Monday, January 16, 2017

Hurray For a Non-Hollywood Inauguration


In the self-important land of the super-egos, Hollywood stars, entertainers and celebrities live for attention and approval from those around them and from complete strangers. One way of garnering attention is through political speech and activism. The entertainment industry is a leftist industry based in two very blue states, California, and New York. Once a conservative community, that all changed in the turbulent times of the 1960's. Now it is no longer tolerated to even voice conservative political views.

Every Republican president-elect endures headlines and speeches from the famous and wannabe famous leftists who strive for a few minutes of air time or a few paragraphs of ink spilled in, wait for it, leftist newspapers. They never support a Republican president. The added bonus in today's world is social media - Twitter in specific. President-elect Trump comes from this world, an offshoot of his real estate empire, so he knows how to play the game. Unfortunately for celebs, he plays it really well.

Rapidly approaching Inauguration Day, Hollywood and Broadway is in peak meltdown. Naturally the Congressional Democrats are jumping on the bandwagon. You may remember how Democrats disgraced themselves in their reaction to the election of George W. Bush in 2000. He, too, was blasted as "not my President" from the hideous left. Democrats are really sore losers. We had eight years of that.

The latest to join in the bashing ritual is Judd Apatow, executive producer of such stellar movies as "Freaks and Geeks" and he's a writer - he wrote Obama's slam on Trump over "Celebrity Apprentice" back in 2011 at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. It was to publicly humiliate Trump in the midst of the birther controversy.  You get the picture. You may have heard about actress Meryl Streep's screed against Trump and his voters during her acceptance speech of the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award. "Blackish" Actress Tracee Ellis Ross (daughter of Diana Ross) bloviated about donating her Golden Globe jewelry to Planned Parenthood. Rosie O'Donnell wants martial law imposed to stop the inauguration. Each day brings another story of a celebrity making a statement that he or she will not perform or attend Trump's inauguration. Most, I feel certain, were not even asked to do so but never mind.

Here's the thing - I think a Hollywood (and Broadway, for that matter) free inauguration will be refreshing. Much like the election of Donald Trump, it focuses on the regular people, on people without fame or fortune. Trump has also scaled back on the celebration - it is reported that he will only have 3 inaugural balls.Two will be for the public and one is the traditional Commander-in-Chief's ball with military and elected officials. That plan sounds pretty good to me. Instead of rushing from gala to gala and only spending a few minutes at each, Trump will be able to be a bit more relaxed and socialize with the attendees. It puts the focus back on the celebration of a peaceful transfer of power instead of the actual person, or who is seeking glory in the press for attending. 

Democrats are really sore losers. First Lady Michelle Obama declared "when they go low, we go high" and I laughed. She and her husband have been the most petty and divisive to occupy the White House in my lifetime. The silly videos and rallies and commercials used by the Clinton campaign did her no good outside of the large urban areas when Democrats rule. America clearly told them to shut up and act. Or sing. How's the last eight years with a celebrity president worked out?

UPDATE:
From Entertainment Weekly, news of a Broadway concert to be held about three hours after Donald Trump is inaugurated. 

"The roster for the gig — slated for Manhattan’s Town Hall at 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 20, just three hours after Trump is sworn in — brims with Tony Award winners, including Chita Rivera, Kelli O’Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Betty Buckley, Jessie Mueller, and Billy Porter. The lineup also features Sharon Gless, Andrea Martin, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez, Lillias White, Judy Gold, Caroline Rhea, Stephanie Mills, and Charles Busch, among others.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Sierra Club Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, and National Immigration Law Center."

They just don't get it.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Civil Rights Legend John Lewis Fires First Shot at President-elect Trump

After testifying against Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) using long ago discredited claims of racism earlier this week, Friday Rep John Lewis (D-GA) took aim at the legitimacy of the American presidential election's victor.

NBC News ran a video clip from an interview conducted with Rep Lewis Friday - the beginning of the MLK, Jr. weekend. Looking to incite racial and political divisiveness, Lewis said he would not be attending the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump and that it would be the first one missed since he came to Washington, D.C. "It will be the first one that I miss since I've been in Congress," he said. "You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right." http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/john-lewis-trump-won-t-be-legitimate-president-n706676

Lewis stated that  "he does not believe Donald Trump is a "legitimate president," citing Russian interference in last year's election."
"Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, "it's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president." He went on to say that the alleged Russian interference "helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton". That last statement is enough to discredit Lewis' argument - Hillary Clinton destroyed her own candidacy in 2009 when she set up a private personal computer server when she became Secretary of State. That sole action was the root of all her problems in office and during her second run for President.

The predictable happened, as Lewis calculated it would - Trump took to Twitter to push back on Lewis. Democrats and the failed #NeverTrump brigade fought back with indignation - how dare Trump respond to Lewis! In the minds of those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, Lewis' past civil rights history exempts him from criticism. This is exactly what Lewis knew would happen. You may remember that Trump slammed another American hero, Senator John McCain, during the GOP primary season. Trump's reaction was no surprise. He punches back. Frankly, Democrats are not used to Republicans doing that.

This is the legacy of Barack Obama - President-elect Donald Trump. The country is more divided than ever and much of it has been deliberately encouraged by him and other Democrats looking to retain power. Make no mistake, this is a power grab play, not a statement about civil rights.

The inauguration of an American president celebrates the peaceful transfer of power in our democratic republic. The American experiment is alive and well. We have all been taught to respect the office of the president whether the incoming president was our choice or not. We are Americans. It's what we do. It is to the country's benefit and all of us in it for a president to be successful. The two victories of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 were a punch to the gut for most Republicans. We were told to get over it immediately and give the man a chance. I did. His utter failure in office had nothing to do with his race but we were called racists for 8 years as we opposed his leftist political agenda.

John Lewis is not above criticism. We can respect his efforts in the civil rights movement and call him out for less than honorable statements, especially as an elected official, when he crosses a line.

This whole effort to delegitimize the election victory may feel familiar to you. It is right out of the playbook from 2000 when George W. Bush won that election. Democrats in Congress did the same thing - remember all the banners and buttons that read "he's not my president"? The Congressional Black Caucus disrupted Bush's confirmation in the House of Representatives then, too. Was that racist?

I can insert a couple of bromides here - change is hard. Elections have consequences. Neither make anyone feel any better and both are true. I was one who did give Obama a chance to get through his inauguration and into his first term with as open of a mind as I could muster. The same must be demanded of Trump's opponents now.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: A Death Knell to Baby Boomer Feminists



You know as well as I do that Hillary Clinton felt entitled to the U.S. presidency as no other candidate has in my lifetime. The worst part was her continued playing of the gender card - women HAD to vote for Hillary because she's a woman. So what did she do? She provided critics (including myself) with fodder when she allowed herself to become the very stereotype that women fight most when she was too emotionally fragile to handle her defeat.

I struggle to this day, as we usher out 2016, a full 54 days since the night of November 8, 2016 to understand what kind of role model she thought she was showing to younger women running for office. Hillary Clinton was too consumed with uncontrollable crying and outrage to do the most basic and the most important gesture any political candidate knows to do - go before her supporters in the victory party room and her voters watching on television to thank them. Instead of pulling herself together, she sent out her top minion, John Podesta, to address the crowd. Granted, many of those gathered had already begun to leave once the defeat was obvious, but Hillary Clinton was too self-absorbed to even do a brief thank you to those most loyal to her.

Hillary Clinton is in her own little bubble, sure, and she surrounds herself with people enabling her to live that life, but she ran on being tough and strong - ready to break the glass ceiling of being the first woman president. The irony is that a glass ceiling was indeed broken that night but not the one she droned on about. Donald Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, broke another kind of glass. Conway, a Republican woman, became the first woman campaign manager to successfully run a presidential campaign.

Clinton has lived off the coattails of her husband throughout her entire career, while pronouncing herself the top feminist in the country. Thank goodness the Trump campaign went after an electoral college win instead of being consumed with the popular vote. Also important to note, the Republican candidate was able to think as traditional politicians do not and he made a play for non-traditional Republican voters, as well as those in blue states. It paid off.

Saddest of all is the reaction of leftist women who voted for Hillary Clinton. I see their posts on Facebook and Twitter. They are so consumed, still to this day, with anger over her loss that they relish ridiculing Conway's difficulty in placing her four young children in private schools in D.C. - how's that for solidarity? When a leftist tells you that all women must act one way, remember it is a one-way street for them. They have yet to learn the lessons of this election. It's good for Republicans, by the way. Let them live in bitter bubbles.

