Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goodbye AMEX Gold Card (For Now) - Zennie62

Goodbye Gold Card my old friend! We've seen good-eats on the high-end.. People tell me AMEX has crashed. People say their credit is smashed. But I'll tell you, that's not going to happen to me; I'll set you free. And use, my cash!

Pres. Obama Address to Congress Tuesday, February 24th - Video

Pres. Obama addresses the nation before a joint session of Congress. In his speech focusing on the economy and the promotion of his economic agenda. This CSPAN video captures the full 53 minutes of the best speech ever.

Obama Plans to End Iraq Combat Missions by August 2010

More at “CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — President Obama declared Friday that the United States has now “begun the work of ending this war” in Iraq as he announced the withdrawal of most American forces by the summer of next year while leaving behind as many as 50,000 troops for more limited missions.”

Friday, February 27, 2009

MYTH BUSTED: No Increase to Business Taxes, even for Joe the Plumber

Internet Journalist Thomas HayesWhy are pro-business Republicans among the critics suggesting Obama's proposal includes a tax hit on people who run the small businesses that those same Republicans always insist drive job growth in the USA? Are they worried about the Joe-the-Plumber scale businesses? If so, it's already been documented that neither Joe nor his boss earned enough to be hit by the new taxes, and so they'd likely see a tax reduction. Don't forget, for these purposes "small business" includes up to 500 employees.

It's a curious thing - but to actually gross the $250,000 that represents the threshold for the tax increase is not common for small business owners. I know - I was one. I created jobs, I had more staff than my predecessor had in the same business, and I paid for health coverage for my full time staff (my part-timers had coverage through other sources) and even though the business moved a lot of cash through my bank, I didn't come close to grossing 6 figures. Many small business owners actually earn less than their best paid employees do, and that's even more true today that it was 10 years ago.

According to the Associated Press, an independent analysis estimated that just over 75% of all U.S. households would qualify for Obama's proposed tax credit for workers.

Did you know that there are over 3 times as many businesses in the USA without any employees as there are with employees? That's right, many professionals in partnerships, sole proprietorships, some S-Corps, and many who "organize" themselves as a for tax reasons as a business earn little or no taxable income from their business. So sure, some of those folks who are very successful and are technically small businesses on paper will end up paying more taxes - if their accountants can't figure out how to structure the cash flow to keep their paycheck under $21,000/month.

But the GOP has been campaigning for years - and often winning - based on accusing the Democrats of being the party of tax and spend. So even though that old familiar attack didn't work during the general election in 2008 their messaging gurus apparently don't have another theme ready. And that means we're going to hear about the mythical "drag on the economic engine of small business job creation" until the GOP finds somebody that makes for better coverage than former Massachusetts Governor Romney, or current Governors such as Palin, Pawlenty, and Jindal.

Buzz it up at Yahoo
or digg this story!

Schwarzenegger Says Reporter Says "Wacky Things"

This is a classic video on Gov. Schwarzenegger 's personality.

Stevie Wonder presented with Gershwin Award by President Obama

This was an amazing ceremony for a man that too was part of my childhood -- Stevie Wonder. His music has expanded in the digital age to shape our culture and yet people like President Obama and myself can say we were there when "Stevie" was born. Wow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Diddit: A Social Network To-Do List For You

More at “Diddit, a new site launching today to the public, is looking to help you check off all the things you’ve done with your life, and discover new things that you’d like to do. The site allows users to browse through thousands of activities in categories ranging from the bars you’ve visited to “Bizarre Retro Candies” you’ve eaten at one time or another. ”

-- I just joined, but I'm not sure what its value is -- perhaps as another form of networking?

The irony of hope: Obama's not relying on it

Internet Journalist Tom HayesTo confront the most profound challenges to our financial system the people of the United States have invested their hope in a former lawyer turned community activist, Barack Obama. In his address to the U.S. Congress, watched by much of the nation Tuesday night, Obama offered an insight into what's been happening inside his administration during the first month he's been in office, but it's clear the work began well prior to inauguration day on a wide range of initiatives.

You may argue that the cost of the Iraq war leaves us too far in debt to attain his ambitious goal of halving the national budget deficit in four years, or that the need for money to help homeowners and those losing their jobs is too urgent and will hamper his ability to attain those goals - and that's far from the only challenge the White House faces domestically, let alone on the stage of world affairs.

Still, we must reverse the unacceptable trends in the housing markets and the massive bleeding of the jobs from the workforce in the United States. We cannot simply wait and hope it gets better. Our long range future depends on a realistic assessment of the scope and scale of the problems and addressing not merely the budget deficit, but the deficit that average citizens feel when considering the leadership of our financial institutions and lawmakers that brought us to this critical point.

click to enlarge ball ticketsAs the President rolls out the budget today, questions about fiscal policy in particular loom from all sides about more than the numbers. We must move to a system with clearer rules and better oversight to prevent another looting of our savings and investments in ways that benefit only a very few already wealthy individuals while leaving privatized retirement accounts and home values in tatters with echoes of the crisis around the globe.

Fortunately, Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their team are neither rookies nor have they been basking in the post-inaugural glow. They've had their sleeves rolled up for months. This administration has brought new vigor and insight to a variety of issues, clearly including the domestic economic crisis. Barack Obama gave an inspirational speech, despite unseemly catcalls from some of the opposition as he described an interlocking, holistic approach that combines controlling costs, retaining/creating job opportunities, and enhancing revenue by targeting three major sectors (energy, education, and health care.)

The man who had hope as a central theme of his campaign is not relying on hope. Obama's laid out a clear foundation for recovery that moves quickly into rebuilding our economy and infrastructure in a way that accounts for our place on the planet, both physically and metaphorically. He's not overlooking the threat from disaffected individuals in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe, but Obama his team have brought new energy and creativity to ordering our priorities, in a refreshingly open way.

Obama's asking a lot of people. Even mustering the energy to remain hopeful can be hard when challenges are so ubiquitous. Like the best doctor faced with a critical patient, though, Obama's asking more of himself, though, and his staff - they're not content to hope, they're leading by example. The executive branch of the U.S. is working aggressively on all fronts, using transfusions where appropriate to keep critical systems functioning, while focusing on the goal of stabilizing the U.S. and world economy that are intertwined with our other domestic challenges so that we can heal, and back to the American dream. That's a path I can believe in.

President Obama on the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget And Openess

More at The White House - Press Office: “In keeping with my commitment to make our government more open and transparent, this budget is an honest accounting of where we are and where we intend to go.  For too long, our budget has not told the whole truth about how precious tax dollars are spent.  Large sums have been left off the books, including the true cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And that kind of dishonest accounting is not how you run your family budgets at home; it's not how your government should run its budgets, either.  We need to be honest with ourselves about what costs are being racked up -- because that's how we'll come to grips with the hard choices that lie ahead.  And there are some hard choices that lie ahead.”

-- President Obama is making good on his promise to be more open, but in the budgetary case that means more shocking news about what actually costs what. We've not -- in the Bush 2 years or Clinton -- seen a real budget that shows what the government is spending. Be ready for a shock, especially with the Iraq War. But see, that's where the savings come in because then when we see what all of this costs, the reductions will get us to a deficit drop.

