Sunday, June 19, 2011

If you voted for Obama (like I did) how's that "Hope and Change" thing working for you?!?

And because I'm in the frame of mind the above headline suggests, I'm writing this with larger "letters" than I usually do.

First of all, sorry for the delay. In a short blog note that was posted a few days ago, I told you that because of an off the charts computer problem that I thought was going to force me to buy a new computer, I couldn't write this blog on Wednesday which I had planned to do. As it turns out, the computer apparently just needed some "rest" and after quite a few hours of being turned off, when I turned it back on, it was (knock on wood) in operational order again.

Okay....

Between the time the last blog was written and now, many things have happened and I'm hard-pressed to....

I mean, the Republicans had their "debate" last Monday....Iraq is claiming that we are responsible for more than $17,000,000,000 (and counting) that was lost or stolen from cargo planes used by the Bush Administration....Our wonderful "ally", Pakistan arrested 5 CIA informants who helped us find Osama bin Laden....While claiming that the rest of us need to accept cuts in Medicare, Social Security, etc., for the good of our country, Conservative darling, Paul Ryan, like so many of his ilk, (on both sides of the aisle) has been exposed as being a guy who has personally made good money because of other "proposals" he's championed....American troops in Afghanistan are wondering if they can now go home because the original reason for us being there was to capture and or kill Osama bin Laden, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates is telling them, "It's too early to end this war!" and MY response is, WHAAAAT?!?....

Yeah, there was the Anthony Weiner nonsense and a few other things, but let's move on....

And I'll begin with the headline that you see above. For you readers who are relatively new and you haven't had the time to read previous blogs, let me state something that long time readers know about me. I'm a lifetime Republican who voted for Barack Obama. He is the first Democrat I've ever voted for.

Because we never know what's going on behind closed doors at the White House (no matter who the president is), if we've been around long enough, we understand that the president shouldn't get all the credit when good things happen and the president shouldn't get all the blame when bad things happen. But we also need to remember what the very good President Truman once said; "The buck stops here!"

I don't blame President Bush for our horrible economy which pretty much exploded publicly shortly after he won a second term. I think this was simply a case of President Bush being "in over his head".

That's one of the reasons I voted for Barack Obama.

But two years later (as in NOW) I believe that as opposed to being the "Hope and Change" president, President Obama is being exposed as the "BUSH-LIGHT" president.

I mean, look at what he's doing. He has continued Bush's wars. He has continued Bush's tax cuts. He tried to come up with a much needed health care plan that would benefit all of us except for the health insurance fat cats who bleed us dry on a daily basis and he "caved" on the one aspect that would have made this new law a terrific new law as opposed to what it looks like we might end up with. And that's if we end up with anything new at all, besides a plan that will hurt seniors down the road. A plan that was ridiculed by none other than Newt Gingrich until he was shouted down.

Gang, we hear a lot of talk about our "deficit". Yes, we need to do something about our spending. Or if we absolutely need to spend some serious money for something we think is important to all of us, then we need to understand that we'll have to pay a "tax" for that until we get America's finances in order.

And because I'm a guy who believes in "sooner" rather than "later", let's have a tax for these wars we're in. If we think these wars are important, let's pay for them. And THAT ladies and gentlemen is how you begin to decrease our deficit!

Here's another example. Remember when President George H.W. Bush said, "Read my lips! No new taxes!"?!?

When he realized that the Reagan adminstration's economic policies (the trickle down nonsense) that H.W. referred to as "voodoo economics" before Reagan asked H.W. to be his running mate, were proven to be "voodoo economics" while H.W. was president, he raised taxes and that cost him any chance of being elected to a second term.

If President Obama is any kind of "real deal", he needs to see to it that we pay for things like these three wars (don't forget Libya) and other high-ticket deficit adding items we're involved in. If because he's more interested in getting a second term than doing the right thing economically, he will prove to have deserved the nickname I've given him which is, "Bush-Light"!!!