I am thankful that Hillary Clinton was defeated. As a baby boomer feminist myself, I am tired of the left's hijacking of the term. Conservative women are also feminists and understand the term means living life as you chose to live it.

If you had told me a year ago that I would welcome the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017, I would have laughed. Now, though, I do welcome it. The uncertainty of a neophyte in the highest office in the land, along with the possibilities to shake it all up and begin doing the nation's business in a better, more efficient way far outweighs the certain disaster of Hillary Clinton. It was, in fact, a clear, binary choice for me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Other People Died, Too, In 2016

Much has been made in recent days of the death of celebrities in 2016.  The year seems to be a particularly brutal one in pop culture. In light of what seems to be 24/7 coverage of celebrities and the lives they lead, I did a quick search of other celebrity deaths - those who have left a unique mark in the field of science and medicine.

In January, Marvin Minsky died. He co-founded the artificial intelligence lab at MIT in 1957. 1957. Ponder that. Not surprisingly, he was friends with science fiction legendary writer Isaac Asimov. I was interested to read his wife is a pediatrician. She, too, was forging a new frontier - women who practiced medicine were not the norm in that day's society.

The world runs on email. The man who invented email and the '@' used to separate our names from our machines died in 2016. His name is Ray Tomlinson. Thanks to his forward thinking in technology, our lives have been made easier - keeping in touch with loved ones and business associates, sending documents and other paperwork, sending photos, etc. He is a member of the Internet Hall of Fame. Yeah. It's a thing.

In the world of space exploration, besides John Glenn, there is Edgar Mitchell, the sixth person to walk on the moon, died in February. You may remember his fellow moonwalker, Alan Shepard for golfing on the moon but their Apollo 14 mission success was important after the drama of Apollo 13. He was colorful in his interests of ESP experiments and paranormal phenomena.

Vera Rubin was the only graduate in astronomy from Vassar in 1948. She went on to earn a PhD from Georgetown University and her work confirmed the existence of dark matter in the universe. She died Sunday, Christmas Day. Her death, after her game changing work, should earn her as much recognition as any celebrity death. It won't, of course, but there has been some acknowledgement on Twitter.

Unlike most 'climate scientists' who spend their career behind a desk, Gordon Hamilton pursued his scientific theories in the field. He died in October on a scientific expedition in Antarctica. I don't agree with his climate change alarmism but he was well-respected in his community for the personal risks he took in pursuit of data gathering.

Dale Schenk decided to go into science instead of pursuing his love of the piano after witnessing the ravages of Alzheimer's disease on his grandmother and others. He and his team made great strides towards a vaccine for the disease - they have been successful with mice but not in humans as of yet. He died in October at the age of 59.

Dr. Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich technique that saves choking victims, died in December. A thoracic surgeon, his history is checkered with friction within the medical community. He was a skilled self-promoter and once tried to take credit for a technique for saving a damaged esophagus, only to later admit a Romanian surgeon had been using the technique for many years. He was 96 years old.

I am sure there are many others. There are also teachers, community activists, athletes, as well as other professionals who shape our lives and make the world a better place. Most importantly, our military service men and women are never properly acknowledged, if you ask me. As free people, we can never thank them enough for their service in our names.

Celebrities on screen and in music touch our lives in an emotional way. They are a part of the touchstones in life and that is important to acknowledge. I just wish real life, every day heroes garnered the same attention.






Friday, December 23, 2016

On the Eve of Hanukkah Obama Proclaims Screw You, Israel



In a truly unprecedented move, President Obama took a parting shot at Israel. During the time of the week known for Friday document dumps, the news broke on social media: America abstained in a vote at the United Nations meant to condemn Israel for settlement development in areas "claimed" by Palestine. In his usual cowardly way, Obama bets that no one is really paying attention to news on the Friday afternoon of Christmas weekend. The kicker? Saturday is Hanukkah. The message from President Obama is clear - Happy Hanukkah, Israel. Screw you!



..."the first the Security Council has adopted on Israel and Palestine in roughly eight years". Eight years. The two terms of Obama.

