Tag Archive: Barack Obama


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President Barack Obama’s second inaugural ushered in some of music’s biggest names, and while cold temperatures typically turn these events into pea coat parades, this year featured both gorgeous formal and casual attire on stars like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry.
Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson Add Soaring Voices to Obama’s Inauguration

The inauguration of the United States president is a celebrated event indeed, even if it’s effectively tjhe follow-up to what was a landmark occasion four years ago. But if there’s anyone who can bring the (white) house down, it’s one of America’s most beloved singing ladies, the first American Idol, a songwriting legend and a showstopping choir.

The Marines are backing away from an eye-opening claim that Beyonce “did not actually sing” the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Monday.

The jig is up. It took less than 24 hours for news to break that Beyoncé‘s striking live performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the inaugural ceremonies for President Barack Obama on Monday might have merely a lip-synced run-through of a track she recorded earlier.

The news is a shocker, considering the R&B queen is no stranger to big stages and annihilating them in real time. It’s important to note that she did sing the National Anthem at the 2004 Superbowl live (at least, wethink she did).

It’s a big deal. In a musical feats of strength contest, the National Anthem is arguably one of the heaviest weights to lift. Artists ranging from the likes of Christina Aguilera to Steven Tyler to Roseanne Barr can vouch for that. It’s understandable that any artist who doesn’t think they could do it justice pre-record their performance. Read more here http://bit.ly/VYOGU0

10 Worst National Anthem Performances Ever

Still, it’s the anthem. A song about the strength of its country should always be sung live to prove that very point over and over again — especially on a stage that is reinstating the nation’s leader. Not to mention that the leader is a man she’s supported since he decided to make his first term run.

 

Cool Stuff From A To Z in 2012

A TO Z OF 2012

From Korean pop sensations to rain-soaked flotillas, David Whitehouse presents our guide to a momentous year

A

APOCALYPSE

The Mayans believe that 21 December 2012 represents the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and thus the end of the world. If it’s now after that date and you are reading this, it turned out to be nonsense. If you’re not reading this, everyone you’ve ever loved is dead. Or you forgot to pick up ShortList.

B

BBC IN PIECES

BBC Director General George Entwistle resigned in November after just 54 days in charge of the Beeb, after Newsnight falsely implicated Lord McAlpine in a child sex abuse scandal. On ITV, Phillip Schofield hijacked the PM live on air with a list of people who might be paedophiles. The next day he was back talking about love triangles in Corrie.

C

CURIOSITY ROVER

On 6 August we put a car-sized robot on Mars. It studied rocks, took soil samples and prompted everyone on Twitter to make the same gag about Johnny Five from Short Circuit.

D

DANDY

On 4 December, legendary children’s comic The Dandy, home of Desperate Dan, printed its last issue after 75 years on newsagents’ shelves. In the Fifties, it sold two million copies, but figures had fallen to below 8,000. The final edition had an appearance by Sir Paul McCartney. Presumably he’d turned up just to blame the death of another British institution on Yoko Ono.

E

EROTIC FICTION

EL James’ Fifty Shades Of Grey series became a publishing phenomenon, selling 60 million copies worldwide and spawning far too many copycats. It became a commuting classic. And yet when ShortList writers flaunt their arousal publicly, they’re ejected from the swimming baths.

F

FRESCO JESUS

‘Ecce Homo (Behold The Man)’ by Elias Garcia Martinez was so stunning a painting of Jesus that it held pride of place in Sanctuary Of Mercy Church near Zaragoza for more than 100 years. Noticing it was suffering the deteriorating effects of moisture, octogenarian Cecilia Gimenez gave it an unauthorised touch-up. The results, which went viral, meant the world knew what the life of Christ would have looked like if filmed by Jim Henson’sCreature Shop.

G

GEORGE LUCAS SELLS STAR WARS

Star Wars fans everywhere were shaken by November’s news that George Lucas had sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4bn. “How dare he sell out!” cried many, into mobile handsets currently advertised by Yoda.

H

HIGGS BOSON

They call it The God Particle, and something that might be it turned up in the Large Hadron Collider in July. Apparently, its existence will greatly enhance our understanding of the universe. Hang on, are we confusing this with a Dan Brown book?

I

IPHONE 5

According to Bing, the most searched term of 2012 was ‘iPhone 5’. Apple addicts were disappointed that it couldn’t project solid holograms that it was possible to make love to. To be honest, we’d probably still buy it if it bullied our dog.

