Comedy Central Joins Election App War

For those who are fans of satirical commentary during the election season, Comedy Central allows you to join with like-minded folk and some of the top people in the news-as-comedy business with their new app.  The “Indecision Election Companion” has a live “Peanut Gallery” that allows you to vote on how a speaker or guest is doing and add your 2-cents during an on-air appearance.  There are also the popular “Snap Shots” that are constantly updated pictures of political figures with clever captions.  Like something so much it made you laugh?  You can of course share it with your friends via social networks Facebook and Twitter.
In the battle for space in election coverage, Comedy Central has become popular with show hosts like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert using campaigns as comedy fodder.  2012 will prove to be no exception, and the Indecision team is giving people a chance to chuckle while on the go.
Check out the review from Mashable and download the free app here.

Kevin Spacey's House of Cards brings Millions to Maryland

Sets are under construction in and around Baltimore for the filming of the Netflix drama series, “House of Cards,” which will begin rolling next month. The city, just an hour north of the Capitol, has already seen a boost in production thanks to tax incentives and new productions. Two HBO political-themed shows, “Game Change” starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, and Ed Harris and “VEEP” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus have just wrapped in Baltimore and ended a long drought of film and television production since “The Wire.”

The Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik chronicles the increase in production and jobs, along with an approximate $70 brought to the state in his piece “‘House of Cards’ brings Hollywood to Harford County.” He details the massive undertaking of shooting two seasons (26 episodes) with big names attached, including, Oscar winners and nominees Kevin Spacey, director David Fincher and executive producer and screenwriter, Beau Willimon (The Ides of March).

Women in the World Summit features Hilary Clinton and Sarah Brown

International Women’s Day finally has a global powerhouse to champion, Tina Brown,  editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek and one of the greatest women’s voices in the United States and around the world.   The Women in the World Summit was launched by Brown and joining with her were Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Sarah Brown, wife of former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and maternal health advocate, Meryl Streep and Diane von Furstenberg.  The gathering included women of all generations talking about issues that rarely make it into the headlines.

Juju Chang led the “Girls Can Change the World” panel with Sarah Brown, Dr. Ida Odinga, wife of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and Shelly Esque discussing the need for a global education plan for all children, especially girls.  During the panel, Sarah Brown, a global patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, spoke on the recent release of her campaign launched with her husband to reduce the number of child brides. The report shows that 1.5 million girls are married at age 15 or younger every year but “if that girl is in school, she’s not out there married or facing… any of the other things that might come her way,” says Brown.

Dr. Odinga and Brown also talked about their new initiative, Educators Without Borders, which looks “at the 300,000 children who are coming as refugees across the Somalian border into Kenya [and sets up] an early pilot program to create essentially pop-up schooling” for children who will be there for many years.” They are working with government and non-profits to raise the rates of girls education in post-conflict zones. “Some [children] are as old as 13 years and have never seen the inside of a classroom” said Odinga when talking about the young refugees.

Watch the video of the panel below:

The last day of the conference included an exciting keynote by Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton who was surprise-introduced by Oscar winner, Meryl Streep.  Also in attendance were Angelina Jolie, former house speaker Nancy Pelosi, Oprah, Chelsea Clinton, Barbara Bush, Lauren Bush Lauren, Kim Cattrall, Desiree Gruber and many more!

Check out photos from the exciting events below:

Game Change Premieres in DC

John Heilemann, Sarah Paulson, Julianne Moore, Mark Halperin

Mike Allen reported in today’s Politico Playbook, that while New Yorkers (who had their premiere two nights ago) thought the new HBO Film Game Change “was a sit-com,” Washington watched it as a documentary.  The Newseum was packed with reporters and 2008 campaign staff eager to see the much buzzed about Game Change film based on the book by the same name by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.  Walking the red, or blue rather, carpet were the authors, screen writer Danny Strong, director Jay Roach, and the star of the film, Julianne Moore, who plays Sarah Palin and Sarah Paulson who plays staffer Nicolle Wallace. Also in attendance were veteran producers Gary Goetzman and Tom Hanks, as well as McCain senior campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt who was portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the film.

