Archive for the ‘All Politics is Local’ Category

Jay-Z Knows How To Run This Town: Chillin In The Situation Room

He's got 99 problems but Obama ain't one.

Last week during a concert at the Verizon Center, Jay-Z made reference that he visited the White House earlier that day. Looks like the rapper got free reign as this photo of him chilling in the White House situation room was leaked.

His main squeeze Beyonce was on hand as well.

Look Beyonce was there too!

h/t Politico Click, TWS

The Census Is Coming!

I like to consider myself the head of my household.

Even though I live with two very beautiful roommates, I take charge of utilities and dealing with the landlord- so when I saw a letter addressed to the “The Resident At,” I grabbed it and opened it up to see it was a lovely letter from the U.S. Census Bureau. The letter was warning me that the 2010 Census form will soon be coming my way in about a week. It was short, to the point and had instructions for reaching the 2010 Census website in many languages.

I could go visit the site and play with the 2000 Census map to see how my neighborhood did the last time this happened (Arlington had 72% participation in 2000) or learn why it’s actually important, but I was too lazy to do all that work- so I asked my high school friend Mike. He moved down here a couple of years ago to get a job working for the… you guessed it, Census Bureau.

His three things you should know about this year’s Census:

  1. More than 400 billion dollars in federal funds are allocated every year based on census population data.
  2. It’s quick and easy- 10 minutes, 10 questions.
  3. For every 1% increase in the participation rate, it saves the federal government 90 million dollars in taxpayers dollars.

That last point was interesting, when I asked him about saving money he explained that those that don’t fill out the form can expect a knock on the door, from a Census enumerator looking for the info. It costs $25  for the government to send an enumerator out to count a person, while it only costs the government $.42 to buy a stamp when you send the form back in the pre-paid envelope after you’ve answered the questions.

What kind of questions will be on the form? Mike told me you can check it out online which I did and it’s pretty basic stuff- nothing too revealing just stuff about who lives there. I mean a Census is just about counting people right?

Well thanks to my pal Mike I’m all briefed and ready to fill out that bad boy when it comes in the mail- will you be?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOFXCf-UzLc[/youtube]

DC Video: Funny or Die’s Presidential Reunion

It’s the mother of all Presential impressions in Funny of Die‘s latest video. An true all-star cast of SNL alumni come together to reprise their past roles lampooning the Presidents of the United States. Amongst some of more current impressions (Fred Armisen as President Obama, Will Farrell as President G.W. Bush, and Darrell Hammond as President Clinton) are some classic blasts from the past (Dana Carvey as President George H.W. Bush, Dan Aykroyd as Jimmy Carter, Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford.) One notable absence is Phil Hartman as Ronald Reagan, but Jim Carrey steps in and gives a wonderful performance.

All these comedic greats come together for Main Street Brigade‘s effort for a formation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency which is a bill in congress.

Regardless of the political message the video is hilarious- check it out:

Click the photo to view the video!

Party Crashers: The Complete Story On The White House’s Uninvited Guests

(Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

(Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

This past Thanksgiving my whole family gathered around the table and the talk amongst the meal didn’t center around my newly engaged sister or speculation on when I will get married, but on the Virginia couple that snuck into President Obama’s first Presidential State Dinner. It was a story that quickly dominated the slow holiday news cycle when I flew back to Massachusetts last Tuesday. It all started when Tareq and Michaele Salahi of Front Royal, VA decided to show up to the State Dinner welcoming Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

According to Time, the couple drove up to the White House gates (which is allowed during State Dinners) and were turned away at first- but then hopped out of their car and walked to another entrance and somehow were allowed in by Secret Service. The surprising wrinkle was that the couple didn’t go around to this pedestrian entrance before getting their make-up touched up by the Bravo camera crew that was filming them. Bravo networks confirmed that the couple are in consideration for a spot in the upcoming Real Housewives of Washington DC.

Beats sending your kid up in a balloon I suppose.

PH2009112802450

Michaele and Tareq Salahi

As the couple worked the press cameras, they managed to mingle and snap photos with all of DC’s elite including Mayor Adrian Fenty, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, VP Joe Biden, ultimately working their way to shaking hands with President Obama in a receiving line. They also got to meet news anchors Katie Couric & Robin Roberts; as well as A.R. Rahman of Slumdog Millionaire fame.

After pulling off the party crashing of the decade, the couple posted photos of the event on their Facebook profile.

So who are Tareq and Michaele Salahi? Well they aren’t strangers when it comes to meeting famous faces. They have an entire Facebook photo album with the couple meeting Former President Bill Clinton, John McCain, Prince Charles, Richard Branson, Oprah, and President Obama at a previous event.

Michaele is a former Redskins cheerleader and Tareq is a board member on the Virginia Tourism board. State records link the couple in a family dispute over the ownership of Oasis Winery in Hume, VA. The story on their role in the winery is muddled even though their names are clearly on the website; the Warren County Report says that the couple are long disaffiliated with the winery.

5125_1192640098859_1314104537_503954_6414310_n

It's ok guys, they know Oprah- they must be nice people.

The couple are not only wine socialites but are also heavily involved in polo. They founded America’s Cup of Polo, which links them to Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar- a possible inside connection for the two? Gawker explored the idea but Embassy denies any involvement. Fox News has even more information behind the couple.

The couple is laying low as Secret Service is trying to get in contact with them for questioning, the couple originally were booked on Larry King Live but the interview was canceled and the couple are quickly trying to sell their story.

There is a lot to say about America’s party crashers. The biggest debate is whether there was any threat to the President? Even though they went through magnetometers like every other guest, pundits are quick to say that a knife could of been taken off a table or perhaps anthrax could of been snuck in.

Maybe the couple could of coated their hands in poison like Mandy did when she tried to kill President Palmer in a season finale of 24.

I really enjoyed reading Michael Russnow’s piece on The Huffington Post that clearly reasons that The President is exposed more often than we like. Russnow is right, there are so many times that the President is exposed to people that aren’t given background checks- and in reality he wasn’t really in any danger.

So what about the couple? Gawker thinks that they are what America needs right now. Some think they should go to jail. Unless the secret service goes the “lying to a federal official” route it looks unlikely that will happen.

The bigger picture question is what does this say about society? With two extreme examples of what people will do to for fame, have we become a society that encourages more and more extreme acts for the spotlight?

UPDATE: The Salahis appeared on the Today Show yesterday where they not only claimed they were invited, but say that their lives have been ruined because of this ordeal

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbZiF2B3w8M[/youtube]

President Obama Pardons Turkey, Setences Bird To Disneyland

President Obama experienced his first Presidential Turkey pardon, a tradition that he notes dates back to the JFK administration. The event was teased in a cheesy yet enjoyable video produced by the White House staff, and the ceremony which occurred yesterday was streamed live online and the video of the ceremony and his Thanksgiving remarks have been posted on YouTube.

The President was in a joking mood during the whole ordeal, noting that he was actually going to eat “the sucker” if it wasn’t for intervention from his daughters, Sash and Malia. He also says he wasn’t sure of exactly how to pardon the bird, waiving his hand in some sort of majestic fashion citing, “Courage you are hereby pardon, and you will live- in Disneyland.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gQy0MPWnGY[/youtube]

On behalf of all of us here at DC Metblogs I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, as your city captain I would like to say I’m thankful for having a great audience and I hope to continue to serve you guys well in this holiday season and beyond.

Don’t Forget Virginia Local Elections Today

Courtesy Flickr user Mrs. Gemstone

Courtesy Flickr user Mrs. Gemstone

I almost forgot there was an election today until I saw a VP walking around with his “I Voted” sticker. Compared to last year when everybody toted stickers it was a complete turn-around in turnout. Today polls opened in Virginia (and a few other states) for election of state officials. In Virginia the big race is the state Gubernatorial battle between Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell. With the election coming on a non-Presidential election day, we could possibly see the colors change this fall: from blue back to red.

The Washington Post reports that the low turnout could help an energized Republican party take back the top seat in Virginia:

Turnout was light, and interviews with voters at several Northern Virginia precincts showed little sign of the blue tide that swept Virginia a year ago, when the state played a pivotal role in the election of Barack Obama as the nation’s 44th president. Instead, many voters said they were distressed about the direction the country seemed to be taking under Obama’s leadership, and would vote for Republican candidates in part as a way to slow the pace of change.

I’ve long since lost interest in the local elections in my state, but I do believe in voicing my opinion- and you’ll see me step out of my office this afternoon to cast a vote, because if you don’t vote you can’t complain.

Polls statewide will be open til 7 P.M. today, to find your local polling station click here.

DC Video: Barack Obama On David Letterman

I’ve been swamped with all sorts of work to get to watching Barack Obama’s appearance on David Letterman this past Monday but I just caught it on YouTube and he wasn’t that bad, here are the highlights I think got the most buzz: his comments on racism against him and an unreleased Top-Ten list on, Top Ten Reasons President Obama Agreed To Appear On The Late Show.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3ijo979wkg[/youtube]

Obama showed some wit on the comments, but theTop-Ten list deserved to be cut:

Top Ten Reasons President Obama Agreed To Appear on the “Late Show”

10. Heard the lady with the heart-shaped potato was going to be here

9. Thought it would be fun to watch someone else get heckled

8. Has something to do with that whole “Cash for Clunkers” thing

7. Every president since Teddy Roosevelt has been here

6. In this economy, someone offers you $600, you take it

5. We told him Megan Fox would be here

4. Needed a place to hang out until check-in time at his hotel

3. Honestly, I have no idea

2. Said, “Yes” without thinking… Like Bush did with Iraq

1. Wanted to congratulate Dave on the big Emmy win

Obama’s Remarks At UMD: Good But Not Profound

Photo Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Photo Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Allow me to be somewhat cynical.

Last night I was driving home from a weekend out in Pittsburgh, the four hour trek gave me a lot of time to think and to catch up on podcasts and other pieces of audio. I loaded my iPod with a couple of recent speeches that President Obama delivered: the recent address to the joint-session of Congress and his speech at The University of Maryland from last Thursday.

I wanted to make sure I had a chance to hear both speeches, the joint session address has been newsworthy thanks to a certain impromptu comment from Representative Joe Wilson. It was almost Kanyesque the way he interrupted Obama’s remarks. I also wanted to hear his speech at UMD because someone at work told me it was one of the best speeches he delivered to the young audiences and it made The Pumpernickel say, “Whatever you may think about the health care debate, the man can give a speech. Not only that; he has the ability to inspire people.”

Sounds like a hell of a speech.

So I was listening to the UMD speech as I was cruising down I-76, and it consisted mostly of the same health care message points delivered in the joint-session address I heard previously. It doesn’t come at too much of a surprise, Obama is hard on the trail spreading his message and pleading his case so one could expect to hear a lot of the same points he spoke a week earlier in Congress. He did work his message to make more of an impact to the younger crowd; my ears perked up when he said, “under my plan, if your parents have health insurance and you’re currently on their policy, you will automatically be able to keep your coverage until you’re 26 years old.” As a quarter-lifer I know how health insurance becomes a sudden worry when you graduate from college.

It’s just that I thought I was going to hear something inspiring, the buzz around me led me to expect another profound, mind changing oration. While the speech was well delivered and Obama did a great job in speaking with the young audience (always cool to acknowledge the teeny-bopper that says, “I love you Obama!”), it’s the same message he’ll say at his next stop on the health-care reform trail.

Now I’m an Obama supporter and I  somewhat understand the idea and plans Obama’s putting forth, I just didn’t think that his particular speech is going to be in his Top-5 greatest spoken word moments as I personally come to expect. I’ll say that since I’ve been somewhat isolated from the political scene recently the expectations were mine alone, built up by the people around me. I’m sure to most others the speech was nothing more than the 24-hour news story of the day.

Barack Obama is a great speaker, I thought the best moment in his UMD speech was at the end when he retold the origins of his, “fired up” slogan/chant. He is an impassioned orator who’s complete body of work should inspire all of us around the country. I guess I am just not as super-enthused like The Pumpernickel who ended her post with, “I feel blessed to be living in Washington, DC at this time in our nation’s history, and to be part the American future President Obama says I will help him to create.”

Am I proud to be living in our Nation’s Capital? Hell ya (especially after spending the weekend in Pittsburgh!) Do I believe we are living in a historic time of change? Absolutely.

I hope however people look past the rockstar appeal Obama has and actually listen to what our President has to say after they are done snapping photos of him. Health care is a very important issue in this country and I hope young Americans pay attention to it.

I feel blessed to be living in Washington, DC at this time in our nation’s history, and to be part the American future President Obama says I will help him to create.

Going Back To School: Obama To Speak At Wakefield High Today

President Barack Obama gestures as he addresses union workers and their families at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Fresh from his Labor Day speech with the AFL-CIO (which I think is a very fitting event for Labor Day), President Obama will be in Arlington, Virginia today to talk to the children at Wakefield High School. After talking with the kids he’ll broadcast a nation-wide speech from the school around lunch-time. While the Principal at Wakefield High is excited to have The President in the school (“The building looks great and the auditorium has been transformed to suit a Presidential speech”), the kids might be a little disappointed to hear the lunch menu will be cold lunch in brown bags due to the speech. Also lunch is going to have to wait til after the speech- so kids eat a good breakfast before you come to school (remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day!) Oh well I’d put up with PB&J if it meant being able to see The President.

According to the released prepared remarks, Obama plans to say things like, “Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today?” and, “I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.” He’s also expected to say more inspirational things like, “Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.”

But seriously guys, Obama’s right- wash your hands.

Overall it looks like the remarks are pretty devoid of the rhetoric that would make some concerned parents pull kids from school. I side with the NY Daily News, Barack Obama is our President and he wants to inspire and impart wisdom to our children- like any good President should.

One last note, if you live or work in Arlington- be aware that the speech is going to cause some road closures today.

UPDATE: Looks like the newspapers weren’t the only ones with something to say about keeping kids from school so they can’t hear Obama, Jordan Peele (formally of MadTV) made a funny Obama reaction to all the talk on the issue.

But for those that want to see the real video you can find it below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZZ6GrzWkw0[/youtube]

Nine Lives of Marion Barry Finds New Relevence On HBO

nine-lives-of-marion-barryIt was only a week or two after viewing The Nine Lives Of Marion Barry at AFI Silverdocs earlier this summer, that the story told in the film took another turn. When Barry was arrested for stalking his mistress last month, I took in the event with new-found insight on the life of Marion Barry.

For youngsters like me, the former mayor of Washington DC is mostly known for scandal and drug use- the subject of many Weekend Update jokes. However to others Marion Barry was a civil rights leader, and the man who transformed some of the worst neighborhoods of Washington DC.

Fresh off it’s Silverdocs run, The Nine Lives of Marion Barry premiered on HBO this past Monday. The film directed by Dana Flor and produced by Toby Oppenheimer, intertwines Barry’s start in DC with his 2004 campaign for city council. The 78 minute profile depics Barry as a social leader who constantly battles scandal after scandal, but like the film’s title, manages to bounce back every time.

While film shows an inside look of Barry’s life, from riding down the streets of his Ward to his humble apartment in what looks like the middle of the projects, there’s nothing special with the production values- what really makes the film is the subject and story that is almost too spectacular to believe.

Before you write Barry’s latest scandal off, I encourage you to check out the film and learn more about where Barry truly came from- I assure you it’ll change what you originally thought of the current Ward 8 councilman and DC icon. The film is scheduled to re-air at various times throughout the month, check HBO for more details.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.