Celebrities And Politics

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Postby Nik » Sun May 14, 2006 10:30 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:Even nutjobs can be independent thinkers.


LOL. Well I think the key words were fundamentally religious nutjobs. Not to insult anyone's religion but that appellation usually precludes independent thinking.

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Postby OscarGuy » Sat May 13, 2006 8:36 am

I'll point this out so we don't get our hopes up. General concensus can say that they don't support the republicans...HOWEVER, what you have to look at is individual races. The republicans just have to win the races that are up. Senate will be easy to retain control of in that case because they have fewer races to watch. House won't be nearly as easy but I don't see the numbers as so disparate that people will vote their favorite senators/congressmen out.

I'd really like to see polls on each of the races in the next election to know how things might pan out.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Sat May 13, 2006 7:02 am

Nik wrote:Wow...I mean WOW. Okay if even a right wing VERY socially conservative, fundamentally religious nutjob like Mel Gibson can see through Bush, maybe there IS hope for the upcoming elections and then 2008?

You've been looking at the polls, haven't you?

Even nutjobs can be independent thinkers.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Sat May 13, 2006 6:52 am

I guess this is for real. Look who he's hired as his campaign manager.

Go Kinky!


Friday May 12, 3:36 AM
Kinky turns in signatures to get on Texas ballot
By Hilary Hylton



AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Musician and mystery writer Kinky Friedman, brandishing his trademark cigar and spouting one-liners, turned in petitions with nearly 170,000 signatures on Thursday in his bid to run for governor of Texas as an independent candidate.

The 169,574 signatures were more than 3 1/2 times the number needed to get Friedman's name on the ballot in November but they still must be verified, state officials said.

Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams has said it will take several weeks to make sure at least 45,540 of the signatures, or the minimum number needed to get on the ballot, come from qualified voters.

Friedman campaign manager Dean Barkley, who ran former wrestler Jesse Ventura's successful independent campaign for Minnesota governor in 1998, said the Friedman camp already had independently verified the signatures so no problems were expected.

Friedman, who always wears a black cowboy hat and Western clothes, stood on the steps of Williams' office and told 150 supporters the signatures he delivered came from every corner of the state and every stratum of Texas society.

"Thank God for bars and dance halls," he said. "Every signature counts whether it came from a country club or homeless shelter."

Friedman is conducting an irreverent campaign that includes a lot of humorous one-liners but also appears to be a serious run for the office once held by President George W. Bush.

His positions on controversial issues cross philosophical lines to include support for school prayer but also support for gay marriage.

"Why shouldn't they be as miserable as the rest of us?" he jokes about the gay marriage issue.

Friedman's supporters waved signs on Thursday that said such things as "Down with the Status Quo" and "My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy."

Friedman first rose to prominence in the 1970s as musician with his group Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys and later became a writer of mystery novels with titles such as "Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola" and "Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover."

Polls have shown Friedman with 10 percent to 21 percent support but Barkley told reporters polls in what is expected to be a race with four major candidates are notoriously unreliable. The last poll before Ventura's surprise victory showed him 11 points behind, he said.

State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a Republican who used to be a Democrat, also is running as an independent and on Tuesday turned in 223,000 signatures to get her name on the ballot.

"Of course she's got more signatures. She's got all ex-husbands there," Friedman said, referring to Strayhorn's checkered matrimonial past.

Already assured places on the ballot are Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican running for re-election, and Democratic candidate Chris Bell, a former U.S. congressman.

As Friedman left Thursday's event, he waved to his supporters and said, "May the God of your choice bless you and onward through the fog."
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Postby Nik » Sat May 13, 2006 3:17 am

Wow...I mean WOW. Okay if even a right wing VERY socially conservative, fundamentally religious nutjob like Mel Gibson can see through Bush, maybe there IS hope for the upcoming elections and then 2008?

No no no! I won't do it to myself again and get my hopes up! I've learnt in my relatively young 22 years on this planet to be cynical when it comes to the American public; one must always refer to their collective, culturally anesthetized stupidity. The Repubs are already making bogus "problems" out of immigration and gays (again) and I'm sure those terror alerts will return the closer it gets to election time. Whatever they can do to get idiots and religious fanatics worked up so they vote against their economic interests and then the fat cats in the ruling party can sit back, ignore those issues, and return to what REALLY matters to them: tax cuts.

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Postby Penelope » Fri May 12, 2006 6:22 pm

Wow. Even conservative-nutjob-homophobe Mel Gibson doesn't like Bush:

Mel Gibson Compares President Bush to Barbaric Mayans

Film star and director Mel Gibson has launched a scathing attack on President George W. Bush, comparing his leadership to the barbaric rulers of the Mayan civilization in his new film Apocalypto. The epic, due for release later this year, captures the decline of the Maya kingdom and the slaughter of thousands of inhabitants as human sacrifices in a bid to save the nation from collapsing.

Gibson reveals he used present day American politics as an inspiration, claiming the government callously plays on the nation's insecurities to maintain power.

