CHAMELEON POLITICS

Election Day is fast approaching. How do I know that? Not by looking at the calendar. Anyone can do that. No, I know ED is approaching because the Dems have been changing their positions on the issues in order to get elected or re-elected. They know they are on the wrong side of the key issues such as inflation, the economy, immigration, the border and crime They do this every election cycle, betting that the public has a “short” memory and will forget what they have done and said for the past 20 months or so. Unfortunately, this tactic seems to work to a large extent.

For example:

  1. Recession? What recession? We must no longer define a recession by two consecutive quarters of negative growth as we all learned in school. Instead, the Dems are using some gobbledygook definition that no one understands to “prove” that the economy is doing just fine.

2. Inflation? They harp on the fact that the rate is coming down from 8.6% to 8.3% to “prove” that inflation is under control. (Remember how they all insisted inflation was “transient? That was a “good one.”) They maintain, we’ve turned the corner. Ignore the higher prices for everything from groceries to clothes to rent to gas at the pump. Don’t worry about being able to afford to heat your home this winter. Ignore the fact that the rate of inflation is the highest it’s been in over 40 years. Also, don’t be fooled by the recent decrease in the price of gas at the pump. That just pre-election misdirection. I predict that the price will go right back up after ED.

3. The financial markets cratering, setting new lows for 2022 and wreaking havoc with your retirement plans? Nah, don’t be concerned. It’s just a temporary setback. Biden and the Dems have it all figured out. It will all be okay. We all have to sacrifice for the general good. And, yes, we are all definitively sacrificing. On January 20, 2020 when Biden was inaugurated the Dow was 32,977. Wednesday, it closed at 29,226. That is a decrease of 11.4%. That means that if your 401k was worth $10,000 on 1/20/20 it is now worth only $8,860. Furthermore, thanks to inflation that $8,860 will buy you considerably less goods and services. More on this later.

4. Open borders? Nah. Pay no attention to what you see on tv or read in the news. The border is “secure.” VP Kamala Harris, the border czar, tells us so, and she “knows” even though she has never been to the “real” border, and probably can’t even find it on a map.

5. Crime? What crime? The riots in various cities last year? Just peaceful demonstrations. The real destruction took place on January 6 in DC. Ignore the crimes you see on tv news daily. Never mind the poor woman who was severely beaten on tv by a homeless man who should have been in jail for prior crimes. Everybody “knows” the cities are safe. Are you going to believe what the Dems tell you or what you see with your own eyes or, God forbid, what you may have experienced firsthand as a victim.

6. Defund the police? That was not me, they now say. That was the GOP.

7. Joe and Hunter Biden’s nefarious deals with China and Russia? Fake news. Nothing to see here.

8. Where is the “squad,” aka “The Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse?” Keeping a very low profile, that’s where. I haven’t heard one of their inane comments in quite a while. But, don’t worry. They’re just “laying low” for now. Everyone knows their comments and opinions are ultra-radical and damaging to mainstream Dems. After the election they will be back.

There are several close, pivotal Senate races that will determine control of the Senate. At the moment it is split evenly – 50 GOP, 48 Dem and two independents who caucus with the Dems. With VP Harris casting any tiebreaking vote that means that the Dems have control. I will highlight three races where I believe a biased media has suppressed or downplayed certain facts to deceive the voting public. This is not unprecedented. Prior to the 2020 election the media successfully suppressed the stories regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop and the Biden family’s nefarious dealings with China. The facts only began leaking out after ED.

1. Georgia Senate Race – Ralph Warnock vs. Herschel Walker. The latest polls show Warnock ahead by four-six points. In my view, Warnock is quite possibly the most radical senator. According to the Washington Examiner, Fox News, and other media outlets he is an unabashed supporter of both radical anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan and his “Nation of Islam” and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Additionally, on several occasions he has expressed “warm feelings” for Fidel Castro . Moreover, he is anti-Israel, and he has repeatedly blamed the Jews for the “transatlantic slave trade, plantation slavery, and Jim Crow [laws],” among other things. I don’t know how he got elected in the first place, (actually, I do know. The media suppressed all of the above, and his opponent ran a poor race.) In any event, he is an embarrassment to the Senate and does not deserve the vote of any decent, fair-minded American. I think if voters were aware of all the foregoing Walker would win easily.

2. Pennsylvania Senate Race – Mehmet Oz vs. John Fetterman. The latest Fox poll shows Fetterman ahead by four points. You can vote for Fetterman if you want, but you should be aware that he has severe health issues (stroke) and is on the “wrong side” of the issues Americans care most about. For instance, according to The Hill he is “soft” on crime; he opposes capital punishment and life imprisonment for second degree murder; he has long opposed fracking, a key industry for PA [but now with the election looming, he claims he is for it, (just the kind of flip-flop I was talking about)]; he favors a “wealth tax;” and universal Medicare; and he is an avid supporter of BLM. The media has kept most of these unpopular positions quiet, and JF has resisted debating Oz. Once again, I think if the voting public were aware of the foregoing Oz would win a close race.

3. Arizona Senate Race – Mark Kelley vs. Blake Masters. The latest polls show Kelley ahead by double digits. At this point, Masters is a long shot. But, once again, many if not most voters are unaware of Kelley’s record. For example, he has consistently supported Joe Biden, whose current approval rating according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos Poll, is only 41%. This includes his destructive policies on immigration and open borders. This is in opposition to most Arizonans who, like all residents of border states, are bearing the brunt of Biden’s upside down immigration policy, strongly disapprove of it, and want it changed. If voters were aware of this I believe many of them would vote for Masters, and he might pull an upset.

CONCLUSION

Economists know that inflation is the most insidious and destructive economic and financial force there is. Once it grabs hold of a country’s economy it is very tenacious. Defeating it can be very painful. If left unchecked, money can literally become worthless. Runaway inflation can and has destroyed countries. Historians will recall post-WWI Germany where runaway inflation did just that. Most historians believe it led directly to the rise of Hitler and WWII. More recently, we have the dire economic situation in Venezuela. I believe Biden’s policies have directly caused the inflation we are now enduring. I’m afraid that our economy is presently at a tipping point, and the 2022 and 2024 elections will be critical to our economic and financial survival.

As I said, don’t be fooled by the Dems’ tactics. Look at what they have accomplished (or not accomplished) in the past two years. I can’t think of one positive accomplishment. Can you?

The Dems have nothing positive to run on. Consequently, Biden, Harris and many of their supporters have been labeling anyone who opposes their policies as “anti-American,” a “Nazi” or a “racist.” According to this rhetoric roughly half of Americans, including yours truly, (some 70 million people in all) are racists. Of course, that is absurd on its face. How many racists have you encountered in your life? Probably, none. One can argue that racism was not uncommon in the past, but in this day and age there are very, very few racists. I, for one, am not a racist and, furthermore, I have never even met any as far as I know.

By contrast President Biden has, by his own admission, not only met many but has counted them among his mentors and friends (e. g. late senators, Robert Byrd, James Eastland and John Stennis and late governors George Wallace and Lester Maddox, among many others). I am not saying Biden is a racist, at least not presently. You can draw your own conclusions. I’m just saying one should not cast aspersions recklessly that are not supported by the facts, especially if one is in a position of power and influence.

