Hollywood on the Potomac

'Hacksaw Ridge' Countdown to the Oscars

February 20, 2017

Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge has been nominated for Best Picture and Gibson as Best Director for an Oscar.  What are the chances of either winning?  Unfortunately, because of Gibson’s personal problems, probably none; but I’m going for it (need to see two more nominated films first).  So far, in contrast to the other films seen, it’s a standout.  Look for final predictions by the 26th of February.


This article posted on October 30th:

One of the greatest heroes in American History never fired a bullet!  That hero was WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss who served during the Battle of Okinawa. He refused to bear arms and kill people over his religious upholding of the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”  He became the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor for highhandedly rescuing roughly 75 of his wounded comrades while under heavy mortar and gunfire. 

President Truman awarded Doss the Medal of Honor on October 12, 1945. “When my time came, I went up,” said Doss of the ceremony. “President Truman, he came out and he stepped over the line, he caught me by my hands, shook my hand like I was an old-time friend, somebody he had known all his life. He didn’t even give me a chance to get nervous.” excerpt from Medal of Honor: Oral Histories. Doss died on March 23, 2006.

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Food Diplomacy

February 16, 2017

“Lidia is an immigrant to this country who is living the American dream,” President & CEO of Corporation for Public Broadcasting Pat Harrison said about Lidia Bastianich when introducing her at a dinner at The Library of Congress in her honor called  Lidia Celebrates America: Salute to Heroes. “She’s an internationally known chef, an award-winning public television host, a best-selling cookbook author who runs a culinary empire including Eataly and renowned restaurants from New York City to Kansas City. She is CEO of Tavola Productions, producing programs such as Lidia’s Kitchen and Lidia Celebrates America which are continually nominated for a James Beard Award. But Lidia was not always a chef, author and entrepreneur. The journey was that of an immigrant, defined by hardship and patience. Lidia and her family spent two years in a former Nazi concentration camp in Trieste while waiting to come to this country. I visited that camp with Lidia and it was no place to raise children.”  The event was co-hosted by Jon Abbott, President and CEO WGBH and Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress.

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'I Am Jane Doe'

February 12, 2017

Backpage is not what you think it is. It’s not a catchy name for a local bar, nor is it a place for footnotes in a book.  According to Cindy McCain, Backpage is an “absolute scourge…….it’s an online site selling children for sex. It hides behind the Communications Decency Act and The First Amendment. We’re enacting change in that and also enacting the ability to make sure that these guys can’t do this anymore and keep our children safe,” she told Hollywood on the Potomac at the DC Premiere screening of I Am Jane Doe at The Naval Memorial.


Joining her on The Red Carpet was Senator Claire McCaskill who added: “I have been involved in investigating Backpage for years now on the permanent subcommittee on investigations in the Senate. In fact, our investigation required the company to produce documents that had never been produced before, and we had to take that fight all the way to The Supreme Court. So, what we were able to do, by forcing those documents from them, we were able to uncover that they were complicit in selling children for sex on Backpage. And the night before the day they were finally going to have to appear, they shut down the site. So, obviously, this is one of these moments that’s incredibly rewarding for somebody who was a sex crimes prosecutor for years to be able to have a role in shutting down the most egregious location for the marketing of people, human beings, much less children is really exciting. I think trafficking goes on in every city in America. And I think that is one of the things about this movie that’s important is that there are way too many families out there that think this can never happen to our child. …..  this could never happen to someone that we know. In fact, it is happening all over our country.”

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