they compete in the Olympic games. Politico says, “U.S. wrestler Elena Pirozhkova didn’t just want a handshake or hug from Michelle Obama on Friday. She wanted to pick her up. And Elena Pirozhkova did just that – lifting up the first lady during her visit to the U.S. Olympic team’s training center in London. The moment was captured by Pirozhkova’s teammate Clarissa Chun who posted a photo on Twitter afterward. In case you’re wondering, Pirozhkova did ask Obama for permission first. "I hugged her, and then I asked her if I could pick her up. I think she was nervous,” she said in a statement from USA Wrestling via USA Today. “I went slow. I just picked her up. I wanted to ask her permission. There was security all around. And she gave it. I will only meet her once. I wanted to do something different.'' More from USA Today.

Kimmel admits he was nervous at the WH Correspondents' Dinner

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Comedian Jimmy Kimmel says he nearly got sick from nerves before headlining the White House Correspondents' Dinner in April. According to Parade: On September 23, Jimmy Kimmel will host the Emmy Awards and had a high-profile warm up of sorts this spring when he hosted the 2012 White House Correspondents' Dinner. "I almost threw up that afternoon," Kimmel said at the ABC upfronts on Friday. "That audience is very different and I didn't know whether they would laugh or get angry. Ultimately I think they did both." He joked that what he learned from the experience was that "the president is a little funnier than I am." More from Politico’s Click.

Congressman prefers to be alone on Election Day

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You can expect to see a lot of election night parties planned for November, but don’t expect to see Congressman Jim Clyburn at any of them. In the Know says, “Many lawmakers and political operatives view Election Day as a big party, especially if their team comes up big. But Rep. Clyburn (D-S.C.) is not one of them. Clyburn prefers to be alone on election night, he told ITK earlier this year. “I always watch election returns in private,” he said. He explained that even when he’s home, he goes into another room, shuts the door and doesn’t take calls. More from the Hill’s In the Know.

DC leads the nation in office profanity

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This article speaks more to the culture here inside the Beltway. Career Builder is out with a new survey that places D.C. atop a list that leads the nation in office profanity. DCist reports, “Nationwide, 51 percent of respondents told Career Builder they let slip dirty words in front of their colleagues, but in D.C., that number goes up to 62 percent. Denver came in second, at 60 percent, followed by Chicago, where 58 percent of Windy City denizens freely admit to cursing up a storm at the office. Career Builder did not respond to DCist's question if "swear words" were defined along the rubric of George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" or a more expansive list.” More from DCist.com.

Upcoming movie inspired by real-life politics

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The director for Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis‘s upcoming movie The Campaign says the film was inspired by real-life political squabbling — particularly, those recent GOP presidential debates. Mediaite says, “The movie,  follows two congressional candidates playing increasingly dirty as they vie for political office. Vanity Fair writes, “Director Jay Roach, who also helmed Game Change and Recount, says he did a lot of research on the pressure candidates are under to go negative early, and turn bad things into good things and vice verse. “That’s fascinating to me, the spin-doctor thing. And now with billions of dollars pouring into every campaign, paying the spin doctor, the commercial guy, the opposition-research guy, it’s such a heated battle,” he told VF Daily. “ More from Vanity Fair’s VF Daily.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First WH staffer to appear on "Parks and Recreation"

Photo Credit: Politico.com

As you know, a few Senators made cameos on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” when the show recently filmed in D.C. Patrick Gavin asks, “But behind every politician is a great staffer, right? Avital Barnea, a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, will also be featured on the program — the only Capitol Hill staffer to do so, she claimed. Barnea said that she responded to the “Parks and Recreation” casting call after reading about it on POLITICO. ”I initially cast it off, but upon casually mentioning the opportunity to a colleague, was encouraged to apply,” she said via email. “So, I emailed my photo and biographical information to the casting company.” Check it out at Politico.com.
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