In: Brooke Shields. Every few years or so Brooke Shields, who grew up in the late 70s and early 80s right before our eyes, pops back on the pop-cultural radar. For some reason Shields has been unable to conquer television (she also doesn't quite translate to film, witness the horrific "Brenda Starr"), though teevee is a medium tailor-made for a person with Shields' not uncharming looks.
Despite the fact that she hasn't found the right television project (though Shields' husband is a tv writer and exec producer), Brooke has never strayed far from the covers of the tabloids. Shields has never been protected from controversy. Her volatile relationship with mamma; what got between her and her Calvins; the Studio 54 days. Most recently it was that pissing match with Tom Cruise over -- of all things -- post-partum depression. Now Brooke's honor -- she denies it -- was apparently the cause of that Kiefer Sutherland headbutt episode (at least in his Quixotic mind). And Brookie, no stranger to the benefits of serendipitous publicity, has been out more than usual (last night she attended the Jay McInerney dinner at 21; we're not suggesting opportunism).
Out: Manny Ramirez. No, no, no, Manny Ramirez, Captain Stupidfuck. That whole steroidal thingie -- that was the past. That was back when America was still The Unapologetic Empire that poured oil into the yawning chasm of our collective SUV's, ruggedly conquesting the back roads of our country McMansions. Back then, nobody cared if you wanted to inject Chimpanzee hormones just so long as you hit the ball long and hard in the Bread-and-Circus universe of pro sports.
That was then; this is now. The American electorate woke up while you were in your languid stupor, Manny. However America survives this economic crisis, we will almost certainly be smaller. The markets will adjust to more realistic levels, credit will be tighter, industries will be lost to the world's flatness. Corporate profits in the financial sector will never again be a heavy part of our overall profitability. And athletes will never again steroidally inject themselves with impunity. That was then, this is now.
(image via leahy.senate.gov)
Out: Senator Patrick Leahy. The Senator from Vermont, usually a master at sangfroid, got a little hot under the collar today as his party's attempts to fit newly-minted Democrat Arlen Spector into the powerstructure of his crowded Judiciary Committee rankled. From FoxNews:
"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy slammed the brakes Thursday on Sen. Dick Durbin's decision to give up his Judiciary subcommittee chairmanship and offer it to party-switcher Sen. Arlen Specter.
"'We need to work out something. Nothing's been worked out,' Leahy said after Durbin, the majority whip, volunteered to give up his chairmanship of the crime subcommittee and announced a new Human Rights Subcommittee for him to lead.
"'Oh, he's now chairman?' Leahy said with anger about Durbin. 'This is great.'
"Leahy added that the judiciary panel has to work out funding for the new subcommittee if it is indeed to be created. He said he has to "think about it over the weekend and consult with Republicans."
"The crime panel, the Judiciary Committee's busiest subcommittee, is responsible for legislation on drug sentencing and violence against women, and oversight of the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Drug Enforcement Administration, among others.
"Durbin's move was designed to placate Republican-turned-Democrat Specter after Democrats failed to honor his 28 years of seniority on committees. Democrats hope to keep Specter's Pennsylvania Senate seat in next year's elections."