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.

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]

George W. Bush, the Renaissance Man

George W. Bush, the man who told Jay Leno that he named his cat Bob, “So I can remember how to spell it when I get older,” has been very busy.

Between rounds of golf, organizing and riding in 100K mountain bike rides with America’s wounded warriors, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, and personally refurbishing health clinics in Africa, through the Bush Center’s partnership with Pink Ribbon/Red Ribbon, whose mission is to screen women, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, for cervical and breast cancer, the 43rd President of the United States has also become an accomplished portrait painter.

President Bush charged his painting instructor, Gail Norfleet, with a task. “There’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it.”

While a guest on the The Tonight Show on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, President Bush presented a portrait he had painted of Jay Leno to the late night television host.

Jay Leno portrait

Jay Leno portrait by President George W. Bush

President Bush has plans to paint portraits of 19 foreign presidents and prime ministers with whom he worked during his tenure at the White House. He has already provided the artwork for a Christmas ornament, which may be purchased through the Bush Center web site (which, incidentally, works).

Bush Center Ornament

Bush Center Ornament

See also:
As Bush Settles Into Dallas, Golf Tees and Family Time Now Trump Politics [New York Times; Nov 2, 2013]

George Bush Shows Off Painting Hobby, Shares Jay Leno Portrait [US Weekly; Nov 20, 2013]

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Rubio, Republicans and the Right: Winning with Water

Never mind that there was more truth in Senator Marco Rubio’s awkward drink of water than there was in the preceding State of the Union address by President Barack Hussein Obama. Anyway, most Americans skipped the cringe-inducing hour-long speech by the Targeted-Drone-in-Chief. (Many of us chose the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show over the Dog-and-Pony-Show Tele-prompter Lalapalooza. Yay Affenpinscher! Go Banana Joe!!) Even fewer stuck around to witness the Big Drink of Water. We had to catch it in the endless re-runs, courtesy of the supurbly-coiffed moving mouths in the Alphabet Networks.

But just forget Wolf Blitzer and the other gasping girls in the CNN Situation-Comedy Room. What they are trying to divert your attention from is the wisdom and clarity of what Senator Rubio actually said.

But [President Obama's] favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.

Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.

The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.

And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.

So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.

Okay, Wolf, I know this play. I lived in New York. It’s a hot summer night. You set a little fire in the garbage shoot and start yelling. The tenants, hearing the commotion and smelling smoke, run into the hall to see what’s going on. This gives your partner time to sneak into the apartment through the open window on the fire escape, to steal the radio.

But it is a pathetic stretch to turn an unscripted drink of water during the delivery of a nationally televised speech into a tsunami in order to prop up the vapid Leader of the Western World (formerly known as the Free World). This is what “Journalism” has become in the 21st Century.

If you live in the mind of an MSNBC broadcaster, this “Rubio’s Watergate” incident is apparently a train wreck. Therefore, we demand photographs! Brace yourself, because until now it has been a not-too-well kept secret that Senator Marco Rubio is not the only one in the GOP who has been observed refreshing himself with a drink of water. Here are the pictures to prove it!

Rep Paul Ryan, Sen Marco Rubio, Gov Mitt Romney

Rep Paul Ryan, Sen Marco Rubio, Gov Mitt Romney: Refreshing

As an interesting point of trivia, while it is probably true that Democrats also drink water, there are no known photographs of Vice President Joseph Biden in the act of doing so. There is evidence, however, that while the party with the elephant mascot favors water, the jackass party has distinctly more complex beverage preferences.

Clinton_Clinton_Obama

Pres William Jefferson Clinton, Sec Hillary Rodham Clinton, Pres Barack Hussein Obama: In their Cups

Right.