Saturday, May 01, 2010

White House Correspondents Dinner 2010 - Obama bests Leno

The 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner is history. It was the second one for President Barack Obama, and while he wasn't quite as funny as in 2009, he was funnier than Jay Leno. Reportedly, Joe Biden was even funnier than President Obama, but this blogger missed Biden's turn at the podium.

Would Conan have been funnier?
That aside, it's clear Obama enjoys the White House Correspondents Dinner, and comes with some pretty good material. For example there was the joke about Politico and how it has a centuries long history of spinning the news (Politico goes back to 2005.) Or there was the one about how Joe Biden talked him into coming to the dinner, saying "Mr. President. This is a big bleeping deal," in reference to Biden's on-mic F-bomb after the Health Care Reform Bill was passed.

In all Obama was just plain funnier than Jay Leno. It seemed Leno was searching for the one punch line that would get him going, but he remained stuck in the mud.

What did you think? Would Conan O'Brien have been funnier?

Stay tuned.

Thousands in Oakland protest Arizona immigration law and proposed federal reform (

immigrant rights protestThe annual May Day march in Oakland began at the Fruitvale BART drew an energized crowd that grew to over 3,000 by early afternoon. Filipino Advocates for Justice Executive Director Lillian Galedo was a featured speaker facing a crowd who gathered under the slogan, "We are all Arizona". On stage, organizers invited City Councilmembers Jean Quan and Jane Brunner to announce their proposal for a city boycott of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses. (The full City Council will consider the proposal this Tuesday at a 5:30 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.)

But talk soon turned to national immigration reform issues. Lillian Galedo addressed the congressional immigration reform proposal introduced late last week, which emphasizes enforcement over legalization. A move, Galedo said, "basically puts legalization on hold". According to an article in today's Washington Post, the proposal takes a Republican "secure the border" approach. Galedo added, "its not what we wanted in immigration reform."

It's too early to tell what impact the boycotts and protests in the streets in Oakland, San Francisco and across the country will have on the Arizona state law or the national reform debate. But what is certain is that the numbers out on the street for May Day demonstrate the loud and insistent demand for fair immigration law. Catherine Tactaquin, Executive Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights was impressed by the size of the Oakland crowd, "It was much bigger than the organizers expected, par for the course nationally!"

Aimee Allison is the publisher/founder of

Conan O'Brien blasts NBC and Jay Leno: Conan got $30 million

Lost in all of the argument and coverage of the now celebrated spat between Conan O'Brien, NBC and Jay Leno is one sobering fact: Conan O'Brien got $30 million. Repeat: Conan O'Brien got $30 million from NBC.

This blogger loves Conan O'Brien and definitely feels for how he was treated by NBC, but the bottom line for me was reading that NBC paid Conan and his staff large buyout money. That comes in the middle of a jobless economic recovery with double-digit unemployment rates in many counties in America and an overall rate that's a hair below 10 percent.

There are scores of people who would be happy with a $1 million buyout or a $10,000 one for that matter. For Conan O'Brien to go on CBS 60 Minutes all sad faced and boo-hooing is itself a bad move. Sure, it makes for great gossip and it certainly helps my blogging work. But for Conan it would do some initial good, then a bit of bad.

The "bit of bad" will come when people who aren't "into" the story realize that Conan got $30 million. If he wanted to he could retire on that money, assuming Conan's not racked up a lot of huge bills. Most people anywhere in the World would be happy with a fraction of that money.

Entertainment is a cut-throat business, especially at that level. If you're not smart enough to leverage New Media as a "balancer" you're subject to the whims of whatever Tom, Dick, Harry, or Jay Leno comes along. Conan had to know that.

From what I read Conan didn't want to move to 12 midnight. But what if he did? What if Conan had taken that spot, let Jay come back to 11:30 PM, then watch Jay tank? It may very well have been that NBC would have moved Conan right back to that spot.

But that didn't happen. Conan wanted things his way, and so a butting of heads happened. But it also appears that NBC and Conan just didn't get along. I wonder if some of that had to do with Conan's need to feel "needed" even though he reached the zenith of success? Let's face it. Conan's version of The Tonight Show didn't feel like, well, The Tonight Show. It felt more like Conan's old show. That's not what NBC wanted anyway.

But NBC saw Conan's value and paid him accordingly. They gave him start-up money to, well, start his own show.

$30 million. Nice.

Conan's going to be just fine. It's the rest of the World I'm worried about.

Rock the Casbah.

