April 13th, 2008

ayer's rock -

A beautiful day -

And there is still news. The war goes on.  Bush has no intention of helping the next president along, and what are lives and lies to him.

I guess when you are already the worst, you aren't concerned with how low that worst can go.

Here is Maureen Dowd on Hillary and Bill.

Op-Ed Columnist

Standing by His Woman

Published: April 13, 2008


Hillary’s right.

The boys are holding her back.

And the worst part is, they’re her own boys.

Fresh from pushing the preposterous Mark Penn to the rear of her leaky boat, Hillary has to deal with Bill making waves again.

He spent the week taking the fun out of dysfunction, putting the “I” in id, and getting flaky just when Hillary has to be flawless.

In a mystifying burst of nuttiness, right in time for the Sunday talk shows, Bill twice dredged up Hillary’s rococo story about sniper fire in Bosnia.

He defended his wife on confusing her facts by confusing his facts — a disconcerting reminder about what climbing back on a presidency-built-for-two would be like.

“A lot of the way this whole campaign has been covered has amused me,” the unamused former president said Thursday night in Boonville, Ind.

He’s absolutely crazed, and not just because he feels that he never got the sort of incandescent press coverage that Obama gets — except maybe when he and Al Gore were on that bus, hailed as “Heartthrobs of the Heartland.” Bill is also crazed about the ineluctable fact that he isn’t Obama.

“He can’t compute that he’s not the new kid on the block,” said a former Clinton adviser. “It’s about his mortality — and immortality. He needs her to win because if she doesn’t become president, he goes down as a minor president. If she wins, it’s the Adamses and the Roosevelts and the Clintons.”

But he knows it’s going down the drain, and that Obama is the hot new thing and they’re the establishment retreads.

The 22nd Amendment — not to mention his dwindling political skills — prevents Bill from doing what he truly wants done: the demolition of the Obama phenomenon. Instead, he’s stuck propping up a candidate who is not a natural. (See the video of Hillary dancing at a seniors’ aerobics class at a Philly Y.M.C.A. Awk.)

Bill’s horse whisperer, Doug Sosnik, a former White House aide who was dispatched to keep him calm and play Hearts and Oh Hell with him, has been out of the country recently. His other personable aide, Matt McKenna, left to manage Hillary’s Montana campaign. The Big Dog was unguarded.

Hillary started telling her tall tale about Bosnia as early as January and continued until her Iraq speech on March 17 at George Washington University.

Bill mistakenly asserted that she had told the story only once, at 11 p.m. when she was tired, and “immediately” admitted her mistake.

“And, oh, they acted like she was practically Mata Hari, you know? Just making up all this stuff,” he said, adding: “And you would’ve thought, you know, that she’d robbed a bank the way they all carried on about this.”

Given her 3 a.m. ads — (that has got to be her hedge fund manager on the phone) — it was not very flattering for Bill to rant on and suggest that her 60-year-old brain was fuzzy.

In a characteristic bout of self-pity, he accused the press of “a double-standard about misstatements.”

Straining to recover on Friday and give the illusion that President Hillary would keep him reined in, Bill told the press: “Hillary called me and said, ‘You don’t remember this. You weren’t there. Let me handle it.’ I said, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ ”

Just as Mark Penn got Hillary into trouble with a conflict of interest on the Colombia free trade agreement, so did her husband.

“In the trade deal, your husband received $800,000 for four speaking engagements essentially for the trade deal or by a group that supports the trade deal,” a reporter said to Hillary in Pennsylvania. “You’ve given your money to your campaign. Is that a conflict of interest?”

Hillary responded with that mirthless don’t-go-there laugh. “I mean,” she said dismissively, “and how many angels dance on the head of a pin?”

But the dubious deals of her husband, a seven-diamond influence peddler, do provide an unsavory contrast with some of the candidate’s positions.

The larger point of last week’s imbroglio about Bosnia is that Hillary’s stretcher offers an interesting insight into her thinking. After the health care disaster, she retreated into traditional first lady duties, teas and hospital openings, traveling around the world on good-will missions.

The job of first lady could be amazing for someone who took advantage of its potential; Bono shows the good that fame, properly aimed, can do.

But after she got knocked back as co-president, Hillary felt trapped in the East Wing, ineffectual and marginalized, which is probably why she felt the need to retroactively add some heft to her travelogue in Bosnia and Ireland.

You can’t go from being a self-loathing first lady to self-aggrandizing about being first lady.

alan's marigolds

so much beauty -

A friend and I used to do road rallies for Father's Day.   We really enjoyed it, and those were the days when gas was cheap and the children were little, and we were less environmentally aware, so we have decided that the times of today demand a walking rally/scavenger hunt, and we will do it as the birthday party for a friend.  

I was down by the marsh today, getting ideas and planning the route.  It really is the way to view the world, because I noticed every smell, every plant, every bird.  Well, probably not every one but I was very aware and what a day it is to be aware.   Wow!!

This is from Ram Dass;

There are many levels of the heart. And the human heart will break because it empathizes.  The deeper heart... that heart is the one that looks at the universe, just as it is, in a non reactive way and says, "Ah so," "Yes". And it includes your human heart which is breaking, but your identity isn't only with your human heart.  Your identity is with a deeper, intuitive heart wisdom which is different.  You don't deny the pain, but you don't get reactive to it.

The hardest state to be in is one in which you keep your heart open to the suffering that exists around you, and simultaneously keep your discriminative wisdom.... Once you understand that true compassion is the blending of the open heart and quiet mind, it is still difficult to find the balance. Most  often we start out doing these things sequentially. We open our hearts and get lost in the melodramas, then we meditate and regain our quiet center by pulling back in from so much openness.  Then we once again open and get sucked back into the dance.

So it goes cycle after cycle. It takes a good while to get the balance.... You have to stay right on the edge of that balance. It seems impossible, but you can do it. At first, when you achieve this balance, it is self-consciously maintained. Ultimately, however, you merely become the statement of the amalgam of the open heart and the quiet mind. Then there is no more struggle; it's just the way you are."

Ram Dass - see "How Can I Help" by Paul Gorman and Ram Dass for many more inspirations - also RD's recent book "Still Here!" reflections on aging with wisdom, patience and compassion---which he completed after a serious stroke that left him impaired in a number of ways.  See film Fierce Grace.



I poured a glass of red wine and watched the DVD of my cousin Greg's Celebration of Life. 

Yes, there were tears, still are tears, and yet, it was so beautiful, so true, and I watched his wife and beautiful two daughters, and I know he lives through them.   They called their home in Alice Springs, Banavie, and I saw it as it is now, and I saw family and friends, and I listened to Journey to Australia, which is to explain to us who are here, why they are there, why those we love may go to Australia and get hooked and not return.

I feel lighter somehow, having watched it.  It was so beautiful, and somehow we each do make it through the pain.

It is funny though.  Australia IS different, and they see us as different, and Greg walked all the roads, just as he did work that was classified all those years.