Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pyongyang Parties, Abbas's Alternatives, Sarah Channels Reagan's Ghost

Laura Bush
Dana Milbank
Peter Beinart
"EA Sports released a new version of the video game 'NBA Jam' that features Obama, Biden, Bush, and Cheney. Bush and Cheney play the first half, then Obama and Biden try to come back from a 6 billion point deficit." – Jimmy Fallon
"The latest Gallup poll gives congressional Republicans the best poll numbers they've ever had. They say this could be the biggest Republican year since 1894. So for the second time, John McCain could be swept to victory." –Jay Leno
Donald Trump Saturday Special: 
"Donald Trump may run president. Is that a good idea? Haven't enough Americans already been told, 'You're fired'?" – Jay Leno
"Donald Trump is running for president. He's already got a short list of running mates. He's thinking about Cyndi Lauper, Hulk Hogan, Melissa Rivers, Sharon Osbourne . . . He's ready to go."  – David Letterman

"Trump refers to the White House as a '200-year-old tear-down.'" – David Letterman
"Donald Trump is running for president. He's not the kind of guy that would stage something like this for publicity. I know it's official because today, Trump threw his hair into the ring." – David Letterman
Laura Bush published an opinion piece in the Washington Post today, about the plight of women in Afghanistan. The issue of women's rights is one that Laura found late into her husband's tenor at the White House, but I'm glad to see that she has kept with her decision after the glamor of being the First Lady has evaporated. She took a lot of guff from Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, who belittled and made fun of her, yet her work is continuing while Dick is getting ready to die and Karl is still involved in bad political tricks. She could have dropped her support and nobody would have thought less about it, Nancy Reagan dropped her charities like a hot potato once her hubby retired...

I'm missing a lot of parties this weekend, first the reunion of UTU Local 35 in Santa Cruz, California, where I spent many happy years working with some incredibly wonderful and talented people, and now I'm missing the fun in Pyongyang, North Korea. Every minute of the two day extravaganza has been staged and planned to impress the gaggle of foreign reporters, who were invited in a rare gesture of openness and self-promotion, marking 65 years of Communistic style rule.

Today, everyone had to listen to a bunch of boring speeches telling how wonderful it was to be ruled over by meglomaniacal midgets, the Little Kims. Then, there was a militaristic dance show, patterned after half-time entertainment at a football game, with a surprise: "Later in the evening, Kim Jong-il brought dancers at the gymnastics extravaganza known as the Arirang mass games to tears by making a rare appearance, accompanied by Kim Jong-un and visiting top Chinese Communist Party official Zhou Yongkang.

Kim Jong-il waved to the crowd, drawing a frenzy of applause from onlookers, in what is believed to be his first appearance at the Arirang spectacle in years. The two Kims' appearance turned the Arirang show - part theatre, part circus, and involving some 100,000 performers - into a VIP event attended by wartime heroes, foreign dignitaries and the international press, who were given front-row seats." Later, there were fireworks and students ballroom dancing in the streets of Pyongyang. Tomorrow it all ends with an incredible parade of 1.2 million soldiers and tanks and rockets, oh my... I know that the prospect of one more of the Kim clan announced as the next ruler would make me want to party all night long like it was 2012 when the Mayan calendar ends...

I'm still waiting for a private detective novel depicting the seamy underbelly of the worker's paradise, you know, Philip Il-Marlow...
"The streets were dark with something more than night." - Raymond Chandler
"I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn't need a gun, you'd better take one along that worked."  - Raymond Chandler

13 ministers of the Arab League met in Libya, and decided to give Mahmoud Abbas one more month to try and work out with Israel some kind of construction freeze in the West Bank, so that peace negotiations could progress forward. Hamas, of course, wanted an angry denouncement and theatrical strutting away from any more negotiating. Abbas has two tricks up his sleeve: the first, is to: "... seek U.S. recognition for a Palestinian state taking in all of the West Bank should peace talks with Israel stay stalled. " If Israel does nothing within the next three weeks, then the US may well go along with this plan. It could spark a vote of no confidence by the Israeli people for the Netanyahu government, and he could possibly be replaced by someone with more moderate views. Isn't democracy wonderful? " I cannot specify all the alternatives that were presented by President Abbas, but the president will keep working with the American administration to achieve a full cessation of settlement activities in order to restart talks " said Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

The second solution is one that has been threatened before: "(Another) is to study the possibility of going to the (U.N.) Security Council to get a resolution that calls upon member states to recognize the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders," It's refreshing to see the Arab leaders react to the crisis in such a diplomatic way. So far, world opinion has been in favor of the Palestinian solution, and it will become more supportive as long as any major violence doesn't break out. Too bad the Arab League doesn't have more clout with Hamas. I would give the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit (has everyone but his family forgotton about him?) for a construction freeze and return to talks, with the promise of nobody walking away until its a done deal...

Christine O'Donnell may deny that she is a witch, but it is Sarah Palin that seems to be channeling ghosts these days. Politico reports that at a florida fundraiser, our Sarah coyly addressed her prospects as a desirable presidential candidate in 2012: "Palin, at an event organized by the conservative magazine Newsmax, told the right-wing crowd that those who don’t have the same convictions will always say a true conservative can’t win. Pointing out that the knock on Reagan was that he was also too far to the right, the former Alaska governor repeatedly invoked the 40th president and conservative icon, at one point citing the quotation he was most fond of: that America is a “shining city on a hill.”
“I think she sees herself as heir to Reagan,” said one attendee.
"Her invoking of the Gipper at a closed-door gathering illustrates that Palin is, at the very least, thinking through how she’d make her case if she pursued the presidency. And combined with the recent revelation of an e-mail her husband, Todd, sent to Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller excoriating him for not saying Palin was qualified to be president, her private comments make clear that the 2008 vice-presidential candidate wants other Republicans to take her seriously as a White House prospect.

Trying to divine her intentions — does she just want to stay in the presidential mix to build her brand, or is she actually running? — is difficult. But the mere act of meeting with the sort of Republican donors, strategists and activists who fund and advise presidential campaigns is telling." Or not. Of course Sarah wants to be President, she has already tasted the forbidden fruit while on the campaign trail with John McCain. Whether you agree or disagree with her decision to quit as Governor of Alaska, she has been able to translate all of that free time into making money and schmoozing up contacts. She might even have an all-female ticket, which could prove to be more attractive than Obama and some other guy stumping for re-election...

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