Friday, February 28, 2014

Business Insider: Brett Logiurato- Anderson Cooper on Arizona Anti-Gay Bill

Source: Business Insider- CNN's Anderson Cooper, interviewing an Arizona State Senator in favor of the Arizona anti-gay bill 
Source: Business Insider: Brett Logiurato- Anderson Cooper on Arizona Anti-Gay Bill

Jennifer Rubin, in her Washington Post column today, said that there's nothing in the Bible that says Christians should deny gays service because of their homosexuality. The more of her I read, the more she sounds like an actual conservative, like George Will or Charles Krauthammer, not someone who just calls herself a conservative.  This closes the case, as far as I'm concernd, because this has never been about freedom of religion.  It's been about finding an excuse for discrimination based on sexuality after excuses for discrimination based on race, ethnicity and gender have failed.

Discriminating against gays is the far-right's last shot of pushing what they see as their moral agenda and  turning America back to the 1950s. They failed to justify discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities and women and people of religious minorities.  Their one last gasp at discrimination against people whom they consider "other" is now aimed at gays who want to marry.  It is failing horribly for them so they have now moved to denying gays service in the public domain simply because they are gay.

No one is saying that Christians or Muslims or people of any other religion can't view homosexuality as a sin but where that stops is how people treat each other and how they act. You can call someone a fag or sinner or anything else you want short of murderer or rapist but you can't physically attack or deny people service because of their sexuality and for no other reason than that. Again this is not about Freedom of Religion but trying to create a freedom to discriminate.

The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin

In the end, it was politically, economically and morally impossible for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to countenance a state law allowing businesses to discriminate against gays because of anti-gay bias as long as they presented their objection as rooted in religious faith. (What part of the Bible requires a restaurant owner to deny a gay couple a table?
The Young Turks: Cenk Uygur- Anderson Cooper Humiliates Anti-Gay Republican

Putin Ferguson: The Real History of Las Vegas

Source: Putin Ferguson- 
Source:Putin Ferguson

If todays so-called Progressives only knew how tough Bobby Kennedy was on corruption in organized labor as Attorney General of the United States, then I don't believe he would as popular with organized labor and the far-left community as he is today.  RFK was one of the toughest and, perhaps, the most effective Attorney General we've ever had.

Attorney General Kennedy and his brother Jack, the President of the United States, when they took office in 1961, saw organized crime as one of the biggest threats to national security and the Rule of Law in America. Their Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, didn't even acknowledge organized crime  as a problem in America.  The brothers launched a campaign that was so effective that it put corrupt union bosses like Jimmy Hoffa in prison.

I believe that the real legacy of Robert Kennedy is the bringing down of organized crime and the reduction of its impact on the United States.  This, along with his very effective work in the civil right movement was the early product of what would've been a brilliant career in public service had the man not of been assassinated in 1968.

Heritage Foundation: Amy Payne: Tax Reform Ideas: Three Ways to Make April 15 Less Painful

Heritage Foundation: The Foundry: Amy Payne: Tax Reform Ideas: Three Ways to Make April 15 Less Painful

I believe America needs both a short-term and a long-term tax reform plan not only because of our current partisan makeup in power but also because of our long-term economic outlook. The short-term plan is based on what can be passed now, which would improve our economy and give us a functioning and understandable tax code that anyone could understand that promotes economic and job growth. But long term, we are going to need something much better than that, which is even simpler and does a better job of promoting both economic and job growth as well as help us pay down our debt and deficit.

Short term, as far as a good plan that has any shot in hell of passing in this Congress or the next Congress, we need to simplify the code, and that means getting rid of a lot of wasteful tax deductions and credits, especially as they relate to businesses. We need to lower our corporate and business taxes on all investments and profits made inside the United States, so a 25 percent corporate tax rate sounds good to me, as long as you eliminate all corporate welfare, including agricultural welfare.

The home mortgage deduction needs to be reformed but not eliminated for all single or primary homes where people either live or work full-time up to, let's say, $1 million and index that for inflation. But for all homes worth more than the HMD this would no longer apply and all vacation homes would no longer be eligible for the HMD, but someone with a home for work and for living could get the HMD for both places, just as long as they together are both worth under a million dollars, so we could stop the HMD for people who do not need it.

I could go along with keeping the top income tax rate where it is, or even lower, just as long as the wealthy are taxed on all of their income including capital gains so you no longer see people like Mitt Romney, who is worth over $200 million, only paying 15 percent in taxes. We should increase the cap on Social Security to, let's say, $500,000 or $1 million so a 6 percent payroll tax applies to everyone equally, and lower taxes on the middle class as well as eliminating wasteful loopholes like deducting State and local sales taxes.

So that would be my short-term tax reform plan, but long term I would scrap the income tax and replace it with a Progressive National Consumption Tax so we are taxing people based on what they take out of society and no longer tax people based on what they produce for society because if we really want to create long-term economic and job growth, we need to stop taxing people for producing and instead tax people for taking.

I call this the Progressive National Income Tax (PNIT) for a good reason, because it would still be progressive. We would have lower taxes on things that people need to live well, like food, health care, and so forth, rent for middle class and low-income apartments, and middle income housing, to use as examples, but tax luxuries or entertainment higher, such as luxury cars, ballgames, yachts, vacations, movies, as examples. We need to encourage people not to stop doing what they are doing but to be smarter with their money.

The PNIT again would be progressive because low-income workers would still get their Earned Income Tax Credit simply by reporting their income to the IRS every year and would have to be truthful and accurate about that. But even before they get their EITC and pay taxes, they spend so little because they make so little and generally spend most of their money on what they need that they would have a very low tax rate.

