Archive for the ‘Politicians’ Category

"Counting Down to Jan. 20, 2017" and "Libertarians + Liberals = Lunacy"

by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

There used to be a popular radio show, followed by an equally popular TV show, called “The Amateur Hour.” Singers, comedians and musicians, including even accordion players, would seek fame and fortune by competing on the show. These days, that notion has morphed into any number of similar shows, the most successful of which is “American Idol.”

What led me to think about all this is the realization that by the time the next president is inaugurated, Barack Obama will have held office for 2,922 days. (Don’t forget to count leap years before writing to question my math.) Or in other words, we will have suffered through the equivalent of 70,128 amateur hours.

In his book “Presidential Power,” Richard Neustadt wisely wrote: “The Presidency is no place for amateurs. It requires politicians of extraordinary temperament. That sort of experience can hardly be acquired without deep experience in political office. The Presidency is a place for men of politics. But by no means is it a place for every politician.”

I happen to agree with his analysis, which is why I opposed Herman Cain’s candidacy in 2012 and oppose Dr. Ben Carson’s today. Both men seem to be intelligent and decent fellows, and while I consider both qualities essential in a Chief Executive, I don’t see how that qualifies them to sit in the Oval Office. Heck, I’m intelligent and decent, and have devoted far more time to politics than either of them, and even I wouldn’t vote for me. Well, not unless I was the only thing standing between Hillary Clinton and a return trip to the White House.

In the same way, I tend not to support senators or congressmen. Their jobs don’t provide them with executive experience. What it does provide them with is a megaphone, so they are able to capture people’s attention.

For instance, I very much like Paul Ryan, but except for his expertise when it comes to budgetary matters and a very pleasant personality, I have no idea how he would govern. I am also taken with Trey Gowdy, and the way he cuts through the crapola when questioning the smarmy likes of IRS chief John Koskinen. But I can’t help feeling that the country might be better served if they either stayed where they are or were promoted to Cabinet positions as Secretary of the Treasury and Attorney General, respectively.

Speaking of the IRS, I always thought I had a great way to lessen the annual pain of writing a check to the Treasury. It would take advantage of people’s addiction to lotteries. Don’t you think that people would be somewhat more anxious to pay what they owe if the IRS instituted a lottery that would pay out a first prize of, say, a hundred times the amount you paid in? I would also have runner-up prizes that would return 75-1, 50-1, 25-1, 10-1 to a handful of lucky taxpayers, and perhaps a thousand additional payouts to those whose prize would be the return of their checks torn into several pieces.

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Bob Livingston Is A ‘Liberal Jackhole’

by Bob Livingston on Monday, August 25th, 2014

This is article 566 of 568 in the topic Media
Bob Livingston Is A ‘Liberal Jackhole’

THINKSTOCK

Liberal jackhole and many other more colorful pejoratives greeted me last week as I browsed comments both here on the Personal Liberty Digest™ page and on our Personal Liberty Facebook page. In fact, no single subject has led to more insults and more dropped subscribers and lost Facebook followers than our coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri, “crisis,” even though I believe our coverage has been quite fair.

However, the numerous charges that Bob Livingston is or has become a liberal (and they don’t mean liberal in the classical sense, which would be closer to the truth) indicate it’s time once again to explain my philosophy to the new readers and also answer some of the most common questions we get. I hope longtime readers aren’t put off by this, which they will likely find is a repeat of things I’ve written before. I ask that you view it as a “refresher” that helps you to remember all you’ve read here to date.

I also hope new readers will appreciate that the philosophy and questions are condensed so that they can receive it on one dose rather than either having to wade through previous articles posted here since the inception of Personal Liberty Digest™ in mid-2008.

Since we have a great many readers who come for a time and then disappear, writing this column from time to time is necessary. As we are one of the top libertarian sites on the Web, many libertarians join us but then become critical because we are not all libertarians (or all libertarian). Since we are linked to many conservative sites, many conservatives and Republicans join us and then become angry when we don’t toe the party line, when we are critical Republican politicians or when we advocate for a noninterventionist foreign policy. And since we write articles on natural health and nutrition and the dangers of genetically modified foods, we get many people here interested in those topics — many of them political leftists — who like our articles on those subjects, but vehemently oppose our other political views.

