The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Would Gore Lead the Pack if He Announced? An Informal Air America Poll Says Yes


So let's assume Al Gore enters the presidential race. What next? Would he capture the attention and support of Democratic voters so late in the game? If an informal poll conducted Friday evening during Air America Radio's Rachel Maddow show by stand-in host David Bender is any indication, the answer is yes. By a 3-1 margin, callers stated their support for Gore over Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. This result is most astonishing given that Gore's not even a declared candidate...yet. Could this be a foreshadowing of what's to come this Fall once The Goracle flings his hat into the crowded ring?

As Bender said of the results of his poll, "it's a landslide." But the real question is, by what margin would he blow past the two leading Dem's when he does actually make his announcement? With Gore actually in the race, I believe, as do many pundits, that Obama and Hillary wouldn't stand a chance against the highly credentialed former vice president.

We continue to believe that Gore will be in the race by October. With a personal fortune worth an estimated $100 million, and the ability to generate bazillions in Internet fundraising--let alone the fact that he's still the darling of several key Democratic fatcat donors--Gore's starting to look more and more promising by the minute. Stay tuned.....


On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/waitress/trailer/

Is this the Sign We've Been Waiting for About Al Gore Running for President?


On Air America Radio's "Sam and Army" program Thursday morning co-host Sam Greenfield said he has learned that Al Gore has instructed the Harry Walker Agency to cancel all of his scheduled speaking engagements for the next six months, indicating that the former VP has decided to seek the presidency in 2008. "I guess he's running, " Greenfield said.

If this story is true, then it certainly would be a very strong sign that The Goracle is indeed getting ready to announce his candidacy...which I've said many times here will occur by October. Stay tuned...


On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/waitress/trailer/

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"President Bloomberg?" Part II


NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Tuesday that he's ditching his Republican Party affiliation and becoming an Independent. With that, the 2008 presidential election just got a helluva lot more interesting. And ya know what? Bloomberg's got the chops to actually be our next president, which is why the national news media is now obsessing over this new wrinkle. But it's a subject I wrote about over a year ago in a piece titled "President Bloomberg? The Mayor Says No, But His Actions Say Maybe." Well, his actions now say "Yes."

Here's what I wrote back in May '06:

There's been a lot of chatter lately about a possible '08 run for the White House by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Despite repeated denials of a presidential bid, he's been expanding his political horizons by commenting on a wide-variety of national-interest issues such as the environment, illegal immigration, gun control, stem-cell research, intelligent design and gay marriage. Regardless of his broader political aspirations or lack thereof, I happen to think a Bloomberg candidacy has a lot of viability.

It's unlikely he'd be able to win either the Democratic or Republican nomination. But with voters' anger and frustration with Bush and the Republicans never greater, and with their clear lack of enthusiasm for Democrats, the time has never been better for a 3rd party candidate to race down the middle and capture the disenfranchised on both sides. Though such independent candidates have never fared well in American politics, that doesn't mean they never will. What Bloomberg has that no other candidate has is party duality. He's the only one who could say "I've been a Democrat, I've been a Republican, and I can give you the very best of both parties while also giving you the fresh perspective of a Washington outsider who's not beholden to any special interests." He could run on a bi-partisan platform that promises to bring the nation together after more than a decade of unprecedented nastiness between the parties. In an era of unjust war, record deficits, skyrocketing energy costs and rampant corruption, this sort of message could strike a major chord with voters and change history.

Unlike the current White House occupant and "CEO" president, Bloomberg is a highly effective and successful chief executive in both business and politics. His media empire has made him one of the richest people in the world with an estimated $5 billion fortune. This success has translated into political success as mayor of New York. On his watch, NYC has amassed a $5-billion budget surplus; crime has continued to drop; the public education system has been overhauled, and test scores have risen; the streets are cleaner; and tourism has never been stronger.

As if this record wasn't enough to attract voters, consider that his politics represent the mood of a majority of Americans today: socially moderate and fiscally conservative. He's got the track-record, the deep pockets, and the f**k-you attitude towards special interests to appeal to the tens of millions who are fed up with the current state of politics.

The big question is, if he did run, and he didn't win, would he simply be a spoiler as Ralph Nader was in 2000? And if so, who would he pull votes from, the Dems or the Repugs? Stay tuned. I have a feeling we're going to be hearing a lot more about "non-candidate" Bloomberg's candidacy over the next several months.


