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Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Meets the 21st Century

Posted by Audiegrl

It’s been 166 years since the publication of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ seasonal story of redemption wrapped up in a biting indictment of 19th-century capitalism.

Scrooge (Jim Carrey) and Tiny Tim (Gary Oldman) are prepared to get you into the holiday spirit.

Scrooge (Jim Carrey) and Tiny Tim (Gary Oldman) are prepared to get you into the holiday spirit.

Telegraph.co.uk/Paula Bustamante—Yet in the era of global financial crisis and multi-billion-dollar fraud, Jim Carrey believes Dickens’s tale about how the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge learns to change his ways remains as relevant today as ever.

I think it’s a very pressing story nowadays, too,” said Carrey, the star of Disney’s re-imagining of the classic, released in North America on November 6. “I think stories get told at times when they’re supposed to be told.”

a_christmas_carol_jim_carrey_photoScrooge is the first corporate scumbag. The unloved scumbag. So, in this time when all our constructs are breaking down because of greed, this story is so pressing,” Carrey added.

“Everybody loves a good transformational story. You know, somebody who sees the light, who finally finds out what’s important in life. And, this is one of the greatest ones ever written.”

Just like the character of Scrooge, Carrey was confronted with a vision of his future during the making of the film.

But while Scrooge’s insight came via the spooky Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Carrey’s own premonition was entirely due to his appearance after the 3D movie’s special effects wizards went to work.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Instead of the familiar 47-year-old face known to millions in hits such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Bruce Almighty, Carrey said he was left staring at the spitting image of his father.

When I saw the movie, one of the first things I said when I saw the first close up of Scrooge is, ‘my family is going to have a heart attack, because that is my father,'” he said.

It’s unbelievable. It’s really a look into the future for me. Not the long chin and the long nose, but the look is what I’m going to look like when I’m old,” Carrey added.

Disney’s new take on the classic is the latest in a long line of adaptations of the beloved 1843 novella, with the first screen version coming more than a century ago with in the 1901 British short Scrooge.

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More @ telegraph.co.uk

A Christmas Carol Tops Weekend Box Office with $31 Million

5926A Christmas Carol unsurprisingly topped the weekend box office with an estimated $31 million in receipts.

The latest foray by Robert Zemeckis into motion-capture filmmaking came in lower than initial expectations but easily bested the $23.3 million open by The Polar Express, his last holiday CGI film. With the holiday season only now ramping up, A Christmas Carol should continue to play strong for weeks to come.

A Christmas Carol starring Jim CarreyCharles Dickens’ timeless tale of an old miser who must face Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come, as they help to bring kindness to his otherwise cold heart. The Ghosts remind him of the man he used to be, the hard truth of what the world is today, and what will happen if he does not strive to be a better man. Set around Christmas, the most joyous day of the year, Scrooge realizes the sharp contrast of his own personality.

Jim Carrey plays four separate roles in this updated version of A Christmas Carol. Carrey portrays Scrooge, as well as the three ghosts (Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come). His dynamic character roles keep the four characters as diverse as being played by four actors.

Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy) has his chance to dabble in telling a story through the windows of time, as he directs the long-awaited remake.

Our Favorite Versions

Each December my family and I watch our favorite versions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. What’s your favorite?

A Christmas Carol starring Alastair SimA Christmas Carol starring George C. ScottA Christmas Carol starring Patrick StewartScrooged starring Bill MurrayEbbie starring Susan Lucci
Ms. Scrooge starring Cicely Tyson

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Flouting Lobbying Ban, Ensign Helped Hampton Clients: Revealed in New York Times Investigation

Posted by TheLCster

Senator John Ensign (R-NV)

Senator John Ensign (R-NV)

TPM/Zachary Roth—We knew there was another shoe waiting to drop in the story of Nevada GOP senator John Ensign’s affair with his an aide’s wife.

And now it’s dropped. A lengthy investigation by the New York Times reveals that Ensign was far more involved than previously known in trying to get a job for Doug Hampton — his mistress’s husband — after the affair had been discovered. And that Ensign then used his influence in government to try to do favors for Doug Hampton’s new employers — apparently in violation of lobbying rules.

As Hampton summed up the basic problem to the Times: “The only way the clients could get what John was essentially promising them — which was access — was if I still had a way to work with his office,” Mr. Hampton said. “And John knew that.”