BIO: 'Jayne Mansfield Full-Length Documentary'

Source:Primativo- From a documentary about Hollywood Babydoll Jayne Mansfield.
“Jayne Mansfield was an American star of stage and screen (1933-1967) and one of the most publicized sex symbols in the world. This comprehensive documentary features a wealth of archival footage, as well as Interviews with Mickey Hargitay, Zoltan Hargitay, Paul Mansfield, Jayne Marie Mansfield, Matt Cimber, Ray Strait, Paul Blane and many others who knew or worked her…

Source:BIO- Baby Jayne Mansfield?
From Primativo

To put it simply, Jayne Mansfield was the ultimate hot baby-face goddess who never grew up, and in all of her 34 years, I'm not sure she ever looked old enough to even drive. That is how I see her, as someone who never quite became an adult woman emotionally, and I believe she was never very happy even though she basically had it all and was a very good entertainer. She had a very quick comedic wit and the ability to sing and act as well.

She wasn't a dumb blonde, but someone with real talent. She was immature and never quite grew up or appreciate what she had, but if she had lived a normal, she would probably have won many awards with her comedic wit and versatility and ability to entertain people in multiple ways, but she never understood and was not able to appreciate any of that.

I haven't seen many Jayne Mansfield movies but Who Will Spoil Rock Hunter with the great comedic actor Tony Randall is the perfect example of a movie where you get to see all her talent, where she could purposely play the role of the dumb sexy blonde, which is how she wanted to be portrayed, when behind the scenes she was as smart and cunning as anyone and knew how to get what she wanted when she wanted it.

In Who Will Spoil Rock Hunter, Tony Randall plays a struggling advertising executive who needs a big client to make a lot of money for his company. And that is where the Jayne Mansfield character comes in as an incredible Hollywood bombshell who needs what Rock Hunter can give her, which is credibility and good publicity on Madison Avenue and to be taken seriously. And she and Rock make for good partners in that film.

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on WordPress.

The Economist: Inequality in America: How to be a True Progressive

Source: Salon Magazine- The Economist, is right about true progressivism 
Source:The Economist

I've mentioned before that I do not qualify as a Progressive, at least from today's popular definition of it, someone who believes in using government to make society better and fairer with new government social programs that are generally run by the Federal Government, but I'm not sure that a lot of today's Progressives qualify as Progressive either with their constant assaults on corporate America and private enterprise and private power along with being so anti-military and law enforcement and not only in favor of the welfare state but also the nanny state, believing that Americans have too much freedom in how they manage their personal lives, with new prohibitionist ideas as they relate to what people eat, drink, smoke, as well as who and how we communicate with each other.

And these are just some of reasons why I call myself a Liberal.  I am a Liberal, at least as far as it is classically defined, but I don't like being associated with big government statists right and left, and today's so-called Progressives are really left-wing statists but not very liberal or progressive and not so much interested in progress.  True Progressives believe in moving forward and using government to make that happen as much as they are interested in growing the size and scope of the central state.

But I do view myself as a Progressive in the sense that I believe in progress and moving forward and even using government to help bring that about. But where I would differ with real Progressives, FDR or LBJ Progressive Democrats, is that I don't believe the Federal Government has all of the answers and therefore shouldn't have all the power.  As a true Liberal, I want to see that power go to the people who need it.  The income gap, as I prefer to call income inequality, is the perfect place to start.

I agree we need a new approach in how we deal with the income gap and having hundreds of programs that are really about subsidizing people in poverty, whether they are working or not, to meet their needs. This is not so much empowering them to meet their needs, which is not the right approach (this is where I agree with The Economist) but scrapping the minimum wage and replacing it with an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit is not the way to go, and this is where I agree with Progressive economist Jared Bernstein on who is an actual Progressive Democrat.

What would happen if this new conservative idea about the EITC were to ever happen is that you would end up transferring money from hard-working middle class Americans and, in a lot of cases, Americans who are just barely middle class, to the wealthy and to employers, because now they wouldn't have to pay the minimum wage and would be able to pay their low-skilled workers wages that are much lower, because these low-skilled workers would get that money back and perhaps more money from middle class tax payers instead of their employers in the form of an expanded EITC.

And this is where both the Earned Income Tax Credit and increasing the minimum wage are both critical and both needed because they would both increase wages for people at the bottom and increase their purchasing power. This is for people who spend all of their money, which drives economic and job growth, because they have no other choice because of how little money they make, but it also encourages people to work and not go on welfare or stay on welfare because they would know they could get more money working than not working.

But this alone doesn't solve the income gap because we need to not only be targeting Americans at the bottom when it comes to the income gap but also people in the struggling middle, who can see the bottom of the economic scale from where they sit, which is why unemployment insurance should be expanded to include back-to-work centers or programs that will help them pay their bills as they receive assistance to help find a good job through education and job training and assistance. Welfare insurance puts people to work and provides educational and job training assistance for workers who collect any form of public assistance.

A mid-term election, especially the one that will affect the last 2 years of the Obama Administration, is not the right time for President Obama to take on his far-left flank with all these new work and education-over-dependency ideas, because he needs these voters behind him and Congressional Democrats as they run for reelection and for the House and Senate in 2014, but these are things he could propose in his budget this year, and put on the agenda for the next Congress, whoever is in power, or even if it is divided again.
Crash Course: John Green- The Progressive Era

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mox News: Video: CNN's OutFront: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Vetos Religious Freedom Bill

It looks like Barry Goldwater's visions of freedom and keeping big government out of people's lives and are still alive in Arizona.  The state is moving away from its presumptive status as a Bible Belt state of the West.   Conservative libertarian values, which are fundamentally in conflict with evangelical christian tenets, are still alive in Arizona.  Senators Barry Goldwater, John McCain and Jeff Flake  worked very hard to prevent his vile, homophobic bill from becoming law.

