Would you vote for The Donald for president?
Compared to Obama, anyone with sense would vote for him. Obama is a disaster, like Bush II before him. But what about Trump when compared to other potential Republican candidates such as Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, or Sarah Palin?
Trump recently appeared on the Piers Morgan CNN interview show, marking the unofficial opening of his White House run. Here’s the transcript.
He is an experienced businessman who can finance his own campaign and hence be somewhat free of Washington lobbyists. He speaks his mind, even if he is wrong. He has plenty of name recognition and a can-do spirit. He has never held public office. He is a nationalist but also anti-war. He says he has never had a drink or smoked.
Trump is anti-China and says he wants to slap a 25% tariff on all Chinese imports. “That will bring them to the table,” he says. If such a tariff were actually installed, it would likely push inflation through the roof. How he”d be able to put the China genie back into the bottle without wide-scale repercussions is a mystery. Trump says he wants hard-charging businessmen such as himself, not State Department diplomats, negotiating with the Chinese. Trump may not have been kidding when he stated, “The president of China comes in, we give him a five-star dinner at the White House….I would have said come to my office, let’s talk. And if we don’t work out a deal we send him to McDonald’s and send him back.”
Trump’s other whipping boy is OPEC. He suggested to Morgan that the president should pick up the phone and tell OPEC to backtrack on oil prices. My guess is that Trump wants to increase domestic production by drilling. More supply, the price goes down. Increased supply is the only way the US could impact OPEC. Wharton School of Business graduate Donald Trump knows that.
Trump has proclaimed that he is staunchly pro-life and against gun control. As for healthcare, Trump threw CPAC a choice cut of red meat: “I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country.” Hopefully, Obamacare will be declared unconstitutional and a dead issue before Trump or anyone else is forced to deal with it.
Politicians, especially those who climbed to the top, should disappear when they leave office. Deprived of spokesmen and advisors, they are bound to reveal character flaws they concealed while selling themselves to the electorate and their financial backers. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt were probably fortunate to die in office rather than spend their dotage regaling the public with their triumphs or, worse, their second thoughts.
A few years after the Conservative Party jettisoned Margaret Thatcher for John Major, a friend of mine gave her a party at his North London house. My face that evening bore the bruises and scars of a thorough mugging in the street near my Notting Hill home. Lady Thatcher kindly asked what had happened, and our host explained that three men had jumped and beaten me a few nights before. He added that the culprits were black. Suddenly animated, she told me that she and her husband Dennis just had a terrible experience. With the passage of years, I am forced to paraphrase her: “Dennis and I just came out of a reception at the CafÃ© Royale. And do you know what? As we went to our car, there were people outside demonstrating against me. And do you know, most of them were black?” I was not certain this constituted a bond between us. I paraphrase her next words: “Do you know what I think? I think people like that should lose their benefits. Yes! In fact, I want to raise this with Peter Lilley.” Lilley, serving at the time as Secretary of State for Social Security, slid away to another corner of the room before she could offer him advice that would undoubtedly end his career. (I am happy to say Lilley is still a Member of Parliament.)
Those who love Lady Thatcher will not abandon her over my story, and those who loathe her will not be surprised. It serves only to reinforce my contention that former leaders should confine themselves to retirement pursuits such as fishing, as Alec Douglas-Home did. If they must speak at all, they should limit themselves to statements about the weather.
Tony Blair retained his unbounded hubris and hypocrisy after leaving Downing Street. In an astounding interview with London’s Prospect magazine, he confesses that he has learned much about the Middle East since leaving office. This is a man who sent his country’s bravest and best to die in the Middle East. He told Prospect, “One of the most shocking things is how much more I know about this now than I did when I was dealing with it.” It is difficult to decide which is more shocking: that he knew so little when he was making policy or that he admits his ignorance.
The time is nigh. After endless months of awards shows where critics, the public, and self-congratulatory stars bestowed honors on Colin Firth and…Colin Firth, the only ceremony that really matters is finally, blessedly, here. Here’s hoping James Franco and Anne Hathaway liven up the typically plodding evening. But even bigger than the annual Oscars bash are the after-parties. On Friday, Vanity Fair is doing their DJ night with firecracker Sofia Vergara and the boys from Glee. Saturday brings a fete for the documentary honorees by HBO, and a lunch by Barry Diller for Graydon Carter. But the real glitz descends Sunday at the Governors Ball, then stars must choose between Elton John and Vanity Fair‘s annual parties. And finally, Franco is throwing a very late-night party at Hollywood’s Supperclub.
In a cutesy move, Prince William and no-longer-Waity Kate returned to St Andrews this week, where the two met as undergrads oh so long ago. “This is a very special moment for Catherine and me. It feels like coming home,” William said. They were there for the school’s 600th anniversary. It was a fun public appearance for the couple, but you have to wonder if Kate is at all worried about the big stag party Prince Harry is planning for his older brother. The boys will apparently set sail and engage in a “variety of extreme watersports” and follow it up with a pub crawl.
It was also a week filled with bad boys. Famed fashion designer John Galliano of Dior was arrested Thursday night after getting into a scuffle with a couple at a restaurant in Paris. (This comes one day after Kate Moss announced Galliano would design her wedding dress.) Long story short: He was drunk, allegedly made anti-Semitic remarks, and is now suspended from the House of Dior. Great week for John-John!
David Arquette is chatting about his marital problems once again. He’s still separated from Courteney Cox, but telling Oprah he”d like to make things work. “I want her to be happy,” Arquette said. “If me being the best person I can be doesn’t make her happy in a partner, in who she needs, whatever she’s looking for, that’s still to be answered.” And everybody, please put it on the record: He didn”t cheat. The A-listers were separated when he admitted his tryst with a no-name.
It’s hard to tell what Kelsey Grammer loves more: His fiancÃ©e, or his newfound time in the spotlight. Luckily, he’s found a way to combine them in a big, bloated ceremony! Grammer and Kayte Walsh are getting married Friday on the Broadway stage of La Cage aux Folles, the same play Grammer starred in when he left his wife for his new girlfriend. A source says it’s where he fell in love with Kayte and “she was always backstage.” Aw. Wonder if they”ll sign autographs after the show?
Remember the old clichÃ© about someone who is perpetually vacillating between a necktie and an open shirt? Or the one about the man who is noticeable for being completely unnoticeable? Step forward Ban Ki-moon, the useless UN’s useless Secretary General. Despite persistent allegations that he is a habitual body-waxer, I have always insisted that Moon does not wax because he’s Korean. No body hair. Then there were rumors that his book graced lonely onanists” bedside tables. Again, not true. Ban Ki-moon has never written a book. What he has done in the latest Libyan crisis is confirm something I”ve known all along: He and the UN are as much of a threat to the bad guys as a pastry shop.
Here was an opportunity for the UN to finally justify its bloated $30-billion annual budget by calling an emergency session of the Security Council, passing a resolution that freezes all Libyan assets, declaring a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace, and formally declaring the mad dog Gaddafi a human-rights criminal who will be persecuted to the end”and what did Ban Ki-moon do? In terrible English, he read aloud a lukewarm request for the deep-in-the-closet Gaddafi to stop killing people.”
Three years or so ago, I was in a chic New York restaurant called La Grenouille with John and Jill Fairchild of Women’s Wear fame and Reinaldo and Carolina Herrera of fashion renown. Across the room was a New York socialite lady by the name of Deeda Blair with Ban Ki-moon. I”d had a drink or two and remembered that the Secretary General had invited Saudi Arabia’s head towelhead, Abdullah, to address the UN on matters ridiculous. (What could a towelhead who heads a ludicrous area which beheads raped women and unbelievers have to teach us?) So I wrote a short note to Moon expounding on my complaints and had the restaurant owner deliver it to him. After dinner, Moon’s party got up to leave and stopped by our table. Thank you velly much, said Moon. He bowed, as did his party. The owner then came over, smiling, and while handing me the bill, he said: “Your note to him was wonderful. There is only one problem. He was not Ban Ki-moon.
I know, I know, all Koreans look alike”to me, anyway”but the point is that even the Korean who was not the UN Secretary General would have done as good”bad”a job as this asshole, the real Ban Ki-moon. Why are our taxes paying for African and Middle Eastern freeloaders posing as diplomats and having a good time at our expense, but when the time comes for them to do something to help unarmed protesters in Libya, they spend their afternoons in tanning salons and penis-enhancing hospices? Why?
Recently at a local college whose name I will not divulge, an act of “racial vandalism” occurred which the administration is naturally investigating. The college newspaper has devoted considerable front-page coverage to this “vandalism,” quoting certain students who demand that the school rectify it immediately. It seems that on February 11, some wiseacre posted a note for a campus black-advocacy group. According to the featured story, the group “had been enriching the academic community throughout the month with posters proclaiming the good deeds and achievements by minorities through the year in honor of Black History Month.” The offending vandal chose to strike on a black liturgical holy day honoring historical inventor Jan Ernst Matzeliger. (From the name it would seem that whomever this Jan was, he had lots of Kraut genes.)
The student posted an anonymous note including a shockingly abusive fact. Matzeliger, it seems, was being honored on Thomas Edison’s birthday. The note implied it might be inappropriate to lavish attention on Matzeliger while ignoring a much more famous American inventor simply because they were a “white person.” The college at which this malignant enormity occurred has created a dragnet which will be in force until the hate criminal is apprehended. Apparently some female students are posting entries on Facebook indicating their shock about being forced to live in a toxically racist environment. Is this college really the best place for them to spend their parents” money?
One tender young thing has gone into truly high gear and announced that “we will not ignore the bigotry that seems to keep the lines of equality broken.” These arbitrarily drawn “lines of equality” permit one to blow up or invent from whole cloth special accomplishments for minorities to increase their racial consciousness. Said lines only get broken when some student dares to report that we are ignoring Edison because he was a “white person.” Does anyone this side of the loony bin have a better explanation?
Significantly, this “racist vandalism” was reported in the same issue of the school paper as another white Christian outrage. This time it was reported by a member of the Jewish social organization Hillel, and it provides a sad story about how Jews are “excluded” on campus. Despite the swelling number of Jews or partial Jews at this college, a number which may soon reach as high as ten, this group has still not been given a separate residence in which its members can live and associate with each other.
The indignant author feels “abandoned by the school when it comes to recruiting diverse students,” although it is not clear that he is requesting anything more than Jews” special right to segregate themselves as all designated minorities are permitted to do. He would also like to open up the Hillel building once the college creates such a facility to Jews of both genders: “[O]ur club is already small, and to permit only one gender to live in a house would be to exclude and alienate the other.” We are also saddled with the problem that Jewish students who come to tour the college take their business elsewhere when they learn there is no “infrastructure of a real Hillel House.” This means that they will not be able to “socialize with their peers.” Jews and others should have every right to hang around with their own kind. But why does the college’s failure to furnish this “right” to fewer than a dozen students at a lavish expense to itself amount to a glaring “lack of understanding”? No such equivalent right is being asked for Japanese students who attend the institution in perhaps larger numbers.
I haven’t got that much time left, but I’d gladly give 10 years of my life to see that homicidal maniac Gaddafi strung up from a palm tree alongside his wart-hog sons, especially Hannibal Gaddafi, an expert in imprisoning and torturing helpless servants and beating up women in posh Western hotels.
What a ghastly world we live in. Gaddafi has been bullying us for 41 years, his henchmen murdering an English policewoman, killing an estimated 1,200 Libyan prisoners in cold blood back in 1996, shooting down an unarmed civilian airline, then cheering when the convicted terror-bomber is released by a spineless British government more interested in oil and gas than justice. As I watch the news of the Libyan massacres, an image of a smiling Tony Blair kissing Gaddafi’s arse keeps flashing before my eyes. If Blair had an ounce of decency left in him he would take a bottle of Chivas Regal and a pistol, write a letter of apology, and do the manly thing. But that’s like asking Alastair Campbell to tell it like it is. Impossible.
About four years ago I met the ghastly Saif Gaddafi in New York and mistook him for a drug dealer—he looked and dressed like one—the same Saif who escorted the great Libyan hero al-Megrahi back to Tripoli when the mass murderer was freed on compassionate grounds. The younger Gaddafi’s arrogance is breathtaking. He went on Libyan TV last Sunday and accused rioters of being “on hallucinogens or drugs.” In the meantime the gangster regime had to bring in French-speaking African mercenaries to shoot unarmed protesters.
The careful diplomatic language various western governments use when dealing with such monsters is depressing. Instead of immediately suspending relations, freezing all Libyan funds—and that includes the Gaddafi family’s vast real-estate holdings in central London—our leaders beat around the bush asking for restraint. Why am I surprised? That French clown Sarkozy allowed the maniac to come to Paris with his hookers and pitch a giant tent right in the middle of the historic city, tying up traffic for the duration. Gaddafi, with his dyed hair and Prisoner of Zenda uniforms, covered in medals despite the fact he’s never been in the line of fire, has gauged the West correctly. We’ll do anything for his gas and oil, and to hell with the humiliation of having to spread open our you-know-what at his command.
Washington is always two steps behind. When Ronald Reagan sent a cruise missile as a greeting to the mad dog back in ’86, he missed the bum. He should have rained a dozen more on him. If—and it is a very big if—the Tunisian and Egyptian armies ever go back to the barracks and those two countries follow the Turkish model, Uncle Sam will be in yet another bind. Sam only knows how to deal with dictators in towel lands. A partnership of equals is beyond the old boy. It will also mean that Israel can no longer brag of being the Middle East’s only democracy. It’s a funny “democracy” that holds more than a million people in an outdoor concentration camp in Gaza because the Gazans chose the Hamas party in a democratic election. Not to mention the occupied West Bank. Not only does Uncle Sam befriend dictators and oppressors of their people, even the sole Middle Eastern “democracy” he supports is an oppressor and jailer of its inhabitants.
