Liz Smith: Mother of Mercy, Is This the End of Obama? (Nah, Not Yet!)

And more from our Gossip Girl: Ashton Kutcher’s “tweeting” thoughts … new book celebrates Judy Garland

“BUT DOES Obama listen to me? No, he listens to Tim Geithner, whose background was as a bureaucrat at IMF before he became head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, on whose board sat all the big bankers he was supposed to oversee and regulate. With real unemployment pushing 20%, home values down 40%, and global debt manipulation lost to control, Obama cannot be reelected.”

That was New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, letting loose the other night at Patricia Duff’s private screening of HBO’s “Too Big Too Fail” movie, which examines the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Although none of the film’s stars — John Hurt, Paul Giamatti, James Woods, Matthew Modine — were present for the screening, which happened at New York City’s Austrian Cultural Center, columnist Nocera was on hand, as was publisher Mort Zuckerman. Both men held brief court afterwards, expressing their feelings about what they consider the sorry future of America’s economy.

Zuckerman did inject a note of levity when he advised the audience to “wear asbestos” while reading Nocera’s most recent Times column, in which the writer described the Tea Party as “waging jihad against the economy.”

But Nocera quickly interjected, insisting his words were “immoderate” and that of course he did not really view that wing of the Right as “terrorists.”

However, Nocera did not think his remarks about President Obama were “immoderate.”

I do not think it is wise to write the president off a full year before the election, but the way it stands now, he is super-vulnerable and seems incapable of deploying the strength needed to assure a second term. If he wins, it will not be the triumph of two and a half years ago. Obama could squeak in as the better of two evils, depending on who the Republicans pick to run against him.

My advice? Call Congress back from vacation and make them work on the debt and credit debacles. Even if it leads to nothing concrete — as if anything concrete actually comes out of Congress — it would look good. It would sound good. Time for some drama, Obama.

* * *

ASHTON KUTCHER is best known as a charming TV and movie actor (now replacing Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men”) and as the beloved of Demi Moore.

But Kutcher’s real success has come from championing new communication technology, such as Twitter, which he seemingly “invented” overnight. He’s a social media guru, a hot tech nerd/mogul with fingers in every digital pie.

Kutcher is on the cover of Details magazine. Inside, he is interviewed by Jonah Weiner. The actor had a lot to say about the power of social networking.

“Look at the people in Egypt and Syria, who are leading revolutions through Twitter. One person can have just as loud a voice as an entire media corporation.” Asked about the blurring of on and offline lives, Ashton says, “I think technology is just mapping and organizing what already exists. If you’re an asshole offline, you’re probably an asshole online … you have to learn to negotiate it, or you can choose not to participate. People used to behave morally because they thought God was watching — in some ways God today is the collective, and the collective is watching.”

Ashton believes that the more people realize “the collective is watching,” the less they’ll be tempted to go down the Anthony Weiner road to ruin. (I don’t agree — I think the exhibitionism and narcissism that social networking encourages is here to stay.)

Ashton concedes, “There’s some blatantly intrusive stuff people are doing. I’m not particularly a fan of Sarah Palin, but perusing all of her e-mails because we can? I think that’s bullshit.”

But what about privacy? Hasn’t social media, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace killed it as surely as Macbeth murdered sleep? Ashton says: “I think privacy is valuable. You don’t have to share everything, and it’s healthy to occasionally hit the pause button and ask if you’re oversharing. But at the end of the day, if you’re not doing anything wrong you don’t have anything to hide.”

Hmmm … well, Mr. Kutcher, the problem is, many people who “overshare” don’t think they are really doing anything wrong, until they’ve overshared themselves out of their job and/or into public humiliation.

Ashton was a biochemistry major before he became a runway model and then an actor. Oh, kid — why couldn’t you have done something fascinating with enzymes or lipids or living organisms that don’t tweet?

* * *

“JENNY, IT’S a sellout.”

“I’m always a sellout!”

So it went between Dirk Bogarde and Judy Garland in Judy’s final movie, “I Could Go On Singing.” It was a scene from life — somebody trying to persuade Garland, who was playing a controversial concert singer, to forget her troubles, get happy, and go onstage. The scene was a five minute, one-take stunner, in which Garland expresses her frustration and bitterness, after a lifetime of giving, giving, giving. (She wrote much of the dialogue herself.)