A final point. It’s really very simple. The Dems have been in control of the presidency and both houses of Congress for the past two years. When deciding for whom to vote ask yourself the following timeworn question: “Are you better off today than you were two years ago?” If the answer is “yes,” then vote for the Dems. (If the answer is “yes,” perhaps, you should reassess your situation.) However, if the answer is “no,” then vote for the GOP.

NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD

The hypocrisy of woke, ivory tower, liberal Dems (“WITLDs”) knows no bounds. I have discussed several examples of this hypocrisy in my blogs over the last few years, and I see no need to waste your time and mine by regurgitating the myriad examples at this time. However, the latest example involving illegal aliens, or if you prefer, undocumented migrants, ranks right up there with the best (or worst) of them.

In the last several days the WITLDs have shown their true colors regarding this issue. Their hypocrisy has been laid bare for all to see. Witness the excessive and extreme objections of the politicians and citizens of NYC, LA, Chicago, Washington, D. C. and the topper, the icing on the cake, Martha’s Vineyard as overwhelmed states such as FL, TX and AZ have begun to bus small numbers of migrants to the foregoing locales. More on this below.

The WITLDs of these liberal bastions have long been loud and unrelenting advocates for the migrants. In my view, they care about them than about everyday American citizens. They have been preaching to the rest of us that massive, unfettered immigration was a key element of social justice, and anyone who raised any objection was a “racist.” Many of the cities they control have declared themselves to be “sanctuary cities.” They have continually bragged about their largesse, their generosity, their willingness to welcome anyone who wants to emigrate to the US, and their moral superiority over the rest of us. But, now, they have been “hoisted on their own petard.” Now, when faced with the reality of migrants seeking to live in their city they have changed their tune. Their new mantra is “not in my neighborhood.” They still support unrestricted immigration, but “not in my neighborhood.” They lecture the rest of us that to deny acceptance of migrants is racist, but don’t put them in “my neighborhood.” They support free housing, medical care, and a host of other services, but “not in my neighborhood.” Their attitude is “okay for thee, but not for me.” I absolutely love the irony!

From the beginning the Biden Administration has maintained an open border policy. No one knows how many migrants have entered the country since Biden took office. We don’t know where they came from, where they settled, and what their motives are. Was it political asylum as many have claimed or some nefarious activity such as terrorism, drug smuggling, or human trafficking? In many cases, we don’t even know their identities. The NY Post has estimated the number to be upwards of four million, but that is only a guess. Furthermore, it only counts the ones we know about, not the ones who have snuck in. This open border policy has directly caused the deaths of many migrants through accidental drowning in the Rio Grande and violence by the “coyotes.” Even worse, according to the CDC, since 1999 drugs, a goodly amount of which have been smuggled over the non-existent southern border, have been directly responsible for the deaths of nearly one million Americans, many of them mere children. Biden’s immigration policy is literally killing us!

Not only has the Biden Administration encouraged and permitted everyone to emigrate, it has ignored the financial, economic, social and security crises that such a policy has caused and perpetuated. Indeed, to this very day, it has denied even the existence of a crisis much less implemented a policy to resolve it. Additionally, for months, it has authorized the surreptitious shipment of tens of thousands of migrants all over the country in the dead of night without notice. (At first, they denied this, but video evidence has surfaced.) There has been no notice to or coordination with local officials. The migrants have just shown up. Of course, most of these destinations are small cities, such as White Plains, NY, that lack the infrastructure to care for them. In my opinion, this policy constitutes “human trafficking.”

Various Dem politicians, mayors and city officials of NYC, LA, Chicago and Washington D.C., among others, and WITLDs in the media, who have long championed unfettered immigration as long as the migrants were settled somewhere else, are complaining strenuously about a few busloads of migrants. For example, as reported in the NY Post, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot promptly dispatched a busload from Chicago to the suburbs. DC mayor Muriel Bowser grossly overreacted. She complained that DC was not a “border town,” declared a state of emergency, and called out the National Guard. (If only she had acted this decisively on January 6.) Hillary Clinton, who can always be relied upon for a partisan and inane quote, characterized the bus shipments as “human trafficking” and accused Governor DeSantis of the same. Hillary, how about the aforementioned Biden Administration’s surreptitious night flights over the last several several months? They’re not human trafficking? Please!

Then, there’s the WITLD bastion of Martha’s Vineyard whose officials and residents went ballistic over a mere 50 migrants. Well boo-hoo! How about the tiny border town of Del Rio, TX, population of 36,000, which according to Google has been inundated by approximately 1,100 migrants every day, day after day, for several months?

CONCLUSION

Critics have derisively labeled these small shipments as a “stunt” and a “political ploy.” Of course, it was. It was the only way to get Dems engaged and to get the national media to cover the crisis after nearly two years, and it is working.

I say, kudos to Governors Abbott and DeSantis for bringing this issue out in the open. Biden may not want to take any action to reverse the disastrous open border policy, but at least it is now out of the shadows. Finally, predictably, some Dem politicians, mostly those who are running for re-election in 2022 spurred by their own self-interest, have begun to speak out. (Remember my mantra: politicians are only good at two things – getting elected and getting re-elected.)

I expect this will be a major issue in November. The Dems will absolutely “own” it. Perhaps, it will be instrumental in throwing out some of the “do-nothing Dems.”

LIES, EXAGGERATIONS AND OBFUSCATIONS

As the midterm elections approach politicians have commenced to do what they do best. I often say that for all their faults, and there are many, politicians are very good at two things – getting elected and getting re-elected. In order to succeed at those two things all good politicians learn how to tell the voters what they want to hear, or at least what they think voters want to hear. At the very least, they shade the truth. Of course, we, the voters, are cognizant of this, yet since candidates of both political parties do it, we accept it and just vote for whom we like the best or dislike the least. Once elected, more often than not, candidates ignore or shade their campaign promises. Honestly, can you recall the last time a candidate fulfilled all his campaign promises? I think not.

In the current election cycle, however, the Dems have raised this to a new level, not all of them but certainly President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and a few others that are running for office. Their lies, exaggerations and obfuscations are so obvious that it is insulting to voters that they think we would “fall” for them. Do they really think that voters are that dumb, forgetful and oblivious? Apparently so.

Below please find a few of the most egregious examples.