Justin Sluss: The Seven Year Itch (1954) Marilyn Monroe & Tom Ewell

Source:Justin Sluss- Chopsticks with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell.
“Here’s a clip of the upcoming Blu-ray Disc release of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s “The Seven Year Itch” starring Marilyn Monroe. I do not own this clip, it’s only being used for promotion of the Blu-ray.”

Source:Justin Sluss

Everything Marilyn Monroe did was adorable and I love this scene from The Seven Year Itch because it stars a married man whose wife and son are away for the summer at a lake in upstate New York. So this successful New York advertising man has this big apartment to himself for the whole summer in New York and if you don’t think New York summers are hot enough, well first spend some time in Washington and Maryland. For this guy, played by Tom Ewell, summer gets even hotter when Marilyn Monroe’s character moves into his building.

This is a great innocent scene with two people spending quality time with each other. He has this hot baby all to himself and he plays the innocent. They eat potato chips with wine together and play the piano and just talk to each other as friends.

He could have started an affair with her. He actually makes a small play for her, perhaps out of his drunken fog. As someone who doesn’t drink that much normally and perhaps had too much to drink. Perhaps he thinks he’s imagining that there is this goddess in his apartment and wants to touch her to see if she’s real. But when he’s sober, they would only just have fun together. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on WordPress.

Renee Townsend: Lifetime's Intimate Portrait of Grace Kelly

The Amazing Grace Kelly, whom I call Grace Kelly, not just because of her first name, but because she was amazing in so many ways was a woman who didn't just look like royalty but was royalty, even though she grew up in Philadelphia. She not only looked like a princess but was the Princess of Monaco until she died in the early 1980s. But before that, she was a hell of an actress who made her mark mostly in the 1950s.

What most impresses me about Grace is her versatility as an actress.  She could play both dead serious and pretty funny in the same movie and was perfect for movies that weren't pure comedies or dramas. I believe that is one of the things that the great director Alfred Hitchcock saw in her when he hired her for films like Rear Window, playing the girlfriend of photographer Jimmy Stewart, who was confined to an apartment with a broken leg. She solved a murder case by spying from his apartment. This is not believable but the movie is very well done.

Another one of my favorite movies starring Grace would be another Hitchcock movie, To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant, which takes place on the French Mediterranean, in which she plays the daughter of a very wealthy woman. Vacationing in France with a lot of expensive jewelry at the high point of a cat burglar's activities, she suspects that Cary Grant, the retired cat burglar, stole her mother's and others' jewelry, but in the end falls in love with him nonetheless.

With Grace Kelly, you are talking about a sexy actress who always looked like she never completely grew up, similar to Marilyn Monroe or Barbara Eden. But she was a real lady and a great actress who again had the versatility and timing that few actresses ever acquired.   She was similar to Elizabeth Taylor or Lauren Bacall, which is what made her unique.  She is still missed today.

Bio: Biography Barbara Eden

Source:Bio- Hollywood Babydoll Barbara Eden, as Jeannie.

“Barbara Eden Documentary” 

From Bio

Source:A&E- From an A&E Biography of Hollywood Babydoll Barbara Eden.
There is much more to Barbara Eden than her hot baby-face looks but it is really difficult for me to get past that and her role as Jeanie on the NBC hit 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeanie. I have, I believe, three seasons of it on DVD, even though it went off the air about 5 years, before I was even born, but when I think of Barbara, or Barbie as I call her, I still remember that baby face she still has today as she now approaches the age of 80 years.

When it comes to sexy women and not just little baby cuties who look like little girls their whole lives, but sexy developed women who still have baby faces, Barbara Eden may be the cutest woman to ever come out of Hollywood.  If you combine that with great, quick comedic wit and timing and the ability to be adorable and funny at the same time while still knowing what the hell she is doing, you are talking about a great entertainer, with fans always coming back for more.

What comes to mind about Barbara Eden as well as her movies like Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter with Tony Randall and Jane Mansfield, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea with Walter Pidgeon, Five Weeks in a Ballon, and other movies that I believe led to I Dream of Jeanie in the mid-1960s is that people appreciated her looks and her great comedic wit and timing. 

You can also see this post at FreeState Now, on WordPress.

Sindee Loohoo: A&E Biography- Sophia Loren

Source:Sindee Loohoo- The Italian Goddess Sophia Loren.
"Sophia Loren (born September 20, 1934) is an Italian actress. In 1961, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Two Women, becoming the first actress to win an Academy Award for a non-English-speaking performance. Loren has also won five Golden Globe Awards and received an Honorary Academy Award in 1991. Her prominent films include Boy on a Dolphin, A Countess from Hong Kong, The Pride and the Passion, El Cid, The Millionairess, Marriage Italian-Style, Ready to Wear, Grumpier Old Men and most recently the star-studded musical Nine... 

From Sindee Loohoo

Sophia Loren is the best looking Italian woman (American or native Italian) that Italy has ever produced, even though I'm more obviously more familiar with Italian-American women than native Italian women. I would put Sophia up against any other ethnic Italian woman who has ever lived and any other woman period who has ever lived as far as physical beauty and appearance go. 

A perfect example of Sophia's beauty and sex appeal, is her role in Grumpier Old Men from 1995 when she is 60 years old and still a goddess, turning on older and younger men at this point.

But as the corny saying goes, it doesn't stop there, because, like Raquel Welch, Marilyn Monroe, and other goddesses who've worked in the entertainment business, she was a very talented entertainer who could act and sing and make anyone laugh and go toe to toe with great comic actors like Cary Grant when it came to wit and wisecracks, as in the movie Houseboat. She is an actress with great comedic timing and stage presence in addition to her physical beauty and stage command.

