Texas political wise gal Molly Ivins was on the radio in S.F. this morning talking about her new book, "Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America," and was doing a bit of "I tried to warn you," referring to her previous book "Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush." As for West Coast politics as theater, she said Californians should do what Texans do whenever something wacky happens -- play it up. "Arnold Schwarzenegger is like a world-class-size jackrabbit with antlers," she said, and we should act proud to have a great attraction like that in our state!
Speaking of California politics, Arnie and Shrub met today for the first time since the recall and it seems someone spruced up Bush's script, giving him a dose of humor for the joint appearance after the private meeting in SoCal this morning. He noted how much he and the governor-elect have in common: Both "married well," said Bush, and "some accuse both of us of not being able to speak the language." Well, one of "us" has an excuse ... (CNN)
Jerry Bruckheimer has just been named most powerful man in Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly magazine. Why? Cause ol' Jer has made tons of money! He produced "Pirates of the Caribbean," "CSI: Miami," and classic blockbusters like "Flashdance," "Top Gun" and "Beverly Hills Cop." A spokesman for Bruckheimer said he was "flattered" by the honor but wanted people to "judge him on his work." (BBC)
Speaking of Hollywood, things are getting violent off-screen as well as on. Gregg Easterbrook's column in the New Republic in which he criticizes Hollywood for making violent films such as "Kill Bill" also includes a last graph that says, in part: "Set aside what it says about Hollywood that today even Disney thinks what the public needs is ever-more-graphic depictions of killing the innocent as cool amusement. Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence?" This raised the ire of reporter Nikki Finke who wrote, "it seems to be a sickening anti-Semitic opinion, and I'm ashamed for him and The New Republic. (Full disclosure: I'm Jewish.)" (Romenesko)
And, to end on a musical note, songwriter Randy Newman says that President Bush has come closer than any previous commander in chief to fulfilling the prophecy in his 1972 song "Political Science," which contains the line "They all hate us anyhow/ So let's drop the big one now." (IMDB)
Ben Affleck, who campaigned hard for Al Gore back in 2000, on President Bush, while accepting a Spirit of Liberty award from the People for the American Way: "The Bush administration has continued to push a dangerous right-wing agenda which has included increasing encroachments on civil liberties, particularly with the questionable and aggressive use of the Patriot Act." Yes, the Dixie Chicks were in attendance. (Rush and Molloy)
Jon Maas, writer and executive producer of Showtime's upcoming black comedy "The Jayson Blair Project," on the subject of the TV movie: "It's fascinating about what he did and how he did it. It's actually much more work doing what he did than reporting." (N.Y. Daily News)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Sen. Hillary Clinton holds private Internet chat with $1,000 donors; Arnold Schwarzenegger does cameo turn in hot tub scene in Jackie Chan family adventure comedy, "Around the World in 80 Days"; Sam Waksal's prison pal gets transferred out; supermodel Stephanie Seymour gets mugged; Laura Bush says president gets "benefits" from bringing her her first cup of coffee in the morning.
Rush and Molloy: Lance Armstrong says divorce from his wife, who objected to his relentless training, is "certainly not motivation" for winning bike races; Sandra Bullock, who the last time we looked wasn't particularly heavy, says, "On a dirt bike, I'm really good. Ten-speeds are too skinny for me. I need something that can handle a lot of weight"; Washington Post pulls "Boondocks" comic strip for joking about Condoleezza Rice's love life; Kurt Vonnegut on George Plimpton: "If anyone can come back from the dead and write about it, it will have to be George Plimpton"; Ozzy Osbourne getting tested for terrible tremor, possibly due to neurological imbalance, says, "This problem was practically destroying my life"; Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn welcome baby daughter, as do Conan O'Brien and his wife, Liza.
Boldface Names: Hightlights from the Paris Review 50th Anniversary Gala honoring George Plimpton: Kurt Vonnegut arrives early and then skips out for a while, saying, "I'm going to hide. I don't want to stand around and drink for an hour"; "HBO boxing maven" Larry Merchant says he regrets saying no when Plimpton asked him, while they were in Zaire for the Ali-Foreman fight, "Why don't we go into the highlands and watch the gorillas?"; Art Buchwald, who ran with Plimpton and the bulls in Pamploma in the 1950s, has no regrets, says, "It was a big moment in my life. George was my mentor when it came to running with bulls."