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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nome De Plume: Rita Hayworth- Put The Blame on Mame

Source: Nome De Plume-Rita Hayworth-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I saw the entire Gilda movie for the first time last week and I really believe this is Rita Hayworth at her best. And she and Glenn Ford, are great together. Glenn Ford’s character in Gilda, reminds me of the Sam Rothstein character from Casino. Gilda, played by Rita of course, not that different from Ginger played by Sharon Stone in Casino. A women who marries rich to live well, but not in love at all her wealthy husband with her husband knowing that, but loves her to the point he plays like an over possessive father and not a husband. With Gilda almost being like a sixteen or seventeen-year old girl who wants to breakout and have her freedom.

Ginger, in Casino was not a singer, or an entertainer at all. More like a part-time gambler and former prosecute who gets Sam Rothstein’s attention played by Robert De Niro, at his casino. Gilda, played by Rita is a singer and dancer. Which a lot of Rita’s characters were. She was this red-hot adorable sexy goddess, with an incredible voice that helped keep her very young for a long time. She was great in Gilda again as a women who was really just trying to have a good time in Argentina and perhaps escape her past in America and live as well as she can. While having men around her that loved her perhaps too much and were very possessive of her. She does a great job in this video Put The Blame on Mame and just one reason to watch Gilda.
Nome De Plume: Rita Hayworth- Put The Blame on Mame


Monday, January 18, 2016

CKDTA: ABC News- Dark Days at The White House

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: CKDTA: ABC News- Dark Days at The White House

ABC News, wasn’t number three on the network news battles back in the early 1970s. But they were buried in last place which just happened to be third back then. Well behind CBS News and NBC News. They would have been what the CW is today behind CBS, NBC, ABC and even FOX. They simply didn’t have the viewership of the other networks, because they didn’t have the affiliates and perhaps just barely qualified as a national broadcast network back then. But they were able to cover Watergate and did have their own nightly newscast and did have very good people working for them. Like Howard Smith, Frank Reynolds, Harry Reasoner, Sam Donaldson, Peter Jennings and a young Ted Koppel.

Watergate, was nothing more than a local Washington city burglary in the summer of 1972. At least that’s how it was portrayed early on. With some real differences even early on. 1972 was a presidential election year. It wasn’t the Watergate Hotel itself that was burglarized, but the Democratic National Headquarters that had their office at the Watergate that was burglarized. The burglars had both CIA and White House connections with the Nixon Reelection Committee. The White House under President Nixon, involved themselves early on in this story in the summer of 72 when the President told his Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman to tell the FBI to get out of the story. Which wasn’t learned until the summer of 73 with the Senate Watergate investigation.

Without The Washington Post and a certain extent Walter Cronkite at CBS News, all of those stories that broke in the spring and summer of 73 about Watergate, do not come out. Because The Post was hammering away and digging into Watergate from day one. Because Watergate happened in their city and they had all the connections including in the Federal Government, but the local City Government as well to investigate this story. And that is when you see organizations like The New York Times, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, and others, starting to not just look into Watergate, but what else the White House might have been involved in and their other illegal operations back then.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Johnny Machine: Bugsy 1991- A Gangster Goes Hollywood

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Johnny Machine: Bugsy 1991- A Gangster Goes Hollywood

Bugsy from 1991, is one of not my favorite films, but also one of my favorite gangster films. Right up there with Goodfellas, which could be my favorite gangster movie and Casino. This is a great film and even though it is not completely accurate and it doesn’t advertise itself that way anyway, this is a very funny film. Warren Beatty, makes Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, seem like a very funny charming guy. Not sure if Bugsy was that way in real-life, or Beatty just makes him look that way in the movie, because that is how he wanted to play him, because he’s a very funny charming guy. But Beatty makes Bugsy look like a cold-blooded killer with another side to him. That loves his family and the people he cares about as well. But won’t stop to kill someone who gets in his way.

Bugsy, is about the career of Benjamin Bugsy Siegel. Who is a Jewish mobster from New York who operates out of New York, who is sent to Los Angeles on business. To become partners with Italian gangsters over there. To actually buy out their business there and take it over with those people working for him and his bosses back in New York. When Bugsy gets to Hollywood, he can’t find anything he doesn’t like about it and decides he wants to go into films as well. Which is where he meets his long time mistress Virginia Hill, played by the beautiful and adorable Annette Bening. She’s not just an actress and mistress, but becomes his business partner as well. That is the legitimate side of his business dealing with gambling.

