Monthly Archives: November 2016

128: My Hugh Grant Story

One of my favourite movies is “Notting Hill” – a Hugh Grant movie. Many of my fav flicks feature Hugh Grant, but “Notting Hill” is heads above of all the others* and may have Hugh at his peak of his english-messy-hair-man-boy-from-the-neighbourhood performances.

In reality, it is the music and how it is used that makes this film as good as it is.

notting-hill

From the opening credits with Elvis Costello’s singing of Charles Aznavour’s 1974 classic “She” you know how this movie will go. The resurrection of this former UK #1 25 years later is given a treatment by Costello that would have hit the top of the charts if given that chance.

The most spine chilling musical moment of the film is the 1972 haunting rendition of the BeeGee’s “How can you mend a broken heart” by Al Green. The song is all about heartbreak, but what Al Green does with the song is add heart break upon a heartbreak. It is absolutely the peak musical moment in the film – it also underscores the lowest point Hugh Grant’s Will Thatcher faces in the film. If we could add a personal soundtrack to our lives, the use of Al Green’s version of this song would be at the top of my list.

In my opinion, one the best love songs EVER is Ronan Keating’s “When you say nothing at all”. Originally penned as a country song and performed by Keith Whitley, it hit #1 in the US and #7 Canada on the country charts in 1988. Recorded in 1995 by Alison Kraus, her version rose to #3 and was the 1995 Country Music Association (CMA) single of the year when it appeared on a tribute album to Keith Whitley who died in 1989. Ronan Keating does a fabulous job with the song, it brings tears (of happiness) to my eyes when I hear it. Keating, a member of the Irish boy band Boyzone, scored a solo #1 in the UK, New Zealand and his home country Ireland.

Notting Hill, while not an award winner, is unforgettable. It is on par with another romantic comedy that also features fabulously timed music and a great on screen chemistry, “When Harry Met Sally”. Though these two movies were released 10 years apart, both show how music in a movie can make the movie.

My Hugh Grant story is not much of a story, but it is my man crush (if women can have a woman crush then why can’t I have a man crush?). I know what I am gettng when I watch a Hugh Grant film and for me that is a comforting thing, like a warm blanket on a cold night. In the end I know Hugh Grant will get the girl.

*My favourite Hugh Grant movie is “Four Weddings and a Funeral”

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127: Only Four Years, No More

trump-thumbs-up

The US election cycle lasts up to 18 months. For many it starts too soon lasts too long. Because of the election cycles and lengths of terms we will be back at the US election watch for the mid-term elections in just over one year. The midterm elections are a good barometer of the performance of a sitting President. In 2014, the mid-terms were not kind to Obama, the economic recovery was just beginning but had not yet reached the level where the American public would see the results of the actions that the President had ordered. The mid-terms in 2018 will tell how the the American voter feels about the Trump presidency.

The results of the mid-terms will set the tone for the 2020 election where Trump will be seeking a second term. It will be the election where the chants of “drain the swamp” and “lock her up” are replaced with “four more years”.

Here it is, there will be no more than four years of the Trump presidency.  There I said it.

The coalition of Americans that voted for Donald Trump included the anti-Clinton, anti-Obama and anti-establishment. The anti-votes Trump received put him over the top in key states that in a ‘normal’ election cycle would have voted Democrat and put Hillary Clinton in the White House. What happened instead was that Donald trump tapped into the base of the Republican Tea Party, more correctly the angry American voter.

  Voter Turnout    
2016 58.1%* Trump 60,911,924
Clinton 61,913,199
2012 54.9% Obama 65,455,010
Romney 60,771,703
2008 57.1% Obama 66,882,230
McCain 58,343,671
2004 55.7% Bush 62,040,606
Kerry 59,028,109

The use of the popular vote in the American elections is secondary to State results and Electoral College votes. One number that should be watched and will be key to who takes the White House in 2021 is voter turnout. I expect voter turnout for what will be a re-election year for Trump will drop. Without a significant world event voter turnout will drop in Trump’s re-election plans. In 2004, George W Bush saw his vote number increase by 12 Million votes and voter turnout increase from 50.4% in 2000 to 55.7% in his 2004 re-election. Without 9/11 happening it is possible that Bush would not have seen the inside of the White House for another 4 years and we may have seen John Kerry become President.

There are a lot things going against Trump in a bid for any possible re-election, I have not even started to consider who the Democrats will have on the ballot AND if the Republicans will put someone up to challenge Trump in the primaries.

Oh, have I even mentioned thet Trump may not want a second four year term?

*http://www.electproject.org/2016g

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126: Voices from America

your-voice-your-vote

I went searching tonight for voices from America that could present alternate views on the results of Tuesday’s US Election.  I was looking for the non-journalist view, people that had a view point and wanted express it.  Below are three blogs that reflect three different outlooks for America.  I hope that you’ll take a look at each of them as listening to what a non-journalist says can give us much more insight into what we might expect leading up to and after the inauguration in January.

