Weekly Address 06-27-09

 Posted by at 10:42  Politics
Jun 272009

From the White House weblog:

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama praised the House of Representatives for passing the energy bill on Friday evening. This historic piece of legislation will not just lessen our dependence on foreign oil, but also spark a clean energy transformation in our economy that will create millions of new American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced. Clean energy and the jobs it creates are critical to building a new foundation for our economy.

Watch the video of the President’s address below or read the full text, as prepared for delivery, after the break.

“Now my call to every Senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true.”

Click below to listen to the audio only:

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Jun 262009

This will likely be the last edition of Friday Night Cartoons. Not forever, just for a couple of weeks. FDotL will be going on summer hiatus from June 29 until July 13. Your humble and devoted editor will be on a coast to coast (more like border to border) road trip, meeting up with some people along the way. Kind of a working vacation sort of thing.

Anyway, you know the routine… Click on a thumbnail to make it bigger or to start a manually controlled slide show. Enjoy; and remember, your mileage may vary.

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As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Michael Jackson dies

 Posted by at 17:44  Entertainment
Jun 252009

Pop singer Michael Jackson suffered an apparent heart attack and died in Los Angeles this afternoon. The Los Angeles Times

Michael Jackson is dead

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson

[Updated at 3:15 p.m.: Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.]

[Updated at 2:46 p.m.: Jackson is in a coma and his family is arriving at his bedside, a law enforcement source told The Times.

Jackson was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this afternoon by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics.

Fire Capt. Steve Ruda said paramedics responded to a call at Jackson’s home at 12:26 p.m. He was not breathing when they arrived. The paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and took him to the hospital, Ruda told The Times.

Jackson was 50 years old.

This news comes on the heels of the news that actress Farah Fawcett lost her battle with cancer earlier in the day. She was 62.

Prescription for America

 Posted by at 15:00  Politics
Jun 252009

Did you catch ABC News Primetime: Questions for the President — Prescription for America last evening? Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment, I was not able to watch. Fortunately, ABC News has been kind of enough to post the entire program on their website. So, if, like me, you were unable to see the program last night, you may still do so. Just click on the program’s title in the opening sentence of this post.

A full transcript of the program is available at the White House website.

P.S. Please do me the favor of not commenting on this post until you have watched the program. Thanks.

Jun 242009

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina just finished a news conference in which he explained his five day disappearing act by admitting that he was in Argentina with his mistress from that country. More Republican family values…

Republican Gov. Sanford admits extramarital affair

Mark Sanford
Mark Sanford

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday that he has been engaged in an extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman.

The news conference followed days of speculation surrounding his whereabouts. Sanford’s staff had said the governor was hiking in the Appalachian Trail, but Sanford was spotted Wednesday in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The South Carolina governor instead had been in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Sanford also said Wednesday he was resigning as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

He apologized to his wife, children and staff and asked for forgiveness.

Apparently this type of behavior is okay if you’re a Republican. Not so much if you’re a Democrat.

Family values. At least he spared his wife the embarrassment of having to stand by his side.

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Without doubt, it was the gays and their insistence on equal rights that destroyed the sanctity of Mr. Sanford’s marriage. (Governor Sanford firmly believes that marriage should be between one man, one woman and another woman in Argentina.)

P.S. Besides the adultery, there is the governor’s abrogation of his responsibilities to the people of South Carolina. As much as he may want to, the governor of a state simply cannot fall off the face of the earth for five days. Let’s face reality. Had this been a Democratic governor gone AWOL, the Republicans would be on the rooftops right now demanding his or her resignation.

Statement on Iran #2

 Posted by at 16:19  Middle East, Politics
Jun 232009

President Obama opened his press conference today with a statement on the current situation in Iran. It was consistent with his earlier statement. Here’s video from today, with Persian subtitles:

A transcript (in English) follows the break, along with the full video and transcript of today’s press conference.

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Ed McMahon passes

 Posted by at 08:31  Entertainment
Jun 232009

‘Tonight’ sidekick Ed McMahon dies in LA at 86

Ed McMahon
Ed McMahon

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ed McMahon, the loyal “Tonight Show” sidekick who bolstered boss Johnny Carson with guffaws and a resounding “H-e-e-e-e-e-ere’s Johnny!” for 30 years, died early Tuesday. He was 86.

McMahon died shortly after midnight at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center surrounded by his wife, Pam, and other family members, said his publicist, Howard Bragman.

Bragman didn’t give a cause of death, saying only that McMahon had a “multitude of health problems the last few months.”

McMahon had bone cancer, among other illnesses, according to a person close to the entertainer, and had been hospitalized for several weeks. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information.

McMahon broke his neck in a fall in March 2007, and battled a series of financial problems as his injuries prevented him from working.

McMahon and Carson had worked together for nearly five years on the game show “Who Do You Trust?” when Carson took over NBC’s late-night show from Jack Paar in October 1962. McMahon played second banana on “Tonight” until Carson retired in 1992.

He will be missed.

Obama signs smoking bill

 Posted by at 19:44  Politics
Jun 222009

President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act today. In his remarks, he stated:

When I ran for President, I did so because I believed that despite the power of the status quo and the influence of special interests, it was possible for us to bring change to Washington. And the progress we’ve made these past five months has only reinforced my faith in this belief.

Despite the influence of the credit card industry, we passed a law to protect consumers from unfair rate hikes and abusive fees. Despite the influence of banks and lenders, we passed a law to protect homeowners from mortgage fraud. Despite the influence of the defense industry, we passed a law to protect taxpayers from waste and abuse in defense contracting. And today, despite decades of lobbying and advertising by the tobacco industry, we’ve passed a law to help protect the next generation of Americans from growing up with a deadly habit that so many of our generation have lived with.

The tobacco lobby lost a big one today. Perhaps the gun lobby (NRA) will be next. We can only hope.

Here’s video of the President’s remarks just prior to signing the anti-smoking legislation today. A full transcript is available following the break.

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Iran situation

 Posted by at 15:54  Middle East, Politics
Jun 212009

The Republicans are all over the place today complaining that President Obama’s stand on the situation in Iran is not strong enough. The words that all of them are using are “timid” and “passive.” Remember, this is coming from the people who made such a shambles of the “war on terrorism.”

While there is little doubt that the recent presidential election in Iran was rigged, I think it is important to remember that Iran is not a United States territory. It would be interesting to know what kind of response the Republicans want the President to come up with here. Until and unless Iran attacks either us or one of our allies, we really do not have the right to launch an attack against the regime currently in control of that country. That point seems to matter little to Republicans, however. Remember, Iraq never attacked us either. So, Republicans, what say you? Should we send in the Marines? Is it time for some “shock and awe” in Tehran?

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is:

A) A tool.
B) A tool.
C) A tool.
D) All of the above.

In this second video, he recites the Republican talking points against health care reform:

Chris Dodd, by the way, shows Lindsey Graham to be the complete fool in both segments.

Also see: “In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health.”