J

JIMMY SAVILE

Wrestler, DJ, presenter, grotesque.

K

KATE MIDDLETON’S BABY

Within days, its existence had indirectly led to the tragic death of a nurse. A reminder the monarchy still has power, just in a different form.

L

LEVESON

Lord Leveson (played by a friendly, sleepy bear) was asked to conduct an inquiry into media ethics. Everyone came, even Hugh Grant (played by a Hugh Grant impressionist) and Rupert Murdoch (played by a testicle). Lord Leveson found that some people have been treated disgustingly by the press. David Cameron (played by a moist piece of ham) decided to ignore his recommendations anyway.

M

MARK ZUCKERBERG FLOATS FACEBOOK

On 17 May, Facebook achieved the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company – $104bn. Finally, a price had been placed on that most primal human instinct… the urge to see your ex’s new partner and confirm they’re fat. Worth every penny.

N

NEW YORK

Hurricane Sandy showed up in New York in October, part of a journey that would take 253 lives and cause damage costing $65.6bn. So, around half a Facebook. Once more, a city we’re used to seeing decimated in films looked like so many CGI versions of itself. We were disappointed the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man didn’t turn up.

O

OLYMPICS

Olympians, Paralympians and the great British public conspired to create something beautiful, enormous and inspiring, something it was impossible to moan about. For a second, we even quite enjoyed dressage, a sport in which a horse looks like it’s trying to make a difficult decision. Strange times.

P

PUSSY RIOT

On 21 February, Russian feminist punk-rock collective Pussy Riot performed an anti-Putin song at a Moscow cathedral. Two members were eventually sent to prison. Huw Edwards almost went into spasm as he was forced to say the word ‘pussy’ over and over again on BBC News.

Q

QUEEN’S JUBILEE

Gary Barlow waved a final goodbye as he disappeared into the Queen’s bottom. Music by Brian May.

R

RACISM IN FOOTBALL

As the beautiful game was dragged through the court, an ugly head was reared. From some angles it looked like John Terry’s.

S

SYRIA

A nation kills its own. The world watches.

T

TAX AVOIDANCE

We could all learn lessons in saving money from the following in these times of austerity, who, thanks to legal loopholes, allegedly haven’t been paying as much tax as they should. Step forward Amazon, Starbucks, Jimmy Carr, Chris Moyles, Gary Barlow and many more. Three cheers, guys.

U

US ELECTION

Barack Obama scraped into four more years as US president, surprising many Republicans. They shouldn’t have been that shocked: their nominee had been filmed dismissing 47 per cent of the population, and some of their congressmen had 18th-century opinions on rape. In a sensible world, Obama would have been voted in with a landslide even if he’d had experimental breast implants.

V

VATICAN MEETS TWITTER

The Pope appeared on Twitter as @pontifex. For a while he said nothing, and as such there was no evidence that he actually exists. Seemed apt.

W

WIGGINS

In 2012, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and Olympic gold, then got knocked off his bike going past a garage. British achievement will always be weighted by a sense of Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em.

X

X-RATED ROYALTY

August, and phone pics emerged of Prince Harry naked at a party in Las Vegas. A month later, topless pictures of Kate Middleton were published in France. At the time of writing, the completion of a Royal Nudity Golden Triumvirate is yet to

be completed, with Prince Edward’s purple ruddy arse still under wraps.

Y

YOUTUBE’S BIGGEST EVER VIDEO

South Korean pop star PSY’s Gangnam Style, would have made an excellent soundtrack to a You’ve Been Framed video of a dog fruitlessly humping the air. Instead it reached more than one billion YouTube hits and is still raising the number of calls made to Dignitas.

Z

ZIPWIRE BORIS

New York’s mayor tackles crime and nudges the city to recovery after a superstorm. London’s gets dangled from a zipwire he’s too fat to use like a piñata fill of bon mots.

 

— articles and image taken from shortlist.com

 

Top 10 Most Popular Celebrities on Social Media

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Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber edged out Lady Gaga to take the title of reigning social-media king this week.
With nearly 31.5 million Twitter followers, close to 49 million Facebook fans, and 3.2 billion views on his YouTube channel, Bieber tops the list of most popular celebrities on social media, according to data aggregator Starcount.Over the last week, the singer gained 300,000 Twitter followers, 600,000 Facebook fans and 24,000 YouTube views, compared with Gaga’s 193,000 followers, 170,000 fans and 5,000 views. Bieber is also trending “much more” than Gaga, Starcount reported.

