Category Archives: Politics

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Featuring A Harlette: Jenifer Lewis Talks Activism, Kanye, Racism, And Bette Midler (Bonus Video)

New York Times
Featuring A Harlette: Jenifer Lewis Talks Activism, Kanye, Racism, And Bette Midler
By Interview by Lauretta Charlton
Oct. 30, 2018

Photo taken of Ms. Jenifer Lewis by 
Oriana Koren
Photo taken of Ms. Jenifer Lewis by 
Oriana Koren

Throughout your career, you’ve played various matriarchs — the mothers in “Poetic Justice,” “The Preacher’s Wife” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” the aunt in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and now the grandmother on “black-ish” — and you’ve named your memoir, “The Mother of Black Hollywood,” accordingly. Did you ever feel typecast? No, I love these roles. What has happened with the younger generation that started watching me on “Fresh Prince” is that I developed a relationship with them. I was parked on Santa Monica Boulevard just yesterday, and a young African-American woman stopped her car, and she just reached her hand out of the window and whispered, “Thank you.” What can I tell you, kid? I’m doing my best. Read More

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Bette Midler: Don’t wake up on November 7th wishing you had done more – Vote!

Bette Midler: 

Don’t wake up on November 7th wishing you had done more. I’m not being dramatic — EVERYTHING is at stake. So don’t just vote this year, volunteer! Sign up at thelastweekend.org.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Bette Midler, Ellen DeGeneres, Owen Wilson, And More Lend Support To Florida’s Dog Racing Ban

Florida Politics
Bette Midler, Ellen DeGeneres, Owen Wilson, And More Lend Support To Florida’s Dog Racing Ban
STAFF REPORTS
10 – 26 – 2018

5/18/10 2:05:09 PM — New York, NY, United States — Bette Midler with animals from the movie “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” — Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Staff

“With 11 days remaining, Amendment 13 is poised to pass,” said a top counselor to the Protect Dogs-Yes on 13 campaign on Friday, “and the race is trending our way.”

The proposed constitutional amendment aims at ending live dog racing in the state. It needs no less than 60 percent approval from voters to be added to the state’s governing document. Specifically, it would ban betting on greyhound racing by the beginning of 2021.

Carey M. Theil, senior advisor to the campaign, released a statement with several bullet points: Read More

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

JERUSALEM HOSTEL BLACKLISTS JEWISH CELEBRITIES, JOURNALISTS AS ‘HATERS’

Jerusalem Post
JERUSALEM HOSTEL BLACKLISTS JEWISH CELEBRITIES, JOURNALISTS AS ‘HATERS’
BY JPOST.COM STAFF  
AUGUST 14, 2018

 

\The Jerusalem Heritage House hostel in the Old City may have blacklisted Jewish celebrities and journalists as haters of Israel.

Members on the list of “Sonei Yisrael,” meaning “haters of Israel,” are defined as “Jews who are banned from the Jerusalem Heritage House and all activities, because of crimes committed against the Jewish People,” and was first published on the Twitter account of journalist Jacob Kornbluh.

Among the so-called haters are celebrities, like former The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, actresses Bette Midler and Natalie Portman, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, as well as politicians and diplomats, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Dianne Feinstein, and former US Ambassadors to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Daniel Kurtzer. Senior Reform movement officials like Rabbi Rick Jacobs are on the list, as are members of left-wing organizations like Peace Now and J Street, as well as Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow.

In addition, a large number of journalists are included, such as the entire staff of CNN and The New York Times, as well as The Jerusalem Post Editor-In-Chief Yaakov Katz. The Atlantic’s Contributing Editor Peter Beinart, who was detained at Ben-Gurion Airport and questioned about his political activism on Monday in an incident the Prime Minister’s Office called “an administrative mistake,” is also on the list.

The Jerusalem Heritage House hung up the phone when asked for comment on Tuesday.

The hostel’s website says it “provides safe and comfortable lodging for young Jewish travelers and students in Jerusalem so that they can best experience and develop their connection with Israel, Judaism and the Jewish People.”

