Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking advantage of a weak spot in Ukrain. Three weeks ago Ukraine’s president was kicked out of office over allegations of corruption. Now Putin and his Russian military have taken over key parts of Ukraine and probably will try to take over the whole country unless Ukrain starts defending itself.
Why is Russia punking Ukraine? Some say ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and Putin might have had an undercover plan for a takeover all along, which ultimately led to Yanukoych’s ouster. What does this have to do with the United States? Absolutely nothing. Russia and Ukrain are in an A and B conversation. The U.S. government should see its way out, especially since what U.S. officials have said so far proves them to be hypocrites.
David Alan Grier arrives on the red carpet for the 64th annual Tony Awards, held at New York’s famous Radio City Music Hall. (June 13, 2010
*ABC’s new thriller pilot “Reckless” just got a star. Ernie Hudson will play the role of a veteran CIA analyst who is being run out of his job. He’s a good guy, with a regular life, until his wife is unjustly imprisoned during a political uprising overseas.
David Alan Grier just got a show, playing the role of a principal. CBS has taken the movie, “Bad Teacher” and turned it into a series, starring his truly. Surprisingly, David’s character is describes as sweet and a guy with good intentions. But he’s often clueless.
Corey Reynolds has been cast to join Fox’s new drama pilot, “Delirium,” based on bestselling trilogy by Lauren Oliver.
And Sean Patrick Thomas is slated to star in CW’s adventure drama, “The Selection.” The new series, described as a television version of “The Hunger Games,” is set 300 years in the future, where a queen forces a lottery of women to participate in a competition to become the next ruler.
*We know politics makes for strange bedfellow, and politics can sometimes be hilariously funny, too.
Take Sen. Marco Rubio (pictured), for example. The Florida Republican busted out some rap lyrics during his 13 hour filibuster to delay the confirmation of head of CIA nominee John Brennan in order to bring attention to the government’s domestic use of drones.
“I didn’t bring my Shakespeare book so let me begin by quoting a modern day poet,” said Rubio. “His name is Wiz Khalifa. He has a song called ‘Work Hard, Play Hard.’ If you look at the time, it’s a time when many of our colleagues expected to be back in the home state playing hard, but I’m happy we are here working hard on this issue.”
He went on and on and shifted to some good ol’ Jay Z.
“Funny what seven days can change,” Jay-Z raps, “A stand up n****, now you sit down to aim/ Used to have a firm grip now you droppin’ names/ (It was all good just a week ago)”
By the way, the filibuster stunt didn’t work as John Brennan was confirmed by the Senate to head the CIA on Thursday.
July 21, 2008: U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of Multi-National Force Iraq, walks with Sen. Barack Obama after Obamas arrival to Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad, Iraq.
*Retired Gen. David Petraeus stepped down today as head of the Central Intelligence Agency after admitting to an extra-marital affair.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair, said in a statement announcing his resignation. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”
The resignation comes 14 months after Petraeus took the job, days after the presidential election and days before he was set to testify before Congress about an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead.
Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to ring the Opening Bell as the CIA Commemorates it’s 65th Anniversary on September 18, 2012 in New York City.
Petraeus met with President Obama on Thursday, at which time the then CIA director offered his resignation, a senior administration official said. According to the source, Petraeus admitted to having an extramarital affair when he asked to resign. The president then formally accepted Petraeus’ resignation in a phone call Friday afternoon, according to the same official.
President Obama said, in a statement, that today he accepted Petraeus’ resignation as CIA director, and is “completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission,” now under the leadership of Acting Director Michael Morrell.
Obama lauded Petraeus for his “extraordinary service to the United States for decades,” calling him “one of the outstanding general officers of his generation” and praising his work as CIA director.
The president concluded by saying, “Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best in this difficult time.”
Holly Petraeus led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Servicemembers Affairs.
Steven Spielberg (L) and Tom Hanks in Washington DC to promote ‘The Pacific,’ HBO’s 10-part miniseries (March 13, 2010) The two co-produced the project.
*A group of former military and C.I.A. officers launched a campaign to trash President Barack Obama over alleged security leaks by appearing on seven TV shows on Thursday – all to draw attention to their 22-minute video that has been viewed about 400,000 times since it posted Wednesday on YouTube, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The administration and liberal organizations quickly denounced the group, known as OPSEC, as a clone of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that helped derail the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry. The OPSEC team, however, is using Hollywood figures in the campaign against the Democratic president.
A component of OPSEC’s effort is the accusation from some Republican lawmakers that director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal were afforded access to classified details about the killing of Osama bin Laden, which is the subject of “Zero Dark Thirty,” a feature film Sony will release in December.
In the video, titled Dishonorable Disclosures, OPSEC member Fred Rustamann, a 24-year veteran of the C.I.A., complains of Obama taking credit for killing bin Laden, then he says:
“Days after the raid, Hollywood was invited into the White House so that they could receive a briefing on exactly how the raid took place, what kind of sources we had, what kind of methods we use.”
Director Kathryn Bigelow (R) accepts Best Director award for “The Hurt Locker” from presenter Barbra Streisand onstage during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood
As he speaks, Barbra Streisand is shown presenting to Bigelow the Oscar she won for directing “The Hurt Locker.” [See above photo.] More suggestively, Obama is seen speaking to a room full of Hollywood notables just as Rustamann delivers his line about a presidential briefing. The image, though, is an official White House photo taken in March 2010, of Obama speaking in the Family Theater of the White House before a screening of the HBO miniseries “The Pacific.” Sitting in the front row are Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, two of the miniseries’ executive producers. [See below photo.]
President Barack Obama delivers remarks before a screening of “The Pacific” in the Family Theater of the White House, March 11, 2010. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the two executive producers of “The Pacific”, sit in the front row. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
While using stock footage and B-roll video is a hallmark of documentary filmmaking, Spielberg and Hanks likely won’t appreciate that their likenesses are being used as a battering ram against Obama, given their support for the president. Spielberg, for example, has donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012 while Hanks stars in a 17-minute video promoting the re-election of Obama.
OPSEC, military shorthand for “operational security,” is also shorthand for the full name of the group, which is Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund. The nonprofit group bills itself as nonpartisan, though some members have been involved with conservative Tea Party groups and OPSEC member Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for Congress in 2010.
Dishonorable Disclosures (scroll down to watch) begins with several well-known journalists and opinion-makers reporting on security leaks. Chris Matthews asks on MSNBC, for example, “Drip, drip, drip. What’s with all this leaking during the first year of the Obama administration?”
Beyond the video, the group’s website lays out several specific complaints of classified information they say came from the White House that, if known by terrorists, would get American military personnel injured or killed.
A sort of slideshow on the site lists 10 alleged damages as the result of leaks. “Damage #4” reads: “Obama administration gave Hollywood special access to DOD and C.I.A. details of the operation.”
The slide also contains a couple of lines from a Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times, one reading, “The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history,” and the other reading, “It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently – to the surprise of some military officers – at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero SEALs.”
View the entire video below. The portion about Hollywood begins at the 11:50 mark.
Actress Angela Bassett attends the 'This Means War' Los Angeles premiere held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Feb. 8, 2012 in Hollywood
*Angela Bassett and former “Nip/Tuck” star Julian McMahon are in final negotiations to star in Fox’s untitled teen spy drama from Bones’ Karyn Usher, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The 20th Television drama revolves around Jane Forsythe, the orphaned 14-year-old daughter of a CIA operative who encounters a mysterious rogue agent/assassin who ultimately serves as both her surrogate father and professional mentor in the spy world.
Bassett, who once played the CIA director in four episodes of ABC’s “Alias,” will again play the director of the CIA, Alice Vargas, while McMahon would play Kevin Lear, the longtime CIA operative who takes newcomer newcomer Saxon Sharbino’s Jane under his wing.
Bassett’s series TV credits include a season-long arc on NBC’s “ER” in 2008-09.