Daily Archives: January 11, 2010

Reality Check: Obama’s Winning Streak On Hill Unprecedented

posted by GeoT
1st of a two part report– Part 1
In his first year in office, President Obama did better even than legendary arm-twister Lyndon Johnson in winning congressional votes on issues where he took a position

NPR, by Don Gonyea
The new Congressional Quarterly study gives Obama a higher mark than any other president since it began scoring presidential success rates in Congress more than five decades ago. And that was in a year where Obama tackled how to deal with Afghanistan, Iraq, an expanding terrorist threat, the economic crisis and battles over health care.

Unprecedented Success Rate

Obama has been no different from his predecessors in that he’s always ready to send a firm message to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue as he “urges members of Congress” to come together and act. All presidents demand specific action by Congress — or at least they ask for it. But when you look at the votes of 2009 in which Obama made his preference clear, his success rate was unprecedented, according to John Cranford of Congressional Quarterly.

“His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate. That’s an extraordinary number,” Cranford says.

The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953. Cranford notes that George W. Bush’s score hit the high 80s in 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But Obama surpassed them all, Cranford says.

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Listen here: NPR Morning Edition Jan 11, 2010: Obama’s Winning Streak On Hill Unprecedented

Part 2: CQ: 2009 Was The Most Partisan Year Ever

NPR by Andrea Seabrook
A year ago as a new president took office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed that the United States must be governed from the middle.

“You have to bring people together to reach consensus on solutions that are sustainable and acceptable to the American people,” she said. It had been a rough eight years of partisanship and polarization under George W. Bush. Even Republican House leader John Boehner said if the Democrats wanted bipartisanship, he’d work with them.

It didn’t work out that way

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Listen here: NPR All Things Considered Jan 11, 2010: The Most Partisan Year

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Filed under Alternative Energy, Congress, Economics, Economy, Education, Environment, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Government, Green, Green Energy, Green Jobs, Inovation, Obama Administration, Stimulus, Uncategorized

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Project

Posted by: Audiegrl

It was Gertrude Stein who once said of Oakland, “There is no there there.” The same has often been said of Hollywood (both the place and the industry). There is no single place a visitor can go to get a real sense of its essence. The purpose of a museum dedicated to the filmmaking arts and sciences would be to put a “there” in Hollywood. To illuminate something of what we do and how we do it. Something of the sweat and something of the inspiration; something of the practical and something of the magic; to capitalize on the national and international love of filmed entertainment and promote an appreciation of, knowledge of, and respect for our work.

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen analyze a sculpture on display at MOMA in Manhattan (1979)

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen analyze a sculpture on display at MOMA in Manhattan (1979)

Our mission is to create a place to celebrate and explore how film has reflected and shaped world culture, and to help us all better understand what the movies have meant – and continue to mean – in our lives. Thirteen locations across Los Angeles were carefully assessed as potential sites on which to build our new institution. Ultimately, the Museum Committee felt that the museum was meant to live in Holly­wood, a neighborhood synonymous with the film industry. The chosen site, adjacent to the Academy’s existing Pickford Center, allows for the creation of a sunny, eight-acre campus.

The museum will be open year-round and become a landmark attraction for Hollywood and the greater Los Angeles area, a place for watching and learning about film and filmmaking, for exploring film’s relationship with the greater world and for listening to stories told by filmmakers themselves.

The museum’s public programs, lectures and hands-on exhibits will attract Los Angelenos, tourists, Academy members, film professionals, students and everyone in between. While people may be initially drawn in by the allure of Hollywood, we hope they will leave inspired and exhilarated, with a deeper appreciation for what movies have given them – characters they root for and sympathize with, glimpses into lives they wouldn’t have otherwise known, and stories that have shaped the American dream and our sense of national identity.

Sidney Poitier in the film classic 'To Sir With Love' (1967) with Lulu.

Sidney Poitier in the film classic 'To Sir With Love' (1967) with Lulu.

Who are our heroes and how have they changed over time? How have films depicted volatile issues like civil rights, religion, gender relations, poverty and war? How have they shaped our sense of masculinity, femininity and romance? How have Hollywood and Southern California affected the image of the United States, at home and abroad? Such are some of the topics the museum’s exhibits will explore, while allowing visitors to view films within the historical, cultural and technological contexts in which they were made.

