Flight From the Center
Which party will implode first? That's what some are wondering as radical, well-funded supporters are forcing moderate politicians to either move to the wings or face an onslaught of hatred.
In Connecticut, Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is well respected by Republicans and Democrats, lost the primary. The level of personal hatred directed at Sen. Lieberman, the outside money spent against him, and the presence of the party's radical messengers was so out of the norm that it became the subject of editorials in several national newspapers. Connecticut has more registered independents than Democrats or Republicans and more Americans than ever before consider themselves moderate. So why would any party want to alienate that growing force by moving away from the middle instead of toward it? Perhaps more big name candidates will run as independents, as Sen. Lieberman now will.
Great idea from the Cincinnati Bengals. The football team set up a hotline — 513-381-JERK — where fans can report obnoxious behavior in the stands. If you've ever gone to a game with your kids and cringed as someone goes into a prolonged, cuss-filled rant after each down or becomes so drunk they behave inappropriately you now have recourse. The Bengals say 38 security cameras will focus on people who are reported to see if the complaint is valid. If it is, the person will be removed from the stadium and could have their season tickets revoked.
Want some money? Too bad you weren't standing on the street in Berlin when a drunken man began handing out cash. Police say the 63-year-old man was sitting on a bench handing out notes which he had stuffed into his pockets. Some of the money was even blowing away. He handed out $1,935 before the police took him back into the bank and asked them to hold it until the man sobered up. The man said he was giving it away because "he had enough."
Don't like tattoos? Beware who you date. An Iowa woman who took a painkiller and sleeping pill before going to sleep one night woke up with a tattoo. She says her boyfriend had been urging her to get one to match his but she had refused. Police say he tattooed her while she was asleep. No… they aren't dating anymore.
Finally, here's the latest celebrity news from across the pond from our guru of gossip, Neil Sean of Sky News:
— That Puff Daddy sure knows how to throw a party! My spies on the boat revealed that he really kicks up a storm when on a party vibe. One who should know is none other than my favorite royal ever — Fergie – also known as Sarah Ferguson! Now, my lips are sealed, but I know for a fact he tried to woo the ex-duchess for a cameo in his new video for his new album, "Press Play." So far the flame-haired star has yet to say yes, but I know she loves showbiz. She once told me that after her wedding and children one of the best highlights of her life was appearing in the sitcom, "Friends." I will keep you posted.
— It keeps getting worse for Heather Mills. First, she is accused of being an ex-call girl and gold digger. Now we have reports of a total knock-down, drag-out fight between her and her ex-Beatle. There are reports claiming that she has taken up to one million from one of his bank accounts — how would he know? Still the media here are after her and she is doing herself no favors at all. The good news is that Sir Paul is teaming up with George Michael for a duet. Will this put him back in the musical limelight?
— Spotted "O.C." star Mischa Barton the other day in central London. The poor dear thinks that we care about D-list stars and insisted on grabbing attention where she could. She let her hair down in a Starbucks and talked loudly on the mobile she was holding. You know the stuff: dates, famous friends and auditions. Still no response and then just when she thought her luck had changed the bus boy stopped her. Seems she had forgotten to get a free coffee card stamped.
— Rod Stewart: could he have been Bond? Well not quite, but what I can reveal is that Rod in fact had the chance to make a go of it as Bond theme singer — not once but three times. Not quite sure why that slipped through his fingers, but I am sure you'll all agree it's a real shame. Rod is an international star who still gives great music after all these years.
— Music news now loosely in the shape of Paris Hilton. As predicted, she bombed here. Despite all the hype the blonde reality TV star only managed a lowly No. 5 on the charts and, as predicted, Christina Aguilera only got to No. 2 with her comeback single. Proof, girls, that you have to work the media and your "brand," as Paris calls it. She told me she is planning to do some live dates here in the U.K. Why? What have we done wrong?
— Also caught up with Bryce Dallas Howard, star of the great movie "Lady in the Water." It was at the Dorchester and what a nice lady and great movie. She is, of course, the daughter of "Happy Days" star Ron Howard and has, unlike so many stars, no airs and graces. Plus, the movie will keep you hooked — a great black comedy.
— Remember deluded model and one-time "Austin Powers" girl Elizabeth Hurley? She told me she is taking a break from acting to look at making it as a model and — get this — an organic gardener. "I am looking at making my own produce and even having my name on it. Ideally, I would like to start at the end of the year." Hugh Grant's ex still milks her association with him, giving cutting remarks at any available moment. But the truth is here we care less… well, until he got caught with Divine Brown.
— Keep this a secret, but I hear that Kate "Cocaine" Moss is looking at landing another child to go with Lila, aged three. She told my mole: "I am feeling clucky all the time and you know it's not going away." Mmm… poor Kate. Her image here is in tatters and we laugh at her for going out with Pete Doherty, but I guess she is a millionaire mum and can afford to take some chances.
— Caught up with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who is now the highest paid teen star in the U.K. – if not the world. He might be only 16, but he is raking in 8 million for his next film and he told me: "I appear in the West End next year. That is really nerve-racking to be honest, but it's a challenge that I need as an actor, too." I can disclose that the star will only be picking up a mere £400.00 per week for his stint, as it's the union minimum.
— Your President George Bush is an icon – let me tell you. A recent online poll suggests that he could sell quite a few calendars over here — if he choose to do one. George is next to Sir Cliff Richard (huge pop star here in the U.K.) in popularity for a hanging on the wall feature. Now, Mr. President, there is something to keep the peace over here at least — go on, do it!
— The news that Jennifer Aniston may have split from Vince Vaughn is not a total shock to me, let me tell you. I met both recently while here on a junket. Now, while he loved talking about her and let slip that he was "in love," she did not have the glow. She told me, "Love has to be earned and you know it's a high price to pay." Does she not feel the same as Vince? Once the movie fizzles out, so will their romance. Girls, start the line up now.
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