Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Obama Jobs Speech Conflicts With GOP Debate

Is Obama trying to pick a fight? This sure doesn't sound like the Appeaser-In-Chief we've come to know so well. The President's greatly anticipated jobs speech is set for the same date and exact same time as the forthcoming GOP debate.

It's basically going to be a State of the Union speech presented before a Joint Session of Congress! Which event will the GOP Congress critters attend? Too funny.

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And the winner is....

The winner of the 400th post Giveway is...

Deb Maher!

Congratulations Deb, I will be emailing you shortly for your address. Again, thank you to everyone who entered to win this fabulous book!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Justice Ginsburg: If I Were Nominated Today, My Feminist Work For The ACLU Would Probably Disqualify Me

In a testimony to the current regressive anti-woman political climate, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg observes that her historic work on behalf of women's rights would no doubt disqualify her from serving on the High Court if she were nominated today. But, of course, President Obama would never nominate a famed feminist such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

As director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, Ginsburg was literally the single most important women’s rights attorney in American history. She authored the brief in Reed v. Reed that convinced a unanimous Supreme Court to hold for the very first time that the Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection applies to women. And her brief in Craig v. Boren convinced the Court to hand down its very first decision holding that gender discrimination laws are subject to heightened constitutional scrutiny. It is possible that modern doctrines preventing gender discrimination would simply not exist if Ruth Bader Ginsburg hadn’t done the work she did for the ACLU.

Tribute: The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and WRP Staff

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene: No Evacuation for Prisoners on Rikers Island

While New York waits for Hurricane Irene, some 350,000 New Yorkers in low lying areas have been ordered to evacuate, but no such relief has been provided to the prisoners on Rikers Island. Reportedly, said prisoners include juveniles, the mentally challenged and individuals waiting for their day in court:

Rikers already has a pretty rotten reputation, but letting prisoners wallow in half-flooded cinderblock cell buildings would be taking it to a whole new level.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Politics Is Harder for Women

Quote of the Day

“I’m not going to mislead anybody. Politics is really hard. And it is harder for women. There’s a double standard, and you can’t complain about it. You just have to accept it, and be smart enough to navigate it. And you have to have a pretty tough skin.”

-- Hillary Rodham Clinton,

Glamour, September 2011

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Happy Women's Equality Day

Bonus Quote of the Day

August 26 is Women's Equality Day. Most Americans don't even know what it is. . .

Recently renamed the Women's Equality Amendment by its chief sponsor, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the ERA is the essence of brevity: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." That's the whole thing. A simple concept that had the blessing of both political parties until the Republicans struck it from their platform in 1980.

It's high time the ERA was put back in the center of public debate, and the long 2012 election season that's already underway is the perfect opportunity. . . Equality Day? Not yet. Ask your candidate why.

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Labor Distances from Democrats

According to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Democrats should expect some painful payback from Labor for failing to keep a long list of promises involving core Democratic values:

The growing rift between labor and their Democratic allies was on full display Thursday, as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters that labor groups are planning to scale back their involvement with the Democratic Party in advance of the 2012 elections.

Going forward, Trumka said, the labor movement will build up its own political structures and organizations rather than contribute to and depend on the Democratic Party’s political operation. Trumka articulated a broader critique of the Obama administration, telling reporters that the president has allowed Republicans to set the terms of debate — focusing on what he called a manufactured debt crisis instead of a jobs agenda.

“I think he made a strategic mistake when he confused job crisis with deficit crisis,” Trumka said. “He started playing on the Republican ground.”

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World's Most Powerful Women

Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton top Forbes' list of the World's Most Powerful Women of 2011.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Geena Davis on Female Presidents, Sexism, Etc. (Video)

via Melissa Silverstein

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Hillary & Bill Clinton Holding Hands on Madison Avenue

Hillary and Bill Clinton caught holding hands as they walk down Madison Avenue . [8/20/11]

400th Post and Giveaway: PARIS TO DIE FOR

Hard to believe but this marks my 400th post and to celebrate I'm giving away a copy of the delicious new spy mystery PARIS TO DIE FOR, featuring the one and only Jacqueline Bouvier as the sleuth! Truthfully when I saw this book in my local Barnes and Noble (on Jackie's birthday no less) I thought "Jackie Kennedy as a sleuth, get out of here."  But there was something about the Audrey Hepburnesque cover that drew me in, and I bought it.  I'm very glad that I did because this was a a rollicking good novel, with fun cameos by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Francois Truffaut, Ian Fleming, and Audrey Hepburn herself!

