Politico Magazine: Opinion: Richard Norton Smith: Nelson Rockefeller’s Last Stand

Nelson & Eleanor

Nelson & Eleanor


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Politico Magazine: Opinion: Richard Norton Smith: Nelson Rockefeller’s Last Stand

To understand Nelson Rockefeller’s politics, you have to first understand the politics of the Republican Party up until 1966-67 or so. When the Republican Party officially moved into a different direction politically and became the official right-wing party in America. That had already started in 1964 with Barry Goldwater’s nomination for president, but the 1966 mid-terms is where it started paying off for the GOP in Congress and with governorships around the country.

See the Republican Party that Nelson fit into, was the GOP of the 1950s with Dwight Eisenhower. Nelson Rockefeller was no Liberal at least he wouldn’t be today. He certainly wasn’t a Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat either of course. But he also wasn’t a Rand Paul Tea Party Conservative Libertarian of today, or a Barry Goldwater Conservative Libertarian. If there is such a thing even sixty-years ago, Nelson Rockefeller would’ve been a Progressive Republican. And I mean that in the classical sense.

A classical Progressive in the sense of someone who believes in hard work, education and opportunity for all. A safety net for people who fall though the cracks of the private enterprise system. Someone who believed in rule of law and a tough internationalist foreign policy and national security. But someone who also believed in civil rights and equal rights for everyone. Nelson was to the Left of Franklin Roosevelt on social issues especially civil rights. But not as far to the Left of Franklin on economic policy and who wanted to create the next chapter of the New Deal.

Nelson wanted a safety net for people who truly needed it. Not a welfare state to manage people’s lives for them. And for everyone who was physically and mentally able, which is most of the country, he believed those people should get a good education, work hard and be productive. And then get to enjoy the rewards of their production. That if you were on public assistance because you couldn’t find a good job or not qualified to get a good job, that government could help you finish your education so you can become independent.

The Eisenhower/Rockefeller Progressives were no longer running the Republican Party by 1964. When President Eisenhower left office in 1961, Republicans were looking for a new direction and leadership. Senator Barry Goldwater filled that vacuum for them in 1964 and that is the direction they stuck with until President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989. And because of this there was no longer a base of support for Progressives like Nelson Rockefeller to step up and lead the GOP in that direction. Because they were now outnumbered by Conservatives.
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What About Larry: Video: Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio: Kevin Spacey’s Impressions: Smart Answers to Stupid Questions

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This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger

People have asked me what’s my style of humor, my sense of humor and how I come up with lines and so-forth. I’m not saying I’m a professional comedian or anything (at least I haven’t gotten paid for being funny, yet) . But I have been able to make people laugh hysterically, intentionally and unintentionally in the past. And I’ve told them simply my sense of humor is off the cuff, I say what’s on my mind when I’m thinking it. Rather than “that sounds funny and use it two weeks later”. To me humor has to be fast and relevant. Example of a bad joke. Cracking jokes about Priests at a football game, is probably not a smart play.

First of all you’re likely to offend a lot of people there and not seem funny, but insulting. Which to me are two different things, but you’re going to get strange looks (or end up wearing someone else’s lunch) like making a Catholic joke at a football game when some half-naked moron runs on to the field during the game and people will look at you like “what does a drunk Priest in Church have to do with the guy who ran on the field”. You’re humor needs to be relevant and needs to make sense. And what I do is, I see myself as an analyst of life, we all are and I make judgements and comment on things that I see whatever is that interests me. If you watch the sitcom MASH or Seinfeld, that’s exactly what they do. Here’s the situation, what you think about it and they would look for the funny side of it.

Alan Alda who played Hawkeye Pierce, my favorite sitcom character of all time. If not in TV in general would be performing surgery and cracking jokes as he’s doing it while saving the patients life. One to relax the people he was working with in that stressful environment, but also to relax himself. “This is the situation and this is what’s funny about it was their approach to comedy”. To give you a personal example, I use to work in customer service, have about twelve years experience of that. And we were surrounded by people, customers mostly for whatever reason, they were nervous or whatever. But would go brain-dead when they would approach you and ask the dumbest questions possible.

