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.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What Does Post-Presidency Look Like for George Bush? Will Anyone Actually Pay this Nitwit to Speak?


Normally when a president exits the White House for the very last time they soon embark on a lucrative speaking career. Corporations both here and abroad pay very hefty fees to hear the proverbial wit and wisdom of our former leaders once they've moved on to greener pastures (pun intended). Bill Clinton, one of the most brilliant politicians ever, commands upwards of $250,000-$350,000 per speech. His predecessor, George H.W. Bush, as much as $150,000 per. In fact, Clinton has grossed about $40-million in the past six years.

Which brings us to George W. Bush, the current occupant of the White House, who has fifteen months to go before he hits the lecture circuit. Bush is anxiously awaiting the day when he can "replenish the ol’ coffers," as he put it in Robert Draper’s Bush-presidency book "Dead Certain."

“I don’t know what my dad gets, but it’s more than 50, 75 thousand dollars a speech. Clinton’s making a lot of money."

That's right, George. Clinton does make a lot of dough. That doesn't mean you're going to. I mean, honestly folks, who in their right mind would pay good money to hear him speak? He could care less about the issues on a micro level; he's extremely limited and has the curiosity and attention-span of a 10-year-old; is narrow-minded; and can't string two intelligent, coherent sentences together without the bail-out of a TelePrompTer. Just what the heck would he speak about anyway? His successful military strategy? His deft handling of matters economic...like how to balance a budget and minimize debt? How to win friends and influence people through skillful diplomacy? How to attract the best and brightest and most ethical staff? If it wasn't so pathetic it'd be funny.

Perhaps some far away land like Dubai or Sri Lanka might someday need some lessons in clearing brush, in which case George is their boy. And probably at a cool $5K per....


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, Matt Dillon, 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/

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bush the Hypocrite Gets Another Free Pass from Mainstream Media


At his press conference Thursday, our very sanctimonious, hypocritical President Bush responded to a reporter's question about last week's controversial MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" with:

"I thought that the ad was disgusting. I felt like the ad was an attack, not only on Gen. Petraeus, but on the U.S. military. And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democrat Party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad. That leads me to come to this conclusion: that most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like MoveOn.org -- are more afraid of irritating them than they are of irritating the United States military. That was a sorry deal. And it's one thing to attack me. It's another thing to attack somebody like Gen. Petraeus."

MoveOn's executive director, Eli Pariser, fired back. "What's disgusting is that the president has more interest in political attacks than developing an exit strategy to get our troops out of Iraq and end this awful war. The president has no credibility on Iraq: He lied repeatedly to the American people to get us into the war. Most Americans oppose the war and want us to get out."

Pariser's only half right. What's really disgusting is how every single reporter from the nation's most prestigious newspapers and radio/TV networks just sat there as Bush did what he does best: bullshit. Not one of them asked the obvious follow up question:

"Mr. President, were you as disgusted by the 2004 Swift Boat ads which vilified Sen. John Kerry and relentlessly disparaged his heroic military service? If so, how come you did not speak out so vociferously about them? And if you weren't, please explain the distinction between the Swift Boat ads--created and funded by your party--and the MoveOn ad?

The members of the press corp have no balls, plain and simple. They are nothing but scared stooges who for some strange reason, despite Bush's abysmal 29% approval rating, still quiver in his presence. I suspect they see him as so irrational and petulant that they don't want to reap his wicked wrath on national TV. So they continue to sit there and let this self-righteous, arrogant liar regurgitate his partisan rhetoric with impunity. That's what's disgusting. A shameful display of cowardice. Under Bush, the free media has, sadly, been neutered.


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, Matt Dillon, 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/

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thoughts on O.J. Simpson


On June 12, 1994 football legend O.J. Simpson's wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman were brutally murdered in the entrance way to her Brentwood, CA condo. Simpson was subsequently arrested and charged with the double-homicide, in one of the most sensational, highly publicized murder trials in American history. And in what is now a legendary case of prosecutorial ineptitude, juxtaposed with sheer defense-team brilliance, Simpson was astonishingly found not-guilty in the biggest travesty of justice ever.

I don't typically write about subjects non-political, but I am compelled to do so today. The brutal, savage murder of a spouse is, sadly, something I know all about first-hand. Back in '95, I remember watching tv in a crowded bar as the verdict was delivered. And I stood with about 150 people in stunned silence as the words "not-guilty" were read twice. I remember feeling sick to my stomach. Physical ill. And I will never forget the look on the other patrons' faces as we all quietly stared at each other in utter disbelief. A murderous beast had just been given a free ticket back into society. This monster, O.J. Simpson, had literally gotten away with murder. It was appalling. He was later found guilty of wrongful death in a civil trial.

In the years since, this animal flaunted his freedom in our collective faces as he travelled, played golf and relished in life's pleasures that Nicole and Ron can no longer enjoy thanks to his murderous hands. And through bizarre statements and interviews, he would frequently maintain his innocence with bravado and arrogance. He would also go on to write a book, "If I Did It," in which he brazenly describes the murders in chilling detail from the eyes and mind of someone who we're told didn't do it but who is creative enough to image how the real killer did . Could this cretin be any more offensive?

And now the former athlete, actor and still-savage murderer has been arrested again on multiple felony charges in yet another bizarre, twisted crime: an alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in a Las Vegas hotel room. Witnesses say an enraged Simpson barged into the room with a posse of thugs, guns ablaze, and made off with both O.J. and non-O.J-related merchandise. He's being held without bail and charged with two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and coercion. He faces three to 35 years for each count.

O.J.'s new arrest touches many raw nerves. I for one am tired of his arrogance and his assumption that he gets to commit violent acts with impunity. I'm angry that this homicidal maniac got off Scot-free 13 years ago. I'm angry that his brutish, selfish, senseless actions took two children away from their mother, and a wonderful, loving son away from his family. I'm angry that our criminal justice system failed us miserably back then and allowed a murderous monster to live amongst us. And mock us. I'm not shocked though of his latest outburst. The criminal beast that is O.J. Simpson is O.J. at the core. Nicole and Ron's murder simply brought to light his violent history and the criminality that raged in him his whole life. The many 911 calls and photos over the years of a battered Nicole prior to her senseless death is proof of that. But he was smart. He had us duped with his big friendly grin, his Hertz commercials, his heroic movie roles and of course his iconic football career. But once a monster, always a monster.

And now we have that familiar image of the fallen star being lead away in handcuffs for yet another crime for which he'd like us to believe he is once again the victim. He was merely conducting "a self-imposed sting operation," he claims. Just like he was going to hunt down and find the "real" killers after the 1994 murders. The latest defense is just more of the same delusion from this crazed assassin.

There's a lot at stake here for society now. Will Simpson merely hire another Johhny Cochran-like genius to confuse the hell out of a jury so he can get back to the golf course? Will the prosecution be able to find a jury that can be impartial given Simpson's monumental infamy? Will Simpson face an Al Capone-like fate and spend the rest of his life in jail for something not nearly as heinous as his notorious master crimes? But does it all matter? Aren't we all just simply damned lucky to have this second chance at justice, which could result in the Goldmans and the Browns and the rest of us getting to see this vicious animal rot in prison until his own death? Let's hope justice gets served this time around.


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/

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I've Got Two Words for the Outraged Repugs Who Condemn the MoveOn Ad: "Swift Boat"


Back in the Spring of 2004, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) went public, declaring its mission to essentially destroy the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (MA) through a series of venomous attack ads, web site smear campaigns and slanderous public statements with the singular focus of disparaging Kerry's patriotism and military record. Funded by such hardline rightwingers as Bob Perry, Sam Fox and former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, they charged--using a despicable bunch of lying sailors who allegedly served with Kerry on the swift boats he commanded in Vietnam--that he lied about his length of duty and the nature of his injuries which resulted in his receiving three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. It was a disgusting display of the Republicans' ravenous appetite for power. That Kerry stood up to defend his country--enlisting for two tours of duty, leading dangerous patrols down the deadly Mekong Delta--and was a highly decorated war hero was of little matter to these front-stabbing, amoral chickenhawks. It was partisan politics at its absolute worst.

Of course, the charges were baseless and completely fabricated. In September 2004, upon completion of his review of the claims, Vice Admiral Ronald A. Route, the Navy inspector general, stated in a memo to Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England:

"Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed. In particular, the senior officers who awarded the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards."

Yet while all the bashing was taking place, neither President Bush, VP Cheney, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate, or prominent figures in the conservative media condemned the attacks. Only Arizona Sen. John McCain, himself a decorated war hero and renowned Vietnam prisoner of war, publicly criticized the smear campaign.

To be sure, the powers that be in the GOP were downright giddy over the effect the attacks were having on Kerry's campaign. It put him constantly on the defensive, and served as a major dstraction away from the pertinent issues of the campaign. And their comrades in the lock-stepping right-wing media ran with it. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others did their Fourth Estate best to villify this undesputable war hero.

Now cut to September 10, 2007, the day that the liberal political group Moveon.org took a full-page ad in the New York Times asking in a headline, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" and accusing the top US military commander in Iraq of "cooking the books for the White House." This was in advance of the Congressional testimony on the war that Petraeus was to provide that day. The ad, as expected, created a veritable shitstorm in Republican circles. A sampling of this righteous outrage:

'08 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney called the ad "outrageous" and said of the General: "Like the men he commands, he is risking his life to protect our freedoms here at home. We should not prejudge him or his testimony, or give him anything less than the full respect he deserves."

Another '08 candidate Fred Thompson: "This is the group that funds the Democratic Party. I call upon the Democratic Party and all of the Democratic candidates for president to repudiate the libel of this patriotic American."

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) who introduced a resolution on Monday condemning the ad: "The despicable attack MoveOn.org launched against General Petraeus today should be condemned by all Members of Congress, including the Democratic leadership...I urge Members on both sides of the aisle to join in support of this resolution so the House speaks with one voice rejecting the character assassination tactics employed by this extremist group."

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader: "I resent the comments of those who have sat comfortably in their air-conditioned offices, thousands of miles away from the firefights and the roadside bombs, and tried their Washington best in recent days to impugn the general’s good name."

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (MO): "Enough is enough. Moveon.org has gone too far with an ad that attacks one of our nation's finest generals."

Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: "I offer my colleagues the opportunity to use this hearing to distance themselves from the despicable ad that was published today calling into question the patriotism of General Petraeus."

Rep. John Carter, Texas Republican: a "shameful, disrespectful attack.

Chickenhawk conservative Fox News spinhead Sean Hannity: "I see a hero being slandered, an American war hero being slandered...I'm a fan of the military. I love, I respect the hard work and the fact that these guys put their lives on the line for us and our liberties and they're doing what their country asks them to do."

And the biggest chickenhawk faux-hero/patriot of them all, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the GOP frontrunner for '08, placed his own ad in The New York Times on Friday rebutting the ad and attacking "the Democrats' orchestrated attacks on General Petraeus."

All of these comments could have been said in noble defense of Kerry back in '04 (and of Max Cleland and John Murtha, who've also had their military records gutted by these ravenous right wing chickenhawks) but they weren't. Where was the chorus of outrage then? Why was Kerry's record not off-limits to such reprehensible political chicanery, but Petraeus' military service is supposedly sacred? The double-standard established by these morally repugnant operatives will no longer be tolerated. MoveOn.org demonstrated that earlier this week. And I say, bravo baby. Keep 'em coming. How about an ad with the various publicly-available pics of Rudy Julie-Annie in drag, and headlined: "Is this the Commander-in-Chief You Want Leading the Fight Against Terrorists?"

Wah, wah, wah. These "outraged" Republicans are nothing but a bunch a whiny, petulant, spoiled little hypocritical partisan hacks who live by the mantra "do as we say, not as we do," getting their panties in a snit whenever they experience the Democrats' mantra: what goes around comes around.


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, September 13, 2007

Bush Delivers Smoke & Mirrors Propaganda Speech


Back in November, by an overwhelming majority, U.S. voters sent a loud message to Congress and President Bush that they wanted an end to the military fiasco in Iraq. Recently, polls consistency have shown that an overwhelming majority of Iraqi citizens want the U.S. out of their country. And while the masses have spoken, our dangerous, delusional war-mongering psycho-in-chief went before the nation Thursday night to announce his latest hair-brained scheme: to create an enduring relationship and permanent military presence in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern country. Instead of talking about ultimately bringing the troops home and ending our occupation, Bush essentially promised never to leave, Korea-style. I truly think the man has lost his mind. In his desperation to salvage his legacy--inextricably tied to this debacle--he's becoming more stubborn, more delusional and more dangerous than ever. He also seems to be attempting to run out the clock, leaving the war for the next poor sucker to deal with.

