Court Upholds Anonymity On The Internet

This is great news:

Maryland's highest court has ruled in favor of Internet anonymity, saying Web sites involved in defamation suits don't have to reveal the identity of readers who post comments on their site.

The ruling Friday by the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed a lower-court decision and said NewsZap.com, an online forum run by Independent Newspapers Inc., doesn't have to disclose the identities of participants in a 2006 online exchange about the cleanliness of a Dunkin' Donuts shop in Centreville, Md...

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Amazing Treehouse Restaurant

Holy shit. This is SO cool.

Photos of the Yellow Treehouse Restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand.

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VCR Hack!


From GagFilms:

Don't throw out that old VCR! Hack it to find all kinds of goodies inside!

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Jimmy Kimmel Stumbles Over a Calista Flockheart "Clip" Intro

Let's just say he doesn't say "clip." This is truly funny. His reaction is priceless.

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Dynasty: Claudia drops Jeff & Fallon's "baby" from roof

Today's moment of zen:

From Siebstar:

Blake tries to calm down a clearly "unsettled" crazy Claudia... until Claudia catches the cop coming toward her. She freaks, trips, & off the roof the "baby" goes! A shocking scene as Blake, Krystle, Fallon & Jeff look on in horror!

Coal-sponsored CNN rejects anti-coal ad

Corporate News Network. Nothing shocking about this.

From Think Progress:

On Thursday, the Reality Coalition launched an ad “to demolish the notion that there’s anything clean about so-called clean coal.” Academy Award-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen created the anti-coal ad to harpoon the coal industry’s greenwashing campaign. Today, Politico’s Mike Allen reported that CNN rejected the ad, which includes the line, “The most trusted name in coal."

As ThinkProgress has reported, CNN’s presidential campaign coverage received significant backing from the coal industry. The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has also tracked CNN’s Ali Velshi’s promotion of so-called clean coal.

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Facts Are Stubborn Things: George Will and Climate Change

Great John Kerry take-down of know-nothing, gossip columnist, George Will. It's like when Will talks about the economy as if he were an economist...and argues against columnist, Paul Krugman, who happens to be one. Give it fucking rest, George. You're a pretentious, right-wing hack.

Dragging up long-discredited myths about some non-existent scientific consensus about global cooling from the 1970s does no one any good. Except perhaps a bankrupt flat earth crowd. I hate to review the record and see that someone as smart as George Will has been doing exactly that as far back as 1992. And it's especially troubling when the very sources that Will cites in his February 15th column draw the exact opposite conclusions and paint very different pictures than Will provides, as the good folks at ThinkProgress and Media Matters for America have demonstrated so thoroughly.

This has to stop. A highly organized, well-funded movement to deny the reality of global climate change has been up and running for a long time, but it doesn't change the verdict: the problem is real, it's accelerating, and we have to act. Now. Not years from now.

No matter how the evidence has mounted over two decades -- the melting of the arctic ice cap, rising sea levels, extreme weather -- the flat earth caucus can't even see what is on the horizon. In the old Republican Congress they even trotted out the author of Jurassic Park as an expert witness to argue that climate change is fiction. This is Stone Age science, and now that we have the White House and the Congress real science must prevail. It is time to stop debating fiction writers, oil executives and flat-earth politicians, and actually find the way forward on climate change.

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Anger Rises among Unemployed over Govs Who Want to Reject Stimulus

They probably don't care since they don't plan on running for reelection while they have presidential stars in their eyes. At most, that will only work for one of them if you think about it. The rest can kiss their political careers goodbye.

From HuffPo:

As governors in nine states, mostly in the South, consider rejecting millions of dollars in federal stimulus money for increased unemployment insurance, there is growing anger among the ranks of the jobless in those states that they could be left out of a significant government benefit.

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The Great Solvent North

Reconfiguring the American banking structure to look more like the Canadian model would help restore much-needed confidence in a beleaguered financial system.

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Daily Kos: Obama's historic speech, Republican nightmare

monkeybrainpolitics really explains why the media & the GOP are SO far behind the public (and Obama) on the biggest issues of the day (and how deft Obama is at arranging the chess pieces on HIS political board. And that fine by me! Keep talkin' rethugs. Keep talkin'! And keep enabling them corp. media! You're helping dig their political graves! Thank you.

Great analysis.

From monkeybrainpolitics:

DemFromCT’s main page post today snarkingly titled “Shocking Gallup Poll Suggests Obama Should Keep His Day Job” showed Obama’s presidential approval ratings rose from 59% on the 23rd of Feb to 67% by the 26th. Republican approval of Obama leapt from 27% --where it has been since taking office-- to 42%, not only higher than Bush’s exiting approval from most of his own party, as DemFromCT noted, but it shows Republican tactics, memes and framing are losing ground with their already reduced base to where they could be left with the rump of a rump of a party.


Pushing ones approval up from 86% to 90% among Democrats, recovering Independent’s approval back up to 62% from its low point of 54%, and at the same time increasing approval with Republicans to within sight of a majority from them is a rather stunning feat of political legerdemain. Doing so after a month long all out attack by Republicans and the corporate media on every plan he’s advanced -- and that dragged his pre-speech approval down significantly—is also an amazing feat. It’s a feat worth some careful analysis.

Pushing ones approval up from 86% to 90% among Dem, recovering Independent’s approval back up to 62% from its low point of 54%, & at the same time increasing approval with Repubs to within sight of a majority from them is a rather stunning feat of political legerdemain. Doing so after a month long all out attack by Republicans & the corporate media

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Top Dems Amping Up Efforts to Elevate Rush as Face of GOP

This isn't 1994 and this isn't a center right nation. Those days are over. It's time to cut the head off of the drug induced dragon...for good.

