Friday, March 30, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards Says "Thank You"

Lovely and Amazing

Elizabeth Edwards says "Thank You."
Click photo for link

Dear Elizabeth,

Writer Bernard Malamud said that life is a tragedy full of joy. In so many ways, he is right. You have to have determination and optimism - to see life, with all of its tragedy, as a joy in order to accomplish your goals in life. Mr. Malamud, in all his wisdom, also said that, without heroes, we're all plain people and don't know how far we can go.

You're showing us just how far, Mrs. Edwards.

The poet May Sarton said that one must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being. Your decency is a shining example of heroic thinking.

You are leading us to think optimistically - to think more like heroes - and as a result we'll not only behave as more decent human beings, but we'll know exactly how far we can go.

I consider you to be a symbol of real leadership and courage. You are such a caring person - a good and devoted guardian in every sense of the word - to your husband, to your children, to your country, and to each of us.

I send you my prayers.
You are my hero.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Knut - My New Love!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

John Nichols Really Knows Elizabeth Edwards!

I could tell that Madison Capital Times editor John Nichols has really gotten to know Elizabeth Edwards when I read this:
There is no question that John Edwards has become a stronger candidate as he has listened more to the advice of his wife than the consultants who, in 2004, prodded him to be too cautious and controlled. I am convinced that John Edwards now relies on Elizabeth Edwards as his essential adviser.

That's good for him politically, and, frankly, it's good for progressives who want the Democratic presidential contest to feature a top-tier contender who speaks seriously about the need to advance economic and social justice at home and abroad.

If Elizabeth Edwards wanted John Edwards out of the presidential race, he would be out.
Mr. Nichols already knows what Katie Couric didn't - or had hard time accepting as truth even as it came out of Mrs. Edwards' own lips on 60 Minutes last Sunday. I think that so many of our television journalists are caught up in the horse race that they forget that the candidates and their wives are refreshingly real people who often actually mean what they say in front of the TV camera.

Flat World or Flat-line for Social Justice?

I'm not sure which falls more flat - the "flat world" talked about by so many of todays political leaders or the level of inspiration generated by the knowledge, provided by David Sirota, that those leaders have so little to offer us toward a realistic vision of a just and fair future for all of us.

Olmert less popular w/own people than Bush!

Juan Cole has a good compilation of new information coming from the Middle East. One of Professor Cole's postings caught my eye.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert put his foot in his mouth by saying that US troops should stay in Iraq, otherwise the resulting chaos might cause the Hashemite monarchy of Jordan to fall. Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel and puts up with Israeli colonization of the West Bank even while condemning it-- i.e. Jordan functions as a de facto ally of Israel. Olmert sees its potential loss as a threat to Israeli security. The Jordanians are hopping mad about Olmert's comments. They see their regime as perfectly stable, whereas they wonder how long Olmert's government can last, with only 2% of Israelis expressing trust in him in polls. And, the Jordanians believe that the real threat to regional security is Israel's steadfast refusal to grant the Palestinians their own state within recognized and viable borders.

What the Jordanians are not saying, but is worth saying, is that if chaos in Iraq was a threat to the stability of Israel's neighbors and therefore to Israel itself, it was foolish for Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert to act as cheerleaders for an Iraq War back in 2002 and early 2003. War has unpredictable consequences. Olmert is wrong about the fragility of the Hashemite monarchy, but is right-- too late!-- that the violence in Iraq may well rebound against Israel.
What Professor Cole is saying is that Israel is using Jordan as its proxy-target for fear-mongering - about what seems to be a genuine fear about their own security. Jordanians don't appreciate it. I don't blame them. Would you like it? In my book, you just don't treat an ally fairly when you generate a false threat that involves them unreasonably.

The only leader who seems to be less popular with his own people than George W. Bush seems to be Ehud Olmert. Tony Blair's not too popular these days, either.

Speaking of Blair, can you imagine, with our already-stretched military, getting embroiled in a larger war with Iran over an ally-nation's investigation of automobile smuggling in the Persian Gulf? Give me a break!

MSM - Be Careful of What You Sensationalize

At TPM Muckraker, Paul Kiel points to a New York Times column by Michael R. Gordon and Scott Shane, leading us to understand that there were tactical rather than practical reasons for having called the infamous press briefing (about Iranian made explosives, also known as EFPs) in mid-February 2007. [See Spencer Ackerman's blogpost]. The NYT column takes us back to July 2005, when the U.S. sent a diplomatic complaint to Iran over the use of allegedly Iranian-made explosives being used against coalition troops in Iraq by Shiite groups. Kiel says that the Bush administration clearly made a choice to focus on the evidence that Iranian manufactured weapons were being used in Iraq - but they stayed silent on the crucial detail of who they were being used by. The vast majority of U.S. casualties come at the hands of Sunni insurgents, not Shiite.

The NYT article mentions that this particular kind of press briefing [in Feb 2007] was something new for then-top commander Gen. George W. Casey Jr., since military officials have historically been reluctant to highlight the effectiveness of the weapons for fear of encouraging their use. Kiel reminds us that the claim that Iran is the only possible supplier for EFPs in Iraq has been debunked.

Notwithstanding the fact that EFPs are dangerous and the complaint was warranted, this knowledge certainly rips every bit of sensationalism from the original media storyline. My mind goes back to the unwarranted sensationalism in the media headlines in 2002 about the late (not great) Saddam Hussein and his connections to 9/11...his possession of WMD. It makes you wonder what the mainstream will buy into next.....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Will Katie Ever Ask Gingrich About His Choices?

Suzie Madrak has a great column at Huffington Post about those who choose to either judge the Edwards or put them in a position, a la Katie Couric where they were made to feel as if they are in need of defending themselves against a barrage of ignorance. What could have been a shining moment for Ms. Couric was dulled by undue cynicism.

I left a comment at the New York Daily News today, only to be dismayed to see it had been scrubbed from the website for unknown reasons. No one wrote to me to tell me why they erased or lost the comment that had taken me so much time and thought to post. I was responding to a person who was passing shame-judgment upon the Edwards' personal choices and decision:

To the 'retired teacher' - your judgment of "shame" upon the Edwards is totally off-base and I'll tell you why. Mrs. Edwards means what she says when she says she wants her husband to be in the White House where he belongs. What good is a life not lived to the fullest? This is what she wants! We are gifted with one life, and Elizabeth's life is shining and full. She is not enamoured with the thought of languishing. You say "some people don't have a choice at a time like this"....and that makes no sense. Of course they have a choice - and they have made it with love and devotion to one another, with their eye on the fulfillment of their vision and their hearts filled with commitment to our nation. In the novel "Death Be Not Proud" by John Gunther, there is a line that says, "I have so much to do! And there's so little time!" We can all relate to this, but there's no one who can relate better than a person who knows their time is precious. Elizabeth's time is precious and she's determined to do what she wants with the rest of her beautiful life. Who are any of you to place your own assumptions and values onto her choices? You can either respect her choice or not..but you have no right to shame the husband who adores her and shares a vision with his beloved partner.

Lydia Cornell causes me to wonder if Newt Gingrich will ever be asked about his personal and conscious choice to abandon his wife when she was faced with a battle against cancer. Now there's question I'll bet Katie won't be asking anytime soon! The corporate taskmasters likely wouldn't allow it. Jerry Falwell praises the character of the louse. Don't you just love double standards?

Benny is reporting about South Carolina leaders who are getting on the Edwards train.

UPDATE: Sen. and Mrs. Edwards Say Couric "Tough But Fair"

John Edwards for President Statement on the Edwardses' Interview with Katie Couric:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina - John Edwards for President Deputy Campaign Manager Jonathan Prince released the following statement today following criticism of Katie Couric for her interview with Senator and Mrs. Edwards. The interview, which took place on Saturday and lasted 90 minutes, aired last night on 60 Minutes.

"The Edwardses appreciated the opportunity 60 Minutes afforded them to respond to tough questions which have been raised in response to last week's diagnosis that Mrs. Edwards' cancer had returned. Mrs. Edwards also called Ms. Couric today to thank her for the interview and to say that she and Senator Edwards thought theinterview was both thorough and fair."

During a roundtable today in San Francisco to discuss his plan to halt global warming, Senator Edwards was asked about the matter and said: "My reaction was that Katie Couric asked questions that the American people are asking themselves, and I think they were completely legitimate questions. And I think the American people deserve answers from me and from Elizabeth to those questions. I mean, I'm asking America to support me and vote for me as their next president, and I think part of the evaluation of a candidate for president is a personal evaluation of the character and integrity and honesty of a candidate. So, no, I thought the questions were fair. Tough. I thought they were tough, but they were fair."

I had a very different view from "out here," but the Edwardses have responded with grace, as always. Ms. Couric was markedly "kinder" on the CBS News this evening, [someone at Daily Kos referred to it as "pooper scooper" coverage indicating the need for salvage]. Couric devoted much more careful coverage to the Edwards campaign, although today's Cleveland stop by Elizabeth was still not handled with a fair journalistic hand in my opinion. According to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, CBS has received at least 12,000 e-mails complaining about Sunday night's Couric interview.

Bolton Lies - Thinks We Won't Notice

"The president never made the argument that [Sadam Hussein] constituted an imminent threat."

John Bolton [Raw Story]

Oh my God.
Talk about revisionism as bold as brass!
This guy's got to be kidding.

Bush may not have said the word (likely because he couldn't have pronounced it), but the defintion of imminent is: hanging threateningly over one's head.

On a related note, speaking about the war on terror, Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke just yesterday in the WaPo about the pre-Iraq war stimulation by the Bush adminstration of the emergence of a culture of fear:
The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
But, of course, if you ask the ex-UN ambassador with the big white moustache, he'll tell you that no such fear was ever stimulated by the man in the big white house who can't say 'nuclear.'