Category Archives: Victoria Taft

Donald Trump and the ‘No Fear’ Factor Makes a Big Impression on the New GOP Base.

“‘… [T]he base’ isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.”

Political writer Peggy Noonan recently took stock of the Donald Trump phenomenon and declared, “America is so in play.” Her buddies in the GOP glitteratti noticed. 

Image Credit: Donald Trump For President
Image Credit: Donald Trump For President

Noonan cited the latest polls, an old friend from Ross Perot’s ’92 presidential campaign, a democrat-turned-GOP/Trump fan girl and the guy at the local deli from the Dominican Republic to conclude the New York businessman embodies the kind of gruff gravitas voters crave.

Trump’s campaign appears to be, as he is himself, a political stem cell, morphing into whatever seems to jibe with what’s in the news and the latest intelligence of the day. He speaks fearlessly, sometimes foolishly. Like a ‘Trump the Insult Dog,’ Trump has no filter. 

He’s learning to campaign as he goes. He’s getting good at it.

GOP elites and Jeb Bush backers, but I repeat myself, counter with Trump’s leftist positions on Planned Parenthood funding, taxes, single payer health care — hoping that will tamp down his support with the base and make their own moderate positions on the same seem conservative by comparison. Ordinarily that would persuade many, but instead, Trump’s poll numbers are increasing!

Press coverage is following:

Noonan believes, after talking with the deli guy from the DR, that the base isn’t what it used to be:

“‘… [T]he base’ isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.”

Noonan opines the little people (that’s us) believe the game is rigged against them. But she claims we have company:

“…[D]eep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged. They don’t disagree, and they don’t like what they see—corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them. Their odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around.”

Peggy’s old boss, Ronald Reagan, famously said,

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

Here’s what ‘the base’ sees after they gave the GOP elites victories in 2010 and 2012:

  • Failed to repeal, replace or defund ObamaCare out of fear of being blamed for a government shut down or media reaction.
  • Failed to call out Hillary Clinton’s Suzie Homemaker server when they discovered it out of fear Democrat and media backlash. 
  • Forfeited their constitutional job of advising and consenting on treaties which led to Iran deal for fear of not looking bipartisan.
  • Failed to lead on border security and the “broken” immigration system for legal immigrants for fear of being portrayed as bigots. 
  • Failed to demand action against sanctuary cities for fear of looking anti immigrant.
  • Failed to stand for the rule of law against President Obama’s illegal executive orders for fear of being depicted as quixotic.
  • Failed to call out bad cops and stand up for good ones for fear of being called bigoted.
  • Failed to call for independent investigations with subpoena power— not just hearings —-on Benghazi and IRS spying scandal, a scandal so cynical and tyrannical it goes to the very core of democracy for fear of media backlash or pushback from Main Justice.

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

Instead of flooding the zone with legislative leadership, media messaging and “getting in peoples’ faces,” as candidate Obama once advised, the GOP has been playing hide and seek behind the velvet curtains in their offices and considering us suspiciously through the cut crystal lens of their Calleija brandy snifters. Instead of leading, they shiver in the dark with vain hopes the media will say nice things about them. Instead of fighting, they’ve provided nothing but excuses or mocked or shouted down members who did try to fight back. 

The former (you’re welcome GOP elites) Senate leader Harry Reid once disdainfully said of the Americans who tour the Capitol: 

“I can smell the tourists.”

Since giving them the gavel and the big chair in the House and Senate, the GOP reaction to the people who put them in leadership has been akin to finding something sticky on the bottom of their Santoni wingtips.

The people Noonan says experience “odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around,” missed the Tea Party, apparently. The people in whom they have no faith —the liberty-loving black, Hispanic, white, gay, straight, Christian, atheists of the Tea Party— were at first embraced and then dismissed by the GOP elites out of fear of looking too scary. But these are some of the same people who have put the country “so in play.”

Here’s what I believe people find refreshing about Trump and what distinguishes him from the GOP elite. It’s not only that he’s not afraid to tell his opponents he thinks they’re wrong. No. It’s that he’s not afraid at all. 

Where Did Victoria Taft Go?

I’ve been writing day after day after day at Independent Journal Review which leaves less time for my own site, but I’ll cross post with IJR and continue to write longer length pieces and  continue to include posts by Bruce McCain, Rees Lloyd, Bernie Giusto, Scott  St. Clair and Pete the Banker over here and continue my site specific items.

 

Elle Decor: Just say ‘no’ to NAMBLA

Elle Decor features designer who shows off art displays of man-boy “love”.  

