Thanks To President Obama I Now Understand Elvis’ Hand Wave Was “Shaka” Greeting

It has taken me decades to finally understand something concerning the famed first-ever global concert that took place when Elvis was beamed around the world in 1973 from Hawaii.  When Elvis completes the concert and is walking the stage taking his last waves and glances at the adoring crowd he lifts his arm and gives a wave with his fingers arrayed as the photo below shows.

shaka

 

Maybe I should have always been more aware of what the wave was all about, but for decades I have just considered it an ‘Elvis’ thing, just a sign of affection from the singer to his fans.

It was not until reading tonight about the recent vacation to Hawaii that President Obama took during the holidays that I have come to understand what the wave means.

The president wished the crowd a “great 2014” and flashed the Hawaiian “shaka” greeting — an extended thumb and little finger often associated with surf culture — before wandering outside to enjoy his treat.

As I read the line I instantly thought of the Elvis wave many decades removed—do not ask me why that clicked in the way it did.  (But it did.)

I am not sure if this all means newspapers really serve the public, I have too much esoteric stuff crammed into my head, or James and I need more excitement on a Saturday night.   Still, this tidbit made for smiles here at home.  (Perhaps for some of my readers, too.)

Why I Love A Well-Written, Informative Obituary– (Frank Sinatra Had Specially Constructed Underwear)

There is a never a day when I do not read the obituary page in the newspaper.  While the local paper in Madison might seem the place to read about those who have passed away, it is The New York Times that offers the best reads when it comes to the departed.  I simply love the stories, learn a lot, and smile along the way–not that someone has died but that they lived such an interesting life.  The Times writes such remarkable obits–and they know it–so much so they compile the best for folks such as myself–the 2012 edition arrived in the mail only a few weeks ago.

But it was this past Monday’s newspaper that made me read once, and then twice the obit for George Jacobs, a former valet for Frank Sinatra.  Not only was Jacobs a valet, he also wrote a memoir about his life to the famed singer.

Mr. Jacobs’s book described, among much else, an amorous naked clinch between Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich and the insatiable appetite for Hollywood gossip of John F. Kennedy, then a United States senator. (“I would ask him about Castro or Khrushchev, but he wanted to know if Janet Leigh was cheating on Tony Curtis.”)

Most revelations centered on Sinatra, who died in 1998 at 82. There were the luminous women he chased: Grace Kelly, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood. (He caught many of them.) There was the specially constructed underwear he wore in public, which kept what Mr. Jacobs describes as his considerable natural endowment discreetly suppressed.

Sinatra, Mr. Jacobs wrote, could be abusive. But despite his using an occasional racial slur to refer to Mr. Jacobs, who was black, and despite his once having hurled a spaghetti marinara dinner at him because he had failed to cook it al dente, Sinatra is portrayed with sympathy — a tragic figure who continued to pine for his second wife, Ava Gardner, long after their divorce.

In the newspaper version of the story the following sentence was added to a longer obit than can be viewed online.

There was the specially constructed underwear he wore in public, which kept what Mr. Jacobs describes as his considerable natural endowment discreetly suppressed.

It might be noted that others seem to love interesting obits too, as one of the most consistent top posts on my blog is for none other than the passing of a moonshiner, “Popcorn” Sutton.

Is George Stephanopoulos Embarrassed Over Show’s Guest Dealing With Gov. Christie Mess?

I am quite sure Edward Murrow would not have made such a cheesy choice for a major news show.

This Sunday, “This Week” has complete coverage breaking down the fallout over the bridge scandal engulfing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, plus crisis management expert Judy Smith, the inspiration behind the hit ABC show “Scandal.”

Recalling Larry Speakes Who Died At Age 74, Acting White House Press Secretary For President Reagan

Another face from the past is gone.

larry-speakes

He worked in the West Wing in a pre-Internet era, when the tense exchanges with reporters took place twice a day and deadlines were geared toward the morning papers and the networks’ nightly news programs. He was regarded as having a straightforward but sometimes acerbic style by journalists who bristled at the administration’s attempts to manage the news.

Mr. Speakes made news himself in 1988, after he left the White House, when he published a memoir in which he said that as spokesman he had attributed two quotations to Reagan that the president did not say, and later told him about it. The revelations infuriated members of the administration, and Reagan said he did not know of the quotations until Mr. Speakes’ book, “Speaking Out,” was published.

During the ensuing furor, Mr. Speakes resigned from his job as senior vice president for communications at Merrill Lynch. He later told The Washington Post that he had been “overzealous” and that he had “wronged President Reagan.”

But he did not apologize. “The truth never requires apology,” he told The Post.

Here Is Why I Am Pleased Alex Rodriguez Is Suspended From 2014 Baseball Season

Since so many young people look up to sports personalities as heroes it is then incumbent upon athletes to act in accordance with the position they have created.  No one demanded that these sports figures accept multi-million dollar contracts or seek the adulation when they step out onto the field.  But by agreeing to be a highly paid professional sports figure comes the burden of not being an embarrassment.  There is no room for Alex Rodriguez or any other figure like him to weave and dodge around the deeds he did when it comes to performance-enhancing substances.  Simply put Alex Rodriguez did not play fair and square, and in a world where there are so many impressionable kids looking up with admiration at sports personalities it is most important the truth be made known about his abusing performance drugs.  It is also more than fair that Alex Rodriguez pay a very high price for his actions.

I do not have kids, but have many friends who do.  Through my friends I am well aware of the pressures and difficulties of raising kids today so they understand the world head on, and yet help them not to be lulled into the ditch of troubles by following what their high profile heroes do.

Rep. Joel Kleefisch Wrote Bill With Wealthy Donor To Lower Child Support Payments

This is not how the political process is supposed to work. 

While I fully understand at times there are deals and shenanigans that happen in politics it is also important to point them out as they come to light.    I consider this type of behavior from an  elected official as an abusive use of power.  This type of action taints the system, and causes the average voter to lose even more faith in the political process.

First of all no one should be aiding fathers who need to be carrying their full weight when it comes to child support payments.  What is even more particularly gross about this story is that the father in question is wealthy and can afford to pay for his spawn.  Shame on his attempt to evade full responsibility.

Second, doing political favors for donors is something that always needs to be viewed from the way it looks to the public as a whole.  While donors often have ideas of worth (that was not the case with this story) it needs to be noted by the elected official that the role of a public servant is not to play to the monied interests but those he/she really represents when being elected.

A controversial bill that would allow high-income parents to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars a year in child support was written with the help of a wealthy donor to the bill’s author, Rep. Joel Kleefisch.

The Oconomowoc Republican acknowledged Friday that Michael Eisenga, a multimillionaire business owner, and his attorney helped write the bill, which could pave the way for Eisenga to force the court to reopen his divorce settlement.

The lawmaker insisted in an interview that the measure, Assembly Bill 540, would not affect Eisenga’s case.

“I’m certain the bill would not affect Mr. Eisenga in any way because it’s not retroactive,” Kleefisch said. “He wanted it retroactive. It’s not retroactive.”

However, the bill would require judges to lower child-support payments if they are 10 percent or more above the amount that would have been ordered using the new requirement. That requirement caps incomes subject to child-support payments at $150,000 a year.

Kleefisch’s bill also would prohibit judges from taking into account a parent’s assets in determining the level of child support.

Court documents show Eisenga, a Columbus developer, owner of American Lending Solutions and the former mayor of Columbus, was ordered to pay a minimum of $15,000 a month for his three children based on his 2010 income of $1.2 million and assets of $30 million.

The bill drafting records, which include emails, letters and handwritten notes, show Eisenga and his attorney, William Smiley of Portage, made numerous suggestions for changes to the bill aimed at helping Eisenga lower his child-support payments.

Mein Kampf Is A Bestseller?

This is simply astounding.

Digital editions of Mein Kampf have become a surprise hit online, according to author Chris Faraone, who has suggested that the newfound popularity of Adolf Hitler’s tract is down to the fact that it can now be consumed “in the privacy of our own iPads”.

Writing on the website Vocativ.com, author and journalist Faraone claims that “more than a dozen free English-language versions of Mein Kampf have been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times from the nonprofit Internet Archive alone”, while paid-for e-versions are outselling Glenn Beck on iTunes and entering the charts on Amazon.com – with a 99-cent version currently topping the retailer’s propaganda and political psychology chart .

In the UK, an ebook of Mein Kampf, retailing for 99p, tops Amazon.co.uk’s propaganda and spin chart and its fascism and Nazism chart, and sits in second place in its political science and ideology bestseller list.

Most Members Of Congress Are Worth $1 Million-Plus

This is not posted in an effort to undermine the image of congress.  They do that very well all by themselves.  This session has been dreadful, and nothing looks to improve with the GOP content on being complete obstructionists.

While in general I have only positive things to say about those who enter public service and well understand the hard work and often peculiar time demands placed on elected officials there is also a concern about the lack of understanding that many of them share about the average  American voter.  The news about wealth disparity for members of congress is unsettling.

For the first time in history, most members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive Politics. 

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from the previous year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate. (There is currently one vacancy in Congress.)
Last year only 257 members, or about 48 percent of lawmakers, had a median net worth of at least $1 million.  

Members of Congress have long been far wealthier than the typical American, but the fact that now a majority of members — albeit just a hair over 50 percent — are millionaires represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code.