Another thing I love about Sophia is how real she was, coming from nothing and raised by people other than her parents in Rome, Lazio, Italy in the 1930s at the height of the fascist Benito Mussolini regime. She made something great of herself with incredibly hard work, especially after we saw the Sophia that the rest of the world is so familiar with, this tall, curvy hot baby-face goddess with the great Italian voice.

Peter Snyder: 'Rare Marilyn Monroe: The Mexican Vest at Santa Monica Beach From 1962'

Source:Peter Snyder- Hollywood Babydoll Marilyn Monroe, on Santa Monica Beach, in 1962.
"1962 - George Barris photographed Marilyn on the Santa Monica beach during June 29-July 1, 1962, making these photos among the last taken of Hollywood's favorite movie goddess. She died just five weeks later on August 4

While working together these 6 weeks in 1962 Marilyn said to photographer and journalist George Barris, "Don't
believe anything you read about me except this story."

From Peter Snyder

First I want to start this off with a question that I think I know the answer to. Has anyone looked better at the beach than Marilyn Monroe? Perhaps not, maybe Sophia Loren and perhaps someone like Mariah Carey today. That alone should give you a great idea of the pure attractiveness, beauty and sex appeal of a Marilyn Monroe.

All sexy attractive women look great at the beach. It is a big motivator for guys to go to the beach to see great looking women there. And then you throw in Marilyn Monroe at the beach and its liking checking out a goddess or angel that was sent from above, like from God or someone. To show everyone who is still alive what they are missing upstairs. That is just one example of what Marilyn Monroe brought to millions of people. Fans, admirers, people who were simply just interested in her.

And just another example of how her dying at the age of thirty-six in 1962 is such a historic tragedy. Very similar to Jayne Mansfield dying at thirty-four in 1967. Because of everything that we've missed from not seeing these women, first grow up mentally, but also grow older.

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on WordPress.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Richard RJ Eskow: Is the "Era of Austerity" Really Over?: The Purpose of a Government Budget

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Richard RJ Eskow: The Next Obama Budget: Is the "Era of Austerity" Really Over

A governmental budget, whatever the level of government, is the official blueprint of the administration's priorities, and at the Federal level, in addition to the administration's budget, you also have congressional budgets, with the majority party in both the House and Senate laying out their official budgetary priorities for that year as well. So this gives the party or parties in power an official opportunity to lay out what they want to see funded and completed for the next fiscal year.

So that is what President Obama and his administration will have the opportunity to do in the next few weeks. We are already seeing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, with his proposed defense budget in the next coming year, proposing defense cuts, but in areas of the budget that we can afford to cut, perhaps Afghanistan and Iraq, since we'll no longer be occupying those countries, but also in the Cold War budget and weapon systems.

Because of the Republican House of Representatives and President Obama's low approval rating somewhere in the low forties, there might be a better shot at seeing a July blizzard in Miami, Florida, than President Obama getting his budget through Congress this year, because he would need the Republican House along with the Democratic Senate to approve it. But since it is an election year, the President will have the opportunity to lay out in his budget where he and the Democratic Party stand, especially as it relates to the economy.

The term political budget might sound, I don't know, dirty to clean up when it comes to government and politics. But that is exactly what President Obama should be proposing; this is where we Democrats stand and we are prepared to rebuild this country with a new national infrastructure and manufacturing plan and we will bring good American jobs back home. We are creating new jobs in the country as well and we are going to have a national energy policy by investing in all of America's natural resources. And we will encourage businesses, foreign and domestic, to invest in America with lower taxes and elimination of costly loopholes.

President Obama's 2015 budget should be both a governing blueprint and a political message. This is what Democrats will do if you, the American voters, only give us the power to do these things and put Republicans, especially the House Republican leadership on the spot and give them something to respond to and let the American voters decide which plan they prefer.

Mr. Duffle: Wynton Marsalis Septet Happy Birthday

Source:Mr. Duffle Pud- Happy Birthday.
"Couldn't bear to see the awesomeness of this video disappear from YouTube." 

Big Daddy no matter how long he lives and I expect a lot more birthdays to come, or I might kill him myself, ha, ha. 

You can also see this post at FRS FreeState, on Blogger.

Jerry Jones vs. Jimmy Johnson: The Story of Jerry's Cowboys

As good as the Dallas Cowboys were in the 1990s with their three Super Bowl championships, three NFL championships, four conference finals appearances, and five NFC East titles and a lot of playoff victories, they could've been so much better had Jerry Jones gotten out of Jimmy Johnson's way and let him run the Cowboys' football operations department concerned with who was on the team and so forth and let Jerry worry about what Jerry is good at, which is managing the finances.

Jerry Jones had and still has the title of General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys even though he is also the owner of the franchise. But everyone in and around the NFL, and the fans as well, knew who was calling the football personal shots in Dallas, which was Jimmy because Jimmy was making the personal decisions, which was part of his job and in his contract. Jerry handled the contract negotiations of players that Jimmy wanted to sign and bring back but the Cowboys of the 1990s were built by Jimmy Johnson.

Jerry Jones wasn't an NFL man before purchasing the Cowboys in 1989.   He was someone who learned very fast on the job, but Jimmy Johnson was his man to run the team and they had been childhood friends in Arkansas. Jerry knew Jimmy's college football career very well at Miami Florida and in Oklahoma and had the guy he wanted all along, but he couldn't handle Jimmy getting the credit for building the Cowboys and returning them to power in the 1990s.  That is why they broke up.

In 1989 Jimmy Johnson inherited a 3-13 Cowboys team from 1988 with a huge deficit when it came to talent, especially young talent and young veteran talent, with most of their star players making their mark in the 1970s and early 1980s. Jimmy saw this right away and decided that the best way to rebuild the Cowboys was to get worse before getting better and releasing or trading or asking veteran Cowboys to retire to make room for college draft picks and young talented free agents.

