Liza Sabater

Debate Was an Open Book Test for Palin

No wonder I was confused about Sarah Palin's body language. She didn't just sound like she was heavily scripted. She sounded like she was reading cue cards or even a tele-prompter.

Because the cable and network television stations did not show a split screen of the debate, most viewers could not see that, during Joe Biden’s answers, Palin spent almost all her time looking down and studiously reading her notes. But viewers did see that when Palin delivered her answers, she would repeatedly glance down to check her talking points.

ThinkProgress has compiled a video documenting some of the instances where it was clear to the audience that Palin was propped up by written responses.

What's outrageous is that I actually questioned my judgment and bias when I mentioned last night that it looked like she was reading off cards. I couldn't fathom her reading off cue cards she'd have hidden in her jacket.


Detained Immigrants Continue to Die in American Custody

I would have subtitled this video "America's New Civil War":

From the production company :
The New York Times and the Washington Post have recently reported on the "System of Neglect," namely, the state of immigration detention center conditions. As told by her sister June Everett, watch the story of Sandra Kenley, a 52- year-old grandmother, who after living in the U.S. legally for 33 years, was subjected to these very conditions and died in immigration detention.

Michelle Obama gets a War Room of her Own

Michelle Obama gets her own War Room.

She's not going to wait for the vultures to do the talking about her. Michelle Obama gets her own war room along with a new chief of staff:
Later today, the campaign is set to announce the hiring of Stephanie Cutter, a longtime Democratic strategist who worked as Senator John Kerry’s communications director in 2004, as chief of staff to Mrs. Obama. Ms. Cutter is scheduled to begin soon, with the first task of re-crafting the image of Mrs. Obama, who has come under intense criticism by Republicans and even some Democratic rivals. She also will lead a war room to fight attacks against Mrs. Obama.
At first I found it odd that, given Kerry's slow response to the Swift Boat attacks, his former communications director is working for Ms. Obama. Maybe it makes sense because she's already "been there, done that" and won't let that happen ever again.
Hopefully that's the reason why they hired a former John Kerry staffer. Because she's indeed lived through all the republican's filth and knows now how to handle it.

Think about it, though. Michelle Obama has a war room. She's gonna get her shero on.

How HAWT is that!

AP Goes After Bloggers Under DMCA

Rogers Cadenhead, founder and publisher of The Drudge Retort, has been Cease and Desisted by AP News for publishing fragments of their syndicated news articles and reports.

Yes, fragments, not the whole articles. Go to Rogers' site to read the reasons given by AP.

Adding a quote to a blog post is very much like the sampling of a hook or a beat on a song. It's why so many people were opposed to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. It's not only that albums like Beck's Odelay or Public Enemy's Fear Of A Black Planet would never had happened. Documentaries, archival works, opinion or scholarly writing would be all but non-existent if it means that now journalists, bloggers, historians and scholars would need to pay publishing houses for every single quote and/or sample they need for their work.

That's why I blame Hilary Rosen, the woman who became the face of the RIAA and the lobbyists who successfully paid Congress to pass the DMCA. Granted, I applauded her for her recent "I am not a bargaining chip" post, in re: the other Hillary (La Clinton), but it doesn't mean La Rosen gets a free pass.

The DMCA's main purpose is to circumvent due process by saying that trade laws trump civil rights law. So a corporation's right to make money from their "product" however way they want trumps the rights of individual citizens who would want to express themselves freely about said product through comment, parody, sample or quoting.

The DMCA throws the onus of proving Fair Use on the individual "speaking" the copyrighted materials and not on the owner of the copyright. It was an unprecedented move and one that many consider anti-constitutional since it basically allows for individuals to be considered guilty of copyright infringement until they prove themselves only in a court of law to be innocent.

Rogers gives us the perfect example of how the "corporate bottom-line trumps free speech" shenanigans is rationalized by AP using the DMCA:

NARAL Pro-Choice Endorses Obama

This has made my friggin' day :

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What Does a Car Bomb Look Like?

It's hard to believe that back in 2004 and right after the horrors of Abu Ghraib were exposed, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had restricted the use of cell phones, digital cameras, camcorders, computers and had restricted soldiers from having any access the internet, especially if the destination was YouTube and MySpace (which are nowadays blocked by the Pentagon).

Yet even though the Pentagon tries to stifle soldiers access to the internet, many still find ways to get the word out back home to family and friends and onto the pages of blogs or YouTube.

I have scoured YouTube looking for soldier-produced video clips. Some of them are harrowing and not appropriate for this blog. Others, like this car bomb clip, are almost in the category of surreal.

For one, this clip is like hundreds of others I've seen so far: A soldier filming a drive down a road or highway for like what seems like an eternity and then, boom!, it literally happens. Second, I loved the description on the video clip's page: "just got emailed this." Third, at the time of this writing, less than 20,000 people have seen this clip. It's not too shabby for a clip that was "just emailed", but it's telling that it's not looking to "shock and awe" people with any production quality and thus it remains in YouTube a rather obscure find.

There is nothing gory about the clip�that's why I spent almost 100 hours looking at clip after clip. Notice the ambient noise of the clip, including the music in the background. Most of the "home made" videos I have seen are over-produced with either hard rock or gangsta rap blaring over the footage. In this one, though, you can barely make out which heavy metal band the soldiers are listening while driving down a road in Iraq.

Then the unthinkable happens a few cars up.

It wasn't just the suddenness of the catastrophe. It's the calm that really got to me, all the while debris keeps hitting their truck.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?

I have been waiting for this documentary since I saw Morgan Spurlock at SXSW last year, when he was there presenting What Would Jesus Buy?, a documentary about Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping's crusade against conspicuous consumption.

This from's trailer park :

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