So who is Bob Livingston? Firstly, I am not the adulterous former congressman from Louisiana. I am an octogenarian Christian American patriot. In the 1960s, I became alarmed at the direction our nation was headed. I became frustrated with the lies, deceit, misinformation and deliberate disinformation being spread as “truth” by the government, the manipulated media and the controlling elite. I believed the lies needed be exposed, so I began to seek an outlet to do that. In 1969, I began publishing my subscription newsletter, The Bob Livingston Letter (subscription required). My goal is to find the truth and spread it far and wide. My favorite subjects are alternative health issues, privacy, wealth protection, the preservation of freedom and the history of man.

Do you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian? I belong to no political party. I am beholden to none. I consider myself an ultra-conservative and a Constitutionalist. Some read what I write and call me a conservative, some a liberal, some a libertarian.

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Ferguson ultimatum: Lawmaker threatens more civil unrest if cop not convicted

by Jim Kouri on Friday, August 22nd, 2014

This is article 3 of 5 in the topic Civil Unrest

An outspoken Missouri lawmaker on Friday threatened Ferguson, Missouri, residents and government authorities with more civil unrest such as looting and violence if Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, isn’t convicted by prosecutors, according to CNN’s Jake Tapper.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who represents Ferguson in the Missouri legislature, has been active in the news media criticizing everyone from the local police department and its chief to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon regarding their response to the shooting of the 6’4″ tall, 290 lbs. Ferguson. She also joined protesters almost every night.

According to CNN’s Jake Tapper, the 39-year-old Democrat all but threatened increased civil unrest and disobedience in the already damaged Ferguson community unless the prosecutor obtains an indictment against Officer Wilson followed by his winning a conviction for murder or other serious felony conviction.

“It’s amazing that Nadal, who is considered anAmerican leader, would make such statements. It really drags down the reputations of politicians even further,” said former police officer and corporate security director Joel Asgasia.

“And except for Fox News Channel and a few other news outlets, she’s being cheered on by members of the news media,” Asgasia added.

State Sen. Chappelle-Nadal continues to be loudly critical of Ferguson and Missouri law enforcement, complaining about police officers wearing protective gear including military-style helmets and driving in armored vehicles. She created controversy last week denigrating the governor on social websites such as Twitter when she tweeted: “You don’t know s— bc you never communicate. F— you, Governor!”

Besides the African American state senator, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson on Wednesday and was accused of “stoking up” the resentment of blacks.

“I understand that mistrust. I am the Attorney General of the United States. But I am also a black man. I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over… Let me search your car…Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me,” Holder told a crowd of young college students.

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The Magical World Of Political Speech

by Bob Livingston on Monday, June 2nd, 2014

This is article 444 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption
The Magical World Of Political Speech

THINKSTOCK

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

I keep the above George Orwell quote near me at all times. It serves as a reminder to me to decipher political speech whenever I see or hear it.

Political speech contains magical properties. It mesmerizes the masses because it is more illusory than a David Copperfield grand finale.

But political speech is dangerous. While it sounds innocuous, it is as deadly as a bear trap hidden beneath the leaves or a siren singing her song. It can grab you suddenly, or it can ensnare you subtly. Either way, you learn too late that you have been conned and there is no escape.

The magic of political speech is not happenstance. There are change agents at work in the inner sanctums of power whose job it is to create special words and phrases that are used in political speech. Those words and phrases are repeated over and over by the elites in order to dumb us down and create a conditioned response.