The Cowboys went from 1-15 in 1989 to 13-3 by 1992, winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993 and doing it all through the draft and signing young talented free agents and trading for those players. That is how Jimmy Johnson rebuilt the Cowboys and he deserves most of the credit for this.  Had Jerry Jones' big fat ego not gotten in the way, Jimmy would be in Dallas probably 10 to 15 years and we are talking about perhaps the greatest NFL dynasty in history.

A&E Biography: Raquel Welch

When I think of Raquel Welch, I think of a red-headed gorgeous baby-face goddess, at least at first sight, and she's all of that and I'm sure a lot more physically, but that is not the whole picture, as she says herself in this video. She's had a great career spanning over 50 years as a model, an actress, and a singer, as well as a dancer and now an author, and I'm not sure many people realize that because it is so hard to get pass her goddess-like physical appearance.

Raquel Welch now is not only better looking than most women young enough to be her daughter but even those young enough to be her granddaughter. She is now 73 years old and will be 74 this September, but you would never know that or even guess if you saw her for the first time today.  Again, that is not the whole picture when you talk about her movies, like Myra Breckinridge (based on Gore Vidal's book) or The Last of Sheila, with an all-star cast that included Dyan Cannon, James Coburn, James Mason, and Richard Benjamin, or Mother Jugs and Speed from 1976.

In the 1960s, when Raquel became a star similar to Marilyn Monroe, she was hired because of her incredible physical appearance, but by the 1970s she was getting very good parts with real substance, like The Last of Sheila, Mother Jugs and Speed, The Kansas City Bomber, and others, and embarking on a singing career. More people were beginning to see that she was more than just a goddess but a great entertainer as well.

Nevada Kubrick: The Candidate (1972) The Jarman-McKay Debate

Source:Nevada Kibrick- The Jarman- McKay debate, from The Candidate, in 1972.
"The Candidate" is the greatest election film of all time, and this is probably the best part of it, as the older Republican conservative incumbent, Crocker Jarman (Don Porter), squares off against his younger Democrat liberal opponent, Bill McKay (Robert Redford). Porter is absolutely brilliant in the role of the stoic but increasingly exasperated Jarman (he should have gotten an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor) and it is Redford's alltime best performance too." 

Even with Bill McKay's wishy-washy answer to the first question in this debate, this is still my favorite scene in a great movie about the classic underdog Bill McKay, played by Robert Redford against classic establishment incumbent Crocker Jarman, played by Don Porter. One candidate, Bill McKay, except for school busing and abortion, two critical issues where he essentially dodged the questions, says what he thinks. The incumbent, Crocker Jarman, gave classic sound-bite answers allowing no insight into his philosophy.

This is a classic political film about the establishment vs. the reformer. Where even the reformer or Progressive, ( played by Robert Redford ) has establishment or status-quo Conservatives working for him, at least in the sense that he has his own ideas in how his political campaign should be run, while people on his staff like his own campaign manger ( played by Peter Boyle ) are telling him not to rock the boat and wants to run a boring, cookie-cutter political campaign where his candidate never takes any hard stances on the issues. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Journal, on Blogger.

Thomas G: Video: ABC News 1968 RNC Coverage Debate: The GOP Platform, Gore Vidal vs. William Buckley

By 1968 the Republican Party was definitely moving right ideologically, with Barry Gooldwater and Ronald Reagan having enormous influence in bringing to the GOP what would be called conservative libertarians today. And Richard Nixon with his 1968 presidential campaign did a lot to bring in what is now called the Religious right, but the GOP still had a solid progressive faction led by Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York and others whom the GOP leadership had to take seriously.

ABC News: Gore Vidal vs William F. Buckley: 1968 Republican National Convention

Source:ABC News- political commentator and author Gore Vidal in 1968.

"Gore Vidal vs William Buckley Republican Convention 1968 Debate" 

From Thomas G

The ultimate debate, when it comes to wit, humor, and intelligence was between Gore Vidal and Bill Buckley. You don't need a moderator in a debate like this and there really wasn't one, with Howard Smith letting Vidal and Buckley basically just go at it because the two men could carry the conversation by themselves and knew where to go and what they wanted to say. They also both listened to each other and knew how to respond to their opponent's legitimate points in an intelligent way.

It would be nice to see more debates like this, with two people literally just going at it and no one asking questions but just giving them topics to talk about.  They already knew what to say because they knew what they thought. That should go without saying, but a lot of politicians and candidates either don't know what they think or do not know how to express it in a way that doesn't hurt them politically, so they are afraid to say what they think.

You can also see this post at The FreeState, on Blogger.

The Federalist: David Harsanyi- Rand Paul is Right, Social Conservatives Should Embrace Libertarianism

The Federalist: Opinion- David Harsanyi- Rand Paul is Right, Social Conservatives Should Embrace Libertarianism

I don't want to sound overly technical here but it all depends on what you mean by a social conservative. If you are talking about conservative, which means to conserve, then from a political standpoint that means being in favor of conserving social freedom, which is the ability of people to manage their own own lives without big government interfering. If this is what a social conservative is, then great, I give you Rand Paul, and conservatives and libertarians should be able to work well together.

Conservatives like to talk about the dangers of big government, and if you are a conservative, at least in the American sense, then you are opposed to big government interference in our economic and personal lives. If you are worried about government interference and you want to conserve your freedom, meaning to limit the size of government, then you should not be in favor of a Federal marriage amendment because you believe marriage is a State issue, to use one example. Why? Because conservatives are also Federalists, who believe in States' rights and local control.

But if we are talking about religious conservatives and how they relate to libertarians, then we are talking about a whole new ballgame because what is conservative politically is not always conservative religiously. Yes, if you are a conservative, political or religious, you believe in conserving life, and I know of some religious conservatives who are opposed to the death penalty as well as abortion, for example.

