August 28, 2015

Pardon Me!

Then Secretary of State HRC apparently not liking what she sees on her Blackberry networked through the 'home-brew' server she had installed in her Chappaqua home in direct violation of White House guidance, State Department protocol, and National Archive and FOIA statute. Wonder what the little communique is regarding? Yoga class? Chelsea's Rehearsal Dinner? HRC's email server is now in the hands of FBI investigators. They aren't interested in updogs or who had the beef or fish...

The political intrigue is thick with Clintonian plots and subplots with the fates of many, not to mention the future course of a Superpower, riding on the findings of an FBI Cyber Forensics Team. But first, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 61% of Americans think Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't honest or trustworthy.  You can now count my dear Mother among them. I couldn't believe my ears and was a little saddened (about my Mum not HRC) to hear the disappointment in her voice. She has long been a fierce HRC supporter although she was and remains a strong Obama supporter. I wanted to hear my mother's thinking on changing her favored candidate  to Bernie Sanders but she told me it was her birthday (the actual reason for my call) and intimated she didn't want to have a painful conversation that would have to include an admission the apple of her eye, GSL, was right about HRC. I didn't want to put her through it either as her father, my Grandpa Cooper, was a strong supporter of Bill Clinton, and Mum and I both say that the whole Monica scandal would have killed him if he had lived long enough to see it.

Vice President Joe Biden. Will he run? If he does and takes Elizabeth Warren as his running mate, I'll bet anything my mother will vote for him. If he knew her, he'd be honored. I would likely vote for him too even though I like Carly Fiorina.
Both Houses of Congress and The Presidency all from one party is not good for the country.
Run Joe Run!!!

In case you haven't been following American politics, Joe Biden has finally let it be known he is very serious about running for President. He had a very conspicuous meeting with Elizabeth Warren last weekend that has everybody assuming she will be his running mate and would wisely say that when announcing his intentions to run. The White House made a very surprising statement on Monday leaving no doubt that Obama would much prefer to have his VP carry on his legacy. To us longtime political observers, all of this has been carefully orchestrated with lengthy New York Times pieces including a column by Maureen Dowd stating that Joe Biden's son, who tragically died from cancer this Spring, told his father, from his death bed, not to let the White House "revert back to the Clintons" with Joe Biden's superior values and integrity being the implied reason.  Joe Biden is highly respected and actually is a true believer in those traditional Democratic Party values of looking out for the less fortunate, equal opportunity for all, etc. He would have never gone on such a rapacious money grab as the Clinton's have done, think himself entitled to set up his own private communication channels, and retroactively decide what to avail to the State Department, National Archives, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Joe is known to be a gaffe machine but his heart has always been in the right place and he doesn't much care about personal wealth.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Smart, well spoken, and like Joe Biden, not corrupt. She'll be warmly embraced by Democrats in the primary once announced as Biden's running mate. The 72 year old Biden will say he's in for one term and then turn the country over to Warren to be the first female President. Women will love it after the coming HRC nightmare.

There has been massive speculation about the FBI investigation into HRC's private email server. The Associated Press and Reuters are reporting their State Department sources say there will at least be hundreds of emails containing classified information. HRC had the thing professionally wiped clean before handing it over and likely is praying that nothing can be recovered.  The talk is that Biden, who over 40 years has deeply entrenched allies at the FBI and State Department, has recently been tipped off that HRC is dead meat based on what they've already uncovered which will at least be very embarrassing, if not criminal, although the very act of storing classified material in an unsecured location is criminal.

John Deutch, CIA Director under Bill Clinton, who was pardoned on President Clinton's last day of office for having classified material on his home computer. He was facing serious criminal charges and possible jail time.

I've been talking with my buddies The Good Doctor and Dutch about the various scenarios likely being played out at the White House, and quiet little Georgetown cafes in hushed tones. There is a very high stakes poker game going on right now. HRC doesn't know what the FBI will be able to recover. Some of it may make the President or Biden look bad.  If classified material is discovered sent by HRC, that's an automatic criminal charge and prosecution. Obama and Biden may not want a public trial either with their names potentially coming up in an unfavorable light.  Obama has the ultimate Trump card (not The Donald) in that he can grant a Presidential pardon for any reason whatsoever that is permanent...even to himself.. That is a strong incentive to squeeze HRC to step away and don't make a fuss and let Joe and Elizabeth Warren carry on his legacy.  HRC can go all in and 'let it ride' that her server was wiped clean and insist that only as a recipient of classified material (if not marked as classified) that she was an unwitting victim even though the whole reason it was sent over unsecured lines was her own doing.

Former CIA Director and 4 Star General David Petraeus. He was formerly well known to have Presidential ambitions with Republican political sensibilities despite his loyal service to Obama. What I found bewildering during the Benghazi business was how Petraeus was nowhere to be found and as CIA Director had to know the real story. Two days after Obama was re-elected, Petraeus resigned over the affair with his mistress/biographer. Obama's Justice Dept also conducted an investigation revealing that Petraeus showed his mistress/biographer his calendar which is highly classified. Even though his mistress/biographer was an Army Officer with a Top Secret security clearance, she wasn't authorized to see his calendar. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder let Petraeus twist in the wind for 2 years before allowing him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor with no jail time in the final days of Holder's tenure. Of course the real reason they let him twist in the wind so long was to keep his mouth shut on Benghazi and likely other stuff. Obama will give him a pardon on his way out the door. GSL had Thanksgiving Dinner with Petraeus in Baghdad in 2007 when he was Force Commander. I'll share that in an upcoming post.

GSL's Bold Prediction:

HRC had lots of allies at State to run interference and frustrate Congressional investigations and essentially withhold critical info Congress is charged, by law, with overseeing. They have stonewalled, obfuscated, and been disingenuous to say the least. These Clinton loyalists all know they will be well looked after for helping Team Clinton. However over at the FBI, there are very few Team Clinton loyalists. FBI 'G-Men' are hardcore by-the-book 'follow the evidence where it leads' types who are nearly unanimous in their disgust with this email server business, Clinton duplicity, and livid over HRC mocking their investigation and having her server professionally wiped clean just prior to handing it over.  I predict another server will be found which means 'game over'. They will stumble on some bombshells regarding Benghazi as it has recently been discovered that a covert CIA arms shipment in Libya that HRC likely knew about and tacitly, if not explicitly approved, was diverted to the guys who killed our Ambassador and 3 other Americans and there will be emails revealing it and the orchestrated cover-up that followed.

It will be interesting to see what actually develops.

August 23, 2015

Sticks & Stone

United States Air Force Airman Spencer Stone who bum-rushed an ISIS trained would-be mass murderer while French train staff locked themselves away in safety.

There are so many ways to go with this, I hardly know where to begin. An armed belligerent confronts the French nation....and French authorities retreat behind locked doors and wait for the Americans to handle it.

The Americans did handle it. The Den's French Bureau Chief reported to me just hours ago that train staff (of state run SNCF) locked themselves in safety and left the passengers to fend for themselves..

The French government had already been alerted by the Spaniards that this would-be mass murderer had fought alongside ISIS in Syria but apparently were concerned that keeping a watchful eye might 'offend' him.

Cold War era pic of school children practicing drill in case of nuclear war. This drill has recently been modified to include the "reprehensible' and 'appalling' sounds of 'fatso' and 'four-eyes'. Parents also participate.  

Back to this US Airman Spencer Stone, he'll be getting all kinds of laurels from the French and our own government but I want to know more about his mother and how she raised him.  I'll bet she taught him about Sticks & Stones....with a little wink at how close to home that little couplet hits. I've long lamented this ridiculous overreaction at rude comments and how easily people nowadays are "appalled" or find a few rude words "reprehensible" and forever seeking that next catchphrase to ostentatiously display how offended they are. The emotional energy invested to transform oneself into such a candy-ass to convincingly evoke such high-toned outrage is not without a cost. All that indignation expended over a few words weakens defenses so when actual danger is encountered that cowering crouch of retreat can't react in a way to save one's own hide or the truly vulnerable.

When Airman Stone, was taking cover in his defensive crouch, he wasn't cowering like a little pussy; he was relatively clear-headed and waiting for an opportunity to make his move. When the pistol jammed, he charged and opened up a can on that piece of shit terrorist.

They should still teach children about Sticks & Stones and adults that Weakness is Provocative.

August 20, 2015

Trump Card

The Donald soon after receiving a few of GSL's "abusive swipes" after an actual insult to a woman. Trump was later seen being raced over to a bouffant triage station for a wash & set.

The Den decided a tipping point has been reached. This recent collective hissy fit over The Donald's supposed reference of Fox's  Megyn Kelly and "blood... coming out of her...whatever" with one irate woman trumping up as an "abusive swipe at all women" rendering that same usually astute observer "so appalled she was speechless" is just too much to bear and shall not go unanswered. Allow GSL to put things in proper perspective. To be clear, The Den thinks of The Donald, at his best, as nothing more than a cartoon figure not to be taken seriously; albeit, a cartoon figure with superb business acumen.  Donald has taken plenty of impolite, ungentlemanly, and yes, sexist swipes at women and far more abusive jabs at men. He's an equal opportunity verbal abuser which any grown-up, with a fully formed mind, should just dismiss as the plaintive ramblings of an insecure cad.

Megyn Kelly is actually a pretty good television journalist and  interviewer. Her handling of the Fox Debate was a little too self promotional but not over the top.  I have no idea why she did a photo shoot like this.
I would have strongly discouraged, but it doesn't negate the quality of her work although I do know if a male colleague
ever did something similar, he would never be taken seriously again.

I just listened to the actual interview of Trump with Don Lemon of CNN where this alleged "abusive swipe at all women" occurred.  Here it is if anyone is looking to be "rendered speechless".  Somehow, I was able to recite the Sticks & Stones Nursery Couplet after a listen.  GSL knows far more about the male psyche than a hyper-eager victim group matron of ceremonies who interprets every imagined slight with the most vicious motives.  It was obvious  this was just a clumsy attempt to say Ms. Kelly was 'out for blood' without any allusion to her period. Then Trump appeared to lose his train of thought and possibly suspected he was in dangerous territory and withdrew.  Even if he had directly connected Megyn Kelly's aggressive questioning to a women's plumbing issue, the assertion wouldn't be inaccurate, even if distasteful, least according to the testimony of countless women.

Comediennes have built careers talking about their PMS rages to a female audience laughing hysterically with "you go girl" cheers.  I can't listen to a morning radio show without the perky female co-host referencing a PMS punch line.  Here is Mary J. Blige singing about it. Last I heard, Mary J has yet to face any 'Neanderthal' charges.  Given my famously queasy nature, I wish women never talked publicly of their personal health issues.  I have heard women bragging about playing hooky from work by calling their male boss with the "that time of month" excuse as every straight man I know, doesn't want to touch the subject.

Den FAV: The Sensational Mary J. Blige. During my Iraq Tour, just before lights out, the final song played was Pappy's
torch song Be Without You

Trump is a buffoon, and has actually said far more disrespectful things about women and I predict his campaign will end with a very painful, and justified, comeuppance. My candidate, Carly Fiorina, should just let him implode and when they are cast side by side on a debate stage, the obvious fact she's more than twice the human being he could ever hope to be will come shining through.

So how many women is it that now accuse Cosby of rape? Around 40 I believe. According to the late David Carr of the New York Times in one of his last columns, many journalists knew of those allegations, and successful lawsuit, against Cosby, but were afraid to investigate with political correctness being the unsaid but obvious reason. No one had the guts to look into it until Chicago comedian Hannibal Buress (below) called him out.

Finally, the victim culture needs to end. I know it's a sweet gig getting to be plaintiff, judge, jury, statutory authority, and defendant's lead counsel to settle scores, not on principles, but to avenge painful adolescent memories adults formerly were expected to outgrow.  Cases are only brought forward when the accused is a member of that phantom menace....The Patriarchy.

Dr Dre of the just released and critically acclaimed Straight Outta Compton.
At least 3 women have claimed he beat the shit out of them. The uber-hip 'Dre'
maintains, of one accuser, that he "only threw her through a door".  Kudos to The Daily Mail for running this story and finally calling out real abuse and misogyny that runs rampant in the hip-hop community.

Thank goodness there are responsible journalists calling out actual abusers of women.

Kudos to Michael Moynihan of The Daily Beast for exposing the rampant physical abuse and misogyny of The Black Panthers.

The Black Panthers enjoyed a long fashionable reign as the original co-conspirator of Radical Chic so deliciously satirized by Tom Wolfe in his iconic New York Magazine essay: That Party at Lenny's

Leonard Bernstein (center) flanked by wife Felicia Montealegre and Black Panther Don Cox.
Lest anyone doubt Lenny's somber earnestness, take note of his cute little black outfit.

August 09, 2015

Carly Rising!

Carly Fiorina
Future US President?

Look out for Carly Fiorina. She's got a real chance to be the next President of the United States. Last Thursday night had the Republican Primary Debate in Cleveland. They split the crowded Republican field into two separate back to back debates with the 10 Republican candidates rated highest in the polls beginning at 9pm. Carly was on the undercard that came before the big debate to a very sparse audience. The Main Event of course featured Trump being Trump to a huge audience. Carly easily was the most impressive of the bunch in either debate and won the night. My buddies Dutch and the Good Doctor are salivating at the opportunity of watching this self made gal and breast cancer survivor who rose from office secretary to CEO of Hewlett-Packard debate Hillary Clinton about women's issues.

In a post debate interview, Carly mopped the floor with the famously overbearing Chris Matthews. She's been getting raves from everybody the last few days.

Hillary has big time troubles as the Inspector General has opened an investigation the New York Post describes as criminal into her private email server when Secretary of State. Obama's Justice Department will decide how to proceed. Obama's former CIA Director just plead guilty to sharing classified material with his mistress/biographer so they can't just let her skate. I suspect there are all kinds of maneuverings going on behind the scenes as the Democrats are scrambling for a Plan B. Hillary is absolutely dead meat and now Obama can use this Justice Department investigation as leverage to put his candidate in place. The Obamas and Clintons don't like each other and Dem Operatives are wary to pick a side too soon but it will be a jail break away from the Clintons once it becomes more apparent she's toast. The New York Times is apparently trying to lure Vice President Joe Biden into the race and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is also mulling a run.

I really don't think it's good for the country to have both Houses of Congress and the Presidency from the same political party but if I had to vote today, my decision would be quite easy.

The Den loves Carly!

August 02, 2015

Women We Love: Delightful Deborah

The  Magnificent Deborah Brooks

I thought it only appropriate to begin a new Den series by setting a high bar. Meet Deborah Brooks. She's the co-founder of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Attentive Den readers across six continents (and counting) may recall a post on my favorite movie experience: The English Patient with two charming ladies I'd only known a couple of months. Deborah was one of those charming ladies. Our great mutual friend "Loveable Linda" was the other charmer.

Delightful Deborah (on right) vamping at a MJF Foundation fundraiser.

Our Mrs. Brooks is one of the most extraordinary people I've ever met and hers is a story that must be told.  The Den's modus operandi is to tell these stories of wonderful people (especially women) that are smart, talented, stand for all the right things, make good things happen, and offer a shining example of a well-lived life. Unbeknownst to Delightful Deborah, she also offered a painful reminder that if a man has the capacity to do great things then he should do great things.

My Favorite Movie experience of all time remains seeing The English Patient
with Delightful Deborah and Loveable Linda.

Prior to revolutionizing the philanthropic community, Deborah was a star at Goldman Sachs for 9 years but knew the demands of that lifestyle would never allow her to achieve what was far more important than material wealth. She left Goldman Sachs to return to graduate school, got a 2nd master's degree and entered the non-profit world. She was on the cusp of her late 30s and desired to get married and have children. She had an unusual upbringing with an absentee father and bohemian mother and I gathered she felt like the only grown-up in the family even as a young girl. She wanted to provide a loving stable home to children and marry a man who would be a devoted husband and father.

Soon after we saw The English Patient, we had a standing 'date' that we'd go see a movie together on Sunday afternoons-just the two of us. I vividly recall that I was starting to fall for Deborah and there was this moment when we were watching a charming little movie she picked, Love Jones, and the time was coming when I either was going to act on my romantic inclinations or forever hold my peace. During the movie, our shoulders touched creating a frisson of excitement and moment of truth that had my mind racing. I quickly did a self-assessment that could only lead to the painful conclusion that I was unworthy of such a wonderful woman and my duty should be to make sure a piece of garbage like me never wastes her time. With my shoulder making a shame-faced retreat, I resolved to help Deborah find someone worthy.

Moment of truth. Charming little movie during which GSL came to a painful realization.

Deborah later moved to Boston to run the Harvard Eating Disorders Clinic and we talked regularly by phone and she always told me of the new men in her life and wanted to hear my perspective. After a couple of years of meeting men that weren't quite what she was looking for, she phoned to tell me of this new guy she kind of liked. She called back after she had a wonderful day with him on a clam dig and wanted my perspective. After several minutes of penetrating GSL cross-exam, I told her: "He's The One Delightful Deborah! No guy is going to kill a day clam-digging with a gal if he's not dead serious."

He was The One. He's still The One. Mr & Mrs. Brooks soon thereafter got married. After a couple of years of trying to have children of their own, they adopted two beautiful sisters and have provided a stable, loving home and perform the highest calling there nurture and instruct young children.

The day Goldman Sachs went public was a huge business story as it was the largest IPO in history. Partners would net at least $100 million each. From everybody I've talked to at Goldman Sachs, Deborah was certainly on a Partner track. We shared a giggle over what she walked away from but I think she made the deal of a lifetime.

I ended that phone call just like I always do by saying "Some day Deborah, I'm going to make you proud of me..."

That day has finally drawn near.

Happy Birthday Deborah!!!