The Complicated Diplomatic Life of Hillary Clinton (UPDATE 1X: Clinton on the Defensive in Congo over Bill’s “Presence”; UPDATE 2X: Bill Off the Leash?; UPDATE 3X: Video of Clinton Congo Outburst, Glenn Beck Comments)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

UPDATE 1: 8/10/09 PM:

Apparently, Hillary Clinton IS getting touched by the recent focus on her husband–in Congo, no less!  This is SO NOT GOOD! And in so many ways…for women, for Clinton herself, for the country…is the final set-up in place for her to leave? A large part of her visit to Congo is going to focus on the mass rapes in the country and human rights issues, but by the time the following report gets to the U.S. that emphasis will probably be lost.

Note: I’ve deleted the original excerpt after seeing that it was from the AP….replaced by the story from the France24/AFP:

Clinton pushes rights issues in Congo, Angola

snip

Clinton faced a flurry of questions from the students, not all to her liking. At one point, she showed a rare flash of public anger as a young man asked for the views of her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

“My husband is not the secretary of state, I am,” Clinton said forcefully.

The AP story also quoted her as saying she wouldn’t be “channeling” Bill Clinton and described her response as being “snapped.”

The Voice of America news omits the exchange and the BBC story only cites the last line/quotation (without the “she snapped” or the “forcefully.”)

UPDATE 2

Albert R. Hunt, Exec. Editor for Washington for Bloomberg News opined 8/10:

Big Dog May Not Return to Leash After Pyongyang

What will this Pandora’s Box yield?

UPDATE 3   8/11/09   AM

From the AP story at FOX News, the video…and, as predicted, this is going viral. Glenn Beck was razzing Clinton about this on his AM radio show just now and will sending it in his newsletter.  He did make one comment that makes a lot of sense: that Clinton must really regret that she took the job.  Whatever it is, she’s cleary frustrated as hell.  Beck also played a tape of her during the campaign in which she shouts about how “Amercans have a right to debate” and how “debate is patriotic” (in reference to the Bush Administration). Beck mocked her “gentle” style and compared it to her outburst in Congo.  He also commented on her absence from the trip to Russia and the N. Korean business.  He was implying that she was being cut out of the loop.   He was caustic, of course, but an awful lot of it was spot on.  Especially when he finished up by saying that the Obama/ACORN machine had taken down the Clinton machine–that’s how scary these people (Obama people)  are.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

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ORIGINAL POST BEGINS HERE (Touching on what’s been brewing and finally came out today, as reported above.)”

This is a complicated post that has evolved over several days observation…

To start,  back on Tuesday, 8/4/09,  I posted a little comment over at the TD Blog’s open thread on Bill Clinton’s mission to N. Korea to free Al Gore’s journalists/reporters  from Current TV (or whatever they are).  I commented:

I expect to hear at some point that Bill’s success shows that Hillary sucks at being SOS…

So, lo and behold, I listened to the report on the “rescue” the next  morning on the BBC World Service news bulletin (at 1400 UTC)  and at the very end, the throwaway comment by a reporter on the phone (a British reporter, not an American) was (sic) “What’s interesting is that SOS Hill Clinton is married to Bill Cinton and he accomplished what she couldn’t.”  The AP on Thursday (8/6) in an analysis piece (can’t quote them) and the L.A. Times in a news story that, of course, includes “analysis” used the word “overshadow” in their post-mission coverage.

Meanwhile, over at the BBC’s “Have Your Say” page, the teaser is “Should Africa Listen to Hillary Clinton?”

Should Africa listen to Hillary Clinton?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has begun a tour of Africa, saying improving democracy is the key to boosting trade and development. But should Africa follow her advice? (more)

Gee, I thought she was representing the Obama Administration/the United States–why the “personalization” of her foreign policy trip?

