Full text of Gov. Bobby Jindal's Republican response

Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, his wife Supriya and one of their two boys
Here is the full text of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's Republican response to President Obama's address to Congress tonight:

Good evening. I'm Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana.

Tonight, we witnessed a great moment in the history of our republic. In the very chamber where Congress once voted to abolish slavery, our first African American president stepped forward to address the state of our union. With his speech tonight, the president completed a redemptive journey that took our nation from Independence Hall to Gettysburg to the lunch counter and now, finally, the Oval Office.

Regardless of party, all Americans are moved by the president's personal story -- the son of an American mother and a Kenyan father, who grew up to become leader of the free world. Like the president's father, my parents came to this country from a distant land. When they arrived in Baton Rouge, my mother was already 4½ months pregnant. I was what folks in the insurance industry now call a "preexisting condition."

To find work, my dad picked up the Yellow Pages and started calling local businesses. Even after landing a job, he could still not afford to pay for my delivery -- so he worked out an installment plan with the doctor. Fortunately for me, he never missed a payment.

As I grew up, my mom and dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country -- and they instilled in me an immigrant's wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, I remember going to the grocery store with my dad. Growing up in India, he had seen extreme poverty. And as we walked through the aisles, looking at the endless variety on the shelves, he would tell me: "Bobby, Americans can do anything."

I still believe that to this day. Americans can do anything. When we pull together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome.

As the president made clear this evening, we are now in a time of challenge. Many of you listening tonight have lost jobs. Others have seen your college and retirement savings dwindle. Many of ...

... you are worried about losing your healthcare and your homes. And you are looking to your elected leaders in Washington for solutions.

Republicans are ready to work with the new president to provide those solutions. Here in my state of Louisiana, we don't care what party you belong to if you have good ideas to make life better for our people. We need more of that attitude from both Democrats and Republicans in our nation's capital.

All of us want our economy to recover and our nation to prosper. So where we agree, Republicans must be the president's strongest partners. And where we disagree, Republicans have a responsibility to be candid and offer better ideas for a path forward.

Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.

Let me tell you a story.

During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office, I'd never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: "Well, I'm the sheriff and if you don't like it you can come and arrest me!" I asked him: "Sheriff, what's got you so mad?" He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters.

The boats were all lined up ready to go -- when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn't go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, "Sheriff, that's ridiculous." And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: "Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!" Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people.

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens.

We are grateful for the support we have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes -- and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you -- the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.

That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families, cutting taxes for small businesses, strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers, and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers.

These plans would cost less and create more jobs.

But Democratic leaders in Congress rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history -- with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest.

While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a "magnetic levitation" line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring." Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.

Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line and saddle future generations with debt.

Who among us would ask our children for a loan so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It's irresponsible. And it's no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs or build a prosperous future for our children.

In Louisiana, we took a different approach. Since I became governor, we cut more than 250 earmarks from our state budget. And to create jobs for our citizens, we cut taxes six times -- including the largest income tax cut in the history of our state.

We passed those tax cuts with bipartisan majorities. Republicans and Democrats put aside their differences and worked together to make sure our people could keep more of what they earn. If it can be done in Baton Rouge, surely it can be done in Washington, D.C.

To strengthen our economy, we need urgent action to keep energy prices down. All of us remember what it felt like to pay $4 at the pump -- and unless we act now, those prices will return. To stop that from happening, we need to increase conservation, increase energy efficiency, increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels, increase our use of nuclear power and increase drilling for oil and gas here at home.

We believe that Americans can do anything -- and if we unleash the innovative spirit of our citizens, we can achieve energy independence.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to address the crisis in healthcare. Republicans believe in a simple principle: No American should have to worry about losing their health coverage -- period.

We stand for universal access to affordable healthcare coverage. We oppose universal government-run healthcare. Healthcare decisions should be made by doctors and patients -- not by government bureaucrats. We believe Americans can do anything -- and if we put aside partisan politics and work together, we can make our system of private medicine affordable and accessible for every one of our citizens.

To strengthen our economy, we also need to make sure every child in America gets the best possible education. After Katrina, we reinvented the New Orleans school system -- opening dozens of new charter schools and creating a new scholarship program that is giving parents the chance to send their children to private or parochial schools of their choice. We believe that, with the proper education, the children of America can do anything. And it should not take a devastating storm to bring this kind of innovation to education in our country.

To strengthen our economy, we must promote confidence in America by ensuring ours is the most ethical and transparent system in the world. In my home state, there used to be saying: At any given time, half of Louisiana is underwater -- and the other half is under indictment.

No one says that anymore. Last year, we passed some of the strongest ethics laws in the nation -- and today, Louisiana has turned her back on the corruption of the past. We need to bring transparency to Washington, D.C. -- so we can rid our Capitol of corruption and ensure we never see the passage of another trillion-dollar spending bill that Congress has not even read and the American people haven't even seen.

As we take these steps, we must remember for all our troubles at home, dangerous enemies still seek our destruction. Now is no time to dismantle the defenses that have protected this country for hundreds of years, or make deep cuts in funding for our troops.

