I try to stay positive, give people the benefit of the doubt and all that. But my Disgust-o-Meter pegged out listening to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s self-serving, blame-shifting farewell address Wednesday, in which he bemoaned how partisan divisiveness and our “broken politics” keep anything from getting done in Washington.
From January 2017 until today, the Republican Party held what Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would call "all three branches of government" (the White House, House and Senate.) America finally had a Republican President willing to stand up to Democrats and the most viciously partisan media onslaught in history to keep his campaign promises and enact a conservative agenda. The GOP held a tiny majority in the Senate but still had a leader willing to act as boldly as Democrats did to get past the 60-vote filibuster rule and confirm Trump’s judicial picks.
Meanwhile, in the House, Paul Ryan presided over a strong 236-197 Republican majority. Despite that historic opportunity to reverse a lot of dumb ideas that were dragging America in the wrong direction, the House utterly failed under his leadership to control deficit spending, defund Planned Parenthood, repeal Obamacare, fund a border wall or otherwise strengthen immigration law enforcement, or do much of anything that Republicans promised voters they would do if they were given power in 2016. And now that moment has been squandered and America is cursed with at least two years of another Pelosi-led Democratic House -- this one even further left than the last one -- blocking all efforts at desperately-needed reforms.
When I was Governor of Arkansas, I managed to get most of my agenda enacted, even though I had a legislature that was nearly 90% Democrat. So Speaker Ryan’s attempt to blame his failure to keep his Party’s promises on “broken politics” rings hollow to me. Something was “broken” in the House, but it wasn’t politics. I’m just lucky my TV screen wasn’t broken after I listened to that speech.
The newly-empowered Fantasyland wing of the Democratic Party keeps insisting that their “Green New Deal” could fulfill all our energy needs while creating jobs and not harming the environment. But their hemp-powered VW microbus keeps running into the brick wall of reality. For instance, those hundreds of millions of electric cars still have to be plugged into something to charge, and that energy can’t be generated by unicorn flatulence.
Now, here are some numbers from people on their own side that put a damper on their green fantasies. A new report by Leiden University in the Netherlands and the environmental consulting firms Metabolic and Copper8 estimates that generating enough wind and solar power to comply with the Paris Climate Accord would require an increase in mining of 12 times the current levels just to obtain all the critical metals needed to build all those solar panels and wind turbines. That doesn’t include all the mining needed to build the cars and devices that would use the energy; just the equipment needed to generate it. And let’s not even think of the blight on the landscape and the slaughter of birds created by a world covered in spinning windmill blades and solar panels.
Of course, there is a rational way to generate energy that is cleaner, more efficient and doesn’t create CO2. But that would require building new nuclear power plants. The green left will actually propose tapping unicorn flatulence before they go for that.
Democrats from 2002-Yesterday: “Bush is a war criminal and a puppet of the Saudis for sending our troops to the Middle East!!”
Democrats from Wednesday forward: “Trump is a war criminal and a puppet of Putin for pulling our troops out of Syria!”
A new poll shows that Americans rank "Government" as America's #1 problem, with "Immigration" as #2. Still trying to figure out how electing Democrats solves either of those.
Many media members and other liberal activists continue to falsely blame US border authorities and President Trump for the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant child taken into custody in El Paso. In fact, the girl’s parents chose to expose her to a long, dangerous journey under harsh conditions, and she had gone for several days without food or water before border officers found her. She began having seizures just eight hours after being taken into custody, and US authorities immediately provided emergency care and hospitalization for dehydration and septic shock. Tragically, it was impossible to save her.
The left is blaming her death on US authorities because she was on US soil and under our agents’ care when she died. This is like blaming a homeowner for the death of someone who was shot several times in the street, then staggered onto his lawn and fell down dead.
If you have any doubt that this is unconscionable exploitation of the death of an innocent child in order to score cheap, partisan political points, then consider this article about a Human Rights Watch report that lists 18 migrants who died while in US custody, all under the Obama Administration, and all were ignored by the media.
