Monday, January 31, 2005
Dear President Clinton
I am really not sure what to say because I have never written to a President before. I have always feared doing so because when I was a little girl one of our neighbors was angry about the price of food and wrote a letter to President Ford. She got a nasty visit from the FBI, which I though a little silly, all because she was angry about the price of hamburger. As a result of this, everyone we knew always said, "Don’t write the President".
I found your diary on the Internet while doing some research on an entirely different subject and was very surprised. I was even more surprised after I began to read it and realized you sounded like a real - everyday person and not a politician. (No disrespect intended). At first I couldn’t believe that it was actually you writing it because you sounded like someone real, like a next-door neighbor and not the president. It was a pleasant surprise though.
First a little about me; I am a freelance writer and a novelist. I am definitely a Democrat. I did vote for you both elections. Though I worried about your welfare policies at first, (For years I was a single mother who had to scratch out a living for my children because I received no financial help from their father) but felt that your policies were mostly favorable for this country, and I still feel this way. Life was hard, but I made it and enjoy much success today. From what I understand, I come from a similar background as yourself.
I have wanted to say this several times over the last few years, and especially after this last election (Of which I will leave no comment about) I really wish you were still President, or at least someone with similar policies. It is just my personal opinion, but I never believed that what they did to you during your second term was right. Someone’s personal life and professional life should, for the most part be kept separate. You were doing a wonderful job, and that is what counts.
I wanted to address what you said in one of your posts about Democrats not getting it together. This is probably true to an extent, but I have to tell you that many average people whom I talk to, both Democrat and Republican are afraid to speak out against public policy at all, let alone organize in any way. Most people I have talked with feel that much of this country’s Constitutional Rights have been stripped and they fear legal reprisal or worse if they speak out against the current President or his policies.
After the last election I heard many many people talking of leaving the country and maybe immigrating to Canada or overseas. Now with the thought of the current President’s brother running in 2008 there seems to be a definite chance that we will end up with a family Monarchy instead of a Presidency. Apparently, there are a lot of people who fear we are losing any resemblance to democracy that we had to begin with and turning in to an Imperial Dictatorship. I don’t know exactly why I am telling you this except that it is important for those who are in power to know that many Americans, have this fear, and even worse, they are afraid to do anything about it. This is especially true of those of us who do keep up on what is happening in the world today.
I actually wept on the last Election Day because I was so disappointed and fearful for my country and my family. I vowed to do something more than vote for the next election and I certainly intend to do so, if there is a way I can volunteer and help. I am not a wealthy or famous person, but if there is a way to help, I will do so.
I am not really sure you will actually ever see this letter, but if you do I just wanted to thank you for the time you gave this country and tell you that there are many Americans who do miss you.
Reading this E-mail made me mad. How can any American be afraid to voice his or her opinion? I had no idea that that is an actual concern for a lot of people. I blame the president for giving the impression that citizens should fear publicly speaking their mind. This is not how it should be. TLH, you did not succumb to the fear, which you say many people have. You are a brave person. Yesterday we saw the Iraqi people do the same thing. They didn't let themselves be cowed into silence by threats of harm. You shouldn't either. I thank you for your E-mail. It has opened my eyes to something I didn't know existed. This is another reason I need to undertake the State of the Nation Tour. I and the rest of the Democratic Party must understand, what's really happening in the US, not just what gets reported in New York newspapers. What does make me sad is the fact that people are allowing themselves to be cowed into silence, like your friends. They shouldn't, they must be brave, if not for themselves then for their children. What kind of world are they allowing to come into being for their children? If they know something is wrong, but they don't dare do something about it, even though they know in the end it will harm their children, they are simply wrong. This is the reason I'm agry at people, who call themselves Democrats, but, who do not actively get involved in making the party a success. I'm angry at Democrats, who do not volunteer or contribute to the party, but expect "others" to do it. Only active participation will get the Democratic party back in power. It has to be a grass roots activist effort if we want it to succeed. This is the reason I want my Tour of the Nation to be supported by small contributions from people, who care. What kind of fact finding tour would it be if I paid for it and people read it, without any involvement? It would be just another tour. Just another project nobody cares about, nobody is interested in and which is doomed to fail, because it won't push people to become involved in winning the congressional elections in two years time or the presidential election in four long years time. If we want to win, we need to start working now. If you want the Democratic party to win and take away your fears, you must actively participate now.
