Saturday, November 17, 2018

Now, A Buncha News You Really Shouldn't Miss!

President Trump Has Kept His Promises
-USA Today
“The facts are clear: No president has done more in two years to strengthen our military and reform the Department of Veterans Affairs to better serve our nation’s heroes than President Donald Trump,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie writes. “Until Trump, no candidate in history had made serving our veterans the centerpiece of a presidential campaign. In office, Trump has kept his promise.” 
Trump Embraces Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Legislation
-USA Today
This week, President Trump put his full support behind historic criminal justice reform in an announcement from the White House, USA Today reports. “The ‘First Step Act,’ developed by [Jared] Kushner and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, is designed to improve rehabilitation programs for former prisoners and give judges more discretion in sentencing offenders for nonviolent crime, particularly drug offenders.” 
It’s the Right Time to Pass Criminal Justice Reform
-New York Post
“With President Trump leading the way, the push is on to get serious criminal justice reform done by Christmas. Resisters on the left and right would be fools to stand in the way,” the New York Post editorial board writes. The bipartisan FIRST STEP Act would fund educational and vocational training programs in American prisons while easing certain mandatory-minimum sentencing rules. 
Donald Trump Honors Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth in First Medal of Freedom Ceremony
-USA Today
“President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to seven people Friday, including the late rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley. The nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the United States' national interests and security, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” Cat Hofacker reports. 
Boom: Record High Business Optimism, Need for Employees at 45-Year High
-Washington Examiner
“The record level of economic optimism among small businesses is continuing, and those firms trying to fill jobs is at a 45-year high,” Paul Bedard reports. “The National Federation of Independent Businesses said the optimism has only been this high three times in the last 43 years and has consistently been high all year long.” 
Vice President Pence: Veterans Day – Veterans Have No Better Friend than President Trump
-Fox News
“President Trump has signed the most substantial veterans’ health-care reform in a generation, making Veterans Choice a permanent part of American law,” Vice President Pence writes in an op-ed for Fox News. “Today our veterans have access to the real-time, world-class care they have earned, whether at a private health-care provider or the Department of Veterans Affairs.” 
Sen. Mitch McConnell: Will Dems Work With Us, or Simply Put Partisan Politics Ahead of the Country?
-Fox News
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lays out how the expanded Republican Senate majority plans to help govern in the coming two years. “We’ll keep working to lift the burden on American job creators and small businesses. We’ll stay focused on helping communities across the country seize new opportunities and realize greater prosperity. We’ll seek new ways to make life easier for working families.” 
Sen. Mitch McConnell: Will Dems Work With Us, or Simply Put Partisan Politics Ahead of the Country?
-Fox News
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lays out how the expanded Republican Senate majority plans to help govern in the coming two years. “We’ll keep working to lift the burden on American job creators and small businesses. We’ll stay focused on helping communities across the country seize new opportunities and realize greater prosperity. We’ll seek new ways to make life easier for working families.” 
Pence, Abe Agree on North Korea Sanctions, New Trade Talks
-The Associated Press
While visiting Tokyo this week, Vice President Mike Pence joined Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and “reaffirmed the need to keep sanctions on North Korea to achieve its denuclearization as they showcased their bilateral alliance, while Pence also urged Japan to do more to reduce the U.S. trade deficit,” Mari Yamaguchi reports.

IF He Admits It, Quite An 'Accomplishment'

Typical Liberal Answer: "It's Complicated! . . . . "

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Worse Things Get, The More We Ask . . .

Don't Blame It On Them; YOU Own This One!

Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) released the following statement on Governor Murphy’s administration’s response to yesterday’s winter storm:

“People have the right to expect their roads to be salted and plowed. This storm was not a surprise, but the State’s epic failed response was,” Senator Pennacchio said. “New Jersey citizens’ lives were profoundly disrupted. Families were separated for hours. First responders were stifled and put at risk.”

“Governor, don’t blame it on the meteorologists, or the poor guy driving the salt or plow truck. You own this one,” Pennacchio said.

State Police responded to at least 1,000 motor vehicle incidents as a result of the November 15, 2018 winter storm. Many children were forced to stay late at school, due to their parents or guardians being stuck on the roads. Some children were even stranded on school buses, according to news reports. Public transit customers were also severely impacted. Tragically, one person lost their life in New Providence.

“Governor – you should have a little less concern for marijuana and sanctuary cities, and pay a lot more attention to fixing pot holes and keeping our streets clean and safe,” Senator Pennacchio added. “My constituents, who are also yours, deserve better.”

His Argument Is Really Quite Impressive!

There Are Three Letters For What Happened: MIA

My father hasn't been around for decades.
But yesterday, as New Jersey faced a weather calamity, I heard him saying: "Collect the trash, clear the roads and keep the taxes low."
That was what he told every politician who was running for office. My father understood the basics. If you do these three things, he said, you were likely to be be successful. If not, you could be out of a job.
Of course, the more local the office, the more these things apply. But state and even federal government officials also share responsibility for taxes, roads and public sanitation.
On taxes, it's already clear that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has failed. The guy never met a tax he doesn't like and, for the moment he assumed office, he's been busy raising taxes in one of America's highest taxed states. Yesterday, he also failed miserably when it came to clearing the roads. Though he took to facebook to issue warnings and then tried to blame everyone but himself for the traffic and transportation calamity, Governor Murphy was basically MIA -- Missing In Action!
And in a state with so many inter-county state roads, that's

In his facebook post the Governor began with the words "comin atcha" but he wasn't coming at us at all -- not live, on the ground with the people of New Jersey. Not that way.
Instead, he was actually bragging win himself at the New Jersey League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City and them pretending to be on the job at a "transportation hob" somewhere.
Murphy says nobody had any idea how bad the storm would be and he blames the weather forecasters for what happened. But more than a few forecasters warned that there was at least some chance that the storm could build, exceed predictions and turn very nasty. And they cautioned against taking it lightly.
Here's what a real governor is supposed to do: prepare for the absolute worst; expect the worst and be ready. If the worst doesn't happen, then you're off the hook. But if it does, you rise to the occasion.
Murphy didn't do that.
He was cavalier.
This guy is facing increasing criticism in his own party; he's already had a couple of scandals pop up within his own administration over questionable hiring practices; his tax and budgetary policies don't add up and he spends a lot of time engaging in identity politics and trying to be some kind of social justice warrior.
Face it: He doesn't seem to understand New Jersey.
And he apparently has neither the desire nor ability to understand the state or what it means to govern the state. We fear his focus is elsewhere.
Bottom line: He comes off as a thinly disguised wannabe who's just not up to the job.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Will People EVER Understand This About Trump?

Donald Trump with his parents, Fred and Mary Anne.

A friend posts on Facebook as follows:
I'm still trying to figure out how #DonaldTrump attacks the so-called #TheElite, when he grew up fantastically rich in #NewYork, went to the best schools, has gold toilets, socialized with the glitterati and courted the royalty of #Hollywood.
How did his followers ever buy that?

And here is my answer:
Donald Trump's father was German and his mother was a Scottish immigrant.
Fred Trump was a stern taskmaster -- very strict. Neither Fred nor Mary Anne Trump were very demonstrative nor protective.
Donald Trump was not coddled and was not raised among elites. He didn't grow up on the Upper East Side. He grew up in Queens.
From an early age, his father sent him to work in the family business and he was required to start at the bottom. He worked alongside bricklayers, carpenters, electricians and the like. 
The Trumps owned apartments which they rented to working class people. Donald Trump grew up around these kinds of people. 
But he was restless, had a quick mind and could be a difficult student. So his father sent him to military school where he lived a spartan, highly disciplined life. Fred Trump wanted his son to realize that life was not cushioned; it was not easy.
As he grew into manhood, Donald Trump wanted to show the monied elites that he could compete with them at their level. As the son of a very successful father, he had something to prove. As an outsider to the world Old Money, he had even more to prove. So, he began his career as a real estate developer in Manhattan and took great risks to make his mark. In the process, he had to cultivate friendships with the elites of Manhattan but he was never comfortable with them. Still, he was pragmatic and anxious to beat them at their own game and show that he could achieve their heights, both literally and figuratively. 
Donald Trump also knew tragedy and anguish. When he was just 35, in the very early stages of his rise to prominence, his older brother died of alcoholism. Trump idolized his brother, a successful airline pilot who he described as "a great guy, a handsome person and the life of the party" Seeing his brother's suffering may have inspired Trump's aggressive ambition. The waste of his brother's life gnawed at him and Donald Trump kept a promise to himself to never drink, smoke or do drugs.
Trump has always said he is not entirely at ease around the upper crust of society. He always seemed to get along better with tradesmen, journeymen and ordinary working class people. 
Bottom line: Donald Trump was not born into wealth nor privilege and was not treated as such. While he sought fame and wealth, his relationship with both (and with those who flaunt such trappings) is more complicated than it may seem.

When Stars Twinkled Nightly Atop Cherry's Hill

Once upon a time there was a dream world that overlooked cherry blossoms at the top of what passed for a hill in South Jersey.

At night, this magical place came alive with melodious tunes, fine food and the iridescent twinkle of thousands of tiny lights. It all happened at a time when people actually dated; when there was something called romance; when song lyrics boasted of "starry eyed" moments and dining and dancing were going steady. The dining was leisurely, the dancing was graceful and the music was heavenly.
The Starlight Room with its brightly lit ceiling and distinctive zebra rug.

This was the Starlight Room at the Cherry Hill Inn. Nearby, one could find Cinelli's, Henry's, Sans Souci and the Rickshaw Inn. But the Cherry Hill Inn and its Starlight Room stood out atop all the rest. In fact, the Inn was so synonymous with the town that many people credited it with giving the town its name.

The Cherry Hill Inn was built and opened in 1954 by businessman Eugene Mori who also owned Garden State Park race course. The hotel, restaurant and nightclub received its name because it was located on the site of Abraham Brown's Cherry Hill Farm, dating back to a time when Delaware Township (the predecessor to Cherry Hill) was largely rural. When the Inn opened, there wasn't very much in the way of buildings or businesses between the Inn and Garden State Park. And when you looked out from the front of the Inn, there was no Cherry Hill Mall. Instead, you simply saw empty land and Haddonfield Road leading from Route 130 (or thereabouts) to Haddonfield.

Inside, the Cherry Hill Inn had the flavor of a British country lodge. It was all very proper and incorporated an equestrian theme that also featured a collection of jockey statuettes that welcomed you in colorful attire. If you were running your horses at Garden State Park or participating in the track's daily activities during the racing season, this was the place to stay. And even if you weren't lodging there, this was still the place to see and be seen. Of course, you didn't enter or leave the Cherry Hill Inn unless you were properly attired. And you didn't go to the spa, pool or workout room without a coverup of some sort.

Into the 1960s and 70s, the Cherry Hill Inn continued to thrive, especially after a massive expansion in 1962 that added two wings to the property including spacious banquet and meetings facilities and the Starlight Room. Even a three-alarm fire in 1978 failed to dim the Inn's storied luster. On New Year's Eve, for example, it was impossible to get a reservation at the Inn and everyone wanted to be in the Starlight Room which featured dinner, champagne and a New York style floor show.

In 1985, the Inn undertook a $4 million restoration program. But the booming '80s brought new competition not just in Cherry Hill and other nearby suburbs but also from Atlantic City where big, flashy casino hotels popped up like sandcastles. As the instant gratification of legalized gambling took hold in New Jersey, the allure of betting on thoroughbreds waned. Why wait around for a horse race when you could try your luck at a slop machine?

The Cherry Hill Inn evoked the slow pace of a lazy afternoon, the enjoyment of a succulent Sunday buffet, the welcoming of spring blossoms and the sheer fun of dressing up. Plus, it had the room with the twinkling lights -- the closest thing you would ever find to the Rainbow Room, the legendary haunt of the elite high atop Rockefeller Center.

But as the Beatles once declared in 1969 "All Things Must Pass". The Inn closed in 1992 and was eventually left to deteriorate to the point where it became an unsafe haven for homeless people. Finally, it was demolished to make way for a multiples cinema and a TGIFriday's.

But if you gaze up past the nightly congestion of current day Route 38, you may still see some of those twinkling lights or detect the faint scent of Chanel No5 or English Leather. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

At the Top Of Those Iconic Steps: A Glittering Dazzler!

The public is invited to kick off the holidays at the annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Tree Lighting celebration on the East Terrace. On Wednesday, November 21, well-wishers will enjoy live music and complimentary warm beverages starting at 5:00 p.m. as the Museum prepares for a dramatic countdown – the electrifying moment around 5:50 p.m. when 12,000 LED lights adorning a beautiful and imposing 55-foot-tall white fir will sparkle against the skyline.
The Tree Lighting headlines the Museum’s holiday program, which continues through the close of 2018 with events ranging from ugly sweater-making and caroling through the galleries to a Hanukkah party and a Feliz Navidad fiesta.
 “What better way to usher in the holidays than to join us here at the Museum,” said Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, who will lead the countdown. “The Tree Lighting on the East Terrace is classic Philadelphia, and each year the crowd, including a lot of families, grows larger. It’s such a delight to greet visitors indoors following the countdown as the season of lively holiday events gets underway. Bring your ugly sweater—I’ll certainly be wearing mine!”
 The York Street Hustle will return this year to perform for the Tree Lighting. At 6:00 p.m., the Museum will welcome visitors indoors to enjoy the galleries and public spaces adorned with seasonal decorations, along with options for festive food and beverage. The Sister Cities Girlchoir will break into song in the Great Stair Hall and the Museum will remain open until 8:45 p.m. The Tree-Lighting on the East Terrace is free and admission to the Museum on Wednesday evenings is pay-what-you-wish. Visitors will also receive a 20 percent discount at the Museum Store.
 "York Street Hustle is delighted that the PMA has invited us back to perform at this year's tree lighting,” said Trumpeter and Arranger Vince Tampio. “Our soulful holiday favorites feel larger than ever whenever we perform at this great location looking out from the Art Museum to the city skyline." Alysia Lee, founder of the Sister Cities Girlchoir, added: “The Tree-Lighting is an iconic part of the holiday season in Philadelphia, and the girls are so excited to bring their unique blend of songs of empowerment, celebration and meditation. It is a dream come true for them to perform at the Tree Lighting and we’ll include songs by Donald Lawrence, MaMuse and Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbetter.” Each year, the holiday tree provides a magnificent spectacle overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Planning for its placement requires careful coordination.
The Philly-bound evergreen makes a 300-mile trip, wheeling in from Hornell, New York, on a flatbed truck. The 7500-pound tree is craned upright upon a platform; it is then unwrapped, branching out to a 25 foot-wide-spread. Next, it is adorned in thousands of lights, each one at.144watts, all powered by (2) 20amp circuits. High on the apex of the tree, the star is placed, measuring 6 feet in diameter and containing 175 lights itself.
 Acquiring and installing the tree and generating the lighting would not be possible without spirited support. The Museum is grateful to IBEW Local 98, Dougherty Electric, Inc., and PMC Property Group for its continued support in providing decorations, electricity and labor, and for the assistance of L.F. Driscoll and Dan Lepore & Sons Company, Inc. The Museum offers additional thanks to Eastern Scaffold & Shoring, Inc. (platform); Amquip (crane); Brands Imaging (decorative wrap); Interstate Aerials (high reaches); Yule Tree Farm (tree); and WLX, LLC. (transportation).

Saint's Remains Transferred; New Tomb Ready!

Mass will be broadcast via Facebook Live at

All people of good will are invited to join the priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to celebrate in the installation of the tomb with the sacred remains of Saint Katharine Drexel.

Her remains were translated to a newly constructed tomb at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul earlier this year from the Motherhouse of the Community she founded, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. The tomb is located near the Drexel Family altar inside the Cathedral’s main entrance. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018
11:00 a.m. Mass
 Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. will be the principal celebrant and homilist. The Xavier University Choir will join the Archdiocesan Adult and Children's Choir at Mass. Together they will perform the premier of the new Saint Katharine Drexel hymn, written by Reverend G. Dennis Gill, Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship.

The two children, now adults, who were healed through the miraculous intercession of Saint Katharine Drexel, will be in attendance as well as representatives from Saint Katharine Drexel parishes and schools from across the United States. Also attending will be Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, the religious community founded by Saint Katharine Drexel in 1891.

A generous grant from the Connelly Foundation underwrote tomb construction as well as a new communications and education program for elementary, middle and high schools to increase awareness and appreciation for the inspiring life and work of Saint Katharine Drexel.

Background on Saint Katharine Drexel
Saint Katharine Drexel was canonized on October 1, 2000. She is the second American-born person ever to be canonized. Born into tremendous wealth as part of the Drexel family, she gave up her life of privilege to found the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1891. She dedicated her life to serve the needs of African Americans and Native Americans, and inspired so many women, who joined the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, to follow her example.

Note: For more information, please visit

EWTN Global Catholic Network will broadcast live beginning at 11:00 a.m. Visit for channel information.

Plus Ça Change . . . Well, You Know The Rest!

According to Politico, while some Democrats are leading a charge in opposition, Gov. Tom Wolf is helping to put his thumb on the scale to push Democrats in Congress to support Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

As their report from this morning notes:
“Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania have been calling members-elect on behalf of Pelosi. As have former Vice President Al Gore and former Secretary of State John Kerry, according to Democratic aides.”

This direct effort is the latest in a history of efforts by Democrats to put Nancy Pelosi back in power, despite the fact that she has already set an agenda that would engage in Presidential harassment, roll back economic advances, and raise taxes on every American.

In the past, Pennsylvania Democrats have worked to undermine the rule of law in Pennsylvania by supporting an unconstitutional process that gave their Party a more favorable Congressional map that helped pave the way for their legislative majority and by supporting candidates who had already avowed their support for a return to the Speakership for Nancy Pelosi.

In response, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Communications Director Jason Gottesman, made the following statement:

“By throwing their weight behind Nancy Pelosi, Democrats like Tom Wolf are saying they want to see one of the greatest economies in recent memory stopped in its tracks by leaders who have pledged to raise taxes and use their House majority as an investigatory arm to continue an agenda of obstruction and resistance.

“The Democrats' goals have been clear from the beginning: more taxes, job-killing regulations, and the intrusive insertion of government into the lives of Americans. Their support of Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the US House of Representatives is another step in furtherance of that goal.”

YES, We ARE Breaking All Records!

Boom: Record High Business Optimism, Need for Employees at 45-Year High

“The record level of economic optimism among small businesses is continuing, and those firms trying to fill jobs is at a 45-year high,” Paul Bedard reports.

“The National Federation of Independent Businesses said the optimism has only been this high three times in the last 43 years and has consistently been high all year long . . . In addition, companies are planning to expand and add inventory.”

Click here to read more.

In Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) lays out how the expanded Republican Senate majority plans to help govern in the coming two years—if House Democrats don’t opt for fanning the flames of division instead. “We’ll keep working to lift the burden on American job creators and small businesses. We’ll stay focused on helping communities across the country seize new opportunities and realize greater prosperity. We’ll seek new ways to make life easier for working families.”

While visiting Tokyo, Vice President Mike Pence joined Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday and “reaffirmed the need to keep sanctions on North Korea to achieve its denuclearization as they showcased their bilateral alliance, while Pence also urged Japan to do more to reduce the U.S. trade deficit,” Mari Yamaguchi reports for The Associated Press. The Vice President added that “the U.S.-Japan alliance is a ‘cornerstone’ of the region’s peace and prosperity.”

“Socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro loves his country’s gold so much that he has waved bars of it around during rallies,” Dan Boylan reports for The Washington Times. “The Trump administration has taken notice and has tightened sanctions that effectively seal almost 16 tons of Venezuelan gold held by the Bank of England,” part of President Trump’s efforts to pressure and end Maduro’s authoritarian regime.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Report That Requires A Response . . .

A special message from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

To the Philadelphia Catholic community:

Dear friends,

Every once in awhile a story circulates in the press that requires a response. That is my purpose here.

Many of you may have seen the article in the November 12 Philadelphia Inquirerfocusing on Stephen Szutenbach, a former Denver seminarian, and his adult sexual encounters with Kent Drotar. Father Drotar was vice rector of Denver's St. John Vianney Seminary for a time during my tenure as Archbishop of Denver. If you haven't read the Inquirer story, I encourage you to do so:

I mention this because Denver archdiocesan conduct and safety policies were followed at all times in this painful matter, and the Inquirer article is seriously flawed in at least two of its key elements. The truth is that:

* Father Kent Drotar was removed from ministry on the counsel of the Archdiocese of Denver's review board -- not because of anyone's threat, at any time, to go to the press.

* No staff person's contract was terminated or not renewed because of the Szutenbach/Drotar incident. At no point was "retaliation" involved against any person.

Please note that the Szutenbach/Drotar issue is more than a decade old and involved adult misconduct. This in no way excuses or reduces its ugliness, but neither does it imply a systemic lack of vigilance on the part of Church leadership, or a disregard for the safety of minors and their families. Any suggestion otherwise is simply not truthful. Kent Drotar has never had an allegation before or since this matter. I removed him from Denver's seminary immediately upon learning of the issue from the seminary rector. Father Drotar was then seen by multiple mental health professionals. They determined he was not a threat and could return to ministry.

Mr. Szutenbach was represented by a civil attorney, but no civil or criminal action has ever been taken. After Mr. Szutenbach appeared before the Denver review board, they considered, discussed and ultimately recommended Father Drotar's removal. I removed Kent Drotar permanently from ministry the same day.

The Inquirer story also makes a reference to an investigative matter involving our seminary here in Philadelphia. Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, issued a letter regarding that matter and explaining our seminary policies. A copy can be found here, as it’s well worth reading.

I leave it to you to consider the timing behind the appearance of yesterday's Inquirerarticle.

I'm very grateful for your on-going support in this difficult time for the Church.
Fraternally yours in Jesus Christ,

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Yes, They Do Believe He WILL Prevail!

With the midterm election in the books, voters are shifting their attention to the presidential election in 2020 and are growing more convinced that there’s a second term in sight for the 45th president.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey conducted the day after Election Day finds that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters believe it’s likely Trump will be reelected in 2020, up eight points from August. Twenty-nine percent (29%) think it’s more likely that the president will be defeated by the Democratic nominee in 2020, while another 16% feel Trump will be impeached before finishing a full term in the White House. (To see survey question wording, click here.)