Bobby Jindal Enrages Volcano Monitoring People By Mocking Volcano Monitoring People

More at Wonkette: “Bobby Jindal’s speechwriters, they are Gods. Check out this little one-two he pulled on the Democrats. See, he sets it up all good-like by saying that the stimulus package included “$140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring,’” like wtf is that right, and then KA-CHING: “Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.” Get this guy a Washington Post column! He’d fit right in, because everyone already despises him.”

-- That is totally funny by Wonkette!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Apple's Steve Jobs Still Plans to Return After June

More ar SFGate: “Apple Inc. co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs still expects to return from his medical leave at the end of June, according to an Apple director who responded to an investor at the company's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday.

The investor — who was the only one to press for details on Jobs' health — had asked when the board knew Jobs planned to step away from his daily duties. Apple director Arthur Levinson responded that since Jobs announced Jan. 14 that he needed to go on leave, "nothing has changed."”

-- Having just lost a relative to Pancreatic Cancer I wonder how Jobs is being treated? What is the procedure and of course, how much did it cost?

SF Chronicle's Fiscal Problems Due To Bad Management

The San Francisco Chronicle lost $50 million last year and is reportedly going to lose more this year. The reason isn't the Internet, that's a symptom. The reason is bad management and not wokring with New Media people.

For example, why didn't the SF Chron make it's own version of Craiglist? Why didb't it work with Craig Newmark, or at least try to? Why -- in the region that invented blogging -- did the SF Chronicle not work with blogger like myself so we can help extend their brand online?

It's because of a stupid SF Bay Area habit of not paying attention to someone because they're local. How else to explain why the SF Chron is losing money and having a hard time being successful online in an area that basically gave birth to the Internet?

Bad management is to blame. It's true for the Chronicle and for the Oakland Tribune and San Jose Mercury News. They can't fit a square print peg into a round New Media hole as much as they keep trying. I told a famous Chronicle columnist two years ago how to improve their online performance because our blog posts would out rank their articles in searches consistently.

His reaction? Well we know what we're doing.

Like hell you do. That's why your paper's about to go the way of the T-Rex, in fact that's a good comparison. It's not that the SF Chroncle or Tribune can't be saved, but both papers have to stop a number of practices large and small.

And before someone at the SF Chron claims they do better than the online -- they don't. A simple comparison using will show the HuffingtonPost to be well ahead of in page views, visitors and really all categories of web traffic analysis that are done in looking at value of a site both to advertiser and investors.

The SF Chronicle needs help but the best way to do it is to sack the current mangement and hire me. Seriously. Give me one year to turn it around and establish what should be: the tripod of print, TV, and Online content.

Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose Stupid "White House Watermelon" Email

Racism is a mental illness. How else to explain the actions of Los Alamitos mayor Dean Grose, who wrote a racist email to friends with a watermelon patch photo superimposed over one of the White House, the implication being that because the Obama's are Black, they like watermelon and there will not be an Easter Egg Hunt this year.

How stupid is that? Really. Why is it that someone White feels compelled to make racist statements, cartoons, jokes, and reference like this? Look, someone has to ask the question. What's the deal? We just came off the NY Post's racist cartoon issue, and now this?

Los Alamitos mayor Dean Grose should give a public video apology and then step down. This person can't be called a "public official" because they're not serving the public!

Text Of President Obama's Speech To Joint Session Of Congress - State Of The Nation

This is the text of the greatest speech President Barack Obama has ever given.

President Obama's Speech to Joint Session of Congress - February 24 2009 - Transcript

President Obama's Greatest Speech - State Of The Nation

In his best speech ever President Obama sounded the call for the need to stop sending jobs overseas. It was totally missed by pundits, but Obama just sounded the call for economic nationalism when he said that he would bring jobs back to America.

It's about time.

From 1960 to 1999, the USA added 20 million new jobs each decade, but from that point to today, just under 5 million jobs were added. Where did they go? Overseas to other nations in a large process of what economists call import replacing. One example of this is the growth of Airbus Industries in aircraft manufacturing where they got the largest tanker deal in American history -- $35 billion -- and over the Boeing Company costing 25,000 jobs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jerry Lewis Award Protest On Oscar Eve - 2009 Academy Awards

"The Trouble With Jerry" Is A group that was formed to protest the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decision to give the humanitarian award to Jerry Lewis because they claim he has exploited the disabled and treated them as second-class people.


Just a note to remind all that President Barack Obama will speak before a joint session of Congress at 6 PM; 9 PM eastern time tonight according to the White House website . 

Mitt "PAC man" Romney sends checks to GOP Reps who voted "NO" on stimulus

Wish I was so rich I could afford to play games with America's economy.

Former Governor Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC today sent $1,000 checks to a group of House Republicans for their votes against the $800 billion stimulus bill. Romney's obviously not worrying about making his mortgage or utility payments, let alone balancing state budgets, any more than the GOP millionaires in D.C., who he so desperately wants to be pals with.

Must be nice to be able to throw around the kind of money that shows you're a PAC leader. Of course, we all know he basically financed his own campaign out of what amounts to petty cash even though that amount would stagger any normal family in the U.S.

I'm not suggesting that this merits the sort of scrutiny that it would if there was evidence it was pre-arranged paying for votes, but consider this: Can you imagine how he'd be reacting to the current fiscal and economic situation if we'd elected smiling Mitt to be our President? Rhetoric about tax cuts for the rich providing a stimulus, maybe. While millions lose their jobs and face foreclosure, worrying about paying for meals and losing their health coverage, Romney's paying for deliberate obstructionism, not offering ways to make the bill or the situation better.

Heath Ledger Won 2009 Oscar Best Supporting Actor Award

Heath Ledger, without a doubt, won the 2009 Best Supporting Actor Award. Rest in Peace Heath.

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway's Opening Performance at the 2009 Oscars

Sean Penn Wins Best Actor for "Milk" Acceptance Speech

I'm proud of Sean Penn for taking on daring tasks both in film and in life. He's a local man made good and does the SF Bay Area proud.

Here's the text of the speech, courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

CATEGORY: Performance by an actor in a leading role
SPEECH BY: Sean Penn
FILM: "Milk"


Thank you. Thank you. You commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns. I did not expect this, but I, and I want it to be very clear, that I do know how hard I make it to appreciate me often. But I am touched by the appreciation and I hoped for it enough that I did want to scribble down, so I had the names in case you were commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns, and so I want to thank my best friend, Sata Matsuzawa. My circle of long-time support, Mara, Brian, Barry and Bob. The great Cleve Jones. Our wonderful writer, Lance Black. Producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks.

And particularly, as all, as actors know, our director either has the patience, talent and restraint to grant us a voice or they don't, and it goes from the beginning of the meeting, through the cutting room. And there is no finer hands to be in than Gus Van Sant. And finally, for those, two last finallies, for those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support.

We've got to have equal rights for everyone. And there are, and there are, these last two things. I'm very, very proud to live in a country that is willing to elect an elegant man president and a country who, for all its toughness, creates courageous artists. And this is in great due respect to all the nominees, but courageous artists, who despite a sensitivity that sometimes has brought enormous challenge, Mickey Rourke rises again and he is my brother. Thank you all very much.



