Jane Powell, RIP

September 19, 2021

Sad news for fans of classic film musicals: One of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era, Jane Powell, passed away Thursday of natural causes at 92. Powell had a very long career in movies, stage and TV, but is most famous for the classic MGM musicals “Royal Wedding” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Some of her other notable films include “Hit The Deck,” “Small Town Girl” and “A Date With Judy.”

Powell became a star at a time when operatic sopranos such as Jeannette McDonald, Deanna Durbin and Kathryn Grayson could actually become movie stars. She never learned to read music, but despite being only 5-foot-1, she had a powerful coloratura voice. I assume she must’ve had to stand on a pretty tall box to do love scenes with Howard Keel. I had the honor of meeting him once. I’m 6-1, and I had to look up at his face as I shook his hand.

Younger readers might know Powell for her many TV appearances, including a recurring role as Alan Thicke’s mother on “Growing Pains.” Powell’s career spanned 67 years, from her first movie, “Song of the Open Road,” in 1944 to her final guest-hosting stint on Turner Classic Movies in 2011. She even performed in concert with the hot lounge group Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl in 2010.

Fun Fact: even though she was so famous as the sunny “girl next door” that her autobiography was called “The Girl Next Door and How She Grew,” she was married five times. I guess she lived next door to a lot of people at one time or another.

If you’d like to check out Jane Powell at her best, stream “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” a fantastic musical with a wonderfully politically-incorrect plot. Or pick up a copy of “Royal Wedding” (the movie in which Fred Astaire dances up the wall and across the ceiling.) It’s out of copyright, so you can find very cheap DVDs. Just make sure you get a good transfer since some of them look like you’re watching it at the drive-in through a dirty windshield

"Tax the Rich"

September 19, 2021

I haven’t spent much time talking about the fallout from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearing a designer “Tax The Rich” gown to the ultra-swank Met Gala ($30,000 a ticket/$200,000 a table) because it seemed like one of those “good for a laugh for one day” stories. But it just keeps hanging on because it’s such a perfect illustration of the stunning hypocrisy of the limousine socialist crowd. Some of the latest developments:

The Met claims the ticket was comped. Conservative watchdogs are demanding that the cost of her ticket be declared as taxable income or a campaign contribution. Even Bill Maher felt compelled to school AOC on the fact that most taxes are already paid by the rich.

Many people seem to have overlooked that AOC was also carrying a “Tax the Rich” handbag by the same designer. AOC defended her as a “black woman immigrant” who started in flea markets. She now sells those handbags for $995 each and is dating billionaire Seagrams heir Benjamin Bronfman.

Meanwhile, socialist fashionista AOC is now selling her own “Tax the Rich” T-shirts for $27 and hoodies for $56. Priced for the proletariat, relatively speaking.

That’s why I had to revisit this story. Because it shows what can only happen in America: two minority females, one a struggling immigrant. One is now a fabulously successful designer dating a billionaire, and the other is a Congress member making six figures, attending $30,000 celebrity galas, wearing designer gowns and selling tons of swag on her website.

Both are a shining example of the greatness and wide open opportunities of the American capitalist system!

Too bad they’ll have to give up so much of the fruits of their labor when they get their enormous tax bills.

Isn’t it great to have competent, adult leadership in the White House that will make other nations respect us again? Yet for some reason, all our allies are furious with us. And in a stunning move on Friday, our oldest ally, France (which helped the Colonies win the Revolutionary War) recalled its ambassador from Washington, DC. French leaders are furious at the Biden White House for blocking them out of a national security pact with the UK and Australia and agreeing to provide nuclear submarines to Australia (France also recalled its ambassador to Australia.) It will cost France billions because Australia canceled a contract to buy subs from France. This follows hot on the heels of Biden pulling disastrously out of Afghanistan without informing our allies such as France.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian railed, “This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do. I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”

I should point out that Le Drain, a former Socialist Party member, probably felt he had to include that kneejerk slap at Trump. But guess how many times France recalled its ambassador while Trump was President.

An Obama-appointed federal judge denied the Biden DOJ’s request for an emergency court order to block Texas’ new “heartbeat” anti-abortion law.

The judge said this case presents complex, important questions of law, and both sides should be allowed to present their arguments. He’d previously set October 1st as the deadline for submitting paperwork. A senior fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center defended the Texas law, saying it was not an incitement to vigilantism or frivolous lawsuits, and that instead of waiting to see if a Texas citizen would bring an enforcement action with enough proof to support it, the DOJ was trying to enjoin every Texas citizen from being allowed to file suit, no matter how blatant the violation.

He summed it up this way: “In the name of defending an invented constitutional right to abortion, Attorney General Merrick Garland wants to suspend an actual right found in the Constitution — the due process of law.”

There’s more at the link. This case could have wide repercussions, since other states are waiting to see if courts will uphold the law before passing similar ones.

In the meantime, we’ll likely hear more hysterical reactions from the same liberals who proudly boast that they won’t eat anything with a face, but will fight to preserve their right to kill humans with a heartbeat.

The Biden White House’s plan to start rolling out COVID-19 booster shots as soon as Monday hit a wall on Friday when an FDA advisory panel overwhelmingly voted against it.

In a 16-2 vote, the committee rejected the idea of giving a third booster vaccine shot to 16-to-64-year-old Americans who are not at high risk for a severe case of the disease. The panel voted unanimously to give emergency authorization for booster shots for seniors and those at high risk, but most members believe the average vaccinated person doesn’t need them. There’s also concern about the rare but real possibility of side effects, particularly heart inflammation in young males, when the disease itself poses such a small risk to that group.

This came after two top FDA officials quit and co-authored a paper in the British medical journal The Lancet denouncing the push for universal booster shots.

The FDA doesn’t have to take the panel’s recommendation, but if it doesn’t, it will be interesting to hear their justification, especially considering that 16-2 margin. Journalist Jordan Schachtel tweeted that this was a clear and “legit revolt” by the FDA bureaucracy against the Biden plan to roll out booster shots for everyone, and “The White House is not happy.”

I’m fascinated to see what they’ll do next. They keep telling us to “follow the science” and treating any questions or objections as if they’re coming from knuckle-dragging cave persons. Now, experts from their own FDA have voted 16-2 against their booster plan. Will they try to tell us those people don’t know science as well as Joe Biden? Or will they just get their friends in the news and social media worlds to silence them?

Friday, the head of US Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced that the drone strike on alleged ISIS-K terrorists in Kabul on August 29th didn’t kill any terrorists. Instead, it mistakenly killed an aid worker who was loading water canisters into his car and nine of his family members, including seven children.

The attack that was previously called a “righteous strike” by Gen. Mark Milley is now described as a “tragic mistake” for which McKenzie offered “my sincere apology.”

It has to be said that this never would have happened if the pullout hadn’t been so botched and left us with an uncontrollable, chaotic situation, no forces or reliable intelligence on the ground, and an opening for terrorists to launch attacks. But I don’t want to be accused of trying to score political points off of a terrible tragedy, so I’ll just point out that this was so bad, even some of Biden’s most loyal liberal media handmaidens couldn’t stop themselves from expressing outrage.

I’ll let you know how they eventually manage to find a way to blame Trump for this.

While we’re on the subject of comparing Joe Biden to LBJ, some media outlets are trying to do that favorably by comparing the $3.5 trillion spending boondoggle bill he’s attempting to force through Congress to FDR’s “New Deal” and Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Anyone who studied history before it was subverted by leftist politics should feel his blood run cold at the very thought. Those two massive expansions of government are almost entirely responsible for the bloated, Constitution-shredding government, corrosive welfare state and back-breaking national debt that we’re now enjoying.

Like Biden, those Presidents claimed that their massive spending and government programs were going to result in countless jobs, as if jobs were created by government, not the private sector when government gets out of the way and off its back.

At The Hill Newspaper, Amity Shlaes has a MUST-READ article about FDR’s New Deal, its similarities to the plan by Biden and today's Democrats, and why in most ways, it failed to work and made things worse for years.

In a statement that could easily apply to today’s Democratic socialist schemes, the chief economist at Chase Bank, Benjamin Anderson, said of the New Deal that after failing by playing God, the government chose not to retire but simply “to play God more vigorously.”

Finally, a hat tip to Instapundit for reminding everyone of this 2015 study by UCLA economists that found that FDR’s New Deal actually prolonged the Depression for seven years past the point when it should’ve ended. Coincidentally, the Obama-Biden Administration managed to drag out the 2009 recession for seven years past the point when it should’ve ended. And now, Biden’s trying to do it again with the pandemic shutdown recession.

These people just keep repeating history, maybe because they keep flunking it.

"Justice for J6"

September 18, 2021

The security fence has been put back up around the Capitol Building in advance of a rally Saturday in support of January 6th arrestees who are not accused of committing violence, yet some are being held indefinitely without charges and allegedly under appalling conditions such as solitary confinement. The rally is called “Justice for J6.”

The organizer said they’ve already held two events, at the prison and the DOJ, and there have been no incidents. He urged anyone who might commit violence to stay away.

However, many Republicans, including President Trump, say they’re staying away from the rally and urge others to as well. Trump told the Federalist that it’s “a set-up”: “If people don’t show up they’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of spirit.’ And if people do show up they’ll be harassed.”

There’s also the potential that leftist agitators from groups like Antifa will show up dressed as Trump supporters and start violence. Not that that would EVER happen, of course. But if they wanted to, they probably could, since most of them who were ever arrested for rioting or attacking federal buildings were immediately released.

I think it’s also worth noting that Democrats like Nancy Pelosi insist that it’s crazy to think a border wall would provide any security, but the minute they feel even slightly threatened, what happens? They put up a security wall.