But with issues like marriage, privacy, pornography, women's place in the world, if you are a religious conservative, you are interested in conserving how society as it was previously and seriously putting limits on these areas to preserve our moral health. However, if you are a political conservative you probably believe this is not the business of government, especially the Federal government, to oversee what free adults do in the privacy of their own homes.

The Republican Party at its best going forward, if it wants to remain a major party, will be conservative libertarian with the potential for growth because it then would be able to compete with the Democratic Party throughout the country and probably continue to have a strong base in the South, with religious conservatives who will have nowhere else to go and with young people who are managing and running businesses including their own and do not want big government interfering in their economic or personal lives.  With a coalition like this, the GOP would do very well in the future.

There should be no friction between conservatives and libertarians because they tend to believe in the same things although differ when it comes to national security and foreign policy. However, the real friction will continue to be between libertarians and the Christian right, who for obvious reasons will never get along very well because libertarians see government at all levels as too big and the Religious right sees government as too small as it relates to our personal lives.

Nevada Policy Research Institute: 'Las Vegas Mob War- Government-Funded Museum'

Source:Nevada Policy Research Institute- talking about the Las Vegas Mafia.
"The Mob is notorious for shakedowns, but in the battle between competing Mob exhibits in Las Vegas, it's the government strong-arming a private business and taxpayers. The privately funded Mob Attraction must compete with the government-backed Mob Museum that's already received over $42 million in government handouts.

That was one offer taxpayers wanted to, but couldn't refuse." 

Las Vegas and Southern Nevada in general became a personal State for the Italian and Jewish mafias, an area they developed and owned by means of legitimate investments in Vegas that served as a cover for their criminal activities, turning Vegas into a bank they could use to fund their criminal operations but also to buy the politicians and public officials needed to keep law enforcement off their backs.

Then you add the crooked elements of organized labor in the 1940s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and perhaps even longer than that with Jimmy Hoffa, Sr., and company, which had all the resources they needed not only to stay in business but also to keep the politicians and public officials at bay and to send the message through their henchmen and hit men that messing with them would have a heavy price in terms of lives lost or ruined.

Las Vegas is the ultimate story of starting from scratch and building a major city with all the investments, businesses, and land as well as people to maintain these operations. The American mafia, Italian and Jewish for the most part, had a huge role in this along with the people they brought with them. As in government and organized labor, it took really clean, powerful people unconcerned about whether the mafia would destroy them to bring down these characters. 

You can also see this post at The FreeState, on Blogger.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Profiles in History: Marilyn Monroe's Subway Dress- From The Seven Year Itch

Source:Profiles in History- The famous subway dress scene in The Seven Year Itch, with Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe.
Presented by Debbie Reynolds and Profiles in History: Marilyn Monroe “The Girl” ivory pleated “Subway” dress by Travilla, the most recognized costume in film history, from The Seven Year Itch. Offered this June 18, 2011 atDebbie Reynolds The Auction by
Profiles in History:Profiles in History."

From Profiles in History

One of the most famous scenes in Hollywood history happened in one of the most culturally conservative times in American history. The 1950s where women weren’t expected to show off their physical beauty and were looked down upon when they did.

In this scene, the Goddess of Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe, showed millions of people around the world part of what she had to work with from a physical standpoint and a big reason why she was so popular.

Marilyn Monroe was a Silent Generation baby who grew up during the depression and got to watch or hear about World War II, instead of ever having to ever worry about serving in that war, because she was too young. Who was probably 15-20 years ahead of her time.

Marilyn becomes a star in the 1960s and there wouldn’t been much that was controversial about her as far as how she presented herself physically. This is a woman who wore tight Levis jeans and loved to show off her legs and butt when most women weren’t wearing tight denims at all, at least in public in the 1950s.

Marilyn was so ahead of her time as a Hollywood goddess and actress, that it’s just a damn shame that she died so early. And denied so many of her fans the ability to see how great of an entertainer she would’ve become. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on Blogger.

Movie Clips: Vertigo (1958) Judy Jumps

Source:Movie Clips- Jimmy Stewart, playing Scottie (the man with Vertigo) in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.

"CLIP DESCRIPTION: Scottie (James Stewart) accuses Judy (Kim Novak) of murder in the bell tower; they are surprised by a nun and Judy jumps to her death."  

From Movie Clips

The movie Vertigo had several sad scenes.  Madeline, played by Kim Novak, supposedly dies  and Scotty, played by Jimmy Stewart, who was in love with Madeline,  is committed to a mental hospital because of his reaction to her death.  But Judy, also played by Kim Novak, a goddess of a women dies for real.  She is my favorite character in the movie because with all the supposed freedom in the world,  she was so vulnerable.

VOA News: Luis Ramirez: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Plans Biggest Army Cuts Since World War II

Secretary Hagel's proposed cuts in the defense budget address activities that the United States can no longer afford and no longer needs to be doing. This is not about making the United States weaker when it comes to national security and not being able to successfully deal with any threat in the world whether it is North Korea or international terrorism or being able to deal with humanitarian crisies that come up when authoritarian states murder and brutalize their own people.

Warner Brothers: The Candidate (1972) Starring Robert Redford

Source:Warner Brothers- Robert Redford, as U.S. Senate candidate Bill McKay (Democrat, California)
"OSCAR WINNER:Best Original ScreenplayMore powerful today than at the time of its 1972 release, The Candidate is a timeless tale of contemporary politics; expertly written by Oscar winner Jeremy Larner. Robert Redford plays Bill McKay, an idealistic California attorney running for office in this marvelous, biting, satire on media-age political campaigns. The stellar cast includes Peter Boyle and Melvyn Douglas, who also give memorable performances."