Well, I guess it’s understandable, since Clinton has personalized some of her rhetoric, notably her comments in late July regarding North Korea. From the detailed coverage of the spat at India’s IBNLive:

“Maybe it’s the mother in me, the experience I’ve had with small children and teenagers and people who are demanding attention, Don’t give it to them,” she said in the interview.

She also said the North Koreans were like “little children” who “had no friends left.”

I have no no problem to the reference to motherhood, in general, but …did Clinton’s acid comments really help the situation?

North Korea’s Foreign Minister issued a scathing response. From the KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK(Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)

She said during her recent trip to India that “north Korea should not receive the attention it is seeking through behavior like missile launches,” likening Pyongyang’s behavior to that of unruly children. Her words suggest that she is by no means intelligent.

The DPRK has taken necessary measures to protect the nation’s sovereignty and right to existence to cope with the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat, not to attract anyone’s attention.

snip

We cannot but regard Mrs. Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community.

Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.

Anyone making misstatements has to pay for them.

While some stories in the Western press called N. Korea’s personal attack “bizarre”  (See: the Agence France-Press report at News.com.au titled  North Korea in bizarre Hillary Clinton attack ),  over at IBNLive there’s a vote up on Clinton, up or down which is basically tied, and also a place where, among several choices,  you can give her flowers or throw tomatoes, complete with a “live action” tomato throw at Clinton.  Currently the tomatoes are the most popular choice.

The result of this spat was that the 6-party talks were declared “dead”….but the rhetoric was toned down and backchannel work to reset the playing field  was undertaken and then, enter Bill Clinton and the freeing of the Current TV writers.

Early on,  Asia Times Online, the “private” nature of Bill’s N. Korean rescue mission was nabbed as a “fantasy”: See Dear Leader stars in Bill and Hillary show for a good read.

Clinton was just the high-profile visitor North Korea hoped to entice from Washington in return for handing over the journalists.

Why bother to pretend otherwise, after wife Hillary, as secretary of state, had laid the groundwork by saying that maybe Ling and Lee had made a mistake and strayed across the Tumen River border with China when North Korean soldiers picked them up on March 17? And hadn’t Hillary already expressed an apology for the mishap after having said earlier the two had done nothing wrong?

The Independent Opinion Page seemed to think everything is OK for Hillary:

Yet one perk now stands out. How many other jobs would enable a woman to send her philandering husband to North Korea? Many women have fantasised about it. Mrs Clinton has actually done it. Take note Harriet Harman. Some sisters, at least, are letting their menfolk know who wears the (pantsuit) trousers.

Well, that BBC reporter quoted up top doesn’t seem to echo this shallow assessment. Neither did the AP or the L. A. Times and other media outlets. From the  above L.A. Times story,

It once again led to him overshadowing his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, even as she is on her own diplomatic trip to Africa.

snip

At the same time, the trip left some uncertainty about how Clinton’s new diplomatic career is fitting in with that of his wife, America’s chief diplomat. While Bill Clinton was in a worldwide spotlight, the debut of Hillary Clinton’s 11-day trip to Africa received scant attention. She has been trying to raise her visibility in an administration stocked full of capable diplomats and influential White House foreign policy aides. The Africa trip, including stops in Kenya — Obama’s father’s homeland — and several longtime hot spots, was meant to help her raise her own profile.

In an NBC interview Wednesday, the secretary of State said that though she had originally favored Gore for the North Korea assignment, she was “very much in favor” of sending her husband once the North Koreans requested it.

And, here’s something else, also from the L.A. Times story:

“This is really going to help consolidate his role as an elder statesman,” said Ross Baker, a political analyst at Rutgers University. “It almost gave him a kind of heroic tint.”

So Bill is the hero of the story; Hillary, not so much. Heck, by the end of the week on the McLaughlin Group, Hillary Clinton’s name didn’t even come up in the discussion of Bill’s trip to N. Korea and its potential implications at all!

Back to that BBC news bulletin I mentioned right up at the top…

A short bit later in the same news bulletin, I heard the report on Hillary Clinton’s umbrage at the Kenyan government…their corruption, impunity, and failure to correct the problems that resulted in the post-election violence back in December 2007.

