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stephen colbert

Barack Obama gave two very impressive speeches this weekend: one funny, and one deadly serious.

First, there was his speech at the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner, where Obama held the floor like a seasoned comedian and managed to get his digs in at Donald Trump while he was at it:

Does he have the Colbert Report‘s writers on his speechwriting staff? Because that was one brilliant piece of satire.

Then, tonight, his address to the nation on the death of Osama Bin Laden struck all the right notes, inspiring some Canadians to comment on my Twitter feed that they wished they could vote for him tomorrow instead of one of our guys:

Say what you will about the man, but he certainly has the gift of oratory. Why can’t any of our politicians give speeches like that?

Bin Laden’s death may not mean much in the grand scheme of the so-called “war on terror” in practical terms. But cynically speaking, it’s likely to give Obama’s re-election chances a big boost.


Midterm madness


Despite the best efforts of the likes of Stewart and Colbert to restore sanity and/or fear, the predictions of big gains for the Republican party in today’s US midterm elections are, sadly, pretty likely, with exit polls showing that the Democrats have lost ground with key groups of voters.

But before Obama panics too much, he might want to consult this list of Midterm study strategies, compiled by me back in the eighth grade:

  • Eliminate distractions. Minesweeper, SuperNES, listening to your mom fight with your sister down the hall, trying to mediate a mideast peace settlement… all these are distracting to the study process.
  • Prioritize the material. Midterm exam questions are usually about things that have been covered recently on the curriculum, and are therefore foremost in the minds of teachers – er – voters. Spend more time on recent issues like the tea party, and less time on the stuff that was covered at the start of the term and that everyone’s forgotten about by now anyway, like, y’know, healthcare.
  • Plan your time. Midterms take place in the middle of the term, as their name suggests. While you’re studying for them, you also have to juggle other assignments and a social life. Oh, and national security and economic concerns, too. Make a schedule and stick to it. Use whatever tools work for you, like an agenda book or, if you prefer, a highly-paid team of executive secretaries.
  • Find the right study buddies. Pick people who are smarter than you and copy their notes, or arrange a cram session with them in the library. If you can get them to write your speeches for you, too, all the better.
  • Remember that it’s not worth as much as the final. Even a bad grade on a midterm can be made up for with a strong final exam, which is usually worth a bigger percentage of your overall grade. Time to put it behind you and focus on what’s important: Beating Sarah Palin in 2012.

For actual news about the US midterm election, in case anyone’s interested, check out the CBC’s interactive maps.


Colbert Nation, eh?


The biggest attraction at the Olympics? Stephen Colbert, who’s been on site all week. He and Michael Bublé sang their unique take on the national anthem. He’s done mock tryouts for events. He cheered on Shani Davis of the US speedskating team (which he sponsored) when he won his gold medal. He’s getting more press […]

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Colbert co-opts HNIC theme song


CBC’s surprising decision last week not to renew the licensing agreement for the theme song to Hockey Night in Canada has been met with opportunism by the likes of CTV… and Stephen Colbert: Stephen, we know you secretly love Canada. Now can you do us a favour and convince the CBC to further cut costs […]

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Primary Colours


Anyone would be better than Bush, right? Maybe that low standard is the reason why this year’s field of primary candidates – both Democrat and Republican – seems almost more devoid than ever of anyone worth voting for. It’s not as though I’m naive enough to expect inspiration, integrity or brilliance. I’d just like to […]

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Colbert wannabes to compete in Oshawa


The Comedy Network is looking for Colbert lookalikes: Finalists will compete in Oshawa, Ontario on March 20, which has been declared “Stephen Colbert Day” by Mayor John Gray. The winner will get a trip to New York City to attend a taping of The Colbert Report. “There are two kinds of people in this world; […]

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Some of you may be wondering…


why blogging has been so light lately. Well, it has to do with a rarely-mentioned topic on this blog: Real life. I just started a new job, and things have been pretty hectic. That’s my excuse, anyway. The truth is, the only news I can bear to watch these days is the faux-news of the […]

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Aseret yemei teshuvah


These ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are traditionally the days when Jews ask forgiveness from people and from G-d for any wrongs we might have done throughout the year. I’m not religious by most definitions, but I’ve always liked the concept, and particularly the notion that we need to be forgiven by […]

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Catch-up time


Believe it or not, other newsworthy things happened in the world yesterday and today. You’d never know it from watching the local news, of course, which has been covering Dawson nonstop since yesterday afternoon. But here are a few things that happened in the world outside our little corner: Sadaam’s judge doesn’t think he was […]

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Colbert mocks Liberal attack ad


Stephen Colbert mock-saluted Paul Martin for “taking negative campaign ads to the next level”, based on the Liberal ad attacking Harper for being best friends with Bush. Hey Paul: When even the American comedians are mocking your ads, they have to be really awful. Then again, I suppose we should cut the Liberals some slack […]

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