Monday, October 17, 2011


We know many people in America do not care for him, but Bill Clinton has and continues to leave his mark on American politics and world issues. In our ongoing discussion on leadership we believe, though flawed, he is an example of leadership.

"People have been betting against America for 200 years, and they all lost money" says the former President. "How do you begin a conversation with the man who knows everything? ... 'Do you ever think much about John Quincy Adams?' 'Oh sure,' he says, with his most disarming smile. 'The first ex-president to do something active afterwards; eight terms in Congress, led the anti-slavery movement.' And then he's off, as unstoppable in his historical enthusiasms as he is in almost every other subject you can imagine. At a Dimbleby Lecture dinner some years ago, Clinton used dessert time to offer an exhaustive analysis of the Kashmir conflict, sketched with a marker pen on a paper napkin. The motor mind is still racing. ... Clinton invokes George W. Bush as an environmentalist techno-geek. As governor of Texas ('and not a lot of people know this') he signed legislation to make it more attractive to put up windmills, 'so that Texas is now the number one producer of wind energy in America. On a good day, when the wind is blowing, Texas gets 25 per cent of its base load of electricity from wind.' ...

"Seven years ago, [his] heart gave out on him, requiring emergency quadruple bypass surgery. As he got back on his feet, the fleshy Clinton face became sharply chiseled and the rest of him followed suit. At 65, standing tall in the office of the Clinton Global Initiative in a Harlem skyscraper, he is now trim rather than gaunt, the hot dog ravening replaced by vegetarianism. 'He's a near-vegan,' his aide Craig Minassian tells me, a concept about as persuasive as near-virgin. ... 'So, Mr. President,' I say, 'Do you really think America has what it takes to get out of this deep hole?' He shifts his chair closer to me. 'I'll give you an honest answer. I'm absolutely confident we have what it takes. But I'm more worried now than I have been for many many years ... because we have both a short-term crisis of horrible unemployment and long-term issues about education, healthcare and tilting the economy a little more to production. But here's what I know ... People have been betting against America for 200 years - it's a maddening country - and they all wound up losing money.

"But, and something like a sigh escapes the optimist - 'this is a different sort of challenge. It's short-term and long-term, it's complicated and we need a narrative that allows people to buy into America. The best I can do is tell you that what works in the modern world is different from what works in politics. When I'm asked what's the one thing I'm proudest of, it was moving a hundred times as many people from poverty into the middle class as in the previous 12 years, because that was clearly the product of economic policy. ... The aides close in, calling time. Clinton wants, of course, to carry on talking, especially about the fate of the young in America, not just as some sort of abstract policy issue but as if he were one of them himself, which, of course, the Comeback Kid in many ways still is. He walks over to the windows of his office and looks down to a scrap of green amidst the urban grit. 'See over there? That park? That's Marcus Garvey Park. Tough spot. But that's where the Harlem Little League team plays. And some years back, they made it all the way to the World Series. Just imagine!' Which is what, for all his worldly political wisdom, Bill Clinton still irrepressibly does. Imagine."

INAUGURATION – Speaking of leadership, Devorah Lieberman becomes the 18th President of the University of La Verne this week. After a year of searches, policy making, videos, a wide variety of sucking up, countdowns and meetings we now officially begin what proves to be a very trying time for this University. Dr. Lieberman brings a new vision and commitment to ULV we wish her much success.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

GOP DEBATE WRAP: PERRY FAILS; ROMNEY ROLLS - Hard to imagine Texas Gov. Rick Perry having a worse debate than he did in New Hampshire last week. Perry needed a knockout performance to reverse his precipitous slide. Instead he failed to land a blow. He had almost nothing to say about his allegedly forthcoming economic plan (in an economic debate!) other than he favors more domestic energy production, a theme he repeated in response to pretty much any question. He looked rested but not ready.

At one point Perry seemed to dismiss the idea he would have to work with Congress at all to pass economic policies to boost job creation and growth: "What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we're going to have this policy or that policy. What we need to be focused on is how we get America working again."

RR BOTTOM LINE - Perry won't drop out right away. But if his campaign was not dead before this debate, it is now.

ROMNEY STRONG (AGAIN) - Romney has clearly mastered the debate format and is ready for prime time next fall. He once again laughed off most attacks from the field and sharpened his aim at President Obama on taxes and regulation while gently rebuking current fad candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan as a fairly absurd gimmick (while getting in a dig at Perry). Romney: "Simple answers are -- are always very helpful, but oftentimes inadequate. And in my view, to get this economy going again, we're going to have to deal with more than just tax policy and just energy policy, even though both of those are part of my plan." He then went on to lay out his plan fairly succinctly.

FIRST LOOK - "THE REAL GIRLFRIENDS OF CAPITOL HILL " -- "In Friendship We Trust: When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head nearly a year ago, few thought she would survive. But with the help of two unwavering friends who never stopped believing in her, she did. Here, an inspiring story of three women who are rewriting Washington's boys'-club rules," by Sheila Weller: "On a Saturday afternoon last January, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was pulling out of her Florida driveway, taking her 7-year-old daughter, Shelby, on an hour-long drive to a soccer tournament. Her BlackBerry buzzed, and as she glanced down, the message from one of her staffers made her throw on the brakes: 'Gabby Giffords shot???' Debbie, the petite, blond dynamo who would soon become chair of the Democratic National Committee ... struggled to keep her eyes on the road. 'I had my iPad on the passenger seat; I was desperately Googling as I was driving; I was crying,' she says, remembering how she kept hitting the Refresh button on Google News, searching for more details ...

"At the very same moment, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was sitting down with her husband, Jonathan, for lunch. The New York Senator, close to both Debbie and Gabby, was the third member of one of Washington's most powerful friendships. Just the week before, the Gillibrands had been at Matchbox, a popular Washington, DC, restaurant, with Gabby and Mark for pizza and beer. In a modern reversal of traditional roles, it had been the women who talked shop during the entire meal ... Gabby had always been rich in friendship, but the closeness she shares with Kirsten and Debbie has been powerful both personally and politically. Early in their careers, they met, bonded, and became one another's champions, helping one another through crises ranging from minor to major to unimaginable. All young by Washington standards (Gabby is 41, Kirsten is 44, and Debbie is 45), the three represent a significant part of the roughly 20% of the Congressional voice that is female-of 535 Senators and Representatives, only 93 are women and the average age is 53.

"The reasons behind the trio's friendship are the reasons why women are so valuable in Congress, and the clout that they embody is changing the way business is done on Capitol Hill. They have committed not only to meaningful alliances with Republican Congresswomen, but also to a concerted effort to get more women involved in politics and elected at every level of government. ... The women who enter the battlefield that is Capitol Hill have to be warriors, and courage-mixed with a decidedly female bent toward consensus-is at the heart of not only this friendship, but also a new generation of women leaders, Republican and Democratic, that is emerging across the country. Traditionally, it's been older women, who have finished raising children-Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Marge Roukema, Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton-who have made their mark in Congress. And, indeed, they paved the way for younger women like Debbie and Kirsten to run for office, despite the challenges. There's an element of necessity-and urgency-in their running, say their female peers who watch politics closely. 'We love Dianne Feinstein, but she's 78,' says Dee Dee Myers, an author who, at 31, was the first female White House press secretary."

SAY IT AIN’T SO - SHARES TANK – RIM (Blackberry) shares once traded near $150. They have dropped over 60 percent off their 52-week high. At $24.27, the company now trades at just over 4 times earnings, a very low ratio that could go lower given that the company now appears to have lost its one remaining advantage: rock solid e-mail reliability.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Jim Bunning (80), Amy Carter (44), Charles Colson (80), Ernie Els (42), Whitey Ford (83), Tim McCarver (70), Tom Petty (61), Lindsey Vonn (27), Dwight Yoakam (55).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/22, #16 ranked Michigan State Spartans (5-1) entertains the #6 Wisconsin Badgers (6-0), 8:00 PM ET, ESPN. Sparty is coming off a high this week after beating their in-state rivals, look for them to keep the momentum going this week with an upset win over the cheese heads. Take the seven points and the Spartans.
Season to date (5-2).

FIRST BCS RANKINGS – (1) LSU, (2) Alabama, (3) Oklahoma, (4) Oklahoma State, (5) Boise State, (6) Wisconsin, (7) Clemson, (8) Stanford (9) Arkansas (10) Oregon.

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/22, a battle for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference league lead in this one at Arden Hills, Minnesota: #3 ranked St. Thomas Tommies (7-0) visit #9 Bethel Royals (5-1), 2:00 PM ET, Sci-Fi Channel. This is the Tommies year; they win big over the blue and gold Bethel Royals.
Season to date (6-1).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/23, San Diego Chargers (4-1) @ New York Jets (2-3), 1:00 PM ET, CBS. The Jets defense is down this year, we like The Bolts to electrify New York in this one.
Season to date (5-1).

BUFFETT EARNINGS: $62 MILLION - CNNMoney's Jeanne Sahadi: "In a letter to Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp Tuesday, Buffett revealed that his adjusted gross income last year was $62,855,038 and that his taxable income was $39,814,784. Buffett said he paid $15,300 in payroll taxes ... If you could get other ultra-rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform."


kismet \KIZ-met; -mit\, noun:

Destiny; fate.
It's pure kismet when these two find each other.

aburrirse, verb

to get bored
If you want to say that you’re bored in Spanish, use the expression estar aburrido, to be bored. But to say get bored you need to use the verb aburrir (to bore) and put se on the end to make it reflexive.

Me aburro viendo la tele.
I get bored watching television.

Next week, recipe of the month and Halloween.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 17, 2011

#II-25, 78

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