What a difference a year makes. The GOP's in a state of flux, with no clear frontrunner to give Mayor Mike a run for his endless supply of money. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, once the party's "sure thing," has alienated his core conservative base; they're not sure whether they should worry more about his pro-abortion stand, his delusions about the Iraq war, or his penchant for cross-dressing. Sen. John McCain (AZ) has firmly attached himself to Bush's shredded coattails and subsequently watched his campaign self-implode. And Stormin' Mormon Mitt Romney has about as much chance of becoming president as I do. That leaves them with their new great white hope, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson, who very well might have more skeletons in his closet than a forensic pathologist. Over on the Left, Sen. Barack Obama (IL) is on a fast train to nowhere, while the ever-posturing, always polarizing Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) is pulling away from the pack. But will that pack soon include Al Gore? I say it will, and that could really help The Goracle. An Independent Bloomberg would surely on some level split the GOP ticket. But let's look at it from Bloomy's perspective and assume Gore's not running. That means he goes head-to-head against Hillary and whichever weak candidate the GOP props up. Suddenly, Mayor Mike starts to look like President Mike.

Maybe Bloomberg-as-president is what America needs right now. Our two-party system has failed us miserably, and maybe the one true positive legacy of the failed Bush administration is that it made voters sick of the current political process and of politicians in general. And only Bloomy can run as a "non-politician." Unlike our current "CEO President," who's truly not equipped to run the corporate mailroom let alone the boardroom, Bloomberg essentially turns everything he touches into gold.

I am more convinced now than I was a year ago that Bloomberg will indeed run, and quite possibly forever change America's political system in the process.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fear-Mongering Giuliani Losing Ground to Clinton


Is the American voting public finally getting fed up with Republican politicians who continue to spew the infuriating and offensive rhetoric that the Iraq war and the 9/11 attacks are connected? Are they sick and tired of the GOP's playing the politics-of-fear game? If a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is any indication, the answer is yes.

Back in March, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani led Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) 47%-42%. The new numbers are in, and the table has turned on Giuliani, as he now trails Hillary 48%-43%..and has seen former Tennessee Senator and TV star Fred Thompson hot on his trail, leapfrogging over McCain into second place among GOP candidates.

What's causing this downturn for the GOP's most famous crossdresser? In the recent Democratic debate, Clinton came off extremely polished, poised and presidential. Her star is rising. To the contrary, at the recent GOP debate, Rudy, like his fear-mongering counterpart Sen. John McCain (AZ), seemed utterly delusional and out of touch. Unbelievably, both McCain and Giuliani continue lying through their teeth about the origins and justifications for the war, and the need to continue the carnage. Despite the fact that four years after the invasion not one reason the Busheviks gave for toppling Saddam has been proven out (WMD, ties to Al Qaeda, Yellowcake uranium purchases, etc), Giuliani still invokes the 9/11 attacks at every possible turn, especially when justifying his delusional position on the war. Despite the facts on the ground that would indicate the war is out of control, that the Bush "surge" has been a lesson in futility, and that victory is but a fantasy, Giuliani's been pounding the hawkish table on this debacle. And it's all about fear, fear, fear. Big bad scary terrorists are swallowing up Iraq. "We gotta fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here" is the popular refrain of the GOP fear-mongers. "If we pull out of Iraq they'll follow us home." Puh-leeze. Somebody get me a barf bag.

Apparently voters are finally sick of this deceptive rhetoric, and it shows in Rudy's numbers. Let's get it straight: the invasion of Iraq was planned well before the 9/11 attacks. The attacks simply gave the insane White House Iraq Group the justification they were looking for to bring down Saddam. We are not fighting the 9/11 terrorists in Iraq. 95% of those we're fighting are Iraqi insurgents who themselves are embroiled in civil war. There was no connection between the 9/11 attacks and Iraq. No alliance between Saddam and Al Qaeda. In fact, the secular Saddam hated the Muslim extremists, and vice-versa with bin Laden. If we pull out of Iraq, we face no threat whatsoever from Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites "coming to America to kill us." These factions--the Iraqi people--do not want us in their country. Statistics published in Sunday's NY Times show that an overwhelming majority of Iraqis believe their country is headed in the wrong direction. What does that say four years, $300 billion and 3400 dead U.S. soldiers later?

This relentless morphing of 9/11 into Iraq has finally disgusted voters to the point that those who continue to be guilty of the deception--Giuliani and McCain in particular--are being pounded to the pavement. I guess if you insult the intelligence of the American people long enough, they will eventually come back swinging. Let's hope the rejection of these shameless fear-mongers continues unabated.