  1. The southern border is secure. This shameless and unabashed falsehood has been repeated continuously mostly by President Biden, VP Harris, and DHS chief Alejandro Mayorkis. Anyone who has a tv or can read is aware of the flood of illegals crossing our border on a daily basis. Plus, in addition to the ones we see how about the ones we don’t see, don’t catch? Anyone can ascertain that our country is being flooded, at will, with criminals, drugs and terrorists. Several Dems facing tough re-elections, such as Henry Cuellar (Tex) and Catherine Castro Mastro (Nev), have suddenly awakened to the crisis and have begun to speak out. Where have they been? Moreover, many who have supported open borders for three years have suddenly gone silent. Basically, we have no viable border. Many migrants, including young children, have drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande. Yet, the Administration refuses to even acknowledge that we have a crisis. This reminds me of the famous quote by Chico Marx: “Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” When Marx said it, it was so ludicrous that it was funny. No one’s laughing now.
  2. Declining gas prices is an accomplishment. This is a classic. Yes, gas prices have been declining recently. But, a gallon of gas at the pump averaged $2.39 when Biden took office. It rose to over $5.00 in some areas thanks, in large part, to his shutting down the Keystone Pipeline. Now it has fallen to around $3.40 in my area, but that is still a significant increase during Biden’s tenure. Furthermore, Biden has had to dip into our strategic reserves to get the prices that low. In addition, if we have a cold winter gas prices will increase considerably further causing more hardship.
  3. The inflation rate is declining. This is a classic way one can finagle statistics. Yes, according to the CPI the inflation rate in August declined to 8.3% from a high of 8.5%, but it remains at an unacceptably high rate. Anyone who has filled their gas tank or gone to the market recently knows that. The economy simply cannot sustain an inflation rate this high.
  4. Student loan forgiveness. There is no world in which this is equitable or beneficial. How is it fair to those who paid off their loans? How is it fair to those who attended a community college in lieu of an expensive four-year university? How is it fair to those who worked their way through college? How is it fair to those who skipped or cut short college for economic reasons? In essence, they will be paying the bill for the profligacy of others whose loans will be forgiven. After all, the money has to come from somewhere. Plus, it is a boondoggle for universities, who will continue to raise their tuition prices, and it is inflationary.

The foregoing are just a few examples. There are many more. Crime, defunding the police, leaving Afghanistan. The list goes on and on. Virtually every decision President Biden has made has hurt the very people Candidate Biden pledged to help – the middle class, working class and seniors. Rather than being the “great unifier,” he has become the “great divider.” In speech after speech he has denigrated “MAGA-Republicans” and any others who oppose his policies as “terrorists,” “anti-American” or “racists.” Basically, that is half the country.

CONCLUSION

In reality, the Dems do not have any legitimate issues to run on. They cannot point to any successes, and there are many failures as outlined above. They are trying to “trump up” the January 6 protest, abortion and Donald Trump, himself, as issues. I’m not sure if they will be successful. The “witch hunt” January 6 “investigation” did not disclose any “smoking gun.” Also, how can they explain the inconsistency of why they considered the January 6 protest to be such a critical issue, but not the dozens of riots and acts of lawlessness in many of our cities last year? Hopefully, the voting public will come to realize that the Supreme Court has NOT outlawed abortion as Dems have been claiming but rather left it to the individual states to decide. Those who oppose that decision should stop “wringing their hands” and lobby Congress to pass a national abortion law. Surely, Biden would sign it. That is how our constitution was meant to work. Furthermore, Donald Trump is not on any ballot in 2022, and it is not even certain he will run in 2024.

The Dems are hoping voters will forget their unpopular positions on issues during the last three years or vote for their candidates despite them. Also, they are banking on the support of a largely biased media. Unfortunately, sometimes, that strategy works. It looks like it might be working this year. Based upon performance, the GOP should have a decisive edge and should gain majorities in both Houses. However, currently, most polls are showing that despite the historically poor performance of the Biden Administration over the past three years the midterms elections will be extremely close.

That said, a lot can happen between now and November 8.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, THE ACCIDENTAL QUEEN, THE RELUCTANT QUEEN

She wasn’t supposed to become queen. At birth, she was not the heir-apparent. There were others ahead of her in the line of succession. According to many historians, she was, at best, indifferent to the idea. She didn’t seek it; she didn’t especially want it; she didn’t have the personality for it. She was a private person. She didn’t want to be constantly in the spotlight as the position required; as she later confided to her riding instructor, she would have preferred to live the life of a “lady living in the country with lots of horses and dogs.”

Many believe her younger sister, Margaret, was better suited for it, at least personality-wise. Indeed Margaret relished the spotlight and probably wanted the position. But, as you will see, fate had its own plan. To paraphrase a famous expression, “man proposes and God disposes.” Thanks to a series of unforeseen events the position was thrust upon her. It is a supreme irony of history that one of the most popular, most effective and most beloved monarchs was, in reality, an “accidental” monarch, a “reluctant” monarch.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21, 1926 in London. At the time, her parents were known as the Duke and Duchess of York. As a child her nickname within the family was “Lilibet.” As the daughter of King George V’s second son, she was third in the line of succession, and she was not expected to ever become queen. Accordingly, as a child, she led a relatively “normal” life. She was “trained” to live the life of a lady of the Royal Family, not that of a Queen.

However, as most of us know, fate intervened. First of all, Elizabeth’s uncle, who had succeeded George V, was forced to abdicate the throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. He was then succeeded by his brother, Prince Albert, who was Elizabeth’s father. Elizabeth was now the “heir presumptive,” next in line for the throne.

Secondly, on February 6, 1952 Albert died suddenly in his sleep, making Elizabeth the Queen at the young age of 25. As a side-note, Elizabeth was in Kenya in the midst of a tour of various Commonwealth countries, and in that time of less sophisticated communications (no cell phones, no internet, spotty telephone service in Kenya) it took a while before she could be located and returned to England. Her coronation occurred on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey.

Queen Elizabeth reigned for 70 years, which was the longest tenure of any British Monarch and the second longest of any monarch in history. Can you name the longest? See answer below. As Queen, she dealt with 15 prime ministers from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss with whom she met just before her death, and in excess of one dozen US presidents.

Meanwhile, in 1947 Elizabeth had married a distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten. Philip was a member of both the Greek and Danish royal families (As we know, virtually all of the royal families in Europe were interrelated in some manner.) Immediately, the newlyweds embarked on an exhausting marathon world tour encompassing 13 countries and 40,000 miles over a seven-month period. I can’t imagine doing that, even with today’s modern conveniences, but Elizabeth felt it was important to “show the flag” to all the countries in the Commonwealth. Many of those countries were newly independent former colonies, and Elizabeth was determined that they retain ties to the mother country.

The two were very much in love, but their marriage was to be rife with controversies and embarrassments. Firstly, Philip was partly German, and some of his German relatives were Nazi sympathizers. WWII had ended only two years’ prior and animosities were still very fresh, so this became a major issue. Secondly, at times Philip chaffed at his status within the hierarchy of the royal family. For example, he was outranked by his own children, an oddity which could be awkward, at times. Elizabeth tried to placate him by delegating responsibility to him with mixed results. Thirdly, Philip had a “wandering eye,” which became a major source of embarrassment.

Also, the children were a further source of various scandals, which severely embarrassed the Queen who, as I said, greatly valued privacy, propriety and decorum. For example:

  1. Prince Charles had a very active “social life” before he settled down and married Princess Diana. They were not a happy couple, and throughout the marriage both engaged in extramarital affairs. They divorced in 1996 after 15 rocky years of marriage. The public was in love with the beautiful and glamorous Diana and generally sided with her over Charles. Elizabeth was unhappy with Diana’s free-spirited lifestyle and all the attention of the media and paparazzi.
  2. Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew’s wife caused embarrassment when she was photographed topless by a tabloid with her “financial advisor.”
  3. Prince Andrew was ensnared in the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal. Elizabeth was forced to strip him of his military and royal titles as well as his patronages.
  4. And, best (or worst) of all, we have the current controversies with Prince Harry and the former American actress, Meghan Markle. That matter is ongoing, and I could write an entire blog on it, but I won’t. Suffice to say, I liked Markle as an actress but not as a royal.

