Monthly Archives: September 2011

Jacqueline Kennedy’s tapes (1964)…. and my afternoon with Mrs. Onassis (1977).

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. I am writing this article because my father, Donald Marshall Lant, asked me to. Like millions of people, he — and I — have been fascinated by the candid memories of the Queen of Camelot. They are mesmerizing and make us wish that other consorts had had the equipment and chutzpah to do the same. Think of Anne Boleyn, for example, or Marie Antoinette.

Then be glad that Mrs. Kennedy, as she then was and as we all expected her to remain, iconic widow of her sexy, philandering man, be glad, I say, that she permitted herself the luxury to be herself and open up in a way which has horrified many who think the lady was indiscrete.


But these tapes, and even my encounter with Mrs. Onassis (as she then was), make her human… and very much the kind of engaging company one would like to spend an afternoon with, as I luckily did.

For this article, I have selected the theme music from Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot” (1960). You’ll find it in any search engine. Both husband and wife liked the music and were perfectly willing to be cast in the leading, royal, roles… but let’s be clear: the actualities are quite different.

In the musical, King Arthur loved his queen and none other; loved her so much he was willing to sacrifice what he most loved, so that she could be truly happy with his best friend, the man he most loved and admired.

In real life, JFK had a randy obsession with a multitude of women, dalliances which embarrassed and humiliated his wife. In Camelot the queen found profound love and satisfaction with Lancelot. In reality, Jackie stood by her man and tried to make the best of an unabashed hedonism which only the discretion of the media kept from becoming a national scandal.

The lady, her objective, and herself.

In 1964 Mrs. Kennedy was, as she would remain, the most celebrated woman on earth. She was known by all, revered by most, a by-word for chic, style, classical elegance, and, yes, frosty detachment. But this was just the public woman… and the public woman was not the most interesting part. That was saved for those with entree… and, now, for auditors to these tapes.

Item: Here’s a quote from the time of the Cuban missile crisis (October, 1962) when official Washington, D.C., including the most senior White House officials, were quite convinced Götterdämmerung was about to obliterate their world.

“Please don’t send me away to Camp David… Please don’t send me anywhere,” she implored JFK. “If anything happens, we’re all going to stay right here with you… even if there’s not room in the bomb shelter in the White House… I just want to be with you and I want to die with you.”

At such a moment, death creeping close and menacing, one tells the truth… and means it. Jackie Kennedy loved her man, perhaps to distraction, and so we understand her better, and wish he had, too.

Item: “Bobby told me this later, and I know Jack said it to me sometimes, he said ‘Oh, god, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?’… I mean, he didn’t like that idea that Lyndon would go on to be president because he was worried for the country.”

Quotes like this are telling; there’s a “he said, she said” frat house quality about them… (First Brother Robert Kennedy) Bobby agonizing about Lyndon Johnson… then (Vice President) Lyndon sitting in his office agonizing about how the brothers hated him… and (First Lady) Jackie parroting back her husband’s line, oblivious to what it meant and just how silly it reads and how fatuous. This is most assuredly not the language of great Shakespeare; it’s more like the “telephone hour” from “Bye-Bye, Birdie” (1960), a musical about teen-age love, hot, smoldering, obsessive.

Item: “Jack told me of a tape that the FBI had of Martin Luther King when he was here for the freedom march. And he said this with no bitterness or anything, how he was calling up all these girls and arranging for a party of men and women… And I said, ‘But Jack, oh that’s so terrible, I mean, that man, you know, is such a phony then’.”

Consider this remark for a moment. A great philanderer’s comments about another leader with sexual peccadilloes gets his wife to call that leader a “phony,” and our mouths drop with amazement at the double standard, the pot calling the kettle black… the wife seemingly unaware of the gall and irony. Yes, these tapes are eye-opening all right.

History will out, compliments of Caroline Kennedy, once First Daughter.

Stalwart partisans of Camelot, afflicted by age and gnawing uncertainties about the people they elevated to near god-like status, must be chagrined and dismayed by these tapes. Advocates for women’s rights will be disappointed, too, by the former First Lady’s almost geisha-like obeisance to her lord and master. It reminds one of another character, Lady Thiang, in “The King and I” (1956), the Number One wife whose vocation was tolerance.

“This is a man you’ll forgive and forgive, And help protect, as long as you live… He will not always say What you would have him say, But now and then he’ll do Something Wonderful.”