The BBC story below has a video of  Clinton Speaking at the 8th AGOA Conference.

Kenya impunity ‘disappoints US’

snip

Addressing the press following a meeting with the Kenya’s president and prime minister, Mrs Clinton strongly criticised Kenya’s political leadership.

She said the absence of strong and effective institutions had permitted ongoing corruption, impunity and human rights violations.

And she noted that these conditions had helped fuel the violence that engulfed the country in early 2008.

“We’ve been very clear in our disappointment that action has not been taken [over the violence],” she said.

“It is far preferable that it be done in the regular course of business, that prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officials step up to their responsibilities and remove the question of impunity.”

The violence broke out after supporters of Raila Odinga – the main opposition leader at the time – said he had been cheated of victory in the December 2007 polls.

Clinton adds:

“I want you to know President Obama feels a personal connection and commitment to the future of Kenya.”

If you listen to her speak this line, she enunciates every word very carefully, as if she wants to make sure everyone listening gets it.  It’s overkill, of course.  Perhaps over-compensating for Obama’s ties to Odinga and the same old, same old foreign policy that’s chugging along. Or some reflexive sense that she has to make sure any hint of “not being fully on board” is dispelled.  Whatever.  It seems to happen fairly often.

A little bit below this video there’s an audio clip which discusses the main concern of the U.S. regarding  Africa, namely, OIL, since 24% of our imports come from Africa and catching up with China, Russia, and India.

Emira Woods, Liberian-American  journalist and an “expert on U.S. foreign policy in Africa”  comments, that  despite the ” lofty rhetoric” of Obama’s Inaugural Address, U.S. foreign policy is “still focused on a  narrow definition of U.S  interests” with regard to “extractive industries”…oil, gas, and mining.  Then there’s the “land grab” which is going on across the African continent.  According to Woods, large “tracks of lands” are being turned over to the production of biofuels to fuel cars around the world, but there’s really very little concern about feeding starving children.  Woods also relays concerns about the militarization of Africa. (Note: Both the Clinton video and the Woods audio are here on one page:   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8185626.stm).

Very little “hope and change” over there, just like there’s very little here at home…

And in Angola, Clinton pushed for  “credible elections”…you know, the kind the Democrats gave us last year during the primaries.  Eek!

Of course, the topic turned to oil. From the BBC:

In Luanda, Mrs Clinton is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with American oil giant Chevron and the US Agency for International Development (USAid) to promote investment in Angola’s agricultural sectors like coffee and bananas.

Asked about China’s growing influence in Angola, Mrs Clinton said she was not interested in what other people were doing in Angola because her focus was on what the US was doing.

Last year, Angola overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s leading source of crude oil.

She’s not interested in what China is doing?  Really?  Oh, please.  It sounds sort of glib, doesn’t it? And completely disingenuous…

So, basically, all the trumpeting of a new foreign policy seems to be a lot of hot air and not much different than anything that’s come before. The U.S.’s self-interest is still all wrapped up in oil.

Remember how during the Bush years we got all sorts of big talk?  Remember the infamous “axis of evil” reference in his 2002 State of the Union address (axis = North Korea, Iran & Iraq)?  Well, there are times when Clinton sounds just like George W. with her sometimes very harsh or very glib statements.

Now, I really deplore the snark from that BBC reporter aimed at  Hillary Clinton about Bill coming to the rescue.  She seems to absorb al this without batting an eye. Then again, Hillary got the “street finger” from the Obama crew during the primaries. And she chose to leave the Senate and sign on with the Obama crowd.  It’s nice that she’s adding some comments about women in her speeches, but in real life, she’s being slimed by a reporter for the BBC and undercut in her desired appointments to positions by the Obama team.  It’s been reported that HIS  people are in under her, not her first choices for key jobs.  And now, Bill has re-entered and is the new hero of the N. Korea situation.