Next month, a new book hits the shelves — a glorious coffee-table entry titled “Judy: A Legendary Film Career.”  Written by Garland historian extraordinaire John Fricke, it is a glossy, gorgeous tribute, packed with hundreds of never-before-seen photos of the star — portraits, costume tests, on-set candids.

When a tragically wraithlike Judy died in 1969 of what the coroner called “an incautious overdose” (simply one pill too many), her reputation had been soiled by years of unsavory headlines, rumored suicide attempts, an elusive voice. Her decline had begun in earnest after the cancellation of her TV series in 1964 — the ensuing five years were an agony for her and for those who loved her.

But since that time, slowly, year by year, Judy’s great work, on screen, TV, radio and onstage has been revived, re-evaluated, appreciated anew. John Fricke’s latest book seems the crowning glory of a decades-long resuscitation of a career that stands unequaled in show biz history.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of her film debut, the 60th anniversary of her first legendary appearance at the Palace Theater, and the 50th anniversary of her myth-making Carnegie Hall concert.

Time passes, but genius is forever.

38 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Deirdre Cerasa says:

    Loved Judy as a little girl. Have all her music and can’t wait for the book.

  2. avatar Paul Smith says:

    Liberals are dropping support like flies, if Maureen Dowd’s recent flaying is any indication. Should the young and the blacks who typically don’t vote stay home, and they will, on election day, the president will not get a second term. Diana Nyad, the image of weeping defeat, could offer him advice about the perils of bluffing it.

    • avatar Anais P says:

      But the support for the GOP is even lower than for the Democratic Party. Do you really want to elect as President someone who just recently wanted to secede from the country he now wants to lead? Or someone who thinks the South during the Civil War was the Christian side and the Northerners were heathens? Or someone who thinks corporations are people? These are three of the GOP front-runners.  At least Obama is the adult among all these crazy kids …

  3. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    I, too, have been disappointed, anrgry, and frustrated wit the president. Hard as he may be to support, the other options are comically unthinkable — Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry? None of these people is fit lead a parade, let alone a nation. Tea party terrorists (and they are dangeorus terrorists) will be happy only when they complete bin Laden’s work.

  4. avatar Karin Dobson says:

    I admire John Hurt’s work very much however it was William Hurt who starred in Too Big to Fail. US politics are fastinating to observe and impossible to understand. The film was a pretty straight forward explanation of what happenned in 2008 and yet liberals continue to act as if it was a big mystery. Without appropriate over sight the opportunity to make lots and lots of money out weighed the moral responsibility of all involved.
    The conservative right in your country refuses to raise taxes to increase revenues which would allow for building over sight and regulations which they consider too big government so the cycle continues.

  5. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    What Ashton Kutcher has championed is the “misinformation highway” which has enriched quite a few who are making big bucks off the “child sex slave market” that doesn’t exist.  As if Congress doesn’t already waste enough money, now there are millions of taxpayer dollars for “non-profits” to churn out “public information” about “child sex slave markets” which has become a market in itself. As for Twitter, well, it’s a shame they took Elizabeth Taylor’s laptop away from her when she started to “let loose” on Arnie Klein. That was about the only time Twitter served any real purpose in our society.

  6. avatar Mr. Wow says:

    I will vote, with reluctance and resignation, for Obama next year.

    He has not disappointed me.  He has turned out just as I imagined.  (I never thought he was the sizzling presence championed by his most ardent admirers.)

    But what/who else is there for us?  (“us” being liberal Democrats)  Romney seems the least scary, but I’d still rather not. 

    We will live in interesting times, come 2013.

  7. avatar Miss Lee says:

    I would be disappointed in Mr. Obama but I really don’t know how anyone could do better with the present members of congress.  The whole situation leaves me wonder once again, why would anyone want to be president? 

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Miss Lee…

      Mick Jagger said it best:  “Only an actor or a madman would want to be president of the United States.”

      We’ve had our quota of both. 

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        And, Mr. Wow, apparently John Lennon supported Ronald Reagan, the Actor, for president versus Jimmy Carter …. who might not exactly be a madman but he certainly knew how to make enemies of his fellow Democrats in Congress.   Very bad form to make enemies of one’s friends.