“Bieber consistently gets more retweets and engagement than any other major star,” it said.

While Justin dominates YouTube with most overall views, he falls slightly behind Gaga, who is the current queen of Twitter with 32 million followers. On Facebook, however, Rihanna outshines her competitors with 64 million fans on Facebook. The R&B singer clocks in at third place overall, this week.

Rounding out the top 10 are: Katy Perry, Shakira, Eminem, U.S. PresidentBarack ObamaBritney SpearsTaylor Swift and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Justin Bieber Music

 

–taken from mashable.com

 

NRA goes on offensive as Americans mourn school shooting

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(Reuters) – The powerful U.S. gun rights lobby went on the offensive on Friday arguing that schools should have armed guards, on a day that Americans remembered the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre with a moment of silence.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, noting that banks and airports are patrolled by armed guards, while schools typically are not.

His remarks – in which he charged that the news media and violent video games shared blame for the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history – were twice interrupted by protesters who unfurled signs and shouted “stop the killing.”

Speaking in Washington, LaPierre urged lawmakers to station armed police officers in all schools by the time students return from the Christmas break in January. LaPierre did not take questions from reporters.

Earlier on Friday, church bells rang out in tree-lined suburban Newtown and up and down the East Coast at 9:30 a.m. EST in memory of the victims of the attack on December 14 in which 28 people, including the gunman, were killed.

LaPierre’s comments came at the end of a week when President Barack Obama commissioned a new White House task force to find a way to quell violence, a challenge in a nation with a strong culture of individual gun ownership.

“We have to have a comprehensive way in which to respond to the mass murder of our children that we saw in Connecticut,” Vice President Joe Biden, who heads the task force, said on Thursday.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms and hundreds of millions of weapons are in private hands.

About 11,100 Americans died in gun-related killings in 2011, not including suicides, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some U.S. lawmakers called for swift passage of an assault weapons ban.

Some Newtown residents have already launched an effort aimed at tightening rules on gun ownership.

“What I feel is a sense of guilt because I’ve been a strong advocate of gun control for years,” said John Dewees, 61, who was in downtown Newtown, where a makeshift memorial rose several feet around two Christmas trees with teddy bears and flower bouquets. “I wish I’d been more vocal. You wonder, had we all been, could we have averted this?”

SHATTERED ILLUSION OF SAFETY

The attack, which killed 20 first graders ages 6 and 7, shattered the illusion of safety in this close-knit town of 27,000 people where many residents knew someone affected by the attacks.

“There’s just so many connections,” said Jay Petrusaitis, whose son was in the same high school class as the gunman.

Churches as far south as Florida and at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., rang their bells.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy had called for residents of his state to observe the moment of silence to mark a week since a 20-year-old gunman killed his mother and then stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School. He killed a total of 28 people that day, including six school teachers and staff in a rampage that ended when he turned his gun on himself.

Governors in Maine, Illinois, Michigan and several other states also called for moments of silence.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, used a military-style assault rifle and police said he carried hundreds of bullets in high-capacity magazines, as well as two handguns. The weapons were legally purchased and registered to his mother, Nancy, his first victim.

(Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Will Dunham and Vicki Allen)

The runners-up: Malala Yousafzai, Tim Cook, Mohamed Morsi and Fabiola Gianotti.

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Barack Obama is Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2012.

The president, featured in profile on the cover of the silver-bordered issue, was chosen a second time around (he previously received the title in ’08) for “finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union,” says Time editorRick Stengel.

“Obama is the first Democratic President since FDR to win more than 50 percent of the vote in consecutive elections and the first President since 1940 to win re-election with an unemployment rate north of 7.5 percent,” Stengel noted in a statement. “He has stitched together a winning coalition and perhaps a governing one as well. His presidency spells the end of the Reagan realignment that had defined American politics for 30 years. We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America.”

EXCLUSIVE: 4 Hollywood Donors on Obama Shortlist for Ambassador Jobs

This year’s Person of the Year runners-up are: Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai (No. 2); Apple CEO Tim Cook (No. 3); Egypt president Mohamed Morsi (No. 4); and Italian particle physicist Fabiola Gianotti at No. 5. They’re each featured on four additional covers inside the magazine.