But she’s apparently OK with all this. (?)

So, the upshot of how this makes me feel is that 1) She’s getting shafted or undercut too often and 2) Sometimes she speaks in ways that makes me scratch my head. But most of the time, I just wonder what will happen next. What does Bill do next?  Madeline Albright sure didn’t have to deal with this sort of thing. I can’t figure it out, unless Clinton is used to the soft form of “battered wife” syndrome.  Then there’s the dealings with Obama, the guy who cheated and muscled himself into the nomination.  Here she is, right on board the train with the usual U.S. foreign policy, surrounded by Obama loyalists, while he keeps his nose clean. I guess she’s OK with this and how she must defer to his lead, but it I don’t feel OK watching it all happen.

So, while others cling to Hillary Clinton as their personal inspiration, I can only say that I’m left with very mixed feelings at this point. I sort of shake my head and say ” Too bad”  about Clinton’s odd position at State, along with everything else that is “too bad” these days…

The Incredible Shrinking Democratic Party

~~By kenosha Marge

Celebrate Democrats! Celebrate Liberals! Celebrate that after 8 years of George W. Bush there is now a Democrat in the White House. Not a good Democrat. Not an honest Democrat. Not a person of judgment, tolerance or character. He calls himself a Democrat and hooray, he’s an African-American. Actually he is not but that’s just one more lie. He’s a Kenyan American and has no history in the struggle for rights and dignity of actual African-Americans.

The Democratic Party has given you the wonder of Obama, the lying scum bucket. If didn’t know that you just ain’t been paying attention. Or if you are an Obamacrat you are incapable of paying attention with your partisan head so far up your partisan ass.

In order to win the Democratic Party had to cheat, lie, steal votes, disenfranchise voters and otherwise engage in the thuggish Chicago style politics that birthed Obama’s campaign. But celebrate; we will have a Democrat in the White House. And celebrate that many of those people that were treated so abominably punished the party by voting for their candidate. Good thinking Michigan and Florida, that’ll keep them from ever messing with you again!

We will have a Democrat in the White House that stands for very little of which the Democratic Party has always claimed to stand. Hooray, we will have an African-American Democrat in the White House. A misogynistic, homophobic Democrat in the White House is not something to celebrate. Unless you think that the only bigotry that matters is racism. Then you must be very happy in your narrow little world. Who gives a damn about the LGBT community that was totally disenfranchised by the so-called liberal voters of California?

In my little world homophobes aren’t liberal and liberals are not homophobes. Sorry folks, but in my little world misogynists aren’t liberal and liberals are not misogynists. Liberal/homophobe and liberal/misogynist should each be considered an oxymoron. And only morons would think like that, at least in my little corner of the world.

So,  no, after being a liberal all my life I am not celebrating. Celebrate because an African-American will be in the White House? I do not care to celebrate the color of a person’s skin. It is now and has always been immaterial to me. I cannot celebrate that a person of any race or religion will sit in the White House if they do not believe in equal rights for every citizen of this country. And Obama does not. Many of his supporters do not. Certainly the 2/3 of the African Americans in California that voted against the rights of Gay citizens in that state only believe in civil rights for themselves. Hypocrisy knows few bounds and no color.

I will not celebrate. I will instead commiserate with my brothers and sisters who still do not have equal rights in this country. I will bow my head in shame that I belonged to the Democratic Party for so many years thinking that they were the party that believed in equal rights for every man, woman and child in this country.

You celebrate, if you must, that a ½ Kenyan man has been elevated to the highest office in this land by a corrupt media, a corrupt political process and an apathetic and uninformed citizenry. I will not celebrate the color of a person’s skin because that does not matter. The color of a person’s character is what concerns me. And I have seen the color of Obama’s character. I don’t celebrate the elevation of liars and cheats.

The Democratic Party is dancing for joy and congratulating itself for having elected a man of color to the White House. In order to do so they had to abandon the rights of women and the gay community. In order to do so they had to abandon many of the things that liberals, real liberals hold dear. Things like honesty and integrity.

