“HE IS George W. Bush without the intelligence and without the ethics!”
So says the perspicacious Texan Jim Hightower of his former opponent, Governor Rick Perry.
He said this on Lawrence O’Donnell’s “The Last Word” show on MSNBC, a TV “must” for insiders.
Mr. Hightower lost to Perry in the smallest voting turnout ever in Texas; only about 33% of Texans bothered to vote. Hightower ran as a Democrat and Democrats seldom win in The Lone Star State.
They say timing is everything in show business and in politics. So my friend, the N.Y Times columnist Gail Collins, is right on time; she had an idea to write about how often Texas has figured in national politics and is researching the book now. With Rick Perry’s candidacy, suddenly, she has the cherry on the sundae.
Gov. Perry will be catnip for deep-seated evangelicals who don’t care to cast their vote for a Mormon. People are already talking Michele Bachmann as Perry’s vice-president! Saints preserve us.
P.S. Perry has already jumped on the president’s patriotism and love of America. When asked if he thinks President Obama loves America, Perry answered, “You’ll have to ask him.” Obama, on CNN, commented to Wolf Blitzer that because Perry was such a new presidential candidate, he’d “give him a pass” on that remark.
The president seems always reserved and above the down and dirty. I think it’s time he took the gloves off.
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SO YOU think I’m just what I am – a yellow-dog Democratic liberal. But let me just say one of my favorite readings is the conservative National Review and its opening short takes. Here’s one I really liked:
“Often, Europeans and American liberals ask why American conservatives have so little respect for the United Nations. Next time they ask, you could tell them this: North Korea is chairing the Conference on Disarmament. If that’s not good enough, you could add this: Iran is a member of the Commission on the Status of Women. That should answer their question.”
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TOM CRUISE is 49, but that’s not slowing him down one little bit. In the next two years, he’ll have four films out. “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” opens this year. Tom is currently filming “Rock of Ages,” in which he’ll debut his singing chops (and still rock-hard abs) and he has “Oblivion” and “One Shot” in pre-production.
The latter film has become controversial. It is based on a novel by Lee Child, and Tom plays the iconic Jack Reacher character. Fans of the novels are furiously objecting to Tom’s casting, but given Mr. Cruise’s famous determination and work ethic, such criticism will simply spur him to do his very best. Tom will have a leading lady in “One Shot” and at least three actresses are testing for the role — Hayley Atwell, Alexa Davalos, and Rosamund Pike. I know, I’ve never heard of them either. (Not quite true, Miss Pike’s name rings a bell.)
This is par for the course in Tom’s long career. He has rarely been matched with a leading lady of equal stature. Perhaps when he started out, they were either too young or too old? And, he’s made a lot of action films and male-bonding movies that don’t require a great lady star. Of course, he’s shared the screen with super-novas like Paul Newman and Dustin Hoffman, and even Meryl Streep in “Lions and Lambs” though he and Streep were not romantically involved in that.
Only recently, in “Knight and Day” with Cameron Diaz, was Tom paired with a woman who has some current clout. Renee Zellweger was not a star when she did “Jerry Maguire”… ditto Jeanne Tripplehorn in “The Firm” … Val Kilmer’s scenes with Tom in “Top Gun” had more heat than those with Kelly McGillis … Demi Moore seemed incidental but excellent in “A Few Good Men”… Nicole Kidman didn’t become a major star until she and Tom divorced.
I don’t recall who the “love interest” was in “Cocktail.” And Penelope Cruz was not well known in the U.S. when she and Tom did “Vanilla Sky.”
It’s not that Tom isn’t sexy or attractive, but he is at his best playing men in conflict with themselves, tempted to stray ethically, but in the end (usually) doing the right thing. Often, he has a male mentor or nemesis or source of inspiration. Or victim — lest we forget, he turned poor Brad Pitt into a mopey bloodsucker in “Interview With the Vampire,” and tormented Jamie Foxx in “Collateral.”
However, Tom is never less than interesting to observe onscreen, whether he has a lady to play off or not. He is an extremely underrated actor. His performance as Ron Kovic in “Born on the Fourth of July” still stands as one of the most wrenching and genuine turns of his (or any actor’s!) career.
So, good luck Hayley, Alexa or Rosamund. You’ll be working with one of Hollywood’s greatest stars and a super-professional from whom you will learn even more about your craft and how to succeed in business by really trying.
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AUGUST 16th was the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. (So Michele Bachmann got it wrong, saying it was the day of his birth — her heart was in the right place, for a change.)
Speaking of The King, a mask of Elvis is being displayed at the Brooklyn Museum’s current “African Innovations” exhibit. This mask was worn by members of the Nyau, a secret society who live in Malawi. The mask was used for ritualistic ceremonies — coronations, funerals, big dances, etc.
Hmmm…I wonder if these Malawi residents gave up their Elvis mask for one of Madonna? After all, she’s adopted two children from this country, and poured millions into it. I’m sure The Queen of Pop would appreciate — and accept as her due — her image used at coronations.