Holding Out for a Hero

~~By Kenosha Marge

The song “Holding Out For A Hero” sung by Bonnie Tyler was released back in 1984. It resonated with women who were wondering what had happen to their knight on a white horse. And it had a great beat.

Nowhere is this kind of fantasy more apparent to me than in politics. We are all looking for a hero/heroine to rescue us and make our corner of the world a better place. Heroes have to do that. I think it’s in the first chapter of the Heroes Guide To Fixing Everything and Making The World A Better Place and Favorite Recipes Handbook now on sale at Amazon.

I stopped believing in Fantasy a long time ago. Didn’t/don’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy or honest politicians.

When your parents try to convince you that some fat dude in a red suit is flying all over the world delivering toys to good little girls and you know that you ain’t been good but you got stuff anyway, it plays hell with your belief system. My mistrust of things told me by others was set. My jaundiced eye was locked and loaded.

For years, as a Democrat, I was able to convince myself that my party, while not perfect, was better than that other party. I was convinced that the folks that voted for Republicans were somehow just not as smart or well informed as I was. I was a liberal and we all know that we’re smarter than those conservative people.

Time went by and I found myself beginning to doubt. Uncomfortable doubts that prodded at what I like to think of as my character. Small niggling doubts that made me uncomfortable with a belief system I had held for most of my life. The belief that Democrats were better than Republicans, that Liberals were better than Conservatives and that by voting a straight Democratic ticket year after dreary year I was doing a good thing.

Those beliefs were tattered and torn by the time the last election cycle rolled around. I had begun to suspect that what I thought was strong conviction might just be mental laziness and a determined effort to not discover that I had been bamboozling myself for most of my life.

With doubts becoming stronger and my whole belief system beginning to come apart at the seams we entered the election cycle of 2008. Reality met fantasy and the result was a newly hatched Independent that no longer believes that one Party is any damn better than the other. Individuals on both sides leave much to be desired in the character and honesty department. Some individuals on both sides are better than certain individuals on either side.

The cynic in me, the one that always knew that many/most/all politicians are liars and thieves was hatched and I knew that I had allowed myself to be duped and that I had been a sucker, a sap, a pigeon and a chump. Not a pleasant awakening but one made bearable by the sight of so many people who continue to be duped and are still suckers, saps, pigeons and chumps. I saw the light. They are still walking around in the dark. Thus I still get to feel superior to someone.

Any residual belief in the Democratic Party died a sad death on May 31st 2008 when the Democrats proved to my complete satisfaction that they are just as corrupt as the Republicans. Given the Bush/Cheney bunch that took some doing.

I knew what I wanted and expected from elected officials. I had begun my interest in politics with JFK. He was a hero in our divided household. My parents, Democrat Dad and Republican Mom both voted for JFK. That alone would have earned my respect since sniping at each other over politics was just one of many ways in which my parents liked to stick knives into each other. Except for the fact my brother and I would have never been born we both wished that they had never met.

Back to politics. Having cut my political teeth on JFK I was always a bit disappointed in LBJ. But he managed to punch through some legislation that was very important to me and thus I began my career of ignoring things that were less honest than I would like as long as the job got done. I learned pragmatism and hypocrisy at the same time.

Those of us that lived through the days and the deaths of JFK, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to, needed to find heroes to replace the truly exceptional men who had been taken from us so brutally. Perhaps that’s when many of us began to make excuses and began to live with a double standard that made hypocrites of us without us noticing it happening. Or perhaps we just didn’t want to notice.

Then we spent years wandering in the wilderness with the likes of Nixon, Ford and Carter. I believe that both Ford and Carter were good men but neither man seemed, at least to me, to have real leadership qualities.

Ford however earned my undying enmity by pardoning Nixon. I quit honestly believe that George W Bush would not have dared to overreach so far had Nixon been made to face the consequences of his actions.

George Herbert Walker Bush was never a favorite of mine but I never demonized him either. The worst thing he ever did in my mind was father George W.

Bill Clinton was and is an able politician and I believe he did far more good than harm. I voted for him twice and don’t regret either vote. He could have done more had he done less nonsense.

I still didn’t believe in fantasy yet I was convinced that sometime there would come to prominence in this country a person of the stature of the founding fathers. There would come a person of depth and breadth, a person of honesty and integrity. There would come a person who saw what was needed for the short term and could still plan for the long. There would come a person who cared first and foremost for his/her country and its people and not for a political party. There would come a person that would tell the people the truths that they needed to hear and then let them decide if they wanted honest government or empty promises.

