George W. Bush: The Art of Leadership

The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy is an exhibit of 30 portraits of world leaders painted by President George W. Bush. The paintings are on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, from April 5 to June 3, 2014.

I place a high priority on personal diplomacy. Getting to know a fellow world leader’s personality, character, and concerns made it easier to find common ground and deal with contentious issues. That was a lesson I had picked up from Dad, who was one of the great practitioners of personal diplomacy.” – President George W. Bush

Gotta Love Mitt Romney – Postscript

What are the odds? On a flight from New York’s JFK airport to Salt Lake City on January 24, 2014, Scrubs actor Zach Braff and Governor Mitt Romney ended up sitting next to one another.

Mitt Romney & Zach Braff

Mitt Romney & Zach Braff

Governor Romney and Mr. Braff exchanged tweets and posted selfies.

You Gotta Love Mitt Romney – Part 4

Mitt Romney, appearing relaxed and casual wearing blue jeans with a blazer, shirt and tie, slow-jammed the news last night (January 24, 2014) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Governor Romney and Mr. Fallon talked and rapped on topics ranging from President Obama’s upcoming State-of-the-Union address, the NSA spying on American citizens, the flawed Obamacare program, and Governor Romney’s “47%” gaff in his unsuccessful presidential campaign.

You Gotta Love Mitt Romney – Part 3

Check out Governor Mitt Romney taking the stage with British singer Alex Boyé at a conference of young single adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The three-day conference was held at the University of Arizona at Tempe.

Governor Romney and his wife Ann addressed the conference during the final general session on January 11, 2014.

Andrea Bocelli talks Las Vegas, Celine Dion and the importance of opera

We sing the masterpiece of art that is inside us (the mirror, for a believer as I am, of the wonder of creation), we celebrate the beauty that we can grow and live every day.” — Andrea Bocelli

Great interview with Andrea Bocelli by Robin Leach in the Las Vegas Sun News:
Q+A: Andrea Bocelli talks Las Vegas, touring, Celine Dion and the importance of opera [Las Vegas Sun News; Dec. 2, 2013].

The Detroit Institute of Arts: Goose or Golden Egg?

You cannot escape the irony that the name of the labor lawyer who wants to lay his hands on the $2-Billion collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is Michael Artz. Mr. Artz represents the bankrupt Motor City’s largest union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He can’t be pleased with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes’ ruling that “pension benefits are a contractual right and are not entitled to any heightened protection in a municipal bankruptcy.”

According the the Detroit News, Judge Rhodes stated that selling DIA masterpieces does not address long-term financial and structural problems, and therefore would make no sense. Further, the judge said, “When the expenses of an enterprise exceeds its revenue, a one-time infusion of cash, whether from an asset sale or borrowing, only delays inevitable financial failure unless the enterprise reduces expenses or enhances income,”

Residents of counties surrounding Detroit also pay taxes to support the museum. The judge’s opinion was welcome news to museum supporters. “Oakland County and the entire region have a vested interest in protecting our art,” said Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner. “Judge Rhodes’ statement is a clear indication that the sale of this world-class art collection has no long-term financial benefit for the city.”

Further information:
Orr: Combined value of DIA’s most valuable art less than $2B, can’t fix shortfalls [Detroit News; Dec 3, 2013]
Detroit Ruling on Bankruptcy Lifts Pension Protections [New York Times; Dec 3, 2013]