Celebrities Served 12.31.07

Not wanting to step on the toes of a more prominent site reporting celebrity justice, the following lesser known shorts were gleaned over the past week from a variety of sources:


CRIMINAL MATTERS

Mischa Barton was released on $10,000 bail after being busted for DUI, possession of a controlled substance and marijuana, and driving with a suspended license. Police pulled her over for driving in two lanes of traffic and failing to signal.

Amy Winehouse wants to recant her confession to possession of marijuana. A Norwegian court has summoned the chanteuse to appear on February 29, 2008. Winehouse has seen her share of legal problems over the past year. After her jailed husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, failed a drug test, authorities banned the couple from having personal contact during prison visits. Winehouse was later arrested for interfering with a police investigation.

Thieves stole expensive shoes and a personalized designer robe from Posh Spice a.k.a. Victoria Beckham. The singer is on a reunion tour with her former rock band, The Spice Girls.

Sugababe Amelle Berrabah’s boyfriend, Freddie Fuller, was the victim of a bizarre Christmas Eve machete attack. Police have arrested a 28-year old man on suspicion of attempted murder.

Party promoter, Apollo Holmes, is wanted on aggravated assault charges after brutally beating personal fitness trainer, Darius Miller, outside a Peachtree Street nightclub. Miller remains hospitalized in a coma.


CIVIL ACTIONS

An ex-girlfriend is suing NYPD Blue star, Esai Morales, for transmitting herpes through forcible sex. Lawyers for Elizabeth Mazzocchi say two other women have come forward with similar claims.

Radio broadcasters are livid over a bill working its way through Congress. Traditionally able to play music without paying associated performance fees, the bill would place radio stations on a level playing ground with other music media providers.

The "truth" hurts. Chuck Norris is suing Penguin publishers and author, Ian Spector, for a book he claims unfairly exploits his famous name.

Five children of the late James Brown are challenging their lack of inheritance. Doubts were cast on the validity of the famed singer's last will and testament after earlier drafts indicated conflicting intention.

A devoted "Trekkie" fan is suing Christie’s auction house, claiming a prop auctioned for $6,000.00 was fake. Calls to CBS Paramount were not immediately returned.

A lesser known musician is accusing Baby Shambles rocker, Pete Doherty, of stealing an original song without affording proper credit. We imagine the suit is about money, not fame, although the two sometimes do go hand in hand.

In other disputes concerning failure to authorize, Indie rock groups have filed a class action lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, magazine legend Rolling Stone, and Wenner Media. The bands claim they were not consulted about an illustrated spread which deceptively included advertisements for Camel cigarettes. A number of bands also want public apologies.

AND LOOK WHO'S GETTING OR IS FINALLY DIVORCED,

Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson
Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen
David Faustino and Andrea Faustino
Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn


CELEBRITY POLITICS

Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens may come to heads over testimony cited in the Mitchell Report. The controversial Report doesn’t stop with athlete outings. Entertainer, Carrot Top, was also cited for unusual body beefing.

Superstar, Will Smith, is angry over the backlash against his misinterpreted Hitler sympathies. For the record, Smith believes "Adolph Hitler was a vile, heinous vicious killer responsible for one of the greatest acts of evil committed on this planet."

Before airing The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York," Britain’s Radio One tried to dub the words "slut" and "faggot" from the 20-year old festive hit. After much public criticism, the song aired as intended.

In a bizarre ban indicative of political strong-arming, The Motion Picture Association of America rejected a movie poster design for Taxie to the Dark Side, a documentary exposing the U.S. government’s use of torture. The MPAA claimed the poster was unacceptable for the eyes of young children.

Poor Wesley Snipes has resorted to playing the race card in his tax evasion dispute. Listen, crybaby, we like your films, but you’ll never get ahead in this world if you keep blaming everything on the color of your skin. The truth will win out in court, and if not, cough up the money and move on.

The White Rose Coalition, a group of anti-war activists who count Cindy Sheehan among its members, is planning a pre-parade demonstration in Pasadena tomorrow. The planned site of the 119th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade is calling for added police protection.

British Airways suffered some political backlash after allowing the minor son of celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsey, to travel on an invalid passport. Other passengers/customers are crying a preferential treatment foul.

One of our favorite actresses, Julia Roberts, spent $30million transforming her personal residence into a lean green eco-efficient machine. Julia became more environmentally conscious after having children. If you've got it, at least flaunt it on something worthwhile.

The Pope denounced Nicole Kidman’s new movie The Golden Compass. Maybe that accounts for the film's tepid earnings at the box office. When The Vatican speaks, the faithful listen.

Private corporation, Clear Channel Outdoor, is teaming with the FBI to display digital "wanted posters." The company operates over 167,000 advertising displays in the U.S.

In crossover news, supermodel, Naomi Campbell, is doing her part to improve humanitarian conditions in Cuba. The British babe turned political reporter plans to interview Fidel Castro during her tour.


CELEBRITY CAUSES

Ever hear of reverse charity? Managers of popular pop duo, The Veronicas, refused to refund a $17,500 booking deposit for a cancelled benefit concert. The proceeds were meant for the family of a boy suffering from brain cancer.

Spencer Pratt of The Hills fame, and actresses Jennifer Love Hewitt and Melissa Joan Hart served Christmas dinner to the homeless at the L.A. Mission.

Singer, Morrissey, donated 20,000 pounds to help restore a youth club immortalized in a song by his former band, The Smiths.

Steven Spielberg and Henry Winkler enlisted the assistance of top talent for the 2007 Home for the Holidays charitable event. This year’s event raised awareness of foster care.

Country legend, Willie Nelson, donated $40K to the town of Vancouver, Washington. The singer wanted to assist special projects in the "town who knew him before he was famous."

Barron Hilton, grandfather of socialite, Paris Hilton, has decided to place the bulk of the Hilton Hotel fortune in a charitable trust benefitting The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The foundation supports projects providing clean water in Africa, education for blind children, and housing for the mentally ill.

R&B star, John Legend, knows how to give back. The singer returned home to perform in a "Coming Home Christmas Benefit Concert." Proceeds will fund The Jason Collier Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Corporate retailer, H&M, is teaming up with pop singer, Rihanna and other celebrities to raise money for HIV/Aids.

Wishing all of our readers a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

My World is Beginning Today

Spent way too much time over the weekend reconnecting with family and some old friends. As a result, our usual Monday morning articles remain unready for posting.

But, hey, we've got a new logo, new tagline, some new subscribers, and a lot to look forward to in 2008. So as not to disappoint anyone dropping by at the crack of dawn (okay it's really 9:30 a.m., but on an extended holiday weekend, this is still way too early to rise), here's a trippy 70's-looking excerpt from that perennial holiday favorite, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. Some folks decided Woodstock hippie types must have produced this children's classic and I'm inclined to agree. The dots fanning out in tunnel-like fashion reminded me of a bad Laugh-In segue.

Viewers who recall that era's acid dropping techniques may enjoy a walk down nostalgia lane. The rest of you? Feel free to surf while I get my act in gear. Cheers!

