30 September 2010

Democrats: 400 Groups Rally This Weekend 4 Jobs and Votes

Liberal groups march in Washington, D.C. this weekend to press for jobs and encourage voting.



From Denny: Are you tired of the unending bizarre nonsense coming out of the mouths of the extreme right like conservative talk show hosts Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh?

Well, the Democrats are finally starting to organize the yardcats, bringing them to the government's back yard. Banding together in solidarity are 400 groups comprised of labor unions as well as progressive and civil rights groups.


29 September 2010

Creep Factor: Feds Turning X-Rays on Americans to Catch Terrorists?

Sporting events, shopping malls, airports: all places you get radiated without your knowledge by our government after terrorists and drug cartels.




From Denny:  So what's next in the paranoia department for Americans?  Do we have to worry about our government agents using radiation technology anonymously as we attend a football game or visit a shopping mall - all in the day's work of catching drug cartels or terrorists with contraband or bombs?

Mobile X-rays vans are now cruising our streets all in the interest of combating terrorism.  The feds are randomly scanning cars and trucks everywhere.  Besides our privacy concerns, how about our serious health concerns?


28 September 2010

What Is Really Happening In This BP Claims Process?



From Denny: This is a local Baton Rouge, Louisiana, news story detailing the shabby treatment from the claims fund manager, Kenneth Feinberg, and BP toward local restaurant owners. Business is down about 40 percent in the Baton Rouge area since this oil spill disaster occurred and the oil moratorium was put in place.

Restaurants run on a small profit margin. No one knows how long these beloved institutions can stay in business unless something changes. These are the well established business people. What is happening to small business owners who have not had decades to set aside some cash for emergencies like this one?







*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

27 September 2010

Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 27 Sept 2010

*** Check out news, political opinion, political humor and funny cartoons, recipes, poetry, funny posts, photography, science news, spiritual thoughts and great quotes.





The Social Poets:

White House Staff Shakeup: Who Stays, Who Goes - Choices narrowing down as who leaves or who stays on the White House staff.

America and World Politics Cartoons - 25 Sept 2010 - Check out cartoonist opinion on American and world politics this week.

Is BP Fund Czar Feinberg in BPs Pocket? - The lies and promises unfulfilled keep coming from BP and Feinberg, the BP Fund Claims Czar.

King Abdullah II Talks Huge Middle East Gamble for Sept 30 - King Abdullah II talks strategy for successful Middle East Peace with Jon Stewart.

Wars Overseas, Wars in Congress, Wars in White House, New Book: Obamas Wars - Wars overseas, wars in Congress and wars in the White House are why our government is not working.

Presidential Memoirs: Who Bombed, Who Soared and Why - Check out some fun facts about presidential memoirs, how well they were paid and who really wrote some of them.

Posts Roundup at Dennys Blogs - 19 Sept 2010




The Soul Calendar:


Rare: Super Harvest Moon Occurs On Fall Solstice - Check out rare summer-autumn twilight glow that only happens about every 20 years.




Dennys Funny Quotes:


Funny Hunh?! Cartoons - 25 Sept 2010 - Check out this week's amusing observations about Life: relationships, pets and the tech world cartoons.

22 Funny Situational Hunh?! Cartoons - 18 Sept 2010 - Check out the funny twisted minds of cartoonists as they envision various life situations.

25 Ridiculously Funny Celebrity Duck Face Photos - Laugh at celebrities posing for the camera, mocking sexy.


Republican Tea Party of the Devil: Meet Satanist Christine ODonnell - Tea Party Delaware Senate nominee admits to practicing witchcraft and Satanism.




Visual Insights:


Cartoons About Our American Economy - 25 Sept 2010 - Check out cartoonist opinions this week on the state of the American economy.

Dennys Photo Gallery: Our Mysterious Moon - The moon continues to fascinate humanity - and creative photographers.

Dennys Photo Gallery: Swinging Good Fun!

Arts: Fun Incredible Beach Art Photos

Raucous Tea Party Republicans Cartoons - 21 Aug 2010 - Check out what the cartoonists are lampooning about the Tea Party and the Republican idea of politics this time!

