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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Women left out of committee decision discusion on birth control

We almost couldn’t believe it.  Today, at a House Oversight Committee hearing, House Republicans convened a panel on denying access to birth control converge with five men and no women.  As my colleague Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, where are the women?

-Nancy Pelosi

Saturday Day Night Live takes on Clint Eastwood Superbowl Ad

Date:2/13/2012 12:44:06 PM
To:Lynch, Arthur

Governor of New Jersey expected to veto Same Sex Marraige

N.J. Assembly Votes To Legalize Gay Marriage

The New Jersey State Assembly followed the lead of the state Senate and voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state on Thursday. Governor Chris Christie has vowed to veto the measure and put it up for referendum in November.

Prop 8 Decision

i think this is relevant to the news but i am unsure how to post it on the blog so i wish to submit this news on prop 8 in California:

thanks colby perkins

Racial Hatred and Slurs on Los Angeles Talk Radio station KFI

We've been exposing John and Ken and their hate-mongering. We released a video calling out their vile attacks to the Latino and immigrant communities. We targeted their advertisers, who one by one have been dropping like flies. Their response, was always - it's only a single incident. Well - here they go again. SHARE this post and help expose if you think they should be off the air for good.
John and Ken did it again. A few months after losing sponsorship for disclosing the personal information of DREAM activists the AM talk show hosts are suspended for calling the late Whitney Houston a “Crack Ho.” They will return to the air 2/27. Have they learned their lesson?

In Arizona, Romney Can't Take Mormons For Granted

Karen Johnson, from Linden, Ariz., supports the candidacy of Ron Paul. She says Mitt Romney shares her faith, but not her politics.
Karen Johnson, from Linden, Ariz., supports the candidacy of Ron Paul. She says Mitt Romney shares her faith, but not her politics.

A supporter at a Mitt Romney rally Monday in Mesa, Ariz. The city was founded by Mormons and has a large Mormon population.

The wind howls on a blustery Sunday morning in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, as well-dressed families pull into the parking lot of a Mormon church.

Mormon pioneer roots run more than a century deep in this part of the state, an isolated spot between two Indian reservations.

Karen Johnson is among the Mormon faithful, passionate about God and country.

"I have the gene," Johnson said, laughing. "It's the gene of freedom and liberty. In our faith, we have been taught that the Constitution is like unto Scripture. That we should know and understand the Constitution as well as we understand the Bible, that we should support it, and we should look for and uphold righteous men."

For Johnson, that righteous man is GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — perhaps the nation's highest profile Mormon — may have the support of many Mormons here, but Johnson sees little to like.

Johnson said many of her fellow Mormons are "not thinking for themselves. ... If they did, they would be supporting the one that supports the Constitution."

Johnson has a laundry list of complaints against Romney. She calls him a big-government conservative. She slams his foreign policy, especially Romney's stance that he'd be willing to bomb Iran.

"It's right there in black and white in the Book of Mormon. We are supposed to be a people of peace," said Johnson, who lives in Linden, Ariz., in Navajo County.

"A lot of people believe that libertarianism actually lines up better with Mormon doctrine than the mainstream political parties do, and they are quite vehement," said Matthew Bowman, a religion professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

Bowman called opinions like Johnson's "a kind of moralistic Mormon libertarianism."

There's a noticeable streak of Mormon libertarianism in the West, and the Ron Paul campaign has actively courted that vote, Bowman said.

Paul made small inroads in this year's Nevada caucuses, getting 5 percent of Mormon support — higher than he received in 2008.

Meanwhile, Romney lost 7 percent of the Mormon support he enjoyed four years ago in Nevada. Romney is still overwhelmingly popular among Mormons. But he's paying attention to voters like Johnson.

The nation's founding documents "were either inspired by God, or written by brilliant people, or perhaps a combination of both those things. But we have in those documents the way forward for America," Romney said this week, during a campaign event in Mesa, Ariz.

Romney's a formidable candidate in the White Mountains. In Arizona's 2008 primary, he beat home state Sen. John McCain in just three counties — all in eastern Arizona.

Janette Larsen and her teenage son are Romney supporters. "We love to discuss politics at our house," said Larsen, who plans to vote for Romney in Arizona's Feb. 28 Republican primary. Not because he's a fellow Mormon, she said, but because she considers him a moderate.