The June 13 Republican "Debates":

Did you watch them? Two hours of entertainment. In fact, they were so entertaining, Michele Bachmann was considered by many to have been the most impressive debater that night. On a positive note, here's what a lot of people need to remember about Congress-woman Bachmann. She has lost only one election (I think it was a school board thing) and she has won (I think) as many as six elections. She has also never "quit" something she was elected for. Michele Bachmann is a big hit on cable shows and as a public speaker because she's apt to say any number of outrageous things that more often than not aren't truthful, but because they're entertaining and she's cute, she gets a "pass" for a lot of her "statements". But Ms. Bachmann is not a stupid person. And anyone who thinks she is, is underestimating her (big mistake) and I think she (at times) plays off of that like I'm sure she did when she was in high school and boys were hitting on her. Buuuut....If Michele Bachmann were to become a candidate who might become the GOP nominee, she will be getting questions the likes of which she hasn't had to deal with yet. Questions about her husband, Marcus, come to mind. Marcus, in addition to being Michele's "chief of staff" so to speak, is also someone who works as a Christian Therapist. I had honestly never heard of that "title" until now, but the fact that Christian Therapist Marcus Bachmann seems to believe that "gay people" can be "cured", is whacha call, interesting. And if she becomes a serious candidate, I'm sure someone will ask Ms. Bachmann if she agrees with her husband. There would also figure to be some questions about a guy who is a well known believer in "White Supremacy" that she has been friendly with. There's also something that's been floating around out there about a son of hers, and if that was brought up in an interview or a debate, she would need to have an explanation ready.

Translation: Politics is a "blood sport", folks. Especially at the level she says she wants to play in now. And only the strong survive.

THOUGHTS and or COMMENTS? Write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net and I will respond to you A.S.A.P.


ENTERTAINMENT STUFF:

Since the last blog, I've seen quite a few television shows, films that are currently on the cable circuit and two new films that I would like to tell you about.

But first, did you see and hear Mark Anthony's singing of our National Anthem prior to game 6 of the NBA Finals that Dallas ended up winning? While watching and listening to Anthony's outstanding performance, I couldn't help but think how blessed this guy is! He's married to Jennifer Lopez, one of the most beautiful women on the planet, she gave him twins, he's a big time singer, she's a big time singer, American Idol judge and actress and that leads me to her latest film that is now on the cable circuit. "The Back-Up Plan", a 2010 film now on Showtime. This film didn't do well as a theatrical release. Her co-star is Alex O'Loughlin along with the cutest little dog you'll ever see. What this film is about is Lopez's character wanting to have a baby and she went through one of those artificial procedures so she could get pregnant. All of a sudden she meets this guy who knocks her socks off. But the "artificial" get pregnant procedure kicks in faster than she thought it would and she is stuck with trying to figure out how to tell the Alex character about something he definitely will have to know.

Yes, there are problems when she drops this on him. But when he's okay with it, she doesn't believe him and we have more conflict.

There are some slow moments in this film, but because Lopez and O'Laughlin have such great chemistry together, you can't help but be happy for them when they're happy, sad for them when they're sad, etc., etc. Gang, I liked this film and the next time one of the Showtime channels shows it, do yourself a favor and check it out. Do you remember that film that Jennifer Lopez did with George Clooney? A film that a lot of people think was the best film either one of them has been a part of? That was the same feeling I had while watching "The Back-Up Plan". Translation: If you have Jennifer Lopez or George Clooney in a film, they'll provide "chemistry" for you. If either of those actors hook up with another actor who can go toe to toe with them chemistry-wise, you're going to be watching some fun entertainment.

Onward....

How many years has "The Mentalist" been on CBS? A show that stars Simon Baker and Robin Tunney? A few days ago, I saw two rerun episodes on TNT. It was the first time I had ever seen that show. My bad! That is a heck of a good show.

Long time blog reader Alan Ascher (who is also a terrific piano player and photographer who took the picture you see to the right of my latest blog) sent me a note asking me if I had ever seen "Men of a Certain Age" because I had never written anything about it. No, I hadn't and again, my bad. This show is on TNT, Wednesday nights and it stars Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula. Because I had the pleasure of spending a week as a Guest Star on "Everybody Loves Raymond", I should have known that anything Ray Romano would be involved with figured to be good. And now that I've finally seen "Men of a Certain Age", I can tell you that this is an off the charts terrific show and I recommend it highly.