From Warner Brothers

I love the movie The Candidate for several reasons.  Perhaps the main one is that it has given me an idea for a book about an anti-establishment liberal candidate or perhaps a John McCain Conservative Republican. They face each other in the general election with the anti-establishment candidate beating the establishment, talking point, sound-bite, candidate who always plays it safe in hopes of offending the fewest.

The Candidate is a movie about a little guy running against big time politicians and the big time political establishment in the Democratic Party. He's Bill MacKay, played by Robert Redford, running against his own party and against Mr. Establishment,  U.S. Senator Crocker Jarman played by Don Porter. 

McKay's campaign manager played by Peter Boyle is part of that Democratic establishment but wants to run an outsiders campaign without allowing the outsider MacKay to get too far out in left field. You see these two men fighting  against each other in the campaign.

The outsider Bill MacKay runs his campaign based  on his beliefs.  He gives voters a  good idea of who he is and speaks his mind.  He probably doesn't use a speechwriter for the whole campaign.  

McKay's opponent, three-term incumbent U.S. Senator Crocker Jarman just tries to be likable expressing traditional America values, speaking mostly to older voters.  He says you should reelect me because I stand up for America, etc.

Movie Clips: Vertigo (1958) Judy Become Madeleine

Source:Movie Clips- Hollywood Goddess Kim Novak as Madeline.
Scottie (James Stewart) convinces Judy (Kim Novak) to do her hair like Madeleine and is overwhelmed by her appearance." 

From Movie Clips 

Scotty (played by Jimmy Stewart) falls in love with Madeleine (played by Kim Novak) who also happens to be the wife of a client of Scotty's, who is a private detective conducting and investigation of Madeleine for Madeleine's husband. Madeleine apparently dies but not really and Scotty finds a woman who looks a lot like Madeleine, only she has red hair instead of blonde and he becomes obsessed with Judy the red head because she reminds her so much of Madeleine, but Judy and Madeleine are the same woman. 

The whole plot of this film, is really a scam that Scotty's client and his wife try to pull against Scotty. And they almost get away with it. It's only till the final scene that Scotty, even though he was a veteran San Francisco, big city police detective, finally puts it all together. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Press, on Blogger.

Murray Rothbard On Neoconservatives

Except for Jack Kemp, who definitely wasn't a Neoconservative but a Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan get big government out of my wallet and bedroom classical Conservative, Murray Rothbard pretty much nails what Neoconservatives are when he called them statists and I would add right-wing statists, in fact, borderline fascists.

Neoconservatives basically represent the neo-right in America.  They say economic freedom is a good thing generally but that low-income people should benefit from it as well.  They are not completely against the safety net. When it comes to things like education and job training and encouraging business's to invest in low-income areas, they are somewhat progressive.

But when it comes to foreign policy they believe America is the sole superpower and should always remain that way at any cost.  They tend to judge military power by the size of the national security budget.  They ignore the the details of capabilities and threats and cannot articulate any specific objectives of military action.  They see America's number one job in the world as the military  promotion of a very general notion of democracy even in places where the people have no experience of it and no knowledge of how to participate in it..

The American religious-right believes that the country has been going downhill morally since the 1960s and that we have too much personal freedom.  They believe that it is time for government to intervene in personal behavior even inside of the home.

When I think of Neoconservatives, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum come to mind pretty quickly.  Representative Bachmann would like to see a much smaller government when it comes to economic policy than Senator Santorum who is a true Neo-Con, across the board.  

 The Heritage Foundation is perhaps the lead organization in Neoconservative thinking

Monday, February 24, 2014

PBS NewsHour: Shields and Brooks- 'On Ukraine, Trade Policy & the Minimum Wage'

Source:PBS NewsHour- left-wing syndicated columnist Mark Shields on the PBS NewsHour.

"The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor[6] based in Arlington, Virginia. It is a publicly funded[7] nonprofit organization and the most prominent provider of educational programming to public television stations in the United States, distributing series such as American Experience, America's Test Kitchen, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Barney & Friends, Between the Lions, Cyberchase, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Downton Abbey, Wild Kratts, Finding Your Roots, Frontline, The Magic School Bus, The Kidsongs Television Show, Masterpiece Theater, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Nature, Nature Cat, Nova, PBS NewsHour, Peg + Cat, Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street, Teletubbies, Keeping up Appearances, and This Old House.[8]

PBS is funded by a combination of member station dues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Datacast, pledge drives, and donations from both private foundations and individual citizens. All proposed funding for programming is subject to a set of standards to ensure the program is free of influence from the funding source.[9] PBS has over 350 member television stations, many owned by educational institutions, nonprofit groups both independent or affiliated with one particular local public school district or collegiate educational institution, or entities owned by or related to state government."  

From Wikipedia 

"Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to analyze the week's news, including the instability in Ukraine, disagreement among Democrats on trade policy, the influence of governors in an era of Washington gridlock, plus how boosting the minimum wage might affect jobs and poverty."  

From the PBS NewsHour 

As far as Ukraine goes, I think Mark Shields had the best line when he said that all we can do is hope for the best there. And that means some peaceful agreement that calls for real elections, with the opposition having a real shot at winning, not stealing or having the elections stolen from them, but actually winning the elections with the ruling party, with the current Ukrainian administration accepting the results of the elections, and that means stepping down from power if they lose or continue to govern if they win.

As far as free trade goes, something I tend to favor, especially as someone who lives in a country of 310 million people that is part of a world of six billion people, we simply can't afford to close our borders. Our companies and economy, including workers, would be denied billions of dollars every year for not trading with other countries that can afford to buy our products.  I think even organized labor now understands that we must trade with other countries.

The real question is how you trade with other countries and have trade agreements that give your products the same access in foreign markets as foreign countries have in this country. Do you encourage companies, foreign and domestic, to invest in America or take those jobs overseas? So of course I want free trade, but we also need to stop encouraging companies to send good American jobs overseas in order for trade to work for America. 