This segment was totally funny. Ben Stiller nailed it in mocking Joaquin Phoenix's appearance on Letterman.


Lowie v. America and California Family At Oscar Red Carpet

Lowie v. America" is an online show "From the Mind of Craig Low" and I met him on the Red Carpet on Saturday. I also talked to a family who was visiting LA just for the Oscars.

Lowie v. America and California Family At Oscar Red Carpet

Lowie v. America" is an online show "From the Mind of Craig Low" and I met him on the Red Carpet on Saturday. I also talked to a family who was visiting LA just for the Oscars.

The 2009 Vanity Fair Oscars Party Trailer

From VanityFairMagzine on YouTube:

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter gives you an exclusive tour behind the scenes of the 2009 Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Monday, February 23, 2009

President Asks Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) a Question - He Swoons

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has a playful exchange with President Obama and Obama scores the PR points. I think that's why Obama decided to have this form of what could be called "Question Time" as it's done in England.

Slumdog Millionaire Oscar Party February

This is the part held on Sunset Blvd to celebrate the movie "Slumdog Milionaire" and it's eight Academy Awards including Best Pciture.

Slumdog Millionaire Oscar Party February

This is the part held on Sunset Blvd to celebrate the movie "Slumdog Milionaire" and it's eight Academy Awards including Best Pciture.

'Slumdog' Rules Oscars With 8 Prizes

From the AP: The AP's Alicia Quarles and Marcela Isaza discuss the most memorable Oscar moments, including "Slumdog Millionaire" taking the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars.

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens Red Carpet Oscars 2009 Interview

OSCARS 2009 BEST ACTOR Sean Penn In Pressroom

Sean Penn talks about bringing Harvey Milk to the screen and he future of human rights in America.

Tilda Swinton Is All Smiles Leaving The Oscars

Penelope Cruz Waves Her Oscar In The Air

Penélope Cruz - Performance by an actress in a supporting role speech

CATEGORY: Performance by an actress in a supporting role
SPEECH BY: Penélope Cruz
FILM: "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"


This is not going to be 45 seconds, I can say that right now. Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one. Thank you so much to the Academy. I want to share this with my fellow nominees and

with the amazing ensemble of actors that I had the privilege to work with in this movie. Thank you, Woody, for trusting me with this beautiful character. Thank for you having written over all these years some of the

greatest characters for women. And I cannot talk about great female characters without thanking my friend Pedro Almodóvar for having made me part of so many of his adventures. Thank you, Bigas Luna, Fernando

Trueba, for giving me my first movies. Thank you, Harvey Weinstein. I wanted to dedicate this to my parents and to my brother and sister, to my friend Robert Carlo, who is not with us anymore, and to everyone who

has helped me from the beginning and you know who you are and I thank you from my heart.

I grew up in a place called Alcobendas, where this was not a very realistic dream. And I, always on the night of the Academy Awards, I stay up to watch the show and I always felt that this was, this ceremony was a

moment of unity for the world because art, in any form, is and has been and will always be our universal language and we should do everything we can, everything we can, to protect its survival. So I thank you so much

and I have to say something in Spanish, because everyone?

[Speaks in Spanish.]


Really? Slumdog Millionaire?

Slumdog Millionaire has won Best Motion Picture but that doesn’t mean it needs to be remembered as the best film of 2008. Forrest Gump won in ’94 and now most seem to prefer Shawshank Redemption. Watch Slumdog again. Question why the movie starts with a cheesy Who Wants To Be A Millionaire question and ends with its equally cheesy answer.

read more | digg story

BREAKING NEWS: Raiders Release Safety Gibirl Wilson

A shocking move today, as the Oakland Raiders cut ties with not only disgruntled receiver Ronald Curry and defensive end Kalimba Edwards, but their former strong safety Gibril Wilson...

read more | digg story

BART holdup victim grabs knife, kills robber

A 23-year-old visitor from the East Coast had just gotten money from an ATM when he told his friend on a cell phone that he had a bad feeling about two men approaching him at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland.

read more | digg story

If AP Is Suing Bloggers Who Use It's Hot News? How Does It Explain YouTube?

The AP has a provision for one to use it's videos on their blogs.  We use that here.   But does that mean we're going to have to worry about the Associated Press suing us for using videos they posted and allowed us to use on YouTube?  It seems like they could try, and lose at , doing that.

Pay attention to this AP v. All Headiine News case because a kind of argument like that is being advanced by the same AP as above.  They can't win and All Headline News should file a motion for the judge to toss the case on the grounds that they can't win it.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 22, 2009




Karlos Dansby

Michael Koenen

Terrell Suggs

Julius Peppers

Shayne Graham

Dunta Robinson

New England
Matt Cassel

New York Giants
Brandon Jacobs

Max Starks

San Diego
Darren Sproles

St. Louis
Oshiomogho Atogwe

Leroy Hill

Tampa Bay
Antonio Bryant

Bo Scaife

Oscar Winners Leaked? - Cinematical Says Maybe Not

More at Cinematical This list of winners is supposedly leaked : “Actor in a leading role: Mickey Rourke
Actor in a supporting role: Heath Ledger
Actress in a leading role: Kate Winslet
Actress in a supporting role: Amy Adams
Animated Feature Film: Wall-E
Art Direction: The Dark Knight
Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Costume Design: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Directing: Slumdog Millionaire
Documentary feature: Man on Wire
Documentary short: The Conscience of Nhem En
Film editing: Milk
Foreign language film: Departures
Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Music (Score): Defiance
Music (Song): Down to Earth (Wall-E)
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Short film (animated): Presto
Short film (live action): Auf Der Strecke (On The Line)
Sound editing: Wall-E
Sound mixing: The Dark Knight
Visual effects: Iron Man
Writing (Adapted screenplay): The Reader
Writing (Original screenplay): In Bruges”

-- We will see.

Zennie62: Zennie Abraham's Promo Shoot For His New TV Show

This video is of my trip to Denver to meet up with Art Thomas and Steve and Bernard and Meesha to make my tv promotion segment spot. It was a fun time and fun to do. Stay tuned for more info on "The Blog Report with Zennie62". Distributed by Tubemogul.

Zennie62: Zennie Abraham's Promo Shoot For His New TV Show

This video is of my trip to Denver to meet up with Art Thomas and Steve and Bernard and Meesha to make my tv promotion segment spot. It was a fun time and fun to do. Stay tuned for more info on "The Blog Report with Zennie62". Distributed by Tubemogul.

Zennie Abraham's Red Carpet Tour On Oscar Eve

I was able to score a before day of Oscar press pass and made a number of videos. This one of a tour of the red carpet. Distributed by Tubemogul.

On Oscar Eve South Africa Girls Kiss SpiderMan near Red ...

These lovely women came to Hollywood from South Africa and for the Oscars. Along the way, they had fun with Spiderman.

Zennie Abraham's Red Carpet Tour On Oscar Eve -- - Follow me on Twitter. I was able to score a before day of Oscar press pass and made a number of videos. This one of a tour of the red carpet.

Back In Oakland After A Trip To The Red Carpet On Oscar Eve!

