January 11, 2012

THR's 2012 Digital Power 50

Glenn Beck
Radio host and political commentator
Glenn Beck
Beck ended his Fox news show june 30 amid declining ratings and an advertiser boycott. By September, he had launched GBTV, about which Wall Street analyst Richard Greenfield wrote, "Pay attention to Glenn Beck -- he's about to turn the media world upside down." Two weeks later, GBTV, which applies the cable model to an online property, boasted 230,000 subscribers, each paying $5 to $10 per month.
Beck's digital assets also include TheBlaze.com, a conservative news site that attracts 5 million uniques a month (according to comScore), and Markdown.com, where NASCAR tickets, NRA memberships and more go for deep discounts. "I don't consider [it] a digital company," Beck, 47, told an industry conference in November. "I consider ourselves more a storytelling company and a content company. The way we deliver it is secondary." He also suggested that his focus on a new type of media empire may be three to five years ahead of its time. Says Beck, "We are on the verge of revolution."

Can we deport the whole family? PLEASE!!!

Obama uncle seeks police officer’s driving record

By Associated Press
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 
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Onyango Obama
BOSTON — A lawyer for President Barack Obama’s uncle, an illegal immigrant who is charged with drunken driving, said today that he will ask prosecutors to turn over the driving record of the police officer who stopped him.
Onyango Obama, 67, the half brother of the president’s late father, was charged with drunken driving in Framingham in August.

In a written police report, Officer Val Krishtal said he stopped Obama after Obama rolled through a stop sign and nearly caused his police cruiser to strike Obama’s SUV. Krishtal said Obama failed several sobriety tests and blew a reading of 0.14 percent on a blood-alcohol test, which is above the state’s legal driving limit of 0.08 percent.
Police said that after being booked at the police station,
Obama was asked whether he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail. "I think I will call the White House," he stated, according to the police report.

Defense attorney P. Scott Bratton, citing a car crash Krishtal had in November, said he plans to ask prosecutors in court Thursday to turn over the portions of Krishtal’s personnel file that mention any internal affairs investigation into Krishtal’s on-duty driving record.

Krishtal was injured Nov. 22 when he lost control of his police cruiser and crashed into a stone wall while responding to reports of gunshots.
Framingham police declined to comment Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said prosecutors are not opposed to turning over records related to any crashes Krishtal was involved in while on duty. She declined to comment before Thursday’s hearing on any police internal affairs reports related to Krishtal’s driving record.
Obama’s lawyer said earlier that he plans to challenge the traffic stop that led to his client’s arrest. Bratton maintains that Obama was not committing any motor vehicle violation at the time so police did not have the right to stop him.
Obama, who is originally from Kenya, has pleaded not guilty to operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

The president refers in his memoir "Dreams from My Father" to an Uncle Omar, who matches Onyango Obama’s background and has the same date of birth.

Obama initially was held without bail on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on allegations he violated an order to return to Kenya 20 years ago. He was later released and has been ordered to regularly check in with immigration officials.

The White House has said it expects Obama’s arrest to be handled like any other case.

Onyango Obama is the brother of Zeituni Onyango, the president’s aunt, who lives in Boston. Zeituni Onyango came to the United States from Kenya in 2000 and was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004. She stayed in the country illegally and was granted asylum in 2010 by a judge who found she could be a target in Kenya.

Top 10 Conservative Movies of the Modern Era

AP Graphics
By Nile Gardiner, Telegraph

Two years ago I produced a list of the top 10 conservative movies of the last decade, which sparked a good deal of debate among film fans on both sides of the Atlantic. I’ve produced a sequel, a list of the ten best conservative films of the last half-century, from the 1960s onwards. I plan to eventually write a list of the top ten conservative films of all time, where the likes of On the Waterfront (1954) and High Noon (1952) will certainly be leading candidates for inclusion.
Below are films that conservatives can be taken to heart in both the United States and Great Britain, movies that celebrate conservative values, the defence of the free world, deep-seated patriotism and individual liberty.
1. Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, 1981)

Chariots of Fire is one of the greatest British films of all time, and a truly conservative masterpiece. It received seven Academy Award nominations in 1982, winning four including Best Picture, Score (by Vangelis), Original Screenplay and Costume Design, and also went on to win Best Film at the BAFTAS. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson played the athletes Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell who competed for Britain in the 1924 Paris Olympics, both winning gold medals, in the 100 Metres and 400 Metres respectively. The superb supporting cast included Sir Ian Holm, Sir John Gielgud, Nigel Havers, Patrick Magee and Lindsay Anderson. Chariots of Fire exudes patriotism, tradition, faith, honour and sacrifice in a magnificently inspiring motion picture that captured the hearts of cinema goers all over the world. Produced by David Puttnam, Chariots led a renaissance of British cinema in the 1980s, including a string of major hits including Gandhi, A Passage to India, The Mission, and The Killing Fields. In accepting his Oscar, the film's writer Colin Welland famously declared "the British are coming" – and how right he was.

2. Zulu (Cy Endfield, 1964)

Arguably the most influential war film of the modern era, Zulu is a magnificent tribute to the tremendous bravery of the 140 British soldiers of the 24th Regiment of Foot who defended the small mission post at Rorke’s Drift, Natal, in the face of thousands of Zulu attackers during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879, winning 11 Victoria Crosses in the process. At the same time the film honours the great courage of the Zulu impis, who died in the hundreds during the battle. The film featured a breakout performance by a young Michael Caine, who brilliantly played Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, alongside Stanley Baker’s Lieutenant John Chard, stunning cinematography by Stephen Dade and a rousing score by John Barry. Made in the dying days of the British Empire in Africa, Zulu was strikingly old-fashioned even for its day, in its heroic depiction of the British warrior ethos at the height of the Victorian era. Zulu is one of the only films of the modern age that chose not to condemn or vilify Britain's imperial heritage, but instead highlighted the extraordinary courage of the men who fought and died in defence of the largest and most benevolent Empire the world had ever seen.

3. Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998)

Steven Spielberg has made some of the best and biggest movies of the last four decades: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List to name but a few. His finest film though is Saving Private Ryan, inexplicably overlooked for Best Picture at the 1999 Academy Awards in favour of Shakespeare in Love. His soaring tribute to the bravery of American soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy in June 1944 was a powerful reminder of the huge sacrifices made by an earlier generation in the defence of freedom. It is a reminder that the defence of liberty comes at great cost. It should be essential viewing for every US president as he takes office. It is a truly humbling film that depicts the horror of war in unflinching detail while illustrating the magnificent courage of those who laid down their lives for the United States on the European battlefields of World War Two.

4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir, 2003)

Peter Weir’s unashamedly old-fashioned and visually stunning adaptation of Patrick O’Brian’s novel is one of the greatest odes to leadership ever committed to celluloid. Australian director Weir has made many terrific films, including Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society, The Year of Living Dangerously, and Witness, but Master and Commander was the pinnacle of his career so far. Nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, it should be essential viewing for any Commander-In-Chief. Russell Crowe delivers a immensely powerful performance as Jack Aubrey, Captain of HMS Surprise, a British warship that hunts and ultimately captures a far larger French adversary during the Napoleonic Wars. Set in 1805, it is an epic tale of heroism and love for country in the face of incredible odds, and a glowing tribute to the grit and determination that forged the British Empire. Needless to say, it should be shown at the next EU summit by the UK delegation for the benefit of Nicolas Sarkozy when he gets on his high horse and starts lecturing Britain about French superiority.

5. Rocky (John G. Avildsen, 1976)

Sylvester Stallone has been one of the most successful conservative movie stars of his generation, and rose to fame in the 1977 Best Picture winner Rocky. Made for less than $1 million, Rocky was the underdog that went on to beat All The President’s Men, Taxi Driver and Network at the Oscars, with Stallone nominated for Best Actor for his performance as humble boxer Rocky Balboa who rises from poverty to become a world champion. The film sparked five sequels, culminating in the terrific Rocky Balboa in 2006, and the series has pulled in more than $1 billion at the US and worldwide box office combined. Produced largely on location in Philadelphia (out of the reach of the powerful film industry unions), and featuring a dynamite score by Bill Conti, Rocky was an incredible success filmed in the space of just 30 days. Conservative to the core and deeply patriotic in outlook, the Rocky films are a celebration of American values and individualism, and have come to embody the nation’s tremendous fighting spirit and love of liberty.

Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/conservative-movies/2012/01/11/top-10-conservative-movies-modern-era#ixzz1jC0Ho6Oi

Top 5 ‘let them eat cake’ moments of the Obama White House

President Obama holds hands with his daughters Malia (left) and Sasha as they leave Sea Life Park, a marine wildlife park, with family friends on Dec. 27 in Waimanalo, Hawaii. (Associated Press)President Obama holds hands with his daughters Malia (left) and Sasha as they leave Sea Life Park, a marine wildlife park, with family friends on Dec. 27 in Waimanalo, Hawaii. (Associated Press)
Michelle Obama may be missing the point.
Responding to a new book by New York Timesreporter Jodi Kantor that characterizes the first lady as an occasionally unhappy and stridentWhite House resident, Mrs. Obama said in an interview broadcast Wednesday on CBS that people have inaccurately tried to portray her as “some kind of angry black woman” and that “I love this job. It has been a privilege from day one.”
Missing in Mrs. Obama’s self-defense, which primarily pushed back against reports of tension between her and President Obama’s top aides?
A rebuttal to ongoing criticism that the Obamas have seemed out of economic touch with a nation struggling with high unemployment and the ongoing fallout of the Great Recession.
Case in point: Ms. Kantor’s book depicts a lavish, unpublicized 2009 “Alice in Wonderland” White House Halloween party featuring directorTim Burton and actor Johnny Depp, a soiree that has drawn negative scrutiny for taking place during the deepest dip of the economic downturn.
As Nancy Reagan once learned after being blasted for buying priceyWhite House china during a recession, both political opponents and the general public can quickly turn against presidential glamour — at least when it comes off as less Jackie Kennedy than Marie Antoinette.
Herein, a guide to Mr. and Mrs. Obama’s top “Let Them Eat Cake” controversies:
1. The Pain in Spain
Incident: The first lady and daughter Sasha took a five-day trip to southern Spain, shopping, visiting coastal towns and lunching with the nation’s king and queen.
Criticism: Mrs. Obama and her daughter stayed at a five-star coastal resort where rooms run from $400 to almost $7,000 per night and the first lady was photographed wearing an off-the-shoulder top from pricey designer Jean Paul Gaultier, causing critics to blast the seeming show of extravagance during a period of 9.5 percent unemployment.
Infuriating fact: While the Obamas paid their own way for the trip, American taxpayers picked up the estimated $250,000 security tab.
Infuriating fact II: The White House had dubbed it “Recovery Summer.” D’oh!
Mitigating fact: Mrs. Obama reportedly went to Spain to comfort a friend whose father had recently died and whose daughter, a friend of Sasha‘s, always had wanted to celebrate her birthday in the country.
Quotable: New York Daily News writer Andrea Tantaros labeled Mrs. Obama “more like a modern-day Marie Antoinette than an average mother of two” and noted that “the trip and glitzy destination contrasted with President Obama’s demonization of the rich that smacks of hypocrisy.”
Cake rating: Three slices out of five. Nothing wrong with a sun-splashed getaway, let alone consoling a friend, but Mrs. Obama’s advisers should have known better than to take a posh trip to coastalSpain — hello, envy alert! — in August, which traditionally is the slow, silly season for national news.
