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Posts Tagged ‘TV’

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Lie, Lie Again

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

After a week that saw Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele come under fire for (warning: this will take awhile):

  • Publicly wondering if Republicans were able to lead,
  • Saying that he wished he could be a teabagger,
  • Getting advice from a known racist,
  • Telling other Republicans to “shut up” or “fire me,”
  • Being told by other Republicans to shut up,
  • For blindsiding the Republican party with his book,
  • For the ethical questions raised by his outside income, and,
  • For depleting RNC coffers by two-thirds in a non-election year,

… Steele decided to cap off the week with this:

Responding to critics who say he wrote his latest book when he should have been conducting official duties, RNC chair Michael Steele said today he wrote the book before he took over the national party last January.

Well then, nothing to see here, let’s move along … or not:

But the book itself tells a different story. In its pages, Steele mentions at least 5 people, 1 piece of legislation and 1 term that did not become evident until well after he was elected to head the RNC.

At various points, Steele references Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) and his 2 rivals for a special election that occured Nov. 3 — NY Assemb. Dede Scozzafava (R) and accountant Doug Hoffman (C). He mentions former Miss CA Carrie Prejean … to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor … Cap and trade legislation had been discussed prior to Steele’s becoming chairman, but Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) didn’t offer their first draft until Mar. 31. And as Steele takes after the health care measure introduced in Congress this year, he spends several pages assaulting the public option — an issue that was not a major part of the discussion during the ‘08 WH campaign.

What’s that old expression? Oh, yeah. When you’re in a hole, stop digging. Michael? Stop digging.


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Casey Johnson 911 Call Released

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

LOS ANGELES — Socialite Casey Johnson was already dead when an ambulance was called to her Los Angeles home, according to the woman who made the 911 call.

A recording of the call was posted on TMZ.com on Saturday.

The woman, who was not identified, described the Johnson & Johnson heiress as “ice cold” and says Johnson’s hands were turning blue. The woman also said there are two other people at the home, and they all believed that Johnson was dead.

Johnson, 30, whose father is New York Jets owner Robert “Woody” Johnson, was found dead in her Los Angeles home on Monday.

A dispatcher asked the woman if she thought the death was a suicide.

“I don’t know if it’s a suicide,” the caller said. “Very often, her medication gets all screwed up. It’s probably because of that.”

Johnson had been an insulin-dependent diabetic since childhood but it was not immediately clear whether that contributed to her death. An autopsy Tuesday was inconclusive and the results of toxicology tests weren’t expected for weeks.

A memorial fund in Johnson’s name was set up with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Johnson, dubbed the “baby-oil heiress” by the New York Post, lived her life on the tabloid pages. She partied with high school friend and fellow heiress Paris Hilton and announced last month that she was “engaged” to bisexual reality TV star Tila Tequila.

Johnson was charged last month with burglary and receiving stolen property for allegedly taking $22,000 in clothing, jewelry and other items from a friend’s home. She pleaded not guilty and faced a February hearing.

Johnson’s body was flown east for a private funeral.


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VH1 Star Loses Custody of Newborn Baby

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

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“For the Love of Ray J” star Monica Danger has lost custody of her newborn baby — just weeks after she was placed on a psychiatric hold over an incident involving the child. A rep for Monica confirmed that L.A. Child Protective Services placed the …

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Inbrics M1 is the thinnest Android slider we’ve seen, probably everything we ever wanted

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

We don’t know what everybody else in the phone business has been doing lately, but Inbrics has just unveiled what looks to be the near-ultimate Android phone. The Inbrics M1 is a slider handset with a (great) 3.7-inch WVGA OLED display, 3 megapixel camera, front-facing VGA camera, 16GB of built-in storage, microSD slot and all the other usual trimmings, but what’s particularly stunning is that the phone is not only half an inch thick, but it has a full QWERTY keyboard that’s surprisingly clicky and typable. The phone is running Android 1.5 right now, but it should be up to Android 2.0 by the time it hits the market in March. The biggest concern is the 800MHz Samsung processor, the same chip that’s in the Samsung Moment, but the interface (as demonstrated in the video after the break) is smooth as butter, and they demo’d it playing back 720p video just fine.

Inbrics actually has a lot of custom UI and software running on top of Android, but the most interesting part is what they’re doing with video calling and beaming media from handset to videophone to TV to laptop over DLNA or through an access point device that plugs into the TV over HDMI. Inbrics also has a Cover Flow-style media browser that isn’t super deep in functionality, but still puts the stock Android stuff to shame, and some rather sexy custom widgets.

The plan is apparently to get a carrier to bite and rebrand this phone in the US, so price and availability are still pretty hard to pin down, but if this phone can hit the market soon it sure could give the rest of the QWERTY Android sliders out there some body image issues.