No joke when I worked at a movie theater, we had to wear these loud maroon colored red polo shirts. With the name of the movie theater on them, with these corny name tags on them. I’m Joe or Sally or whatever, with your name on them obviously, (what was the first clue). We just got a lot of customers that were either, drunk, high or both or perhaps just had brain surgery, but their doctor actually removed their brain by accident.

Smart answers to dumb questions

Customers would constantly walk up to me and ask, do I work here. And seriously this is no joke, I would always reply with a smart ass answer and I never got in trouble for it. And I would say no, I stole this shirt or I’m a member of the theater fan club.

“Do you sell popcorn?” No we are the only movie theater in America that doesn’t sell popcorn. We sell Chinese food instead, but sorry no chopsticks you have to eat with your hands.

Again true story, one day I’m in a ticket booth, selling tickets, naturally. (If you would guessed I was selling sporting equipment, you would be wrong). And someone asked, me where do you buy tickets, I told them three blocks down the street at the gas station, but if you want your oil changed or need gas, you have to buy it here.

Another person asked what size is the small popcorn. I said small we aren’t trying to fool you with false advertising even though that would be very tempting because of the quality of our customers. “Well what does it look like”? It looks small. Again no joke someone asked how much are free refills, I told them five bucks, but we only take travelers checks. Again this is the situation in front of me and that’s what I was thinking right at that moment.

That’s the style of humor that you get from Kevin Spacey the actor/director/writer, but I would throw in comedian as well. The guy could’ve been a full-time professional comedian if he wanted to. Watch the movies Swimming with The Sharks and Hurley Burley, The Big Kahuna and you’ll see what I mean. I would add Chris Walken and Tom Hanks to that list because their humor is so spontaneous, off the top of their heads, they don’t need scripts or writers. They do that for themselves which is what all great comedians do and is a style of humor I’ve patterned mine behind.

Improv Comedian

Improv Comedian

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Classic Canada Sports: NHL Expansion Documentary: Why The World Hockey Association Was Successful

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This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on Blogger

The National Hockey League up until the late 1960s were a six team league, just six franchises in the whole league representing two huge countries physically Canada and America. Spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, until they expanded in the late 1960s in major markets like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington in the mid 1970s. The National Hockey League spent its first fifty-years or so trying to prove to North America, especially America that they were even a major sports league, they’ve passed that test since, but they had a hard time expanding anywhere.

The NHL was reluctant to expand which is good reasons for the World Hockey Association. Not sure why they called it that because they were only in two countries, but its good for major league hockey in North America that they came into business in the early 1970s. Because they proved in just seven seasons that major league hockey could work in both Canada and America and went into markets like Hartford, Cleveland, Quebec, Winnipeg, Denver, Edmonton and others. Giving pro hockey players more of a choice in where they could play in what league and for what team.

The WHA proved that major league hockey could work in North America that the NHL was trapping it’s player in having to play for one team even after their contract expired. And that the NHL wasn’t doing a very good job in attracting as many fans as they could. The WHA was able to do as well as they did in that brief seven-year window that they had because they were able to attract talent that should’ve been in the NHL. But that the NHL let slide away from them because again they were trying to keep them with one club not letting see for themselves what else was out there.

But also players that should’ve been in the NHL, but there just wasn’t enough room for them because again up until the late 1960s again the NHL only had six clubs. Which meant great players like forwards Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretsky who I guess the NHL thought was too small. But all Wayne Gretsky did was show the world that he might be the best hockey player who ever played. But you could also make a case for Gordie Howe as far as who’s the greatest all around hockey player of all-time, but that’s a different debate.