Dennys Photo Gallery: Beautiful Yummy Artichokes and 11 Recipes

Arts: Whimsical Fiber Artist Ed Bing Lee - This fiber artist has a sense of the whimsy while he explores new ways to use simple knotting techniques to develop his art.

Funny Photos: How Your Brain Can Be Fooled

Dennys Photo Gallery: Summer Heat Wave

Dennys Photo Gallery: Beautiful Yummy Artichokes and 11 Recipes





Dennys People Watching:


Education Reformer Michelle Rhee Takes Hits For Bold Action - Take a look at town hall debate after viewing the education documentary film "Waiting For Superman" as NBC kicks off their reports on education in America.

Funny Outrageous Tea Party Politics - Check out cartoonist opinion this week as they draw the funny happenings from the Tea Party.

American Education Sec. Arne Duncan Talks Reform in Education





Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:


President Theodore Roosevelt Quote About Courage

Do You Promote Others As Well As Yourself?

Meditative Moon Photos - The moon continues to fascinate humanity - and creative photographers.

7 Thoughtful Quotes About The Future - Enjoy these reflections upon how we think about our future.

A Healing Spiritual Poem: Waking The Day - Spiritual symbolism is all around us in our daily life, ready to help heal and balance.






Dennys Food and Recipes:

Sesame-Ginger Truffles From Culinary Institute of America - A simple tasty recipe worth of gift giving during the holidays.

Red Lobster Restaurant: Cheddar Bay Biscuits

4 Casseroles 4 School Night Dinners: Chicken, Tex Mex, Tamale, Shepherds Pie - Check out some family favorites, easy and quick to cook - and nutritious.

Muffin Monday: 5 Yummy Breakfast Muffins - Skip the coffee shop muffin, make your own, save some money and save a whole lot of calories too.



*** Coffee photo by Quoquo @ flickr



*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

26 September 2010

White House Staff Shakeup: Who Stays, Who Goes

Choices narrowing down as who leaves or who stays on the White House staff.



From Denny: President Obama's Closed Inner Circle Model is really not serving the President well at all. Sometimes, you just have to bring in outside people who were not part of the original campaign that got you into the White House. Within the first six months it is evident which staff members do not transition well from campaign mode to governing mode. With this White House the President has taken far too long - two years - to consider the obvious changes.

The one most in need of leaving and returning to the campaign trail is David Axelrod. He just can't get his head into the governing game, putting off needed legislation and actions that should have been started by the time the President when he first took office. Most notably, Axelrod never took it seriously the economic condition of the country and how  necessary it was for the government to respond faster.

Axelrod is said to be leaving his senior advisor role "sometime in the Spring." Are you kidding? This guy has been destructive to the progressive-liberal agenda in favor of placating corporate  money.  He is also slower than molasses in everything he does.  It's how he rolls - or doesn't roll.

What he should be doing to prepare for the President's re-election campaign is to leave now. He has no time to lose, given the mood of the country. To get him into campaign mindset he should go back to Chicago and help Rahm Emanuel get elected to mayor. Then it will be the holiday season and before you know it, then the New Year is upon us. There is a lot to organize for such a massive campaign.  He has been out of the campaign harness for two years now.

Axelrod has no sense of urgency and it is precisely that cavalier attitude that hurts him - and especially those around him. Send him on his way, Mr. President so he can get into gear and be on time for your re-election campaign. Follow your instincts and don't allow Axelrod to yet again "spin" you.

As to former Senator Daschle as the top pick for a permanent Chief of Staff: get him.  The Republicans may grouse a bit but they will get over it.  In comparison they will much prefer Daschle's smooth style to Rahm's abrasive style - and so will the progressive and liberal wings of the Democratic Party.

As to Press Secretary, perhaps Gibbs will be happier as a senior advisor - but he will have to watch his temper in public.  Working with Daschle could teach him the studied finesse he needs to be more effective - especially in the area of  "thinking on his feet."  No easy task and it takes time to hone that skill but Gibbs is up to the task.

