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.

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".

FACTS:
-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

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.
Update:
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

Facebook:
October 21, 2015-Back to the Future Day

Twitter:
#BTTF2015