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Tea Time

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Despite generally crappy weather, thousands of people across the country came out for today’s Tax Day Tea Parties to protest the Obama administration (or just Obama in general), big government, “socialism,” Congress, Democrats, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I don’t agree with these people, but seeing them make their voices heard about the things they believe in (even in this case, lol) reminds me of how great our country is.  I imagine that for many of you, most of the images will make your blood boil, but I encourage you to take a step back and appreciate what these protests represent—democracy.

More pictures below.  To read more about the “Tea Parties” across the country CLICK HERE.

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Thoughts?

—Travers

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jobapprPew Research Center for the People & The Press

Via Pew Research Center:

For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama’s job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president — 88% job approval among Democrats — and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%)…

The growing partisan divide in presidential approval ratings is part of a long-term trend. Going back in time, partisanship was far less evident in the early job approval ratings for both Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. In fact, a majority of Republicans (56%) approved of Carter’s job performance in late March 1977, and a majority of Democrats (55%) approved of Nixon’s performance at a comparable point in his first term.

I think this is so telling of where we are as a country and where we’re going.  I must say, though, that I’m not at all surprised.  Just last week, both the House and Senate passed President Obama’s budget with ZERO affirmative votes from Republicans.

Thoughts?

—Travers

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The European continent is having its first taste of President and Michelle Obama: The pair arrived in the French city of Strasbourg this morning, which is co-hosting a two-day NATO conference with the neighboring German city of Kehl. Obama is scheduled for one-on-one meetings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel before the conference. At the conference, he will push allies to pledge more NATO troops to Afghanistan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told The Times of London that NATO allies need to “take a hard look at what they believe is their highest and best contribution”. She added, “We’ll begin talking in specifics at the NATO summit in Strasbourg.”

SOURCES: The Daily Beast, The London Times

Even though Nicolas Sarkozy makes me cringe sometimes, his ex-supermodel wife Carla Bruni makes me smile.  But despite her disarmingly beautiful looks, I must admit that the first thing that caught my eye in the picture above was Mrs. Obama. 

Nevertheless, the two ladies in the middle of that photo create a beautifully neutralizing effect to what would’ve could’ve been an awkward photo given Sarkozy and President Obama’s recent disagreements.

More photos below and after the jump.

—Travers

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MTV is searching for hosts / VJs for our on-campus college network: mtvU. Knowledge of music trivia, music’s major players, music history and the industry is desired. A background in journalism, communications or music is ideal. Must be willing to live in NYC.

We’re seeking fun, outgoing, articulate, spirited people who are either in college or recent college graduates. Candidates must possess bold personalities and have the ability to think quickly on their feet in a fast-paced environment. Must be able to conduct interviews at a moment’s notice. People that exude a lot of enthusiasm, have a distinct style and possess a unique charm on tape should apply ASAP.

It is an amazing opportunity for the right talent, so email us at mtvu-vj-castingcall@mtvnmix.com with a picture, brief bio/resume, any links of your on-camera work AND a quick paragraph letting us know why you’d be the perfect host. Television credits are not necessary, but an ability to remain calm, cool and collected on camera is necessary.

This sounds like a great opportunity for all of you college students and recent grads who love music, journalism, television, or all of the above.  As always, if you’re not interested forward this link on to someone who may be.

Good luck!

—-Travers

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Tyler Brûlé, Editor-in-Chief, Monocle

Allow me to introduce you to my newest obsession: The Monocle Weekly podcast.  Every Sunday after church/brunch and before I head out to go grocery shopping, I rush to my computer to download Monocle magazine’s weekly podcast hosted by its Editor-in-Chief, Tyler Brûlé.  Each week, Brûlé is joined by other Monocle editors as well as leaders and visionaries in the fields of global affairs, business, culture, and design for smart discussion, previews, feature interviews, and field reports on these topics.  Every week the show is based out of a different city (London, New York, Beirut, etc.) and I love their global outlook.

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The Monocle Weekly is intelligent,  enlightening, and entertaining.  It successfully does for me what all media should  do for its audience—leaves me feeling informed and causes me to think.

You can listen to the audio broadcast on The Monocle Weekly website, or you can subscribe to and download the free podcast on iTunes.  The Monocle Weekly, and Monocle magazine itself, are well worth your time and are a great way to start your week off right.

Here’s to a phenomenal week,

—-Travers

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This is Called Diplomacy

I had forgotten what diplomacy looked like…until this.

And I found this analysis article from the BBC entitled “What Obama’s Message to Iran Means” really insightful.  Here’s an excerpt:

President Barack Obama’s video message to Iran offering a “new beginning” is an imaginative start to his attempt to improve relations – but huge obstacles remain.

In diplomacy such efforts at overcoming major differences sometimes end simply in defining those differences more sharply.

These issues were not directly mentioned by Mr Obama but this is what he is referring to:

 

  • Iran to give up uranium enrichment and accept international offers to provide fuel for nuclear power
    • Iran to stop arming Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza
    • Iran to help in achieving peace in Afghanistan and Iraq
    • Iran to stop threatening Israel.

    Iran will want the following:

     

    • Acceptance of its right to enrich uranium
    • An end to UN sanctions
    • An end to US sanctions
    • An end to America’s “colonialist attitudes”.
  • We all know that Ahmadinejad  is known to act a fool, so I like Obama’s “kill ’em with kindness” approach.  And the Farsi at the end was a great touch. We’ll see how this plays out.

    —Travers

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    Earlier this evening, TMZ.com released this photo of Rihanna after she was allegedly BEATEN by (hopefully former) boyfriend Chris Brown.  There’s an entire debate going on about whether or not this photo should have been released at all.  I understand that this is probably embarrassing to the victim, but I really believe that people need to see this to understand the enormity of the situation.  You see, the main problem with domestic violence is that people are embarrassed to talk about it, so they hide/ignore it and it just keeps on happening.  I know Rihanna didn’t sign up for this, but maybe this image will give a “face” to domestic violence and force people to WAKE UP about its prevalence, and unfortunately its acceptance, in our society.

    Last year at the Essence Music Festival, my little brother and I ended up backstage in Chris Brown and Rihanna’s dressing area.  We had an interesting run-in with them that I might discuss soon.  Long story short, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    I don’t care WHAT Rihanna allegedly did, said, gave, provoked, etc.  It should NEVER…EVER…come to this.  

    Let this be a teachable moment.

    —-Travers

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