YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: bad conversations, horrible health and a sad goodbye


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WAIT, BUT HE WOULDN’T TALK TO ME? GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE: “With the release this week of his new book, ‘The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat,’ former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will embark on a three-week, whirlwind promotional tour stretching from television studios in New York City to  independent book stores in South Florida. Crist’s book is being billed as a no-holds-barred memoir, detailing his opinion on how right-wing extremists captured the Republican Party. Among the appearances Crist is scheduled to make: a Tuesday morning feature on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ followed by an appearance that night on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” On Wednesday, Crist is slated to appear on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live.” After additional appearances on CNN, Fox and MSNBC, Crist will wrap up the first week of his tour on HBO’s ‘Real Time with Bill Maher.’ The following week, Crist will crisscross Florida for book signings in several cities. Final locations, dates, and times are still being firmed up, according to publisher Dutton, but a first draft of the schedule has Crist marking the fifth anniversary of “The Hug” in Fort Myers, the city where the then-Republican governor famously embraced President Barack Obama and praised his stimulus program.” (via Saint Petersblog)


IN OTHER TERRIBLE CONVERSATION NEWS, BILL O’REILLY IS A VAINGLORIOUS TWAT: “President Obama doesn’t sit down for many cable-news interviews, so Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly was the beneficiary of a rare opportunity: a one-on-one White House interview with the president to be aired shortly before the Super Bowl. If mainstream viewers tuned in, hoping to see Obama’s answers on the major issues of the day, they were probably disappointed. Literally a few seconds into the interview, O’Reilly told the president, ‘I want to get some things on the record.’ And so he did – over the course of 10 minutes, O’Reilly, in this order, pushed for Kathleen Sebelius’ ouster, talked up the 2012 attack in Benghazi, spent on the non-existent IRS controversy, and read a question from a viewer: ‘Mr. President, why do you feel it’s necessary to fundamentally transform the nation that has afforded you so much opportunity and success?’ And then the host asked for a Super Bowl prediction. (via MSNBC)



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RICK SCOTT AND WILL WEATHERFORD REALLY DO WANT YOU TO DIE QUICKLY: “A study published on the Health Affairs blog concluded that between 1,158 and 2,221 deaths in Florida could be prevented if the state embraced Medicaid expansion. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Hunter College conducted the study, which was based on data from various sources they used to estimate the impact of Medicaid expansion on mortality. ‘The Supreme Court's decision to allow states to opt out of Medicaid expansion will have adverse health and financial consequences. Based on recent data from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, we predict that many low-income women will forego recommended breast and cervical cancer screening; diabetics will forego medications, and all low-income adults will face a greater likelihood of depression, catastrophic medical expenses, and death,’ the researchers wrote.” (via Tampa Bay Times)


AND A BEAUTIFUL TRIBUTE TO SOMEONE WE WISHED WOULD NEVER DIE: “Hoffman, as Martin alludes to, was that rare thing, today anyway: a major Hollywood name galvanized more by acting, by disappearing into his roles, and honing his craft into a series of memorable performances, than the flashbulbs and designer screechiness of the red carpet. He wasn’t an action hero, he wasn’t a conventional idol like Ledger. He was a reminder of what acting is or should be. Audiences at both the movies and theater knew that watching him, and appreciated it of him. His characters were shaded with subtlety and skill. They were also characters rooted in the everyday. They were lonely sometimes, put upon, constrained. His ruffled appearance helped casting directors and audiences: Hoffman looked all too real. His pre-eminence is emblemized in the roster of directors he worked with, Paul Thomas Anderson prime among them, and also including Todd Solondz, Spike Lee, Cameron Crowe and Anthony Minghella. Those who watched Hoffman on screen and stage may inevitably seek to draw a parallel between the fractured, tormented characters he is best-known for and the actor himself, now that he has died in the way he has. The likes of Dr. Drew Pinsky are filling the airwaves with pop-psych soundbites about matters of addiction and recovery we, as yet, know very little. It’s true that Hoffman’s most famous characters were losers, or weirdos, on the margins, on the edge, creepy, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes menacing. But it would be reductive to make that parallel a blanket one. Not all of Hoffman’s characters shuffled about suspiciously. In Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), he played an aggressive CIA man. In his Oscar-winning performance in Capote (2006), he portrayed the celebrated author with a depth and nuance not associated with Capote’s wholly-campy public persona. In Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (2012), for which he shared the Best Actor prize with co-star Joaquin Phoenix from the Venice Film Festival, and earned his fourth and last Oscar nomination, he was the charismatic leader of a Scientology-like cult.” (via The Daily Beast)


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