Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fox Business/Wall Street Journal GOP Debate (11-10-15)!

Marco Rubio: "We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe. There are radical jihadists in the Middle East beheading...
Posted by Fox News on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rubio had his usual stellar night, it's simply amazing! There's no
subject on which he's not fluent, forceful and passionate.~Charles
According to many, Marco Rubio is now 4-0 at the GOP Debates.  Below is a great summary of the debate and assessment of the candidates:
My take on the Republican presidential debate that just ended: I thought Marco Rubio won again. He's got tremendous raw political skills, and he gave a preview of the argument he'd like to make against Hillary Clinton in the fall--that this is a time for generational change. 

Ben Carson showed more energy but no mastery of issues. 
Jeb Bush did better than in previous debates but not well enough to stop the momentum for Rubio among donors. 
Kasich may have hurt himself with his interruptions and unpopular answers. 
Trump was more mellow than before, but he strikes me as the least wattage intellectually on stage. 
Carly Fiorina had a good night and had some nice lines. 
And Ted Cruz may have the highest IQ but the lowest EQ.~Nicholas Kristof

Things I was happy about:
-Mike Huckabee didn't make the cut to be a part of the main debate.
-Rubio did a great job as always.  He is knowledgeable on all the issues and does an amazing job of presenting them and in responding quickly to other candidates.
-Rubio crushing Rand Paul.
-Trump getting booed twice!
-Carly Fiorina holding her own.
-The moderators not being idiots.

Things that annoyed me:
-Trump insulting Kasich.
-Rand Paul attacking Rubio.
-Bush and Kasich bumbling and trying to interrupt.  It just looked kind of pathetic.
-Ted Cruz annoys the hell out of me every time he talks.  He just comes across as smarmy, and like a slick used car salesman.

More praise for Rubio:
Rubio knocked it out of the park when debating military spending and the right role for America in the world with Rand Paul. He got a meatball of a question when asked  by the moderators about Hillary Clinton's résumé as compared with his own; he, unsurprisingly, answered it well and easily. Time and time again, he oozed knowledge while appearing entirely relaxed.~The Washington Post

If you rank everybody, Rubio, of course -- look he has done well, and he’s been at the top of the top. ~Karl Rove

I thought Marco Rubio did very well. I thought he did exceptionally well. ... He’s not only knowledgeable, which is important, he’s good at politics because part of running for President is showbiz. I mean that in the best sense, and he’s good at that as well as being knowledgeable.~Bernie Goldberg

Rubio and Cruz leaning a bit toward Rubio.
2. Carly had a good night.
I think everyone else was kind of just a mix. All did fairly well but had something that set them back.~Glenn Beck

Monday, November 09, 2015

First Lady Profile #9~Abigail Adams

Abigail was the support and 'dearest friend' who helped John reach the greatest heights. She will be remembered for this and also for her own strengths. Self-reliant, she raised her family and managed the farm for the many years that John was away during and after the war. Brave and caring, she inspired her family and friends to stand up for their beliefs, and found time to comfort them in time of need. Spirited and witty, she brought cheer to all around her.--Kem Knapp Sawyer
-Fortunately, there is a wealth of knowledge about Abigail Adams.  She and John wrote many letters during their frequent absences from each other.  These letters were saved (unlike the letters between George and Martha Washington, which were destroyed), thus giving us a wonderful picture of history:
Abigail started writing at a young age, and she never stopped.  She used her pen to reflect on-and influence-the course of history.--Kem Knapp Sawyer
-Abigail was born in November of 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts.  Her father was a minister and a farmer.
-She wanted to go to school but was sick a lot as a child and girls didn't have the same schooling opportunities as boys.  Her mom taught her the basics and she educated herself by reading many of the books from her father's library.
-She married John Adams on October 25th, 1764.  She was 19 and John was 28.
-Abigail had 6 children: Abigail (Nabby), John Quincy, Susanna (who only lived 13 months), Charles, Thomas and a baby that was born stillborn.
If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.~Abigail Adams
-She was a strong woman who took care of her children and managed the farm during John's many absences in service to their country.
-Abigail actually watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from their farm and wrote about it to her husband.
-She was her husband's confidant and principal adviser as he helped shape the country by being a part of the Constitutional Conventions, being a foreign minister, the vice president and finally the 2nd President of the United States.
-She was a fierce advocate for the rights of women and African Americans.  Both she and John were against slavery and never owned slaves.
-She died on October 28, 1818 and sadly never got to see her oldest son become the 6th President of the United States.