  8. avatar Jody says:

    What gets my goat:
    S&P down-grades our credit score.
    Why hasn’t the Press notified America that S&P are the bozos that gave the sub-prime loans that got us here in the first place a AAA Rating???
    Shouldn’t Americans know that??? I think so! Does it make you angry? It does me! Because these knuckleheads can… at their whim… decide if something is good for you or not. Obviously S&P has issues as well and maybe should down-grade themselves on their own credibility. They made a HUGE mistake and don’t have to make up for it at all.
    No one should be okay with this.
    People want to blame it on Obama. This problem started LONG before Obama.
    America… I implore you… stop pointing the fingers and start looking in the mirror. This is a LONG-TERM fix… not an overnight one. Hunker down and prepare to pay attention because for at least 2 generations this country has stopped paying attention. This is where it’s gotten us. WAKE UP AND COME TO THE PARTY!

    … The above is just my humble opinion as an American Voter. Thank you…

    • avatar Bonnie O says:

      First class example of blaming the messenger for the message.

      America currently spends $4 BILLION more dollars each and every day then it receives in revenue.  4 x 365 =  $1,460 Trillion dollars each year added  to the deficit.  The Stimulus package added $890+ Billion to the deficit but was wasted by the Democratic Congress in 2009 and not spent, as was promised, on shovel-ready projects, like briges, highways etc.  Instead most of that money went to the public service employee unions in the States which delayed for one year the current unrestl which is seen in California, Wisconsin, and other states as the unions fight to keep their employment benefits which are no longer affordable by the citizens of their States.

      The “debt deal” which just passed the Congress only promises that instead of spending $10 Trillion more dollars in DEFICIT over the next decade, we shall only spend $7 TRILLION more.   This is not sustainable.

      Obama has been a fool.  His inexperience becomes more glaring every month.  It is time for his preisdency to end.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        He is more a tool than a fool and in that sense not a fool at all. Believe me, there is a Bush-Clinton-Obama “Joint Venture Capitalization to Build Hotels and Form Oil and Gas Companies to Help Earthquake/Tsunami’Hurrice Victims” Fund in his future.

        As for Congress they’re all whores. Get over it.  We will see how all these middle-class Tea Baggers love their new party when in 2013 their representatives vote along with everyone else to keep the “It Trickles Down” tax cuts for the rich and raise the taxes for the middle-c;lass. Which they will.   Balance, dear Bonnie, means cutting wasteful spending while ensuring that the rich pay their fair share. Which they do not.  Someone has to pay for it all. And the only ones who can are the ones who really can’t afford to anymore. But will nonetheless.  One reason why Obamacare will be a disaster is that after they pay the additional taxes on top of the health insurance premiums they will no longer be able to afford to use the health insurance. Keep in mind that OBama didn’t write Obamacare. Congress did. And the Republicans aren’t going to change it. They would have written it themselves and probably would have eventually done so but the Democrasts insisted and, well, everyone will blame the Democrats so the Republicans took advantage of the opportunity. And their mark is in there even if no one wants to see it.  It is nothing but a “stimulus package” for the health care industry. As everyone will find out for themselves.

        It’s a shame we can’t all “write-in” on the ballots anymore. I suspect quite a few would join me in writing in “Mickey Mouse” in ALL the races.  And we would probably be better off with whoever Disney sent over to play the roles.

        • avatar Bonnie O says:

          Snooks, I do not think of the members of Congress as “whores” …. as you do.  Those sort of comments lend little to the discussion and add nothing to the current national debate as to whether America will continue on her downward spiral of becoming a “nanny state” or return to the path of personal responsibility and hard work.

          Too many Americans are looking to other Americans, via the government, to provide for their daily needs.  It is an impossible situation and our country is deteriorting because of it.  The Americans who are in true need of a safety net are, as a consequence of all the cheaters, being made to feel as if they too are cheaters by their working neighbors and even by folks in the government hired to assist them in their needs.  We, as a country, are hurting the very people for whom the safety net was created.

          When you say that President Obama did not write Obamacare, I guess what you are saying is that he should not be responsible for the lousy consequences of that law … like taking $500 Billion from the Medicare program.   I would like to hear the President say that the Congress is responsible for what he considers his greatest achievement.  Like heck, he will.   The President may whine that he didn’t get the program he wanted but then his problem is with his fellow Democrats because NONE in the GOP supported that horrible bill.  Obamacare was not legislation achieved through compromise!  Every GOP Presidental candidate supports the repeal of Obamacare.  It will take in Congress what Obama had to pass the legislation … a super majority in the Senate to achieve that goal … which no longer seems an impossibility.

