Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make No Mistake, Resistance To Obama Is Racially Driven

By Ron Powell

Let's be candid and perfectly clear on this. Republican and right wing resistance to President Obama's plans and policies is racially motivated.

The arguments against anything that President Obama has proposed or done thus far in his administration are not based on political ideology or alternative plans or proposals. The opposition to Obama is simple and clear, there will be no cooperation or bipartisan support for the black man in the White House.

Here is a list/summary of the opposition arguments:

1) He is not a citizen.

2) He is a socialist.

3) He is a fascist.

4) He is a not a Christian.

5) He is a racist.

The Republican wisdom has been to let the falsehoods run their course and when possible be supportive of people who maitain such views or positions.

The Republicans are focused and singleminded in their desire to "break him". There has not been nor will there be any effort to support plans or proposals that can result in any real change. Hence the Republican Party is not simply the party of "NO" but they have hitched their political futures and fortunes to being the party of the status change at all.......

The plan is simple. If they can keep Obama from making any changes for the good of the general public, they believe that people will become less enamored of Obama and his administration and thus be more disposed to voting against Obama and the Democratic Party during the next round of elections in 2010 and then in 2012.

The Republican Party has chosen to be the party that represents the protection and preservation of white peoples' interests while at the same time doing all that it can to promote the notion that anything that Obama does is for the benefit of and in the interests of black people, which are, they would have the less enlightened among us believe, by definition diametrically in oppsition to the interests of white people...In short the Republican party has become the party of and for racists.....Bill Maher said it best on his program ...."If you are a racist you are most likely a Republican." AMEN Bill, AMEN.........

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Guest Post: How I Was Mistreated By A Cop And How It Changed Me: Perspective On The Gates Arrest

by Jan Tessier, TPMCAFE

Not long after I became a cab driver in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, I was involved in a fender-bender accident on the city's north side. The officer who responded to the scene ignored the evidence that the other driver, a man in a suit in a rented Lexus, had struck me while making an illegal turn and allowed the man to leave, while writing me a ticket for failure to yield. The officer, a young man in his late twenties or early thirties, was patronizing, dismissive, and did not acknowledge anything I said except to tell me that he knew better. When my boss arrived at the accident site, I was understandably angry with the cop. I spoke with my boss, heatedly explaining the situation and the officer's attitude and behavior. I did not scream, stomp my feet, wave my arms, or use profane or abusive language. What I did say at the end of my rant at my boss was: "Well, I'm only a woman so what do I know?"

When the officer heard that last remark of mine, he exited his vehicle in a fury, screaming at me to put my hands behind my back. I was stunned and looked at my boss, who was also shocked. A couple of seconds later, my left arm was yanked behind my back and the cop was yelling in my ear like a drill sergeant: "I TOLD YOU TO PUT YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK!" I was informed that I was "borderline disorderly" and that he could arrest me for my behavior, and that he was "sick and tired of people calling him a racist or a sexist".

Whereupon, I was handcuffed, stuffed into the back seat of his police car, and subjected to the sounds of the officer screaming at my boss, who did his best to calm him down. The cop harrangued me for a couple more minutes, wrote the ticket, then allowed me out of the vehicle where he removed the cuffs and told me he was releasing me.

I was a nervous wreck for days afterward. The incident triggered issues from childhood, causing something very much like PTSD. I was jumpy, frightened, and afraid to work. After much counseling from co-workers and friends, I finally filed a complaint with the police department, which was terrifying itself. I was convinced that the police would retaliate against me and my fellow cabbies. The Madison police department had a checkered history of civil rights violations, and although I was a white woman, I was also a poor white woman. There was the belief amongst most cabbies in the city that the MPD hated us and we didn't trust any of them, based on their treatment of us over the years. My treatment was further proof of that.

I contacted a journalist that I knew slightly and told him what had happened to me, asking him if he had ever heard of the MPD doing that to anyone else, and what would likely happen now that I had filed a complaint. This journalist, a fine writer named Bill Lueders, obtained my reluctant permission to research the story in order to write it up for his newspaper, the Isthmus. I was wary about having a story done, and even warier when he insisted on a picture of me to run with it. The story turned out to be a blessing, and I bless Bill Lueders to this day for writing it. (He has a fine book out now called "Cry Rape", a terrific investigative work about a visually impaired woman who was raped and later accused by MPD detectives of lying and filing a false report. It's available on Amazon and it's a great read. It explains the police department here much better than I can.)

