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Waterloo by David Frum

Posted by: BuellBoy

Op-ed by David Frum

David Frum

David Frum

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:

(1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.

(2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.

So far, I think a lot of conservatives will agree with me. Now comes the hard lesson:

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Conservative, Health Care Reform, Republicans, RNC, Uncategorized

Nominated for Best Actor ~ Jeremy Renner ~The Hurt Locker

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

Jeremy RennerJeremy Renner recently starred in 28 Weeks Later, the highly anticipated sequel to 28 Days Later, for director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and co-starring Rose Byrne and Robert Carlyle. He played the heroic soldier Doyle, who goes against military orders to save a group of survivors. Renner also starred in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, directed by Andrew Dominik. In the film, Renner stars alongside Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in the role of a key member of James’ gang, Wood Hide. He also costarred opposite Minnie Driver in the independent film Take, scheduled for release later this year.

In North Country, Renner starred opposite Academy Award winner Charlize Theron in a fictionalized account of the first major, successful sexual harassment case in the U.S. Renner is at the center of the unfolding drama as miner Bobby Sharp. Renner also starred in the acclaimed independent film 12 and Holding, which was nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award.

Other recent credits include the independent film Neo Ned, in which Renner starred opposite Gabrielle Union. Neo Ned was screened at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival and swept the feature film category at the 11th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2006. Neo Ned was awarded Best Feature Film and Best Director while Renner won the Best Actor prize. The film also was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking/Best Feature Film Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April 2006, in addition to the audience awards at the Slamdance, Sarasota and Ashland film festivals.

Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James in The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James in The Hurt Locker

Renner’s other credits include A Little Trip to Heaven, in which he starred opposite Julia Stiles; The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, directed by Asia Argento as adapted from the critically acclaimed novel by J.T. Leroy; Lords of Dogtown, for director Catherine Hardwicke; and the independent film Love of the Executioner, written and directed by Kyle Bergersen.
In 2003, Renner was seen in the action hit S.W.A.T. opposite Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson. But the role that put Renner on the map and earned the actor an Independent Spirit Award nomination was his unforgettable portrayal of a real-life serial killer in the indie film Dahmer.
With a background in theater, Renner keeps his acting chops in shape by performing in plays throughout the Los Angeles area. Recent credits have included the critically acclaimed “Search and Destroy,” which he not only starred in but also co-directed.

Between film and theater, Renner finds the time to write, record, and perform his own brand of contemporary rock. He has written songs for Warner Chapel Publishing and Universal Publishing.

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Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Learn more about The Hurt Locker

Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actor, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Iraq, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World

Shake-up at MSNBC: New Changes to Daytime Line-up

Posted by: Audiegrl

TVNewser reports that MSNBC is streamlining its daytime schedule and doing away with the themed hours focused on the economy and politics. It’s a back-to-basics approach for the network’s daytime news hours which slipped to fifth place in December, behind FNC, CNN, HLN and CNBC between 9am-4pm.

Effective Monday the new daytime line-up is:

  • Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski ~ “Morning Joe” at 6-9amET
  • Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie ~ “The Daily Rundown” at 9amET
  • David Shuster at 10amET
  • Tamron Hall at 11amET
  • Contessa Brewer at 12Noon
  • Andrea Mitchell ~ “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 1pmET
  • Tamron Hall at 2pmET
  • David Shuster at 3pmET
  • Dylan Ratigan ~ “The Dylan Ratigan Show” at 4pmET

In a late December shake-up, Ratigan’s morning show was cut in half and moved to a afternoon slot, along with the cancellation of Dr. Nancy Snynderman’s “Dr. Nancy” show.

The network’s themed shows “It’s the Economy” which had been co-anchored by CNBC’s Melissa Francis and Brewer and Friday’s “New York Times Edition” which had been co-anchored by NBC’s Norah O’Donnell and CNBC’s John Harwood have both been canceled.

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Filed under Chris Mathews, Culture, Dylan Ratagan, Ed Schultz, Entertainment, Kieth Olbermann, Media and Entertainment, MSNBC, Networks, News, Norah O'Donnell, Opinions, Politics, Pop Culture, Rachel Maddow, Television, The Morning Meeting w/Dylan Ratagan, TV Shows, Uncategorized, United States, US

Wyclef Jean Joins George Clooney To Lead MTV’s ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ Telethon

Two-hour global telethon will air Friday, January 22

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean will join George Clooney and CNN’s Anderson Cooper in hosting MTV Networks’ “Hope for Haiti Now,” the global two hour telethon to air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT plus CNN International, National Geographic and MTV on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Hope for Haiti Now” will feature performances and celebrity appearances to be announced in the coming days, as well as live news reports from CNN. Clooney will host from Los Angeles, Wyclef Jean will be in New York and Anderson Cooper will be live from the devastation, with the Hollywood actor lining up a who’s who of guests to drop by and perform on the night.

All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations who are on the ground helping the people of Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. Both Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help steer viewers to the telethon and drive donations.

Celebrities across the fame spectrum have harnessed social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to rally support for the Haitian people, announcing their personal donations or directing their fans to contribute to deserving aid groups.