On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America, and is currently #6 in America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/waitress/trailer/

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What Bill Clinton Told Me About Al Gore


I had the pleasure of meeting former president Bill Clinton at a party held at Air America president Mark Green's Manhattan apartment Thursday evening in celebration of the purchase he and his brother--real estate magnate Stephen Green--made of liberal radio network Air America back in March. The event was a veritable lovefest, with Clinton signing autographs, posing for pictures, and chatting with anyone who approached him. After experiencing it firsthand, it's easy to understand his legendary charisma and larger-than-life presence. The man is a certifiable rock star . No one like him before (not even JFK) and probably never again. He's a once-in-a-lifetime political phenomenon. And he was in his element as he addressed the adoring crowd for about fifteen minutes on the upcoming presidential election and the critical role the liberal media plays for the Democratic Party in today's political landscape.

When I found myself literally standing next to a surprisingly unengaged Clinton as we were about to watch an Air America promotional video on Green's large-screen television, I leaned over and asked him "Do you think Gore's going to run?" With his arms crossed and one hand resting on his chin in a true Clintonesque pose, he leaned into me and replied, "I don't know, he could. Someone's got to fizzle. If someone fizzles, then yeah he could enter the race. He's got plenty of money, his own money, to do it." He then agreed when I asked if having that kind of personal wealth could mean Gore would be able to wait until the last stages of the campaign before he'd enter the race. I wanted to ask him about that "fizzling" thing--was he referring to his wife Hillary's chief rival Sen. Barack Obama or was he also allowing that as a possibility for Hillary herself?--but the crowd absorbed him. I was lucky to have had as much face time with him as I did.

So here's my own scenario: as I've written here countless times before, Gore will indeed run, and most likely no later than October. To borrow from Bill, it'll be Obama who will "fizzle" by September, and Gore will toss his hat into the ring and enlist the junior Senator from Illinois as his running mate. An unbeatable ticket. Stay tuned......


On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America, and is currently #6 in America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/waitress/trailer/

Monday, June 04, 2007

Obama Blows Big Opportunity at Dems' Debate


The Democratic candidates for president in the 2008 election gathered in New Hampshire Sunday for another round of posturing and rhetoric. Media darling Sen. Barack Obama (IL), when tossed the mother of all softballs when asked if President Bush was keeping us safe from terrorist attack, failed to hit the home run, choosing instead to play it like a gentleman (message to Obama: gentlemen--especially those of Democratic persuasion--do not get elected president). While saying that we are indeed less safe since 911, not more, he did give Bush credit for "some things." This is not the time for Obama, or any Democrat for that matter, to jab with kid gloves. What the presidential hopeful should have forcefully, and passionately, said is this:

"The September 11th attack came on Bush's watch, despite doing nothing after being warned (August PDB and several Richard Clark missives) that a major attack might be imminent. After a successful invasion of Afghanistan, he took his eye, and our financial and military resources, off bin Laden and al Qaeda, and instead squandered these resources in the colossal, wasteful distraction known as Iraq. Let's remember the first World Trade Center attack occured in 1993, eight years before the 2001 horror...which was only six years ago. Let's not forget how methodically al Qaeda plans its attacks. Let's not be lulled into any false senses of security here. Our ports are still unsecured, as are our Southern and Northern borders. And, unlike Ramsay Yousef and company--perpetrators of the 1993 attack--bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri and other 911 masterminds still roam free while al Qaeda and the Taliban is reconstituting in Afghanistan. And over the weekend we learn of an arrest in a plot to blow up JFK airport in New York. No, sir, we are anything but safe today...and President Bush, and the former Republican-controlled Congress, is directly to blame."

When are we going to have a Democratic candidate who not only has the balls to speak up and speak aggressively on this issue, but is one who is not saddled with the burden of having supported Bush's mess up until campaign time? Well, his name is Al Gore, and I suspect after watching the debate Sunday he'll be even more motivated to enter the race.


On another subject......we could use your help at The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. As you may know, Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've finalized a scholarship with NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; and grants with Columbia University, American Film Institute, NY Women in Film and Television, the Independent Feature Project, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Other initiatives will follow. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission and to make a donation. Every little contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, and to help create something positive out of this horrible tragedy. Thank you.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to incredible rave reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Ebert & Roeper ("Two Thumbs Up"), Leonard Maltin and more. Since then, it's been playing to packed audiences across America, and is currently #6 in America. It's a truly wonderful film that you're sure to love. A link to the trailer is below. Enjoy.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox_searchlight/waitress/trailer/