Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer to Produce 83rd Academy Awards

Well, the Adam Shankman Oscar production stint lasted all of one year, unfortunately. Because, for all of his flirting and grind dancing with Miley Cyrus, Shankman did a terrific job in co-producing the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

Bruce Cohen 
Now, a new team gets a chance: Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer were selected to produce the 83rd Annual Oscars. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, the pair produced the Academy’s first Governors Awards last November.

AMPAS President Tom Sherak is happy

During the announcement AMPAS President Tom Sherak said, "I'm absolutely ecstatic that Bruce and Don have accepted my invitation to produce and direct the 83rd Academy Awards telecast. Their work in producing the Academy's inaugural Governors Awards was exceptional and I am confident they will bring their creative vision and extraordinary talent to produce (and) direct a most memorable Oscar show."

Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer are ready

Bruce Cohen, who won the 1999 Best Picture Award as producer of American Beauty, said "I fell in love with the Oscars as an eight - year - old kid, the night my grandmothers let me stay up to watch for the first time. It is a dream come true for me to now be producing the show with the phenomenal Don Mischer, whom I've had an incredible time working with in the past. We hope to create a show that celebrates what people around the world love about the Academy Awards year after year - the excitement, glamour and tradition of Oscar Night itself."

Don Mischer 
Don Mischer, who worked with Cohen in 2009 and who produced the incredible We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, said "During my previous collaborations with Bruce, I have come to know him as a passionate, smart and creative producer, and I couldn't be more thrilled to now be working with him on the Oscars. As a producer and director, I have always been inspired by the live broadcast of major, high - profile events and when it comes to that, it doesn't get any bigger than the Academy Awards. The Oscars are truly 'appointment' television, they're eagerly anticipated around the world, and they offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary artists who take us on a journey every time we step into a movie theater."

The Oscars will be presented Sunday, February 27, 2011 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

No word, as of this writing, on the show's hosts. But Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin (AKA Phil Tagami), did a great job this year.

Peter Orszag to quit Obama Administration: the Orszag sex scandal

The Office of Management and Budget Director, 41-year old Peter Orszag, the bespectacled, cowboy boot-wearing, double-chic banging star of the Obama Administration is rumored to plan to resign from his position in a few weeks, according to ABC News.

Peter Orssag and Bianna Golodryga
Before the jokes about Peter Orszag's sex scandals start, this space has to give him credit for steering the passage of the $862 billion stimulus bill, the Obama Health Care Plan, and President Obama's budget. Peter Orszag is the successful representative of our generation of well-trained, young, good-looking, smart, and fun-lovingly sexy professionals.

Any dude who can snag ABC newscaster Bianna Golodryga while banging wealthy shipping heiress Claire Milonas, and running the country's budget is a man.

A man, yes, but not a thoughtful man.

On January 7th Milonas and Peter Orszag announced that she had given birth to a child, leading to this statement by the couple:

"We were in a committed relationship until the spring of 2009. In November, Claire gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Although we are no longer together, we are both thrilled she is happy and healthy, and we would hope that everyone will respect her privacy."

Claire Milonas 
The truth is Peter Orszag met Bianna Golodryga at last year's White House Correspondents Dinner. Orszag then dumped the heiress Claire Milonas for Golodryga while Milonas was pregnant.

If it weren't for the pregnancy, Orszag would be just the White House stud. (Heck, considering Orszag's office has a fireplace, there's no telling how many women he's had in there during the winter.)

Instead, Orszag's a candidate for one of President Obama's lectures on Fatherhood. You know the one? The one where Obams says "any fool can get a girl pregnant."

As quiet as it's kept, you've got to believe Milonas isn't going to raise Peter's kid without his involvement. Moreover, Peter Orszag dumping Milonas, who then has his kid, as he's planning to marry Bianna Golodryga, has to set off Milonas' bells.

And set up more potential embarrassment for the Obama Administration.

General Stanley McChrystal: Obama should fire him for Rolling Stone blast

Stanley McChrystal thinks he can beat you up
General Stanley McChrystal is the worst kind of military official a president can have: a person who shakes your hand, pretends to like you, then talks about you behind your back and to the press. That's what General Stanley McChrystal did to President Barack Obama in the Rolling Stone Managzine article called "The Runaway General", and exactly why Obama should fire him.

For all of his military accomplishments, General Stanley McChrystal is obviously just one man who must learn that in politics people don't have to take your advice all the time, but it's important that they listen.

McChrystal obviously does not know how to cultivate power. It's not being heard or having your ideas adopted, but giving others the impression that the people who matter the most listen to you, even when they don't. That's something this blogger learned working for the last two Mayors of Oakland before the current Mayor Ron Dellums. It's something McChrystal does not know.

According to the New York Times which has excerpts from the Rolling Stone article that was written by war reporter Michael Hastings, the segments' comments were and are damning. Here's a set of them:

Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.

Then, according to the New York Times, McChrystal's whining about having to attend a dinner with NATO Allies in Paris in April. This is what went down:

"The dinner comes with the position, sir," says his chief of staff, Col. Charlie Flynn.
McChrystal turns sharply in his chair. "Hey, Charlie," he asks, "does this come with the position?" McChrystal gives him the middle finger. [...]

"I'd rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner," McChrystal says. He pauses a beat. "Unfortunately," he adds, "no one in this room could do it."

Already, we see a thread here: General Stanley McChrystal thinks he's King Kong: the one person who can beat up anyone. McChrystal was probably your schoolyard bully, and it looks like he's not done pushing people around.

People like that often get punched in the mouth either figuratively or literally. It's a good thing General McChrystal didn't say to Vice President Joe Biden "bite me." as an aide suggested he do if asked about Biden's comments. While VP, Joe Biden's just ask likely to tell General Stanley McChrystal to f-off and then give him a good one. Of course, Biden wouldn't actually do that; he would figure out a way to do it politically, where the impact is far more lasting than a punch in the mouth.

And then there's this installment from the Hastings article, one that takes direct aim at Obama:

Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked “uncomfortable and intimidated” by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn’t go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his [expletive] war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."

Translation: McChrystal's insulted the President didn't treat him like a rock star. Well, that's just too bad for McChrystal. It also illustrates my central point: McChrystal's too much the pugilist to understand how to build and cultivate power. His ego is so large that it blinds him to the need to form power relationships.

McChrystal's schoolyard bully view of the World cost him a chance to build a good relationship with President Obama. McChrystal certainly has one with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is reported to have said "Give Stan what he wants", and that's only because she feeds his towering ego. Can you imagine what McChrystal would have said about Hillary Clinton if she didn't?

While Obama may not do it, the best move is for him to sack McChrystal. Then he will have time to reflect on his mistakes and learn that in politics, the guy who can beat up everyone in the room is often the one who's the weakest person in the room.