The foregoing are merely the highlights or, rather, the lowlights. Royal family watchers (those who follow the royal family assiduously) will likely be cognizant of many more.

CONCLUSION

As I said, Elizabeth was generally one of the most popular and respected monarchs. At the beginning of her reign she was viewed by the public and portrayed in the media as a “glamorous, fairytale Queen.” Later, as the aforementioned problems mounted, the public’s perception of the monarchy waned somewhat. The nadir came in the 1990s. By 2006, however, the monarchy’s popularity had returned in full force. For instance, at Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 polls reported her approval rating to be at 90%..

She adhered to the philosophy espoused by her mother:

  1. “Never complain.”
  2. “Never explain.”
  3. “Avoid the spotlight,” if possible.

She ruled through tumultuous times – wars, natural disasters, the “Troubles,” terrorism, and personal tragedies – with great grace and dignity. Through it all, she remained a symbol of strength, dignity and inspiration. For example, at the height of the COVID Pandemic she inspired the nation by reassuring the people that “if we remain united and resolute we will overcome it.” When people all around her were panicking, she remained calm and reassuring.

One of her most ardent fans is the renowned journalist Piers Morgan. Writing in the NY Post he characterized her as the GOAT, i. e. “greatest of all time,” and “a monumental towering royal colossus, who is not only the most famous person on Planet Earth, but the most respected.” Wow! Talk about hyperbole! I wouldn’t go that far, but I believe history will regard her as one of Britain’s best monarchs.

Rest in peace “Lilibet.” Your passing has created a great spiritual, inspirational, and emotional void. The British people need the new monarch to be able to fill that void. Let’s hope that King Charles III will be up to the task. “The Queen is dead; long live the King.”

Quiz answer: King Louis XIV of France who reigned 73 years from 1642 to 1715.

VIN SCULLY

He was a sports icon, a broadcasting legend. Over a 67 year career he developed his own unique style of “calling” a baseball game. More on that later. He “called” in excess of 9,000 baseball games plus 28 World Series, 20 no-hitters and four perfect games. Quite simply, he was the best.

He began his career in 1950 when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn. He “called” games for the “Boys of Summer” of Reese, Robinson, Snider, Hodges and Campanella, among others. In 1958 he accompanied the team to Los Angeles where he “called” games for Koufax, Drysdale, Garvey, Cey and Kershaw, among many, many others. Owners, managers, and players would come and go, but through it all there was one constant – Scully. To generations of fans, he WAS the Dodgers. Even fans at the ballpark would listen to his broadcasts. It was said one could walk through the park and not miss any of the action as Scully’s voice was omnipresent. “Sports Illustrated Magazine” once characterized him as being “as much a part of the Los Angeles scene as the freeways and the smog.”

Vincent Edward Scully was born on November 29, 1927 in The Bronx, NY. When he was only seven his father died, and the family had to move to Brooklyn. Ironically, as a youngster, his favorite team was the NY Giants, which was and is the arch enemy of the Dodgers.

He attended Fordham University where he worked for the school newspaper and played center field on the baseball team. He served in the Navy during WWII. After graduation he worked at a radio station in Washington D. C. where he was “discovered” by another famous broadcaster – Red Barber. At the time, Barber was a broadcaster for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He offered Scully a job as the third man in the booth along with the veteran, Connie Desmond. Scully studied the two veteran announcers assiduously. He often said that one lesson he learned from them was to always “go down the middle” when describing a play, good or bad. They way, you will have credibility with the listeners. In 1954 Barber left to join the NY Yankees broadcasting team, and just like that at the age of just 27 Scully became the lead broadcaster for the Dodgers.

Scully developed a unique style. He generally worked alone. He would describe a play in a reserved manner, rather than over-the-top excited as many announcers tend to do. For example, when the Dodgers won their long-awaited World Series in 1955 he merely said “The Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world.” Then he went silent and let the scene on the field speak for itself.

He became adept at telling stories during the action. His voice was calm and melodic, almost mesmerizing. Often, the stories would last over several batters or even multiple innings. In describing the action on the field one might say he was painting a picture. This was very effective, especially on the radio. (In the early years in LA the games were not on TV for the most part, so Scully’s style was needed and appreciated by the listeners.)

In the big moments Scully would often go silent, letting the action speak for itself. He believed that in moments such as that “less was more.” Take, for example, some of his commentary describing the action during Sandy Koufax’s perfect game: “There’s 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies.” “A lot of people in the ballpark now are starting to see the pitches with their hearts [hollering for the umpire to call “strikes.”].” He described Koufax “hitching up his belt and “mopping his brow,” and the other Dodgers pitchers “pressing up against the bullpen fence watching intently.” And, when the game ended in perfection, Scully was silent for several seconds as the fans cheered before he said: “On the scoreboard in right field it is 9:46 p. m. in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California.

In his long career Scully had the privilege of “calling” many famous moments such as Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Henry Aaron’s career record-breaking homerun in 1974 and Kirk Gibson’s improbable home run in the 1988 WS, always with the same reserved, understated style. No hyperbole. No excessive chatter and shouting. He let the action on the field speak for itself.

Scully was not limited just to “calling” Dodger games. In addition, he appeared on network television “calling” many “Games of the Week”, All-Star games, World Series. NFL games, and even golf tournaments. Moreover, he appeared in the movie “For Love of the Game,” among others.

CONCLUSION

Some quotes describing Scully:

  1. LA Times columnist Jim Murray dubbed him “the Fordham Thrush with the .400 larynx.”
  2. Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax: “It may sound corny, but I enjoy listening to Vin call a game almost more than playing in them.”
  3. Bob Costas marveled at his “command of language, quality of expression [and] the sheer sound of his voice.”
  4. Entertainer Ray Charles: “His broadcasts are almost musical. The sound is what matters to me.” (Costas arranged a meeting between Scully and Charles, and afterwards declared “Ray was over the moon, like a kid meeting his favorite ballplayer.”)
  5. Former baseball commissioner, Bud Selig admitted that whenever he would call the Dodgers he would ask to speak to Scully “because I want to hear [him] for a few minutes.”

Some Scully quotes:

  1. He would open his broadcast thusly: “Hi, everybody, and a pleasant good afternoon to you wherever you may be. Pull up a chair and spend part of the day with us.”
  2. Describing pitcher Bob Gibson and his tendency to work quickly: “He pitches as though he is double-parked.”
  3. Describing Montreal Expos outfielder, Andre Dawson: [He] has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day…aren’t we all?”
  4. About a mediocre Dodgers team: “The Dodgers are such a .500 team that if there [were] a way to split a three-game series, they’d find it.”

Scully kept his personal life private. He never talked about personal tribulations such as the death of his first wife due to an accidental overdose of cold and bronchitis medication, the death of his second wife from ALS, and the accidental death of his eldest son.

