For a short month, February is chock full of activities to celebrate, acknowledge and honor... like Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Superbowl Sunday, Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, Mardi Gras aka. Fat Tuesday followed by Lent and on then on the very last day of the month, our Jewish holiday of Purim will begin. But before we reached our 2nd month of the year, this week also brought our UnPrecedented President back to a Congressional Joint Session for his 2nd State of the Uniom. Yes I misspelled Union just as someone on his staff did on the first batch of tickets issued for the event.
State Not So Great
We got the cookie-cutter teleprompter speech with half-truths and fake accolades. Yes, unemployment is down but it was going down prior to his arrival. Yes, the stock market is rising, but it rose in Obama's first year too. Yes, ISIS is shrinking in Syria and Iraq but the coattails were already flowing in that direction. We didn't hear much about our burgeoning
of nearly $440 Billion with the simple math that our government spent (in our last fiscal year) $4 Trillion while revenues were only $3.6 Trillion. Of course, this must be the perfect time for (the "Greatest") tax cuts ever, right? Add to that the $1.5 Trillion infrastructure plan that has no way of getting funded. We also didn't hear him mention that our
grew to nearly $19 Trillion warranting another rise for its ceiling, all happening as a budget deadline approaches next week which could threaten another
. Then he offered his 4 pillars for immigration which includes spending billions on his Great Wall while using Dreamers as a bargaining chip.
is a comedian (with a heart) and he ventured into a serious topic this week as he tried to build a bridge between a Dreamer framily and some Trump supporters. He was sadly disappointed and you may be too:
No, Doofus Don, our Union is not strong and our nation is heading down a dangerous path with you as its leader.
In more "Give me a Break" news...apparently, Air Force One needs 2 new refrigerators and it will only cost us taxpayers $24 Million. I kid you not, this is the cost to replace two (huge) refrigerators as they are meant to hold 3,000 meals since Air Force One is comparable to a flying White House. I assume those 3,000 meals are light on Kale and Quinoa and heavy on KFC and McD's. I think this is the first time I've referenced Popular Mechanics as a source.
You know what would go good with those million dollar refrigerators...a gold toilet (called America) which was offered to the White House instead of the Van Gogh that was requested. Someone at the Guggenheim Museum is not fan of Trump, so instead of providing him with a piece of art, he was offered a receptible for his deplorable actions.
It actually works.
If you eat like our POTUS, most likely you won't live to your full potential and definitely not for eternity. But who would want to live forever? I'm reading the new
Dara Horn book called
Eternal Life and it's fascinating to imagine what it might feel like to live for 2000 years; from the biblical era until now; from animal sacrifice to digital currency. Immortality is not such an enjoyable existence but the book certainly is fun to read.
Since Rachel (from Eternal Life) is incapable of dying, she wouldn't need the new healthcare initiative that Jeff, Jamie and Warren are concocting for their employees. If these 3 brainies (Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway) can't come up with a model Health Care product, not sure who can. Aside from Universal Health care for all, maybe their new program could help solve the our nation's flawed system. Also, it's a good think our US Legislators have good medical coverage since,
will be the first Senator to give birth while in office. This will be her 2nd child. You'd think a pregnant senator would have happened by now, but actually there have only been 51 total women senators since the senate was established in 1789. Apparently they must have been beyond childbearing age. Senator Duckworth is also a military hero who lost her legs in Iraq and she is not shy about criticizing our "five-deferment draft dodger" POTUS (her description) on his poor presidential decisions.
Saudi Arabia and Ireland
You win some you lose some. Israel has no choice but to be on the winning side of historical wars and conflicts. The alternative would be the destruction of our tiny Jewish Homeland. On the global Win side for Israel, last week a Saudi letter was sent to the Holocaust Center announcing that denial of the Holocaust is a
"Crime to distort history"
. This is a great step for a positive future Saudi-Israel relationship.
But then this week, Ireland slapped the face of our homeland when it attempted to pass a bill to boycott Israeli products. The bill might be postponed for now but it's truly a global tango for Israel to be fully accepted by the world.
The liberal movement tends to be less favorable torward Israel these days, but there is an exception and that's
who seems to do his homework and understands the facts on the ground. Check out this video from his show last week and the pushback he got from NYT Michelle Goldberg:
Music and Babies
Flu season is in full force so for those of you who have been bitten by the awful flu bug, I offer you some
"Sunshine & Whiskey" as this week's musical selection by
Wishing you and your family a
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom.
Condolences to the Taubman family on the passing of
Julie Taubman at the young age of 50. Julie was the wife of Robert Taubman and the loving mother of Ghislaine "GoGo" Taubman, Theodore Taubman, Sebastian Taubman and Alexander Alfred Taubman. May her spirit and memories bring comfort to those who mourn her death and may she be a blessing unto her family and friends.
Condolences to Rabbi Aaron Bergman, his wife Ruth Bergman and their family on the passing of Aaron's father, David Bergman, z"l (age 86), husband of Sharon Bergman. May his memory and love bring comfort to those who knew and loved him and may he be a blessing unto his community.
Condolences to Matthew Kay (8th grader at Hillel Day School and Tamarack Camper) on the passing of his beloved mother, Ronna Harwood Kay z"l (age 63). Ronna was the widow of Douglas Kay z"l and the daughter of Dorothy Harwood. May Matthew be surrounded with love by his family and community to help comfort him during his time of mourning. May Ronna be a blessing unto her family and friends.
Condolences to Cindy and Steven Hughey and their family on the passing of Cindy's mother, Faylene Owen z"l, mother of Cindy Hughey (Steven). May Faylene's spirit and memory bring comfort to those who mourn her death. May she be a blessing unto her family and friends.