Friday, May 31, 2019

'You Are Ready To Fly, Fight And WIN - Always Win!'

The 61st graduating class of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado had a very special guest deliver today’s commencement address: their Commander-in-Chief.
“You could have chosen any school, any career you wanted, but you chose a harder path and a higher calling to protect and defend the United States of America,” President Donald J. Trump told the group of nearly 1,000 cadets. “You know what—in the end, it’s better.” 

“ You are ready to fly, fight—and win! Always win.” 

  Watch the President’s full speech here.

Video of the day: The First Lady visits Tokyo’s Digital Art Museum 

During her visit with President Trump to Tokyo last weekend, First Lady Melania Trump accompanied Japanese First Lady Akie Abe on a special tour through the teamLab Borderless Exhibit at the Mori Building Digital Art Museum.

The museum itself is a unique cultural experience made up of colorful and interactive exhibits. Mrs. Trump is now the first American First Lady to see it in person.

“Mrs. Abe is a wonderful host and it is great to be back in Tokyo, exploring more of this wonderful city,” the First Lady said during her visit.  

In photos: First Lady Melania Trump visits Akasaka Palace with Mrs. Abe 

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks 
First Lady Melania Trump meets with schoolchildren creating Be Best artwork during her tour of the teamLab Borderless Exhibit at the Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Tokyo | May 26, 2019 

All Together Now, Let's Celebrate ISRAEL!

In celebration of Israel's 71st anniversary and 52nd Yom Yerushalayim, ZOA National President Mort Klein will be speaking in Central Park on June 2, 2019, following the Celebrate Israel Parade. Other distinguished speakers include Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Israel's Consul General to NY Dani Dayan, Former Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker, and Fox and Friends Host Pete Hegseth, among others. 
Enter Park at 72nd Street & 5th Avenue • FREE admission • Rain or Shine
If you haven't yet registered to join ZOA and ZOA's FFT as we march down 5th Ave to celebrate Israel it's not too late! There will be a fun atmosphere, lots of giveawaysfree t-shirts and lots of pride and cheer!

We will be meeting at 1:20pm on 52nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

If you haven't signed up yet, all you need to do is register at the link below with your contact info and t-shirt size. 

For any questions, contact us at (212) 481-1500 or 
Register Now

WOW! Nearly $400,000 In Scholarships; Hooray!

Graduating seniors representing all 17 Archdiocesan high schools from throughout the five-county region came together to unveil the cumulative scholarship dollars earned by the Class of 2019. For the second consecutive year, the total broke previous records. This year’s total is $396,517,099.00.

Students were joined by Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M., Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer and Superintendent of Secondary Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education, and Ms. Irene Horstmann Hannan, Chief Executive Officer of Faith in the Future Foundation.

Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M., shared, “On behalf of Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic Education, we are extremely proud of our young men and women for their hard work and achievements! It is a testament to their commitment, the sacrifice of their families, and the dedication of their teachers that the Class of 2019 has earned another record-breaking scholarship total.”

In addition to revealing a piece of the total scholarship dollars earned, each student shared the college or university they are attending in the fall. That list includes institutions such as University of Delaware; Princeton University; University of Notre Dame; Villanova University; Pennsylvania State University; The College of New Jersey; Drexel University; North Carolina A&T State University; Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary; University of Pittsburgh; Temple University; and University of Pennsylvania.

Following the students unveiling of the scholarship total, Ms. Irene Horstmann Hannan, Chief Executive Officer, Faith in the Future Foundation said, “Thanks to the visionary foresight of Archbishop Chaput, and the bold leadership of the business community, Faith in the Future was launched in 2012 for the purpose of maintaining the 17 high schools and our four schools of special education.” Ms. Hannan continued, “Today’s scholarship announcement is a testament to one of Faith in the Future’s guiding principles—individually excellent, better together.”

The announcement was streamed live on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Schools Facebook Page

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Dan Cirucci And Matt Rooney Together? KABOOM!