The Incredible Shrinking Democratic Party has lost many of its staunchest supporters. Some may come back. Most will not. I will not.

I judge a person by the color of their character. Obama is a hollow man. And the Democratic Party has become a hollow party. Celebrate? I think not.

It’s Time to Decide, Folks

~~A Guest Post by American Lassie

It’s time to decide, folks.

The debates are over and we’re coming down to the wire. For those who have been on the fence, it’s decision time. With just under two weeks to go we are facing the most important election of our lifetime. (Mine, anyway.) We will be deciding, by our votes, which way this country will go in the future. Will we remain true to the wishes of our Founding Fathers or will we take a decided turn to the far left that could take us to socialism, Marxism, or worse?

Many of us are still mourning the loss of our favorite candidate who had the nomination stolen from her. We’ve got to put that aside now and go on. For some it will be a tough decision to make but we must do it.

We have two candidates:

Candidate #1 is a man we know nothing about, who refuses to produce a legal birth certificate, hospital records, etc. to prove where he was born. He would rather tie us up in a law suit hoping to be elected before the documentation can be demanded by the court. A man who numbers among his mentors a known terrorist (Bill Ayers), a known communist (Frank Davis) and who is part of a group (although he denies it) that is now being investigated for voter fraud (ACORN). A case that has now been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, because the Ohio Secretary of State (Jennifer Brunner) is so determined to let the fraudulent registrations by ACORN stand. This candidate has a messianic hold on his followers that frightens me. In his follower’s eyes he can do no wrong. This in itself is scary, but when he vows to change our country and then the world it’s time to beware. What does his “change” mean? He campaigned in Kenya with his cousin Odinga under the banner of “change” and you know what happened there. Christians, men, women, and children alike were locked in a church where they had gone for sanctuary and then the church was burned to the ground with the people inside.

His background is so sketchy as to be almost invisible. He produces no college records, no past writings, no record of achievement in either the Illinois State Senate or the short time he has been in the U.S. Senate. Just voting “Present” does not tell us what he really stands for. He spent his formative years in another country (Indonesia). We do not know what demands of loyalty might be placed upon him from his relatives in Africa or his relatives in Indonesia. Our Founding Fathers tried to protect us in the Constitution from a situation such as this. Even back then, they realized that you can only have allegiance to one country if you desire to be our president. That country is the United States of America. As long as he refuses to produce a birth certificate I do not consider him a Natural Born Citizen, which is what the Constitution demands.

Candidate #2 is a man we know inside out. He is a war hero who has spent his entire adult life(since age 17) in the service of the United States. Besides his military service, which is an open book, he has an established record in the U.S. Senate that shows he is amenable to both sides of the aisle. His loyalty to America is unquestionable. His love of the Constitution is obvious and we know he will not try to change it. He has no ties to foreign countries that might sway his decisions.

For me, the choice was easy to make and I spend half my time relaying my opinion (whether it is wanted or not) to my family and friends – and to strangers when the opportunity arises.

This is a troubled time for the whole world, not just America. With the global economy in crisis, the war, and the need to keep an ongoing vigilance against terrorism, both domestic and foreign, our vote counts this year more than many people realize.

So folks, get out there and practice the three T’s – typing, telephoning, and talking.
And pray a lot.
God Bless.

New Video of Obama’s Trip to Kenya; Obama Appearing with Odinga

Texas Darlin’ has posted new video of Obama’s trip to Kenya which apparently shows him campaigning for his cousin (?)/fellow Luo clan member Raila Odinga.  This trip was made with taxpayer money back in August 2006.  For a profile of Odinga, see the BBC report “Odinga: Kenya’s King-maker.”

See the video, Obama and Odinga: New Video

Here’s a report from the New York Times on one phase of the trip. The headline is sort of ironic, isn’t it?