Bugsy, is then sent to Las Vegas, which was still a hick Southwestern town in the early 1940s when this movie first takes place. To check out a casino there and to report back on it. And instead passes on that dump of a casino there and discovers that he could develop a casino industry with his own casino-hotel there. And make millions if not billions of dollars there and make Las Vegas a gambling mecca. All this stuff in the movie is completely true. Bugsy Siegel, had a lot to do with the development and economic success of Las Vegas. And a big reason why it goes from a town of maybe ten-thousand people back in the 1940s, to a big city of over five-hundred-thousand people today and one of the fastest growing cities and metro areas in the country now.

Bugsy Siegel, was not a good guy at all. He was a cold-blooded killer who had witness’s whacked and personally murdered perhaps twenty people or more himself for getting in the way of his illegal business’s. But Warren Beatty, does a great job of giving Bugsy a very likable charming funny side. That people could actually like especially if they don’t know he’s a gangster and personally responsible of the murders of so many people. This is a two and a half-hour film that is worth every minute. With a lot of great lines, with a lot of humor and not just from Beatty, but Annette Bening does a great job and so does Harvey Keitel as Mickey Cohen and so many other great character and actors in this movie. This is truly one of Barry Levinson’s best movies.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

CKDTA: PBS"s Summer of Judgment: The Watergate Hearings

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: CKDTA: PBS"s Summer of Judgment: The Watergate Hearings

I believe the Senate Watergate hearings which brought Congress into this investigation starting in the Senate, was critical in this investigation. White House Chief Counsel John Dean, who was running the Watergate coverup for President Nixon, becomes famous in these hearings. We find out about White House taping system, which is what brought down President Nixon. Because everything he said and did about the Watergate coverup at least in the White House was on tape. The smoking gun where President Nixon tells his Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman to instruct the FBI to drop their investigation was on the tapes. So the Senate Watergate hearings were critical in this investigation.

PBS, which was less than ten years old at this point, was critical in these hearings as well. And this was really the start of PBS becoming a major player in the broadcast news business and with them starting their PBS News division. With their nightly newscast, The NewsHour, their newsmagazine show Frontline, their weekly political talk show Washington Week and all of their documentaries. They were the C-SPAN of the 1970s at least during these Congressional hearings in the Senate. They broadcasted these hearings gavel to gavel live and then replaying these hearings in prime time later that night. Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, became media stars during these hearings. And other news divisions, CBS News, NBC News and ABC News, covered these hearings as well.

I believe that a lot of the people who worked for President Nixon were by in large good productive people. Bud Krogh and John Dean, are good examples of that, but they believed in Richard Nixon so much that they would do anything for him and were simply too loyal to this man. And got in over their heads and ending up doing things that they probably wouldn't have done had they not have met Richard Nixon, or some with those personality traits. And I think you see a lot of that with these people who essentially ended up testifying against their former boss. Of course they did that as part for their plea agreements, but these weren't career criminals, but people who did bad and illegal things while working for Richard Nixon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Josh Burdick: CBS News Special on Watergate, June 1992

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The story of Watergate is so tragic. This idea that President Richard Nixon would be worried about losing the presidency to George McGovern, who was the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist of his time. In an era when Socialists were looked down upon as Marxists and Communists, is so laughable I almost want to feel sorry for President Nixon and his White House. With or without Watergate, President Nixon was in cruise control and headed for the landslide reelection that he got in 1972. The Democratic Party, was divided between mainstream Progressives and New-Left Socialists, the Green Party of their time that wanted to move America in a new radical direction.

Watergate, was not a shot in the foot, but a grenade at someone's foot that takes both feet off in one blow. And that is it is a really weak grenade. It never had to happen and what made this story even more tragic is that President Nixon wasn't behind Watergate itself, but the cover up that came after. Had he and his Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, stayed out of the story and let the Washington PD and the FBI do their jobs, the Nixon Campaign might have taken a little hit in the polls. Because the burglars were connected to their campaign. But they would have gotten that back plus a lot more because of their convention and the Democratic convention later that summer.

But that is not the worst part of Watergate. Watergate, destroyed what otherwise would have been a promising presidency where President Nixon was putting together a foreign policy record that was perhaps second to none compared with any president before him. With ending the Vietnam War, opening up Russia and China to negotiations and diplomatic relations, Middle East talks involving Egypt, Israel and what would become Palestine. Plus his domestic agenda that would become what is called Welfare to Work today, health care reform that is the Affordable Care Act today, a national energy policy, to move America off of foreign oil. All of these policies that the Nixon Administration were working on in their second term. That went away because of Watergate.