TLH, thank you for the E-mail. I wish you and your children the best.
I wanted to see if this is a valid address. I just discovered your blog today and am delighted! I met you in Tallahassee at the Capitol in March,1995 (before your personal troubles began), when I was president of the Tallahassee section of National Council of Jewish Women. I had just come back from the NCJW triennial legislative conference advocating on the Hill for your polices for women, children and families, and had missed seeing you there and then had missed your arrival at the Tallahassee airport by one hour on my return. I thought I was going to miss you again at the Capitol because the crowd was so thick, but you walked counter clockwise the way I was leaving where the crowd thinned, and I was finally able to meet you briefly. As I introduced myself and told you where I had been and what I had been doing, I noticed that you are probably the most attentive listener I've every known. You are able to stay in the present and give laser-like attention. I've never forgotten that.
Your blog is like your charming book continued. Please do whatever you can with your considerable people skills to wrest our country from the dark force of people who would rather destroy than construct. God bless you.
Linda G. Miklowitz,
Attorney & Counselor at Law
Hi Linda, I remember you very well. I hope you're doing well. I would like to thank you and the NCJW for the support you gave me and you continue to give to my wife. Tallahassee is a lovely place. Bobbi talks about it all the time. She comes from Alford, a few miles to the north. Maybe you know each other. I would like to thank you for your E-mail and I would like to wish you the best. Take care of yourself.
I accept the blame you impose. I have not done enough to help my local democratic party. I am starting to try to turn that around. I am a precinct chair here in Tarrant County, Texas. I just went to my first executive meeting and volunteered for the, here's the hook, Speakers Committee.
Our problem is this: We have only got $11,000.00 left in the bank. Our County Chair even had to lend over $10,000.00 of his own money to the effort to keep the doors open earlier this year. The executive meeting was about 2 things. Getting the Democratic Party rebuilt after serious losses and getting some money back in the pipeline.
I have been involved with a few other civic organizations and know that we could probably turn things to at least a slightly better place with a series of speakers that would draw some money to us. Dallas County Democratic Party has Wes Clark coming in February 11th. Dallas County has a larger organization than we do, though I don't know they are any better off.
Here's the pitch. Are you able to help us here in Tarrant County? After reading your diary I see you are still fatigued easily. Your friends in the country are still concerned about you. If you were considering a State of the Nation Tour anyway... could you consider coming to Fort Worth for a fundraiser. As I was reading in your book you used to be no stranger to small events and this would be a lalapaloosa small event. I couldn't guarantee what kind of audience there would be, though for Democrats worldwide you are still the man. I think we would have to find an immense hall to hold the love and appreciation our audience would shower on you.
Our Democratic Party in Texas is suffering. We were not able to save Martin Frost or Charlie Stenholm. Money to our counties is in short supply. I will probably be treading on someone or another’s toes by even sending this but hey they know and I know we need the help. The one thing I did learn in my previous experience was that speakers won’t come and help if they are not asked, and frankly Mr. President we need you, so I am asking. Is it possible?
Pct 2383 Chairperson
Hi John, I would like to thank you for your wonderful words about me and your interest in my health. I'm feeling better, but I can't say I feel like I used to feel before the surgery. My schedule is filled and with my activities for the victims of the tsunami and my Asian book tour, I actually have to scrap speaking engagements. The State of the Nation Tour is a fact finding tour, which I will undertake incognito. I will be in disguise. I want people to talk to me like they would talk to a stranger. I want the truth. I want to hear the real deal. I will report about my tour here on this daily diary. I will also post pictures of the places and maybe the people I meet on my journey. I don't believe in saying no, without giving an alternative. You should contact the Dean for Chair campaign. I think Dean needs people in the South and South West, like you in Texas. People in these regions fear Dean. They don't really know what he stands for. Actually they have the wrong impression of him. They think he's your typical New England liberal. He is not. Howard Dean is moderate on abortion, has a triple A rating from the National Rifle Association and is against gay marriage. The only point I disagree with him on is the war in Iraq. I support it. He doesn't. He does believe though that we need to finish what we started. I think it might be mutually beneficial for both your precinct and the Dean campaign if he was to speak at the event you're trying to organize. Try contacting his campaign. He might say yes. Just tell them I recommended you. I was a campaign volunteer for George McGovern in Texas, when he ran for president. I know what it's like to be a Democrat in Texas, so I would like to encourage you to keep up the good work. The party needs committed people like you. Have a good day, John.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Yoga and Iraq
Hillary got up early this morning as she usually does. After taking a shower she came back into the bedroom to do her Yoga exercises. I don’t understand why she doesn’t do them in another room. I can’t sleep while she is close by tying herself in the most amazing knots. I can’t sleep. I worry she will break her neck. So I got up and moved to another room, since these exercises usually continue for about an hour and a half. It does give me the opportunity to say something important though.
I would like to encourage all Iraqis to vote. You might be afraid, but what can the terrorists do to you that 35 years of Saddam’s dictatorial rule hasn’t done to you already? This is the reason you must vote. You must end this state of fear you’ve been living in for the past decades. Don’t let yourself be imprisoned again. Don’t change one dictator for another one. One ruling through rape rooms, one through cutting throats. This is your chance. You must use it. No matter what.
I know a lot of Iraqis are afraid to go out and vote. I know a lot of people, especially here in the United States blame ambassador Paul Bremer and Don Rumsfeld for the lack of security. They blame them for disbanding the old Iraqi army, leaving a security void, which was filled by looters and terrorists.
I disagree with those voices. If the old army, stuffed with the minority Sunnis and Baathists was still around, they would pose organized opposition to the new civilian authorities. You cannot build a civil society with an armed group as powerful as the old Iraqi army still in place. Civil authorities must be in control of the army. Not the other way around. In the long run, building an army up from the ground will prove to have been a wise decision
Apart from that, having 300,000 armed and highly organized Sunni and Baathist soldiers close to and amidst 125,000 American soldiers is a risk no American president can take.
So again, I would like to say to the Iraqis. Go out and vote. Your future and the future of your children is in your hands.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
I was very open in my biography, My Life. I’m not planning on changing my style here. Why do I keep my diary? I think every politician should have one. It’s a way to communicate with the world directly. The Clinton library isn’t mine anymore. It’s customary to donate the presidential library to the nation. I did so too. It is now part of the National Archive.
It’s sad to see what happened to our country after I left office. President Bush has expunged almost every imprint I had made on the nation’s social and economic welfare. All the things I did to make this a better country are gone. What do people remember of the time I was in office? The only mistake I made.
I can’t make a new imprint on the nation as president. All I can do is hope Americans don’t forget my legacy. I was a darn good president. It seems like I constantly have to defend myself and my policies against my detractors.
I’m afraid, if I don’t fight back, my detractors will succeed in defining my presidency. What bothers me is that average Americans seem to forget, how it really was. My detractors seem to be able to put a whole new memory into their minds. A memory, which is just not true.
The only way I can defend myself is by being out there. Doing the State of the Nation Tour, writing this diary, giving speeches, helping rebuild the party and helping my fellow Democrats succeed.
People shouldn’t forget me or the things I did, which made this country such a great place to live during the 8 years I was president.
I’m still the same guy. That’s why I have to be candid, why I have to be open. I have to touch people’s hearts and hope they remember me and my presidency as they truly were. That's important to me. It's all I have left as time goes by.
