Be careful with that Christmas eggnog, Corporal. Get too wide and you might never see sergeant’s stripes.
Apparently the Marine Corps has subbed out its fitness for duty evaluations to the Mothers Against Drunk Lance Corporals. It is clearly supposed among the testosterone-free civilians and the house-broken generals and admirals who run Acting Private Obama’s Department of Oh-So-Sensitive Defense that modern Gunnery Sergeants can no longer determine which lean, green fighting machine is fit for duty and which not. (Washington Times report here.)
The story above does not mention the new requirements that all Marines say “Mother, may I?” and submit to alcohol counseling before being admitted to the EM club. (With so many women in the Corps now, should that be Enlisted Persons Club?) Nor does it mention the new warning labels on cans and bottles of beer purchased there: “This substance could be dangerous to your career — wouldn’t you rather have a nice herbal tea and some celery sticks?”
My sources in the DOD and the White House tell me Obama, who clearly wants warriors with the hearts of trained gerbils, will soon put forward Nanny Bloomberg as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps.
In my seven decades I have known many Marines and former Marines, all of whom would treat this candy-ass development with the contempt it deserves. I would quote some of them here, but it would turn the air blue and cause wide-spread fainting among progressive readers.
Shoppers were having lunch at a mall in Welland, Ontario, when…
As widely expected, following the withdrawal of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, President Obama has nominated John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
While it’s good that Daniel Halper of The Weekly Standard reminds us of Kerry’s chuminess with Syria’s Bashar Assad as well as his investments with companies believed to be doing business with Iran, I cannot conceive of a scenario in which the Democrat controlled Senate doesn’t confirm their colleague from Massachusetts by a wide margin.
I just heard some sirens outside of my offie, and I figured it must be the end of the world finally coming. I’ve been to Chitzen Itza (sp?), and I was impressed that those Mayans were mighty smart people. So this must really be the end of the world as we know it…. but I feel fine.
Call it a Reykjavik Moment.
An Air Traffic Controllers Moment.
Both of which were Reagan Moments.
Moments in American history when, under extreme pressure, Ronald Reagan simply refused to buckle. Against all the chorus shouted from the media and congressional bleachers — that he had failed by walking out on a bad deal with Gorbachev or recklessly fired striking air traffic controllers who were striking against federal law — Ronald Reagan never blinked.
And the fact that he didn’t blink made America — and the world — an infinitely better place.
Thursday night 13 conservative House Republicans defeated the Rule for the vote on Speaker Boehner’s highly controversial “Plan B.”
Those conservatives, by name (an asterisk denoting those who will not be returning to Congress next year) are:
Justin Amash of MI
Paul Broun of GA
Trent Franks of AZ
Louie Gohmert of TX
Tim Huelskamp of KS
Walter Jones of NC
Jim Jordan of OH
Andy Harris of MD
Jeff Landry of LA*
Thomas Massie of KY
Ron Paul of TX*
Jean Schmidt of OH*
Joe Walsh of IL*
Let’s not forget here that in terms of pressure, a great deal of it was coming from the GOP House Leadership. Congressmen Amash, Huelskamp, and Jones were removed from their committee assignments for not cooperating with the Leadership.
And make no mistake….the talk radio stars jumped on this, each in their own way. Rush was there. Hannity was there. Levin was there.Continue reading…
Uh-oh. At 8 something Thursday nght, Fox flashes the word: the House cancels the Plan B vote.
Translation: The votes ain’t there.
Ronald Reagan lives.
Commenting on the opposition to the possible nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic opines that President Obama should appoint former Nebraska Republican because he is the only thing standing between Israel and its self destruction.
Goldberg argues that if the Jewish Home Party becomes the third largest party in the Knesset and/or joins Benjamin Netanyahu’s next coalition government “it will bring about the destruction (self-destruction) of Israel” through the construction of more settlements, the absorption of West Bank Arabs and turn Israel into the Jewish equivalent of a Sharia state. Goldberg goes on to say that these policies “would turn Israel into a pariah state.”
So what does any of this have to with Hagel? Goldberg states, “Maybe, at this point, what we need are American officials who will speak with disconcerting bluntness to Israel about the choices it is making.”
O.K., where do I begin?
First, I don’t see how the Jewish Home Party is any different from any of Israel’s other Orthodox religious parties much less yield more power.