During the last few years of his career, as a concession to age, Scully lightened his schedule. He stopped traveling to games east of the Rockies.

Scully passed away on August 2, 2022 at his home. The Dodgers announced his passing during their game that night in San Francisco. All the players on both teams as well as many of the fans in the stands saluted him as a show of respect of whom he was and what he meant to the sport.

Rest in peace, Vinnie. You were one of a kind, the best.

JOE BIDEN DOES THE LIMBO

Sadly, President Joe Biden’s performance as president reminds me of that dance called the limbo – “how low can you go?” Joe Biden’s job approval and the public’s confidence in him and his policies have already sunken to record levels, and they will likely continue to sink lower and lower. Like the limbo the question is “how low can they go?” I don’t know, but I would not be surprised if they bottomed out in the low 30’s. See below for my reasons for this prediction.

According to Five Thirty Eight’s latest poll Biden’s job approval rating is 39%, which it reports is the worst of any elected president at this point in his tenure since the end of WWII. (Probably, the only person happy about this is former president Jimmy Carter.) The latest Real Clear Politics poll disclosed that only 18% believe the country is “heading in the right direction.” 18%! Actually, I’m surprised it is even that high. I would like to ask that 18% why they feel that way.

It’s easy to see the reasons for the poll numbers. I have published various blogs describing Biden’s far left (some would say, socialist) policies and predicting that, inevitably, they would ruin the economy (as well as the rest of the country). Anyone with even a basic understanding of economics would have to agree. There is no need to rehash them, in detail, now but below pIease find a few statistics for illustrative purposes. These are not my statistics. I obtained them from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and various media sources (not Fox News).

  1. The current rate of inflation is 9/1%, which is the highest level in over 40 years. Some of you may remember that last November, when the rate was 6.8%, Biden said inflation was “transitory” and had already reached its peak. Well, to no one’s surprise, he was wrong. It is higher and will likely go still higher. Inflation is very tenacious and insidious. It impacts every facet of our lives, and once it takes hold it is extremely hard to root out. If you doubt me, just research the inflation hell we went through in the 1970s. Everybody loses, regardless of color, gender or religion. Hourly workers’ paychecks buy less and less each month even if they get a raise. Retirees on a fixed income watch helplessly as their life savings melt away like a summer snow. Middle age workers seeking to build a nest egg for their future retirement or their kids’ education are thwarted at every turn. Young people just getting started are unable to start a family or buy that first house. In the face of all this, Biden and his supporters have not shown any remorse for having caused this calamity, nor offered any concrete plans to fix it, nor even exhibited any empathy for those who are suffering.
  2. Gas at the pump is has hit record highs. Prices have come down slightly in the last few weeks to around $4.50/gallon for regular, but that reprieve may prove to be “transitory,” pun intended. Moreover, let’s remember that when Biden took office on January 20, 2021 it was around $2.40/gallon, and according to AAA one year ago it was an average of $3.15. This is particularly damaging to Biden as it is “spin-proof.” People are reminded of it every time they “gas up.” Moreover, most people are not being fooled by the Administration’s lame repeated attempts to blame the high prices on Putin, COVID, Trump, or anyone else. It’s all about the Keystone Pipeline shut-down. Remember the first law of prices is supply vs. demand.
  3. For the month of June prices of all goods and services are up substantially from May – for example, groceries, 12%, electricity, 14%, airplane flights, 34%, and lodging, 11%, to name a few examples. We are reminded of it every time we shop. Furthermore, we have been forced to endure periodic and arbitrary shortages due to chronic supply chain issues (e.g. baby formula). Not only are prices up, but package quantities are smaller.
  4. The producer price index increased 11.3% from May to June. This is particularly alarming as the PPI is a portent of future retail prices.
  5. In certain areas of the country, for example, Manhattan, one has difficulty finding affordable places to live The average rental in Manhattan now exceeds $5,000 per month, that is, if one can find a vacancy at all in a decent neighborhood.
  6. According to another BLS release “real” hourly wages (wages adjusted for inflation) declined 1% in June. In other words, the average worker fell even further behind.

Due to all of the foregoing as well as all the Biden Administration’s non-economic failures, which I have also detailed in past blogs, it is no wonder his approval ratings are so low. In addition, many Dem politicians, such as Sheila Jackson Lee and Joaquin Castro, as well as political analysts on left-leaning CNN and MSNBC, and left-leaning media outlets, such as the NY Times and Washington Post, are beginning to criticize him. Finally, some Dem politicians, for instance, Senator Tim Ryan, have declined to have Biden campaign with him even though he (Ryan) is embroiled in a tough re-election battle. These are not good signs. In view of all of the above, I wonder why Biden’s poll numbers aren’t even lower.

There is more bad economic news on the horizon. One of the best ways to cool inflation is for the Fed to raise interest rates. We are long overdue for a rate increase. Comerica Bank’s chief economist, Bill Adams, is predicting the Fed will raise its rate at least 3/4% in July. Some economists are predicting 1/%. That would be an abnormally high increase at one time, but it may be what is needed to tame inflation before it becomes “runaway” inflation. Such an action would surely plunge us into a recession, although many economists believe we are already in one. It would increase the cost of borrowing, another expense increase for both consumers and businesses, and likely devastate the housing market.

CONCLUSION

A few days ago, Biden issued a statement acknowledging that the “economic pain” being felt by Americans was “unsustainable.” On that Biden and I are in rare agreement, however, he failed to put forth any plan to resolve it. That leads one to conclude that his statement of “sympathy” was just empty words, or as he might say, “a bunch of malarkey.” In a similar vein he stated his intention to “urge Congress to act this month on legislation to reduce the cost of everyday expenses.” Again, he failed to put forth any plan to do so. More malarkey.

Furthermore, it is worth noting, that most of those in Biden’s inner circle were chosen for their diversity; few have had any prior practical, business, economic, or financial experience. Not exactly optimal for dealing with the current state of affairs.

As I and many others have been saying, historically, the number 1 issue for voters, absent a war, is the economy. It will almost certainly be so in 2022 and 2024. Yet, Dems have steadfastly avoided the issue. Their focus has been on abortion and the January 6 hearings, which, though important to the far left “wokers” and “tweeters,” are far down on most voters’ lists of issues. Part of that is because Dems have nothing else to run on, no accomplishments, but whose fault is that?

As I said, Biden’s performance is becoming a significant drag on the Dem Party’s prospects in November. Many Dems up for re-election are starting to panic. Some would like to have him removed pursuant to Article 25 of the Constitution. Certainly, there is ample justification for that as anyone can see every night on the news. However, the best thing Biden has going for him is that his replacement would be Kamala Harris, who, based on her performance to date, would be even more incompetent. Yes, the Dems have put themselves firmly between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.” Well earned, and well deserved.

JAMES CAAN

James Caan was the quintessential New Yorker – brash, tough, and in-your-face. His persona was “this is me; here I am. If you don’t like it, tough.” That is the attitude he exhibited in most of his acting roles throughout his 60-plus years career, at least in his most memorable roles. How did he develop that persona? As he told one interviewer a few years ago, “I learned it growing up in New York. You had to be tough to survive.” You had to “know who to push and who not to push.” In addition, he often attributed his success to learning how and when to say “no” at an audition. In other words, if he didn’t feel a part was right for him he had no qualms about turning it down. (As you will see below, this philosophy resulted in him turning down many parts that led to successes for others.)