Must-See Video! A former NASA engineer got fed up with thieves stealing packages off his porch, so he took inspiration from the Christmas classic, “Home Alone,” and created a brilliant booby trap. Best of all, it includes four cell phone cameras to capture 360-degree video of the trap being sprung, plus GPS so that the trap can be retrieved and laid over and over again – which it was, with hilarious results each time. Judging from the comments, I’d say this guy could be very rich if he marketed this. Then we'd be able to spot every porch package thief in America by their foul smell and glittery appearance.
(This story is from “Huckabee” writer and our resident pop culture guru, Pat Reeder. Check out his hilarious book “Hollywood Hi-Fi” and its Facebook page, where he’s currently sharing rare celebrity Christmas records, at http://www.facebook.com/hollywoodhifibook )
We're all sad to hear of the death of comic actress/director/writer/producer Penny Marshall. She died Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home at 75, from complications of diabetes.
Your first thought of her might depend on which phase of her remarkable career you came of age in. After playing a number of bit parts in ‘60s comedies, she landed her breakthrough role in the sitcom version of “The Odd Couple” as Oscar Madison’s schlumpy secretary Myrna, a part that Jack Klugman insisted she be cast in. Most fans will instantly think of her with an “L” embroidered on her blouse as Laverne DeFazio, one of two plucky brewery workers with big dreams in the ABC mega-hit, “Laverne and Shirley.” But younger readers might first recall her for the hit movies she directed, such as “Big,” “A League of their Own,” “Awakenings” and “The Preacher’s Wife.”
There will be a lot of tributes and obituaries for her in the news, so instead of repeating all the things they’ll say, here are some cool trivia bits about her that you might not know:
She was the kid sister of legendary sitcom writer/producer Garry Marshall, but she wasn’t handed stardom through nepotism. She barely knew Garry when she moved to Hollywood, and he gave her some advice and introductions. But as a divorced mom, she worked as a secretary to support herself and her daughter while studying acting and going to auditions.
Her first TV role was in a Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo commercial, in the rather humiliating part of the golden-tressed Farrah Fawcett’s Plain Jane roommate.
She auditioned for the role of Gloria on “All In The Family,” but was rejected. But her then-husband, Rob Reiner, got the part of Mike.
The “Happy Days” spin-off “Laverne & Shirley” debuted at #1, and in its first two years, beat “All In The Family” in the ratings. It ran for eight years and was so popular it once pulled a 60 share in the ratings. Penny said, “That doesn’t happen except for the Academy Awards or things like that, like the Super Bowl.” It was sold into syndication for the then-record price of $50,000 an episode and is still being enjoyed by new generations.
Producer Garry Marshall said, “People were dying for someone that didn’t look like Mary Tyler Moore, a regular person. My sister looks like a regular person, talks like a regular person.”
Despite its popularity, “L&S” was repeatedly snubbed by the Emmy Awards. Neither Penny nor co-star Cindy Williams was ever nominated for Best Comedy Actress. The show received only one Emmy nomination, for Best Costume Design.
At the height of its popularity, two albums were released: “Laverne & Shirley Sing” and “Lenny and Squiggy Present Lenny & The Squigtones,” featuring the comedy rock tunes of supporting cast members Michael McKean and David Lander. Their band included Christopher Guest under the alias Nigel Tufnel, making this the earliest incarnation of the satirical, fictional rock band, Spinal Tap.
After making the leap to directing, she seldom acted again. It’s very unusual for a TV sitcom star to become a major motion picture director. Ron Howard is also such a rarity, and by a weird coincidence, he starred in “Happy Days,” which begat “Laverne & Shirley.”
Penny Marshall was only the second woman in history to direct a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar (“Awakenings.”) She’s one of seven women to do that without getting nominated for Best Director.
She was a lifelong Yankees fan (she used to skip school as a kid to attend their games) and a supporter of the Lakers and Clippers. You’d be more likely to spot her courtside at a basketball game than at a chic showbiz party. And she was a major sports memorabilia collector who owned everything from Michael Jordan’s jersey to rare vintage baseball photos from Cuba. “A League of Their Own” was a dream project for her because she wanted the world to know about the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.