The film takes place five years ago starting in 2007, following the John McCain campaign through selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate and the struggles and victories within the race.  Viewers such as Wolf Blizter praised Moore’s performance – “She did an amazing Sarah Palin. She looked like her, she sounded like her — she was Sarah Palin,” as reported by Politico. Ed Harris as John McCain and Harrelson as Schmidt were also highlights of the film as they played characters carrying the emotional weight of a presidential campaign having to make difficult decisions.  The film mixed real news footage of reporters and then candidate Obama with film footage which gave Blitzer, Gwen Ifill and Katie Couric cameos.

Check out more photos from the premiere below:

DC Power Trio Launches MLH Strategies LLC

Holly Page

Melissa Moss, Liz Sears Smith and Holly Page have joined forces to launch MLH Strategies LLC, a strategic consulting firm advising corporate clients and individuals on developing and executing strategies that include participation at the DNCC 2012 Convention in Charlotte … and the RNCC 2012 Convention in Tampa” reported the POLITICO Playbook.

The trio have a combined over 25 years of strategic management and political expertise with Moss was a senior political appointee at the US Department of Commerce, the director of the Office of Public Liaison and the Finance director at the DNC. Sears Smith served as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Cabinet Secretary, was the former Congressman Rahm Emanuel‘s Chief of Staff, was a senior appointee at the Department of Commerce and was the Finance of Director for Chicago DNC ’96. Page lead the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

Cafe Milano Dinner for Robert Gates, U.S. Navy SEALs

Roshi Mamdar, world renowned Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, Alexandra de Borchgrave and Franco Nuschese

Cafe Milano’s Franco Nuschese welcomed guests to his Georgetown restaurant last night to honor former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Courage and Compassion Award Dinner. Fox News’ Bret Baier emceed the event which was held in support of U.S. Navy SEALs, highlighting the work of the armed forces and their families.

Nuschese called Gates “one of America’s finest patriots” and talked about the causes supported by the evening, including the Navy SEAL Foundation, the Light of Healing Hope Foundation and the Chief James E. Whitehead, Sr. (JROTC) Scholarship Foundation.

Vice Admiral Albert Calland III, USN (Ret.), Chairman of the Navy SEAL Foundation, and Alexandra Villard de Borchgrave, President of the Light of Healing Hope Foundation, were on hand to present the award to Robert Gates.  General James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.) accepted the award on Gates’ behalf, remarking that the Secretary would appreciate the compassion side of the award. “Since the end of world war II… it’s the compassion of men and women in uniform that have really contributed greatly to what this nation is today and probably will be tomorrow,” said Jones.

Keynote speaker Rear Admiral Garry J. Bonelli commented on how a great number of those enlisted today are either married or married with children, therefore creating new motivations and a “new operational imperative” which is family resiliency.  Bonelli says it’s important to do everything we can to take care of the the “other 50% of our fighting forces,” the spouses and families.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Navy SEALs, which were started by John F. Kennedy, and have since served on all major military campaigns. The SEALs’ mission is to remain unnoticed but they garnered worldwide attention this past year when SEAL Team 6 took down Osama bin Laden. Baier, who has covered both the Pentagon and the White House, stated that the Navy SEALs “have deployed more often, and fought more close fights, celebrated successes and mounted more losses than any other military unit that has seen combat action since the events of 9-11.”

A trailer of the new movie Act of Valor, which has characters portrayed by active duty Navy SEALs, was played for the crowd. Baier called the movie “very powerful…you see in there that each segment meets the actual Navy SEAL effort, the unconditional courageous compassionate dedication to duty not only for them, but their families.”

The night was topped off with a musical performance by world renown Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, giving his first-ever performance of the Star Spangled Banner.  

Check out photos from the night here here: