Friday

Michael Moore & "Sicko"

Politics aside, Michael Moore is an incendiary filmmaker, and has changed the market for documentary filmmakers (myself included) worldwide. Just got this email from his mailing list missive, but it sounds like he's going to have a bumpy ride.. which will translate into big B.O. Either way, thought y'all would be amused:

"Sicko" Is Completed and We're Off to Cannes!

May 17, 2007

Friends,

It's a wrap! My new film, "Sicko," is all done and will have its world premiere this Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival. As with "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," we are honored to have been chosen by this prestigious festival to screen our work there.

My intention was to keep "Sicko" under wraps and show it to virtually no one before its premiere in Cannes. That is what I have done and, as you may have noticed if you are a recipient of my infrequent Internet letters, I have been very silent about what I've been up to. In part, that's because I was working very hard to complete the film. But my silence was also because I knew that the health care industry -- an industry which makes up more than 15 percent of our GDP -- was not going to like much of what they were going to see in this movie and I thought it best not to upset them any sooner than need be.

Well, going quietly to Cannes, I guess, was not to be. For some strange reason, on May 2nd the Bush administration initiated an action against me over how I obtained some of the content they believe is in my film. As none of them have actually seen the film (or so I hope!), they decided, unlike with "Fahrenheit 9/11," not to wait until the film was out of the gate and too far down the road to begin their attack.

Bush's Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, launched an investigation of a trip I took to Cuba to film scenes for the movie. These scenes involve a group of 9/11 rescue workers who are suffering from illnesses obtained from working down at Ground Zero. They have received little or no help with their health care from the government. I do not want to give away what actually happens in the movie because I don't want to spoil it for you (although I'm sure you'll hear much about it after it unspools Saturday). Plus, our lawyers have advised me to say little at this point, as the film goes somewhere far scarier than "Cuba." Rest assured of one thing: no laws were broken. All I've done is violate the modern-day rule of journalism that says, "ask no questions of those in power or your luncheon privileges will be revoked."

This preemptive action taken by the Bush administration on the eve of the "Sicko" premiere in Cannes led our attorneys to fear for the safety of our film, noting that Secretary Paulson may try to claim that the content of the movie was obtained through a violation of the trade embargo that our country has against Cuba and the travel laws that prohibit average citizens of our free country from traveling to Cuba. (The law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their first amendment right of a free press and documentaries are protected works of journalism.)

I was floored when our lawyers told me this. "Are you saying they might actually confiscate our movie?" "Yes," was the answer. "These days, anything is possible. Even if there is just a 20 percent chance the government would seize our movie before Cannes, does anyone want to take that risk?"

Certainly not. So there we were last week, spiriting a duplicate master negative out of the country just so no one from the government would take it from us. (Seriously, I can't believe I just typed those words! Did I mention that I'm an American, and this is America and NO ONE should ever have to say they had to do such a thing?)

I mean, folks, I have just about had it. Investigating ME because I'm trying to help some 9/11 rescue workers our government has abandoned? Once again, up is down and black is white. There are only two people in need of an investigation and a trial, and the desire for this across America is so widespread you don't even need to see the one's smirk or hear the other's sneer to know who I am talking about.

But no, I'm the one who now has to hire lawyers and sneak my documentary out of the country just so people can see a friggin' movie. I mean, it's just a movie! What on earth could I have placed on celluloid that would require such a nonsensical action against me?

Ok. Scratch that.

Well, I'm on my way to Cannes right now, a copy of the movie in my bag. Don't feel too bad for me, I'll be in the south of France for a week! But then it's back to the U.S. for a number of premieres and benefits and then, finally, a chance for all of you to see this film that I have made. Circle June 29th on your calendar because that's when it opens in theaters everywhere across the country and Canada (for the rest of the world, it opens in the fall).

I can't wait for you to see it.

Yours,

Michael Moore

P.S. I will write more about what happens from Cannes. Stay tuned on my website, MichaelMoore.com.

Dick Cheney and The DC Madame

According to the Wayne Madsen Report, later backed by Stephanie Miller on Air America Radio, the curmudgeonly Dick Cheney was a frequent client of the DC Madame while he was at Halliburton, not while he was in the White House. (Hopefully no one kept a blue dress with DNA evidence.) But since he's been in the White House, The Shooter's gotten the bulk of his massages at the hands of the mainstream media. That's funny. The Shooter now takes on a different connotation, doesn't it?

Check this article out:

Quote:
May 10, 2007 -- WMR (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/) has received a third well-placed confirmation that Vice President Dick Cheney, while CEO of Halliburton, was a client of the escort service of DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. In addition, one of Cheney's closest military advisers and friends was also a client of the DC Madam's Pamela Martin & Associates escort service. Cheney used the escort service while he was a part time resident of the posh Ballantrae section of McLean, Virginia.
....
After intense pressure from the White House and Disney executives, ABC News killed the DC Madam client story after having been given exclusive access to Palfrey's ten years' of phone call records."


Quote:
May 8, 2007 -- Cheney .... reportedly engaged the services of Palfrey's escort firm while he was the CEO and maintained a residence off Chain Bridge Road in the Ballantrae neighborhood in McLean, Virginia, a few blocks from the headquarters of the CIA."

WOAH!

So ABC execs, people throughout the administration - everyone needs a massage now and then, what's the big deal? The truth is, if Bill Clinton had used the service, Al Gore would still be in the White House and we wouldn't be in Iraq. So God bless 'em, I think they could all use a little release now and then.

On the other hand; what's going on here? Is this the "night of the long knives?" Is the administration crumbling around us as we speak?

Our Attorney General Gonzalez is on the bubble. If he doesn't quit, he'll be the least effective AG in the history of the office. He could keep his head in the sand and stays for another 2 years - but his reputation has been shot to smithereens as it is.

Wolfowitz has now gone howling into the night. Terrific article about the reasons behind his downfall, directly tied to his behavior in the Defense department can be found at (http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,482945,00.html) Der Spiegel. The writer uncovered a number of offenses from all the people he brought in with him.

I think every administration has its share of dissemblers, liars and charlatans.
I don't think Dick Cheney should be faulted for going to an escort service any more than I think he should be chastised for being a good Republican against gay rights, despite having a gay daughter. What gets my gallstone throbbing is Cheney insisting on WMD's in Iraq, a connection to 9/11, and the myriad of other lies that he's put out to force us into Iraq. I think he (and W) genuinely believes that a democratic Iraq is in the best interests of the U.S. and Israel. I just don't think he has a clue if that's what the Iraqis ever wanted. As MacNamara so aptly put it in "Fog of War;" (to paraphrase) "If we had known that the Vietnam conflict was a civil war and not part of the Cold War, we would have backed the North."

I'm not anti-Republican, or anti-anyone. I'm just for an open air policy - or in this case, and open door policy. Those in office who want to lie, use cronyism, are war profiteers, or use hate, fear and hostility to get their point across - here's the door. Don't let it hit you on the way out. Whatever party your in. I say we take a page out of the European Parliament handbook - if you don't have a mistress or a lover stashed away somewhere, then you aren't working hard enough.

As Claude Rains says in Casablanca; "I'm shocked! shocked! that gambling is going on here."

What's next? Condi and W in a love nest? Heaven forfend!!

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