"I would hope that people would put a lot of research and thought and even prayer into the person that they choose to support. I don't think it needs to be based on our religion, because obviously within any religion there will be differences of opinion on how to get things done," said Larsen.

But for Larsen's husband, John, religion plays a bigger role in the way he'll vote. He's a church leader, a social conservative, and still undecided on a candidate. Just like many Mormons, he has a religious respect for the U.S. Constitution and its authors.

"I believe they wrote it under influence, inspiration, whatever word you want to use, of the Almighty for this land to be set aside as his nation, as his promised land," he said.

Cut the Cattle Calls. Paying for March Madness. Larry King cuts ties with CNN. Nicholas Cage predicted to rule the box office. CBS to produce programs for direct to Netflix.

Turner Broadcasting, which along with CBS shares the rights for the annual NCAA college basketball championship tournament, is going to offer its coverage of the event over the Internet at a price of $3.99

March Madness is going over the top. You will have to pay to watch NCAA Tourney Basketball. Turner Broadcasting, which along with CBS shares the rights for the annual NCAA college basketball championship tournament, is going to offer its coverage of the event over the Internet at a price of $3.99.

The 64-team NCAA tournament runs about a month and ends in early April. The championship game often draws more than 20 million viewers.

Previously, people could watch games online for free via the NCAA's website. Games that CBS carries will remain available for free online.

The move by Turner is aimed at consumers who do not subscribe to cable or satellite TV and those who do subscribe but whose distributors have not yet put in place a system to allow customers to watch cable content online.

Of the approximately 100 million cable subscribers in the country, about 77 million have access to a service known as TV Everywhere, which allows them to watch cable content on the Web provided they can verify that they're paying customers. But of those 77 million who can sign up for TV Everywhere-type services, less than half have enrolled.

The low price tag for the games seems aimed more at encouraging distributors to start marketing TV Everywhere more aggressively than to create a new revenue stream for Turner.

"We're honestly not going after cord-cutters," said Matt Hong, Turner's senior vice president of sports.
Still, if a few shell out some money to watch the games online, Turner won't complain.

The Daily Dose: CBS said on its earnings call Wednesday that it is in talks to make a show for Netflix. Although some wondered why CBS would help a potential competitor, the reality is that networks and studios try to produce shows for everyone. The bigger question is whether Netflix will let CBS and other producers sell reruns to their programs once they've been available on Netflix for awhile. If not, Netflix may have to pay a premium to be the exclusive home for a show in perpetuity. Something to keep an eye on.

Pilot System....Fix the system. It's pilot season, which means lots of actors are going on cattle calls trying to land parts in new sitcoms and dramas.

Hollywood is one month into pilot season.

By the end of February, the networks will have culled the scripts they had been developing during the prior half-year and will order a select group of pilots for production. (Final decisions on which of these go to series is made in May.)

But as the chosen scripts are anointed, the television industry becomes all about casting these projects. It is indisputable that a great script that has been miscast will fail and that a mediocre script with a terrific lead or leads may very well succeed.

Yet for all of its importance, the process of casting pilots — for those actors who aren’t among the very small number well known enough to simply be offered a show outright – is, ironically, so strained and grueling that it doesn’t afford actors the opportunity to be cast in the show best suited to them, nor the producers a position of confidence that they have hired the best ensemble available.

Producer Gavin Polone, who pens a column for Vulture, says the process is "so strained and grueling that it doesn’t afford actors the opportunity to be cast in the show best suited to them, nor the producers a position of confidence that they have hired the best ensemble available."

"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," the 3-D sequel featuring a demonic motorcycle-riding superhero played by Nicolas Cage, is expected to be the No. 1 film over President's Day weekend

Ghost Rider to burn the competition. Nicolas Cage plays with fire in "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," but it's the competition at the box office that will likely get burned this weekend.

The 3-D sequel, featuring a demonic motorcycle-riding superhero played by Cage, is expected to be the No. 1 film over President's Day weekend. According to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys, the movie will debut with around $30 million in sales from Friday through Monday.

The tear-jerker "The Vow" and the action film "Safe House," which each opened to over $40 million last weekend, will likely fight for the runner-up position with around $20 million in sales.

