Archive for March, 2012

Check out the LA Times on Romney on Leno: “No Mr. Excitement’…

MADCAP MITT by Elizabeth Searle

While it’s not an official qualification, most successful Presidential candidates in recent years have displayed a winning sense of humor.  Bill Clinton rescued his political career after his disastrouly dull 1988 convention speech by gamely mocking himself and playing sax on Johnny Carson.

Though best known for his inspiring speeches, Obama has proven master of a dry humor that goes down smoothly on Letterman or at Press Corps dinners.

Reagan virtually won his elections based on debate quips.  George W. Bush’s frat. boy smirk won him the ‘who’d ya most like to have a beer with’ vote.

But does anyone want to have a beer with Mitt Romney?  Romney’s attempt this week to tell a ‘humorous’ story may reveal why it’s not only dogs who flee from Madcap Mitt:

During a conference call in Wisconsin, Romney told what he described as a “humorous” story about how his father once shut down a factory in Michigan and moved production to Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

One of [the] most humorous I think relates to my father. You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors. … They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign.

Any voters rolling in the aisles at the thought of unemployed factory workers?  Romney’s sense of humor is one surely only fellow androids can appreciate.  His attenmpts at light humor tend to ‘go over’ like a lead balloon.  Will those lead balloons help sink his campaign?

(images: antiquiet.com, coolcugiz.com, themachoresponse.com, Googleimages)

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As the Supreme Court considers Obama-Care, as studies show opponents to Obama-care outspent supporters in attack ads by three to one, and as Mitt Romney tries to Etch-a-Sketch away his Mass-Care past, our political comentator Ol’ Bill weighs in…

OBAMA CARE ON TRIAL: Questions for the Partisan Supremes On the Court and In the Congress by Ol’ Bill

 Why does the rest of the developed world manage to insure the health of all citizens at less than half the per capita costs of America? And why do the statistics also overwhelmingly reflect better health-care outcomes and longer life spans elsewhere? 
Why haven’t these questions been analyzed in serious congressional hearings before allowing the reform debate to be stalemated by the usual ideologues and selfish interests? Wouldn’t a factual comparison with other nations be an appropriate bipartisan demand by hard-nosed spending critics even at this late date?
Shouldn’t taxpayers demand reasons why healthcare costs in recent years have topped 16% of Gross Domestic Product in US vs. only 8.4% in UK, 8.2% in Japan? Why do Canada, France, Japan and Sweden among other advanced countries achieve life expectancies exceeding 80 years vs only 77.8 in US? High cost private insurance in US covers less than half of the actual costs vs. 70 to 87% in the others. Why?
Why was the infant mortality rate recently a mere 3.8% in Germany, 5.4% next door in Canada but 6.9% in U.S.? How inefficient must American private insurance companies become before attracting critical public attention in the Congress or in the Media? How can one American private insurance company freely raise rates in excess of 35% in recent times?
Apparently in other advanced countries, government-run single payer insurance as well as heavily regulated private plans and non-profits deliver consistently better results. (more…)

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Alysia Renier & David Alan BascheMove over, Brad and Angelina.  New ‘Dynamic Duos’ are on the rise.  The best chemistry I’ve seen onscreen lately is Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, terrifc in tandem in the new ‘Bromance,’ 21 Jump Street.  But as the New York Times notes in rating the odds of celebrity marriage ‘doom’, chemistry is harder to maintain offscreen.  One rising power-couple who may give Brad and Angi a run for their money both on and off the screen are the actor/activist husband/wife team of Alysia Reiner and David  Alan Basche .

I saw Alysia’s brilliant short film Speed Grieving when it screened with our own  Celebrities in Disgrace at Woods Hole Film Festival.

And I was lucky to see Alysia perform in person in NYC in a moving staged reading of Wonder Drug (by blog fave Caitlin McCarthy).  Alysia is now helping to bring Wonder Drug to the screen as both producer and star.