And without the WHA maybe the NHL doesn’t have thirty clubs today, because maybe they wouldn’t have taken chances on markets like Nashville, Tampa, Miami, Raleigh, Denver, San Jose etc. And maybe they are still a small league just trying to survive like the Major Indoor Soccer League or something. The WHA was a success because a lot of their clubs were able to become part of the NHL. Like the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and others. And proved that major league hockey can succeed in North America. And without the WHA, the NHL is probably not as successful as it is today.
World Hockey Association

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Scott Rathburn: Video: NHL 1981: 1981 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I wish NHL Network, ESPN Classic and perhaps ESPN in general did more NHL history and showed more not just NHL classic games and not just in the offseason, but in the regular season, than they do now. Because even though I’m clearly not a hockey expert and it is at best my third or fourth sport that I follow and I’m not nearly the sports fan that I was as a kid, hockey is still pretty interesting to me and I would like to learn more about the history of the NHL. And seeing films and documentaries and old games allows for fans to do that.

Again no NHL or hockey expert here, but I do know that 1981 was the second of four straight Stanley Cups for the Long Island, soon to be Brooklyn Islanders as I call them. The Islanders of the early 1980s were very similar to the Edmonton Oilers of the mid and late 1980s. They had a lot of firepower led by Mike Bossy and many others. Great goaltending with Billy Smith and a very good defense in front of Smith with a great head coach in Al Arbor.

The NHL of the early 1980s was in a transitional period. With the Montreal Canadians having dominated the NHL in the 1970s, winning like four Stanley Cups. The power in the NHL was headed South to America with the Islanders and even West in Canada with the Oilers and Calgary Flames. Which was good for NHL fans because you didn’t know who was going to win the cup every year. Because you had at least three very strong Canadian teams and several strong American teams every year.

1981 Stanley Cup Champions

1981 Stanley Cup Champions

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Zhukaiww: Video: The Contender 2000 Trailer: A Movie About the Right of Privacy For Public Officials

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This post was originally posted at FRS FreeState 1975 on Blogger

The Contender movie from 2000 came about almost three years after the Monica Lewinski scandal broke and two years after President Clinton was impeached in the House on a party-line vote. President Clinton was actually mentioned in this movie, and about two years after the Clinton impeachment trial in the Senate I believe The Contender at least to some degree was influenced by the Lewinski scandal and the point that President Clinton was making.

President Clinton’s point being that his private life is just that and that even public officials elected officials president’s even have a Right to Privacy even as it relates to their sex life. And that if adultery is involved which it is in both cases that it’s between the adulterer, their family and the person the affair was with. Not 265-300M Americans as was the case back then and especially an opposition party that’s looking to embarrass the President or Vice President.

Or even bring the top leaders down, which was the case with the Lewinski scandal as well as in this movie. And it has Jeff Bridges who’s personally one of my favorite actors, especially for his great sense of humor. But he can also act, playing a President who’s wrapping up his presidency and looking to build his legacy. His Vice President just died in office and he has to fill that vacancy and basically has a choice between a popular Democratic Governor of Virginia GOV. Jack Hathaway played by a great character actor Bill Peterson. Famous for his role in CBS CSI. And a junior Senator from Ohio played by a very good actress Joan Allen. And these are the top two contenders for the Vice Presidency.

The President has to nominate a new Vice President and appoint them to both chambers of Congress because the House has an Advise and Consent role in nominating a new Vice President. And then you throw in the cast in the movie Jeff Bridges as the President, Sam Elliot as WH Chief of Staff, Saul Rubinek as WH Press Secretary, Joan Allen as Sen. Lane Evans nominee for Vice President. Gary Oldman as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Bill Peterson as GOV. Jack Hathaway who wants to run for president and become vice president to help him with that.