In the penultimate chapter of Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, our narrator is reviewing a list of the ships mustered in orbit around his base planet preparatory to a major assault:
Big ships”the new Valley Forge and the new Ypres, Marathon, El Alamein, Iwo, Gallipoli, Leyte, Marne, Tours, Gettysburg, Hastings, Alamo, Waterloo“all places where mud feet had made their names to shine.
If the starship fleet included a vessel named Guadalete, Heinlein’s hero missed it. That battle was fought between the Visigoth king Roderic and the Arab general Tariq ibn Ziyad on July 19 of 711 AD, a few miles inland from Cadiz. Says historian Hugh Kennedy: “Tariq and his men inflicted a massive defeat on the Visigothic army; the king was killed and the rest of the army dispersed in disarray.” Within five years of Guadalete, most of Spain was under Muslim rule.
Heinlein was an odd bird with something of a multicultural bent, a thing much more pardonable in 1959 than now. That narrator, we learn on the very next page, is a Filipino; and one of the final chapter’s three epigraphs is taken from the Koran (Sura 5:32). Still, even Heinlein would have been dismayed to hear that VMI, the Virginia Military Institute, is planning to celebrate the Muslim victory. Guadalete, you see, was precisely 1,300 years ago this year. VMI has organized a celebratory conference with the title 711-2011: East Meets West.
You might think that “meets” is not quite the mot juste for an event at which several thousand Muslims and several thousand Christians set about each other with swords, axes, and spears in a screaming homicidal meleÃ©. I can’t help you; I had no input to the VMI’s wording.
You might also have trouble locating the word “celebrate” in the VMI Web page for that conference. Here I can help. VMI removed the word “celebrate” in response to protests not much less furious and frenzied than the meeting at the Guadalete River that long-ago summer Sunday. The original wording is preserved here. (An indignant, doth-protest-too-much response to all the criticism is here.)
VMI is not the most surprising place to find holding a conference that may as well be entitled Hey Hey Ho Ho, Western Civ Has Got To Go! This was the institution that was formally castrated by a 1996 US Supreme Court Ruling. The VMI website does not yet list an LGBT support group among the school’s extracurricular attractions, but no doubt they’re working on it. They’d better be if they don’t want to get bitch-slapped by Ruth Bader Ginsburg again.
Our nation’s actual military is ahead of VMI in these matters. They are aiming for an organization that exists not to fight wars, still less”heaven forbid!”to win them, but to celebrate diversity.
First lady Michelle Obama said, “Let’s Move!” Who knew Democratic politicians in Wisconsin and Indiana would take her literally?
Faced with stifling debt, bloated pensions and intractable government unions, liberal Midwestern legislators have fled those states—paralyzing Republican fiscal reform efforts. Like Monty Python’s Brave Sir Robin and his band of quivering knights, these elected officials have only one plan when confronted with political hardship or economic peril: Run away, run away, run away.
Scores of Fleebagger Democrats are now in hiding in neighboring Illinois, the nation’s sanctuary for political crooks and corruptocrats. Soon, area hotels will be announcing a special discount rate for card-carrying FleePAC winter convention registrants. Question: Will the White House count the economic stimulus from the mass Democratic exodus to Illinois as jobs “saved” or “created”? More important question: How much are taxpayers being charged for these obstructionist vacations?
Voters have spoken: In Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and across the heartland, they put Republican adults in charge of cleaning up profligate Democrat-engineered messes. Instead of defending their same old tax-hiking, union-protecting, spending-addicted ways, Democrats are crossing their state borders into big government sanctuary zones—screaming “la, la, la, we can’t hear you” all the way.
Wisconsin Democrats warned that their delinquent members—evading state troopers and literally phoning it in—could be gone “for weeks” to prevent a quorum on GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s modest plan to increase public union workers’ health insurance and pension contributions, end the compulsory union dues racket and rein in collective bargaining powers run amok.
Big Labor insists its intransigence isn’t about money, but about “rights.” But the dispute is about nothing but money and power—the union’s power to dictate and limit its members’ health insurance choices to a lucrative union-run plan, for example, which adds nearly $70 million in unnecessary taxpayer costs.
