Texas Governor Rick Perry pursed his lips with a faint smile as he posed for his mug shot ... and the pic is a study in politics and spin control.
As you probably know ... Perry has been indicted for felony abuse of power ... trying to coerce a political enemy -- a D.A. who was convicted of drunk driving -- out of office by threatening to veto a law enforcement bill if she didn't resign.
Perry -- who says the charges are BS -- has a lot at stake in this mug shot. He clearly wants to run for President in 2016, so the way he looks and dresses in the pic is critical.
Nice suit, crisp white shirt, appropriate blue tie. The look is confident, defiant but not too smug. It's way better than James Brown's mug and on a par with Armie Hammer and Lindsay's 6th.
Transgender People Should Not Get Choice of Restrooms
8/19/2014 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Michelle Duggar is convinced ... child predators are aiming to use the cover of being a transgender to hurt children ... and she's determined to stop them in their tracks.
The "19 Kids and Counting" star is on the warpath against a proposed Arkansas law that would allow transgender people to use either the men's or women's bathroom -- whichever they feel suits them best.
Duggar thinks convicted male child molesters will have a field day if the law passes ... simply dressing up like a woman and perving out in girls restrooms.
She doesn't want her 9 girls subjected to men leering at them in their private space -- so she's voiced a robocall to AR voters urging them to vote no ... and it's fascinating.
GOES FULL CYBORG
Busts Out Robot At Hamptons Dance Party
8/19/2014 5:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
John McCain is a DANCING MACHINE -- no seriously, he's like a fully functioning cyberdyne robot ... and this weekend he busted out his mechanical dance moves in front of Jamie Foxx at a party in the Hamptons.
With The Roots providing the beat, the Arizona senator went into full "Zoolander" pop-and-lock battle mode on stage during a benefit at Ron Perelman’s East Hampton estate.
Jamie Foxx tried to mimic McCain's moves -- but the guy just couldn't keep up.
Apparently, McCain followed NJ Gov. Chris Christie ... who also showed off some moves -- but everyone seems to agree, McCain blew the guy out of the water.
LeBron & Bieber
REJECTED BY OBAMA
Prez Afraid of Bad PR?
8/18/2014 7:53 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
He rejected Ethel Kennedy.
He rejected LeBron James.
He even rejected Justin Bieber!!
And it seems pretty clear ... President Barack Obama believes images showing the POTUS dousing himself in ice water would be damaging to the presidency.
To be fair, Obama has said he'd donate money to ALS charities ... but he refuses to pour the water on his head -- despite the fact several politicians have already done it (including Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal and Joe Kennedy III).
So, we gotta ask ... do you think footage of the Commander-In-Chief splashing himself (for charity) is bad for his image? Or is he overreacting?
This Is No Put-On ...
I Like Putin
8/12/2014 9:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mickey Rourke has been wandering around Moscow this week sporting not one, but two different Vladimir Putin t-shirts ... and it's no accident ... he's a big fan of the Russian prez.
Rourke put on one of the t-shirts in front of a crowd of people and a few photogs. He said he's met Putin a few times and described him as "a good guy."
The "Sin City" star, who says his current girlfriend is Russian, said the t-shirt is not a political statement and he doesn't "give a f*** about politics."
He Touched Us All
8/11/2014 5:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
President Obama is remembering Robin Williams for his commitment to America's troops overseas and to our citizens here at home.
The President said, "He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most -- from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets."
Robin did multiple tours with the USO through the years.
Prez Obama also gave a shout out to Robin's breakthrough role in "Mork and Mindy" ... "He arrived in our lives as an alien -- but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit."
George Clooney's Fiancee
TURNS DOWN U.N.
8/11/2014 1:09 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
George Clooney's fiancee has turned down the United Nation's offer to put her on a commission to examine possible war crimes in Gaza ... because she says she's simply too busy.
Amal Alamuddin -- an international lawyer -- says she's got 8 cases on the front burner and can't accept the role to become a member of the 3-member commission.
She says "I am horrified by the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, particularly the civilian casualties that have been caused, and strongly believe that there should be an independent investigation and accountability for crimes that have been committed."
Interesting she says crimes "that have been committed." Sounds like some judgments have been made here.
She also has a wedding to plan ... no shame in that.
Death Triggers Homicide Investigation
8/8/2014 3:13 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The FBI, U.S. Attorney and Washington D.C. PD have opened a homicide investigation into the death of former Reagan Press Secretary James Brady who died this week ... 33 years after he was shot.
It's a weird turn ... John Hinckley Jr. shot Brady and Reagan outside a hotel in 1981, paralyzing the Press Secretary and seriously wounding the President.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and the legal experts we spoke with say it is NOT a case of double jeopardy. Hinckley was charged with assault with intent to kill when he was tried. Murder is a separate crime.
Nonetheless ... a D.C. police spokesman confirms with TMZ the 3 agencies are conducting an investigation.
Palestinian Civilians 'Deserve to Be Dead'
... They Started It!
8/7/2014 7:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
12:45 PM PT -- Joan says in a statement ... she was "totally taken out of context. What I said and stand behind is, war is hell and unfortunately civilians are victims of political conflicts. We, the United States, certainly know this as 69 years later we still feel the guilt of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
She adds, "Along with every other sane person in this world, I am praying for peace."
Joan Rivers has zero sympathy for Palestinian civilians killed in the Gaza conflict because they had fair warning to get out, and didn't ... so they deserve to die.