Nicole's rep denies pregnancy

Nicole Kidman is not pregnant, her Australian press representative has said. Kidman's expecting a baby was first reported by the U.K.'s Daily Mail, which said The Hours Oscar winner, 40, had told friends and family members over Christmas that she and her husband of 18 months, Keith Urban, were expecting their first child together. But the Melbourne Herald Sun quotes Kidman's Australian publicist as denying the Mail's story. "It is incorrect," the spokeswoman tells the paper. "She must have had about 30 babies by now." As for Kidman, says the rep, "She's in Australia making a film" – director Baz Luhrman's epic Australia, costarring Hugh Jackman – "and her family are in Australia. She's happily ensconced away somewhere having a few days break. It's the silly season. As far as we're concerned, it's another rumor out of London." Still, a friend of Kidman's tells the Herald Sun it is "conceivable" that the actress is nearly three months pregnant. "She did have a small baby bump a month ago, so it would be reasonable that she'd now be three months and telling her friends and family," the unnamed friend is quoted as saying. Kidman and former husband Tom Cruise adopted two children during their 1990-2001 marriage: Isabella, now 14, and Connor, 12.

Britney to be deposed soon

After a year of legal starts and stops, Kevin Federline's lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan is ready to move forward with his client's custody battle. "Britney Spears will have her deposition early this year," Kaplan told press outside Mr. Chow's restaurant in Beverly Hills late Saturday night. "We've got a lot to talk about." Spears, 26, missed her initial deposition appearance on Dec. 12, prompting Kaplan to request an emergency hearing and to delay their next court date from January to February. Though Spears cited physical illness and anxiety for her absence, Kaplan said, "She was, in fact, out later that day and night. It's not fourth grade where you get a doctor's note and it's all okay." The attorney expressed hope that Spears will appear this time around so further measures, such as pursuing her in contempt of court or delaying the deposition once again, will not be necessary. "Kevin isn't interested, nor am I, in punishing her," says Kaplan. "We just want to get information necessary to proceed further. I hoping remedies which include continuing hearings are all theoretical." As for tabloid rumors that Preston, 2, and Jayden, 1, will also undergo drug testing, he says, "I haven't even heard about that, and I don't think that is true." In fact, he says, the boys have been enjoying a wonderful holiday season. "It was a good Christmas for all," Kaplan confirms. "They were great. Kevin had all of his kids and it was a big, wonderful family setting. He was really happy, and the kids were happy." As 2008 beckons, Federline, 29, will be ringing in the New Year in Las Vegas. As for how Kaplan envisions the future, his wish is simple: "I hope we will prevail."

Michelle Branch pregnant again?


Singer Michelle Branch has something wonderful to crow about. An insider told Page Six the 24-year-old songstress is expecting her second baby with her husband, bassist Teddy Landau, 43. The couple was married in 2004, and they had their first baby, daughter Owen Isabelle, the following year. Branch's music manager did not return calls for comment.

Star party plans

Where your favorite celebs will be partying Monday night to ring in the new year:

MIAMI
Shore Club: Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz, with a performance by Eve
Mansion: Kim Kardashian
Setai: Jennifer Hudson
The Raleigh Hotel: Mandy Moore, Chace Crawford, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Elisha Cuthbert, Jeremy Piven, Samantha Ronson
Opium Garden: Nick Cannon
Hotel Victor: Adrian Grenier
Sagamore Hotel: Shannon Elizabeth

NEW YORK CITY
Tenjune: Ryan Seacrest
Times Square: Carson Daly, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Joel Madden, Ryan Seacrest
Hammerstein Ballroom: Slash, Velvet Revolver
MTV Party, Times Square: Tila Tequila

LAS VEGAS
LAX: Paris and Nicky Hilton, DJ AM, Criss Angel
Tangerine: Kevin Federline
Tao: Mariah Carey
Pure: Rick Salomon and Pamela Anderson
Body English, Hard Rock Hotel: Backstreet Boys
Prive, Planet Hollywood Resort: Avril Lavigne
Moon, The Palms: Jaime Pressley
Rain, The Palms: Dave Navarro

LOS ANGELES
Les Deux: Travis Barker
Playboy Mansion: The Girls Next Door's Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson
House Parties: Kate Walsh and Scarlett Johansson
Party For The Cause to benefit AIDS research, Woodland Hills, California: Vanessa Williams
San Diego's McClellan-Palomar Airport: Lauren Conrad and Audrina Patridge

Jimmy Fallons weds

Former Saturday Night Live regular Jimmy Fallon and girlfriend Nancy Juvonen, a Hollywood producer who worked on Fallon's 2005 romantic comedy Fever Pitch, were married Saturday on Necker Island in the Caribbean, a publicist announced. Fallon, 33, and Juvonen, 40, had "family and close friends in attendance" at the ceremony, according to the statement from representative Ina Treciokas, the Associated Press reports. No further details were released. The proposal took place in New Hampshire last August "on the dock at sunset at the Junoven family home in Wolfeboro on Lake Winnipesaukee, where On Golden Pond was filmed," according to a friend of the pair. "He presented her with a one-of-a-kind ring designed by Neil Lane," the friend added. It is a first marriage for both.

New Year's Resolution

For those who are seeking suggestions on new year's resolution, may I suggest stop getting tattoos from these templates?



Especially the infamous "Asian Font" seen here, aka. English alphabet in gibberish Chinese.

Mischa avoids press


Party-hosting duties for DUI suspect Mischa Barton have been put on ice. Her management team - which has been tirelessly working to control the press since "The O.C." star was busted in LA early Thursday morning for drunken driving and possession of narcotics - pulled her from hosting tonight's opening of Cathouse in Las Vegas. "Mischa can't give interviews on the red carpet or deal with the press right now," said a Vegas source, "so they told her she can't do the event." The club was searching for celebrities available at the last minute but was still looking last night.

Is Nicole expecting?

Nicole Kidman is pregnant, according to the Daily Mail. The Golden Compass actress, 40, told friends and family over the Christmas holiday that she and husband Keith Urban, 40, are expecting, the UK newspaper reported. Kidman and the country singer have been married since June 2006. There are no details on when the baby is due. She has two adopted children with ex-husband Tom Cruise – Isabella, 15, and Connor, 12 – but their relationship is strained. "They call me Mom," Cruise's new wife, Katie Holmes, said recently. Kidman has talked openly about wanting another baby. "I'm yearning to have one," she told Vanity Fair in September. "I think I would be very sad if I wasn't able to have a baby. Keith knows I want one, and he has been getting there slowly." In an interview in February on Oprah's Oscar Special, Russell Crowe asked the actress if she planned on getting pregnant. "I hope so," she replied. When Crowe remarked that he'd like to see Kidman "walking around barefoot and pregnant," the actress agreed – "I'd like to see that, too." Kidman told Vogue last year: "I always thought I'd eventually live on a Fijian island. I love the idea of being in a sarong, with hair down to my bum and kids following my around and hanging out." After her split from Cruise in 2001, Kidman admitted she'd suffered an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage at one point in their 10-year marriage. "From the minute Tom and I were married, I wanted to have babies. And we lost a baby early on, so that was really very traumatic," she told Vanity Fair. Three months into their marriage, Urban checked himself into the Betty Ford clinic for three months to treat alcohol addiction. "We had to dig really deep," Kidman has said. Kidman begins an eight-week shoot for The Reader in Berlin next month, but after that has no movie projects lined up, the Daily Mail reported.

Rebecca De Mornay offically charged with DUI

Actress Rebecca De Mornay has been formally charged with DUI after being arrested two months ago. The "John from Cincinnati" star was charged Thursday with two counts stemming from her October arrest -- one for driving under the influence and one for driving with a blood alcohol level above .08 percent, according to news reports. She tested at .09 percent following the arrest. The 48-year-old star of "Risky Business" and "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" was pulled over in Beverly Hills on Oct. 30 for a traffic violation. Officers smelled alcohol on her breath and gave her a field sobriety test, which she failed. She also failed a breath test, which led to the second count. De Mornay is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, although she won't necessarily have to be in court.

Heidi Klum sued

Heidi Klum's next project could be in the courtroom. Van Cleef & Arpels filed suit against the Project Runway host in Manhattan's federal court last week, claiming that her jewelry line ripped off their clover design. The papers claim that the designs created by Heidi Klum GmbH and Mouawad USA are so similar to Van Cleef & Arpels's vintage Alhambra line, they create "confusion in the marketplace." (The suit also cites an Oct. 21 New York Times article, which states "Heidi Klum appropriated the clover design for jewelry she designs for Mouawad.") The luxury jewelry house is suing Klum, 34, for copyright infringement and asks for damages in excess of $25,000. Designer Pascal Mouawad, head of Mouawad USA, dismisses the claim, saying: "We believe this claim has no merit. It's clear that shapes like clovers, hearts, crosses, etc, are universal symbols and are commonly used in jewelry." He adds, "Heidi has been wearing her pieces on Project Runway and we've seen them become quite popular. The clover has always been in fashion and you can see that many other luxury jewelry houses have their own interpretations of this wonderful shape such as Louis Vuitton and Chopard."

Accuracy of Celebrity News

My wife loves autobiographies, especially those by people in the entertainment industry. Her favorite autobiography is that of Michael Caine, the brilliant British actor. She's read it at least 10 times. Others she has read include Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Mia Farrow, Laurence Olivier, Lauren Bacall and Maureen O'Hara.

Although they came from completely different backgrounds and had very different lives, they all had one thing in common: the press continuously told lies about them.

It is fascinating to see that from the 1930's right up to the present day the press lies and lies and lies about celebrities. From these books it seems to go this way: the press will try to dig up dirt and when they can't find any they'll make it up.

Most of these celebrities were unable to do much about the lies because the press is very clever in how they report things. For example: "a source close to the actor told me …." What follows is a lie, but the reporter is not saying it is a fact, merely that someone told him it.

One of the few celebrities that had success in fighting this was Maureen O'Hara. If you have seen the movie "LA Confidential" then you will recall the magazine "Hush, Hush" which used dirty tricks and blackmail to get its stories. This magazine was modeled on an actual magazine of the 1950's called "Confidential". In Ms. O'Hara's own words, "there was no tabloid more popular and more destructive than Confidential magazine. Confidential was devoted exclusively to the misadventures of Hollywood movie stars and other celebrities."

In 1957 the magazine published an extremely salacious story about what Ms. Hara got up to in the back row of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre with her "Latin Lover". The story was completely false so she sued.

At first the industry was behind her, but as time went by that support evaporated, many said because the magazine used blackmail to protect itself. She even had to have two FBI agents to protect her when it was discovered that the magazine planned to break into her house in an attempt to find dirt they could use to blackmail her.

Finally, in a truly Hollywood ending, after the magazine's representatives had given the exact date and time of the alleged incident, Ms. O'Hara pulled out her passport and handed it to the Judge. The official stamps proved that she had been in Spain at the time and the magazine was found guilty and had to pay millions in damages. In her book Ms. O'Hara says, "My victory was the first time a movie star had won against an industry tabloid."

Sadly, in the 50 years since her victory, very few celebrities have been successful in suing the media for the lies they publish. So the scandalmongers continue the vitriolic tradition of the catty old women of ages past who whispered their hateful lies in back alleys and across garden fences.

So, next time you read some scandalous story about a celebrity, realize that it's probably a lie that has been worded carefully to prevent a law suit.

I leave you with a quote from L. Ron Hubbard: "News media is parasitic on those who make news. It is not true that those who make news need the news at all. Who needs cancer?"

Madonna to debut film in Berlin


Madonna's debut movie as a director will have its world premiere at the annual Berlin film festival in February. "Filth and Wisdom," starring Eugene Hutz, Richard E. Grant and Stephen Graham, will screen in the Panorama section, outside the main competition, a festival statement said Thursday. Organizers didn't specify whether the 49-year-old singer will come to Berlin to present the movie. The event, which runs from Feb. 7-17, is the first of the year's major European film festivals.

Mischa's New Year's gig still on

Mischa Barton is still set to host a New Year’s bash in Las Vegas this weekend. “We are aware of Mischa Barton's incident last night, but at present she is still expected to host the CatHouse Grand Opening at Luxor Las Vegas on December 29th,” a rep for the lounge said in a statement. “ We will let you know if anything changes." The O.C. alum, 21, was arrested at 3 a.m. yesterday morning after police spotted her weaving between two lanes of traffic in West Hollywood. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, according to a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt.
source

Sean and Robin Wright Penn split

Sean Penn and wife Robin Wright Penn are divorcing, their rep, Mara Buxbaum, confirms. No other details were immediately available. The couple, who've been married 11 years, have two children together, Hopper Jack, 14, and Dylan Frances, 16. Penn, 47, and Wright, 41, began dating in the early '90s and married in 1996. They also have starred together in several films, including 1998's Hurlyburly and 1997's She's So Lovely, directed by Nick Cassavetes. "Marriage ain't easy, but it's great most of the time," Penn told Entertainment Weekly in 1997. "I love Robin. I've always loved her." In the same article, Cassavetes was asked about working with the couple. "The beginning and the end of every day is how Sean and Robin are getting along," he said. "If they have a bad morning, Sean's broken up about it." Penn's most recent film, Into the Wild, which he directed, is drawing awards buzz, with four SAG Award nominations and two Golden Globe nods.

Jessica Alba engaged

Mom-to-be Jessica Alba was spotted over the Christmas holiday with a rock on her left ring finger – and the rumors are true: she and boyfriend Cash Warren are engaged, her rep confirms. "I can confirm that they are engaged," said publicist Brad Cafarelli. Earlier this month, the couple announced that they are expecting a baby. Alba, 26, has been dating Warren, 28, since the fall of 2004, after they met on the set of her movie, The Fantastic Four, on which Warren was a director's assistant. Alba has also starred in Sin City and the recent Awake.
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Predicting a Winner in Unpredictable Election 2008

Hillary Clinton is leading in the polls. No wait, John Edwards has made it a 3-way tie. No. Wait. Barack Obama is still in the lead. And Mitt Romney is still holding on, but, no, no. Mike Huckabee has moved ahead in Iowa. Don't count John McCain out. What about Rudy Giuliani? Hmmm. He may still pull this off. And Fred Thompson?

Dead in the water.

No wonder the experienced pundits cannot remember a more closely watched election. The polls and news reports are all over the place. Take for example the local Examiner. Each day it posts a "Momentum Meter" displaying the different up, down, or sideways momentum of top candidates. Each day, the frontrunners' momentum changes. Clinton's up, she's down, she's all over town as Ron Paul goes uppity yup up in his flying machine (apologies to that old song whose name escapes me... oh just a minute, it's...never mind... too obvious).

There's spin room talk, reasoned opines, campaign hype, and newsroom sound bites. Everyone wants to comment about the wide open field. Nobody has the nerve to predict a likely winner. Seasoned journalists fear the label of stupidity. Intellectuals cringe and pontificate.

It's as if the whole country is back in second grade. No one wants to ask the possibly stupid question. Didn't you love when someone raised their hand to ask the question everyone else was thinking but didn't have the nerve to ask? Other kids laughed, sure, but more times than not, the teacher would praise that gutsy kid. Then, of course, the kid would become obnoxiously emboldened to ask every stupid thought that came to mind until the teacher practically dissed 'em just to move on. We've all been there, right? Maybe even some of us have been that kid.

Well, it's my blog and I'm going to use it any way I like. Critics and comments be damned, I don't care if I'm wrong. The time has come to say exactly what's been on my mind and this is the perfect forum to do so.

Mike Huckabee did not come out of nowhere. After spending little to no campaign money, Huckabee had a very impressive showing in the Iowa straw polls. Clearly, he had a devoted Iowa following long before the Republican debates. For some reason, the mainstream media is shocked by Huckabee's momentum from behind. It's practically all they can talk about. Now the whole country is buzzing about the Reverend Mike.

Fred who? Might as well start calling the Fred Heads the Dead Heads (with apologies to The Grateful Dead).

Although Mitt Romney is an obviously capable candidate, he will have a very difficult time overcoming his own party's religious bias. People tend to elect politicians who think and look like them. Not many Mormons in Iowa. But, let's not forget New Hampshire. Romney appeals to people in New Hampshire because more open minded Republicans live there. People on the east coast practically pride themselves on their fair and open-mindedness. But Romney comes off looking rude and arrogant. In short, I do not think Romney will connect with enough voters in his own party, nor with enough crossover Democrats. Therefore, he's out of the running.

Open-minded Republicans have warmed up to Rudy Giuliani. They will forgive his marital indiscretions and previous stance on abortion. Unfortunately, a lot of people in nearby New York did not like Hizzoner, nor the strong arm tactics used to polish the Big Apple. Giuliani did what almost no other mayor before him could do. Clean up Manhattan, turn it back into the ultimate tourist destination, improve the economy, and reduce crime. For all of these impressive accomplishments, he got a big fat black eye. Too facist. Too mean. No heart. Speak to any New Yorker. They'll be more than happy to tell the tale.

New York is Hillary country anyway. Not many red voters left in that state. Speaking of Hillary, she can't win. I'm convinced of it. Oh, she may get the nomination, I'm not discounting that, but if she does get it, woe are the Democrats. The Republicans will tear her apart limb by limb. Then she'll do something really stupid (as if she hasn't alreday) alienating most if not all of her own party's professionally successful males. Professional white women have already turned on her. Even if liberal yuppies, immigrants, and the hand to mouth working poor turn out at the polls, there will not be enough of them to overcome Republicans, Independents, and swing voters like me. So, putting myself not too far out on a limb, I predict Hillary will be toast, if not sooner, then later.

The Democratic party is in a sorry state of flux. Over the past four years, even with a congressional majority, Democrats have not accomplished their stated objectives. Bush vetoes, Cheney arm twists, and partisan politics are only half the equation. The other half -- the one established pundits hardly ever examine -- is the American people.

Luckily, our political representatives haven't taken away the voice of the citizenry. Democracy and freedom continue to be the tools of grassroots mobilization. Americans are well adapted in utilizing readily accessible avenues of control. Demonstrations, boycotts, and walkouts immediately come to mind. An informed electorate decides which representatives remain in office. The proliferation of C-SPAN, a free press, and freedom of information make government officials accountable. If enough constituents become unhappy, poof, they're gone.

It's politically incorrect to note the dramatic change in the nation's populous. No one wants to be labeled an ignorant bigot. Not to oversimplify, but the United States is no longer a homogenous society comprised of haves and have nots. There's old money, high society, and the intellectually elite. There's Hollywood and organized sports, overnight millionaires who are out of control and barely able to handle their own success. There's liberal hippie throwbacks, moral conservatives, illegal immigrants, legal immigrants trying to achieve the American dream, oppressed minorities, upwardly mobile minorities, and the working poor. Throw in some middle of the road yuppies, disaffected youth, and rednecks, and there you have it, a 21st century melting pot.

I no longer recognize the Democratic party. It's been hijacked by a liberal cabal hell bent on destroying the nation. Democrats ready to turn the country over to socialism, communism ... take your pick ... anything other than our present system of government. On the opposite side are Republicans who do not identify with moral conservatives.

Together, these unconnected voters comprise the de facto third party. They are attuned to government. They mobilize. They vote. These are the people who will elect the next president. The question is which candidate, if nominated by their respective party, appeals to enough of these voters.

Truthfully, I don't think it will be any of the Democrats. While Obama is tempting and charismatic, he does not have the necessary experience. And Edwards? Just plain smarmy. The man should still be plugging away in Congress, he accomplished so little. Oodles of money from personal injury trials does not a leader make.

Unless by some miracle the party wakes up and decides to nominate someone with respectable experience, like Joe Biden or Christopher Dodd, the Democrats will not win the White House. I, myself, have become a victim of the collective thinking "neither of them can win so don't bother." So close to the start of the primaries, I am troubled by the ability of a pack mentality to weaken my resolve. But, no matter. I will pull the lever for Dodd. If he or Biden finishes third in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, this election will be a whole new ball of wax. But right now, that doesn't seem possible. At least not with the information I've gleaned.

That leaves the Republican candidates. McCain or Romney seem like possibilities, but are actually doubtful, and I've already counted Romney out. If any Republican can appeal to enough Democrats and Independents, it's Giuliani or Huckabee. And for some reason, Giuliani doesn't appeal to enough Republicans. It's almost like he was running in the general election. Nobody wins a national primary if they don't resonate with their own party.

Therefore, my prediction for the eventual outcome of the election -- and mind you, this is only if his own party nominates him -- is Mike Huckabee. Let's face it, he's a Democrat in disguise. More than a few of my Democratic friends find him strangely palatable. Go figure.

Check in with this column after South Carolina. Who knows? By then, I might be tooting the electability of Ron Paul ... as he goes uppity yup up in his flying machine.

Update: 2/7/08. Here we are after South Carolina and it's a very tight contest between Huckabee, McCain, Obama, and Clinton. Ron Paul continues to hold on, but for what exactly, I don't know. Leverage at the convention? Spoiler benefits? Somebody better talk to that man before he pulls a Ross Perot.

Looks like some of my calculations for this unpredictable race were right on the money. Romney just announced he's throwing in the towel. Guess he wasn't so keen on investing that personal fortune after all. And so many Republicans detest McCain, Huckabee is beginning to look like the heir apparent. Most say he cannot catch McCain. We'll see.

Unlike the Democrats, vocal Republicans continue to lament sorry pickings. Did they really think they were going to end up with a hardline conservative? Sorry, balding white men and country club darlings in cardigans, but you people are out of touch with reality and twenty-first century America. The conservative movement is over. Dead. Done with. It's time to move on. If we're lucky, we'll reach a happy medium, but no better. Too many people on the other side. Can't we all find a way to get along?

Oddly enough, I am starting to warm up to Obama. People who have met him say he is the real deal, charismatic, innovative, and the politician most capable of leading this country into a prosperous future. Did Jack Kennedy have sufficient experience when he was elected? Did Eisenhower? Experience is not the end all be all when it comes to the presidency.

Whoever becomes the next president will have a mighty hard time cleaning up after the Bush Administration. Many Democrats doubt whether Obama is up to the task. Let me say that between him and Hillary, neither is sufficiently experienced for the Oval Office. However, unlike Mrs. Clinton, Obama has not demonstrated a level of inexperience likely to result in complete and utter disaster. I have blogged before about Hillary's inability to manage her own campaign and if that isn't definitive proof of why she should not be elected, I don't know what is.

Update on Mischa's DUI

Mischa Barton was arrested in West Hollywood early Thursday morning, authorities confirm. The former star of The O.C., 21, was pulled over at 2:46 a.m. after her vehicle was seen straddling two lanes of traffic and she failed to signal when making a turn, according to an L.A. County Sheriff Department statement released Thursday. She was arrested for DUI and driving without a valid license. "During Ms. Barton's detention, it was determined that she was an unlicensed driver and was driving while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage," according to police. "Ms. Barton was arrested and transported to West Hollywood Sheriff's station where the booking process was completed without incident." The investigation is ongoing. Shortly after 10 a.m., a West Hollywood deputy said: "Ms. Barton has been released from sheriff's custody after she posted $10,000 bail." Initially, police also said she'd been arrested for possession of illegal narcotics, but no more details were available. Barton is currently scheduled to host the opening of the new Las Vegas restaurant and lounge, CatHouse, over the weekend. A representative for Barton did not immediately return a request for comment.

Brangelina's fast food Christmas

The Brangelina brood had a finger lickin’ good Christmas in New Orleans. Days before the holiday, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, were spotted strolling hand in hand as they shopped at Harry’s Corner and Santa’s Quarter in their French Quarter neighborhood. Later, Jolie took daughter Shiloh, 19 months, on a walk around town, letting her munch on Lay’s Chips and Cracker Jacks. The actress — who has admitted, “I’m not much of a cook” – proved that point when she and Pitt (in a white Nissan minivan) went through a McDonald’s drive-thru and picked up Happy Meals for their kids on Christmas Day. The day after Christmas, the family – sans Shiloh – hit the AMC Palace Theater to take in the family flick The Water Horse. And on the way home? They hit up another fast food restaurant: KFC.

Leo and Bar: back on

Despite their brief break in October, Leonardo DiCaprio, 33, and Bar Refaeli, 22, were spotted holding hands at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills on Dec. 20. Are they back on? "They were never really 'off,'" a DiCaprio source says. "It was always a distance thing. Leo was making a movie in Morocco [this year], and Bar had her modeling career." Refaeli's mom, Zipi, says: "Bar is working all over the world. Says the DiCaprio pal, "It's a struggle to make a relationship like theirs work, but yes, they're together."

Actor Johnny Lewis


My daughter just told me that last night she and her boyfriend went to see a movie starring one of their friends. Because it was Christmas Day yesterday and usually Christmas type movies are, well, Christmasy, I expected it to be a romantic comedy or a feel-good "It's a Wonderful Life" type movie. But I should have known better. Although my daughter does enjoy romantic comedies, she has a definite preference for sci-fi, fantasy and horror. So the movie she went to see was "Aliens versus Predator: Requiem". A nice peaceful, uplifting, Christmasy movie if ever there was one :)
Anyway, to get to the point of this post, the movie stars one of her friends, a guy she went to school with and did much of her early Scientology training with, Johnny Lewis. Not only is he one of the leads in the movie but, more importantly, he survives to the end. Quite a feat when you consider he is up against aliens and predators and only Sigourney Weaver, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover and a couple other stars have survived such encounters. Way to go Johnny!

A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists. — Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard

New 3-column Blogger Template is a Keeper

Welcome back. Hoping Santa delivered everything everyone desired. And for those of you who got lumps of coal (you know who you are), don't sweat the small stuff. Easy for me to say. It's been temperately comfortable here in Charm City and probably will remain so throughout the day.

What have we been up to other than redesigning ye old blog once again? As I pound out this post, the latest addition to our family, a little snow white 4-week old 5 oz. guinea pig, gnaws away at his new digs, letting guinea pig numero uno know he is one to be taken seriously. Sigh. Numero uno doesn't have much more time. He's been battling bladder stones, and unfortunately, recently started showing more wear and tear. I wanted him to have a little friend to hang with during his last days, poor dear. He's been an only guinea pig up since the day we brought him home from the pet store. It might be nice for the little guy to swap stories and chew the carrot with a new companion.

No, this isn't the kind of news people expect to read here at The Spewker, but I thought some personal tidbits might help build stronger connections with our audience. Okay? Okay.

The new 3-column design was very hard to come by. I basically programmed it myself, no easy task for one with little knowledge of html, ccs, javascript, and all that other bloody computer speak. Blogger must be updating their server because, for the life of me, I cannot upload the old widgets. Normally, I would use this time to regurgitate recently discovered fodder as tasty news morsels, but having wasted more than four hours trying to get this site up to speed, I'm throwing in the towel. Rest assured, the old widgets will be back before you've had a chance to realize they're gone.

Then again, most of our readers probably wouldn't have noticed any difference.

No matter. To those of you who are lucky enough to be on vacation this week, why not review some older posts? At least the "Labels" widget uploaded. If nothing in that directory tickles your fancy, feel free to try out our new search bar. Might as well help this tiny enterprise earn its keep.

For those of you who are back in the office today, thanks ever so much for dropping by. Please stop by again soon. Ye old blog should be back on its feet and raring to go before the guinea pigs can empty their big bowl of food.

Holiday Photo Oportunity?

Photo courtesy of neoconnews.com
PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO TIME'S MAN OF THE YEAR.

An Ashton Kutcher Christmas Card



These holiday spoofs are too funny. If the "no end in sight" WGA strike could be reduced to a video postcard, we suspect it might look something like this.

WARNING: Video contains strong material that might be unsuitable for children. Parental guidance suggested.

Celebrities Served 12.24.07

So many prominent sites report legal and political news about celebrities. Not wanting to merely duplicate, the following lesser known shorts were gleaned over the past week from a variety of sources:

CRIMINAL MATTERS

Former Secret Life of Us star, Samuel Johnson, was released on good behavior after narrowly escaping assault charges for punching and stomping a man’s head in a casino.

In Auburn, Georgia, ex-NBA All-Star, Charles Oakley, was stopped while driving erratically and arrested for unsafe driving and impaired driving. The former forward, who had played for such teams as the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, claimed he was lost.

An arrest has been made in the death of aspiring porn model and student, Emily Sander.

Formula One race ace, Lewis Hamilton, was fined and had his driving license suspended after being caught driving at almost 200kph on a French motorway. The hot bachelor has been linked to supermodel, Naomi Campbell, and Pussycat Dolls singer, Nicole Scherzinger.

Philidelphia news anchor, Alycia Lane, was arrested after allegedly punching a plainclothes female New York City police officer in the face and calling her a dyke.

Rapper Remy Smith, a.k.a Remy Ma, won’t be traveling abroad any time soon. A judge refused the performer’s request to headline a European tour due to serious pending criminal charges.

However, a Florida U.S. District Court Judge granted Wesley Snipes’ request to travel abroad for the holiday. Snipes faces charges for tax fraud. His trial is due to begin in mid-January, 2008.

Paris Hilton was named Celebrity with the Biggest Brush with the Law in 2007.
This article may have published far too soon as Amy Winehouse remains a formidable contender.


CIVIL SUITS

Facing increased competition from rivals Blockbuster and NetFlix,
Movie Gallery, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief. The chain which operates Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, and Game Crazy, hopes to emerge from court protection in early 2008.

Putting his money where his mouth is, Tony Parker filed a $40 million lawsuit against the gossip site, X17 Online, for publishing a story about his alleged affair with French model, Alexandra Paressant. Parker vigorously denies the two had sex in a hotel about a month after his expensive wedding to Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria.

Dolly Parton’s brother, Randy, was barred from performing in the theatre bearing his name. The singer and local city council are embroiled in a breach of contract dispute.

For the second time, Phil Spector sued his ex-attorney, Robert Shapiro, and Shapiro’s law firm to recoup legal fees and other damages. The embattled music producer, who will be retried on murder charges later next year, claims Shapiro’s shoddy work caused prosecutors to file formal charges.

Goth musician, Marilyn Manson, is counter-suing former bandmate, Stephen Bier, Jr., a.k.a. Madonna Wayne Gacy. The suit claims general and special damages as well as a gag order.

A judge dismissed World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.’s lawsuit against JAKKS Pacific, Inc. and related entities. The WWE had claimed antitrust and federal RICO violations. The dismissal effectively ended any possible pursuit of state law claims.

Reports of Britney’s impending marriage to Sam Lufti have so infuriated her ex, Kevin Federline, that Federline is reportedly seeking a restraining order. With 16-year old ex-sister-in-law Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy news, and Brit’s almost daily exploiots, the Spears family has become a veritable three-ring media circus.


CELEBRITY CAUSES

Paris Hilton’s mom, Kathy, raised money from other celebs to support the Make A Wish Foundation.

Nick Lachey and NASCAR star, Jimmie Johnson, recently formed the "Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic," a charity event scheduled around the time of the Super Bowl in Scottsdale Arizona. Nick pitched in $125,000.00 of his own money to jump start the event.

Andy Roddick and John MacEnroe played tennis to benefit children with cancer.

Brad Pitt has put his movie career on hold to rebuild New Orleans. The sexy movie star, his companion, Angelina Jolie, and their four children have temporarily relocated to help former Louisiana residents reclaim blighted areas.

Want to know which celebrities are the most charitable and the causes they support?
CTV has published a list detailing generous acts of kindness among the Hollywood elite.


CELEBRITY POLITICS

Alison Jackson's celebrity look-alike photographs continue to irk their targets. Jackson’s politically incorrect images tend to capture the attention of people who are unable to differentiate between the real celebrity and the imposter.

The Dixie Chicks, subject of the popular documentary, Shut Up and Sing are back in the political spotlight. Lead singer, Natalie Maines, attended a rally and performed at a concert supporting the "West Memphis Three." Many believe the police railroaded the three teens into confessing to the sexual assault and murder of three 8-year old boys.

The Mitchell Report targeted athletes for steroid use, but let the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig, off the hook.

Mommy bloggers and celebrity glitterati continue to pound Oprah Winfrey for publicly endorsing and campaigning on behalf of Senator Barak Obama.

Basketball legend, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, hit the campaign trail with Bill Clinton to stump for Senator Hillary Clinton.

Musician and rock star legend, Bruce Springstein, ended his first UK show of 2007 by criticizing U.S. politics.

Shock jock, Don Imus, who only recently returned to the airwaves after making politically offensive statements about the Rutgers Womens Basketball team, kicked back at news anchor, Tom Brokow, saying he wouldn’t want him covering his back in a foxhole.

Irish pop star, Chris De Burgh, will be first Western artist to perform in Iran since the 1979 revolution.

Floyd Red Crow Westerman, an American Indian activist, actor and folk singer who appeared in Dances with Wolves and performed with Willie Nelson and other musicians, died at the age of 71. He was a survivor and symbol of U.S. government oppression of Native American Indians.

Santa Claus Gone Wild

santa the flashing idiot

"Hey little girl, ask your mommy if she wants to kiss this!"

Evan Sayet Demonstrates Cause for Political Divide

Have not been on Facebook in such a long time. Decided it was time for an update. Sent out many responses to e-mails, application requests, group requests, and initiated some requests of my own. These included updating contacts made back in November at BlogWorld. So many interesting bloggers and developers criss-crossing the globe, making their marks, reaching out to audiences across the world. Some with greater successes than others, certainly, but all with a story to tell and goals to accomplish.

A chance meeting with Evan Sayet at the Hard Rock Hotel stands out as a highlight. Evan is a political pundit with an emerging following. He likes to intersperse humor with politics, having been on the Hollywood and New York scenes for a number of years. Surprisingly, he doesn't appear to have his own Facebook, and at this time of the morning, investigating whether he does in fact maintain one will have to wait for another time. What struck me as unusual is the presence of a 50 member (at this time) group devoted solely to Evan entitled "The Next Great Conservative Thinker."

Evan did not strike as particularly conservative when we sat down to shoot the breeze at the Hard Rock. In fact, he projected an almost liberal vibe, or at the very least, a moderate point of view. His Facebook group features a Heritage Foundation appearance which literally blew me away, mostly because he seems so different in person. It's true we mostly discussed family and personal matters, but we also touched upon the 2008 election and merits of the different candidates.

Evan's years in Hollywood have served him well. Unless you already know you're sitting down with the "next great conservative thinker," you'd swear you happened upon another liberal New York ethnic minority. The dichotomy was so compelling that after digesting the entire 40-some minute presentation, I couldn't go to bed without penning some thoughts and impressions.



Don't feel compelled to view the entire video, although Evan does have a fascinating take on the modern liberal mindset. According to him, liberals are not evil or stupid, they merely subscribe to something he calls "the cult of indiscriminateness." By subscribing to utopian ideals embeded in their psyches by the age of five, liberals reject conservative rational thought because they've been told their liberal belief system is the one true hope for mankind. Discriminate thought, thought that distinguishes between behaviors, choices, lifestyles, etc., is the equivalent of bigotry. Since bigotry is bad, liberals adhere to a philosophy where everything and everyone is equal, sharing, and essentially playing on the same field. Evan throws in some references to Hollywood, television programs, and John Lennon, all the essential cultural markers of the 60's, but the basic idea is the same espoused by most other conservatives.

Evan Sayet poses with Sean HannityHe also makes a point of mentioning liberals are virulently antagonistic to political positions other than their own. I would be inclined to agree, however, I've come across my share of antagonistic thinking from conservatives. A certain radio pundit comes to mind.

Why are politically minded people always trying to convince each other that their opinion is the rationally right one and everyone else is irrationally wrong? Wouldn't it be better to simply air our opinions, discuss their merits or lack thereof, and agree to disagree?

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with Evan. His take on the mindset of liberals borders on sheer genius. But by saying the things he does in the manner in which he says them, Evan alienates every person with a liberal agenda. Wouldn't it be better to try to bridge these gaps rather than continue to increase the divide?

Actually, I am not one to preach. I live next door to one of the biggest liberal hippie throwbacks from the counter revolution era. This gentleman never outgrew the commune and utopia mindset and continues to espouse liberal loftiness wherever and whenever the mood strikes. About a year ago, after jokingly criticizing his ability to remain so liberal well into adulthood as a byproduct of working for the government, we can no longer discuss politics. Not only did he not appreciate the humorous nature of this good-natured jab, but to this day, he purposefully lobs nasty comments my way as if intentionally seeking a rise. I've steered clear of engaging the antagonism to date, but it's getting to the point where I can barely maintain civility.

One more mention -- and I am NOT joking -- one more zinger about my pronounced Baltimore accent, and it's POW, straight to the moon Alice, right to the kisser.

Evan Almighty is a Likeable Fantasy

Do you believe in miracles? Do you have faith in a higher power (a/k/a God)? Do you believe politics is fraught with corruption? Say it with me now, “Thou shalt do the dance!”

The critics were wrong about Evan Almighty, nominee for MTV’s Best Summer Movie You Haven’t Seen Yet 2007 Award, starring Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, and Lauren Graham. Genesis 6:14 is lovingly brought to life in this updated fable of change and redemption. The actors are physically pleasing and sufficiently expressive, the plot relatively easy to follow, the cinematography is at times breathtaking … what is not to like?

In his day, Noah was the ultimate rebel, a testament to belief in a higher power doing what God commanded by building a gigantic ark. All the while, he endured the taunts of disbelievers who eventually perished in the ensuing flood. Likewise, Steve Carell is newly elected Congressman, Evan Baxter. His prayers land him in the unenviable position of constructing a biblical sized ark in modern day suburbia. Morgan Freeman, in the role of an affable human God with bad teeth, prods Evan along, despite criticism from his family and work staff, camera crews parked outside his newly acquired McMansion, and the prying lens of C-SPAN. Nobody drowns in this likeable comedy from Director Tom Shadyac, although John Goodman, playing a greedy congressional blowhard, suffers a final comeuppance some might liken to a fate worse than death.

A few gags are laugh out loud funny, provided your taste in humor is one brow short of high. The closing credits alone are to die for BUT do not fast-forward or scene select if you want to get the full impact. Animal lovers will also appreciate the film’s prominent inclusion of furry, scaly, and feathered beasts. One scene in particular has Carell covered in head to toe birds. Animatronics or not, the display is impressive, if only for the two undeniably real creatures who flutter on board before the cut. In a later scene, cute raccoons break bread with their caretaker. Cameo appearances by lions, snakes, skunks, and alpacas, along with stellar performances by Wanda Sykes, Molly Shannon and Jonah Hill of Superbad fame round out the cast.

Throughout the film, perhaps not so subliminal messages suggest lofty goals. Spend more time with family. Don’t focus on outer appearances. Do what is right even in the face of obstacles. Reach out and help your neighbor. We’re all in this together, whatever this is, whether we want to be or not, so act for the greater good.

Luckily for Evan Baxter, God steers him in the right direction and yields little room to wiggle out. If the rest of us mere mortals want to change the world, however, we'll have to aspire to one "ARK," roughly translated as one act of random kindness at a time. With the right amount of belief and fortitude, miracles can and do happen. An uplifting message hard to come by in this day and age and isn’t that the magic of movies after all?

Now everyone get up and dance.

Hillary Clinton Rouses Heiffer Sympathies and Other Undigested Blips

Undigested news items gleaned and overheard while out and about...

"We've had the freedom to do whatever we want, if we're fortunate enough to know what that is." Rush Limbaugh discussing the allure of socialism and communism to the current generation of Americans.

"Barring any imminent settlement of the WGA strike, the 2007 Golden Globes Awards will be held at my apartment on the Westside of Manhattan this year." Alec Baldwin reacting to rumblings of cancellation of the popular awards show.

"My husband paid for those tires, and there was no reason for that man to come and steal them." Tearful outcry of Baltimore City, Maryland resident, Daphne Brockington, after husband, Charles, received a five year prison sentence for killing a man who stole his $1,500.00 Mercedes-Benz tire rims.

"I know you're going to inspect me. You can look inside my mouth if you want." Hillary Clinton stumping from a livestock auction barn in Dunlap, Iowa.

"To think that I would just be in support of somebody because of the color of their skin would mean we hadn't moved very far from Dr. King's speech in 1963, saying that we want people to be judged by the content of their character, and not by the color of their skin." Facing criticism of celebrity endorsement for Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey defends stirring support for black presidential candidate.

Happy birthday to all who share December 18th with these famous celebs: Keith Richards,64; Steven Spielberg, 61; Ray Liotta, 53; Brad Pitt, 44; Katie Holmes, 29; Christina Aguilera, 27.




Round 2: Checking in with more celebs!

Well, before I get to that -- Don't you just love snow days!? Okay, many of you are screaming yes, yes, I do! Me, not so much. I've never been a big winter person, although the first snow on the tree branches is just beautiful, but when you work from a home office, a snow day often means "What I've scheduled to work on today is often put to the side because the kids are home!" Now my kids are older and are good at entertaining themselves and each other, but when the kids are home you think differently. It's harder to write articles and blogs, so instead I focus on administrative things I need to do.

Now that the kids are getting older though (two of them are teens), they have volunteered to help me out in the office too! My 15-year-old daughter, who is great at web design, put together a new blog for me (more on that another day), and my son, who loves to sell things and make money, got to work on what we were selling on Ebay. So it was a productive, although extremely COLD, day here in the northeast yesterday.

My favorite indoor snow day activity? Hot chocolate and a good movie! We re-watched Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and caught Dreamgirls for the first time on HBO. Both great movies! What do you like to do on a snow day? Let me know!

Thought I'd let you in on more celebrity charity involvement:

In keeping with the holidays, Style.com thought it would be great to put some of the focus on giving back - and to highlight the ways people in the fashion industry do that. They invited designers, retailers, and models -- including Iman, David Lauren, Donna Karan, Margherita Missoni, Kenneth Cole, Betsey Johnson, Narciso Rodriguez, Francisco Costa, Simon Doonan, Zac Posen, and more to discuss their favorite charities and what it means to give back.

Check this out:



Style.com also published a list of the charities, so if you are inspired you can find out how to get involved.

GL Gives Back

I've been a Guiding Light fan for as long as I can remember. One of the stars of the show, Crystal Chappell grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and several of the cast members visited this holiday season to give back the community through the Salvation Army. Check it out here.

J.K. Rowling helps the less fortunate

J.K. Rowling sold her limited edition handwritten book “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” for almost $4 million dollars. Money raised from the seventh copy will go to the Children's Voice charity.

For all you boxing fans --

On Thursday, December 6, TabĂș Ultra Lounge at MGM Grand transformed into Santa Clause's headquarters when Floyd Mayweather Jr. hosted a Toys for Tots fundraiser. Mayweather took a break from his rigorous training for Saturday's boxing match against Ricky Hatton to join Santa and a bevy of Santa's sexy helpers to gather gifts for underprivileged children this holiday season. Joining in these efforts, NBA legend Gary Payton and TV icon Robin Leach assisted in filling the lounge with presents and holiday cheer.

Doing something good on Super Bowl Sunday

While I watch my Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre go to this year's Super Bowl (don't tell me otherwise people!), there is more going on that day than just football! The Surf City USA® Marathon, formerly known as the Pacific Shoreline Marathon, may have changed its name, but the marathon will continue its successful charitable partnership with the Free Wheelchair Mission. The charity has set a goal of raising enough money to provide 12,000 free wheelchairs to the disabled in undeveloped countries from this year’s event, scheduled for Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, 2008, on the shores of Huntington Beach, CA.



To show there is more to do on Super Bowl Sunday than just watch football, former NFL quarterback Jay Schroeder has committed to run in the event and serve as the keynote speaker for the fundraising dinner on February 2 at the Hilton Beachfront Resort.

“I am excited about the opportunity to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday in such a healthy and rewarding way,” said Schroeder. “Once I heard about the great work the Free Wheelchair Mission does, I knew it was a cause I wanted to support. I encourage all runners to fundraise and all of my former neighbors, classmates and fans in Southern California to sign up to run or sponsor a runner.”

For the third consecutive year, the “Run for Mobility” will allow runners the chance to permanently change lives by raising money to purchase special wheelchairs for the physically disabled in undeveloped countries. Thus far, through the partnership between the charity and the marathon, more than 13,000 people have received a free wheelchair and the gift of mobility thanks to runners.

In the “Run for Mobility” program, runners can become fundraisers by running the marathon, half marathon, or 5K, and committing to raise donations from businesses, friends, and co-workers as part of the activity. For people who want to help support the cause but do not have a runner to sponsor, Free Wheelchair Mission is encouraging people to support Jay Schroeder’s run by visiting his personal fundraising page at www.RunforMobility.org. Jay has established a goal of $5,700 for his run – one wheelchair for each of the 144 touchdown passes he threw in the NFL.

The Run for Mobility raised $165,000 in its inaugural year, and $465,000 last year. This year’s goal is $650,000, enough to “lift” 12,000 people off the ground and into a wheelchair. Each wheelchair costs just $48.35 to produce and is delivered for free, with no conditions.

As an extra incentive, the Free Wheelchair Mission will pay the registration fee and guarantee a spot in the Surf City USA Marathon for any person willing to raise a minimum of $500. For more information, visit www.RunForMobility.org or www.RunSurfCity.com.

Until next time,

Lisa

Demi Moore Baby Bump is Old and Tired

After what the pregnancies of J.Lo and Xtina did to the media, no one wants to be the last to break baby bump news. That may explain why Famecrawler is running with a blind item from E! about a possible new baby bump. Problem is, the rose fell off this bump years ago.

Demi Moore in a photo spreadThe preggers police were eavesdropping at a party over the weekend where they just happened to overhear Demi Moore bragging about her “belly and buds.” This was just enough fodder for E! to get blasted and run.

Pnk’ed is more like it.

The press recently snapped Demi’s husband, Ashton Kutcher, notorious punkster and practical joke manufacturer extraordinaire, filming his latest movie in a chicken outfit. Between that and the gobs of attention slathered over daughter Rumer, a/k/a the next Miss Golden Globes, might Ms. D, the St. Elmo’s Fire babe, be feeling a wee bit slighted?

Mah-aaannnn, what some people won’t do for publicity. Star in a new movie. Go to Darfur. Endorse a presidential candidate. But more baby bump rumors? Puh-leeze!

How many times are “prognastycators” going to tout this horn? Either Demi is setting a new world record for the longest gestation of a fetus that has yet to pop, or somebody’s getting their jollies from juicing the wheels of entertainment.

For the record, sightings of this miracle baby began as far back as March 14, 2005. Not trying to be mean and hoping miscarriages are not to blame, but if this latest rumor is one in a long line of some sick running gag on the press, the yolk is up and it’s all over Demi’s face.

A smattering of pregnancy press reports for the happy couple include:
July 25, 2005
March 13, 2007
June 24, 2007
October 12, 2007
October 25, 2007



Celebrity Presidential Endorsements on Parade

Less than three weeks from the first primary election of 2008, celebrity presidential endorsements are hitting the big time. Oprah made her big splash for Obama last week after Streisand, Bill, Mrs. Rodham, and Chelsea went to bat for Hillary.

Before that, of course, we had Clooney, Halle, and Matty The Sexiest Man Alive for Barack. And before any of them hit the scene, way back over the summer, there was Taryn Southern in "Hot4Hill" and that spicy little Obama girl who got plastered all over TV. Suddenly, there's Chuck for "Huck," and Lieberman for McCain, not to mention Fred Thompson who is a celebrity in his own right. The other candidates have some Hollywood appeal as well, but apparently not enough to make the national news media stand up and applaud.

How can anyone help but notice all the Tinseltown draped over Election 2008? The parade of celebrity endorsements keeps going and going and going ad naseum like the Energizer Bunny in a bad Twilight Zone episode. Rod Serling could not have conceived of anything more terrifying, I mean, the thought of all these celebrities somehow influencing voters to cast their ballot for the celebrity's choice of presidential candidate is positively horrifying. Barbra Streisand is a wonderful entertainer with a voice like buttah, but honestly, what does she know about running America?

There's no sense in complaining. There are too many Americans who are too busy to pay attention to the presidential election and/or don't have the brains or interest to care. These are the same people who will vote for a candidate because Oprah tells them to, or because they want a minority in office, or because they like the way a candidate plays a guitar on stage. Forget about foreign policy, or ability to lead, or domestic policy....none of that actually matters.

It's gotten so bad that if a candidate hasn't gotten a celebrity endorsement of some sort by now, they might as well throw in the towel. Otherwise qualified candidates like Dodd, Biden, Tancredo, and Hunter (if you just said "WHO?" out loud, you really have not been following the election and don't deserve to cast a vote in the primary) haven't got a prayer. These men lack the necessary star power, will not pass their screen tests, and mark my words, will start dropping like flies after February 5th.

This is the state of politics in 2008. A hundred years from now, someone will look back on this moment and designate 2008 as the year politics became undone. Slowly, slowly, ever since Reagan became president, America has been drifting into a Hollywood mindset, equating the ability to lead a nation with the ability to open a movie, electing presidents the same way they become fans of movie stars.

Quiet! That twilight zoney music is playing faintly in the background. Oh, no, wait, it's the theme song from Back to the Future.

Might as well have some fun with this. Like a celebrity parade before it passes by, everyone on the other side of the baricades should stop and watch the action. Yeah, that's the ticket. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Think of each video as an overblown Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade float.

Just be careful to avoid getting subliminally slimed.