Live Blogging the White House Correspondents Dinner

Oh jeeze, Lindsay Lohan couldn’t be bothered to catch her flight to DC for tonight’s White House Correspondents Dinner, and ended up a later plane, where she’s being escorted by Greta van Susteren. Kim Kardashian (guest of Fox, which her mom watches non-stop) is there, along with George Clooney, Charlize Theron and a slew of others. Newt didn’t stop to talk with the press.

Come let’s live blog the arrivals and the delicious meal which hopefully will include dessert this year, along with main speaker Jimmy Kimmel and the usual good-natured ribbing from POTUS.

You can watch live on CSPAN or here

Obama on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”: Barack Rocks


President Obama appeared on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” during a taping at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and POTUS made himself right at home, performing “Slow Jam the News” with the host and the house band The Roots. (Obama chose to discuss keeping low interest rates on Stafford student loans, telling Fallon during their chat that he and Michelle had paid off their loans just eight. years ago).

Obama also admitted that he and Mitt Rmoney are

not friends,


His wife is lovely.

Fallon and Obama both touched on the Secret Service scandal, with the host saying that he had spent some time with the Secret Service leading up to the President’s visit:

And those guys sure know how to party! Ay carumba!

Obama commented:

They protect me, they protect our girls. A couple of knuckleheads shouldn’t detract from that they do. A couple of knuckleheads shouldn’t detract from that they do. What they were thinking, I don’t know. That’s why they’re not there anymore.

POTUS also discussed sports and movies and noted that he would not be taking any pratfalls or staging some stumbles down the steps of Air Force One to make headlines, but admitted that when the women in his family would occasionally pick on him and Bo, they’d head off and watch sports.

Late Night FDL: Borat, Capitalism Finally Make Kazakhstan Happy

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov claims the publicity from “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” has caused visa applications to increase tenfold in the six years since its release. Okay, but Kazakhstan has also been helped by joining forces with The Region Initiative, which functions as a link between three regions–South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe–connecting Kazakhstan with other nations in those regions for the tourism market. Weirdly, tourism is the most rapid growing economic sector in Kazakhstan.

In the past few years, rock and roll has come to Kazakhstan, and Kazakhs have seen concerts from the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, the Scorpions and Deep Purple. This year, to mark its 20 years of independence from the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan, which is still dealing with heavy pollution left over from the Soviet era, released a major national epic called “Myn Bala,” the country’s most expensive film ever.

Kazakhstan got lucky. But don’t plan to book a flight to the Republic of Wadiya, homeland of Admiral General Aladeen featured in “The Dictator.”  The country is fictional.

Mitt Romney: Host Spot on Saturday Night Live?


Okay, if this happens, it would be so utterly whack >9000: Mitt Romney hosting Saturday Night Live.

Lorne Michaels, the venerable show’s venerable producer has reportedly offered the GOP candidate with the most delegates a chance to host SNL. And Willard Mittens Rmoney is said to be considering it. If he does, he’ll be the first presidential candidate since 1996 to host, though since 2000 all candidates have appeared on the New York-based show show. The last presidential candidate to host was Steve Forbes, and we all know what happened there.

Imagine the hilarity ensuing as skits feature proxy baptism, polygamy, Ann’s job riding an Austrian Warmblood, and of course the dog on the roof. Hey, maybe they could make him play a gay character. Mitt’s wooden delivery and weak, feeble attempts at humor could make his foray into funny unintentionally spit-take worthy.

Un-Dorsement Alert! Rick Warren: Mitt Romney, Mormons Not Christians

Call it an un-dorsement: On Easter Sunday, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback (mega) Church just defined Mormons as not being Christians. Ergo, Mitt Romeny, the most-likely GOP nominee is not a Christian. Today on ABC, Warren told Jake Tapper:

Well, the key sticking point for evangelicals and actually for many is the issue of the Trinity. Orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, Protestant Christians, evangelical Christians and Pentecostal Christians all believe in the Trinity; that’s the historic doctrine of the church, that God is three-in-one. Not three gods; one God in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Mormonism denies that. That’s a sticking point for a lot of Catholic Christians, evangelical Christians, Pentecostal Christians, because they don’t — they don’t believe that.

Now they’ll use the same terminology, but they don’t believe in the historic doctrine of the Trinity. And people have tried to make it other issues. But that’s really one of the fundamental differences.