This is not the Jackie Kennedy we thought we knew… and it was most assuredly not the lady I met in New York in 1977 at a high octane fund raising party at the home of Lally Weymouth in aid of Radcliffe College, where I then worked. The guest list was small, exclusive, and studded with celebrities, starting with Weymouth’s mother Katherine Graham, owner of the Washington Post, Barbara Walters, Sam Spiegel, John Chancellor, all stars, the most celestial being Mrs. Onassis, there as mother of Radcliffe undergraduate Caroline… and I was her designated go-fer of the day. As a Harvard-educated historian, I was ecstatic to be in the presence of History… and I was determined to note and remember everything.

Scrutinizing Jackie O.

I can see in my mind’s eye the room in which we met and can still feel the frisson when our hands touched. She spoke to me in that celebrated whisper all her own. I offered to get her a drink, not just now, she said, and maneuvered us towards the couch. “When you have the chance to sit down, take it”, she said… thus spoke a woman who knew how to stay comfortable. The words were followed by the slightest pressure on my right arm, indicating I was to sit down, too. This was careful strategy. She rightly supposed I would follow her lead and me in the place beside her meant none of the media stars, always searching for a story, could do so. Smart.

She was a lady who loved books, and we would have chatted about them, including my first book about the British monarchy then in preparation (Insubstantial Pageant: Ceremony and Confusion at Queen Victoria’s Court). She expressed polite interest; after I saw her collection of books years later, I knew why. My subject and approach were right up her alley.

In due course, the almost regal presentations to Mrs. Onassis commenced, but she made it clear I was not to move… and so I began my intense scrutiny, as if she were out of a portrait by Whistler, “Rose and Silver: The Princess from the Land of Porcelain.” (1864) Her skin was a skein of veins, a delicate mosaic. I looked… but did not wish to be seen looking. However, I could not take my eyes away. She must have accepted the fact that everyone would look, stare, unable to stop, but few of those looking ever had as good a vantage point as I.

After a time, my space was needed for bigger fish, and my hostess needed assistance. In due course, Mrs. Onassis, having done her bit for Radcliffe, prepared to leave. I got my final reward when she thanked me and, again, I felt the frisson as we shook hands in farewell. It must have been the same with Cleopatra… the Lady Livia… the Empress Alexandra of All the Russias. She looked directly into my eyes as she spoke… and I looked into hers.

I saw these famous eyes again the next day when she graced the cover of “Women’s Wear Daily.” It was one of the famous “Jackie-O” photos, no sign of mosaic, just wide set eyes and a look to wow by. Next to her in that photo there was, said the caption, an “unidentified man.” You can, I think, guess who that unidentified man might be….

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. at, providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

5 tellltale signs you’re not really interested in business success… you just like talking about it.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. This is one of the dozens of articles I’ve written about success. All are prescriptive, honest, detailed… the kind of articles you use a refrigerator magnet to post for the one in your house who talks the best game about success… but never does what’s necessary to achieve it. (That could be YOU!)

I’m writing this report for those who engage mouth… but nothing else.

Who try to make you feel small by always prattling on about the BIG things they mean to achieve… but somehow never do.

These people need help and they need it instantly. I aim to provide it… and I’m going to call on the spirit of Harry S. Truman, once president of the United States, to assist. I’m in a big pro-Truman phase right now, not least because I’m again reading one of the best written and most intelligent presidential biographies, David McCullough’s “Truman.” It is so rich I only permit myself to read a bit every day, because I know how good it is and how distressed I’ll be at its conclusion.

For this article’s theme music I’ve selected Paderewski’s Minuet in G, a piece Truman knew well; Paderewski himself had shown Truman how to play it… and on one memorable evening during the Potsdam conference of 1945, he played it to the most distinguished audience in the world, headed by the other two of the “Big Three”, Stalin and Churchill. The elegant music of another, more graceful age incongruously rose into the night air drifting over the macabre ruins of prostrate Berlin. You’ll find it in any search engine. Play it now.

Getting on with the job.

Harry Truman was one of the most quintessentially American presidents the Great Republic has ever had. He was hard-working, conscientious to a fault, direct speaking, humble about himself but determined to improve America and the world using the powers of the office he venerated, and graced. He had the profound American belief that problems were not obstacles, but challenges… and that they could be solved, all of them, if folks just got down to the essential business of solving them.