And while you are at it, get a lot more women on your team.  A sprinkling just doesn't get it.  Also, quit backing down like you did on Elizabeth Warren when Wall Street squawked.  They are a selfish greedy bunch who do not have the country's best interest - or yours. "Can you hear me now?" :)






*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

25 September 2010

America and World Politics Cartoons - 25 Sept 2010

Check out cartoonist opinion on American and world politics this week.



From Denny:  The usual political focus this week has been the obvious - the politicians are more worried about keeping their jobs, keeping their majority or gaining the majority in Congress than about governing the country. Some things never change - yet these are the very things that require change.

Interestingly enough, the Tea Party is annoying and confusing the Republican establishment. The Tea Party regulars refuse to march in lock step and unbridled obedience. That would sound like people who want to think for themselves and should be a good thing, right? Unfortunately, the Tea Party is even more radical than the radical Republicans - to the tune of downright insanely outrageous.

If either group gets back into power they have promised to get rid of Social Security so old people won't have any of their hard-earned money as a modest retirement. If they can't get rid of Social Security then they plan to turn the huge fund over to Wall Street to manage.  Uh, that's the old adage of "the fox guarding the hen house" and will never work.  The conservatives want to get rid of Medicare, Medicaid and repeal the health care law so the old - or anyone else for that matter - will have reasonably priced health care.

They want to get rid of unions so employees will be at the mercy of greedy employers, paying or not paying on a capricious whim.  Of course, that's what it is like living in what is called a "right to work state" like Louisiana, Georgia and about a dozen other states  in America. A "right to work" state is where an employee basically has no rights unless they are unionized.  Employers go after anyone who tries to unionize.

Traditionally, the Democrats used to be for the middle class and the working person.  These days there is a new breed of Democrats slinking onto the stage:  the corporate Democrat - and they are just "Sellout Lite"compared to the Republicans who are "Complete Sellout, Even Our Souls."

It's important to the survival of the middle class in America that Democrats purge the party of corporate politicians and champion the needs of the middle class.  Without the middle class thriving the poor get thrown into the abyss of poverty even deeper.  It's the middle class who give generously to charities world wide.  It's the middle class who cares.  Without the middle class what will happen to those in greatest need in America and the world?

Oh, and did I mention how the Republicans  don't plan to have a government or enforce any of the laws that might pertain to Big Business once they get a choke hold on Congress again? That pretty much sums up this week's campaign slogans from the Republicans when they rolled out their tired Pledge to America, a retread from 1994. Americans are looking at them and saying, "You fooled me once back in '94; you aren't fooling me again in 2010."






American Politics:



Drew Sheneman




Robert Ariail




Lisa Benson




Jeff Stahler




John Sherffius




Bill Day





Ed Stein




MIke Thompson




MIke Thompson




MIke Thompson




Nick Anderson




Rob Rogers




Lisa Benson




Chuck Asay




Gary Markstein




Chuck Asay




John Sherffius




Steve Sack




Steve Sack




Steve Sack




Steve Sack




Signe Wilkinson






Nick Anderson




Jerry Holbert




Steve Benson




Lisa Benson




Gary Varvel




Mike Luckovich




Jeff Stahler



Mike Luckovich




MIke Thompson




MIke Thompson




MIke Thompson




Education as low priority in America far too long under Republicans too cheap to pay for it and too uncaring to do anything about it:



Jeff Stahler






World Politics:




Bill Day




Chip Bok




Robert Ariail




Chip Bok

Cartoons About Our American Economy - 25 Sept 2010 - Check out cartoonist opinions this week on the state of the American economy.



*** Also, more funny opinion from cartoonists this week:

Funny Hunh?! Cartoons - 25 Sept 2010 - Check out this week's amusing observations about Life: relationships, pets and the tech world cartoons.

Cartoons About Our American Economy - 25 Sept 2010 - Check out cartoonist opinions this week on the state of the American economy.

