Thursday, February 05, 2009
A recent interview with Nancy Wilson of Heart began with the topic of politics. Probably something that a lot of us have heard enough of for a while, but Wilson seemed willing to talk about the well-publicized flap regarding the McCain campaign’s use of Heart’s hit song “Barracuda” when asked.
Although at the time there seemed to be some uncertainly about whether they had the right to use the song at a campaign event, Wilson admits that “…it’s in the rule books they’re allowed to do that. We just thought we’d have our say because it’s America and we can do that here.”
translated....."we just wanted attention from the liberal media for attacking sarah palin,even though we knew the gop had paid for the rights to use it....we needed to make more money to feed me and especially my sister"....
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
A poster of President Barack Obama, right, by artist Shepard Fairey is(his had hope,i prefer this one)...
NEW YORK (AP) - On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
"The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.
"AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey's attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution."
"We believe fair use protects Shepard's right to do what he did here," says Fairey's attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP."
Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work.
A longtime rebel with a history of breaking rules, Fairey has said he found the photograph using Google Images. He released the image on his Web site shortly after he created it, in early 2008, and made thousands of posters for the street.
As it caught on, supporters began downloading the image and distributing it at campaign events, while blogs and other Internet sites picked it up. Fairey has said that he did not receive any of the money raised.
A former Obama campaign official said they were well aware of the image based on the picture taken by Garcia, a temporary hire no longer with the AP, but never licensed it or used it officially. The Obama official asked not to be identified because no one was authorized anymore to speak on behalf of the campaign.
The image's fame did not end with the election.
It will be included this month at a Fairey exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and a mixed-media stenciled collage version has been added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.
"The continued use of the poster, regardless of whether it is for galleries or other distribution, is part of the discussion AP is having with Mr. Fairey's representative," Colford said.
A New York Times book on the election, just published by Penguin Group (USA), includes the image. A Vermont-based publisher, Chelsea Green, also used it—credited solely to Fairey_ as the cover for Robert Kuttner's "Obama's Challenge," an economic manifesto released in September. Chelsea Green president Margo Baldwin said that Fairey did not ask for money, only that the publisher make a donation to the National Endowment for the Arts.
"It's a wonderful piece of art, but I wish he had been more careful about the licensing of it," said Baldwin, who added that Chelsea Green gave $2,500 to the NEA.
Fairey also used the AP photograph for an image designed specially for the Obama inaugural committee, which charged anywhere from $100 for a poster to $500 for a poster signed by the artist.
Fairey has said that he first designed the image a year ago after he was encouraged by the Obama campaign to come up with some kind of artwork. Last spring, he showed a letter to The Washington Post that came from the candidate.
"Dear Shepard," the letter reads. "I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can help change the status quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign."
At first, Obama's team just encouraged him to make an image, Fairey has said. But soon after he created it, a worker involved in the campaign asked if Fairey could make an image from a photo to which the campaign had rights.
"I donated an image to them, which they used. It was the one that said "Change" underneath it. And then later on I did another one that said "Vote" underneath it, that had Obama smiling," he said in a December 2008 interview with an underground photography Web site.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Daschle apologizes, fights to salvage nomination
beatles cartoon episode...taxman...enjoy
Feb 2, 6:30 PM (ET)
By KEVIN FREKING
WASHINGTON (AP) - Fighting to salvage his Cabinet nomination, Tom Daschle pleaded his case Monday evening in a closed meeting with former Senate colleagues after publicly apologizing for failing to pay more than $120,000 in taxes. President Barack Obama said he was "absolutely" sticking with his nominee for health secretary, and a key senator added an important endorsement.
The White House both underscored the magnitude of the problem and tried to downplay it in the space of seven words. "Nobody's perfect," said press secretary Robert Gibbs. "It was a serious mistake. ..."
Nobody was predicting defeat for Daschle's nomination as secretary of health and human services, but it was proving an unsavory pill to swallow for senators who only last week confirmed Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary despite his separate tax-payment problems. It's an issue that strikes a nerve among lawmakers' constituents who are struggling with their own serious money problems.
