Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Lincoln’

Random Friday Thoughts — October 28, 2016

We’re up to the last weekend of October.  It might be hard to believe, for some, that in the next couple of weeks, some radio stations will be switching over to continuous Christmas music. Bring it on!

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts and have a great Halloween weekend.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

It’s been a few years now since I last dressed up for Halloween.  In 2010, we had a big Halloween party and I dressed as Lady Gaga at the 2009 MTV VMA show.

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I even tortured my golden retriever, ABBA, by putting the wig and outfit on her, too!

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This Halloween, for our morning show, a local haunted house, Skellington Manor in Rock Island, Illinois, took me and my co-anchors, Emily and James, behind the scenes.

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To make the deal even sweeter, they made us up as a pumpkin, a broken doll, and a skeleton.

Thank you Jenn, our amazing make-up artist, and Penni, the owner of Skellington Manor and our hostess!

2016 ELECTION — HALLOWEEN STYLE

While some people just put out pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns at Halloween or for fall, some like to go all out with decorations.

And, some get creative.  Check out this cool display in my neighborhood in Moline, Illinois.  Incorporating this scary election season into Halloween makes it even better.

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R.I.P. PETE BURNS

The world lost a creative force and an early LGBT ally this past weekend.

Dead or Alive lead singer and fashionista Pete Burns died of massive cardiac arrest.

Pete Burns

For 1980s music fans, he was cutting edge, not only in dance clubs, but on the international pop scene.

While he and his band may not have achieved the chart success of other English acts at the time like Culture Club and Duran Duran, Pete endured and stayed in the spotlight long after radio hits became obsolete.

Mainstream America knows Dead or Alive from their two Top 40 pop hits, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, which reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985 and the #15 smash “Brand New Lover” in 1986.

Both of those songs reached the Top Five on the Dance Club Play charts in America — “Brand New Lover” hit #1 for two weeks.  They scored five other Top Ten dance hits.

Two years ago, I read Pete’s autobiography, “Freak Unique” and wrote this blog, which I’m happy to say, prompted a Twitter correspondence between the two of us.

Here’s that blog and it’ll open in a new window, so you won’t lose your place in today’s blog!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/pete-burns-is-a-freak-unique/

Pete was 57.

“THE WALKING DEAD” BASHES COMPETITION

The season seven premiere slaughtered not only its competition Sunday night with 17 million viewers, but in the key demograpics (ages 18-49), it had a 8.4 rating!  That’s higher than “Sunday Night Football”, “Empire” and “The Big Bang Theory”.

Ratings were also up 22% over the season six finale.  I guess everyone had to tune in to see what main character was bashed to death by Negan and his trusted barbed-wire baseball bat, Lucille.

Well, thank God, Rick survived, but he’s definitely a broken man!

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Oops, I should have said, “spoiler alert”!

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I’m kidding.  I’m not going to mention who died at the hands of Negan.  However, if you’ve been online since Sunday night, there’s no way you could avoid knowing who died!

But, the brutal outcome didn’t really come as a shock to me.  Here’s what I wrote in my “Random Friday Thoughts — August 5, 2016” blog about the show and the cliff hanger:

“We already know that a major character is savagely murdered.  My guess is Abraham, but an online poll has Glenn at 36% and Abraham at 32%.

Here’s a thought:  Why not shock everyone and just have Negan go completely batty and kill off TWO PEOPLE?  We wouldn’t expect that!”

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Surprise, two people died!!!!!!!!!!

The season seven premiere was the second most watched “The Walking Dead” episode ever.  The most watched was the season five premiere with 17.3 million viewers and 18-49-year-olds demo of 8.8.

THE “WEEKEND UPDATE” VIEW OF RIGGED ELECTION

We’ve all heard Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claims that this year’s election is rigged — because he’s losing in polls.

On “Saturday Night Live”, “Weekend Update” host Michael Che has an opinion.

He says it’s “weird” that Trump is just now pointing out that the system is rigged.  Che says, There were 43 white-male presidents in a row, then one black guy and maybe a woman and now you’re sensing a pattern of unfairness?