The GOP & their media enablers keep thinking asking "why would they take on Rush? Are they crazy? It's Rush!" They just don't get it. The public is so far ahead of them, despite all their propaganda on cable news, and the admin/Dems see it.

From Greg Sargent:

Top Democratic operatives are planning a stepped up campaign to promote Rush Limbaugh as the public face of the GOP — an effort that will include recruiting Dem governors to make this case on talk shows, getting elected officials to pen Op eds arguing it, and running more ads pushing it, a senior Democratic operative says.

Key leadership staff in the House and Senate, and in all the political committees, have been encouraged by senior Dem operatives to push this message wherever possible, the operative says.

“I’m encouraging everybody to go out and say this,” Paul Begala, the well-known Dem strategist, just told me by phone. “I’m hot for this. Let’s get this out every way we can.”

Begala is emerging as a major cheerleader and public face for this effort, though he says he’s not formally directing it. He described the effort as “organic” right now, though senior Democrats are discussing ways to formalize it...

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Weekly Presidential Youtube-Radio Address (2/28/09)

"...I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this:

So am I."
From WhiteHouse.gov:

In the Weekly Address this morning, President Obama explains how the budget he sent to Congress will fulfill the promises he made as a candidate. On fiscal responsibility, a fair tax code, a clean energy economy, real health care reform, and education, this budget sets out a new vision for our country.

But having put his priorities on paper and having stood behind them, the President recognizes that there are those who will fight against change every step of the way.

"I realize that passing this budget won’t be easy. Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington. I know that the insurance industry won’t like the idea that they’ll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that’s how we’ll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families. I know that banks and big student lenders won’t like the idea that we’re ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that’s how we’ll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won’t like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that’s how we’ll help fund a renewable energy economy that will create new jobs and new industries. I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this:

"So am I."

Watch the full address and read the transcript below.

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Painting Limbaugh as the Head of the GOP? Absurd.

Rush Limbaugh is ALREADY the undisputed head honcho of the GOP. The fact that he's a hate-monger, a contempt-monger, and a failure-monger should be proof enough. But if the minority members of the Republican Party would like to offer up some sort of sane alternative, we'd all be more than happy to oblige, I'm sure. But we're not holding our breath.

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Confronted with the truth, Hannity refused to back down

On Fox News, Sean Hannity repeated the false GOP talking points that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directs that funds be spent to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse in San Francisco and on a high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas. In fact, as Rep. Joe Sestak noted in response to Hannity, that wasn't true

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Porn in the USA: Conservatives are biggest porn consumers

Makes sense to me.

The biggest consumer, Utah, averaged 5.47 adult content subscriptions per 1000 home broadband users; Montana bought the least with 1.92 per 1000. "The differences here are not so stark," Edelman says.

Number 10 on the list was West Virginia at 2.94 subscriptions per 1000, while number 41, Michigan, averaged 2.32.

Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year's presidential election – Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama.

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White House releases official portrait of First Lady

The White House has released an official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. It's stunning. She's stunning. WOW.

From the Daily News:

"Of course, the First Lady has also accessorized with her famously toned bare arms."

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Shocking Gallup Poll Suggests Obama Should Keep His Day Job

He should definitively resign. Gallup's Presidential job approval rating jumped to 67%. Research 2000's Presidential job approval rating at 71%. Yup, resigning seems to be his only option.

From Dkos' DemFromCT:

If you listen to conservatives, Obama's poll numbers have been tanking lately. He's gone from astronomically popular to merely incredibly popular (and, of course, according to our media, that must be good news for John McCain.) But the numbers aren't cooperating this week with that narrative. To go along with this morning's Daily Kos R2K solid favorable/unfavorable numbers (which showed an especially favorable +13 for Congressional Democrats), Gallup's Presidential job approval rating jumped to 67%.

If you listen to conservatives, Obama's poll numbers have been tanking lately. He's gone from astronomically popular to merely incredibly popular (and, of course, according to our media, that must be good news for John McCain). But the numbers aren't cooperating this week with that narrative.

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UPDATE: Racist Mayor Who Sent Obama Watermelon Email Quits

The mayor of a California city says he will resign after being criticized for sharing an e-mail picture depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."

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Senator Gregg (R-NH) Had Stake in, Won Aid for Base

Lying hypocrite.

From TPM:

President Barack Obama's former nominee to become commerce secretary, Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, steered taxpayer money to his home state's redevelopment of a former Air Force base even as he and his brother engaged in real estate deals there, an Associated Press investigation found.

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GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was a Lie

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby ... Or is it Booby?

From TPM:

Looks like the game is up.

Remember that story Bobby Jindal told in his big speech Tuesday night -- about how during Katrina, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a local sheriff who was battling government red tape to try to rescue stranded victims?

Turns out it wasn't actually, you know, true.

In the last few days, first Daily Kos, and then TPMmuckraker, raised serious questions about the story, based in part on the fact that no news reports we could find place Jindal in the affected area at the specific time at issue...

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The GOP and the Growing Right-Wing Terror Threat

From DKos' Avenging Angel:

As the beaten and battered conservative faithful gather at the CPAC event in Washington, casual incitements to violence against the President, Democratic leaders and liberal Americans once again are filling the air. While former UN ambassador John Bolton produced guffaws with the specter of Obama's hometown being destroyed in terrorist attack, Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher earnestly suggested some member of Congress should be shot. Meanwhile readers of the web site of Fox News host Sean Hannity voted on "what kind of revolution" they found most appealing, even as Glenn Beck discussed the coming American civil war.

As recent events show, these increasingly frequent episodes are no laughing matter.

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I guess Joe the Plumber suggesting that some members of Congress should be shot fits the bill?

Sean Hannity's Website Advocating Treason

How this neo-nazi is still on the air is beyond me.

This poll is currently running on Hannity's website: "What kind of revolution appeals most to you?-- Military Coup-- Armed Rebellion-- War for Secession"

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Joe the Plumber suggests SHOOTING some members of Congress

Maybe he can borrow one of Palin's guns, along with one of her copters? These losers are raving lunatics.

From Think Progress:

On Wednesday, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher said that if he were in Congress, he would “probably be in jail” because he’d be charged with “slapping some member.” He added, “And that’s not [bull] either.” ThinkProgress caught up with Joe at CPAC yesterday and asked him which members he would most like to slap. “Pretty much anybody that’s stood there and said anything bad about our troops, pretty much anybody who sat there and talked treasonous talk about America,” Joe said. He then implied that some members of Congress should be shot:

Back in the day, really, when people would talk about our military in a poor way, somebody would shoot ‘em. And there’d be nothing said about that, because they knew it was wrong. You don’t talk about our troops. You support our troops. Especially when our congressmen and senators sit there and say bad things in an ongoing conflict.

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And this is the face of the new GOP? Yikes.

Who are GOP leaders listening too? "I want him to fail." You betcha.

Tell Republicans that Americans Won't Take NO for an Answer

From Americans United for Change:

While President Obama acted, Republicans in Congress said NO. Tell Republicans that Americans won't take NO for an answer.

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BREAKING: Press Corps Incredulous That Obama Budget Reflects Campaign Promises

"Did you notice all the questions about taxes came from reporters making over $250,000 a year, especially the TV guys?"
OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! He's doing EXACTLY what he said he was going to do a million times during the course of the 2 year campaign. How DARE he?!?

From FiveThirtyEight.com:
It felt like a primal whine from rich reporters. Hasn't Barack Obama considered that maybe John McCain's tax policy is the right one? Does Obama not realize that the best way to be a Democrat is preserve conservative Republican tax policy?

Why would Obama raise taxes on people making over $250,000 beginning in two years? If you tamper with trickle-down, the dramatic shift of income toward the wealthy that was the hallmark of George W. Bush's tax policy, don't you know it'll be disaster? It'll be "class warfare!" (The first questioner: Are you worried that the "class warfare" argument could sink the budget?)

In a remarkable scene, Gibbs patiently and repeatedly explained that, no really, Obama actually won the election, that he'd explained exactly what he was going to do during the campaign, the American people understood and voted on it, and now he's doing it. During the campaign, Obama had pledged to cut taxes for 95% of American workers and end the catastrophic non-workingness of George Bush's trickle-down tax policy. Now, among some questioners, there seems to be confusion and alarm that Obama intends to implement that policy.


As one reporter observed after the briefing, "Did you notice all the questions about taxes came from reporters making over $250,000 a year, especially the TV guys?"


Indeed, it's right there on Obama's website still:

"Families making more than $250,000 will pay either the same or lower tax rates than they paid in the 1990s. Obama will ask the wealthiest 2% of families to give back a portion of the tax cuts they have received over the past eight years to ensure we are restoring fairness and returning to fiscal responsibility. But no family will pay higher tax rates than they would have paid in the 1990s."

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Obama’s Budget Wipes Out the "Reagan Revolution"

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! He's doing EXACTLY what he said he was going to do a million times during the course of the 2 year campaign. How DARE he?!?

From the NY Times:

The budget that President Obama proposed on Thursday is nothing less than an attempt to end a three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters.


...the proposals seek to reverse the rapid increase in economic inequality over the last 30 years.


He sought to eliminate some corporate subsidies, for health insurers, banks and agricultural companies, that economists have long criticized. He proposed putting a price on carbon, to slow global warming, and then refunding most of the revenue from that program through broad-based tax cuts. He called for roughly $100 billion a year in tax increases on the wealthy — mostly delayed until 2011, when the recession will presumably have ended — and $50 billion a year in net tax cuts for the nonwealthy.

The history of the United States economy over the last 70 years can be roughly divided into two periods: the decades immediately after World War II, when inequality plummeted, and the past three decades, when global economic forces and government policies caused it to soar. Mr. Obama is setting out to begin a third period that looks more like the first than the second.


“The tax code will become more progressive, with relatively higher rates on the rich and relatively lower rates on the middle class and poor,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center in Washington. “This is reversing the effects of the Bush policies,” he added, and then going even further.

And just as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s tax increases on the wealthy followed a stock market crash, which had already depressed their incomes, Mr. Obama’s proposals — if they become law — would too. The combination has the potential to reverse a significant portion of the inequality trends of the last few decades.


Whatever happens, though, it has been a long time since any president has tried to use his budget to shape the government and the economy quite as much as Mr. Obama did on Thursday. On that score, he and President Reagan have something in common.

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Daily Show: Gov. Jindal Rejects $3.8B Stimulus... Accepts $3.7B

From the Daily Show February 23, 2009:

Republicans are against the stimulus bill, but that doesn't mean they won't take the money. Bobby Jindal is a particularly excellent example.

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Matthews chews out GOP Rep. Issa on“Democrat” Party name games

This was great. Issa's a classless pig. Snake oil salesman extraordinaire.

Chris Matthews calls out Darrel Issa for playing a favorite Republican game, calling the Democratic Party the Democrat Party.

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Crazy John Bolton jokes about nuking Chicago at CPAC Den

Some people are more deranged than others.

From Think Progress:

This morning, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He tried to up the fear quotient in the room by raising the prospect of an Iranian-sent nuclear attack on an American city. “It’s [a] tiny [threat] compared to the Soviet Union,” Bolton said, “but is the loss of one American city — pick one at random: Chicago — is that a tiny threat?” The audience erupted in cheers and laughter at the idea of Obama’s home city being obliterated. Watch it:

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Kenneth the Page's reponse to Jindal's response to Obama speech.

It's highly likely the 30 Rock star will be called on Saturday Night Live to do some sort of skit about Louisana Gov. Jindal.

From Gawker:

Jack McBrayer's self-deprecating jokes about his voice double Bobby Jindal came during a test run of Jimmy Fallon's Late Night. Test run for SNL is more like it.

We still say it's highly likely the 30 Rock star will be called on Saturday Night Live to do some sort of skit about Louisana Gov. Jindal. Weekend Update at the very least. McBrayer was the show's breakout star even before Jindal did an awful, sing-song televised rebuttal to the president the other night, evoking no one so much as McBrayer's character Kenneth the Page, a naive, overernest country boy.

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Get clean coal clean! (NEW Air Freshener)

The Reality Campaign has released a new Coen Brothers ad today. It's mind-blowingly funny. I saw this on either CNN of ABC earlier today.

In reality, there's no such thing as clean coal. Learn more. Join the campaign. http://www.ThisIsReality.org

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This fits perfect with the news that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have asked the Capitol Hill's power plant to convert
from coal to natural gas:

Today, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent the following letter to the Acting Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, asking that the Capitol Power Plant (CPP) use 100 percent natural gas for its operations. They write, “the switch to natural gas will allow the CPP to dramatically reduce carbon and criteria pollutant emissions, eliminating more than 95 percent of sulfur oxides and at least 50 percent of carbon monoxide…We strongly encourage you to move forward aggressively with us on a comprehensive set of policies for the entire Capitol complex and the entire Legislative Branch to quickly reduce emissions and petroleum consumption through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean alternative fuels.”

read full letter

Sen. Roland Burris' Son Got State Job From Blago

This is the Illinois state legislature's, Harry Reid's and Dick Durbin's faults. No one elses. Yes, this guy is a joke of a politician, but they allowed him to take his seat. They allowed Blago to seat him. They had the power to stop him in his tracks. They didn't. Then, they caved when the congressional black caucus screamed 'racism' at a time when they should have shamed those who claimed that, almost as much as they should have shamed Burris into submission. This entire affair should have been stopped in it's tracks in the Illinois state legislature and if not there, then by Reid & Durbin.

From HuffPo:

The son of embattled Sen. Roland Burris landed a job with the Illinois Housing Development Authority five months ago under the administration of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports in Thursday's editions the hiring of Roland Burris II as senior counsel came six weeks after the Internal Revenue Service slapped him with a $34,163 tax lien and three weeks after a mortgage company filed a foreclosure lawsuit on his Chicago home.

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The Dead Tree Theory: Republican Hypocrisy on Spending

Why would anyone (CNN/MSNBC) take anything the very people who got us into this mess say (GOP) seriously, when it comes to spending & taxes? It would be comical if it weren't so dangerous.

From Gail Collins:

Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana.

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CA Mayor Sends Email with Watermelons On White House Lawn

Hey, can't you take a joke?! He didn't even know it was offensive to the blacks. Why so sensitive?

What an asshole.

From HuffPo:

The mayor of Los Alamitos is coming under fire for an e-mail he sent out that depicts the White House lawn planted with watermelons, under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."

Local businesswoman and city volunteer Keyanus Price, who is black, said Tuesday she received the e-mail from Mayor Dean Grose's personal account on Sunday and wants a public apology.

"I have had plenty of my share of chicken and watermelon and all those kinds of jokes," Price told The Associated Press. "I honestly don't even understand where he was coming from, sending this to me. As a black person receiving something like this from the city-freakin'-mayor - come on."

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Santelli backs off his claim that White House Threatened Him

And it was Matt Lauer (!) who got him to back down from the lie? That's almost as news worthy as the fact he backtracked considering what a right-wing tool Lauer is.

From Think Progress:

ThinkProgress reported on Monday that CNBC’s Rick Santelli agreed with radio host G. Gordon Liddy that the White House was making “veiled threats” to him, claiming, “My kids are nervous to go to school.” He echoed those sentiments on the Mike Gallagher show. However, after Matt Lauer pressed him on the claim on the Today Show this morning, Santelli tried to walk it back, finally admitting that the White House was not threatening him. “Well, listen, I’m not saying ‘threatening,’” he said. Watch it:

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Here's the video (h/t Huffpo):

Obama's Atty. Gen. Declares End Of Medical Marijuana Raids

Great smackdown:

Standing right next to the Drug Enforcement Administration head who oversaw the recent raids, Eric Holder said, "What the President said during the campaign...will be consistent with what we'll be doing here in law enforcement. He is formally and technically and by law my boss now, and so what he said during the campaign is now American policy."

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CPAC Agenda: Joe The Plumber To Advise Young Conservatives As Panelist

Sarah. Joe. Steele and now Jindal. It doesn't get any better for Dems than this.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Limbaugh to Convene ‘Female Summit’ to Ask Why They Hate Him

Could it be because he's a fat, sweaty, drug-addicted, sexist pig? Just a thought.

From Think Progress:

Women don’t really like Rush Limbaugh. On Feb. 23, Public Policy Polling released findings showing that only 37 percent of women hold a favorable opinion of the hate radio host, compared to 56 percent of men.