America's fighting men and women can do anything. And if we give them the resources they need, they will stay on the offensive, defeat our enemies and protect us from harm.

In all these areas, Republicans want to work with President Obama. We appreciate his message of hope -- but sometimes it seems we look for hope in different places. Democratic leaders in Washington place their hope in the federal government. We place our hope in you -- the American people.

In the end, it comes down to an honest and fundamental disagreement about the proper role of government. We oppose the national Democrats' view that says the way to strengthen our country is to increase dependence on government. We believe the way to strengthen our country is to restrain spending in Washington and empower individuals and small businesses to grow our economy and create jobs.

In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear because our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust -- and rightly so.

Tonight, on behalf of our leaders in Congress and my fellow Republican governors, I say: Our party is determined to regain your trust. We will do so by standing up for the principles that we share -- the principles you elected us to fight for -- the principles that built this into the greatest, most prosperous country on Earth.

A few weeks ago, the president warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said "we may not be able to reverse." Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover -- or that America's best days are behind her.

This is the nation that cast off the scourge of slavery, overcame the Great Depression, prevailed in two World Wars, won the struggle for civil rights, defeated the Soviet menace and responded with determined courage to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The American spirit has triumphed over almost every form of adversity known to man -- and the American spirit will triumph again.

We can have confidence in our future -- because, amid today's challenges, we also count many blessings: We have the most innovative citizens, the most abundant resources, the most resilient economy, the most powerful military and the freest political system in the history of the world.

My fellow citizens, never forget: We are Americans. And like my dad said years ago, Americans can do anything.

Thank you for listening. God bless you. And God bless America.

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Apple releases public beta of Safari 4

Apple on Tuesday released a public beta of Safari 4, the next generation of its Internet Web browser.

Apple touts the Nitro engine at the heart of Safari as running JavaScript over 4 times as fast as Safari 3, up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and three times faster than Firefox. Nitro also allows Safari 4 to load HTML pages three times faster than IE 7, according to Apple.

Other new features in Safari 4 include Top Sites, giving users a visual preview of frequently visited pages; Full History Search, to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages; Cover Flow, to easily flip through web history or bookmarks; and Tabs on Top, to make tabbed browsing easier.

“Safari has always been all about performance, innovative features and web standards,”said Brian Croll, senior director system software, Worldwide Product Marketing. “Safari 4 takes the next big step in driving innovation in browsers.”

The new version of Safari also includes a Smart Address field and Smart Search. Smart Address will automatically show a drop down menu when you begin typing a URL into the address field. It shows the top hit, suggestions from your Bookmarks and suggestions from your history. Smart search gives you suggestions from Google and previous searches that you’ve made using Safari.

If you want to revisit a Web site you went to a few days ago, but can’t remember what it was, searching your history just got a lot easier. With Safari 4, you can search your history based on the URL, page title or even text contained in the pages itself.

Safari 4 includes HTML 5 support for offline technologies so web-based applications can store information locally without an Internet connection. The browser also supports advanced CSS effects.

Safari 4 public beta is free and available now for download from Apple’s Web site.


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Obamas on the search for a Portuguese Water Dog

Michelle Obama says her family has decided to make a Portuguese Water Dog the first dog around the Obama White House. The First Lady told People Magazine the Obamas are searching animal rescues for that particular breed.

Mrs. Obama says she hopes the lucky Portuguese Water Dog will move into the White House in April after she and President Obama take their daughters on Spring Break.

She recaps a typical conversation with her daughter Sasha about the dog's arrival: "So Sasha says, 'April 1st.' I said, 'April.' She says, 'April 1st.' It's, like, April!," Mrs. Obama recalls. "Got to do it after spring break. You can't get a new dog and then go away for a week."

So why a Portuguese Water Dog? "Temperamentally they're supposed to be pretty good," Mrs. Obama says she learned from Sen. Ted Kennedy who owns some water dogs himself. "From the size perspective, they're sort of middle of the road – it's not small, but it's not a huge dog. And the folks that we know who own them have raved about them. So that's where we're leaning."

I guess the next big questions is, what will the Obama's name their new dog?

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Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 accident near Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

A Turkish Airlines (THY) Boeing 737-800 aircraft (registration T-CJGE) crashed while on approach to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport this morning, February 25, 2009. THY Flight TK 1951 was arriving at Amsterdam on a scheduled passenger flight from Istanbul at the time of the accident. According to information provided by the airline, there were seven crew members and 127 passengers on board at the time of the accident.

Turkish Airlines confirms nine fatalities and 50 injured, although several news reports, quoting Dutch officials, have said approximately 80 were injured. Three crew members are said to be among the fatalities.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft was on final approach to runway 18R at Schiphol. It impacted an agricultural field approximately a mile short of the runway threshold. Eyewitnesses claimed that the aircraft hit tail first, but this has not been officially confirmed. News photos of the accident scene do, however, show very significant damage to the empennage. The fuselage of the aircraft reportedly split into three sections. There was no fire.