Che goes on to add, “An old white billionaire is on TV arguing that the system is rigged, and my black ass is arguing that it’s not.  This just feels wrong.”

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His “Update” co-anchor Colin Jost adds his thoughts about how silly it is for Trump to accuse the media of rigging the election against him because he’s the greatest thing to come along for them.

Jost asked, who the networks would rather cover, “a grandma who loves secrets or a human air horn who screams every thought in his head and can’t swing his arms without grabbing a lady’s ass?”

“FREE STATE OF JONES”

War is brutal and this Civil War drama, based on a true story starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, is no exception.

The opening scenes are ultra violent.  However, it’s the racism of the 1860s that’s heartbreaking.

McConaughey plays Newton Knight, a Mississippi farmer that worked as a medic in the Confederate’s fight against the Union.  He was opposed to slavery and became a deserter after the death of his soldier nephew.

The movie follows the plight to freedom before and after President Lincoln freed slaves.

As I said many times, the whole premise of the Ku Klux Klan, is so sad and disgusting and is such a disgrace to mankind.

GRADE:  B

RACISM –THEN AND NOW

While the KKK plays a prominent role in “Free State of Jones” and in American history, it’s even sadder that a century after the Civil War, we saw how prevelant the KKK was in the South.

Hell, even now 150 years after the Civil War, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is still waging a race war.  However, he’s not just directing it toward the African American population, there’s Muslims, and the list goes on and on.

Trump

Remember to vote November 8th for the future of America and tolerance.  Send Trump and his group of deplorables* away.

*For the record, not all Trump supporters are deplorable.  Many are just disillusioned with the political scene and mistakenly think that the change they want can only be brought about by this blowhard!

VOTE NOVEMBER 8TH!

HIllary Flag

This endorsement approved by me!

KELLY CLARKSON WAS A SNEAKY YOUNGSTER

Pop star Kelly Clarkson is working on new material and she says it’s some of her favorite.

She recently told “Entertainment Weekly” that she had to sneak and listen to anything risque growing up.

Kelly says, “I was only allowed to listen to Christian music and, funny enough. Reba McEntire, [whose songs are] all about adultery.  I was definitely not supposed to listen to TLC or Madonna … and I definitely did.”

So, in honor of that, here are two of her “bad” influences, including her mother-in-law!

“REBEL HEART TOUR” COMING SOON

Last October, I was fortunate to see Madonna’s “Rebel Heart Tour” in Saint Paul, Minnesota and it was phenomenal.

It was my fourth Madonna concert (I saw the “Confessions Tour” in 2006 and the “Sticky & Sweet Tour” in 2008 in Chicago and “The MDNA Tour” in Las Vegas on my birthday in 2012.)

AnthonyMadonna

In December, the “Rebel Heart Tour” is coming to Showtime!

I can’t wait for the DVD release.

The 82 shows made $169.8 million with over one million attending the concerts across North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

TOP SELLING SONGS OF 2016

It might be hard to believe that there are only nine weeks left in 2016.  Maybe not since we’re already into the holiday(s) season with Halloween on Monday.

With that being said, here are the top five selling songs of the year, so far.

At #5 is Justin Bieber “Love Yourself” (1.76 million downloads), Drake is at #4 with “One Dance” (1.9 million downloads), Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” is at #3 (2.03 million downloads), Flo Rida’s “My House” is at #2 (2.14 million downloads), and the most downloaded song in 2016 at 2.16 million is Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop This Feeling!”.

Timberlake’s song is from the “Trolls” movie that hits theaters next Friday, November 4th.

CHRISTMAS INSANITY WITH MISS PATTI LABELLE!

While it’s not even Halloween, it’s the holiday(s) season.

With several major country Christmas releases coming out today, it’s time to move begrudgingly into the merry holiday.

We all know that Miss Patti LaBelle can command a stage, but here’s a flashback performance for the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony for President Clinton (Bill) in 1996 where the diva almost had a meltdown! 🙂

Ironically, “This Christmas” was the title track of her 1990 holiday album.  You’d think she’d be a little more familiar with the song or, at least, rehearsed it some before hand?