In 2007, Egypt became the second non-NATO nation to sign on to a joint border security agreement with NATO as it relates to the war on terror. Israel was the first nation to sign on. So it is quite disturbing that now Egypt is the country credited with moving this resolution forward in the U.N. This resolution, on top of the already bad Iranian Peace Agreement, spells additional danger for Israel, the only democracy in the region. The language of the resolution hampers Israel's ability to negotiate in peace talks.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned to U.S. President - Elect Donald Trump to help head off the resolution vote in the U.N. Trump has stated his unwavering support for Israel.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Other Than That, Vice-President Elect Pence, How Was "Hamilton"?



The precious snowflakes on the left are so freaked out by the election of Donald J. Trump that they are now openly confessing that they are too delicate to continue on in civil society. Their actions speak loudly, from demonstrations that turn to riots in the streets of America to the most recent example - Vice President-Elect Mike Pence attending a performance of the Broadway show "Hamilton: An American Musical" and was soundly booed and cheered by his fellow audience members. The show was interrupted more than once due to boisterous outbursts of applause as some lyrics were sung, for good measure. Then the icing on the cake - actor Brandon Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, delivered a statement to Pence from the cast at the end of the performance. I'm not kidding. This is an actual thing that happened.

The manifesto, er, statement began with a thank you for coming kind of opening that quickly devolved to a statement dripping for contempt for the man's election victory.

"At the end of the show, one of the actors asked Pence not to leave the theater so a statement from the cast could be read. 
 
"Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us at 'Hamilton: An American Musical,' " actor Brandon Victor Dixon said onstage. 
 
"We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. We hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us."

The Twitterverse was all aflutter over this obnoxious behavior by some spoiled brats working on Broadway - remember, this is the group of actors that did a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton - and we all know they were With Her. As you might imagine, Donald Trump took to Twitter to speak up for Pence.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump                         
Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump                                      
The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!


conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate for stopping to listen.

Except reading off your statement to a man on his way out of a theatre isn't a conversation.

And the creator of the hip-hop version of liberal America's American history, Lin-Manuel Miranda, weighed in:

Lin-Manuel MirandaVerified account @Lin_Manuel         
Proud of . Proud of , for leading with love. And proud to remind you that ALL are welcome at the theater.

"Leading with love." Yeah. Ok.

Isn't it just a little ironic that the liberals and #NeverTrump voters who are so unhappy with Republicans shellacking Democrats on November 8, 2016 and the Trump- Pence ticket winning the Electoral College vote (in about landslide level) now use the cover of #Hamilton to voice their dissatisfaction, given Alexander Hamilton all but set up the Electoral College?

And for real American history - not the re-written version favored by College professors and Hollywood liberals - it's Democrats who put an actual Klansman on the Supreme Court (Hugo Black) and elected a former Klansman as Senate Majority Leader (Robert Byrd).

The people disrespected the most, however, were the average Joe and Jane who likely saved up for quite some time to get a night out in Manhattan and an evening at a Broadway show. It's a lot of money to most Americans - especially the majority of Trump voters who struggle to remain in a shrinking middle class. The cheapest ticket is listed at $179.00. That adds up to a chunk of change for a family of 4 or 5. Imagine if you were an audience member on a trip to New York City from another city or state. Imagine their interest in seeing the newly elected Vice President of the United States walk in to join you in watching the play. And imagine having that experience ruined by boisterous audience members more intent on advancing a political agenda than simply enjoying an entertainment treat. How about if you were celebrating a kid's birthday with a splurge in the family budget?

The cast members felt entitled to express their disappointment that their candidate didn't win the election and throw that on the audience, just to get to the Vice-President. Let's call it what it was - a deliberate attempt to embarrass Mike Pence. Pence was reaching out and joining in as he came to the theatre. It is reported that he clapped and responded like all the other audience members enjoying the performance. But, for merely showing up and attending the play, he was booed and made to feel unwelcome.

The cast wanted to make Pence feel unwelcome and then demand he listen to them tell him to listen to them. Only in America.  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Biggest Loser of Election 2016? Barack Obama.



So, how about that election! Tuesday, November 8, 2016 and into Wednesday, November 9, 2016 gave the Republican party what had not been accomplished since 1928 - a Republican president, House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate. America has a majority number of Republican governors and Republican state houses, too. It's a good day to be a Republican. I haven't been able to say that in quite some time. Thanks, Obama.

