With the recession, it’s no secret more and more people are flocking to the movie theaters for their entertainment. It looks like that trend could translate into a record year for Hollywood:
Movie studios began the year with January crossing the $1 billion mark for the first time ever, and box offices this month are counting on help from highly anticipated films such as "Avatar," "Sherlock Holmes" and "It's Complicated."
So far, moviegoers had snapped up $9.67 billion worth of tickets at domestic -- U.S. and Canadian -- box offices through Tuesday, said tracking firm Hollywood.com Box Office.
The firm said 2007's record was expected to be surpassed on Wednesday, as Hollywood reaps returns during a recession that, as in past downturns, has seen consumers showing up in theaters for relatively cheap entertainment.
I will be contributing my part in a few minutes when I head out to see Avatar.
In the first two days, more than 1,500 men, women and children received free treatments worth $503,000 (£304,000). Thirty dentists pulled 471 teeth; 320 people were given standard issue spectacles; 80 had mammograms; dozens more had acupuncture, or saw kidney specialists. By the time the makeshift medical centre leaves town on Tuesday, staff expect to have dispensed $2m worth of treatments to 10,000 patients.
That third world nation? The United State Of America. As matter of fact this was in Inglewood, just outside of Hollywood.
The article goes on to distinguish the differences between healthcare in the U.K. and U.S. Read through that and you realize that we really don’t have the best healthcare system in the world.
CQ Politics has an article up worthy of a full read. In short, the NSA was listening in on an Israel operative, with court approval. During these intercepts, a call from Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) is picked up. Its reported that Harman said she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce charges against an Israeli charged with espionage in exchange for support of Nancy Pelosi to become the Speaker of the House. Then Gonzales got into the action and stopped the taps, because he needed Harman to defend the warrantless wiretapping program – which she did.
This story will be going radioactive today.
Remember when Joe Biden said someone would really test Obama early in his presidency? Well I would consider the pirates capturing U.S. ships and crew as a test, and after yesterday’s news of the Hollywood style rescue of captain Richard Phillips, it looks like he passed his first big military test.
For President Obama, last week's confrontation with Somali pirates posed similar political risks to a young commander in chief who had yet to prove himself to his generals or his public.
But the result -- a dramatic and successful rescue operation by U.S. Special Operations forces -- left Obama with an early victory that could help build confidence in his ability to direct military actions abroad.
Kal Penn is getting a new gig, and this one isn’t in Hollywood:
I understand it was your decision to leave House. True?
KAL PENN: Yes. I was incredibly honored a couple of months ago to get the opportunity to go work in the White House. I got to know the President and some of the staff during the campaign and had expressed interest in working there, so I'm going to be the associate director in the White House office of public liaison. They do outreach with the American public and with different organizations. They're basically the front door of the White House. They take out all of the red tape that falls between the general public and the White House. It's similar to what I was doing on the campaign.
Will you actually be working in the White House?
PENN: This particular office is in the executive building. The White House has two buildings: the actual White House and an old Navy building called the Old Executive Office.
Talk about reaching out to the younger generation. Penn says he is taking a huge pay cut for this job, so it shows that he is truly interested in doing some good or at least being part of it.
But can you imagine how the right is going to respond to this? “Hollywood is taking over the Capital!” I hear Malkin is on suicide watch right now.
Steven Spielberg said Tuesday that he was withdrawing as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, after almost a year of trying unsuccessfully to prod President Hu Jintao of China to do more to try to end Sudan's attacks in the Darfur region.
Mr. Spielberg's decision, and the public way he announced it, is a blow to China, which has said that its relationship with Sudan should not be linked to the Olympics, which have become a source of national pride.
In a statement sent to the Chinese ambassador and the Beijing Olympic committee on Tuesday, Mr. Spielberg said that his "conscience will not allow me to continue with business as usual."
A lot of people ignore the influence China has in Darfur, including our own government. Some have said China has the power to virtually end the violence. Of course it takes people from Hollywood to do any action against them, since our government doesn't have the backbone to.
Sometimes you hear praise from the most unlikely of places. Today it comes from Joe Scarborough:
I spent Saturday with Sheryl Crow and Laurie David. No fist fights. No verbal insults. Just a couple of Hollywood heavyweights and a red state guy talking about saving the planet.
Whether you agree or disagree with their environmental message, I suspect you would be impressed with these women's dedication if you got the chance to spend the day with them.
On the tour bus after Crow and David's University of Maryland concert, I told Laurie she had the passion of a Southern Baptist preacher.
This is a woman on a mission from God.
Three college students, including two aspiring actors known around campus as pranksters, were arrested Wednesday in a string of nine church fires that spread fear across Alabama last month.
Federal agents said the defendants claimed that the first few blazes were set as "a joke" and that the others were started to throw investigators off the track.
There you go. The right wing conspiracy theory is proven wrong. Of course the article says they were "aspiring actors" so now they will try to associate then to Hollywood.
Now will Chris Matthews appologize.
Arianna Huffington has put together a cheat sheet on the CIA leak case to
help people better understand what has transpired. She has coined that the leak
case is worse than Water Gate, which could actually be an understatement.
Watergate never actually got out of the planning cycle. It was more like a
deterred terrorist attack that we hear so much about today. In the leak case,
the crime has already been committed and our valuable resource of intelligence
has been crippled because of it.
To make matters even worse, we are also now in a war over the faulty
information that was at the heart of this crime. No one died in Watergate. 2,000
American soldiers and countless other lives have been lost over Plamegate.
Sorry, but this crime is far worse than Watergate. I kind of stayed clear of
calling it Plamegate because of the seriousness of this case as compared
to Watergate. We actually need a new catch phrase for these crimes. Something
that echoes the dreadful outcome of the actual cry.
What we have seen unfold before our eyes is something that you would usually
only see in a Hollywood action movie. A President's trusted aides working hard
to lie a nation into war, effectively deceiving the very public that gave him
Indeed, calling this Plamegate sends out an over all message to the American
people that this may not be as bad as some are making it out to be. It is far
worse, so if anyone has any suggestions to a name for this treasonous crime
please leave it in the comments.
In the mean time go on over to
The Huffington Post and read what Arianna has put together. She does do