Tag Archive: Joe Biden


Even men have standards …

Gov. Gavin Newsom wears a pair of safely glasses as he helped custodian Maria Arambula, right, with her janitorial work at American River College on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Sacramento.

Should a mayor sleep with his campaign manager’s wife, Rippey?

Should a mayor sleep with his chief of staff’s wife, Rippey?

Should a mayor sleep with his best friend’s wife, Rippey?

What if all of above – campaign manager, chief of staff, best friend – was one fellow male, Alex Tourk?

What kind of friend are you Mr. Mayor … Mr. Governor, anyway?

As adoring California media gush and write fluffers and puffers about former San Francisco Mayor, now Golden State Governor Gavin Newsom, do his antics 12 years ago matter … particularly and especially to men who time-and-time again do not vote Democratic?

Gavin won the governorship of California, even after violating the man code. Why should that little indiscretion stop him from becoming President #46 in 2024? You know he’s running … yes you do.

First Almost DailyBrett must ask: Will Gavin’s dalliance matter at all, to women?

Two of the last four presidents were/are champion cheaters, one grabbing them in private areas and as desperate defenders of the other always say: ‘It was just a blow…!’

Did either Messrs. Trump and Clinton ever make love to the wife of a best friend? As far as we know, the answer in both cases is negative.

Second, carnal knowledge behind the back of your best friend with his spouse is without doubt a direct violation of the Man Code.

C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007 defined the code as “a set of rigid but unwritten boundaries over which no man may step. Break the Man Code, and you’re toast.”

Sorry C.W., Gavin is governor, not toast … at least not yet. Having said that, does that mean all is forgiven and forgotten with males of the species?

The Real Gender Gap

Donald Trump won the white male vote 62-31 percent … or two-to-one for you math whizzes … demonstrating that Democrats more than Republicans are confronting a gender gap.

Almost DailyBrett has real doubts Democrats can do enough to close this gap between now and 2020, let alone five years from now.

If Gavin wakes up one day and gazes into his golden mirror on the wall and sees, not just a governor, but a president (bet on it), how will men across the fruited plain view his 2007 violation of the Man Code?

You can be sure that opposition research will dredge up this tawdry caper, even in a Democratic primary for an open seat … let alone the general election.

Some will contend that your Almost DailyBrett author should slow down. Didn’t The Donald run against the first woman nominee, Hillary? Were oodles of (misogynist or not) men simply voting against a female standard bearer, particularly that woman?

There are few who as far to suggest that Hillary was not in a word … “likeable.” Really.

In contrast, Gavin will offer himself as a telegenic white privileged male with a socialist-oriented track record as Mayor of San Francisco and Governor of California.

How will the story of his sneaking behind his best friend’s back to bed his wife sound to literally millions of men from sea to shining sea? Is there a Statute of Limitations on this type of story?

Just ask Joe Biden and/or Brett Kavanaugh.

The Man Code is visceral. A man instinctively senses a deep-seeded … that is so wrong … type of wrong. Your best friend’s wife is out-of-bounds and will always be. There is no there, there. Don’t even think about it.

Are men horn-dogs? Does the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening? Hormonal hetero men (redundant?) have responded to women since Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis.

Women expect the worst when it comes to testosterone-laden men. We never fail to deliver. Men are their own worst enemies and our collective PR to use a sophisticated term … sucks.

Having said that, women are more willing based upon centuries of rolling-their-eyes experience to eventually accept and maybe even forgive men for being … men.

Men are different animals. A violation of the Man Code is serious and enduring. You were wrong Gavin. You know you were wrong. What felt so good should not give you pleasure now, Governor Gavin. The coast is not clear.

If you think men will forget in five-years-time (or any time), you are sadly mistaken.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article229922079.html

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Unforgivable-breach-of-Man-Code-2652345.php

 

“Not only had @realDonaldTrump become a mass-media juggernaut, but Twitter had for the first time become a primary outlet for the views of a major American politician. With Trump’s election, the transformation was complete: The social network had become the new public square.” – Nicholas Carr, POLITICO

Without a shred of doubt, nothing on this planet drives the media crazier than Twitter use by one Donald John Trump.