So, if Rmoney is the GOP nominee, will evangelicals vote for him? How big is the evangelical  bloc within the GOP? Will they stay away from the polls because Rmoney isn’t their flavor of faith? Or do Rick Warren’s words  go deeper than evangelists, potentially influencing a greater majority of Christians. Consider this–

In 2008, Warren told CNN:

I don’t think it’s right for pastors to endorse [a political candidate] in the first place. I would never endorse a candidate. I would never campaign for a candidate. I think as a pastor my role is to pastor all the flock regardless of their political persuasion, so I wouldn’t have wanted endorsements anyways..

I believe in the separation of church and state, but I do not believe in the separation of faith and politics, because faith is simply a worldview and everybody’s got a worldview.

We make our decisions based on our values, based on our worldview so I think it’s entirely appropriate for America to say not only what is your faith – whether it is in Christ or someone else – but what is your worldview because that is going to influence how we live in the next four years.

Thus in Rick Warren’s opinion, Mitt Romeny is not a Christian, and as such does not have a Christian worldview.  And that could prove problematic for some Christians. Especially those of the more conservative and/or  fundamentalist streak, be they evangelical or not. Will they vote for a Republican branded a not-Christian by one of the country’s most influential pastors, someone whose faith claims Jesus and Satan/Lucifer are brothers, with God as their father?

On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some — especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too, was an angel who was in authority in the presence of God, a son of the morning. (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25-27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)

And  that in addition to the Heavenly Father, we have a Heavenly Mother?

Today the belief in a living Mother in Heaven is implicit in Latter-day Saint thought. Though the scriptures contain only hints, statements from presidents of the church over the years indicate that human beings have a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father.

Frankly, the economy and foreign policy may be more important to conservative voters than theology. And the Mormons’ hardline anti-LGBT stance may convince some fundie-vangelists that a Mormon who has different family values in Heaven but not on earth might be the lesser of two evils.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an un-dorsement, which could prove whether or not faith is indeed a sticking point for a certain stripe of Christian at the ballot box.

Ryan Gosling Saves Journalist from Oncoming Cab, Thus Raising Awareness of Political Issues in US

There is a cringe-worthy cute-meet romance movie in this story, as well as some valid points about our celebrity-focused culture, and how it subsumes the the news cycle, pushing out important socio-political issues.

Political journalist Laura Penny is rather pragmatic about being saved from an oncoming New York taxi by a double-denim wearing guy who turned out to be actor/heartthrob Ryan Gosling. The Drive star reached out and grabbed her in the nick of time.

Penny–the author of Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism and Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent who has covered Occupy and writes for the Independent–is a contributing editor to The New Inquiry, and has contributed to The New Statesman, The Guardian, The Nation, and Jezebel. She described the incident on Twitter:

I  literally LITERALLY got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling….I was crossing 6th avenue in a new pink wig. Not looking the right way because I am from London. Ryan Gosling grabbed me away from a taxi…Identity of no-idea-if-actually-a-manarchist-but-definitely-a-decent-sort Ryan Gosling confirmed by girl next to me, who said ‘you lucky bitch’

Penny has received numerous media requests which she has turned down because

it’s getting silly now…I really think it’s a bit of a fuss over not very much

and writes in her piece for Gawker on the incident

I am grateful to every other kind New Yorker who has saved me from oncoming traffic in recent weeks, good citizens making the streets of this fine city that much safer for random British writers who can’t remember to look both ways….People do lovely, considerate things for other people all the time. I don’t believe that the fact that A-list celebrities occasionally act like human beings is in itself news — it might have been slightly newsworthy had Mr. Gosling simply floated by on a cloud of his own cultural significance whilst a young woman got smeared into the tarmac, but lucky for me, even the most chiseled-jawed of us are usually boringly dependable in times of minor peril.

Gosling may not be a manarchist, he is socially active. He volunteered in Biloxi, Mississippi as part of clean up efforts after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, has campaigned with PETA to encourage KFC and McDonalds to use more humane methods of slaughtering chickens.  The actor is also involved with African aid causes, and has traveled to Darfur, Uganda and Congo, as well as supporting  the Invisible Children charity.

And pulling Penny out of the way of a taxi isn’t Gosling’s first peripheral brush with Occupy. His upcoming film, Gangster Squad, about the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1950s, displaced Occupy LA for several days last year when they shot scenes at Los Angeles City Hall.