It's infuriating how Bush has now painted a picture of two great Democracies--America and Iraq--standing up side by side to battle the brutal enemy that threatens to destroy them both: Al Qaeda. For Pete's sake, Iraq is no ally; no friend of the U.S. The fact is, the Iraqi government is closer in ties ideologically to Iran (remember the "Axis of Evil?") than it is to us. For Bush to imply that Iraq is aligned with us in this great battle for the Middle East is a despicable distortion of the realities on the ground.

We also heard how the infamous "surge" is working, but what does that actually mean anyway? Does anyone really doubt that more firepower from the greatest military force in the world could not succeed on some level in overpowering the enemy in a few select regions? (i.e Anbar, Baghdad) But it's only temporary. And it has not resulted in effecting any appreciable political progress there. And until there's political change in that country our military might is only as effective as we remain there. And that's exactly Bush's strategy. He has absolutely no vision or plan for the future in terms of how to truly achieve "victory" (whatever that means), bring our troops home and end the occupation. So he simply perpetuates the war. The longer he keeps it going, the longer he can dupe Americans and pretend that we're making progress; just keep the damned thing going so we never have to leave and face the inevitable.

To be sure, Bush is a pathological liar. He's been lying since 2002 when he first laid the groundwork for this neocon disaster. And he's continuously lied every step along the way since. He's lied over the reasons for war, the progress of the war, his plan for perpetrating the war, his horizon for the war, his justifications for the surge, his assessments of the threats and who the enemy is, and just about everything else. Thursday night was no different.

The president made his speech all about Al Qaeda, which is not the enemy we're fighting, although he'd sure as hell like all of us to believe that garbage again. Just listen to the rhetoric from his latest speech, the same smoke and mirrors from 2002:

If we pulled out of Iraq, "extremists would be emboldened"...and "gain 'nukular' weapons and dominate the region"...it'd be a "humanitarian nightmare"...it would
"leave our children to face a far more dangerous world"...that these "dangers can reach our cities, and kill our people"...and that "al Qaeda can gain new recruits, and new sanctuaries"..and that we "must defeat al Qaeda"...."liberating your country from terrorists and death squads...." and that to Americans, "the violent extremists who are targeting Iraq are also targeting you." He mentioned al Qaeda 12 times. Al Qaeda, al Qaeda, al Qaeda. Blah, blah, blah. Enough with this irresponsible, reprehensible deception...the incessant morphing of Iraq into al Qaeda. The reason why Iraq cannot sustain a true Democracy is because the Iraqis themselves don't seem to want it, and are killing each other daily in relentless sectarian violence. It's Sunni/Shiite violence which has paralyzed that nation, not al Qaeda.

"The success of a free Iraq is critical to the security of the United States," Bush said. "A free Iraq will deny al Qaeda a safe haven." But what about Gen. David Petraeus' Congressional testimony this week in which he confessed that we may not be any safer here at home as a result of the war? Doesn't faze Bush one bit. Remember, this is a guy who earlier this week said "We're Kicking Ass" in Iraq. If we're really kicking so much ass, how come we're no closer toward a U.S. style democracy, and how come instead of pulling out a majority of our troops Bush is now talking about keeping them there forever? Congress, the media and American voters should be outraged, and should be demanding answers.

The war is a miserable failure, which is why Bush has changed the mission almost non-stop since the invasion. Consider this trail:

From the day of the invasion in March 2003: "There's a game plan, a strategy, to rid the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein and rid his country of Weapons of Mass Destruction...and we're on plan.

May 1, 2003: "Major combat operations have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed....."

Two years later: "We will never accept anything less than complete victory.....we will complete our mission in Iraq...and leave behind a democracy that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.

Last year: "Our mission is to help the elected government in Iraq defeat common enemies. To bring peace and stability to Iraq and make our nation more secure. Our goals are unchanging. We are flexible in our methods to achieving those goals.

Then May 2, 2007: "Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed. And the definition of success, as I've described, is, ya know, sectarian violence down."