Friday, January 28, 2005
Technology and China
This is an ignorant position to take. If they had visited the World Economic Forum here in Davos, they’d understand that China is more technologically advanced than a lot of American politicians seem to think.
They should understand that if China can’t get it’s technology from the US, they will get it from the Europeans or Japan. There is no worldwide embargo to keep China from attaining a higher level of technological advancement.
The Europeans have recently and against our wishes, they have lifted their arms trade ban pertaining to China. We, America and its companies must learn the lesson here. It would be much smarter for us to sell the Chinese our technology and use the money to invest in more advanced technology.
We can no longer expect to guard our national security by keeping China ignorant. We shouldn’t try it. What we should do is make sure we keep ahead of them and the rest of the world when it comes to technology. This means changing our school system, making it more science friendly. It means changing our tax practises when it comes to Research and Development.
China is turning out 75,000 highly skilled scientists every month. We need to change our attitude.
I remember we had the same situation a few years back, when the Hong Kong based Huchison-Whampoa company, owned by Li Ka-Shing tried to buy the bankrupt Global Crossing company. We stopped them. As a result, I heard later, China set up a whole new fiber optics division at one of their universities. Their technology is now comparable with ours. Let’s not make the same mistake again.
World Economic Forum Davos Switzerland
I’m starting to feel better. It’s almost evening here in Europe. I felt terrible all day long, but that’s my own fault. I told Bobbi to go back to bed. She kept falling asleep during a press conference this morning.
I met my good friend Bono and Tony Blair yesterday during a media event. We wanted to spend some time together, so we agreed to meet each other in Tony’s hotel suite. When I told my assistant, Bobbi I was off to visit Bono, she begged me to take her along. I know the kind of attraction Bono has on young women, so I let her tag along.
It was about 10:30 when we got to Tony’s suite. Bono was there already. Bobbi was so star struck, she was speechless, the three of us just laughed. Tony had a bottle of French wine, we opened it and had a great time. That is until Bono gave me a large package. He and Tony could hardly suppress their laughter. I opened the package and to my surprise, inside was a sax made of china.
Bono urged me to play something. To my big surprise, the sax actually worked. Tony asked me to play a song, but I declined to play alone. Tony and Bono got up, walked to the other room and came back with their guitars.
We jammed for a few minutes. Tony is a great guitar player. He told me he used to be in a band. He also told me once that during a short period, when he was homeless, he played guitar for tips on the streets and in the parks of London.
People always think guys like Tony and me were born with a silver spoon in our mouths. That is not true. We had to work very hard to get where we eventually got.
After opening up a few more bottles of wine, we stopped jamming and began playing old rock and roll hits. Bono sang and Bobbi clapped her hands. At one time Bobbi started singing along. It must’ve been the wine. All of us had to laugh. Bobbi has a distinct Southern accent. Bono asked her to choose the next song. She said she wanted to hear “Angel of Harlem”.
We were all silent for a moment and looked at Bono. Bono has a special relationship with that song. He rarely plays it. I don’t know why, but I know it’s so. It must’ve been silent for 5 minutes. Bono looked at Bobbi. Bobbi looked at me. Helplessly.
Then he said: All right. He began playing the opening chords of “Angel of Harlem”. I absolutely love that song. It’s a classic. He sang: It was a cold and wet December day, When we touched down at JFK.
Tony and I played along. I will never forget this moment as long as I live. We had such a good time.
We continued drinking and playing till 2:30. I was sitting on the bed, Tony and Bono were both sitting on a chair. All of us were more asleep than awake by then. I hadn’t slept the night before. I told the guys it was time for me to go. I looked around for Bobbi, but she was fast asleep on the bed.
I got up, sort of, my legs were too wobbly and I tried to wake her up. I couldn’t. I tried to lift her up to take her to her room, but my heart surgery has left me quite weak and Bobbi is a healthy young woman from the Florida panhandle. The last thing I remember is Tony saying he was going to the toilet and never returning and me falling to the ground.