The process of dumbing down and the conditioning of the mind to create a nation of good, obedient subjects loyal and subservient to political authority and to the legitimacy of the political order begins early on. We are now several generations into the plan by the elites to create a Nation of state-worshiping ignoramuses taught pseudo-history and inculcated with a loyalty to and dependence upon big government. For many — if not most — of the Nation’s young people below the age of 25, government provided them with most of their meals while the majority of their days were spent submitting to government authority figures (teachers/principals/school officers) in rigid, structured environments that dissuade original thought.

Also aiding the elites and politicians in this effort is an army of “journalists” who never stray far from the official line of the State apparatus. They are eager to spread their lies and half-truths because that ensures them their seats near (or even inside, in the case of the Barack Obama Administration) the halls of power. On that rare occasion one of them strays too far from the party line, retribution is swift and harsh (see Helen Thomas and Sharyl Attkisson). This discourages dissent.

Politicians have learned that the more lies they tell, the more lies we believe. And the more lies we believe, the more dependent we become. Conversely, the fewer myths, lies and deceptions we succumb to, the less dependent we are and, therefore, the more liberty we enjoy.

I long ago learned the power of propaganda. I have watched as otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people have had their minds so manipulated by political speech that they acted contrary to their own best interests without a second thought. It seems that organized and sophisticated propaganda is able to operate outside the threshold of intelligence. In other words, without some imperative to trigger inquiry, very intelligent people buy into lies and myths the same as the general population. The lies and myths then become conventional wisdom. The human mind rarely accepts a challenge to conventional wisdom.

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A Congressional Scandal of Murder and Cover-Up

by Cliff Kincaid on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

This is article 434 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption

Investigative reporter and five-time Emmy Award winner Peter Lance has investigated government cover-ups in some of the biggest stories—9/11, TWA 800 and the Oklahoma City bombing cases. His recent work has been probing the office of Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) for The Santa Barbara News-Press, in a case that reaches all the way up into the Office of General Counsel for the U.S. House.

Lance is facing obstacles in this case, like many others he’s covered, but is determined to reveal the complete truth, and demand justice for the family of a young woman whose death was caused by a congressional staffer employed by Capps.

Lance tells Accuracy in Media that he is troubled by the general failure of the national press to cover the unfolding corruption scandal.

He is not new to controversy. Former Chicago U.S. Attorney and Valerie Plame Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent 20 months, beginning in 2007, trying unsuccessfully to kill Lance’s HarperCollins FBI counter-terrorism book Triple Cross. Lance had argued in his book that Fitzgerald and other senior Department of Justice and FBI officials failed to properly follow up on hard evidence about al-Qaeda activities on U.S. soil.

In this case, Mallory Rae Dies, a 27-year-old University of California, Santa Barbara graduate, was struck and killed by one of Capps’ district representatives, Raymond Morua, after he had been drinking heavily. Morua fled the scene, after stopping his vehicle and looking down at the body, and finally crashed after an 80-mph chase.

The Office of General Counsel of the House of Representatives took the position, as Capps did, that she had no responsibility for the actions of her aide on the night of the hit-and-run murder.

Yet, the facts show that Morua was an Iraq War vet who made dozens of public appearances with Capps and handled “constituent liaison,” and other matters, for the congresswoman. One photo shows Capps and Morua together in a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle during the 2013 4th of July parade in Santa Barbara. Appearing in uniform, as he often did at such events, Morua carried his signature Captain America shield. 

It is understandable why Capps would want to distance herself from Morua, considering the horrendous nature of what he did. But she employed him. What’s more, citing incriminating documents and messages, the Lance series makes it absolutely clear that Morua was indeed working on the congresswoman’s behalf when he got drunk and killed Mallory Rae Dies.

The record, as documented by Peter Lance in his five-part series of articles, is that these efforts took the form of maneuvers to first protect the staffer from prison time, and then to completely avoid legal responsibility for what is obviously official business on Capp’s behalf.

The case represents some of the sleaziest conduct ever alleged and documented about the actions of a member of Congress and her staff, who were clearly determined to protect the representative from negative fallout and bad press.

They didn’t count on a journalist with Lance’s reputation to get to the bottom of the scandal.

