From Flickr's Whitehouse Photostream, this charming piece of United States Government Work by official photographer Pete Souza. According to the photopage, this is from the Obamas' Yellowstone National Park jaunt on August 15. Obama and Sasha are choosing ice cream.
Needing a break from politics, I figured it would be fun to put up some of the artworks I've photographed. Yes, I'm a total amateur, but here goes.
Steinway grand piano decorated by Thomas Wilmer Dewing (c. 1903): a.k.a., The White House Piano. Reportedly, it was the 100,000th instrument made by Steinway, which the company gave to the White House during Teddy Roosevelt's administration. Photographed at the National Gallery of American Art in Washington, DC.
by Teh Nutroots | Sometimes Freedom Really Is Just Another Word for "Nothing Left to Lose." And Sometimes It Ain't. Will the media finally start calling out GOP officials as the buffoons they are? Sen. Jim DeMint of SCrecently remarked to Rick Sanchez of CNN, in response to a question about whether Specter was right aboutRepublican party shrinkage: "“Quite the opposite. We’re seeing across the country right now that the
biggest tent of all is the tent of freedom.” Sanchez then stopped
DeMint, demanding, “What the hell does that mean? The ‘biggest tent’ is
‘freedom’? Freedom? You’ve got to do better than that!”" Ha ha ha ha. (See him say it here).
So yeah, that was risible. But Thers' response at Whiskey Fire to Jim DeMint's claim that the Republican's "big tent of freedom" is the biggest that anyone ever did see is best:
by Bill Kavanagh: These are heady times for political bloggers and journalists.The President is daily breaking new ground, yesterday a bankruptcy restructuring of Chrysler, today a possible Supreme Court opening, tomorrow, who knows?The changes wrought by the economic meltdown and by a more progressive approach to dealing with it are extraordinary and are rippling throughout the country. There’s so much to write about, some that’s exciting and much that’s quite disturbing— from the staggering unemployment and residential dislocation across the country to the potential for disaster in developing nations now facing an unprecedented falloff in capitalfrom abroad.
The problem, both for journalists and for bloggers, is that we’re all being hit hard by the economic meltdown ourselves, making the act of writing into a financial drain on those we support.For my own part, I’m responsible for salaries and for keeping up on overhead for office and equipment at my documentary production company.For many journalists, their means of plying their trade, the newspapers of America, are failing at a record rate.The bailouts of financial companies and the restructuring of automakers, while tremendous fodder for discussion, are not replicated in our world of the art and media of political and social subjects.
by Damozel | Truthfully? I don't believe for a second that the cartoon was inspired by any racist animus or that the dead chimp portrayed as the author of the stimulus package was meant to be Barack Obama. I think it was unfunny and even slightly ewww (because: violentlydead chimp) and in poor taste and on the whole reflective of a certain unawareness to areas of sensitivity, but... intentional?
by Deb Cupples| Yesterday, Hustler publisher Larry Flint and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Frances said that they plan to ask Congress for $5 billion to bail out the adult-entertainment industry. Mr. Flint is such a delightful smart a... alec, that's it, smart alec.
And he's very effective at making political statements. Remember when he beat Jerry Falwell in the U.S. Supreme Court? (See Hustler Magazine v. Falwell)
CNN reports on the tongue-in-cheek, porn-industry bailout:
by Damozel | Conservative Andrew Breitbart intends to start a new website on which conservatives will review films. Derrierism, a new school of film criticism that Jon Swift identified in August 2007---and a tag which made its way into the Urban Dictionary--- has evolved from "an esoteric school of film criticism championed by a few forward-thinking critics." (Swift 12-9-2008). Quoting extensively from Mr. Swift, the Urban Dictionary defines derrierism as follows:
by Damozel | This is a sad day and a great loss to us all. Paul Newman was a charismatic, enthralling actor. Many of his characters became American icons. Our condolences to Mr. Newman's family, friends and fans.
Much more than that, Paul Newman was a true humanitarian, who actually devoted his time and money to bettering the lives of people in need. The company that Mr. Newman founded 25 years ago (Newman's Own) has generated and donated more than $250 million in proceeds to charities.
Though Newman's company and foundation still live on, our world will be lesser for Newman's absence. There's a bit on Mr. Newman's career and personal life after the jump.
by Deb Cupples | Yesterday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd pointed out the absurdity of some reactions to New Yorker magazine's recent cover -- the one that satirized some people's absurd perceptions of Sen. Barack Obama and distracted many people from the well-researched article beyond the cover.
Ms. Dowd also pointed out that even some humorists (whose irreverence has nourished many Americans) are feeling uncomfortable these days about really letting loose:
by Damozel | I admit it. I am afraid I thought the infamous cover
was hilarious. It didn’t occur to me till the condemnation started
rolling in that it could be detrimental to Obama in the wrong hands. I
can’t imagine that anyone with a sense of context (or humor) could
possibly have taken it as anything but a knock at those who buy into
attempts to demonize Obama.
But I understand the concern of those such
as Jesse Taylor at Pandagon
who perfectly well understand the intent while still feeling concerned
that the cover might just give legs to the rumors. And if you don’t
believe that there is a segment of the public prepared to swear that
the cover is an absolutely literal and accurate accurate depiction of
the secret life of the Obamas , see here, here, and here. Finally, there's a good piece today by SilentPatriot at C&L about why some people are so upset about the cover that may pretty much undercut what I've written here. You decide.
by Deb Cupples| The most recent edition of New Yorker
Magazine has an incredibly detailed article about Barack Obama's early
years -- how he evolved as a politician in Chicago.
Given that Obama may be our next president, it's certainly information that voters might find interesting.
Unfortunately, the article will likely get little attention, because
the magazine's illustrator drew the cover pictured to the left.
Yes, you're seeing it correctly: there's a flag in the fireplace, Barack is in foreign garb, and Michelle has a gun slung across her back as she bumps fists with her husband.
Barry Blitt, the artist who drew the cover, explained his motives in an email to a Huffington Post writer:
by Damozel | John Cole is baffled by the intransigence of Dems, including many recent Obama supporters, who have bashed Obama's every move since the nomination.
The continued intransigence of left-wing bloggers and liberal
Democratic interest groups that make up part of the Democratic voting
block remains completely and totally mystifying to me. The utter
unwillingness to allow Obama any latitude in framing his positions on
issues so that they are more palatable to independent voters, demanding
that he adhere to strict and rigid positions with no room for movement
or nuance, appears to me to be an unwitting sabotage of a candidate who
has always been a center-left pragmatist. Any slight deviation from
orthodoxy, real or perceived...is met with derision, assaults on his integrity, and charges of