          The sourness of some in the electorate such as yourself leads only to more squabbling and little progress.  You can call politicans nasty names … as many as you choose … but that action only shows more about you then about them. 

          I think we live in one of the most interesting political times in our country.  A major shift in how Americans think about themselves is happening.  We do not like all that we see but, more importantly, we are seeing all the areas where we can agree and where progress and prosperity can occur.   The battle is with the entitlement community;  and breaking bargains made decades ago,  because the nation is no longer able to remain capitalistic and support those bargains,  will be difficult enough without all of the other naysayers laying down words and polices of little substance and zero worth.

          • avatar Baby Snooks says:

            I will stand by my words.  I’ve dealt with them and their staffs, usually their staffs because they themselves are usually quite clueless about anything and everything that isn’t “hand-fed” to them, sat at dinner tables with them, had an affair with one of them and all these years later realize he didn’t deseve me or his wife, and most importantly have gotten bored from time to time and entertained myself by going through the FEC records. Just on the basis of the FEC records, they are all whores.

            As for no Republican voting for Obamacare, Olympia Snowe voted for Obamacare.  Last time I checked, she was a Republican.
            As for Obamacare, it really is just “reconstituted” Romneycare. Last time I checked, he was a Republican.

            As for all these “fiscally responsible” Republicans they have brought us SCHIPS, which has burdened states with additional costs the states didn’t need since the states probably could have provided health care for children far more easily and for far less money than what it has cost them under a federally mandated program, and of course the disaster of all disasters the Medicare Drug Program which has proven far costlier than the Republicans claimed and has contributed to that massive debt we face. Actually it’s really that massive debt our children and grandchildren face.  And many of these “fiscally responsible” Republicans who now call out for reducing the debt are in fact responsible for creating it in the first place. Just a little hypocritical if you ask me.  

            As for entitlement programs and the “debate” I don’t hesitates to say that the real “debate” is based on racist and xenophobic atittudes on the part of some who are willing to throw out the bathtub as well as the baby and the bathwater in order to “put those people in their place.”  If the Republicans succeed in doing so, it won’t be poor blacks and other minorities rioting in our streets. It will be our seniors. Most of them nice and white and very, very angry. From day one some in this country, all of them quickly joining the Tea Party, have conducted a war on Obama. Simply because he is black. And they believe he has not place in the White House. Simply because he is black.  They want to take “their” country back. The rest of us don’t want it back.

            I hear all the time that the blacks are the only reason why Obama is in the White House. That is in fact not true. There were quite a few nice, white Republicans who are not cheap white trailer trash and who refused to vote for a cheap white trailer trash ticket.  And probably will refuse to in 2012.  The number of Independents in this country has increased solely because of the number of Republicans who like me remember what the party once was and are disgusted by what it has become. And we have wised up. Our focus is on shutting down the bordello called Congress by getting rid of all the incumbents.  Particularly the Tea Bagggers.  Since the “Reagan Revolution” we have had two Republican presidents and two Democratic presidents who obviously cannot say no to Congress. So we will.

          • avatar Bonnie O says:

            So you had a failed affair with a Congressman?  Do you really think that makes you an expert on all of the people who serve in the Congress?  FYI, affairs have been known to occur in the business world, among teachers and yes even among neighbors!  You make a silly argument, Snooks.

            Your comments about “white trailer park trash” are simply vile and belong right up there with your commentary about “whores”.  All nonsense and spoken as if from a person with little regard for the language let alone the truth.  I choose not to debate these points with you because you do not put forth an argument of sense and seriousness.  Calling folks nasty names just makes your comments less viable.

            I prefer to debate issues with people who at least show a smile now and then in their writing.  I do not take your comments as satircal as you once protested.  There is nothing of substance in your comments made on this thread except, perhaps, for a deep well of unhappiness.  You exaggerate America’s failings and find little to compliment or to celebrate by being an American.  I find that sad.

          • avatar BeanCounter says:

            Bonnie – 2, Baby Snoocks – zero.    Sorry baby….you sound like what your name implies, and your arguments are those of a school child unable to grasp concepts but who repeats a mantra implanted in your brain by other people.  

