Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Ronald And Donald: The Parallels Will Astound You!

It occurred to me while reading Bob Spitz's great, new, exhaustive biography Reagan, An American Journey.
Again and again I was struck by the similarities.
Now, don't laugh about what I'm gonna tell you next. I'm talking about the similarities between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
Are you still with me? I hope so. Because the parallels are real and stunning.
Yes, Reagan came from a humbler background than Trump and didn't have the advantages that Trump may have had. And Reagan didn't attend private school and an ivy league university. And Reagan was from a small midwestern town while Trump grew up in New York City. But the similarities in their respective journeys far outweigh the differences.
To begin with, both Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump were greatly influenced by loving mothers -- strong, determined women who nurtured them, encouraged them and attempted to pass on solid values and moral guideposts. And both women proved to be devoted spouses as well.
Also, both Reagan and Trump witnessed first hand the scourge  of alcoholism in their own families -- Reagan with his father and Trump with his brother. They came to understand that alcoholism was a disease. It had such a profound effect on them that both avoided drink as they grew into adulthood.
Neither Reagan nor Trump were stellar students in college nor were they known to be voracious readers. But both remained guided by their instinct, experience and basic, pragmatic ways of dealing with people and situations. They also learned quickly to keep their own counsel and not show their cards to the other players at the table.
Both Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump proved to be daring. In their own respective ways, each took chances to get ahead. They weren't afraid of risk. And both had successful careers in other fields before they entered politics. Reagan was a hugely accomplished broadcaster, Hollywood star and union leader before he threw his hat into the political ring. Trump succeeded as a builder, entrepreneur and TV star before that historic ride down the escalator at Trump Tower in 2016. It's also interesting to note that both had achieved unquestioned fame well before they sought public office. Neither man needed to be president. Both were already household names well before they sought office and both learned early on how to live a life in the public spotlight.
Both Reagan and Trump married more than once, both raised children from different wives and both succeeded in building blended families.
Both men proved to be remarkably adept at mastering new media -- Reagan with radio and television; Trump  with the internet and social media. And both proved to be natural communicators.
Also, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump were/are savvy salespersons. Either man could sell almost anything, and often did. Reagan's name was associated with some of America's most trusted brands and Trump is a master brander in his own right. They learned a lot from their dads who were both salespersons themselves. Reagan's father was a shoe salesman and retail manager. Trump's father built and sold homes and apartments.
Neither Reagan nor Trump was instantly nor warmly welcomed by the Republican Party. In fact, both were outsiders and both had previously supported Democrats. Remember as well that Reagan sought the presidency more than once and Trump toyed with the idea or running more than once. And both men eventually built powerful populist movements that did not depend on the traditional party apparatus. In fact, both developed a sort of cult of personality that often crossed party lines and superseded ideology. At the same time, both were grossly  underestimated and both actually enjoyed being underestimated.
And here's one of the most vivid similarities: both Reagan and Trump were able to appeal to working class Democrats in a way that other Republicans could not. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that each man had a clear, simple message that resonated with ordinary people. Yes, you could say the message was "make America great again" because Reagan uttered those words decades before they became Trump's mantra. And isn't it interesting that both men appealed to the broad middle of the nation (flyover country) while being derided by elites on the coasts?
Reagan was dismissed as a simpleton. So, too with Trump. Big media hated Reagan and repeatedly mocked him. Ditto, Trump. Reagan drove liberals crazy. The same with Trump. Academia wanted no parts of Reagan. And, they have no time for Trump as well. His star power notwithstanding, Hollywood pretty much turned its back on Reagan. Hollywood hates Trump. Reagan was accused of being a tool of the wealthy. The same is said of Trump. But Reagan actually made Wall Street nervous. And Wall Street still hasn't gotten used to Trump. They called Reagan a reckless cowboy who would lead us into nuclear war. They've made the same predictions about Trump. Reagan was a great storyteller and pitcher of bromides. Tump can spin a tale with the best of them.
Both Reagan and Trump came to the presidency late in life but both proved to be sort of ageless and remarkably resilient. The election of each marked a landmark moment in American politics. Both broke the presidential mold. Neither man proved to be big on details -- both can be characterized as "big picture" guys who got what George H. W. Bush called "the vision thing." And both Reagan and Trump have ushered in periods of solid economic growth and unprecedented prosperity.
Finally, both captured our attention with their distinctive hair styles. Did Reagan really use Red Dye #40 on his lush pompadour? And how does Trump construct that orange, cotton candy swirl of his?
Oh, the similarities!

