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Barney Frank - a 16-term Congressman from Massachusetts and one of the more outspoken politicians of his time - announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection in 2012.

Citing a new redistricting map that will include many people he has never represented, along with a desire to do other things in life, the 71-year old surprised many at a press conference in Newton, MA on Monday, saying at one point:

"I think I would have won but it would have been a tough campaign. I hate raising money."

One of the more polarizing figures in Washington, Frank became the first openly gay man to serve in Congress. He's been at the center of support and controversy recently, due to his Dodd-Frank law and his pre-crisis support for government housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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The Democratic National Committee is going hard after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with a four-minute ad modeled after a Hollywood style movie trailer.

The title: Mitt vs. Mitt. Tagline: "The story of two men trapped in one body."

The White House and Democrats as a whole have long criticized Romney for appearing to change course on a number of issues of our time ... okay, all of them.

The one thing Mitt and Mitt agree on? They want to be president. That message will be broadcast across six key states as he campaigns to replace Barack Obama:

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Happy Thanksgiving to all from The Hollywood Gossip!

What would this holiday be without family, food, football and reflection upon the things we appreciate most ... in the case of THG, that means some of the turkeys we have had the privilege, the honor and the burden of covering in the past year.

We are talking some fowl individuals here ... real bird brains.

Without further ado, THG's Top 10 Turkeys of 2011 ...

Obama-Boehner Pic

Who will win the 5th Annual Spencer Pratt Thanksgiving Turkey Award!?

10. President Obama and GOP presidential candidates (tie). On a day when we share the blessings this nation has provided us, we'll also share the blame for a polarized electorate and a federal government destined for perennial gridlock.

9. Taylor Armstrong. Refining shamelessness, one episode at a time.

8. Gloria Allred. Loudmouth lawyer for accusers in seemingly every random celebrity scandal always wants to talk turkey ... and gobble up publicity.

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President Barack Obama pardoned a turkey named Liberty at the White House today. But, as you know, most birds are not so lucky, even when politicians are nearby.

Just a few years back, in fact, one committed a major party fowl.

In this classic video from Thanksgiving 2008, then-Governor Pain pardoned a turkey and gave an interview with a local news station ... during which things went awry.

Watch what happens in the background in the clip below:

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Rush Limbaugh does not like Barack and Michelle Obama, particularly their desire to lower carbon emissions and the First Lady's crusade against obesity (that hits too close to home, clearly, for the radio pundit). Which is fine, he's entitled to an opinion.

Sometimes his points are clouded by obvious hatred and racism, however.

After Sunday's NASCAR race at which Michelle Obama and Jill Biden were booed, Limbaugh defended the fans who did so, while calling the First Lady "uppity" ...

Rush's argument was, by and large, legitimate and directed at media figures outraged and confused by the booing: It's not a crowd predisposed to like Obama anyway, he's at 44% approval, and people go to sporting events to escape politics.

Fair enough. But then he went overboard bashing the First Lady, who he terms "Moo-Chelle" and tears a new one for (gasp) using a private jet:

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Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC's Late Night, issued an apology to GOP Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann over a song played during her visit to the program.

"I'm honored that @MicheleBachmann was on our show and I'm so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back," a Tweet from Fallon's account said.

As Bachmann strode on to the stage, the program's band, led by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, played a snippet of a 1985 Fishbone song called ... "Lyin' Ass Bitch."

Fallon and Bachmann

The tune starts with a distinctive "la la la la la la la la la" refrain, the only words that were audible before a smiling, waving Bachmann sat down for her interview.

The song itself, which is about a relationship gone wrong, isn't political, and it's not clear if it was even selected with the Minnesota Congresswoman in mind.

In any case, it repeats the refrain "Lyin' Ass Bitch" about a dozen times, and a lot of people weren't happy. Michele's campaign had no immediate comment.

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wants to put underprivileged pre-teen American kids to work as school janitors to help pull them out of poverty.

Never one to mince words (or go a day without ruffling feathers), Newt's issue has never been a lack of brains, but that he comes across as ... mean.

Speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government last week, Gingrich outlined, informally, his proposal to ease child labor laws in the U.S.

Newt

"These schools should get rid of unionized janitors," he said. "Have one master janitor, pay local students to take care of the school instead."

"The kids would actually do work; they'd have extra cash; they'd have pride in the schools," he added. "They'd begin the process of rising."

Education is seen as the key to upward mobility, as well as hard work, yet the budget cuts championed by some politicians make that harder.

It's difficult to say if he's trying to make a point about self-reliance, or eschewing union employees in favor of exploiting the working poor.

With Gingrich, it's hard to tell. But it's never uninteresting.

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A judge has set the trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards to begin January 30, a week earlier than when prosecutors and defense lawyers sought.

In federal court, U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles signed an order Tuesday setting the schedule for Edwards' trial on charges of campaign finance violations.

Edwards was indicted following an exhaustive investigation in June.

Edwards, J.

John Edwards is accused of asking two wealthy campaign donors to provide nearly $1 million in secret payments used to hide pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter.

Making matters even worse is the fact that he was a serious candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for the White House in 2007 and early 2008.

His wife, the late Elizabeth Edwards, was also battling cancer at the time.

Edwards says he knew nothing of the checks, cash and private jets used to fly Rielle Hunter across the country and put her up in luxury homes and hotels.

We are not the judge or jury in the case, and every American has the constitutional right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence ... but come ON.

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Oscar Ortega, a man with an apparent obsession with President Barack Obama, has been arrested in Pennsylvania in connection with shooting at the White House.

After the Secret Service discovered two bullets struck the residence Friday night while the president was away, authorities launched a full scale investigation.

One bullet smashed into a window of the mansion but was halted there by ballistic glass. Additionally, a round of ammunition was found on the exterior.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez

The arrest of Oscar Ortega (also known as Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez), came after officials linked the 21-year-old from Idaho Falls, Idaho, to the gunfire.

A U.S. Park Police crime bulletin issued before Ortega's arrest said he has mental health issues and "should be considered unstable with violent tendencies."

Authorities are investigating his mental health and say there are indications he believed his attack on the White House was part of a personal mission from God.

There are also indications the man had become obsessed with Obama and the White House, according to two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A tip from someone who saw and ID'd Ortega, who was captured Wednesday at a hotel near Indiana, Pa. led to his arrest, a Secret Service spokesman said.

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Hillary Clinton was posing for photos with Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang after their recent meeting in Honolulu when someone decided to crash that party.

The Secretary of State must have caught it out of the corner of her eye, because a second or two after the fact, she realized what happened and seriously cracked up.

A random, scantily-clad Hawaiian dude running around with a flaming torch while you're trying to pose with a dignitary will have that effect. Pretty funny stuff:

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