          • avatar Baby Snooks says:

            Not failed at all. It wasn’t going anywhere, I never expected it to, and  I ended it.  And we parted on a good note. I saw him about ten year agos. Ten years later. Wouldn’t have traded a moment. Although ten years later, well, he seemed to have gone from affairs to conquests. But still it was good to see him again. Although, again, he really didn’t deserve me. Or his wife. I have no regrets looking back at my life. So much for your attempt to claim my dislike of certain types of people is the result of unhappiness. Happiness comes in fleeting moments. I’ve probably had more than most. And through it all, the ups and downs, well, I’ve always been content within. It’s been a magnificent adventure so far.

            I spent a lot of time in Washington. Met a lot of people. Saw quite a bit that most don’t see. Left me perhaps a little jaded. Certainly cautious about trusting politicians.
            If people don’t like being referred to as cheap white trailer park trash they should not act like cheap white trailer park trash. Biker Barbie for instance on her “motorcycle tour” commenting to the press about how she like the smell of motorcycle exhaust fumes. Really not what most think of in terms of presidential candidates. But, as I pointed out, at least we know she doesn’t sniff glue. Just motorcycle exhaust fumes.
            If I were interested in a debate, I would have invited you to one.

        • avatar Megan Freedman says:

          Obamacare aka PPACA is stimulus for LAWYERS actually.  Especially the new External Review Boards that are supposed to give people another place to appeal their claim denials. The ones who aren’t lawyers are the same people who do medical management for the insurers in the first place.
          The “popular” benefits that are already in place will stay, anything that’s “unpopular” aka the parts that fund the bill are already being stripped out. One thing people don’t understand is that a lot of these 100% benefits that everyone thinks are so great will drive UP costs. You tell a provider that its covered no matter what the charge is? things like mammograms will go from being $300 to thousands. We’re already seeing it. —I administer non-profit health plans.

  9. avatar Bonnie O says:

    If only it were already 2012, then Mr. Obama could leave sooner than expected.  If only….

    Obama’s presidency is in shambles.  All of his economic advisors, with the exception of Treasury Secretary Geithner, have resigned.  Geithner apparently also wants to resign but was persuaded to stay because if he left, too, then no-confidence in Obama will increase even more.  Really???

    Obama’s Afghanistan strategy of March 2009 and the Afghani surge of 2010/11 have failed.

    Libya is being bombed so often than even the sand is crumbling;  will there be anything left when we, under the guise of NATO, cease our attack?

    I heard a historian make a comment the other day that rings true.  He said that the year 2011 is very similar to the year 1938 when corporate America lost confidence in the government and began to hold on to their cash.  The uncertainty of government policy, including taxes, raised so much fear and doubt in the coprorate world that the consensus was to sit on their money for a period of time until confidence returned in the buying public and the White House produced some corporate worthy policies.  President Roosevelt and his Cabinet had no other ideas on how to reverse the depression which was headed for a double-dip.  Even though Roosevelt made a valiant effort to create employment and many of his programs succeeded wonderfully, the Depression was not lifted until America began to arm the Europeans and then ourselves as America joined the world at War.   It is reported that corporate America in 2011 is holding back almost $2 Trillion dollars which could be invested if they knew from which direction Obama planned next to attack their world and how to defend themselves from the greedy in Washington.

    Obama will probably be known as one of the finest orators to ever become President along with being one of the poorest leaders the country ever produced.  He wanted the job;  he knew the country was at war on two fronts;  he was aware of the economic downturn created by the housing bubble … but he wanted to President.  One has to wonder why?

  10. avatar Richard Bassett says:

                                                  I will vote for a second term for President Obama, as well. Plant a tree and watch it grow. I’m certainly not naive, but Mr. Wow says it all. Who else is there and we are only a year away? The battle has not been fought while campaigning. It is being fought during Obama is in office…and still going on. No doubt, his triumphs will serve his campaign well and confusion due to the economy will mix up who is aligned with whom, and everyone knows Palin is a joke. Everyone knows there will not be a single change if it is Mrs. Clinton. She’ll spend her time in office validating herself and using her free time will be spent trying to get others to ‘listen’ to her. Just my opinion, the bigger that she gets…the more she slips into the background, but give her something scripted, and she may relax enough to actually believe what she is saying. She needs an entourage and will realize that more than ever if she is to be elected. And, as for the rest of the hopefuls, I am neither passionate nor apathetic about who is announcing that they are going to run. I really do not see things getting better. Being managed, yes, but getting better?  Not in my lifetime.
                   I was a frantic fan of Ashton Kutcher on ‘Punk’d’ (during the pre-social media craze). He was cute and funny. You couldn’t pay me to watch That 70’s show, and from what I have seen as a dramatic actor in film, I was impressed. A few years back, Ashton’s time on social media seemed to be successful. No one else was jumping onto it, circa 2008. His fan base was enormous and he branched out onto U Stream (using video on the internet that is supposed to be interactive). Well, that soon became a laugh. If you want to post a tweet to Ashton, you and two million people are doing to same thing. It is the same way on Face Book, but you don’t want to post a comment to one on one of his topics, because you subsequently get the posts of others to his original post in your e-mail. You look at your e-mail box and see 85 messages…..all responses to his original post.  I am sure that there is a way to stop this, but I haven’t figured it out and there are e-mails from those posting that I like it read. It is a conversation. But, even if it says, ‘private chat’, it isn’t. Nothing is private on the internet so there are a lot of topics I will not speak about anymore…especially with other people. In private, I can talk to a friend about dog food and thirty minutes later, I am getting e-mails promoting every type of dog food that there is. I just laugh. I will be private, face to face now and settle for nothing less. More people need to know that they may think they are really posting to a friend, knowing it is public only to Face Book but everyone will soon find out, your conversation material is seen all over every social media sites possible. There are these arguments on Twitter but it all ends up on Perez Hilton’s site or TMZ. This is only getting worse. For some reason, Ashton and Demi Moore decided that their cause would be child slavery and prostitution. I think that they just picked an issue out of a hat. But posting about it goes in one ear and out the other. They make their YouTube PSA’s about prostitution regarding children but that is as far as it gets. For a while, they did (or maybe just Demi) were passionate about saving energy by using electric cars. A website was created. That came and went. They will plug their next project/film so the actual film name gets a lot of exposure. Ashton and Tom Cruise both did this for months last summer…and each film went to video a month later. Ashton and Demi have too many ‘flowerers’ and their information is quickly diluted and there is nothing special about any of their charities…including their own. They race by you too quickly. There is no use trying to isolate them get a word or two from them, with two million others trying to do the same thing. It’s a no win situation and their statements make very little impact. One can only hope that they are using some of their money to support their causes. It is reflected on Twitter and Face Book. Those social media sites are in real time and travel much too quickly through a ‘thread’ to concentrate on anything. Maybe we can talk to Libya and Egypt, but nothing relevant crosses the borders.
                      Judy, Judy, Judy. I never had a thing for her do not even know why she is a gay male icon. I’ve looked at it from all directions. She was a vocalist/actress who died of an overdose of pills. She was a child actress. She had five husbands. Made some good films and had a few children, had a one season TV variety show, and was a drug long term addict. That’s all I know. Whenever a group of friends are talking about “Judy”, I think of” The Wizard of Oz” and slowly slip away from the conversation. I have nothing to offer. I did like “A Star is Born”, whenever I get the chance to watch THAT version.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Oh, Richard, Richard, Richard..

      Why is Judy a gay icon?  Who knows? We can ask the same of those who adore Marlene and Marilyn and Bette and Barbra, etc. 

      However, as to your description of Judy, may I call upon our own girl, Miss Taylor:  She was a child actress.  She had six husbands.  Made some good films. Had a few children.  Was a long term alkie and prescription drug addict.  Died of natural causes, caused in great part by a lifetime of wretched excess. 

      She was a gay icon.  And long before her AIDS stance.  Honey…”Boom!”

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

        Mr WoW,
             Elizabeth befriended and protected gay men as early as 1949 (with Monty) and ending with 2009 (with Michael). Not only protected them but was very vocal from the 1970’s onward. She looked away at the judgement and replaced it with pride….at least for a little while. And Elizabeth wouldn’t have half of the gay icon status had it not been for AIDS in 1985. Look to see where her West Hollywood haunts were when she was in her 70’s. She was a personal and professional allie since 1949 (1943 if you count Roddy McDowell). She went so far as to address congress and, yes, you are right…she did have those above life issues but nothing but kinship when it came to gay men. Judy? She took an amphetamine and went into a Health Spa.

    • avatar Paul Smith says:

      There has never been a gay idol whose appeal could not be explained. 

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

        I guess that explains why I do not have one. I have admiration, and as a kid I wanted to read everything about them. The ones mentioned here….and more, but that just kinda went away. I was exposed to all the same gay things. I really don’t consider myself a ‘fan’. I did once in 1979 with ‘Blondie” but, by now, Debbie Harry must be 65. I know more about the historical point of view with the icons more than the fainting fan syndrome. In 1993, I met my last (so far) partner and he had a beautiful town house…where both floors shared a common high ceiling withan elaborate ceiling fan and a little balcony that jetted out from the bedroom second floor into the livingroom (first floor). We had breakfast there. But, seeing the bedroom (which was the entire second floor) for the first time, I saw these giant posters of Madonna everywhere. Not little photos but these god awful posters. I LOVE Madonna, especially loved her 1n 1993-94, but these posters had to go before I moved in.

  11. avatar Rho says:

    I did vote for President Obama.  Must say I am a little disappointed.  We will see who runs against him. 

    As for Judy Garland, I always liked her.  Tragic life, poor thing.

  12. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    I didn’t vote Obama because I felt he was a deer in the headlights.   Right now, I think his eyes are about as wide as they can go.  With that said, as a registered Republican our options are pretty slim pickens.   Romney seems the most normal of the bunch, so I’ll probably vote him in the primary.  Yet, when it comes to the election I may vote Obama.  Sometimes it’s better to go with the devil you know, rather than the one you don’t.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Never fear Pastor Rick Perry is here. And will probably win the nomination and probably select Sarah Palin as his running mate and if enough “backwoods types” vote according to what turns their crotch on America will finally be what it appears to be destined to be. A Third World country disguised as a Cheap White Trailer Trash Park. All Christians of course.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Baby…

        If Perry chooses Palin, he is a dead duck.  Now, if he can manage to snap up Bachmann…that will be formidable.  At least that’s how it looks right now.  In three months the entire landscape will be transformed.  

        • avatar Baby Snooks says:

          Well first he has to win the nomination and if the response so far by all the pundits is any indication, well I wouldn’t count on it. One thing alraedy being brought up is the “balanced budget” of 2009 which was balanced as a result of federal stimulus funds which of course he is very much against. Unless he can balance the budget with them of course. Early on some tagged him “Slick Rick” and I suspect everyone will soon find out why. He also doesn’t like to debate. So it will be interesting to see what happens at the next debate. Perhaps he has anotehr book and will just have his minions hand it out at the debates. Books work. Just ask Obama. Although I don’t think they will work for Rick Perry.

          The real problem is his “Revival” which was organized and underwritten by everyone’s favorite fundamentalist organization, the American Family Association, which believes all the Nazis were homosexuals and it was homosexuals who sent everyone to the concentration camps and believes Muslims are all terrorists and believes the First Amendment applies only to Christians.  I don’t think it will play well in Peoria as they say.

          I don’t think he is going to become president. I also don’t think he will be governor again. I do think he should have thought more carefully about his “National Day of Prayer” which was for Christians only,. And no liberal Christians, thank you very much. Liberal Christians believe in things that are not Christian. according to American Family Association. Things like equal rights for everyone. And taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Maybe he was on the motorcycle with Sarah Palin and she suggested he try sniffing the fumes. If so they need to keep him away from motorcycles.

        • avatar KarenR says:

          Perry-Bachmann? I think you seriously underestimate the American people.

    • avatar Bonnie O says:

      Diane –  I hoped you watched the Iowa debate this evening.  Absolutely wonderful.  Very hard questions …. not a softball in the bunch.  Solid answers in regard to economic recovery and even better answers about political leandership.  Newt, believe it or not, has probably rescued his campaign for, at least, a while longer.  Governor Romney was specific with his 7 points for stimulating job growth and economic growth.  Rep. Paul and Mr. Cain were remarkable in their oratory skills along with the facts they had on hand.  Michelle Bachmann nevers gives an inch and did not. I like this group of Republicans very much.  If the Governor of Texas joins in, then all the better.

      The country needs to have a serious discussion about entitlements, about spending, Afghanistan and Libya, immigration but most importantly about JOBS.  These candidates are willing to do that.

      I think I most enjoyed the line that if anyone can produce a single written policy that the President has proposed with regard to the reform of Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid, that candidate will show up at their home and cook dinner … or mow the lawn.  Great laugh in the Hall.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Bonnie…

        I did watch the debate.  If it wasn’t such a pointless thing, I’d vote for Rep. Paul. 