Within the friendly confines of 280 characters coupled with the always-on powerful bully pulpit of the presidency, Trump can set the agenda and be a part of any breaking story regardless of subject.

Wait.

Under Agenda Setting Theory, the big masthead media (e.g., New York Times, Washington Post) supposedly establish the agenda about what grateful everyday Americans should be thinking about.

As they say in political circles the big mastheads have been, preempted.

The very dragon they are attempting to slay, is spewing counter-punching fire right back at them any time, all the time.

“Beware of the overnight tweet.” — CNBC NYSE reporter Bob Pisani

Most of the Trump Tweets are … provocative (outrageous?) and thus are newsworthy. The ensuing conversation is about Trump, always about Trump.

Does the sun ever set on Donald Trump’s Twitter account?

With the Müller Report destined to be a non-factor by the end of this year – let alone next year – the media/entertainment elites in Manhattan, within the confines of the Beltway and Hollywood are facing the prospect of a re-elected Twittering Trump.

Columbia Journalism Review worries about whether journalists are correcting all of Trump’s tweets and statements.

Will they eventually interrupt Trump during the State of Union, the same way MSNBC’s Brian Williams cut off Senator Lindsey Graham?

When it comes to always telling the truth, nobody does it better than Brian Williams.

Will the media at some point — kicking and screaming — be forced to stop pretending the no-further indictments/actions Müller Report is the death knell of a president they detest (putting it mildly)?

Even though they torched Joe Biden’s last days as a non-candidate, will they line up behind him if he somehow captures the Democratic nomination?

Whoever emerges as the Demo nominee, will be their standard bearer.

The Never-Ending, Always-On News Cycle

Campaigns are not happy places.

Familiarity always breeds more than contempt.

Sleep is a precious commodity, and there is never enough to go around.

There was a time when there was only one news cycle per day.

As Almost DailyBrett commented two years ago, White House “death watch” is not what it used to be. Translated: Reporters stationed in the White House briefing room while the president sleeps were Journalism’s answer to graveyard shift. No more.

Trump’s nocturnal tweets (does he ever sleep?) have changed the game. Just ask Wall Street.

Every campaign in the 2020 cycle will have to compete effectively in a digital-is-eternal atmosphere with a minimum of sleep. With digital social media – particularly Twitter – every campaign and every media outlet is an always-on, 24-7-365 wire service.

Trump tweeted (fill in the blank). Respond within the fewest nanoseconds possible.

Biden tweeted (fill in the blank). Democratic rivals answer within the fewest nanoseconds possible.

Bernie tweeted what? Man or Woman the Twitter barricades!

Almost DailyBrett remembers the days when wise pundits (oxymoron?) lamented about how policy debates were being reduced to 30-second bites.

How about 280-character tweets? Used to be 140 characters.

With more than 20+ would be Democratic nominees, how many pithy responses will immediately jump from their keyboards. More to the point how many mistakes, which can’t be recalled, will emerge from these Twitter accounts?

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” – Vince Lombardi

Even though early Baby Boomer Trump is 72-years-young, he seems to have the energy and stamina to keep the Twitter stream coming, even accelerating and intensifying the flow. There are no signs of fatigue.

Will the next president (or the same president) be the one who best utilizes the Twitter characters? Should social media be the penultimate factor in determining who will be the leader of the free world?

Let the Twitter debate commence.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/26/donald-trump-twitter-addiction-216530

https://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/twitter-media-trump.php

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/death-watch-aint-what-it-used-to-be/

It’s been 15 years – three presidential cycles – since the Democratic Party selected an old white privileged male as its standard bearer.

Seems like eons ago since patrician Senator John Kerry “reported for duty” at the 2004 quadrennial convention of the Democratic Party in Boston. His VP choice was another old white privileged guy, former Senator John Edwards.

Whatever happened to John Edwards?

As former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, joins Senator Bernie Sanders, 77, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg – the Killer B’s — as front runners to secure the party’s crown, will there be a sense of diversity regression if the culture of “toxic” white masculinity once again controls the party?

Will it be déjà vu all over again?

Consider that 44 of the first 45 presidents have been old white privileged males, some clean-shaven, some with mustaches, some with beards and one follicly impaired (e.g., Ike)

The April 19 edition of the New York Times brought this troubling spectre to the forefront when it openly questioned whether an old white privileged man could actually be the 2020 face of the Democratic Party.

Will the celebratory progressive trend toward minority and women candidates slam into a moral- high-ground brick wall, if the party ultimately succumbs and selects an old white privileged male nominee to run against the GOP’s old white privileged male president?

Considering that Barack Obama won the nomination in 2008 and 2012 (and the presidency as well) and Hillary Clinton captured the nod in 2016, would the party be stepping back in its fight for diversity if a white hombre – regardless of qualifications and electability – emerges from the primary/caucus gauntlet to mount the podium in July 2020 as the nominee in Milwaukee?

Almost DailyBrett wonders whether progressives would sit out the campaign, mount their own third-party candidate or simply hold their noses and stand behind the old white privileged male party nominee because the re-election of Donald Trump is simply unfathomable.

The large field of would-be presidents includes prominent women (i.e., Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand), minority candidates (i.e., Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro) and a worldly candidate who speaks seven languages (e.g., Mayor Pete Buttigieg).

“Circular Firing Squad”?

 “One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States is the kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Ah, I’m sorry, this is how it’s gonna be.’ And then we start sometimes creating what’s called a circular firing squad where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues. And when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens”  — former President Barack Obama

Does the openly progressive New York Times on its news and editorial pages (redundant?) fear the party is swaying away from its portfolio of women and minority candidates? Wonder if the shocking revelations of Biden smelling the hair and kissing the heads of multiple females of the species has anything to do with the unchangeable and undeniable fact … he is at his core, an old white privileged male?

Was he too rough with Anita Hill 28 years ago? Is it time — past time — for his nationally televised apology?

Guess it’s time for opposition research. Wonder what other “oppo” is in store for Messrs. Biden and Sanders in particular? The knives are out.

Would Biden as the reluctant party’s nominee have to avoid college campuses in the fall 2020 campaign because his toxic white masculinity would generate microagressions, necessitate trigger warnings, and the reinforce the need for safe spaces?

Would his nomination be seen as an institutional form of “racism” and “sexism?”

Let’s imagine that either Biden or Bernie secure the nomination. Would the victor be required to select a woman and/or minority (Kamala Harris represents a two-for) in order to partially placate Justice Democrats … if that is indeed possible?

There is one other issue … and Almost DailyBrett will tread lightly on this subject: What about old white privileged males? Your author is one of these poor saps.

Charges of sexism or racism do not apply to them. There is no old white privileged male equivalent of misogyny. Fire away with impunity any invective or slur that comes to mind.

Never in 21st Century history has so much vitriol been leveled against one group of people with so little individual consequences.

No one cares. No one feels sorry.

One thing is certain: This particular demographic time-and-time-again wipes the mud out of their collective eyes, and votes.

They are motivated. They are high-propensity. And they represented 34 percent of the electorate in 2016, casting 62 percent of their votes for Donald Trump and only 31 percent for Hillary Clinton … two-to-one … Game, Set and Match.

If Democrats are actually interested in beating another old white privileged male, Donald Trump, they may want to consider fighting fire with fire … or maybe not.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/20/us/politics/democrats-2020-white-male.html

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/new-york-times-says-white-maleness-may-be-a-2020-albatross

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/culture-of-toxic-masculinity/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/what-happened-to-the-exceptional-nation-that-twice-elected-barack-obama/

 

“Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you (ministers) — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.” – Catholic Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy speaking to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, Sept. 12, 1960

Kennedy was the second of three Catholics to be nominated for the presidency, and the only one to be elected. Joe Biden was the one-and-only Catholic to be elected as vice president.

To its credit, the Democratic Party nominated all three Catholics for president: Al Smith (1928), JFK (1960) and John Kerry (2004).

That was then, this is now.

The difference in the electoral climate in 1960 compared to today is not only a political lifetime, it’s an eternity.

Kennedy assuaged through his words to the ministers in Houston and through his sincere behavior that he would never take direction from Rome. Instead he would to the best of his ability, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. … So help me, God.”

Based upon his enduring legacy and his ability to reach across party lines … similar to Ronald Reagan in the other political direction … Kennedy tempered the spoken and unspoken concern in many quarters about “Papists.”

Today as the Party of Kennedy launches its primary campaign for president, there are tangible signs that being a Catholic may actually be a negative … even a big time game changer.

Has Catholicism remained the same? How much has the Democratic Party changed?

The mere fact that Catholics supported Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton 50-46 percent in 2016 exit polls has not been overlooked by party brass. Keep in mind Hillary lost Protestants by a larger margin, 59-36 percent. She won in a landslide with agnostics/atheists, 67-25 percent.

Secularism über alles?

It’s one thing to preach tolerance and diversity; it’s another to politely disagree and coexist those who dare go against ingrained party orthodoxy (e.g., up-to-the-nanosecond-of-birth abortion … see Cuomo, Andrew).

And here comes the rub, the party abortion litmus test vs. the long-term teachings of the church. Pope Francis may be cool, but the party’s position on the Mother of All Issues has intensified.

Anti-Catholicism Raising Its Ugly Head … Again?

“I’m thinking of finding every one of these shitty kids and giving them a large piece of my mind.” – Recode editor Kara Swisher tweeting about the students at Covington (KY) Catholic High School

“When online mobs attack unknown kids, we’ve got a problem.” – Howard Kurtz, Fox News Media Buzz anchor

Almost DailyBrett does not attach much significance to anecdotes … except when they accumulate and become a discernible pattern.

When it comes to the revival of anti-Catholic bias/bigotry as a result of a litany (no religious pun intended) of anecdotes, every practicing and even non-practicing Catholic needs to take note.

The same is true with those of the Jewish persuasion, when so many Women’s March organizers openly refused to condemn Louis Farrakhan and his vile anti-Semitic views.

Whatyathink Kamala?

 “Since 1993, you have been a member of the Knights of Columbus, an all-male society composed primarily of Catholic men … Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?” – Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, to Federal District Court nominee Brian Buescher

What should be done with these “all-male societies” of “Catholic men,” including one that has existed for a mere 136 years with 2 million members? Wonder if another Catholic charity, The St. Vincent de Paul Society, has the same view on Roe v. Wade?

And what was the instinctive political elite reaction to a group of chaperoned Catholic school boys (e.g., Covington Catholic High School), who visited Washington, D.C. and wore MAGA hats and calmly observed a Native American pounding a drum in their collective faces? They fired off their tweets first and asked questions of themselves later.

NBC Today Show reporter Savannah Guthrie demanded an apology of Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann (see photo above) for the mere act of living and breathing. He was accused of … smirking.

Death threats were made. Their school was closed. Must suck to be young, male and worst of all, Catholic in the eyes of the political intelligentsia?

And let’s not forget another Catholic male, now Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. One of his favorite pass-times is coaching his daughter’s Catholic Youth Organization basketball team. Could he coach any longer once he was accused of high-school sexual misconduct, none of which was ever corroborated to this very day?

Justice Kavanaugh endured weeks of living hell, part of the reason is the simple fact that his faith collides with those advocate for abortion under any circumstances including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who happens to be also … Catholic.

Will there be even more anti-Catholic anecdotes in the run-up to 2020. Almost DailyBrett will take that bet.

Will it be necessary for a Democratic nominee to be both anti-Semitic on Israel and anti-Catholic on abortion in order to win over the secular crowd to secure the nomination?

Catholics Kerry, Biden and Cuomo are all vying to be the titular head of the party. Do any of them realistically have a chance in this hostile intra-party political climate?

Will the Democratic orthodoxy ex-communicate one or all three of these gents before they have the opportunity to compete to wear the golden ring and drink from the chalice as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States?

Don’t be surprised if all three are out of the race by the time the votes are counted in New Hampshire.

Almost DailyBrett note: Your author is a product of 12-years of Catholic School. Even though the personal halo has shifted downward from time-to-time, The Baltimore Catechism is still in the bloodstream.

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16920600

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/30/kamala-harris-mazie-hirono-target-brian-buescher-k/

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/kamala-harris-knights-of-columbus-religious-test/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2018/10/05/brett-kavanaughs-nomination-fight-is-dividing-his-dc-catholic-church/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/appeasing-farrakhan-then-appeasing-farrakhan-now/

https://usatodayhss.com/2018/is-brett-kavanaugh-right-that-he-can-no-longer-coach-girls-basketball

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/media-must-learn-covington-catholic-story/581035/

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/covington-students-journalists-mired-in-twitters-toxic-stew

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcook/2018/09/05/one-thing-we-know-about-brett-kavanaugh-hes-a-girls-basketball-coach/#1aff8d393946

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_affiliations_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

 

 

 

 

 

“The constitutional power of a president to pardon is unique and sacred, meant to give the chief executive the ability to correct injustices.” – Hamilton Jordan, chief of staff to former President Jimmy Carter

“I think either the president (Bill Clinton) had an incredible lapse in memory or was brain-dead when he did that one (Marc Rich pardon),” – Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, February 11, 2001

An Outgoing President’s Trifecta?

Close Guantanamo.

Visit Cuba.

Pardon Edward Snowden.snowdenSXSW

If true, all Snowden has to do is keep his comrade warm for 10 or 11 more months in the Rodina (until a few days or even hours before the inauguration of the 45th president) and then return to the U.S. as a free man and a hero in many circles.

How many U.S. universities would welcome Snowden as their commencement speaker in May or June, 2017? Ring those First Amendment bells.

Two of Snowden’s biggest fans are Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. And what do these two gents have in common? They make movies. How about an Academy Award epic about Snowden capped off by footage of a presidential pardon and a grateful nation? Guess what?

A New York Times best seller?

An eight-figure Snowden bank account? All for pilfering and leaking top-secret documents in an age of global Terrorism?

Outrageous? Maybe to the majority of Americans, but do our elites really care about them? Besides how many news cycles will it take for most plain folks to forget about the Snowden pardon?

What are the Kardashians doing today?marcrich

Does anybody remember Marc Rich? The spouse of the man who pardoned Rich is ready to become the first woman president of the United States. Did the presidential pardon of Marc Rich hurt her electoral chances?

For those scoring at home, Rich was one of the world’s wealthiest men. He was wanted for more than 50 counts of wire fraud, racketeering, massive income tax evasion and trading oil with Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, Khadafy’s Libya, Milosevic’s Yugoslavia, Kim Il Sung’s North Korea and Apartheid South Africa. He even renounced his U.S. citizenship.

Rich’s former wife, Denise, provided $450,000 to the Clinton library, and another $1 million to Democratic campaigns. Rich was pardoned. And with his pardon a legal and political precedent was established.richclintons

Strange Bedfellows?

Even though Snowden is exiled in Russia his influence resonates and an ultimate irony has ensued.

The progressive Feel-the-Bern crowd castigates “corporate” interests (e.g., publicly traded companies). In turn, many conservatives have trouble believing the government does anything right.

Isn’t ironic that many in the anti-Wall Street movement are backing publicly traded Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and anti-government types are supporting the FBI in the fight over unlocking the cell phone of a deceased terrorist?

Some have suggested a “Snowden Effect” in which his theft of and subsequent disclosure of NSA files made him a “hero” with many in the political class, empowered Apple to not cooperate with the FBI.

Privacy über Safety … at least in Cupertino.

Timing Is Everything

Some will contend that pardoning Snowden is a ship that has already sailed.

The White House last year responded to a petition with more than 167,000 signers asked for the fugitive to be pardoned. The chief executive’s office suggested that Snowden should come back and face a jury of his “peers” about charges of theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person. It all adds up to at least two counts for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.

The petition’s timing was all wrong. Most of all, it was way too early.inaugurationday

Let’s see, the president’s last day in office will be Friday, January 20, 2017.

Almost DailyBrett instinctively knows the best day of the week for bad news: Friday.

What else will be happening that day? The inauguration of the new president? Why not just slip Edward Snowden’s name into a long-list of folks who are being pardoned?

There will be screams and howls mixed into stories about the oath of office, the inaugural address, the balls and the first 100 days. All of these will be presented on a wintry Friday night or Saturday morning. The outgoing president’s legacy will suffer a temporary blow, but still will be intact. Snowden will be a free hombre.