Continue reading Inbrics M1 is the thinnest Android slider we’ve seen, probably everything we ever wanted

Inbrics M1 is the thinnest Android slider we’ve seen, probably everything we ever wanted originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 09 Jan 2010 21:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Liquid Image Summit Series Snow Goggles heads-on

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

Even the most exuberant fan of 3D displays and tablets has to admit to feeling a tiny bit jaded at this point. To sate the need for variety we went off exploring the quirkier booths and located this head-mounted video and stills camera being demonstrated by Liquid Image. We laid hands on a non-functional prototype, but as far as feel and comfort go, the few seconds we had these on led to no complaints. There’s an overwhelming amount of padding around the eyes, probably kinda important when you’re flying down the hills, and a tint to the visor keeping sunlight at bay. Recording can be done at 720 x 480 resolution and up to 5 megapixels for snapshots. The Summit Series will be available in July (perfect timing for a winter sports product!) for $149.

Liquid Image Summit Series Snow Goggles heads-on originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 09 Jan 2010 21:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fils Sound Film transparent speaker hands-on (video)

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

Korean gadgets these days are either gunning for next-to-nothing thinness or mind-boggling transparency, which is marvelous. Today we came across another Korean company (and an old friend), Fils, which does transparent “sound film” speakers in many forms: photo frame, umbrella, curtains, cap, hoodie and even model yacht (yeah, seriously), all thanks to the highly-flexible piezoelectric film. Sure, the sound quality was hardly top-notch, but apparently Fils is hooking up with a few big-name Korean electronic companies (TVs?), so we’re all going to suffer soon whether you like it or not. Cheer yourself up with the video after the break.

Continue reading Fils Sound Film transparent speaker hands-on (video)

Fils Sound Film transparent speaker hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 09 Jan 2010 19:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Televising the conference

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

I happened to catch Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on the “Montel Across America” radio show this morning, and wanted to address something that came up during the discussion interview.

Montel entered into the following exchange after playing clips of then-candidate Obama saying he’d opt for open, transparent and televised negotiations on the health care bill, including the conference committee on the bill:

WILLIAMS: How can you argue this? The President said it over and over and over again: this will be on C-SPAN. Now we get down to the short strokes, and it’s in the closed room.

BOEHLERT: Yeah, you know, I mean, Brian Lamb, the CEO of C-SPAN sent a letter over to the Congressional leaders asking that the reconciliation be televised, and things like that. And, you know, I think that’s an interesting and could be potentially a good idea. I don’t think it’s ever been done. We’ve never seen the reconciliation process between the House and Senate televised. And I guess the only point I’d make about what Obama was saying on the campaign — I don’t think he was talking about the reconciliation process. He was comparing the Clinton in ‘93, when sort of the White House, well, was accused of writing the legislation and leaving Congress out of it. I think, clearly, those comments from Obama on the campaign trail were talking about formulating the legislation. I certainly don’t think he was talking about when, you know, there’s a bill passed by the House and the Senate, they meet to sort of make ends meet — that that would be on C-SPAN. But he certainly opened the door to having a debate about a transparent process.

WILLIAMS: I mean, he opened that door, and you know, Igor Volsky was on a little earlier in the show today, from the Center for American Progress, and he made a good point about the fact that, yeah, you know, it’s good for the process in some ways. All it does though is help hamper the process and slow it down, because most of the politicians use it as a free opportunity to grandstand and politicize the process rather than actually utilize the process for what it was there for, which is to come up with a decent bill. But it does kind of, you know, come back and bite you. You’ve got to look at yourself in the mirror when you say eight times, I’m gonna be transparent, I’m gonna be transparent on health care, on health care, on health care, on health care. When you do it eight times, the public may expect you to follow through with what you said.

BOEHLERT: Yeah, and when you talk about C-SPAN a lot, and when C-SPAN comes up and says, oh by the way, we want to air the reconciliation process — so, yeah, there’s always things you say on the campaign trail which can come back to haunt you. I would argue that this is not as direct as some critics are trying to make it. Again, I don’t think anyone was ever discussing the reconciliation process. And again, I don’t think that has ever been televised in the history of C-SPAN. It certainly wasn’t televised when Republicans were running Congress. And I think there is something to be said for once you do televise it. This reconciliation process, in any bill it’s difficult and complicated. For health care, it’s even more difficult and complicated. And the idea that you’re going to televise it and then make the process somehow any better — there’s an argument to be made that that will just complicate things. Of course, there’s an argument to be made that all transparency is a good thing in government.

OK, I’ve got some issues with this. But because I’ve said a number of times now that when the question deals with Congressional procedure, the answer is almost always “yes and no,” you won’t be surprised to learn that the answer is the same in this case, too.