Still waiting for that kind of person to come along. All we seem to get any more are politicians, which means all we get anymore are liars.

I’m still holding out for a hero. I might be willing to settle for a good, decent, honest patriot who wants what’s best for this country and it’s people.

Or should I continue to hold out for a hero? I expect him/her about the same time as my white knight on a fiery steed. Both horse and knight are undoubtedly over the hill by now; but then so am I. And the fire in my blood? Probably just hearturn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f_HsjpSVaI

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream
of what I need
[Chorus]
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life
Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There’s someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder end rising with the heat
It’s gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet
[Chorus]
Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that there’s someone somewhere
Watching me
Through the wind end the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach
Like the fire in my blood

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holding_Out_for_a_Hero

Left and Right and Silly

~~By Kenosha Marge

I admit freely, openly and honestly that for many years I voted a straight Democrat ticket. I admit freely, openly and honestly that for many years I was a nitwit for doing that. I didn’t research and I didn’t even care all that much about investigating whether the person who got my silly vote so easily was worthy. If it breathed and had a “D” after it’s name, it got my vote. Come on admit it, most of you did the same thing.

Now all those years and silly votes later I am appalled at my lack of integrity. How can someone, anyone treat their precious right to vote so cavalierly? How could I? I hang my head in shame.

Like many of the left I pooh-poohed the sight of voters in Iraq proudly showing their “purple” fingers. They displayed their “purple” fingers proudly and courageously. Because I was so partisan and loathed George Bush I missed something very important. Among all the death and destruction a good thing happened. Just because I hated the war and those that supported it was no reason to dismiss the joy those people felt because they were finally allowed to vote. Did they all vote intelligently? Do we? They dodged gunfire and the real fear of death to vote. Many Americans stay home if it rains. I am ashamed that my partisanship made me dismiss that pride and courage.

I was a person who had always prided myself on being a good citizen because I always voted. Now I see myself as no better than those that didn’t vote. They might have been lazy, but I was stupid. Sadly there are a lot of voters, left and right that do the same thing I always did. Sadly they haven’t seen the light. If it lives and breathes and spouts the correct talking points and has the “right” as in correct consonant after their name, they’ll vote for he/she/it. Isn’t it amazing how easily satisfied we have become about the people that are supposed to represent us?

The newly smarter me now looks at actions instead of words and deeds instead of the doer. And guess what? There are many times when I would not vote for the Democrat. The first time I came to that conclusion I was totally goshwoggled. How could I have been so blind? Kinda like many people feel once the honeymoon is over.

Having decided in my old age to take off the partisan blindfold I discovered a world of things I had not acknowledged as worthy. If all worthiness is in my party then your party is unworthy. Had I ever trimmed all the rhetoric and high-flying phrases down to that simplicity I might have noticed what a nitwit I was far sooner. I must admit that the words “ better late than never” don’t sound so good to me right now. As we used to say back in my day, it sounds like a cop-out.

I also should have noticed far sooner that are media is no longer made up of the same kind of people we had when I first started watching the news with my parents. It is no longer a “Chet and David” media world.

I always suspected that most politicians, even a Democrat or two, lied occasionally. It didn’t occur to me that people in the business of informing the people did the same thing. People who had their own little section of the Constitution wouldn’t be so crass. Would they? Are they? Damn.

The majority of the print media as well as those that infest our airwaves and television screens are people with little or no integrity. They “spin” the news to make it say what their corporate bosses want it to say and then collect giant paychecks for being liars. Prostitutes give more bang for the buck than presstitutes. They have a higher customer satisfaction rate too I suspect.

One of the sleaziest of these overpaid slugs, by the name of Olbermann, has one of the lower ranked and rated programs on cable news. Olbermann is consistently beaten and beaten badly night after bloviating night in the ratings. This would seem to say that his bosses–that would be GE–are willing to pay this cretin enormous amounts of money to lie, spin, twist, and distort the news for public consumption and to hell with ratings. I am happy to report that the cretinous Tweety Matthews has even lower ratings..

I admit to having watched Olbermann for a while. His shtick grew old very quickly. He did bash Bush when few others were willing to do that. He also made a nightly habit of beating up on some dimwitted or demented female personality. What was with that, I wondered. Time came to prove that is was because the man is a rampant misogynist. Probably has a small or inactive weenie too. That he uses Murrow’s tagline is repulsive.

Now that I have finally opened my eyes and looked around I find that there is very little differences in the two major parties. They both pander shamelessly to their base, they both promise the moon and deliver a pizza, and they are both corrupt. Their issues may at times seem polar opposite but in the end they are alike in that all they truly care about is getting rich, getting power, and getting re-elected.