June 28: "It's a new mission, David Petraeus is in Iraq carrying it out. It's goal is to help the Iraqis make progress toward reconciliation. To build a free nation that respects the rights of its people, upholds the rule of law, and is an ally against the extremists in this war."

WMD, bin Laden/al Qaeda connections, Democracy, humanitarian causes, stemming sectarian violence...this war has had more freakin' "missions" than the Franciscan Church.

Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies.....makes me sick. In his speech Thursday night Bush referred to the "coalition" of "36 countries" fighting al Qaeda and the enemy. I rest my case...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Petraeus Drops Bombshell: Doesn't Know if Iraq War's Making America Safer


In his second day of testimony before Congress Tuesday, Gen. David Petraeus made perhaps the most incredible statement by a U.S. military commander since the war began in March 2003. Under intense questioning on the Hill over the war's progress or lack thereof, Petraeus buckled when asked by Republican Sen. John Warner (VA) whether the war has made the United States more secure:

Warner: "Are you able to say at this time, if we continue, what you have laid before the Congress here as a strategy, do you feel that that is making America safer?"

Petraeus: "Sir, I believe that this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objections in Iraq."

Warner: (sternly) "Does that make America safer?"

Petraeus: "Sir, I don't know actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind what I have focused on and been riveted on is how to accomplish the mission of the multi-national force in Iraq."

Holy shit! Did we just hear that correctly? What an unbelievably damning confession. Think about the magnitude of his statement. The General who commands the multi-national force in Iraq cannot say whether or not this immensely costly war is actually making us safer? That 4 1/2 years of battle, 3800 dead U.S. soldiers and $500 billion spent may have been for nothing? I'm astounded. Speechless. Give him credit at least for being honest. And for being focused on successfully doing the job he's paid to do. And also give him the most credit for not allowing our cowardly and delusional president to successfully hide behind his general, who he had hoped would do his selling of the war and, thus, his dirty-work.

Despite all this, and not to his credit, the General still believes we should continue fighting a war whose mission he himself is unsure of. That we should continue to keep sending our young men and women to die quite possibly for nothing. This is an absolute travesty, and an irresponsible, reprehensible use--or misuse--of our troops. After today's testimony, I wonder just how much more insane this military debacle can get.

One thing's certain: President Bush was probably cringing while listening to his General declare that our soldiers might very well be dying in vain. That kind of brutal honesty--a virtue foreign to Bush--surely won't help him with his smoke and mirrors speech to the nation Thursday evening. And it'll be interesting to see how the Busheviks attempt damage control over the next 24 hours. I suspect the spin-machine will be in high gear...

Bush Says "We're Kicking Ass" in Iraq. This Maniac is More Delusional Than Ever


The long-awaited, but highly predictable Iraq war assessment from Gen. David Petraeus arrived in Washington Monday in his 6 1/2 hours of testimony before Congress. And guess what? We need to stay in Iraq, indefinitely. And President Bush's troop "surge" is a success despite being "uneven" (whatever the heck that contradiction means). Surprise, surprise. The major takeaway: he recommended a pullback of 30,000 troops by next Summer, but warned that a quicker, more extensive troop withdrawal would have grave consequences.

Let's give the General a bit of credit. His testimony could've been a helluva lot more partisan and one-sided. While trying to support his boss's mission, his testimony was somewhat "uneven" in and of itself. Yet groups like Moveon.org, which took a $70,000 full-page NY Times ad yesterday with the header "Gen. Betray Us," charge that Petraeus' testimony is laden with inaccuracies, lies and calculated cherry-picking of statistics (remind me again....if an Iraqi gets shot in the front of the head it is counted as a sectarian-related death or not?)

But the facts on the ground in Iraq, and the testimony of Petraeus, did not stop our maniacal, war-mongering president from taking his Lies and Delusion Tour to Australia:

"We're kicking ass," Bush said to Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile, according the Sydney Morning Herald, after Vaile asked about Bush's recent trip to Iraq. The White House later confirmed the statement.

Can you believe that? Kicking Ass? What is this fool smoking? Bush is a pathological liar, whose lack of intelligence and curiosity, and whose mounting lies, deceptions and delusions, make him more of a threat to our security and to world peace than any terrorist. He is an embarrassment to our great nation, and is woefully unprepared and ill-equipped to lead. He should be impeached. Where are the Democrats!??

So, while Petraeus confuses lawmakers this week with warnings and progress reports, we can now add "We're kicking Ass" to "Mission Accomplished" and "Bring it On" in Bush's "Greatest Bloopers & Blunders" collection.

By the way, it should be noted, ever since the surge strategy was hatched in January, it was always the plan to draw down the 30,000 troops by next Summer. For Petraues and the Busheviks to now be portraying this pullback as a sign of progress is an absolute misrepresentation of the facts.

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/

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Let's Get Al Gore a MetroCard


All week long, right-wing spinhead Sean Hannity's been manically promoting his Sunday evening television show, Hannity's America, with promises of "exclusive footage of Al Gore getting of his private jet." This is presumably to prove that Gore's a hypocrite; how could the global-warming guru truly be so concerned with the environment if he squanders so much of our precious energy resources while also polluting the air, right?

Apparently, Hannity has yet to figure out that world leaders use private jets. Perhaps Hannity would like Gore to take the subway? Yeah, that's a great idea! As he's trying to save the planet, he can stand with me on the No. 1 train platform for 20 minutes, sweating like a pig in the sweltering heat, wasting time, on his way to his next stop. Better yet, next time he chairs some silly climate control forum in Europe or something, or the next time he's scheduled to meet some foreign president or prime minister, he could take the "train to the plane" and wait for his Continental coach flight with me and all the other weary road warriors. And also like me, he can watch his flights endlessly delayed and/or cancelled, and perhaps he'll arrive at his destination, like me, several hours after schedule...if at all. And then when he arrives at his destination airport he can join me for a half hour in the cab line. And if he's lucky, he might just even make his meetings. Yeah, I think this is a terrific plan for fuel-efficiency. The only problem is, it's not very efficient for time-management. I won't even get into the security issues....

For narrow-minded conservative hacks like Hannity to suggest that powerful and influential world figures like Gore should travel commercially shows either extreme naivete or pathetic partisan bashing. I feel embarrassed for him. Gore's mission is to educate billions around the globe about climate control and help bring about change. If using extra fuel on a private jet is the price we have to pay for Gore's efforts and what they've yielded in terms of showcasing this very important issue on the world stage, then that's a cost-benefit analysis with a very positive conclusion.

Now if we really want to talk about cutting down on waste, we can start with Hannity's radio and television programs. Talk about polluting the air....


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/

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gore Speaks Out on 2000 Election. Would Tipper Support Another Run at White House?


Hard to believe it's post-Labor Day already, and that means we're on serious Gore-Watch. Twenty-six days and counting until October, the time frame for which I believe the former veep will toss his hat into the '08 ring. I'm holding firm on this prediction, especially as I believe Illinois' Sen. Barack Obama is "fizzling," to use the phrasing of former prez Bill Clinton during a recent chat I had with him. The turf is ripe for a Gore candidacy, and I'm still betting the farm we'll hear from him on this soon.

In the current issue of Vanity Fair, Gore speaks out for the first time about the effect the press had on him and on the 2000 presidential election. He doesn't blame the media for his loss, he told contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, taking responsibility for his communication shortcomings and his inability to build a rapport with voters.

"Modern politics seems to require and reward some capacities that I don't think I have in abundance such as a tolerance for spin rather than an honest discussion of substance," Gore said. "Apparently, it comes easily for some people, but not for me." Asked to comment about his high-profile behavior at the 2000 debates--behavior that many say ruined his chances of becoming president--Gore told Peretz: "The sighs, the sighs, the sighs. Within 18 hours, they had turned perception around to where the entire story was about me sighing. And that's scary. That's scary."

Tipper Gore told Peretz that following the loss, "we were roadkill it took a long time to pick ourselves up from what happened." As for whether her hubby plans to enter the race, she said that Al has not given any indication that he's running, but that she'd support a decision to do so....and that they'd play it a bit smarter this time around given what they learned from 2000.

With NY Senator Hillary Clinton consistently pulling ahead in the polls, Gore must be eyeballing the landscape and wondering if this is not his date with destiny. Stay tuned....


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/