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Posts tagged ‘George Clooney’

Piers Morgan: Press ‘Quite Soft’ on Obama.


CNN’s Piers Morgan, who as a top tabloid newspaper editor in Britain for years had his reporters ask tough questions and write hard-hitting exposes, thinks the U.S. press has been too easy on the Obama administration.

“I would say actually they’ve been probably quite soft and could have gone harder. The financial crisis was inherited by the president, but he’s been there long enough to try to work it out himself. Unemployment’s still comfortably over 7 percent — really completely unacceptable,” said Morgan, 48.

Morgan — host of “Piers Morgan Live” — is the author of the justreleased book “Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney,” published by Gallery Books.

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“Issues like Benghazi have exposed some of the limitations of his leading from behind on foreign policy and a lack of attention to detail in protecting the American ambassadors and serviceman around the world. There needs to be more clarity from the president about what he really stands for, what he really wants to achieve.”

Morgan also says the United States is positioned to remain the great superpower it has been for years — but must now share the title and the responsibilities that come with it with other, fast-growing nations.

“I would never bet against America. America has been a great superpower and will continue to be a great superpower and one of the key players in the world. But unlike, say, 20 years ago, it’s not the only superpower in town,” Morgan told Newsmax TV.

“We have the emerging powers of China and India, Brazil — countries like this will get stronger economically and militarily, so America won’t be the only superpower out there.

“And with that comes a shared responsibility, which is good that America won’t have to be the sole global policeman that it’s had to be before. I’m sure that Americans will be relieved about that,” Morgan said.

“You’ve got to have a better-functioning political system. You can’t have this dysfunction in Washington that means that nothing ever gets done,” he said.

‘Ever since I’ve been on air at CNN in three years, it’s been one catastrophe and crisis after another down in D.C. and nothing ever seems to get resolved. Meanwhile, the national debt is $17 trillion, a third of which is owned by the Chinese.”

Morgan’s advice to lawmakers is to “stop the squabbling, come together and sort it out.”

He said the same solution applies to the gun debate, which has pitted gun advocates and the National Rifle Association against the Obama administration and lawmakers who want further firearms restrictions.

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“You have such incendiary, extreme positions on both sides but nothing ever gets resolved, and what you need is consensus,” he said.

“You need old-fashioned politicians that can get in a room and start pump-thumping each other and get stuff done that actually suits the American national interest.”

Morgan’s book — a memoir about his career as a newsman and interviewer of some of the world’s most powerful leaders, compelling newsmakers, and top celebrities — came about thanks to a detailed journal he kept after his start at CNN, where he replaced Larry King.

“[I wanted] to put people into my shoes, really, of anchoring a cable news show in America — and indeed around the world — on some of the biggest breaking-news nights that America’s seen in a very long time, whether it was the death of Osama bin Laden, the Arab Spring, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, right up to the financial crisis and of course the horrendous mass shootings that America’s had.”

One of the more defining moments of Morgan’s time at CNN was his anti-gun stance in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

But Morgan says he is not opposed to law-abiding citizens who carry firearms.

“There are already numerous restrictions on the kind of guns that Americans can have. My argument has not been against law-abiding Americans who want to have a handgun at home to protect themselves,” he said.

“My main issue has been with the proliferation of mass shootings in America in the last six, seven years. There are many more than there used to be, the scale of them is much higher than it used to be, the ferocity is much worse.

“Sandy Hook and Aurora were two of the worst mass shootings in American history and came within a few months, and to me, it’s unconscionable the way that America, this great superpower, a country that I love, full of people that I love, just turns a blind eye to this kind of atrocity, and the politicians in Washington simply do nothing about it to try to stop it from happening again.”

Morgan said former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stands a good chance of capturing the White House should she become the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

“She can be a very formidable candidate if she runs. I’m sure that she will. She’s very impressive,” he said.

“But, at the same time, if she runs on a ticket of eight years of Democratic rule where you still have unemployment at very high levels, many people suffering extreme financial hardship in America, a dysfunctional Washington, a confused foreign policy, then you’ve got an opportunity on the Republican side to win an election.”

If Republicans want to have a shot at the presidency, they must be able to stem the burgeoning civil war between the tea party and the moderates.

“Can they work out a consensus within themselves driving forward to take on the Democrats and actually win an election?” he said.

“Because, if they can’t, and they’re still split come the next election, and we’ll get a taste of this in the midterms, then I see no hope of success for Republicans. They’ve got to be united.”

Morgan said his book will give people a taste of the world’s most well-known names, both on- and off-camera.

As far as his favorite interview, it would be the Dalai Lama.

“There’s a man who’s 75, he looks 50, and one of the reasons may be he’s never taken drugs, never smoked a cigarette, never had an alcoholic drink, never had sex, doesn’t watch television, doesn’t watch movies, doesn’t listen to music,” Morgan said.

“He just meditates and prays and that’s about it, and he looks damn well on it. So, maybe the rest of us should take a lesson from the Dalai Lama: less self-abuse, more meditation.”

Morgan said he has a slightly off-kilter question he enjoys throwing at his nightly guests: How many times have they properly been in love?

“It often engenders a really good reaction. Oprah Winfrey revealed that she’d been properly in love twice . . . two people had broken her heart. And one of them, she actually kept his love letters in a safe to this very day, which was fascinating,” he said.

“But also, you can get a most surprising, if not ridiculous, response. So when I asked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he was still ruling Iran, I said, how many times have you been properly in love, Mr. President? He looked at me and said, after a few seconds of contemplation, I am properly in love with the whole of humanity.”

But when the question of love is turned on him by Newsmax, the twice-married Morgan isn’t quite as forthright.

“Everyone asks me that question, and like a good British gentleman, I always tap-dance the answer away,” he demurred.

“They know who they are, but I don’t really want to embarrass, perhaps, some of the ladies in my past who maybe thought they were one, but weren’t.”

Editor’s Note: Get Piers Morgan’s “Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney” from Amazon — Click Here.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann and Kathleen Walter

George Clooney Gives Props to Peter King for Shutdown Stance.


Actor George Clooney applauded GOP Rep. Peter King as one of the “guys on the right,” trying to get the government back up and running.

Speaking at the New York premiere of his new film, “Gravity,” Clooney said he knows the country is going through a tough time with the government shutdown. But the actor is optimistic that “cooler heads will prevail” and let things get back to normal.

“I know for a fact that there’s a lot of guys on the right, Peter King, for instance, and some people like that, who are also doing the best they can to stop this from happening or to put an end to it,” Clooney said.

He added: “You just hope that it happens soon.”

King has been outspoken against Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz for leading an effort to defund Obamacare as part of a budget resolution.

“This was a doomed process from the start,” King told CNN on Monday. King said he went along with a vote to defund the Affordable Care Act because he was told it would get the ball rolling and prevent the government from shutting down.

“It’s obvious now there is no end in sight,” King added. “This is a fool’s errand.”

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz’s Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

Related:

Peter King: ‘I Can Never Forgive Ted Cruz’

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Mia Farrow: Obama Missing in Action on Sudan’s Genocide.


Image: Mia Farrow: Obama Missing in Action on Sudan's Genocide

By Dan Weil

President Barack Obama is shamefully doing nothing to fight the genocide being perpetrated in Sudan by its president, Omar al-Bashir, says actress and activist Mia Farrow.

“There was a time when Mr. Obama expressed outrage over the mass murder and aerial bombardment of civilians in the Darfur region of western Sudan,” she writes in The Wall Street Journal along with author Daniel Goldhagen.

That was in 2007, when he sought the presidency.

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“Now President Obama has joined that silence,” the two write. “Mr. Obama has managed to avoid scrutiny about his most tragic foreign-policy failure: standing by as Sudan’s Islamic regime perpetrates a slaughter against its own citizens who belong to non-Arab ethnic groups.”

Bashir has killed tens of thousands of his own people, the pair note, adding that Obama, meanwhile, cites “humanitarian reasons to intervene in a crisis” only “when politically convenient.”

“He entered Libya ‘to prevent a bloodbath,’ despite no mass slaughter of civilians in that country. This disingenuous explanation only damaged his credibility as a humanitarian, though it did placate the international human-rights community,” Farrow and Goldhagen say, adding that Sudan merits at least the same treatment.

“An enormous number of civilian lives are at risk in Darfur. Bashir’s assaults against the people of Sudan have escalated in intensity. Some three million people are living — if you can even call it that — in refugee camps under wretched conditions.”

They say the outside world, meanwhile, doesn’t know what’s going on in Sudan because it’s not letting in outsiders, including the media.
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“There is a moral imperative to help the people of Darfur, which President Obama once articulated well,” Farrow and Goldhagen continue, referencing a statement he made in 2007 calling the “slaughter of innocents” wrong and advocating a “protective force on the ground.”

But, “those suffering in Darfur can expect no such ‘protective force’ from the U.S.,” they write.

“For reasons that are unclear, Sudan doesn’t meet Mr. Obama’s threshold for action . . . Mr. Obama has abandoned his own moral standards and left the people of Darfur to perish.”

Related Stories:

George Clooney Uses Satellite to Keep Track of Sudan War Criminal
Four-Star General: US Targets Militants in Africa

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obamacare Call Center Will Not Offer Healthcare Benefits To Employees.


20130727-002343.jpg

In order to ensure Americans understand how to access the benefits available to them when many provisions of the Affordable Care Act go online October 1, the Obama administration announced last month that it is setting up a call center that will be accessible to Americans 24 hours a day.

One branch of that call center will be located in California’s Contra Costa County, where, reportedly, 7,000 people applied for the 204 jobs. According to the Contra Costa Times, however, “about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.” The county supervisor, Karen Mitchoff, called the hiring process “a comedy of errors” and said she “never dreamed [the jobs] would be part-time.”

The Times indicates that a job posting advertised all of the jobs as full-time, and one call center employee, who said no reason for the apparent change was provided, told the paper, ”It reminded me of that George Clooney movie where he goes around the country firing people (‘Up in the Air’). The woman said, ‘I know you were led to believe you would be full-time, but things have changed…You are actually ‘part-time intermittent.’”

The Contra Costa employees are currently in training, and the call center — one of three based in California — is set to go live on October 1. source – National Review Online.

by NTEB News Desk

America’s Top Catholic Blogger Says Pope Benedict Is GAY.


Men living with men

Pope Benedict XVI will officially retire at 8 p.m. tomorrow, but his retirement package is raising a few eyebrows — and resurrecting rumors about his sexuality. Rather than decamp to some monastery in Germany as many expected, Benedict will instead stay living in the Vatican.

pope-benedict-georg-ganswein-gay-lovers

Are they partners for life…or Life Partners?

CNN reports he will be living in the Mater Ecclesiae (Mother of the Church) building, which formerly housed a cloistered convent in the Vatican gardens. He will be referred to as the “emeritus pope” and keep wearing the white — though he will lose his trademark red shoes, perhaps wearing a pair of “handcrafted brown loafers” instead, the WSJ reports.

One detail that has caused particular scrutiny is that the Pope will continue to live with his trusted secretary Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who will also be head of the new Pope’s household — from the sounds of it, working two jobs.

The Vatican denies that Ganswein working for both the old Pope and the new Pope will cause any conflict of interest. But there’s a more scandalous question as well, as put forward by Andrew Sullivan, perhaps the best-known Catholic blogger in America, today:

So Benedict’s handsome male companion will continue to live with him, while working for the other Pope during the day. Are we supposed to think that’s, well, a normal arrangement?

Sulivan, a gay man himself, has raised the question of the Pope’s sexuality before (he doesn’t suggest that the Pope has acted upon his sexual urges, we should note).

In 2010 he wrote that “it seems pretty obvious to me … that the current Pope is a gay man,” and went on to describe his reasoning:

When you look at the Pope’s mental architecture (I’ve read a great deal of his writing over the last two decades) you do see that strong internal repression does make sense of his life and beliefs. At times, it seems to me, his gayness is almost wince-inducing. The prissy fastidiousness, the effeminate voice, the fixation on liturgy and ritual, and the over-the-top clothing accessories are one thing. But what resonates with me the most is a theology that seems crafted from solitary introspection into a perfect, abstract unity of belief. It is so perfect it reflects a life of withdrawal from the world of human relationship, rather than an interaction with it. Of course, this kind of work is not inherently homosexual; but I have known so many repressed gay men who can only live without severe pain in the world if they create a perfect abstraction of what it is, and what their role is in it.

Sullivan isn’t exactly alone in his suspicions. He points towards a book by Angelo Quattrocchi (playfully titled “The Pope is Not Gay”) that he felt reached similar conclusions. In addition,former Benedictine monk-priest and author Richard Sipe claims to have spoken to a number of Roman clerics and members of the Roman press corps who were “convinced” that Benedict XVI was gay.

Of course, it doesn’t help the rumors that Ganswein has become something of a star in his own right. He’s been dubbed the “The George Clooney of the Vatican,” and appeared on the cover of the Italian Vanity Fair under the headline “It’s no sin to be good looking.” Donatella Versace has even dedicated a menswear collection to him. source – Yahoo

 

George Clooney says burnings of 26 villages in Sudan a war crime, urges action.


NAIROBI, Kenya – George Clooney is trying to highlight satellite evidence from a U.S.-based anti-genocide group that 26 villages in Sudan were intentionally set on fire last month.

The American actor and activist said Thursday that destroying a village is a war crime and that the international community must counter and create consequences for such crimes.

The Satellite Sentinel Project, which Clooney helped found, said satellite imagery shows that 26 villages, food crops and grasslands were burned in a 54-square-mile (140-square-kilometre) area in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan in November.

Sudanese troops are fighting rebels who were once aligned with South Sudan. When South Sudan peacefully broke away from Sudan last year, the rebels were placed in the Sudan half of the partition.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By The Associated Press | Associated Press

Satellite images suggest Sudan arms factory was bombed: group.


UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Analysis of satellite imagery of a Sudanese munitions factory that Khartoum accused Israel of bombing earlier this week suggests the site may have been hit with aerial bombardment as Sudan claims, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

The Satellite Sentinel Project, whose founders include Hollywood actor George Clooney and the Enough Project, said it conducted a comparative analysis of DigitalGlobe imagery of the arms factory in Khartoum, where a huge explosion on Tuesday killed two people and caused a large fire.

“The imagery shows six large craters, each approximately 16 meters across and consistent with impact craters created by air-delivered munitions, centered in a location where, until recently, some 40 shipping containers had been stacked,” the group said a statement.

“An October 12 image shows the storage containers stacked next to a 60-meter-long shed,” it said. “While (Sentinel) cannot confirm that the containers remained on the site on October 24, analysis of the imagery is consistent with the presence of highly volatile cargo in the epicenter of the explosions.”

The images by themselves cannot be taken as clear evidence that the site was bombed and provides no clues as to who might have been responsible for any such bombardment.

A huge fire broke out late on Tuesday at the Yarmouk arms factory in the south of Khartoum, which was rocked by several explosions, witnesses said. Firefighters needed more than two hours to extinguish the fire at Sudan’s main factory for ammunition and small arms.

Initially, the governor of Khartoum ruled out external causes of the fire. But Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman later told reporters that four military planes attacked the Yarmouk plant and Israel was behind it.

Israel neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the attack.

The poor Muslim East African state, with close ties to Iran and Sunni jihadis, has long been seen by Israel as a conduit for weapons smuggled to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, via the Egyptian Sinai desert.

It is not the first time Sudan has accused Israel of attacking it.

In May, Sudan’s government said one person had been killed after a car exploded in the eastern city of Port Sudan. It said that explosion resembled a blast last year it had blamed on an Israeli missile strike.

Israel declined to comment on the May incident or the 2011 blast, which killed two people. It also neither admitted nor denied involvement in a similar incident in eastern Sudan in 2009.

The satellite images can be viewed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/sets/72157631860293132/with/8126235167/

(Reporting By Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Bill Trott)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Louis Charbonneau | Reuters

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