Tag Archives: famous

Regarding Ronald Reagan: Name-dropping among the presidential nomination seekers

Call it gilt by association: The 2016 presidential hopefuls have become serial name-droppers, hoping to boost their own appeal by borrowing the luster of others.

They’re sprinkling their speeches, interviews and tweets with mentions of everyone from the old standby, Ronald Reagan, to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., rapper Nicki Minaj and astronomer Galileo.

There’s a flip side, too: Republicans tossing out the names of Democratic foils to rile up the GOP faithful and gin up campaign contributions.

A look at who’s getting mentioned and why …

NAME DROPPED: Ronald Reagan.

BY: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and many others in the potential GOP field.

QUOTE: “I often joke that I know Ronald Reagan’s birthday because it’s my wedding anniversary. But truth be told, Tonette would tell you, I know our wedding anniversary because it’s Ronald Reagan’s birthday.” — Walker, with a reference to his wife.

WHY: Reagan is a hero to the Republican faithful. No GOP candidate can go wrong by cozying up to the Gipper, who is admired by Republicans both for his love of tax cuts and his tough-guy foreign policy stance.

NAME DROPPED: Abraham Lincoln.

BY: Jeb Bush, former Florida governor.

QUOTE: “America is a place where, as Lincoln dreamed, any person may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself and finally, to hire men to work for him. America, though discouraged, has not given up on the dream of Lincoln.”

WHY: Republicans revere Lincoln as the party’s first president and for his principled leadership. Bush, regarded with suspicion by some conservatives who think he’s too moderate, is out to paint himself with the same broad brush as the 16th president, who held the country together in dire times.

NAME DROPPED: Nicki Minaj.

BY: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

QUOTE: “I like Nicki Minaj. I think she’s very talented.”

WHY: Rubio, who has talked about his musical tastes in a number of interviews, is trying to send a message that he’s hip. That fits with his efforts to cast himself as the fresh, young candidate of tomorrow and a contrast to the tired politics of older rivals. Rubio also claims Pitbull as a friend, and can discuss the merits of Tupac vs. Biggie. (Bush isn’t completely ceding the hipness factor. He tweeted a photo of himself with Ludacris at the Georgia statehouse last month and wrote that the rapper’s foundation “does great work.”)

NAME DROPPED: Martin Luther King Jr.

BY: Rand Paul.

QUOTE: “Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas. He described them as two starkly different American experiences that exist side-by-side. In one America, people experience the opportunity of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the other America, people experience a daily ugliness that dashes hope and leaves only the fatigue of despair.”

WHY: Paul invokes the civil rights leader as part of his call to address economic and racial inequality. He’s trying to appeal to a more inclusive swath of voters than the typical GOP coalition.


BY: Ted Cruz.

QUOTE: “Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers. It used to be (that) it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.”

WHY: Cruz invoked the Renaissance man to defend his own skepticism about climate change, saying that those who use evidence to disprove “accepted scientific wisdom” have been unfairly tagged as unreasonable. (In fact, Galileo didn’t get in trouble for arguing that the Earth was round, but for the Copernican idea that the Earth revolved around the sun, which was against church teachings.)

NAME DROPPED: Phil Robertson.

BY: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

QUOTE: “When I stood up for Phil Robertson when he used his free speech rights, the media comes after you. As conservatives, we need to stand our ground, push back.”

WHY: Jindal tried to polish his conservative credentials by lining up with the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch, who faced a backlash after he spoke out against homosexuality.

NAME DROPPED: Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, 7 months old.

BY: Her grandmother, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

QUOTE: “Unfortunately, too few of the children born in the United States and around the world today will grow up with the same opportunities as Charlotte. You shouldn’t have to be the granddaughter of a president or a secretary of state to receive excellent health care, education, enrichment, and all the support and advantages that will one day lead to a good job and a successful life.”

WHY: Clinton is framing her message of fighting for the middle class in a more approachable context in her second presidential bid. What better way than through the lens of a grandmother wanting the best for her new granddaughter?

NAMES DROPPED: President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Obamacare, the Internal Revenue Service.

BY: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and other Republicans.

QUOTES: “All he cares now is about his legacy and his library _ the two L’s. The two L’s for Barack Obama is all that’s left _ legacy and library.” — Christie.

“The difference between President Obama and myself, he seems to think you can negotiate from a position of weakness.” — Paul.

“People like Hillary Clinton seem to think you measure success in government by how many people are dependent on the government.” — Walker.

“Over and over again, when we face impossible odds, the American people rose to the challenge. You know, compared to that, repealing Obamacare and abolishing the IRS ain’t all that tough.” — Cruz.

WHY: Republicans can rouse an audience — and attract campaign contributions — by tossing out references to bogeymen like Obama, Clinton, the IRS and the president’s health care law.

Super Bowl jet-setters get top-flight treatment

For some travelers visiting Arizona for the Super Bowl, the trip may be just as memorable as the game.

Hundreds of luxury jets will arrive at the eight airports around metropolitan Phoenix by kickoff on Feb. 1, adding to the thousands of flights expected over the weekend. The Federal Aviation Administration and area airports have been planning for the influx for the past year.

Private jet-setters will receive VIP treatment. Many travel with companies that allow individuals and businesses to own a portion of an aircraft or to buy flight hours and that lavish perks on customers including goody-filled swag bags, a concert by country group Lady Antebellum, complimentary cocktails and high-end catering once they emerge from their Lear Jets and Gulfstreams.

“We’ve got a team that greets every airplane. We do roll out – it’s maybe not red carpet – but there is carpet that’s rolled out,” said Eric Lampert, NetJets’ vice president of flight operations.

The boost in private jet traffic for the Super Bowl is a sign of how the big game has increasingly become a VIP event, from the many celebrity parties to tickets running several thousand dollars.

Starting Thursday, NetJets will have a temporary furnished lounge where customers can relax with complimentary food, drinks, television and Wi-Fi. They will also get a Super Bowl goody bag and admission to a party Saturday night in Scottsdale with Lady Antebellum as the headline entertainment.

Dallas-based Flexjet has hired Press, a Phoenix-based food truck, to serve complimentary Italian street eats to passengers starting Thursday. The specialty menu will include mini sausage-bread-pudding muffins, caprese salad skewers and raspberry-filled bombolones, which are Italian doughnuts.

“These little details really matter,” said Megan Wolf, Flexjet’s vice president of customer experience. “They’ll remember years later that we had this really great food truck and how fun it was, and they’ll tell their friends. So, it makes a difference.”

Commercial travelers should not worry that their departures Sunday or Monday will get pushed aside in favor of their luxury counterparts. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the main hub, has parking space for 250 private jets. The movements of private jets will be based around commercial traffic, which has priority, airport spokeswoman Heather Lissner said.

The area will be inundated with between 1,200 and 1,400 private and commercial flights, but plans are in place to handle the load, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The FAA, airport operators and aviation businesses have collaborated on a reservation system to manage the flights, especially on Sunday with many of the expected departures. Every flight will be scheduled in an orderly fashion to prevent air traffic control systems from getting overwhelmed, Gregor said.

The FAA will add staffing and operating hours at air traffic control facilities as needed, he said.

The Super Bowl is the grand finale in a week that includes the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a golf tournament in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale. Both events will have the Scottsdale Airport dealing with an expected 54 percent increase in corporate jet traffic, meaning more than 520 additional aircraft.

That was the increase seen when both events took place in Arizona in February 2008, airport spokeswoman Sarah Ferrara said.

Ferrara, who was not employed by the airport in 2008, said she is looking forward to seeing two to three flights taking off every few minutes.

“I just hear the departures are going to be fantastic – these beautiful jets departing one after another,” Ferrara said.

Sarah Palin’s mayoral SUV being sold on eBay. Needs new brakes

Sarah Palin’s Alaska hometown is auctioning an SUV she drove when she was mayor, years before she skyrocketed to fame.