Second, perhaps Goldberg should attend a sitting at the UN General Assembly. Israel is already treated as a pariah nation.
Third, where the hell has Goldberg been the past four years? President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and, for that matter, both Secretaries of Defense (Bob Gates and Leon Panetta) have made tough public statements criticizing Israel’s policies concerning settlements. In fact, the Obama Administration has been far tougher in its rhetoric on Israel building homes than on Iran building nuclear bombs. Their rhetoric has been counterproductive to say the least.
Given the Obama Administration’s sour disposition towards Israel I suppose Hagel won’t say anything worse about Israel than what has already been said. Still, methinks appointing Hagel as Secretary of Defense would be like asking Michael Vick to walk your dog. In other words, I hope President Obama won’t unleash Hagel on Israel.
One of my favorite comedians is Alfred Brooks, whose Looking for Comedy in the Moslem World portrayed a Jewish comic (himself) trying to pitch a sitcom that would appeal to Moslems. What he came up with was a comedy about a crazy, mixed-up family called “Those Darn Jews!”
That’s what I think of whenever I read about the Clintons. So Hillary won’t have to testify about Benghazi because she smacked her head? Those Darn Clintons!
Joe Connor was left fatherless in 1975 when a bomb planted by the Puerto Rican terrorist group the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional or FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) exploded at the historic Fraunces Tavern in New York City. One other person was killed,* in addition to Joe’s Dad Frank Connor, and sixty people were injured.
Now, once again, the issue of pardoning a prominent FALN leader, Oscar Lopez Rivera, is surfacing yet again. The United Church of Christ is pressing for a pardon and doubtless other groups as well.
The UCC claims Lopez has the support of the Puerto Rican people in his drive to free Puerto Rico from the big bad colonial power that is the United States. In fact, overshadowed by the presidential election in November, 61% of the Puerto Rican people voted for Puerto Rican statehood. A mere 6% wanted independence.
Mr. Lopez is as unrepentant now as he was in his active FALN years, the latter activities and such small “d” democratic doings as bomb-making earning him his lengthy visit to federal prison.
For the last several days, Americans have been relearning what violence means in practice. Frank Connor, peacefully enjoying his lunch at a tavern once frequented by George Washington, was brutally killed with every bit as much violence as that which took the lives of the children and adults of Sandy Hook School.
There is no place for violence in American society. Our friend Dan Henninger over at the Wall Street Journal this morning has a considerable column entitled “No Guardrails, Again.” Writes Dan:
We think it is possible to identify the date when the U.S., or more precisely when many people within it, began to tip off the emotional tracks. A lot of people won’t like this date, because it makes their political culture culpable for what has happened. The date is August 1968, when the Democratic National Convention found itself sharing Chicago with the street fighters of the anti-Vietnam War movement.
The real blame here does not lie with the mobs who fought bloody battles with the hysterical Chicago police. The larger responsibility falls on the intellectuals—university professors, politicians and journalistic commentators—who said then that the acts committed by the protesters were justified or explainable. That was the beginning. America had a new culture for political action and for personal living.
The virtue known as self-restraint was devalued. Certain rules that for a long time had governed behavior also became devalued. Whatever else was going on here, we were lowering the barriers of acceptable political and personal conduct.
What is being asked in the pardon of an unrepentant Oscar Lopez Rivera is precisely Henninger’s point. There is an attempt by the UCC and others who will be clamoring for the release of this violent man to continue “lowering the barriers of acceptable political and personal conduct.”
It is unacceptable.
And as Christmas approaches for all those Newtown parents who have lost children, and the children who lost adults — just, in the latter case, as Joe Connor did so many years ago — it’s time to demand that the guardrails in American society once again go up.
There is no place in America for violence.
Feel free to contact President Obama and demand that Oscar Lopez Rivera not be pardoned.
There’s been a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff, but in all of this we’ve missed the real issue. It’s not about a new recession or even about greenheads. The real issue is Obama, argues Obama. What it’s all about is Republicans’ personal animus against him.
It really always comes down to him.
The concept of incentives is one the right needs to hammer home over and over. Here’s Cliff Asness in the Wall Street Journal a couple days ago, pushing back against Warren Buffet’s theory that, essentially, tax rates don’t factor into investment decisions:
Mr. Buffett is undoubtedly right that rich people will continue to invest some amount in something regardless of the tax rate (except for a 100% rate!). He’s also undoubtedly right that an investment that easily clears all hurdles will likely still be attractive after a small tax increase. But life, and the investment decision, occurs at the margin. Fewer and smaller investments will be made if the after-tax prospects are worse. It’s just math and logic, unassailable and commonly accepted regardless of one’s political persuasion.
Some recent commentators have actually tried to prove the illogic that Mr. Buffett merely asserts. They argue that if an investment was profitable at a 15% tax rate, it will still be profitable at, say, a 35% tax rate—just less so. Therefore investors will still go ahead with it. But here, as in so many things, the government doesn’t play fair. It taxes gains, but losses are deductible only under certain conditions and circumstances. In finance-speak, the government grants itself a call option on your profits. This fact alone will make investments that were profitable at one tax rate decidedly not so at a higher one.
It’s easy for Buffet to point to a great investment and argue it would still be worth doing under higher tax rates. It’s much more difficult to demonstrate the marginal effects, which, across the entire economy, contribute to stagnation.
So the President strolls into the White House press room and, among other things, announces that Speaker Boehner has conceded on taxes… that taxes must go up.
This is exactly what Obama has been after all along. A rejection of conservatism, and a specific rejection of the legacies of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp.
In an act of massive political malpractice, Speaker Boehner has effectively lent his name to this repudiation of Reagan and Kemp.
Will House Republicans go along with this? Where is Paul Ryan?
One suspects hell will freeze over — at least in the GOP outside the precincts of the House.
Justice Robert Bork has died the age of 85.
Bork was undoubtedly one of the greatest legal minds of the 20th century. But for the forces of political correctness was denied his rightful place on the Supreme Court.
One can disagree with Bork’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Liberals could (and still can’t) understand how one could oppose it without harboring racial sentiments. Because of this Joe Biden and the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee undertook a high tech lynching against Bork and this country is far poorer for it. I remember Biden making a point of mentioning Bork’s deceased wife, which put Bork in tears.
Naturally, one must wonder if Bork’s presence on the court would have changed key decisions over the past twenty-five years. Would Obamacare still be on the books?
I know I am only scratching the surface here, but it is only natural to lament what might have been.
Leftist Atlantic writer Conor Friedersdorf is going on about talk radio again. This time (every time?) his main focus is Rush Limbaugh, although there was room for the usual Friedersdorf sideswipes at Hannity and Levin.
The gist of this complaint?
That Rush is somehow a “mass of self-contradiction” and has a lack of “intellectual integrity.”
Yada yada, and so-on and so-on.
It is, I suppose, worth mentioning again that Friedersdorf finally admitted to me some time back that in spite of what others said, he in fact was not a conservative. But instead of dissecting his latest — and since his latest is really nothing more than his usual oldest dressed up as something new — the best thing to do is just go back to one of my own older posts on Friedersdorf. Re-reading it tells me nothing has changed with him. An obsession, I guess, is an obsession. However intellectually bizarre it may be.
Here it is:Continue reading…
Former big league pitcher turned Christian radio broadcaster Frank Pastore died yesterday of injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident in November. He was 55.
Pastore was a second round draft pick by the Cincinnati Reds in 1975. He made his big league debut with the Reds in 1979 with his best season coming in 1980 when he went 13-7 with a respectable 3.27 ERA with 9 complete games.
After seven seasons with the Reds, Pastore ended his big league career in 1986 with the Minnesota Twins.
A former atheist, Pastore began to embrace Christianity in 1984 after a Steve Sax line drive shattered his pitching elbow. Two decades later, after attaining graduate degrees in theology and political science would launch a radio show on KKLA, a Christian radio station in Los Angeles which addressed both religion and politics from a conservative point of view. Pastore also wrote a regular column at Townhall.com.
What is eerie about Pastore’s passing is that during his final broadcast he spoke hypothetically about being in a motorcycle accident. The accident would occur only a few hours later.
Hayward makes the case for Boehner…a case that is essentially refuted yet again this morning by the Heritage Foundation in a Morning Bell missive that begins:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican leaders have done it once again. Their latest fiscal cliff proposal capitulates on core conservative principles, yielding woefully inadequate concessions from President Obama in the process. Will they ever learn?