First of all, the minutia: the conference process is not the same thing as reconciliation. We’ve been over this. Though a conference reconciles competing versions of a bill, “reconciliation” also refers to a specific budgetary procedure that’s also come up a lot in the context of the health insurance reform bill, and it just confuses things needlessly to refer to the conference process as the reconciliation process.

With that out of the way, we could come to the question of whether or not candidate Obama meant to include the conference process in his definition of the “negotiations process.” On the one hand, I hope so, because it’s really not helpful in transparency terms to say that the preliminary stages of the process will be open, but the rewrite will be closed. Conference is often where the rubber meets the road, and to exclude it — without explicitly saying so — from your definition isn’t exactly fair.

On the other hand, I guess I hope that Obama didn’t include the conference process in his working mental definition of the negotiations process, because the President, while naturally a powerful player in the process, really has no business dictating legislative procedure to the Congress. One branch per person, please.

But to me, at least for the moment, that’s kind of a lesser point too. Basically, I’ve come to expect overpromising and blurring the lines on the campaign trail. That’s probably part of why I dislike the primary campaigns so much. It seems a waste of time to me to fight with one another so intensely over the contents of campaign position papers, when I know so much of it is going straight out the window when it gets to Congress, anyway.

That does, however, bring me to the other point, which is the one where I pivot to the “yes and no” answer.

Has there ever been a Congressional conference committee televised on C-SPAN? Yes there has. As a matter of fact, C-SPAN televised the February 2009 conference committee meeting on the stimulus bill, and you can watch it on the C-SPAN web site. And if you do, you’ll hear Harry Reid say that there hasn’t been an open conference like that for 15 years.

So, “yes and no.” Yes, there have been televised conferences before. And no, it doesn’t happen very often and never happened when Republicans were in charge, as Boehlert points out.

But there’s more. Go ahead and watch the whole conference, but you’ll never see any of the negotiations. Why not? Because they weren’t conducted in that room. They were conducted elsewhere, and then the conferees came into a nice conference room with a big, broad table and some TV cameras in it, and proceeded to read speeches to each other — Democrats praising the bill and the process, and Republicans condemning it.

What was in it? Oh, you heard a little about that. How did it get in there? Not so much about that.

So again, “yes and no.” Yes, you can put a conference committee on C-SPAN. But no, you can’t make them actually do their deals in front of the camera. And so you get the “steak sauce” answer: You asked for an open and transparent conference. We just showed you everything covered by the definition of “conference” on C-SPAN.

But you didn’t learn anything.

And that’s part of the value of learning about the process — and the gap between what the rules say and how things are actually done. Ask for a televised conference and you may very well get it. But you won’t necessarily get what you were after, and you’ll instead spend your time arguing with one another over something more akin to what the meaning of “is” is.


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NY-SEN: Horald Ford to seek GOP nomination

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

Braking newz:

Focksnews.com — At a press conference in Washington, DC today, former Tennessee Rep. Horald Ford today announced he would seek the GOP nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the 2010 election.

“I’m a life-long conservative who has dedicated his political capital to weakening the Democratic Party,” Ford said.

Ford said teabaggers would just love him.

“For starters, I’m to the right of most New York Republicans,” Ford said. “Dede Scozzafava? HA! I’m to the right of that Doug Hoffman dude, and he didn’t even run as  Republican.”

Asked for specific examples of his conservative record, Ford rattled off a comprehensive list.

“Well, I’m pro-life,” he said. “I want to outlaw abortion. I said so in 2006 — live, on national TV. It’s up there on YouTube if you want to see it.

“But that’s not all, folks. I am for the Iraq War. I’m against immigration. I thought Congress should have intervened in the Terri Schiavo case to stop her socialist husband. And I’m for permanent repeal of the Nazi estate tax.

“I’m the teabaggers’ sweetest dream and the Democrats’ worst nightmare.”

Asked about whether his support for the bailouts and his career as a Wall Street consultant might hurt his reputation amongst teabaggers, Ford muttered something about the looming Communist menace and stormed out of the press conference.

Rumor has it Glenn Beck is looking to serve as the Ford campaign’s spokesbagger.


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FOX on Conan O’Brien — We’re Not Saying No…

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

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Conan O’Brien may have a late night option if the NBC thing doesn’t work out — TMZ has learned FOX isn’t exactly backing away from the idea of bringing him to their network. As we first reported, NBC is giving Conan the option of taking the midnight …

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NBC to Conan O’Brien — The Choice Is Yours

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

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NBC has given Conan O’Brien the option to either do his show from midnight to 1 or leave the network, sources tell TMZ.As TMZ first reported, after the Olympics, Jay Leno will get his 11:30 PM time period back. We’re told network execs have told …

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