He tells British film magazine Hotdog, "The fear-mongering we depict in the film reminds me of President Bush and his guys."
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Postby criddic3 » Wed May 03, 2006 3:00 am

I don't think it is wrong to say such things in front of the President. However, it may have been inappropriate timing.

By all means, go ahead and tell the President your opinion. It's not like he hasn't seen protesters before.

But to shock people while at a friendly gathering where the President is already poking fun at himself and some of the events of recent times that have lowered his ratings, may have been a case of over-doing it.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Tue May 02, 2006 7:09 pm

criddic3 wrote:I have no problem with the routine in and of itself (tho I disagree with its sentiments), but it wasn't the right venue for it really.

The President's own routine with Steve Bridges was actually amusing and self-deprecating. I think this is why the press has been more eager to broadcast that segment. The routine showed that the President is aware of his situation and Colbert didn't really need to bring it up in such a fashion.

No, maybe the press didn't broadcast this segment because of all the jokes Colbert levelled at them, and in THEIR presence. And those jokes were far more scathing. Funny how you hit upon a rule of manners and decorum, yet don't think to apply it in defence of the press as well.

Read your constitution. The President is not a king. You're allowed to insult him in his presence, although he's beyond reproach at this point.

Have we forgotten Don Imus so soon? How the tables have turned.
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Postby Penelope » Tue May 02, 2006 4:52 pm

Oscar-winner Dreyfuss campaigns against "shaped news"

By Astrid Zweynert
Tue May 2, 9:17 AM ET

Richard Dreyfuss has challenged the establishment for decades and now the maverick actor and activist is taking on the mainstream media.

The Oscar-winning star says an obsession with delivering instantaneous news and images provides too little context for audiences to reflect and understand what is happening in the world.

"There is no room to pause, no room to think," Dreyfuss, who starred in films ranging from "Jaws" to "Mr Holland's Opus" told Reuters in a recent telephone interview.

"We don't build into our system of thoughts the need to explain, the media doesn't build that into its transmission of knowledge and information."

That creates what Dreyfuss calls "shaped news" -- a version of events according to how the mainstream media want audiences to see what happened, and a violation of journalism's core value of objectivity.

Citizen journalism is playing a vital part in broadening news coverage, as well as scrutinizing professional journalism, Dreyfuss said.

"Information from more than one source is good. I'm totally in favor of it, even if people send propaganda. In the aggregate you can find more truth than in one opinion."

But despite an explosion in blogs, people's views of the news is still shaped by what powerful media corporations print, broadcast and put on their Web sites, Dreyfuss, 58, said.

"Do the mainstream media ever tell their readers 'Don't believe everything we tell you?' No, they don't."

Dreyfuss said media coverage of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York was a pertinent example of how a non-stop supply of images and spot news shaped people's views.

"The falling Twin Towers -- pictures that produced anger, a lot of anger that were sent instantly around the world, they created a need to react."

"People in Kansas could see the Twin Towers fall at exactly the same instant as in Nigeria and Cairo. Such an instantaneous knowledge of a situation leads to an instantaneous reaction which creates demand for an instantaneous, reflexive response.

"The question is how do you get people to find out more, how do you get people to read not just what they are told to read."

The power of language is also an important factor in shaping the news.

"The 'war on terror' -- objection to using this term is dead. It's become part of our vocabulary, but what does it really mean? You should know more specifically what you are fighting."

Dreyfuss is eager to point out that he is not anti-technology: "I'm not in love with technology and speed but I don't want to sound like a luddite.

"We've got to be aware of the power of technology and the speed at which it allows us to transmit information.

"You have to encourage prose, analysis and detail -- otherwise people will go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan without really knowing why."

Dreyfuss, who won an Oscar for his performance in "The Goodbye Girl," has pursued his passion for political and social activism since his college days.

An active opponent of the Vietnam War, he has also worked to promote solutions to the Mideast conflict, campaigned for education and, most recently, has lent his support to a campaign for the impeachment of President Bush.

He is studying civics and democracy as a senior associate member at St Antony's College at the University of Oxford.

"Civics is no longer taught in the U.S, a sign of a neurosis that is inexplicable," he said. "Not to teach civics is suicide.

"Reason, logic, civility, dissent and debate -- five ancient words that should be taught again and better, at elementary level, so that people know the difference between news and shaped news," Dreyfuss said.
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Postby criddic3 » Tue May 02, 2006 3:32 am

I have no problem with the routine in and of itself (tho I disagree with its sentiments), but it wasn't the right venue for it really.

The President's own routine with Steve Bridges was actually amusing and self-deprecating. I think this is why the press has been more eager to broadcast that segment. The routine showed that the President is aware of his situation and Colbert didn't really need to bring it up in such a fashion. However, maybe it will energize the administration more. If that's the case, than I welcome this incident.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:50 am

Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Does Not Seem Amused


By Editor & Publisher Staff

Published: April 29, 2006 11:40 PM ET


WASHINGTON A blistering comedy “tribute” to President Bush by Comedy Central’s faux talk show host Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday night left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close.