The story garnered me more attention than I wanted or expected, but it was generally good attention. Total strangers greeted me on the street and even at Burger King's drive-up window to tell me how proud they were that I took on the Madison Police Department. The week after the story ran, the internal affairs investigation ruled that the officer who handcuffed me had been abusive, had detained me illegally, and had violated my civil rights. He was suspended for 11 days without pay and was ordered into a sensitivity training program before he could return to patrol. It was, I was told, one of the most severe penalties an officer had been stuck with, and I received an apology from the head of Internal Affairs to boot. I had won. I had won thanks to Bill Lueders, an honest female officer who had witnessed the incident (unbeknownst to us all), and thanks to those who had encouraged me to file the report.

Why is this story relevant to the Gates incident? This is why:

There are cops who are incredibly hung up on the power part of their jobs. They are always looking for someone to disrespect them so that they can flex their muscles and put people in their place. There are mentally unstable police officers. There are cops who are bigots and cops who are homophobes and cops who hate women. Does this mean that all police are assholes? No, of course not. It just means that if you are a cop AND an asshole, you're a much more dangerous person than someone who is not carrying a weapon with a license to use it.

Seemingly, I have less reason to want to take the side of the police in the Gates incident, and I don't take their side. I'm not taking Gates' side, either. What I want to say is that there are two sides to every story. I was definitely angry at the officer, but it was awful that the officer felt he had a right to put me in handcuffs and detain me and threaten me with arrest because he didn't like me saying something about being a woman. He had no right to do what he did. I, on the other hand, have a right to say: "I'm only a woman, what do I know?" without fear of being arrested. Professor Gates had a right to feel intimidated by a white man with a gun demanding ID from him while standing in his own home. I had a right to feel intimidated and belittled by this cop, because he was belittling me---and because the MPD has a history of doing that with people who are poor or people of color, or both.

Professor Gates was probably angrier than the situation called for, but Sgt. Crowley---who allegedly has scads of training in racial profiling---should have been cool enough and collected enough to defuse Professor Gates' fears. Instead, it became a pissing contest between two proud and decent men who let their tempers get away from them. What should have been a simple contact has now become a national debate.

I earned my perspective because of what happened to me. I know how bad some police officers are and can be. I know that people who have darker skin than mine are highly sensitive to threats from cops, and they have reason to be highly sensitive. I also know some very decent cops and one of my nephews is a new officer and I know that their jobs are tough and require a lot more of them than is normal for most of us. I find myself in the middle of this national argument, and I think it's imperative that people try to walk a mile in each other's shoes.

What happened to me was nothing compared to some of the horror stories I've read about and heard about regarding people being mistreated by police officers. I'm damned lucky. I'm also a better person for having gone through that event. It made me stronger, and more thoughtful. I hope the country can say the same once this incident finally gets resolved.

Pres.Obama to Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley: Let's Have Some Beers at the White House.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Historical Connection Between President Obama and Professor Gates

There is a strong social/cultural/political link or relationship between the refusal of these stupid people to accept the documentation presented as proof of President Obama's citizenship and his right to be were he is, and the refusal of a "stupid" police officer to accept the documentation presented by Professor Gates regarding his residency and hence his right to be where he was...

During the period in which slavery was a central element of American social, cultural, economic, and political life, a "free" black man had to produce his "manumission" papers on demand or be subject to re-enslavement by virtually any white person who challenged the fact of his freedom. Even when such papers were produced, whites would more often than not uphold the challenge and force the unfortunate "free" man back into bondage....In some states it was illegal to free a slave.

The power to deny the legitimacy, validity or legality of such documents in the possession of blacks was routinely upheld and maintained by the legal system which was little more than a reflection of the white power structure that maintained the courts for their own purposes regarding matters of race....Not unlike what occurs today, particularly in the criminal justice system.....

Obama on the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

President Obama Speaks On Health Care Reform

He Is A Citizen Of Kenya!, I Want My Country Back!

This video of "Birthers" hijacking Rep. Mike Castle's town hall meeting, speaks volumes about the nature of the opposition to the Obama Presidency.