Two new films, meanwhile, are projected to trail behind. The romantic comedy-action flick "This Means War," starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, is expected to bring in a so-so $15 million over the four-day holiday. And "The Secret World of Arrietty," an animated film first released in Japan in 2010 and now dubbed with the voices of American actors, will likely start off with about $5 million.

The original "Ghost Rider" opened on the same weekend in 2007 and debuted with $45.4 million, ultimately raking in $115.8 domestically and about that much overseas as well. The film was one of the biggest successes in recent years for Cage, who has appeared in an astounding 14 films since the release of "Ghost Rider." Of those, most were action movies, with the highest-grossing one being the sequel "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," which took in about $350 million worldwide in 2007.

While the outdoor advertisements for the 48-year-old actor's latest project spotlight the recognizable Ghost Rider character, his face or name are not prominently featured. The movie was not screened in advance for critics, indicating that Sony Pictures may be nervous about its public reception.

The picture was funded by Sony along with production and financing company Hyde Park Entertainment for about $80 million, said one person close to the project who was not authorized to speak about it publicly. Hyde Park controls international distribution rights. The sequel was made for about $30 million less than the original, and also features new directors in Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who are well known to fanboys for their work on the "Crank" series.

"This Means War" was initially slated to officially open nationwide on Valentine's Day, but last week 20th Century Fox pushed back the release date by three days. In an effort to spread positive word-of-mouth in advance of the film's debut, Fox previewed the picture in approximately 2,500 theaters on Tuesday evening. The picture grossed $1.6 million from one screening only at about 7 p.m.
Fox and co-financier Dune Entertainment spent about $65 million to produce the movie, about two CIA agents both vying for the affections of the same woman. The film is directed by McG, best known for his work on action films such as "Terminator: Salvation." It has been in development at Fox for over a decade, and in recent years attracted the interest of such stars as Bradley Cooper and Sam Worthington.

The film, which has so far received poor critical reviews, is debuting in 17 foreign markets this weekend, including Australia and Russia.

"The Secret World of Arrietty" was co-written by Hayao Miyazaki, the filmmaker behind "Ponyo" and "Spirited Away." Miyazaki enjoys a strong relationship with Pixar Animation Studio's creative guru John Lasseter, who also oversees Disney Animation.

It was Lasseter who helped bring "Arrietty" to the U.S. after the animated film found success overseas in 2010. That year, it became the top-grossing picture in Japan and collected a total of $126 million abroad. Now, the characters in the movie have been updated with the voices of English-speaking actors, including Saoirse Ronan as the lead character, Amy Poehler and Carol Burnett.

Larry King and CNN are parting ways
Good night, Larry. Larry King's longest marriage -- the one he's had with CNN for 27 years -- is coming to an end. King, who gave up his daily talk show on the cable news channel in 2010, still had a deal for several prime time specials a year. However, now the two sides are saying they have mutually decided to part ways. That may be CNN's way of being polite. Details from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

Rupert is coming! News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch is going to a pay a visit to his Sun tabloid paper just days after several of its staffers were arrested for allegedly paying off police for scoops. According to Bloomberg, staffers at the paper are mad at the mogul for the handling of the matter. One Sun editor, Trevor Kavanagh, said paying for stories “has been standard procedure as long as newspapers have existed. ... There is nothing disreputable about it. And, as far as we know at this point, nothing illegal.” Well, paying a subject of a story is one thing, but paying a government official for information on someone might be a bigger deal.

Last-minute campaigning. Oscar votes are due Tuesday. Normally the push by the studios to drum up support for their movies starts to wind down about now. This year, though, the studios and producers are taking their sales pitch to voters right down to the wire. Variety takes a look at Oscar campaigns.

As if she didn't have enough on her plate. Oprah Winfrey, who gave up her daily talk show to launch a cable network, is considering taking a movie role. The Hollywood Reporter says Winfrey is eyeing a co-starring role in "The Butler," a movie being developed about Eugene Allen, who was a butler in the White House for three decades, serving presidents from Eisenhower to Reagan.

Too soon? Almost a week after he performed on the Grammy Awards, debate is still raging over whether the show should have given Chris Brown such a big platform to the performer who made national news for his 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna. The Daily Beast looks at the growing backlash against the Grammys for having him on the show.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Sony Pictures is trying to figure out what to do with "Sparkle," Whitney Houston's last film.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter and see what all the excitement is about.

When to Hang On - When to Let Go!