2. Date Fright
Incident: Mr. and Mrs. Obama jetted up to New York City for a “date night” — dinner and a Broadway play — in May, 2009.
Criticism: Conservative commentators and Republican officials slagged the president for having a flashy night on the town during a recession.
Infuriating fact: A few months earlier, executives from the struggling, bailed-out American auto industry were widely criticized for traveling to Washington hearings in expensive private jets. Why should Mr. Obama get a free pass?
Mitigating fact: Mr. and Mrs. Obama seem to have a, you know, loving marriage.
Quotable: Said Rick Santorum: “I think [Mr. Obama] has to realize that flying to New York is self-indulgent. Go down to the corner bar and have a drink, a shot and a beer. It does not matter where you go with your wife, it’s with your wife. That’s really the point.”
Cake rating: Zero slices. In a harried, fast-paced world where romance is more or less dead - sorry, did you just propose to me? I was checking my iPhone - bashing the president for being a good husband is just tacky.
3. Concerted Efforts
Incident: In May of last year, the Obamas held a “celebration of poetry and prose” party in the East Room of the White House, with Chicago rapper Common among the invited guests.
Criticism: Common — real name: Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. — wrote a song honoring Assata Shakur, a convicted-cop killer and fugitive former Black Panther now living in Cuba; the rapper also expressed public support for convicted murderer and controversial cause celebre Mumia Abu-Jamal. A spokesman for the New Jersey State Police union blasted the White House.
Mitigating fact: Among hip-hop fans, Common is known for thoughtful, positive and literate music; he also does charitable work with poor children in Chicago.
Quotable: “The young people who read this stuff, hear this stuff, are getting a very dangerous and deadly message,” said president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association union David Jones, referring to Common’s lyrics.
Cake rating: One cupcake. A little tone deaf when it comes to law enforcement, sure, but hardly a textbook Let Them Eat Cake moment - in fact, it was a lot less annoying from a have-and-have-not standpoint than the time the Dow plummeted on the same day that Stevie Wonder, Charles Barkley, Jay-Z, Tom Hanks, Emmitt Smith and others partied at the White House.
4. Hawaii Five-Oh No
Incident: The Obamas took a 17-day trip Hawaii at the end of last year, the family’s annual Christmas vacation.
Criticism: Actually, Mr. Obama didn’t receive much flak — well, except for a report in the National Enquirer that claimed the president wanted to take a cheaper, less extravagant trip to Camp David in Maryland, but was overruled by Mrs. Obama, whose spending “has spiraled completely out of control.”
Infuriating fact: According to the U.K. Daily Mail, the cost of a private beachfront vacation home in Kailua, Oahu is $75,000 a month; the Hawaii Reporter reported that a similar Obama vacation in 2010 cost nearly $1.5 million.
Mitigating fact: Well, the president is from Hawaii. Or is he? (Just kidding, Birtherism is so 2011).
Cake rating: One slice. Not that they’re always wrong, but seriously, it’s the National Enquirer. Besides, nobody seems to begrudge Mr. Obama visiting his childhood home - is it his fault said home is a tropical island paradise?
5. Island of Misadventure
Incident: With the White House still working on an unfinished jobs plan, Mr. Obama took a vacation to the resort island of Martha’s Vineyard last August.
Criticism: Mr. Obama arrived on the island just as the stock market tanked and opinion polls showed a large majority of Americans being unhappy with the state of the country.
Infuriating fact: Mr. Obama used two helicopters and Air Force One to get to the island; Mrs. Obamaand her daughters took a separate military jet and motorcade to arrive on the island four hours before her husband.
Quotable: Sarah Palin called the president “tone deaf,” adding that she wouldn’t go on vacation if she was Mr. Obama, “especially to Martha’s Vineyard.”
Cake rating: Two and a half slices. On one hand, the two-jets thing is pretty galling for anyone who has to take the bus or carpool; on the other, Martha’s Vineyard may have a reputation as a wealthy liberal enclave, but it’s not exactly Palace of Versailles ostentatious.