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — April 25, 2014

The weekend is here and that means, at least, two things:  my random Friday thoughts and two days off work.

Over the past two weekends, I had to work an extra day on one of them and I had two events to attend on behalf of work the other weekend.  However, it’s all about relaxing this weekend for me.  Enjoy yours and thank you for checking out my random thoughts today.

The Following S 2

Warning:  If you’re a fan of “The Following” and you haven’t watched this last episode, stop reading my blog when you get to the country music segment remembering a music star that recently died.

Translation:

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I’m venting at the bottom of this blog about last Monday night’s episode and why I may not be following “The Following” next season!

PAT SAJAK, MAY I BUY A CLUE?

I’ve known who Pat Sajak is since I was a teenager and he started hosting the mega-popular game show, “Wheel of Fortune”.

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Until last Friday, I didn’t know much more about him and didn’t really feel I needed to until he sent out this tweet.

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At first glance, I thought it was interesting.  Then, I thought about it a little more and starting thinking that either he had had a few drinks or that he was being funny.

On closer examination of why he may have sent it, I thought that it was a way to express his conservatism.  It’s well-known that he’s right-wing, that he blogs for conservative websites, and he’s made many contributions to Republican political candidates.

I’ve concluded that it’s his way to offset all of the recent “coming out” stories by gay celebrities.

I was never a fan of Sajak’s, nor did I dislike him.  And, I still don’t dislike him.  Whatever his reason, this correspondence soothed my feathers a little.

Pat Follow

Tweet away, Pat.  You do your thing and I’ll do mine.

DO PEOPLE NEED TO “COME OUT”?

That last tweet I shared between Maliheh and Pat Sajak brings up a topic that I’ve talked about many times.  My headline on this random thought is ‘”Do People Need To “Come Out?”‘ and I’ll keep my answer short.  Yes!

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Just this week, “Mean Girls” star Daniel Franzese came out as “gay”.

In February, “Juno” actress Ellen Page and college football player Michael Sam announced that they were gay, as did Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley, this past December.

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Yes, I think people need to come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, whether they’re celebrities or not.  While some may argue that it’s nobody’s business if someone is LGBT and that’s it personal.  That’s true.

But, coming from someone (me) that’s known he was gay since childhood, I know firsthand that everyone needs role models and someone who “feels” like they do or who are like them.

It’s a scary, lonely world when you think you’re alone.

Anthony April 1969

It’s a lot different today than in the late-1960s and early-1970s when I was looking for someone like me and someone to say, “Just be yourself” or “You’re not alone”.

SIR CLIFF RICHARD’S PERFECT RESPONSE

73-year-old English singer Cliff Richard has scored nine Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 here in the United States.

However, in the U.K., he’s charted an incredible 126 Top 40 hits since he first first appearance in 1958.  Of those hits, 69 reached the Top 10 and fourteen topped the chart.  And, just last fall, he released his 100th album.  That’s one reason that in England, he’s Sir Cliff Richard.

I’ve always been a fan of his music and, as a teenager, I didn’t know if he was married, gay or straight, or whatever.  All I know is that I loved his voice, he was cute, and he sang with Olivia Newton-John!

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Recently, he was on Australia’s “A Current Affair” and addressed why he never married and the rumors about his sexuality.

While having people to look up to is important, I loved his perfect response, “If I was gay, would it make any difference?  Would you not come to my concert if I was gay?”

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Here in the U.S., his highest charting hit was “Devil Woman”.  It reached #6 in 1976.

However, “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, which was released in late 1979, became his biggest selling song of all time with five million copies sold.   When the song spent two weeks at #7 in January 1980, Richard became the first artist to reach the Top 40 on the Hot 100 with songs in the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s.

From that video, you can see why this 15-year-old (back in 1980) had the biggest crush on him.  That crush only intensified when he sang a duet, “Suddenly”, with Olivia Newton-John later that year!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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Earth Day

DID LINCOLN MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION WITH THE SOUTH?

Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian, takes a look at how the south differs from its counterparts across the rest of the country.