But to see a film on screen is to see a finished product, not the creative process behind it. And so the Academy’s museum will also include spaces that explore the evolution of filmmaking. It will pull back the curtain, celebrating movie magic while allowing visitors a peek at how it is created. Each of the crafts will be illustrated in lucid, dazzling and unexpected ways, inviting visitors to explore often hidden worlds, whether that be a soundstage, an art department, a post-production studio or the Oscar® show itself. Visitors will be invited to sit in the director’s chair, costume a character, light a starlet, choose a location, cast a film, edit a trailer, score a movie, even walk the red carpet. They will come away with a better understanding of each craft, feeling that they have experienced cinematic creation themselves. It will forever change the way they watch movies.

Elizabeth Taylor in Father of the Bride (1950)

Elizabeth Taylor in Father of the Bride (1950)

The Academy’s museum will be a place of continuously changing exhibitions and programs of interest to residents as well as tourists. It will not rely solely on static objects and images, but will instead utilize interactive and experiential exhibitions, along with well-chosen memorabilia – “the bones of our saints,” if you will. Premieres, foreign films, silent movies, retrospectives, tributes – the screen­ing schedule in the museum’s state-of-the-art theater will be diverse and enticing, luring locals again and again and becoming one of the first things movie-loving tourists will check when planning trips to Southern California.

The Academy has collaborated with many different constituen­cies to determine the content of its museum exhibitions – from craftspeople in each branch, to historians, scholars and film critics, to staff at prominent museums around the country. The priorities are clear: to develop signature content, robust educational programs and exhibits that will attract both residents and tourists, all while providing a “red carpet” standard of visitor hospitality and service.

Years from now, we envision that the museum’s campus will be the hub of the vibrant neighborhood of Hollywood. Its collection, in concert with those of the Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive, will continue to provide an important record of the evolution of filmmaking. The museum will be acknowledged as the best in the world on the subject, having become a “must-see” destination in the Los Angeles area and a major center for Academy members to gather and discuss, debate and share issues of importance to filmmaking – past, present and future.

44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® Main PageBack to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® Main Page

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Art, Culture, Dancing, Entertainment, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, Movies, Music, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, US, World

Lopez Tonight! Guest Schedule for 01/11 thru 01/14


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Monday, January 11, 2010

Jackie ChanJackie Chan
Ke$ha

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jennifer Love HewittJennifer Love Hewitt
Pitbull

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Charles BarkleyCharles Barkley
Carrie Ann Inaba
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Saoirse RonanSaoirse Ronan
Snoop Dog

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A Favorite Clip from Last Week’s Show

Mary J. Blige Pops Up At The “Lopez Tonight” Show And Blesses Us With Her Brand New Single Called “I Am

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Filed under Art, Culture, Dancing, Entertainment, George Lopez, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Lopez Tonight, Los Angeles, CA, Media and Entertainment, Music, Pop Culture, Pundits (comics), TBS, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Groundbreaking gay marriage trial starts in Calif

posted by GeoT
Prop. 8 trial to include unprecedented testimony

Challengers of the same-sex marriage ban plan to call to the stand homosexual couples, experts on the history of sexual discrimination and marriage, and the architects of the ballot measure.


Prop. 8 trial Day 1: Live updates from inside the courtroom:


Scholars, gay and lesbian partners and opponents of same-sex marriage are expected to testify about the nature of marriage and homosexuality during an unprecedented federal trial today to determine whether gays and lesbians may marry.

The case, Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, is expected to become a landmark that eventually will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides have hired leading legal advocates with lots of experience before the high court.

San Francisco’s U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker, a Republican appointee known for independence, will decide whether Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage violates U.S. constitutional rights of equal protection and due process. Walker’s pretrial rulings have tended to favor supporters of same-sex marriage.

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related story: Top US Court Halts Broadcast of Gay-Marriage Trial

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) — The US Supreme Court placed a two- day halt on the planned YouTube broadcast of a trial on the constitutionality of …

source: Business Week

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‘Hillary Effect’ Cited for Increase in Female Ambassadors to U.S.

Posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Washington Post/Mary Jordan~~In the gated Oman Embassy off Massachusetts Avenue, Washington’s first female ambassador from an Arab country, Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, sat at her desk looking over a speech aimed at erasing misconceptions about her Muslim nation.

A few blocks away inside a stately Dupont Circle mansion, India’s first female ambassador in more than 50 years, Meera Shankar, huddled with top aides after her prime minister’s state visit with President Obama.

