French actor Gerard Depardieu has resorted to becoming Russian in order to avoid paying taxes in France, with a little help from Vladimir Putin of course; Jane Harman is being considered for CIA director, despite her past involvement in an Israeli intelligence influence operation; meanwhile, the Obama administration has been compiling a database that helps it determine how to treat a suspected terrorist. These discoveries and more after the jump.
Fresh off a fundraising stop in Las Vegas, where he made an appearance at Caesars Palace, President Barack Obama swung through Hollywood Wednesday evening to pitch woo to a star-studded crowd for the first time since taking office -- but, as The Wrap's Dominic Patten points out, it was a bit of a tough crowd this time around.
Although they're allotted $100,000 to redecorate, Barack and Michelle Obama will spend their own money updating the White House. The first family has turned to Michael S. Smith for the task. The designer has worked for Steven Spielberg, Rupert Murdoch and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, whose decorating habits have come to epitomize corporate greed.
Barack Obama's fundraising extravaganza in Hollywood Tuesday night raised a whopping $9 million for his presidential campaign and the Democratic Party -- the single highest figure ever raised by a candidate in one go, as MSNBC anchor Alex Witt points out in this clip.
John McCain took the opportunity Tuesday to criticize Barack Obama for consorting with celebrities at a Democratic fund drive in Hollywood that night, but McCain had apparently forgotten about his own celeb-attended fundraiser in Beverly Hills last month. McCain supporter Wilford Brimley has yet to comment on this grievous oversight.
Director Steven Spielberg was an artistic adviser to the 2008 Beijing Olympics but has resigned because of China's unwillingness to put more pressure on the Sudanese government to bring an end to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. As he put it, "I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual."
Barack Obama took in $1.3 million Tuesday from an L.A. fundraiser organized by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Hollywood is a crucial pit stop on the road to the White House for Democratic candidates as they build their war chests, especially with so many contenders in the field.