As Jill Zimon notes, Limbaugh brought up this poll yesterday on his radio show, noting that it was one of the largest gender gaps Public Policy Polling has seen on any issue it has polled in the past year. His solution? To convene a summit of women to find out why they dislike him:

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Think Progress has their list of possible reasons why:

– “She’s actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn’t have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat’s taught me more about women, than anything my whole life.” [11/30/06]

– “He’s trying to figure out how he can get involved in the deal down there at Duke where the lacrosse team…supposedly, you know, raped, some, uh, hos.” [3/31/06]

– “You know, there’s a crisis of young man-boy education in the schools. And they did this on purpose, to eliminate male competition in the work force. This is part of feminazi grand plan.” [5/21/08]

– “Classic example of the castrati, the new castrati. Jack Carter is — has been castrated by the feminization of this culture since he grew up.” [2/21/06]

– “I just heard Erin Burnett sounding a little wifey. … Well [she was] whining.” [10/23/07]

GOP Strategist: Jindal's Speech “Painful”; was a “Good Night for Palin"

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. It hurts (so good for Dems though).

From Greg Sargent:

GOP strategist Ed Rollins, asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper to react, offered up this (via Nexis):

COOPER: How do you think he did? I mean, clearly as Candy said he got a tough job following this President?

ROLLINS: It was a tough job. And obviously he was better on the weekend talk shows when he was answering questions as opposed to trying to give a speech. No one has ever really succeeded at this post and –

COOPER: It’s always kind of painful.

ROLLINS: It’s always painful and no one has gone on from this to — everybody thinks it’s a great launching pad. I wouldn’t recommend to any of my clients, whatever you do don’t take the honor.

COOPER: It’s true. Every year this person is a rising star and then they seems like they implode and you never see them again.

ROLLINS: I would say this was a good night for Sarah Palin.

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HUGE MORTGAGE SCAM STORY: FBI discovered the sub-prime fraud in 2004!

Here's more on the FBI documents from the post below. It's going to be a huge story. If cable news media do their thing. I know it's not Britney or bipartisanship or What John McCain thinks, but...

From William Balck via HuffPo:

As a white-collar criminologist and former financial regulator much of my research studies what causes financial markets to become profoundly dysfunctional. The FBI has been warning of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds. When the person that controls a seemingly legitimate business or government agency uses it as a "weapon" to defraud we categorize it as a "control fraud" ("The Organization as 'Weapon' in White Collar Crime." Wheeler & Rothman 1982; The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Black 2005). Financial control frauds' "weapon of choice" is accounting. Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime -- combined. Control fraud epidemics can arise when financial deregulation and desupervision and perverse compensation systems create a "criminogenic environment" (Big Money Crime. Calavita, Pontell & Tillman 1997.)

The FBI correctly identified the epidemic of mortgage control fraud at such an early point that the financial crisis could have been averted had the Bush administration acted with even minimal competence. To understand the crisis we have to focus on how the mortgage fraud epidemic produced widespread accounting fraud...

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538.com: Bobby Jindal-for-President in 2012 on Intrade TANKS

I guess being an exorcist doesn't sway people like it used too.

From FiveThirtyEight.com:

Jindal v. Obama continues to dominate the storyline, on a day when the reviews for each were so strong that the White House has little incentive to change the story.

As mockery poured in from all partisan corners, here's what happened to Bobby Jindal-for-President in 2012 on Intrade after reaction to his speech last night:

Meanwhile, polling reaction to Obama's speech was as good as the White House could have hoped for: CBS News showed a 17% bump, from 63% before the speech to 80% after the speech. Additionally, Obama gained a 15% bump in respondents who believed Obama's economic plans would help them personally, from 36% to 51%.

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The New Center: Progressive Government

Center right nation, my ass.

From Robert Borosage over at Ourfuture.org:

In his address before Congress, the President Obama demonstrated clearly that he is a leader who can educate and inspire Americans. And he uses that mastery to make the case for a progressive and active government investing in our future. No longer will the president scorn the government that he leads.


The man can give a speech. Confident, relaxed, bold, serious, President Obama made his case to the American people with boffo reviews from all who saw it from both parties.

And that case was a clear and bold statement of the need for progressive government as the vital instrument to move us out of this crisis and into the future. The recovery plan to put people back to work. Banking reform and “new rules of the road” to get banks working once more. The mortgage initiative to help homeowners stay in their homes.

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Jindal Heads To Disney World After Lying About Rail Line!

After lying about high-speed rail line from Disneyland to Vegas, Jindal left for a vacation at Disney World the next morning. Seriously! You can't make this stuff up.

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FBI Kills RUSH's "Blame the Borrower Meme"

But, but, but... I thought it was black & brown people's faults?!

From Dkos' JerichoJ8:

I have diaried about the recent adoption by some Kossers of the Right Wing Meme to blame the principle home borrower instead of the lenders, the flippers and speculators and the "recruiters" who conspired both through "willfull blindesss" and actual hard tack conspiracy to systematically pillage the lending system.

Former Financial Regulator and White Collar Criminologist William K. Black writes:

The FBI has been warning of an "epidemic" of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds.

That's just initiated. We know they approved 100% of them.

Some of his take on the FBI report:

* nonprime lenders are overwhelmingly responsible for the epidemic

* the fraud was so endemic that it would have been easy to spot if anyone looked

* willful blindness was essential to originate, sell, pool and resell the loans

* the worse the nonprime loan quality the higher the fees and interest rates, and the faster the growth in nonprime lending and pooling the greater the immediate fictional profits and (eventual) real losses

* the greater the destruction of wealth, the greater the (fictional) profits, bonuses, and stock appreciation

* many of the big banks are deeply insolvent due to severe credit losses

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GOP Gov. Mark Sanford: Rush Limbaugh is an ‘idiot.’