First Lady Links:
-National First Ladies Library
-C-Span Series on First Ladies

My Abigail Adams Books:
-First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women--Susan Swain C-Span
-America's First Ladies--Diana Dixon Healy
-First Ladies--Betty Boyd Caroli
-First Ladies of the White House--Nancy J. Skarmeas
-John Adams--David McCullough

Reference Material that I checked out from the library:
-Abigail Adams--Kem Knapp Sawyer
-Abigail Adams--Alexandra Wallner
-John and Abigail Adams (PBS Video)
-Abigail Adams: a Revolutionary Woman--Jacqueline Ching

Previous Profiles:
-Martha Washington
-Dolley Madison
-Louisa Adams
-Julia Grant
-Lucretia Garfield
-Frances Cleveland
-Edith Roosevelt
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, November 02, 2015

KC Royals #TakeTheCrown and win the World Series Against the Mets!

The Royals took the crown and beat the Mets 7-2 on Sunday to win their first World Series since Ronald Reagan was President. Not having had a championship season since 1985, the KC team were in last year’s World Series but came up short against the San Francisco Giants.~Dominic Patten
-I'm not a big baseball fan, but when your whole city gets excited about something, it is hard not to get excited too.

-I bought my Royals' shirts to wear at work, and started watching the games.

-So many of the postseason games were exciting as I watched them be down by runs and then come back to win in the end.

-It was electrifying tonight to see the game go into extra innings, and then for them to pull it off and become World Series champs.

-Congrats KC Royals!!! Congrats Salvador on winning MVP!!

-And the above photo makes the win even sweeter!!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

2015 Book List--Part 1

My goal last year was to read 60 books, and I surpassed that.  So, this year my goal is 65.

There were some great movies at the end of last year, based on amazing books.  American Sniper and Unbroken were both so good, I knew I needed to read the books.  I finished Unbroken, and I plan on reading American Sniper before the end of the year.

Here are the books I've read so far:
1) Top Secret Twenty-one--Janet Evanovich
2) America's Suicide--Michael H Davison
3) The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation--Gene Roberts
4) Selma and the Voting Rights Act--David Aretha
5) The Murder of Emmett Till--David Aretha
6) A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--Clayborne Carson
7) Unbroken: A World War II Book of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption--Laura Hillenbrand
8) Churchill--Paul Johnson
9) Freedom Summer--David Aretha
10) Marching in Birmingham--William J. Boerst
11) The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement--Taylor Branch
12) James Madison--Jeremy Roberts
13) The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden--Mark Bowden
14) John Quincy Adams--Debbie Levy
15) The Conscience of a Conservative--Barry Goldwater
16) Gandhi: A Pictorial Biography--Gerald Gold
17) No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden--Mark Owen
18) Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life--Sarah Jakes
19) True Love--Jennifer Lopez
20) I am Malala: The Girl who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban--Malala Yousafzai
21) Martha Dandridge Custis Washington--Charnan Simon
22) Skinnygirl Solutions--Bethenny Frankel
23) I Suck at Relationships So you don't Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up for Your Happily Ever After--Bethenny Frankel
24) The Lost Girls: The True Story of the Cleveland Abductions and the Incredible Rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus--John Glatt
25) The Attack on the USS Cole in Yemen on October 12, 2000--Betty Burnett
26) Lady Washington--Dorothy Clarke Wilson
27) Lost and Found: The True Story of Jaycee Lee Dugard and the Abduction that Shocked the World--John Glatt
28) Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland--Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
29) 41: A Portrait of My Father--George W. Bush
30) Practice to Deceive--Ann Rule
31) Slavery of Faith: The Untold Story of the Peoples Temple from the Eyes of a Thirteen Year Old, Her Escape from Jonestown at 20 and Life 30 Years Later--Leslie Wagner-Wilson
32) Praying God's Word: Devotional Journal--Beth Moore
33) The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln--Kate Clifford Larson
34) Martha Washington: An American Life--Patricia Brady 
35) Yes Please--Amy Poehler

2014 Book List
2013 Book List
2012 Book List
2011 Book List
2010 Book List
2008 Book List

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Review of 41: A Portrait of my Father

1st--I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. I wasn't paying attention to current events when George Bush Sr. was president. As a result, my view of him was tainted by the few facts that I heard about him from various sources.

2nd--I was impressed with Bush Sr. once I saw him as a whole man--the way he lived his life, his character, the jobs he took and his principles. The Bush family was admirable as well.

