Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Warm Winter Songs

Here are seven minutes of childrens' voices to brighten a chilly day:

2014 in song began with the 2013 Christmas Pageant's front row audience member former Governor Mario Cuomo, RIP.  Rosemary's first musicals were Oklahoma! and The Wizard of Oz, in which the cast members got to choose their parts, so Rosemary was one of three Glendas, Good Witch of the North (an opening the opposite of "Macbeth").  This year, Rosemary joined the choir of the Church of the Heavenly Rest, which has started the curriculum of The Royal School of Music (I feel like the "Queen Mum" volunteering a little with choristers who sang in England last year!)  This choir was invited to sing at the Met Museum's Angel Tree Lighting (not opera) and again at the 50th Anniversary of Charlie Brown.  The only clip where Rosemary is not on stage is at the "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" audience singalong led by Garth Brooks, but it was too much a highlight of her year in song to leave out.

This string of iPhone clips is an improvement on my prior post.  Next try will be clipping her scenes out of professional videos.

Thank you, Apple Store Genius Bar, for helping me clear the high-tech logjam.  I'm off to play with all the new goodies on my laptop as I build The Manhattan Journal, which is under construction.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy New Year!

This is our family holiday greeting card as even one of my iphone videos of my daughter is too big to fit into an e-mail:


Happy New Year!

This is our family holiday greeting card -- even one of my iPhone videos of my daughter is too big to fit into an email!  Also still in a tech-logjam since my Summer Study Abroad with The National Academy.  I took so many photographs and hope to back them up soon to make a slide-show.  Until then, the only way to show Rosemary's choir performances is via the following links -- hope they work!

The Tale of Daniel:

Let it Snow:

Met Museum's Charlie Brown 50th Anniversary (I recently learned Charlie Hebdo is named for Charlie Brown, so suggest a memorial benefit):

Met Museum Tree Lighting:

Wishing you song and joy in the New Year!

Anne Yoakam

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Vote NO on Universal Preschool

Universal healthcare is going so well that the Democrats want to expand into the business of preschool.  This is on the ballot as a pet-project of our new Mayor, who is a major contributing factor in voter apathy.  President Obama basis this on his flawed premise that tax-payer-funded preschool will increase Mothers' salaries. Obvious laws of economics guarantee the opposite -- that Mothers would never get the needed raise to cover childcare if Uncle Sam taxed their employers 5x the amount needed for families to fund their own preschool.  President Obama doesn't want parents to choose to stay home with their children.  A 9-5 state orphanage will not keep Mothers' salaries on an upward trajectory.  Subsidizing it [and screwing up their kids earlier with the teachers union] will shrink salaries, not grow them.

Women who start careers later in life do much better than those who hang onto low-salaried wages.  Mothers entering as mature, respected members of the community capable of handling real-life  responsibility, earning degrees they know they have to use, are no worse off than women whose jobs don't pay enough to cover childcare in the first place.

The reason I don't have a job is not for lack of government preschool.  Jobs are "created" by lowering the personal income tax.  That's not on the ballot, unless you vote for the candidates that will propose lower taxes and jobs.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Please Vote Tues. Nov 4!

Things are worse under the current governance than could ever have been imagined.  From the economy to public health, to National Security to International Security, we see not only terrorist beheadings of non-Muslims, a Long Island man beheaded his own Mother because Medicaid wouldn't cover a prescribing doctor to renew his prescription for anti-psychotic medication.  The Mother was a divorced Assistant Professor at SUNY whose other son had died of a heroin overdose. Nothing is written about the boys' Father, John Ward.  An unrelated website suggested matricide is extremely rare, yet the common thread is absent Father of a boy creates a Norman Bates relationship.  Unless terrorists are recruiting in mental hospitals as they do in our prisons, the only issue in this case is drug addiction and public health.  I don't even know if other states have the kind of state mental hospitals New York does, which used to keep people forever until anti-psychotic drugs came on the market, allowing people like Derek Ward to leave after six weeks.  The liberals want to legalize drugs, which cause brain damage that leads to such violent crime.

Also on Long Island, Congressman Steve Israel, a Democrat who took a traditionally Republican seat a few years ago, seems to be cheating on his wife and writing a novel about it, covered here in the New York Post:
For a liberal, this is a hypocritical gender-stereotype alert characterizing the woman as a seductive secretary.  If old gray-haired married men are chased by love-starved kittens, why do they have to lie and get them drunk?  Vote Grant Lally for Congress!  He is a good guy.  Married and expecting their first child.

