Saturday, December 31, 2016

We remember General George Marshall (1880-1959)

We remember George Marshall, who was born on this day in Uniontown, PA, in 1880.    

This is his story:   
Marshall's father owned a prosperous coal business in Pennsylvania, but the boy, deciding to become a soldier, enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute from which he was graduated in 1901 as senior first captain of the Corps of Cadets. After serving in posts in the Philippines and the United States, Marshall was graduated with honors from the Infantry-Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth in 1907 and from the Army Staff College in 1908. The young officer distinguished himself in a variety of posts in the next nine years, earning an appointment to the General Staff in World War I and sailing to France with the First Division. He achieved fame and promotion for his staff work in the battles of Cantigny, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne. After acting as aide-de-camp to General Pershing from 1919 to 1924, Marshall served in China from 1924 to 1927, and then successively as instructor in the Army War College in 1927, as assistant commandant of the Infantry School from 1927 to 1932, as commander of the Eighth Infantry in 1933, as senior instructor to the Illinois National Guard from 1933 to 1936, and as commander, with the rank of brigadier general, of the Fifth Infantry Brigade from 1936 to 1938. In July, 1938, Marshall accepted a post with the General Staff in Washington, D. C., and in September, 1939, was named chief of staff, with the rank of general, by President Roosevelt. He became general of the army in 1944, the year in which Congress created that five-star rank.
In his position as chief of staff, Marshall urged military readiness prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, later became responsible for the building, supplying, and, in part, the deploying of over eight million soldiers. From 1941 he was a member of the policy committee that supervised the atomic studies engaged in by American and British scientists. The war over, Marshall resigned in November, 1945.
But Marshall could not resign from public service; his military career ended, he took up a diplomatic career. He had been associated with diplomatic events while chief of staff, for he participated in the conference on the Atlantic Charter (1941-1942), and in those at Casablanca (1943), Quebec (1943), Cairo-Teheran (1943), Yalta (1945), Potsdam (1945), and in many others of lesser import. In late 1945 and in 1946, he represented President Truman on a special mission to China, then torn by civil war; in January, 1947, he accepted the Cabinet position of secretary of state, holding it for two years. In the spring of 1947 he outlined in a speech at Harvard University the plan of economic aid which history has named the «Marshall Plan».
Looking back, The Marshall Plan was one of the greatest decisions of the 20th century. It probably saved Western Europe. (Postwar Challenges)

It gave France, Germany, Italy and others a chance to rebuild their cities and industries.

The Marshall Plan was started in 1949 when Sec. of State Marshall gave this speech:
"Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist." (The Marshall Plan - George C. Marshall, Harvard University (June 5, 1947)

1944: "Frenchman's Creek" a.k.a. the lady and her pirate?

Thanks to TCM, we got to catch "Frenchman's Creek", a 1944 romance between a beautiful lady and a pirate.    I had seen this movie a couple of times before.   

You pick something new every time.    

What can we better than that?  The story of an aristocratic English woman who falls in love with a French pirate.     The cast is Joan Fontaine (the pretty lady), Arturo de C√≥rdova, Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway, and Nigel Bruce. 

It was based on a book but I have not read it.   

What's the best part?   No political correctness!   No preaching about global warming, identity politics,colonialism or the EPA claiming that the cannons are causing environmental damage.

And Joan Fontaine looks stunningly beautiful in those dresses!

Tags: Women and pirates  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

The Democrats need to confess

As any Catholic knows, our confessions are twofold. First, you tell the priest your sins, or “recount your tragedies” as we used to say in Catholic school. Second, the priest gives you a little homework, or a few prayers to say to move on.
Well, if the Democrats were confessing then it may go like this: “Father, I am really sorry that I’ve been looking down at all of those religious people or calling them racists if they disagree with Obama, or calling them homophobes if they believe in traditional marriage, or referring to them as fascists because they want the Ten Amendments on the courthouse walls.”
Father may tell them to say a few Hail Marys and Our Fathers.
On a real note, the Democrats have a religion problem, and Democrat Michael Wear is reminding them of it. In an exchange with Emma Green at the Atlantic, Wear said:
Green: Why is it, do you think, that some liberals — and specifically the Democratic Party — have been unwilling to do outreach to people who hold particular kinds of theological points of view?
Wear: They think, in some ways wrongly, but in other ways rightly, that it would put constraints around their policy agenda. So, for instance: You could make a case to evangelicals while trying to repeal the Hyde Amendment, [which prohibits federal funding for abortion in most circumstances,] but that’s really difficult. Reaching out to evangelicals doesn’t mean you have to become pro-life. It just means you have to not be so in love with how pro-choice you are, and so opposed to how pro-life we are.
The second thing is that there’s a religious illiteracy problem in the Democratic Party. It’s tied to the demographics of the country: More 20- and 30-year-olds are taking positions of power in the Democratic Party. They grew up in parts of the country where navigating religion was not important socially and not important to their political careers. This is very different from, like, James Carville in Louisiana in the ’80s. James Carville is not the most religious guy, but he gets religious people — if you didn’t get religious people running Democratic campaigns in the South in the ’80s, you wouldn’t win.
Another reason why they haven’t reached out to evangelicals in 2016 is that, no matter Clinton’s slogan of “Stronger Together,” we have a politics right now that is based on making enemies, and making people afraid.
Mr. Wear is right that our politics is vicious. I don’t know when it actually started but the attacks on Judge Bork in 1987 may be a good starting place.
Nevertheless, I would add a couple of personal observations to the Democrats’ religion problems.
The party is not just preaching separation of church and state, a concept that I support. Instead, they are hysterical about taking God completely out of the public arena.   
How else do you explain these fanatics who want to remove Nativity scenes from public places? Why can’t these people just walk by and go on with their lives?   
Or the insane reaction to having The Ten Commandments on the courthouse wall? What is wrong with a message that tells people not to kill and steal, and to respect their parents? When did that message move to the wrong side of history?
Also, many in the party continue to insult our intelligence referring to abortion as “reproductive rights”. Talk about a corruption of the language!  
Then there is the insane equivalence of illegal and legal immigration.
Yes, the Democrats would be well served to tolerate those of us who disagree with them. It would help if they would stop referring to us as racist, stupid, or whatever other insult they can come up with.
In the meantime, they will continue to lose elections if they don’t confess and change their ways.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter      Catch our show with Chris Corbett about religious freedom:

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Some thoughts about Gabriel Garcia-Marquez & Fidel Castro


Some thoughts about Gabriel Garcia-Marquez & Fidel Castro 04/22 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts:

Victor Triay, author and college professor, joins me for a chat about the Latin American left. We will also hear from Michael Prada. We will look at the death of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, the well known author of the Spanish language, who died in Mexico City. My concern is that Mr Garcia-Marquez is another one of those Latin American intellectuals who loved Fidel Castro more than the Cuban people. How else do you explain his fascination with Castro? 

Tags: Fidel Castro and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Religious freedom in the US today


Religious freedom in the US today 12/30 by Silvio Canto Jr | News Podcasts:

Guest: Chris Corbett, North Texas conservative..........we will discuss the state of religious freedom in the US, from 'Merry Christmas' to school prayer to The Ten Commandments in the public square...............................

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Our friend Bill Katz remembers the 1960 election!

The 1960 election was one of the most controversial in US history.  It was Kennedy vs Nixon:  110,000 votes out of 76 million cast.

Everything changed when JFK was assassinated in Dallas. He became a legend and myth.

Today, Democratss remember whatever they want to remember about Pres. Kennedy.  What most of them forget is that JFK would not fit in today's party.  In fact, it's very likely that JFK would have joined Joe Lieberman and walk out on the party's irresponsible national security agenda.

Bill Katz was a college student and a party volunteer on Election Night 1960.  Today, he runs Urgent Agenda, one of my favorite websites.

This is an audio history. Listen here! You will enjoy it!

"Sandlot" is a fantastic movie

Want to watch a great movie?   Try "Sandlot", the story about the boys and their sandlot team.

Once upon a time in Los Angeles, there was a sandlot baseball team.   They used to play ball everyday, a story that most men my age will understand.

During one of their games, a boy hit the ball over the fence and it landed next to "the beast" or a big dog that scared the heck out of them.

What was the big deal?   The ball was signed by Babe Ruth and they were using it without dad's permission.

Well, I've given you enough of the story.   Watch it because it is fantastic.

You can get the movie here!

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Happy # 79 Paul Stookey of Peter Paul & Mary

We wish a very happy birthday to Paul Stookey of the legendary folk group, Peter, Paul & Mary:
"In 1961, Stookey was the emcee, comedian and occasional singer at Gaslight, a club in Greenwich Village. One night, he was approached by Albert Grossman, a manager, who asked him if he was interested in joining a new folk trio. He initially said that he wasn't, but afterMary Travers and Peter Yarrow went to his apartment and the three sang together, Peter, Paul and Mary was born."
And the rest is history:

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A little ‘gas anger’ in Mexico

During my four years working in Mexico for a U.S. bank, I recall two interesting reactions when Mexicans visited their friends or family in the U.S.   
The first one is that they were overwhelmed by our interstate highway system. I remember a Mexican friend asking: “Who built the roads”? I explained the history of the interstates and he replied by saying something along the line that it’s nice to see your taxes doing something good.
The second was that they were impressed by the number of gasoline stations and how people actually shopped for price. The reason for this is that in Mexico there is no shopping for gasoline since all of the stations are owned by PEMEX, and they determine the price too.   
“Cambio” or change, is coming to Mexico, as they say.
Have you spoken with anyone from Mexico over the holidays? Well, it’s all about gasoline prices south of the border these days, as we can see in this report from Bloomberg:
Mexico will raise gasoline prices by as much as 20 percent in January, stoking inflation that’s already running at the fastest pace in almost two years.
A month after the increase is implemented, prices will start to adjust on a daily basis as the government loosens its control of the gasoline market, the Finance Ministry said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. 
January’s increase in unleaded gas will be the biggest since November 1998.
The jump in prices risks pushing up inflation at a time when a slump in the peso has already fueled concern about rising consumer prices and led the central bank to raise interest rates five times this year.
It is a risk Mexico is willing to take as the government gradually lifts controls over gasoline prices to open the fuel market to private development, a move made possible by a landmark energy overhaul in 2013.
Frankly, it had to happen, although I agree that it will hit consumers very hard and drive up the cost of anything that must be transported. The new price will be about 16 pesos a liter, or about 50 pesos a gallon, i,e, about U.S. $3. It could be higher than in the U.S.!
At the same time, Mexico can no longer subsidize gasoline, especially since a lot of it is refined in the U.S.    
Here is a dirty little secret that no politician talks about in Mexico: PEMEX sends oil up here and we send gasoline back to them. It is worth approximately US $15 worth of business to refiners such as Valero, Marathon Petroleum, and Citgo Petroleum. It happens because PEMEX spends too much of its resources on everything rather than drilling or refining.   
Of course, the solution is to privatize PEMEX and put that sacred cow away for good. Unfortunately, “vacas sagradas” or sacred cows have lots of friends in high places, so don’t expect that to happen.   
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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The "John Adams" mini-series is worth every minute!

As a naturalized US citizen, I've always had a passion for everything about US history.

I think that the US is the greatest nation in history.

It has done more good for mankind than anyone else.

Its sons have liberated millions.

It's economy has brought more prosperity to more people than anything else.

Last, but not least, I don't have patience for those who take cheap shots at the US.

This great nation opened its arms to our family.   It gave us a chance at a new life. 

It has given me so much.  Therefore, I don't stand quietly when people take "cheap shots" at the US.

Let me recommend the new "John Adams" series on HBO. It aired recently and I watched all 7 hours this weekend.

The main character is John Adams, our first VP and second president.

The series covers the Declaration of Independence (a great segment), his trip to Europe, his service as VP, President and the retirement years when he reconciles with Thomas Jefferson.

You can not understand John Adams without understanding his amazing wife, Abigail.

During their long and very happy marriage, Abigail and John wrote an amazing number of letters. The "letters" have given historians so much background about the events and passion of that period. They tell the story of a man and a woman living in the early days of a new nation.

Here is a historical gem:  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were two of the key players for independence.  They died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, or the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Watch it. You will love every minute of this great series.

A real hero: Ross McGinnis

In June 2008, Pres. Bush awarded the Medal of Honor to the parents of Ross McGinnis.

This is the nation's highest award for courage in combat.

It was the fourth time the Medal has been awarded for those who have served in Iraq.

"In the gunner's hatch of a Humvee driving through Baghdad on December 4, 2006, Private McGinnis saw a grenade fly through the hatch, rolling to where it could have injured the four other soldiers inside.

In easy position to leap and save himself, McGinnis instead jumped to cover the grenade with his body to shield his comrades.
The four men he saved were all at the White House yesterday to pay their respects."
Every young man and woman in the armed forces is a volunteer. They choose to serve their country.   They deserve our support and respect.

They are also heroes, first class heroes! 

We remember Irene Sendler (1910-2008)

We live in a crazy world.   

It's nice to remember those who did something unusual, specially someone who saved the lives of others.

Irena Sendler died in Poland in 2008. She was 96. Her story is amazing:
"When Germany invaded Poland in the fall of 1939, Sendler was just shy of her 30th birthday.

"The whole of Poland was drowning in blood, but the Jewish nation was suffering the most, with the Jewish children the most vulnerable," she recalled. Sendler and a group of friends in the Warsaw municipality's social welfare department started producing false documents to provide Jews in the ghetto with monetary assistance that the Germans had cut off."
Like so many others, Mrs. Sendler stood up to evil. She risked her life so that others could live.

Mrs. Sendler leaves a great legacy of heroism and dedication to mankind. 

'10 de Marzo' in Cuban history with Victor Triay, author


'10 de Marzo' in Cuban history with Victor Triay, author 03/10 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts:

Guest: Victor Andres Triay, Ph.D, and author of several books about Cuba.....

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

We remember James Brown (1933-2006)

James Brown died in 2006, or 10 years ago this week.   I remember seeing 
"James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco as well, died Monday, his agent said. He was 73."
In the late 1960's, I was a big fan of James Brown. His legacy is a string of hits and songs!   You can get his collection HERE.

Rest in peace, James Brown. You left us a lot of good music.

Thursday's show: Cuba 2017 , gasoline prices in Mexico & US-Israel rift gets worse

Tags: Israel and the US, Gasoline prices in Mexico, Cuba 2017  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

My parents were engaged many years ago this week

Image may contain: 2 people

According to all of those family stories passed down from parents to kids, the story goes like this.

Circa 1950, my future father was a very young banker in Sagua La Grande (near the Isabela Port).    He decided to take a little vacation and went to Ciego de Avila (close to Camaguey) to visit some family friends.

My future left the hotel and crossed Parque Marti, located in the center of the city.   

My father knocked on the door.  My future mother answered it!  (She happened to live next door and was visiting a friend who lived in that home!)

My future father took a look at my future mother and came back every weekend (and whenever else his work allowed him) until they got married.

I understand why my dad flipped over my mom. She was quite a "beauty" in her younger days!   I guess that it was that mixture of Asturias and Cuba, along with a Cuban accent!

My brother, sister and I came along in the 1950s.

Our family left Cuba in 1964 because my parents refused to live in a communist country. My brother, sister and I are so grateful that my parents sacrificed a great deal so that we may grow up in freedom.

Today, my father is gone and my mom is recovering from an operation.

Nevertheless, we remember that it all started many years ago in December.     

And you can read more in "Cubanos in Wisconsin":

1878: Pro baseball starts in Cuba

On this day in 1878,  professional baseball started in Cuba.    

The first game was between Habana and Almendares, the two teams that would be great rivals until Castro dissolved the league after the 1960-61 season.    

The league had four teams in the 1950s:   Habana, Almendares, Marianao and Cienfuegos.   

It was great and very passionate baseball.

Along the way, many major leaguers played winter ball in Cuba, from Willie Mays to Brooks Robinson.   

Havana was also a AAA franchise, the Havana Sugar Kings in the Cincinnati organization.    Havana played in The International League with other teams in Montreal and Toronto.

For more on Cuban baseball history, check out "The pride of Havana":

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December 1957: Pat Boone's "April Love" was # 1

In 1957, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone were the two most popular vocalists.   Elvis was the king of rock and Pat was the king of romantic tunes.    

On this day in 1957, it was Pat's turn to sit in the # 1 spot with "April Love".   He displaced Elvis' "Jailhouse Rock" from the top of the charts.

You can get it here!      It was based on a movie by the same name, although the song was more memorable than the film!

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2017: ‘Muy malo’ for Cuba

For 10 years, Raul has benefited a lot from having Fidel around. Fidel always showed up at the big celebrations or wrote a column.
Forget that. It won’t be pretty in 2017, as we see in this report from the AP:
Castro must manage these twin economic and diplomatic challenges during a year of transition. The 85-year-old general has promised to hand over the office in early 2018 to a successor, widely expected to be Miguel Diaz-Canel, a 56-year-old official with neither the Castro name nor revolutionary credentials. The change will occur without Castro’s older brother Fidel, the revolutionary leader whose largely unseen presence endowed the system he created with historical weight and credibility in the eyes of many Cubans before he died last month at 90.
“Even if those two events hadn’t taken place — Trump’s victory and Fidel’s death — 2017 was going to be a very difficult year for Cuba,” said Cuban economist Omar Everleny Perez, a visiting professor at Keio University in Tokyo.
Cuba publishes few credible economic statistics, but experts expect the country to end this year with gross domestic product growth of 1 percent or less. It maintained a rate close to 3 percent from 2011-2015.
By the way, it’s nice to see an analyst admit that Cuba produces very little credible economic data. This is why so many have been skeptical of health care or literacy gains boasted by Cuba.
Back to the economy.
Indeed, there are tourists but it does not seem to help the Cuban economy. This is because Cubans have very little to gain from these hotels or restaurants where tourists are spending their dollars.   
Add to this the mismanagement of Cuba’s economy and you have profits that end up in the Castro accounts rather than the pockets of the Cuban people.
We are not saying that this is new. Cuba has always been for the benefit of Castro and the gang that protects them. However, this is the first time that they are going to do without a USSR subsidy, EU loans, cheap Venezuela oil, or a U.S. president willing to go around the embargo. 
It will be Raul vs reality in 2017 and the Cuban elites don’t have a clue of what will hit them. There is no one waiting to bail them out anymore.   
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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We remember Debbie Reynolds (1932-2016)

We learned that Debbie Reynolds died at 84.   Her daughter Carrie Fisher had a died a couple of days ago.    

Over the years, I saw Debbie in various movies like “Singin’ in the Rain,” & “The Tender Trap".    She was nominated for an Academy-Award for playing the title role in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” 

I also recall hearing that song "Tammy" often on oldies radio.     It was from the Tammy series of movies, such as "Tammy and the Bachelor".

Just a couple of months, "The singing nun" was on TV.   It reminded me of younger days when we used to take our sister to the movies.

RIP Debbie Reynolds.    She had quite a career.

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Happy # 70 to Marianne Faithful

Does time fly or what?   Marianne Faithful turned 70.  

She was well known as Mick Jagger's girlfriend and recorded "As tears go by" when she was still a teenager.     Her songs are HERE.

In the 1970's, I lost track Marianne and she faced a lot of challenges with drugs and other personal problems.    Nevertheless, she was one of my favorites years ago.

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Let's chat with Alina Garcia-Lapuerta, author of 'La Belle Creole'


Let's chat with Alina Garcia-Lapuerta, author of 'La Belle Creole' 10/01 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts:

Guest: Fausta Rodriguez-Wertz, editor of Fausta's Blog, joins me for a chat with Alina Garcia-Lapuerta, author of 'La Belle Creole'.

Tags: "La belle creole" by Alina Garcia-Lapuerta To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Israel and the US plus a look at the end of the Obama administration


Guest: Richard Baehr, political analyst and Chief Political Corespondent at American Thinker........we will look at the continuing crisis between Israel and the US over the UN resolution.......the US abstained and we left Israel to be can Mr. Trump reverse it? what consequences for the countries who voted for the resolution?........President Obama down to less than 30 days........what chance is there that he will pardon Mrs. Clinton? plus other stories.................

Tags: Israel and the US over the UN resolution, Syria and the Trump administration  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

1,030 reasons why President Obama failed his party

Over the holidays, I saw one of the many reviews out there about the Obama years, this one from Lisa Lerer of AP:
In boasting about his tenure in the White House, President Barack Obama often cites numbers like these: 15 million new jobs, a 4.9 percent unemployment rate and 74 months of consecutive job growth.
There’s one number you will almost never hear: More than 1,030 seats.
That’s the number of spots in state legislatures, governor’s mansions and Congress lost by Democrats during Obama’s presidency.
It’s a statistic that reveals an unexpected twist of the Obama years: The leadership of the one-time community organizer and champion of ground-up politics was rough on the grassroots of his own party. When Obama exits the White House, he’ll leave behind a Democratic Party that languished in his shadow for years and is searching for itself…
When Obama won the presidency, his election was heralded as a moment of Democratic dominance — the crashing of a conservative wave that had swept the country since the dawn of the Reagan era.
Democrats believed that the coalition of young, minority and female voters who swept Obama into the White House would usher in something new: an ascendant Democratic majority that would ensure party gains for decades to come.
The coalition, it turns out, was Obama’s alone.
Well, let’s say a couple of things.
Why did the voters want to talk about Mr. Obama rather than state issues, as the state legislator from South Carolina laments? Let me come up with an couple of answers: ObamaCare and a U.S. economy that did not create high-paying jobs.
The article also mentioned that President Obama accomplished his policy goals. Really? Did I watch the wrong movie? ObamaCare is a disaster and will likely collapse of its own weight. Illegal Immigration is chaotic with cities choosing to ignore federal law. And did we mention terrorism or the sense that we feel less safe today than when President Bush? Did the writer of the review check out the Middle East? What did President Obama accomplished there?
Yes, President Obama hurt his party a lot. However, it was not because he was too busy to build it or uncomfortable with legislating and negotiation. He destroyed the party by going too far to the left on social issues and being rather divisive, such as in issues of race.
Overall, President Obama never lived up to the hype. He was the articulate man who never articulated a message that brought us together. He was the thoughtful man who never thought through the consequences of ObamaCare or pulling troops out of Iraq without a plan.
Again, overall a C-minus, and that’s probably a bit charitable. It’s amazing how much better President Bush looks eight years after he handed the presidency to Mr. Obama,
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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