Funny Outrageous Tea Party Politics - Check out cartoonist opinion this week as they draw the funny happenings from the Tea Party.



*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

24 September 2010

King Abdullah II Talks Huge Middle East Gamble for Sept 30

King Abdullah II talks strategy for successful Middle East Peace with Jon Stewart.




From Denny:  Typically, Jon Stewart is known for his biting political humor, mocking hypocrisy in government.  Today Stewart turned to the serious and  interviewed King Abdullah II of Jordan, a Muslim  political moderate, on the Middle East peace situation.

It took an American Jewish comedian to do an in-depth interview on an internationally explosive situation that our American news shows just don't do.  All we receive are sound bites and skimmed headlines along with outrageous rhetoric from the opposition political terrorists - all because it makes for great ratings.  This interview is refreshing for those of us with intelligence who want to hear it directly from the source's mouth, instead of interpreted for us by agenda driven media.

September 30th is an important mark date as that is when the moratorium ends and Israel can possibly set off war in the Middle East -  if it chooses to be contentious and controversial - and resume building again in the Palestinian settlements.  What King Abdullah II is advocating is to solve this issue now between Israel and Palestine.  He says the alternative is that war will break out by November or December once the extremists whip up their rhetoric. Then the whole place will go up in flames.

He also made a good point that America is already involved and invested heavily in the region, causing the moderate voices like his to be drowned out by the terrorist extremists.  Yet another reason to end our two-front wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if only to prevent Muslim moderates from becoming a dying breed..

What the king said that was most telling is how this two-nation squabble can erupt into an international religious war.  His strategy is to resolve the issue now.  Why?  Well, for one thing, the stakes are high in this gamble for Peace because if Israel and Palestine choose the path to Peace then 57 Muslim nations are willing to normalize relations with Israel.

What that will accomplish is to break up the power of the international terrorist organizations, reducing them just to localized domestic levels.  That will also kick out Iran from ascending to broker power in the region.  All the surrounding Muslim nations are terrified of radicalized Iran and are eager to make peace with Israel, if for no other reason than to short circuit Iran's plans for power.

So, tell me, why aren't the White House and mainstream media selling this Peace process so clearly as Jon Stewart and Kind Abdullah II of Jordan?

Take a look and watch how King Abdullah II lays out his strategy.  This leader is one class act.  The second video clip is from an extended interview that is web only.



King Abdullah II of Jordan
King Abdullah II of Jordan believes Iran has taken away the moderate voice by hijacking the Israeli-Palestinian issue.



The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
King Abdullah II of Jordan
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party



Exclusive - King Abdullah II of Jordan Extended Interview
In this complete, unedited interview, King Abdullah II of Jordan wants to see Christians, Jews and Muslims run Jerusalem as a symbol of hope.



The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - King Abdullah II of Jordan Extended Interview
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts - my own best as well as links to other spiritual posts from all viewpoints
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

23 September 2010

Is BP Fund Czar Feinberg in BPs Pocket?

The lies and promises unfulfilled keep coming from BP and Feinberg, the BP Fund Claims Czar.



From Denny: Something is terribly fishy here with Kenneth Feinberg. One minute he promises to make the Gulf Coast whole after the BP Oil Spill disaster and the next he is denying legitimate claims all over the place. Ridiculous conditions for receiving payments shift and change with the tides.

BP continues to run insulting ads claiming how great they are, how much they have spent on "clean up" and what great care they are taking for the residents on the Gulf Coast. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

BP and Feinberg have been playing games with the claimants for five months now. BP thinks because they threw in an American as CEO to sell the same stink it would work. Right now Louisiana is so fed up with British Petroleum that we say, "Go home across The Pond and take your lying idiot American CEO with you!"

The latest insult is BP deducting what they have already paid for clean up from the $5 billion they are supposed to pay out this year to Gulf Coast residents. BP has devastated the Louisiana seafood industry to the tune of being off by 70 percent.

Then the oil moratorium had a ripple effect throughout the state while the President tries to get BP and other oil companies to actually get safety inspections. All the state's economy has been down dramatically since April and this moratorium continues to keep a choke hold on the local economy. Home foreclosures are exceptionally high now in south Louisiana because of this two-fist punch: the oil spill and now the oil moratorium that sees no end in sight.

To date Feinberg and BP have really been playing a waiting game to see if they can delay payments long enough that the small businesses and individuals declare bankruptcy, falling off their books of claims. Talk about a Vulture Culture attitude.

When the storm of criticism gets too loud to ignore, suddenly Feinberg acts like he's going to suddenly do the right thing - and then it's business as usual. He ends up insulting the claimants by giving them 10 percent of what they are owed.

Here we go again with the promises from Feinberg that never happen: "Over the past few weeks, I have heard from the people of the Gulf, elected officials, and others that payments remain too slow and not generous enough. I am implementing new procedures that will make this program more efficient, more accelerated and more generous."

Feinberg claims he is just now getting around to sorting the claims by industry? "Claims from now on also will be sorted by industry to allow those reviewing the claims to apply a more specific, uniform set of standards when deciding how much a person or business will be paid." And why did he not do that months ago? "Claims still will be reviewed individually but they will be clustered so they are easier to compare," he said.

To date Feinberg and BP claim they have paid out $400 million to 30,000 claimants. Show me the books. Let's see some transparency here. I guarantee you will find plenty of examples of $500,000 claims where they only paid out a mere $5,000.

Feinberg keeps throwing up obstacles. First it's the documentation to prove a claim is legitimate. People comply. One guy complied with 1,500 pages of documentation. So, Feinberg said that was too much documentation and so his claim was denied. It's a sick joke how they are treating these people.

Another outrageous condition was that only if you live within one mile of the shore and work on the water for a living will you be eligible for a claim. Clearly, Feinberg over promised and is not serving the President well at all. His promises keep changing, his conditions keep shifting and the claims keep getting denied.

The latest insult of new conditions was that wages earned by spill cleanup workers would be subtracted from their claims of lost revenue. Now, after the furor, Feinberg is publicly claiming he will waive that condition. What happens when the news crews go home? What will happen in private? More new conditions?

When I say that something smells fishy here it's because it does. BP has a habit of bribing people with promises of throwing business their way after the situation subsides. Feinberg sure changed his tune quickly once he started interacting a lot with BP. He can claim all he wants that he has not been turned by the glitter of the huge money from the multi-national giant but it sure looks like he has fallen into the integrity abyss.

Mr. President, you would do well to hire someone like Mike Papantonio, a liberal talk show host in Texas who is also a lawyer. This man has taken BP to court numerous times and knows how they roll in the business world. Papantonio might be a wise idea to look over the should of Feinberg to keep him and his firm honest. Otherwise, you will continue to hear howling from the Gulf Coast for years to come. Wouldn't it be easier to either replace Feinberg - or have someone else checking on him?








*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Best Spiritual Posts
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

22 September 2010

Wars Overseas, Wars in Congress, Wars in White House, New Book: Obamas Wars

Wars overseas, wars in Congress and wars in the White House are why our government is not working.



From Denny: Were there really any surprises here? For the past 20 months the President and his staff have argued about the Iraq and Afghan Wars. OK, debate is always a good idea but it seems they are as mired as the Army generals running the wars. Come on, guys, after 7 years for one and 9 years for the other, isn't it about time to call it quits? You have worn out the goodwill of the public and our wallets.

"Obama's Wars" by veteran journalist Bob Woodward portrays a deeply divided White House. Few believed this troop surge would work. Obama wanted faster results from his generals. The generals do what generals do: Tell everyone else they are stupid, we know what we are doing and don't question us.

It turns out that originally Obama did not want to escalate in Afghanistan because he rightly felt he only had two years with the American public and then they would want out of the country. Clearly, the President desired an exit strategy. Guess the Taliban surge changed that idea. When he set a timetable for withdrawal Obama said he had to do it: "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."

Woodward also stated that the CIA is running an all-Afghan 3,000 strong paramilitary group in Afghanistan to hunt down the Taliban and other al-Qaida targets. It was confirmed today by the usual anonymous sources.

A couple of favorite quotes from the book:

Vice President Biden, known for his spicy candor, called former Clinton administration Richard Holbrooke "the most egotistical bastard I've ever met." Agreed. How a guy with that much bad attitude could ever make it as a diplomat is a mystery.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, fussed about his vice chairman, Gen. James Cartwright, for "going behind his back." Control freak general.

Cartwright blew off Mullen because he "wasn't a war fighter." Childish general who thinks he doesn't have to respect anyone.

Gen. David Petraeus, the new Afghanistan commander, remarked he disliked talking with David Axelrod, the president's senior adviser, because he was "a complete spin doctor." Agreed; the guy is totally tone deaf, ineffective and a lousy choice for a senior advisor when all his decisions have been disastrous.

More in house fighting? Adm. Dennis Blair, then the national intelligence director, duked it out with Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff, and John Brennan, the counter-terrorism adviser. Guess the guy likes overwhelming odds.

Woodward also reported about there was intelligence depicting Afghan President Hamid Karzai was diagosed as manic-depressive and on medication. In a country like that where you sweat out staying alive from minute to minute who wouldn't be on meds? Of course, the Karzai team denies it.

Let's hope President Obama changes out a number of his team in favor of people who will work together to solve problems instead of staking out the usual turf wars. Either that or hire a group of referees because it looks like they are going to need them.







*** THANKS for visiting, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, enjoy bookmarking this post on your favorite social site, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers – and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe in a reader or by email updates!

*** Come by for a visit and check out my other blogs:

The Social Poets - news, politics
The Soul Calendar - science, astronomy, psychology
Visual Insights - photos, art, music
Beautiful Illustrated Quotations - spiritual quotes, philosophy
Poems From A Spiritual Heart - poetry
The Healing Waters - health news
Dennys People Watching - people in the news
Dennys Food and Recipes
Dennys Funny Quotes - humor

Presidential Memoirs: Who Bombed, Who Soared and Why

Check out some fun facts about presidential memoirs, how well they were paid and who really wrote some of them.





From Denny: With all the presidential memoirs floating around these days it was interesting to find out a few facts about just how well these memoirs have fared over the centuries. Even modern day First Ladies have gotten into the act and done quite well!


Democrat President Bill Clinton

Who received the biggest advance for their presidential memoir?

You got it: Bill Clinton. It's also a veritable tome and, yes, I purchased it back then. Clinton may be a lot of things but he is a good writer and a good read - even if a lengthy one. Concise is not in his mindset.

Clinton's publisher, Knopf, advanced him a whopping $15 million for his 900-page memoir title, "My Life." At the time publishing analysts were concerned if he could sell enough copies to make that advance worthwhile. They estimated the required sale would need to be at least 800,000 hardcover copies just to break even on their investment. Turns out that Clinton was a good investment for them since Knopf jumped out and aggressively ordered over 1.5 million copies just in the first run of publishing. It was a thrill-seeking record breaker for presidential memoirs. As of 2008, Clinton has now pocketed over $30 million just for his part of the book and his follow-up book, "Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World."





Democrat First Lady Hillary Clinton

Hillary's book, "Living History," has already made her more than $10 million. Wait until she finishes her term as Secretary of State as that book should be really interesting. She is the first woman in history to have held the titles of First Lady, Senator, first First Lady to have run for President and now first First Lady to be Secretary of State.





Republican President George Bush

President Bush is coming out with a November election cycle memoir. Absolutely no one cares as they know he could not have written it since he is known as a poor student. Though he grew up wealthy the man had never traveled to Europe until forced to as President. The most commented upon characteristic of him while he was in office was that he had no intellectual curiosity. A scholar he was not.





Republican First Lady Laura Bush

First Lady Laura Bush's memoir was largely panned by everyone from critics to the average person on the street as not written by her and full of untrue stories.





Prime Minister Tony Blair

OK, so this guy isn't an American President but it does go to how a book of a former leader can spark controversy. Recently published is a memoir from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, "A Journey." He sure has lit up the country like a Christmas tree, considering all the protesting and picketing that is happening as a result of publishing this book. The Brits take their books seriously, not getting propaganda ghost writers to substitute like here in America.





Republican President Richard Nixon

His memoir, "RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon," sold 330,000 copies and that was considered a huge success in his time. And this president still is one of the most reviled presidents in American history: "Tricky Dick" was his nickname.





Who experienced the worst loss of presidential memoir sales due to his wife's book?

Republican President Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford's 1979 memoir, "A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford," did not do well. He couldn't "get no respect." It basically bombed against his wife's book. Also, the country was not thrilled with how Ford, Nixon's extremely loyal former Speaker of the House, covered up for Nixon once he was appointed President, refusing to prosecute. His presidency left a bitter aftertaste in America's mouth.





First Lady Betty Ford

Her book was an instant huge hit: "The Times of My Life." She started up the Betty Ford Center and came out of the alcoholic closet, helping other politicians' wives get help. She started a national conversation about substance abuse, shame and guilt. Betty also revealed the dark underbelly of alcoholism in the nation's capitol and unhappy political marriages. She was heralded as courageous by the majority of Americans, as so many could identify with her.

Talk about funny. At a time when men still out shined women and ruled the workplace it was Betty Ford who out shined her husband. She decided to rub it in by giving him a T-shirt that read "Bet My Book Outsells Yours" for his birthday. Bad gag gift. To make matters worse, she turned out to be right.





What other First Lady's memoirs out sold her husband's? Nancy Reagan.





Republican President Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was known for being personable, always ready with a funny quip. He was known for being intensely private, intensely loyal to his wife and an intensely romantic letter writer.

His memoir was "An American Life" that was published in 1990. His ghost writer was Robert Lindsey. At the press conference for the release of the book, the publisher, Simon & Schuster, claimed Reagan wrote the book "with the editorial assistance of Robert Lindsey."

The reality is that Lindsey did indeed write the book. Well, at least Reagan was honest about it when he joked, "I hear it's a terrific book! One of these days I'm going to read it myself."




Republican President Ulysses S. Grant

Speaking of choosing the best ghost writer, it sure looks like Grant made the best choice available in his time period: Mark Twain. At least that is who is believed to have written the president's memoir: "Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant."

Grant served two terms as president, ending in 1877. He was the world's most famous war hero, of the Civil War, Union side. But his finances were not doing as well. Turns out he spent a two-year trip around the world only to find out he had made a disastrous financial investment. His banking partner had swindled him and now Grant was on the verge of bankruptcy. Grant was forced to sell off his Civil War mementos just to pay off his mounting debts.

If anyone knew anything about getting out of debt by writing his way out it was Mark Twain. He approached Grant to help out. Twain offered to publish Grant's presidential memoirs, capitalizing on his war hero popularity, and give Grant a whopping 75 percent of the profits as royalties. Very generous indeed. These days it's the publisher who gets the lion's share of the deal, not the author.

The book was published in 1885 and was a runaway hit. An interesting note as to how they marketed the book was that the publisher employed former Union soldiers in full uniform as book salesmen. The book enjoyed the status as one of the best sellers of the 19th century.



First Lady Julia Dent Grant


A century later and this book is still considered to be one of the best presidential memoirs every written. Of course, there is controversy over just who did most of the writing. Mark Twain was a class act, trying to help out a popular ex-President and war hero reclaim his finances. Twain's only public claim to the book was that he make slight edits to Grant's text. However, the writing voice pointed toward Twain in spite of his best efforts to go low profile.

Grant did not live long enough to see how successful his book became for he died shortly after he wrote the last page. He had cancer of the throat. However, his widow, Julia, did enjoy her husband's success. The book brought in over $450,000 in royalties - which would be the equivalent of millions of dollars in today's economy.





Democrat President Harry S. Truman

Another president who suffered financial issues was President Truman. He was one of the few presidents who was an average American of modest means. He was not the usual elitist millionaire or trust fund baby. After he left office in 1953, he was only surviving on his military pension from the Army of a mere pittance of $112 a month. Truman thought taking a corporate job would cheapen the reputation of the presidency.

He had no real savings so what was he to do? Truman thought the best way to rustle up some cash was to sell his memoirs. Apparently, the publishers thought it a good idea too and advanced him $650,000. However, by the time he paid out taxes on that windfall and paid his assistants, he was practically back in the hole again, netting only a few thousand dollars for his two-volume effort.




First Lady Bess Truman


By 1958, Truman was in such dire financial straits that Congress realized they had to do something for the former president. They passed the Former Presidents Act that guaranteed a $25,000 annual pension to former presidents. Talk about a national embarrassment that no one ever thought of giving a former president a pension in the first place. These days, it's downright lucrative to have been a former president, considering how the publishing houses and consulting firms are enamored with the Oval Office residents.





Democrat James Buchanan

James Buchanan has been judged harshly by scholars and ranked among the very worst of our presidents. His memoir was the first ever presidential memoir written, publishing it in 1866, called "Mr. Buchanan's Administration on the Eve of Rebellion."

He wrote it to set the record straight on his presidency. Apparently, no one bought his version of the truth, even all these years later for he was known as a revisionist, trying to prop up a failed administration.

During the beginnings of the Civil War, he was weak. He said the states could not succeed but that the federal government had no way to stop them. He kept hoping for compromise that never came. He was known for his inactivity to move forward with strong policies.

He angered the Northern abolotionists with his approval of Southern states being allowed to keep slaves as property. He kept trying to bridge the impossible middle between contrasting views that just didn't work. Sometimes, you just have to come down on one side or the other for the middle becomes an even worse choice for its lack of strength to resolve or move forward any decision.

Buchanan's book did not publish until after the Civil War ended and Abraham Lincoln had become a national icon. Of course, Buchanan tried to ride Lincoln's coattails, claiming his policies were just like Honest Abe's. No one went for that marketing ploy either.




Which President wrote the fastest read?

Republican President Calvin Coolidge

President Calvin Coolidge was nicknamed "Silent Cal," famous for his excessively concise conversation. Verbose he was not but he was witty. When at a brunch, a young woman had a bet she could get him to say three words. He smiled and turned to her and said, "You lose."

His administration was famous for doing nothing, keeping the status quo even when it took advantage of the poor. He declined to interfere with Big Business, not realizing until much later there had to be some restraints.

Coolidge also takes the prize for the shortest presidential memoir. His was titled "The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge." He summed up his life and accomplishments in a mere 247 pages, compared to our recent President Bill Clinton's tome at 900 pages.





Republican President Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover had no love lost between him and historians. He had no problem standing up for his views. He left office in 1933 after a general consensus declared disastrous. What a shame he was terrible as a president because the man was quite the humanitarian when he was in China decades earlier. His risked his life to save Chinese children when his settlement was under fire.

He believed no one should go hungry or be cold in their own house. The problem was that he thought the federal government should not bear that burden but rather the local cities, towns and states. He was blamed for the Great Depression and considered callous because of this attitude. Anyone knows that centralizing government resources makes more available that if each small town has to rely on their meager ones.

And Hoover was jealous of FDR's popularity and trashed his New Deal policy. His resentment of how he was the scapegoat for the Depression and voted out of office must have simmered long and hard. It took 18 years for Hoover to finally birth his memoir, a veritable tome of what was to be a three volumes long memoir.





And when it comes time for current President Barack Obama to write his memoir, it should be an interesting read. It will deal with polarizing politics, deep recurring racism and the uphill climb of restoring the American economy after eight years of failed Republican policies. The jury is still out as to whether America will give him the time to do the impossible.


*** And from my blogger friend, Zeny, in the Philippines who posted how she thought her country compared:

A glimpse into the Lives of the American Presidents - How do the Presidents of the Philippines fare?

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