In case you’re unclear: this is wrong.

photo-25   Finally, the moment came for me to to sit and drink-in my favorite home design magazine, Elle Decor. I opened the windows and door to welcome the morning breeze, the dogs were lollygagging with their arms and legs carelessly slung every which way, and my head was propped up by pillows stolen from my husband’s side of the bed. Hot coffee was within reach. I was ready.

When the recession hit our house, nearly all resources were diverted to food, housing, tuition and transportation. Hiring people to fix or do things for us went out the window–bye shoe repairman, see ya window cleaner guy! Meat was mostly out and bean soup was in. Entertaining others in our home went practically extinct and, it goes without saying, entertainment ended. New clothes? You’re kidding, right? Is it on sale? At Target? Magazine subscriptions were canceled. I love you, Economist, but I’ll have to try to make up for your reportage with online sources and occasional hard copies from the newsstand. 

This (granted, first-world) want has made each item of luxury I afford myself–magazines in this case–deeply and humbly appreciated. Resources to buy those magazines are carefully and lovingly considered.  So, with all of this in mind, I made a conscious decision to keep the three magazines I loved the most.  They are magazines that combine beauty and luxury with the everyday need of eating and dwelling. 

Architectural Digest

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith grace the cover of one of my favorite magazines, Architectural Digest.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith grace the cover of one of my favorite magazines, Architectural Digest.

Architectural Digest is stacked in my house the way people of a different era revered National Geographic magazines.  When we moved again to California in the early 2000’s I sold all my old copies at our garage sale. I vowed never to do it again.

This magazine is the nexus of celebrity, style and photography.

I need to have, as I call it, ‘pretty pictures to look at’–even in an economic depression. I take photographs. I’ve had a few published. I care about the look of a magazine.  The point of AD has always been its photography and the inspirational ads “to the trade” which means you can never buy that $6,500.00 ostrich ottoman unless you buy it from an ASID designer. Sigh.

I appreciate how the photographers open their shutters long enough to obscure the fact the roaring fire is actually just a piece of paper set aflame for this one shot. Are there blues more vivid than on the pages of Architectural Digest? Pools, ponds, the Mediterranean are always so blue. As a photographer I’m savvy to filters, but how do these photogs always get the clearest, bluest shot? How long did they wait for that perfect shadow? As long as it takes, that’s how long. 

Another purpose of AD also seems to be featuring homes that are about ready to go on the market. The notoriously private Don Imus allowed his weekend home filled with Gustavian furnishings to be splayed on the pages of AD. Why? He and his wife were teeing it up to sell. And, well, an AD spread helps get the word around. 

Saveur Magazine

I love Saveur Magazine more for the photography than its recipes.
I love Saveur Magazine even more for the photography than its recipes–and the recipes are wonderful and approachable.

Saveur Magazine is filled with rich, textured photos of exquisitely prepared fresh vegetables and staples from places around the world. Their photographers go to 10,000 foot high villages to take photos of bandanna wearing camp cooks who have never heard of All Clad pans and Wusthof knives and who, with their gnarled hands, wield their one tin pan with the expertise of James Beard– and feed the hordes.

The magazine devotes all its resources to produce entire issues devoted to one ingredient. Tomatoes. Ah, the tomato issue will go down as one of my favorites. The pages of my copy are spattered with olio and balsamico. Saveur showed me how to cook a steak. My husband couldn’t do that. My dad couldn’t do that. Catch up with food trends and buy anything foodie related by simply perusing the ads in the back. Do you dream of going to Italy to cook with a woman who insists you call her Nonna? Nonna’s ad is in the back of Saveur. 

My husband picks up the mail at our PO Box and, in what has become a monthly ritual, delivers to me my coveted magazines.

 Clearing his throat and affecting a butler-like esthetic, he intones, “Here is your Sav-uh.” 

“It’s pronounced Sav-oor.”

“Here is your Sav-oor.”

More throat clearing. “Here is your Architectural Digest.”

Looking at his pile of mail again, he picks up another magazine and, Mufasa-like, holds it up and announces, “Here is your Elle–it’s el, not elly, right?–Decor.”

“Oh, goodie!” I receive it eagerly in my outstretched hands.

Elle Decor

This edition features a designer who has what appears to be NAMBLA friendly art. Predating on children is wrong, in case your moral compass got thrown out of whack.
This edition features a designer who has what appears to be NAMBLA friendly art. Pro tip: predating on children is wrong, in case your moral compass got thrown out of whack somewhere along the line.