Yele Haiti FoundationHaitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has become the unofficial face of this celebrity humanitarian movement. More than $1 million has flooded in to Jean’s Yéle Haiti since Tuesday, according the charity’s fund-raising organizers. The Hollywood Foreign Press announced it would donate $100,000 to Yéle, while figures such as Lindsay Lohan, MC Hammer, and Haitian-born soccer star Jozy Altidor have tweeted their support for Jean’s cause.

Producing the telethon will be Joel Gallen, who produced the 9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” that aired 10 days after that tragedy.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that several other celebrities are using their social clout and talent to direct attention to Haiti.

  • Lance ArmstrongCyclist Lance Armstrong announced to his 2.3 million Twitter followers that his Livestrong foundation had pledged $250,000 to two humanitarian aid groups.
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  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Actors-turned-philanthropists Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to the Doctors Without Borders organization; Oprah began her talk show Wednesday by asking viewers to contribute to the Red Cross; Coldplay front man Chris Martin is urging his fans to donate to Haiti via Oxfam; and even Paris Hilton promoted the efforts of the Red Cross via Twitter.
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  • David BlaineMeanwhile, magician David Blaine is taking a slightly more hands-on approach. At 9 a.m. Friday, Blaine started what will be a 72-hour, nonstop “Magic Marathon” in Times Square. Benefits of the event and all proceeds from his online store will be given to the Red Cross.
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  • RihannaBut George Clooney isn’t the only celeb tapping his golden connections. East Coast nightlife guru Unik Ernest, whose Edeyo Foundation supports community-building projects in Haiti, has begun organizing a telethon and benefit concert. While the date of the event is yet to be released, celebrities said to be featured include: Rihanna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, according to Tonic.com.

Celebrity support of the Haitian people has contributed to the success of this week’s aid efforts. The American Red Cross reported Wednesday evening that in the 48 hours following the quake some $35 million in donations had poured in – more than it had received in the two days following Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis.

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Strong Start For Lopez Tonight

Posted by Audiegrl

georgeLopezTBSWebLatina Magazine/Lee Hernandez—By George, I think he’s got it. Comedian George Lopez’s new late-night talk show, Lopez Tonight, premiered to a very healthy 3.1 million viewers Monday night on three Turner Networks: TBS, TNT and TruTV, says Variety.

1.7 million of those combined total viewers watched the show on TBS—a good thing for the show since that’s where it will air weekly at 11 p.m. But more importantly, the debut—which featured guests Eva Longoria Parker, Kobe Bryant and Carlos Santana—performed solidly among adults (1 million viewers) in the key 18-49 demographic that advertisers love. “That’s higher than the current season averages (though not the premieres) of the adult demo draws for talk shows like CBS’ Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. If you use the combined three-net number, the show was sampled by more adult demo viewers than Conan O’Brien or David Letterman’s average,” writes The Hollywood Reporter’s James Hibberd.

In even more good news for Lopez Tonight, the show, which aired in place of TBS’s usual reruns of My Name is Earl drew 70% higher household ratings than Earl. “Viewers are ready for a change, and George Lopez is an exciting addition to late-night television,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “We are extremely proud of the success of last night’s premiere of Lopez Tonight and are confident the show will continue to be a big late-night hit.”

Lopez Tonight‘ offers surprising DNA test to Larry David

larry-davidOrlando Sentinel—TBS’ “Lopez Tonight” is billing itself as the first late-night show to offer DNA testing of its guests.

The shows promises that its Thursday episode will be different: “Larry David (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm‘) will get the surprise of his life when his true ethnicity is revealed.”

And the show hosted by George Lopez made this questionable boast: “It’s sure to be as good as an episode of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.‘”

Spoiler Alert: On the show last night, Larry discovered that he is 63 percent European, and 37 percent Native American.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Culture, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Humor, Lopez Tonight, Pop Culture, Presidents, TBS, Uncategorized

My solemn meeting on Veterans Day with President Obama at my friend’s resting place in Arlington

obamaat arlingtonpod_11-12-09_coin_PS-0463

President Barack Obama leaves a Presidential coin at the gravesite of 19-year-old Medal of Honor recipient, Specialist Ross McGinnis, who is one of two Medal of Honor recipients memorialized at the cemetery from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Daily News/James Gordon Meek—He didn’t introduce himself. He didn’t have to.

President Obama simply stuck out his hand and asked for my name as he stepped toward me amid a bone-chilling drizzle in the Gardens of Stone.

This was Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. I wasn’t there as a reporter, but to visit some friends and family buried there when Obama made an unscheduled stop – a rare presidential walk among what Lincoln called America’s “honored dead” – after laying a Veterans Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

President Obama extends a hand to James Gordon Meek of the Daily News Washington Bureau.

President Obama extends a hand to James Gordon Meek of the Daily News Washington Bureau.

What I got was an unexpected look into the eyes of a man who intertwined his roles as commander in chief and consoler in chief on a solemn day filled with remembrance and respect for sacrifices made – and sacrifices yet to be made.

I’m sure the cynics will assume this was just another Obama photoop.

If they’d been standing in my boots looking him in the eye, they would have surely choked on their bile.

His presence in Section 60 convinced me that he now carries the heavy burden of command.

I had stopped at Arlington to see the resting place of Ken Taylor, Ed Lenard and Dave Sharrett. Ken and Ed survived their service, in World War II and Korea, and died as old men. Dave did not leave Iraq alive. He was 27.

Obama arrived just before noon at the serene Section 60, where many of the dead from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried together – and where many more heroes will undoubtedly be laid to rest before this President leaves office.

It’s a section typically bustling with those visiting loved ones. Every time I go there, more and more graves have been dug into the earth.

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama emerged from their armored limousine hatless in the frigid downpour and took a slow stroll into the soggy rows of white marble headstones.

They stopped first at the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Ross McGinnis, an Army private who threw himself on a grenade in Iraq three years ago to save four buddies.

A sad-faced woman reached for Obama’s hand and pointed him to a nearby plot.

The face of another woman – who had grimly sat in a folding chair for hours next to a headstone she’d arranged flowers around – suddenly broadened into a smile as she stood to embrace Obama and thank him for paying his respects.

She was so overcome with emotion that a soldier from the Army’s Old Guard had to console her afterward.

Gravestone of Pfc. David Sharrett at Arlington National Cemetery

Gravestone of Pfc. David Sharrett at Arlington National Cemetery

The President patted backs of a dozen other Gold Star relatives and troops visiting buddies now in the ground.

He gave hugs. He shook wet, chilly hands. He wanted to know something about each fallen warrior.

He began to slowly trudge back toward the motorcade – and to another White House huddle with his war council, which is advising him whether to send up to 40,000 additional troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan.

And then Obama noticed a tall, bearded figure. He probably didn’t see the mud-caked combat boots I trudged around Afghanistan in a few years ago.

What’s your name?” a somber President asked as he extended his hand.

James Meek, sir,” I replied, struggling to pull off my wool glove and pull my hood back from my head. “I’m here visiting a friend, Pfc. David H. Sharrett II, who was killed in Iraq last year.”

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Filed under Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Journalism, Military, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Veterans Day

Why the World Will NOT End in 2012: Nasa Scientist Debunks Conspiracy Theories

Posted by Audiegrl

Doomsday? The film 2012 will inflame existing fears about the possible end of the world

Doomsday? The film 2012 will inflame existing fears about the possible end of the world

Mail Online/Niall Firth & Claire Bates—Dr David Morrison, who runs the space agency’s ‘Ask an Astrobiologist‘ service, says he has received more than a thousand emails from those worried that the world is due to end in 2012.

In an article published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Dr Morrison has answered the top 20 questions in an attempt to assuage these fears.

According to the theories on the internet, the calendar used by the ancient civilization of the Mayans is due to come to an end in December 2012.

The Mayan calendar ends in 2012, but Dr Morrison said this did not mean the world would end

The Mayan calendar ends in 2012, but Dr Morrison said this did not mean the world would end

Luckily for conspiracy theorists, this coincides neatly with predictions by an obscure sci-fi author, who wrote about the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer, that a planet named Nibiru will collide with the Earth on that date.

Fears have been further inflamed by an apocalyptic film called ‘2012‘ starring John Cusack, which is out this November. A quick search on Amazon reveals there are 175 books listed that deal with 2012 doomsday.

First off Dr Morrison dismisses the possibility that the planet Nibiru even exists.

He writes: The bottom line is that Nibiru is a myth, with no basis in fact.

To an astronomer, persistent claims about a planet that is “nearby” but “invisible” are just plain silly.’

Nasa scientist Dr. David Morrison

Nasa scientist Dr. David Morrison

And Dr Morrison laughs off suggestions that the government has been complicit in hiding its existence from the public.

Even if they wanted to, the government could not keep Nibiru a secret,’ he says.

If it were real, it would be tracked by thousands of astronomers, amateurs as well a professional. These astronomers are spread all over the world.

I know the astronomy community, and these scientists would not keep a secret even if ordered to. You just can’t hide a planet on its way to the inner solar system!’

He also addresses the concerns of those who worry that the Mayan calendar is due to end in 2012.

Ancient calendars are interesting to historians, but they cannot match the ability we have today to keep track of time, or the precision of the calendars currently in use.

The main point, however, is that calendars, whether contemporary or ancient, cannot predict the future of our planet or warn of things to happen on a specific date such as 2012.

‘I note that my desk calendar ends much sooner, on December 31 2009, but I do not interpret this as a prediction of Armageddon. It is just the beginning of a new year.’

Nostradamus

Nostradamus

He added although many believe prophecies by the sixteenth century seer Nostradamus predict the end of the world in 2012, there is no evidence he has correctly predicted anything.

He also tackles the belief circulating on some internet forums that an alignment of planets in our galaxy the Milky Way could in some way disrupt the Earth’s gravitational field or reverse the Earth’s rotation.

A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. It has never happened and never will,’ he said.

He added that although the magnetic polarity of Earth does take place around every 400,000 years scientists don’t believe it will take place for another few millennia and there is no evidence it would do any harm.

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Filed under 2012, Culture, Disaster, History, Hollywood, Movies, Sciences, Uncategorized