@ConanOBrien blasts NBC and Jay Leno on CBS 60 Minutes (video)

Conan O'Brien talks about the NBC's The Tonight Show and Jay Leno scandal with Steve Kroft of CBS 60 Minutes. The full segment airs tomorrow (Sunday) night on 60 Minutes at 7 PM EST and PST.

This excerpt clip reveals a Conan O'Brien still obviously pained by the ouster from The Tonight Show after just six months on the job and at the hands of Jay Leno, who pushed Conan out after Jay's 10 PM NBC program failed.

Here's the video:

What happened in what some have called "The Late Shift Two" was that when Jay Leno wanted to return to late-night television, Jeff Gaspin, NBC's head of entertainment, asked Conan to move back to his midnight slot to make room for a 30-minute show for Jay. Conan reportedly said no according to The New York Times.

The result was a nasty public argument that drew in everyone from David Letterman to this blogger, and even Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange, who warned Conan about moving to LA.

Jay Leno didn't make it any better by issuing his "State of The Network" speech saying "Don't blame Conan:"

But David Letterman's take was classic:

Now, Conan O'Brien will get his own 11 PM show on TBS as George Lopez agreed to move his show to midnight.

In an obvious blast at Jay Leno, Conan said "If I had surrendered The Tonight Show and handed it over publicly to someone else, then I would not have come back six months later. But that's me. You know? Everyone's got their own, you know, way of doing things."

Asked if NBC had handled things differently, Conan O'Brien said the relationship between he and NBC had become so toxic it was time for a split.

Kentucky Derby odds and payout - Lookin At Lucky favorite

Lookin At Lucky 
The 2010 Kentucky Derby is today and post time is 6:24 PM ESI. As of this writing, Lookin At Lucky is still the favorite to win, even with the poor post position it has. As I wrote on Friday, considering the post position issues and the odds, it's better to pick any of the 50-1 horses where you would get a bigger payout.

So with that, how much would you earn if you bet $100? has the answer in this list of what such a bet on each horse in today's Kentucky Derby would pay:

Lookin At Lucky +450
Sidneys Candy +700
Awesome Act +900
Ice Box +1000
Super Saver +1000
Devil May Care +1200
Dublin +1200
Mission Impazible +1200
American Lion +1200
Jackson Bend +1200
Paddy Oprado +1600
Line of David +2000
Stately Victor +2000
Nobles Promise +2000
Conveyance +2200
Deans Kitten +3300
Discreetly Mine +3300
Make Music For Me +3500
Homeboykris +4000
Backtalk +5000

The favorite is Lookin at Lucky at $450; the highest is Backtalk at $5,000. Again, Dean's Kitten, Make Music for Me, Paddy O'Prado, Backtalk, and Homeboykris are the horses with 50-1 odds. But if I had to pick one of these horses, it would be Dean's Kitten. For one thing, it's odds changed from 50-1 to 40-1 just today. Moreover, in its last two races it placed 1st and 2nd.

Whatever the case, this is going to be an exciting Kentucky Derby.

Rock the Casbah!

Tylenol Recall 2010 impacts Children’s Tylenol - hotline number given

The Internet is abuzz with the news of the latest Tylenol recall, but the lead title on many blogs and newssites is wrong. It's Children’s Tylenol that's being recalled, not "Tylenol Recall 2010." According to The New York Times, Johnson & Johneson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit voluntarily recalled Children’s Tylenol from shelves, according to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Saturday.

You should stop using the following: Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. Some of them may have an ingredient that may not meet FDA testing guidelines. This is, in part, what the McNeil Consumer Healthcare press release reads:

McNeil Consumer Healthcare is initiating this voluntary recall because some of these products may not meet required quality standards. This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events. However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children. Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles. While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use.

McNeil offers a phone number for consumers to call: 1-888-222-6036 and on Monday through Friday 8 AM to 10 PM EST and Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM EST. You can also visit the website

St. Vincent's Hospital shocker + the anger! posted by Suzannah B. Troy

Above is Yetta Kurland who almost beat city council speaker Christine Quinn who like Mike Bloomberg barely won her seat back the way mayor Mike Bloomberg spent the most obscene amount of money ever in NYC history, close to 110 million dollars for the most humiliating win and tainted because the people of New Yorker were denied a referendum!

Well Yetta Kurland, a Civil Rights lawyer and community activist is going strong and full out for the community as is she had won the city council seat and this short YouTube above gives you some insight in the fact St. Vincent's may be closing but it is not a closed case!