This isn't James Bond or even John Le Carre, this is light espionage novel with loads of thrills that will keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat.  Yes, the book bogs down a little as one of the characters spends way too much time revealing his backstory, but the chemistry between Jacques and Jackie (too cute) is palpable. The authors have clearly done their homework, because they've captured Jackie's personality perfectly, at least from all the biographies that I have read about the former First Lady.  Since Jackie was always so mysterious, it's not too much of a leap of faith to believe that she was secretly working for the CIA. I look forward to the next book in the series HAVANA TO DIE FOR.


Inspired by an actual letter in the John F. Kennedy Library written by Jackie and revealing her job offer from the newly formed CIA

Young Jacqueline Bouvier's first CIA assignment was supposed to be simple: Meet with a high-ranking Russian while he's in Paris and help him defect. But when the Comrade ends up dead, and Jackie-in her black satin peep-toe stiletto heels-barely escapes his killer, it's time to get some assistance. Enter Jacques Rivage, a French photographer and freelance CIA agent who seems too brash and carefree to grapple with spies, though he's all too able to make Jackie's heart skip a beat.

Together the two infiltrate 1951 high society in the City of Lights, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Duchess of Windsor, Audrey Hepburn, and Evelyn Waugh. Jackie, no longer a pampered debutante, draws on her quick intelligence, equestrian skills, and even her Chanel No. 5 atomizer as a weapon to stay alive in the shadowy world of international intrigue-and to keep her date with a certain up-and-coming, young Congressman from Massachusetts . . . .

About the Author:

Maxine Kenneth is the writing team of Maxine Schnall and Kenneth Salikof.

Ken Salikof is a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, an award-winning screenwriter, and an independent book editor. Ken has sold scripts to New World Cinema, HBO, Nickelodeon, and several independent producers and has edited many bestselling novels. His blog, Ken Salikof's Cinema Esoterica, can be found at

Maxine Schnall is the author of six non-fiction books and one novel, including What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger (Da Capo, 2003); a Pulitzer Prize nominee (Limits: A Search for New Values, Clarkson Potter, 1982); a former contributing editor with Woman's Day and CBS radio talk show host; and a popular media personality with six appearances on Oprah. Please visit her website at

One lucky winner will receive a copy of the book PARIS TO DIE FOR. Here are the rules for the giveaway. This giveaway is open solely to my American readers! The contest runs from today through Monday, August 29th:

1. Leave your name and email in the comments. Email is very important so that I can contact you for your address.
2. If you are not a follower and become one, you get an extra entry
3. If you tweet about the giveaway, you get an extra entry.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Daily Show: The Two-Party System Sucks (Video)

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Fairness Doctrine Killed on Allegedly Democratic President's Watch

How many right-wing dreams can one allegedly Democratic president fulfill? Another day, another Ronnie Reagan dream fulfilled on the watch of President Obama. The Fairness Doctrine was officially axed in:

response to a White House executive order directing a "government-wide review of regulations already on the books" designed to eliminate unnecessary regulations.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Karl Rove: Sarah Palin Will Run

The more presidential candidates in the whackjob party, the better. I admit it - I'd like to see Sarah Palin kick Rick Perry butt. And she sure would liven up the dreary almost-entirely old boring white male conservative debates. With 2 women on the stage more people will tune in and discover just how insane the GOP is:

Maybe Palin's Iowa video is an ad after all. Karl Rove says he believes the former Alaska governor will enter the Republican presidential race some time around Labor Day. On Fox News this morning, the former George W. Bush advisor said Palin "has a schedule next week that looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity." Palin will be the keynote speaker at the Tea Party of America's “Restoring America” rally in Iowa Sept. 3. Rove said the engagement “is her last chance.” "She either gets in or gets out [after the Iowa visit],” he said. “I think she gets in."

Palin Iowa video: “Thank you Iowa! See you again September 3rd.”

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Christine O'Donnell's Bizarre Pierce Anthony Interview (Video)

She may not be a witch, but Christine O'Donnell is still nuts. Despite her strange and unfounded accusations of sexual harassment, it's clear in the video clip below that she really really does not want to talk about gay marriage.