The Dutch Safety Board has confirmed that both the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder have been recovered from the accident aircraft.

A list of the names of the crew and passengers on Flight TK 1951 has been made available on the Turkish Airlines website.

More information about this accident will be posted on Aircrew Buzz as it becomes available.


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AAA-Fund Commends President Obama’s Nomination of Gary Locke for Commerce Secretary

Asian American Action Fund Commends President Obama’s Nomination of Gary Locke for Commerce Secretary

Washington, D.C. / February 25, 2009 - The Asian American Action Fund (AAA-Fund) praises President Obama’s nomination of former Washington Governor Gary Locke to head the Department of Commerce. Locke is a member of the AAA-Fund’s Honorary Board.

“Governor Locke is a strong choice to head the Commerce Department,” said Gautam Dutta, Executive Director of the AAA-Fund. “His broad executive experience and internationalist perspective will serve him well in managing the many agencies and varied responsibilities of the Commerce Department.”

Locke served two terms as the Governor of Washington, from 1997 to 2005. He was the first Chinese-American to be elected governor in U.S. history. During his tenure, Governing Magazine named Washington one of the nation’s five best-managed states. Prior to his eight years as Governor, Locke held elective office in the greater Seattle area for 15 years. He is now a member of the AAA-Fund’s Honorary Board.

If confirmed, Locke would become the third Asian-American member of President Obama’s cabinet. General Eric Shinseki and Dr. Steven Chu were unanimously confirmed by the Senate to head the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Energy, respectively. President Obama has also appointed Sanjay Gupta to serve as the nation’s Surgeon General.

“These high-level appointments reflect not only the Obama administration’s commitment to diversity, but also the Asian American community’s growing civic engagement and commitment to public service.” said Irene Bueno, AAA-Fund Treasurer. “No one embodies that spirit of service more than Governor Locke, who has devoted himself to his country and community for 25 years.”

The AAA-Fund is a Democratic political action committee whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on every level of local, state and federal government in America. To achieve this goal, we address the chronic under-representation of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) as campaign volunteers, campaign contributors, and candidates for political office. The AAA-Fund has endorsed candidates across the country.


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Quick Report: Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool are close to a spot in the quarter finals of this year’s Champions League, following a 0-1 win at Real Madrid in Bernabeu stadium.
Initially, the best chance of the match was for Liverpool but Fernando Torres failed to take advantage. Later in the second half, Real’s Arjen Robben had a powerful shot parried by keeper Reina.
The deadlock was eventually broken on 82 minutes, slightly against the run of play. Fabio Aurelio took a free kick from the right wing and Israeli striker Yossi Benayoun headed past Castillas to hand Liverpool an unexpected lead.
Liverpool now only need a draw in the return leg on March 10th, to advance to the next round.


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Obama's 900 Million Dollar Payout to Hamas

The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel's invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday. The money, which needs U.S. congressional approval, will be distributed through U.N. and other bodies and not via themilitant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said one official.
There are two obvious problems with this scenario. The Palestinian Authority does not rule Gaza. Any rebuilding of Gaza will only strengthen Hamas. Secondly, any foreign organizations operating in Gaza either answer to Hamas or are Hamas run outright.

Take the UNRWA, the refugee arm of the UN which despite multiple refugee crises worldwide, focuses on working for the Palestinian Arabs. While there is a great deal of focus on foreign aid to Israel, the taxpayer money that goes to the UNRWA goes unnoticed. In 2006 alone the US contributed 135 million dollars to the UNRWA, out of an over half a billion dollar budget.

The UNRWA also, in their own words, employs "99 per cent locally-recruited Palestinians". The UNRWA is actually the second biggest employer in the territories, after the Palestinian Authority itself. (Both funded by the US and other foreign donors.) That means the structure of the UNRWA in Gaza is composed of Gazans under Hamas control.

By 2006 the UNRWA had only 25 "internationals" or non-Palestinian Arabs left in Gaza. After Hamas' takeover and the latest war, that number is likely to be smaller. Which means that the UNRWA is effectively under Hamas control, which Hamas demonstrated when they seized UNRWA aid and drove it away in their trucks.

While UNRWA "internationals" such as Karen Koning AbuZayd or Fillippo Grandi issue press releases from their comfortable offices in Amman, the real UNRWA is run on the ground, and despite the denials from Amman, it has routinely employed terrorist affiliated personnel.

All this has been extensively documented;
This past September, Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman, with a bipartisan group of five co-sponsors, submitted a concurrent resolution noting that "UNRWA has employed staffers affiliated with terrorism."
The resolution cited specific examples of UNRWA ambulance and schools having been used to abet terrorism and mentioned a number of figures, including Awad al-Qiq, headmaster of an UNRWA school in Gaza, "who also led Islamic Jihad's engineering unit that built bombs and Qassam rockets."

However humane the intent of UNRWA officials, they have become de facto enablers of Hamas' terrorist fiefdom in Gaza.

over and over again. Time and time again.

