Day: May 23, 2010

Valerie Plame Movie ‘Fair Game’ Opens in Cannes

I have followed the Valerie Plame Wilson story since  Joe Wilson’s op-ed in the New York Times in 2003. 

I’ve read Mrs. Wilson’s book Fair Game and I enjoyed it as much as I could.  The CIA had her redact almost one-third of her book, legitimately fearing  exposing over seas operatives and for some other, rather mundane reasons.

The movie Fair Game had it’s debut at the Cannes Film Festival last week.  In my opinion, it’s about time!

Newsweek

Bringing the Valerie Plame affair to the silver screen, director Doug Liman explores the abuse of power in Washington.

When columnist Robert Novak unveiled Valerie Plame as a CIA undercover operative in his syndicated column in 2003, Plame reportedly confessed to a friend, “I didn’t plan for this day.” It would be safe to say that she also didn’t plan on a red-carpet world premiere for Fair Game, a film based on her story starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, at the Cannes Film Festival. Or the standing ovations both she and the film received at the gala black-tie screening on Thursday evening. “What a night!” Plame exclaimed to NEWSWEEK after the event.

And what a movie. In Fair Game, director Doug Liman bravely tackles the now well-known story of how Plame’s husband, former career diplomat Joseph Wilson, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times  accusing President George W. Bush of knowingly lying in his State of the Union address about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and how, in return, White House officials leaked Plame’s true identity to the media. As MSNBC’s Chris Matthews reportedly told Wilson, Karl Rove declared, “Wilson’s wife is fair game.”

But instead of mounting a play-by-play of the political scandal again, Liman and the film’s two screenwriters, Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, wisely decided to focus on how the media and political maelstrom affected both Plame and Wilson personally. As a result, the film is a crisp snapshot of Washington players, a rarity for Hollywood; critics in Cannes immediately began to compare it to Alan Pakula’s masterful All the President’s Men.

Read more…

Despite Record-High Deportation Numbers, Kristol Says Obama Is ‘Reluctant’ To Enforce Immigration Laws

It seems with the Faux News crowd, Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.  No winning with these folks.

Think Progress

Today, on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, conservative pundit Bill Kristol slammed the Obama administration for denouncing Arizona’s immigration law. Specifically, Kristol insisted that his own Latino friends have no problem with the Arizona law and that Obama’s criticism is out of line. According to Kristol, the fact that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) head John Morton has indicated that his agency may not help Arizona enforce its likely unconstitutional law demonstrates the Obama administration’s overall “reluctance” to enforce the immigration laws that are already place:

I’ve spoken to a lot of African American people, a lot of Hispanic people about this. They don’t object to the notion that we need to be tougher in our enforcement of immigration law. [...]

The Obama administration is full of people who are at best reluctant to actually enforce the laws on the book – using the excuse that we can’t enforce anything until we have comprehensive immigration reform.

Quite the contrary, Obama certainly hasn’t been opposed to letting federal immigration agents do their jobs. In April 2009, Obama indicated that the government has to prove it’s “competent in getting results around immigration” in terms of enforcing the laws that are already in place, before the American people can have “confidence that if we actually put a [immigration reform] package together we can execute.” Under the Obama administration’s leadership, Morton has been deporting more undocumented immigrants than the Bush administration. Each year, under President Bush, the number of deportations more than tripled. Much to the dismay of immigration advocates who thought that Morton was only going to go after the “worst of the worst,” the Obama administration has maintained this upward trend. During fiscal year 2009, 100,000 more immigrants were deported than during the last full fiscal year of the Bush presidency:

 

And while Kristol’s Latino friends might not have a problem with Arizona’s immigration law, 67 percent of the nation’s Latino voters do.

 

 

Palin: Maddow Was ‘Prejudiced’ In Her Rand Paul Interview

Caribou Barbie speaks…

Huffington Post

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin accused MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Sunday of conducting a “prejudiced” interview with Rand Paul, in which the Tea Party candidate infamously aired skepticism about the reach of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Speaking to “Fox News Sunday,” the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee said that Paul was being subjected to the same biased media coverage that marked her run for office, before offering her Tea Party-backed candidate a bit of advice.

“One thing we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don’t assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda, who may be prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your answer may be,” Palin said. “You know, they are looking for the gotcha moment. And that evidently appears to be what they did with Rand Paul, and I’m thankful he clarified his answer about his support for the Civil Rights Act.”

Paul sparked several days worth of controversial coverage when he suggested to Maddow that the government had meddled too far into private enterprise in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and other legislation. But contrary to Palin’s suggestion, it wasn’t an adversarial interview that was the root of the problem. After all, Paul was granted 15 minutes by Maddow to explain his position on the matter. Moreover, he had made the same controversial comments earlier that morning to NPR (which, in turn, served as the basis of Maddow’s questioning).

As for the substance of his remark, Palin did her best to avoid actually weighing in one way or another. She was glad Paul clarified his “interpretation of the impacts of the Civil Rights Act,” but she wouldn’t “speak to each of Rand Paul’s positions.”

And then, inadvertently, she did. Palin was asked by host Chris Wallace to assess the Obama administration’s reaction to the massive oil spill in the Gulf. Two days prior, Paul had been critical of the president for being too tough on BP, the company responsible for the spill. The rhetoric, he said, was “un-American.” Palin offered a diametrically opposite analysis, accusing the White House of not being tough enough.

“These oil companies have got to be held accountable when there is any kind of lax and preventive measures to result in a tragedy like we’re seeing now in the Gulf. Alaska has been through that. I have lived and worked through that Exxon Valdez oil spill. I know what it takes to hold these oil companies accountable. And we need to see more of that,” she said.

“I don’t know why the question isn’t asked by the mainstream media and by others if there is any connection with the contributions made to President Obama and his administration, and the support by the oil companies to the administration,” Palin added, “If there is any connection there to President Obama taking so dog-gone long to get in there and dive in there and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico.”