Earlier, the president had delivered his talk to the 2700 attendees, including many celebrities and top officials, with the help of a Bush impersonator.

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”

Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face—“and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.”

Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."

He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, just three tables away from Karl Rove, and that he had brought " Valerie Plame." Then, worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean... he brought Joseph Wilson's wife." He might have "dodged the bullet," he said, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't there.

Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail. "

Observing that Bush sticks to his principles, he said, "When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday - no matter what happened Tuesday."

Also lampooning the press, Colbert complained that he was “surrounded by the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox believes in presenting both sides of the story — the president’s side and the vice president’s side." He also reflected on the alleged good old days, when the media was still swallowing the WMD story.

Addressing the reporters, he said, "You should spend more time with your families, write that novel you've always wanted to write. You know, the one about the fearless reporter who stands up to the administration. You know-- fiction."

He claimed that the Secret Service name for Bush's new press secretary is "Snow Job." Colbert closed his routine with a video fantasy where he gets to be White House Press Secretary, complete with a special “Gannon” button on his podium. By the end, he had to run from Helen Thomas and her questions about why the U.S. really invaded Iraq and killed all those people.

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling, and handshakes, and left immediately.

E&P's Joe Strupp, in the crowd, observed that quite a few sitting near him looked a little uncomfortable at times, perhaps feeling the material was a little too biting--or too much speaking "truthiness" to power.

Asked by E&P after it was over if he thought he'd been too harsh, Colbert said, "Not at all." Was he trying to make a point politically or just get laughs? "Just for laughs," he said. He said he did not pull any material for being too strong, just for time reasons. (He later said the president told him "good job" when he walked off.)

Helen Thomas told Strupp her segment with Colbert was "just for fun."

In its report on the affair, USA Today asserted that some in the crowd cracked up over Colbert but others were "bewildered." Wolf Blitzer of CNN said he thought Colbert was funny and "a little on the edge."

Earlier, the president had addrssed the crowd with a Bush impersonator alongside, with the faux-Bush speaking precisely and the real Bush deliberately mispronouncing words, such as the inevitable "nuclear." At the close, Bush called the imposter "a fine talent. In fact, he did all my debates with Senator Kerry."

Among attendees at the black tie event: Morgan Fairchild, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Justice Antonin Scalia, George Clooney, and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of the Doobie Brothers--in a kilt.
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Postby Penelope » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:27 pm

Incidentally, have y'all heard Pink's song "Dear Mr. President" ?

It may take some time to load, but you can hear it here.
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Postby criddic3 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:21 pm

You mentioned Springsteen, not me. Although I do think it was shameless of Kerry to support some of the hateful stuff some celebrities came up with at one fundraising event.

If you can find the quote anywhere that i specifically spoke against Springsteen, i'll give you half a point on this one. But I don't think I ever did. Thank you.

Greg, he eluded to it almost everytime he spoke to interviewers about "Good Night, and Good Luck" and how he felt it was important for the times. He and others I have seen in interviews (particularly people from Air America) have said that people have been (at the time and during 2004 election) afraid to speak out and "tell the truth." Some celebrities do talk like they are the People's Spokesman.

My philosophy is "fine, say what you want. Just don't dismiss my opinion if you want me to respect yours." Routinely on this board my opinions have been dismissed with arguments that split hairs. "Yes the President got the most votes ever, but Kerry got the second most. What does that say?" Yeah, but he got the most and won. Which is more significant? These kinds of debates are rather frivolous. Yet we'll go on having them, because we'll never see eye to eye on the Presidency of George W. Bush. He has low numbers now, so you all think that makes him the "Worst President" and you frown upon my support. To be fair, some of you have disliked him from the beginning. But some people out there think that a poll of 1, 000 or so people truly represents the whole picture. Then when the numbers flip to the opposite, you say "oh, polls don't really matter." And when I post such a poll you'll say "see you think polls matter." Well the important thing is that the President doesn't think they matter. At least not in terms of policy. Obviously the White House shakeup is a response to lagging support, but that makes sense. Hopefully new faces will help to get the ball rolling again. He's been labelled "finished" before, ya know.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:44 am

criddic3 wrote:I'm glad you brought it up, because it's important to distinguish what the difference is. Any citizen has the right to speak against policy. But there is a dignified way to do it. Using a concert to bash the President, when perhaps half your audience is not in sync, is wrong. Being interviewed by a newspaper and saying how you will vote in an election or what your view is, is ok. Make sense to you?

Zero.

Everyone knew Bruce Springsteen's concert was a Kerry campaign. If half the audience isn't in sync with the politics (which is as bloody unlikely as you're going to get) but they buy tickets anyway, and THEN they're offended, they're stupidity is overflowing.

And Woody Allen WAS interviewed by the papers, and you still threw a temper tantrum. Start doing a little distinguishing yourself.
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Postby Greg » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:15 am

criddic3 wrote:Some of them do suggest that "all of America" is secretly behind them, but are "afraid" to say so, ala Clooney and some others. Such bloated egotism is unwarranted.

When has Clooney ever said anything like that?
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