To Penny–who explained via Twitter she couldn’t do any TV appearances to discuss her five-second encounter with Gosling because the Manic Panic hair dye she used had turned not only her hair but her hands and face fuschia–the real heroes in America

are risking everything to make sure that the United States doesn’t slide further into bigotry, inequality and violence whilst everyone is distracted by the everyday doings of celebrities.

Exactly. But it would have been a fabulous opportunity for her to open celebrity-crazed minds to

war on Iran and war on women’s bodies and [why] Rick Santorum is considered a serious presidential candidate.

And in case you were wondering, Gosling didn’t say

Hey girl

when he moved Penny out of the way of the cab. He said

Hey, watch out!

Late Night FDL: Hot Mic Merriment

At least Obama has a sense of humor plus some timing and delivery, which is more than can be said about Rmoney, Frothy Santorum, the Gin Grinch, or Grandpa Ron Paul. Or for that matter, Sarah Palin who wooden delivery on the Today Show, coupled with her grating voice, and robotic repetition of

socialist policies

was tragic.  Fred Karger is funny and as a former actor  can deliver witty remarks, but MSM forgets he’s running.  Here’s what Obama said today:



Marriott Wardman Park

Washington, D.C.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Please have a seat.  Well, good afternoon, and thank you to Dean Singleton and the board of the Associated Press for inviting me here today.  It is a pleasure to speak to all of you — and to have a microphone that I can see.  (Laughter.)  Feel free to transmit any of this to Vladimir if you see him.  (Laughter.)

Clearly, we’re already in the beginning months of another long, lively election year.  There will be gaffes and minor controversies, be hot mics and Etch-a-Sketch moments.  You will cover every word that we say, and we will complain vociferously about the unflattering words that you write — unless, of course, you’re writing about the other guy — in which case, good job.  (Laughter.)

After Starbucks Stands Up for LGBT Rights, Vegans Go Bughouse Looney Over Frappuccino Color

First the National Organization for Marriage  gets all sandy-panties, and now  the vegans are going nuts over a natural food coloring, passing the scarlet panic onwards to omnivores. Starbucks just can’t stay out of hot water.

After supporting LGBT rights and marriage equality, the super-venti global coffee corp was put on notice by those shrill, conservative, divisive  equality haters, National Organization for Marriage, who issued a fatwa  and called for a boycott of the multinational chain. Oooh, we’re all shaking like a Frappuccino® over that huge scare. Not. Hardly made a dent in Starby’s business, and may have increased it actually, since people who don’t normally buy coffee there (like me) did so to show their support of  their local boite des Buxes.

Now vegans and the slightly more food-flexible vegetarians are upset because Starbucks uses a natural red dye in their strawberry Frappuccinos®: Dye made from crushed cochineal bugs, as the company states they have a

goal to minimize artificial ingredients in our products. While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes.

Starbucks uses the natural dye–FDA approved, made from the innards of a New World insect which has been sourced as a colorant since before the time of the Conquistadors and whose origins were once one the world’s most closely guarded secrets–in their red velvet whoopie pies birthday cake pops and mini donuts with pink icing.

This is why we can’t have nice things. So let’s make it easy–how about no artificial color at all. No pink drinks. No pink icing. No luridly insect blood-stained red velvet whoopie pies. There’s no real need for a strawberry Frappuccino® to be a colored with a dye because it’s made with real red strawberries, right? Oh…never mind.

Of course, objections to the use of the natural cochineal coloring, as opposed to some nasty man-made chemical dye, in Starbuck’s food–and in other products–could negatively impact the 40,00 people in Peru who labor in cactus fields, scraping cochineal bugs off prickly pear cactus paddles, then mushing the insects into paste and selling them to support their families as they have since before the arrival of the colonial Spaniards.

On April 4, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz will be on Fox Business with Liz Claman at 3 pm Eastern to discuss NOM’s epic fail boycott, their company’s expansion into China, and U.S. job creation (Starbuck’s has teamed up with the Opportunity Finance Network® (OFN) for the Create Jobs for USA program designed to create and sustain jobs, and seeding $5 million to provide financing to underserved community businesses which include small business loans, community center financing, housing project financing and microfinance).

And yes, Schultz will probably have to address the bug guts issue.