        Romney is much-improved and certainly looks “presidential.”

        Bachmann’s social conservatisim and religiosity is just scary to me, Bonnie.  I’m sorry.  I don’t want to hear about God or opinions on what people do in their bedrooms or who they marry. I want to know if in just a few years, if  I can depend on sound medical care and Social Security. I would also like some assurance that we’ll stop spending trillions on wars with no meaning.  

        I don’t believe one person on that stage–with the possible exception of Rep. Paul–really cares about America or its people.

        • avatar Bonnie O says:

          Hello Mr. Wow –  I think I enjoyed most the varied ideas proposed by the candidates with regard to economic recovery.   Rep. Paul advocated an immediate withdrawal of American GIs from abroad and drew applause from the audience with his admonition that America should stay out of other peoples business.
          The former speaker said the debt deal’s  “super committee” is one of the dumbest ideas he has ever heard.  He warned that to sideline 523 members of Congress was stupid.  He suggested that Congress return from their August vacations and that every committee and sub committee begin work immediately on how to reduce spending.  Do not wait 15 months for the next election, Newt warned.  Begin now;  begin on Monday.

          An interesting suggestion was raised that if the tax liabilty on corporations was reduced to zero, then some of the companies  that have moved overseas would return to America.  Jobs would be created.  How to offset the lost of the corporate tax revenue was not explained but it would be one way to return manufacturing jobs to our shores.  Some revenue would be recaptured via personal income tax.  Interesting.  I am actually going to do some research on this proposal.  It was noted that only 9% of corporate America is now considered “manufacturing”.

          There were more ideas but I shall not elaborate further.  I simply found the wealth of talent on the stage amazing.   The ideas were flowing from one question to the next.  There is a positive attitude about the GOP that is quite refreshing.  Even the sidebar between the two Minnesota candidates was not too negative.  Not everyone agreed with all the ideas  but each of the candidates raised their hand when asked who thinks raising the personal income tax at this time in our economic slowdown is a good idea…. even if the ratio were $10 cut per each $1 in tax.   An exclamation point could not have added any further certainty that raising taxes today is bad policy and would harm our chances for a quicker economic recovery.

          • avatar Bonnie O says:

            I absolutely hate wowowow’s new format.  The tiny box and tiny print is difficult for many of us with older eyes to review and make corrections.

            In the last paragraph my point is that all of the candiates raised their hands who think raising pesonal income taxes is a BAD idea at this time.

            I think I shall leave this website for a few months and return later in the year to see if any positive changes have been made.  I really do mean it when I say how frustrating and irritating it is not to have the edit, spell check and other features once enjoyed at this website.   Sorry Joni ……

        • avatar Baby Snooks says:

          Ron Paul. Rand Paul. The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree as they say. 

  13. avatar French Heart says:

    I voted for Obama with relish. #1 reason. He was going to place reasonable restraints on Wall Street–which has turned the U.S. ‘economy’ into a casino built over quicksand.

    Once in he headed over to the G8 where Sarkozy, Merkel & Brown all wanted to join together to regulated derivatives in a coordinated effort. Obama refused. Derivatives were $9T to our $13T GDP in 2002 when deregulated. Now $1.4 Quadrillion to total world wealth of about $100T including real estate–so 30+times global wealth & mostly in the hands of predators.

    Had Obama when he got in & had the political capital: 1) Instituted a WPA-style jobs program to rebuild our infrastructure including massive solar arrays in the desert. 2) Reinstated the 1932 Glass Steagall Banking Act that was rescinded in 1999 precipitating the massive scale of financial crimes. 3) Rereg’d derivatives AND convened a panel of leading economists instead of the holdover financial team of insider crooks he kept aboard, and finally, 4) Reinstated something akin to the FTC Fairness Doctrine–then we might have a smidge of actual news in the public interest rather than a megaphone for the evil Koch Brothers/Murdock agenda—we could be living something resembling the American Dream.

    Obama is a HUGE disappointment…I do not believe he is evil like the folks from the GWB administration. But I won’t be voting for him or anyone. Now that it’s Of, by and for The 1% who will be deciding on their next puppet…I’m not participating in the sham exercise of voting. Have other things to do–like move out of the country.

    Our last statesmen were IKE and JFK. The Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.

    ‘Ratigan’s Rant’ sums it up nicely: