Hey Hollywood, What’s With Stiffing Your Peeps?

070104-courtney.thumbnail.jpgBlame it on the economy, but Hollywood players are not being payers.

Queen Latifah just got sued by two of her glam squad for a cool $1 million-plus total in unpaid bills, while Courtney Love is being sued for breach of contract–plus Twitter- and myspace-based defamation of character and intentional infliction of emotional harm;  please stop her before she facebooks!

Makeup artist Roxanna Floyd is claiming Queen Latifah owes her $700,000 for unpaid work for 2005 to 2007 helping to develop, produce and market the Queen Collection, Latifah’s line of cosmetics for CoverGirl. And stylist Susan Moses alleges she is owed $300,000. In 2005 Moses advised Latifah in her role as a lingerie spokesmodel.

Along with with using myspace and Twitter to accuse Austin-based designer Dawn Simorangkir of being a prostitute and drug addict and calling Simorangkir (who is married to Billy Idol guitarist Mark Younger-Smith)

a nasty lying hosebag thief

Love allegedly refused to pay for the work Simorangkir did in designing a clothing line for her last year.  Before the designer filed suit, Love wrote on her myspace blogs that

we had a dal i gave her a VAST amount of money clothes id been collecting for 8 years and 40,000$ is that not a vast amont of momey? the clothes are insured for 340,00 but are mo wortgh 500,000 some were as i said a formr ziegfeld girls and some were a silent film stars,

According to Love, Simorangkir was seen walking out of

the chateau…with two massive army bags full of things

after she had

been paid a massive amount of money and is in ossesion of prcless noyions dresses and fabrics changedthe "rules" she now wants 1750 per item! she bogged she made me fifty dresses,

Meanwhile, the Fremantle North America, the production company behind American Idol, is being accused running a sweatshop by three former production staff, who say they were forced to work 20 hour days, seven days a week without required breaks, and that

Fremantle and several related companies, including American Idol Productions, Blue Orbit Productions, Kickoff Productions and Little Pond Television, of trying to disguise violations of federal labor law by paying employees for a 12-hour day and a 60-hour week.

Way to keep your overhead down and your facade up.

Michael Moore: We Have a Better World Because of Obama

michael-moore_3.thumbnail.jpgTMZ paparazzied Michael Moore and asked about his future docs and if he’d be giving Obama the same treatment he gave Bush. Moore warmed up to the camera and said that it was everyone’s responsibility to keep an eye on our elected officials, and told him that we have a better world because of Obama.

But Moore started out being coy, saying he was retired, which is weird because he has an untitled project in production, which may or may not be about the economy and the end of the American empire.

Not-Racist Angie Harmon Implies Obama “Unclassy”

6306377_tml.thumbnail.jpgWhile attending the launch of a $150 a tube eyelash growth formula, actress/football wife Angie Harmon told Fox News she’s

dressing for the recession over here, buddy

and doesn’t like the way President Obama is handling things. But she’d like to make it clear that disagreeing with Obama doesn’t make her racist:

I’m just going to come out and say it. If I have anything to say against Obama it’s not because I’m a racist, it’s because I don’t like what he’s doing as President and anybody should be able to feel that way, but what I find now is that if you say anything against him you’re called a racist…If I’m going to disagree with my President, that doesn’t make me a racist. If I was to disagree with W, that doesn’t make me racist. It has nothing to do with it, it is ridiculous.

 Huh? Angie, who called you a racist? Last I checked it’s the rightwing media pushing the meme and trying to create a spin that if people disagree with Obama they are racist.

There are plenty of folks–left, right and center–publicly expressing their not-always-in-favor opinions of Obama’s policies and the r-word isn’t cropping up as a criticism of their views, so maybe you’re a little sensitive?  Or not paying attention to the real world and just being (Bill O’Reilly word) a popinjay for wingnut talking points?

Angie also has some  thoughts about Obama appearing appearing on Leno:

I also think if W or John McCain or Reagan would have gone and done a talk show, the backlash would have been so huge and in his face, and ‘What is our president doing? How unclassy!’ But Obama does it and no one says anything.

Though there’s no-girl-on-girl misogyny with Angie over Sarah Plain–despite Gov GILF’s trotting Bristol out for lie-filled dog-and-pony with Greta van Susteren:

I admire any kind of woman like her. My whole motto is to know what I stand for and know what I don’t stand for and have the courage to live my life accordingly and she does exactly that. The fact that this woman has made the decisions she’s made and literally lived her life according to that and takes heat for it is absolutely disgusting to me. People cannot look at this woman. I really think they’re afraid of her and her morals, ethics and values and the fact that she hangs on them.

Here’s Glen Beck on Fox & Friends spreading the bs meme:

O’Reilly on The View: Far Left Blogs Are My Enemy

Today Bill O’Reilly was on The View to celebrate his 100 month anniversary of being the top rated 8pm hour cable host (read–tragic PR effort). Hilarity ensues, though no mention of stalking. High points include:

Bill O’Reilly says he needs to think so he doesn’t Twitter because he

needs to think

He admits that he is smarter that he is smarter, meaner and sexier. And that he’s

Provocative, unpredictable and fun

Barbara asked who his current  enemies are, and LoofahMan says

 I have enemies all over…

 Then she presses the matter andhe admits that his number one enemies are, he says

Far left blogs.

The Bloviator also won’t watch Sean Penn movies because of the actor’s politics. Magnanimously though, he feels out of respect for the office of the presidency, Obama should be allowed to speak at Notre Dame.

In segment 2, he discusses Glenn Beck and El Rushbo, talk radio, Twitter, free market. And younger people dont have enough time to listen ot talk radio, and

that’s not really good thing.

And Elizabeth (ZOMG) thinks that gossiping about Dennis Rodman is just as important as what O’Reilly has to say!And he says that he’s asked Megan McCain to come on his show, but she’s too bust. Sounds familar. He closes with

 People get attention by attacking other people.

He should know.

Mail Drop: Postal Service Loses $2.8 Billion in 2008, Blames the Interwebs

180px-mutedposthorn.thumbnail.pngLast year the United States Postal Service lost $2.8 billion in what they considered a "decent year"  and anticipate a 17% drop in volume (and thus revenue) this year, due in part to online bill paying.  By 2010, the USPS anticipates losses as high as $12 billion if changes aren’t made.  Since they are running out of money, the Postmaster General suggests Congress to pass legislation that will allow the elimination of either Saturday or Tuesday delivery. And they’re cutting positions by 15% and instituting a hiring freeze, Postmaster General John Potter told a Congressional subcommittee.

Wait! Wut?! A loss of 2.8 billion is considered  a "decent year"? WTF?

Postal Service spokesman James Wigdel explained the drop in revenue:

The old model was people religiously at the first of the month putting their stamp on the envelope and sent their credit card mail and all that remittance mail off. More and more people are doing that online.

That’s not the only reason: I’ve noticed that while lots of people shop online, many sellers–private and commercial–use UPS or FedEx ground service to deliver packages, maybe because they are more economical?

Additionally, the USPS will pay almost $70 billion from now through 2016 for retiree health benefits. But Postmaster General Potter pointed out that if USPS paid for retiree health benefits out of its Retiree Health Benefit Fund instead of its operating budget, that change would have allowed the service to reach a $1.6 billion profit in 2007, instead of a $5.1 billion loss. Um, isn’t that what a "retiree health benefit fund" is for–to pay retiree health benefits?

Wait! Wut?! The postal service had a $5.1 billion loss in 2007? No wonder 2008 seemed like a decent year!

The postal service has come up with some other nifty ideas to save money. Maybe they should have implemented some of these sooner:

    • *A new process for evaluating and adjusting city delivery routes.
      *Reduction of employee work hours and overtime by pursuing even greater efficiencies throughout the organization.
      *Halting construction of new postal facilities and directing funds to the sites with the most critical needs (i.e., buildings badly damaged or destroyed by natural disasters).
      *Improved fleet management and delivery routing to reduce fuel usage.
      *Expanded energy efficiency to reduce energy use throughout Postal Service facilities.
      *Reductions in employee travel budgets through the use of Web and video technology to conduct meetings and conferences.
      *Renegotiations of supplier contracts to reflect reduced needs.

Ouch! Even Kids Pay Taxes in Palin’s Alaska

2066221411_6618337343.thumbnail.jpgRemember how Palin proudly made a big deal that because of her, Alaskans got record setting Permanent Fund dividends? (Alaska Permanent Fund sets aside a certain share of oil revenues which are then paid to Alaska residents). And how she boasted about the $1,200 "resource rebate" last fall last year that went to every resident?

Now Alaskans are getting something extra: A tax bill. According to the Anchorage Daily News:

Everyone, including babies and toddlers, must pay taxes on their PFDs. Parents may find it smart to file separate 1040s for the kids rather than include the children on the parents’ returns. Which method is most beneficial will vary family to family, the IRS says.

The minimum a child will owe on the PFD is $236, say tax preparation volunteers. But depending on the parents’ income, it could be much more.


Stimulus Flop? Condoms Outsourced

condoms.thumbnail.jpgOver 300 jobs are at risk at Alatech Healthcare Products, the Alabama plant that manufacturers a majority of the condoms used by the U.S. Agency for International Development for its AIDS prevention programs in poor countries. Alatech’s condoms cost 5 cents each, foreign made 2 cents.

USAID will now be outsourcing all their jimmy hat purchases to overseas to South Korea, Malaysia and China, citing delivery problems from Alatech under the program, along with complaints from the field–and the fact that Congress dropped "buy American language" in a recent appropriations bill.

Lawrence Povlacs, CEO and President of Alatech, said the agency’s decision contradicts the federal stimulus package designed to create jobs in the United States.  Alatech, which employs

women, some the children of sharecroppers and textile factory workers, many of them struggling to support families on $7 to $8 an hour…single mothers and older women with scant education,

is the only condom manufacturer in the U.S. Their only rival, also a USAID supplier, went bankrupt in 2005, and Alatech bought their plant, secure that their US senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby would help them out--which they did until this year.

 Jay Thomas, the mayor of Eufaula–the town where where Alatech, which only makes condoms, is located–said:

If we’re trying to keep jobs in the U.S. with this stimulus, it would make sense to do the manufacturing here and just pay the difference.

In 2007 USAID ordered 201 million condoms from Alatech, about half the previous year’s order and another 100 million from South Korea.

In related economic news, CNN reports a rise in vasectomies. And why oh why are tubal ligations not covered by insurance? One would think that given the cost of pre-natal care and of insuring a child after birth, insurance companies would gladly offset some of the cost of having tubes tied…

Their Children’s Birth Certificates: The Next Fight in LGBT Equality

116811768_ed57f12c16_m.thumbnail.jpgThis week, New York City joined the rest of the state in allowing married lesbian couples to list both women as parents from when one of them gives birth, though the state itself does not yet perform same-sex marriages. In May Gov. David Paterson had ordered state agencies to respect out-of-state same-sex marriages saying that recent court ruling could subject agencies to discrimination claims; this was implemented in December. New York City keeps its own vital statistics separately from the state; the city’s Board of Health voted unanimously to make the change.

This New York state law is having an effect elsewhere. A federal judge ruled March 19th that Louisiana has 15 days to add the names of both fathers to the birth certificate of a boy born in Shreveport and adopted by a gay couple from New York who now live in Southern California. The boy’s parents, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, adopted their Louisiana-born son in New York state, and want both their names on his birth certificate. Louisiana law only allows one single person or a married couple to adopt, but U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey ruled in December that because the adoption became formal in New York, the Office of Vital Records must recognize that state’s adoption law on the matter.

The state of Louisiana is asking the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the ruling. State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell wrote in email statement:

The federal district court has significantly misinterpreted Louisiana vital records law, forcing Louisiana to import and adopt New York law.

In , Louisiana Legislature will hear a bill submitted days before the judges ruling which would make it make it illegal to create a birth certificate for anyone who didn’t meet Louisiana’s adoption laws.

Earth Hour Tonight: Let’s Do It in the Dark

Turn off the lights, set some candles aglow and draw a bath. Tonight’s the night to join a potential billion people around the globe in darkness for Earth Hour (8:30pm to 9:30pm local time) which is not really about saving energy, but rather to show global solidarity with the green movement and energy conservation, and to let our politicians see that we’re open to new forms of energy.

Around the world, from the Dubai International Airport–where the duty free shops fell dark and diners in the food court nibbled by candle light– to the Eiffel Tower the lights went off. Boston landmarks will go dim, as will the Arkansas capitol building and the governor’s mansion.

Afterwards you can watch reports on the teevee, like this one from Sydney.

Vatican Rags on Tom Hanks Movie, Boycott Could Mean Boffo Box Office

escher_angels_demons_2_small.thumbnail.jpgOh jeeze, the Vatican may once again call for a boycott of a movie (Angels and Demons based on the Dan Brown novel and starring Tom Hanks as Brown’s alter-ego, Robert Langdon–also a turtleneck wearing Ivy League professor), but this time the Holy See seems to have caught on that a boycott can have the reverse effect–ah those crafty cardinals! But now what will they do to to keep the faithful from the theaters? Refuse communion to any Catholic who buys a ticket during opening weekend?

The Vatican’s official newspaper, Avvenire says in its latest edition that the church

cannot approve

of the film, while the Italian newspaper La Stampa says the Vatican will be soon call for a boycott.  The Vatican’s massive disapproval of The Da Vinci Code, also based on a book by Brown, had little box office impact; that movie grossed $757 million worldwide.

Media savvy Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, quoted in the La Stampa article points that a boycott could give Angels and Demons more publicity as part of a 

boomerang effect

Actually considering the Illuminati are the bad guys in the movie, it’s a wonder they haven’t called for a boycott, but since they are secret society, that could be hard to do–like, secret societies don’t run around issuing press releases and calling for boycotts.

Oh but wait, maybe the Vatican is a tool/part of the Illuminati (or at least the one Illuminati since there are really several branches) and that’s why their cassocks are in a bunch. But then why would the bad guys want to draw attention a movie that paints them as bad, unless, it’s the other Illuminati…oh never mind, it’s time to watch America’s Next Top Model on TiVo.

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