Even Wall Street joined in the celebration - despite predictions of doom and gloom, the DOW closed on a record high number Wednesday afternoon.

This election was a referendum on Barack Obama. His power grabbing executive orders, his intentional use of race-baiting rhetoric, his divide and conquer policy-making, his unapologetic contempt for Republicans, and his non-stop quest for a real legacy led to a complete rejection. This election was the final rejection of Obama's failed policies which have led to 3/4 of Americans thinking our country is going in the wrong direction.

I worked at a polling place this Election Day and I was so grateful to have that distraction from the usual all day prognosticating of the talking heads on cable news and radio. This was an election cycle that, if anyone was truly honest would admit, no one knew what the hell was going to happen. It was a very long day but I found it impossible to not be uplifted to watch fellow citizens exercising their right to vote.

Credit where credit is due - Donald J. Trump won the presidential election against all odds. The first winner who never held elected office or served in the military, Trump had the great majority of media against him along with Democrats and a bunch of #NeverTrump Republican voters. Consultants and professional politicos, all of whom depend on politics as usual for a living, openly spoke with a theatrical level of disdain against him. Sitting elected officials boasted that they would not support or even vote for the Republican nominee. I will write about the failed #NeverTrump strategy later.

And then November 8, 2016 changed the electoral map of America. States not won by Republican presidential candidates, like Pennsylvania, since 1988 went to Trump.

Let me be clear, Donald Trump was my 17th choice in the Republican presidential primary. He only very recently declared himself as a Republican and clearly is not by any stretch of the imagination particularly interested in basic political philosophy. He is a 70 year old man with a lot of personal baggage that was impossible to ignore. So, when he won the nomination, I had to work through the Kubler-Ross five steps of grief. Then I made a decision - I would vote for my party's nominee for my party's sake. It is really as simple as that. I am a loyal Republican and that means I have voted for many who were not my first choice with the belief that any Republican is better than a Democrat. Have I skipped some races on a ballot? Yes. In my book, that is always a possibility.

The media was defeated and that makes me very happy. No longer even pretending to be unbiased, this political season proved to be the most openly biased I've lived to see. Very few who call themselves journalists are worthy of respect. The liberal take-over of American universities is in full display.

Pollsters were defeated. The polling in 2016 was very wrong. An exaggerated percentage of Democrats were polled and the results were skewed. This appears to have been intentional, as we learned from the leaked emails via WikiLeaks.

Four in five white evangelical voters handed victory to Donald Trump. Two in five black evangelical voters went with Clinton but that demographic failed to produce the results given to Barack Obama in previous elections.

A glass ceiling was broken, too. It wasn't the one that Hillary Clinton spoke about but one equally important - Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, is the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign. That is a very exciting milestone in politics. Women, the majority of voting Americans, want a woman president but not corrupt Hillary Clinton. White women, by a majority of 53%, voted for Trump. Women will not be bullied into voting for a candidate simply based on the gender card. As I said throughout this election cycle, "Yes, I want a woman president. Just not THAT woman."

After many years of feeling left out and ignored by their own government, regular Americans flocked to the polls and said, "enough". Our Constitutional Republic is strong. The wisdom of the Founding Fathers was proven again - Trump received the highest number of electoral votes of any Republican since 1988 and perhaps 1 million votes less than Clinton in the popular vote. The electoral college is a protection that allows all Americans to have an equal say in governance, not just the heavily populations areas of the country. All votes are created equal, to paraphrase the 12th Amendment.

Liberal losers with hurt feelings - and a desire for a paycheck from the likes of George Soros - are protesting in the streets of blue America. These areas are also media centers for optimum press coverage, not a coincidence. I say let them protest our system of democracy and take to the streets to do so. Hopefully, these public expressions of disappointment will not result in loss of life or property. It is their right. Just don't be fooled - these demonstrations are at the hands of professional agitators, the likes of whom were also paid to protest Trump campaign rallies and incite violence while doing so. Their willing stooges in the media were in on the ruse. Americans in flyover country were not swayed, in fact, this backfired and only made Trump supporters more determined.

There is much work to be done. God bless President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. God bless America. Thanks, Obama!