Since many UNRWA teachers are alumni of the UNRWA school system, they often perpetuate the vitriolic curriculum they were taught, vilifying Israel and the West. For example, Suheil al-Hindi, an UNRWA teachers' representative, openly applauded suicide bombings at a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza in 2003. Instead of a condemnation, al-Hindi received a promotion and was subsequently elected to UNRWA's clerks union.

UNRWA teachers who publicly identify with radical groups have created a teachers' bloc that ensures the election of Hamas members and other individuals committed to Islamist ideologies. After using their classrooms as a place to refine their radical messages, these teachers gravitate to politics. As such, UNRWA's education system has become a springboard for Hamas leaders. For example, Said Sayyam, the Hamas minister of interior and civil affairs, was a teacher in UNRWA schools in Gaza from 1980 to 2003. He went on to become a member of UNRWA's Arab Employees Union, and headed the teachers sector committee.

Notable graduates of the UNRWA school system include former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, the former Hamas chief who attended UNRWA secondary school in Khan Younis and graduated top of his class.

UNWRA has produced graduates like Ibrahim Maqadama, who "helped create the military structure of Hamas." Gold notes that, "at least 46 terrorist operatives were students in the UNRWA schools."

There have also been widespread reports of terrorism from UNRWA-supervised facilities, including sniper attacks from UNRWA-run schools, bomb and arms factories in UNRWA camps, the transport of terrorists to their target zones in UNRWA ambulances, and even UNRWA employees directly tied to terrorist attacks against civilians.

Nidal Abd al-Fattah Abdallah Nazzal, an ambulance driver for UNRWA from Kalqiliya in the West Bank, was arrested by Israeli security services in August 2002. Nidal admitted that he was a Hamas activist and that he had transported weapons and explosives to terrorists in his ambulance, taking advantage of the freedom of movement afforded to UNRWA vehicles by the Israelis.

Nahd Rashid Ahmad Atallah, a senior official of UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, was also arrested by Israeli security in August 2002. In his capacity as an UNRWA official, he provided support to families of wanted Fatah and PFLP terrorists. He used his UNRWA car to transport armed members of the "Popular Resistance Committees," a militant faction of the Fatah movement, to carry out attacks against Israeli troops at the Karni Crossing.

UNRWA also appears to be in the business of cultivating new terrorists. The New York Times exposed in 2000 that UNRWA allowed terrorist groups to use their schools as "summer camps" so that 25,000 Palestinian children could receive paramilitary training, including instructions on how to prepare Molotov cocktails and roadside bombs.
The UNRWA is less of an aid agency that a blank check to the tune of half a billion dollars a year that's poured into the domain of whoever is already in control on the ground. In Gaza that's Hamas, and the situation isn't much different for many of the other agencies that will be the recipient of the nearly billion dollar payout from Hamas.

The UNRWA has already taken the lead in promoting contact between Hamas and Obama. The proposed 900 billion package will rebuild Gaza's infrastructure for Hamas' benefit, and open the door to a Hamas overthrow of the PA in the West Bank, followed by US recognition of Hamas.

The policy will be camouflaged by claims that the UN will prevent the aid from going to Hamas, which as demonstrated above is an absurd claim, because there is no wall of separation between the UN and Hamas whatsoever.

Piggybacking a pro-Hamas policy on NGO's comes naturally to the core Obama team. Unlike the more mainstream Clinton dems running the above ground foreign policy, their more radical politics and international agendas link them to the NGO's, allowing them to undermine Hillary Clinton and her envoys. While the State Department may hold press conferences, the real decisions will be made in the White House and the NSC, current power base for Samantha Power.

At a time when the US economy is in bad shape and the US national debt is rising to an all time high, sending nearly a billion dollars to Hamas is nothing short of sheer madness or treason. Yet it's the opening stages of a policy that will empower and reward Islamists across the Middle East.


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Ballmer: Linux Bigger Competitor than Apple

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer had some interesting things to say yesterday about which companies Microsoft sees as its competitors in the client operating system space. You'd think Apple was their number one competitor - and you'd be wrong. Microsoft sees two other competitors as their primary adversaries.

Microsoft sees piracy as its biggest competitor. "Number two market share goes to Windows pirated, or unlicensed," Balmer said, "That's a competitor that's tough to beat, they've got a good price and a heck of a product, but we're working on it." This isn't exactly new information, but it's interesting to see it spelled out so clearly.

Much more interesting is Microsoft's idea of Linux and Apple, According to Microsoft, Linux is a bigger threat to the company than Apple, placing Linux above Apple in the marketshare figure pie chart thing. "Linux, you could see on the slide, and Apple has certainly increased its share somewhat," Ballmer said
Source: OS News

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Arizona connections in the Accenture Match Play Championships

accentureTiger Woods has captured most of the media attention (like he always does) in the early going at the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Marana. Woods won his first match, defeating Australian Brendan Jones, 3 and 2.
Aside from the tournament being played in the Grand Canyon State, there’s plenty of other Arizona connections in this tournament, which runs through Sunday.
Players with ties to Arizona, and how they did in opening round play on Wednesday…
Bobby Jones Bracket
Geoff Ogilvy (lives in Scottsdale) def. Kevin Sutherland in 19 holes. Ogilvy takes on Shingo Katayama in the 2nd round.
Rory Sabbatini (U of A) lost to Miguel A. Jimenez, 2 and 1.
Tim Clark (lives in Scottsdale) def. Retief Goosen, 3 and 2. Clark gets Woods in the 2nd round.