Article Source:

By Scott VanHoogstraat

I believe a life-long challenge for any adult human being is the decision: when to hang on...when to let go. When we are small we are given things and for most of us life is handed to us on a platter (not always a silver one). We learn from a very young age that taking is good and soon we develop a keen awareness that unless I "hang on" to what I'm given, someone else may come along and snatch it from me.

Case in point: Halloween: 1968. I was the master candy-gatherer! By the time I was 8 I had mastered the art of the knock, the ask, the grab and take and the door to door. I loved candy. I loved to gather. But there was a danger looming around every corner at home. My older brother. I knew even at 8 that if I didn't hang on to every last bit and bite of my candy that he would find a way to find it, eat it, stash the wrapper and act like nothing ever happened. I became selfish and hoarding and did everything in my power to hide it and hang on to it and never let it go. I actually got a knickname for the clinging: "the death grip". No one and I mean no one would be able to snatch my candy from my hand and no one was going to get any. Halloween 1968 my Dad walks in the room and sees me throwing a fit for not sharing my candy with anyone else and he gathers it all up in my bag, goes out back into the woods and scatters it to the wind (and wild animals). I cried and steamed and mulled over what I was going to do. "At first light I'll walk out in the woods and find every last piece and it will be mine, mine, mine!!!!" None of this would have happened had I learned to 'let go', to share and give and care.

No one every told me or showed me that there was a time to hold on and a time to let go. The thought of letting anything go that I was given was not in my book. I was fine as the taker, but when would I learn to surrender?

Then came adulthood and thousands of circumstances in front of me making me decide whether it was worth hanging onto or whether I should let it go? Should I let it go when people hurt me or reject me or talk bad about me? Should I let it go when others get the promotion or the breaks in life and my life goes from one very hard challenge to the next? Should I let it go when it would be much easier to just step over others to get my way? When my pride is screaming out to me to "hang on or else", then I am faced with the constant dilemma... "is it worth it?"

There's something very nice about the times in life when we "have not" and have to "go without". The times in life when we are just getting by, when materialism is stripped away from us and we are left with family, friends, our body and our breath. It's not hard to let go, to surrender, to give up and evaluate what's good and real during these times.

It's when we "have it all", "have no worries", "life is good" and we don't have the needs that we find ourselves truly struggling with the hanging on. You see when I was small I had to worries and everything was handed to me and yet I had a "death grip" on what I wanted. Now I am old-er and have very little and anything I have I would give and share with anyone, anytime.

What am I hanging on to that is keeping me from living life to the full?

What should I let go that will truly make me happy and "open handed'?

There are times in life I will have plenty and times I'll have not. My goal is to let go during both. Until next time....
Scott VanHoogstraat is the Editor in Chief of and writes about growing older gracefully into the second half of life.
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Article Source:

Dick Van Dyke "stumbled" into show business success

From National Public Radi0's Morning Edition (click here to listen to the full story).
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, Dick Van Dyke talks to Renee Montagne about his new book,My Lucky Life In And Out Of Show Business, and touches on everything from the beginning of his career in television to the eulogy he gave at the funeral of one of his heroes, Stan Laurel.
As he tells the story, Van Dyke was on Broadway in Bye Bye Birdie in 1959 when he got a visit from Carl Reiner, who was working on a new TV show calledHead Of The Family. At that time, Reiner was lined up to play Rob Petrie, the character Van Dyke ended up making famous on what became The Dick Van Dyke Show. Reiner eventually built much of Van Dyke's personality into the character Rob Petrie became, and you'll hear a clip of an episode that came straight out of Van Dyke's real life after he became convinced that he heard a burglar downstairs. The story involves a gun, a ballerina, and "The Blue Danube Waltz."
No discussion about The Dick Van Dyke Show would be complete without a mention of Mary Tyler Moore (she of the iconic capri pants), and here, Van Dyke reveals that the TV couple found themselves told by a psychiatrist at one point that they had crushes on each other — which he admits is true, though he says nothing came of this "mutual attraction."
Finally, he talks about meeting Stan Laurel, one of his idols, and revealing that he'd been copying Laurel in his physical comedy for years — only to hear, "Yes, I know." He later gave the eulogy at Laurel's funeral and inherited a hat for his trouble — and he inherited a memento from Buster Keaton, too.
You can also check out Van Dyke playing "Not My Job" on Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! last October.