Posted tagged ‘House’

Democrat Rep. John Murtha Dies

February 8, 2010

An aide to the House leadership has confirmed that Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha died today as a result of complications from an operation to his gallbladder last week.

From Fox News:

Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. John Murtha, the first veteran of the Vietnam war and one of the most powerful lawmakers in Congress, died Wednesday morning at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA, after complications from gallbladder surgery. Murtha was 77.

A native of New Martinsville, W.Va., voters elected first elected Murtha to Congress in a 1974 special election that spelled impending doom for President Nixon and congressional Republicans. That fall, Democrats wrestled away 49 House seats from the GOP, reeling from the scourge of Watergate and a presidency in shambles.

Murtha rose to become the chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that controls spending for the Pentagon. Chairs of the appropriations subcommittee panels are viewed with such prestige on Capitol Hill that they’re called “cardinals.” That’s a nod to Rome because of the eminence these lawmakers hold over spending for their federal fiefdom.

Murtha was also the endorsed candidate of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to become majority leader when Democrats won control of Congress in 2006. But current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) overwhelmingly defeated Murtha by secret ballot in a hard-fought leadership contest.

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Dr. Lawrence Kutner Dies

April 7, 2009

Some of you may be asking…who?

Well, Dr. Lawrence Kutner is a fictional television doctor on House, starring Hugh Laurie, who committed suicide on last nights program.

I used to be a HUGE fan of the show but just haven’t had time to watch as much lately. Still, I’m saddened to see Kutner, played by Kall Pen, leave the show.

From the New York Daily News:

Popular television characters have been dying for years in stunning and unexpected ways, but few deaths have ever become the kind of instant communal experience that followed Monday night’s suicide of Dr. Harold Kutner played by actor Kal Penn on Fox’s “House.”

By the end of the show, viewers had been directed to an eerily authentic online memorial site, http://www.fox.com/kutner/.

The site includes a picture of Penn, Kutner’s birth and death dates, a mock obituary from a local newspaper, a handwritten note from fellow character Chris Taub saying he’s “p—ed off” and places for viewers/readers to add their own thoughts.

The site also offers a FaceBook link and other “information” about Kutner’s life, as well as memorial music composed by Hugh Laurie, the actor who plays Dr. Gregory House.

There’s a link to the real-life National Alliance on Mental Illness, which was promoted on-screen at the end of the show with a message inviting anyone with suicidal thoughts to call the Alliance number.

This blizzard of interactivity was almost as striking as the suicide itself, which came out of nowhere and left the characters on the show asking the same answer-less questions as the viewers.

Amy Poehler Says Goodbye to Saturday Night Live

December 15, 2008

Amy Poehler appeared to hold back tears as she said goodbye for the final time as a regular on SNL this past Saturday evening. As always, Poehler handled the Weekend Update desk with Seth Meyers and provided laughs for all. She will be missed on this show.

From Entertainment Weekly:

Amy Poehler’s final episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by a game Hugh Laurie, was, as usual, a hit-and-miss evening, with many of the show’s best laughs coming from Poehler herself. Just when it looked like the show had missed a golden opportunity for political comedy with a tepid cold open about recently indicted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Poehler and fellow ‘Weekend Update’ co-host Seth Meyers brought the big time funny with a rendition of “Really!?! with Seth & Amy” all about the foul-mouthed, comically coiffed pol. (Poehler: “The hair? Really?! It looks like you’re wearing a toupee that’s also wearing a toupee!”) The bit was so funny, it was that much sadder to realize we’ll probably never see it again — or if we do with a new ‘Update’ co-host, it won’t quite be the same without Poehler’s puckish bite.

When Poehler dropped her trademark smirk to announce her departure from the show, she got all soft and genuine and grateful, and I kinda wanted to leap through the TV and give her a big ole hug for so many years of snarky giggles. That is until Fred Armisen, as visually impaired New York Gov. David Patterson, wandered into Poehler’s shot, and, like Poehler herself, I found myself overcome with snarky giggling. Of course, since SNL alums seem so happy to drop in on the show — like Maya Rudolph appearing last night for one final round of gum-smacking gossip on ‘Bronx Beat’ with Poehler — this most likely really isn’t the last time we’ll see Poehler grace Studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Voting Maching Breakdowns, Problems Reported in Key States

November 4, 2008

Voters are already running into problems casting ballots this morning in scattered locations around the country including Florida, Ohio and Virginia, three of the most important states in the 2008 Presidential Election.

From CNN:

People called the CNN Voter Hotline to report irregularities at their precincts, including late poll openings, long lines, and broken or not enough voting machines.

Other callers reported brisk and efficient voting as millions across the United States cast their ballots in the presidential race as well as many House and Senate contests.

In Kansas City, Missouri, iReport contributor Jessie Sargent said she had been waiting in line for three hours because precincts had received the wrong voter registration lists.

“I was there at 5 a.m. and was eighth in line,” Sargent said. “I got up to the table, and they realized they had the wrong books. After swapping books, they [thought] that they still had the wrong books but later figured that the pages were in the wrong order.

“There have been quite a few people leaving because of work and school, and they have no provisional ballots or books to sign in to.”

In Shaker Heights, Ohio, just outside Cleveland, the first few voters at one precinct received ballots that were missing the presidential race.

“The first four voters [at that location] were given the wrong ballots. Those ballots were voided, and the four voters were given the correct ballots,” said Kimberly Bartlett, a spokeswoman for the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Voting machine malfunctions and other problems were exacerbating long lines at polling places in several key battlegrounds as voting got underway on the East Coast and in the Midwest this morning, election monitors reported.

There have already been breakdowns in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, according to reports gathered by the Election Protection Coalition, a cooperative effort by more than dozen voting rights groups.

All three cities were high on the list of expected hot spots where problems were feared.

The coalition, which by 9:30 a.m. EST had received nearly 11,000 reports of problems, has also fielded complaints about polling places not opening on time in Virginia, where long lines have been predicted for weeks.

House Says No To Economic Bailout Plan…Wall Street Reacts by Dropping 700 Points

September 29, 2008

To steal from John Mellancamp…

“And the stocks…come tumblin’ down…”

The House this morning defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue package that would have bailed out the staggering financial industry.

Associated Press

Credit: Associated Press

From the Associated Press:

Stocks plummeted on Wall Street even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor.

When the critical vote was tallied, too few members of the House were willing to support the unpopular measure with elections just five weeks away. Ample no votes came from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle.

Bush and a host of leading congressional figures had implored the lawmakers to pass the legislation despite howls of protest from their constituents back home.

The vote had been preceded by unusually aggressive White House lobbying, and spokesman Tony Fratto said that Bush had used a “call list” of people he wanted to persuade to vote yes as late as just a short time before the vote.

Lawmakers shouted news of the plummeting Dow Jones average as lawmakers crowded on the House floor during the drawn-out and tense call of the roll, which dragged on for roughly 40 minutes as leaders on both sides scrambled to corral enough of their rank-and-file members to support the deeply unpopular measure.

They found only two.