More importantly, who will own the movie and book rights? And the newly wealthy Snowden? He will Move On with his eight-figure life.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB982638239880514586?mg=id-wsj

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121935&page=1

http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21580438-marc-rich-king-commodities-died-june-26th-aged-78-marc-rich

http://www.newson6.com/story/7683995/specter-hints-at-clinton-impeachment

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/pr-advice-for-edward-snowden/

http://nypost.com/2016/01/17/after-pardoning-criminal-marc-rich-clintons-made-millions-off-friends/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/pr-advice-for-edward-snowden/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/intellectual-property-matters-really/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

http://time.com/3974713/white-house-edward-snowden-petition/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowden_(film)

Edward Snowden

Dear Edward:

Something tells me the Sheremetyevo Airport Transit Zone room service menu is getting old.

How many different ways can one prepare bowls of borscht and/or cucumber sandwiches?

Think of it this way, a prison cell with room service and a view of the parking lot with birch trees is still a prison cell without the iron bars. There is a bar in the hotel lobby with plenty of Stoli, but are you allowed to go there?

For the record, it has been 18 days since your arrival in Russia and counting…and counting…and counting…

Pretty soon, you will forget what day of the week it is. You may satisfy yourself by sending out media statements from the WikiLeaks folks, but soon you will have nothing new to say and the media will cover the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial instead.

One Latin America government after another (e.g., Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia) has extended a welcome to you, but how will you get there? Will Scotty “beam” you up? You can imagine the tropical drinks with umbrellas and the wind-swept beaches (okay not in Bolivia), but you are still stuck Back in the USSR.

Napoleon and Hitler were stranded in Russia as well with winter approaching. It’s amazing how history repeats itself…not that I am comparing you with Bonaparte or der Führer. Maybe you can visit the Stalingrad Museum? Strike that, your passport is not valid.

Bummer.

Another bowl of borscht?

To some in America, you are a whistle-blower and a hero including a collection of voices who together make for very strange bedfellows indeed (e.g., Michael Moore, Glenn Beck, Oliver Stone, Michael Savage).

Maybe one or all of them or the WikiLeaks gang can shell out a few shekels to arrange for a private jet to transport you to a socialist paradise? The sponsoring country could issue you a passport, once you renounce your U.S. citizenship of course. Are you willing to take this step with the knowledge you will never see your native North Carolina or adopted State of Hawaii ever again?

Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, conceivably could welcome you to their island gulag with palm trees, but is that where you want to spend the rest of your life? Keep in mind; you are only 30 years young. Venezuela may be more inviting, but what happens if there is a government coup d’ ‘etat and the new management honors an extradition agreement with the United States? Ditto for fun-in-the-desert Bolivia?

You may end up Back in the USSA anyway.

Maybe you should think out of the proverbial box, and follow in the footsteps of Martha Stewart?

What if you accept Vice President Joe Biden’s offer of a one-way, fully escorted trip home?

Okay you don’t want to go to prison, but aren’t you effectively eating prison food right now? And how long is Putin going to allow you to stay in Russia anyway?

moscow

Do you think that you couldn’t receive a fair trial back the states? Didn’t O.J. receive a fair trial? Maybe we could fit you with a bloody glove, forcing the jury to acquit? Or maybe not.

One thing I can guarantee you, there will be lawyers galore clamoring to represent you before the glare of the television lights. Greta is always in need of a new trial to micro-analyze. You will set in a motion a nationwide debate about what is the proper amount of government surveillance in this era of global terrorism.

If you head off to Bolivia never to be heard from, let alone ever seeing your homeland again, what have you accomplished? Aldrich Ames is serving out his life in prison. No one cares about him. Who will care about you in Venezuela? Isn’t publicity and attention what you ultimately crave?

Reportedly, you are facing up to 30-years in the slam. Do you really think that is going to be the outcome? Maybe you can strike a deal, preserving your rights to your autobiography and upcoming made-for-television movie?

And just as one Clinton in the White House pardoned the dearly departed tax-evader-rogue-trader Marc Rich, maybe a future Clinton in the White House could pardon you too?

Anything is possible. Come home Edward to the land of hot dogs, college football and apple pie…before you are forced to endure yet another cucumber sandwich.

P.S. You may want to contemplate saying you are sorry for your actions instead of being self-righteous. Americans are a forgiving people.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57593011/edward-snowden-likely-to-pick-venezuela-for-asylum-journalist-glenn-greenwald-says/

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/10/19389337-venezuela-is-most-likely-asylum-option-for-edward-snowden-leak-journalist-says?lite

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/05/opinion/obeidallah-snowden-suggestions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldrich_Ames

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Rich

The Right Woman

DSC00344

 

This is not a gushy blog.

Instead, it is a response to one of my earlier epistles that resulted in many pairs of panties getting themselves all in a twist.

It amazed this writer how my April 15 blog…as in the April 15, 2012 The Trouble with Widowers post managed to get so many (mostly of the feminine persuasion) so riled up. The offering is one that keeps on giving and gosh darn it; the piece helps my SEO as well.

Go ahead, I dare you…Type in The Trouble with Widowers into your Google search and let’s see what comes out on top. I am as confident as Muhammad Ali stepping into the ring.

Okay, it’s time for a little humility for a change.

I never wrote The Trouble with Widowers for pure SEO (Search Engine Optimization) glory. As a widower, I was perplexed and a little irritated … okay a lot irritated … why I was not doing better when it comes to the affairs of the heart.

Deep down, I am a nice guy with a fun career. I can communicate with the best of them; heck it’s my profession. If you don’t believe me, just ask me.

And yet, my efforts at honest, effective communication with the fairer gender were coming up empty. One of the problems was the image of the woman in my past: The one, who passed away eight years ago tomorrow.

May you rest in peace, Robin.

Looking back on the past 15 months, I am amazed how one blog could draw 1,338 page views-and-counting and a record 28 comments some of which telling me that I was “clueless,” an “attention seeker” and my favorite, a “martyr.” Ready to nail me to the cross?

As the famous cliché states, “You can’t always tell a book by its cover.”

The title, The Trouble with Widowers, may have been akin to Xmas morning for youngsters. The majority of the readers of this particular post (e.g., women) most likely saw presents under the tree in the form of a new avenue for male bashing. Let’s give it to those widowers…until…oh…the blog wasn’t pounding men with deceased spouses into fine grains of sand. Instead, it was a call for understanding and communication.

It was a call for the right woman.

There are approximately 3.6 billion card-carrying females on this planet. Thankfully for heterosexual widowers, there are more women than competing men. Finding that woman, an understanding woman, is an exercise in patience and perseverance. For me, it took seven years to find Jeanne.

Vice President (and fellow widower) Joe Biden lost one-half of his family in a horrific traffic accident in December, 1972. It was several years before he met his Jill. And it was even longer before he could think of his deceased wife and baby daughter with a “Smile of the lips before a tear in the eyes.” Jill is an understanding woman.

The same is true for me, even though one of my readers wrote: “God help the next woman who enters into a relationship with you” and another, who offered, “I doubt your girlfriend is as secure as you maintain.” Thank you, Gloomy Gus, Negative Nancy and the other human barbiturates.

What seemed in particular to get everyone’s bowels in an uproar was the prospect of a “shrine” to the deceased and the notion that a new GOW (girlfriend of a widower) or WOW (wife of a widower) was second best.

Growing up in Southern California, my mom at dinner time would turn on a small electric light to illuminate a large portrait of her mom (my grandma Peggy) and turn it off shortly before retiring. Was that a “shrine” to a deceased member of the family? What constitutes a shrine? The next question: Is it appropriate? I never questioned it.

As I offered before, photos of a deceased grandparent, parent, sibling, (Heaven forbid) child are kosher, but photos and art work from the late spouse are insensitive? Each and every one of them were family members. Why is it different if one married into the family?

And then there is the notion that the GOW or WOW is somehow “second best.” Let me ask this question: Does a mother with multiple children numerically rank her Kindern? Is this the equivalent of the BCS standings with the top two children vying for the mother’s number one spot when it comes to love? Will a trophy be awarded for winning the maternal, “Natty?”

There is no denying that a GOW or WOW is second, chronologically. That’s just common sense. The deceased spouse came first. That doesn’t make the new love of your life, second best. She is second. The same is true for children…only one can be the first child.

Let me offer the following: The venom that has been directed at me may be a cry of frustration. Dating a widower is not as easy as it seems. He usually does not carry the bitterness of many divorcees or those currently separated. He does not bring obvious questions of those post-40, who have never been down the aisle. In most cases, he brings to the party the experience of a successful marriage that was cut short by the Grim Reaper.

It all comes down to two-way symmetrical communication. Both need to understand. Both need to be accommodating. This is not a once-a-week practice, but it is every day. Relationships take work, even those with widowers.

A widower needs to work every day with the new woman in his life, just as he did in his past relationship. The same is true with the woman dating and loving the widower. It all comes down to the right widower and the right woman.

As one of my colleagues said to me last year: “When it’s good; it’s good.”

Thank you Jeanne. It’s been good, damn good. You are the right woman.

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/the-trouble-with-widowers/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/smile-on-the-lips-before-a-tear-in-the-eyes/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/competing-against-the-dead/

“There will come a day, I promise you … when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I’m telling you it will come.” Vice President Joe Biden

It’s not every day that I quote Joe Biden, but every once in awhile even a loose cannon can be right …err … correct.

biden

What compels me to write a non-political blog featuring the Democratic vice president and former senator are the lessons he teaches us in overcoming the loss of a loved one or in his case, two loved ones. Biden instantaneously lost his wife, Neilia, and one-year old daughter, Naomi Christina, when they were broadsided by a tractor-trailer on December 18, 1972. His two sons were in the same car. They were seriously hurt, but have fully recovered. Historically, Biden does not work on this anniversary.

I can understand why.

As I have mentioned before, I have seen a similar version of this movie and just like the vice president I cried at the ending. It will be seven years this coming July 10 when I lost my wife, Robin, to terminal stage four, fully methathesized stomach cancer … a death sentence cancer.

Both Biden and yours truly are mackerel snappers. And all the years of parochial education naturally prompt one to beseech the All Mighty as to how she or he could allow someone near and dear to you to be taken away in the prime of her life. I lost one in a relatively short period of time. Biden lost two immediately.

Biden, who had just been elected to the US Senate from Delaware in 1972, remembers staring up to the capitol rotunda ceiling and saying, ‘God!’ It was if I was talking to God myself. ‘You can’t be good! How can you be good?’”

A padre at the Cathedral in Portland, Oregon a few years ago commented how all deaths are by their very nature sad, but can be actually welcomed when someone is elderly, sick, suffering and has no hope of ever continuing a healthy, happy life. The opposite is true when someone is vibrant, full of zest and contemplating her next three decades or so of life…and then…

One of the keys to Biden’s recovery was a strong wonderful woman, Jill Biden, the second lady of the United States. She is absolutely gorgeous even as she approaches her 61st birthday next week. She is obviously understanding and was willing to work with Joe, the widower, in not only incorporating her own life into his, but helping him to overcome…not forget…the double tragedy that struck his life.

“This woman (Jill) literally saved my life,” said Biden to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). In that same speech with the media present, Biden bravely said he understood thoughts of suicide because someone may have been to “the top of the mountain and they knew in their heart they’d never get there again, that was never going to be that way ever again.”

Mercifully, I never had those thoughts. Having said that, I am searching for my “Jill.” I know she is out there. She may even be reading my blog.

jillbiden

As I have written before in related Almost DailyBrett posts, “Competing Against the Dead?” and “The Trouble with Widowers,” it will take someone strong and accommodating. She will need to understand that I simply cannot forget 22 years, but at the same time I am ready to move on. I am always amazed by the unprompted pronouncements about how I have not recovered from Robin’s passing. That’s where Biden’s comments come into play.

When I now think of Robin, I remember fondly the good times, the fun times, the playful times. A smile comes onto my face, before an occasional tear ventures into my baby blues. The vice president without saying it directly was referencing how time is a great healer. Forgetting is neither an option nor something I want to do, but going forward with a renewed spring in my step is something that I see in my future.

I have been accused of being a Pollyanna. I happily plead guilty.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-biden-reflects-on-tragic-accident-loss-in-speech-to-soldiers-families-20120525,0,2650548.story

http://www.taps.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Biden

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/the-trouble-with-widowers/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/competing-against-the-dead/

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollyanna

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