James Edmund Caan was born on March 26, 1940 in The Bronx, New York City, NY, but he grew up in Queens. He had a brother, Ronnie, and a sister, Barbara. His parents were Jewish working class immigrants who had emigrated from Germany. His father was a butcher.

He attended Michigan State University for two years. His dream was to make the MSU football team, but he wasn’t good enough. He transferred to Hofstra University on Long Island, but he didn’t graduate. It doesn’t sound like he was much of a student. Interestingly, two of his classmates were Lainie Kazan and Francis Ford Coppola who would later play a significant role in Caan’s career.

At some point, he developed an interest in acting. He applied for, was accepted to and enrolled in NYC’s Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. He studied there for five years. “I just fell in love with acting,” he told one interviewer. He added, “of course all my improvs ended in violence.” No surprise there.

Caan began his career in the early 1960s appearing in off-Broadway plays that only real aficionados of the theatre would remember such as La Ronde and Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole. Shortly thereafter, he progressed to Broadway where he starred in The Rain People, which was directed by Coppola. Additionally, he appeared in the usual hit TV shows in which all up-and-coming actors seem to appear, such as Route 66, Dr. Kildare, Combat, and The Untouchables. During this period he also appeared in a series of nondescript movies that few people, if any, saw and fewer remember. The one exception was Howard Hawkes’ movie, El Dorado, starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum.

According to Wikipedia his first movie role in 1963 was an uncredited role where he played a “soldier with a radio.” I guess an aspiring actor hungry for work and experience has to start somewhere.

His first memorable role was playing terminally-ill (cancer) NFL running back, Brian Piccolo in the TV movie, Brian’s Song (1971), co-starring Billy Dee Williams as NFL superstar running back Gayle Sayers. It was a perfect role for Caan. Early in the movie he portrayed Piccolo as a glib, wise-cracking, undertalented, overachiever who made the team through sheer determination and hard work. As the movie went on and Piccolo’s cancer progressed Caan portrayed his struggles superbly. Viewers were captivated by Piccolo’s/Caan’s battle with the disease and his strong friendship with Sayers. (Don’t forget this was 1971, and Hollywood rarely portrayed such relationships.) Based on a true story it was a huge success, earned Caan an Emmy nomination, and put him on the map as an actor. As frequently happens in Hollywood the story is that, at first, Caan turned down the role without even reading the script, but, luckily for him, he changed his mind after reading it.

The next year came The Godfather. We all know what happened there. Caan got to play the signature role of his career. The Godfather was a mega-hit both critically and at the box office. It won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. According to CBS News it grossed $135 million domestically (equivalent to $711 million today), and $270 million worldwide. It spawned two sequels, one of which, Godfather II, many critics consider to be as good as or better than the original, which is a real rarity. It featured an-all-Star cast led by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. Originally, Caan was slated to play Michael, but Coppola wanted Al Pacino for that role, so Caan was switched to Sonny. Reportedly, one of the actors he “beat out” for the role was another young actor named Robert De Niro. He was the central figure in two of the more memorable scenes in the movie: (1) being killed at the toll booth (how many bullets does it take to kill someone) and (2) the scene where he beats up Carlo with a garbage can cover (adlibbed). Caan always said that one of the things that made The Godfather successful was that everyone “really enjoyed making it, and that comes off on the screen.” Finally, there were many memorable quotes. See below for my favorites. What are yours?

In the course of his career Caan turned down various starring roles in successful movies that turned out to be successes for others. Some of these movies were M*A*S*H, the French Connection, and Apocalypse Now.

Another of my favorite Caan movies was Misery, based on the Stephen King novel and co-starring Kathy Bates. Caan played a famous author who is kidnapped by a deranged fan (Bates). Many actors had rejected the role because the character spent most of the movie confined in a bed by Bates’ character. But, Caan accepted. It was a different role for him, and it was another hit. In addition, I liked him in Cinderella Liberty where he plays a sailor who meets a woman while on liberty. He falls in love and wants to marry her. His commanding officer refuses to grant him leave to get married. Caan asks why. The quote, which anyone who has served in the military will identify with, is (and I paraphrase): “You may think you’re in the United States; you may think you’re in the State of New York; but what you’re in is the Navy, and the Navy says no leave.”

CONCLUSION

Caan was married four times and had five kids, one of which is the actor Scot Caan (Hawaii Five-0). Caan was an accomplished martial artist, and he liked to participate in rodeos as a steer roper. He would call himself the “only Jewish cowboy from NY on the professional rodeo cowboy circuit.”

Caan passed away on July, 6, 1922 in LA at the age of 82. Jimmy (as he was often called), you entertained us for over 60 years. Rest in peace.

My favorite Godfather quotes:

  1. “I don’t want my brother coming out of that toilet with just his dick in his hands.”
  2. “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when served cold.”
  3. “Lawyers can steal more money with a briefcase than a thousand men with guns and masks.”
  4. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
  5. And my favorite: “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

BASHING AMERICA ON HER BIRTHDAY

The overwhelming majority of Americans view July 4th, Independence Day, as a festive day, a day to celebrate America’s birthday with family and friends, and an opportunity to honor those who have fought and died so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms and privileges that some of us take for granted. Anyone who has even an inkling of America’s history would appreciate that. Yet, there is a small, but vocal, cadre of ungrateful, oblivious persons who choose to ignore the positives and choose use Independence Day to air their grievances about life in the US. They are aided and abetted by a woke social media and a complicit press, many of whom share their warped opinions.

Yes, I know America is not and has not been perfect. I am cognizant of the manner in which we mistreated Indigenous Peoples, slaves and people of color, generally. Also, I recognize that the Bill of Rights entitles the abovementioned malcontents to have their say. I am not suggesting that they should be prevented from speaking their minds, but still it angers me and many others who share my view that they choose to do so on “America’s Birthday.” This bashing appears to be uniquely American. I am not aware of people in other countries acting in this manner.

In my opinion, it is an insult to those who sacrificed to establish and maintain our way of life. Personally, I don’t know anyone who shares their views. Do you? I am not referring to honest political debate, which is healthy and appropriate. More on this later.

Some of the quotes in the media attributable to celebrities, for instance, have been well beyond merely critical and disrespectful. They are downright nasty, thoughtless, inane and disgusting. Moreover, as I said, the press and social media give them the forum to express those opinions. There have been many examples in the last few days, but I will give you just a few:

1. Bette Midler – “4th of July has been canceled due to a shortage of independence.” For the record, “The Divine Miss M,” as she is sometimes called, comes from humble beginnings. Her father was a painter and an employee at a naval base; her mother was a seamstress. America afforded her the opportunity to achieve fame and wealth. If she had been born virtually anywhere else in the world she would likely have not been been able to do so. America is probably the only country that gives someone, anyone, the opportunity to rise above the circumstances of their birth and become successful. We have all seen thousands of examples of this regardless of the person’s gender, religion, or skin color. Yes, some people may have an easier road to success, but everyone has a chance. Rather than being grateful, she has been a constant critic.