You can also see this post at The Daily Times, on Blogger.

The Book Archive-C-SPAN: BookNotes- Strom Thurmond Biography From 1993: The Politics of Southern Change

The best thing I can say about Senator Strom Thurmond, as someone who is not a fan, is that he was a reformed segregationist who reformed his views and rhetoric as the predominant views changed, even in South Carolina, especially as African-Americans became more prominent there. Or perhaps he changed his views because he believed he made mistakes in the past, but he changed his views to the point that he could be reelected in South Carolina overwhelmingly, including winning over African-American voters.

Senator Thurmond is one of the last of the Dixiecrats, those who would be considered perhaps far-right Republicans today in the South. But up until 1970 or so, Dixiecrats were a major part of the Democratic coalition of people who were Federalists, up to the point that they believed that States could deny people access because of race and had the right to run segregated institutions, and State's rights, as they saw it, outweighed constitutional and individual rights.

Associated Press: Democratic Governors Push for Minimum Wage Hike

I'm all in favor of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour; actually I would even go up to 12.00 dollars an hour over a 5-year period and even index the minimum wage for inflation so it keeps up with cost of living increases, just as long as it comes with a 30-percent tax break for small employers and nonprofit employers, who are responsible to their employees and customers but simply can't afford big increases to their payrolls. If you increased the minimum wage this way, you would get some Republican votes for it as well and get it passed in more places.

CNN: Crossfire: 'Debating The Minimum Wage'

Source:CNN- Stephen Moore vs Ralph Nader.

"Crossfire hosts Newt Gingrich and Van Jones debate the proposed minimum wage increase with Ralph Nader and Stephen Moore" 

From CNN

You would think people who call themselves Conservatives (and I say that because it is debatable whether these people are conservatives), you would think these so-called Conservatives who are opposed to public assistance, or even the minimum wage would be in favor of raising it modestly. Because it would mean these workers would have more income to pay their own bills and as a result need less in public assistance. 

If you're opposed to Welfare in general, then that means corporate welfare as well. Which is welfare (or subsidies) that go to business's and even individuals, simply for just being successful. To oil companies simply for drilling oil in America. Which would be just one example. Or allowing a rich individual to right off their losses when their business goes into the ground. 

Another example of corporate welfare would be public assistance. That is financial assistance for low-income workers who are simply not paid enough money by their employers to allow for them to live independently and live in freedom. That allows for business's to pass on the cost of their employees to taxpayers. Business's pay their low-income workers very little and as a result their cost of doing business goes on to the back of hard-working middle class Americans. Which is another form of welfare. 

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Thom Hartmann: Video: Mike Papantonio: Our Looming Judicial Crisis

At risk of sounding completely inside the beltway and like a congressional junky who knows too much about U.S. Senate rules, Senate Democrats should consider a new rule and even do it with a 51-vote majority necessary and make it permanent:   If you don't show up to vote, you lose your vote and the committee, in this case the Judiciary Committee, will move on without you and vote on these nominees.

Five years ago I would never have guessed that Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, would be so irresponsible an obstructionist that he would go to such lengths to stop President Obama from getting his appointments through the Senate as to tell his members of the Judiciary Committee not to show up to vote because that is the only way to stop the President from getting his appointments through.  That is assuming Senator Grassley is behind this immature strategy; I simply don't know that yet.

CBS Sports: NFL 1979-NFL Today-Week-Halftime Highlights, September 30, 1979

I take away from this video a few things. The Tampa Buccaneers were not only a playoff contender in 1979 but made the NFC Playoffs by winning the NFC Central, and this was a club that lost its first 17 games in franchise history from 1976 to 1977. The New Orleans Saints were an actual playoff contender in 1979 as well even though they had 12 straight non-winning seasons before 1979 and never even had a winning season before in franchise history, but they came up a little short in 1979, finishing at 8-8.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Reason Magazine Cathy Young: The Far-Left Still Harbors a Soft Spot For Communism


I'm not trying to claim that the mainstream far left in America, if there is such a thing, are Communists. But what I am going to imply and frankly just state is that the far left in America for whatever the reasons, and we can speculate why, has a hard time saying that big government dictatorial totalitarian statist philosophies are not only just wrong but also have done a lot of damage throughout the world, whether it was the Communist Republics of the Twentieth Century or the theocratic and military states of this century.  Americans on the far left have a hard time saying those regimes deserve to criticized.

Far left magazines like Salon or The Nation or The AlterNet, when topics come up focusing on the awful damage that these authoritarian states have done, whether it is the Communist Republic of Korea or the Communist Republic of China, which I call that it, or the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Communist Republic of Cuba just 100 miles south of Miami, Florida, or Hugo Chavez's Venezuela do not acknowledge the obvious and say that those regimes are disreputable and should be shunned.  They instead point to the damage the West, especially America, has done even though it is a liberal democracy.

The far left is the "blame the America first crowd," because we are the military and foreign policy and economic superpower, even if China passes us with a larger economy. We'll still dwarf them when it comes to standard of living and per capita income, probably for the rest of this century. They like to put America down because of these things but also because we are not a socialist republic or a social democracy.  We are not Scandinavia and we allow all sorts of debate, speech, opposition, and points of view instead of closing off opposition speech as in Venezuela.

There was a post in Salon about a month or so ago that is on this blog arguing in favor of nationalizing the news in America because of the success of FOX News. The far-left radio talk show host Thom Hartmann, again about a month ago, which is also on this blog, was arguing in favor of abolishing the Right to Self Defense, the Second Amendment. That is where the far left in America is and they are not Progressives, but people who believe there is just too much private and individual power and that government needs to take much of that away.  They are now sounding like Communists and the Left's version of the Christian Right than they sound like Democrats.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960