These people have the right to vote and the right to bear arms. They also have the right to be openly stupid and publicly ignorant often referred to as freedom of speech.......Many of them are mad as hell and don't know why. This is what the Republican Party will be banking on and drawing from in 2012....The post regarding a Palin/Bachmann ticket doesn't seem so far fetched when you place it in the context that this video provides.......

Monday, July 20, 2009

Palin-Bachmann 2012?

by Ron Powell

By most accounts 46% of the people who voted during the last presidential election were willing to take a shot a putting Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency. That's an awful lot of people.....

Most of those folks are mad as hell that their candidates didn't win and the Republican party is doing all that it can to ensure that they stay that way until the next election. The Republicans are currently engaged in political obstruction and sabotage on a level rarely seen here. It will get worse as time progresses. The purveyors of fear are hard at work making plans to storm the citadel of the American democratic process and take back what they believe to be rightfully theirs.

They are currently desparate and are apparantly willing to try just about anything to accomplish their goal. The 2012 election looms on the horizon as their next chance to show the world that they would stop at nothing to get it all back.

So what about a Palin/Bachmann dog & pony show? It would be funny if it weren't so scary or is that; it would be scary if it weren't so funny. Impossible you say? The Republican campaign clown show will be something to see.

Remeber, they'll try anything and stop at nothing and at least 46% of the voting public are willing to let them have it their way.........

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guest Post: Robert Borosage, OEN

Private Muscle and the Public Option in Health Care

We're headed into the end game for health care reform. The president has put himself in the arena. The insurance lobby is unleashing the scare campaign. A strong bill will pass the House. But at this point, too many Senators are still standing in the way.

The reform includes a broad range of measures to extend and improve care and help curb rising costs, but the epicenter of the debate is over what is called the "public option." Health care reform will mandate businesses provide insurance or pay into a general fund. Individuals will be responsible to get health insurance, with subsidies for those that can't afford it. We'll able to retain the insurance we have, or have the choice of a range of plans, including a public option, modeled after Medicare. A strong public option, competing with private insurance, is key to helping to get costs under control.

And costs must be brought under control. We now spend nearly 50% more on health care per capita than any other country, with mediocre results. We ration care by price, with some 47 million Americans uninsured. It costs the rest of us about $1000 a year to pay for the price of their care when they are forced finally to check themselves into emergency rooms.

Tell stories, not statistics, the pollsters tell us. But after adjusting for inflation, health care costs have soared by 58% since 2000; while wages for most Americans were stagnant or lost ground. As the auto companies showed, businesses increasingly can't afford health care. Families find it unaffordable. Virtually the entire long term debt challenge facing the US government is from the projected rise of health care costs. Get health care costs under control, the US has no long term fiscal problem. Fail to get them under control, the costs will bankrupt the federal government, state governments, businesses that offer health care (and increasing numbers won't) and families. Reform that gets costs under control is imperative. There is no choice.

A key to getting costs under control is the public plan. It can take advantage of its purchasing power to gain cost reductions. It can model best care practices. Private insurance -- which in most localities translates into a couple of dominant providers that don't compete on price -- will be forced to measure up with greater efficiency, innovation, and cost savings techniques.

Yet the debate in the Senate has been fixated on how to weaken or abandon the public plan rather than strengthen it. Republicans, for the most part, have taken themselves out of the adult conversation. Like first generation robots, they endlessly repeat the exact same words crafted by Frank Luntz - "government takeover," "no choice of doctor," "bureaucrats not doctors prescribing medicine." It's frankly pathetic. We have no choice as a society but to figure out how to fix this - and Republican leaders have chosen simply to peddle lies and scare stories and absent themselves from any serious discussion.

A gaggle of Democratic Senators -- led by Senator Baucus and the so-called "moderate" Senators -- have publicly thrashed around for ways to weaken or gut the public option. Outside groups like the Third Way have provided guidelines for disemboweling it. Some have suggested putting it off until private insurance competition proves it can't get costs under control -- as if that hasn't been proven over the last decades. Baucus suggested decentralized local "co-ops" would serve as the public option -- an idea notable for being both unmanageable and ineffective. Even if a network of coops somehow arose to insure that people had an option, they wouldn't have the clout to hold costs down and force private insurance to compete.

Others, remarkably, have detailed ways to deprive the public option of the power to lower costs. They call for a "level playing field" with private insurance. The public plan can't be subsidized, can't use its buying power to lower costs, can't take advantage of lower administrative overhead.

This sounds silly. We face soaring health care costs that will literally cripple our future. Surely, no Senator concerned about the country would work to undermine the key idea that would help get a lid on costs. They wouldn't, as Barack Obama warned, just "create a system where the insurance companies have more customers on Uncle Sam's dime, but still fail to meet their responsibilities." If you assume that, you would be wrong. They've done it repeatedly in the past.

For example, early in Bush's first term, Republicans decided that passing a prescription drug benefit for seniors would help cement Karl Rove's permanent majority. The benefit would help 41 million Americans with a soaring cost of care not yet covered by Medicare. It would also create massive new market for the drug companies. And, of course, Medicare could do what governments across the world do -- use its buying power to lower the cost of the drugs.

Only, when Republicans passed the law -- in the dead of night, twisting arms to get it done -- it actually prohibited Medicare from negotiating a lower price for drugs. Don't worry, they argued, competition would lower drug costs (even as they banned the import of cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico).

Why? Well, using government muscle violated "free market" sensibilities. More importantly, the drug companies have one of the most powerful lobbies on Capitol Hill. Billy Tauzin, the chair of the key House committee ushering the bill through, left soon after to get a two million dollar a year job as a head of Big PhRMA, the drug company lobby. Tom Scully, the administration's point person who helped secret the actual cost of the bill, was already negotiating his million dollar job as the debate was going on. In all, 15 congressional representatives, aides and administration officials involved in the debate left shortly thereafter to take jobs with the drug lobby. With a $9 billion increase in annual profits at stake, the drug industry got an amazing return on its investment.

Today, seniors pay 60% more for the same drugs than the price charged veterans becuse the Veteran's Administration does negotiate lower prices.

Extreme? Not really. The health insurance companies decided they should be allowed to compete with Medicare in providing health insurance options to seniors. Seniors would get more choice; Medicare, the bureaucratic behemoth, would get agile competition. Win, win, they argued, calling the program "Medicare Advantage."

Only the insurance companies couldn't compete with Medicare straight up. So they demanded subsidies from the government to enable them to vie with the Medicare program they described as horrendously inefficient, unpopular and bureaucratic.

And they stand to pocket an estimated $177 billion in excess payments over 10 years to compete with Medicare - subsidies that Obama would sensibly cut to help pay for health care reform.

Money talks. Nine Republican Senators on the key Senate Finance Committee wrote President Obama to say they would oppose any reform with a public plan. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the nine had had pocketed $17.7 million in contributions from insurance and health care interests over the course of their careers.. click here

Not surprisingly, the 20 largest insurance and drug companies and their trade associations have pumped up their lobbying by 41% over last year -- with reported spending over $75 million in the first quarter alone.

This is the corruption of crony capitalism; a compromised congress using taxpayer's money to enrich entrenched interests. Only now, the cost of this in health care is not sustainable. Dramatic reform is vital or we all follow the auto companies and go belly up.

So if your Senator says he or she is opposed to a public option, or wants a weaker public option, or a non-profit co-op that isn't big government, or prates about the "government takeover of health care," about losing your choice of doctor, about bureaucrats not doctors prescribing medicine, don't fall for it. Either he or she is either utterly clueless or more likely is representing the interests of the industry, not the voters.

This business as usual is no longer affordable or acceptable. We shouldn't let cynicism lower our expectations. Soaring health care costs and the human tragedy of those without insurance can no longer be ignored. Reform can't be postponed. It is a stunning disservice that Republicans have taken themselves out of serious discussion. And it is an open scandal that Senators are catering to the private insurance industry that has profited from the problem rather than helping to solve it. We must expect more and demand more from those given the privilege to represent us.

Remembering Walter Cronkite

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sanford and His Girlfriend: Their E-Mail and 2 Videos

Exactly one year ago, on the 4th of July, 2008, Governor
Mark Sanford (R-SC) sent his Argentine girlfriend an e-mail. The exchange that ensued is the stuff of TV mini-series scripting and the like. You can't make this up any better than what's written here by the Governor and his woman. The video is an extra treat for those of you who revel in such titalating material.
Mark Sanford's Argentine girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur, worked as a television journalist. This video, in Spanish, was transmitted live from New York a month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Chapur's report begins 35 seconds into the video. Brush up on your Spanish:

These are the unedited e-mails between South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and his Argentine girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur, as published Thursday, 2 July, 2009, by McClatchy's (SC) The State newspaper. The State received the e-mails anonymously in December, 2008, but was unable to confirm their authenticity until Wednesday, 1 July, 2009.


From: Mark Sanford

To: Maria

Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2008 03:09:44 +0000


You are glorious and I hope you really understand that. You do not need a therapist to help you figure your place in the world. You are special and unique and fabulous in a whole host of ways that are worth a much longer conversation. To be continued ...

Have been having a few email problems as I am getting email through an aircard at the farm, where access to computer world is more than tough. Please let me know if you have gotten my last two eamils (sic) so I know it is working in getting to your part of the world ...

Another glorious day outside. Hope you are doing well, and am anxious to hear about your week. Know that I miss you. Unbeleivably (sic) hard to imagine it has been a week. Please also send your mailing address as I want to send you an insignificant something next week when I am back in civilization that I think you might find interesting given our conversation.

Want to write an indepth note with some thoughts on our visit when I know you are getting these emails. Hugs and much love. M


From: Maria

Sent: Friday, July 04, 2008 4:26 PM

To: Mark Sanford

Subject: RE:

My beloved, (hope you also change the dearest ...)

I’am (sic) reading your last two mails sitting outside with a great seaview here in Ilhabela, a beautiful island near Sao Paulo. Have been thinking of you while watching the beautiful blue sea (a) great part of my day and remembering with a great smile on my face, the time we had spent together. As I told you before, you brought happiness and love to my life and (I) will take you forever in my heart. I wasn’t aware till we met last week, the strong feelings I had for you, and believe me, I haven’t felt this since I was in my teen ages, when afterwards I got married. I do love you, I can feel it in my heart, and although I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to meet again this has been the best that has happened to me in a long time You made me realized (sic) how you feel when you realy (sic) love somebody and how much you want to be beside the beloved. Last Friday I would had stayed embrassing (sic) and kissing you forever.

Don’t know why you think you bore me with the description of your farm. I am an urban girl but that doesn’t inhibit me from loving other things, specially if they are the ones you love. I was able to imagine the place with every single detail you wrote and had trassmitted (sic) me the love you have for your farm. It sounds to be a great and peaceful place and loved you had shared it with me.

Thanks for your beautiful words, I don’t know if I do need or not therapy but I have to find my new place in this new stage of my life. Life has been very generous with me and I want to return at least a little bit of what I have been given. I have time and think helping others who haven’t been as lucky as me will do me fine.

My address is (deleted by The State). It will be great finding at home once I am back, whatever you send me, I’ll keep it near my bed so as to feel you nearer.

Miss you so much... love you from the deepest of my heart. Sweet kisses.




Subject: RE:

Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 01:42:46 -0400

Beloved back to you...

Got back an hour ago to civilization and am now in Columbia after what was for me a glorious break from reality down at the farm. No phones ringing and tangible evidence of a day’s labors. Though I have started every day by 6 this morning woke at 4:30, I guess since my body knew it was the last day, and I went out and ran the excavator with lights until the sun came up. To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the background, the tranquility that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh, the day breaking and vibrant pink coming alive in the morning clouds — and getting to build something with each scoop of dirt. It is admittedly weird but one of my more favorite ways of escaping the norms, constant phone calls and formalities that go with the office — and it probably fits with my weakness in doing rather than being — though you opened up a new chapter last week wherein I was happy and content just being. Last point worth further discussion. Afternoon projects had me outside and by days (sic) end I pretty much looked like a homeless person ... but in this case a very content one. Enough about my love of heavy equipment and woods at sunrise ...

While I was getting exhausted with one project after another at Coosaw work week, you were basking (I’m certain gloriously) on the beach..

Sounds great, hope to hear more about what sounds a great spot.

Will now finally get some sleep and write you a longer note with a few more profound thoughts tomorrow or Wednesday. In the meantime I send my love and hope you know I am thinking of you.. M

P.S. I do not want to raise expectations, when I say I will send something insignificant I promise I will do as I say! It wont (sic) be worthy of bedside placement ... was just going to find the movie the Holiday as we had spoken of it last Thursday. Its music was pleasant and made me think of you — its mood and the notion of a holiday (wrapped up in our case over two days) certainly fit as well ... (though our visit in some ways for me was as well less of a holiday than it was uncovering and realization of some things and feelings that again are worth longer conversation)

Had also hoped to find the cd of a song that played as I was flying home and also20made (sic) me think of you. Who knows if I can find the music ... so all you may be stuck with is a long released movie — and if you put it by your bed I really be worried! Love you, good night and kisses back to you ...


From: Maria

Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 8:14 PM

To: Mark Sanford

Subject: RE:

My love,

I decided to rent a car and went by myself to the other side of the Island where it is located one of the best hotels. It’s name is DPNY Hotel and I find it quite interesting. I had lunch there in a restaurant on the beach with great seaview. I sat under a palm and ate a mixed green salad with grilled abacaxi (pineapple) and honey. in the afternoon I sunbathe and read on the beach. I ve started here “The age of turbulence” from Alan Greenspan which I highly recomend (sic) you. At five I left back to the small town had a coffee with pao de queijo (cheese bread which is something tipycal (sic) from Brazl (sic) and it’s delicious) read some magazines, walked around and finally back to meu Pousada that is hotel.

In the Island is taking place the sailing week and Rolex competition and this was the reason for choosing the place and also why luckily I am most of the time by my own. It may sound bad but it’s how I feel it. As I told you I shouldn’t have done this trip but I would have felt worst if I wouldn’t have come because it was too over the date, he is a very nice guy, great heart ... but unfortunately I am not in love with him ... You are my love ... something hard to believe even for myself as it’s also a kind of impossible love, not only because of distance but situation.

Sometimes you don’t choose things, they just happen ... I can’t redirect my feelings and I am very happy with mine towards you. Hope you have had a good day, guess with much work.

Send you all my love and goodnight kisses. Sweet dreams from down south. I’ll dream with you.


From: Mark Sanford

To: Maria

Subject: RE:

Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 00:24:54 -0400


It was indeed a long day. I am most jealous of your salad under the palm tree.

Three thoughts in one note now that I have a moment. One the travel schedule is about to get real busy (and this distresses me for the way it may well make it more difficult to get your notes over the next few weeks), two unfortunately all the feelings you describe are mutual, and three where do we go from here?

One, tomorrow leave at 5 am for New York and meetings. Will think about you on its streets and wish I was going to be there later in the month when you are there. Tomorrow night back to Philadelphia for the start of the National Governor’s Conference through the weekend. Back to Columbia for Tuesday and then on Wednesday, as I think I had told you, taking the family to China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Thailand and then back through Hong Kong on world wind tour. Few days home then to Bahamas for 5 days on a friends boat for the last break of the summer. The following weekend have been asked to spend it out in Aspen, Colorado with McCain — which has kicked up the whole VP talk all over again in the press back home.

Two, mutual feelings. I have been specializing in staying focused on decisions and actions of the head for a long time now — and you have my heart. You have oh so many attributes that pulls it in this direction. Do you really comprehend how beautiful your smile is? Have you been told lately how warm your eyes are and how they softly glow with the special nature of your soul. I remember Jenny, or someone close to me, once commenting that while my mom was pleasant and warm it was sad she had never accomplished anything of significance. I replied that they were wrong because she had the ultimate of all gifts — and that was the ability to love unconditionally. The rarest of all commodities in this world is love. It is that thing that we all yearn for at some level — to be simply loved unconditionally for nothing more than who we are — not what we can get, give or become. There are but 50 governors in my country and outside of the top spot, this is as high as you can go in the area I have invested the last 15 years of my life — my getting here came as no small measure because I had that foundation of love and support so critical to getting up in the morning and feeling you could give and risk because you already had a full tank of love in the emotional bank account. Since our first meeting there in a wind swept somewhat open air dance spot in Punta del Este, I felt that you had that same rare attribute. Above all else I love that inner beauty about you. That gift of yours is going to make a tremendous difference in (The State deleted sons’ names) life — and in anyone’s life who is blest to be touched by yours — you need to rest very comfortably in that fact. As I mentioned in our last visit, while I did not need love fifteen years ago — as the battle scars of life and aging and politics have worn on this has become a real need of mine. You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that is so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificently gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curves of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of night’s light — but hey, that would be going into the sexual details we spoke of at the steakhouse at dinner — and unlike you I would never do that!

Three and finally, while all the things above are all too true — at the same time we are in a hopelessly — or as you put it impossible — or how about combine and simply say hopelessly impossible situation of love. How in the world this lightening [sic] strike snuck up on us I am still not quite sure. As I have said to you before I certainly had a special feeling about you from the first time we met, but these feelings were contained and I genuinely enjoyed our special friendship and the comparing of all too many personal notes (and yes this is true even if you did occasionally tantalize me with sexual details over the years!) — but it was all safe. Where we are is not. I have thought about it and in some ways feel I let you down in letting these complications come into a friendship that I hope will last till death. In all my life I have lived by a code of honor and at a variety of levels know I have crossed lines I would have never imagined. I wish I could wish it away, but this soul-mate feel I alluded too is real and in that regard I sure don’t want to be the person complicating your life. I looked to where I often look for advice and counsel, and in I Corinthians 13 it simply says that, “ Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful, it is not arrogant or rude, Love does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice in the wrong, but rejoices in the right, Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things”. In this regard it is action that goes well beyond the emotion of today or tomorrow and in this light I want to look for ways to show love in helping you to live a better — not more complicated life. I want to help (one of Maria’s sons) with film guys that might help his career, etc. I also don’t want you walking20away (sic) from some guy (I take it the younger guy you mentioned a t dinner) because of me — and what we both have to see as an impossible situation. I better stop now least this really sound like the Thornbirds — wherein I was always upset with Richard Chamberlain for not dropping his ambitions and running into Maggie’s arms. The bottom line is two fold, my heart wants me to get on a plane tonight and to be in your loving arms — my head is saying how do we put the Genie back in the bottle because I sure don’t want to be encumbering you, or your options or your life. Put differently, given I love you, I don’t want to be part of the reason you are having less than an ideal week in what sounds like a cool spot.

Lastly I also suspect I feel a little vulnerable because this is ground I have never certainly never covered before — so if you have pearls of wisdom on how we figure all this out please let me know ... In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul. I love you ... sleep tight. M

PS. I will make it a point in NY tomorrow to drop by a store and get that movie I promised to send your way ... I am encouraged to know you will not keep it beside the bed least we have tangible evidence of two pathetic figures missing each other far too much to live a few thousand miles apart!


From: Maria

To: Mark Sanford

Subject: RE:

Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 23:22:29 +0000

You have not brought complication or are not bringing complication to my life, on the contrary you’ve fullfiled (sic) me with happiness and made me aware how you can feel when you love somebody. I can think with my head but only feel with my heart so I can’t avoid it even knowing is hopelessly impossible. The guy is the one I told you ,just three years younger than me, but I am not in love and won’t fall in love with time so I have to continue my way ... be alone for some time and if I am lucky enough will someday feel towards somebody, what I today feel for you. At least you made me realized it can happen.

I don’t know if I did understood (sic) well about what was unsafe or not safe. Before our mails use to have other contents ... if you want to go back to that and don’t write love things and so on because is not safe for you it’s ok with me, i (sic) love you and by no way would do something that can harm you, so please let me know.

I don’t know how we figure all this out and I am not interested in knowing. I prefer to think we’ll see each other again somewhere sometime in this life and in next. Will be missing you till then... . .

Have a great trip with the ones you love ... they are the kind of trips you will never forget and for your boys will be unworthable (sic) not only because of the places they will visit but for sharing all that time with you.

Send you millions of kisses that will last till we get in touch again. best wishes from the deepest of my heart.

P.S.: I don’t want to put the genius (sic) back in the bottle because I truly believe in freedom. I never gave you sexual details but now you don’t need to imagine you can close your eyes and just remember. I’ll do the same.


Friday, July 3, 2009

America Is Beautiful

With all of her flaws, faults, and foibles, The United States of America is the best country in the world, and remains the last, best hope of humankind.....