· Steve-O is back in the "looney bin," according to his MySpace blog. In March, the "Jackass" star checked into rehab and has been sober for 115 days. But being clean hasn't completely cured him of his mood swings and severe depression, which he said led him to back to a mental institution. Steve-O posted the entry after watching himself on "Dr. Drew's Celebrity Addiction Special" on VH1. "Everyone's going to make their own decisions in life, but nobody needs to make the same mistakes I made," he said.
· Now that filming has wrapped on High School Musical 3, Vanessa Hudgens can concentrate on promoting her new album, Identified, with her sneakers on. But, she doesn't forget about boyfriend, Zac Efron. Hudgens told USA Today that their chemistry is just as good offscreen as it is on. "I'm such a hopeless romantic." she said, adding that the couple are so comfortable in front of each other they can do anything. Let's just hope they don't take any pictures.
· Fourth of July weekend is barely over, but Beyoncé's already got her next one all booked up. She's going to headline next year's Essence Music Festival, the magazine announced Monday. This year's festival, which featured Kanye West and Mary J. Blige, drew a crowd of 270,000 over the weekend. The 2009 festival will coincide with the magazine's 15th anniversary and will take place in New Orleans on July 3-5.
· Virginia Senator Jim Webb, Vietnam vet and sponsor of the new GI Bill, has announced that he won't consider becoming Barack Obama's running mate, because he feels "best equipped to serve the people of Virginia and this country" in the Senate. Well, that's a bit firmer than the answer he gave us back in April.
Posted 5/22/08 5:19 pm EST by MTV News in Uncategorized
Progress for vets around the country: the Senate just passed that new GI Bill we've been telling you about!
Things got exciting (um, by Congressional standards) in the Senate this morning as a bunch of Republicans switched their votes to YES at the last minute. Sen. Jim Webb's plan to increase the amount of money veterans get to go to school passed 75-22 as part of next year's funding package for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That wide margin of victory is good news, since President Bush has promised to veto the entire thing. We're not sure if you all remember how a bill becomes a law (hello, Saturday morning!), but that's a large enough majority for the Senate to override that veto.
Of course, we are in the middle of a presidential campaign (how do you define the "middle" of something that is neverending?), so debate on the floor got mad political. Sen. Barack Obama took to the floor and criticized Sen. John McCain for not supporting this version of the GI Bill:
"I respect Sen. John McCain's service to our country. He is one of those heroes of which I speak. But I can't understand why he would line up behind the President in his opposition to this GI Bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans. I could not disagree with him and the President more on this issue. There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing, but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them."
McCain, who has his own, less popular plan for funding veterans' educations was not present for the vote. He was campaigning in California, but managed to release a statement to the press:
"It is typical -- but no less offensive -- that Sen. Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Sen. Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Sen. Obama, my admiration, respect, and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim."
Posted 5/22/08 12:45 pm EST by MTV News in Uncategorized
The Atlantic has published a piece on the people Barack Obama is supposedly considering as running mates. Here, for your consideration, is the short list, in no particular order:
· Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)
· Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
· former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA)
· Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
· Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD)
· Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)
· Ex-Sen. John Edwards (D-NC)
· Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
· Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS)
· Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ)
· Sen. John Biden (D-DE)
· Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)
· Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
· ex-Rep. Tim Roemer (D-IN)
· Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH)
We're most intrigued by Jim Webb and the excellent Kathleen Sebelius. And, of course, there's also still the specter of an Obama/Clinton ticket, right?
So who the heck will it be? Come on, let's head off to the races, already! This campaign is killing us...
This is from cameraman extraordinaire Brendan Kennedy, fresh from a shoot with former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
This morning I woke up at six and got all gussied up to shoot a speech given by Colin Powell. To be more precise, I’ve been working on a segment about the GI Bill, which, if you have no idea (like me), gives veterans money to go to school. A new version of the bill was just presented to the House today.
But this is where it gets depressing --
While the student vets we've been talking to about the current bill have been totally inspiring, the fact that most of these kids come back from Iraq and Afghanistan and can't afford to go to college is not only infuriating but downright embarrassing.
After WWII, the GI Bill paid for the college of the vet's choice, books, and room and board. Today the GI Bill now barely gives vets enough to go to community college, let alone pay rent and go to a four-year college, whether public or private. The budget is frighteningly low. And if you have a family to help support? Forget it!
Plenty of people right now enjoy telling you to “support our troops.” But I’m really glad that there are actually some people looking to the future of our troops once they’ve returned home -- people like Sen. Jim Webb, Gen. Colin Powell, and Rep. Patrick Murphy -- and trying to fix an antiquated system that does anything but give troops the hand they deserve.
It's a little early to start making veep predictions, but here are a few things we already know:
1. John McCain is old and needs a young running mate.
2. Everyone wants Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama -- except for, well, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
3. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia would add (swift)boatloads of clout to a Democratic ticket in the general election regardless of which candidate makes it there. And he hasn't said no to the job, as you can see in the clip above.
OK, so Webb hasn't said yes either. But that's pretty close for down there in Washington!
It would be a long trip from where he started, as a Republican (Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan) and Hollywood writer. Strange as it may sound, a look back in the MTV News archives shows he's had White House support for a while. Check out this gem of a photo from just after he won his Senate seat in 2006 (in the race that gave us the term "macaca moment"). John Norris was in DC covering an anti-war rally when a bunch Webb-lovers walked by our stand-up. That's some ready-made support!