Couple of other films currently on the cable circuit...

"Valentine's Day", a 2010 film on HBO directed by Garry Marshall ("Pretty Woman", etc., etc.) that has darn near every major actor in Hollywood in this film. I did a lot of smiling while I watched this and I think you will as well.

"Simone", a 2002 film on Encore that stars Al Pacino, Catherine Keener (I'm madly in love with her), Evan Rachel Wood (now that she's an adult, I'm madly in love with her as well), Winona Ryder and Rachel Roberts who plays the role of "Simone". This film has a very interesting twist to it and that's all I'm going to tell you except that if you decide to check it out, I think you'll like it.

"Power", a 1986 film on Encore that stars Richard Gere, Julie Christy, Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, Kate Capshaw, and E.G. Marshall.
I've seen a lot of Richard Gere films, but I hadn't seen this one. It's a political thriller that had me riveted.

And speaking of Richard Gere....One of my dear friends is the actor, Harold Sylvester who starred in the film, "Officer and a Gentleman" with Richard Gere and he has said nothing but very nice things about Richard Gere to me. I've never met Richard Gere, but I had a brief encounter with him. Like everyone else, I had heard those bogus on top of bogus rumors he dealt with for a while. I never believed any of the rumors, I turned out to be right and I've often said it's a shame he hasn't gotten nominations for films he has starred in, films that have generated Oscar nominations and in some cases Oscar wins for other actors who have been in films with Gere. Puh-Leeze! Gere didn't have something to do with the success of those films?

Okay...Here's my brief encounter story with Richard Gere. 23 or 24 years ago. Maybe 25. Whatever. Late at night. I had just parked my car in the lot of a high end restaurant here in Los Angeles. I was with a young woman I was dating at the time, a former Miss Hawaiian Tropic. We were walking toward the entrance to the restaurant when a man who was walking to his car came towards us. It was Richard Gere. When he got close to us, his eyes went to my date and then back to me and he gave me smile and a wink. One of those "I wish you well with the beauty" winks. We all kept on walking and for one of the very few times in my life, I was tongue-tied. Fast forward to many months later when I found out that was the same night he had been with the ex-wife of a very famous person and who had gotten angry with Gere because after having "the pleasure of her company", he didn't spend the night with her. How do I know this? She wrote about it in a book she wrote.

Two NEW films:

"Super 8", a film about a group of young people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time when a train accident happens, an accident that turns out to more than just an accident. It stars (among others) Kyle Chandler, Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Elle Fanning, Ron Eldard and Bruce Greenwood. It's directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by none other than Steven Spielberg. In today's Los Angeles Times, the great Patrick Goldstein is "on the money" when he makes the point that the first half of this film is better than the second half. While I agree with that, please know that the second half of the film kept me very interested, but that first half was really something special.

"Bridesmaids", a film about an upcoming wedding, problems involving pre-wedding stuff that causes a falling out between the future bride and her best friend and domination of the pre-wedding stuff by an insecure "poor little rich girl".

Gang, I think that "Bridesmaids" is an EXCEPTIONAL FILM!!!

The "Oscar" folks seldom take a film like this seriously when it comes to handing out awards.

"Bridesmaids" is very funny at times, sad at times and at times, it drives you crazy.

And I think it deserves a "Best Picture" nomination at the next "Oscars" show. In fact, of all the films I've seen so far this year, I think "Bridesmaids" should WIN an "Oscar" for Best Picture!

This film stars Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy and in what was her final film, Jill Clayburgh.

I think that Kristen Wiig is deserving of a Best Actress "Oscar" nomination, and Best Supporting Actress "Oscar" nominations should go to Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy.

Yeah, you can say I liked "Bridesmaids" a lot. Hell, I LOVED "Bridesmaids"!!!

Thoughts and or Comments? Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net and I will respond to you as quickly as I can. Please don't write to the blog because there's no way for me to know your email adress which means I wouldn't be able to respond to you. All "Anonymous" emails are ignored.

The next Blog? Good question, huh? The way things have been lately? Hopefully, in a week or so.

Meanwhile, I hope all you dads had a great Father's Day and I hope all you moms made certain of that.

And here's hoping that we all have a great week!



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