Chest Nuts roasting by an open fire

Snubtitle : The Clinton legend will live in perpetuity; a 20/20 vision for 2020.

clinton_family

The high price of access for NBC;

The Clintons’ only daughter came under fire when it was revealed that she earned a whopping $600,000 a year while working on NBC News’ Making A Difference between 2011 and 2014**. The salary was outstanding given that she was a new reporter with no prior experience. She eventually left the role after three years to focus on the Clinton Foundation, although she was on NBC retainer until the time of her mother’s presumptive ascent to the presidency in 2016.  Conflict of interest, you understand.

Chelsea came under fire in September 2016 for using a private jet to travel 330 miles to a clean energy roundtable organized by her mom’s campaign. In fact, the aim of the roundtable was to discuss how to tackle climate change; Chelsea, criticized for using the jet, as her mother had promised a carbon-neutral campaign.

 

20-of-the-most-stunning-and-expensive-wedding-dresses-2

Chelsea’s husband Marc Mezvinsky came under fire in May 2016 for extinguishing $25 million of investors’ money, while he persuaded rich investors to take a risk on the Greek economy. Oops. Matters worse, some of those investors had contributed cash to either Bill or Hillary’s campaigns. Meeting the new in-laws can be awkward, but even more so when your father-in-law is a convicted felon. Indeed, Ed Mezvinsky went to jail for five years after committing fraud; Bill Clinton denied him a presidential pardon for his crimes.   Kudos to Bill, crime fighter.

964835_1_02-16-bill-clinton-democrats_standard

The scandal surrounding leaked emails involved daughter Chelsea. Wikileaks dug up 67 emails between Hillary and daughter, in which Chelsea used the alias of Diane Reynolds (who uses an alias to reach her mother). The missives included classified information on the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. Damn that Wiki.

Chelsea Clinton used the Clinton Global Initiative Foundation’s cash to pay for her wedding ($3mil for 400 guests), living expenses, and taxes on gifts of cash from her parents, according to an email made public Sunday, 30Oct2016. ⬇

Doug Band, formerly a top aide to President Bill Clinton, griped about the former first daughter’s spending in a Jan. 4, 2012, email released by WikiLeaks. “The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents…,” Band wrote to John Podesta, now Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. “I hope that you will speak to her and end this. Once we go down this road…”      Granted, pure speculation on behalf of this writer; however, define hubris.

The tacit implication, Mom could lose the election to the worst challenger in the history of the Republic.  Trump.  The man seems radically incoherent, almost nutty. What now? Sick of corruption, oligarchs, New York, California, candidates who sell state favors surrounded by serial rapists, goofy-looking pedophiles, hell, in Reaganspeak, let’s Win one for the Groper. Narcissism, grandiosity be damned, his existence, unmolested by humility.

Chelsea also benefits as a board director for Barry Diller’s InteractiveCorp (Nasdaq-IAC), web billionaire owner of Expedia.com, Match.com, et.al.  Salary for Chelsea: $300,000. The board position also pays an annual retainer of $50,000 and a $250,000 grant of restricted stock.  A small price to pay for this savvy young woman’s skill.

Though only graduated with a master’s degree in 2010, Chelsea started teaching graduate level classes two years later at Columbia University’s School of Public Health. Her exact salary is unknown. However, the average salary for a Columbia lecturer is $51,671.
She holds another academic post, salary unknown, as assistant vice provost for the Global Network University at New York University.

Chelsea’s personal fortune is estimated at $15 million, most earned as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and working for Avenue Capital Investment Group as a hedge fund manager. Chelsea, husband Marc, daughter Charlotte, and son Aidan, live in a 4957 sqft condo in Manhattan, overlooking Madison Square Park, with a full-time doorman at the ready. My guess, they are not looking to relocate soon. As their Nicaraguan nanny cursed, “no estoy moviendo a ningún jive Harlem, ni siquiera lo pienso muchacho blanco”

nepalli-bakici2

 

…roughly translated ” I ain’t (bleep) movin’ to Harlem”

Bari Lurie, formerly chief of staff at Tribeca Enterprises 2008-2011, working on growth strategies and managing the company’s signature partnership with Qatar, is now personal chief of staff for Chelsea since Aug. 2011. Even though the BHCCF is a ‘non-for-profit’, now renamed, The Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, an NGO, ( highly professionalized and relying on paid staff), Ms. Lurie’s salary is not publicly available. Can’t we all assume that the foundation has, deep within the ventricles, a mission statement to do good throughout the world…that it couldn’t possibly be a masquerade ?