3rd--I loved getting the unique perspective of a presidential son of his presidential father. It was neat to have him compare different events in both of their presidencies, and how they affected him and his father. As George W. Bush brings up, historian David McCullough said he would've loved to have read a book written by John Quincy Adams about his father, John Adams.

4th--I love George W. Bush and think he was an amazing president. I enjoyed hearing him read this audio book himself.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Paul Ryan Becomes the 54th Speaker of the House!

So after all the meshugas on the right over the past few years, the Republicans could wind up with two new leaders going into this election, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. That’s a pretty excellent outcome for a party that has shown an amazing tendency to inflict self-harm.

Ryan is the new House speaker and right now Rubio is the most likely presidential nominee. The shape of the presidential campaign is coming into focus. It’s still wise to expect (pray) that the celebrity candidates will fade as the shopping phase ends and the buying phase begins.~David Brooks
-I've been a huge Paul Ryan fan for a long time.  I used to live in Wisconsin, and was so impressed to see such a strong conservative get elected there.

-I was excited when Romney put him on the ticket in 2012.  If only the VP picks could've saved the actual candidates in both 2008 and 2012.

-So, when it looked like Ryan was going to get the speaker job, I was happy.  It sounds like a grueling job to have, but I think Ryan could actually make a positive difference.
My friends, you have done me a great honor. The people of this country, they have done all of us a great honor. Now let’s prove ourselves worthy of it.~Paul Ryan

-The above video gives a small glimpse of his character.

Ryan's plans:
Before Ryan embarks on some of his legislative goals — tax and welfare reform, for example — he'll face the task of following through on his promises to the rank and file. To prove he’s serious about reforming the institution, Ryan is embarking on an overhaul of internal House procedures, restructuring a powerful committee that selects committee assignments. Ryan has told his colleagues that he plans to rewrite internal institutional rules by the end of the year, with the help of the entire House Republican Conference.
-I look forward to the future with Ryan as speaker of the House and hopefully, with Rubio as the Republican nominee for president.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 28th GOP CNBC Debate!

All the Republicans came out to play hard tonight but Senator Marco Rubio and Governor John Kasich clearly won—but for two different reasons. Rubio weathered very tough attacks with facts, passion and style.~John Zogby
Marco Ru­bio knocked just about every ques­tion he faced at the third Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial de­bate out of the park, wheth­er it was from the CN­BC mod­er­at­ors or from one of his rivals. The Flor­ida sen­at­or re­gistered a clean coun­ter­punch against Jeb Bush, one of his top com­pet­it­ors, and he lam­basted one of con­ser­vat­ives’ fa­vor­ite punch­ing bags, the main­stream me­dia.
All the while, Ru­bio suc­cess­fully de­flec­ted some of the most com­mon cri­ti­cisms he’s en­countered on the cam­paign trail: namely, his sparse con­gres­sion­al at­tend­ance re­cord and the hand­ling of his per­son­al fin­ances. And the audi­ence took no­tice, of­ten re­spond­ing with re­sound­ing ap­plause or even laughter.~Adam Wollner
-I had a lot of competing TV choices tonight.  The World Series with my Kansas City Royals was on, my kids and I always watch Survivor, and then for this political junkie, I had to watch the GOP Debate.

-To be honest, the main reason I was excited to watch, was to see my guy Rubio do well, and he never disappoints.

-CNBC showed their true colors in how they ran the debate, the moderators were condescending, extremely biased and didn't control the debate well at all.  They tried to pit the Republicans against one another, but it backfired.  It seemed to unite the Republicans and enabled Rubio and others to shine in light of it.

Rubio had some amazing moments tonight, and there are quite a few video clips that show just how well he knocked it out of the park.

1) The truth about candidates missing votes while running for president!  The above clip shows exactly what Zogby was talking about, Rubio responded to the moderator and to Jeb with "facts, passion and style".

-Jeb blew it when he tried to pile on, Rubio mopped the floor with him, and this might be the final nail in Jeb's coffin.

2) The truth about Rubio's tax plan!  John Harwood proved he was an idiot by using incorrect information about Rubio's tax plan, that he HIMSELF had to correct 2 weeks ago, wow!!  Below is the correction:
The best quotes of the night from Rubio:
The democrats have the ultimate Super PAC- it's called the main stream media.

The more you tax something, the less of it you get.

We have 11 good candidates on this stage, the Democrats can't even come up with ONE.