Matt Rooney and I started our blogs at around the same time.
And we've been tracking politics, the headlines, New Jersey outrageousness and the popular culture all these years while trading quips, notes, posts and all the political intrigue and gossip we could gather.
But in over a decade we've never appeared together. Until now!
So, go ahead -- enjoy the moment as I focus the spotlight on Matt on my Advocates TV show and we swap war stories and lots more. It's all great fun!

Gannett Slapped For False Info, Misleading Ommissions

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

Gannett (USA Today) reporter Jeffrey Shweers, has written several recent articles/updates about pro-Israel Governor Ron DeSantis’great business and academic mission to Israel. Some aspects of these Gannett articles are good – for instance, the articles mention the delegation’s meetings with Israeli experts on water and emergency management. But some of these articles contain erroneous information and misleading omissions, which should have been fact-checked beforehand and surely should be corrected now.
For instance:

Schweers’ article entitled “ Arab-Americans, Other Civil Rights Groups Miffed Over De-Santis Trip to Israel,” published in the [Gannett-owned]  Tallahassee Democraton May 25, 2019, relies on erroneous population information from a representative of the anti-Israel Council on American-Islamic Relations ( CAIR – identified by the U.S. government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case for funneling money to Hamas). The article states that the CAIR representative claims that “Florida is home to at least 500,000 Muslims, about the same number of Jews who live in South Florida” – and fails to correct these erroneous figures.
The  Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and  Association of Religions Data Archives (ARDA) found only about 160,000 adherents to Islam in Florida in 2010. Similarly, Pew Research Center’s 2014  Religious Landscape study and Pew’s recent breakdown of “ Adults in Florida” state that Muslims comprise less than1% of Florida’s population. This means that Florida’s Muslim population is  less than 200,000, perhaps significantly less. In addition to massively overstating Florida’s Muslim population, CAIR also understated Florida’s Jewish population. Approximately 700,000 Jews live in Florida, including 70,000 Jews who live in Florida for 3 to 7 months per year. ( See 2018 data at  Jewish Virtual Library and sources cited therein.) 
The same article emphasizes arguments criticizing holding a ceremonial Florida cabinet meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem – and fails to disclose that  Gannett is prosecuting a lawsuit to try to stop the Jerusalem Embassy meeting and to penalize its participating Florida governmental officials. It is remarkable that Gannett is complaining about lack of "Sunshine" when Gannett and numerous other press members will attend the meeting in Jerusalem, and the meeting will be live-streamed in Florida. (The judge threw out the request). 
Another article by the same author, “ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Forges Partnerships, Decries ‘Denialism’ of an Israeli State,” by Jeffrey Schweers, [Gannett-owned]  Tallahassee Democrat, May 27, 2019, wrongly states that Ariel University, in Samaria, Israel, is “in a disputed area that is considered illegal under international law.”  
As ZOA has repeatedly  explained, Judea and Samaria are legally designated areas for Jewish settlement and the Jewish homeland under binding international law and binding international treaties, including: the  League of Nations Covenant Article 22; the  Mandate for Palestine (1922), the  San Remo Resolution (1920), the  Feisal-Weitzman Treaty (1919) (an Arab-Jewish treaty, signed by the Emir of the Kingdom of Hejaz, now part of Saudi Arabia), the  1924 Anglo-American Convention [Treaty] (ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1925, making it a binding U.S. treaty obligation), and the  United Nations Charter, Article 80. Nothing has changed the fact that Judea/Samaria are legally designated Jewish areas.    
It is also disappointing that the same article omitted the fact that Miriam Adelson is a highly respected physician, and failed to place the title “Dr.” in front of Dr. Adelson’s name.
We hope that Gannett will rectify these errors.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Representing Us, Thanking Troops, Scoring Firsts!

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made a historic visit to Japan over Memorial Day weekend, becoming the first official state guests of Japan’s newly enthroned Emperor. 

On May 1, former Crown Prince Naruhito acceded to the Chrysanthemum throne to become Japan’s 126th Emperor. He replaced his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito. Naruhito assumes the reign of the oldest continuous dynasty in the world.
Japan’s new Imperial Era is called “Reiwa,” which means “beautiful harmony.” President Trump and the First Lady congratulated the Japanese people on this latest chapter in their history. “Your Majesty, the First Lady and I will never forget this gracious invitation, and we thank the people of Japan for their incredible hospitality and warm welcome in this majestic land,” the President said during a State Banquet at the Imperial Palace. 

“I carry with me the hopes of the American people for the treasured alliance between our countries. And we enter this next phase of our prospering relationship.” 

From the moment the President and First Lady stepped off the tarmac, they were treated to some of Japan’s awe-inspiring culture. Among the highlights was attending a sumo wrestling championship in Tokyo, where President Trump presented the “President’s Cup”—a first-of-its kind, 60-lb. trophy awarded to Japan’s grand champion.   

Since his election, President Trump has worked with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—who the President calls a dear friend—to build a true global partnership centered on robust security, technological advancement, and economic progress. Together, the two countries are defending free and open societies while taking steps to strengthen our own shared prosperity, including through fair and balanced trade deals. 

Under President Trump, America’s partnership with Japan is better than ever.  

President Trump thanks our troops 

President Trump spoke to both U.S. and Japanese troops at Yokosuka Naval Base during his weekend trip. Aboard a Japanese destroyer, the JS Kaga, he explained that the shared service between our two nations’ sailors is a living testament to the “enduring power of our incredible partnership.”

In honor of Memorial Day, the President and First Lady spoke to American service members on the USS Wasp, docked in Japan. “Today, the unbreakable resolve of [our fallen] heroes lives on in every American who wears our great uniform,” the President said to a crowd of 1,000 American sailors and Marines.

“On behalf of all Americans, we thank you.”

 Something to share: President Trump thanks our troops aboard the USS Wasp

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead 
President Trump participates in a joint press conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo | May 27, 2019

An Urgent Message That Tugs At Your Conscience

Click here for lots more!

Why One B'way Musical Works; The Other Doesn't

Broadway and the movies have been going steady for a long time.
That's because the movies often provide good, solid stories that can be turned into Broadway musicals. Since the book is often one of the weakest parts of any musical, an already available well-structured story is a godsend. And if the movie was very successful, the musical that is constructed around its story comes with its own established brand and a huge built-in audience.
But none of this necessarily guarantees success.
Recent cases in point: Groundhog Day, The Bridges of Madison County, Rocky and Honeymoon in Vegas. All of these musicals made from successful movies failed to gain a big audience on Broadway.
Adapting a movie into a musical is a tricky business. It requires just the right balance. It can't follow the movie too closely but it can't veer too far from the essence of what made the film a success. It usually needs star power but the actors cannot and should not mimic the successful stars of the original film production. And, the movie must be condensed to the confines of the stage while retaining some of the scope of the big screen. That, in itself is a huge challenge.
Two adapted movie comedies are currently running on Broadway -- one a RonCom, the other a biting social satire. One succeeds wildly, scoring a solid 10 while the other sputters a bit and can manage little more than a six or seven on the 10-point scale.

There's almost a cult surrounding Pretty Woman, the 1990 Cinderella story that starred Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. This now classic megahit has kept is loyal audience and added new followers over a period of nearly three decades.
Now, along comes the musical with Samantha Barks and Andy Karl. Somehow, the whole thing comes off as surprisingly tinny. Overall, the music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance make for a not-particularly-memorable nor fully integrated score. And the book by Garry Marshall and J. F. Lawton follows the movie scenario so closely as to be all too predictable.
While we love Andy Karl and have admired his performances in several other musicals, despite his best efforts there seems to be no real chemistry between him and Samantha Barks. Karl's wife Ofeh is also in the show in a supporting role and, though she has a powerful voice, she comes across as shrill and imposing.
There are some bright spots. In a dual role, Eric Anderson steals several scenes and probably should have garnered a Tony nomination. And some of the numbers (like On A Night Like Tonight, Freedom, Something About Her and I Could Get Used to This) really pack a punch. And, it's not as if the show is a dud. In fact, it's been running for almost a year now and seems to have found an audience. But it charts no new ground and garnered no award nominations.

And the show suffers by comparison with the season's big new hit, the movie-to-musical Tootsie starring Santino Fontana in a role that allows him to knock it out of the park. Based on the 1982 movie, the adapted Tootsie musical digs deep to find new relevance in this trailblazing gender-blending story.
When it comes to praising Tootsie, we almost don't know where to begin. Veteran director Scott Ellis has mined pure comedy gold with Tootsie. But, with a book by Robert Horn we also have a fully woke Tootsie that is up-to-the-minute with zingers that are as fresh as the morning's headlines. No question about it, this is the funniest show on Broadway right now and it truly breathes new life into Broadway musical comedy. In fact, we haven't heard such sustained laughter from the audience of a musical in years. And the show manages to be aware and meaningful without being peachy or doctrinaire.
Much of this has to do with the impeccable timing and the superb performances of Fontana, Lilli Cooper, Sarah Stiles, Andy Grotelueschen. Michael McGrath, John Behlmann and the entire cast. Stiles' staccato delivery of the hilarious number What's Gonna Happen literally takes your breath away. Ditto for Gotelueschen's Jeff Sums it Up. And Behlmann's take on the hunky, clueless Max Van Horn comic heaven. But it's Fontana who pulls it all together via a tour-de-force performance that brings back memories of the best of shows such as La Cage Aux Folles, Hirspray and Victor, Victoria. Fontana manages to be sagacious, funny, neurotic, ingenious, poignant, endearing and exasperating from one moment to the next. And it all works.
Beyond all this, the show's production values are superb. Tootsie is not only blessed with great tunes by the hugely talented David Yazbek but also a large cast; a full, rich, resonant orchestra; great costumes by the legendary William Ivey Long; sets by David Rockwell and choreography by Denis Jones. The show acts looks and sounds like a big, real, live Broadway musical.
No wonder it has attracted huge raves and 11 Tony award nominations. This is the one to see!

If you want to read more stories like this visit our Broadway Blog: Dan On Broadway!

Now, This Is A Real Eye-Opener!

Here's another story that the dominant liberal media are hiding from you!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Right Now, These Words Ring More True Than Ever!

An inspirational message from Ronald Reagan that resonates today more than ever!

Not Just Today But EVERY Day!

Small Town America: The Essence Of What It Means!

On Memorial Day, does anything say "America" better than the observance of a small town --  a town united in its devotion to our country and to those who gave their all?
These scenes are from this morning's Memorial Day commemoration in a nearby small town here in South Jersey.
This is America!
May it always be  so.

A Solemn Place To Remember The Fallen . . .

If you go to Washington DC and you don't see the beautiful World War II memorial (between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial) you will miss one of the most majestic and inspiring places in our nation's capital.
The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall's central axis. 
This classically-designed memorial traces the history of the war and those who fought it with words, wreaths, columns, gold stars, fountains, ramps and a huge plaza complete with seating around the rim for moments of quiet contemplation.
And yet the World War II memorial contains not a single statue of any one person. And that's appropriate because it honors every single person who contributed to the success of the war effort.
The Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war, the D-Day Invasion, the Battle of Midway and every state and territory are all here. Nothing has been forgotten.
And yet for all it's grandeur -- and it is grand -- the World War II memorial lends itself to quiet reflection and a real sense of intimacy.
This is an exceptionally well-designed public space and it stands as one of the finest monuments in Washington.
The memorial is operated by the National Park Service and is open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about visiting the memorial, accessibility, parking, directions, special events and other details, please visit the National Park Service Web site at or call the Park Service at (202) 619-7222.