Daily Archives: November 7, 2009

The Wanda Sykes Show Premiere’s Tonight

Posted by Buellboy

Wanda Sykes promises to pull no punches on new show

wanda-sykes-200x225McClatchy/Rick Bentley—Comedian Wanda Sykes says her talk-show topics will hit on everything from entertainment to politics.

Wanda Sykes has no problem speaking her mind, rattling off jokes or creating conversation.

Now, she’ll try to get others to be funny and interesting as she joins the world of late-night chatters when the weekly The Wanda Sykes Show launches at 10 p.m. Saturday on Fox.

Hosting a talk show is new for Sykes but the format is not. She got her start on HBO’s The Chris Rock Show, a talk show that had no restrictions because it aired on premium cable. The freedom was perfect for Sykes, who finds humor in everything from politics to sex — and talks about it frankly.

But even with the strict rules that come with network TV, Sykes doesn’t plan to pull any verbal punches.

I believe Fox has given us the opportunity to put it out there. I mean, that’s what they want. They booked me to be me,” Sykes says.

The network does have a safety net. Like all network talk shows, The Wanda Sykes Show will be recorded in advance. How far in advance might change depending on how much has to be bleeped. Right now, taping the show on Saturday afternoons means Sykes can be topical with her material.

Sykes, a cast member on The New Adventures of Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm, wasn’t looking to host a talk show when Fox contacted her. She especially wasn’t that interested in a network job because of the potential limitations in language and topics.

The Barack Obama campaign made her change her mind.

I was like, ‘Wow, I really wish I had an outlet where I could go out there and just speak on this on a week-to-week basis and be current.’ And I thought, ‘You know what? This talk show … I can do that. I can do the things like we did on Chris Rock.’ And that seemed like what they were getting at, what they wanted. And so I’m like, ‘This is the time. This is the time to jump into it.’” Sykes says.

Executive producer Eddie Feldmann says the show will look at what has happened in the world through Sykes’ eyes.

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In an interview, Sykes explains the show’s premise to Zap2it:

wandasykes260xStoryQ: Will anything be off limits?
A: No. I told the writers as long as it’s relevant, if I can see why we are doing it, it has to be grounded in reality, let’s not be mean-spirited. I’m not going to just call somebody fat.

Q: What’s the format?
A: I am going to do a monologue. It will be the big story – whatever the hot story is everyone is talking about this week. I have a sidekick, Keith Robinson. We have been friends for over 20 years. He’s a very funny comic who opened for me on the road. The audience can see me with my real friends. He pushes my buttons.

Q: So you can riff on anything from reality shows to philandering politicians. Then what happens?
A: Then it’s just a big hodgepodge. We’re calling it “Wandarama.” That will be video clips and photos, doing all of the stories of the week, then a three-minute produced piece, a man-on-the-street or correspondent. This weekend I went to Adultcon, the convention for the porn industry, asking them to go green. What’s wrong with a solar-powered vibrator?

Q: What is your goal for the show?
A: To be funny, to have people talking about it. Do people still say “water cooler”? I would love water cooler. Of course, now you just go online. I would love it to be a show people are looking forward to and say, “I can’t wait for next Saturday.”

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Wanda Sykes: I’ma Be Me: Behind The Scenes

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Filed under Comics, Culture, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Hollywood, Humor, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Pop Culture, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

Protect Traditional Marriage: BAN DIVORCE

posted by GeoT

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen today authorized the backer of an initiative that would ban divorce to begin collecting signatures to put the proposed constitutional amendment before voters.

John Marcotte now has until March 22, 2010, to collect 694,354 signatures of registered voters in order to get the measure on the ballot next year. The proposal would change the California Constitution to “eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced in California.”

Couples could still get their marriages annulled under the proposal.

Here is the official text of the initiative:

ELIMINATES THE LAW ALLOWING MARRIED COUPLES TO DIVORCE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the ability of married couples to get divorced in California. Preserves the ability of married couples to seek an annulment. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Savings to the state of up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually for support of the court system due to the elimination of divorce proceedings.
Source:


Read the petition here:
2010 CALIFORNIA MARRIAGE PROTECTION ACT
SAFEGUARDING MARRIAGE FROM THE EVILS OF DIVORCE
(PDF)




Click For Website: “You said- “Til death do us part.” You’re not dead yet.”