Having reached the minimum age requirement (35 y/o) on 27Feb2015 to become president, the former ‘first child’ is poised to enter the 2020 campaign, along side running mate, Michelle Robinson Obama, to return the White House to the oligarchy where it rightfully belongs. The 1st ♀♀ ticket, an historic breakthrough.

Chelsea is only 36 years old and has already accomplished so much. What a bright future lies ahead. She would have been this successful, probably more so, had she not been a Clinton.  Imagine, like her mother, she’ll be working for US.

America, where any child can grow up to someday become president. If it were not for his death on 25Jun1999, you could confirm with Fred Trump.

Is this a fun country or what ?  The Cubs are World Series Champions, at last, Holy Cow. And like the irritating, curly, redhead refrain reminds us, the sun will come up tomorrow.

 

©insightout2016

Wedding photo, © NYTimes, courtesy Vera Wang®

Bill Clinton photo © Christian Science Monitor

Full disclosure: the author maintains a stock position in IAC

All the above have been fact ✓’d by snopes, urban legends, truth&friction, and my dog, Mrs. Wilson. Pleased to answer any inquiry, I work cheap, at ½ the hourly rate of Ms. Clinton for NBC.

**
– June 10, NBC Nightly News, on diabetes.

– June 10, Today show, on a car accident in New Jersey.

– June 5, NBC Nightly News, General Motors safety scandal.

– June 4, Today show, missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

– June 4, NBC Nightly News, about people pointing lasers at aircraft.

– June 3, NBC Nightly News, food-borne illnesses.

– June 2, Interviewed the Geico gecko, an animated character who sells insurance.

All told, in her almost three-year tenure at NBC, Chelsea worked on all of 14 stories, to receive $1,800,000 in salary.
What a talent.

Bubble Gum & The Mother Tongue

 

 

A prominent editor/author, on a remote voyage in northern Washington, recently wrote this excerpt;

“We picked up a hiker at one such flag stop….who confessed to having missed the boat the night before, so he had to tent-camp an additional night.  That sounded fortuitous to me….a beautiful place to spend a night all alone. Lucky bastard.

Because the writer, R. Luhr, is rarely profane, a crying shame, his strongest language is normally limited to sheesh, darn, dang, golly, gee whiz, and shucks. We need profanity (except for Nickelodeon or the Hallmark Channel) or how would R-rated movies and hip-hop artists prosper ? You can no longer rely on poor taste, idiotic juvenile themes, and tribal grunting alone. Even strong Marines need to communicate.

I was reminded of prominent linguist of the English language, Bill Bryson, bestselling author of The Mother Tongue, his 1990 twenty-page, classic treatise on swearing, which gave me pause and scratched a 30 year memory.

In our drugstore in the 80s, it was common to purchase bubble gum in quantity, individually wrapped, and placed in a prominent jar at the point-of-sale (cash register). We would buy 2,880 at a time (odd, but a unit of 20 gross). Shipped directly to us by the manufacturer, in a large carton, there was always a “premium” included. This was a gift to the merchant (e.g. umbrella, folding card table, tote bag, 4-cell flashlight) unrelated to the penny confection impulse purchase.

images

 

 

 

In one such order, we received a Random House Dictionary (RHD II), 1987. For years it held a place in our medical library of reference books. Used frequently, the dust jacket became dog-eared, the aroma of Fleer’s Double Bubble never left its pages, a subtle reminder of clever marketing.

51W2F2NfgGL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_

Then, the late John Leonard, editor of the Sunday NYTimes Book Review, published a scholarly rating of dictionaries. The expected, Funk & Wagnall’s, Webster’s Collegiate, the OED, all rose to the top, but dead last, on the bottom rung of the literary compost ladder, the RHD II.  My first thought, that’s our dictionary ! The sole reason for Leonard’s inclusion; the RHD II defined every vulgarism, the “F” word, incestuous activity with a relative, anatomical sex acts, and bodily eliminations in the basest form.

 

Well, naturally, I couldn’t wait to get to work on Monday morning to confirm the scholar’s revelation, and by God, there it was, between mother earth and mother lode. I’ll trust the reader to fill in the blanks. Damn.

 

And to writer/pal Luhr, perhaps he could alter ‘lucky bastard’ to an erudite and more refined, ‘fortunate son of a bitch’. The Hallmark Channel and the comic strips in the waxed paper wrapper were the last of a Puritanical age, and you can bet your sweet@## , Hallmark will cave in soon.

HA0505710

Bazooka Leggings..featuring comics and your fortune

23062096044_bbbd18cec5_b

Nora Jacobs, a young girl in Saudi Arabia at her birthday party, 2016

Time left on the clock

A faceless city sandwiched between equally dull, non-descript neighburbs, all working-class in the shadow of industrial giants, Hammond, Indiana was generic, before the meaningless word had meaning.  Separated from lurid Calumet City, the Illinois home to 252 bars and strip clubs, by State Line Avenue and a tangent on the Rand McNally atlas.  From the playwright’s perspective, Thornton Wilder, Hammond was Our Town.

