President Obama To Talk Education With ‘Waiting For Superman’ Director

President Barack Obama has agreed to a discussion on education with students alongside Davis Guggenheim, the director of the controversial documentary Waiting for Superman, covering the plight of public school students to get into charter schools.

Jake Tapper over at ABC’s Political Punch is reporting that the meeting will occur on Monday and the President will be talking to both the director and the students profiled in the documentary film. The conversation will be private. According to the blog, the relationship between the administration and the filmmakers appears positive to the extent that those in the administration have spoken about it (Education Secretary Arne Duncan called it a “Rosa Parks moment), but the film’s take on traditionally Democratic labor unions and depiction of charter schools– and the lotteries children register for to get into them– have not won it unanimous support from the left.

Below is the trailer for the film, set for release this fall:

Report: President Obama Has Book Thrown At Him During Campaign Stop

President Obama kicked off a busy week of campaigning yesterday by speaking at a political rally in Philadelphia. But energizing his base in advance of the coming midterm elections was not the most interesting part of the event; that would be the alleged security breach that allowed someone to throw a book at Mr. Obama as he finished speaking. Scandal!

The Daily Mail reports:

This is the astonishing moment a book was apparently hurled at the head of U.S. President Barack Obama during a campaign rally in Philadelphia.

The flying missile narrowly missed hitting the President yesterday.

It is not clear what the book was, where it came from in the crowd, or why it was thrown at Mr Obama – who did not appear to notice the danger.

But it is expected that there will be fallout from the security breach as the Secret Service investigates how close the President came to danger.

This wasn’t even the oddest thing to occur at the political rally. There are other reports that a naked man was arrested at the event in attempt to claim a $1 million dollar reward promised to the first person to streak at an Obama event from an Internet entrepreneur (evidenced by the URL scrawled across the streaker’s chest.)

Video of the book incident is below; look for a flying object coming into screen at around the :22 mark.

Anderson Cooper Gets Rare Access To Eminem For 60 Minutes Profile

Anderson Cooper returned to his slot as occasional 60 Minutes contributor this week, gaining rare access to award-winning rapper Eminem.

The Detroit native brought the CNN host around his former neighborhood, and taught him the proper way a person can in fact find a rhyme for “orange.”

Eminem and Cooper walked around the “8 Mile” area of Detroit, including a stop at a club he used to do rap battle in. As can be expected from a show like 60 Minutes, and likely knowing its audience, this is how “rap battles” was explained: “One on one verbal fights where the goal was to come up with the cleverest rhymes and the best insults.”

Eminem brought Cooper into his private recording studio as well, where he explained how to bend words. “People say that the word orange doesn’t rhyme with anything,’ said Eminem. “And that kind of pisses me off because I can think of a lot of things that rhyme with orange.” He proceeded to put this into practice, saying, “I put my orange, four inch, door hinge, in storage, and ate porridge, with George.”

Eminem also showed his very un-Jay-Z-like practice of keeping “hundred of scrapes of papers in which he’s obsessively scrawled down words and phrases,” which he brought out for the cameras. The whole report used Eminem’s comeback concert earlier this year in Detroit as a backdrop, where the artist was performing for the first time sober (which he has been for two-and-a-half years).

Viewers can also see this behind-the-scenes, peel-back-the-curtain extra video on CBSNews.com, where Cooper jokes about how “ridiculous” the forced walking shots in these types of reports are.

Here’s the full interview:

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Carl Paladino Attacks Gays: Children Shouldn’t Be “Brainwashed” Into Homosexuality

Apparently Carl Paladino has officially entered the crash and burn stage of his candidacy for Governor of New York. Here’s what Paladino told a group of Hasidic Jewish leaders in the Williamsburg of Brooklyn today as reported by the the New York Times.

“That’s not how God created us,” he said, reading from a prepared address. “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.”

And then, to applause at Congregation Shaarei Chaim, he said: “I didn’t march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our children.”

Newsday.com reported that Mr. Paladino’s prepared text had included the sentence: “There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.” But Mr. Paladino omitted that statement when he gave the speech.

It’s hard to know where to begin here. So let’s just begin with the fact that anti-gay attacks have been on the rise in New York City recently and that over the weekend seven men were arrested in the Bronx for luring a gay man to a house there and then attacking and torturing him (he was sodomized, burned and whipped).

But fear not, Carl Paladino is not “anti-gay” according to his campaign manager Michael Caputo, he’s merely expressing the “views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic…Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church.” Indeed. Also? “The majority of New Yorkers agree with him.” Really? I would like to see numbers on that because I have a hard time believing that even the majority of typically more conservative upstate New Yorkers think that children can be “brainwashed” into believing they are gay. Or even that the tenor of Paladino’s remarks were acceptable from person running for Governor of the State of New York.

Oh wait, the NYT already did a poll: “A recent New York Times/CNN pollfound that 58 percent of people in New York were in favor of gay marriage. Mr. Caputo said that the campaign had done its own polling.” Perhaps the people Paladino “polled” were also the ones on the receiving end of his pornographic emails. Regardless, one thing I am fairly certain of is that if Paladino’s intention here is to motivate a bunch of normally uninvolved NYC liberals into remembering to vote on November 2 than this was a fairly quick way to achieve that goal.

[Pic via]

‘Refudiate’ Returns: Ed Gillespie Uses Palinism In CBS Interview

Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin has influence. If you doubt this, look no further than former Bush adviser Ed Gillespie’s appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation today. In responding to charges that he’s helping to “steal our democracy,” Gillespie resurrected the former Alaska governor’s most infamous malapropism, stating that several newspapers had “refudiated” the claim. Was it a mistake, or the start of a campaign to vindicate Palin by rewriting linguistic history? You be the judge. (h/t Think Progress)


Think Progress, the website that first put the US Chamber of Commerce in the spotlight, points out that the absence of disclosure rules is the real problem:

In fact, neither the Post nor the Times “refudiated” the ThinkProgress report. Both merely quoted Chamber of Commerce officials who only discussed the limited “AmCham” funds, only one of several avenues for foreign funding of the Chamber. Both articles recognized that there is no outside oversight of the Chamber’s money flow. “Money, however, is fungible,” the New York Times editorial board explained, “and it is impossible for an outsider to know whether the group is following its rules.” As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent writes, “The Chamber still hasn’t addressed in any detail the core allegation against it.”

Only Gillespie has made the “charge of illegal criminal activity.” Although it is illegal to solicit foreign funds for electioneering, the essential fact is that there are no disclosure requirements that provide oversight to know whether or not the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is obeying the law. The Chamber successfully lobbied to kill the DISCLOSE Act, which would have closed the loopholes opened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Regarding the Center for American Progress, which Gillespie invokes, Think Progress notes:

Unlike the Chamber, the Koch brothers, and Ed Gillespie, the Center for American Progress strongly supports the DISCLOSE Act and broad campaign finance reform.

In fairness to Gillespie, the NY Times article takes a skeptical view of Think Progress’ charge, at least as recounted by President Obama:

“Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations,” Mr. Obama said. “So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections.”

But a closer examination shows that there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents.

In fact, the controversy over the Chamber of Commerce financing may say more about the Washington spin cycle — where an Internet blog posting can be quickly picked up by like-minded groups and become political fodder for the president himself — than it does about the vagaries of campaign finance.

This conclusion completely misses the point, however. The problem isn’t the US Chamber of Commerce, but rather, the flaw in campaign finance rules that it reveals.

Hopefully, though, we can all agree on one thing here: “refudiate” still isn’t a word.

Great Moments In Journalism: ‘Long Island Lolita’ Turned Porn Star Amy Fisher On Fox News

Yes: it’s true: Geraldo At Large has somehow, inexplicably managed to land the interview of the century, if by “century” you mean “1992″: “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher, the New York native that captured America’s heart and Joey Buttafuoco’s wallet before shooting down and attempting to kill his wife, Mary Joe. Here’s everything you need to know about her new porn movie, Deep Inside Amy Fisher.

Fisher sat down with Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle to catch America up on her life since we last saw her, when she was merely the minor that brought down random American body shop owner Joey Buttafuoco in the early ’90s (apparently they had silly news cycles back then, too). Buttafuoco, of course, has had a fruitful career as star of Celebrity Boxing and as plaintiff on the Judge Jeanine Pirro show. Fisher seems to have been only slightly more savvy with her unexpected fame, becoming the “victim” of a sex tape and, now, finally, accepting her true calling as a porn star. “At some point,” she explains, “it just seemed like a really good idea.”

Fisher also explains that she is a good mom of three kids, her “children have nothing to do with my career,” that she has “a lot of fans” (perhaps given her charity appearance at a Long Island strip club after the earthquake in Haiti?), and that while she has “moved on” from her past, “it’s the mainstream media that doesn’t move forward.” Ah, that darned Mainstream Media strikes again.

The whole thing is quite bizarre. Guilfoyle actually holds up a copy of Fisher’s porn DVD, Home Shopping Network-style. Fisher calls anyone who claims not to own it hypocrites. Geraldo Rivera seems to agree. Watch the whole thing (via Fox News) below:

Bill Maher: Osama Bin Laden ‘Gets’ Global Warming ‘Better Than Every Republican’

Bill Maher has in one phrase probably done more damage to the global warming movement than climate change skeptics could have ever imagined to themselves. Trying to argue that believing in global warming was elementary for any educated person, he quoted Osama bin Laden saying in one of his underground (literally) videos that “the phenomenon is an actual fact.”

Bin Laden was speaking about the recent tragic floods in Pakistan, noting that “industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis.” Maher lauded this comment, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way, and used it to condemn Republicans that express skepticism about the existence of global warming: “a guy in a cave gets it better than every Republican voting for the Senate!”

The conservatives on his panel, of course, were not amused. P.J. O’Rourke, who argues that there’s no point in worrying about global warming because there is nothing human beings can do about it anyway, mocked him saying, “I was a skeptic before, but now I’m convinced!” S.E. Cupp took a more substantive approach to the discussion, noting that the only reason Bin Laden supports global warming research is that it promotes his “meme” that the West and, specifically, America, are destroying the earth. Global warming “is a rich man’s problem,” she noted, “the United States caused it.”

The comments from Friday’s Real Time via HBO below: