Michael Jackson dead at 50

Like millions of other girls in 1982,  I had a poster of Michael Jackson hanging on my bedroom wall.  It’s hard to believe that the handsome young man in that white suit is the same man who ended up in the infamous mug shot.

Love him or hate him, he was extremely gifted and obviously very disturbed.

Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

Michael Jackson, whose quintessentially American tale of celebrity and excess took him from musical boy wonder to global pop superstar to sad figure haunted by lawsuits and failed plastic surgery, was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon at U.C.L.A. Medical Center after arriving in a coma, according to a city official. He was just 50 years old, 39 of which he spent in the public eye he loved.

ABC offers two whole minutes for Republican rebuttal to Obama’s health care infomercial

Newbusters has the story:

“ABC News has more than earned the title of the All Barack Channel, they have recklessly fought to achieve it,” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell stated in a press release today.

The network had promised to deliver a health care presentation that would “not be ‘slanted’ in any way – much less a ‘day-long infomercial’ or ‘in-kind free advertising’,” but not a single expert was offered to counter President Obama’s plan to nationalize the nation’s health care industry.

Instead, ABC News “balanced” itself this morning by having Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on today’s “Good Morning America” to discuss his health care ideas – for a 3 minute 5 second segment.  Ryan got less than 2 minutes (1 minute, 47 seconds) to respond to questions. Obama received 25 times that much time last night.

Ryan was contacted after ABC reached out to Mitch McConnell and Michael Steele – on less than 24 hours notice.

Apparently feeling some heat about its decision to not allow any Republicans to participate in its primetime ObamaCare infomercial Wednesday evening, ABC decided at the last minute to invite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and RNC Chairman Michael Steele on Thursday’s “Good Morning America.”

Unfortunately, both McConnell and Steele, having been given less than 24 hours notice, were not available, and the RNC suggested “GMA” contact Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi.), one of the GOP’s leading voices on healthcare in the House.

Although Ryan was available, and did speak with Sawyer Thursday morning, the “GMA” co-host still felt the need to tell viewers McConnell and Steele declined her invitation (video embedded right):

Climate bill allocates billions to save trees…in other countries

Somewhere in a land far, far away a tree without a voice is breathing a sigh of relief.

If a tree falls in Brazil, it will, in fact, be heard in the U.S. – at least if a little-noticed provision in the pending climate-change bill in Congress becomes law.

As part of the far-reaching climate bill, the House is set to vote Friday on a plan to pay companies billions of dollars not to chop down trees around the world, as a way to reduce global warming.

The provision, called “offsets,” has been attacked by both environmentalists and business groups as ineffective and poorly designed. Critics contend it would send scarce federal dollars overseas to plant trees when subsidies are needed at home, while the purported ecological benefits would be difficult to quantify.

The offsets “would be a transfer of wealth overseas,” said William Kovacs, vice president for environmental affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This bill must be stopped.

Michelle Obama wants a bigger role, hires full-time speech writer

Now we know why she fired her chief of staff, Jackie Norris and replaced her with her friend, Susan Sher.  Michelle wasn’t happy with the traditional role of a First Lady and wants to play a bigger role in….well, everything.

A First Lady Who Demands Substance.

Her new chief of staff, Susan Sher, 61, is a close friend and former boss who the first lady thinks will be more forceful about getting her and her team on the West Wing’s radar screen. The first thing Sher said she told senior adviser David Axelrod, whom she has known for years: When I call, “you need to get back to me right away.” angry michelle

Although Obama’s job-approval ratings have soared, the first lady — a Harvard-educated lawyer — wasn’t satisfied with coasting. She is hiring a full-time speechwriter and has instructed her staff to think “strategically” so that every event has a purpose and a message. She doesn’t want to simply go to events and hug struggling military families, she said; she wants to show progress. “Her desire is to step out more and have deliverables,” said communications chief Camille Johnston. “It’s about things that are coming up that we want to be a part of: child nutrition reauthorization act, prevention and wellness for health-care reform.”

The former chief of staff, Jackie Norris, 37, was “not on the first lady’s wavelength,” said one source, echoing others, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. “Susan is more of a peer,” a senior White House official said. “I think that’s probably a better model.”

Michelle and her new chief of staff are cut from the same diva cloth.  And what is wrong with simply hugging military families?  If she wants to do more, then fine.  But does she need an audience to do so?