Where Should I Begin?!?
I mean, I haven't had a chance to write a new full blog since just before the Republican debates were held in Iowa. And just when I think I know what I'm going to write about, something else happens. And then something else-ELSE happens. And most of these "something else's" are BAD!!!
Let me put it this way; Do you know anyone who isn't a little scared about the condition of the condition our COUNTRY is in right now?!?
And the best way I can describe how bad things REALLY are is by saying there are some people who think Michele Bachmann is a LEGITIMATE presidential candidate!
So this is where I'll begin.
First of all, I thought the Republican debates were big time entertaining. The next Republican debates will be September 7th. I watched the whole two hours of those debates. I think it was about two hours after they ended that one of the debaters decided he didn't want to be a candidate anymore. Bye, bye T-Paw! I thought all of the debaters said at least a few interesting things and some of the debaters came to fight! T-Paw, while saying some things about Michele Bachmann that she didn't like and a good number of people in the audience didn't like, put T-Paw in a defensive position and Bachmann ended up looking the better of the two by using strategy once used by the great Muhammad Ali; Rope a dope. And T-Paw never knew what hit him.
Newt Gingrich came to fight. But the fight he picked wasn't with any of the candidates, it was with Fox's Chris Wallace. After he stopped barking at Wallace, Gingrich said some things that were worth listening to. Candidate Rick Santorum came to fight, but the fight he picked was with another crowd favorite who was also the oldest candidate, Ron Paul. Not a good strategy, Rick. Candidate Jon Huntsman didn't say much, but what little he did say, was to me, impressive. But earlier TODAY, Jon Huntsman took the gloves off and fired off three verbal rockets in the direction of late arriving candidate, Rick Perry and some might suggest that what Huntsman said today could have been directed at Bachmann as well.
I'll tell you what those three things were in a minute, but let's talk a little about Bachmann and Perry.
Both of them are so-called Tea Party "darlings".
Perry likes to refer to himself as a patriot along with other self aggrandizing descriptions. I don't have a problem with that. When you're trying to become our next President of the United States, you gotta spin the "positive" about yourself. Buuuuut....Isn't this the same guy who, not too long ago, was making noises about Texas seceding from the United States of America and that he, Governor Rick Perry was prepared to be the leader of that movement?
Uh, Governor Perry? Would or could you please explain to us about how patriotic it is to even TALK about something like that? And while you're at it, if somehow you were to get Texas to secede, Texas would then be what? Another country in the middle of the United States of America, the same USA you claim to be a patriot of? And Governor Perry? Can you explain to us why we shouldn't just think you're bleeping CRAZY for coming up with ideas like that? And I mean, DANGEROUSLY crazy?!?
Oh, uh....Governor Perry? What's up with this fundamentalist movement known as "Dominionism" that we are told you are "connected at the hip" to? A movement which says (among other things) that "Christians should rule all earthly institutions". In other words, Christians should rule the world.
Governor Perry, thanks to our Constitution and Freedom of Expression, all of us are entitled to believe in anything we want or choose to believe in. But riddle me this, Governor Perry; Isn't the opposite true for hard-line Muslims? And aren't most of us AGAINST that belief? Just asking, Governor. Just asking.
At the risk of sounding like that wonderful character, Columbo that was played so brilliantly by the late Peter Falk, "Excuse me sir, just one more thing." Governor Perry, if you were to be elected our next President of the United States, will you be trying to get our "Separation of Church and State" OVERTURNED?
Just askin', Governor. Just askin'.
Back to Michele Bachmann for a minute.
She is also friendly with the "Dominionism" crowd. And yes, if she got the nomination, I would be asking her the same questions I'm asking Governor Perry except for the Texas secession business. Other questions I would ask Congresswoman Bachmann?
WHERE do I BEGIN?!?
I mean, she pretty much says something damn near everyday that we all want to ask her about, don't we? Sudden thought: I think that after the next presidential election, a new rule should be made. A quota rule. In the future, every presidential candidate will be allowed to make only so many misstatements. If anyone goes over that number, they can no longer be a candidate.
How many misstatements has Congresswoman Bachmann made in just the last few months? Incalculable. So I'll just bring up a couple of them. While campaigning, she has raised a lot of hell about Government "handouts". Oooops! Turns out that she and her husband have been accepting Government handouts for a good number of years. There are financial statements that people have to fill out after they have accepted Government money. Even when faced with the evidence, she still barks negatively about "handouts" and acts as though the truth is false. Yes, I know that's a confusing sentence I just wrote, but Congresswoman Bachmann is more often than not, a confusing woman. How about what she said yesterday!?! That a few months after she becomes President of the United States, gas prices will drop to TWO DOLLARS A GALLON!!! Say, whaaaat?!?
I could go on and on about Mrs. Bachmann and the "interesting" things she says, but I don't want to come across as someone who's "picking on the girl". Whether it's by design, meaning this is some kind of strange strategy she has, or it's because she has made herself believe some of these wacky things she says, I'll give her this; She's very entertaining.
BACK TO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE, JON HUNTSMAN:
Earlier in this blog, I mentioned how quiet Mr. Huntsman was during the Republican debates last week. I also mentioned how LOUD Mr. Huntsman was TODAY!
On a day in which three things that Governor Perry has expressed opinions stating he's either against or doesn't believe in were being discussed, Mr. Huntsman threw three verbal rockets stating he totally disagrees with Governor Perry. Perry seems to not believe in evolution and global warming and he seems to be against anything having to do with gay people having the opportunity to be legal couples. Huntsman said, loud and clear, that he's a believer in evolution, a believer in global warming and he believes in same sex civil unions.