Common sense, which I once thought I had should have made me see the error of my ways long before I did. The Democratic Party had to show such corruption that I could no longer ignore it before I admitted the truth to myself. None of us likes admitting that we are/were wrong.

As a resident of the great state of Wisconsin I should have been more aware. We after all have foisted men like Joe McCarthy on the public. We have also gifted them with the likes of William Proxmire. Seems almost schizophrenic doesn’t it?

We carry through on that tradition to this day. Our two “Democratic” Senators, Feingold and Kohl both have a “D” after their name. One really does represent all those old-fashioned democratic ideals that I have believed in and thought I was voting for all these years. The other? Not so much. I am proud to have voted for Russ Feingold and equally proud to have voted against Herb Kohl. Both these actions are now done with both eyes wide open and without a partisan blindfold in sight. I even find myself agreeing with my Republican Congresscritter Paul Ryan now and again. Imagine that. A short time ago I couldn’t have.

***

Links of interest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Proxmire

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Fleece_Award

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=44963

Will Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State Be Undermined by the Appointment of a Middle East Envoy? See What MESH Thinks…

Reverend Amy from Rabble Rouser Ruminations posted a piece yesterday (12/5/08) (cross-posted at No Quarter)  in which she expressed her concerns about the way things are going with regard to the nomination of Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. I agree completely with her comment and it piqued my interest.  Here’s what Reverend Amy wrote:

Well, you know I am not all that crazy about Hillary Clinton being the Secretary of State for Barack Obama because I do not trust him. As it is, he is already complicating her job by appointing a special Middle East Envoy who will report directly to HIM as opposed to the Secretary of State, as well as by elevating the position of UN Ambassador, to which he appointed Dr. Susan Rice, to a Cabinet Level position, already makes Clinton’s job more difficult. Oh, and Dr. Rice’s position is particularly galling because she claimed Colin Powell proved Iraq had WMD.

According to the Haaretz article Reverend Amy links to, the name being floated by Israeli sources for the envoy slot is one Daniel Kurtzer, a former American Ambassador to Egypt (1997-2001) and Israel (2001-2005)–a diplomat who worked under both Bill Clinton and George Bush.

Obama’s decision to appoint a special envoy reporting to him directly, rather than to the secretary of state, indicates that the president-elect attaches special importance to the regional peace process. Reportedly, several of Obama’s advisers recommended the appointment.

The special envoy job could infringe on the prestige of Hillary Clinton, who was appointed secretary of state on Monday. On the other hand, it could ease any apparent conflict because of Bill Clinton’s close ties with the Gulf States.

Kurtzer, 59, joined Obama’s primary and presidential campaigns as a senior member of the president-elect’s foreign advisers. He also helped prepare Obama’s visit to the region and was among the main writers of Obama’s address on the Middle East to AIPAC in June 2008, which was seen as one the candidate’s most important speeches on international affairs.

What’s really interesting is that back on November 20, the topic of whether or not a Middle East envoy should even be appointed was discussed at MESH–Middle East Strategy at Harvard.  According to the MESH site:

Middle East Strategy at Harvard (MESH) is a project of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. The Olin Institute is part of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

MESH is a community of scholars and practitioners who are interested in the formulation of U.S. strategic options for the Middle East. Since 9/11 and the Iraq war, the Middle East has occupied a place of primacy in debates over U.S. global aims and strategies. MESH brings together some of the most original thinkers in academe, research centers, and government, in a web-based forum for exchanging and disseminating ideas.

In the post entitled  A Middle East Envoy? the results of a poll conducted among MESH members were reported.  On the list, but near the bottom,  was the name of Hillary Clinton.

From MESH Admin

Over the past week, MESHNet, the closed-forum companion to MESH, conducted a poll of MESHNet members, asking them who would make the best Middle East envoy of the Obama administration (if it is decided to appoint one). The structure of the poll emulated an earlier poll administered to a panel of Israeli experts, taking the same nine candidates and the same scoring system. MESHNet members (persons with a professional interest in the Middle East, 179 in number) were asked to rate the candidates, from “most suitable” for the job (a score of 5) to “least suitable” (a score of 1). Sixty-three MESHNet members responded to the poll question. Here are the results, comprised of the average score for each candidate:

Dennis Ross 3.350
Bill Clinton 2.904
Richard Holbrooke... 2.904
Colin Powell 2.747
Daniel Kurtzer 2.619
Condoleezza Rice 2.458
Bill Richardson 2.394
Hillary Clinton 2.336
James Baker 2.222

In parallel, MESH asked a number of its members to assess whether the appointment of a special envoy is advisable. Their nine responses appear below. (Respondents did not have prior knowledge of the poll results.)