His approach, of course, might have been so very different. Being President of the United States, he could have pontificated in endless wordiness about what he was going to do… then returned to the White House to play the poker he loved with the buddies who made him laugh and relax, promises forgotten.

Or he could, following in the footsteps of one of the most revered of leaders, Franklin Roosevelt, give way to feelings of inadequacy, a man of slender skills dwarfed by one of history’s giants. But he didn’t go this direction either, despite a famously indiscrete toast by Winston Churchill who said, “I must confess, sir, I held you in very low regard. I loathed your taking the place of Franklin Roosevelt.” With friends like these… Untimely delivered to be sure, but a sentiment the majority of the American people shared with Churchill and which they, along with Churchill, changed as they came to know the man and his methods better. Then, Churchill rendered his revised opinion thus:

” ‘He is a man of immense determination. He takes no notice of delicate ground, he just plants his foot down firmly upon it’. To make his point, Churchill jumped a little off the wooden floor and brought both bare feet down with a smack.”

Now, be honest, would anyone call you a person of “immense determination” with an acute desire to solve problems and a practical willingness to do so as soon as possible? We have now arrived at the moment of truth, where you need to be a person of total veracity and integrity. Can you rise to this absolutely essential level? If so, it’s time to transform your habits so that you can create success after success; to start having and quit merely talking about it.

1) Shift from talking about to actually having success.

So, when was your last success? The longer ago the date you now provide, the bigger your problem. Successful people are starkly “now” oriented. They won’t tell you about the successes of years ago; the successes that matter are the ones of recent date. Thus, just how far back you have to go to find a meaningful success constitutes a very clear indication of just how big a problem you have.

2) You must be confident enough about your judgement to make decisions.

Successful people are decision-making people. They know that the achievement of success, then the maintenance and expanding of this success is a function of not just hundreds, but thousands of decisions:

Should I buy this inventory at this price, or not?

Should I invest the company’s assets in an interest paying account for this amount of time, or not?

Should I inform this very difficult customer that my firm cannot handle her business anymore, or not?

Should I fire this, hire this, advance this, demote this particular individual, or not?

Review the life and condition of any successful person, and you will see a steady increase in the number and importance of decisions made. Leadership, prosperity, success is all about the ability to make complicated decisions without regret, without second guessing yourself.

3) Successful people will work with you to work things out.

There is a marvelous phrase in the Bible that says simply, “Come now, let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1-18) This is precisely what successful people do. Of course, they want to make the best deal, but they realize the best deal contains substantial benefits for the people they are negotiating with; in other words, it is mutually beneficial. If the parties are mutually content, the deal is not only satisfactory for now, but keeps the door open for subsequent deals. And this is the best deal of all.

4) Successful people know the point, grasp the point, and keep their eyes and mind on the point.

Successful people are focused people. Life, already short, cannot be wasted; carpe diem is their motto, guide, and objective. They know that this day will end; that is a given. What is not a given is what benefits they have garnered from the day. The fact of a day is God-given; what happens in that day is determined by each of us. People who talk about tomorrow, next week, next month are fooling themselves and are rightly shunned and disregarded by people who regard procrastination, sloth, and inertia as completely unacceptable and root them out accordingly.

5) Successful people anticipate what people they are working with might need and gather it in advance.

Successful people are perceiving people, thinking people, aware people. They brainstorm options and are thoughtful about what may happen and how to prepare for it, for the ease and comfort of all.

Is this how you are? Or are you always a part of the problem, never part of the solution?

In this regard, consider what Floyd Boring, one of President Truman’s secret service agents, said about him:

“He never came on as being superior. He could talk to anyone! He could talk to the lowly peasant. He could talk to the King of England… And that was, I think, his secret.. He never got swellheaded — never got, you know, swagly.”

Ask yourself if anyone will ever regard you this way… and work hard to make sure they do.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->

Don’t like American politics? They change as fast as the weather. Just askU.S. Representative-elect Bob Turner the apple of the Big Apple’s eye.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. I wasn’t going to write about politics today. I had everything all laid out for a laudatory article on an extraordinary woman and her important work with children. That, alas, will have to wait because of what a 70 year old Roman Catholic named Bob Turner accomplished on September 13, 2011, viz. he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of 7 term sextexting joyboy Anthony Weiner, who hereby earned fresh execrations and maladictions. If only the Honorable Anthony had texted less and loved his put- upon wife more…

The hot news is that Turner did it in a district comprised of Queens and Brooklyn, New York. So?…….. (and here’s the stink bomb for the astonished, horrified Democrats)… He did it as a REPUBLICAN in a House district which has NEVER elected a Republican. (Drum roll.)

