Above is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The War on Social Security" and the fat cats got their way, didn't they. When Republicans and Democrats both want to destroy Social Security, we get a 'tax cut' that defunds Social Security.
Tonight, I'm doing a top ten list: The top ten best Christmas movies.
1) "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947). Natalie Wood wants to believe in Santa Claus. Her mother doesn't believe. When everyone refuses to believe, Natalie has faith and, sure enough, she was right. And she and her mom and new step-father end up with a great house on top of everything else.
2) "Meet John Doe" (1941). One of two Barbara Stanwyck films on the list. This one is directed by Frank Capra who is more famous for his "It's a Wonderful Life." This is a better movie, in my opinion. In the other one, Jimmy Stewart is all about goodness. And he's a victim. In this film both Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck have to redeem themselves. And do. He's a fraud who becomes a popular figure when her paper needs someone to kill themselves. What? The new owners of the paper fire Stanwyck and many others. As revenge, in her last column, she writes about a man who's decided to kill himself on Christmas day. The story is huge and they want her back at the paper even though they know there's no John Doe. They audition many to perform the role before settling on baseball player Gary Cooper. Then it turns out that corporations are out to destroy the country. (This is probably why the Jimmy Stewart crap and not this film became the holiday favorite.) When Cooper tries to warn people, he's exposed as a fraud.
3) "Desk Set" (1957). Katharine Hepburn stars with Spencer Tracy and Joan Blondell. Hepburn is Bunny Watson who runs the reference library at a network TV corporation. Efficiency expert Tracy comes in to streamline. He puts in computers. Hepubrn and her co-workers (Blondell, Dina Merrill and Sue Randall) are afraid they're going to be fire. Best scenes? Hepburn drunk singing "Night and Day" and doing this comic bit with Blondell about when a man drives around and around a street. ("It has been my experience . . .") Also Hepburn and Tracy's rooftop lunch and when Hepburn takes Tracy home on a rainy night. A very funny movie. (Written by Nora Ephron's parents Phoebe and Henry Ephron.)
4) "Christmas in Connecticut" (1945). Barbara Stanwyck offers home advice as a successful wife and mother with a country home in Connecticut. But despite being so popular with readers, she's actually a fake as her editor knows. A publisher and a fan both want to Christmas with her so she ends up faking her way through the holiday as a forerunner of Martha Stewart. This despite being unable to cook and needing to come up with a baby -- woops on the bed there are several babies. Boys and girls. It's a very funny movie. With cows.
5) "The Man Who Came To Dinner" (1942). How often do you get Bette Davis in a Christmas film? Not very often. Radio star Sheridan Whiteside (Monty Woolley) becomes the house guest from hell after he injures himself. Bette Davis is his assistant. He is very persnickety and has a million orders for Bette, for the family he's forced himself off on and much more.
6) "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944). Vincent Minnelli directed this musical. It's a year in the life of the Smith family. The Smiths have three daughters. The middle one is played by Judy Garland and this is the film she sings "The Trolley Song" in but, most importantly, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." A true classic.
7) "While You Were Sleeping" (1995). Sandra Bullock is all alone. She works at a toll booth. A man she sees from afar seems perfect. He's in an accident and she helps him. He's then in a coma and his family thinks she is his fiancee. She plays along with it. A very wonderful movie and one of the few post-1960s Christmas film that has just the right touch.
8) "The Lemon Drop Kid" (1951). Bob Hope is a con man working in Florida who is forced to return to wintery NYC when a con goes wrong. There he battles with fleas (when he steals a dog's vest because he's so cold) and turns an old folk's home into a gambling casino. Hope has to dress up in drag to try to escape the mobsters near the end. It's a very funny movie.
9) "Moonstruck" (1987). Cher stars in this Norman Jewison film about a big family. She's engaged (finally) to her no-spine boyfriend and set to be married as soon as his mother in Italy dies (the boyfriend flies out to Italy). He wants her to invite his brother Ronnie to the wedding. She goes to meet Ronnie who is played by Nicholas Cage and sparks fly. He makes a deal with her and, in the process, everyone's life changes. Olympia Dukakis is hilarious as Cher's mother. This is really a great movie.
10) "A Christmas Story" (1983). I think everyone knows this one. So I'll just note that, after the sixties, there are only three solid and entertaining Christmas classics -- "Moonstruck," "While You Were Sleeping" and "A Christmas Story." It must be really difficult to pull of a Christmas movie because there are so few good ones.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"