Who Will Be Our First Trillionaire?

By Jack Engelhard

 

Those who have read the book or seen the movie “Indecent Proposal” know what it’s about – what would you do for a million dollars? At the time that I wrote and published the novel back in the mid-1980s, a million dollars was real money. That’s how we defined RICH, by the millions.

 

Larry King (when I appeared on his radio show) asked me why I chose the figure a million dollars for a night of infidelity and before I could answer he agreed. He said, “That’s right. A million dollars is the magic word.” That was then and this is now, and how times have changed!

 

Suddenly, you are nothing if you are not a billionaire with a b. (I’m not changing a thing. A million dollars is still plenty in my book.)

 

Donald Trump is actually suing a man, a writer, who claims, in a book, that Trump is a mere millionaire. Trump says it’s ruining his image and his business.

 

Imagine that – we’ve arrived at a moment when being called a millionaire is an insult. (The rest of us should be so insulted.)

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Sotomayor, Fox News and GOP Malaise

By Jack Engelhard

 

Those of us who tuned in for a slugfest were disappointed and went back to cutting the lawn. This was no Ali versus Frazier. There were no thrills. Even Fox News abruptly turned off, literally, and returned to regular programming so that Shepard Smith could get himself excited about the Murder of the Day. Only one person gave it some spice, on Fox, and it wasn’t a senator; it was anchorwoman Megyn Kelly. I’m nuts about this lady.

 

Yes, I know the howls at the mention of Fox News, but come on, Roger Ailes knows how to pick the right people (except for Geraldo) and how to keep stories moving.

 

Obviously, ratings were taking a dive. CNN took the hint from Fox and began easing off those hearings as well. News – especially on television – needs a plot, needs a narrative, needs good guys and bad guys, needs to entertain, needs drama and this simply wasn’t good television, never mind good theater.

 

There’s nothing to say about Democrat questioning since those guys are already sold on Sonia Sotomayor. (Amazingly, Al Franken was best of the rest.)

 

But just for the fun of it, we wanted some action from the Republicans.

 

When a hockey game gets dull, there is always someone from the stands who yells – “Hit somebody!”

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Helen Thomas, of All People, on Media Love-Ins

By Jack Engelhard

 

I’ve never been a fan of Helen Thomas (her rants against Israel, for starters) but this time she’s got me on her side. Good for her! While the rest of her colleagues in the press keep fawning over the Administration, Thomas literally stood up against all the media manipulation going on when, in a heated exchange with press secretary Robert Gibbs, she said that she’d never seen anything like this – this sort of “management” of the news.

 

Thomas, who’s been a White House correspondent since the days of JFK, came straight out with it in follow-up interviews, saying, “What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Well, yes, judging from all the giggling that usually occurs at what are supposed to be press briefings but which sound more like press Love-Ins.

 

“It’s blatant,” said Thomas, speaking also about those town-hall set-ups that appear to be so rigged.

 

Speaking of blatant, as well as corruption, here comes the Washington Post. Yes, the Washington Post that we used to admire since the days of Woodward and Bernstein. Well forget that. The word is out that elements within that newspaper were selling access to White House power brokers at a price ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. Buy a cabinet member, a congressman?

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Kremlin America

By Jack Engelhard

 

The news is never good, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, and I’m losing track of what’s going on so far as health care and a thousand other items that are spinning out of the control. Don’t know much about the economy either, except that this too is in the tank – reaching 10 percent unemployment.

 

So please don’t come asking me for details. That’s why we have experts who, by the way, are the ones who got us into this fine mess – but never mind.

 

What I do know is that we – Mr. and Mrs. America – well, we all got together and installed a government that speaks in one voice, along with a news media that whistles the same tune. What have we done? We have installed a system of government that has no checks and balances. Repeat, no checks and balances.

 

One party runs the whole shebang – the White House and the Congress, with, as I said, the news media tagging along.

 

Our Founding Fathers were hot on the Separation of Powers, which is why we have three branches of power, the Legislative, the Executive, the Judicial, and then a Fourth Power, the news media, sometimes known as the Fourth Estate. Dissent is expected and even encouraged to keep us safe from tyranny.

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Obama’s “Jewish Experts”

By Jack Engelhard

 

This is getting uncomfortable.

 

A few days ago, George Mitchell once again expressed his position, and opposition, even to “natural growth” in Judea and Samaria. Both Mitchell and Hillary Clinton speak for themselves and for President Barack Obama who’s made this – Jewish life in the “settlements” — his priority above all other international disputes.

 

Even the language is disturbing. Mitchell – top Middle East envoy along with Clinton – explained that the controversy centered on “the number of Jewish births.” Where have we heard this before? To my mind, as someone who was born under similar conditions, in France under Vichy, where Jews were kept within “restricted zones,” this sounds too much like Verboten!

 

When I hear American diplomats, and Obama himself, count the number of children allotted per Jewish family, at the same time measuring Jewish growth by the inch, the images that come to mind, to my mind, are of an earlier time, though not so long ago, when the Third Reich confronted the “Jewish Problem” by way of the Nuremberg Laws and the Wannsee Conference.

 

I picture Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann. They, too, were Jewish Experts.

 

I hear echoes of “none is too many.” That was the response from Canada’s Mackenzie King’s government on the question of how many Jews were to be allowed inside the country following the Holocaust. Those words still ring throughout Canada, especially among survivors, but how did “none is too many” become an American position so fast and furious.

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Naked Without a Teleprompter

By Jack Engelhard

 

This may come as a shock to readers who think I’m exceedingly smart or stupid, but listen, I do it my way, all on my own.

 

I have no staff to hand me material. Like other civilians, I walk through life entirely spontaneous. I even write books all by myself – wrote them all without help.

 

I take full responsibility for this column and for the thousands I’ve written throughout the years. 

 

But David Letterman makes $35 million a year reading off cue cards?

 

This man Letterman, as I understand it, now blames his writers for the Palin jokes that went over like a lead balloon.

 

Whom can I blame when I go wrong?

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Hillary’s Kiss Is Still A Kiss

Hillary’s Kiss

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Back, several years ago, when Hillary Clinton kissed Suha Arafat, well, some of us thought of it as just a “fem thing,” you know, sisters of the world unite and all that. You must remember this — right after Suha (falsely) accused Israel of poisoning Arab children, Hillary offered Suha a big fat smooch of consolation. (Google and Wikipedia have the photo.)

 

Was it just a fling, or is it True Love?

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Israel’s Audacity

By Jack Engelhard

 

King David – writing 3,000 years ago but always as current as today and as prophetic as tomorrow – begins his second Psalm like this:

 

“Why are the nations in an uproar [against Israel]?”

 

There is no end to this rhetorical question.

 

Here’s a headline from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer: “International Community Alarmed Over Israel’s Settlement Expansion.” (ALARMED!)

 

This, from the Associated Press: “UN Report Faults Israel Over Gaza.”

 

In its Sunday edition, The New York Times offers this quote from a UN official: “Everything Israel does now will be highly contentious.” (This is news?)

 

The backdrop – the back story – is this administration’s Nuremberg Approach toward Israel. The Nuremberg Laws’ sole purpose was to deprive the Jews of their rights as citizens, eventually to disown them, displace them and prepare them for annihilation. A third of all Jews thus perished.

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Chayefsky Rebukes Obama – Jack Engelhard

Dramatist and novelist Paddy Chayefsky (who died in 1981) wrote some terrific plays and novels. He may best be remembered for the 1955 film “Marty,” which won him the Oscar for Best Screenplay. He should also be remembered for an incident during the Academy Awards telecast of 1978.

That’s when Vanessa Redgrave (who accepted an award for something or other) used the occasion to bash supporters of Israel. None of the men in tuxes or women in gowns had the guts to answer back — except for Chayefsky. Clearly repelled by Redgrave, he used his moment at the podium to say that this was not the place for politics and that “thank you would have sufficed.” (This was Chayefsky’s polite way of saying, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” — quoting that famous line from his own movie, “Network.”)

Chayefsky, a World War II Army war hero, wrote the screenplay for the (underrated) movie “The Americanization of Emily,” from the novel by William Bradford Huie. It’s here that Chayefsky’s brilliance as a writer shines brightly – in his defense of America.

America needs defending, now more than ever, during this, the Europeanization of our president, Barack Obama.

There’s no need to unravel the entire plot of “The Americanization of Emily” except to note that it takes place in London at the onset of D-Day. James Garner plays Lt. Cmdr. Charles Edward Madison. He falls in love with British war widow Emily Barham, played by Julie Andrews. This is what he says:

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Is Richard Gere Responsible?

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

First let me say that I do not watch Hollywood award shows strictly for the cleavage. No, I’m in it for the Art — and the Cleavage.

 

Salma Hayek is the best actor in the world though I have never seen any of her movies. That one eye-candy moment at the Golden Globes was persuasive enough.

 

For me, the awards season began with the National Book Awards on C-Span, where I learned that there are agents, editors and publishers who actually support writers. This amazed me. One writer after another – the winners – got up and gushed over these people who were so “helpful” and “devoted.” In what universe is this happening?

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