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.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"I'm Not Gay! No Really! I'm Serious!"


Has America become so homophobic that a well-respected Western conservative U.S. Senator can't go into a public mensroom stall and play footsie and hand jive with another man without being accused of being gay? Just exactly what kind of sick witch hunt is this?

Idaho's Sen. larry Craig was arrested back in June for disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport bathroom, charged with soliciting sex from an undercover male officer. The case became public earlier this week when Craig, who first pleaded guilty, reversed himself and declared "I'm not gay...I never have been...I don't do these kind of things." Of course he's not gay! He's vehemently opposed gay rights on so many levels it'd be utterly hypocritical of him to all of a sudden be gay. I ask incredulously, how could a prominent Republican with the following voting record be a homosexual?:

* Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you ain't gonna fool this blogger. Besides, everyone knows that it's very common and highly acceptable for men to strike up conversations with strangers while standing at the urinal...or when perched on the old porcelain. It's what we do. For Pete's Sake, we practically go to the bathroom together...just like women.

If you ask me, it was a set up, plain and simple. Entrapment. And it's gonna make me solidly rethink my own 100% heterosexual manly desires to reach under the stall to share a highly testosteroned-fueled bonding moment with one of my brethren. Yes, these are very scary times we live in, my 100% women-loving buddies. I say to all of you undeniably straight brothers out there, it's time to hide your Liza records....


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute.

On November 12 in NYC we will be holding our first annual Fundraising Gala, with a musical performance by Alanis Morissette followed by a celebrity reading of Adrienne's script "The Morgan Stories," featuring Paul Rudd, Edie Falco, Ally Sheedy and many others. To learn more about our mission, to make a tax-deductible donation, and to sign up to receive details about the November benefit please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of this tragedy.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to 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 others, and has so far grossed $19-million domestically and almost $1-million internationally. The DVD will be available in November. 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, August 09, 2007

Gore Says He May Re-Enter Politics Again


Former vice president Al Gore told reporters during a forum in Singapore this week that he may return to politics someday but that he has no plans to run for president in 2008, according to The Associated Press. Gore has repeatedly denied he has '08 ambitions, but then again, he's also fairly emphatically stated in the past that he was done with politics altogether.

"I may re-enter politics at some point in the future because I'm only 59 years old," Gore said. But more telling: "There is no single candidate that is putting forward a comprehensive argument about the environment or making climate change a priority," he said.

Can this finally be a concrete sign that Gore's taking the initial steps back into the political scene so as to set the stage for a surprise announcement early this Fall? Will we soon here Gore say something like: "Yes, it's true. A couple of months ago, I stated that I might someday enter politics again but not the presidential race in '08. But I have now come to the conclusion that I can indeed make the biggest contribution to our great country, and have the greatest impact on the issues I hold near and dear to me--climate control and putting an end to the Iraq war--if I seek the highest job in the land."

Stay tuned. Could get real interesting from here.....


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. To learn more about our mission and to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of this tragedy.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to 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 others, and has so far grossed over $18-million domestically. It opens internationally in August. 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, August 08, 2007

Assessing the Democrats' Chicago Debate


Where is it written that a politician must constantly yell in order to appear smart, forceful and presidential? Watching the Democrats' debate in Chicago this week gave me one giant liberal headache. With the exception of John Edwards, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson, who's so laid back he's almost comatose, the other Dems clearly believe that America likes voting for screamers (how quickly they forget Howard Dean).

While I still think NY Sen. Hillary Clinton's star continues to rise, there were moments she was so shrill my dogs ran away. Even worse, she sounds like my mom 33 years ago screaming at me to clean my room.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd comes off as very serious, extremely fast-talking, loud, crusty and very agitated. Have you ever been in a small, locked public restroom and some guy has to go really, really badly and angrily bangs on the door barking "Jesus, C'mon already, let's go pal, get out of there..."? Well, to me, that's how Dodd looks and sounds all the time.

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden is also a screamer. Can't seem to say anything unless he's pounding the podium, yelling and angrily pointing his finger at no one in particular (usually as he's reminding us of just how darned wonderful he is).

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, aside from clearly needing a chug of Jolt Cola, mostly looks constipated. A great guy (who I've met and was charmed by) with killer cred, but unless he hooks himself up to some jumper cables soon he's going back to New Mexico fast.

John Edwards is a really bright guy with some awesome policy positions, in particular relating to health care. But, as a Jew, there's just something about the sound of a screaming Southerner that curls the hair on the back of my neck. Call me crazy.

Illinois' Sen. Obama spent much of the night being attacked by everyone else, in particular for his recent and controversial statement about negotiating unilaterally with rogue nations. He was on the ropes at times, and it wasn't pretty. He's got no real foreign policy experience, and it showed. He raises his voice every so often, but he's very likable. He's inspiring, charismatic and when he speaks he reminds a lot of people of JFK. He knows how to play to the audience in a manner that's not annoying. He comes off as sincere, in that rare Bill Clinton way. I just don't think he's got the real chops to be president, but I do like his style. And he ducked that Barry Bonds question like a real pro.

