Archive for April, 2009

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What’s In A Handshake?

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I’ve been sitting here for a few days now, listening to the right-wing crazies going nuts over President Obama’s handshake with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, describing it as anything from  ‘inappropriate’  to  ‘showing weakness.’

Leaving alone the fact that none of them has a leg to stand on after decades of failed policies in Latin America, and overt and covert interference in those countries’ affairs, mostly committed by Republican administrations, culminating of course in the Iran-Contra Affair under Ronald Reagan, isn’t it a breath of fresh air that President Obama wants to restart interaction with other countries and change those very same failed policies from Venezuela to Cuba?  Something, I might add, he has mentioned repeatedly during his run for the presidency, and obviously the American people agree with him, as we elected him president.

The villain-du-jour for the right-wingers, Hugo Chavez, is certainly a controversial figure, but he is the democratically elected leader of Venezuela, not as we often hear, a  ‘dictator.’  The people of Venezuela elected him with a bigger percentage of the vote than George Bush ever received in either one of his elections, if he indeed was ever elected, despite active interference on behalf of Chavez’ opponent by the Bush administration at the time.  Chavez right now has the approval of 54% of the Venezuelan people, something George Bush hasn’t seen in a very long time.  Whether we like it or not, other countries decide which leaders they elect… sometimes we like them, sometimes we don’t…  But either way, I find it quite refreshing that we have a president who makes an effort to come to a consensus, and work towards a common goal, even with people who we disagree with…  And a little handshake and smile may go a long way to realizing that goal.

Don’t you also find it impressive that we for once have a Democratic president who is not intimidated by Republican criticism on national security matters, but chooses to mock his critics by pointing out how ridiculous they are?  What’s the word again, I’m looking for… ah…  ‘refreshing.’

Here’s President Obama in his own words, mocking his critics:

1.  ‘Venezuela is a country whose defense budget is probably 1/600th of the United States’.  They own Citgo.  It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States.  I don’t think anybody can find any evidence that that would do so.  Even within this imaginative crowd,  I think you would be hard-pressed to paint a scenario in which U.S. interests would be damaged as a consequence of us having a more constructive relationship with Venezuela.’ — President Barack Obama

2.  At a press conference in Trinidad:

Dan Lothian (CNN):  ‘During the campaign you were criticized by some within your own party for perhaps not being able to be tough on foreign policy matters.  Now you’ve had this friendly interaction with Mr. Chavez.  Are you concerned at all about how this might be perceived back in the U.S. as perhaps being soft?  Already one senator is calling this friendly interaction irresponsible.  And as a quick follow-up, if I may, when you got the book from Mr. Chavez, what did you really think?’

President Obama:  ‘I think it was a nice gesture to give me a book; I’m a reader.  And you’re right, we had this debate throughout the campaign, and the whole notion was, is that somehow if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us, that that somehow would be a sign of weakness.  The American people didn’t buy it.  And there’s a good reason the American people didn’t buy it–because it doesn’t make sense.’


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Of Pirates, Easter, and Unpatriotic Republicans …..

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I don’t know what you did this Easter Sunday ….. went to an Easter egg hunt with your kids, to Easter service at your church, worked, watched unpatriotic Republicans spewing hateful diatribes on TV about President Obama’s handling of the pirate standoff, and then later ending up with egg on their faces, or executing President Obama’s orders and killing the pirates holding an American captain and freeing him, at pretty much exactly the same time, said Republicans were all over the morning shows dismissing Obama’s handling of the situation.

It was indeed a sad sight to see the likes of Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck et al, and the entire  FOX  “News”  network engaging in what can only be described as bordering unpatriotic behavior at the very same time when a rescue mission under very dangerous circumstances was under way.  It never ceases to amaze me how brazen Republicans are, criticizing an in the end very successful national security operation beforehand, when these people don’t have an inch of credibility left after all the national security disasters committed by Republican administrations, culminating of course in the disastrous Iraq War.

The leader of the pack, once again, seems to be Newt Gingrich, who back in the day was also the leader of the pack pushing the impeachment of  President Clinton over lying about sex, while at the same time, having an extramarital affair with a staffer himself.  Now he parlays that  ‘credibility’  on his even lesser credibility on national security matters. Here’s a little advice for Newt Gingrich and his gang, brought to them by one of their heroes:

‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.’  — Abraham Lincoln

Wise words from a wise man ….. I suggest, they frame it and put it on the fridge as a daily reminder, not to go out of their way to make fools of themselves.  We already know you are ….. no need to prove it on a daily basis ….. !!  🙂

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Just because …..

Spring  Is  In  The  Air  …..    🙂


No  Words  Necessary  …..    🙂 

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Didn’t you also have a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart when watching the wonderful reception President Obama and his lovely wife received all over Europe?  I certainly did…  And didn’t it feel good to see somebody on the international stage, who can speak in complete sentences, using correct grammar, is well respected, and knows the meaning of the word  ‘diplomacy’ … for a change … ?

Here’s a headline I saw in a European paper that pretty much sums it all up in my opinion:


Sure, there will be a lot of issues to deal with, and old and new problems to be solved, but I had the distinct feeling that other world leaders want President Obama to succeed, because they know that America’s success is directly linked to the success of their own countries ….. and they genuinely seem to like him ….. which is always helpful.  🙂

It was very interesting, to see even protesters who are fed up with the global financial crisis, expressing positive feelings about America under this new president’s leadership ….. and you know what was missing??  The burning of American flags or Bush’s effigy, etc.  And that’s a good thing …..  🙂

I think this was a very successful start to a changing American image in the world, and now we can build on that, and actually get things done in concert with other nations ….. now that’s a novel thought …..  🙂

I can’t help but looking at all this with a little smile on my face ….. and hope in my heart for better days ahead …..

Barack and Michelle:  We are very proud of you!  JOB  WELL  DONE !!!  🙂


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What A DICK !! :-)


I want you to imagine the following scenario for a moment:  Vice President Al Gore, during the transition period between the Clinton Administration and the incoming Bush Administration, after a very disputed  2000 Election, as we all so well remember  :-), going to one of our allies…..let me just pick one at random:  Israel…..and telling them while on a visit over there, that the incoming Bush Administration was pro-Palestinian and therefore wouldn’t be an honest broker and couldn’t be trusted, and that President Bush was not ready to play in the Major Leagues.  Don’t you also hear the chorus on the right wing, from Republican politicians, to FOX News, to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter,  calling collectively for Al Gore’s head, and throwing around words like  ‘unpatriotic,’ ‘traitor,’ ‘treason,’ etc. ??

And with good reason, because such an action by any vice president, or president for that matter, is uncalled for, and certainly borders on treason….. Well, according to the latest investigative report by Seymour Hirsh, who writes for the New Yorker, and is somebody with excellent sources in high places and a great track record, that’s exactly what happened, just with a different cast and eight years later:  Dick Cheney is accused of doing that during the transition to the incoming Obama Administration, painting President Obama as being not ready for prime time and pro-Palestinian.  I think this is pretty much unprecedented in history and needs to be added to the ever growing list of crimes and misdemeanors by the Bush administration, all of which should certainly be investigated.  At this point, I think most Republicans just cringe when hearing an announcement of Dick Cheney being interviewed, and wish he and Bush would just disappear for a long time to come.

All I can say is….. What a  DICK  he is indeed !!….. For once, the name fits the person perfectly !!   🙂

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