Senator John Ensign is the same hypocrite guy who was lecturing Democrats this week on the public option in health care reform. You really should read the whole thing…read all the revelations @ TPM

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Obama: Soldier’s sacrifice, deserving Medal of Honor, should inspire all Americans

President Barack Obama posthumously awards Army Sgt. 1st. Class Jared C. Monti from Raynham, Mass., the Medal of Honor for his service in Afghanistan, to his parents Paul and Janet Monti, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama posthumously awards Army Sgt. 1st. Class Jared C. Monti from Raynham, Mass., the Medal of Honor for his service in Afghanistan, to his parents Paul and Janet Monti, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WhiteHouse.gov—Today, President Barack Obama awarded Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. Staff Sergeant Monti will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions in combat in Afghanistan. He displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor – eventually sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his comrade. Staff Seargent Monti’s parents, Paul Monti and Janet Monti will join the President at the White House to commemorate their son’s example of selfless service and sacrifice.

Jared C. Monti was born on September 20, 1975. He was a native of Raynham, Massachusetts. He graduated from Bridgewater-Raynham High School. He enlisted in the United States Army in March 1993. He attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

His military decorations include: the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, five Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, three National Defense Service Medals, to name a few.

He is survived by his Father, Paul Monti, his Mother, Janet Monti, his Sister Niccole Monti, his Brother, Timothy Monti, and his Niece, Carys Monti.

He was posthumously promoted to Sergeant First Class.

THE MEDAL OF HONOR:

The Medal of Honor is awarded to a member of the Armed Forces who distinguishes themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:

—engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;

—engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or

—serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

Associated Press Read more from AP: Obama honors soldier killed in battle

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Sex, Lies, and a Hot ‘Mike’

CA State Rep. Michael Duvall

CA State Rep. Michael Duvall

Posted by Audiegrl

Who knew that Republican’s were so freaky? I thought we Democrats had all the fun. This summer we had the sex scandals with some of the members of the Prayboy Mansion (that’s what I call the C Street House). We were told of extra-marital affairs of Sen John Ensign and Gov. Mark Sanford, ending their 2012 Presidency ambitions.

But Michael Duvall, a conservative Republican state representative from Orange County, California, has risen to the top of the list of hypocritical-family values Republican office holders. Mike Duvall has put the real ‘hot’ and the real ‘Mike” in hot mic stories.

Duvall owes his notoriety to a conversation at a council meeting that was caught on a hot mic. You might say, so what… people get caught on ‘hot mics” all the time. I remember when MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Republican strategist Mike Murphy, and Conservative Columnist Peggy Noonan were captured on a hot mic during last summers Republican National Convention. They were talking amongst themselves and saying how the really felt about the Palin pick, which was curiously the opposite of what they had just said to viewers on air. Sometimes ‘hot mic’ events are a good thing, because it tells you what the Media or our Elected Officials really candidly think. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for honesty and keeping it real, but Mike Duvall took it a bit too far. All I can say to Mike is TMI. Too Much Information

Keep in mind, Mike is not talking about having sex with just anybody. He is talking about having sex with two different women that are lobbyists for utility companies! Coincidentally, Duvall is vice chairman of the Utilities and Commerce Committee….

Some of ‘hot Mike’s’ excerpts:

“She wears little eye-patch underwear. So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And
 so, we had made love Wednesday–a lot! And so she’ll, she’s all, ‘I am going 
up and down the stairs, and you’re dripping out of me!’ So messy!”

“So, I am getting into spanking her,” says the Orange County Republican. “I like spanking her. She goes, ‘I know you like spanking me.’ I said, ‘Yeah! Because you’re such a bad girl!'”

Like I said, TMI.

Local CBS affiliate KCAL9 had the scoop. Here’s a video of their segment, showing the reporter desperately trying to interview the Rep. Duvall.

Hi-jinx ensue…

Talking Points Memo has much more on the story.

***Update III–Recorded sex comments cost Calif. lawmaker his job

Mike Duvall stepped down Wednesday after a videotape surfaced….

Duvall said Thursday that his “decision to resign is in no way an admission that I had an affair or affairs.”

“My offense was engaging in inappropriate storytelling and I regret my language and choice of words. The resulting media coverage was proving to be an unneeded distraction to my colleagues and I resigned in the hope that my decision would allow them to return to the business of the state”

***Update II: Duvall, who is married with two adult children, received a 100 percent rating from a conservative advocacy group for his votes on legislation considered pro-family. He represents parts of Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Anaheim, Placentia and Orange in Orange County.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a Democrat, removed Duvall from two committees, and the Assembly Ethics Committee was investigating.

***Update
On Wednesday, Assemblyman Mike Duvall of Yorba Linda released the following statement in response:

“I made a mistake and I sincerely apologize. I deeply regret the comments I made in what I believed to be a private conversation. This is a private matter and I ask that everyone respect the privacy of all involved.”

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