Obama Urges Kenyans to Get Tough on Corruption

Published: August 29, 2006

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 28 — Barack Obama strode into a packed auditorium in Nairobi on Monday and attacked an issue that notoriously bedevils Kenyan society: corruption.

He urged people to reject “the insulting idea that corruption is somehow part of Kenyan culture” and “to stand up and speak out against injustices.”

This was Day 5 of his Kenya tour, and at each stop, each speech that he gives, the crowds only grow.

It is an unusual reception for an unusual trip for a Democratic freshman senator from Illinois to be making, but it seems that Mr. Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is using all the rapturous attention to spotlight serious issues that are too often ignored in Africa.

The Kenyans are loving it.

On Friday, thousands of students at the University of Nairobi in halter tops, Che Guevara T-shirts, blue jeans and three-piece suits, pressed up against barricades to watch Mr. Obama and his entourage walk through the door.

During a nationally televised speech at the campus, students and faculty clapped in all the right places and laughed at most of Mr. Obama’s jokes. For a second, it seemed as if Mr. Obama were back at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004, when he gave such a rousing pep talk that people started mentioning the p-word with his name.

(SNIP)

He ended by telling the crowd, “I want you all to know that as your ally, your friend and your brother, I will be there in every way I can.”

Many in the audience left in high spirits.

“He’s inspiring,” said Miriam Musonye, a literature professor. “He really seems to believe what he says.”

The Che Guevara t-shirts reminds me of the Che poster in the Obama campaign office that we’ve seen…

In my April 9 post, Obama-Odinga:50-50 Split Demands Sound SOOOO FAMILIAR…(10/7/08 UPDATE  1X–Author of “The Obama Nation” Detained in Kenya) I quote a certain Kenyan immigrant named Edwin Okong’o at the PBS FrontlineWorld blog in a piece entitled Obama: the Kenya Connection who disputes the authenticity of pictures taken of Oding and Obama together (shown in the post).

Ordinary Kenyans are not the only ones who see Obama as a messiah. Kenyan politicians have been using his popularity as political capital. In 2006, opposition leader Raila Odinga tried to portray Obama’s trip to Kenya as a personal endorsement. Odinga’s supporters created T-shirts and posters with cleverly computer-altered images that showed Obama and Odinga standing side by side, arms around each other.

I posted one disputed photo in my April post. Watching the video, one can see that the picture in this post post seems to be taken directly from the video. See Minute 1:48 to 2:00 of the video which shows the source of the “photo-shopped” still picture.

The picture in question

The picture in question

So, to my eyes, the disputed picture seems to be legitimate…Look at the video, and see what you think…

For more on Odinga and Obama, see these earlier posts:

Obama’s Lessons to be Learned: Odinga Yields in Kenya, Positions Himself for Next Election (April 13, 2008)

In Kenya, Struggle for Parliament is Happening Now–Odinga’s Party Issues Warning (Sounds Like Cousin Obama) (June 10, 2008)

Latest Update on Kenya Elections: Odinga’s Party Wins 3 Seats of 5; UPDATED 2X (Just Say No Deal) (June 12, 2008)

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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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)

In Kenya, Struggle for Parliament is Happening Now–Odinga’s Party Issues Warning (Sounds Like Cousin Obama)

UPDATE, 5 pm MDT: The election seems to be on NEXT Wednesday, June 18. The writing in some of these stories from the foreign press is sometimes difficult to follow. I happened to come across a story from The Daily Nation in Kenya, dated June 11, which says the ballots are safely “sleeping” in the voting districts while awaiting the election. So, from that, I gather that the election will be NEXT Wednesday! Sorry for the confusion! I’ll keep track of developments over the next week…and especially those “sleeping” ballots!

NOTE: The election DID happen on June 11. See later posts on the results. GRL)

Five seats in Parliament are up for grabs in Kenya’s by-elections being held today (Wednesday, June 11. As reported by Afrol News:

KENYA SET FOR CRUCIAL BY-ELECTIONS

afrol News, 10 June Kenyans will once again return to the polls on Wednesday to elect five members of parliament in what has been dubbed crucial by-elections.

The elections will allow the Grand Coalition partners – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Party of National Unity (PNU) – to battle control over parliament.

Bi-elections will also be held in 52 civic awards whose results had been challenged. The deadline for all political campaigns expired on Monday.

A dispute over Kenya’s presidential election results in December soon snowballed into “ethnic cleansing” that claimed several lives, including two elected MPs in Embakasi and Ainamoi, Melitus Were and David Too. Both MPs were shot dead at the height of the political violence.

Due to the violence that claimed over 1,000 lives and displaced tens of thousands, results of some constituencies could not be announced.

The upcoming elections have already taken tribal connotation, with some tribes rejecting nominated candidates in areas they considered their ancestral land. For instance, the nomination of ODM’s Jonathan Ngéno, who hailed from the Kipsigis community, had forced the Maasais to rally behind the PNU sponsored candidate, Gideon Konchella.

The ugly scenario is a complete deviation from Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s belief that “I want to see a Kenya where people are not judged on their tribal affiliations but on the content of their character.”

Continue reading

Obama’s Lessons to be Learned: Odinga Yields in Kenya, Positions Himself for Next Election

In a previous post, I discussed the link between Obama and Raila Odinga and the almost eerie demands by Odinga for a 50-50 split of cabinet posts in Kenya. It now appears that a compromise has been worked out…

According to the BBC, a power-sharing agreement was reached on Saturday. Odinga, apparently, is more willing to compromise than his cousin (?) Obama.

Mr Odinga and his party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), insisted an equal share of power included not just numerical parity in the cabinet, but also “portfolio parity”.

At issue were the foreign affairs, cabinet affairs, energy, roads and local government portfolios.

President Kibaki and his Party of National Unity (PNU) appeared unwilling to yield anything and, with talks deadlocked Mr Odinga announced that the ODM would take no further part in any negotiations.

Getting the five cabinet posts represented “our irreducible minimum”, he said.

So, when word came through that a deal had been done, the assumption was that the ODM had secured what they were after.

Three of the five cabinet positions did not go to Odinga’s party and one was eliminated. So, Odinga clearly made concessions that resulted in dropping below his “irreducible mininum” of cabinet posts.

However, as expected, Odinga has been named to be the new prime minster and a supporter is now the minister of land.

Bitter historical arguments over land lay at the heart of much of the violence which broke out earlier this year and the ODM’s influence here could be crucial.

It is also widely believed that the current administration will not make it through a five-year term and that ODM will be using the positions they have been allocated to plan for the next election.

Probably most important of all is what Mr Odinga makes of his new role as prime minister.

He insists it carries genuine executive power. How he wields that power and how skilful he is at making his mark right across the administration will be vital.

So, Odinga has made a strategic decision to yield on his demands for a 50-50 split of cabinet posts with an eye on the future. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., Obama refuses to budge on the FL and MI delegate issue. With his inexperience showing through a string of gaffes that does not bode well if he is the nominee, not to mention a campaign that has helped split the Democratic party along racial lines, Obama presses forward with the help of party poo-bahs towards a Pyhrric victory in the primaries.

Are the party “leaders” are so intent on ridding themselves of the Clintons that they are willing to tear the party to shreds? It there some pathological mindset in every one of them? Is there no consideration of the long-term consequences of this lemming-like behavior?

If Obama had more political sense he might be looking at Odinga and thinking more strategically. He could pull back and live to fight another day when he is more seasoned and has more distance between himself and albatrosses like Rev. Wright and Rezko. He could run a truly inspiring campaign without playing on race. He’s just starting his Washington career…why the rush? The bitterness he is leaving in his wake may come back to bite him if he loses the nomination or if he wins it by disenfranchising voters and then loses the general election. While Obama preaches hope, it seems the forces pushing him are operating from a place of irrational hostility toward a former President who, with all his faults, managed to leave office with sky-hight approval marks.

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