Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Private Detective New York

I don’t have much time. Gil is on his way here to pick me up. He received a tip. Roger is in New York. We’re going after him. Wish me luck.

Democratic Party

Another political scandal is brewing in Washington. The rumors I hear is that Democratic Senate aides have been caught distributing a fake memo to journalists they said was written by Senate Republicans.

The memo is supposed to be an internal Republican document talking about strategies the Republicans should follow to profit politically from the Terri Schiavo case.

If these rumors are true, this would be the second time in a year that the Democratic party was involved in the creation or distribution of forged documents.

The first time had to do with Bush’s National Guard Memos. The memos purported to be thirty year old documents written by president Bush’s commander in the National Guard criticizing the president for refusing to follow a direct order.

These “thirty year old memos” were in reality made by a longtime Texas based Bush adversary called Bill Burkett. He wrote them on his computer and then copied them a few times to make them look old.

He fooled Dan Rather and CBS News and they used these memos just a few weeks before the election.

The Democratic Party was involved in this case too. I should be more specific. The Kerry campaign was involved in this affair.

As one of his conditions for giving CBS the memos, Bill Burkett asked CBS to put him in contact with the Kerry campaign. CBS did so and Bill Burkett talked to Kerry’s campaign advisor Joe Lockhart about strategies to cause maximum damage to the Bush campaign using the fake memos. Joe Lockhart was my press secretary when I was president. I’m very disappointed in his behavior, especially since his role in the affair is rubbing off on me, because of our relationship in the past.

As you know Dan Rather was forced to resign, because of this affair. I think it also contributed to John Kerry’s loss in the election.

Americans don’t want their leaders to be involved in murky business to get elected. Most Americans take our democratic processes serious. That’s the reason even Republicans, most of them anyway agree that Nixon’s Watergate behavior was wrong.

If it turns out the memo in question now was written by Democrats, this would damage the credibility of our party.

I don’t know what’s wrong with our party leadership on Capitol Hill these days. It seems like common sense politics have been replaced by guerilla tactics.

There is nothing wrong with using some off the book tactics to derail your opponent’s campaign. That’s politics, but the problem in Dan Rather’s case is more severe. That bordered on an attempt to steal the election.

That’s the reason I’m angry about this new fake memo issue. Americans might forgive you once, but they won’t do it twice. What’s more, these tactics are not just criminal, legally speaking, but they are also unnecessary.

The majority of Americans agree with the Democratic Party’s point of view in the Terri Schiavo case, so why do a stupid thing like forging a memo?

I’m telling you, sometimes I really despair of the quality of our party’s leadership.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sony Playstation Portable

I went to the mall today. Bobbi asked me to go with her and get a cup of coffee. I thought it was a good idea, because I could use the exercise. It was either that or sitting on my stationary bike for an hour. I hate that bike.

When we arrived at the mall, Bobbi did what most women do: she went to every shop except the one where they serve coffee. In the end she bought a Sony playstation portable. To me it looked like a Gameboy. I bought one for Chelsea a long time ago. I remember that very well, because it was very expensive.

This Sony playstation portable cost almost 300 dollars. Three hundred dollars for a toy! I don’t understand these youngsters. According to Bobbi she needs one, because she has to commute to her job every day. I told her to read a newspaper. She gave me a look.

Anyway we sat down at a coffee shop and tried to get the Gameboy to work. We had to charge it. It worked. Bobbi had bought one game, so as soon as she managed to get it to work she began playing the game.

I’m not very good at videogames. I’m not an avid player. To be honest the first time I played a videogame was only about seven years ago. I was in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I had to visit king Fahd. King Fahd is king in name only. Due to his age and mental state, his brother Crown Prince Abdullah governs the country.

When I arrived at King Fahd’s palace, he was sitting in the living room. The first thing I saw was a huge screen. The King was playing Nintendo games. He didn’t get up or even looked up. He gave me a joystick and challenged me to a race.

The game looked a bit like the Indy 500. We had to race cars. It was the first time I played one of these games, so I kept crashing my car. I remember, after the fiftieth crash the king looked at me and said “You suck”. He grabbed the joystick and told me to leave. I was stunned, but there was nothing much I could do, so I left. His brother later apologized to me for his brother's behavior.

After seeing Bobbi play with the portable playstation for a few minutes, I asked her if I could play too. I just wanted to see whether I was any good. The game she was playing looked familiar. It looked like a race game. I played it for a minute, but it kept saying Game Over.

I asked Bobbi what I was doing wrong? She told me to win at this game I had to crash my car into as many pedestrians as possible. Especially old women, they were worth a lot of points. I also had to stop once in a while and shoot at police officers.

I couldn’t believe my ears. That’s the sort of games young people play these days. I gave the portable playstation back to her.

I can’t crash my car into people. Game or no game. I just can’t do that.

After that we bought an ice cream and walked back to the house. It wasn’t until we arrived home that it dawned on me that I had made a huge mistake. I’m not allowed to eat ice cream. I completely forgot that. I have no idea how it happened, but I completely forgot about my diet.

I hope it doesn't have any consequences. I feel good right now. I'm tired, but I feel good.

Terri Schiavo and the Democratic Party

I would like to extend my condolences to the families which were hit by the earthquake in Asia. Thank God it did not cause a tidal wave, but there are many victims nonetheless. I will keep you in my prayers.

I would like to talk a bit about the Terri Schiavo case.

Republicans have been forced to show their cards, because of this heartbreaking situation with Terri Schiavo. It forced the Republicans to show Americans they were pandering to religious fanatics and are capable of disregarding the courts if it suits them.

It also showed the Republican leadership are hypocrites. Tom Delay, the leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives himself had to deal with an end of life situation in his own family. His father was involved in an accident, which left him in a vegetative state. Representative Tom Delay and his family decided to pull the plug. Their father died as a result of this action.

When president George Bush was governor of Texas he signed a bill allowing hospitals to pull the plug on patients, who were in a vegetative state and whose insurance or family were not able to pay the bills. In other words George Bush allowed the hospitals to end the life of a patient without the consent of the family for the sake of money.

Americans see what is happening. For the first time they see that the Republican party is not just the party of “patriots or pro-war hawks”, but also the party of “religious zealots”. The first group represents a majority of Americans. The second group only represents a small amount of Americans.

By and large Americans are religious, but do not want others to force their believes on them. That is what is happening here.

Basically the Terri Schiavo case is a family dispute. Terri according to her husband didn’t want to live in a vegetative state. Republicans are now saying “No, the parents have a say too”, which is strange, because it directly contradicts the sanctity of marriage.

What is a marriage? It means a man and a woman become one. Do the Republicans now wants to change the definition of marriage into a man and a woman and the relatives? How about a man and a man or a woman and a woman?

The Republicans have weakened the sanctity of marriage and gay couples will reap the benefit of this.

Coming back to the fact that Republicans have shown their true face. There is a difference between “patriots” and “religious fundamentalists”. The first want technology and science to prosper and will support teaching evolution in schools as this will create the mindset needed to educate the next generation of top notch scientists, which this country needs to stay on top.

Religious fundamentalists on the other hand will want evolution to be taught as a theory next to creationism.

What I’m trying to say is simple. Terri Schiavo, God bless her, opened a rift in the Republican party, which George Bush was able to glue together before.

In our party we have a rift too. The one between anti-war Democrats and the much larger group of pro-war Democrats.

The “patriots” in the Republican party voted for me when I ran for office. Religious fundamentalists never voted for me. I was elected president twice. What I’m trying to say is simple.

The Republicans are weaker than they seemed only two weeks ago. The reason for their weakness is the divide between “patriots” and “religious fundamentalists” in their party.

I read polls recently, which said 75 percent of Americans disagree with the Republicans and their actions in the Terri Schiavo case.

Looking at it with a cold political eye I say, if we Democrats push the anti-war section in our party to the side, not out of the party, I think we could accommodate the “patriots”, which are now voting Republican. If we do so, we will win elections again.

If we don’t do so, our anti-war stance will cancel out the “patriots” discomfort with the pandering to religious fundamentalists by the Republican party. In other words, we gain nothing and we will keep losing elections.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Leapin' Lizards It's Liberace

Hillary and I had a wonderful day today. We spent the whole day together. I think Hillary understood I wasn’t feeling very well and took charge. She gave the housekeeper a day off and told the secret service agents to stay out of the house. At least that is what I think she did, because I haven’t seen any of them all day long.

I made some fire in the fireplace. We watched two Liberace DVD’s. I’m a big fan of Liberace. Hillary and I saw him about two years before he died at Madison Square Garden in New York. He always brings a smile to my face. I will ask Bobbi to find a clip on the internet, so younger readers will get a chance to see him at work. (watch a short Liberace video clip)

Hillary made tea and put some cookies on the table. We sat on the couch all afternoon. We held hands. We were flirting with each other. I guess that’s something you never stop doing no matter how old you get.

I had a wonderful afternoon thanks to Hillary. She is a wonderful wife, such a beautiful woman. On days like this I’m reminded I don’t deserve her love. I can only hope I can repay her in some way some day.

The bond between us today was such that I felt I should tell her I miss her, because she’s in Washington all the time. I looked at her for at least five minutes trying to find the courage to tell her what I thought. She looked at me, I didn’t go through. I just smiled. She smiled back.

This was not the time to make her feel uncomfortable, to give her the idea she was neglecting me. She’s a good wife and days like this one make me forget all the days we are apart.

That’s what’s important.

I have also decided to follow the advice of some of the commentators on this diary. I will try and call the poor woman I saw yesterday and see how she’s doing. You are right. I shouldn’t wait for other people to act. I should do something myself.

I'm Depressed

I went to church yesterday. It left me on the brink of depression. I was totally devastated emotionally. It took me the rest of the day to regain my composure.

What happened was this:

Hillary and I went to church. We got out of the car about a block away from the building and walked the rest of the way. In front of us was a couple I recognized. The woman had been pregnant. Unfortunately there was no happy ending. She had given birth to a still born child a week ago.

I could see she was crying. She held a handkerchief to her eyes from time to time as her husband was comforting her. We arrived at the door of the church a few seconds apart. The couple stopped at the door to talk to the reverend.

Parishioners came to me and Hillary to talk to us and wish me a speedy recovery.

I was still watching the lady. The revered looked up to see what the commotion was all about. He saw me and almost immediately he said goodbye to the couple. He put his hand on the shoulder of the woman, walked around them and came to me.

Why? Why did this “man of God” leave this grief stricken couple to come and talk to me? Why?

This woman’s husband is an insurance salesman or something like that. I don’t really know them, except from hear say.

Maybe they didn’t understand. Maybe they were grateful for the few seconds the reverend had for them.

I do understand. I was in that same situation when I was little. My mom was a widow, a nobody. Nobody helped us. She worked four jobs and never complained.

I showed them, huh? I’m a big man now. When a woman gives birth to a still born child, the reverend doesn’t want to spend time with her. Oh no, he wants to spend time with me.

Because my pain is so much bigger than her pain.

This reverend, this holy man, talks the talk, he waves the Bible in the air, but his heart isn’t walking the walk. No, I’m being too poetic. The guy is a scumbag. When he walked over to me and Hillary, I swear I was about to spit in his face. I was ready to explode, but as usual I swallowed the venom.

I smiled. What does that make me? I’m just as phony as everybody else.

All day long I couldn’t forget what had happened. His behavior caused me to have one of my moods when I completely lose faith in humanity. He invited my old demons back into my life. Memories of things past.

It’s very hard to put these demons to rest. I talk to myself and I talk to myself. I’m not a nice guy. I have demons in me. We all do. Maybe mine are a bit bigger than other people’s, because I went through hell when I was a little boy, but I fought back.

You know what happens when you shave off your beard? It grows back, stronger than before. The harder I fought to free myself from the hell I lived in, the harder the demons fought back. I won. That’s what I thought. I won, but at what cost?

Some days there is a storm raging in my head. Round and round and round it goes. You can’t shut it down. You just have to lock yourself in your room, all by yourself and let it rage. On those days all you see is darkness.

I had one of those days yesterday, but I’m over it now.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Re-hiring Private Investigator

It’s Easter Sunday today. I’m getting ready to go to church with Hillary. It will be my first outing, since my surgery. I feel good, but I don’t know if I can take the strain of meeting so many people and sitting on a bench for so many hours without moving. But it’s an important day, so I have to attend church.

Gil, the private investigator is back in my life. He called me yesterday. I didn’t want to talk to him. He apologized for his behavior in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. He practically begged me to hire him again to find Roger. He told me Roger had disappeared and he feared the worst.

I didn’t take the bait. I wasn’t in a forgiving mood. I told him after what he had done, I would never trust him again. He began crying. He told me he had been retired from the police force, because of his alcohol abuse. He also told me his wife had left him and that he hadn’t seen his daughter for nine months, because his former wife didn’t allow him to visit her until he had paid his child support arrears.

He told me he had run up a lot of credit card debts during the time he had hit rock bottom. He was now trying to crawl out of the hole he had dug for himself. He told me he needed the money he received for the pictures he took at the motel to pay down his debts, so he could start a new life.

I told him I wasn’t interested in either his or Roger’s life and I told him to leave me alone. I put the receiver down.

But I was interested. I felt sorry for him, but I was also worried about Roger. As long as he is acting crazy, he is alive, but Gil couldn’t find him nowhere. What does that mean? I’m worried. I know Roger. If there is a trouble, my brother will get into it.

That’s Roger.

I thought about the situation for exactly five minutes. That’s when I received another phone call. It was Gil’s mother. I was stunned. I never recovered during the whole half hour we were talking.

Apparently Gil had given her my phone number and had asked her to help him persuade me to give him another chance. And that’s exactly what she did. I should’ve ended the conversation, but I couldn’t.

She wanted me to know how sorry Gil was for what he had done. She told me how Gil’s alcoholism had started, because of his ex-wife, who according to her was a “wild woman” more interested in having fun than running the household. She had been a chorus girl, a dancer I guess on Broadway before her marriage to Gil.

Gil’s mom never approved of the daughter in law. According to her she had begged Gil to marry another girl. A good girl according to her, but Gil had been stubborn. The situation now was this. This other woman had become a widow three months ago.

As I said we talked, well she talked to me for about half an hour. So I know that the other woman’s husband was a bus driver. He had a heart attack as he was driving the bus and the ride ended in the New York harbor. The husband was the only one, who was seriously hurt. The bus landed in shallow waters.

She was trying to persuade Gil to marry the widow.

She also talked about forgiveness and the Lord and how yesterday was Good Friday and tomorrow was Easter Sunday. She told me that her husband had died and that Gil was all she had left. She began crying.

There was nothing else I could do except tell her I would hire her son again. She was very happy about that. She thanked me and said she always knew I was a good man, she had been a lifelong Democrat and that she had voted for me twice. I thanked her.

After the phone call, I knew I had made a mistake by engaging Gil again, but there is no going back now. I do want to find my little brother. I want nothing to happen to him. If you go to church, please say a prayer for him.

I’m worried. More than I can say, but I have to wait. There is nothing else I can do.

God bless you and have a good Sunday.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Rafiq Hariri and Lebanon

I read the newspapers this morning over two cups of coffee. I’m allowed to drink coffee again. I’m happy about that. The most interesting articles were the ones dealing with the UN report pertaining to the international investigation into the murder of Rafiq Hariri. The UN report does not assign blame to either the Lebanese or the Syrian governments.

It does blame the Lebanese government and the Syrian intelligence forces for an atmosphere of violence and hate and the lack of law and order in Lebanon. It also says the Lebanese government didn’t do a good job investigating the murder and there should be an international investigation. It also clearly says that Bashar Assad, during a meeting threatened to harm Rafiq Hariri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt if they stood in his way.

I agree with this report. I’m certain Bashar Assad ordered the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, but in international affairs you can’t do anything without proof. I’m certain the international investigation will find proof linking Bashar Assad to the murder of my friend Rafiq Hariri.

The reason I’m so confident is the fact that it took the FBI years to find the culprits, who had blown up the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, but they found them and linked them to the Libyan government. And when the investigation succeeds, there will be hell to pay for Assad.

He probably thought the United States wouldn’t care about the death of an Arab politician. But Rafiq Hariri isn’t just some politician and Lebanon isn’t just some country in the Arab world.

Rafiq Hariri had many friends all over the world. I’m proud to say he considered me a friend. I talked to him ten days before his assassination. I was later debriefed by a few national security agents, who were interested in this conversation.

Bashar Assad made the mistake of thinking we, Americans didn’t care about Lebanon. We do and the reason for that is pretty much the same as the reason most Americans like Israel. Lebanon is a democratic and pluralistic society. What’s more there are hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Americans living in the United States. Most Americans have neighbors, who descend from families, who came from Lebanon.

For instance, one of the most respected journalists in Washington, Helen Thomas has Lebanese ancestry. Same goes for Senator Edward Kennedy’s wife. Lebanese Americans are a very successful and respected group in our society. And for that matter in the Democratic Party.

Even France, whose president Chirac was a friend and business partner of Rafiq Hariri has made it clear this situation has to be dealt with.

The international community does not take it lightly when a president murders a politician of another country. I have no idea what Bashar Assad was thinking, when he gave the order to kill my friend, but one thing I know for certain, murdering foreign politicians in a manner reminiscent of Michael Corleone in the Godfather will not stand. He has lost any respect any foreign head of state had for him.

Finally, Bashar Assad doesn’t seem to understand how serious this administration is about dealing with rogue states and state sponsors of terrorism. Let me clarify this. Syria is not the objective, it’s a barrier on the road to Iran.

The Syrian president has made three mistakes in one years. One, he appointed Emile Lahoud president of Lebanon for another three years against the will of the vast majority of Lebanese and in spite of the Lebanese constitution. Two, he murdered Rafiq Hariri. Three, he allied himself with Iran.

The United States can not allow Iran to have nuclear bombs. We know the ayatollahs in Tehran want them and will do anything to get them. The Bush administration is intent on stopping them.

There are two ways to stop them. One, we destroy their nuclear facilities or two we bring down the regime, which wants them. Regime change in Iran isn’t easy.

Iran is a big country, with a lot of money, because of its oil and gas reserves and has a population of about seventy million people, most of them young and of military age. Invading Iran is out of the question. Bombing Iran is possible, but won’t have the intended result. The only avenue left is to mortally wound the regime in Iran by cutting off its tentacles.

The first one is Hizballah in Lebanon, the second one is the Syrian regime.

I saw an interesting article in a newspaper, when I was in the hospital. It said someone had written pro- Sistani words on a wall in the Hizballah dominated Bekaa Valley. The reason I thought this was interesting is simple. Grand Ayatollah Sistani is the leader of the Shia in Iraq. He is a direct rival of the ayatollahs in Iran, who claim they are the leaders of all Shia in the world.

The Shia religion is structured in the same fashion as Catholicism. There is a pope and there are lower ranking priests. The leader of Iran Khamenei considers himself the “pope” of all Shia, including the ones in Iraq, but also the ones in Lebanon.

This is by the way the reason why the ayatollahs in Iran are interested in helping Hizballah. They are asserting their dominance as leaders of the Shia faith.

Their only rival for the title of “pope” is grand ayatollah Sistani of Iraq. His brand of Shia Islam is more moderate and democratic than the brand the Iranians are trying to sell to the Shia world. If we want to undermine the ayatollahs in Iran, we must support Sistani in Iraq and we must do everything possible to promote Najaf as the real base of Shia Islam. Now that Sistani seems to be making inroads in the Bekaa Valley, this might end the pro- Iranian Hizballah’s stranglehold on the Shia in Lebanon.

Hizballah lost its reason to exist after Israel pulled out of Lebanon. Hizballah knows this. The Shia in Lebanon want the same things as the rest of the Lebanese, a good education and jobs. Hizballah can’t provide those things, so they will never be as important as they used to be. As they lose votes, so will the Iranian ayatollahs lose influence over the Shia in Lebanon.

Coming back to Syria, when the international investigation proves Bashar Assad was behind the murder of Hariri, the UN will impose sanctions on Syria. Syria, which is a poor country with only about 15 million inhabitants will be hit hard. If the sanctions don’t bring down the government of Bashar Assad, they will certainly cripple his grip on power and undermine his influence in the region and his capacity to help the Iranians.

This is a good thing for Lebanon. It will calm down the situation in the region, possibly leading to the creation of a Palestinian state. This would mean that the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon can go home.

All in all, Bashar Assad made the mistake of his life when he decided to kill my friend.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Books and Music

When I woke up this morning I felt something had changed. I felt good, really good. I had no trouble breathing for the first time, since the surgery. I lifted my blanket and put my left leg on the floor. I sleep on the left side of the bed, because the right side is nearer to the door and since Hillary is the one working irregular hours sometimes well into the night, we thought it might be better, if she took that side instead of having to walk all around the bed in the dark.

As soon as my left foot hit the ground I froze. Something had changed. I could use my arms again. With no pain at all. I’m very happy about this.

One of the doctors visited me today and we talked about my progress. My wound is healing well. I do have to go to the hospital soon to get an x-ray, so the doctors can see if everything inside is healing well too.

The doctor told me I should start doing weight lifting exercises with small weights. I’m looking forward to it. I used to lift weights in high school. That is until I left the football team.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. If you really like to read a good book, you should read Errol Flynn’s autobiography “My Wicked, Wicked Ways”. I probably shouldn’t recommend it to you, but I’m not going to lie, it was probably one of the most amusing books I’ve ever read in my life.

When I was just a kid I loved adventure stories. At that time my favorite book was Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo”. I read the original version of more than 1300 pages. I loved that book. Actually although I haven’t read it in decades, it still is my all time favorite book. I would’ve never acknowledged this if I was still running for office.

It’s a strange thing, being a politician. When I was running for office journalists asked me what my favorite song was. I couldn’t tell them the truth. My favorite song is “Be my Baby” by the Ronettes. Obviously I couldn’t say that, because it’s too romantic. So I decided to say it was “Don’t stop thinking about Tomorrow” by Fleetwood Mac.

It was the right thing to do at the time. You’re a politician, you’re telling voters you are going to change politics as they know it, so what better theme song than “Don’t stop thinking about Tomorrow”? It was perfect for the campaign.

I do like Fleetwood Mac. Most baby boomers do. If I’m right their album “Rumors” is still the best selling album in the United States. Their best song though, is, you will agree and you will know I’m being honest with you, their best song is “Tell me Lies”. Am I right or not? I couldn’t use “Tell me Lies” as my theme song during my presidential campaign.

The problem with telling people you like something, without really liking that particular thing is the fact that you will be confronted with that thing for the rest of your life.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to listen to some saxophone player play “Don’t stop thinking about Tomorrow” when I was president. It wasn’t fifty or a hundred times, not just here in the US, but also overseas. I never liked the song, but after all the times I was forced to listen to it, I genuinely dislike the song, but that’s my own fault. I was the one, who told them I liked it.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Terri Schiavo

The Republicans are turning our country into a banana republic. The essence of a democracy is the fact that all shall abide by the law. The Republicans, edged on by their fundamentalist Christian base are making laws, which seek to undermine the rule of law.

I’m talking about the Terri Schiavo case. In my opinion there is no right or wrong answer in this matter. Basically it’s a family matter. Terri Schiavo heart temporarily stopped beating fifteen years ago. This damaged her brain. According to doctors she is in a vegitative state.

I know this is a very emotional subject, but you must put it into perspective. Each day dozens of people are killed by drunk drivers. Each and every one of these cases is a dramatic moment in the relatives’ lives. For the rest of us these victims are statistics.

Once in a while one of these family matters becomes national news. It happens during an Amber Alert, when a child goes missing and it happened during my presidency with the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000.

The two cases are similar in many ways, because they both deal with a person, who can not make his or her own decision. In both cases the family had to decide. But which family member's opinion is more important?

Elian Gonzalez was a six year old boy, who survived a shipwreck that killed his mother, when they tried to flee Cuba. Elian’s father, who lived in Cuba wanted his son back. The boy’s Miami based relatives wanted him to stay in the US.

The courts decided that Elian Gonzalez had to be reunited with his father. The Republicans at the time, edged on by Miami based anti-Castro Cuban exiles, passed law after law, even declaring him a US citizen to keep the courts from making the final decision.

In the Elian Gonzalez case, I decided to do what our Constitution demands of me, enforce the laws of the land. I asked Elian’s father to come to the United States. He came here with his new wife, Elian’s parents were divorced and their newborn child. The father was asked in private whether he wanted to stay in America. He said no. He was asked the question again later. Again he said he wanted to go home to Cuba. In this case there is nothing else you can do but follow the court’s ruling. The father took Elian back to Cuba.

In this case we again have family members claiming to speak for a family member, in this case Terri Schiavo. The husband, Michael Schiavo claims his wife would’ve wanted her feeding tube removed. The parents Bob and Mary Schindler claim their daughter would rather live.

The husband seems to be a decent man and in our system, in which marriage is a sacred institution, his point of view would be paramount. This case went through the Florida courts during the past few years. The Florida courts ruled the feeding tube could be removed.

In response the Republicans are now creating new laws to overrule the courts. In other words, they want more courts to look at the issue in the hope that another court will decide in their and their conservative supporters’ favor.

This has nothing to do with trying to be human towards a woman, who might die soon. This is all about a group in congress subverting the rule of law by creating new laws.

They have done it once now, will they stop or do it again?

In my opinion this law, which congress created, will be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme court. Congress can’t create laws specifically geared towards one person. The governor of Florida, Jeb Bush tried to enact a similar law pertaining to the same person some time ago, but it was deemed unconstitutional.

I tried hard, but I don’t have a point of view on this issue. Both husband and parents want what’s best for Terri Schiavo.

It’s a family matter, in which the Florida courts have the final word in my opinion. The rest of the nation should keep out of it. Especially politicians.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

I feel horrible. The muscles in my legs hurt every time I move and the muscles in my arms hurt too, so I stopped moving my arms altogether. This is the result of my workout with the physiotherapist I talked about yesterday. After the exercises I felt real good. I could move my arms normally for the first time in quite a while. Today I can’t move anything. It took me an hour to shower today.

I’ve been sitting at the breakfast table all morning, trying not to move. I have to drink my milk through a straw, because I’m still not allowed to drink coffee.

The physiotherapist will be here in two hours. I’m seriously thinking about calling her to cancel the appointment. I’m feeling muscles I never knew I had.

I don’t understand what happened. We did some arm exercises and I rode the stationary bike for a while. That’s all. The rest of the day I rested as much as possible. I was sitting at the breakfast table, reading and looking into the garden.

Talking about the garden, I saw two rabbits hopping around in our backyard yesterday. It was a beautiful sight. Here in Chappaqua we see a lot of rabbits and other animals. The reason for that is our close proximity to the Catskill Mountains and woodlands.

I asked Bobbi to take a few carrots we found in the kitchen and give them to the rabbits. I thought to myself either the rabbits eat the carrots or they would be part of my water based dinner. So Bobbi took the carrots, opened the kitchen door and went to the rabbits. At first they were frightened, but Bobbi broke the carrots in pieces and threw the pieces to them.

I had to smile. I was thinking, if Bobbi had been born in the city, she would’ve thrown the carrots to the rabbits in one piece. Animals don’t have hands, so you need to break their food in small pieces, so they can swallow it more easily.

I remember about thirty years ago, I was still a student, I was waiting at a bus stop in Washington DC. I was sitting on a bench. All of a sudden this pigeon landed close by. He had one leg. He limped around for a few seconds looking for food. He found a biscuit. He tried, but he couldn’t break it in pieces with his beak and therefore couldn’t eat it.

I was looking at this and felt sorry for the bird. I thought to myself, having only one leg makes it really difficult for him to find food, so I decided to help him. I took the biscuit. The pigeon flew up, but landed just a few yards away. I broke the biscuit in small pieces and threw a few crumbs in front of him. He ate them.

Then I decided to put the crumbs on the bench. To my surprise he jumped on the bench. At first he was a bit anxious and he would eat a crumb and look at me, ready to fly away. Later he felt more comfortable. He would eat the crumb I broke off for him and look at me, asking for more.

I must’ve spend at least ten minutes feeding the pigeon. After the biscuit was gone, he looked at me and I showed him my empty hands. I sat back and waited for the bus. So did the pigeon. He sat down next to me on the bench, facing the road. For some strange reason, Hillary would probably call it silliness, but I felt a certain bond between us. We felt very comfortable, just sitting there looking at the traffic.

After five more minutes the bus arrived. I got up, so did the one legged pigeon. I told him that was my bus and I remember telling him “Take care, my friend”, before I entered the bus. I sat down next to the window and smiled and waved to the bird. As the bus drove away, he flew away.

You know I still wonder what happened to my one legged friend. He is probably dead by now, but still I wonder about him. It’s one of those moments when you meet someone, in this case a pigeon, you bond with this person, you never see that person again, but you always remember that person.

Bobbi’s encounter with the rabbits wasn’t as happy as my encounter with the one legged pigeon. The rabbits ate the pieces of carrot she gave them. More rabbits arrived and soon the garden was filled with about ten of these creatures hopping around and sometimes fighting over the pieces of carrot.

Bobbi was wearing flip flops. Women paint their toenails. Hers were reddish orange. One of the rabbits bit her toe. Hahaha. Bobbi screamed out loud and in an almost panicky mood she tried to walk to the kitchen door. This wasn’t all that easy, because the rabbits had surrounded her, waiting for their pieces of carrot. I think one of the rabbits bit her again, because all of a sudden, she screamed, jumped up, threw the carrots away and ran to the door, which I opened for her, followed by the rabbits, who probably thought she still had the carrots.

I closed the door and asked her what happened and she told me that the rabbits were trying to eat her toes. I couldn’t stop laughing all afternoon. The rabbits waited at the kitchen door for at least an hour, which I used to tell Bobbi that the rabbits were still after her. Hahaha.

This whole affair reminded me of president Jimmy Carter and the Killer Rabbit. Older people will probably remember this story. What happened was, Jimmy Carter was president at the time. He decided to take a short break. He went to Georgia to do some fishing on a river.

As he was fishing, sitting alone in his boat, he saw this fifty pound swamp rabbit, swimming to his boat. And the rabbit, which according to Jimmy looked like he had rabies, tried to climb onboard. President Carter, fearing for his life, used his paddle to keep the rabbit out of the boat. He succeeded and the swamp rabbit swam away.

When journalists heard this story, they turned it into a national hype. You had newspapers with headlines like “President Carter attacked by rabbit” and “Jimmy Carter beats rabbit in fight”. I remember the whole country was laughing about this whole event, but it didn’t do president Carter any good in his reelection bid. We were still fighting the Soviet Union and there was the Iranian crisis at the time. Ronald Reagan used the story in his campaign and won.

If I remember this right, a member of the president’s entourage made a picture of the attack. I’ll ask Bobbi to find it and link to it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and National Security

I’ve had a good night’s rest. I was up early this morning and I must say I feel good. A physiotherapist will come to the house later this morning to help me with my exercises. I still have trouble lifting my arms. She has to help me use them again without opening the wound on my chest.

I also have to start exercising my legs. I bought an exercise bike, but I haven’t used it yet. Apart from that I also have to follow my new diet. Basically I can eat everything I want, after its cooked in water. I’m basically eating potatoes and vegetables and occasionally chicken without the skin and boiled in water. I haven’t eaten fish for a long time. I love fried fish, but I can’t get fish boiled in water through my throat.

I’ve been reading the newspapers this morning. What interests me most today is whether the Senate will vote for or against the bill allowing oil companies to drill in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

I think president Bush has the votes he needs to pass the bill in the Senate. I personally am a bit ambivalent about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As a former president I know the difficult decisions, which have to be made for our country’s national security’s sake.

On the other hand the Arctic Refuge is home to some of the rarest birds and mammals, which you won’t find anywhere in the world.

These are the two basic truths about the ANWR (ANWAR) project. Now I would like to dissect the political dimensions of this bill in front of the Senate.

The Democratic party leaders didn’t do a good job fighting against the bill. Their only reason not to drill in the Arctic Refuge is their fear that it might harm the environment. Republicans crossed out this objection by saying new technologies would make drilling safe and wouldn’t cause the environment any harm, which is probably true, since we are also able to dril in the middle of oceans without harming the environment.

Since the Democrats had no other reasons for keeping oil companies out of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, the Republicans kept pounding them with reasons why drilling should be allowed.

One of the most persuasive reasons is the oil price. It’s more than 54 dollars a barrel, which Americans will soon notice at the gas pumps. Another reason the Republicans used to persuade voters was to say, look at the size of Alaska, it could swallow several New Englands, the animals living on the Arctic Refuge could move to another place without much difficulty.

These might not be the most intellectual of reasons to drill in the Refuge, but average Americans understand them.

I’ve learned a good lesson in 1994, when Americans voted for Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America. It is not enough for a political party to be against something, they must also offer an alternative.

Americans know we have a problem with our oil supplies. They want the problem solved. If all we Democrats can offer them is, don’t do it, because birds won’t have a home, that just doesn’t cut it.

I’ve said this many, many times to my friends in the party. Our candidate for president John Kerry was rejected by the voters, because he didn’t have any concrete plans for the future, but still we make the same mistake every time. We say no to what the other party wants, but we offer no clear and thoughtout alternative. That will do us in each and every time, because it supposes, you don’t need to explain to your constituents, why you are against a bill and what your alternatives are for solving the problem.

I want to come back to the national security issue involved in opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It’s about oil independence. Read this carefully. It’s not about oil supply independence, but about oil shipping routes independence.

You have to look at the map. Most of the oil we use in the US comes from the Middle East, Nigeria and Venezuela. The routes oil tankers take to reach the East Coast of the US are pretty much secure. The problem is the West Coast. To reach the West Coast oil tankers have to either go through the Panama Canal or sail around the southern most tip of South America.

The latter route is much longer than the route through the Panama Canal. Apart from that it is also a very dangerous route, because two oceans meet exactly at the southern tip. This means there is a perpetual storm raging in this area, making sailing very dangerous.

The Panama Canal route, which would be the first choice to ship Venezuelan oil to the West Coast has become less reliable, because the US doesn’t own the canal anymore. Jimmy Carter made the decision to give it back to the Republic of Panama. What’s more, the ports on both sides of the canal are owned by a company named Hutchison Whampoa. It’s a company based in Hong Kong and is owned by a billionaire businessman named Li Ka-Shing. He is closely connected to the Communist leaders in China.

Opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska means the West Coast isn’t as dependent on the Panama Canal as it is now. As a former president I know you must take this into account, when you make a decision involving oil and national security.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Building a Gazebo

I’ve been resting today. I walked around the house. I can’t go outside, because of the cold weather. If I catch a cold, that would set back my healing process at least a few weeks. I want to get better as soon as possible.

I was sitting in front of the window in my living room looking at our backyard. I really made a mistake by not going through with my plan to build a glass gazebo in the garden. It’s not really a gazebo, but more a cross between a greenhouse and a gazebo. The gazebo should be as beautiful as the gazebos I knew when I was a little boy in Arkansas, but it should also be completely surrounded by glass, because I want to be able to sit in it during the harsh winters here in New York.

I want to put a good heating system in it and electricity, because I want to be able to use a coffee maker and a television set to watch sports. I did talk to Hillary about building one last summer, but she said “Why? You already have a barn”. I have to talk to her again about this matter.

I noticed something looking at my garden. I totally missed the blooming of the pear trees. I also missed the ripening of the pears. I was looking forward to see that process, but I was so busy, I totally forgot about the pear trees. We can’t eat the pears yet. The trees need to grow for about another year or two.

I’ve been reading a book I received from a friend of mine. He's the publisher. It’s a science fiction book. I also watched the Johnny Carson DVD’s Bobbi bought. I was amazed she only paid 113 dollars for 10 DVD’s. I would trust Bobbi with my wallet any day.

It reminds me to thank Bobbi for all the hard work she did during the past few days. I appreciate it very much.

Rests me to say I feel good. The stitches in my chest itch, but I can’t scratch it. That drives me crazy at times, but I have to be careful not to open the wound.

Home Chappaqua New York

Good morning. I’m back home in Chappaqua, New York. The doctors asked me to stay in the hospital for a few more days, but I wanted to go home as soon as possible. There wasn’t really a reason to keep me in the hospital, medically speaking. I feel good. The doctors told me the surgery and the healing process were going well. They wanted me to stay for a few more days, because they wanted to make sure I was getting better. I understand their point of view, but I also know myself. I will heal faster at home.

I would like to thank everybody for their kind remarks and well wishes. They meant a lot to me and my wife. I would like to thank you also for your prayers. They did make me feel better. Thank you. I will not forget your kindness.

I was worried about the operation, but right now all I want to do is put this healing process behind me. I will listen to the doctors, I will follow my diet and I will exercise every day. I just want to get better. I have a lot to do.

I had a lot of time, when I was in the hospital to think about my future. I have at least twenty more years to go. I’m not interested in retiring. Just lying on my bed for days, made me understand how much I love my job. Whatever that job is nowadays, be it an educator, speechmaker, writer or peacemaker. I love my job and I want to continue being active in the world community for years to come.

You know, for the first time in years I actually understood why Hillary wanted to be a public servant. It feels so good to serve other people. It feels so good to help other people. It’s the best feeling in the world to go to bed at night, thinking about your activities that day and knowing you had a positive impact in another person’s life. It’s the reason I didn’t like being a district attorney, but I loved being a governor and a president.

I’ve made up my mind. I want to continue helping people through my foundation and through my role as a special United Nations envoy. There is a lot of work to do. But that is OK, I have twenty more years to go.

Again I would like to thank you for your kinds words. I hope you will keep supporting me in the future. There is so much I want to do. I might be old and I might be fragile right now, but I will never surrender my ideals and I will never stop helping others.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Chocolates and Discharge

I’ve been at the hospital till three in the afternoon. I’m exhausted. The president is feeling much better. He will probably be released from the hospital later today or tomorrow. He is walking around the hospital, but he still needs a lot of rest. The president had asked me to buy him some DVD’s. I bought him Johnny Carson’s collection, because I knew he was one of Johnny’s guests. He also asked me to bring him his favorite CD, The Ronettes. I had to go all the way to Chappaqua to get the disc.

Today again, there were dozens of well wishers, mostly friends, foreign dignitaries and politicians.

To be honest with you, sometimes I question the amount of visitors allowed in. The president is the one allowing them inside the room, but still, I think we need to ask these people to wait a few days before they come to the hospital. The president doesn’t want to send them away. He doesn’t want to disappoint any one of them.

He is cheerful as always, but I can see he is really tired. Sometimes, he is just so exhausted he just turns his back to all of us, pulls his blanket over his head and goes to sleep. I almost cried when I saw this. Don’t they understand the president needs his rest?

This morning the president received a visit from an emir from the United Arab Emirates. This is somewhere near Saudi Arabia. I don’t think we sell any books there, otherwise I would’ve known. He’s a good friend of the president. He brought the president about two dozen boxes of chocolates. The president couldn’t eat them himself, so he gave them to us. Us is the visitors and the hospital staff.

The chocolates were very tasty. Inside the chocolates was liquor. All kinds of different liquors. I liked the chocolates with the green wrapper. I think this chocolate contains rum, but I’m not totally sure.

The chocolates were very popular amongst the nurses. When I went to the hall to get a Coke, I could hear the nurses calling other nurses working in other wings of the hospital and telling them to get over here ASAP, because of the chocolates.

Pretty soon every few minutes a nurse would come into the room to ask the president if he needed anything. They would always leave with a handful of chocolates.

After lunch time, a group of female staffers from the Harlem office visited the president. They were supposed to come on Friday, but they never showed up. I know some of the girls. I have to go to the Harlem office once in a while. I also know some of them, because we worked together at the Clinton Library in Little Rock.

We didn’t get along very well, so I stayed out of the way for most of the time they were there. It isn’t really my fault we don’t get along. I got along very well with the girls working in Little Rock, who were from Little Rock itself. I mean we shared our bottles of water and our make up. The girls I knew from the Little Rock office and who now work for the Harlem office, most of them are from New York or the Mid West. They saw their job in Little Rock as a stepping stone leading to a great career in New York. They absolutely hated Little Rock. After a few weeks most of these girls would ask for a transfer to the New York office.

It’s not that I don’t like their wish to have a great career, I just don’t like their negative mentality. I liked the local girls working for the Clinton library. Most of them had just finished high school and were waiting to get married, others were married and loved their job and weren’t really looking for a career. They were just looking for a nice job to pay the bills.

So that’s the reason I kept to myself, when they arrived. The room was empty, because the doctors were running some tests and had asked the secret service men not to allow anybody in. The president was asleep when they came in. They were very loud and tried to wake up the president. I told them not to do that.

After they saw the nurses come in and take chocolates from the boxes, they decided to delve in themselves. It wasn’t long after that and they had emptied half the stack of boxes that one of the nurses entered, saw what they had done and said something about it. She grabbed a few boxes and tried to walk to the door. The Harlem office staffers were furious and wouldn’t let her go. I had to calm them down. The nurse left and told them she would call the head nurse and have all of them thrown out of the building.

A few seconds later she came back with the head nurse and a few other nurses. The head nurse, I had never seen her before went straight to the stack of boxes and said that Mr. Clinton wasn’t allowed to eat those according to the diet, so she would take them away.

The girls from the Harlem office wouldn’t let her anywhere near the boxes, because I think they wanted to take the boxes of chocolates home themselves.

I will be honest and say I had hoped to take a bag full of those chocolates with the green wrapper with me myself, but I was going to ask the president permission first. I live at a hotel and at night there isn’t much to do but watch HBO, so I was planning on eating them as I watched television.

When the Harlem office staffers didn’t allow her to take away the boxes, the head nurse became angry. All of them started shouting at each other. I told them to stop shouting, because they were going to wake up the president.

The head nurse looked at me and said “Mind your own damn business, Scarlett”. She was making fun of my Southern accent. I really resented that. I didn’t say anything, so she turned to the Harlem office girls and tried to force her way to the boxes, which were on a desk next to the president’s bed. There was a scuffle and they were shouting again.

Suddenly Mrs. Clinton opened the door. Everybody froze. Mrs. Clinton looked at all of us with her steely eyes. She said “I would like to thank all of you for your visit. We appreciate it very much”. She had a smile on her face, but she wasn’t smiling at all.

You must understand that Mrs. Clinton is totally different from Mr. Clinton. When Mr. Clinton is in the room all the aides have a lot of fun and we laugh and joke constantly, but when Mrs. Clinton enters the room all of us walk on egg shells. It just happens.

Mrs. Clinton held the door open and everybody began leaving the room. I collected the newspapers I had given the president, took my bag and I was walking to the door, when Mrs. Clinton grabbed my arm tightly. She waited till everybody left. She said “I didn’t mean you, Bobbi”. I looked in her eyes and her eyes were so friendly.

She asked me what happened and I told her. I was afraid she might think I was involved in the scuffle and that I too was hurting the president, so I told her I wasn’t involved and that I had tried to stop the fight. She said “I know, Bobbi”. She smiled at me. It was a friendly smile. She squeezed my shoulder and sat down on a chair next to the president and began reading some Congressional papers. I cried. I made sure she didn’t see it, but I had to cry.

The rest of the afternoon, I tried to stay out of everyone’s way. The president watched some sports on television. He looked good and rested, but I didn’t really talk to the president much as the doctors were still running their tests to see when he could leave.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Clinton gave me two boxes of chocoles. I thanked her for that. That was very nice of her.

The president as I said is feeling all right. He needs more time to heal, but he isn’t in any pain. His chest itches a lot, but that is normal according to the doctor. I hope they will allow him to leave the hospital tomorrow.

ADDED: I just listened to my voice mail. Mr. Clinton was discharged from the hospital an hour ago. I must’ve been on the Metro. I’m very happy to hear this news.

Bobbi Lamoon

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Hospital

I was at the hospital earlier this morning. The president is feeling better and better each day. He is able to walk around the hospital and talk to other patients. He still has some trouble lifting his arms, but according to the doctors he should be able to use his arms normally in a few days, after the stiches heal completely.

It was my day off, but I wanted to make sure the president had the Sunday papers. He said I didn't have to visit him on my day off, but I know how much he likes reading the papers. He likes knowing what's happening in Washington.

Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea were there too. The room was crowded as usual, so I didn't stay too long. I left right after the prayer service.

I don't know when the president gets the green light to go home. It won't be long though, because the president feels good.

Bobbi Lamoon

Saturday, March 12, 2005

At the Hospital

I’ve been at the hospital all afternoon. The president is doing much better than yesterday and the day before. Yesterday he fell asleep a lot, but I think that had more to do with the fact that he had been working so hard in the weeks leading up to his surgery.

This afternoon he was cheerful and alert as always. I brought him the Saturday papers and we read them together. There were a lot of friends and foreign ambassadors dropping in to wish the president a speedy recovery. Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea were there too. Chelsea’s boyfriend came to visit the president later.

It was a very awkward visit. A secret service agent told the president Chelsea’s boyfriend was waiting at the door and whether he should let him in. The president sighed and said “Oh no. Tell him I died”. All of us were shocked. The president laughed out loud, but we didn’t. Chelsea was angry. She said “Dad, you can’t say horrible things like that. Not even as a joke.” Mrs. Clinton told the president that his remark wasn’t funny at all, because a lot of people would be awfully upset if it were true. She told him to be more responsible than say things like that.

The president seemed to think it was a great joke. You know how he is. When he starts laughing he can’t stop. The secret service man was still waiting. Chelsea told him to tell her boyfriend to come in, but he didn’t move. He was looking at the president, waiting for orders, but the president was still laughing. Chelsea got up, walked out of the door and told her boyfriend to come in.

The boyfriend brought the president flowers. He was very respectful, but the president couldn’t stop laughing. As he was asking the president questions about his health, the president kept laughing in response. It took him quite a while after every question to respond. The boyfriend looked at Chelsea. Chelsea rolled her eyes.

After a while and as you know the president has a very infectious laugh, we started laughing too after the boyfriend asked a question. Chelsea’s boyfriend was becoming very uncomfortable. He stopped asking questions, but since everybody else was looking at him, he’d continue asking questions. The president would laugh out loud in response and all of us would laugh too.

After about ten minutes the boyfriend looked at his watch and told the president he had a business meeting to attend. He wished the president well and left the room, followed by Chelsea. It took the president a full half hour to stop laughing and once in a while out of the blue he’d just laugh and Mrs. Clinton told the person the president was talking to at that moment that the president was still recovering from the anesthesia.

The president is doing fine. The doctors say his wounds are healing to their satisfaction. They need a day or two to decide how long they will keep the president in the hospital.

The rest of the day was hectic, but uneventful.

Bobbi Lamoon

Friday, March 11, 2005

Recovering after Surgery

I just visited the president. He is doing very well. I’m at the El Presidente restaurant across the street from the hospital right now. The nurses woke up the president at about seven this morning. He is able to walk around. He does have trouble moving his arms and shoulders. He took a shower and they gave him breakfast. He had to drink milk, because the nurses wouldn’t allow him to drink tea or coffee.

The president told me that tea and coffee keep fluids in the body from leaving the body through transpiration. He told me he had heard this before, because that is the reason Arabs living in the desert drink a lot of tea and coffee, to keep them from sweating. Because if they sweat they have to drink water and since there isn’t a lot of water, they drink tea and coffee to make sure they don’t sweat.

The president didn’t really like the nurse’s order to drink milk, because according to him, he can’t start the day without a cup of coffee.

I brought him a few newspapers this morning. Mr. Clinton loves to read. He has trouble turning the pages, so I helped him with that.

The president’s room wasn’t as crowded with nurses, doctors and visitors as yesterday. Mrs. Clinton is at the hospital. I didn’t see Chelsea, maybe she will visit her dad later in the day. The president’s staff working at the Harlem office will visit the president later today too.

The president is doing fine, although I must say, he gave us quite a scare yesterday. Well actually the doctor did. Doctor Sonett told us before the operation that it would only take about an hour or two. Mr. Clinton was in the operating room for four hours. That frightened us. The doctor told us, when they opened the president’s chest and looked inside with a small camera, they saw that the scar tissue was much bigger than they had anticipated. They had to make a bigger incision in the president’s chest to be able to cut away all the scar tissue.

So although the president is feeling fine, we are worried. To have scar tissue growing and pressing on your lungs, like the president had after a heart bypass surgery is very rare, according to the doctor. Now that we found out that there was more scar tissue than the doctors anticipated, we are very worried.

Not the president. He’s in a very good mood. I have to go back to the hospital right now, but I will keep you updated on the president's recuperation.

Bobbi Lamoon

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Surgery

President Clinton's operation was successful. It took four hours to complete. They drained the fluids in the president's chest cavity and took away some scar tissue. They implanted a tube in the president's chest, which will remain there for a few days to keep draining the fluids in his chest.

Right now Mr. Clinton is awake. He is tired, but very upbeat. Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea are here too. Mr. Clinton is his usual self, joking around with the nurses and doctors. He is teaching Chelsea and me how to play poker.

Everything is all right.

Bobbi Lamoon

Hospital New York

I’m at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. The nurses are going to prepare me for surgery in a few minutes. I feel good. I woke up at four in the morning. The minute I stepped out of bed I felt great. A good night’s rest has done me a lot of good. I feel like I could run the New York Marathon right now. And the scary part is, I have this feeling I could win it too. Hahaha.

I feel much better than yesterday. Bobbi asked me to revisit my decision to post that message. I said no. I want people to know how I feel. I want to be strong for everybody and act like it’s no big deal, but I also have to show some responsibility.

What kind of message will I give young people or even young older people in their late forties and early fifties if I made this operation look like a walk in the park? That would be irresponsible. I don’t want people to think they can eat all the wrong foods, not exercise and think if anything goes wrong I’ll just do what Bill Clinton did, I get a quadruple heart by-pass operation. He says it’s no big deal and if there are complications, I’ll just get another operation. Bill Clinton says it’s no big deal.

Surgery is always a big deal. They are going to cut you open. You will never feel the way you felt before the operation.

Please everybody, eat wisely, exercise regularly. You do not want to be in my position.

After saying that, I do want to say I feel confident everything will be alright. The surgeons have done this operation many times. I have great confidence in them and the nurses.

Well, they are motioning me to get ready. I need to say a few words to Hillary, tell her everything is going to be alright. We shared a good long hug together last night and we talked a little and cried a little, but that is normal. I talked to Chelsea too. She’s a wonderful daughter. She always was.

I’ve asked Bobbi to keep you updated on the progress of my operation and recuperation.

May God bless all of you. Take good care of yourselves.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Surgery

I’m on my way to New York. I’m tired, really tired. The weather changed. It rained all afternoon. I shouldn’t have played 18 holes on an almost empty stomach. The event was a success though. George Bush is on his way home to Houston. I’m on my way to hospital.

The closer we get to New York the more anxious I get. I am afraid. Why shouldn’t I be? I might die in a few hours.

Bobbi, I know, just write down what I say. Please.

When I had heart surgery six months ago I was scared. I didn’t let anybody in on my feelings, because I didn’t want Chelsea or Hillary or for that matter any American to be anxious on my behalf. I wanted to be strong for my family and for my friends and supporters, but I was scared.

It wasn’t a small operation. It wasn’t a picnic and with the many complications that followed the operation, the fatigue I still feel, the anxiety that I might have a heart attack any moment, I haven’t been the same, since my last operation.

You know what I fear most? Pain, I’m scared to death that something might go wrong and I have to fight and fight for my life for days. I’d rather just die on the operating table.

I’ve been having trouble breathing lately, because of the fluid buildup in my chest. I feel myself suffocating little by little. It’s a very scary feeling.

I have been having nightmares lately. They are all the same, the surgeon opens me up, while I’m still awake and cuts my artery. I can’t tell you how scared I am that they cut one of my veins. I am scared of blood. I am so scared of blood.

I’m telling myself everything will be alright, but you can fool someone else, but you can’t fool yourself. Not just about the operation itself, but also about the consequences. Will the guy, who walked into the hospital be the same as the one, who walks out.

I don’t want to be an invalid. I don’t want to need round the clock nursing. I don’t want Hillary to give up her career for me. I don’t want her to have to take care of me all day long. I don’t want to be a deadweight for her.

She will leave me. My little Chelsea is out of the house and Hillary will leave me too. Oh God, please, I just don’t want to hurt anymore.

Visit Golf Course Florida

I’m in Florida to play golf at the charity event I talked about yesterday. It’s a beautiful day here in Florida. The weather is much better than in Washington and New York. The charity event is taking place in Hobe Sound, a few miles north of Palm Beach. It’s not on the coast, which is a pity, because I love the ocean.

The Former president Bush is here too. We took the plane here together. We also dined together last night. I ate fried fish. I love sea food. Yesterday was the last day I could eat whatever I wanted. That is I still have to follow my diet. Today I have to eat food according to doctor’s orders, because of the operation tomorrow. After that I’ll have to follow a new more strict diet. I’m not looking forward to it, but neither do I want to go back to hospital for another operation.

Greg Norman organized the golf event. He is a world famous golfer. It’s a charity event. Greg brought together about 70 amateur golfers, who are willing to donate thirty thousand dollars each to the relief efforts benefiting the victims of the tidal wave in the Indian Ocean. Americans are the most charitable people in the world, that is for sure. George and I had expected and hoped to raise a few hundred million dollars, but the amount Americans gave superceded our wildest dreams. I would like to thank each and every person, who donated towards this cause.

I’m staying at Greg Norman’s house. He is a big land developer here in Florida. He owns half the houses here in Hobe Sound. He was asking me why I didn’t move to Florida, since I like it so much. I didn’t tell him this, but I’m actually thinking about moving for health reasons. I can’t take the cold in New York anymore, not after my by-pass surgery. It’s not really because of the by-pass surgery, but because my immune system has taken a beating and every time I’m exposed to rain or freezing cold I get flu like symptoms. I’m thinking about moving to California, Los Angeles to be more precisely. I'm not giving up my place in Chappaqua, but I'm thinking about buying something out West, because I'll be spending more time over there.

I love Florida, but you are out of the game so to say, when you live in Florida. My life still revolves around politics, fundraising and the media. The only places for that are Los Angeles and New York.

One more comment about Greg. I asked him, why he had built these beautiful houses in Hobe Sound, since none of them were oceanfront properties. I probably shouldn’t have asked a question like that, but I did. What he said is something I’m still thinking about. He told me, if you build a house on the oceanfront, you will always face the wind. The ocean is colder than the temperatures on the land, so even on sunny days you feel chilly, because of the wind. I have never thought about that. It makes sense though.

Signed Limited Edition Book

A new SIGNED Limited edition of President Bill Clinton's autobiography "My Life" is out right now.


Click on the picture to order your copy at Amazon

There will only be 1,500 copies available of this edition.

This limited edition will only be sold by a select group of retailers and online bookdealers.

Each book will include:
• President Bill Clinton's signature
• Edition number– 1,500 total
• Full navy blue cloth case with Bill Clinton gold stamp on the spine
• Gold Ribbon-marker
• Frontispiece photographs
• Crimson endpapers
• Shrink-wrapping

This edition costs $350.00

This signed edition is a collectors' item, which in time is sure to grow in value.

President Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid and at more than 900 pages an exhaustive look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. President Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached.

My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.


A new SIGNED Limited edition of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's autobiography "Living History" is out right now.


Click on the picture to order your copy at Amazon

There will only be 1,500 copies available of this edition.

This limited edition will only be sold by a select group of retailers and online bookdealers.

Each book will include:
• Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's signature
• Edition number– 1,500 total
• Full navy blue cloth case with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's gold stamp on the spine
• Gold Ribbon-marker
• Frontispiece photographs
• Crimson endpapers
• Shrink-wrapping
• Exclusive essay by Senator Clinton

This edition costs $250.00

This signed edition is a collectors' item, which in time is sure to grow in value.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's "Living History" is written with candor, humor and passion. She writes about her upbringing in suburban, middle-class America in the 1950s and her transformation from Goldwater Girl to student activist to controversial First Lady.

Living History is her revealing memoir of life through the White House years. It is also her chronicle of living history with Bill Clinton, a thirty-year adventure in love and politics that survives personal betrayal, relentless partisan investigations and constant public scrutiny.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Decortication Surgery

I’m in Washington DC right now. Former president George Bush and I went to the White House to talk to the president and to report on our trip to Asia. It was a very nice meeting and I want to thank the president for his kindness. The weather in Washington is horrible by the way. I thought winter was over. It isn't.

Tomorrow I will be in Hobe Sound in Florida at the Medalist Golf Club. I will play golf at a charity event meant to raise money for the victims of the tsunami. Former president George Bush will be there too.

Thursday I will be back in New York for my operation at the Presbyterian Hospital, the Columbia University Medical Center. I’ve had pain in my chest for quite a while now. It wasn’t acute pain, but more a dull pain, which I could live with. I discussed it with my doctors Craig Smith and Allan Schwartz about a month ago. This was before I went to Asia.

According to them scar tissue built up in my chest and holds back fluids, which would normally drain away. This made part of my left lung collapse. After what happened to me and Gil a few days ago, I fell on my chest, I’ve been in pain ever since. I can live with it, but I just want to make sure nothing ruptured inside and there are no internal bleedings. It’s a common procedure. I’m not afraid.

The procedure is called a decortication operation. I will be under anesthesia during the operation, which will take about three hours. What they will do is they will make a cut between my ribs, insert a camera to see inside and repair the damage.

It isn’t a major operation like quadruple heart bypass surgery, but I will have to be in hospital for about a week depending on the success of the operation. After that I have to recuperate at home for about a month.

As I said I feel all right. I’m not scared.

I would like to thank everybody for their kind messages and well wishes. I appreciate them very much.

Chelsea called. I talked to Curly too. I spent most of the day with Hillary. She is concerned, but I told her everything would be ok. I’m leaving for Florida in a few hours. Bobbi will be happy to be back in her home state.

I asked her to keep you updated about my progress during the time I’m in hospital.

Again thank you for your messages. I wish all of you the best.

Private Investigator Los Angeles

I promised to tell you, what happened the other night between me and Gil, while we were looking for my brother. I don’t really want to talk about what happened, but I normally keep my promises. I should have kept my mouth shut and I should’ve never engaged this idiot, Gil.

He had done some work for my friend Kevin Spacey. Kevin was being blackmailed by some guy he met in a gay bar. Gil took care of that business.

Anyway, Gil picked me up at my hotel in Beverly Hills. It was dark already. His face was bruised and battered and his nose had a strange angle. It is probably half broken. Gil has an open top car and where I sat on the passenger’s seat, the windshield had a star in it. He asked me to pay for his medical bills and the windshield and I did so.

We visited Roger’s ex-wife. She gave us a list of places, where we might find him. I pleaded with her to drop the alimony case against my brother, because that is basically the reason a judge is involved. Roger didn’t pay any alimony or child support for his son. I’m the one paying child support for my nephew. I’m also paying his school fees.

His ex said no. To be honest with you, I understand her point of view. She isn’t to blame here. It’s Roger and nobody else but Roger. He didn’t pay up, she took him to court, that’s the reason he is on parole now.

We took the list and drove around Los Angeles for a while. Gil would stop once in a while at a club and go inside to look for Roger. We didn’t find him.

It was around midnight and we were in Orange County. I don’t know where exactly, because I’m not really that familiar with Orange County or Los Angeles for that matter. Gil stopped on the parking lot of a small motel. He took something out of his jacket, which was on the back seat and left the car, the engine still running. He told me to wait, he would be right back.

He disappeared around the building. After a few minutes he appeared at the far end of the motel and looked through the window of one of the rooms. To me it seemed like he was taking pictures. I thought he had located Roger so I got out of the car and walked over to him.

I asked him whether Roger was inside. At that moment, a middle aged guy, more likely in his early sixties, because he had grey hair, he was only wearing shorts, he came out of the room, shouting. Gil got up and took a picture of the guy. The flash blinded the man. Gil screamed at me, “Run Bill”.

I was stunned. Gil was fighting off the guy. He pushed him away and ran to the car. I ran too. I don’t know what happened, but I can’t run anymore. I tried to run to the car, I couldn’t run. It’s like my muscles stiffened up. It’s the strangest thing. I was running, but the speed was gone.

The guy ran after me. He must’ve been older than me, but he out ran me. Gil got behind the wheel and drove in my direction. I tripped and fell, losing my glasses. I looked back. The guy stopped running. I think he recognized me. I got up as fast as possible and kept running. The guy caught up with me and gave me a kick in the behind, just as I jumped in Gil’s car. I hurt myself really bad. I still have pain in my chest, because of that night.

I was furious. I asked him what the hell that was all about. He told me he was trying to catch a cheating husband. He would get a thousand dollar bonus if he had a picture, which his wife could use in her divorce case. I couldn’t believe my ears. I exploded and called him every name I could think of.

I told him he was fired and threw his money in his face. He stopped the car and told me to get out. I did. The bastard drove off. I’m still so angry at this whole episode. I’m so angry at Roger for putting me in such a situation.

I went to a small strip mall closeby and bought a calling card. I was lucky, because I normally don’t have my wallet with me. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to pay Gil, I wouldn’t have any money with me at all. Very stupid of me. I need to stop thinking I'm the president and others will take care of these things.

I called Bobbi and asked her to come and get me. I gave her the address in Orange County. After that I bought something to eat and sat down on the pavement at the side of the road.

I thought to myself how strangely familiar this whole night seemed. When I was president, I had a staff, aides to help me out. There is something I learned early on in my presidency. Aides in Washington only work for you part time even if you pay them full time salaries. What I mean is, look at Gil. I was paying him to work for me, still he wanted to make a quick buck by making that picture.

That’s almost exactly what happens in Washington. My aides worked for me, but they never forgot number one, themselves. If a journalist asked them for some confidential information, these aides always thought about whether leaking this information to the journalist would be beneficial to their career instead of thinking about whether it could hurt me or my policy initiatives. That’s what I mean. Being the president’s aide was never the end, they were always on the lookout for a better job with more pay or more status.

I can’t tell you how many times my policies were hurt by disloyal aides. Some of them leaked documents to get some recognition from the press, because they were interested in a career in the media after my presidency was over. Some of them talked to political adversaries in the hope of securing a job in the future after I had left office. Others wanted journalists to give them some attention, because they were thinking about running for some kind of office themselves and the journalists would ask for a quid pro quo.

What Gil did is reprehensible, but I’m used to it. In Washington, in politics nobody is loyal. Everybody thinks about his or her own career first. I was also thinking about George Bush’s friend, the one, who taped those confidential conversations and showed them to the media, Doug Wead. In politics you are alone. That really is true.

After an hour Bobbi picked me up in an open top white Corvette. I was just too tired to say anything about that. I had asked her to rent a car. I should’ve known what kind of a car a twenty something girl from Florida, who has never lived in California would rent.

I got in and we drove back to Beverly Hills. She took a detour, but according to her that was the only way she knew. I was looking at her steering with one hand and wiping her long hair out of her face, but the wind kept blowing it right back into her face and turning the dial on the radio to fine tune the sound. Thank God the roads were empty. We listened to some Golden Oldies on a radio station called K-Earth. I remember that name, because they have a very annoying jingle, which they play every few minutes. The music pretty much washed away my anger and made me sad about my life.

It was dark, Bobbi and I were driving on the empty highways of Los Angeles, the wind was blowing through my hair, music on the background, I was looking into the darkness to my right and I was very close to crying.

I don't know why, but I was thinking to myself, what kind of marriage do Hillary and I have? We haven’t seen each other for so long. I went to Asia with former president George Bush on the eighteenth. Before that I had been in Los Angeles. So I haven’t seen my wife since the seventeenth. That’s almost three weeks.

It’s difficult to say, but it almost feels like it doesn’t matter to us whether we’re together or not. We are on the phone all the time, but you can’t smile at the telephone, you can’t take the telephone’s hand and give it a little squeeze to tell it you care.

I never talk about this to Hillary. I never said no, when she asked me for my opinion about her running for Senate. She always supported me and I just wanted to be there for her, because I knew how much it means to her to have her own career and track record in public service.

When I was sitting in the Corvette, looking into the darkness it just was so apparent to me how much I miss her. I’m not going to lie. I wished she hadn’t run for Senate. I just want her to spend more time with me.

The reason I almost cried was because of a song on the radio. I can’t remember it exactly, but it went something like, Take me out tonight, because I want to see people I want to see life. Driving in your car, I never want to go home, because I haven’t got one anymore. And If a ten ton truck crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.

I was thinking about the words and they ring true to me. Do I have a home? If so then why haven’t I seen my wife in three weeks? I didn’t want to think about all these things, but there is nothing else to do then think, when you’re driving on the dark, empty highways in Los Angeles sitting on the passenger’s seat.

I need to talk to Hillary, because we can’t, I can’t go on like this, pretending this arrangement suits me. To be honest, I’ve been feeling this way for a long time, but I just don’t have the guts to tell her how I feel.

It’s my own fault, I made many mistakes, broke her heart too many times with things, which right now seem so stupid and totally not worth it. I forfeited my right to talk to her and tell her something is bothering me about our marriage. I hurt her too many times. I just need to keep my mouth shut, maybe I’m not happy, but she probably is.

And she has every right to be. I just need to think about her and her happiness. She deserves that much after all I did to her.

Monday, March 07, 2005

University of Washington

The situation is spiraling out of control. I’m in a very bad mood. I will talk about last night later. I need some time to collect my thoughts first. I just don’t know what to do about my brother.

Reader’s e-mail:

Dr. President Clinton-
I recently completed your on audio CD. What impresses me the most about the novel is the hope that you provide for young progressives like me in the end. After the last election, it seemed that liberalism was lost and that my history teacher’s comment that “Every time a democrat becomes president it is a hiccup” had come true. However, your novel dispelled all of the dark thoughts I had about politics and entering into a career of public service.
Your book makes me truly believe that I could in fact become president someday.
I am Vinny Spotleson, a Senior at Silverado High School in Las Vegas. I am currently the president of my speech and debate team (I compete in Policy Debate and Original Oratory), and I am the student body treasurer of my school. Just like you did when you were my age, I attended Boys’ State last summer, where I was elected to Lt. Governor by a 65% to 35% ratio, even with the republicans outnumbering us 2 to 1. I feel that the odds are in my favor for being able to be elected to a high office in politics here in Nevada, partly because of the state’s size.
I met you once when you were visiting Brian Greenspun. He is my father’s employer, and I have spoken with him about politics several times. If I get far enough in Law School, and get the education that I desire, along with the right opportunities and lucky breaks, I should be able to secure campaign funding from the Greenspun Corporation and other business partners of theirs.
My political goal is simple: to be the best leader that I can be, never compromising either my love for humanity, or my hatred of greed. To be elected to Governor of Nevada would be a dream come true.
I see you as both an icon and a role model, someone that I would like to be compared to. You have revealed that politics does not have to be a corrupt, selfish game, but that politics can be the single most effective way to give help to a wide range of people.
Before I enter into college, I would like to know any advice that you have for an aspiring public servant like myself. What can I do to increase my chances of success, is there any one thing that you wished you would have known when you were my age? My e-mail is vinnyspot@hotmail.com, for I will be sending this letter both through regular and internet mail.
Thank you very much for reading this and taking the time out of your crazy life to respond to me (that is, of course, assuming you do respond). Good luck in yours and your family’s future, and I hope that you get involved in the UN and help that organization become as effective as it should be in the modern inter-connected world.
Thank you,
Vinny Spotleson
PS - I have been accepted to Gonzaga U, but would rather attend the University of Washington.

Hi Vinny,

I would like to thank you for your e-mail and your kind words. They mean a lot to me, especially right now, when I don’t feel very good about things in life.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody, who sent e-mails and left comments on my diary. Bobbi prints them out and puts them on my desk. I can’t read all of them, but I read some of them. They give me a lot of strength to continue, when I have the feeling I’m drowning. Thank you very much.

Vinny I would like to congratulate you on being accepted by Gonzaga University. They have a good law faculty. Apart from that they put a lot of emphasis on the Roman Catholic religion, which will be of benefit to you if you do decide to go into politics. Roman Catholics are an expanding constituency, which we Democrats need to regain if we want to remain a national party.

The University of Washington is one of the best universities in the United States. I hope they will accept a bright young man like yourself. It would be in their interest to have a guy like you in their lists of alumni.

What I liked most about your letter is your enthusiasm. I receive a lot of letters from young people, who tell me they are fed up with politics as usual and consider a career of public service, but they do not follow through as their desire to become a public servant is based more on a spur of the moment than on a deep conviction and love of public service.

You are different. You say you won the Lt. Governorship at the Boys’ State, you say you are talking to Mr. Greenspun about politics. I don’t know whether you are doing this on purpose or if it’s by instinct, but you are already building your network, which is the most important thing in an aspiring politician’s career.

For this reason I would recommend the University of Washington over Gonzaga. You need to build your network even further. Don’t misunderstand me. I think you will have a great career as a public servant, because you are ambitious and seem to have the right kind of instincts. Those things are things you can’t learn at any University. So even if you do attend Gonzaga, you just have to work harder on building your network.

Now the reason I recommend the University of Washington is simple. That’s where the Democratic party’s constituency goes to school, that is where the future leadership of the Democratic party is likely to be educated.

Excuse me if I’m repeating myself, but this is very important. You need to network with the leaders of other University based groups. You know the groups, which constitute our party’s base. I don’t have to spell them out for you. You must try to make friends with the leaders of these groups, because you will meet them later on in life and at that time in your career you might need their support.

There is another thing I would like to tell you. You are attending a University. Most Universities will put ideas in your head, which are to the left of the mainstream. Remember that.

The first time I ran for governor, I won. I was full of energy and I wanted to change the face of Arkansas and its politics. Next election I lost. The reason for that was simple. I had so many wonderful ideas, I wanted to change so many things, I wasn't walking in front of the people of Arkansas, I ran passed them straight into the ditch. University had made me forget where I came from.

Vinny, don’t forget you are from Nevada and you want to go back to Nevada to be a politician in Nevada. You wear cowboy hats. You do not quote George Sand. The ideas you will learn in college are not always compatible with the Nevada mentality or mainstream. If you understand that, a great future awaits you, I will promise you that.

Vinny, our party needs you. Make us proud.

I wish you the best. And don’t forget to tell Brian Greenspun how much I appreciated his help during my presidency and how much I appreciate the support he continues to give Hillary.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Private Investigator

I’m on my way back to Los Angeles. I had hoped to spend a few days resting, but that will have to wait. I received a phone call from Gil. He just left the hospital. He found Roger yesterday night at a strip club in Hawthorne.

He told me he recognized Roger as soon as he entered, because Roger was out of control, shouting and singing as three women danced in front of him. Gil went to him and told him to come along. Roger pushed him away. Gil tried to forcibly get him out of there. There was a scuffle between Gil, Roger and the three exotic dancers, who didn’t want my brother to go anywhere.

Suddenly, according to Gil, Roger screamed “Help, I’m being raped”. Three very burly bouncers appeared immediately. Apparently the bouncers thought one of the dancers was being attacked. They gave Gil a good beating. Roger escaped. Gil maced the bouncers and several strippers, who had come to help their colleague in distress and according to him that saved his life. He got in his car and drove away. One of the bouncers threw a baseball bat against his window. It broke. He wants me to pay for the window and his hospital bills.

I asked him whether he told Roger, that I had sent him. He said “No”. I told him that was very stupid, because Roger probably thought he was working for one of his loan sharks and was going to get his legs broken outside. Gil told me he wasn’t going to approach Roger again. He told me if they had called the police, he could’ve been charged with kidnapping, which I understand. He told me next time, he found Roger, I had to talk sense into him myself.

I was looking forward being home for a couple of hours. I haven’t been home for weeks now. First there were the tsunami relief effort visits, then the Asian book tour and the speeches in LA the last couple of days.

I’m tired. I just want to go to bed, but I’ll sleep on my way there.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Hiring a Private Detective

I met the private detective. Bobbi and I went to his office on Wilshire Boulevard. I took Bobbi with me, because I want her to be the link between me and the private eye.

We arrived two hours earlier than the time of our appointment. I did this on purpose. It’s a trick I learned when I was a district attorney in Arkansas. If you want to get to know someone, who is a stranger, visit that person without prior warning and you’ll see that person as he really is without the polished exterior.

I remember we had set up an appointment with a banker, we suspected of fraud. We arrived at his office a day before we said we’d be there. When we arrived, his secretary was putting documents in garbage bags. Ten minutes later, the banker confessed and we worked out a plea bargain. I didn’t like the job. You have to deal with the underbelly of society, the punishment side of life, where as I’m more interested in enacting policies, which prevent people from committing crimes. Not too long after that I ran for governor.

As I said we were an hour early. I didn’t knock on the door. I just stepped inside. To be honest I wasn’t very at ease. I’m very mad at Roger for putting me in this situation.

The investigator is a short, chubby man. He was sitting behind his desk, back to the door, shoes up against the window. The room was messy with files. He was listening to the radio. I said “Excuse me, I knocked on the door, there wasn’t any reply, so we entered”. He turned around. “What do you want?” I told him we had an appointment. He said I was too early, don’t mind the mess, they were doing their spring cleaning.

I sat down and took off my glasses. He jumped up saying “Mr. President”. He sat down immediately, apologizing.

According to Bobbi my most distinct feature are my eyes. I bought glasses to cover them up. My glasses look like sunglasses. She is right, maybe it’s the fact that after my operation I lost a lot of weight, when I put on my glasses, nobody recognizes me. I’m glad about that.

My first impressions of this guy weren’t too good. He had food stains on his shirt and there were take out food boxes all over the place. It is just a small operation. That’s the way I want it though.

I talked to my lawyer and asked him to hire a private detective. He told me that any private investigator, who knew of a breach of law and didn’t report it would lose his license. Roger is out on parole. He is in breach of his sentence. If the police finds out, he will have to go to jail. I don’t want that. That’s the reason I opted for this small company. I received this guy’s name from my good friend Kevin Spacey. He told me I could trust him to keep his mouth shut and my name out of the books.

The detective told me he was a retired former police officer, a homicide detective. He also told me I had met him seven years ago during a speech at an event organized by his union. His name is Gil. I told him why I needed him. He told me the best way to find Roger was to visit his friends and ask them where he usually hangs out. That seemed reasonable to me. He asked for three hundred dollars a day plus expenses, which seemed reasonable to me too.

He is now visiting Roger’s friends and systematically searching the clubs he normally frequents. I hope we find him in time.

After we left Gil I asked Bobbi what she thought of him. She doesn’t like him. To be honest and I hate prejudging people, I don’t really trust him either.