Ben Hogan Bracket
Phil Mickelson (ASU) def. Angel Cabrera in 19 holes. Lefty will play 2007 Master Champ Zach Johnson in the second round.
Gary Player Bracket
Matthew Goggin (lives in Scottsdale) def. 2009 FBR Open Champ Kenny Perry, 2 and 1.
Paul Casey (ASU) def. Aaron Baddeley (lives in Scottsdale), 1 up. Casey and Goggin tangle in the 2nd round.
San Snead Bracket
Pat Perez (ASU) def. #1 seed Padraig Harrington, 1 up. Perez will next play the winner of the Robert Allenby-Ross Fisher match.


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Scriptless Arrested Development Film Gets Michael Cera

Michael Cera
I am so over all of this Arrested Development movie news. Don’t get me wrong, I am as big a fan of the show as there is anywhere, but all of this back and forth speculation is becoming tired. Because lets face it, of course Michael Cera is going to do this movie if it ever gets passed the script stage and enters principal photography. He would be an idiot not to. And we certainly don’t need E!’s Kristin Dos Santos and her network of nameless, faceless Hollywood spies to tell us what we already know.

The fact is that Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz is working on a script. Said script will then go through the process of approval, re-writes and re-tooling before anything is committed to film. So we’ve got time. We also know that the right people want this movie to be made, including the bean counters at Fox and Executive Producer Ron Howard. It’s a no-brainer for them and it’s a no-brainer for the cast. This is why we’ve seen them all — Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor and David Cross — in the press talking about how they would “love to do it.” It’s simply one of those projects to which you don’t say no.

So get excited if you must — if you need that constant baby-step reassurance about this property. The next time I will truly be excited is when we have word that filming has begun. Until then, I’m going to go paint myself blue and look for alternative revenue streams for FSR.


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Complete list of 2009 Oscar winners


Best Picture of the Year: "Slumdog Millionaire". Read more about the film.

Penn_sean_02Best Actor: Sean Penn (left) for "Milk". Read more about the performance.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet (right) for "The Reader". Read more about the performance.Winslet_kate_02

Best Director: Danny Boyle for "Slumdog Millionaire". Read more about the director.

Best Foreign Language Film: "Departures" (Japan)

Best Original Song: "Jai Ho" ( from "Slumdog Millionaire"). Read more about the film.

Best Original Score: "Slumdog Millionaire".

Best Film Editing: "Slumdog Millionaire".

Best Sound Mixing: "Slumdog Millionaire". Read more about the film.

Best Sound Editing: "The Dark Knight". Read more about the film.

Best Visual Effects: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Read more about the film.

Best Documentary Short: "Smile Pinki".

Best Documentary Feature: "Man on Wire".

Dark_knight_ledgerBest Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger for "The Dark Knight" (left). Read more about the performance.

Best Live Action Short: "Spielzeugland (Toyland)".

Best Cinematography: "Slumdog Millionaire". Read more about the film.

Best Make Up: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". Read more about the film.

Best Costume Design: "The Duchess".

Best Art Direction: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". (right) Read more about the film .Benjamin_button_100

Best Animated Short: "La Maison en Petits Cubes".

Best Animated Feature: "Wall-E". Read more about the film.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy for "Slumdog Millionaire". Read more about the film.

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for "Milk". Read more about the film .

Cruz_penelope_02Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz (left) for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Read more about her performance.

Take a look behind the scenes at the Oscars with Variety's Stuart Oldham.

See the complete list of nominees.

Complete coverage at Award Central.


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Complete list of 2009 Oscar winners

81st Academy Awards was full of surprises, positive ones mostly, especially for 'Slumdog Millionaire'. The movie was nominated for 10 Oscars, and won eight, including for Best Motion Picture. 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', the front-runner of the evening with 13 nominations, finished with only three awards.

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Host Hugh Jackman performs his opening monologue during the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood

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Christopher Walken Cowbell - Saturday Night Live

Soundboard Archive - Prank Call Soundboards


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La Maison en Petit Cubes VIDEO!

Kunio Kato Domo Arigato Mr Roboto!
VIDEO! Watch again video of the Oscar win by Kunio Kato shouting “Domo Arigato Mr Roboto” ! La Maison en Petits Cubeswon Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards tonight.



Domo Arigato Mr Roboto speech clearly won Best Short Speech for the Oscars. The reference is to the 1983 album by Styx “Kilroy Was Here” that hit number 3 that year. And now two decades later it’s the most talked about clip from the show!


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Heath Ledger's Family Accepting His Posthumous Oscar: 'Validated Heath's Quiet Determination'

Heath Ledger won best supporting actor for his final role as Joker in "The Dark Night" at Sunday night’s Academy Awards.

His father, Kim, mother, Sally, and sister, Kate, accepted the award on the late actor’s behalf. "This award tonight …. validated Heath’s quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here, his peers, in an industry that he so loved," his father said. He would have been very proud.

The Australian actor died on January 22 at the age of 28. The cause of death was from an accidental overdose of prescription medications. Ledger’s 3-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose, will eventually keep dad’s Oscar statuette. Matilda Rose is Ledger’s only child with actress Michelle Williams.

In recent weeks, Leger has won a series of awards, including a Golden Globe, British BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild. On Sunday, Ledger became the second actor to win a post humorous Oscar. The first posthumous Oscar was awarded to Sidney Howard for his screenplay "Gone With the Wind."

Ledger doesn’t just leave behind friends and family, but millions of adoring fans, who are saddened to have lost such great talent.

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Big Bang Mini Review: Boom Goes The Dynamite

Big Bang MiniWho would have thought that fireworks, of all things, would provide so much inspiration for video games? Aside from their obvious celebratory implementation in sports games, the firework has recently become a key gameplay element in more than one game, the latest of which is SouthPeak’s DS title, “Big Bang Mini.” This time around, the firework’s role has been expertly crafted for Nintendo’s touchy portable, providing the most fun I’ve had playing with fireworks since that time when I was a kid, and I almost had to go to the hospital.

At its heart, “Big Bang Mini” is a shooter, and, in a genre that’s known for its difficulty, “Big Bang” can hang with the big boys. Each level in the game has ten stages, a boss, and an overall theme based on the location of the level. The point of each stage is to collect enough stars by shooting your enemies down to fill up your meter, once the meter is full the stage is over, and you get to take a shot at a bonus level. While that may sound cut and dry, there is one added element to contend with; a small orb that you have to, at all times, keep out of harms way, or else you game comes to an immediate end. Additionally, moving the orb around is vital, as it is the only way to collect the falling stars you need in order to advance. Of course, your shots aren’t coming out of the orb – that would be too easy - they can originate from anywhere on the touch screen, just as long as you can keep the orb safe, which is a daunting task, especially in the later levels.

Big Bang MiniWith each of the different levels having a theme based on its location, the levels take you around the world, from Paris to New York to Luxor (note: I know Luxor is not a real place, but one of Arkedo’s earlier titles). The themes create a unique environment for each level in the arcade mode, introducing new scenery, enemies, and even gameplay elements. As you progress through the game, your shooting ability is upgraded with a couple of different shots that remain persistent throughout the game, but most of the levels also grant you a world specific upgrade. Most of these upgrades are focused on defense, allowing you to avoid the shots coming at you in different ways, but there are some unique ones, like the ability to stop time, and the ability to lasso oncoming fire. Arkedo did a great job of mixing up the elements to make each world feel unique, and always keep the player on their toes.

Unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed the themes, they also spawned my first noticeable complaint about the game. The environments in the game change with each theme change, and along with them, so does the music, which is really a blessing. Some of the individual levels are exceptionally challenging and force you to replay them over and over again, but the music never changes. It’s always the same song for all ten of the stages, and the boss, and it becomes really repetitive really quickly. Don’t get me wrong, the audio in the game is great, I just got tired of hearing it so much.

But, if redundant music is the only complaint I have about the game, then we’d be in really good shape… right? Well, there’s good news, and bad news. The bad news is, that wasn’t my only problem with “Big Bang Mini.” The good news is there was only one other really big issue that I had with the game that really affected the gameplay – the precision of the targeting of the shots. Throughout the game the ability to hit a moving target is vital, making it imperative that your shots are on target, and sometimes your fireworks don’t go where you want/need them to go. With each flick of the stylus you really need to hope that your shots are headed in the direction that you need them to, or else the debris from your missed shot is going to be coming back at you. It’s not even that this is something you can get good at, sometimes it’s just luck.

Big Bang MiniFortunately, to make up for the couple of drawbacks of the game, “Big Bang Mini” offers a huge assortment of game modes, most of which are unlocked as you play through the game. The Arcade (standard beat this level) and Versus (multiplayer) modes are unlocked after completing the Tutorial, and even if you didn’t unlock anything else, both of these modes can suck up a ton of your time. Should you continue, Challenge (highest score) and Mission (complete the objective) modes are next, based on your success in the Arcade mode, while they don’t offer anything really new in terms of gameplay, they do offer a different way to experience the game. Beyond that, there’s a few surprises, but only the truly dedicated “Big Bang” fan is going to be able to experience those.

Overall, “Big Bang Mini” is unlike a lot of games that are on the market today. This uniqueness becomes very quickly apparent when the game suddenly throws you into its 8-bit randomizer levels (which I still can’t completely explain), or when you’re being attacked by a cat that is pooping stars at you. Sometimes good things come in little packages, such is the case for SouthPeak’s, “Big Bang Mini;” it’s a tiny game, at a tiny price, for the smallest system, with the word “mini” in the title. You really don’t get any smaller than that. Fortunately, this everyman’s shooter is a package that everyone can really enjoy.