So, who’s the genius who gets the credit for this implausible, even unthinkable development?

You know him as B. Obama, president of these United States, and this morning in the Casa Blanca he didn’t eat his eggs, he wore them. Oh, my.

So I’m sending El Presidente a copy of the most famous political song ever sung in NYC, “The Sidewalks of New York,” lyrics and music by James W. Blake and Charles E. Lawlor. It was written in the 1890s but took off with the candidacy of “The Happy Warrier” Al Smith, Governor of the Empire State, candidate for the Democratic party nomination for president (1924), Roman Catholic, defeated Democratic party candidate (1928). Find it in any search engine; it’s a grand old tune and is today being belted out for Mr. Bob Turner, retired media executive, a hero to ecstatic Republicans, “East Side, West Side, all around the town…” Don’t even hum this ditty around the Oval Office today…

Another referendum on our de-escalating chief executive officer.

Bob Turner is a lucky man, and not merely because he was elected either. It was how he got elected. Nobody, absolutely nobody (possibly including Bob Turner) expected him to win. They just hoped he didn’t embarrass himself and the party in a district where Democrats hold an overwhelming majority, 3 to 1, and where his competition, a member of the New York State Assembly, David Weprin, was an Orthodox Jew in a district at least 40 percent Jewish. Moreover Weprin’s political family was well known and respected in the district.

In the end, everything going for the Democrats — and they had everything going for them (on paper) —, wasn’t enough to counteract the toxicity of the president. From Day 1, it was 100% about him, his policies, and his descending political prospects… In New York of all the stalwart places!

So because it didn’t much matter, Turner got the luxury of telling the truth as he understood it… the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And feisty New Yorkers (who so often take underdogs to their hearts) liked what they heard from this unlikely hero who walked the pavements, knocked on doors, and talked to everyday people about their everyday concerns even though, out of earshot, these people thought he had a snowball’s chance in Hell to be their next Congressman.

But he just kept doing the necessary… and sharing his thoughts and common sense with his fellow countrymen, who bit by bit from the grass roots became the essential fuel for this unlikely event.

Turner talked about the punk economy and asked folks if they were happy with what they knew, what they saw, what the president and Democrats generally were doing to improve things. He turned this election into a referendum about BO and his malodorous policies. Were they helping the folks of his prospective district? If so, they should vote for his opponent. But if they were not, they should give him a chance.

Turner asked them, too, to give him the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. pledged to bring business efficiency, business accountability, business standards to the notoriously chaotic and expensive management quagmire so notoriously mismanaged by Uncle Sam. Again, this message resonated with New Yorkers… who came to like Turner and his message… and the more they held their noses about BO, their former love, the better Turner looked.

Hidden losers.

An election is never just about the candidates; rather, it is about the legions of folks whose fortunes are to a greater or lesser extent connected to those candidates. Their stock and prospects go up or down depending on how the cat jumps.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, now Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-California), gets a pie in the face — again. Clearly she, although supposed to be au courant on the affairs of her minority members, missed this boat. Pelosi is already shop worn… a couple more bumbles like this one, and she can go to work for the chocolate company on whose addictive product she dotes… and will never be missed on Capitol Hill. In all fairness, her liberal distribution of free chocolates would be…

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is another hidden loser, but it probably won’t hurt him much. He, too, was asleep at the switch and so missed the opportunity to provide necessary life support for Assemblyman Weprin. A governor of New York, any governor of New York, has a plethora of tools, resources, manpower, and, of course, money to be doled out liberally to forestall catastrophes like this one. Had he been more alert, Mr. Turner would never have succeeded.

Cuomo should burn the midnight oil studying his mistake. You see he aims to be president in 2016 and cannot afford too many rookie mistakes and oversights. It’s just not what we expect from such governors, or will tolerate.

Hidden winners.

Victory, it is said, has many fathers. If so, it’s certainly true here, and the list of hidden winners is very interesting indeed, including as it does former New York City mayor Ed Koch who ditched his party to endorse Turner. Koch gave the usual reasons, that Turrner would be good for America, etc. But the truth is Koch, as much as anyone, was glad for the chance to show Obama what he thought of him, which wasn’t much.

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind headed a list of well-known Orthodox Jews in this heavily Jewish district, usually reliable Democrats, who ditched their Jewish candidate Weprin and made Catholic Turner their man. Scratch the surface here and you’ll find evidence of the complicated, labyrinthine, tortured vicissitudes that make New York politics so arcane, and interesting.

One more not-so-hidden winner, Donald Trump. He backed Turner but probably just to get his name in the papers. If so, The Donald achieved his objective.

Turner, a keeper.

Prior to the election, the Assembly (controlled by Democrats) and the Senate (controlled by Republicans) had the hot potato of eliminating two congressional seats because of the census. They had pretty much decided to get rid of Weprin. But with Weprin’s crushing loss, Republicans see a chance to redistrict in such a way that Turner is protected and re-elected. Stay tuned for the machinations around this event… which won’t take place on the side walks of New York. It’ll definitely be clandestine and behind-the-scenes and so reassure us things are back to normal.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

A look inside my crystal ball. Here are the results of the 2012 elections… trust me!

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. Whether you like it or not, the song to learn is John Sinclair’s 1903 favorite, “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You” … but worse, for the likes of Mitt Romney, it’s not just Texas… but the whole of the US of A. that is taking a good, close look at the strapping, big haired, stentorian back slapping Texas governor, Rick Perry.

What’s more, every day that goes by makes Mitt Romney less palatable, less electable, and less likable (if that’s possible) than he was the day before. But let’s not get into that matter quite yet; let’s instead set the mood by going to any search engine and finding a rendition of Sinclair’s snappy tune… then put on your favorite Texas football jersey and tune up the music. It is, after all, a thoroughly rousing number.

The House of Representatives.

This one is easy. As I write (September 13, 2011), the Grand Old Party holds 240 seats in the House; Democrats hold 193 seats. There are currently 2 vacancies.

Let’s start from some facts much cited that, in the final analysis, won’t matter much. Call it the “stink” factor. Poll after poll comes in with numbers like these, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. These results, from August 27-31, show 82 percent of respondents disapprove of the job Congress is doing, compared with 13 percent who approve.

Forty-six percent disapprove of the Republicans’ job performance, while 32 percent approve. Congressional Democrats’ disapproval rating stood at 44 percent in the poll, compared with 33 percent who approved of their job performance.

Now, let’s be candid. These numbers, almost identical for both parties, are bad news for the Democrats; Americans hold their noses for both parties and that’s not at all helpful for the Democrats who must be perceived as a credible alternative They aren’t.

Thus, when the votes are in, Republicans will increase their already staggering majority by 3-5 seats, leaving the Democrats yearning for the cosmic tsunami they require to change things. If you don’t like this prediction, consider the long-term damage Republican redistricting has wrought. That was perhaps the most significant result of the 2010 mid-term elections and cannot be undone until Democrats increase their presence in the nation’s legislatures and so control the next bout of redistricting.

The Senate.

Right now, the Democrats (with the help of two New England Independents) control the Senate 53-47. But the outlook is bleak and hinges partly on whether President Obama and his race can deliver the huge number of folks to the polls who usually don’t vote, but did in 2008. High turn-out is necessary or the GOP will control the Senate, too.

Here’s the current situation. Fewer than a dozen Senate seats appear to be in play, and almost all are held by Democrats. Just two Republican Senators, Nevada freshman Dean Heller and Massachusetts anomaly Scott Brown are thought to be vulnerable. A Perry candidacy helps Heller. As for the photogenic, likable Brown, even Boston’s longest serving (and Democratic) mayor, Thomas Menino, says Brown’s a shoe-in. I agree with his honor. Democrats will make a huge effort to regain the seat that was once held by the late Edward Kennedy, but will fall short.

As for seats currently held by Democrats that the GOP expects to capture, that includes knocking off Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill (the Senator simpleton), and Ben Nelson in Nebraska.

My prediction? When the dust settles, Democrats lose the Senate holding 48 seats plus one Independent (Bernie Sanders of Vermont), Republicans hold 51. It ain’t heroic, but it’s enough. The GOP presidential nomination.

There are no doubt indiscretions, peccadilloes, and embarrassing episodes in Rick Perry’s personal history; we all have them. But Mitt Romney better hope they are whoppers and soon or he’s toast.

When Romney was running against a field of pygmies (which he was until August 13, 2011 when Perry declared), he was the “front runner.” But the very first foot step Perry took as an announced candidate kicked Romney out of that questionable position and reminded the Mitt-ster that “some of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.” That time is nigh and so Romney is running around America trying to get Tea Party-ers to like him. But it’s no good. They loved motor-mouth Michele Bachmann, but in Perry they get the best of Bachmann without her craziness… and they get the distinct possibility of backing a winner. And that’s not good for Mitt. Neither is the primary season.

Romney must do well in the February 6, 2012 Iowa caucuses. If Perry wins, Romney will be vulnerable. And if Perry wins in Iowa and in the February 14th New Hampshire primary, Romney is a goner… because while he may win the Wisconsin primary (February 21) he will almost surely lose the Nevada causes (on February 18) and the South Carolina and Arizona primaries (February 28th). Romney may win the Michigan primary on the same date because his father was once governor there… but Perry won’t care. He can and should be the prospective nominee by then and der Mitt-ster will be sniffing around the vice presidency Perry won’t offer. Mitt better get that dirt on Perry fast; he needs all he can get.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The President of the United States….

Americans always need to be reminded, we do not elect the president; we elect electors who then elect the president. Electors, unless otherwise mandated by the laws of each state, may vote for whomever they wish. Here are the electoral facts.

President Obama’s poll numbers are bad, and worsening. But he is a formidable campaigner, knows how to use electronic media for maximum impact, and will raise about a BILLION dollars to keep the White House. Democrats may no longer be enchanted with their man, but they have no where to go. Here are his challenges.

Obama won 365 electoral votes in 2008. Because of redistricting he would lose 6 electoral votes, and these may prove crucial to the final result. Here’s what the electoral college looks like for Obama today.

Assuming Perry is the GOP nominee, Obama will sweep New England for 33 electoral votes. ANY state Perry takes here is gravy and bad news for Obama.

Obama similarly sweeps the mid-Atlantic states including the District of Columbia (3), for 79 votes, including the big prizes of New York (29) and Pennsylvania (20). About this time, Perry folks are despairing… but despair is premature.

Perry will sweep the South for 183 votes. Obama is weak throughout the region, Perry is from the region. The big imponderable is Florida, but Perry could help nail down victory by selecting freshman Senator Mel Martinez for vice president which would give him a useful leg-up with the Hispanic community. Missouri (10) could prove difficult for Perry, but incumbent Democratic senator McCaiskell could prove a drag for Obama and thus I give the palm here to Perry and with it the Solid South.

There are now three more regions to review. One goes to Obama (Pacific West), one to Perry (West) and one will determine the election (Middle West). First the Pacific West…

Obama takes California (55), Oregon (7), Washington (12), Hawaii (4). 78 votes total. Nothing looks hopeful for Perry at the moment, but if Obama’s poll numbers fall, Perry should aim for Washington. Alaska’s three go to Perry.

West. Strong for Perry (92). And if he selects Martinez, that would secure Colorado with its sizable Hispanic community.

And finally, the Mid West, including Ohio (18), Illinois (20), Indiana (11), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Nebraska (5), Kansas (6). Perry takes Ohio, Nebraska and Kansas and Indiana. Perry gets 85 votes; Obama gets the rest (56 votes) but it’s not enough.

Perry wins 292 electoral votes to 246 for ex-president Obama.

Of course this is all just projection but it does show how Perry can win… and Obama lose. However, November 2012 is over a year and a multitude of unplanned events away, so Perry had better not start whistling “Hail to the Chief” quite yet… and neither should Obama.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Jeffrey Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Above The Matrix ->

Up to $60 billion squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan says The Wartime Contracting Commission. It’s time for massive overhaul.

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s Program Note: Are you a tax-paying American? Then today’s article will not merely irritate or anger you; it will enrage you.

It is the story of stupidity, of waste, of fraud, of corruption — and of a government asleep at the switch; it’s all too frequent position.

There are three ways to approach this story:

1) you can ignore the facts and, ostrich-like, put your head in the sand and keep it there for the duration, or

2) you can say, “What can I do? I have no way to influence the people who need to be influenced to effect the necessary changes”, or

3) you can say, “I am mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

I want you to know, I am very definitely in the third camp, and I want you in the third camp, too.

To get you in the right mood to tackle this problem, I’ve chosen one of the best “jump-up” songs ever, “You keep me hangin’ on,” by The Supremes (released in 1966). The lyrics are perfect for this article. As you read them, imagine you are uttering them — to the people in charge, the people frittering away your hard- earned money:

“Set me free, why don’t cha babe Get out my life, why don’t cha babe ‘Cause you don’t really love me You just keep me hangin’ on.”

In this tune, an exasperated Diana Ross says, “And there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.”

But there is……

Start by going to any search engine to get this tune. Clear a space. Turn up the music… and get the necessary “in your face” attitude. Then dig in…

The facts.

The United States has lost billions of dollars to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan and stands to repeat that in future wars without big changes in how the government awards and manages contracts for battlefield support and reconstruction projects, independent investigators reported August 31, 2011.

The Wartime Contracting Commission urged Congress and the Obama administration to put in place its detailed recommendations to overhaul the contracting process and increase accountability. The commission suggested that the joint House-Senate debt reduction committee take a close look at their proposals.

The commission was adamant, failure to act now ensures continuing waste and fraud at the massive current levels. “What you’re asking for is more of the same”, said Dov Zakheim, a commission member and the Pentagon comptroller during President George W. Bush’s first term. “More waste. More fraud. More abuse.”

The bipartisan commission, created by Congress in 2008, estimated that at least $31 billion and as much as $60 billion has been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade due to lax oversight of contractors, poor planning, infrequent competition, and corruption. “I personally believe that the number is much, much closer to $60 billion,” Zakheim said.

The commission’s recommendations.

The commission offered 15 recommendations including creating an inspector general to monitor war zone contracting and operations, appointing a senior government official to improve planning and coordination among federal agencies, and carefully monitoring contractor performance. Representative John Tierney (D-Massachusetts), top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform national security subcommittee said the commission’s findings are alarming and that he’ll introduce legislation to create the inspector general’s post.

This is all fine as far as it goes, but it’s not good enough, not least because it won’t capture the attention of the American people and get them sufficiently interested to demand the necessary reforms, and demand them NOW!

What then is necessary?

Senator Harry Truman and his approach suggest a do-able solution.

All wars produce massive fraud, mismanagement and corruption, even “good” wars like World War II. And all wars require that every expenditure be reviewed. The man who did this in WWII was an obscure senator from Missouri, Harry Truman. Thanks to David McCullough’s magisterial biography, at hand as I write this, I am in a position to share Truman’s important work as chairman of the (Senate Special) Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. It provides the necessary inspiration and specific steps we must take to solve this infuriating, debilitating problem and solve it now before we hemorrhage to death through mind-boggling selfishness, mismanagement, and stupidity.

Truman’s secret? Legs.

Harry Truman had no idea what he was getting into when he decided to see for himself what was wrong with the nation’s wartime contracting process. But he was a game fellow and knew the secret was understanding how the process worked, including where abuses were likely to occur. This meant getting out of Washington, to visit wartime facilities, meet the people, understand the procedures. And so facility managers woke up to discover an unexpected and unannounced Senator Truman at their door, pleasantly (but sternly) asking for admittance and cooperation. This is the kind of thing he found, this time at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri:

There “he found costly equipment and material lying about in the snow and rain ‘getting ruined, things that could never be used, would never be used…’ The contractor had no previous construction experience.’ And there were men, hundreds of men, just standing around collecting their pay, doing nothing’. Truman walked about this and other sites taking notes on what he saw and whatever people were willing to tell him.”

In due course, through one on-site visit after another and then informative Senate hearings showcasing the usual abuses, Truman captured the attention of America… and fueled by concerned, aggravated, irritated Americans he was able to effect dramatic changes and save millions of dollars needed elsewhere. They knew, Senator Truman knew, as we know — there is nothing Americans cannot accomplish together so long as we clearly understand the task and have an inspiring hard-working leader like Truman, willing to put shoe leather to pavement to achieve the goal. And by the way, if it hadn’t been for this work he would never have been selected by President Roosevelt for vice president in 1944 and thus would never have become president of the United States.

President Obama take note.

This vast effort needs an elected leader, a big man or woman with grit, determination, perseverance — and a smile, the better to put a human face on the task, work and achievement of the goal, no mere bureaucratic inspector general will do. We need leadership and we need it now, capiche?

And remember, Diana Ross and The Supremes are here to help us aggrieved taxpayers. We need all the help we can get!

“You’re just using me Go on, get out of my life And let me sleep at night ‘Cause you don’t really love me You just keep me hangin’ on…

Why don’t you be a man about it And set me free Now you don’t care a thing about me You’re just using me.”


About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. , providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also a historian and author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Info Cash ->