Obama, meanwhile, has given an interview to Time, which also published new White House photos including one of the president working on his Dec. 16 Newtown speech while attending daughterSasha‘s ballet rehearsal.

“2012 may have been more satisfying a win than 2008…. I think it was easy to think that maybe 2008 was the anomaly, and I think 2012 was an indication that, no, this is not an anomaly,” Obama said. “We’ve gone through a very difficult time. The American people have rightly been frustrated at the pace of change, and the economy is still struggling, and this President we elected is imperfect, and yet, despite all that, this is who we want to be. That’s a good thing.”

 

(image from time magazine. article by hollywoodreporter.com)

YouTube’s Top Ten Viral Videos of 2012

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It’s harder to stumble into viral video fame these days. But YouTube has just released a list of the top ten videos that managed to find massive viral viewership this year. Five years ago, when YouTube pieced together its first list of the year’s top ten videos, many were accidental home videos or amateurish films never designed for widespread consumption, said Kevin Allocca, a trends manager for the company. With nine of the ten videos that made this year’s YouTube list coming from professional producers, making a video that appears to be an accidental hit is becoming increasingly typical. The list was released Tuesday morning. “There are more and more people who know how to build an audience, how to use YouTube,” Allocca said. “There are companies who spend millions and millions of dollars trying to do create these videos.” The only video on this year’s list not professionally produced was “Facebook Parenting,” a brash video that shows a father shooting his daughter’s laptop after she used it to make disparaging and profane remarks about him. It created a wealth of controversy, with some parents appreciating the “hard love” parenting style, while others saying he went overboard. The list, topped by the ubiquitous “Gangnam Style,” was cobbled together primarily by views. But YouTube also considered how many times the video had been shared, parodied and commented on by users. Several other trends emerged from this year’s list, Allocca said. The most-popular videos are generally growing lengthier — this year’s longest, “Kony 2012″ spanned 31 minutes. It also attracted more than 30 million page views during a single day in March, giving it the all-time 24-hour record. Also, more of the videos are drawing worldwide appeal, Allocca said, citing “Gangnam Style.” Its catchy beat crossed oceans, even if many of the listeners had no clue what the lyrics meant. Given the 2012 election, politics certainly tinged this year’s list: videos of Obama and Romney were viewed more than two billion times, according to YouTube. The most popular video? “Epic Rap Battles: Obama vs. Romney,” which featured two hilarious rappers — albeit ones that didn’t look much like the candidates. “I’m not gonna let this battle be dictated by facts,” a Romney impersonator rhymes to open the video. “I’m rich. I’ve got fat stacks and super PACs.” Here are this year’s top 10 videos, along with brief descriptions. What were your favorites? What videos should have been included?

1) PSY – Gangnam Style: Do you know what this video is really about? Do you care? Just keep dancing.

2) Walk off the Earth: This was the year’s most popular cover song, with more than 140 million views.

3) KONY 2012: Even though this video lasted more than 30 minutes, it attracted more than 30 million viewers during a single day in March, giving it the all-time 24 hour record.

4) Call Me Maybe – Bieber, Gomez, Pena: Even economic writers were using the lyrics of this song to explain the complications of the euro zone crisis.

5) Epic Rap Battles – Obama vs. Romney: Why watch the candidates discuss substantive issues when you can watch impersonators blend half-truthful caricatures into hilarious rap battles?

6) Dramatic Surprise: More people watched this video of a mysterious sign in the middle of a Flemish square than the population. Keep calm and carry on, people.

7) Why You Asking All Them Questions: Why do girls ask so many questions? Why did more than 39 million people watch this video? Where did they get that delicious fried chicken?

8) Lindsey Stirling: C’mon. You knew dubstep  – mixed with a violin — would be on the list. Right? Welcome to 2012.

9) Facebook Parenting: This dad, whose daughter disparaged him on her Facebook FB -0.23% account, wasn’t happy. So he took her laptop into a field and peppered it with a barrage of bullets. Seems logical, right?

10) Stratos Highlights: Why was Felix Baumgartner jumping from 128,000 feet into our atmosphere? No clue, but eight million people tuned in to watch live.

by By Joshua Dawsey from blogs.wsj.com

President Obama Makes a Statement on the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

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