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The Witness From the Balcony of Room 306 - Oscar Nom on HBO February 18

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306, filmmaker Adam Pertofsky's stirring documentary about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., premieres on February 18 on HBO2, as part of the cable network's Black History Month programming. The 32-minute Oscar-nominated nonfiction short features eyewitness testimony by Reverend Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a close friend and colleague of Dr. King's, who was standing beside Dr. King on the balcony outside room 308 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, when the beloved civil rights leader was slain on April 4, 1968.
Reverend Kyles, a powerful preacher and compelling orator in his own right, tells of events preceding Dr. King's death, including his arrival in Memphis to support local garbage men in their strike for higher wages and the hour of light-hearted conversation with Dr. King that preceded their fateful appearance on the balcony.
Pertovsky actually interviewed Kyles on that very balcony and includes archival footage and photographs from the day of the fatal shooting, which gives the film an almost eerie sense of immediacy and place.

Also interviewed for the film, Maxine Smith and Benjamin Hooks speak soulfully of the ironies of circumstance and timing, and remind us of the emotionally devastating effects of Dr. King's death. But the most effective reminders of all are the archival clips we see of Dr. King's last speech, the famous "dream" address in which he actually predicts his own assassination--"I may not live to see it," he comments--but passionately proclaims that the movement for equal rights will be triumphant. Reverend Kyles' emotionally-charged comment that "you can kill the dreamer, but the dream lives on" stands as the strong message of this moving documentary--and it's a message that has tremendous resonance as we celebrate Black History Month and the election of the first African-American president of the United States.

You can see The Witness From the Balcony of Room 306 on HBO2 on Wednesday, February 18 at 8pm (ET/PT). And watch the 81st Academy Awards on February 22 on ABC to see whether The Witness From the Balcony of Room 306 takes home an Oscar for Best Documentary Short. Meanwhile, you can view the trailer.

(PHOTO: Reverend Samuel Kyles on the balcony of room 306, courtesy of Margaret Hyde Photography).


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The Bagger at the Oscars: ‘Man on Wire’ Nabs Best Documentary Feature


Man on Wire“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)” (Cinema Guild), A Pandinlao Films Production, Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
“Encounters at the End of the World” (THINKFilm and Image Entertainment), A Creative Differences Production, Werner Herzog and Henry Kaiser
“The Garden” A Black Valley Films Production, Scott Hamilton Kennedy
“Man on Wire” (Magnolia Pictures), A Wall to Wall in association with Red Box Films Production, James Marsh and Simon Chinn
“Trouble the Water” (Zeitgeist Films), An Elsewhere Films Production, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

The Bagger hits the double-digit mark with this correct pick, moving to 10 out of 12. But those two wrong choices early hurt.


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Transformers Mosaic: "The First Betrayal."

The Universe of the Transformers is vast, and populated by many characters. Their universe is a large tapestry, made up of the stories and points of view of countless experiences that serve the larger whole.

These are some of those stories. This is:
Transformers Mosaic: "The First Betrayal."
It should be noted that while this project has been recognized by IDW Publishing and Hasbro, none of the works presented have been commissioned or solicited by either company. The stories are not official canon, except where noted. These stories are the result of Transformers enthusiasts taking the time out of their busy days to contribute to a universe they love. No one has been paid for the production of these stories.

Transformers Mosaic FAQ, click here.

The First Betrayal

Story, Art, Colors & Letters by;
Damien P. Ghela

Transformers Mosaic: "The First Betrayal."

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Dustin Lance Black’s Moving Acceptance Speech

Milk’s screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, just gave the most incredible acceptance speech after being awarded Best Original Screenplay tonight at the Academy Awards. glaadBLOG is proud to present it here in its entirety.
Oh my God. This was, um. This was not an easy film to make. First off, I have to thank Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg and all the real-life people who shared their stories with me. And, um, Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, and our entire cast, my producers, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, everyone at Groundswell and Focus, for taking on the challenge of telling this life-saving story. When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married.
(He chokes up, audience begins to applaud.)
I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. (Wild applause from the audience.) Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk.

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Gemase Simmons

I love Gemase Simmons! What you never heard of him? Thats because he is a real life fake hollywood dude. I know that that sentence is jsut full of irony but it’s true. Let me explain. Gemase Simmons fooled other idiots into participating in his fake reality tv show. Incredible. He actually has a fake business and everything. I don’t konw how this story broke but it did and he has now been exposed. Gemase Simmons suckered people into thinking that he actually has a reality tv show and the prize was fifty grand. He hired a camera man from texas and never paid him. The camera man kept all the tapes and exposed him. Gemase Simmons is only 28 years old but he duped a lot of assholes. I think all these hollywood people truly, truly are assholes and anyone pathetic enough to crave being on a reality show deserves to be duped. These shows make me sick. What’s wrong with America these days?