Yep. I'm back on Saturday night editing video material from my one-day, first time trip to the site of the Academy Awards and to give you an idea of what it's like to be on The Red Carpet.

It was a total blast! For some reason getting used to this BlackBerry after swearing by an iPhone only to be the victim of a massive fraud scheme by AT&T, and that's what it is, I haven't used the phone's camera or video capabilities. It's just that the iPhone syncs really well with the Macintoch in a way that no other phone can match.

Or can it?

Anyway, I needed the trip. I spent most of the weekend with my Mom in Georgia and I love spending time with her. There's something to be said about family and the importance of maintaining your roota and knowing people who know and appreciate you. That's Mom. At 74 I don't know how much time I've got with her, so I'm going to take as much as I reasonably can.

The reason for the trip was that I was having a hard time dealing with death. My friend Mike McGuire was toppled by a massive heart attack that I think was trigger not just by his weight and diet, but his depression. The second was Ralph Grant, my step-brother-and-law, and both funerals were just seven days apart.

Seven days.

So I had some soul searching to do. And the week in a way gave me time to do it. I had a good time just working from Mom's home - and it's good to get away from Oakland because the city has a negative vibe that it can't seem to shake, although the Fox Theater Opening did a good job of changing that state of affairs. It's not enough.

So the last week featured Mom, then my ColoursTV promo shoot, and the one-day Oscar work, which I just returned from.

And my batteries are, I would say, 80 percent recharged.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Off To LA For The Academy Awards Today - Zennie

Yep. As my Twitter update reported, I'm off to Los Angeles for the Academy Awards -- well, for a visit to the grounds to make videos one day before the event. Excited? Yes! But I've got to get to the shower and get to the airport, and it's snowing on top of all that!

Catch the Academy Awards coverage over at our Hollywood Blog!

John Russo's 50th Birthday - Russo Rules Out Mayoral Run - At his 50th birthday party hosted by Phil Tagami, Oakland City Attorney John Russo officially says he is not running for Mayor of Oakland because of his familly obligations.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eric Holder Is Right: Twittering About Race Causes Cancer!

Attorney General Eric Holder is right! Twittering about race causes cancer as toxins build. Best to have a diverse group of friends to talk to, and only a coward would be afraid to have friends of different backgrounds!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NY Post Racist Cartoon Is "New Yorker" Eyeball Strategy

The NY Post Racist Cartoon Is "New Yorker" Eyeball Strategy. It's a ploy to get web visitors and to sell newspapers and it's working. It was done by the New Yorker last year with that Obama cover and now the NY Post is doing it.

John Mayer will be Aniston's 'Oscar boyfriend'

RTÉ.ie Entertainment: Mayer will be Aniston's 'Oscar boyfriend': “Singer John Mayer has revealed that he will be accompanying Jennifer Aniston to the Oscars this Sunday.
In an interview with Popsugar, he said that he would be walking the red carpet with Aniston.
"I'm going to the Oscars. It's my first Oscars and it's my first time being an Oscar boyfriend."”

Oscar Party List (Partial) From Nikke Finke

More at Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood DailyThis is the list! But not all of them are here. Go to Nikke's blog for the rest of them : “WEDNESDAY, February 18th
6:30PM Children Mending Hearts Event
Sheryl Crowe will perform, Anderson Cooper will be honored
House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
6:30PM-9:30PM Swarovski 2009 Award Season Celebration
Thompson Hotel, 9360 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills

7PM-9PM Vanity Fair Dior Party
Hosted by Wendy Stark Morissey, LACMA and BMW
LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

7:30PM Milk Private Dinner hosted by William Morris Agency
Chateau Marmont, 8221 West Sunset Blvd, Hollywood

8PM Alfre Woodard Dinner Honoring Taraji Henson, Viola Davis
THURSDAY, February 19
1PM Essence Honors Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon
Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills

4PM GBK hosts Industry Mixer to celebrate 81st Academy Awards
SLS Hotel, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles

5:30PM Moet and Australians in Film
For Oscar nominees Kirk Bakster, Heath Ledger, Katherine Martin, Lee Smith, Ben Snow
And present the first annual Heath Ledger scholarship
Chateau Marmont, 8221 West Sunset Blvd, Hollywood

6PM-8:30PM Vanity Fair Dior Party Launch of Brandaid
Hosted by Paul Haggis, Diane Lane & Josh Brolin
Environment (Furniture), 8126 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles

6:30PM-11PM 4th Annual Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film
Honoring Brendan Gleeson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Hylda Queally
The Ebell, 743 South Lucerne Blvd, Los Angeles

8PM Sixth Annual Global Green Pre-Oscar Party
Hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio, Penelope Cruz, Orlando Bloom, Rosario Dawson
Avalon Hollywood, 1735 Vine St, Hollywood

FRIDAY, February 20
11AM 16th Annual Oscar Week Student Filmmakers Scholarship Luncheon
Hosted by the Multicultural Motion Picture Association
Four Seasons Hotel, Ballroom, 300 South Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills

5PM AMPAS cocktail party for Foreign Language nominees
AMPAS (Lobby), 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills

5PM-8PM Women in Film hosts a reception honoring female nominees
With Perrier-Jouet Champagne
Hosted by Cathy Schulman, Donna Gigliotti, Wendy Finerman and Lili Fini Zanuck
Home of Peter and Tara Guber, Bel Air

6PM-8:30PM Bally’s Hollywood Domino Party To Benefit The Art of Elysium
Hosted by Kate Bosworth
Andaz Hotel, 8401 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood

7PM Haven - Fashion Show And Cocktails
Spring collections from designers Russell Simmons, Yansi Fugel, and Born Uniqorn
360 Trousdale Place, Beverly Hills

7PM Mont Blanc and UNICEF host Signature For Good event
Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

8:30PM Ari Emanuel-Endeavor party

10PM Bryan Lourd-CAA Party

SATURDAY, February 21
11AM Universal/Focus' Academy and Spirit Award Nominees Brunch
Hosted by David Linde and Felicia Rosenfeld, James Schamus, Marc Shmuger, Louis Hamagami

11AM DreamWorks hosts annual brunch for animation nominees

11:30AM Film Independent's Spirit Awards
2030 Barnard Way, Santa Monica

12PM Barry Diller Luncheon for Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter
Diller's Beverly Hills Estate

4PM IFC Indie Film Celebration
Shutters on the Beach, 1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica

6:30PM Miramax Oscar Nominee Party
The London Hotel, 1020 N San Vicente, Los Angeles

7PM Focus Features Party
BLT Steak, 8720 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood

8PM Jeffrey Katzenberg's The Night Before Party for MPTF
Beverly Hills Hotel (The Pool), 9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills

9PM Tag The World Pre-Oscar Night Charity Gala
in affiliation with The American Humane Film And TV Unit
Hosted by Amber Valletta, Lorenz Tate, Wilmer Valderrama, Jesse Metcalf
My House, 7080 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood

TBD Julianne Moore & Sally Morrison Dinner: Diamonds In Africa
Chateau Marmont, 8221 West Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

TBD Charles Finch Pre-Oscar Dinner
Madeo, 8897 Beverly Road, West Hollywood

TBD Sony Pictures Classics 2009 Oscar Nominee Dinner
Cecconi’s, 8764 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood

TBD The Weinstein Company Oscar nominee party
Andaz Hotel, 8401 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood”

Oscar now a quality act - Film - Entertainment -

More at “Recognising quality crowd pleasers is a long-standing Oscar hallmark, but of late he has often sidestepped blatant populism to honour small, deserving, edgier films with serious topics and diverse interests.