This is a hilarious look at a sad situation — and I grew up in the South!  (And, yes, this right ticked a couple of people off, but it’s humor!)

Mrs. Betty Bowers is played by Canadian comedian Deven Green, who now lives in Los Angeles.

CONGRATULATIONS JODIE FOSTER!

One of my favorites actresses is now a married woman and I wish the couple the very best of luck!

Jodie Foster Alexandra Hedison Marry

Last weekend, Oscar winner Jodie Foster married her girlfriend, Alexandra Hedison, in a private ceremony.

And, for those that thought Jodie’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes in January 2013 was a little cryptic and wondered if she was “coming out”, I think she’s gay. 🙂

You can read about that night here and why I thought that speech was so powerful and why is was and wasn’t important.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/jodie-foster-coming-out-why-it-is-and-isnt-important/

“FROZEN” — NEWS WORTHY

Coming from this Quad Cities’ morning meteorologist, Bob Herzog is one of the funniest local news men on television.

He’s the traffic reporter and one of the morning anchors for Local 12, WKRC, Cincinnati’s CBS affiliate.  Bob also does a segment called “Dance Party Friday”.

Bob Herzog

Recently, he took advantage of the wicked winter weather and did this incredible parody to “Let It Go” from “Frozen”.

Bob is not only funny, but has an incredible voice.  Kudos!

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

The country music world lost one its 1990s hit makers last weekend when 43-year-old Kevin Sharp died.

His mother stated the cause was “complications due to cancer” and his website added “ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues” as a cause.

Kevin Sharp

Sharp was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer when he was a teenager and was given little chance of survival.  He beat the odds, but continued to have problems with the radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

In 1996, he exploded on the country music scene and topped the chart with his first release, “Nobody Knows”.

The two follow-up, “She’s Sure Taking It Well” and “If You Love Somebody” peaked at #3 and #4 respectively in 1996 and 1997.  His last three singles failed to reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Country charts.

R.I.P. Kevin!

“THE FOLLOWING” SHOCKER BEFORE THE FINALE!

This your last chance to look away.

If you stop here, I appreciate you checking out my blog this week.  Enjoy the season finale of “The Following” Monday night.  I’m sure I will, too, with one exception!

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In season one of “The Following”, my favorite characters were Agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), Emma (Valorie Curry), Jacob (Nico Tortorella), and Paul (Adan Canto)!

Shawn AshmorePaul, Emma, & Jacob

Two of them didn’t make it to season two!

This season, my favorite characters are the two survivors from season one, Mike and Emma, along with Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen) and her two psychotic sons, Luke and Mark, played with amazing creepiness by English actor Sam Underwood (Zach Hamilton on the last season of “Dexter”).

The Following - Sam Underwood

So, I had this season all figured out going into the last three episodes of the season.  I knew it was going to come down to a confrontation between Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and Mike Weston and the villains: Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), Emma, Luke, Mark, and Lily.

Lily Gray

And, then Lily was murdered in the final minutes of the second episode from the finale!

I had to re-think my plan.  I knew that the twins would have to avenge their mother’s death, so they’d play a big role in the final two episodes.

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In the first season, Emma was strong-willed and cold-hearted.  However, she was still vulnerable around Joe.  For much of this season, she was under-utilized and weak until the last couple of episodes when her iciness re-surfaced and I loved it.

Emma was beginning to doubt whether Joe had lost focus (he has) with this whole boring cult-loving, Bible-quoting, God-like vision he has of himself.

Joe  Emma Cult The Following

Since “The Following” was renewed for a third season, I saw Emma taking all she could take of Joe and his carelessness and killing him!  At that point, she and the twins would go on to terrorize Ryan, Mike, the FBI, and America next season.

However, that theory was shot to hell when Emma was brutally murdered in the final minutes of Monday’s episode by Joe Carroll’s ex-wife, Claire (Natalie Zea).  While I was shocked beyond belief with the killing, it was incredible drama!

The Following Silence

I know that Emma is dead, but if you’re holding out for the magic of television and drama to reveal that she’s alive, stop hoping!

Valorie Curry, who plays Emma, tells tvguide.com, “They really wanted to drive the point home.  It’s so funny, because people are on Twitter like, ‘She’s just in a coma! Maybe she’s alive.’ I’m like, she was stabbed, she was thrown out a window, and then staked like a vampire. There’s no coming back from impaling.”

R.I.P. Emma Hill!

Valorie Curry   The Following

Valorie Curry, you are amazing and thank you for the past two years!  Best wishes!

Now, what do I think will happen on the season two finale?

Joe will escape the church and be killed for real this time by Claire, who will be murdered by Tilda (Mackenzie Marsh), the Korben member and Joe Carroll follower.

Tilda

 

Carrie Cooke, the author and television reporter and Ryan’s love interest, will die.

Carrie Cooke

And, I think that Luke will also meet his death at the hands of Agent Weston as he tries to get revenge for Lily’s death.  And, since Lily told Mark, the sensitive twin, to “man up” right before she died, I think he’ll survive and wreak havoc in season three.

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Stay tuned.  The season finale is Monday night, 10 Eastern/9 Central, on Fox!

Have a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.

Anthony

They Said What??? George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Eve, & Mike Piazza

BLACK KEYS’ DRUMMER PATRICK CARNEY

(about Justin Bieber not getting nominated or asked to perform at the Grammys):  “He’s rich, right? Grammys are for, like, music, not for money … and he’s making a lot of money. He should be happy, I guess.”

FORMER CATCHER FOR THE NEW YORK METS & LOS ANGELES DODGERS MIKE PIAZZA

(about gay rumors in his past):  “The whole episode was such a strange, incredible phenomenon.  I still don’t get it. I don’t know where the rumor came from, although I’ve heard many theories, including one that I suppose makes the most sense to me, involving a former teammate and his agent.”

SINGER EVE

(Questioning whether Britney Spears is actually the voice on the Top 5 hit, “Scream & Shout” with will.i.am):  “I heard that might not be Britney. That’s what I heard, but you know, I don’t know. It could be Britney. But I heard it wasn’t. I don’t know, though.”

BRITNEY SPOKESPERSON

“It’s absolute BS.  Britney sang the song. Will.i.am wanted her for this song, and she sang on it.”

A RECORDING STUDIO INSIDER

“[Eve] is clearly jealous. I didn’t even know she still sings.”

FIRST UNITED STATES PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”

MORE FROM WASHINGTON

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations.  Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Lincoln

They Said What??? Stevie Wonder, Rahm Emanuel, Mitt Romney, & Bobby Jindal

SINGER STEVIE WONDER

(performing at the “American Music Awards” to remember Dick Clark with a special message to the world):  “I just remember his friendship, his kindness and I remember his love for music and love for people.  I challenge you, you as communicators, leaders, politicians, spiritual leaders, put your love first as we musicians put our music and songs first, and unite the world. And then we can be jamming ’til the break of dawn!”

OPENLY GAY “LINCOLN” SCREENWRITER TONY KUSHNER

“I don’t feel that there was any evidence at this particular moment that Lincoln was having sex with anybody.  He seems to have not slept and taken no time off during this period.  I don’t say in my movie whether the Lincoln character was gay or straight. You can ask Daniel what he was playing, but it did not seem to me a thing to make a movie about now…..  I personally believe that there is some reason to speculate that Lincoln might have been bisexual or gay.”

WXIX-TV (CINCINNATI, OHIO) ANCHOR TRICIA MACKE

(after a personal Facebook post calling MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow “an angry young man”): “I apologize to Ms. Maddow and any others who may have been offended by my comments, as they do not reflect my firm beliefs in individual and equal rights, and they certainly did not represent the opinions or position of my employer WXIX-TV.”

KEVIN CLASH, PUPPETEER AND VOICE OF ELMO FROM “SESAME STREET”

(a man accused him of having sexual relations with him when he was only 16 and recanted the story):  “I am a gay man.  I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation.”

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL WANNABE AND LOSER MITT ROMNEY

“What the president, president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote.”

REPUBLICAN LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL

(shooting back at presidential loser Mitt Romney):  “I absolutely reject that notion. I think that’s absolutely wrong.  I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party.  That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election.”

CHICAGO MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL

(about Illinois offering marriage equality instead of just civil unions):  “The time is right, the time is now.  Today, we must take the next step on that journey by affording the opportunity to marry to all Americans — and we can continue that march by quickly enacting marriage equality here in Illinois.”

Anthony

 

Forget Marilyn, I Want “My Week With Jimmy Carter”

There are only two presidents that I would love to spend a day or weekend with and four others, in an alternate universe since they’re dead, that I’d want to have lunch or drinks with to just to ask them a few pressing questions.

I’d love to do lunch with Abraham Lincoln over “chicken fricassee” and find out what it was like to be an awkward Kentucky boy (no Indiana, you can’t claim him) that went on to be one of the most beloved presidents of all-time that freed the slaves.

While eating Boston clam chowder, I would want John F. Kennedy to tell me about his illicit affairs and about what he really thought of his enemies.  I’d love to have fresh avocados, macadamia nuts, and rum and cokes with “Tricky Dick”, oops sorry, Richard Nixon to see if he was as mean as he’s made out to be.

And, finally with Ronald Reagan, over honey-baked apples and an “orange blossom”, “The Gipper’s favorite drink when he had one (wait, make mine with vodka instead of gin), I would ask two questions that have made me dislike, almost hate, the man who seemed so gentle.

“Why did you wait so long, after so many gay men had died, to mention “AIDS” in public — six years after it was first mentioned in the New York Times?”  And, after that, I would want to know if he really thought anti-war protesters, like the four students at Kent State University in 1970, deserved to die.  As California’s governor, he took a hard stance against hippie protestors by saying, “If there’s going to be a blood bath, let’s get on with it.”

Those are the presidents that I would love to meet.  However, the two that I’d want to spend a weekend with are my two favorite commander-in-chiefs, Bill Clinton (and, of course, Hillary) and Jimmy Carter.

Yes, the 39th president of the United States from 1977-1981 will turn 88-years-old this October and he’s still active in painting, fly-fishing, woodworking, cycling, tennis, and skiing.  Amazing!

In the fall of 1976, as a 12-year-old boy in Kentucky, I cast my first Presidential vote for the Democrat Carter, and four years later, at 16, I voted for him again.  So, you might be thinking, that’s impossible.  Many things go on in Kentucky that aren’t talked about in other states, but kids still cannot vote.  Well, since my Grandmother Helen was not very literate, I accompanied her into the voting booth and I got to vote for the candidates of my choice.  Even then, I knew what I was doing. 🙂

Now, you might be thinking, why Carter?  Maybe it was because he was a Southerner and he talked like me!  I’m kidding.  I just liked him.

At age 12, I didn’t know anything about gay rights, but then again, there was no such thing as “rights” for those kind of people in the mid-1970s.

However, in retrospective, I made the right choice.  While Carter was a deeply committed Christian that taught Sunday school and prayed several times a day, he was the first president to address gay rights and his administration was the first to meet with gay rights activists.  He was opposed to the Briggs Initiative in California that would have banned gays from teaching in public schools.

More recently, Carter supported the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and he is for civil unions.

Just in case the religious right and the Republicans (Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, are you listening?) didn’t catch what I just wrote, let me repeat something again, “Carter was a deeply committed Christian that taught Sunday school and prayed several times a day”.  He “opposes all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and believes there should be equal protection under the law for people who differ in sexual orientation.”

Jimmy Carter is such an amazing man and I hope to accomplish just a fraction of what he’s done in his lifetime.

Many people know him from his one term as President which hasn’t been remembered kindly.  President Carter, like current President Barack Obama, faced many huge obstacles, including continuing inflation and a recession.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the last half of Carter’s presidency was tainted by the Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, and the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

EARLY POLITICAL CAREER & RACISM

Before being elected to the highest office in the country, he served on local school, hospital, and library boards, served two terms in the Georgia Senate, and became the Governor of Georgia in 1971.

It was at that time, before he reached out to the gay community, he bucked the Southern mentality by opposing racial segregation.  His family was also one of only two that voted to admit blacks to the Plains Baptist Church.

Once he was elected Georgia’s governor, he commented, “I say to you quite frankly, that the time for racial discrimination is over. No poor, rural, weak, or black person should ever have to bear the additional burden of being deprived of the opportunity of an education, a job, or simple justice.”

While leading the “Peach State”, Carter appointed many African-Americans to statewide boards and offices.

CARTER’S RUN FOR PRESIDENT

Then, after his one term (which was all that allowed at the time) as Georgia governor ended in 1975, he began his bid to the presidency with almost no chance of winning since he wasn’t nationally known.  When he told his family that he was going to run for President, his mother asked, “President of what?”

Carter became the front-runner by winning the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.  He used two different strategies while campaigning:  in the South, he ran as a moderate favorite son and in the North, Carter appealed largely to conservative Christian and rural voters.

He was even featured in “Playboy” magazine in 1976 and revealed, “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”

Carter chose Senator Walter Mondale as his running mate and in the November 1976 elections, he won the popular vote 50-48% over President Gerald Ford and received 297 electoral votes to Ford’s 240 to become the first president from the Deep South to be elected since 1848!

Earlier I talked about some things that President Carter was not so fondly remembered by, but the Department of Energy and the Department of Education were both created during his four years in office.

When Carter ran for re-election in November 1980, it wasn’t pretty.  While Carter got 41% of the popular vote, he only carried six states and the District of Columbia. The electoral vote wasn’t close with Ronald Reagan winning that 489-49.

In a bittersweet moment, on January 20, 1981, just minutes after Carter’s term as president ended, the 52 U.S. captives held hostage at the U.S. embassy in Iran were released after 444 days.

LEAVING OFFICE & HIS 31-YEAR FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

The four years as President took its toll on Carter and his legacy.  He began his term with a 66% approval rating, but it dropped to 34% by the time he left office, with 55% disapproving.

However, his reputation has much improved to a 64% approval rating in 2009.  “The Independent” wrote, “Carter is widely considered a better man than he was a president.”

I personally think he did a great job as President with the crap he had going on and he’s definitely a good man.

After leaving office, Carter returned to Georgia and in 1982, he established “The Carter Center” in Atlanta to advance human rights and alleviate unnecessary human suffering by promoting democracy, mediates and prevents conflicts, and monitors the electoral process in support of free and fair elections and to improve global health.  He’s also worked very closely with “Habitat for Humanity”.

Among the numerous honors Carter has received are the Presidential Medal of Freedom 1999 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office.

Another thing President Carter and I have in common is that we’re both very outspoken.

He is opposed to the death penalty in all forms and in his Nobel Prize lecture, he urged the “prohibition of the death penalty”.

Carter speaks regularly and has written about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He supports Israel as a country, but criticizes its domestic and foreign policy:  “One of the greatest human rights crimes on earth is the starvation and imprisonment of 1.6 million Palestinians.”  He also adds, “Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”

In 2000, Carter severed ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, saying the group’s doctrines did not align with his Christian beliefs.  Six years later, on BBC’s current affairs program, “Newsnight”, he expressed concern at the increasing influence of the Religious Right on U.S. politics.

In recent years, Carter has been very vocal about his disapproval of the Iraqi war and the presidency of George W. Bush (“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history”).

After Carter left office, he has written more than 20 books covering a variety of topics, including humanitarian work, aging, religion, human rights, poetry, and a children’s book.

Last September, Carter endorsed Mitt Romney for in the GOP bid for President in 2012, not because he likes Romney, but because he feels Obama’s re-election bid would be strengthened in a race against Romney.

Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in July 2011, making them the second-longest wed Presidential couple after George and Barbara Bush.

So, President Carter, I’d love to spend at least a day with you just listening to you talk about your 88 years.  We could start with pancakes for breakfast, have a salad with Roquefort dressing and soup for lunch, and “Southern-style” fried chicken with batter-fried eggplant for dinner and frozen yogurt for dessert.

My schedule is open.  Have your people get with my people.

Anthony

P.S.  I didn’t just make up all these food and drinks with the presidents.  I did my research. 🙂