I went through the comments to this latter question and found that there was a wide range of opinion on the subject. One of the experts noted that Bill Clinton did have a special envoy (Dennis Ross, who topped the poll) while Bush did not.  But the most interesting aspects of the discussion were some of the observations about how an envoy would “mesh” with the Secretary of State and the President…the concerns that were expressed by Reverend Amy. It’s clear that there are a lot of “ifs” about how Clinton’s role will actually play out, but here are a few possible scenarios/considerations to mull over from the following experts (I’ve highlighted sections that were of particular interest):

Mark N. Katz (Mark N. Katz is a professor of government and politics at George Mason University. He writes on Russian foreign policy, the international relations of the Middle East, and transnational revolutionary movements.)

“Because of the time commitment needed for seriously trying to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, neither the president nor the secretary of state should get immersed in the nitty-gritty negotiations that will be required. There is simply too much other important business for both of them that will not receive sufficient attention if either (or even more unfortunately, both) become overly involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Nor is this a task that the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs should undertake either, as this would leave precious little time for him or her to deal with America’s many other important relationships in, as well as the other problems of, this region.

In short, for there to be any hope of an American-brokered Israeli-Palestinian settlement, it will have to be undertaken by someone whose sole task it is to try to achieve one. If this effort is successful, the president can—rightly—take the credit. But if it is unsuccessful, the blame can be assigned not so much to the president as to (yes, you guessed it) the Middle East envoy.”

Robert Satloff (Robert Satloff is executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a post he assumed in January 1993.)

“Candidate Obama promised he would appoint a special Middle East envoy. President Obama’s decision whether to fulfill that promise depends a) on the purpose of the appointment and b) on the personality of the envoy…the personality of a proposed envoy is important. The particular choice should be someone endowed with patience, persistence, and a willingness to pass the baton to someone else – perhaps the president, perhaps the secretary of state, perhaps another envoy – depending on circumstances. This is not the job for someone who believes that the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be achieved on his/her watch or someone who views this responsibility as the path to a Nobel Prize.”

Tamara Cofman Wittes (Tamara Cofman Wittes is Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution, where she focuses on U.S. efforts to promote democracy and the Arab-Israeli peace process.)

” Obama stated repeatedly during the campaign his intention to devote early and focused attention to the Middle East peace process. Since the transition period is mostly about structure and personnel, observers are naturally focused on the question of whether to appoint a special envoy for the peace process. But to my mind the question is misplaced.

In a bureaucracy, structure is power—but appointing an envoy does not necessarily convey much power or many resources to a diplomatic effort on behalf of Arab-Israeli peace. A special envoy without many staff, or one who is not situated at a senior level within (or above) the State Department bureaucracy, will not have the authority or capacity to mobilize efforts across the department, and will therefore not have as much impact as an envoy with his/her own office and a reporting line direct to the president or the secretary of state. So structure matters, and appointing an envoy does not alone produce the required structure.”

Raymond Tanter (Raymond Tanter is adjunct professor of political science at Georgetown University and an adjunct scholar of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, researching U.S. policy options toward Iran. He is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Michigan. From 1981 to 1982, Dr. Tanter served on the National Security Council staff and was personal representative of the secretary of defense to the 1983-1984 arms control talks held in Madrid, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Vienna. Currently, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.)

” Whether it is wise to appoint an envoy for the Middle East depends on the president-elect’s planned focus of attention, whether he intends to have a White House-driven or cabinet-driven administration, and whether he would like to encourage or suppress differences in recommendations to the White House within and from the State Department.

If the president-elect wishes to focus on the economy from the White House, he should have a strong secretary of state, which would argue against having an envoy for the Middle East. However, if the secretary of state were to be given a substantial part of the action on international economy, a Middle East envoy would be desirable. Likewise, if it looks as if policy-driving national security events from the region merit an overarching strategy developed within the White House, he may wish to have a less prominent secretary of state, a strong national security advisor, and an envoy who reports to the White House and State. And if the president-elect wishes to encourage a process of  ‘multiple advocacy’ at State, then an envoy with direct reporting to the White House and to the secretary of state would be warranted.”

So, we’ll have to watch to see if Hillary Clinton becomes what Tanter calls a “strong” Secretary of State or a “less prominent” head of the State Department. Stay tuned…

From The Folks That Gave You GWB and the War In Iraq, Here’s Obama!

~~By kenosha Marge

Long ago in a country far away, which would be the United States back in 2006, the people went to the polls in great numbers and elected their champions to end an evil war and rein in the reign of terror of the evil Emperor and Darth Cheney.

Somehow that didn’t work out very well. The evil Emperor and Darth Cheney still reign, although no one is paying any attention because Lord Obama of The New is now the brightest star in the sky. He hasn’t really done anything but he’s all bright and shiny and that’s enough. And who cares what the lame Duck and the Duck Hunter are up to anyway? They are no longer important or popular.

It looked for a short while as if Lady Sarah of the Alaska might dim Lord Obama’s stardom but our ever-vigilant media quickly put an end to that. Hurling themselves into battle-mode they light-sabered her with a thousand lies, distortions and smears. How dare this female think she had the right to dim Lord Obama of the New’s brightness. Off with her head. Oops wrong fairy tale.

It is an amazing sight to see a media that used to love them some Bush, ah, ah, don’t go there, and loved them some McCain doing the biggest flip-flop in the history of the world. Now they only proclaim their love for Lord Obama of The New. Such flip-floppery might make a few people, those with integrity and intellect ask, why are they picking favorites at all? Should not our noble media simply give us the facts and let us make up our own minds? Surely thou kideth me.

Some of us are flabbergasted at the sheer chutzpah of media folks when they call out politicians for flip-floppery. Media could give flip-floppery lessons. They could write a book on flip-floppery. They could make a documentary on flip-floppery and have a starring role. They do double back twist flip-flops with an élan that presumes we are all deaf, dumb, and stupid. Which unfortunately, describes many of us. Except for me and thee naturally.

Some people, that would also be me and thee, might wonder what the hell the media is up to. And we aren’t asking about their age or weight. What would make people whose only job in the world is to write a column or go on television and report the facts fail so miserably? Are they all just plain stupid? Yes and no. Yes many are stupid and no not all of them.

Many are conscienceless elites who feel that “their” opinion is so far superior to mundane things like facts that the peasantry is best served by hearing only their conclusions. The others are indeed just lack wits receiving an enormous salary for reading someone else’s words off a teleprompter. Nice work if you can get it and don’t mind not doing your job or have the morals of a pimp. Just call them the Lords of Pimpery.

So now with only six weeks to the presidential election of 2008 it would appear that the same folks that gave us Gee Dubya and the never-ending war in Iraq are going to give us Lord Obama the New as our leader. Lord Obama the New will be President of the United States and leader of the world and maybe the entire universe. We can only hope. Not.

Many of us are concerned and wonder if Senator Obama has some slight resemblance to Senator Palpatine. We just don’t see the wonder of Lord Obama the New. I guess the force isn’t with us. Or we haven’t been forced to get in line yet.

Once someone tried to sell me “New” Coke and I was not impressed. New politics that sound just like old politics are not impressive either. When being touted by a media that has been so wrong so often and shouldn’t be touting any particular candidate in the first place it is even less impressive.

The Jedi Knights alas will not come to our rescue. We could rescue ourselves if we but had the will. But will enough of us have that will? All that is needed is to pay attention, ignore our corrupt media, both political parties and dedicate ourselves to being patriotic citizens instead of partisan pinheads. Think that’s possible? Nah, me neither.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the media for decades knows that you can’t trust most of them all of the time and all of them most of the time. And if you only listen to the ones that say what you want to hear, congratulations, you are a partisan citizen who cares only more about a political party than your country. You are someone the media can feed BS and make you believe its Beef Steak.

And no one lives happily every after except the big bad liars who are still laughing at how easy it is to fool the stupid peasants.

THE PAST WEEK:Recaps and Rambling Thoughts–August 3-August 9, 2008 (Highlights: A Great Post by Soldier4Hillary on the Fall of the Democratic Party; Rocky Mtn. News Reports O’s “Dual Citizenship” and Much More! (Update 1X)

The most important thing this week, of course, is the fact that the little toad came back for a day after a big rain.  There he was, in the water bowl, and I rescued him again.  He went under the bowl after basking in the sun for a few moments.  I’ve seen him do that before, so I’m presuming he lives under the bowl!

***

At the top of the week I came across this fantastic post by Soldier4Hillary on “The Fall of the Democratic Party: Losing the Women’s Vote.”  Check it out. It’s definitely worth a read!

***

Did you know that Obama holds dual citizenship in the US and Kenya? With all the controversy about his birth certificate and what he may be hiding, I found this interesting that a part of the mainstream media (and in Denver, no less!) decided to cough up some facts about the Chosen One.

Hat tip to Count Us Out, which posted the story from the Rocky Mountain News on August 8.  The story was called “Things You Might Not Know About Barack Obama.”

UPDATE

Late last night on a thread at No Quarter, Texas Hill Country reported that he had talked to the RMN reporter who said the info about Obama holding dual citizenship wasn’t “well-sourced.”  Which made me wonder, “Why was the info included in the article if the reporter knew it wasn’t ‘well-sourced?'”  “Who made sure it got into the piece?” In other words, what’s up at the Rocky Mountain News?

Texas Hill Country responded by saying he thought the reporter thought the report was accurate, but “realized maybe it should be checked.”

Sigh.  Either we have to be paranoid about the motives of the press these days or we are just being confronted with reporters who don’t do thorough fact checks or who writing things without indicating that there are questions about what they are reporting. We really can’t win these days!!!

So here goes…a link to a press release way back in February, 2007 by Andy Martin about his upcoming “blockbuster Chicago news conference” on the matter.  I can’t tell if this is the earliest reference to Obama’s citizenship questions or not, but it’s pretty early on.  By the way, Andy Martin is still blogging at Contrarian Commentary if you want to take a look.  As recently as early July he’s been on the top of citizenship America’s media critic Andy Martin slams the New York Times for anti-McCain bias.  Who is Andy Martin? A “An Illinois Corruption fighter” who wanted to run for the Senate (bio here) against Durbin as a Republican. He was defeated in the primary by Steve Sauerberg.

DISCLAIMER: DO I KNOW IF MARTIN IS REALLY LEGIT OR HAS REAL INFO? NO, I DON’T…so be warned!  There, I’ve just done what “professional reporters” fail to do….

Whatever. The mystery is STILL ongoing and hopefully, Larry Johnson at No Quarter and others are close to figuring it all out! (I don’t mean to slight “others” but you’ll find a lot of their info collected in the recent threads at NQ.)

By the way, if you would like to read about Texas Hill Country’s amazing background, check out the interview with THC in The Pakistani Spectator–A Candid Blog.

***

In case you missed it, I did a piece on Pelosi’s new book.  Here’s a short recap:

Pelosi’s book, Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters,  looks like a DUD! (See original post on the USA Weekend interview pushing it and Pelosi’s comments about Hillary Clinton…)

UPDATE Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hate to report anything from Drudge, but he quotes the Nielsen Bookscan as reporting that Pelosi’s book has sold 2,737 copies during its first week and this after the USA Weekend push.

By contrast, the anti-Obama title, OBAMA NATION, has sold 21,466, according to a Drudge “insider.”

Looks like the people are speaking!!

***

With the disaster in Georgia unfolding, I want to direct you to the International Press Library at this blog for some great sources of information on the region and the problems between Russia and Georgia.  I followed this story for a long while when I was doing the World Media Watch at that other site and the sources I used are really useful!  In addition to those that deal specifically with the area, I can also recommend Asia Times Online, one of  my absolute favorite sites for analysis of U.S. foreign policy and other key international news. You’ll find the links to news on Georgia in section titled NEWS SOURCES BY COUNTRY/REGION: RUSSIA; CENTRAL ASIA .  Asia Times Online is listed under several regions.

This conflict is about energy and security, not just about a breakaway province…

Note: As of this morning (Sunday, August 10), links to The Georgian Times do not seem to be working/are down.

***

So, Putin (gone as President, but now Prime Minister and still running the show) and Bush are supposed to talk about Georgia while at the Olympics.  I sure hope Bush can muster up some dignity.  As I was watching the opening ceremonies last night, I kept seeing Bush in his shirtsleeves draped over his seat with his mouth curled up and his legs spread apart like a good ‘ole boy! I instantly thought of Obama’s “crotch shot” on the plane.  Putin took off his jacket, too, but I didn’t strike that sort of pose.  Sarkozy stayed buttoned up as did the President of China and the head of the Olympic Committee. Bush was a real embarrassment, as usual.

***

Speaking of the Olympics, I was totally BLOWN AWAY by what the Chinese did!  It was simply magnificent! My least favorite part was Sarah Brightman on that globe, although I loved the dancers running around the surface!  And how the heck did they erect that torch so quietly??

As a shortwave radio listener, I love tuning in to Radio China International’s “Listener’s Garden” on a Saturday morning. Last year I entered a Q & A contest for a trip to panda country, then forgot all about it.  A few months later a package arrived with a “1st Prize” certificate for the “2007 Sichuan, the Beautiful Land of the Panda” Knowledge Contest and a gorgeous, embroidered linen tablecloth!

I’m planning to write to my friends at the “Listener’s Garden” to tell them how much I enjoyed the wonderful program I saw last night. It truly was incredible!!  Check out CRI for the latest news, weather, streaming local radio and archives of all programs in English! It’s a fantastic site!!

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I’ll end this week’s roundup with a quote from one of my favorite sources of wisdom–Charlie Chan!

“If befriend donkey, expect to be kicked.’

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THE WEEK’S POSTS

*posted by kenoshaMarge

The Past Week…Random Thoughts July 27–August 2, 2008 (Special “Toad Rescue Edition” w/Pic)

*PARTY DOLLS…

Nancy Pelosi Talks about Hillary during an Interview about Her New Book “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters” (Ironic Title, Isn’t It?) (UPDATE 1X)

I Write to an Aussie Talk Show Host About Obama, He Gets “Inspired,” Writes a Column in “The Australian” (Mentioning Me), and Then…

Let’s Strip Donna Brazile’s Super Delegate Status!

BREAKING!! Tom Vilsack says Obama Will Get the Support of Clinton Supporters!

*W.O.M.A.N. (with comments by GRL)

Don’t Let the Edwards Story Let This Get By You…Next Week, “The Atlantic” is Possibly Publishing “Leaked Clinton Campaign Memos” on the Internet (Updated 3X)

W.O.M.A.N.

~~ Posted by Kenosha Marge, August 8, 2008

(With additional comments by GRL)

I sat down to write a little essay about misogyny. I intended nothing too profound and nothing that hasn’t been said before, just something that hadn’t been said by me. I thought perhaps, as had happened before, that if I put something down in writing I would better understand it.

Looking back I wonder that I was so surprised by the brutality of the misogynistic attacks on the first woman to be a viable candidate for president. Sexism is such a part of daily life that few of us stop to think about it. A snort of disgust here, a sniff of resentment there, and on with the business of living our lives.

Older women have had a lifetime of watching incompetent and under qualified younger men come out of no where and snap up the best jobs. I’ve worked in offices where the big man couldn’t find his ass with either hand if his secretary hadn’t pointed it out to him. He got the big paycheck, the power, the glory and she got to do all the work while supporting the dunce. She also got to be taken out to lunch once a year during the week of April 22 – 28 for Secretary’s Day.

While fooling around googling sexism I came across this sentence: “On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day.” I reread it just to make sure that I was reading it correctly. Their husbands or boyfriends murder three women every day.

This is happening here in the USA. It’s happening here so going all C.J. Craig about the awfulness of how Saudi Arabia or some other foreign country treats it’s women seems a tad hypocritical. Unless we use the same logic we use to elect presidents; we may be bad but they’re worse. Feel better now?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k30MOebDSww

The United States is not a safe place for women. It may be safer than elsewhere but we don’t live elsewhere. We live here. Here where every single day of the year more than 3 women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

President Clinton signed into public law the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 on September 13, 1994. VAWA was reauthorized in 2000 and signed into law by President George Bush on January 5, 2006. It will be up for reauthorization in 2010. Okay, that takes care of that.

Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Four in 10 women at a veterans hospital reported being sexually assaulted while in the military. 7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused. Does this sound like a society that likes, respects or cares for women?

Gender trashing is epidemic, out in the open and unashamed. Women do it to other women. Men smirk and laugh while making malevolent sexist remarks on national television. It all seems part of the same underlying distain for women.

Cringe? Protest? What’s the matter sweetie can’t take a joke? Ya trying to play the victim? Laugh it up girls or the boys won’t think you’re a good sport.

Wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away. Wish I could make all the “isms” disappear as they should in any decent society. I wish busybodies would quit worrying about the sex lives of consenting adults. Homophobia isn’t any prettier than any other form of bigotry.

For the sake of my 7 granddaughters and my two lovely little great-granddaughters I wish my generation had done a better job of making a better world for them. I wish I could somehow keep them safe from all the ugliness that misogny will bring into their lives.

I am no smarter or any closer to the answers I sought then when I started this essay. I’ve learned some things. Some ugly, terrible things. I wish I was hopeful.

Because I don’t want to leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and since we women can always find a way to get through what we have to get through with humor I give you a song about women.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIWpqSajYPM

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GRL Adds:

This post hits home for me on so many levels.  For example, I trained a young man, only to see him get a promotion which I was in line for. He leap-frogged me, and I was forced to find another job to reach the level I should have reached in my former workplace.  As a temp, I literally bailed out a manager at Rolls Royce who screwed up the publication of a manual and who was even more dismissive of me after I did him the favor.

And then there is the concept of “comparable worth.” The idea has gone nowhere. Once in awhile you’ll hear how a stay-at-home mother is worth several hundred thousand dollars but, in reality, it’s more like $30,000 and that may be high.  As Liz Pulliam Weston of MSN says,  the “shocking truth” is that “Our society doesnt place a high dollar value on a homemaker’s work, and those who choose to stay home do so at their own economic peril. ”  Meanwhile, women earn what 80 cents for every dollar men earn.  Sure there are trade-off, choices which may contribute to this disparity.  But some of those choices have to be made because we don’t have the attitude toward supporting families and children that other countries have. (An interesting read on this subject here.)

Complacent young women these days may believe they’ve reached parity but reality hits them sooner or later.  But I’m afraid that something else is going on, too…that the violence and sexual messages against that are so prevalent and viral these days are being too easily accepted as “the norm.”  I’m afraid a lack of self-respect is just as deeply ingrained as it always was…

This campaign season has been a reality check for many of us who have beeing fighting for women’s rights for several decades. When you see NARAL and Planned Parenthood support an inexperienced guy who makes a habit of using and discarding people along the way, you have to wonder what has happened to the women leading these organizations.

They’ve gone soft, at a time we still need them to lead.

I Write to an Aussie Talk Show Host About Obama, He Gets “Inspired,” Writes a Column in “The Australian” (Mentioning Me), and Then…

…you may be as surprised as I was about what he said and how he said it…or maybe not!

Last week I wrote about an interview I heard on Radio Australia hosted by Phillip Adams.  His guest was Bruce Shapiro, a contributing editor for The Nation. I wrote about this interview in a post on August 1 and included a link to the audio.

During the conversation the talked turned to Obama both host and guest were awed by the turnout for Obama in Berlin.  Since I think Adams runs a great, informative show, I felt it my duty to inform him of the circumstances–that there were rock bands, brats and beer offered to anybody who showed up to see Obama.

Adams wrote back to me, asking if for some more information, and I provided a link to the Gateway Pundit’s post which included a link to a report in a German paper, the Berlin Morgenposten. He was curious about the “hijacked” crowd (his term, not mine):

G’day Gloria…haven’t heard about this…a rock concert? a hi-jacked crowd? .more info?

Then the “fun” began with this follow-up email (unedited for typos):

> Dear Gloria.I write a couple of weekly coumns for The Australian, our national
> newspaper.here’s one that will go in early next week – inspired by YOU!
Thought it might amuse..

(“The Australian” is a Murdoch paper and Australia’s only national newspaper.)

Adams had attached an advance copy of his article.  My full name was included and, at my request, he told the website editors to remove it prior to publication.  (They didn’t…the piece went up with my full name, misspelled, but there nonetheless. A couple of emails later, the correction had been made and only my first name appears toward the end of the piece.)

I wrote back to take issue with a couple of things in the piece, knowing full well that Adams was within his rights to say what he wanted.  I never “accused” Obama of anything, nor did I say the crowd was “left over” from a rock concert, as Adams wrote. (Unfortunately, I wrote to Adams the first time using the form on his page, so I don’t have a copy.  But the gist of it was simply that I was providing him with an “update” to the facts surrounding Obama’s speech, something that he might not have known about…which, he didn’t.)  But, I went on the record by replying:

Also, did I really “accuse” him if, indeed, he actually has used rock bands as
part of his events, not only in Berlin, but also in Oregon in May?…I just
wanted to apprise you of the staging in case you weren’t aware of it! (And the
food sure sounded good in Berlin, having almost overdosed on brats when I
visited there years ago!).  The question will always be, of course, whether the
crowds were there for Obama alone, the bands, alone, or a combination of both (and in what proportion if the latter!)

Thanks for revising my name if not the term “accuse.”   Because, if I’m ferreted out as being an Obama basher because of being labeled an “accuser” (I am a critic, but based on reasoning and observation, not obsession with any other politician), I really do have some fears the way things have been going here lately…I would like to refer visitors to my site to your piece but I’d be hesitant to do so with my full name “in lights”!

So, here is the tease for article as it appears in August 5 edition of The Australian:

In his advance copy to me, Adams called his piece “BARACK AND ROLL” but the print/web version has different title and there have been a few minor revisions.

Here are some key passages:

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