A survey of this year's field reveals that this tendency has reached a new extreme. Even the two big films are essentially high-quality arthouse films with large budgets.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a brilliantly conceived expansion of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1922 short story, is a sprawling contemplation about love, death and America across the 20th century. Frost/Nixon, an equally superb, highly cinematic adaptation of the hit Broadway play, combines an excoriating comment about celebrity journalism with a riveting dissection of Richard Nixon's complex, troubled character.

With Oscar favourite Slumdog Millionaire we have a small film by a left-of-centre British director set in India that wrestles with the weighty issues of class, wealth, poverty and sacrifice. The film's appeal to Academy voters is obvious: (1) its multinational flavour plugs right into the mood of a more selfless, open-minded, approval-seeking post-Bush America; (2) it's an absolutely terrific film.”

-- And I'm excited to see who will win! Did you fill out your predictions yet?

German anchor touches his colleague's breast on German Eurovision Song Contest

Hans Blomberg and Susanka Bersin are doing their TV bit, when Hans Blomberg puts his hand on her chest, and Susanka Bersin let's him have it! A nice big slap on the face! LOL!! I love it! What was this guy thinking? Well, we know the answer, but come on?!

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook's Benevolent Dictator

Mark Zuckerberg is Facebook's Benevolent Dictator who says the social network is 176 million or the sixth largest nation in the World. Electing to preserve member privacy was him being nice. Suppose he didn't do it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Oscar Grant, Phil Bronstein, BART Police, & My Source

This week I posted a vlog on Oscar Grant and what my source claims is an autopsy where crack cocaine was found in his body. Here is an update and what happened when SF Chronicle's Phil Bronstein picked up the story.

First my source said the following:

1) The shooting was an accident, and not a racist hit. There are officers who have taken such actions but not like that. They would make it look like a random murder.

2) My source thinks that what happened to Grant was shameful, contrary to what some commenters have written.

The vlog was picked up by San Francisco Chronicle Executive Vice President and Editor-At-Large Phil Bronstein on his "Bronstein At Large" blog, and who focused on the idea that drugs may have been planted on Grant. My source insists that was not the case; they were there in Grant already.

For some reason, Bronstein's post was removed and when I emailed to learn why got a response from Zoe Stagg , the star of Citizen Sugar, who told me that the SF Chronicle Newsroom expressed "issues" with the source -- my source's -- information, but I don't know what the problem was.

Still, this is the Internet. Here's a link to the cached version of what Phil wrote: PHIL's BLOG.

Then I also contacted CNN about the video, since Phil linked to my iReport version. I contacted Rick Sanchez, who emailed that he would check into it. I've not heard back from him.

The overall lesson here is that Old Media tries to control the spread of information. Look at how KTVU used the BART Shooting videos it had to gain ratings and keep the story going, making sure it had legs, or look at how the Chronicle and CNN are treating the story. This is in direct contrast to New Media, which is designed to quickly communicate a story to many people, regardless of origin.

Who will win? Well, I think New Media's ahead so far.

CNN's John King and Dana Bash...On Love

A very cool video of two seemingly very nice people who's work I enjoy.

Obama's visit to Mesa brings hope to fearful AZ home owners

U.S. President Barack H. ObamaPresident Obama has people paying attention and engaged -- and Dawn Teo's covering both sides of the story for Huffington Post:

Dueling groups of anti- and countering pro-Obama protesters were setup in several "free speech zones" near the high school, smaller groups were scattered across sidewalks and street corners for several blocks, where former Governor Janet Napolitano's departure to take over as the new United States Secretary of Homeland Security gave Republicans full control of Arizona's state government.

Ms. Teo wrote:
"According to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who spoke to the press before the event, about 6 percent of Arizona mortgages either are in foreclosure or are more than 90 days behind today. Across the country, nearly 10 percent of mortgages are behind, and in December, close to half of home sales across the country were "distressed" sales. Donovan says he expects about 6 million more foreclosures over the next 3 years."
The Obama administration is supporting legislation that, if passed, would allow judges to write down the principle and/or interest of mortgages when mortgage holders file for bankruptcy, and will be releasing new mortgage guidelines, which go into effect in 2 weeks that will standardize the mortgage loan process, including the appraisal process.

"Eyes brimmed with tears, attendees described the bleak outlook of being uprooted from their homes, a common fate in the Valley of the Sun. Besides the obvious transition from pre-election rallies to stately policy talks, today's topic -- the foreclosure crisis -- was sobering for the Mesa crowd."

read more | digg story

YT Network - Blackout to Black List

Renetto's one of my favorite -- ok, number one -- vloggers. He's the reason YouTube has it star-status. Well, ok, not really, but hey. This is what he wrote for this video:

I would truly call my time on YouTube more of a love affair then a hobby. What they've done, and are continuing to do, to this site and to the community that believed so much in this company, is more than just "Do No Harm"... or WTF... to me it's painful. Weather it's salvation or suicide for the stock holders... is yet to be seen. But for many us, the community of dreamers, that believed we were taking part in something special, something with the potential to change the world by giving us all equal access to express or selves and share our ideas and opinions in a democratic, hands off kind of way without the filters of corporate pressure or network interference, the dream is turning into a nightmare. VloggerHeads is not the answer... it's going to take a lot more then a Ning Platform can offer to really take over where YouTube left off... but it's not a bad place to start.

Obama Unveils $75 Billion Mortgage Relief Plan

From the AP on YouTube:

President Barack Obama unveiled his $75 billion mortgage relief plan, a series of measures the president says will keep 9 million people from losing their homes. (Feb. 18)

I will have a copy of the full video up as Obama gave a great epeech on this. It was frank and to the point and informative at a time the USA needs to solve this problem. More on the program specifics later.

United Airlines San Francisco Airport Terminal at 1 AM

OK, I got stuck overnight in United Airlines San Francisco terminal so I could make a morning flight. Here's how it looked (like right out of the movie Terminal) and what happened to me.

Michael Phelps Will Not Be Arrested For Photo

The latest good news in a country that needs it, is that Olympic star Michael Phelps will not be arrested for a photo taken of him smoking a "bong" in South Carolina. The episode led to some rather hypocritical behavior by sponsors who dropped Phelps, yet have employees who engage in the same activities at parties.

The bottom line is Michael's out of the woods and has learned an unfortunate lesson in how to watch out for all of the hypocritical asshole haters who just want to engineer a way to get him into trouble to make their lousy lives feel better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

President Obama Signs Stimulus Bill in Denver, CO - Goldies Look On

I have no idea who the Goldies are but they're happy that President Barack Obama signed the Stimulus Bill in Denver today. It's the first step in what investment we need to get America back on the economic track. We really need about 3 trillion in spending, but I'm not sure many Americans "get it" regarding what's happened to our economic system.

La Bron, Jay Z, and Who's That Girl?