I’ve made friends with this magazine over the years. It’s less self important and is more approachable. The magazine is pretty enough to look at with a more hip feel. I like the features such as designers revealing their ten favorite tables, chairs, lamps etc., and the ads, which feature stuff I actually may be able to afford.  

Instead of featuring the New York/Long Island/Connecticut/ home of a some unnamed literary agent and his/her hedge fund hubby, as AD seems fond of doing, Elle Decor shows you the family that actually owns the home in Muncie, Indiana. They feature the occasional designed-to-the-nines pied a terre in Paris to be sure, but there’s more Muncie and less snoot. 

Today as I luxuriated in my nest with–at long last–my July/August version of Elle Decor, I perused the piece on the rural New York estate of Benoist Drut, a Greenwich Village arts and antiques shop owner who moved to New York from Paris. I loved some of his ideas for closets and kitchens. I noted his use of a bench by an artist he features at his shop. Cool stuff. But it became clear very soon we weren’t in Muncie anymore.

As you’ve surmised, I like images and fine art and always check out the art on the walls of the homes featured in magazines. In this spread I didn’t see any art showing the female form while there were several male images. Stop the presses, I yawned, he’s gay. Got it. 

The interior is described by Elle Decor as, “equally idiosyncratic and intoxicating” — and indeed it was–but my instincts were heightened by the painting of a shirtless underage boy holding a rooster. Who features the painting of a shirtless boy? Is it him when he was young? A turn of the page seemed to confirm my creeping suspicions. Over his bed in the master bedroom was a portrait of a man and boy, both shirtless.  VictoriaTaft.com Elle Decor NAMBLA The photograph was a homoerotic man-boy-love portrait by Israeli artist Avi Nes. On the pages of a mass appeal design magazine. Now you can stop the presses.

His wiki page tells the story, “Nes’ early work has been characterized as subverting the stereotype of the masculine Israeli man by using homoeroticism and sleeping, vulnerable figures.” And he further explains,

My staged photographs are oversized and often recall well-known scenes from Art History and Western Civilization combined with personal experiences based on my life as a gay youth growing up in a small town on the periphery of Israeli society. [emphasis mine]

He is best known for his Last Supper tableau using Israeli soldiers as Jesus and his Disciples. He loves soldiers. Especially shirtless ones.

Was Nes-or Drut for that matter- predated upon as a young boy? Is this their story? Good Lord, I hope not. Even if it is, they, more than anyone, would know it’s wrong to normalize or glorify child abuse in a portrait. In case you missed it, sex with children is a crime. But here is this provocative image. Over the bed. In his bedroom. Ew.

Maybe Drut owns the portrait. More likely he went to the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, where Nes’ works currently are on exhibition, where they gladly loaned it to him for a national magazine photo shoot. Elle Decor put it in their magazine. And we’re supposed to think nothing of it? This should be acceptable because it’s art? Full stop. 

While people are routinely locked up for predating on children, the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) celebrates it. NAMBLA calls erotic activity between men and boys “intergenerational relationships.” The group’s unofficial motto is, “Sex before eight or it’s too late.” It claims those who find the activity morally repugnant “deny the expression of mutually felt love and affection” and are inventing “harm where there is none.”

…as if children could consent…

The group has stepped up its efforts to normalize the behavior after the successful way in which gays have attached the word “marriage” to same sex unions and forced support of said unions by suing bakers and photographers.

The gay activists have pivoted the issue from a moral one to an issue of fairness. Desiring the same fairness, NAMBLA and acolytes agitate for the day when their form of “love” is acceptable and protected by law. (You can look it up yourself. I won’t link to NAMBLA here.)

The upshot is, this magazine that I have lovingly collected over the years has now become complicit in attempting to normalize sex between children and adults. That was the point of the photo. That was the point of placing the photo over the bed. And that was likely the point by Elle Decor. 

Apologize to children and their parents.

*VIDEO* IRS Scandal: Koskinen says HARD COPIES exist of some Lois Lerner “missing” emails

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: HARD COPIES of some ‘missing’ Lois Lerner emails.

You must credit and link VictoriaTaft.com for use of this material.

The man now stuck with the IRS Scandal, John Koskinen.
The man now stuck with the IRS Scandal, John Koskinen.

The latest in the IRS scandal is that the ‘missing’ Lois Lerner emails may have had hard copy back ups. These are among the same emails that existed and would be sent to Congress, ‘lost’ on a ‘crashed hard drive’, then morphed into a ‘recycled hard drive’ which then magically became an only ‘scratched hard drive’ which then became salvageable (again), have now become printed emails.

Yes.

John Koskinen was in San Diego July 15th to keynote a meeting of tax preparers at the Town and Country Hotel. After his speech he sat down with reporters. Most of them left before he said, in answer to one of my questions, some of Lois Lerner’s 24,000 missing emails were backed up on HARD COPY, if they pertained to a particular case. According to Koskinen, those emails should be included in the files of conservative groups. I would add, if they’re not included, the IRS has some more  ‘splainin’ to do.

As for the ‘recycled’, ‘missing’, ‘scratched’, hard drives? Koskinen says they sent them to their best experts. But he unapologetically added, “nobody ever promised to turn over emails we don’t have,”

Do I really need to add that it’s tough to know what the IRS does or doesn’t have since it keeps changing the story? 

Judicial Watch has done more to get information out of the IRS than any other group. I asked Koskinen about Judicial Watch’s claim conservative groups are still being suppressed by the IRS targeting. He said that isn’t true.

Koskinen said the IRS plans to change its rules, but the IRS only sought to codify the tactics Lois Lerner was using to ice out conservative groups. Koskinen told me some liberal groups were kept out, too. I asked him how many. He couldn’t answer.

And get ready, Congress, Mr. Koskinen is teeing you up for blame in the scandal.

You must credit and link VICTORIATAFT.COM for using of this material.

Santelli’s rant launches Tea Party five years ago today

“The government is promoting bad behavior.”

Tea Party Feb 27, 2009 Stimulus Package
Photo by Victoria Taft

Five years ago CNBC reporter Rick Santelli gave voice to the frustration felt by millions of Americans when President Obama announced plans to help stimulate the economy by, in part, redistributing billions of dollars to people who signed for a mortgage on a house they couldn’t afford. Santelli called them “the losers.” 
http://youtu.be/9jhXMB3bXMk

tea party feb 27 geoff and jeff
Photo by Victoria Taft

Santelli wasn’t done. Gesturing back at the traders, Santelli declared, “This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? Raise their hand.” Boos came from the floor. Santelli looked at the camera and plaintively asked, “President Obama, are you listening?” One trader chimed in, “How about we all stop paying our mortgage, it’s a moral hazard!”

Two weeks later Geoff Ludt and dozens more like him across the nation held the first Tea Parties. 

tea party feb 27 2009 b w
Photo by Victoria Taft

At first critics ignored, then dismissed, then laughed at, then disdained the Tea Party. When they couldn’t kill it they went nuclear and called it a ‘racist’ organization. What else could it be, right? It couldn’t possibly been about redistributionist, wasteful, and currency inflating programs which would bankrupt our nation and send the bills to our kids–and their kids. Nope, as if by magic, whites, blacks, Hispanics, gays, atheists and Christians had become “racists.” 

*Video*Oregon governor’s security detail: Operation intimidation

One of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s crazy eyed security officers keeps watch over peaceful citizen at public hearing

kitzhaber crazy eyes security

A governor’s security detail should protect him from bullets, not questions. They should keep him safe from harm, not embarrassment. But Governor John Kitzhaber’s security team appears to believe that questions are weapons and have taken great pains to keep Citizen Journalists from asking any–especially questions about the tens of millions of tax dollars spent on the failed Cover Oregon ObamaCare program. See the list of examples here.  Now this intolerance to questioning authority appears to have extended to average folks. 

When Michael Bloomberg’s anti gun dollars paid for activist Mark Kelly to testify at a recent anti gun hearing, Kitzhaber’s security detail swung into action by silencing a man who stood to object to an out of towner to tell Oregon what to do. Kitzhaber sat next to Kelly. Watch the video from Citizen Journalist Laughing at Liberals,

Casey Runyan didn’t yell, threaten or show anger.  But based on Kitzhaber’s security detail’s response, you would have thought someone’s life, not their vanity, had been threatened.  

Ironically, after testifying against guns on behalf of billionaire Bloomberg, Kelly was hosted by the Portland Police Bureau to squeeze off a few rounds with the cops.

gun mark kelly shooting at PPB

Upshot: A citizen who speaks out against an out of towner trying to change laws he doesn’t have to abide by is more threatening to the Governor than Mark Kelly who actually uses guns he is paid to speak against. 

 

 

Mayor Leavitt Sort of Apologizes for “Pandering” Allegation

Once again, Vancouver, Washington’s Mayor, Tim Leavitt found himself in hot water with the citizens of Vancouver over words he carelessly spoke. Unlike his flip/flop over supporting citizens in opposing tolling of the Columbia River Crossing boondoggle, this time he took a direct slap towards a fellow council member who did side with the citizens, Jeanne Stewart.