I'm against anything bad for my mother.
The best quotes from others:
The questions asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match.~Ted Cruz

Do you want me to answer or do you want to answer? Because I got to tell you the truth, even in New Jersey what you’re doing is called rude.~Chris Christie

Folks, we’ve got to wake up. We cannot elect somebody that doesn’t know how to do the job.~John Kasich

I may not be your dream candidate, just yet, but I can assure you: I am Hillary Clinton’s worse nightmare.~Carly Fiorina
Some great articles about the debate:
-The 15 most explosive moments of the GOP debate

-Marco Rubio made a big splash at the third GOP debate

-Is Marco Rubio's Breakout Debate Win Enough to Oust the Outsider Candidates?

-Who Won the Third Republican Presidential Debate? 
In Conclusion, Bill Kristol sums up the debate and the World Series game in one short tweet:

Friday, October 23, 2015

First Lady Profile #8--Martha Washington!

Painstaking research reveals a delightful, intelligent, and passionate woman who shared a life of mutual love and support with the country's foremost founding father.--Patricia Brady
-I am a big history buff when it comes to the presidents and first ladies.  I embarked on this first ladies series awhile ago, and since then I've discovered C-Span's series on the First Ladies.  This has given me a renewed desire to dig even deeper and read numerous books on each first lady.

-I am watching the C-Span profile on each first lady, and then reading books on each of them.  I also bought the book on the first ladies which is a companion piece for the C-Span series.

-I have always known a lot about George Washington and very little about Martha.  I have been impressed by what I have learned about her and it has greatly increased my respect for her.

-As I read about her, I was struck by how much she loved both of her husbands, and her children, and not just her biological children, but the many children she took on as her own throughout her life.

-She also was very smart and was considered a "great catch" when George married her.  She was the perfect woman to be the first "first lady".

-She was born on June 2, 1731 on a plantation near Williamsburg, Virginia.  She was the oldest of 9 children and went by Patsy.
-She was 18 when she married Daniel Parke Custis on May 15, 1750.  She had 4 children with him: Daniel, Frances, John, and Martha.
-Daniel and Frances died in childhood, and her husband Daniel died in 1757.  Martha was a rich widow at age 25 with 2 children.
From the time Martha first gave birth at eighteen or nineteen, she was a really wonderful mother.  She doted on her children, her grandchildren, her nieces and nephews.  During the war with the young officers, young aides-de-camp, she was more or less like a housemother at a fraternity; she looked after these young men...Forever afterword, the young men of those days remembered her as their foster mother.--Patricia Brady  
-She married George Washington when they were both 27, and George helped raise her children.
-Her daughter Martha (who also was known as Patsy), had epilepsy and died during a seizure while she was a teenager.
-Her son John (known as Jacky) married and had 4 children.  He died during the Revolutionary War from typhus.  George and Martha raised 2 of his children after his death, Eleanor and George.
George Washington was the indispensable man to the success of the American Revolution, and Martha Washington was the indispensable woman to him. He could bear all those years away from home, creating a national army, because she spent part of every year with him, no matter how awful the conditions in camp might be. 
Their mutual love, confidence, and support helped keep him going in the face of every disappointment, setback, and defeat.  Every year she made a home for him, where he could rest and refresh his spirits until it was time to go back in the field another time, for however long it took to win the war.  Out of those eight and a half years he spent in command of thMe army, she was with him for nearly five, more than half the war, in stays ranging from three to ten months.  Martha was truly the secret weapon of the American Revolution.--Patricia Brady
-During the Revolutionary War, George and Martha could not bear to be apart, so Martha always traveled to be with him for several months out of the year.
-During George's two terms as president, Martha was a great example of what a first lady should be like.  Abigail Adams was in awe of her.
She talked about how the experience of her life had taught her that 'our happiness or misery depends upon our disposition and not our circumstances.'  That is a remarkably wise observation, but it's an observation distilled from a life full of tragedy.  She'd lost a husband, she lost all four of her children, she lost countless nieces and nephews, and then she found herself repeatedly uprooted from the life she expected, to follow George either on the battlefield, or on a different kind of battlefield.--Richard Norton Smith
-She died on May 22, 1802 at the age of 70.

My Martha Washington Books:
-Martha Dandridge Custis Washington--Charnan Simon
-Lady Washington--Dorothy Clarke Wilson
-Martha Washington--Patricia Brady
-First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women--Susan Swain & C-Span
-Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George & Martha Washington--Mary Higgins Clark
-America's First Ladies--Diana Dixon Healy
-First Ladies--Betty Boyd Caroli
-First Ladies of the White House--Nancy J. Skarmeas

Previous Profiles:
-Eleanor Roosevelt
-Julia Grant
-Louisa Adams
-Frances Cleveland 
-Lucretia Garfield 
-Edith Roosevelt
-Dolley Madison

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Trump Questions!

-Will Trump ever fade?

-Will Trump ever get more than 28% support among Republicans?

-What will it take for the 28% to stop supporting Trump?
At Red State, Leon Wolf asked just that.  He replied with this:
I ask because I would have thought that being a repeat donor to Clinton and other Democrats might have been that point for principled conservatives.

I ask because I would have thought that using Michael Moore’s talking points on 9/11 might have been that point for principled conservatives.

I would have thought that defending federal funding of Planned Parenthood might have been that point for principled conservatives.

I would have thought that adopting Democrat rhetoric on the need to raise taxes on the wealthy might have been that point for principled conservatives.

I would have thought that publicly professing a love for eminent domain might have been that point for principled conservatives.

I haven’t even gotten into the insanely liberal things Trump said and did before he decided to run for President, because apparently being an unprincipled and opportunistic flip flopper only bothers principled conservatives when the candidate in question is Mitt Romney. It doesn’t even apparently matter that The Donald’s immigration stance is likewise a transparent flip flop from what he said as recently as 2013.
-Why are people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity not criticizing him?

-Why are people like Ann Coulter and Mark Levin supporting him?  
Coulter actually said Trump could perform abortions in the White House as long as he stuck to his stance on immigration.  She was trying to be her normal satiric self, but I found that analogy horrifying.  We are willing to sell out all our other beliefs as long as Trump is good on immigration??  And what guarantee do we have that he won't change his stance right after being elected.  Rush has always said moderates were people that would stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind was blowing.  That describes Trump to a tee.  Coulter has permanently lost my support.  I was a huge fan of hers for years, but this just pushed me over the edge.

-Am I establishment because I can't stand Trump?
I don't think I am, I'm a principled conservative who supports candidates that are conservative as a whole and likely to get elected.  That's why I don't get conservatives that I have admired for years cowtowing to him.  It blows my mind.
-What are the top things that have ticked me off about Trump?
1) Right out of the gate he attacked POWs for getting captured during a war.  Who does that?  I don't even see Democrats saying something that stupid.
2) He attacks a woman moderator at a debate and has a track record of attacking women.
3) He blamed Bush for 9/11.  I can't tell you how much this pisses me off.  What kind of jackass says this???
4) He has no conservative framework or center.  He just spouts off what comes to him in the moment.  He has changed his mind on numerous important issues constantly and recently.  Sean Hannity went after Obama's past by digging up the stuff about Ayers, etc..  Yet, when asked by Glenn Beck why Trump's past didn't matter, Hannity just said it was what he was saying now that was important.
-Why are people supporting Trump when we finally have some great Republican candidates this time around?

I have always admired people who speak their minds and don't care what others think.  Yet, that doesn't extend to being a jackass.  He reminds me of Jesse Ventura who flamed out quickly, hopefully Trump does the same.  I just hope that the Republican party and some of its' biggest power players don't get destroyed in the aftermath.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future--October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015--Back to the Future Day

-30 years ago I went to the movie theater to see Back to the Future.  I was 15 years old and a huge Michael J. Fox fan.

-Tonight, I went with 3 of my kids to see the movie, and my youngest son is 15, it was kind of cool.

-The significance of today's date, October 21, 2015, is because in the 2nd movie, they go to the future on October 21, 2015.

-It is hard to believe, when I was watching it, 2015 seemed like a long time away.

-I still love Huey Lewis and the News and I embarrassed my daughter by expressing my love for his music during the movie.

-While watching the 2nd movie tonight, I reflected on how history is skewed by Biff Tannen and his wealth.  As I saw the world descend into hell, I was struck by the similarities between Biff Tannen and Donald Trump.  I couldn't help but think we might be thrust into a similar hell if Trump is elected.
It turns out the character was actually based on Donald Trump, too funny!!

Some articles about the 30 year anniversary of the movies:
--10 Predictions that 'Back to the Future Part II' got right
--Huey Lewis Shares the Inspiration behind the Back to the Future anthem 'The Power of Love'
--Huey Lewis almost passed on going 'Back to the Future'
--'Back to the Future' cast reunites, flashes back to their monumental time together

October 21, 2015-Back to the Future Day