30b141f3, originally uploaded by authenticeducator.

Japanese finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa drunk at G-7

From YouTuber miolesou:

February 16, 2009 - The Japanese finance minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, denied on Monday that he was drunk at a news conference in Rome where he slurred his words and said his political fate was up to the prime minister after the opposition called for him to be fired.

Nakagawa, a close ally of Prime Minister Taro Aso, told reporters that he had drunk alcohol the day before the press conference and took medicine on his flight to Rome for a meeting of Group of 7 finance leaders and central bankers on Friday and Saturday. He said the combination may have affected him badly.

Josh Wolf Documentary Project: Sierra Choi Needs Your Help

John Wolf spent 226 days in jail to protect his videos and sources, and caused the creation of a new law protecting video-bloggers. Now Sierra Choi is directing and producing a documentary - the trailer is here as part of my video blog.

At the time in 2006, I met Josh when he worked for the television division at Peralta Community College. He was also in the middle of his battle with the Federal Government, but even then was still focused on his work, and didn't spend a lot of time fretting about what could happen.

Then Josh defied San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Alsup's order to turn over the videos Josh had taken from a anti-G8 anarchist protes heldt in San Francisco on July 8, 2005. Wolf feared that the U.S. Government in the form of the FBI simply wanted to identify the people who were protesting and not solve a crime they claim had been committed against a police officer. Wolf's videos did not contain any footage of a police officer being harmed.

Still, U.S. District Judge William Alsup order Wolf to be held in jail for civil contempt of court later in 2006. Then, after negotiations, he was released but still refused to give up any of his videos, offering instead to post them online and show them to the Judge himself. Initially the judge refused, and Wolf was ordered back to jail.

Eventually, and after 226 days, Wolf agreed to show the then unseen video clip online and was released from jail. He never gave a copy of the video to the goverment.

In the wake of his ordeal and new stronger "shield" law has been placed in California law to protect journalists of all kinds, from print to blogs. We have Josh to thank for this.

Now, video film producer Sierra Choi is working to raise $250,000 to create a documentary called "Quiet Uprising: The Story of Josh Wolf" and needs our help. You can contact Sierra through me by sending an email here:

Please help as many need to know Josh's story so this will never happen again.

Josh Wolf Documentary Project: Sierra Choi Needs Your Help

John Wolf spent 226 days in jail to protect his videos and sources, and caused the creation of a new law protecting video-bloggers. Now Sierra Choi is directing and producing a documentary - the trailer is here as part of my video blog.

At the time in 2006, I met Josh when he worked for the television division at Peralta Community College. He was also in the middle of his battle with the Federal Government, but even then was still focused on his work, and didn't spend a lot of time fretting about what could happen.

Then Josh defied San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Alsup's order to turn over the videos Josh had taken from a anti-G8 anarchist protes heldt in San Francisco on July 8, 2005. Wolf feared that the U.S. Government in the form of the FBI simply wanted to identify the people who were protesting and not solve a crime they claim had been committed against a police officer. Wolf's videos did not contain any footage of a police officer being harmed.

Still, U.S. District Judge William Alsup order Wolf to be held in jail for civil contempt of court later in 2006. Then, after negotiations, he was released but still refused to give up any of his videos, offering instead to post them online and show them to the Judge himself. Initially the judge refused, and Wolf was ordered back to jail.

Eventually, and after 226 days, Wolf agreed to show the then unseen video clip online and was released from jail. He never gave a copy of the video to the goverment.

In the wake of his ordeal and new stronger "shield" law has been placed in California law to protect journalists of all kinds, from print to blogs. We have Josh to thank for this.

Now, video film producer Sierra Choi is working to raise $250,000 to create a documentary called "Quiet Uprising: The Story of Josh Wolf" and needs our help. You can contact Sierra through me by sending an email here:

Please help as many need to know Josh's story so this will never happen again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chevron Accuses Richard Cabrera Of Voodoo Economic In Ecuador

Professor Richard Cabrera, the economist who's estimates have served to frame the environmental damage terms of debate in the court battle between giant oil company Chevron and the coutry of Ecuador, has been accused of what could be called "Voodoo Economics" by the San Ramon-based firm.

In a damaging press release, Chevron write the following:

Despite an awareness of these fundamental defects, Cabrera’s amended assessment makes no effort to correct any prior mistakes and introduces a new series
of egregious errors, such as:

• Recommending more than $9 billion in damages associated with “excess cancer deaths” without identifying a single victim, let alone providing any corroborating documentation such as a death certificate or a medical diagnosis.
• Recommending more than $3 billion in damages associated with groundwater contamination
even though his own data clearly indicate no such contamination exists, and Cabrera
acknowledges that he has no basis for devising a remediation plan or developing a cost estimate.
Rather, Cabrera simply adopts plaintiffs’ counsel’s demands to assess damages and repackages
them as fact.
• Conceding that his work was conducted in such a fashion as to assign blame to Chevron instead
of performing an objective and unbiased scientific analysis of current environmental conditions,
as the court had ordered.

Their assertions continue and essentially build a case to attack Cabrera's work. But my charge has been it's almost impossible to find anything about Cabrera online, other than his work on the Ecuador lawsuit against Chevron, where the country is attempting to have the oil firm pay entirely for environmental damage that Ecuador itself is largely responsible for. In this matter, Cabrera has filed fraudulent economic report claims, making estimates of monetary damage costs without providing substantiated evidence to support his report findings.

Obama On The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2/14/09: Your Weekly Address

President Obama celebrates the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act while keeping his eyes on the tough road ahead.

(this video is public domain)

President Obama's NBA All-Star Game Message

From The White House:

President Obama discusses the importance of serving others in a message aired during the NBA All-Star Game halftime on February 15, 2009.

BART Shooting: BART Board Member James Fang's Views

Newspaper publisher and BART Board Member James Fang is much talked about but seldom talked to. At a BART Shooting meeting where he was accused of being racist, I talked to Fang about the matter of the BART shooting. We also talked about the racism charge, which Fang explains is a result of a "rogue" columnist at Asian Week, which Fang owned, and who wrote "Why I Hate Blacks"..and Whites and pretty much everyone but himself.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Late Show - Where's Joaquin Phoenix? - 2/11/09

This Letterman show video clip is just too funny for words!

Oscar Grant: Source: Autopsy Shows Crack Cocaine In Body

A well-placed source reported to me that BART Shooting victim Oscar Grant was found to have Crack Cocaine in his body, and planted through his buttocks. My source also accuses KTVU TV (Oakland, CA) News of delaying video release.

My source is a long-time law enforcement official who has seen cases like this more often than not -- but this case given the video evidence, is different.  My source originally tipped me off to the extense of a third KTVU video of the Oscar Grant shooting by BART Police Officer Johannes Mesherle.   He said that  the video showed that another BART officer was clearly on Grant and beating him.  The source said that KTVU was withholding the video because they did not want to start a race-riot.

The second tip regards the Crack Cocaine matter.  He claims that the autopsy, which is to be completed by March according, shows that the drugs were stuffed in his body via his buttocks.   My source holds that this is why -- he contends -- Grant's behavior was agressive.

He continues "Initially, Grant approached a female police officer agressively but was blocked by a male officer."  My source also says that Grant did not have a gun on him, but that the person in the fight on the train actually got off at West Oakland station and was never found.

According to my source, this is what happened:

A fight on a Dublin-bound BART line train started at Embarcadero Station, and continued through the BART tube.  When the train reached West Oakland station, the person who had the gun got out of the train, which then went to Lake Merritt station, but was not stopped by police.   Then it went to Fruitvale Station, where it was stopped.  Grant was pulled from the train with a number of other suspects who were in that car and said to have been involved in the fight.

KTVU Controls Video Evidence

My source has stated that KTVU has been "controlling video evidence" and using it to generate ratings.  His assertion is backed by video evidence where KTVU news reporters claim that the video are "only on Channel Two" and in the case I show, demonstrates that KTVU made decisions to show videos because they would effect the case itself.

Source Believes Mesherle Will Walk

Finally, my source believes that a trial will not result in a conviction of (former) Officer Mesherle, even with the video evidence.  His reasons are how the case is being set up as a murder conviction, when it was clear to my source that it was not intentional or premeditated and what he's hearing from other colleagues both in the "Law" and the "Order" side of this matter in Alameda County.

Please "stay tuned" for more updates.

Click for iReport version.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Julia Allison and Gawker's Obsession With The Online Star

Julia Allison's exploits are regularly covered by the online publications Gawker and Valleywag, who complain that she wants attention, then give her the attention in the process. Why? She's a great example of self-promotion.

Julia Allison and Gawker's Obsession With The Online Star

Julia Allison's exploits are regularly covered by the online publications Gawker and Valleywag, who complain that she wants attention, then give her the attention in the process. Why? She's a great example of self-promotion.

I wrote about Allison a while back in this tongue-in-cheek take on her search for White Guys at tech parties. In the age of Obama I think she got the hint and started paying attention to men of color too, a good thing. But why is Gawker so taken with her?

Regardless of the reason, Allison is clearly an Internet star and a model of how to cheaply build buzz using online resources available to anyone. Heck, I'm taking notes from Julia.

Paid Downloads are Coming to YouTube

Alex Chitu spotted a new 'purchases' section in his YouTube account today and YouTube just made it official: YouTube's partners can now offer their videos for paid downloads. While Google has always given its partners the option to offer downloads of their videos under the Creative Commons

read more | digg story

U.S. tweaks Internet privacy guidelines

Federal regulators tweaked recommendations for how websites should collect, save and share information about users, extending them to Internet service providers and mobile users. "You may have a contract with your ISP and everywhere you go, they can be collecting information on you."

read more | digg story

What Do Modern Men Want in Women?

Researchers at the University of Iowa find that men increasingly are interested in intelligent, educated women who are financially stable — and chastity isn't an issue.

read more | digg story

California Must Release 10,000+ Inmates Due To Crowding

"There are simply too many prisoners for the existing capacity," they wrote. "Evidence offered at trial was overwhelmingly to the effect that overcrowding is the primary cause of the unconstitutional conditions that have been found to exist in the California prisons."

read more | digg story

Obama's New Drug Czar: Good News for Marijuana Advocates

Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske is reportedly Obama's choice for drug czar. He's overseen one of America's most pot-friendly cities. If he was cool with Hempfest in Seattle, what can we talk him into when he comes to Washington, DC?

read more | digg story

Congress's New Love Affair with Twitter, for Better or Worse

For members of Congress used to having their messages and contacts heavily filtered, the micro-blogging site offers a real-time connection with their constituents and the media.

read more | digg story

Rep. Cantor Attacked For Profanity-Laced Web Video

House Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) posted a Web video a obscenity-laden Web advertisement on his site intending to mock working Americans.

read more | digg story

USA was 3 hrs away from Economic, Political Collapse in Sept

Paul Kanjorski: In mid-September of 2008, the U.S. came just three hours away from the collapse of the entire economy. In a span of 2 hours, $550 billion was drawn out of money market accounts in an electronic run on the banks. Rep. Kanjorski: "It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it."

read more | digg story

Judd Gregg Withdraws Commerce Secretary Nomination

New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg has withdrawn his nomination to serve as President Obama's Commerce Secretary. Read his full statement.

read more | digg story

Sen. Patrick Leahy: Investigate Bush-Cheney Abuses

Proposing the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses during the Bush-Cheney administration, which may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive override of laws. 

read more | digg story

49 Killed as Continental Plane Crashes Into NY Home

County Executive Chris Collins said that there may have been as many as 50 people aboard the plane and crew members had reported mechanical problems as they approached Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Several injured people were taken from the scene to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.

read more | digg story

Engineers Revolutionize Nano Fabrication

Yale engineers have created a process that may revolutionize the manufacture of nano-devices from computer memory to biomedical sensors by exploiting a novel type of metal. The material can be molded like plastics to create features at the nano-scale and yet is more durable and stronger than silicon or steel.

read more | digg story

U.S. now sees Iran as pursuing nuclear bomb

The Obama administration seems to have reversed the US position (published in a NIE in 2007) that Iran is not currently pursuing nuclear weapons: (FTA) 'President Obama went so far as to describe Iran's "development of a nuclear weapon" before correcting himself to refer to its "pursuit" of weapons capability.'

read more | digg story

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cell Phone Guns; Deadly "James Bond" Micro Weapon

The cell phone gun is now in media view after a raid of an Italian Mafia group last fall. A 28-year old man captured had this device, but the the others got away. I fear this weapon - which is in the United States - would wind up in our high schools.

Click here for iReport version.

2/9/09: Presidential Press Conference - White House Video

This is from the White House:

On Monday evening, February 9, 2009, President Obama gave his first White House press conference. It was held in the East Room of the White House.

(this video is public domain)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The GOP opposes bi-partisan solutions.

The GOP was quick to vote for hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out rich Wall Street CEOs and bankers when then-President George Bush asked them to, but now that the money isn't going just to the rich anymore they are evidently closing up ranks.Senator Arlen Specter “Sen. Specter voted for the so-called stimulus bill, mortgaging the future of Pennsylvania’s children and grandchildren” said former daily talk-radio host and journalist Scott Wheeler, now the Executive Director of the National Republican Trust PAC in rhetoric emphasizing his desire to see the five-term Senator from Pennsylvania ousted.

Wheeler, formerly in the pay of Rev. Sun Myung Moon's News World Communications, went on to say, “It will just line the pockets of liberal political hacks to whom the Democratic Party is beholden. Sen. Specter and other Republicans who voted for this travesty will be held accountable.”

The plan includes a new public-private partnership that would seek to unclog the credit markets by buying up toxic securities. Senator Specter (R-PA), who voted against the release of the second $350 billion, on Friday said there were "aspects of this bill which give me heartburn." As a seasoned veteran of both the Korean War and many challenges in the Senate, Specter concluded:
...that’s the position you’re in if you’re a United States Senator. People are unhappy because they didn’t get the full amount from the Committee report, although absent this bill they get zero additional. People are unhappy about spending too much money, but it is imperative, as I see it, that we do something very, very substantial.

There are reasons to argue that this is a bad bill. I’m not saying it’s a bad bill; I’m saying there are reasons to argue that it’s a bad bill. But I do not believe that there is any doubt that the economy would be enormously worse off without it. That’s the kind of a choice we have to make.