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Filed under 2010 Elections, Change, Civil Protest, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Uncategorized

President Obama’s Saturday YouTube Address 11/07/09

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WhiteHouse.gov—In this week’s address, President Barack Obama expressed his sadness for the tragedy at Fort Hood and praised the selfless valor of those who came to the aid of the wounded. While we mourn the heartbreaking violence, we should honor the heroism of the soldiers and civilians who rushed to help their comrades. That is the heroism which makes the U.S. military the finest in the world.”

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Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
November 7, 2009

I’d like to speak with you for a few minutes today about the tragedy that took place at Ft. Hood. This past Thursday, on a clear Texas afternoon, an Army psychiatrist walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, and began shooting his fellow soldiers.

It is an act of violence that would have been heartbreaking had it occurred anyplace in America. It is a crime that would have horrified us had its victims been Americans of any background. But it’s all the more heartbreaking and all the more despicable because of the place where it occurred and the patriots who were its victims.

The SRP is where our men and women in uniform go before getting deployed. It’s where they get their teeth checked and their medical records updated and make sure everything is in order before getting shipped out. It was in this place, on a base where our soldiers ought to feel most safe, where those brave Americans who are preparing to risk their lives in defense of our nation, lost their lives in a crime against our nation.

Soldiers stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world called and emailed loved ones at Ft. Hood, all expressing the same stunned reaction: I’m supposed to be the one in harm’s way, not you.

Thursday’s shooting was one of the most devastating ever committed on an American military base. And yet, even as we saw the worst of human nature on full display, we also saw the best of America. We saw soldiers and civilians alike rushing to aid fallen comrades; tearing off bullet-riddled clothes to treat the injured; using blouses as tourniquets; taking down the shooter even as they bore wounds themselves.

We saw soldiers bringing to bear on our own soil the skills they had been trained to use abroad; skills that been honed through years of determined effort for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect and defend the United States of America.

We saw the valor, selflessness, and unity of purpose that make our servicemen and women the finest fighting force on Earth; that make the United States military the best the world has ever known; and that make all of us proud to be Americans.

On Friday, I met with FBI Director Mueller, Defense Secretary Gates, and representatives of the relevant agencies to discuss their ongoing investigation into what led to this terrible crime. And I’ll continue to be in close contact with them as new information comes in.

We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing. But what we do know is that our thoughts are with every single one of the men and women who were injured at Ft. Hood. Our thoughts are with all the families who’ve lost a loved one in this national tragedy. And our thoughts are with all the Americans who wear – or who’ve worn – the proud uniform of the United States of America; our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coast guardsmen, and the military families who love and support them.

In tribute to those who fell at Ft. Hood, I’ve ordered flags flying over the White House, and other federal buildings to be lowered to half-staff from now until Veterans Day next Wednesday. Veterans Day is our chance to honor those Americans who’ve served on battlefields from Lexington to Antietam, Normandy to Manila, Inchon to Khe Sanh, Ramadi to Kandahar.

They are Americans of every race, faith, and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers. They are descendents of immigrants and immigrants themselves. They reflect the diversity that makes this America. But what they share is a patriotism like no other. What they share is a commitment to country that has been tested and proved worthy. What they share is the same unflinching courage, unblinking compassion, and uncommon camaraderie that the soldiers and civilians of Ft. Hood showed America and showed the world.

These are the men and women we honor today. These are the men and women we’ll honor on Veterans Day. And these are the men and women we shall honor every day, in times of war and times of peace, so long as our nation endures.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Military, Politics, Video/YouTube, Weekly YouTube Address

This is not the way we should be doing things in America…

Posted by Audiegrl

Colin Powell and Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press 10/19/08Watching the horrific events at Fort Hood unfold yesterday, it saddens me to admit that one of the first things that came to my mind, once the shooter was identified, was “oh no, what is the right-wing going to do with this?” Today, after seeing some fair and some not so fair coverage of the Fort Hood Massacre, it reminded me of what General Colin Powell said on Meet the Press in October of last year. When asked by host, Tom Brokaw whether he was prepared to announce whether he was endorsing John McCain or Barack Obama, Powell answered with a very long explanation on how he came to the decision to endorse Barack Obama for president and how he felt about the recent actions of the GOP. Towards the end of his answer, he said something that needs to be said again and again, regarding some of the countries reaction to the events at Fort Hood.

I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan's mother at his grave in Arlington Cemetary

Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan's mother at his grave in Arlington Cemetary

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards–Purple Heart, Bronze Star–showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.~~Colin Powell

His words were important last year, but even more so relevant today. The following are two a thoughtful pieces written by Kamran Pasha and Jon Soltz.