Nearby, in a century-old residence with its own ballroom, Latin America’s only female ambassador in Washington, Colombia’s Carolina Barco, dashed back from talking up free trade on Capitol Hill to showcase her country’s culture and food.

There are 25 female ambassadors posted in Washington — the highest number ever, according to the State Department.

This is breaking precedent,” said Selma “Lucky” Roosevelt, a former U.S. chief of protocol.

Women remain a distinct minority — there are 182 accredited ambassadors in Washington — but their rise from a cadre of five in the late 1990s to five times that is opening up what had been an elite’s men club for more than a century.

A key reason is the increase in the number of top U.S. diplomats who are women, what some call the “Hillary effect.”

Hillary Clinton is so visible” as secretary of state, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, who just arrived as ambassador from Mozambique. “She makes it easier for presidents to pick a woman for Washington.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, Cabinet, Culture, Government, Hillary Rodham Clinton (Sec of State), History, Media and Entertainment, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Presidents, United Nations, United States, Washington, DC, Women's Issues

Scholar Ladies

This is a priceless video from the 2009 HOPE Idol Winners. HOPE is a network of Christian college-preparatory schools in Milwaukee’s central city. The schools provide K-12 students with a values-based education that develops their knowledge and cultivates their character – the fundamental traits they need to become inspirations to their families, leaders in their communities and successes in the workplace.

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44-D’s Book Diaries: A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Posted by: Audiegrl

My husband picked this book up for me this week. In Northern Illinois we are used to very harsh winters, and living less that 20 miles from the Wisconsin border, he thought I’d enjoy this. He was right…Now, I’d like to recommend it to you.

A Reliable Wife: Rural Wisconsin, 1907. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt stands stands alone on the train platform anxiously awaiting the arrival of a visitor. The woman who arrives is not who he expects. This woman, this reliable wife, will decide whether Ralph Truitt lives or dies.

An Interview with Robert Goolrick

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The plotting of A Reliable Wife seems very deliberately crafted, as readers must constantly change their expectations of these characters and their actions. There is one surprise after another as the story unfolds. Did you think about the reader’s experience as you were crafting your storytelling, or did you write the story as you saw it?

I wanted to give readers, first and foremost, a good solid story and a reading experience that is as sensual as it is cerebral. I thought about the story for years before I started writing, then started it several times and stopped, and finally just committed myself to writing down what I had already committed to memory, the story of three figures in a barren landscape. I thought a great deal about the myth of Phaedra, and her entanglements with Theseus and Hyppolitus. So I thought I knew pretty much the whole thing.

But you’re always surprised. I was surprised at Ralph’s reaction to the knowledge that he was being poisoned. I was surprised that the brief encounter with Alice in St. Louis became, for me, the emotional fulcrum of the book. And I was surprised by Catherine’s passion for knowledge, for the comfort she takes in the reading rooms of public libraries.

You’ve mentioned that Michael Lesy’s Wisconsin Death Trip was one of the major inspirations for your novel. Can you talk a little about Lesy’s book and its relationship to your own?

Michael Lesy’s remarkable book is an examination of the lives of ordinary citizens of a small town in northern Wisconsin in 1896. It is a collection of photographs taken by the local photographer and brief newspaper accounts of the surprisingly erratic lives of the men and women who endured a hard life in a poor year in a bleak landscape.

Ralph and Catherine and Antonio are vivid, larger than life. I wanted to plant them very securely in the world, and the world they inhabit is the one depicted by Michael Lesy. It is a world in which no one is safe, in which the roof can always cave in when you least expect it.

I’ve always thought the lives of ordinary people are far more fascinating than the lives of the rich and powerful. An account of a man burying his father is more fascinating to me than a politician’s description of lunch with Henry Kissinger. A snapshot taken at the beach on a summer’s day is more memorable than any fine art photography. They show much more clearly the preciousness and grace of life.

Michael Lesy shows us how fragile life is, how hard it can be to get through the day without running off the rails.

Best-selling Author, Robert Goolrick

Best-selling Author, Robert Goolrick

Robert Goolrick is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir The End of the World as We Know It. This is his first novel. He lives in New York City.
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Read an Excerpt of A Reliable Wife
NPR’s ‘Reliable Wife’: Madness And Passion In Wisconsin

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Filed under Art, Book Diaries Series, Books, Crime, Culture, Entertainment, History, Media and Entertainment, Pop Culture, Robert Goolrick, Uncategorized, United States, Weather, Wisconsin, Women's Issues