Apparently not. What in the world is going on with Paul Ryan?
But I digress.
What Hayward ignores (and for the record, Steve Hayward is a biographer of the Reagan era) is that Reagan had the political clout to get House votes from Democrats. Today, Obama has little chance of getting House GOP votes. These are apples and oranges situations. Obama could sit there all day trying to be Reagan by studiously making phone calls to opposite party House members… and hell will freeze over before they go with Obama, at least in the vast majority of circumstances.
Hayward also forgets one other thing. In the middle of all this in March 1981 RR was shot. By the time he returned to the podium in the House to press his case he was seen as a national hero for surviving Hinckley with such courageous and humorous aplomb. By then, added to his genuine mandate from the election, enough House Democrats just threw in the towel.
But while some Democrats did indeed despair about O’Neill, O’Neill was popular with his base precisely because he never gave up in his fight with Reagan. By the fall of 1982, at the height of the recession the GOP went straight at O’Neill with one ad in particular… …this one. Notably, it didn’t work. The GOP got clobbered in 1982. Tip was a pretty popular guy with Democrats.
Boehner’s problem is that he is doing with Obama exactly what Tip O’Neill refused to do with Reagan. Which is to say — caving on fundamental principle.
This is why Peter Ferrara was so spot on in his criticism of Boehner and why there is a felt need to replace the Speaker.
In short, Peter Ferrrara gets it. Steve Hayward, alas, does not. Not to mention John Boehner.
Perhaps Hayward should go back and read his own books?
Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii passed away today of respiratory complications. He was 88.
Inouye, a Democrat, came to Washington as Hawaii’s first Congressman in 1959 and was elected to the Senate in 1962 and served for nearly half a century.
He is probably best known to most Americans for chairing the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987.
Inouye served this country with distinction during WWII losing his right arm while fighting in Tuscany. His bravery earned him the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and, in 2000, the Medal of Honor.
The New York Mets dealt reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays along with catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Toronto Blue Jays for catchers Travis d’Arnaud and John Buck and top prospects Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra.
The deal hinged the Jays giving Dickey a contract extension. Dickey is signed through the 2015 season for a cool $30 million.
If anyone has earned a big payday in MLB, it is Dickey who toiled for seven seasons in Oklahoma City, the Triple A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Dickey spent so much time in Oklahoma City, it was said that he ought to run for mayor.
Dickey didn’t become a full time big leaguer until 35 and the knuckleballer put it all together this season with a 20-6 record with a 2.73 ERA and league leading 230 strikeouts.
With that said, I doubt he replicates that kind of season in the AL East. Nevertheless, Dickey could potentially have another ten years in him as a big leaguer which is certainly ten more than he might have expected.
I highly recommend people read Dickey’s autobiography Wherever I Wind Up. Well, now he’s wound up in the Big Smoke.
Remarks by Catholic Deacon Greg Kandra on Respect for Life. Steve Jobs and Apple fans take note. (For more on this subject, see my column Tuesday):
Since this is Respect Life Sunday, and the beginning of Respect Life month, I wanted to talk about one woman who did respect life — and her choice has made a difference in the life of virtually every person in this church.
Her name is Joanne Schiebel. In 1954, she was a young unmarried college student who discovered that she was pregnant. In the 1950s, her options were limited. She could have had an abortion — but the procedure was both dangerous and illegal. She could have gotten married, but she wasn’t ready and didn’t want to interrupt her education. Joanne opted, instead, to give birth to the baby and put it up for adoption.
And so it was that in 1955, a California couple named Paul and Clara Jobs adopted a baby boy, born out of wedlock, that they named Steven.
We know him today…as Steve Jobs.
It would not be overstating things to say that Steve Jobs is my generation’s Thomas Edison. As one observer put it, he knew what the world wanted before the world knew that it wanted it.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad or an iPod, or anything remotely resembling them, you can thank Steve Jobs.
If your world has been transformed by the ability to hear a symphony, send a letter, pay a bill, deposit a check, read a book and then buy theater tickets on something smaller than a cigarette case…you can thank Steve Jobs.
And: you can thank Joanne Schiebel.
If you want to know how much one life can matter, there is just one example.
But: imagine if that life had never happened.
Imagine if an unmarried pregnant college student 56 years ago had made a different choice.