Christine O'Donnell: Piers Morgan was sexually harassing me

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Poll: Obama's Base Demoralized

Thanks to Obama's most recent spectacular sell-out of core Democratic values during that international joke of a debt ceiling drama, Democratic enthusiasm about voting has fallen to "a record low:"

The debt deal really does appear to have demoralized the base, and the weird thing about it is that this is one issue where if Obama had done what folks on the left wanted him to do, he also would have had the support of independents. The deal has proven to be a complete flop in swing states where we've polled it like Colorado, North Carolina, and Ohio. And in every single one of those states a majority of voters overall, as well as a majority of independents, think new taxes are going to be needed to solve the deficit problem.

Confidence in Obama, and in the Economy, Declines

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Queen Ranavalona I - The Mad Monarch of Madagascar (1782 - 1861)

‘She is certainly one of the proudest and cruel women on the face of the earth, and her whole history is a record of bloodshed and deeds of horror.’ – Ida Pfeiffer (explorer)

Once upon a time in the Indian Ocean, there was a magical land called Madagascar located off the south east coast of Africa. This lush, ravishingly beautiful tropical island, ‘a paradise on earth’ which is now known mainly for its vanilla beans and cuddly cartoon animals, was teeming with vast tracks of rain forest and rich arable land. But there was a serpent in this Garden of Eden, and her name was Ranavalona. In her 33 year reign, she proved to be just as ruthless and cruel as any male tyrant that had sat on a throne. She established a reign of terror in the name of preserving its traditions and independence which resulted in the death of more than a 1/3 of her subjects.

After years of internal warfare, many of the warring tribes were finally united under the leadership of the wise King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810) as the Kingdom of Merina bringing peace and prosperity. He honored his people by giving them their own piece of land, so that no one would ever go hungry. That wasn’t the only change for the tiny island. For centuries Madagascar was virtually unknown to foreign invaders. By the 18th century, this unspoiled and untamed land was discovered by European explorers who scrambled to claim the prime real estate for their very own. For the English, Madagascar was the perfect pit-stop on the long voyage to India. The French were eager to add Madagascar to their already burgeoning African portfolio.

King Andrianampoinimerina believed that learning from the West would help his country. However, traditionalists and the priests weren’t too keen on the idea. His uncle took it one step further and tried to assassinate him. He was saved by the intervention of a local tribesman who alerted him to the plot. To say ‘thank you,’ the King decided to adopt the tribesman’s daughter, Ranavalona, bringing her to court as a possible wife for his son, Prince Radama. Soon Ranavalona became the first of Prince Radama’s 12 wives, which I guess is sort of an honor. The prince paid little attention to his new bride; he just wasn’t that in to her. Pissed off, Ranavalona became incredibly mouthy, loudly arguing with her husband who agreed with his father’s policies, especially when it came to foreigners. This didn’t endear her to Prince Radama who preferred a more docile and sweet woman or at least one who didn’t try to push all his buttons. Due to their mutual antipathy, no children were born during their marriage.

In 1810, Prince Radama succeeded his father as King. Ranavalona became increasingly frustrated at her inability to check her husband’s modernizing ideas. He was eager to bring his country into the 19th century. King Radama began to allow more foreigners onto the island, particularly British missionaries, who began efforts to convert the natives to Christianity. They built schools, and helped to develop a written language. Ranavalona watched in horror as the new religion slowly took root threatening the worship of the Malagasy gods.

In1828, King Radama died after a long, debilitating illness. Two of his officers decided to keep the news on ice until they could place his nephew, Prince Rakatobe on the throne. But Ranavalona got wind of the plan and mobilized her supporters, which included the priests and the hard-core traditionalists. She spread rumors that the gods were telling her that she was destined to be the next ruler. She was aided and abetted by a young army officer named Adriamihaja who served as her first minister (and may also have been her lover and the father of her son, Rakoto, who was born 11 months after Radama’s death) until he got on her bad side and was summarily executed. After declaring herself Queen, she had all immediate rivals to the throne captured and put to death, including Rakatobe.

Once that was out of the way, Ranavalona turned her sights on the foreigners polluting her kingdom. As far as Ranavalona was concerned, the only good foreigner was a dead one. She broke treaties with both the English and the French and banned Christianity. With a fanaticism that would have made Mary Tudor proud, she came up with creative and inventive ways to eliminate any one caught practicing Christianity. They were tortured, flung from cliffs, boiled in water, poisoned, flung off cliffs or beheaded if they didn’t recant. She also got rid of trial by jury and brought back good old fashioned ‘Trial by Ordeal’ which was decided by forcing the accused to drink the poisonous juice of the tanguena plant. If they survived, they were innocent. Both the French and the British spent considerable time and effort trying to dislodge Ranavalona from the throne but to no avail. After one successful battle against an invasion, Ranavalona cut off the heads of the dead Europeans, stuck them on pikes, and lined them up on the beach, to repel any future invaders. After that little display, the French and the English decided that were better off concentrating their efforts on other third world countries not ruled by insane females.

There was one European invention she had any use for, which strangely enough, was soap. When the French brought it to the island, Ranavalona became obsessed, and determined to discover how it was made. Once she obtained the recipe, she had no more use for the people who gave it to her. Like Cleopatra, Ranavalona was a master at propaganda and ritual. Once a year, she would take a public bath on her balcony. People would come from miles around to see it; it was the best ticket in town. After her bath, she would pour the water over the balcony to sprinkle the spectators. It was her way of allying herself with the ancient Malagasy gods.

Things weren’t all bad in Madagascar. Ranavalona wanted her people to be self-sufficient. Divine providence brought her a French arms manufacturer whose boat was shipwrecked off the coast. He helped her to build up her arsenal, and became her lover as well. Before long Madagascar had built factories to produce guns, bullets, sugar, clothing and booze. She founded cities, and was one of the few African rulers to successfully hold off colonial rule. However, it came at a high prize. To boost the economy, Ranavalona turned to selling her own subjects into slavery. Those who were sold were considered traitors, spoils of war, or Christians caught practicing their religion in secret. She continued the wars of expansion, determined to bring the entire island under her thumb. Her actions decimated the population from a high of 5 million people down to 2.5 million at the end of her reign. It was estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 were killed a year for various offenses.

Ranavalona died peacefully in her bed at the age of 79 in 1861, managing to survive a coup by her son. The European powers rejoice, they had generally condemned her policies, whispering that she was insane. In 1898, during the reign of Ranavalona III, the French finally managed to colonize Madagascar. Today, Ranavalona’s actions are seen in a different light, not those of a despot but those of a Queen attempting to protect her people and their culture against European domination.


Klein, Shelley. (2003). The Most Evil Women in History. London, England: Michael O’Mara Books Limited.

Laidler, Keith (2005) Female Caligula: Ranavalona: the Mad Queen of Madagascar. London: John Wiley & Sons.

Stradling, Jan. (2008). Bad Girls: The Most Powerful, Shocking, Amazing, Thrilling and Dangerous Women of all Time. New York, New York: Metro Books.

Have You Had Sex With Rick Perry? Ewww!

A full-page ad ran in an Austin alt-weekly, asking the question: "Have you had sex with Rick Perry?" Truly a revolting thought.

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Democratic Rep. Defazi Rips Obama

Quote of the Day

“Fight? I don’t think it’s a word in his vocabulary. I mean, come on — he pledged as a candidate to make the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000. He repeatedly said that as president. Then the Republicans telegraphed to him they were going to use a fake crisis over the debt limit in order to muscle some major spending reductions or other things on to him. And what happens? Suddenly he flip flops and concedes everything to the Republicans.”

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Obama Camp Attacks Paul Krugman & 'Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere'

Attacking Paul Krugman and liberal bloggers ('Firebagger' = Firedoglake+ Teabagger?) is one way to further alienate your liberal base and strengthen your chances of becoming a one-term president:

Jane Hamsher: OFA Director Attacks “Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere,” says “Paul Krugman is a Political Rookie” - "[I]f this is a brilliant political strategy on the part of OFA, someone is going to have to explain it to me. I know the goal is to attract the much-prized Independent for 2012. But who do they think is keeping Obama's poll numbers afloat? ... What exactly does OFA think they stand to gain by ridiculing Krugman as a 'political rookie,' a hysterical 'fanatic' and an 'idealogue'? Do they think they hold so much sway with liberals that they can discredit Krugman and thus neutralize his criticism? This smacks more of narcissism and personal vendetta than any sound political 'strategy.'"

Amanda Terkel: Obama Campaign Staffer Sends Out Email Bashing Paul Krugman And The 'Firebagger Lefty Blogosphere'

Greg Sargent: Does Obama camp see upside in pissing off the left?

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26% Approve of Obama on the Economy

You have to wonder what the 26% are smoking:

Gallup: New Low of 26% Approve of Obama on the Economy

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ones That Got Away

When my agent called to tell me that we had sold Scandalous Women to Perigee, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. This was a dream come true for me after almost a decade of writing, but now came the hard part, what women would make it into the book? The book needed to be a mix of women that people were familiar with, but also women who for whatever reason were not as well known. My initial list consisted of forty women. Unfortunately due to that pesky word count, some of them had to end up on the cutting room floor. Here are five of the women who unfortunately got away.

Isabella, Queen Consort to Edward II (1295-1358): called the She-Wolf of France by her enemies, this strong-willed Queen refused to play second fiddle to her husband Edward II’s male lovers who were showered not only with gifts and but with power. Aided by her lover, Roger de Mortimer, she stole the throne from her husband for her son, and possibly ordered the murder of her husband as well.

Belle Starr (1848-1889): The daughter of a wealthy innkeeper who was ruined by the Civil War, she developed a reputation as the "Bandit Queen" of the Old West, hobnobbing with some of the most famous outlaws of her day such as Jesse James and Cole Younger. Although homely, she had a sense of style, riding while wearing a black velvet gown and a plumed hat. However, her bad taste in men led her into a life of crime. Ambushed by an unknown assailant, her foolish choices left her dying alone in the dust. But her sensational legend soon began to take shape in the dime-novel westerns of the era.

Veronica Franco (1546-1591): The daughter of a courtesan, this dangerous beauty followed in her mother’s footsteps, becoming the toast of Venice not just with her body but by her wit and skill in debating at a time when most women were illiterate. She quickly rose to consort with some of the leading notables of her day and even entranced the future King Henry III of France, who only wanted to meet her on his visit to Venice. A noted poet, Veronica used her poems to argue in support of defenseless women. She later managed to survive charges of witchcraft brought by the Inquisition. Veronica's insight into the age-old conflicts between men and women and her awareness of the threat she posed to men is what makes her so pertinent today

Anna Nicole Smith (1967–2007): This bodacious Texan remade herself into the centerfold of the world. She was a "dumb blonde," a stripper, a Playboy Playmate, who boldly took her case against her billionaire husband's family all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her tragic life and untimely death still evoke an odd mix of fascination, shock, and dismay four years later.

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689): The eccentric crossing dressing Queen who gave up her throne for freedom. Raised by her father as a more of a Prince than a Princess, Christina inherited the throne after her father’s death at the age of 6. During her ten years on the throne, Christina absolutely refused to marry despite pressure to fulfill her duty to give Sweden an heir. She secretly converted to Catholicism which contributed to her decision to abdicate. The rest of her life was spent in France and Rome, where she was buried in St. Peter's Basilica. Her complex character has inspired numerous plays, books, and operatic works since her death including the 1933 MGM film Queen Christina starring the luminous Greta Garbo.

Hopefully, these women will end up in another book one day or here on Scandalous Women.

Scary Liberal News: Sex Ed Returns to New York City Schools - After Nearly 2 Decades

Ever wonder why other countries call us stupid?

For the first time in nearly two decades, students in New York City's public middle and high schools will be required to take sex-education classes beginning this school year, reported The New York Times Aug. 9. The curriculum will include lessons on how to use a condom and the appropriate age for sexual activity. The new mandate is part of a broader strategy the Bloomberg administration announced last week to improve the lives of black and Latino teenagers.

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Another Mind-Numbing Unending Presidential Campaign Begins

Oh to be in one of the grown-up countries where elections last 6 weeks instead of the USA's usual 15 to 24 plus months. Glenn Greenwald points out some of the disadvantages of our utter stupidity:

From now until next November, chatter, gossip and worthless speculation about the candidates' prospects will drown out most other political matters. Obviously, at least in theory, presidential campaigns are newsworthy. But consider the impact from the fact that they dominate media coverage for so long, drowning out most everything else.

A presidential term is 48 months; that the political media is transfixed by campaign coverage for 18 months every cycle means that a President can wield power with substantially reduced media attention for more than 1/3 of his term. Thus, he can wage a blatantly illegal war in Libya for months on end, work to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past his repeatedly touted deadline, scheme to cut Social Security and Medicare as wealth inequality explodes and thereby please the oligarchical base funding his campaign, use black sites in Somalia to interrogate Terrorist suspects, all while his Party's Chairwoman works literally to destroy Internet privacy -- all with virtually no attention paid.

Photo of President Obama's campaign bus via

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Wisconsin Dems Survive Recall

Wisconsin Dems easily held on to their senate seats in yesterday's recall election. The Wisconsin state senate is in GOP hands by one seat. The campaign to recall union busting Scott Walker continues.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Ed Rendell: Hillary Clinton Can't Resist White House Run

Quote of the Day

"It's going to be Hillary Clinton in 2016."

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Andrew Sullivan Blogs About Sarah Palin's Toes

Poor old crazed Sully is so obsessed with Sarah Palin that he blogs about her toes!

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Authors Night at the East Hampton Library

I was delighted to spend this past Saturday on the South Fork of Long Island at the Authors Night benefit for the East Hampton Library. As a native New Yorker, it was fun for me to get a chance to not only sign books but also help support a good cause, libraries,  and I got to do it my own home state.  It was just a short jitney ride (okay it was a 3 hour jitney ride) out to beautiful East Hampton for the event. I brought my good friend Mala out with me to help record the event.  It was her first tip out to the Hamptons so it was nice to be able to share this event with her.

And what an event it was! Talk about star-studded! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw some of the authors who would also be signing that night.  Robert Caro, who has written well-regarded biographies of Lyndon Johnson, Barbara Goldsmith who was signing copies of her biography of Marie Curie, Annette Blaugrund who has written a biography of Harriet Hubbard Ayer (one of the first women to found a cosmetics company.), David S. Reynolds, who has written MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD, about Harriet Beecher Stowe and UNCLE TOM's CABIN. The list goes on and on. I felt humble just being under the same tent as some of these authors.

The authors were asked to arrive at 4:30 to get settled in.  To my great surprise, I was seated next to film critic Jeffrey Lyons.  I grew up watching Mr. Lyons on Channel 4 News as well as the TV show he did with Richard Roeper on PBS.  And the icing on the cake was that Susan Lucci was sitting two seats down from me. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Susan and of ALL MY CHILDREN, so I felt especially privileged. However, it was getting to hear the fascinating stories that Jeffrey Lyons told about some of the celebrities that his father knew that really made my night.  Leonard Lyons knew everyone from Orson Welles to Marilyn Monroe.  I was lucky enough to snag a copy of his book STORIES MY FATHER TOLD ME, and to give him a copy of my book SCANDALOUS WOMEN.

I managed to reconnect with an old friend an fellow author Jennifer Belle who runs a fabulous writer's workshop in New York that I hope to get back to.  I have a historical fiction novel that I have been working on, but I really need a weekly workshop to get it kicked into the shape that I know it needs to be in, before I hand it in to my agent.  Alec Baldwin was there, he stopped by to say hello to Jeffrey Lyons, so that was a squealworthy moment. My friend Mala did triple duty as wine bearer, official tweeter, as well as photographer. The food was fabulous, all donated by local restaurants, and I had a delicious glass of rose wine from a Long Island winery.

My one regret was that I didn't really get a chance to meet the other authors, nor was I invited to attend one of the author dinners that they held that night after the event. Since I don't know anyone at the library, nor am I a big enough name, I wasn't included.  My only quibble with the event was that not one of the organizers greeted the authors as they arrived.  When I arrived at the library, I was told rather rudely by a gentleman to just 'go in the back' to the tent. I found that kind of appalling. Nor did I get a lovely Authors Night bag that some of the other authors seemed to have.

Still it was a lovely evening, and I felt privileged to be apart of it. I hope that as my writing career continues, that I get another chance to be part of this lovely event.

Feminist HBO Documentary: 'Gloria: In Her Own Words' (Trailer)

HBO Documentary Films: Summer Series - Gloria... by HBO

Television review: 'Gloria: In Her Own Words' - The film clips alone are wonderful — including Harry Reasoner's patronizing denunciation of Ms. and Henry Kissinger's public flirtation with Steinem — and it does provide a brilliant if brief and narrow glimpse of the American women's movement. But this is Steinem's tale, not America's or even feminism's.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Michele Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll

Ooops. The Republican good old boys are in a whole lot of trouble:

“We did this together,” Mrs. Bachmann said, standing outside her campaign bus after she was declared the winner. “This is the very first step toward taking the White House in 2012.”


AMES, Iowa — The line to get inside Michele Bachmann’s tent was nearly two hours long. By 1 p.m., her campaign had given out its 4,000th ticket. By 3 p.m., its 6,000th. On stage, the congresswoman was dancing in her heels. Confetti cannons were firing.

And as Bachmann led a golf-cart caravan to the voting stations, across the grounds of Iowa State University here, Tim Pawlenty’s half-empty tent was tinged with the aroma of barbecue and desperation.

NATE SILVER: Why the Ames Straw Poll Actually Matters

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