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"READING THE POLLS" and "ANOTHER JOB FOR CLARENCE ODBODY"

by Burt Prelutsky on Monday, March 31st, 2014

by Burt Prelutsky

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific Time.
Tune in at K4HD.com His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

I don’t recall a time when it was so profitable to be in the polling industry. It seems as if there’s a new one every five minutes, and most of them, you’ve probably noticed, show Obama cratering at the speed of light. As a result, Republicans can hardly conceal their glee. I, on the other hand, look at the numbers and I feel like tearing my hair out. That is, I would if I had hair. Instead, I’d settle for tearing out someone else’s; perhaps Chuck Hagel’s or Harry Reid’s.

I know I should celebrate the fact that 59% of the electorate think Obama is doing a lousy job, but that means that 41% don’t see it that way. How can I feel good as an American knowing that 83% of the people believe that our country is weaker and less powerful than it was six years ago? For one thing, that’s not a situation in which I ever want America to find herself, but for another, it means 17% think we’re stronger and more powerful since Obama took office, and they can’t all be smoking pot in Colorado.

There are even 9% of our friends and neighbors who think Obama has been too tough with the Russkies! One of those nincompoops, I’m happy to say, is neither a friend nor a relative of mine; he is, however, Rand Paul’s old man.

Speaking of Rand Paul, I am happy to see him peaking in 2014 because I’m hoping that by 2016, he’ll be “Rand Who?” during the GOP primaries. I don’t think he’s a bad fellow, and I wouldn’t want to misjudge him because his father is an anti-Semitic nincompoop. But I do believe his crusade against the NSA is a cheap and dangerous political stunt. I think that anyone who actually believes the government is eavesdropping on several billion monotonous phone calls every day or monitoring tens of billions of email messages every 24 hours is either a paranoid schizophrenic or is addicted to pornography and is terrified that the NSA is going to snitch him out to his wife.

Even Paul’s receiving 31% of the votes cast at the annual CPAC convention isn’t all that great when you actually break down the numbers. I mean, when your platform involves legalizing pot and other illegal substances; accepting same-sex marriages as the norm; opposing a military draft; and turning a blind eye to any evil taking place outside our borders; and you realize that a totally disproportional 46% of the CPAC voters were very young, garnering a mere 31% of the vote has to be regarded as a massive underachievement.

While listening to radio host Dennis Prager the other day, I heard him mention that at Harvard, they have come up with a notion that anything that is said about a specific group, even if it’s positive in nature, should be regarded as bigotry. So if someone assumes that an Asian got a high-paying job as a computer programmer because Asians are widely assumed to be technically proficient, that’s racism.

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GOLD MEDALS, FRIED CHICKEN & ANTIQUES

by Burt Prelutsky on Friday, March 14th, 2014

by Burt Prelutsky

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific Time. Tune in at K4HD.com
His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

Now that the Winter Olympics are over for another four years, let me say, at the risk of being regarded as a party pooper, that I think the Games are one of the worst ideas anyone has ever come up with.

As far back as 1948 and 1952, I knew that when people praised them as a way to bring nations together in peaceful competition, with the emphasis on the individual athletes, I knew I was listening to high-sounding hooey. I knew that because every day, the newspapers would let us know how many medals the U.S., the Soviet Union and East Germany, had won. And if it happened that the Commies were winning more gold medals than we were, we’d make a big deal about the larger number of silver and bronze medals we were taking home.

Future Olympics were no better. In Mexico City, we had arrogant, angry black American sprinters, raising their black gloved hands, displaying their contempt for the nation that had enabled them to have their moment of glory.

Then there were the games in Munich, which saw Arabs massacring the Israeli athletes. Other Games merely saw cities such as Montreal bankrupt itself in order to blow money it didn’t have trying to impress the world.

When it comes to corruption, it would be hard to beat the Olympic Committee, whose members are as open to bribes as the various governors of Illinois and the members of the California Coastal Commission. And as if that’s not bad enough, time and again, Olympic judges have shown they are quite willing to award medals based on politics rather than performance. But, then, you’re always asking for trouble when victory isn’t determined with a yardstick or a stopwatch, but by a bunch of clucks holding up cards with numbers written on them.

By this time, we all know that, among its many sins, one of the more notable ones connected with ObamaCare is that it provides a disincentive to work. The worst part of it is that it’s actually members of the workforce who will suffer. If those being laid off were politicians and federal bureaucrats, even I would have something good to say for Obama’s signature piece of abominable legislation.

Speaking of politicians, I can understand why those who rely on their party leaders for committee chairmanships and campaign contributions might be reluctant to display the slightest bit of independence. But when these schmucks finally get around to announcing their retirement, wouldn’t you think that for once in their pathetic lives, they would have the courage to wander off the reservation?

Wouldn’t you expect, for instance, Henry Waxman to say what he really thinks of Obama’s constantly siding with the Palestinians who despise us and negotiating with the Iranians, who want us dead, while showing nothing but contempt for our allies in Israel? But I guess 40 years of party fealty, otherwise known as gutlessness, is a mighty tough habit to break.

Being a regular reader of mysteries, I am at a loss when it comes to their being adapted to the screen.

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Bob McDonnell Discovers He’s Past the Sell–By Date

by Michael R. Shannon on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

This is article 421 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption

If you need additional proof that taking handouts creates dependency, look no further than the sad fate of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. McDonnell is currently under federal indictment and accused of trading government favors for money, loans and gifts from former Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr.

Williams is one of those ‘good friends’ politicians seem to acquire just about the time they win an office where it’s possible to dispense favors.

Federal charging papers list quite an inventory of gifts. They include a $17,000 NYC shopping trip for wife, Maureen, where the money was spent at Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton and Bergdorf Goodman to buy various designer dresses and jewelry befitting a former Redskins cheerleader and current 1st lady.

Then there was $15,000 for catering at the daughter’s wedding — Maureen likes round numbers — a $10,000 wedding gift to another daughter, $120,000 in no–doc loans to shore up bad vacation home investments, free family vacations at the Williams’ getaway and a $6,500 Rolex watch for Bob. They even had Williams’ brother, Donnie, mow their lawn and do odd jobs for free around the house. Bringing the grand total in the indictment to $165,000, not counting Donnie’s sweat equity.

And all this occurred because it’s so tough to make ends meet on only $175,000 a year plus free room and board.

Naturally a politician so broke he essentially functioned as the foster child of his ‘family friend’ Williams is in no position to pay for his own legal defense. And Maureen is not about to settle for the tender mercies of the public defender’s office, so McDonnell founded the Restoration Fund and began soliciting donations for his defense.

The fund’s chairman, Stanley Baldwin, told the WaPost the ‘Restorers’ (not to be confused with Donnie Williams) are “long time admirers of Gov. McDonnell and his outstanding performance as Virginia’s chief executive.”

Evidently it’s a dwindling band. During all of 2013 the fund raised a total of $11,400. Of course if McDonnell mooched off the rest of his friends the way he milked Williams, it’s no surprise he’s only raising bake sale money for his defense fund.

Another variable at work is the hard and fast reality of the political sell–by date, which causes ‘good family friends’ to become scarce just when one needs them the most. During McDonnell’s campaign, when he was still fresh and, like milk, passed the smell test, J. Douglas Perry — co–founder Dollar Tree stores — gave $75,000. Perry’s contribution to McDonnell’s legal defense fund after he left office was only $2,500, which is quite a discount rate.

To put that $11,400 in perspective, the average billing rate for a high–powered DC law firm is $662/hour. Even if Bob grabs the entire treasury, he can only buy 17 hours of legal time and you can’t plead guilty for that amount.

And in spite off all the tribulations their attempt to join the ranks of the nouveau riche brought upon the family, Bob and Maureen still have his–and–her lawyers. Although I wonder who’s footing the bill for her defense as I hear Jonnie has blocked Maureen’s cell number.

Back in the statehouse leftist Democrats see this as a perfect opportunity to expand the nanny state and pass ‘ethics’ laws that increase the size of the permanent government bureaucracy.

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Wife of retiring 30-term Dem announces intention to create Dingell dynasty in House

by Doug Powers on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

This is article 12 of 33 in the topic 2014 Elections

John Dingell has been in the House so long they had to carbon-14 date his office name plate to pin down how many terms he’s been there, but even after decades of helping bury the country in insurmountable debt, the family still obviously feels it has unfinished business in Washington.

From the WaPo:

Democrat Debbie Dingell plans to run for the seat being vacated by her husband, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), two senior Democratic strategists on Capitol Hill familiar with her plans told Post Politics. She will begin her campaign as the clear front-runner to succeed her husband.

Debbie Dingell is an experienced Democratic strategist who currently serves as chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors. John Dingell has praised her as his closest confidant.

Debbie Dingell, 60, was 2-years-old when John Dingell was first elected to the House, subsequently becoming what Nancy Pelosi called a “lifetime public servant,” which is an oxymoron:
 

null

Career politicians live to serve the public, and they do — in much the same way termites appreciate homeowners.

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WARNING: HEAD EXPLOSIONS JUST AHEAD

by Burt Prelutsky on Friday, February 14th, 2014

by Burt Prelutsky

Eric Holder, whose greatest ambition was clearly to be the worst Attorney General in history, helped solidify his claim on the title by insisting that the Justice Department will not allow profiling on the basis of religion or national origin. I had assumed that was already the policy of an A.G. who is so corrupt, he refuses to prosecute racial hate crimes unless the target of the investigation is a white individual or a Tea Party group.

We’ve been engaged for the past 35 years in an undeclared war with Islam – undeclared by us, that is – but Mr. Holder regards it as rude if we concentrate on the religion or nationality of those sworn to murder us.

Anyone who isn’t worried sick over what Barack Obama and Eric (Mini Me) Holder, are doing to our justice system just hasn’t been paying close attention.

In fact, when you look at the Washington in-crowd that also includes Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kathleen Sebelius, John Kerry and Zeke Emanuel, you could easily get the idea that when it comes to existential threats to America, Iran ranks no higher than tenth or eleventh.

I was never a partisan of Chris Christie, so it hardly concerns me that his poll numbers are dropping. But even if he hadn’t spent so much of October, 2012, cuddling with Barack Obama, I would have questioned his sanity once I learned, as I recently did, that he has attended 127 Bruce Springsteen concerts. I would expect that sort of thing from a teenager with a very rich, very indulgent, father, not from a grown-up with his eye on the White House. Frankly, I’m surprised that the tabloids haven’t glommed on to this and gone to town with headlines asserting that The Boss Has a Thing for “The Boss.”

Until I read about it in Townhall magazine, I’d been unaware that in 2012, the biographies of nearly all the past presidents were changed on WhiteHouse.gov to include something about Obama. So, for instance, Reagan’s bio was expanded to include the claim that Obama has the same tax policy as the fellow who cut the number of tax brackets from 15 down to two.

Knowing what we do of Obama’s boundless audacity, you can’t help wondering about other possible changes. Did Obama help James Madison write the Constitution, insisting to the bitter end that he include something about income inequality? Did he warn Lincoln not to attend Ford’s Theater, explaining that “Our American Cousin” had a deadly third act? Did he counsel FDR not to go to war with Germany and Japan, and, instead, to give peace a chance?

It’s no wonder that Obama will go down in history as last in war, last in peace and last in the hearts of his countrymen.

From 1927 through 1930, the Motion Picture Academy nominated five movies as the best of the year. In 1931, they nominated eight contenders. The next year, they nominated 10. It stayed that way until 1944, when they limited the number to five. Then, a couple of years ago, they changed it back up to 10. It certainly wasn’t because Hollywood had begun turning out great movies. There were two main reasons for the change.

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