No shit. And we all know Rush isn't afraid of being called "a Racist." In fact, he wears it like a badge of honor.

From Think Progress:

In an interview with the website Real Clear Politics, Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) was asked about the “view that perhaps Republicans are rooting for President Obama to fail.” This question was a clear reference to Rush Limbaugh, who infamously said, “I hope Obama fails.” Sanford responded in unequivocal terms:

SANFORD: I don’t want him to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we’re all in trouble.

In the past, Limbaugh has attacked other Republicans who have expressed hope for President Obama to succeed, declaring that they are “drinking the Kool-Aid… they’re afraid of being called racists.”

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Evolution Of A Drudge Headline Change Just to Blame Obama

Can he look anymore foolish? LOL. I guess he doesn't understand how the interets really work. Stuff never goes away.

From Think Progress:

The markets opened this morning with a sustained decline, which Reuters attributed to a new “report showing yet more deterioration in the housing market.” Matt Drudge, however, wanted to blame it on President Obama, so he posted an auto updating graph of the Dow Jones Industrial average. Under that, in large block letters, Drudge asked, “WAS IT SOMETHING HE SAID?” But as the day passed, the market rebounded, and Drudge was left suggesting that Obama was responsible for the rally:

Drudge couldn’t let that stand so, several minutes later, he changed the headline:

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Obama Budget Would Create $634 Billion Health-Care Fund

Great news from WaPo:

President Obama intends to release a budget tomorrow that creates a 10-year, $634 billion "reserve fund" to partially pay for a vast expansion of the U.S. health care system, an overhaul that many experts project will cost as much as $1 trillion over the next decade.

Obama would pay for the expansion by trimming tax breaks for the wealthy and tightening payments to insurers, hospitals and physicians, according to a senior administration official.

By first identifying a large pot of money to underwrite health care reform -- before laying out a proposal on who would be covered or how -- Obama hopes to signal his willingness to negotiate with Congress over the details of an eventual plan.

"We wanted to get this process going by putting some serious resources on the table," said the official, who was not permitted to speak on the record until formal release of the budget blueprint. "This is a reserve fund, instead of a 700-page plan. We learned the lessons of the past and want to work interactively with Congress. This is a first step."

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Matthews Admits Saying What We All Thought: "Oh, God"

Afterward, some of us even said, Thank, God (for the GOP using Jindal as they're front man).

From HuffPo:

During today's Hardball, Chris Matthews will address the moment last night when a live mic caught him muttering "Oh, God," as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came out to deliver the GOP rebuttal to President Obama's address.

Here's a bit of what Matthews will say, according to an NBC spokesperson:

I was taken aback by that peculiar stagecraft, the walking from somewhere in the back of this narrow hall, this winding staircase looming there, the odd anti-bellum [sic] look of the scene. Was this some mimicking of a president walking along the state floor to the East Room?

Jindal has reportedly declined an invitation to appear on this evening's edition of Hardball.

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Chris Matthews Says "Oh God" As Gov. Jindal Starts to Walk Out

In what amounts to as one of the best moments in Jindal's speech, Chris Matthews said, "Oh God," as Jindal walked out to start speech:

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Paul Krugman: "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead."

I ♥ Paul Krugman: "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead."

Paul rips into Jindal & the GOP:

So what did Bobby Jindal choose to ridicule in this response to Obama last night? Volcano monitoring, of course.

And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

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Reid: Congressional Budget Increased For GOP Welfare

So that they could sit around and do what, Harry? Focus solely on releasing GOP talking points all day long?

It seems the only ones Harry knows how to say 'no' to are Democrats.

From HuffPo:

A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.

Congressional Republicans have been pouncing on any instance of wasteful spending they can find, but the congressional-operations.line item will likely remain safe from their ire.

The one-tenth hike brings the budget for Congress itself to $4.4 billion.

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Review are in for the President (and the boob)

At least last night, the pundicks seemed to be watching the same debates, err, address that the rest of the country was watching: In short.

President Barack Obama was brilliant and Bobby the-earth-is-6000-years-old Jindal was a sad joke making some people miss the good old days of Sarah Palin.

Here's the in depth roundup.

The Reviews are in for President Obama:

CBS Poll: 79% Approve of Plans for Economic Crisis After Speech. CBS News Conducted a Poll of 500 respondents during the speech and they found that before the speech 62% of respondents approved of the President’s plans for the Economic Crisis. After the speech the number rose to 79%.

69% Understand President’s Economic Plans; Up From 56% Before Speech. CBS News Conducted a Poll of 500 respondents during the speech and they found that before the speech 56% of the respondents believed they understood the President’s plans for the Economic Crisis. After the speech the number rose to 69%. [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09]

Newsweek’s Howard Fineman: The President “I think won great applause, that’s a measure of respect, not only from Democrats, but most of the Republicans in that room who realize sitting in that chamber what a political talent they are dealing with.”

“The Best Budget Speech Anyone Ever Gave.” "This was the best darn budget speech that anyone ever gave because he gave it a sense of lift and drive and competence. The guy just has an ability to exude a sense of confidence in very tough circumstances."