Now, imagine all the unmarried pregnant college students who make that different choice today.
By one measure, more than half of all abortions in the United States — 53% — occur in young women under the age of 25. That is hundreds of thousands of lives every year, snuffed out. Millions over the last quarter century.
The horrifying truth is this: we live now in a culture that not only does not respect life, but discards it like trash — not only at the beginning of life, but also at the end, and every place in between.
What has happened to us?
In Europe, there’s a new industry of “suicide tourism,” for people who are old or infirm and want to kill themselves.
In California, when it was announced during a recent presidential debate that 234 people had been executed in Texas, hundreds of people in the audience applauded.
What has happened to us?
Catholics can disagree about whether the death penalty is necessary. But we can’t disagree about this: cheering death — any death, especially if it involves someone who may be innocent — is an affront to life. And yet we do it so easily. And that is part of the problem.
Life has become disposable.
In the New York Times recently, there was a long article about the practice called “singleton” — where women pregnant with triplets or twins can arrange to have one or more of the babies aborted, to better manage the size of their family.
We don’t talk about it often, but it needs to be said: the reason we don’t see as many children any more with Down Syndrome isn’t because of some great medical breakthrough. No. It’s because roughly 90% of them are being aborted.
What has happened to us???
If you listen closely, the gospel this Sunday is, in one sense, about respecting life — and choosing death. It brings us the familiar saying about “the stone that the builder rejected.” Well, we have rejected more stones, more lives, than we can count. When will it end?
It’s increasingly clear that the only lasting change will happen when we work to change not only laws, but also hearts.
And that begins with each of us.
When will it end? This nightmare will end when we pass on what we all know to be true: for all its complexity and complications, all its sorrows and fears, all its headaches and heartaches…life matters. Every life. At every moment.
This nightmare will end when we teach our children that nothing, and no one, is ever discarded. Remember the multiplication of the loaves and fishes? When Christ performed that miracle, the story didn’t end when everyone ate. It ended with the people gathering up every crumb. Because every crumb was a part of that miracle. No one, no thing, no life is wasted in the incredible work of God.
This nightmare will end when we acknowledge that life is inconvenient, and difficult, and unplanned. But nothing, and no one, is ever unplanned or unwanted when the one doing the planning and the wanting is God.
This nightmare will end when we realize, at last, that love is greater than fear.
It will end when we make of our lives a continuing prayer — prayer that isn’t afraid to plead, to ask, to question, to hope. Prayer that embraces the beautiful truth of the most popular prayer in the world: “Thy will be done.” Prayer that is able to trust.
It will end when we see life not as a problem to be solved, but as a gift to be embraced.
It will end when we simply choose life. Beautiful, chaotic, unpredictable, explosive, crazy life. Life isn’t something to be discarded because it is difficult, or inconvenient, or unexpected, or old or sick. It is so much greater than we realize.
I sometimes mention this in baptism instruction: the baptism rite begins with declaring the name of the child. It harkens back to Genesis, and the first thing Adam did after God created him — he named everything around him. With that, man continued God’s creative work in the world. And we do that today: with every life we welcome, God continues His creation. Choosing life, we choose to be a part of that.
That’s what Joanne Schiebel did. Think of her the next time you make a phone call or plug in your iPod or download music.
And this morning, consider the work before us. It begins here, and now.
By changing how we talk about life, how we treat life, how we teach life to our children, we will begin to change hearts, change minds.
“Respect life” is more than just a catchphrase. It needs to be a way of living. Respect life. Not just in the womb, but everywhere, at every time, in all circumstances — within our families, our communities, the places we work and do business. It means treating every life with dignity, and honoring every life as a gift.
Doing that, moment by moment, we will begin to change the culture.
And: heart by heart, we will begin to change the world.
Before he was elected to the House, I was writing about Tim Scott, now the Senator-designee for South Carolina. Here is his great story of how Chick-fil-A changed his life.
Young Mr. Scott did, however, hold down a part-time job taking tickets at a movie theater. The Chick-fil-A was next door. He bought fries there regularly. The restaurant’s proprietor, a guy named John Moniz - a “Christian conservative white Republican, although I didn’t know it at the time,” Mr. Scott said - “just started recognizing me, and one day he came up and sat down next to me and started talking.”
Moniz (now deceased) somehow struck a chord with the young customer. Moniz talked about the virtues of discipline and concentration. They talked often and built a cross-generational friendship. Something clicked. Young Scott started applying himself to his studies. He earned a partial football scholarship to Presbyterian College, transferred (leaving football behind) to Charleston Southern University, and earned a degree in political science.
Scott should make a great U.S. Senator.
A harrowing story about raising a son with mental illness. Thought provoking, and very much worth a read. (Hat tip: Gawker.)
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me. […]
I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
We like to think that the Spectator staff puts out a great print magazine and a lineup of daily web columns that will provoke thought and stir laughter. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what Mark Levin told his radio audience last week:
I mean, The American Spectator — which has been around almost as long as National Review — The American Spectator has stood true to principle through all of it. Largely due to the leadership there, my buddy Bob Tyrrell. Wlad over there, too, and a number of others. You’ve got the great Jeffrey Lord.
There’s a number — I don’t want to start naming everybody, but you’ve got an absolutely tremendous magazine and website there, The American Spectator.
I would suggest that you bookmark it.
Of course, if you’d like to take Levin’s advice, we’d be much obliged. Add us to your RSS feed. Follow us on Facebook. Make a donation. Or subscribe to get conservative wit and wisdom delivered right to your doorstep.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will elevate Rep. Tim Scott to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Jim DeMint.
I had the occasion to cover one of Scott’s speeches as a former resident of his congressional district, so I can testify that he seems a worthy choice on the merits. And beloved, too, by the Tea Party types and GOP activists who elected him.
It is now crystal-clear that Barack Obama is not dealing in good faith. I explain it at CFIF. Here’s part of it:
I cannot name a single important instance in which President Obama actually gave any substantive ground to Republicans, on anything. There wasn’t a single concession to anybody right of center in ObamaCare. There was no concession in the “debt limit” negotiations, but instead merely a postponement of the situation until he hoped political circumstances would be more favorable. And now, in these “Fiscal Cliff” talks occurring now, every time John Boehner makes an offer, Obama actually moves in the other direction…. This man has no interest in keeping the government solvent. Just the opposite: He obviously wants it to spend, spend, spend, and grow, grow, grow, no matter what. He’s playing a long-term game, for total federal-government control, no matter what the short-term damage he does.
It doesn’t help, of course, that Republicans seem utterly inept at bargaining, at strategy, at tactics, and at communications. It hurts even more that the establishment media has no standards other than left-wing ideology and fawning beatification of Obama. Obama is deliberately acting as the Grinch that steals the new year, but he will continue to be portrayed in the media as if he is a greater saint even than Mother Teresa.
I went to see Hyde Park on Hudson starring Bill Murray as FDR on Saturday evening. The movie is based on the diaries of Margaret Suckley, FDR’s sixth cousin and mistress, which were discovered after her death in 1991. Suckley was portrayed by Laura Linney.
Murray has turned in Oscar-worthy performances in recent years in movies such as Rushmore and Lost in Translation. But he is neither compelling nor convincing as the 32nd President. Given that Hyde Park was released scarcely a month after Daniel Day-Lewis’ stunning performance in Lincoln, it made the task that much taller for Murray. The plotlines of the two movies also differ significantly. While Suckley’s diaries provide personal insight into the character of FDR, it isn’t as historically significant as a story focusing on the passage of the 13th Amendment. Perhaps this would not have been the case if the plot revolved around the days following the attack on Pearl Harbor or the summits with Churchill and Stalin in Tehran and Yalta.
Given the lesser historical significance of the story, this production was better suited for television. In fact, it reminded me of a lost episode of Downton Abbey or some other period piece one might see on Masterpiece Theatre. I’m not saying that Downton Abbey and Masterpiece Theatre are bad. Not by a long shot. But when I saw the latter’s productions as a child I termed them “Mommy movies” as these tended to be the sort of programming to which my Mom was (and still is) partial. I found this quality rather detracted from this movie, although I’m sure Mom would enjoy this movie immensely.
This isn’t to say it wasn’t without its humorous moments. Samuel West and Olivia Colman give fine comedic performances as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth but aren’t likely to make audiences forget Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter from The King’s Speech a couple of years back. I must say though that Olivia Williams very nearly succeeded in making Eleanor Roosevelt look sexy.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?