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Obama and the Stars: On the Outs?

Posted on Aug 20, 2010
Wikimedia Commons / Library of Congress

Babs, back in the day: Streisand strikes a pose in 1962.

What are we to make of the news that President Barack Obama swanned into Hollywood for a Democratic fundraiser this week and was not met by so-called event co-hosts Barbra Streisand and Jeffrey Katzenberg, although they both left hefty checks in their stead? Maybe they were just being flaky stars ... or maybe it Means Something Significant!  —KA

The Week:

During his swing through the West, President Barack Obama attended a Democratic Party fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of “West Wing” producer John Wells — but two of the co-hosts, Barbra Streisand and Jeffrey Katzenberg, did not, despite having paid $30,400 per couple for co-hosting honors. Immediately, conservative critics took this as a sign that the president has alienated Hollywood’s liberal establishment. Are they onto something?

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, August 23, 2010 at 4:16 am Link to this comment

When stardom automatically equates to wisdom; we’re
already in the crapper!

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By rollzone, August 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

hello. instead of rambling on about…whatever, stars
will line up for Oboymamma like a casting call, because
their loyalties are to their next big paycheck: and all
this fund raising is bulging the coffers for the next

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By call me roy, August 22, 2010 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

California State managers earned overtime during furloughs
August 3, 2010 | Chase Davis
Rather than receiving a 15-percent pay cut as intended, hundreds of state managers and other high-level workers brought home more money than usual during some furlough weeks thanks to an obscure federal labor law, a California Watch review of state records has found.
During furlough weeks between February 2009 and April 2010, state departments paid at least $1.6 million in overtime to salaried state workers who are not typically eligible to receive it, according to data provided by the state controller’s office. At least 14 employees took home more than $10,000 in overtime payments during that period.
The payments were allowed because during furlough weeks, federal law requires the state to temporarily classify most salaried workers as hourly employees so their pay can legally be reduced.
But that shuffle has a side effect: It makes employees who are typically exempt from overtime rules eligible for a rare opportunity to collect the extra cash.
More such payments could be made in coming months, following Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s announcement last week that furloughs will continue at least until the state budget is passed.
Of the three-dozen departments that paid at least some overtime to exempt workers, none shelled out more than the Employment Development Department, which paid more than $488,000. The department is charged with running California’s unemployment programs, which have been swamped in the down economy.
Department spokeswoman Loree Levy said demand for unemployment benefits and information technology projects within the department led to the overtime, which she said was closely monitored and approved.
“Overtime payments to salaried staff are a direct result of the unprecedented demand for service EDD has faced through the course of this severe recession,” Levy said in a statement.
Not far behind was the Chief Information Officer’s office, which coordinates IT work across state government. Records show the department paid more than $327,000 in overtime to exempt employees.
Department spokesman Bill Maile said the payments were made largely to employees tasked with keeping the state’s computer systems running smoothly. Others were made to employees involved in high-priority projects, such as building Web sites that outline state stimulus-fund spending, he said.
“They’re mission-critical applications that require staff to be there regardless (of furloughs),” Maile said. “We have pretty strict conditions under which staff can work overtime.”
Maile and others also argued that labor laws gave them no choice but to pay the overtime. Even if they are typically salaried, hourly employees are legally required to be paid for any overtime they work.
“These are situations governed by federal law that determine whether overtime applies,” Maile said.
The state Department of Personnel Administration issued at least three memos during the furlough period urging departments to minimize their overtime payments to exempt employees. Department spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley declined further comment but said the memos make clear the department’s stance that overtime should be kept to a minimum.

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By call me roy, August 22, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Hollywood elite? All the hundreds of sad stories. Doctors now say that the amount of bogus prescriptions among celebrities and their children are staggering. Unfortunately, unless something is done soon, it won’t be long until we add another name to the list that already includes Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Brittany Murphy, Heath Ledger and now Corey Haim. Hollyweird has been the cesspool from where communist and socialist growth has fermented for nearly a century.
California is living proof that there really is no end to the harm liberals will do to any economy they get their hands on. People are fleeing California by the hundreds of thousands because the state gov’t has made it impossible to prosper there. So naturally the ‘solutions’ proposed by the state are to invent even more of the same onerous regulations that are already destroying that prosperity.
In another 10 years there won’t be anyone left in California except spoiled movie stars and the homeless. Come to think of it, the “stars” won’t be there either, in fact the movie studios are leaving now, it’s to expensive. Of course, they won’t broadcast that to the smelly and worshiping masses.

There is no space as vacant as that of an actor without a script in their hand

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By Wikileaks for Nobel, August 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Brilliantly written comment, CJ.

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By GoyToy, August 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Wake me up when something happens.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, August 21, 2010 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

If insanity isn’t ruling, inanity is. Either or together murderously so. Never in history was murder so mundane, nor carried out by so many means.

Were I the President in rational mode I’d feel only grateful neither attended but did think to waste their money, and not too happy about any celebs who did attend, though still grateful they too thought to waste their money. Wasted on futility, which is not likely what the President thought, though maybe deep down. Does he know he’s presiding over a fall?

Amazing what folk will pay to gain access, or just for the opportunity to snub power, which is probably even more fun. (Remember when Streisand had a problem with that guy who photographed the entire coastline? In one of them appeared her ostentatious manse. She stupidly inanely sued the photog and lost.)

There is zero hope when inane insanity or insane inanity rules. Just today, as I returned to CNN out of sheer boredom, the accusing of Julian Assange of rape and molestation, and then during interludes discussion of men (boys, actually) cheating on wives, bedbugs, and finally, women going topless at five locations in the interest of something or other. (Ah, our—both men’s and women’s—breast fixation. What a country.)

Oh, almost forgot among stupidities: claimed withdrawal of “all combat” troops from Iraq. I guess since “all combat” troops have been replaced with all (privately owned) mercenaries, who will make no more difference than did “all combat” (government-owned) troops. An ex-something military-type appeared to talk of how the “average Iraqi” is certainly better off. Not like Streisand, mind you, let alone Katzenberg.

None ever makes the connection between their personal wealth and man-made disaster elsewhere, or do they? I doubt it.

Same in Afghanistan, same as it ever was, same as it always will be, apparently. Up to and including what king or queen of wherever and/or whatever did yesterday and today, along with speculation on what they might do in future.

I thought I had a vague idea of what the fall of empire would look like. I learned from Arendt of the banality of evil but I had no idea of the evil of banality.

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By Robespierre115, August 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Who cares? Hollywood Limousine Liberals are a joke. People like Streisand and Katzenberg are just typical fatcats who like to “support causes” but not contribute to any real, serious activism. In California limousine liberals take to the streets over Tibet but stay silent over Palestine, Kashmir, the coup in Honduras etc.

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