Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Letter From New York 10 21 15 From sunny streets to Holocaust denials…

October 21, 2015

New York City. Starbucks. Producer’s Guild of America. Lionel White. Justin Trudeau. Joe Biden. Hillary Clinton. White House Rose Garden. Paul Ryan. Freedom Caucus. Assad. Syria. Putin. Netanyahu. Holocaust denier. Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Al-Husseini. Angela Merkel. John Kerry. Pope Francis. Wikileaks. CIA Director Brennan. Back to the Future II. XNow.

It is a brilliant day in New York City; the sky is pale blue and the temperature is 74 degrees. Sitting in a Starbucks at 93rd and Broadway, sipping tea, a posse of young students has come in, most dressed in shorts.

Tomorrow morning, I am headed back to the country, an event I am looking forward to as I am sure it would be much more pleasant to be sitting on my deck writing than it is in Starbucks.

But this is where I am, reasonably happy and enjoying my tea. Tonight there is a meeting of the Doc Committee for the Producer’s Guild and I’m going to that, then coming home, catching some sleep.

My friend Lionel is coming up to direct some winterizing tasks at his house across the street and we’ll share dinners together tomorrow and Friday, before he returns to Baltimore on Saturday.

Since I last wrote, Justin Trudeau is the Prime Minister elect of Canada, sweeping into office more seats in Parliament than anyone expected.

Joe Biden announced from the White House Rose Garden he was NOT running for President. Hillary must be doing the “happy dance” wherever she is.

Paul Ryan is considering running for Speaker of the House but only on his terms, pretty much telling the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus he will be Speaker on his terms or he won’t be Speaker at all.

Unbelievably, the Freedom Caucus thinks Paul Ryan is too liberal.

President Assad of Syria snuck into Russia for a quick set of meetings with Putin and his colleagues. The visit likely gives confidence to Assad and bolsters Russia’s play to be a power broker in the future of Syria.

“Bibi” Netanyahu has drawn broad criticism from most quarters for his declaration that it was a Palestinian, al-Husseini, the then Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews. Before that, according to “Bibi,” Hitler only intended to ship them out.

Most historians agree that Netanyahu’s remarks were historically inaccurate.

Some have been calling him a “holocaust denier.” Mr. Netanyahu has a habit; it seems, of unfortunate remarks. This one is a doozy.

As he left to meet Angela Merkel and John Kerry in Berlin, Netanyahu’s office was issuing clarifications.

Speaking of clarifications, the Vatican was stoutly denying that Pope Francis has a brain tumor.   The rumor was called “seriously irresponsible.”

In not good news for CIA Director Brennan, Wikileaks has begun to release his private emails. Shades of Edward Snowden.

Today, if you haven’t noticed somewhere else, is the 30th Anniversary of “Back to the Future II.” No we don’t have hoverboards but we do have contraptions that electrically scoot down the street on wheels, the XNow. My friend Winn arrived on one for lunch.

It glows blue when it is powered. Several fascinated people came over to chat with him about it. He offered me a chance to ride it but I declined. My sense of balance is not that good.

Some critics think “Future II” is the best blockbuster ever. I remember it as very, very good but am not sure it is the best ever.

But it’s pretty darn good. Darn good too is the afternoon and before it thoroughly evaporates, I am headed out of Starbucks for a walk in the waning afternoon.

Letter From New York 10 19 15 Refugees, Politics and Canadian politics

October 19, 2015

Canadian voting. Stephen Harper. Justin Trudeau. Liberal Democrat. Pierre Elliot Trudeau. George W. Bush. Jeb Bush. Donald Trump. Benghazi Committee. Trey Gowdy. Kevin McCarthy. Hillary Clinton. Howard Bloom Saves the Universe. Domestic abuse. Joe Biden.

The drive at the cottage is scattered with leaves, even though it was thoroughly cleaned forty-eight hours ago. THE BATTLE OF THE LEAVES has begun. Sweeping out the drive today, I left them all behind and road the rails down to the city.

It was the first really chill day of the season; it was only 21 degrees when I checked the weather app this morning. I came into the city not sure whether I would stay in the city tonight or not but now think I will.

I have to be back tomorrow evening and am not feeling like a round trip.

Stupidly, I locked myself out of my own home today. In changing jackets, I took the keys out of the one I decided not to wear and failed to put them in the pocket of the jacket I decided to wear and left them on the table by the door.

While I am typing this, Canadians are voting for Members of Parliament and the results will determine whether Stephen Harper will continue to lead Canada or whether the baton will pass to Justin Trudeau, son of the late Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who headed Canada for a very long time.

Harper is a Conservative and Trudeau is a Liberal Democrat. The collapse of oil prices have stressed the Canadian economy and recent polls have the two running neck and neck.

I’m very fond of Canada after having spent a fair amount of time there in my college years and have watched Canadian politics with some interest. Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

The Canadian election season has gone on for an enormously long time, for Canadians. It began on August 4th.

Tomorrow will see many refugees continue their struggle to reach Western Europe. Cold weather is setting in and many of them were walking through cold rain today.

While the refugees strive to get across Europe, and Canadians decide their future, Jeb and the Donald are sniping about each other. Donald is declaring Bush was responsible for 9/11; Jeb is denying it, saying his brother kept us safe.

Some journalists are asking Jeb exactly what he means by safe? While there were no more 9/11 attacks, W. did invade Iraq and ignored Afghanistan. We have a broken Iraq and Afghanistan lingers. IS rose from the ashes of Iraq. Syria broke apart. Thousands of American soldiers have died and thousands more have been badly scarred.

I have no confidence that Trump can do the job of President but his lack of self- control has asked questions that might need to be asked of a Bush who has indicated he would bring back much of his brother’s team as advisers.

Hillary did well in the debate, according to almost everyone. But her numbers remain flat.

Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina runs the Committee that is investigating Benghazi and is having trouble keeping his colleagues in line.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has dropped out of the race to be Speaker of the House, opened his mouth and inserted his foot, giving the impression that the Committee was politically motivated.

As has Representative Richard Hanna of New York also indicated on a talk show recently.

Oh my!

Some key Democrats are suggesting it is not a good idea for Biden to enter the race; he keeps us guessing. Though rumors are swirling tonight he will run and soon.

While writing this I have been at a taping of the podcast, “Howard Bloom Saves the Universe,” where there has been a fascinating conversation about the nature of domestic abuse. Powerful.

Get it next week on iTunes.

Letter From New York 06 05 15 The Adorable and the Horrible…

June 6, 2015

The weather app indicated that it would rain this afternoon in Baltimore, which is where I am, but at least for now, sun pours down on Fells Point, a charming part of Baltimore where friends live. It’s not too warm and later we will walk about twenty minutes to La Scala, a restaurant in Baltimore’s Little Italy section.

We all went walking this morning to Alexander’s Tavern for brunch and then around Fell’s Point and then some shopping for tomorrow’s meals. Monday I am in DC for some meetings and then back to New York in the evening.

As we left to go to brunch, CNN was carrying live the funeral of Beau Biden, the 46 year-old son of Vice President Biden, who succumbed to brain cancer. Losing a child is incredibly difficult. Biden has lost two. His infant daughter was killed in a car crash along with his first wife and now he has lost his oldest son, Beau, by all accounts a very good man and a rising leader in the Democratic Party.

Obama gave the eulogy. Chris Martin performed. A thousand people mourned.

Mourning is racking China; the death toll in the Eastern Star capsizing has risen to over 400. The ship was righted today and body after body was removed. The company that owned the ship has apologized and will “fully cooperate” with the investigation. The captain and engineer, who survived, are being detained by police.

Putin was in the news. He stated that the West had no need to be frightened by Russia. [I wonder if Hitler ever said anything like that?] But what is true is that Russia has been stepping up its military efforts, modernizing and maintaining an army that is 850,000 strong with 2.5 million reservists. He is diverting some recruits from active service into working in factories producing military equipment. None of this sounds benign to me.

China seems to be doing the same, especially with the military build-up in the South China Sea. Experts place the U.S. as the world’s greatest military power, followed by Russia and then China.

Sarajevo was once known as a city where interfaith harmony reigned. Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Christians lived together in peace. Then came the ‘90’s, when interfaith harmony fell apart in the midst of the Balkan conflict. Today, the city seems to be moving back to its peaceful ways. Francis arrived today to encourage Catholics to stay and work with Muslims and Orthodox Christians to find peace fully again.

He has also taken up the banner of climate change prevention, something which Rick Santorum, once again seeking the Republican Presidential nomination, has said he thinks the Pope should just keep his mouth shut about climate change. Could Santorum keep his shut?

In a little less than eight hours, polls will open in Turkey. President Erdogan is hoping to set in process a motion that will give him more power. Currently, Turkey has a parliamentary system much like Britain’s, with real authority in the hands of the Prime Minister, which Erdogan used to be. He faced term limits and couldn’t run for Prime Minister so he ran for President. His former Foreign Minister is now Prime Minister and it is pretty clear Erdogan is calling the shots.

But he might not be able to pull it off. Polls are indicating he may get a trouncing, which might be a very good thing for Turkey as a democracy. He has been cracking down on any media outlets that don’t like him. In a final rally yesterday, he reminded the crowds that the New York Times was funded by “Jewish capital” and the British Guardian should know its limits. Good thing they’re not Turkish media companies. They might have been shut down. Will be watching this one closely. I am not an Erdogan fan.

The Saudis shot down a SCUD missile launched by the Houthis, aimed at a Saudi Air Force base, using a US made Patriot missile. The Houthis and the government of Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, have agreed to meet in Switzerland even as the fighting seems to be escalating.

In a very worrying turn of events, IS is suspected of recruiting scientists so it can make chemical weapons.

But for something that will make you smile, look at the pictures of Prince George and his sister, Princess Charlotte. Adorable.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/princess-charlotte/11655903/Princess-Charlotte-Prince-George-first-family-photo.html

As I close out for today, I chose to focus on adorable more than horrible.