Alysia won a SAG for the film Sideways and has appeared on stage, screen and TV (The Sopranos, Law & Order).  She finds time to advocate for the environment.  Among his credits, David starred in the Oscar winning film UNITED 93 and he will be shooting season 2 of THE EXES this year. Alysia Reiner just wrapped 2 plays Off-Broadway as well as BACKWARDS, a film with James Van Der Beek.  She’s been mentioned lately as a possible future ‘Bond Girl‘ (as in ‘Bond, James Bond.’)

The couple juggle their multiple roles with grace, all while staying married for 14 years and raising a daughter.  Plus, like Jonah & Channing, David & Alysia are lots more fun than Brad & Angi (see David & Alysia’s new WMDean social-networking online contest, with celebritized prizes).

Cheers to all duos who manage to be dynamic both on and off the screen.

(images: LifeStyle.com, vimio.com, Googleimages, linkedin.com, gettyimages, film magic) .

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Judith Podell is now reviewing non-fiction for Publisher’s Weekly. In her spare time she channels blues legend Memphis Earlene Gray on www.memphisearlene.com.  Judith holds an MFA from USM-Stonecoast and lives in Washington, DC. She has reviewed books for numerous publications, including the Washington Post. An excerpt from her novel in progress, The Last of the Khazars was in the first issue of The New Guard Review of Literature: www.newguardreview.com.

Mash Note to Christopher Walken by Judith Podell

Back on the late Planet Krankton, he was crown prince but when the meteor struck and he was flung into the cosmos, he landed in Astoria, Queens, one of the Outer Boroughs of Planet Manhattan, and sent to dancing school.

The young Christopher Walken looked like Faye Dunaway’s near identical fraternal twin.  That same kind of tense prettiness, and nothing is more disturbing in a man’s face than a hint of prettiness.  And, as Meryl Streep puts it, he moves like a god.  Then there’s the voice. It’s the voice I want on my GPS.  Flat-affect yet avuncular.   Like your twisted uncle, the one who did time for some imaginative swindle involving racehorses and shipments of uric acid to Uzbekistan.

“If I were you, I’d take the next left,” he’d tell me.

And when I proceeded on going on my own way, he would not bail me out and provide an alternative, like the current GPS voice does (generic females from out of space), he’d let me pay for my mistakes.  Not so bad that I’d go up a one-way ramp and enter the Interstate going in the wrong direction.  He’s not cruel that way.   HE’s given up being amazed at just how dumb earthlings are.  He’s just haunted, existentially lonely, the survivor of some early, unspeakable trauma, the destruction of his home planet.

He came to earth to redeem bad movies.

For demonstration of Christopher Walken’s super-powers check out the video for Fatboy Slim’s video for Weapon of Choice.

(images: fanpop.com, tmbler.com, colestratum.com)

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‘Really’, Republicans?  You really think an anti-contraception woman-bashing campaign is the way to win the White House?  As the mighty Rush is made to actually apologize and as the GOP candidates lurch further toward an electoral train-wreck, this may go down as the week the Republicans went off the rails.

Already the party of the ‘1%’ in terms of wealth, the GOP has also now became the party of the tiny percent of the USA that does not use or believe in birth control.  In this fractious country of ours, one of the few issues almost everyone agrees on is the right of couples to ‘make merry’ without necessarily making a baby.

As blog-fave ‘Barb’ points out in a recent Comment here, unlike Mrs. Santorum, not every woman “wants seven children.”

To Rush Limbaugh, college-age women like the poised and articulate Sandra Fluke wanting health coverage for contraception is akin to prostitution.  Anti-contraception candidate Rick Santorum led the charge off the cliff, waving like a caveman club the ‘blunt instrument’ of the Blunt Ammendment.

Now both Blunt and Rush have gone down in flames.  Rush will rage on, more of a misogynist mad-man than ever.  And– funded by the nutty-billionaire campaign finance fiasco that the conservative-led Supreme Court foolishly made law– Rick too will rampage away.

Republicans are truly reaping what they sowed.  Matt Taibbi sums it all up in his brilliant Rolling Stone screed on the ‘spiraling Republican Disaster, “Arizona Debate: Republican Chickens Come Home to Roost.”  What next?  And WDYT?

(images: doninmass.com, politico.com, politicalhumor.about.com)

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