“Commanding” Performance. “That was as commanding performance, as confident a performance, as in control as I’ve ever seen a President.” [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 2/24/09]

CNN’s Dana Bash: “More Of A Bipartisan Tone” In The Chamber During President’s Speech Than Past Eight Years. “I was also in the chamber Anderson, during the president’s speech and certainly as opposed to what we saw for the past eight years, particularly the past couple years with President Bush, there definitely was more of a bipartisan tone in terms of the kind of reaction he got.” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

NY Times & PBS' David Brooks: “Was An Excellent Speech” That “Perfectly Captured The Tenor Of The Country.” “I thought it was an excellent speech. It’s been a long time since I’ve really been able to rave over an Obama speech, but I thought this was a speech that perfectly captured the tenor of the country.”

“Outstanding,” Hits “Exactly The Right Tone,” and “Will Really Galvanize People.” “The essential message was ‘no more fooling around,’ and I thought that was exactly the right tone to take…So just as a speech, as an explanation, ‘here’s what I’m going to do,’ I thought it was outstanding. It will really galvanize people.” [PBS, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09 ]

CNN’s David Gergen: Speech was “Most Ambitious… We’ve Heard In This Chamber In Decades.” “This was the most ambitious president we’ve heard in this chamber in decades. The first half of the speech was FDR fighting for the New Deal. The second half was Lyndon Johnson fighting for the Great Society and we have never seen those two presidents rolled together in quite this way before.” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

Associated Press: Obama “Used Address to Tap the Deep Well of American Optimism…” that “Great Presidents Embody.” “The president used his address to Congress on Tuesday night to tap the deep well of American optimism — the never-say-die national spirit that every president tries to capture in words. And great presidents embody…The themes of responsibility, accountability and, above all, national community rang throughout an address carefully balanced by the gravity of its times.” [Associated Press, 2/24/09:]

Fox News’ Major Garret: "Well I think what we’re seeing right there playing out there on the floor of the House of Representatives is that continued efforts at bipartisan outreach, and that will be going on be a consistent quality for this President even when Republicans don’t respond in-kind because the White House believes politically it puts the President in a very safe, very productive frame of mind in relationship with the broader American public.” [Fox News, 2/24/09]

NBC News’ Chuck Todd: Speech “Hopeful, Uplifting.” “I think this idea that somehow [President Obama] had not been talking hopeful enough about the situation, I have a feeling that President Clinton isn't going to be criticizing him, particularly for that last I'd say ten minutes of the speech where it was all hopeful. It was all uplifting. It was as somebody had said to me, the last part of this speech, you're going to recognize it, is Obama-esque, and I think that it's not hard to look at that last part of the speech and saying he wasn't being hopeful and talking up about the economy.” [NBC, Nightly News with Brian Williams, 2/24/09]

CBS News’ Jeff Greenfield: “One of The Most Effective Uses” of the Medium. "It reminded in some sense of the radio speeches FDR gave where he talked about complicated issues in a simple way… I have to say it was one of the most effective uses of this wonderful imposing scene, the Congress. To talk not to the Congress, there was no ten-point plan. Here’s where we are and this is how I am going to get you out.” [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09]

CNN.com: “Obama Puts Forth Ambitious Agenda in Speech.” “In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama outlined an ambitious agenda to revive the economy, saying it's time to act boldly ‘to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.’ President Obama says the United States will overcome its current economic struggles. Obama focused on the three priorities of the budget he will present to Congress later this week: energy, health care and education.” [CNN.com, 2/24/09]

ABC News: President “Greeted With Thunderous Applause;” Speech Earned "Standing Ovation From Both Democrats And Republicans." "Obama was greeted with thunderous applause in the House chamber, as lawmakers reached out to try and get a handshake or in some cases a kiss as the president made his way down the narrow aisle to the podium. Obama is enjoying a 68 percent approval rating after his first month in office, according to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, and his pledge to reverse the nation's economic woes earned him an early standing ovation from both Democrats and Republicans."[
ABC News, 2/24/09,]

Keith Olbermann: Speech a “Resounding Debut.” “Repeatedly inspiring members of both parties to rise to their feet in the House Chamber, the 44th President of the United States with a resounding debut at that the highest stage, thus far, of his presidency.” [MSNBC, Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: Speech Received High Rankings from McCain and Obama Voters in Focus Groups. Maddow noted that both McCain and Obama voters on MSNBC’s audience reaction “stayed up at the top the entire speech essentially.” [MSNBC, Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

CNN’s Anderson Cooper: Calls President’s Address “Highly Ambitious.” “President Obama just finished his first address to a joint session of congress -- highly ambitious, mixing policy, pep talk, progress report on the economy. Saying America’s best days are ahead of it…” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

Washington Post: “A Note of Hope at a Time of Crisis.” “Five weeks into an administration already marked by dramatic highs and lows, President Obama sounded a note of hope at a time of crisis tonight, delivering an address to a joint session of Congress heavily focused on the ailing economy and how to fix it. Offering the prospect of a brighter future after weeks of grim rhetoric, Obama sought to put a human face on complex policy proposals. He linked his banking rescue proposal to the ability of a ‘young family’ to ‘finally buy a home.’ And he acknowledged populist anger at the prospect of more Wall Street bailouts, vowing to crack down on CEO bonuses and conduct tough oversight of the hundreds of billions of dollars already pledged to address the economic crisis.” [
Washington Post, Ben Pershing, 2/24/09]

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: Speech “Obama’s Best Moment Yet.” “I give him an A.” [CNN.com's Political Ticker, Jeffrey Toobin, 2/24/09]

But the award for the best review goes to…

House Minority Leader John Boehner: "I thought the tone was good. But for very few exceptions, I could have given the same speech."


And the reviews for Bobby the-earth-is-6000-years-old Jindal:

Washington Post: “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal didn't stand a chance. The rising Republican star delivered his party's response to President Obama's hour-long address and simply didn't rise to the occasion. Where Obama in tone and message was relentlessly positive, Jindal's relentless utterance of "Americans can do anything" masked a Debbie Downer negativism that permeated his speech. And coming after Obama's boffo performance, Jindal's Don Knotts-like "golly gee willikers" story-telling and cadence was, how does one put this delicately, downright strange.”

Brit Hume: “The speech read a lot better than it sounded. This was not Bobby Jindal’s greatest oratorical moment.”

Nina Easton: “The delivery was not exactly terrific.”

Charles Krauthammer: “Jindal didn’t have a chance. He follows Obama, who in making speeches, is in a league of his own. He’s in a Reagan-esque league. … [Jindal] tried the best he could.”

Juan Williams: “It came off as amateurish, and even the tempo in which he spoke was sing-songy. He was telling stories that seemed very simplistic and almost childish.”

David Brooks: You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a very promising politician, and I opposed the stimulus package - I thought it was poorly drafted - but to come up at this moment in history with a stale, "government is the problem...we can't trust the government"...it's just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic, now. They may not like the way the Congress passed the stimulus bill. The idea that government is going to have no role in this...in a moment where only the Federal government is big enough to do stuff...to just ignore all that and say government's the problem...corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending - it's just a form of nihilism. It's just not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is. There's an intra-Republican debate: some people say the Republican party lost its way because it got too moderate, some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and he's making that case. I think it's insane. I think it's a disaster for the party. I just think it's unfortunate right now.

Thomas Schaller (political scientist at University of Maryland, Baltimore County): “Someday, when scholars are trying to fingerpoint the nadir of the post-Bush Republican Party, they may arrive at Jindal's speech tonight,” he said. “Though it was a tough moment for any Republican to give the opposition response, his speech came across as unserious in content and condescending in its tone.”

Andrew Sullivan: “It was also odd for Jindal to keep talking about the need for tax cuts - when Obama just announced a massive tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. He gave no alternative proposal on the financial collapse; and tried to attack government spending simply because it's government spending. In a deepening depression, grown-ups can take a slightly different view of such spending in the short term. But give him his due: he did in the end concede that the GOP currently has a credibility problem on the fiscal issues they are now defining themselves with. This matters - it matters for the future of the GOP and the possibility of minimal accountability after an age that disdained it.”

“The rest was boilerplate. And tired, exhausted, boilerplate. If the GOP believes tax cuts - more tax cuts - are the answer to every problem right now, they are officially out of steam and out of ideas. And remember: this guy is supposed to be the smart one."

Paul Krugman: “The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.”

Democratic strategist to HuffPo: "After watching Jindal," I'd pay a lot of money to be back watching a Palin speech."

Oh, and that Sherriff little Bobby babble told a beautiful story about, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee?

“In his response to Barack Obama tonight, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke glowingly of the late Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee. It was a curious, even provocative choice: Lee, a colorful 300-lb. Chinese-American lawman was repeatedly accused of racially profiling blacks in the predominantly white parish he dominated prior to his death in Oct. 2007.” [Politico]
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HuffPo: Jindal Response Panned By Pundits, Republicans & Democrats

From HuffPo:

Gov. Bobby Jindal's task tonight, to rebut President Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress, was a thankless one. But it still constituted an opportunity for the Louisiana Republican to show that he could handle the national spotlight, present himself as a fresh face of the Republican Party, and stand up to the current president oratorically.

On each of these three hurdles, he came up short. Both Democrats and Republicans alike panned Jindal's rebuttal in terms that were decidedly harsh: "amateurish," "laughable" and, most commonly, "a missed opportunity."

"After watching Jindal," one Democratic strategist emailed, "I'd pay a lot of money to be back watching a Palin speech."


"You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a very promising politician," said New York Times columnist David Brooks, appearing on PBS, "and I oppose the stimulus because I thought it was poorly drafted. But to come up at this moment in history with a stale "government is the problem," "we can't trust the federal government" -- it's just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic right now. They may not like the way the Democrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea ... that government is going to have no role, the federal government has no role in this ... it's just a form of nihilism. It's just not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is. There's an intra-Republican debate."

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Fox Panel’s Verdict On Jindal’s Speech: ‘Childish,’ ‘Amateur

From Think Progress:

Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) response to President Obama’s speech tonight received a universal thumbs down from the Fox News panelists, who are traditionally conservatives’ most gentle critics:

BRIT HUME: “The speech read a lot better than it sounded. This was not Bobby Jindal’s greatest oratorical moment.”

NINA EASTON: “The delivery was not exactly terrific.”

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “Jindal didn’t have a chance. He follows Obama, who in making speeches, is in a league of his own. He’s in a Reagan-esque league. … [Jindal] tried the best he could.”

JUAN WILLIAMS: “It came off as amateurish, and even the tempo in which he spoke was sing-songy. He was telling stories that seemed very simplistic and almost childish.”

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CNN Poll: Viewers Overwhelmingly Positive About Obama Speech


A poll after President Obama's speech suggests it was received well by the majority of those who watched.

Sixty-eight percent of speech-watchers questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey had a very positive reaction, with 24 percent indicating that they had a somewhat positive response and 8 percent indicating that they had a negative reaction.

Eighty-five percent of those polled said the president's speech made them more optimistic about the direction of the country over the next few years, with 11 percent indicating the speech made them more pessimistic.

Eighty-two percent of speech-watchers said they support the economic plan Obama outlined in his prime time address, with 17 percent opposing the proposal.

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