Tales Of Hollywood And PoliticsWritten by Stephen Schochet
Arnold Schwarzenegger's surprise announcement that he was seeking California Governorship brought to mind many times Hollywood figures have been involved in politics. Here are some related anecdotes:
When actors first came to Hollywood there were signs put up in front of hotels and apartments that said no dogs or actors allowed, with performers ruefully complaining about not getting top billing. The insecurity of profession has come through in political campaigns. When Ronald Reagan successfully ran for Governor of California in 1966 one of fruitless tactics used by his opposition was a television commercial featuring Gene Kelley stating," In films I played a gambler, a baseball player and I could play a Governor but you wouldn't really want an actor to really be a Governor would you?"
Ronald Reagan at one time was such a Liberal Democrat he drove friends to distraction with his views. One day in thirties he was driving a friend home from work, yammering on about President Roosevelt's New Deal policies. Reagan who was near sighted and an erratic driver at best, seemed oblivious to road conditions. "Ronnie, watch out for that truck!" friend yelled. Missing an accident by a hair, Reagan continued," Truck drivers, that's who New Deal will help!"
Like former President Reagan, Walt Disney claimed to be a Roosevelt New Dealer until a nasty worker's strike at his studio made him take a right turn. Although he campaigned heavily for Republican candidates cartoon maker kept friendly relations with other side. Walt loved giving personal tours of Disneyland, and enjoyed having former president Harry Truman as his guest, even when his fellow Missourian turned down a ride on Dumbo: Too much Republican symbolism.
Another mogul, Louis B. Mayer founder of MGM was a staunch Republican his entire life. Mayer never quite got over Franklin Roosevelt beating his good friend Herbert Hoover but accepted an invitation to meet Democratic President at White House in 1933. Immediately upon arriving in Oval Office Mayer surprised Roosevelt by pulling a clock from underneath his coat and placing it on President's desk. "What's that for, Mr. Mayer?" "Pardon me Mr. President. I heard you have ability to have a man in your hip pocket after 18 minutes." Brandishing his long cigarette holder Roosevelt threw his head back and laughed, then began chatting with film executive . He was startled when after seventeen minutes mogul got up, grabbed clock and left room.
The Plan for IraqWritten by Ed Howes
When I allow my trained attack dog out of yard to run streets, I am responsible for any damage dog does. The Bible says so and modern statutory law says so. Careless dog owners are locked in American prisons today. When Congress turned America's President loose, Congress became responsible for consequences. But you would never know that to hear them tell it.
The Congressional response is to dodge responsibility by beating dog and teaching him to behave differently next time. Bad dog! Senator Joseph Biden recently spoke for Congress when he publicly stated that he had no regrets about authorizing President to wage war without conditions, he only regrets incompetence of President. It is time to remove Senator Biden and his kind, who deny their responsibility and point to others. All who voted to give unconditional war making authority to President committed rest of America to consequences of their irresponsible behavior. Whether we voted for any of them, they are acting in our name. Hence, we are ultimately responsible.
Members of Congress daily remind us administration has no plan for Iraq. The administration says it is following its plan. What is Congressional plan for Iraq? They have had a year to create one. I'll tell you what their plan is. It is to interfere with and haggle over any plan there is. I don't have a plan for Iraq and it would hardly make a difference if I did. Right or wrong, President is taking responsibility for an incompetent Congress and only plan we have. Congress needs to shut up and do what is asked of it, until it has a better plan. If people want a better Congress, they are out of luck. This one is best money can buy. If they won't do their jobs, and they won't, they should forfeit their pay and go home. The world would be a better place for it.
There is one plan that has come out of Congress that should have enough appeal to enough people, to become reality. Recently announced Democratic Presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich, says something to effect of surrendering all U.S. interest in Iraq to United Nations and withdraw United States forces. I assume he is working on a bill to introduce to Congress.
The intention to turn this whole thing over to U.N. is diabolically simple. It is enough to take edge off global hatred of United States for its former unilateralism. It answers question, what can we do to abate global hatred of U.S.? It gives U.N. Security Council opponents exactly what they have been asking for and more - a big job with which to prove its competence and relevance.
While President remains on hook for all promises made to his corporate friends, he is off hook for final outcome in Iraq, as much as he wants to see it through. If Congress takes this action before November, 2004, President won't be standing before American public asking for four more years to pursue his Iraqi dream.