A Muslim Soldier’s View from Fort Hood

Soldiers praying

Soldiers praying

Kamran Pasha—Major Nidal Malik Hasan is a murderer and has brought great shame upon every American Muslim in the armed forces.

There are currently over 10,000 Muslim soldiers in the U.S. military, men and women who are patriotic and love their country and their fellow service members. Hasan’s evil actions, the murder of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, have now brought those honorable soldiers’ loyalties into question.

The Islamophobe community on the Internet is trumpeting how Hasan’s behavior is reflective of the threat Americans face from their Muslim neighbors, and how radical Islamists have infiltrated the ranks of our military. Calls for purging the military, and perhaps even the United States, of its Muslim members have already begun.

Today there are dozens of families mourning the attack on their loved ones by a fellow-in-arms. And there are hundreds of Muslims at Fort Hood who knew Hasan and are stunned that he would betray their country and their community with such cold, calculated ease. Hasan’s rampage has truly shattered many more lives than we can begin to imagine.

I spoke today with a friend who is a Muslim soldier stationed at Fort Hood. He is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army and a recent convert to Islam. He agreed to share his perspective with me if I granted him anonymity. So we will call him Richard.

Richard is exactly the kind of soldier we need to protect our country from those that seek to do us harm. A combat veteran who has served in Iraq, Richard became interested in studying Islam initially as a strategic means of understanding his adversary in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. But as he began to study the religion’s teachings, he became struck by how different they were from what was being claimed by men like Osama Bin Laden.

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Kamran Pasha is a Hollywood filmmaker and author of “Mother of the Believers”

Many Issues With Tragedy at Ft. Hood — A “Muslim Problem” not One of Them, FOX News

Grave of Major James Michael Ahearn

Grave of Major James Michael Ahearn

Jon Soltz—Yesterday was one of the most tragic days in the military, in the midst of a slew of tragic days as we continue to see casualties in Afghanistan. Innocent soldiers lost their lives, and many more were injured, at the hands of a very troubled Major at Ft. Hood. Our hearts go out to all those who lost their lives, their families, and those wounded.

Like many, I’m angry and confused, as well, at how this could possibly happen. But, until the facts are all known, I won’t jump to conclusions, or cast aspersions at a large group of Americans, like the disgraceful hosts of FOX and Friends.

During an interview with Geraldo Rivera, the FOX and Friends hosts twice implied that this is some kind of Muslim problem. Of course, they didn’t come out and say it outright, they couched it in the form of a question, like FOX News can be so good at. You know, like their teasers, “President Obama. Does He Hate America?”

Brian Kilmeade asked if it’s time to have “special debriefings” or “special screenings” of all Muslims in the military. Because, as he said, “If I’m gonna be deployed in a foxhole, if I’m gonna be deployed in an outpost, I’m gonna want to know that the guy next to me isn’t gonna want to kill me.”

Perhaps sensing that they were not being offensive enough, Gretchen Carlson chimed in, “Could it be that our own military is so politically correct right now…to be careful about treatment of Muslims that they would have allowed this to go by?”

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Jon Stoltz is the Co-Founder of VoteVets.org, served as a Captain in Operation Iraqi Freedom

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Fort Hood Shooting: Muslim Groups Fear Backlash

Don’t Ask Me About Hasan

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Wajahat Ali: The Fort Hood Tragedy: Fanning the Anti-Muslim Hysteria

Right-Wing Media Respond To Fort Hood Shooting By Attacking Muslims

Fox And Friends” Hosts Worry That Military Needs “Special Debriefings” For Muslims

Allen West, GOP Candidate: Ft. Hood Shows “Terrorists Are Infiltrating Military

WND’s Jerome Corsi Claims Fort Hood Shooter Advised Obama

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First Lady Michelle Obama: “If You Ask a Kid To Dream, He’ll Dream” 

First Lady Michelle Obama congratulates an award recipient during the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities Coming Up Taller event in the State Dining Room of the White House

First Lady Michelle Obama congratulates an award recipient during the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities Coming Up Taller event in the State Dining Room of the White House

Yesterday afternoon in the historic State Dining Room, First Lady Michelle Obama, honorary chair of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, presented 15 programs from around the world with the Coming Up Taller Award. Given to arts and humanities organizations that reach underserved youth, the award is a reminder of the meaningful role cultural activities play in the lives of our children. This year’s recipients include the Shakespeare Remix program in New York, where inner-city teens adapt and perform Shakespearean texts to reflect their own lives, and the Harmony Project in Los Angeles, which provides free music instruction to at-risk children.

