"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself!" said Mark Twain.
I swore off of that after the last presidential election because so many sore losers were threatening my editors and publishers. (We won't discuss 'free speech" here.)
• But I confess that many of my so-called Liberal friends shock me as they don't even know what's going on when there is so much blather these days. (Including mine!) I was with a smart friend of mine this week who didn't realize that the conservative GOP is trying, after 40 failed tries, to defeat The Affordable Care Act, which is now the law. And these Tea Partyers threaten to do this by shutting down the government and going on with their ridiculous "sequester" which will probably hurt the USA more than any health program ever has.
This gang won't listen to its own smart Republicans in the midst and are resorting to blackmail instead of representing enlightened voters who keep these loonies in office in the Republican House.
If you don't like Obama's medical solutions under the Affordable Care Act and it is already the law of the land, why not wait and amend the Constitution a little later? Why put the entire Republic in jeopardy just as we are beginning to economically come back?
• I will once again ask you to invest in a weekly that I have absolutely no influence over and I pay the subscription price. I learn so much reading this compilation called The Week. So if you want to edit down on volume and pick up the essence of everything, do subscribe to The Week, Box 421243, Palm Coast, Florida, 32142-7622 or go to Theweek.com/savings. You can get 25 issues for $39.50.
• I told you to be patient, that Bette Midler would take her version of the late saucy talent agent Sue Mengers to L.A. Now it is announced that "I'll Eat You Last" will be at the Geffen Playhouse from Dec. 3-22. Why not? Bette earned over $2.4 million in just eight weeks; rare on the Great White Way.
Bette hadn't appeared on Broadway in 40 years. Maybe after this she'll come back as herself, along with her Harlettes, wheelchairs, and mermaids.
• So, we discover that there are no microbes or even the required methane gas on Mars after all. So we can stop worrying about all those aliens dropping down on us from there at least. And all the crazies who are dying to pay millions to go to Mars are just fine with me. We won't have to worry about them. They will probably come back with so much loss of muscle tone that it won't do us any harm.
Aliens from Mars were fun while they lasted.
Hollywood certainly thought so. Hollywood believes not just in Scientology, but in vampires and zombies. NASA could turn its hand by disproving the latter as well.
The indisputable bad weather and climate change are enough to worry about.
• I LIKED a letter to the Times last weekend from Norman Wain of Lyhndhurst, Ohio. He noted that long ago, playing music on radio, he'd decided that Billboard was "unreliable." He started sharing music based on actual record sales. This worked.
But you can't pay much attention to what is being recommended to you as "hot" these days because as Wain writes about current "ubiquitous media choices -- rather than sharing our experiences, we are all relegated to our own individual cocoons."
• And the "Eat, Pray, Love" author, Elizabeth Gilbert who has a new book coming from Viking in October, gives this advice to young writers and would-be entrepreneurs: "I was taught how to work. Creativity and imagination alone are not going to get you there."
Ms. Gilbert's new book is very different from her above mentioned hit. It is titled "The Signature of All Things" and is described as an "old-fashioned, rip-roaring tale."
• I haven't seen too much about a current movie I enjoyed over last weekend at the 86th Street Theater. "The Family" is a hoot - a takeoff on a Mafia family you will both detest and root for. To tell even the slightest detail is to ruin whatever plot this comedy has. Suffice to say, Michelle Pfeiffer is still adorable after all these years, Robert De Niro is still himself, and herein they have two gifted children, played by Dianna Agron and John D'Leo. The great thing is that these criminals all love each other very much.
I just had such great fun at this movie. And it has an inside joke about Nick Pileggi's famous film "Goodfellas," that makes it worth the price of admission.