Yes, They're Happy About It And The Credit Trump!

“Most Americans remain confident about the U.S. economy and in their own financial situation,” CBS News reports. “Seven in 10 Americans say the economy is in good shape, including a quarter who say it is very good. Nearly all Republicans and most Democrats and independents share this view.”

The results under President Trump have drowned out the media and political spin about his Presidency: Today, 85 percent of Americans who rate the economy as good said the President’s policies are mostly or at least partially responsible for it.

Click here to read more.
“Democrats are fuming that Don McGahn skipped a Congressional hearing on Tuesday . . . But Mr. McGahn has every constitutional right not to appear, and this isn’t a close legal call,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) “doesn’t expect to learn anything new. He wants a show. He wants to use Mr. McGahn as a prop to spend three hours claiming that Mr. Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller investigation. Yet Mr. Mueller wasn’t obstructed in any way, his copious report was released for all to see, and there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.” 
“US employers are stepping on the accelerator — and that’s lifting average salaries and fueling record raises across many sectors. For the typical American worker, pay increases could soon surge past 4 percent or 5 percent for the year, according to labor experts,” John Aidan Byrne reports for the New York Post
“Single-payer. Government-run. Government takeover. One-size-fits-all. Socialist. Each is an accurate description of Democrats’ preferred health-care scheme, proposed in the mislabeled ‘Medicare-for-All Act,’” Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Greg Walden (R-OR) write in Fox News. “The more Americans learn, the further support sinks for their centralized government health-care system. It will bring delays in access to needed health care. The $32 trillion price tag is so massive it’s hard to wrap your head around.” 
“In a new Hill-HarrisX survey, a majority of registered voters said they support a new Department of Justice inquiry into whether official procedures were followed when the FBI began examining allegations of connections between Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia,” Matthew Sheffield reports for The Hill. “Sixty-two percent of respondents to the May 17-18 survey said they support Attorney General William Barr's” actions—including nearly half of Democratic respondents.

Lesniak: Murphy Has Now Crossed The Rubicon!

Murphy Crossing The Rubicon v. Norcross By Raymond J. Lesniak 

As the father of New Jersey’s Tax Incentives, I was taken aback when Governor Murphy falsely stated tax incentives have squandered $11 billion from the state treasury, but brushed that off as a political pitch to his far left supporters.
I was again taken aback, this time as a lawyer, by Murphy’s EDA Task Force Chairman, Ron Chen’s, announcement of a criminal referral regarding the task force’s inquiries. That announcement was an irresponsible and unethical use of law enforcement for political purposes that was walked back by Chen the day after I stated such in an interview with Michael Aron on his On The Record NJTV Show. Ron Chen should have known better and has a lot more walking back to do.
Taking a page from U. S. Attorney Bill Barr’s playbook, the letter below was sent to Norcross at Conner Strong & Buckelew by Jim Walden, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, on May 1, 2019 regarding the Task Force's continuation of a Public Hearing one day later. Identical letters were emailed at the same time to three other businesses that had been awarded tax incentives to invest in the City of Camden.
Out of the 913 business entities awarded tax incentives across New Jersey, Task Force Chairman Chen publicly labeled just these four businesses "entities of concern," Three of the four business entities singled out have not yet received a single dollar in tax incentives. The four have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the revitalization of Camden.
The letter is the equivalent of a target letter. A target letter is a letter one would receive from a United States Attorney stating you are the "target" of a criminal investigation and is only issued after due process was given beforehand.
At no time prior to the letters were any of the Camden business entities advised of the information to be presented or that the information would tend to defame them or otherwise adversely affect their reputations. This is counter to appropriate conduct under New Jersey law and has tainted the process.
It is not my intent to defend George Norcross and the other Camden businesses targeted by the Task Force, but I am compelled to speak out and denounce the tactics used and the purpose of the Task Force.
As the sponsor of the legislation that has been its focus, I was involved in every step of the legislative deliberations that are the subject of the criminal referral and designation of entities of concern, yet I have not been called to testify by the Task Force. This failure to do due diligence makes it clear the Task Force is nothing more than a political vehicle, not to advance its stated objective, but to attack a political opponent with law enforcement tactics without even using fundamental due process.
I support the announcement of Governor Murphy’s EDA Task Force to “Examine Deficiencies of New Jersey’s Tax Incentive Programs”, but instead of the announced intent, the Task Force has been used as a vehicle to publicly cast criminal intent upon George Norcross’s long established and productive mission to transform Camden City from the poorest, most crime ridden municipality in the nation, into an attractive location for business development.
I’m an eternal optimist and hope the Task Force can start doing the job it was formed to do, to improve upon the tax incentives needed for New Jersey to attract and keep business investment and jobs, but I have great concern that using the Task Force as a Star Chamber for political oppression of opposition through the arbitrary use and abuse of power is a point of no return.
Playing hardball is nothing new to New Jersey politics. I’ve played it myself at times, but using the levers of law enforcement to score political points is not hardball. It’s lowball and may be a Waterloo for Governor Murphy. The die was cast by this letter dated May 1, 2019. 

Dear Mr. Norcross:
I write as Special Counsel to the New Jersey Task Force on the Economic Development Authority’s Tax Incentives (the “Task Force”) to inform you that the second day of the multi-day Public Hearing of the Task Force will take place on May 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Rutgers Law School, located at 123 Washington Street, Newark, New Jersey (the “Public Hearing”).
As part of the second day of the Public Hearing, the Task Force will call certain witnesses to participate and testify. Some witnesses will testify voluntarily while others will appear subject to subpoenas issued by the Task Force Chairman, Professor Ronald K. Chen, pursuant to the authority delegated to him by Governor Philip D. Murphy under N.J.S.A. § 52:15-7. I also write to advise you that information about you may be offered at the Task Force’s upcoming Public Hearing. If you believe this information is adverse to your interests, upon notice of the same and in accordance with the New Jersey Investigative Procedures Act, Professor Chen has determined that you will be afforded the opportunity to submit a sworn, written statement to be incorporated into the record of the Task Force’s investigatory Public Hearing. See N.J.S.A. § 52:13E-6. This statement of facts must relate solely to matters relevant to any testimony or evidence you believe to be adverse to your interests. Id. Accordingly, if you wish to avail yourself of this process, you must: (1) notify the Task Force by Friday, May 10, 2019 of your intention to submit a notarized, sworn statement; and (2) submit an original of your notarized, sworn statement to my attention at the following address by no later than Friday, May 17, 2019, at the close of business.
Jim Walden Walden Macht & Haran LLP

'Congratulations' To Philly Mayor Jim Kenney . . .

Because stupid is as stupid does!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

NJ DEMS: Is There A War On, Or Isn't There?

On This One, They Agree With Trump . . .

Voters continue to believe the U.S. immigration system is broken and still tend to favor shifting to the skills-based system that President Trump is proposing.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with Senator Lindsey Graham’s assessment last week that “we have a perfect storm brewing at the border because of a series of broken and outdated laws related to asylum and children.” Just 24% disagree with the South Carolina Republican’s statement, but nearly as many (21%) are undecided. Graham introduced a major immigration reform package in the Senate last week. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in Rasmussen polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on May 16 and 19, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

WOW! Top Talent Ready To Compete!

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, internationally recognized as one of the largest, most elite outdoor displays of show jumping, multi-breed and multi-discipline competition in the country, is set to return May 23-June 2. The Devon Horse Show will again welcome world-class show jumping with the FEI CSI4* competition designation, and will play host to the world's best athletes, including recent FEI World Equestrian Games™ team gold medalists McLain Ward, Laura Kraut and Adrienne Sternlicht.

Steeped in the local traditions and lifestyle ways of Philadelphia, the Devon Horse Show is a prominent stop on the competition calendars of many top riders. This year, show organizers are pleased to welcome Olympians such as Ward, Kraut and Beezie Madden. The Devon Horse Show is a great way for these athletes to begin their spring and summer tours with their top mounts.

McLain Ward and Clinta at the 2018 Devon Horse Show. Photo: The Book LLC

The Open Jumper section is just one major highlight of the Devon Horse Show, which has a generous purse of $475,000. All classes will boast an FEI CSI4* ranking and athletes who compete in any of the designated events will be eligible to earn world ranking points.

Thirty elite athletes will be chosen to take part in the Open Jumper division, which will host classes such as the $36,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4*, the $50,000 Jet Run Devon Welcome Stake CSI4* and the $72,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4*, all of which will take center stage in the iconic Dixon Oval.

"I've always said this is a special place - it's an iconic location," expressed Ward after winning the 2018 $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4* with Clinta. "The crowd is second to none. I don't think there's an atmosphere in the world that is better. It's always been a special place for me, and it was a special place for my father. Things just seem to go really well for me here. I am honored to ride in front of this crowd. I always seem to have them in my back pocket."

No stranger to Devon, Ward has a long history with the show. Along with his two-time Olympic medal-winning partner, Sapphire, and many other of his memorable horses, he has accrued many wins and top results at Devon over the years. Ward holds the record for winning the class named after the legendary mare, the Sapphire Grand Prix, an incredible 10 times, two of which were with Sapphire herself.

Riders also have come to find Devon to be synonymous with great crowds, who cheer and create electric energy for them to compete in. This type of energy can be felt far and wide, and makes for great spectating as well as competing.

Coming off the recent winter season in Wellington, Florida, many competitors are coming to Devon to ramp up their horses for the season ahead. Fans can expect to see recent Longines FEI Jumping World Cup ™ Final competitors Kelli Cruciotti and Georgina Bloomberg as well as Catherine Tyree, Ali Wolff, Andy Kocher and many others all taking a shot at the lion's share of the prize money and valuable FEI rankings points.

In addition, Devon attracts many international riders. Top Canadian rider Erynn Ballard will make the trip to Devon as well as Swiss rider Beat Mändli. Amanda Derbyshire will represent Great Britain, Japanese rider Karen Polle will bring her mounts and Paul O'Shea and Kevin Babington will also be in attendance for Ireland putting the pressure on in the historic Dixon Oval.

With the grandeur of Philadelphia's Main Line setting the stage, the Devon Horse Show features an impressive field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the famous country fair that attracts people of all ages and offers boutique shopping, rides, games, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.

For more information on the Devon Horse Show, please visit

A College That REALLY Supports Diverse Views?

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) commended Williams College President Maud Mandel and her administration today for overruling the student government and granting registered student organization (RSO) status to the Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI). WIFI – a student club whose mission is to “support Israel and the pro-Israel campus community” – had applied for RSO status, but the student-run College Council rejected the application, despite WIFI reportedly fulfilling all the application requirements.

After the rejection, President Mandel expressed “disappointment” in the College Council’s decision. She acknowledged that the College Council did not “follow its own processes and bylaws,” and admitted that the decision “was made on political grounds.” Yet President Mandel seemed to justify the status quo, stating that even without RSO status, WIFI could “still access all services available to student groups.”
The ZOA initially criticized President Mandel’s weak response, characterizing the rejection of WIFI as not merely political, but also anti-Semitic because it targeted and discriminated against the group because of its support for the Jewish state. Moreover, suggesting that WIFI settle for something less than what it was entitled to was insulting, the ZOA stated. In a letter to Williams College, the ZOA urged the administration to exercise its authority by overriding the College Council’s decision and recognizing WIFI as an RSO.

Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., Director of ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, applauded the administration’s recent decision to grant RSO status to WIFI: “The ZOA is pleased to see that President Mandel and her administration did the right thing and remedied the College Council’s astounding discrimination. Williams has shown that it is genuinely ‘committed to being a community in which all ranges of opinion and belief can be expressed and debated.’ And Williams’ new pro-Israel group will now truly have the same rights and privileges as every other registered student organization on the campus, which it unquestionably deserved.”
Support ZOA's Campus Efforts

New Agreements, Expanded Trade, Economic Progress!

President Donald J. Trump delivered a major announcement just before the weekend about our two biggest trading partners. “We’ve just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico, and we’ll be selling our product into those countries without the imposition of tariffs or major tariffs,” the President said.
The United States has strong relationships with both Canada and Mexico, President Trump said—but that shouldn't stop us from negotiating hard to protect American workers and jobs. Canada, for example, has been “charging us extremely high tariffs, as much as 285 percent or more, for our agricultural products, which is an absolute barrier,” he said. 

In the past, American Presidents would turn the other cheek on bad trade deals to avoid confrontation or criticism from the mainstream press. But unlike his predecessors, President Trump is focused on results for our farmers and manufacturers—not on praise from the Beltway or global media. The same day he announced that Canada and Mexico would lift their retaliatory tariffs, the Administration also reported that it had successfully negotiated a deal to remove Japan’s longstanding restrictions on American beef exports. 

All told, these agreements are great news for American farmers. They will continue to protect America’s crucial steel and aluminum industries, too. 

Friday’s news coincided with a Proclamation from President Trump recognizing World Trade Week, 2019, in which he reflected on the trade principles he promised to the White House: 
"The American people see through Chairman Nadler’s desperate ploy to distract from the President’s historically successful agenda and our booming economy. Neither the White House nor Attorney General Barr will comply with Chairman Nadler’s unlawful and reckless demands . . . The American people deserve a Congress that is focused on solving real problems like the crisis at the border, high prescription drug prices, our country’s crumbling infrastructure, and so much more."

After decades of politicians putting the global business class ahead of America’s industrial and agricultural heartland, working families finally heard the voice of a President that was willing to fight for them on January 20, 2017. 

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First,” President Trump said at his Inauguration. “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” 

America announces deal with Canada and Mexico to lift retaliatory tariffs.

Video of the day: Who said it?

Years before President Trump took office, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) all but endorsed the type of immigration plan that President Trump unveiled last week.

“The current status quo on immigration makes no sense. We turn away people from entering the country who could create thousands of jobs and let people cross our borders who take away jobs,” Sen. Schumer said in 2013.

Last week, President Trump unveiled an immigration plan that tackles that very problem—and wouldn’t you believe it, Sen. Schumer immediately rejected it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did her part by calling the proposal “dead on arrival.”

Where’s the old Chuck Schumer when you need him? 

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen 
Vice President Mike Pence lands on Marine Two at Joint Base Andrews | May 20, 2019

A Gala Evening Featuring Jay Wright!

Saint Augustine Parish will hold a premier Gala in support of its Capital Campaign seeking to raise funds for preservation of its historic church building. Mr. Jay Wright, Villanova Men’s Basketball Head Coach, will serve as the keynote speaker and Mr. Jim Murray, former Eagles General Manager, will be the master of ceremonies and auctioneer.

The Gala, sponsored by Villanova University, will include a cocktail reception, dinner, a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Finneran Pavilion, and an auction of memorabilia from the Philadelphia Eagles, Villanova Basketball, various autographed sports items, and more.

Saturday, June 1, 2019
5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Villanova University’s Finneran Pavilion
800 East Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church, located at 4th and Vine Streets in Old City Philadelphia, is the City’s fourth-oldest Catholic Church. It has a rich history with deep roots in the Philadelphia community. Villanova University grew into existence from the original Saint Augustine Academy. Additionally, the first Philadelphia performance of “Handel’s Messiah” was performed at the Church by the predecessors of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Parish embarked on its Capital Campaign in order to preserve its historic buildings and to build an enduring future for the Augustinian Friars, parishioners, and neighbors throughout Philadelphia. Proceeds from the campaign will fund critical restoration work for the facade, precious artwork, facility windows, and more.
Those interested in attending the Gala can purchase tickets via

Note: Founded in 1796, Saint Augustine Parish presently has 620 registered families and 1,160 registered parishioners. The Church serves as an important anchor in the community, and provides space and support for a number of groups and services including; Women of Hope – an assisted living facility for women in need, Veterans Multi-Service Center for Women Programs, weekly 12-step programs, and more.

For more information about Parish and the Capital Campaign, please visit

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit