Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Friendship and the Bully Boy

Ava called and told me Amy Goodman was going to be on Hardball so I ended up watching Chris Matthews. I can't take Matthews, but it was good to see Goodman.

"Over 10,000 Attend Funeral Service for Coretta Scott King" (Democracy Now!):
In Georgia Tuesday, an estimated 10,000 people filled the pews of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in the Atlanta suburb of Lithonia, for the funeral of civil rights pioneer Coretta Scott King. Former presidents Jimmy Carter, George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, and President George W. Bush attended the funeral along with 14 US senators and public figures including Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder. King died January 30th at the age of 78 after seeking treatment in Mexico for ovarian cancer. She had just recently suffered a rehabilitating stroke and heart attack. At Tuesday’s service both former President Jimmy Carter and the former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Reverend Joseph Lowery, made subtle criticism of President Bush. They cited the war in Iraq, civil liberties transgressions and accused the president of ignoring the plight of the US poor.

Day 8 and no editorial on the life and/or legacy of Coretta Scott King by the New York Times, no op-ed on her life and/or legacy. They did find time to mock Reverend Joseph Lowery today as C.I. pointed out here and here. They found time to act as though Poppy Bush thought of a "funny" when all he did was steal a joke that Lowery told. The paper didn't note that Lowery had made the joke first. They were too busy mocking Lowery. "At Mrs. King's Funeral, a Mix of Elegy and Politics" is the article the New York Times ran. It makes for an interesting case study in bias. It doesn't, however, make for good reporting.

"Report: Rove Threatens GOP Senate Judiciary Members Over Spy Program" (Democracy Now!):
Meanwhile, the conservative publication Insight on the News is reporting White House deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is threatening any Republican Senate Judiciary members who challenge the White House on the domestic surveillance program. According to Insight, "Sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November." A senior Republican aide told the publication: "It's hardball all the way."

You know how you take on Karl Rove? It's not that hard. You say, "No." You say "no" and you start the Senate investigation into the outing of Valerie Plame that should have been started a long time ago. You tell Pat Roberts it's time for that hearing. Karl Rove's never been more vulnerable and any Republican who lets Rove threaten them at this point deserves their party and to be bossed around by Karl Rove. To think, we thought only the Dems were spineless.

Ava mentioned the post Rebecca wrote last night (I also got an e-mail on it from Joan) and wondered if I'd read it? I did go read it tonight. I'm usually rushing to get offline. Good for the people who can stare at a computer screen for hours each day but if gives me a headache. It was really nice. In terms of myself, I felt Rebecca was very kind and hope that I can live up to what she wrote about me. But Rebecca's every man's dream of beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, you name it. Always has been since I've known her.

I don't doubt that she was self-aware (due to her large breast size) and I think that was probably something important to write. I don't "suffer" from that. I'm average. (I hope I'm average.) In that department, I'm average. I think it can be very easy for us, women, to look at the women in Rebecca's "condition" and think, "They got all the breaks."

I know I was frequently embarrassed when I started developing and I can imagine that it would have been more embarrassing had I developed to the degree that Rebecca did. I think it's good when people share the way she did because it takes us out of our own heads and let's us glimpse inside someone else. If you're my size, you might think, "Oh those lucky women never had a moment's trouble." But what we might envy or wish for from someone else might not be all easy breaks for them.

For the record, I'm comfortable with my size now. I jog four times a week (and wish I ran more) and sports bras are a pain. I'd hate to have to deal with what Rebecca's got. (Really, sports bras irk me. If you know a decent one, as opposed to the ones that make you think you've strapped an Ace bandage around your chest, let me know.) I think that's something that comes with age. In my twenties, I was so focused on what others were seeing when they looked at me and, as I've grown older, I've gotten more comfortable in my own skin.

I enjoyed the post. I always love Rebecca's writing but Joan and Ava had both noted the friendship bond that came through in it and I did as well when I read it. Rebecca's many things, many wonderful things, but what she is most to me is a really great friend. I have no idea how she, C.I. and I have remained friends (Joan's question). I think we were lucky early on because others were falling away (especially after college) and I think we were lucky enough to realize at some point how lucky we were. Then we worked at and it's a really strong bond. It won't break. I really don't see how it could.

Rebecca, as she is when she writes, is very in your face. She's very upfront about what she feels. So there's no baggage left over from the previous week. I have no idea how I am but I can tell you C.I. usually doesn't let anything become an issue (either by ignoring it or by saying, "I'm confused here, we need to talk"). They're very good about addressing their feelings (Rebecca more so and I'd argue she's more in touch with her personal feelings -- that's not an insult) and you know going in that a discussion is about what's going on not an excuse to bail.

C.I.'s more focused on external things (causes, the world) and so I think Rebecca and I sensed long ago that when C.I. brings up a personal issue (very rare), that means this is something major. It may not seem major to one of us, or both of us, but we both know it's rare and have the good sense to shut up and listen so we can hear why it does matter.

I think that with long friendships, you learn things like that. You learn your friends moves and you pay attention. "Moves" not "moods." If we're all talking, here's one move, Rebecca's going to bring up her most important issue first. She's going to dive right in with whatever's most important in her life at that moment. Some people don't do that. They'll work towards it. I always tease her that she must have eaten her vegetables first as a child to get them out of the way early. With C.I. it's going to be near the end of the conversation because C.I.'s not going to want to jump in until everyone's had a chance to discuss what matters to them. I think I'm more the type who brings up an issue in the middle of the conversation and that may be another reason we're all best friends, we mesh nicely. If we were all like Rebecca, it might get hard for us to speak, or, if we were all like C.I., it might be impossible because the end of the conversation would be where all the activity was.

I really do think we're friends to the end at this point and that we've been through everything together. Joan wondered who'd changed the most? That's a judgement call but C.I. and I would both say "Rebecca" and I think she would as well. I feel like I've just gotten dull. Rebecca's really found a new life in the last year and a new outlook. She was shy unless she was angry in the old days. C.I.? Hmm. I think C.I.'s become the old C.I.

Trina and I talk fiction, novels that we enjoy that aren't today's bestsellers. I was telling Trina, when Bully Boy leaves office in 2008, she could talk to C.I. about those things. C.I.'s very well read but with Bully Boy in the oval office, it's been nonstop activity. I've never known C.I. not to be politically concerned, but I have to go back many years to remember this level of activity. I voted for Al Gore (and would again) in 2000 but I wasn't aware of how dangerous Bully Boy was until we invaded Iraq. I felt he'd be inept. I felt his actions in Afghanistan were inept and was offended he was trying to couch his war on feminist stances. (Claiming to be concerned about women. Bombing the hell out of the country didn't help the women, the children or the men.)
But I thought that and the economy were just his inept actions. It was only when he ordered the invasion of Iraq that I really started to feel he was a danger to democracy.

All during the leadup, I was convinced that reason would previal. (I don't watch TV news.) C.I. was warning me and saying they were lying us into war. I thought Bully Boy was lying but I didn't think he'd be able to trick to the nation and the international community. He pulled it off, he accomplished that. Then his ineptitude really kicked in.

But when we invaded, I felt, for the first time, that he wasn't just someone not up to the job, but something far worse. I think his cocky attitude that increased after 9/11 when people were trying to turn him into a hero (most heroes don't hide in childhood classrooms) added to his ineptitude. I think he believes he's above the rule of the law. I think he's quite serious about starting another war (with Iran) and I don't think he has the brains to realize how costly that will be to good will, to America or to Iran. I also think that our Congress has lost the will to check him and that is why he's focused so much on the judiciary. From compiling records of their decisions (Aschroft) to just about everything else, he's gone beyond the usual bluster (and this is true of many in his party) about the media and the opposition in Congress, to a degredation of our judiciary.

I also feel that the media has refused to call him on that which has only fueled his ambition.

Remember, I'm off tomorrow night, no post. Also remember to visit Mikey Likes It! Mike has an interview with Wally tonight, if you need further reason to visit his site (which you shouldn't, but consider it an added bonus).