I woke up early this morning. I had a terrible headache. Bobbi was still asleep on the bed. Bono was next to her, also passed out. He was still wearing his blue sunglasses. I woke up Bobbi.
I have to laugh though. Well now, not this morning. I said good morning. She said good morning. She looked to her side and screamed out loud. I said: It’s Ok. That’s Bono. We all fell asleep last night. You gotta get up. We have to go.
Oh God, I still have to laugh about the look on poor Bobbi’s face.
I went to the toilet. I heard someone say: yamma, yamma, yamma. I looked around and found Tony in the bathtub. He was sleeping like a baby. I couldn’t help myself. I threw water on his face. Hahaha. I woke him up good. When I left Bono was still asleep.
I feel terrible now, but I had such a good time last night. Tony and Bono are my true friends. They are wonderful people.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Arafat and Barak Palestine and Israel
Today 60 years ago Russian troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi occupied Poland. Hillary has Jewish relatives, so this issue is very important to us. I learned a very important lesson. Such evil must never be allowed to happen again. When I tried to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together, I noticed one important thing. Who ever was in power, be it Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu or Barak, I could talk about every subject, but when it came to security for the Jewish people, goodwill became an iron clad no.
I understand that, now more than then. Yasser Arafat fooled me. I thought he really wanted to make peace. I tried hard to get the Israeli side to go the extra mile. He fooled me. When Barak went further than any prime minister in history and Arafat didn't close the deal, but instead unleashed a violence not seen in years, I understood, the Israelis were right. I was wrong.
It's amazing to see how one person can hold the freedom, happiness and prosperity hostage of millions of people. Arafat left the scene and the whole equation has changed. For the better.
I met Bill Gates today. He's donating money to the tsunami relief fund. I tried to get him to donate some money to my AIDS project, but I caught him at the wrong moment. There seems to be something wrong with Microsoft. Just before I talked to him, he had been grilled by journalists. I don't know much about computers, but it had something to do with leaks in Internet Explorer and viruses. What I gathered from the questions is that Microsoft is losing its dominance, that rivals have products, which don't attract viruses. If I was a betting man, I would start short selling Microsoft shares.
Palm Beach Florida Trump Wedding
There is no real reason to get up. I’m not going anywhere. I just sit around looking at the snow in the garden. I’m glad Hillary is working. What would our lives look like with two people without a thing to do. We’d probably end up bickering like that couple played by Elisabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Hillary would win. I’d probably end up locking myself in my barn office to get away from her.
I was at Donald Trump’s wedding Saturday. Well not at the wedding itself, but at the reception at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. It’s a beautiful place. It used to be a private home. It’s a private gentlemen’s club now. Donald owns it. I had a good time. I was glad to be doing something. I gave the couple a small trinket I bought at Tiffany’s. It wasn’t my choice, but that’s where they had their list. Everything on the list was expensive. 200 dollar tea spoons. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Maybe it’s the years of poverty, but 200 dollars buys you a car, not a spoon. If somebody gave me a 200 dollar spoon, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
The food was pretty good. They had what they called a “Bounty of the Sea” buffet. You had to get your own dish. Which was ok with me. I love fried fish. I ate too much. I always eat too much at parties.
The other guests were all happy and laughing. I had a wonderful time. I just wish some people would curtail their cocktail intake. Katie Couric and Richard Chamberlain had words. She began shouting at him. Richard, whom I adore sought my help, but I’m not getting in the way of a tipsy 46 year old woman, who is accustomed to getting her way. Donald had to intervene and calm down the situation.
Melania and Katie had words too. I didn’t understand their problem. Barbara Walters said something about a camera in a lipstick, but she was pretty much gone by that time. I just smiled and left her at the first opportunity I got. I went back to the buffet.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Democratic Party supporters
I'm disappointed in Democrats. We've become lethargic and lazy. We say we want to be saved from the Republicans, but what are we doing to be saved? We're not doing a damn thing.