Lastly, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich apparently studies the Howard Dean speech tapes. He's not just a screamer, he comes off as a crazy screamer. He yells, he flails his arms, he grins widely, flashing those big teeth and ears...he's like the crazy uncle you hide from at family picnics. Does he really expect to get elected with this nutty routine? But give him credit. He did have the best quip of the night. In response to the question about China being an ally or an adversary: "There was a myth when I was growing up in Cleveland that if you dug a hole deep enough you'd get to China. We're there." Huge laugh followed. I think Edwards laughed the hardest. Kucinich may not be very presidential, but he's a helluva funny little guy.

All kidding aside, everyone who was on that stage is bright, passionate and highly capable. Each and every one of them would be a 1000% better president and commander-in-chief than George Bush. But in the end, overall, I thought Hillary took the prize again, beating the pack handily. Is it me or is she getting cuter and more charming over time? Gotta love that "I'm your girl" soundbite. She really knows how to work the stage and whip the pants off the competition. And then she flashes that shit-eating killer smile as if to say, "That's right boys, I just whipped the pants off ya..."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Hillary "Electibility" Issue: Debunking the Myth


I was listening to right wing radio on Saturday, as I often do to monitor the opposition. What I found was typical of our conservative friends these days: lots of praise for Sen. Barack Obama, lots more Hillary-bashing. If only those pesky Republicans knew just how transparent they are. You can always tell who they fear the most by how much praise they lavish on the other guy, in this case the junior Senator from Illinois, and Sen. Clinton's chief rival in her bid to move back into the White House in 2008.

They love Obama, just as they once loved Hillary when they mistakenly assumed she'd win her party's nomination but never the national contest. And now they're calling him everything from hip and fresh to exciting and Kennedyesque. One conservative radio host referred to this political phenomenon as "old brand/new brand." The prevailing and very public sentiment these days among right wing spinners is that 24 years of Bushes and Clintons is enough. That voters have tired of these two dynastic families occupying the White House for so long. Well, they're half right. Americans may be sick and tired--disgusted is more like it--of the last seven, miserable years under King George--but I suspect they'd jump at the chance to bring back the good old days of peace and prosperity under Bubba, who even during his most tumultuous period enjoyed tremendous popularity/approval ratings.

To be sure, the only ones fed up with the Clintons are hardcore Busheviks; there's certainly no groundswell of Democrats lamenting 92-'00. To the contrary, it's most of America--including a majority of Republicans--who'd orgasmically kick Bush to the curb along with his 63% disapproval rating.

For years now all we've heard about is how Hillary Clinton is polarizing and unelectable. That she would never win the national election. It's time to lay this myth to rest once and for all and demonstrate just how easily she could become the next U.S. president. To win, she needs 270 electoral votes. In 2004, John Kerry received 251. His near-win occurred at a time when Bush's popularity and support for the Iraq war was much higher, and when he was still able to tap his post-911 currency while effectively playing the terrorism card. It was also before the GOP was rocked by unrelenting scandal. In short, Bush, the Republican party and the country was in a much different place.

Jump now to 2008 and all front runner Hillary needs to do is win all the same Kerry states and take either Ohio (20 electoral votes) or Florida (27). Considering that Ohio is virtually blue today--after key Democratic wins in '06, several major GOP scandals and still reeling from it's 6.1% unemployment rate--that's practically a gimme. And post-Jeb Florida is in a similar position for the Dems. Just ask any one of the millions of old folks--Democrats and Republicans--who've been colossally screwed by Bush's prescription drug bill. Given this very likely scenario, I call Sen. Clinton extremely electable, which is precisely why she's now got the Repugs running scared and praising Obama so much. She'll kick the crap out of their best guy, and they know it.

Even more sobering news for Clinton's opponents came last week. Judging from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Hillary's star continues to rise. She's pulling away from Obama (43%-22% in July vs 39%-25% a month earlier); gaining handily on former NYC Mayor and #1 US Terrorism Card Champion (and cross-dresser) Rudy Julie-Annie (47%-41% in July, vs Rudy up 48%-43% in June); and her popularity numbers increased as well. She's become a most formidable candidate, and not just in the Democratic primaries. She's become the Republicans' worst nightmare.

I still expect former vice president Al Gore to enter the race by October. Until he issues his "Sherman statement" my money's on him running. But should he not run, Sen. Hillary Clinton's looking more like President Clinton every day.


On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. To learn more about our mission and to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit our website. Every contribution helps preserve Adrienne's legacy, allows us to help others, and creates something positive out of this tragedy.

Adrienne's film "Waitress" opened in theatres May 2nd to 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 others, and has so far grossed over $18-million domestically. It opens internationally in August. 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/