I campaigned with Rob Astorino for Governor one day in Nassau County after  the RINO County Executive endorsed Cuomo.  Astorino has a following out there independent of the GOP [lack of] establishment.  Astorino is a solid candidate who shook every hand at least once, carried on conversations with people.  One man picked an argument about gun control that made the papers.  People joke that Astorino will go to the opening of an envelope while his opponent goes to nothing.  Astorino is an energetic leader, good family, conservative elected Westchester County Executive.  Please take the time to vote for him.  I hope this sleeper will surprise us!

Elise Stefanik upstate will take back this district that was Republican since the Civil War, until a major goof by the state and national party.  She campaigned with Paul Ryan when he ran for VP.  Runs her family lumber business.  Everything up there is about trees.  My Great-Grandfather's business was paper.  Now I'm drowning in it.

Joe Dillon for State Senate in Westchester -- Joe did the fundraising for John Burnett for City Comptroller.  He also served in the White House under President George H.W. Bush.  Hard-working, good people.

Then there's Scott Brown, who fled Fauxcahontas in Massachusetts and is running for Senate in New Hampshire.  He needs your help!

Sam Brownback needs help running for Governor of Kansas.  Economy is hurting him.  

GOP may end up down one Governor's seat, but I've never seen it look worse for the Democrats.  

Beheadings, Russians shooting down jets in Ukraine, guns are even going off in Canada!  Not to blame them, but would this be happening under different leadership?  Boko Haram this week released a video saying the 200 kidnapped girls were married-off to Islam.  This terrorist group has attacked approximately 186 churches in Nigeria, one of the countries where America encouraged investment.

And then there are jobs.  Lots of college grads are still hurting.  No income and loans to pay.

Thank you for reading.  If you enjoy my writing, please let me know if I should stick with The Daily Tuna or start a new blog called The Manhattan Journal.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I'm posting my paintings on, then moving my writing from there to The Manhattan Journal.  Thanks for your patience and in the meantime, posts may be out of chronological order.  :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy 25th President Bush

The 25th Anniversary of the Presidency of George H. W. Bush took place at the Bush Library at Texas A & M University in College Station, TX April 4-6, 2014.    All of the panel discussions may be viewed at

I was relieved to learn that at one point in President Bush's foreign policy, his internal staff approval rating seemed no higher than the G-7, about 15%.  If you think everyone in The White House agrees with the President at all times, be assured the staff is representative of the views of all Americans.

I got invited to the 25th Anniversary because I volunteered on his first campaign, with the green T-shirts, against Reagan, when Grandaddy lined us all up in the hotel lobby to greet George Bush.  From there I went on to the GOP Nat'l Convention in New Orleans, got out the vote in San Diego, then worked as a pollster and motorcade driver and recruiter in Oklahoma City.  In the end, I served as a President's Council On Competitiveness Intern in Vice President Quayle's Office.

The Veep's name was on the Anniversary invitation as an honored guest at the Correspondents Coffee the last morning, so I was hoping I might get to interview him for The Daily Tuna.  So much has happened in America since his "Murphy Brown" speech that inspired this blog -- I never expected to be a single mother when I married and had my daughter, or that the road back to the career track would take this long.

For those of you who weren't alive then, or did not watch "The Makers" a year ago, Murphy Brown was a sit-com about a successful lawyer who decided to have a child on her own, a trend just then beginning.  I can't imagine who in that office had time to watch sit-coms.  We didn't even have time to watch his speeches.  I remember at the time a woman I met asking me about it and I had to look it up.  That's the way it usually worked with speeches, drafted in a small office downstairs, only to surface if a sound byte made the news.  Some politicians are actually able to speak without a paper document in hand, or a teleprompter, so Jim Baker once sent a guy to stand over us while we transcribed Kristol's remarks at a 6am event in Virginia that Baker had been questioned about by the media.  I'm not the fastest transcriber, so that was stressful (for the guy.)  Sometimes nobody knows where speeches come from.  I don't disbelieve Lisa Schiffrin, who worked upstairs with us and says she wrote the Murphy Brown speech, yet the rub in speech writing is that the speaker gets credit.  Maybe calling it speech editing would ease tensions.  I've never written one that wasn't a team effort, relying heavily on previous words, interviewing people, editing by press and legal people, and at times, hearing a mention of intellectual property.  In the Murphy Brown speech, Vice President Quayle, husband of full-time lawyer Marilyn Tucker Quayle, with whom he has three children, young at the time, had said something like, from The Makers clip..."it doesn't help when Murphy Brown decides to have a baby with her ex-husband."  I didn't remember that MB had been married.  I thought she was one of the first crop of women who put careers first, then woke up at age 40 to realize they had no husband and house full of children.  They had presumably racked up enough savings to support a child on their own and planned to leave the baby with full-time or live-in childcare while continuing to work full-time.  Apparently, MB was divorced and somehow conceived a child with her ex-husband.  The feminists went wild against Dan Quayle.  The Veep went on to explain that the media shouldn't glamorize a challenging situation.  The next season opened with the reality of Murphy Brown in tears, hadn't bathed or left the house in days, home alone with post-partum depression.  

Bill Clinton had been elected President and said, "Dan Quayle was right."  Single motherhood isn't easy and has become a growing economic concern.

Twenty years later, instead of making a beeline to the Quayles after a panel discussion that had run overtime, my Brother was delayed in meeting my daughter at the children's program.  My rare, perfect plan of my Brother's family joining us for the weekend to entertain Rosemary was foiled by his toddler's cold and his wife's pregnancy, so Rosemary and her Uncle Coler ended up coming along with me to most everything.  Instead of being all business with my daughter and family making a cameo, I'm more like Mary Matalin with a baby on the stage.  Instead of finding Marilyn and Dan Quayle, whom I hadn't seen since he ran for President for 5 minutes in 2000, and later at his PAC fundraiser, I ended up getting my picture taken with country music star Garth Brooks.  We had fun and I'm so thankful to my Brother for coming along.  His wife skyped the campus tour (she is an A & M alumn.)

The real wisdom of Dan Quayle more politicians should learn from is when to bury yourself on a golf course in Arizona for 20 years.  Now he is on the board of a Private Equity fund in New York, after two decades of Mrs. Quayle commuting to Indianapolis to work for a law firm.

Bush Alumni events tend to organize when the next Bush is about to run for President.  The grand finale, instead of coffee with Dan Quayle, was Jeb Bush's interview, which you shouldn't miss at the bottom of the YouTube link posted in paragraph 1.  I'm not calling it a bait & switch, it didn't say DQ was speaking, but I do think he drew a less liberal crowd.  

Jeb communicates exceptionally well, takes hard questions with ease, and is organized.  You can tell he wasn't switched at birth, but as his Father once said, "Jeb is good!"

We also got to preview of the trailer for a new documentary to be released this June 15th on Father's Day, his 90th Birthday, called 41on41 by speechwriter Mary Kate Cary.

It was an exciting time to go there, as everything President Bush accomplished during the Cold War seemed to be unravelling.  Now that the chocolate billionaire has leaped out of the polling booths of Ukraine, I'm feeling more confident that WW4 is for now averted.

It was fun to see what were then more junior appointees on panels, while Baker and Scowcroft listened in the audience.  Baker said the most important thing President Bush gave him was "Loyalty.  When I made a mistake, which was often, he had my back."  

I had no idea Baker ever made a mistake until I moved to New York and heard about Israel.  

They weren't perfect, but they are good people, and I'm so thankful I got to work with them when I did.  The Bush White House was a place of honor that layed my foundation for right and wrong for my entire career.  It taught me how to deal with national stress.

I wasn't sure I'd know anybody at The Bush Library because so many people are invited to these things from his entire Administration, and Democrats now love him, but I saw lots of friends and people I knew.  Like Sky Baab, Alan Simpson, Sichan Siv, Boyden Gray, Marlin Fitzwater, Austen Furse, John Gardner, Ambassador Johnson, Victoria Scully Ostrowsky.  A little barbecue, a little beer, a little cobbler, great music, and even a surprise Jimmy Fallon rap (which brought the house down, but was taken offline.). Everyone was a lot happier in Texas!  

Rosemary and President Bush
Garth Brooks and me
Rosemary in the Oval Office
Checking out drill bits
A walk along the Berlin Wall
New Statue unveiled
Crawling around the museum
The Situation Room with Uncle Coler
Campus tour
"Hard hat tour" of stadium renovation by Manhattan Construction, same company as built the Bush Library (founded by our Great Great Grandfather, Gaga was Secretary on the Board)
Bottle caps
Texas wild flowers from our black VW bug rental (the bug was put on the market by Adolf Hitler because the chassis was the same as a tank, so that not only could everyone have a car, everyone could have a converted tank!)

A Texas-size THANK YOU to the Bush family and the Bush Library for a look back and a vision of the future.  It was inspiring to meet bright, young college students studying the time in my life that is now considered history.

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