The Republicans turn out millions of Evangelicals. Whom do we get out to vote? Nobody. Our voters are lazy. Our voters want others to donate. Our voters want others to volunteer. I'm disappointed in my fellow Democrats. I'm very disappointed.
You know, I worked really hard all my life. I tried to make America a better place. For 8 years it was a better place. I leave office and everything spirals out of control. I can't help but blame myself. I made many mistakes. But I also blame those, who believe in the Democratic party, but, who never contribute their time or money to see their party prevail. I blame myself, but I also blame you.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Monday, January 10, 2005
Social Security Crisis
Anyway, the reason I have doubts about my new role is George Bush's push to privatize Social Security. He wants young people to be able to create private accounts. This will obviously take money out of the SS system and cause the system to collapse in the near future. The people, which will be hit most are old people. Young people can always get a job, but what should the old and the sick do?
It's pretty obvious what George Bush is trying to do. He did the same with the current budget. George Bush proposes huge extra spending on the military and homeland security. No politician wants to be seen as weak, so everybody goes along with these increases. They cause a huge budget deficit. The government tells congress money needs to be saved, so they start slashing current spending. And it always involves taking away money from social programs.
In other words, George Bush is cutting spending on programs he dislikes by overspending on programs he can get away with.
I knew this even before 9-11. The huge tax breaks for the rich were not meant to kick start the economy or to put money in middle America's pockets. It was meant to create a huge budget deficit, which in turn had to lead to cuts on spending, cuts on social programs.
It's the same old Bush objective, dressed up in new clothes.
People always say, Bush is a spend it all "new" Republican. This is not true. Just look at what he's spending money on.
Now Social Security. Bush wants to cut it down or even get rid of it. He wants private pension plans to replace a national system in the future.
He will arrive at his private pension plan by taking money out of SS. This will cause SS to run huge deficits. Since they are unsustainable, SS will need to be changed. People might have to work till they're 70 years old or the amount of money retired Americans get may be cut.
What Bush is doing, what he has been doing since before 9-11 is create a problem, then solve it using his own methods, which always include money going out of government and into the pockets of big business.
It's insurance companies and banks which stand to reap huge profits if young people can put their money in private accounts. Nothing "new" Republican about that.
The reason I have my doubts about my new role in the tsunami relief effort, is the fact that I'm bound. I can't all of a sudden start criticizing the president about Social Security. Americans wouldn't understand and blame me. He played his hand well.
Friday, January 07, 2005
She supported me through all of these years, so I have to support her. I know that, but that doesn't mean my heart wants it.
I've thought a lot about moving to Manhattan. That's impossible, but a small second home, an apartment would do.
I have a lot of friends in New York. I miss them. I miss going to Broadway, going to art expositions, going to fundraisers, socialites' dinner parties. I miss meeting people, talking, laughing.
If I want to do all these things now, I have to commute each day and stay at hotels. I dislike both. Apart from that, if you get invited, one day they expect you to invite. Where do I give my dinner party? In Chappaqua? Most people in Manhattan can't even pronounce the word, let alone have any inclination to visit this small town and my "farmhouse" dressed up in cocktail dresses and dangling with 200 year old jewellery. No, it just wouldn't work.
Apart from that, I'd have to host my parties alone, because Hillary spends most of the week in Washington. And I'd have to visit their parties by myself. I can hear the gossip already.
Lately she's been spending more and more time in Washington. Isn't she interested in spending time with me anymore? Is it because Chelsea is gone now and all we got left is the two of us? Is that not enough for her?
I like those moments when we sit at the fire place, with the sound of the rain gently hitting the roof in the background. We open up a bottle of wine. One from my stock, because my friends bring me the better stuff from France. I always tease her about the wine she gets.
Most of the time it's Californian Ernest and Julio Gallo wines given away by the case load to her and other congressmen by one of the company's directors trying to get some tax break for the wine industry.