A long time Republican and former presidential candidate was heard saying, "He's (Huntsman) CRAZY to be running as a REPUBLICAN!"
A guy who's apparently thinking about becoming a Republican presidential candidate is Congressman Paul Ryan. Politics is a blood sport and if Ryan does indeed become a candidate, he will face questions about things he now disavows. Like the auto bailout he voted for and TARP. He'll also catch heavy heat regarding his ideas about watering down Medicare.
WARREN BUFFETT FOR PRESIDENT?
If you care, you know that the very rich Warren Buffett has publicly stated all this howling coming from Republican politicians about raising taxes on the rich will hurt job creation is absolutely BOGUS!
Buffet is what? The 3rd richest guy in the U.S.? The world? Whatever. He's in the very rare air of the uber-rich. After he made his case in a commentary he wrote for the New York Times, a few Republicans made wise cracks about him but none of them were stupid enough to argue with him because if Republican politicians are consistent with anything, they are most definitely consistent with bowing down to rich guys.
Here's a word for word quote from Warren Buffett: "I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone....not even when capital gains rates were 39.9% in 1976-77....shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what's happened since then? Lower tax rates and far lower job creation."
If you didn't read his commentary, there's a lot more than what I chose to use, but nothing that he wrote was contradictory to what you see above.
Several people, including my former great radio producer, Jeanette Grider have suggested that maybe Warren Buffett should be a presidential candidate. If he won, he'd have to take a hell of a pay cut, but none of those lobbyists that Washington is full of would have one second of "Bribe time" with him! In fact, a guy as rich as Buffett is, would be the perfect guy to let all lobbyists know they are no longer welcome in Washington. Think about it. A lot of (mostly Republican) politicians are bitching and moaning about the "deficit"! If lobbyists were outlawed in Washington what kind of deficit reduction would THAT result in?!?
Warren Buffett for President? Like Elvis once sang, "If I can dream....."
Have you heard about this Billy Crystal rumor? That he might be the host of the next Academy Awards show? Crystal has let it be known he's interested in doing that gig again and now we'll find out how badly (or not) Academy officials would like to see ratings for that show go UP!!! Again.... "If I can dream...."
I've seen a lot of movies (mostly on cable) since the last blog, but I'm only going to mention three. A film on cable I was very disappointed in....A film on cable that surprised me big time....And a new film that deserves serious, SERIOUS Oscar considerations.
"How do you Know", a 2010 film that's currently on the STARZ circuit. This film was directed by the great James L. Brooks and it featured an outstanding cast. Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and the great Jack Nicholson. On paper, it's impossible to screw up a film with that kind of cast and director, but screw it up they did. Major, major disappointment.
"Gigli", a 2003 film that was BARBECUED by the critics. And the critics were barbecuing this film long after the film wasn't being shown anywhere. It's currently on the Encore circuit and I have no idea why I decided to try watching this film. I believed the critics. They couldn't all be wrong, could they? Under the category of "Different strokes...", I ended up being very, very surprised. I thought there were a couple of short weak stretches, but overall, I liked this film. This is a film that starred Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez when they were dating and talking about getting married to each other. I didn't know that the great character actor Christopher Walken was in this film and I never heard anything about Al Pacino being in this film. Well, he was and as usual, he was damn good. Justin Bartha, an actor I had never heard of, played a handicapped guy and he was outstanding in this role. And as usual, the chemistry provided by Jennifer Lopez is terrific. No matter what one might think of her, one thing can't be taken from her. When she's on the screen, you can't take your eyes off of her. I know. I might be the only critic in the world who said something nice about this film. Check it out. You might end up being as surprised as I was.
Have you heard about this new film, "The Help"? This past Monday, my long time friend Kevin Gershan who is also a long time Producer-Director for "Entertainment Tonight" told me I should see this film. The next morning (this past Tuesday), I went to an 11:30-am showing of this film. 11:30 in the morning and the theatre was almost packed.
Some people are referring to "The Help" as a Chick Flick. The morning I was there, the gender breakdown was pretty much 50-50.
"The Help" is a film based on a best selling book about African American maids in White households in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 60's.
Great cast. Emma Stone plays the role of "Skeeter" and Allison Janney plays her mother. You might remember Janney from all the episodes of "The West Wing" that she was in. Sissy Spacek and Mary Steenburgen have good supporting roles. Three other stars in this film are Viola Davis as "Aibileen", Octavia Spencer as "Minny" and Bryce Dallas Howard as "Hilly", a character that made me think of Michele Bachmann.
Gang, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll almost die. That's how good "The Help" is. It is two hours and seventeen minutes of superb film-making. Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Director Tate Taylor and film itself are all deserving of Oscar consideration and multiple Oscars being won wouldn't surprise me at all. Because of a scene near the end of the film that will bring tears to your eyes unless your blood is made of ice, Allison Janney might get a nomination as well.
"The Help" doesn't need MY help because it's brilliance speaks for itself. Check it out and when you do, you'll thank me.
THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to you as quickly as I can. Don't write to the blog because there's no way for me to know your email address which means I wouldn't be able to respond to you. With the exception of "Anonymous" emails, I respond to everyone. "Anonymous" emails are ignored.
THE NEXT BLOG? The way things have been going lately, we're never sure, right? Hopefully, sometime next weekend which means August 27, 28 or 29.
Meanwhile, I hope that you and yours have a terrific weekend.