Christian Slater who plays a freshmen Representative from Delaware who doesn’t like Sen. Evans because she used to be a Republican. And wants GOV. Hathaway to be Vice President. And actually works with the Chairman who presides over the Vice Presidential confirmation hearings for the House. To make sure that Sen. Evans does not get confirmed because the House Republicans of course see Sen. Evans as too liberal. So you have all these little side stories and motivations and everyone involved has stake in the game so to speak.

Joan Allen plays the first female nominee for Vice President in American history who has a wild history from college. And seen as someone who slept around and even had an affair with one of her friend’s husband played by Robin Thomas. Who she later marries and starts a family with. Sen. Evans is also the daughter of the former Governor of Ohio who’s a Republican, but supports his daughter’s nomination for Vice President. And the House Republicans and their special interest allies try to make the most of Sen. Evans private life to bring her down. So she doesn’t become Vice President of the United States one step away from the Presidency, great movie.

U.S. Senator Lane Evans

U.S. Senator Lane Evans

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The New Republic: Opinion: Nathan Lean: Bill Maher-Ben Affleck Islam Debate: “There is No Muslim World”: Differentiating Between Jihadism and Islam

Bill Maher
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The New Republic: Opinion: Nathan Lean: Bill Maher-Ben Affleck Islam Debate: There’s No Muslim World

Where I believe Nathan Lean and I agree is that there’s a difference between jihadism and Islam. Islam is a religion and most Muslims tend to be peaceful. I think that is obvious because if Muslim was a religion of violence, the jihadist movement would be a hell of a lot bigger today than it is. It is jihadism where the terrorism is coming from when we are talking about North Africa and the Middle East. Jihadism similar to the Religious-Right in America, is a warped interpretation of what Islam is and supposed to be about. And that their beliefs are so strong, that they’ll use violence to promote them.

I compare jihadism with the Religious-Right and when I’m talking about the Religious-Right, the militant Religious-Right. People who I don’t even really consider to be real Christians in the sense because of how violent they are. And willing to blow up abortion clinics even if innocent people are murdered to prevent abortions from happening. And what they would call to save the lives of innocent babies. Well Jihadist’s even though technically they are Muslims, are not acting in their faith when they blow up airports and shoot innocent people in crowded public spaces.

One thing that Islam and Christianity have in common, is that they have some serious radicals that give their religion a really bad name. And do horrible things and kill innocent people in the name of their religion, even though what they are doing goes against what their religion is about and what it preaches. I think that is where Bill Maher and Sam Harris and I would disagree. Bill Maher at least, perhaps not Sam Harris. Even though I’ve been with both of them when criticizing the lets say political correct Left about them unwilling to criticize Jihadist’s. But more than happy to attack the Religious-Right.
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Lain Lucey: Video: Same Time Next Year, 1978 With Alan Alda & Ellen Burstyn: The Ultimate Weekend Getaway From Reality

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Same Time Next Year might be the best romantic comedy of all-time. And if it isn’t, it might be the smartest romantic comedy of all-time and definitely in the top one percent of both categories. Because I don’t believe it was trying to be funny, but the movie was just so natural. With the two main characters George and Dorris played by Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, who were just so real with both having noticeable flaws that came out often especially George. And the two both looking for something different in their relationships.

The only part of the movie I do not get is the opening scene. Why would two happily married people be out in the country by themselves having dinner by themselves? What were they doing there all alone when they are both happily married with kids. But that is how the movie and this love affair that is only one weekend a year, but for the next twenty-six years starts. And this would actually be a movie that should’ve had a second chapter. To see how this couple made out because both of their spouses die in the movie.

What I also love about this movie is when George and Helen weren’t making love in the movie, the rest of the movie was conversational between this couple. And you get to learn so much about them. About how vulnerable and lacking in self-confidence George was. And how unsure he was and easy to blame himself about things and how bad of a liar he was. To Helen wanting a stronger man in his life stronger than the man here husband was. These are two very good caring people, but two real people looking for something different in their lives.

Mendocino California

Mendocino California

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