Joan was at LAX yesterday when she doubled down on her now famous rant about Israel defending itself ... by screaming she doesn't want to hear about civilian casualties.
A sample of her rage: "They started it. We now don't count who's dead. You're dead, you deserve to be dead."
You have to see the rest. You can't accuse Joan of not having an opinion.
Grilled About Hating Paparazzi
More than Nazis
8/7/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kanye West was determined to explain under oath why he thinks the paparazzi are worse than the Nazis ... but his panicked lawyer muzzled him.
TMZ has a copy of Kanye's deposition in the lawsuit filed against him by a paparazzo whom he attacked at LAX.
Nate Goldberg -- the lawyer for the photog -- is asking Kanye about a verse from his song, "Flashing Lights" ... rapping about paparazzi and saying, "I hate these n***as more than a Nazi."
Goldberg asks Kanye, "So why did you say that you hate the paparazzi more than the Nazis?"
Kanye responds, "'Cause that's what I wanted to say in that song."
Goldberg: "Well, you understood that the Nazis killed --"
At that point, Kanye's lawyer, a panicked Shawn Holley, interrupts, "Oh my gosh!"
Goldberg: "-- six million Jews."
Holley: "It's really been a long day and we should probably" (she's about to say recess)
Goldberg: "Well I'm not finished."
Goldberg then goes on to explain how it's "legitimate" for him to ask about the song because it shows Kanye's hatred for paparazzi.
Kanye then gets pissed that Goldberg quoted the "n" word from his song, saying, "But not legitimate to say n***a ... ever ... ever."
Holley successfully prevents Kanye from giving a full answer.
'I'm the Smartest Celebrity
You've Ever F***ing Dealt With!'
8/6/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kanye West swears under oath, "I'm the smartest celebrity you've ever f***ing dealt with. I'm not Britney Spears."
We got hold of a transcript of Kanye's deposition in the case where he's accused of beating a photog and smashing his camera.
Kanye explains to Nate Goldberg, the photog's lawyer, "I'm in the business of trying to make dope s**t for the world. You're in the business of representing scums and trying to make as much money as long as there's this lapse in the law."
Goldberg grills Kanye about his song, "Flashing Lights," -- a rant against the paparazzi. Goldberg quotes from the song, "Till I get flashed by the paparazzi, damn, these ni**as got me."
At that point Kanye interrupts, "You have to ask for a hall pass. You can't just say the 'n' word around me." adding, "It offends me because you're a white person saying 'ni**a.'"
Kanye says there's a parallel between blacks fighting for civil rights in the '60s and celebs fighting for theirs today: "I mean in the '60s people used to hold up 'Die N****r' signs when my parents were in the sit-ins also." Goldberg asks if he equates the struggle of blacks in the past with celebrities today and Kanye says, "Yes, 100 ... I equate it to discrimination. I equate it to inequalities."
Kanye goes on, "We, as group of minorities here in L.A., as celebrities have to ban together to influence guys like this -- guys trying to take the picture, guys trying to get the big win, guys trying to get the check."
The depo is riddled with Kanye's sarcasm. When Goldberg asks where he lives, Kanye replies, "Earth."
Proposal To Ban
Shoots Without Condoms in Cali
8/6/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
California may become a condom-mandated state when it comes to porn ... and the stakes involve hundreds of millions of dollars, AIDS, syphllis, gonorrhea and other STDs.
The California State Assembly has just passed a bill requiring condoms in all porn shoots. The author, State Assemblyman Isadore Hall, III, tells TMZ ... it's all about workplace safety. He says STDs are out of control in the porn industry.
Hall cites a UCLA study, which shows 11% of female porn stars who have sex with males who don't wear condoms contracted gonorrhea and 15% tested positive for chlamydia. We've checked and can't find any documented HIV cases in the straight adult porn industry in the last decade.
Porn honchos tell us ... they are fleeing California. Vivid Prez Steve Hirsch tells us ... his company currently does not produce movies in L.A. County -- where there's currently a mandatory condom law. He says the current testing procedures are more than adequate.
One porn exec tells us ... the county has lost around $100 million a year. Fact is ... we checked with the agency that issues permits for porn shoots. 480 permits were issued in 2012. After the condom law passed, the number plummeted to 40 in 2013, and so far in 2014 ... only 30.
Assemblyman Hall says the porn companies are full of BS ... he says they can digitally remove condoms from the flicks and says, "There's an app for that."
Hall's bill has gone to the State Senate.
So we gotta ask ...
Mission to Israel ...
8/6/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Our sources in the Holy Land tell us the legion of NBA talent -- which also included Robin and Brook Lopez and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin -- was going to attend the opening of a new arena in Jerusalem on September 4. Magic Johnson was also on the guest list, but we're told he had scheduling issues.
Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose were among a group of NBA superstars set to travel to Israel to support a basketball team co-owned by Amare Stoudemire -- but TMZ Sports has learned the trip's been 86'd due to the Gaza conflict.
The plan was for some of the players (not Magic or Mullin) to square off against Hapoel Jerusalem -- a team co-owned by Amare, tech entrepreneur Ori Allon and NBA super-agent Arn Tellem ... who was key in drawing big names to attend.
We're told organizers recently decided to pull the plug on the sold out game over safety concerns ... as the violence continued to escalate.
So far, there are no plans to reschedule -- but it's gonna be tough since NBA training camps open in October ... and, more importantly, attempted cease-fires continue to fail.