Good Guys Become Bad Guys, and Bad Guys Become Good Guys

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American Hustler is a film which has a complicated plot. The story centers on Irving Rosenfeld(Christian Bale) a local man who chooses a vocation as a hustler even though he runs several successful legitimate businesses. Irving’s life changes when a young and eager to succeed FBI agent Richie Di Maso(Bradley Cooper), snares and arrests him. The FBI then uses Irving and his partner/girl friend Sydney Prosser(Amy Adams) as decoys to catch a local New Jersey mayor taking a bribe. The mayor, however, is a good guy who only wants to help make jobs for the people of his city by reopening an old casino. The young FBI agent uses Irving to entrap the mayor by introducing him to a fake Shiek from Saudi Arabia. The story gets more complicated though when a mafia man played by Robert Dinero, from Miami, enters the scene as a silent partner. The mafia man advises the mayor to find a way to make the Arab Shiek with the money an US citizen to make the deal legitimate.

The ambitious FBI man seizes this opportunity to entrap bigger fish because fast tracking a citizenship for an Arab will involve US Senators. Irving advises the FBI man to slow down and keep the scam small, but the FBI likes the idea of headline grabbing an US Senator.

The plot gets more involved as the FBI arranges meetings with Senators for the purpose of filming them taking money.

So a bad guy is caught by a good guy, but the good guy turns bad. The new bad guy uses the former bad guy in his scheme and ultimately the new bad guy becomes the villain while the former bad guy becomes a hero.

The story has a happy ending.

Oh, for the men, Irving’s girl friend Sydney Prosser(Amy Adams) has an affinity for wearing deep V-cut dresses without a bra. She certainly kept me awake. Irving’s wife Roslyn(Jennifer Lawrence) plays a perfect bitch who keeps Irving on her line by refusing to give him a divorce.

The film felt long because it is long. Yet, we were totally entertained by all the mayhem that takes place.

A Leader I Knew

Where have all the leaders gone? I was amazed by the lack of leadership exhibited by Obama after hurricane Sandy destroyed the Jersey shore and Staten Island. My experience with leaders is quite different. On my job I often had to fix quality problems we had with our products. If it was trivial, Engineering handled the matter immediately. If it was serious, the CEO-owner became involved. Mr. CEO called the department heads from Quality, Engineering, Tool Room, Production, and Marketing to his personal conference room. The problem was defined, the extent of the problem was determined, and then the brainstorming began. Mr. CEO did not allow us to leave the room until he satisfied himself that we had a plan to determine the root cause and an action plan to resolve it. The CEO made sure each department head had a solid plan of action to implement before the meeting convened.

Most of the time, Engineering had the bulk of the work to do. Within one hour after the meeting, I received a phone call from Mr. CEO who wanted a progress report. If I didn’t have one, he gave me a new deadline for when I would have one. He always followed up. Some problems were serious enough to follow up several times a day. Often, I had design changes made and prototyped into hard plastic by the following morning with test results to report. Mr. CEO followed each department head with the same tenacity: were the customers notified and appeased, had Production determined if all the molds used in the process had the same problem, did Quality check the inventory on the shelf?

Mr. CEO had a big stake in a major quality problem just as President Obama has in this country. The difference I see between Mr. CEO and Obama is that Obama gave an order to his department heads via national TV and then left to go campaigning. I laughed out loud when I heard him tell his bureaucrats via his speech to cut the red tape and think of ways to get stuff done. Did he call his Department heads and give them the same message? Did he hold their feet to the fire for solutions? Has he followed up? If he has, why are the people of New York and New Jersey still feeling the hurt?

Mayor Bloomberg, another proclaimed leader proudly announced that in spite of the devastation the New York Marathon would go on. Eventually he thought better and cancelled the race.  Two huge generators were on hand in Central Park for the Marathon.  They remain unused while big sections of the city could be powered from those units.

Where is the leadership?

At Last He Said Something Sensible

Two days after hurricane Sandy landfall 

From CNN

President Barack Obama, addressing reporters in Brigantine, New Jersey, after touring damaged areas of the state with Gov. Chris Christie, said he’s directed his staff members and people in his administration to tolerate no red tape or bureaucratic excuses when it comes to getting storm victims the help they need.

“We will not quit until this is done,” Obama said, adding that he’s instructed his people to return the calls of officials in storm-damaged states within 15 minutes.

“If they need something, we figure out a way to say yes,” Obama said.

Could it be that President Obama really doesn’t believe BIG GOVERNMENT can do everything?

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