This YouTube is called "St. Vincent's Shocker. A nurse gives an extremely moving and rousing speech.
She calls for a revolution. She says you people need a revolution downtown. She conjurs up the 1960's!!!  
This is a very rousing speech and I agree. We need to tell the politicians this is just not good enough!!!!

I think of Peter Finch in Network! "I am as mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!"

The speaker speaks up about the concerns that nurses may not get their pensions, that some 
nurses had checks that bounced and more shocking details that are red flags.
Someone yells out Enron. Some now unemployed and tried to apply unemployment and were denied.
The nurse calls out for a Federal Investigation. Please watch this you.

Dr. David Kaufman explains why we need an emergency room and he points out too many people
use the emergency room for non-emergencies. He doesn't mention that many people do so 
because they have no health insurance.
By the way St. Vincent's never turned anyone away according to what I was told.

These YouTubes are deeply moving and I hope you will watch them.
"The St. Vincent's Shocker" is a must see.
Very shocking and I do hope a Federal Investigation does happen! 
Even more I wish for a late in the 9th Inning miracle that the hospital is re-opened but
for now it looks like a dead issue and I don't know what the
people of the neighborhood will do! We need this hospital bailed out more than any bank!

Two massive disasters Eco-disaster and Economic post by Suzannah B. Troy NYC

This newest terrible oil spill is an eco-diaster beyond what people maybe understanding and it is heartbreaking but also here in NY,  the budgetary crisis is devastating as well and we maybe moving from a recession to a depression.    The oil spill is worse because entire populations of sea life maybe obliterated but both are nightmares as far as I am concerned and should never have happened.

The economic crisis  here and for the country is not being  addressed effectively and I am sure it will have world wide tremors but here in NY Albany's politicos can't get it through their thick skull how actually devastating this economic crisis is and refuse to work together to close the budget crisis.  President Obama did inherit a disaster but here in NY it has been more the making of Albany and City Hall and they are not doing anything effectively to address the problem.  Most New Yorkers see politicians as corrupt fat cats...not all but many.

We also have an accidental governor who is not a strong leader or one with integrity who should have resigned quite a while ago and I am guessing he spends a lot of time on the phone with his defense attorney because of all the scandals, at least 3 significant ones that make him an even more ineffectual leader if that was possible.

Both the eco-diaster -- this massive oil spill and this economic disaster are hard to wrap one's mind around.  The nature disaster is a travesty beyond words and comprehension but this economic disaster means even more people lay-offed and more pay-cuts, more closings, quality of life here in NYC continuing to spiral downward.  I continue to ask is City Council unvoting themselves a raise.

Here is my YouTube from Oct. 13, 2008 Gloomy Bloomy News Sub-Zero Trickledown

How did I know this and the mayor seemed not to know this and he made promises and brokered deals to win or steal his third term which would further bankrupt NYC as he gave away or spent over a hundred million dollars with sub-zero trickle down.  Mike Bloomberg is also in big trouble with his spending close to a million dollars that he  can't account for to buy his third term and this is being investigated by an appointee of Cy Vance's as well as Mike Bloomberg's association and continue loyalty to Steve Rattner who has essentially been blamed for anything and all things corrupt with Quadrangle and the pension fund scandals.  Of course Rattner says he is innocent although his own firm, Quadrangle disavowed him and of course Rattner will just pay some hefty fine by real peoples' standards but small change for him and no jail time or even a guilty plea.  In the US if you are rich, a celebrity, a politico or well connected you get to plead no contest.  

All this spells disasters that will be affecting people and the eco-diaster the planet for a long time.

NYC Beats Back at Arizona post by Suzannah B. Troy

Thousands of workers and immigrants demanding FULL RIGHTS NOW and people supporting equal rights, human rights and standing up to what they feel is racism showed up at Union Square to protest Arizona's stance on immigrants as well as attend the the 6th Annual May Day March starting at Union Square which was jammed packed with protestors and all with shoppers at the Farmers Market so I took photos of protest walking through the market as well a very brief clip of just how crowded the protest is and it is going very strong even as I post this.

I was sent an email from the organizers that also used facebook and the attendance was very strong and people of all ages including parents with small children holding flags.

Protestors walking thru the Farmers Market and believe me this photo and the others give you no idea of just how crowded the area was and is and also how hot it is today!

New York is overwhelming liberal and there were no counter-protestors in site just shoppers buying lilacs and fresh fruits in contrast to the many immigrant workers that showed up with their family members and lots of supporters.