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Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

I am currently watching the Oscars, and the most unexpectedly funny moment so far was when the winner for Best Animated Short, Kunio Kato with “La Maison en Petits Cubes”, ended his speech with Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto. In case you are too young to know the reference, it comes from the Styx song Mr. Roboto:

And those Wikipedia folks are ajavascript:void(0)lready at it:

“Mr. Roboto” is a song written by Dennis DeYoung and performed by the band Styx on their 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving the band their first notable hit since “Too Much Time on My Hands” in 1981. Mr. Roboto is one of Styx’s most popular songs. It was also released as a 45 RPM single, with the song Snowblind as the B-Side. Was quoted in the 2009 Academy Awards.

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto translates to Thank you very much Mr. Roboto. So since Kunio Kato was thanking several people in his speech, he used the phrase in perfect context.

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The Bagger at the Oscars: ‘Smile Pinki’ Wins for Best Documentary Short Subject


“The Conscience of Nhem En” A Farallon Films Production, Steven Okazaki
“The Final Inch” Vermilion Films in association with Google.org, Irene Taylor Brodsky and Tom Grant
“Smile Pinki” A Principe Production, Megan Mylan
“The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306” A Rock Paper Scissors Production, Adam Pertofsky and Margaret Hyde

The Bagger was doing really well with his late changes, but he blew it on this one, switching from “Smile Pinki” to the “The Witness.” He falls to 10 for 13.
Smile Pinki


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Inspiration Cafe Founder Honored On Oscar Night

Lisa Nigro, who founded the Inspiration Cafe in 1989, is the subject of an "inspirational" 60-second commercial that will air during the Oscars ceremony on February 22. "After reading thousands of inspiring stories, our team felt that Lisa Nigro's story exemplifies the purpose of TrueNorth - giving life extraordinary meaning." Read the press release about it here. Congratulations, Lisa!


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Awkward Jerry Lewis Moments #4

This isn't really awkward per se, but I have adopted this title and I'm not going to change it now. We've all heard this ten thousand times I am sure and you can find it elsewhere around WFMU, but it's always enjoyable. And plus it is the Lord's day. So this one's for you, Lord. Previous Jerry Lewis moments here, here and here..

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John Harlow in The [London] Sunday Times:

"The favourite for best actress was Kate Winslet, for her role in the controversial film The Reader. Though Winslet has been attacked for appearing in a film that arguably commits the unthinkable and humanises a Nazi, it has brought her a sixth Oscar nomination.

"She may be defeated only by the fear of her making a winner’s speech as incoherent as her emotional ramble at the Baftas."


Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times:

"Aside from my house, where the Oscars remain must-see programming, the one place where the Academy Awards continue to mean a great deal is within the movie business. In fact, the prizes, especially the one for best picture, seem to mean more this year than ever.

"I say that because it’s been another bitter awards, with partisans of the five contenders eager to bad-mouth whomever they saw as competition. When Entertainment Weekly wrote about the race in the Feb. 13 issue, the cover line got right to the point: ‘Battle For Oscar: Now It’s Getting Ugly.’"


The Associated Press Josh L. Dickey on the tidbits leaked out about the secretive 2009 Oscar ceremomy:

"SONG-AND-DANCE (JACK)MAN: "Hugh (Jackman, the host) is going to come out and say a few things, but he’s not going to do a 10-minute monologue … He’s going to be doing a lot of musical stuff, so that will have a different feel to it." — [Oscar writer Bruce] Vilanch, in an interview with The Associated Press.

"NEED A MONTAGE: The original song nominees will be presented together in a medley-style performance, rather than sprinkled throughout the show and played in their entirety. — Nominee Peter Gabriel, who announced in a video blog on his Web site that he was declining to perform "Down To Earth" fromWALL-E to protest the one-minute limit for his part."

Etoiles d’Or 2009

Berlin Film Festival 2009 Winners

Jutra Awards 2009

Hong Kong Film Awards 2009

Did Bette Davis Name the Oscars?

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Kelly Pavlik Beats Marco Antonio Rubio

World middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik defeated Marco Antonio Rubio Saturday night with an easy, one-sided TKO victory in his home town of Youngstown, Ohio.

Pavlik, who was fighting for the first time since his lopsided loss to Bernard Hopkins in October, had no trouble controlling the pace of the fight, using his jab and his straight right hand to back Rubio away at will.

Rubio mounted almost no offense at all for much of the fight, and finally, after Pavlik battered him for nine rounds, Rubio didn't answer the bell for the 10th.

Still, for as one-sided a fight as it was, it wasn't a great performance from Pavlik. He never sent Rubio to the canvas and often looked hesitant. The way Rubio fought tonight, it's hard to see why a champion like Pavlik needed nine rounds to finish him off.

Pavlik, who improved his record to 35-1, retained his Ring Magazine, WBO and WBC middleweight titles. Rubio fell to 43-5-1.

"There's no place like home," Pavlik said in the ring afterward. "What a way to bounce back in front of my hometown."


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