2. Michael Moore – “I cannot in good conscience continue to accept ‘full citizenship’ privileges.” (By the way, what does that even mean? Which ones are Moore ready to give up, and which ones does he want to keep? I doubt Moore has thought that through. Typical Moore inanity.) Moore came from a working class family. His dad worked on the assembly line for GM; his mom was a secretary. Even though I don’t agree with his politics, I recognize that he, too, is an American success story. He is also a constant critic of the system that enabled him to succeed.

3. Jessica Chastain – She is a fine actress, but that is where it ends. She has displayed a lack of class as well as disrespect. Her birthday present to America was a picture of herself giving the “double bird” to the country with the caption “Happy Independence Day from me and my reproductive organs.” Obviously, this was a lame protest of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Roe v Wade. Like many other critics of that decision, she fails to grasp or chooses to ignore how the Constitution applies to abortion. But, that complicated and heavily nuanced topic is best reserved for another blog on another day.

4. Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, not wanting to lose out on free publicity, posted the following on Instagram: “4th of July has been canceled due to a shortage of independence. Sincerely, women.”

5. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D CA) tweeted “this Fourth of July is ‘overshadowed by the dark reality of the Supreme Court’s decision that makes half of America less equal.’ ” Oh really? Where’s the half? Abortion is still legal and obtainable in many, if not most, states, including hers. Dumb comment on many levels.

6. ESPN writer Howard Bryant expressed his opinion in a column entitled “baseball, barbecue and losing freedom this Fourth of July.” ESPN would be better off sticking to sports, which they do quite well, rather than venturing into other areas in which their lack of knowledge is embarrassing.

7.. Les Dogg, whom I had never heard of, is apparently an entertainer of some renown. Her imprudent comments on America’s birthday were “not land of the free” and “feels like we’re going back to slavery.” Just a wee bit of an exaggeration.

8. NPR, which is a publicly-funded media outlet. felt it necessary to cancel its customary reading of the Declaration of Independence, claiming the document has “flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies,” in favor of a column bemoaning how “America is ‘tearing itself apart.’ ” Again, stick to what you are supposed to do.

9. Last, but not least, there was Joe Biden’s latest faux pas. At the end of his holiday speech he forgot to say “God Bless America.” Was it not written on his cue card? Dr. Jill had to remind him to say it, which she did on an open mic. Embarrassing, but we have come to expect things like that from our president.

I could give many more examples, but I think you get the point. Enough is enough. How do those who fought for this country feel about this? Fox News showed one WWII veteran who was literally moved to tears by all the disrespect. He was wondering, “what did we [his fellow soldiers] die for?” How sad.

My advice to these people is save such criticisms for another day. We may admire your singing, acting or whatever god given talent you possess, but we are not inclined to follow your political “advice.” In fact, most of you are not as smart or well-informed as the average American. You are not aware of the average American’s daily struggles to support their families, especially in these times of “Bidenflation.” You live in a bubble, an ivory tower. All the polls show that the issues you spout off about are way down on the list of the average American’s concerns.

In my experience, the preponderance of everyday Americans shares my view on the US. I have never met a single person who criticizes America to that extent. Sure, we may disagree on political issues, but deep down we realize how lucky we were to have been born in this country. Essentially, we have all won the “birth lottery.” We know it; apparently, you don’t.

CONCLUSION

Social media has many benefits, but it also enables, a small, vocal minority to express themselves over and over again, which gives the impression that their opinions are more representative than they really are. Most Americans are not fooled. As I said, the above celebrity critics are out of touch with the general populace. They don’t speak for us, and we don’t pay any attention to their comments and opinions.

Incidentally, not to beat a dead horse, but according to the latest poll promulgated by The Hill 88% of people think the US is “on the wrong track,” and the latest Gallup Poll reported that only 23% of respondents “have confidence” in the Presidency. In addition, Biden’s approval rating remains in the 30s. It is so bad that many Dems running for election or re-election are avoiding campaigning with him. The latest to do so is Tim Ryan, who is running for the US Senate in Ohio. Lastly, everyone’s favorite uncle, Bernie Sanders, is reportedly considering running again in 2024, and don’t forget Hillary who, despite her protestations, is always lurking. I don’t believe anyone is taking Harris seriously as a viable candidate, but others may emerge as the 2024 elections approach.

INDEPENDENCE DAY QUIZ

Today, July 4th, we will celebrate our nation’s independence. Many of you will celebrate by gathering with family and friends, going to the beach, attending a baseball game, or simply relaxing and enjoying a day off from work.

Many of you have requested a quiz, so In honor of the holiday I have prepared one to test your knowledge, or lack thereof. As usual, no peeking at the internet and do not consult Siri or Alexa.

  1. The primary author of the Declaration of Independence was
    a. George Washington
    b. Henry Lee
    c. Benjamin Franklyn
    d. Thomas Jefferson

2. The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration is in what city?
a. Bristol, RI
b. New York, NY
c. Waterbury, CT
d. Philadelphia, PA

3. The origin of the song, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” was
a. American troops during the Revolutionary War
b. French troops during the RW
c. British military before the RW
d. Hessians at the battle of Trenton, NJ

4. The movie, “Independence Day” starred
a. Tom Cruise
b. Will Smith
c. Morgan Freeman
d. Daniel Day-Lewis

5. The Statue of Liberty was donated by which country?
a. France

b. Spain

c. Canada

d. England

6. Each of the following was a member of the Committee of Five (assigned to draft the Declaration), except:
a. George Washington
b. Roger Sherman
c. John Adams
d. Benjamin Franklyn

7. Who was the only President to have been born on the 4th of July?
a. John Adams
b. Grover Cleveland
c. Calvin Coolidge
d. James Polk

8. Each of the following Presidents died on July 4th, except:
a. John Adams
b. Thomas Jefferson
c. James Monroe
d. James Madison

9. Each of the following is considered to be a “Founding Father,” EXCEPT:
a. John Adams
b. James Monroe
c. Alexander Hamilton
d. James Madison

10. The “Star Spangled banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during which war?
a. French and Indian War
b. American Revolution
c. Civil War
d. War of 1812

11. The origin of the nick-name “Uncle Sam” is purportedly:
a. The Continental Congress
b. The Sons of Liberty
c. Meat packer who supplied meat to the US Army
d. British troops during the RW

12. Who, along with John Adams, is responsible for designating the bald eagle as the US’s National Bird?
a. George Washington
b. Thomas Jefferson
c. Benjamin Franklyn
d. Patrick Henry

13. Which battle was the turning point of the Revolutionary War?
a. Brooklyn Heights
b. Charleston
c. Baltimore
d. Saratoga

14. How many persons signed the Declaration of Independence?
a. 13
b. 26
c. 40
d. 56

15. Which was the first state to ratify the Constitution?
a. Virginia
b. New York
c. Delaware
d. Massachusetts

16. Purportedly, the Independence Day Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest was first held in
a. 1876
b. 1930
c. 1945
d. 1916