On Tuesday, only three of 40 House Democrats in Indiana showed up for legislative debate on a similar bill to end forced unionism and join 22 other “right to work” states. Hoosier media reported that some of the fugitive pols may be headed to Kentucky in addition to President Obama’s old political stomping grounds.
Orson Welles once explained that he was, inevitably, what the ComÃ©die-FranÃ§aise called a King Actor. “They weren”t necessarily the best actors; they were the actors who played the king.” Welles had to be cast as the highest authority character “or I discombobulate the scenes,” because the audience couldn”t figure out why he wasn”t in charge. Thus, the great man’s last role was as Unicron, the planet-sized bad guy in the 1986 cartoon Transformers: The Movie. “You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy,” Welles mused to his biographer shortly before his death.
Similarly, in the 2007 blockbuster Transformers, Michael Bay directed his animators to model the good robots” wise leader Optimus Prime’s body language on today’s most imposing patriarchal presence, Liam Neeson.
But the 6″4″ actor’s apotheosis was the surprise 2009 hit Taken, in which Neeson plays an ex-CIA man whose daughter is kidnapped in Paris by Albanian sex slavers. Taken wasn”t a great movie, but it made a great trailer built around the Dangerous Dad’s speech to the head pimp promising, “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Unknown isn”t exactly a sequel to Taken, though it certainly sounds like one. They”ve merely reversed the polarities in this tale of international intrigue: Instead of France, it’s Germany. Instead of Taken‘s evil Muslims, Unknown features good Muslim victims of discrimination against illegal immigrants. And instead of Neeson as an unstoppable killing machine who will blow up anything necessary to get his daughter back, here he plays a childless botanist who wanders around dazed and ineffectual from a bump on the head.
Making Neeson unpaternal, passive, and depressed starts Unknown off in a hole relative to Taken. Yet Unknown works hard to be a decent thriller for older audiences, a Bourne movie for middle-aged filmgoers who get motion sickness from modern shaky-cam. At times, Unknown almost veers from star vehicle to ensemble film, especially when stage legends Bruno Ganz and Frank Langella spar as old Cold War rivals in co-screenwriter Stephen Cornwell’s tribute to his father John le CarrÃ©’s Berlin spy novels.
Unknown has less action than Taken but more acting. The slightly larger budget was invested in an interesting supporting cast, allowing the film to metaphorically explore theater actors” anxieties about their understudies: What if I get sick and my understudy makes everybody forget about me?
My husband wants to do one of those couple-switching parties, and I am considering it. I did some research and honestly it seems like it may be a little fun. We have been married for 25 years and the thing is, I love my husband and don”t want this to change our relationship, but I am nervous it might. Do you have any advice?
“Couple exchange? in Miami
Dear Couple Exchange? in Miami,
These days, a successful twenty-five-year marriage is so rare, it should be made into a movie. If you have made it this far, switching the leading roles around or introducing supporting actors is not a good idea. It will definitely change your relationship whether you want it to or not. It will change not only how your husband sees you but also how you see him.
You need to do some more research. Start with renting Eyes Wide Shut to remind yourself of wife-swapping’s perils. Research other ways you can have a “little fun” without changing the cast around. Change the costumes, change the setting, change the plot, introduce new props, add special effects or subtitles”do anything you can dream of”but under no circumstances should you recast your leading roles. Who doesn”t feel betrayed that Sean Connery no longer plays James Bond? He was charming, suave, and handsome”perfect for the role. Do you not feel a little sick each time you picture the new James Bond? He looks terrible in the wardrobe, doesn”t deliver his lines with the right tone or inflection, and looks more like a villain than an MI6 spy. He has ruined not only the James Bond character, but the entire movie franchise. The lesson: Never swap out a successful leading actor!
“The fact that he’s dead does not cancel out your feelings, although I would avoid making it your go-to conversation at dinner parties.”
I am 55, no longer married, and I have been dating one of my 30-year-old daughter’s friends. We have kept it a secret, but now she has started making noise about taking our relationship public. I don”t think we should. What do you think?
“Dating Dad in Dallas
Dear Dating Dad in Dallas,
Not only shouldn”t you take it public, you need to end the relationship now. She will keep pushing you to take it public, and you may give in merely because you don”t want to argue about it anymore. This will lead to: a) a terrible fight with your daughter which may result in her never speaking to you again; or b) in the unlikely event your daughter is extremely understanding, it will lead to suffocatingly awkward dinner parties with your daughter and her friends.
Considering you don”t want to take it public, I have to assume you are only having fun and she is not the love of your life. You can find another 30-year-old with whom to have fun. Daughter’s friends and your son’s exes or present girlfriends are all off-limits. Never date any of your children’s friends, past or present.