I love those moments together with my wife. She'd be in her chair sipping her drink and reading her book and I'd be sitting there pretending to read, but actually looking at her. I love looking at Hillary. Me looking at her is how we met for the first time.
Those moments also make me sad. I know how many times I hurt her. I hurt her so very badly. There are times that I just want to get on my knees in front of her and tell her, I'm so sorry, sweetie. I'm so, so sorry.
But I'm afraid. We've regained a lot we lost, after the whole Ken Starr affair. I'm afraid if I tell her how I feel, this might anger her or bring back the old feelings and I might lose what I have right now.
I don't know what to do. I want to talk to her so much, but I fear her reaction.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Area 51 and Aliens
We saw The Grudge and National Treasure. The Grudge is a horror movie about a cursed house. I thought it was slightly amusing, more amusing was Bobbi's reaction. She kept screaming and grabbing me and hiding her face against my shoulder.
I liked National Treasure very much. Nicolas Cage is one of my favorite actors. Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer made a very entertaining and interesting movie. I'm a conspiracy buff. I like reading books about secret societies and cloak and dagger stories. I was on the inside of government, so I know there is more out there than meets the eye.
You know, when I was elected, but before I was inaugurated, someone, a total stranger, whom I met on the street asked me to look into Area 51 and Aliens in Roswell, New Mexico. I laughed, but decided to buy a book about the subject. It was very interesting. I asked my good friend Webster Hubbell to investigate the matter.
When Hillary talked about the vast right wing conspiracy, she was mocked. Maybe the conspiracy wasn't a right wing one, but something else.
I never did get a clear answer about Area 51 from the ones with the security clearance. And I was the president.
More than that you know what happened to me during my second term. And you know what happened to Hubbell. He died.
Sometimes you shouldn't ask questions why, you just have to accept reality.
The electoral votes were counted in Washington today. Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Senator Barbara Boxer forced a debate about the legitimacy of the election. Their objections were overturned. George Bush won fair and square, didn't he? Both times.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
I heard there is going to be a dinner party in Hollywood for all the actors, singers and entertainment executives. The president thinks they could raise millions in donations. Mr. Clinton is very popular in Hollywood.
He's asking Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond to perform together. He said that would be a big thing. To be honest I hardly know these singers. The president rolled his eyes when I said that. Maybe I should google their names.
Oh and Jerry Seinfeld called. I talked to him on the phone. He's a very nice man. Just like on TV. He will be there too. It should be a wonderful party. I wish I could be there. But Maybe it will be on TV.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
President Bush was caught off guard in this situation. And to be honest I think he almost fell off the horse. When the tsunami struck it took him 3 days to come back from his vacation and the first aid the administration was willing to give was 15 million dollars.
I don't blame him. Nobody, not even the local governments knew the extent of the destruction and loss of life in the first few days.
What caught the president off guard too was the huge outpouring of grief and compassion for the victims and the widespread and in depth media coverage. Americans cared. There are many catastrophies all over the world, but this one seems to have struck Americans and indeed the world right in the heart.
Maybe it's the fact that it was a natural disaster and not a man-made one. No one can sit back and sarcasticly say, are they beating each other's brains out again. No one is to blame. That is probably the reason for the massive international and national effort to help.
Though president Bush was caught off guard, he jumped back on the horse pretty fast.
First of all nobody should doubt George Bush's political acumen. He is a first class politician.
He did show his hand though. He appointed his brother, the governor of Florida Jeb Bush to accompany secretary Powell on his trip to Asia.
Governor Bush is very popular in Florida. He won reelection with a wide margin. It is now pretty clear to me that Jeb Bush will run for president in 2008.
Jeb Bush has a lot of experience dealing with national issues. What he lacks, as did George Bush when he first ran in 2000, is international experience. The governor is filling in that gap in his resume right now under the wings of Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice.
George Bush giving his brother some international exposure is a smart move. Asking me to join him in the relief effort was a smart move too.
President Bush knew he was under attack by Democrats for his late and initially small contribution to the relief efforts. By appointing me he deflects a lot of the criticism.
Why did I say yes to president Bush's request? Because I want to help the victims.
Monday, January 03, 2005
Larry King Live CNN
Former Presidents Bush and Clinton discuss their new role in coordinating the U.S. effort to aid tsunami victims.
Welfare Reform and Internet Poker
Danny DeVito called me yesterday and admonished me for talking about Kevin Spacey's life so openly.
I told him it was the truth and that I've learned a few things as a politician. One of the things is there are always people with the same problems like you, who think their problems are unique.
If someone, who is being abused reads the post about Kevin, they will understand it happens to other people too. They will understand that there is help out there. That they can get out of that unhealthy situation.
My dad was an abusive drunk. I wish someone told me there was help out there, so my mom and brother and I didn't have to continue going through what we went through.
I've always tried to be honest. I've always tried to do the right thing, whether it was popular or not.
I remember the struggle to reform welfare entitlements when I was president. Many people in the Democratic party would tell me, African-Americans are your most solid constituency, why would you reform welfare, which will hurt them?
My answer was always simple. Reforming welfare was the right thing to do.
I know it would've been easier to do nothing, but what about the countless people welfare entitlements were hurting?
I know that there are people, whose jobs are so hard, that if they could receive welfare instead of work they would opt for welfare. OK.
But what about their children?
Would you like to have dad at home all day long? What kind of morals are you passing to your children if you spend your days in front of the television? Do you expect them to succeed in life with such an example?
That's the reason I can't get angry at my brother Roger, when he messes up again. I know where he's coming from.
Some might say, and said, this and that and people need it. Ok, but what about the people it's hurting? Who's looking out for them?
I think welfare reform was a major success. Even African-Americans, the people some in the Democratic party didn't want to enrage, told me it had made their lives more difficult at times, but in the end it was for the better of them and their families.
Sometimes, if you love someone and as a politician, you love people, you have to administer some bad tasting medicine for the people's own good.
It's not enough to cry together, you also need to find a solution that works together.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea
Kevin had tried to make this movie for a long time. Bobby Darin is one of his idols. I've seen his struggle to get this movie done. Kevin not only played Bobby Darin, but he also directed and produced the movie. I'm so proud of him and the movie.
Kevin is one of my closest friends. We click on a level I don't click with others. I've thought about our connectedness. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we both had very violent and abusive alcoholic fathers and doting mothers.
I want to make one clear distinction though, my father was abusive, but never in a sexual way. I can't talk about Kevin, but his older brother, Randall Fowler, Kevin Spacey Fowler is Kevin's real name, publicly said once that their father was a Nazi nut, who sexually abused him. That is Randall. About Kevin, it's not my place to talk about those things.
Kevin sings the songs in the movie himself. He also sings the songs on the movie soundtrack. Bobby Darin's songs. His rendition of Mack the Knife and Dreamlover are very good. He has been on tour singing these songs for the past few weeks. I'll ask Bobbi to add a link to his tour schedule website. I think the tour has finished, but the reaction from the public is so overwhelming, I hope he'll consider adding dates to his tour.
The film opened nationwide on December 29 and includes Kate Bosworth as Sandra Dee, John Goodman, Bob Hoskins, Brenda Blethyn, Gretta Scacchi, Caroline Aaron and Peter Cincotti.
I enjoyed the movie very much and I would like to recommend it to you. Kevin Spacey's BEYOND THE SEA, The Bobby Darin Story
Kevin Spacey Sings Bobby Darin Tour Schedule
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Happy New Year Buddhist Temple
I would also like to ask everybody to remember the victims of the tsunami in Asia and donate.
Hillary and me went to a Buddhist temple in Queens yesterday. Buddhist monks and others were collecting money and goods to help the victims in Asia. It was a big success. I want to thank everybody, who was involved in this. God bless you.