Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Jeb Bush’s failure / Bloomberg’s hinted candidacy / Obama and Cuba / The accomplishments of novelists Eco, Lee, and Spiotta

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This week: Jeb Bush’s failure / Bloomberg’s hinted candidacy / Obama and Cuba / The accomplishments of novelists Eco, Lee, and Spiotta

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Inside Jeb Bush’s $150 Million Failure
By Eli Stokols | Politico Magazine | Feb. 20
“His closest aides failed to predict Trump and never changed course, guiding a flawed candidate into a corner he couldn’t escape.”

2. Harper Lee, Author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Dies at 89
By William Grimes | The New York Times | Feb. 19
“Lee, like her alter ego Scout, was a tough little tomboy who enjoyed beating up the local boys, climbing trees and rolling in the dirt.”

3. Michael Bloomberg Hints at Reasons for Candidacy, but Doesn’t Announce It
By Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns | First Draft :: The New York Times | Feb. 18
“The most pressing problems in the country, he said, were ‘wage stagnation at home, American retreat around the world’ and a ‘corrupt gridlock and two-party system that answers to lobbyists and special interests instead of the American people.’ ”

4. Obama to Cuba: A gamble to end the embargo
By Ted Piccone | Order from Chaos :: The Brookings Institution | Feb. 18
“It is a big prize for the Castros, but in exchange for what? Why now? What can we expect to see happen on the island before and after he visits? How will the visit impact the relationship?”

5. An Interview with Dr. William Blair, Founding Editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era
Muster :: The Journal of the Civil War Era | Feb. 15
“You were the editor of Civil War History for ten years before founding and editing The Journal of the Civil War Era. Did you have a vision for JCWE that differed from CWH?”

6. The Nation He Built
By Michael Grunwald | Politico Magazine | January/February 2016
“Over the past seven years, Americans have heard an awful lot about Barack Obama and his presidency, but the actual substance of his domestic policies and their impact on the country remain poorly understood.”

7. The Quietly Subversive Fictions of Dana Spiotta
By Susan Burton | The New York Times Magazine | Feb. 19
“Over the course of her career, the author has created a new kind of great American novel.”

8. Umberto Eco, Italian novelist and intellectual, dies aged 84
By Kevin Rawlinson | The Guardian | Feb. 20
“The revered literary critic, author and essayist — most famous for 1980 novel The Name of the Rose — had been suffering from cancer.”

9. Why I love… Winona Ryder
By Bim Adewunmi | The Guardian | Feb. 20
“It’s very difficult to look away when she’s on screen. She looks like a woodland creature, a startled deer — plus, she can act”

10. Historical Lessons for a President Forced to Deal With a Hostile Congress
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | November 2014
“The Democratic nominee of 2016, whoever she or he is, might want President Obama to adopt the [Gerald] Ford veto strategy. … It would give the party’s nominee the opportunity to argue that in 2017, only a Democratic president can hold back the excesses of a Republican-controlled House and Senate.”

The Early Life of Hattie Elam Briscoe

An incredible story.

The Top Shelf

In honor of Black History Month, Top Shelf is featuring a look at the early life and educational accomplishments of Hattie Elam Briscoe.

MS67_01-06_groupphoto-justBriscoe Hattie, upon her graduation from St. Mary’s Law School, 1956.

Hattie Ruth Elam Briscoe was born to Cloral Burton Elam and Willy Perry Elam in Shreveport, Louisiana on November 13, 1916. She was the second of five children. Hattie’s mother taught her children to read and write before entering school, which resulted in Hattie skipping a grade level upon entering elementary school. Her mother also encouraged and inspired Hattie to go to college. Sadly, her mother suffered a stroke and passed away at the age of thirty-three. Hattie was just nine years old. After her mother’s passing, her father moved the family to Marshall, Texas. Her father remarried, but unfortunately Hattie’s new stepmother was not terribly kind to her. When she was sixteen, her father “whipped” her…

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Scalia is dead – who benefits

Initial reaction, and plenty of important questions.

The truth is…

The death of Antonin Scalia will surely create endless Obama-Congress disputes when Obama will present his new choice(s). Also, many cases are to be decided during the elections cycle of 2016 and having 8 judges on board, with one less very conservative judge will make the decisions very close or tied or unforeseen postponements.

It will not be good for Congress, as it will show the American people and the world how even in jurisprudence, the American way is all about politics and personal tendencies instead of the true application of the law.

The Republican debates now will have the added feature of gay marriage at the top of the agenda and Trump is most likely to say stupid things and tweet ridiculous idea that will expose even further the bigotry and racism that are latent in the United States.

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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Henry Kissinger / George Washington and whiskey / Scorsese’s love for the Rolling Stones / Beyonce’s hot sauce / The drama of gravitational wave detection

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This week: Henry Kissinger / George Washington and whiskey / Scorsese’s love for the Rolling Stones / Beyonce’s hot sauce / The drama of gravitational wave detection

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. The Dawn of a New Era in Science
By Matthew Francis | The Atlantic | Feb. 11
“By announcing the first detection of gravitational waves, scientists have vindicated Einstein and given humans a new way to look at the universe.”

2. Shut Up and Press Play
By Mary-Louise Parker | Esquire Classic | September 2006
“If you want to rock this girl (or yours), these are the songs you need to know”

3. William Shatner Opens Up About Deathbed Rift With Leonard Nimoy and Their Long Friendship
By Katie Wilson Berg | The Hollywood Reporter | Feb. 12
“Shatner spoke … about his respect for Nimoy as an artist and the mystery of why the man he calls ‘the only friend I ever had’ shut him out in the last years of his life.”

4. A History of Martin Scorsese’s Love Affair with the Rolling Stones
By Dan Reilly | Vulture | Feb. 12
“‘My films,’ the man himself once said, ‘would be unthinkable without them.’ ”

5. We All Need Beyonce’s Hot Sauce
By Goldie Taylor | The Daily Beast | Feb. 8
“It’s a flavorful essence — proud, black, and full of social justice.”

6. InstaTexas: The Stars At Night…
By Jordan Breal | Texas Monthly | Feb. 11
“Are big and bright — and ready for their close-up.”

7. George Washington, the Whiskey Baron of Mount Vernon
By Michael Beschloss | The Upshot :: The New York Times | Feb. 12
“It was not exactly in keeping with Washington’s public image to enter the whiskey trade.”

8. Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them
By Nicola Twilley | Elements :: The New Yorker | Feb. 11
“It took years to make the most sensitive instrument in history insensitive to everything that is not a gravitational wave. Emptying the tubes of air demanded forty days of pumping. The result was one of the purest vacuums ever created on Earth, a trillionth as dense as the atmosphere at sea level.”

9. Henry Kissinger: Good or Evil?
Politico Magazine | October 2015
“10 historians assess the controversial statesman’s legacy”

10. T.R.’s Son Inspired Him to Help Rescue Football
By Michael Beschloss | HistorySource :: The New York Times | August 2014
“T.R.’s intervention … helped lead to … the enforcement of new rules, which included the forward pass, a neutral zone at the line of scrimmage, another referee on the field and later prohibitions against brutal maneuvers like kneeing and punching opponents by using locked hands.”