Citizens Turn Out To Defend Council Woman Jeanne Stewart

Some citizens, displeased with Leavitt’s comment and allegation that appeared in the Columbian here and here emailed city manager Eric Holmes calling for an ethics investigation against Mayor Leavitt.

Last evening, obviously fully aware of those calls, since mine and at least one other were copied to the Mayor, Tim Levitt, sort of issued an apology.

I say sort of because, as you can see, his words were not direct and were issued more in a general manner when anyone reading the Columbian and indeed the Columbian itself saw clear as day who he was referring to with his “pandering” comment.

To her credit, Jeanne Stewart, after trying to clarify the apology was indeed meant for her, graciously accepted it and called for this to end the matter, saving the Mayor from an ethics investigation.

Also of note, council woman Jeanne Harris of ‘Gavel Down’ fame, bewilderment of the comment or the discussion of it on Victoria Taft’s program. Harris was present when 4 citizens stood up in defense of Ms. Stewart and didn’t ask what they were speaking of then, if she were listening.

Then again, maybe just like Mayor Leavitt, she too doesn’t read the Columbian very much.

April 28, 2011 was the date I sent my email complaint to city manager Eric Holmes. Today, 6 days later I received the following from him,

Mr. Waters –

Thank you for your inquiry.

During last night’s Council meeting (May 2), Mayor Leavitt offered an apology to Councilor Stewart for the use of the word “pander” in his remarks recently quoted in the Columbian. Councilor Stewart accepted his apology and the rest of the City council indicated a consensus that Mayor Leavitt’s apology sufficiently addresses the issue.

With that, the matter is considered closed.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards –

Eric J. Holmes | City Manager

CITY OF VANCOUVER
P.O. Box 1995 • Vancouver, WA 98668-1995

P: 360.487.8640 | F: 360.487.8625
www.cityofvancouver.us

Yes, the matter is now closed, thanks to Jeanne Stewart taking the high road and graciously accepting Mr. Leavitt’s apology.

Citizens are watching now, Mayor.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Mayor Leavitt Sort of Apologizes for “Pandering” Allegation

Once again, Vancouver, Washington’s Mayor, Tim Leavitt found himself in hot water with the citizens of Vancouver over words he carelessly spoke. Unlike his flip/flop over supporting citizens in opposing tolling of the Columbia River Crossing boondoggle, this time he took a direct slap towards a fellow council member who did side with the citizens, Jeanne Stewart.

Citizens Turn Out To Defend Council Woman Jeanne Stewart

Some citizens, displeased with Leavitt’s comment and allegation that appeared in the Columbian here and here emailed city manager Eric Holmes calling for an ethics investigation against Mayor Leavitt.

Last evening, obviously fully aware of those calls, since mine and at least one other were copied to the Mayor, Tim Levitt, sort of issued an apology.

I say sort of because, as you can see, his words were not direct and were issued more in a general manner when anyone reading the Columbian and indeed the Columbian itself saw clear as day who he was referring to with his “pandering” comment.

To her credit, Jeanne Stewart, after trying to clarify the apology was indeed meant for her, graciously accepted it and called for this to end the matter, saving the Mayor from an ethics investigation.

Also of note, council woman Jeanne Harris of ‘Gavel Down’ fame, bewilderment of the comment or the discussion of it on Victoria Taft’s program. Harris was present when 4 citizens stood up in defense of Ms. Stewart and didn’t ask what they were speaking of then, if she were listening.

Then again, maybe just like Mayor Leavitt, she too doesn’t read the Columbian very much.

April 28, 2011 was the date I sent my email complaint to city manager Eric Holmes. Today, 6 days later I received the following from him,

Mr. Waters –

Thank you for your inquiry.

During last night’s Council meeting (May 2), Mayor Leavitt offered an apology to Councilor Stewart for the use of the word “pander” in his remarks recently quoted in the Columbian. Councilor Stewart accepted his apology and the rest of the City council indicated a consensus that Mayor Leavitt’s apology sufficiently addresses the issue.

With that, the matter is considered closed.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards –

Eric J. Holmes | City Manager

CITY OF VANCOUVER
P.O. Box 1995 • Vancouver, WA 98668-1995

P: 360.487.8640 | F: 360.487.8625
www.cityofvancouver.us

Yes, the matter is now closed, thanks to Jeanne Stewart taking the high road and graciously accepting Mr. Leavitt’s apology.

Citizens are watching now, Mayor.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com