The first is from a blog called “The Politics of Writing”, I have reblogged posts from this writer in the past.  Here the blog takes the voice of those that were hoping for Hillary Clinton to find a path to 270.  This will certainly cause a few Republicans to tell the writer to stop whining and accept the loss.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/48698896/posts/1217877348

Of course you know I have to swing right for number two, it is a post from The Last Refuge a piece that calls itself “An Important  Post-Election Message about Media Polling…”  The Last Refuge is from the Conservative Treehouse, so you know what you are getting here.  They call themselves a rat-tag group of misfits. I figured after reading the first contributor you should have a little something from the right.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/11/09/an-important-post-election-message-about-media-polling/

The third and last is “The Morning After” by Tommy Tomlinson a writer for ESPN, so he writes mainly about sports so I figured he would fit into what I was trying to accomplish with this post.  His piece  strikes a chord that should resonate with most who are just looking for a way to navigate the next four years.

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/4757264/posts/1394

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125: My US Election Prediction: If Trump Wins

trump-penceIn a few days the US Election cycle that started 18-24 months ago will be over. There will be a new President in the White House and when the election victor sits in the chair behind the desk, there will be a letter from President Obama to the 45th President of the United States.

I do not know who will be the next President. But I do know this. The Republicans and the Democrats both rolled the dice on who their candidate would be and now one will have to walk away from the table after playing cards they could not win with.

The impact of Wikileaks, or as Trump pronounces it Wee-kee-leaks, will have been yuge if Trump gets the win on the 8th. If Trump wins he better watch out for Wikileaks to start releasing emails of his – or even his tax returns, if he cannot deliver on his fast and big changes.

If Trump wins:

The first thing that will be needed is a hiring blitz by Immigration Canada to process the refugee applications from the USA. The second thing to watch out for will be Trumps first press conference. Third thing to get set for will be the first State of the Union address that will be completely adlibbed and will last for two hours. The special guests will be all the Trump kids and other long lost relatives.

I don’t think a Hillary Clinton loss would be the same as a Trump loss for the GOP. Yes, with a Clinton loss, the Democratic Party will also have to start repositioning itself, but in the opposite direction of a Trump loss for the Republican Party. Clinton was the establishment of the party. In fact, the Clinton – Gore – Clinton establishment of the Democrats will lose its power base. It lost it temporarily for 8 years when Obama won back-to-back terms.

With an Obama Presidency, the Clinton establishment wing of the party was still in place. Some Democrats have been waiting for a day when the party would return to the good old days Clinton White House days, this time with Hillary behind the desk. Some will have been waiting for a day when they can truly move on from the Clinton/Gore era of the party.

With a Clinton loss, the party will have a period of refocus; the DNC will start looking inward at its potential candidates for 2020. There is no way that Bernie Sanders will be back – throughout the Democratic primaries there were no other candidates that were even sniffing around the race. Of course based on the history of the party, there is nothing to rule out a presidential run by Michelle Obama after she serves a term or two as the Senator from Illinois.

If Hillary loses it could be because the Democrats did not have a plan C after Bernie Sanders – no one to pick up the baton to chase Hillary in the primaries. This election was Hillary’s, if she won great. If she lost even better, the Democratic Party would move on and Bill Clinton would become the great Democratic Party poster boy for the best recent years of the party just like Ronald Reagan is for the Republicans.

And one last thing, all of what happens to the Democrats will also unfold on Trump TV.

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124: My US Election Prediction: If Clinton Wins

clinton-kane

In a few days the US Election cycle that started 18-24 months ago will be over. There will be a new President in the White House and when the election victor sits in the chair behind the desk, there will be a letter from President Obama to the 45th President of the United States.

I do not know who will be the next President. I have no idea if Hillary will have one of the biggest presidential campaign collapses since Dukakis wore a helmet. I don’t know if Trump will get in the White because he won, or if it was because Clinton lost.

What we have seen in this election is that there is a divided electorate in the US. Whoever wins, the losing party will see a rebellion. Here is how I foresee things panning out.

If Clinton wins:

If Hillary Clinton wins not only does she become #45, but she will be the First woman President and the 1st Spouse of a former President to win the White House. She will also become the reason for the biggest shakeup within the Republican Party.

If you thought the revolution the Trump started is something just wait. Trump was supposed to be the anti-establishment candidate or that is how he called himself. He was the outsider. He was the candidate that was working against a rigged system. If he loses, he will claim that the whole election, even the primaries were rigged against him. He may even go so far as to say it was the Republican Party that rigged it so he would win the nomination and then lose the general election.

You see, the Republican Party establishment HAD to give the nomination to Trump; he was just not going away! He bullied his way through the primaries, and when bullying Clinton didn’t win him the White House, this will be all the Republican Party will need to say, we did it your way – we let you have your candidate that would let you have your chants, your “Make America Great Again” hats. In order to be able to have the party shift back to a qualified, widely respected and winnable candidate they needed to implode with the smallest amount of collateral damage to the party itself.

And the best part of Donald Trump losing is that America will be able to see all this unfold on Trump TV.

Up Next: If Trump Wins

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