On the bright side for Daschle, he got warm words of support from the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel that will have the first say on his fate. Daschle has been "an invaluable and expert partner" in efforts toward health care reform, said Democrat Max Baucus of Montana - an especially important endorsement since the two men have had tussles in the past over Baucus' handling of GOP tax-cut proposals, Medicare changes and other issues.
Republicans weren't so quick to get in line.
Going into the private meeting with Daschle, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Finance panel, was asked if supported the nomination. He responded, "Ask me after the hearing a week from tomorrow," a reference to Daschle's public confirmation hearing.
Said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as he went into the meeting: "I'm going to just listen and pay attention very closely."
Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, expressed his remorse in a letter to the Finance Committee, saying he was "deeply embarrassed and disappointed" about what he said was an unintentional failure to pay taxes that he owed. He recently filed amended returns for 2005-07 to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.
Obama, asked at the White House whether he was standing by his nomination, answered, "Absolutely." He did not elaborate.
In his letter, released Monday, Daschle sought to explain how he overlooked taxes on income for consulting work and the use of a car service. He also deducted more in charitable contributions than he should have.
"I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them," he told committee members.
White House spokesman Gibbs reiterated Obama's support for the former South Dakota senator and said it would be up to the Senate to weigh a "serious, but corrected mistake against that three-decade career in public service."
"We still think he's the best person to do health care reform and shepherd a very complicated process through Congress to achieve savings and cut costs for the American people," Gibbs said. The White House also had suggested Geithner was indispensable for the national economic revival in arguing for his confirmation despite tax problems.
Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, noted the Geithner nomination in saying she suspected tax problems would not prevent Daschle from becoming the next health secretary.
"If the guy who is overseeing the IRS can get away with a tax problem, how are you going to hold up the health and human services secretary over taxes?" she asked.
Daschle was an early supporter of Obama's presidential bid, and several of Daschle's former Capitol Hill staffers went to work for Obama after Daschle lost his re-election bid in 2004.
Daschle filed the amended tax returns after Obama announced he intended to nominate him as secretary of health and human services.
"I disclosed this information to the committee voluntarily and paid the taxes and any interest owed promptly," Daschle wrote. "My mistakes were unintentional."
On another matter, a financial disclosure form Daschle filed about a week ago showed that he made more than $200,000 in the past two years speaking to members of the health care industry that Obama wants him to reform.
The speaking fees were just a portion of the more than $5.2 million the former senator earned over the past two years as he advised health insurers and hospitals and worked in other industries such as energy and telecommunications, according to a financial statement filed with the Office of Government Ethics.
Among the health care interest groups paying Daschle for speeches were America's Health Insurance Plans, $40,000 for two speeches; CSL Behring, $30,000; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, $16,000, and the Principal Life Insurance Co., $15,000.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
smoke some weed....
don't be like mike phelps
Olympic great Michael Phelps acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment" after a photo in a British newspaper Sunday showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe.
In a statement to The Associated Press, the swimmer who won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games did not dispute the authenticity of the exclusive picture published Sunday by the tabloid News of the World.
"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in the statement released by one of his agents. "I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."
News of the World said the picture was taken during a November house party while Phelps was visiting the University of South Carolina. During that trip, he attended one of the school's football games and received a big ovation when introduced to the crowd.
While the newspaper did not specifically allege that Phelps was smoking pot, it did say the water pipe is generally used for that purpose and anonymously quoted a partygoer who said the Olympic champion was "out of control from the moment he got there."
The party occurred nearly three months after the Olympics while Phelps was taking a long break from training, and his actions should have no impact on the eight golds he won at Beijing. He has never tested positive for banned substances. The case is unlikely to fall under any doping rules.
Phelps' main sanctions most likely will be financial - perhaps doled out by embarrassed sponsors who might be reconsidering their dealings with the swimmer.
Phelps was in Tampa, Fla., during Super Bowl week to make promotional appearances on behalf of a sponsor. But he left the city before Sunday's game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, abandoning his original plan to be at Raymond James Stadium.
The U.S. Olympic Committee said it was "disappointed in the behavior recently exhibited by Michael Phelps," who was selected the group's sportsman of the year. He also was honored as AP male athlete of the year, and his feat in Beijing - breaking Mark Spitz's 36-year-old record for most gold medals in an Olympics - was chosen as the top story of 2008.
"Michael is a role model, and he is well aware of the responsibilities and accountability that come with setting a positive example for others, particularly young people," the USOC said in a statement. "In this instance, regrettably, he failed to fulfill those responsibilities."
USA Swimming said its Olympic champions are "looked up to by people of all ages, especially young athletes who have their own aspirations and dreams."
"That said," the governing body added, "we realize that none among us is perfect. We hope that Michael can learn from this incident and move forward in a positive way."
Phelps was part of a group of elite athletes who agreed to take part in a pilot testing program designed to increase the accuracy of doping tests. His spot in the program could be at risk, said Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
"For one of the Olympics' biggest heroes it's disappointing, and we'll evaluate whether he remains in that program," Tygart said. "But some good education comes from this because he's going to suffer some penalties."
Marijuana is viewed differently from performance-enhancing drugs, according to David Howman, executive director of the World Anti-Doping Agency. An athlete is subject to WADA sanctions only for a positive test that occurs during competition periods.
"We don't have any jurisdiction," Howman said. "It's not banned out of competition. It's only if you test positive in competition."
Phelps returned to the pool a couple of weeks ago to begin preparations for this summer's world championships in Rome. He plans to take part in his first post-Olympics meet in early March, a Grand Prix event in Austin, Texas.
This isn't the first embarrassing episode for Phelps after an Olympic triumph. In 2004, a few months removed from winning six gold and two bronze medals in Athens, the swimmer was arrested on a drunken driving charge at age 19. He pleaded guilty and apologized for the mistake.
In his book "No Limits: The Will to Succeed," Phelps recounted how his first phone call was to his agent, and not his mother or coach Bob Bowman, because he knew they would yell at him.
Later, he called Bowman, who was supportive but told him, "Michael, just because you want to blow off some steam doesn't mean you can be an idiot."
Debbie Phelps, his mother, cried at the news.
"That hurt worse, maybe, than anything," Phelps wrote. "I had never seen my mother that upset."
Bowman did not respond to phone and e-mail messages. Instead, he issued a terse statement through Phelps' agent.
"He regrets his behavior, and I'm sure he'll learn from this experience," the coach said. "I'm glad to have him back in training."
Olympic teammate Dara Torres said Phelps has become such a prominent figure that everything he does is news.
However, she said: "This in no way, shape or form diminishes anything he's done."
"It's sort of a double-edged sword," Torres told the AP on Sunday. "When you're recognizable, you're looked up to as a role model. He is recognizable and everything you do gets looked at and picked apart. I guess that's the price of winning 14 Olympic medals."
Jason Lezak, whose remarkable anchor leg of the 400-meter freestyle relay helped Phelps stay on course to break Spitz's record, said he was "saddened" to hear of the report.
"While I don't condone his conduct, I am a teammate and fan," Lezak said in a text message to the AP. "Unlike many fair-weather people, I am sticking by him. If my wife and I can help him in any way, we will. I believe he will grow from this and be better person, role model and teammate."
Last year, News of the World posted video on its Web site showing Max Mosley, the president of motor racing's governing body, engaging in sex acts with five prostitutes. Mosley admitted to being a part of the scenario but sued for breach of privacy and was awarded $120,000. Another news break involved Prince Harry in 2002, smoking marijuana and drinking before the legal age of 18.
During the 1998 Nagano Olympics, Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati was stripped of his gold medal in the giant slalom after testing positive for marijuana. The victory was reinstated because the sport's governing body did not have a rule banning the substance. Later that year, Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. drew a three-month suspension after testing positive for pot.
"It's one of those substances that every year there's debate over it," said Howman, the WADA official.
The USOC's code of conduct only covers the period from when an athlete makes the Olympic team until the end of the games. But Howman suggested that U.S. swimming officials or the sport's world organization, FINA, could punish Phelps if there is "sufficient evidence to indicate possession, supply or distribution."
FINA officials said they would not comment on the matter until Monday, as did the International Olympic Committee.
"We have to be strong on these things," Howman said. "We certainly are relying on those who are responsible to look into this."
The USOC noted that Phelps acknowledged his mistake and apologized.
"We are confident that, going forward, Michael will consistently set the type of example we all expect from a great Olympic champion," the group said.