The writer, Sinclair Lewis, would have gagged on the polluted air from the Sinclair refinery, from the belching furnaces of USSteel, from the omnipresent aroma of pig fat rendered by Lever Brothers when the wind drifted south off Lake Michigan, all in the name of battleships, Lifebuoy Soap, Ivory Flakes, and 89 octane Dino Supreme.  Had this been Lewis’  Main Street in Indiana, and not Iowa.

goldblatt

The corner window at Goldblatt’s
presented the newest toys for the Holiday Season.  In Jean Shepherd’s ‘Christmas Story’, it is where Ralphie first saw the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun.

The 1957 high school graduating class was thought special.  It was not.  Tens of thousands of seniors, everywhere, were gelatinized by geographic lottery, turbulent hormones, acne, fear of peer rejection, sexual arousal, and a license to drive.  So it was at HHS, neither a Blackboard Jungle, nor the Fonz in ‘Happy Days’.  Each class different, each class alike;  crinolines, flattops, bobby sox, and the Cubs finishing last.

Homeroom teacher, John Muri, spirited organist for the Civic Center basketball games, iconclast, strict disciplinarian, was known to break wind at 8:10 each morning.  The foul odor was overcome by the classroom stench of  flesh-tinted Clearasil except for the likable Jerome Johnson, whose flesh was a different color.

The permanent positive effect of demure spinster, teacher Margaret Work, and her devotion to Latin and literacy, was never acknowledged.  It shaped many lives, mine included, and I still retain her text, Ullman & Henry, “Latin for Americans”.  She was on my Mason Street paper route, but what I remember most, (a) the difference between the gerund and thirty forms of the future passive participle, and (b) we bought her father’s used 1940 DeSoto after WWII.  Henry had purchased a 1948 bullet nosed Studebaker.

The suppressed memory of my favorite English teacher, Miss Ellen McGranahan, whose posterior aspect of her calves, partially obscured by seamed nylon hosiery, resembled the blue and red interstate map of America’s east coast.  She quietly and singly, urged me to become a writer.  I succumbed, however, to the gruff math teacher, Charles Garrett, who demanded, in the name of patriotism, that we study math and engineering to counteract the Red Menace……the Soviet launched Sputnik satellite.  I foresaw no future in starvation;  on an empty stomach, science trumped art.

Proof that staying awake in class was important; to this day, I rarely end a sentence with the preposition, at, and never, never, modify an adjective with an adjective, e.g., large huge is where it’s at.  Unless you prefer butchered rap music over silence.

I had one favorite female class member, admired secretly.  She was quiet, soft-spoken, and very smart.  And in the basest, understated description, simmering hot.  If describing a wallflower, she was an orchid.  At a previous reunion, perhaps the 40th, her appearance caused two male counterparts and me to audibly gasp at the transformation…silver-haired, petite, and stunning. Although both Bob and Tom, their real names, have since dropped dead, the gorgeous (forever unnamed) classmate was never formally charged with involuntary manslaughter.

DSCN1187

Much of the class of ’57, I remember, although in the pie of life, a third now constitute the necrology report, another third lost and forgotten, and for the breathing balance, the vagaries of advanced age move onto center stage; medicare part-D, dementia, grandchildren, mobility chairs, and assisted living options.  Few will choose assisted dying.

Dismissed: corporate stature & titles, tax bracket, size or number of homes, skin color, popularity, vanity.  All once relegated as important, now insignifigant, they’ve become the compost heap of righteousness, i.e., who really gives a s#it.     Relevant: family, friendships, lucidity, and remaining vertical.

The misses, Work and McGranahan, embraced reading (and writing), pursuits which have become passe, no longer a requirement for graduation.  Both ladies have since been bar-coded and scanned on the check-out lane of life, free, free at last, from the contemporary jargon that produces the idiotic phrase “my bad”. I miss them dearly, thankful for enriching this life.   A non-perishable memory.  Wherever and whenever those who survived this stepping stone to adulthood, we all possess private recollections.

With an internet assist, our remaining classmate leaders, those not yet at room temperature, may plan a 60th reunion in 2017.   Reunions, like Chai tea, are not my cup of gin, but we’re late in the 4th quarter.

With no time outs remaining.

Count me in as a yes.

 

©insightout2013

1959downtownbridge

A suitable quote (unattributed)

Where is it again that we are going… And why are we in a handbasket?