The small town of Wasilla listed the 1999 Ford Expedition with 74,188 miles on eBay with a minimum bid of $10,000. The listing’s photo shows the tan SUV with a cardboard cutout of Palin in the driver’s seat.

A 1999 Ford Expedition in excellent condition at that mileage has a Kelly Blue Book value of $2,318 in the Wasilla area. But city officials are hoping Palin’s role in history will bring out fans willing to pay a lot more.

“We put it out there to get a better return on taxpayer dollars by listing it as her car than just selling it `as-is,'” Public Works Director Archie Giddings said. “It may have some value to somebody … knowing who had it originally.”

The listing expires Nov. 27 at midnight Alaska Standard Time.

Palin drove the vehicle during her second term as mayor, which ended in October 2002. The cardboard cutout of her used for the eBay photo was borrowed from the local Chamber of Commerce, which has the life-size image on display for visitors, Giddings said.

After her stint as mayor, Palin went on to become Alaska’s governor and Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s running mate in 2008. She resigned as governor in 2009, about halfway through her first term.

Palin’s mayoral vehicle was used by other city workers after she left office. Like other old city vehicles that become surplus, any money earned from the sale of the Expedition would go toward replenishing the city’s vehicle replacement fund, Giddings said.

According to the eBay listing, the SUV is in storage and needs new brakes, wheel seals and an idle air control valve. The listing says the vehicle is being sold “as-is,” with no warranty.

Van Gogh Museum reopens with display on his craft

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reopened after a seven-month renovation, kicking off with “Van Gogh At Work,” an exhibition that shows the famously tortured artist’s working methods right down to his paints, brushes and other tools.

Appropriately, the final painting curators hung this week was a self-portrait in which Vincent Van Gogh painted himself behind a canvas, brushes and palette in hand. Nearby, on loan from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, are an actual palette and paints that Van Gogh used.

Marije Vellekoop, head of collections, said they were preserved by Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, the physician who treated the artist in the final months before his 1890 death.

Although Van Gogh received little acclaim during in his life and sold few paintings, Gachet decided to hold on to some of his patient’s tools.

“Van Gogh’s star was starting to rise, and there had been an exhibition of his work,” Vellekoop said. “Dr. Gachet saw his quality, or perhaps he had some vision of the future.”

In all, 145 paintings and sketches are on display, almost double the museum’s usual collection.

A highlight is the display of two versions of Van Gogh’s famed yellow “Sunflowers,” hung on either side of a green-dominated portrait he painted known as “La Berceuse.”

In a surviving letter, Van Gogh indicated that he intended the paintings, which usually hang in three different museums, to be displayed that way. The museum displays a replica of part of the letter, which shows sketches of the three paintings in miniature.

Other displays show how Van Gogh, rather than being a self-taught genius as is sometimes thought, was a late starter who worked extremely hard to master his craft in the decade before his death at age 37.

In many of his best-known works, he employed tools to help him render perspective correctly, with varying results.

Some displays show the progression from a sketched idea in Van Gogh’s notebook to larger study to completed painting _ such as the 1888 “Fishing Boats on the Beach of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.”

Among the more surprising elements on display are copies that Van Gogh made of originals by other artists in order to practice different styles and techniques. One such piece is a large color replica of a Japanese print. It closely resembles the original on which it is based, but with Van Gogh’s trademark thick brush strokes.

The reopening of the museum is something of a milestone for Amsterdam’s cultural scene: with it, all three of the city’s biggest art museums are open for the first time in years.

The Stedelijk, or city museum, known for modernist art by Piet Mondrian, Gerrit Rietveld and Willem de Kooning, in addition to many of their non-Dutch contemporaries, opened in September after a lengthy expansion.

The Rijksmuseum, or national museum, which houses national treasures and many of the greatest masterpieces of painters such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Jan Steen, opened in April after an epic 10-year, top-to-bottom overhaul.

Alterations at the Van Gogh were more modest, with fire and safety improvements, new floors and new paint. But the museum, which receives a million visitors a year and is known for long lines, has also instituted a new Internet reservation system that aims to smooth the flow of traffic over the day.