Personally I would prefer not to be on the edge of the pin as so frequently is the case in this body. But I do believe that we have to act, and I believe that under all of the circumstances, this is the best we can do and we ought to do it.

For this, Specter is now unpopular with some at National Republican Trust PAC despite strongly supporting the death penalty and opposing most gun control (voting against background checks at gun shows, the ban on assault weapons, and handgun trigger locks.) He's written numerous articles advocating the the death penalty as a crime deterrent.

Sometimes labeled a moderate, Senator Specter provoked Democrats and women's groups by his combative questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, and asserting "flat-out perjury" in her testimony. Yet Wheeler has targeted his sights on Specter for being too cozy with the changes the voters mandated in electing Obama. Foreclosures and layoffs aren't on Wheeler's radar, evidently, now that Bush is not in the Oval Office.

Here's part of what Senator Arlen Specter, a son of immigrants, told the national media on Tuesday, Feb 10, 2008:
The current recession may go into full-scale depression like 1929. When we worked this through, we went as far as we could. We structured it very, very carefully and there were a lot of people who were objecting to it. Fortunately, the Chamber of Commerce, a very strong Republican conservative organization, agrees that this is necessary because of a perilous economic situation and because it does a lot to rebuild America and because a substantial part of it involves tax cuts.

Specter has acted in what he sees as the best interests of his constituents and the citizens of the United States of America. I salute his bravery in reaching across the aisle to craft a bi-partisan bill intended to stave off the worst effects of the economic crisis the previous administration has created.

Presidents of Venezuela and Ecuador Singing

From YouTuber zvezdannewsTV: The World Social Forum in Brazil (a gathering of activists billed as an alternative to the Economic Forum of business leaders in Davos, Switzerland) finished with singing. A song about Ernesto Che Guevara was sung by the presidents of Venezuela and Ecuador - Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa.

Barry Bonds Arraignment in San Francisco Federal Court

From Inside Bay Area: Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds pleaded not guilty to 11 criminal counts as part of an indictment accusing him of lying about steroid use before a 2003 grand jury.

ARod? Steroids? Blame Baseball and The Commissioner

Alex Rodriguez admitted that he took performance enhancing drugs in 2003, and perhaps between 2001 and 2003 while with the Texas Rangers. But I don't blame him, I blame Baseball and the Commissioner of Baseball for the "Golden Home Run Age."

President Obama's First News Conference: Transcript Of Statement By Obama

President Barack Obama gave his first press conference of his young administration Monday evening. Here's CQPolitics video summary:

Here's the text From of what he said to open the questions:

First Presidential Press Conference
East Room, The White House
Monday, February 9th, 2009

Good evening. Before I take your questions tonight, I’d like to speak briefly about the state of our economy and why I believe we need to put this recovery plan in motion as soon as possible.

I took a trip to Elkhart, Indiana today. Elkhart is a place that has lost jobs faster than anywhere else in America. In one year, the unemployment rate went from 4.7% to 15.3%. Companies that have sustained this community for years are shedding jobs at an alarming speed, and the people who’ve lost them have no idea what to do or who to turn to. They can’t pay their bills and they’ve stopped spending money. And because they’ve stopped spending money, more businesses have been forced to lay off more workers. Local TV stations have started running public service announcements that tell people where to find food banks, even as the food banks don’t have enough to meet the demand.

As we speak, similar scenes are playing out in cities and towns across the country. Last Monday, more than 1,000 men and women stood in line for 35 firefighter jobs in Miami. Last month, our economy lost 598,000 jobs, which is nearly the equivalent of losing every single job in the state of Maine. And if there’s anyone out there who still doesn’t believe this constitutes a full-blown crisis, I suggest speaking to one of the millions of Americans whose lives have been turned upside down because they don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from.

That is why the single most important part of this Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is the fact that it will save or create up to 4 million jobs. Because that is what America needs most right now.

It is absolutely true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector. But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle where lost jobs lead to people spending less money which leads to even more layoffs. And breaking that cycle is exactly what the plan that’s moving through Congress is designed to do.

When passed, this plan will ensure that Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own can receive greater unemployment benefits and continue their health care coverage. We will also provide a $2,500 tax credit to folks who are struggling to pay the cost of their college tuition, and $1000 worth of badly-needed tax relief to working and middle-class families. These steps will put more money in the pockets of those Americans who are most likely to spend it, and that will help break the cycle and get our economy moving.

But as we learned very clearly and conclusively over the last eight years, tax cuts alone cannot solve all our economic problems – especially tax cuts that are targeted to the wealthiest few Americans. We have tried that strategy time and time again, and it has only helped lead us to the crisis we face right now.

That is why we have come together around a plan that combines hundreds of billions in tax cuts for the middle-class with direct investments in areas like health care, energy, education, and infrastructure – investments that will save jobs, create new jobs and new businesses, and help our economy grow again – now and in the future.

More than 90% of the jobs created by this plan will be in the private sector. These will not be make-work jobs, but jobs doing the work that America desperately needs done. Jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, and repairing our dangerously deficient dams and levees so that we don’t face another Katrina. They will be jobs building the wind turbines and solar panels and fuel-efficient cars that will lower our dependence on foreign oil, and modernizing a costly health care system that will save us billions of dollars and countless lives. They’ll be jobs creating 21st century classrooms, libraries, and labs for millions of children across America. And they’ll be the jobs of firefighters, teachers, and police officers that would otherwise be eliminated if we do not provide states with some relief.

After many weeks of debate and discussion, the plan that ultimately emerges from Congress must be big enough and bold enough to meet the size of the economic challenge we face right now. It is a plan that is already supported by businesses representing almost every industry in America; by both the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. It contains input, ideas, and compromises from both Democrats and Republicans. It also contains an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability, so that every American will be able to go online and see where and how we’re spending every dime. What it does not contain, however, is a single pet project, and it has been stripped of the projects members of both parties found most objectionable.

Despite all of this, the plan is not perfect. No plan is. I can’t tell you for sure that everything in this plan will work exactly as we hope, but I can tell you with complete confidence that a failure to act will only deepen this crisis as well as the pain felt by millions of Americans. My administration inherited a deficit of over $1 trillion, but because we also inherited the most profound economic emergency since the Great Depression, doing too little or nothing at all will result in an even greater deficit of jobs, incomes; and confidence. That is a deficit that could turn a crisis into a catastrophe. And I refuse to let that happen. As long as I hold this office, I will do whatever it takes to put this country back to work.

I want to thank the members of Congress who’ve worked so hard to move this plan forward, but I also want to urge all members of Congress to act without delay in the coming week to resolve their differences and pass this plan.

We find ourselves in a rare moment where the citizens of our country and all countries are watching and waiting for us to lead. It is a responsibility that this generation did not ask for, but one that we must accept for the sake of our future and our children’s. The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose. That is the test facing the United States of America in this winter of our hardship, and it is our duty as leaders and citizens to stay true to that purpose in the weeks and months ahead. After a day of speaking with and listening to the fundamentally decent men and women who call this nation home, I have full faith and confidence that we can. And with that, I’ll take your questions.