Speaking to a crowd of teachers, program workers, and students, the First Lady highlighted the positive impact these programs have in the lives of children around the world:

    Because of you, teens in Arizona are publishing their own magazine, and children in central and south Los Angeles are learning to play instruments and performing in orchestras. Because of the work that you do, students in New York City are mastering Shakespeare. And in my hometown of Chicago, there are students learning traditional Mexican art forms. There are young people in Egypt who are learning basket weaving and storytelling, calligraphy and photography.

    And you’re not just connecting young people with music, dance, poetry and drama. But because of your work, you’re connecting people, these young people to mentoring, to tutoring, to social services, and college counseling. You don’t just show them the power of their imagination, but you show them the power of discipline and hard work and of teamwork, as well.

    And these young people don’t just become accomplished singers and painters and authors. They also become better students, they become better leaders, and they become better citizens, enriching not just themselves but their communities, teaching younger children the skills that they’ve learned, beautifying neighborhoods with murals and lifting their communities with their performances.

    Ultimately, each of your programs is using achievement in the arts as a bridge to achievement in life. And you see all this every day, each and every one of you working so hard. You see this in your students as they become more confident and more engaged and more willing to take risks and to take responsibility for their futures. You see it when their academic performance improves, when you see improving attitudes and higher GPAs. And you see young people who never saw themselves as college material, you see them getting those acceptance letters and you see them going on to pursue their degrees. So we all know in this room the power of the arts to change young people’s lives.

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Decision day for health care in the House +Obama States Strong Support For House Health Care Reform, Public Option

posted by GeoT

With the House of Representatives set to vote on health care reform during a session today, the White House announced its support for the legislation on Friday and singled out the public option as a laudable aspect of the reform effort

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is traveling to Capitol Hill on Saturday to try to close the sale on his signature health care overhaul, facing a make-or-break vote in the House certain to be seen as a test of his presidency.
Obama scheduled a late-morning visit with House Democrats convening a rare Saturday session on legislation to remake the U.S. health care system, extending coverage to tens of millions now uninsured and banning insurance company practices such as denial of coverage based on pre-existing medical problems.
Late Friday, House Democrats cleared an abortion-related impasse blocking a vote and officials expressed optimism they had finally lined up the support needed to pass Obama’s signature issue.
Cont’d Here:

Statement from Whitehouse

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, a bill that represents a critical milestone in the effort to reform our health care system. H.R. 3962 will provide needed insurance reforms for Americans with insurance, expand coverage for those who do not have insurance, lower costs for families and businesses, and begin to reduce the Nation’s deficit. It meets the President’s criteria for health insurance reform: it assures that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care that is there when they need it and does so without adding a dime to the deficit.

This legislation is the product of unprecedented cooperation and countless hours of hard work by Members of the House of Representatives who share the President’s conviction that the Nation cannot wait another year for health insurance reform. They have forged a strong consensus that represents an historic step forward.

The House legislation includes critical reforms to the insurance industry, so that Americans will no longer have to worry that they will be denied coverage, or that their coverage will be dropped or watered down when they need it most. It covers virtually all Americans and ensures that all Americans with health insurance are protected against high out-of-pocket spending.

The Administration is pleased that the bill includes a public health insurance option offered in an exchange. As the President has said throughout this process, a public option that competes with private insurers is one of the best ways to ensure the choice and competition that are so badly needed in today’s market.

Full Text of Statement: Click Here

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Enough Is Enough: Cantor Stands Up To Tea Partiers And Limbaugh

Posted by Audiegrl

cantor-tea-party-crowd-cropped-proto-custom_1TPM/Rachel Slajda—At yesterday’s tea party rally on Capitol Hill, at least one protester brandished a large graphic photograph of the victims of the Dachau Nazi concentration camp, comparing health care reform to Nazi policies. Today, Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) spokesman called the photograph “inappropriate.”

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) has also condemned the poster.

teapartyzoomCantor, in an interview today with Bloomberg, also offered some criticism of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s comparison of President Obama to Adolf Hitler.

Do I condone the mention of Hitler in any discussion about politics?” said Cantor, who is the only Jewish Republican in Congress. “No, I don’t, because obviously that is something that conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful.”

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