The similarly-named Heritage House Jerusalem Hostel denied any knowledge of or involvement with the list.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Bette Midler & Others Lend Support – Everything You Need to Know About the March for Our Lives

The Cut
Everything You Need to Know About the March for Our Lives
By Madeleine Aggeler
MARCH 19, 2018

Less than a week after a gunman killed 14 students and three staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors of the shooting have mobilized to launch the #NeverAgain movement, and the March for Our Lives, a nationwide protest on March 24 to protest gun violence.

“Not one more,” the March’s Mission Statement reads. “We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the march and related events.

When and where is it happening?

The main march will take place in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 24 at 10 a.m. Supporters are also planning sister marches in New York City; Boston; Los Angeles; Chicago; Miami; San Francisco; Dallas; Boise; West Palm Beach; Liverpool, England; and hundreds of other cities across the world. Currently, there are a whopping 720 March for Our Lives events planned around the world.

March For Our Lives
?
@AMarch4OurLives

Want to talk to some fellow marchers, make plans and get tips for the big day? Join our Facebook Group! We’re going to try and keep this all about logistics and meet-ups: http://smarturl.it/M4OLfbgroup

Who’s organizing it?

The event is being put together by survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, like senior Emma González, and junior Cameron Kasky, who have been working tirelessly to make sure the national outrage in the wake of last week’s shooting translates to real action. But they are not mobilizing alone. According to their website, “March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar.”

Who are they partnering with?

March for Our Lives organizers have received significant funding from a number of celebrities like George and Amal Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Oprah Winfrey, all of whom pledged $500,000 for the rally.

Numerous other celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, Justin Bieber, Bette Midler, and Debra Messing have also expressed their support on Twitter, calling on their followers to sign the march’s petition, and find a demonstration near them.

Kim Kardashian West
?
@KimKardashian

On March 24th, students and families across the country will #MarchForOurLives and demand that leaders take action to end gun violence in our schools & communities. Find an event near you: http://every.tw/2oCqKd8 @AMarch4OurLives @Everytown

5:33 PM – Mar 5, 2018

March for Our Lives
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets to demand that their lives, and safety, become a priority. Find an event near you and join the march to end gun…

Bette Midler
?
@BetteMidler

On March 24th, kids & families across the country will #MarchForOurLives and demand that leaders take action to end gun violence in our schools & communities. Find an event near you:http://every.tw/2D0NQhV pic.twitter.com/t9xgnTaTgm @AMarch4OurLives @Everytown”

Debra Messing
?
@DebraMessing

ATTENTION STUDENTS!! Please make YOUR #WhatIf Video. Get all your friends too! Post them so lawmakers who support the NRA and gun manufacturers will see that your generation is not going to stop speaking out. #MarchForOurLives https://twitter.com/amarch4ourlives/status/969242603622453250 …

Businesses have also offered their help. The ride-sharing company Lyft is offering Stoneman students free rides to the march, and dating app Bumble banned imaged of guns on its platform, and donated $100,000.

And there are grassroots supporters too. According to the Washington Post, teens from high schools around Washington, D.C., are opening their homes and organizing “a network of host families that live along the D.C. metro system that can host out-of-town students for the march.”

What do they hope to accomplish?

In addition to showing their support for victims of gun violence, march organizers hope the rally will inspire concrete legislative outcomes. In their Mission Statement, march organizers write:

School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.

Participants are also coming together to register voters at various marches, to ensure that outrage today will translate to high turnout during November’s midterm elections.

Is this related to the National School Walkout?

Yes and no. The National School Walkout is being put together by Women’s March organizers, who are calling for students, teachers, administrators, and allies across the country to walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14 — one minute for every victim of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. Although the two events are being organized by two different groups, their goals are the same. Per the National School Walkout’s website:

“Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship,” organizers wrote.

Students have also called for a National School Walkout on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. No time has been set, but a Change.org petition has been signed over 80,000 times.

What is Stay Amped?

On March 23, the night before the march, artists like Bebe Rexha, Lizzo, Fall Out Boy, and G-Easy will perform for Stay Amped, a concert to benefit Everytown for Gun Safety, and Gabby Giffords’s Courage to Fight Gun Violence. Tickets are between $100 and $175 and, according to the event’s website, “For every Super Excellent Seat purchased, a ticket will be donated to a student activist attending the March for Our Lives rally from Parkland and elsewhere in the country.”

You can buy tickets here.

How can I get involved?

If for whatever reason you can’t attend a rally on March 24, there are other ways to help. You can donate to the GoFundMe page Stoneman Douglas students put together for the event (any money they receive beyond their $2 million goal will go to victims’ funds) or sponsor a student to travel to the march by contacting info@marchforourlives.com.

You can also sign the organizers’ petition, calling on Congress to pass legislation to address gun violence. Read it here.

And if you can go to a rally, get out and march with students and families across the country to tell lawmakers #NeverAgain.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

200-plus artists join chorus for CLASSICS Act

Wisconsin Gazette
200-plus artists join chorus for CLASSICS Act
By Lisa Neff, Staff writer Mar 10, 2018

Musicians are calling on Congress to pass the CLASSICS Act to remedy a digital royalties problem.

More than 200 musical artists make up the chorus calling on Congress to close a loophole allowing digital radio to play pre–1972 recordings without paying royalties.

The list of musicians in the coalition begins with Abdul “Duke” Fakir and ends with Yes.

Just a sampling of other signers: Alice Cooper, Arlo Guthrie, Bette Midler, Tina Turner, Garth Brooks, Blue Oyster Cult, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Carlene Carter, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, James Taylor and the estates of Jimi Hendrix, Hank Williams, George Harrison, Janis Joplin and Frank Sinatra.

The lyrics they delivered to Congress go like this:

“Digital radio makes billions of dollars a year from airplay of music made before Feb. 15, 1972. Yet, because of an ambiguity in state and federal copyright laws, artists and copyright owners who created that music receive nothing for the use of their work. The CLASSICS Act (H.R. 3301, S. 2393) would correct this inequity and finally ensure that musicians and vocalists who made those timeless songs finally get their due.” Read More

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Empty shoes, empty schools: U.S. gun law activists plan two days of theater – Bette Midler & Susan Sarandon Lend Their Support

Swiss Quote
Empty shoes, empty schools: U.S. gun law activists plan two days of theater
By Ian Simpson
3-13-2018

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – A makeshift memorial made up of 7,000 pairs of shoes will take shape on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, as gun control activists dramatize the number of children killed in the United States by gunfire since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre.

The monument is being built on the day before a massive, nationwide walkout by students demanding tougher laws on gun ownership, part of a campaign that emerged after the killing of 17 students and staff at a Florida high school a month ago.

“This is really about putting the human cost of refusing to pass gun control at the doorstep of lawmakers,” said Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of Avaaz, a U.S.-based civic organization that planned the shoe memorial. The Capitol is the home of the U.S. Congress.

Wednesday’s #ENOUGH National School Walkout, organized by the activists who helped plan the Women’s March in Washington for the past two years, will begin at 10 a.m. local time (1400 GMT).

Students across the country will walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 victims who lost their lives after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The massacre was the deadliest school shooting since 20 children and six adults were shot dead at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years ago.

The walkout has won the support from many school districts and civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union. More than 2,500 walkouts are scheduled across the country, according to the organizer’s website.

Some schools will allow students to participate and have encouraged them to exercise their free speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A few have threatened to suspend students if they disrupt class by leaving.

“When students protest at schools, our school staff will respond appropriately and allow our students to be heard,” said Robert Runcie, superintendent for public schools for Broward County, Florida, where Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman is located.

About 1,300 people younger than age 18 are killed by gunfire in the United States every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dozens of colleges and universities across the country, including at least three Ivy League schools, have said their application processes will not consider disciplinary action taken against high school students who engage in protests.

At the Capitol on Tuesday, activists and volunteers will begin at dawn placing 7,000 pairs of donated children’s shoes side by side in a trapezoid shape to commemorate those who have died since the Newtown massacre. Donors include actresses Susan Sarandon and Bette Midler, and talk show host Chelsea Handler.

The memorial is reminiscent of a monument on the Danube River near the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest commemorating thousands of people, including Jews, killed by fascists in the 1940s.

Many Canadian cities have marked the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6 with similar “shoe memorials.”

(Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; editing by Frank McGurty and Rosalba O’Brien) ((Gina.Cherelus@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6215;))

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bette Midler, John Cusack, Barbra Sreisand, Hollywood assail ‘GOP death cult,’ call Trump, ‘NRA blood whore’

Washington Examiner
John Cusack, Hollywood assail ‘GOP death cult,’ call Trump, ‘NRA blood whore’
by Paul Bedard | Feb 19, 2018, 9:31 AM

Hollywood is elbowing its way to the front of the anti-gun protest on Washington Republicans and President Trump in the wake of the Florida school shootings, using social media to demand gun control and the defeat of NRA-supported politicians.

Actor John Cusack has emerged as a leader, using Twitter to vent against the GOP.

“I hope every one rembers right now – only issues that matter are defeating GOP death cult at ballots – & removing a treasonous – criminaly deranged serial sexual assaulting Nazi pimp nra blood whore from office before he can do more damage – everything else is just noise,” he tweeted Sunday.

In a Sunday Twitter storm, peppered with profanities and misspellings, he even compared Trump to Jim Jones, the cult leader who led a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978.

“GOP is a death cult – trump their Jim jones,” he tweeted.

Since the shooting allegedly by a mentally unstable teen armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle that left 17 dead, entertainers have lined up to condemn those opposed to gun bans. On social media Cusack has been joined by Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Rosie O’Donnell, and others.

In their attacks, very little has been made of the alleged shooter’s mental issues or that he was a well known threat to school officials, local police and the FBI.

Instead, Hollywood has focused on the NRA and GOP.

O’Donnell, for example, tweeted an image of an NRA donation check splattered with blood.

Streisand tweeted for an ban on “assault weapons,” like former President Bill Clinton imposed. “Every one of these mass shootings involves an assault weapon. Is Congress finally going to reinstate the ban? Or does the #NRA own the GOP?” she wrote.

Midler dismissed the concerns about mental health. “GET REAL! It’s not the mentally ill! It’s the GUNS! BAN ASSAULT RIFLES AND BAR SALES TO CONVICTED CRIMINALS! Why is that so hard to get??” she tweeted.

Since the shootings, the NRA hasn’t tweeted on the shootings. Its first comments may come later this week when Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre speaks to the annual CPAC convention.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the event, tweeted, “The Left has proven that they want to both silence and disarm those they disagree with. Wayne LaPierre of the @NRA will take the fight to them LIVE from the #CPAC2018 stage in just 8 days. #ATimeForAction”

LaPierre famously responded to the 2012 Newtown school shooting by saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Looking Back At Geraldo Rivera’s 1991 Is Like Looking At The Bible Of Workplace Harrassment

Daily Beast
Geraldo Rivera’s 1991 Memoir Is a Horndog’s Bible of Workplace Harassment
Erin Gloria Ryan
11.30.17 11:00 PM ET

He grabs Bette Midler’s boobs, beds every conceivable underling, and waxes about failing to have sex with Barbara Walters. I read it all so you didn’t have to.

Threesomes with young interns in the studio boiler room. Making out with a PA in front of an entire news crew. Receiving oral sex from the estranged wife of the Canadian prime minister in a Central Park rowboat.

These sexual misadventures of one prominent media man could prompt even the most cosmopolitan among us to clutch at our necks for pearls. But I’m not talking about Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Halperin, or even Matt Lauer. I’m talking Geraldo Rivera.

Up through yesterday, Geraldo didn’t have much to do with the #MeToo movement until he waded unwisely into the conversation with a Streisand Effect tweet that Matt Lauer’s sexual misconduct-related dismissal from NBC’s Today was “sad” because “news is a flirty business & it seems like the current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation.”

Not satisfied with that, the Fox News host continued. “#SexHarassment,” he said, “should be confined to situations where superior imposes himself on subordinate who feels unable to complain because of power of perp or feared consequences to victim’s employment.”

Rivera later apologized, but not before drawing attention to his own past. Internet users dredged up a clip of Bette Midler describing an assault at the hand(s) of Rivera, and today, the performer tweeted the clip herself, along with the hashtag #MeToo. She publicly stated that Rivera hasn’t apologized to her for the incident.

The Midler clip led me down an internet rabbit hole that led to a 1991 Washington Post book review written by, coincidentally, my now-colleague Lloyd Grove. Grove wasn’t a fan of Rivera’s memoirs, which was unfortunately titled Exposing Myself. His review read as if Rivera had penned the definitive work on how men behave inappropriately in the workplace under the guise of courtship.

Naturally, I had to read it.

 

Which is how I found myself standing outside of the Lincoln Center branch of the New York Public Library 15 minutes before it opened this morning, shivering in the cold but standing maniacally close to the revolving doors as though every writer in the city had the same idea (there were, like, three other people waiting outside. I was being ridiculous).

I can think of literally thousands of things I’d rather do than read 400 pages of early ’90s Geraldo Rivera thoughts on life and love. But I’ve also got a deep-seated thirst for justice and an aversion to men who have no idea what they’re talking about wading into conversations in which they have no business. And so, dear reader, I read the entire fucking thing.

The book is written mostly in the first person, with the occasional first-person interjection from somebody in Rivera’s life—an ex-colleague, a lover, Barbara Walters. It is candid, sometimes unnecessarily so, about its author’s moral failings during his rise to prominence in media.

What I found most troubling about the book was that during some of the less flattering stories, Geraldo attempts to try to make himself look good and tough and strong by invariably talking about how much he likes fucking.

And reader, in this book, Geraldo fucks. Geraldo fucks all the time, in every manner, with everybody. He fucks up and down the West Coast, he fucks through Central America, he fucks on Long Island, he fucks in the apartment of Sly Stone from Sly and the Family Stone. The guy fucks.

Early in the book, he recounts a sexual experience with a “strange, sad nymphomaniac” his college roommate had brought home after she had “spent the previous week servicing an entire frat house.” His roommates decided to take turns having sex with her. She obliged.

Rivera almost remembers her name.

Today, I would be filled with rescue fantasies for this creature: then, all I wanted to do was outperform my roommates. I announced I would be first up, leading the girl into my bedroom and silently marveling at the good fortune that had smiled on our home. Later that evening, when my turn came up again, I took some time to talk with her. Pat. I think her name was Pat. She was a little on the slim side. Something about her reminded me of the daughter who loses her baby near the end of The Grapes of Wrath. Read More

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Baseball star wins 10 votes, Bette four in New York City mayoral race

Nine Honey
Baseball star wins 10 votes, Bette four in New York City mayoral race
11-30-2017

He was the unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year Award and runner-up in Most Valuable Player, and this week baseball star Aaron Judge also won votes in an unlikely contest: for New York City mayor.

The New York Yankees right fielder was listed on 10 ballots as a write-in candidate for mayor, according to final totals released by the New York City Board of Elections.

Judge received three votes in New York County (Manhattan and the Marble Hill section of the Bronx), four in Brooklyn, two in Queens and one in Staten Island.

He was far behind Bill de Blasio, who won re-election with 713,634 votes on the Democratic line and 46,478 on the Working Families line.

Among other comical votes were five Beyonce Knowles-Carter, four for Bette Midler, one for Jon Snow, 240 for Hillary Clinton, and 44 for Barack Obama (not counting an additional vote that misspelled Barack with two rs).

Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi and former Yankees captain Derek Jeter, now CEO of the Miami Marlins, got two write-in votes apiece.

Kristaps Porzingis, a Latvian player on the NBA’s New York Knicks, received nine write-in votes. There was an additional vote for each of two misspelled variations of his name: Kristaps Porzinais and Kristops Porzingis.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was benched this week, got one vote.

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