Monday, September 21, 2015

G.O.P. Debate with Some Music, Gun Control Again, a TV Commercial for Republicans and a Pro-Hillary Response to "Bernie"

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A Commercial for Republicans

There's a commercial currently being shown on TV for Infiniti automobiles which shows a pretty blonde in a red convertible flirting with the driver of an Infiniti SUV as she passes him.  Noting the man's friendly response to the girl, his wife, seated next to him, smilingly puts him down when she asks, "Honey, a blonde in a convertible? Seriously?"   Too many Republicans have been enticed by the blondes in the red convertibles at the extreme right of their party.  They should be asking the same question the lady in the SUV asked her husband.  (The wife, incidentally, is played by Christie Brinkley in this ad which pays homage to the old National Lampoon movie, "Vacation.")

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The Republican Debate


Last week’s G.O.P. Presidential Candidates’ Debate was interesting.  Its musical theme might have been Barbra Streisand singing her 1973 hit, “The Way We Were” from the movie of the same name, because that is the essence of conservatism.  Look up the word “conservative” in any dictionary and you’ll see that all of its definitions have one thing in common: they are not forward looking, but rather express a desire for things to be “the way they were.”  And almost all of the G.O.P. aspirants leaned in that direction when they touched upon health care, abortion, the economy and foreign affairs.  But that’s why they’re Republicans!  And why I have a "Bernie" sticker on my bumper.

After watching the entire debate, I have come up with the following thoughts. (1) Because its electoral votes are essential, either the G.O.P.’s Presidential or their Vice-Presidential nominee will have to come from Florida so Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio cannot be ruled out. Neither did anything at the debate which might hurt their chances. (2) Carly Fiorina proved that she is a sharp woman, but has no experience outside of the business world.  It looked as if she will be able to learn any job quickly, and would be an appealing, vote-getting, Vice Presidential candidate.  (3) Ohio governor John Kasich showed the requisite experience to be President and comes from a state whose electoral votes, like Florida’s, will be needed if the Republicans are to win in 2016.  Nobody else really matters.  
Bush, Rubio, Fiorina and Kasich

Therefore, none of the other candidates, including today's poll leader, Donald Trump, are likely to be on final ticket ... UNLESS the Republican Party finds Bush’s positions on education and immigration too liberal for its right wing extremists to swallow, opening the door wider for all-important Florida’s other candidate, Marco Rubio, or if Kasich’s centrist leanings and ability to compromise are also found similarly offensive.

But still, the ones the debate showed to be best poised to make the final cut in the battle for the nomination are Bush, Fiorina, Rubio and Kasich, the latter three also being quite acceptable for the G.O.P.’s Vice Presidential role.


And while on the subject of Republican Presidential contenders, my favorite “conservative” columnist is Kathleen Parker.  In a recent column, she commented that “Governance isn’t easy.  And effective leadership doesn’t necessarily convey to the White House from the board room or the surgical ward or the gilded world of luxury hotels where women are "cherished" –  and the ‘hair is real.’  Knowing nothing – or having no relationships with those you’re hoping to lead toward productive alliances – is hardly a recommendation for the job.”  Read Ms. Parker’s entire Washington Post column (‘It’s time to ask candidates why they want the big job’) at

And finally, noting Ms. Parker’s referral to the word “cherish” as used by Donald Trump in describing his feeling toward women, I am reminded of the 1972 book, “The Happy Hooker,” written by a leading Manhattan madam of that era.

She mentions in the book that her favorite song was a then-popular piece entitled "Cherish" and to this day, every time I hear that word, it carries that somewhat unsavory connotation of being background music at a posh Upper East Side house of ill repute.   You might want to listen to the 1966 recording of it by “The Association,” which is probably the version the madam loved.  If he gets the nomination, Trump might consider using it as his campaign song.  Check it out at

  "The Association" recorded "Cherish" in 1966

Of course, any Republican nominee would be well-served by Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" which you can hear at

Jack Lippman

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Gun Issues 

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution reads  "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  I suggest that you read and re-read that text of the Second Amendment and make your own decision as to what it means.
James Madison, who wrote most of the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, is fourth from the right in this illustrious group

Historically, the Second Amendment was passed (as part of the Bill of Rights) to restrict Congress from passing any laws that would limit a state's ability to defend itself, i.e. to have an armed militia.  Back then in 1789, this was important because there was a fear that a national “standing army” would be a danger to the governments of the individual states and potentially lead to a Federal government controlled by the military.  In the case of United States v. Miller in 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court supported this historic position by basically ruling that the amendment only applied to firearms that have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia...."

Some people, however, feel that the Amendment protects the rights of individual citizens to possess firearms, meaning that it would be unconstitutional for Congress to restrict this right in any way.  The 1939 ruling cited above stood for nearly 70 years, until 2008 when the Supreme Court reversed it in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Amendment protected an individual's rights to own firearms that are not connected to any military service and that a firearm can be used for any lawful purpose, such as for use in self-defense in an individual's own home.  You may not be a Supreme Court Justice, but please see if you can read this into the Amendment’s language, as a majority of the supposedly intelligent Justices were able to.

It is hoped that eventually, sanity will return to the Supreme Court and the D.C. v. Heller decision will be reversed.  The best way to accomplish this is to elect candidates to Congress who refuse to accept any funding whatsoever from the National Rifle Association, directly or indirectly and to elect a Democratic President who will nominate Justices who will reverse D.C. v. Heller. 

Doing so will promote a safer country in which Americans can live, study and go into public places without fear of being shot by a deranged gunman.  Today, the availability of weapons combined with the D.C. v. Heller decision enables lethal firepower to be provided to those with evil intentions, many of whom have mental disorders, whether diagnosed or not.


                              Murdered TV anchor Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward

The killer who murdered two local television newscasters earlier this month in Roanoke, Virginia, had a record of antagonistic relationships with fellow employees at several of the stations across the country where he had previously worked.  He would not have received a favorable grade in that box on many nursery school report cards which reports whether the child “works well with others.”  This was probably why he had drifted from job to job.  None of this history, however, had reached the level where he would have been classified as having a mental disorder. 

Yet, his feelings were sufficiently aroused for him to murder two fellow employees.  This is precisely why efforts at gun control must go much further than background checks to screen out those with mental disorders, most of whom have not even sought help or ever been diagnosed as having a problem.  Preventing the mentally ill from purchasing weapons is important, but gun control must focus primarily on the availability of those weapons!   Other than for collectors, there is no legitimate reason for anyone to be able to purchase weapons capable of killing many people quickly. 

The argument that claims the more armed citizens we have, the safer we will all be, presupposes that our future form of government will resemble anarchy, including a breakdown in law and order, a situation in which having a weapon would certainly come in handy.  That may be why those against gun control are also for diminishing the role of the Federal Government, the first step on the road to anarchy.  This position is supported by many well-meaning but naive voters who would relish the reduction in their taxes which a lessening of Federal Government services would bring about.  Taxes were lower in the "wild west" but it wasn't a very safe place to be.
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A Response to my "Bernie" Sticker

Manhattan Skyline Photographic Print

Occasionally … I wish it were more often … followers of the blog take issue with me.  Here is a response received from Rachel Mintz in New York, prompted by my support of Bernie Sanders.


 “Jack: You should read this article, attached, from The Nation on Hillary which ran a couple of weeks ago.

(The article, which can be found at  points out that most of the time when Hillary Clinton seemed to depart from her position as a left-leaning feminist liberal, it was actually tactical posturing on her part  to gain support from those in the center who would not normally back her … and did not really change who she was and what she stood for.  But please read the article for yourself.  JL)

I'm not sold on Bernie. Not sold on someone who switches parties and then switches back. He also has not endeared himself to his fellow senators although that should be of little consequence to constituents. His voting record is not completely squeaky clean if you look at his votes on defense spending - money for Afghanistan. He's a good talker and a great motivator especially for the angry progressive base of the democratic party -  the white liberals. Not sure he speaks to the people of color especially in the south.

Now let's get back to Hillary. Comparing her record as sec. of State to John Kerry's is not fair. it's not like Hillary had her own foreign policy agenda. As you know, she served at the pleasure of the president and it was her job, much of the time, to implement the president's agenda. It was also her job, along with every other Sec of State, to advise on major foreign policy issues and it's up to the president to make the many hard decisions or lack of them in Obama's case. Both Hillary and Leon Panetta advised the president way back when on how to handle Syria and the 'red-line" issue along with the growing conflict in the region and warned him on bad this could get. Obama chose not to listen and instead went with advice from his very inner circle. 

And let's not dismiss, which many do because it's women we are talking about here, Hillary's position on women's rights around the globe. Who's advocating now on behalf of women's rights around the world? John Kerry? I doubt it. This was such a great moment in the early part of Hillary's ascent onto the world stage. I encourage you to watch it.

And we all know the Iran deal sucks. It sucks most for Israel. We had no choice. We are dealing with crazy people. It's hard to give credit to something like this, but we do because we have to. 

I expect your blog to get even juicier as we get deeper into this ridiculously long election cycle. You may see many more replies from me." 

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Jack Lippman 

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