17. Who was one of only two signers of the Declaration of Independence to be elected President?
a. John Adams
b. Andrew Jackson
c. Alexander Hamilton
d. Aaron Burr

18. Although July 4 is recognized as Independence Day, the Continental Congress approved a “resolution of independence” on this date.
a. June 15
b. July 1
c. July 2
d. July 3

19. The first capital of the US following ratification of the Constitution was
a. Washington DC
b. New York City
c. Philadelphia
d. Boston

20. The 14th state of the union was:
a. Maine
b. Georgia
c. Florida
d. Vermont

21. Independence Day became a federal holiday in:

a. 1776

b. 1783

c. 1870

d. 1916

22. In 1778 George Washington celebrated Independence Day with his troops by:

a. Giving everyone a raise

b. A 21-gun salute

c. Giving a rousing speech

d. giving everyone a double ration of rum

23. Each of the following presidents’ faces is sculpted on Mt. Rushmore, EXCEPT:

a. Franklyn Roosevelt

b. Theodore Roosevelt

c. Thomas Jefferson

e. George Washington

24. George Washington crossed the Delaware River on December 25-26, 1776 to defeat the Hessians at which city.

a. Philadelphia

b. New York

c. Monmouth

d. Trenton

25. Which English general surrendered at Yorktown, VA effectively ending the Revolutionary War?

a. Howe

b. Cornwallis

c. Burgoyne

d. Kensington

ANSWERS: 1. (d); 2. (a); 3. (c); 4. (b); 5. (a); 6. (a); 7. (c); 8. (d); 9. (b); 10. (d); 11. (c); 12. (b); 13. (d); 14. (d); 15. (c); 16. (d); 17. (a); 18. (c); 19. (b); 20. (d); 21. (c); 22. (d); 23. (a) 24. (d); 25. (b)

CONCLUSION

Well, there you have it. Let me know how you did.

Enjoy the holiday whatever you do, wherever you go, and with whomever you spend it. Above all, be safe.

LIBERAL WORLD ORDER

Welcome to the Liberal World Order. Chances are most of you had not heard of this term until this week, much less understood what it means and how it affects us. In my view, it is a fancy term for requiring Americans to sacrifice for the benefit of the rest of the world since we don’t deserve what we have. Or, if you prefer, “America Last.”

Wikipedia defines LWO as “the body of rules, norms and institutions that govern relations between the key players on the international stage.” Got it? I’m not sure what all this gobbledygook means, and I bet few, if any, of the bloviators in the Dem Party or the media do either. To me, it sounds like an expression more relevant to the Stalin-era Soviet Union or present-day Communist China rather than the US.

President Joe Biden and his supporters in the Administration and the media have been continually urging us to support their economic policies in support of the LWO. For example, appearing on CNN, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese stated that “the future of the new world order [is at stake],” and “we have to stand firm.” On the contrary, GOP Senator Roger Marshall argued that “the Biden Administration has forgotten they work for the American people and not the ‘liberal world order.’ “

In my view, the term LWO is being used by the far left to justify why (a) we are being forced to pay (according to AAA) a average of $4.84 per gallon for gas at the pump (up a whopping $1.72 from last July), (b) must allow masses of illegals to cross our non-functioning southern border at will, (c) close our eyes to the probability that some of those seeking “political asylum” are, in reality, terrorists, drug smugglers and/or human traffickers, (d) endure the random, brazen and wanton violence being perpetrated by career criminals who rule our city streets, who are rarely prosecuted by “woke” DAs and who are immediately released from our revolving-door jails to commit more crimes while many of us live in fear, and (e) why many of us cannot afford to buy food, find formula for our babies, or provide for our families. It is why we are told we must sacrifice for the common good. Anyone who dares to complain is branded as a racist. How long can we expect these sacrifices to continue? According to President Biden, “as long as it takes,” whatever that means.

Sounds bleak, right? What can we do? How do we fight back? Well, fortunately this is the USA, not the old Soviet Union, Communist China, or even Venezuela, and there is a simple and obvious solution. In America we have elections, and the next cycle is in just a few months. Unlike those other places, in America we can vote the bas***ds out, so to speak. More on that below.

Thirty-four of the Senate seats and all of the House seats are up for re-election this year. In addition, there are two special elections for the Senate. In the Senate the Dems have three advantages: (1) only 14 of those thirty-four seats are currently held by Dems; (2) none those are in states that Trump won in 2020; and (3) five incumbent GOPers are retiring compared to only one Dem. The quality of the replacement candidates will have a significant affect on whether or not the incumbent Party “holds” the particular seat.

It is a historical fact that, with very few exceptions, the Party in power loses Congressional membership in the off-year elections. The question is how many. In the Senate the most seats lost was 13 in 1932. That year the country was in the throes of the Great Depression, and President Herbert Hoover was extremely unpopular for obvious reasons.

In the House the historical average loss is 23 seats. The most was 63 in 2010 under Obama. Historically, House elections have been more likely to be affected by the current political climate, so that will bear watching. Also, normally, local issues play a bigger role. Remember former Speaker Thomas (“Tip”) O’Neal famously said “all politics is local.”

Back to the Senate. According to Inside Elections the key Senate battleground elections will be in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. As of June IE rated AZ, GA, and NV as toss-ups, FL and NC as leaning GOP, NH as leaning Dem, and PA and WI as toss-ups or leaning GOP. Probably, the most vulnerable Dem Senators are Mark Kelly (AZ), and Ralph Warnock (GA) The most vulnerable GOP seats are probably Catherine Masto (NV), Richard Burr (NC), PA where incumbent Pat Toomey is retiring and Ron Johnson (WI). Obviously, that is all subject to change. The situation is likely to be very fluid due to Biden’s declining popularity and job approval. Even though he is not on any ballot he will cast a shadow on the elections. One thing to watch is the number of candidates who decline to have him campaign with them. Keep in mind that with a current 50-50 split the GOP has only to gain one net seat to claim a majority.

CONCLUSION

It is becoming increasingly clear that the attitudes and opinions of the far lefties who have been making policy decisions for the country do not reflect the will of the people. In many cases, a powerful, vocal minority, supported by a biased media, has been imposing its will on the majority, and the majority is not happy. This has been reflected in poll after poll. For example, according to polls conducted by “Ballotpedia News” and “FiveThirty Eight,” Biden’s latest approval rating is 39%, which is historically low. By comparison, Trump’s was 42%. Furthermore, a recently-published AP poll revealed that 85% of respondents believe America is on the “wrong track.”

Moreover, in the same poll only 28% approved of Biden’s handling of the economy. Historically, absent a war, the economy has proven to be the number one issue for voters on Election Day. Despite all the distractions about January 6 and Roe v Wade I see no reason for it not be so in 2022. Voters will be reminded of the economy every time they buy food or gas up the car. I believe those issues are “spin-proof.”

Incidentally, I have long objected to the far left labeling itself as “progressive.” The term implies a slow, steady, positive change. The current situation has been anything but that. To me, a more apt label would be “radical,” or socialist” But, that’s just my opinion.

Unless things change radically by ED, and I doubt they will, the above does not augur well for the Dems. In my opinion the GOP will “flip” both the Senate and the House.

Stay tuned. More to come.