Archive for the ‘International’ Category

And is now FishbowlAmerica.com.

Please bookmark us.

Best,

Benji

Los Angeles Times: Outside her Bel-Air home, Nancy Reagan stood arm in arm with John McCain and offered a significant — but less than exuberant — endorsement.

“Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided, and then we endorsed,” the Republican matriarch said in March. “Well, obviously this is the nominee of the party.” They were the only words she would speak during the five-minute photo op.

In a written statement, she described McCain as “a good friend for over 30 years.” But that friendship was strained in the late 1970s by McCain’s decision to divorce his first wife, Carol, who was particularly close to the Reagans, and within weeks marry Cindy Hensley, the young heiress to a lucrative Arizona beer distributorship.

The Reagans rushed to help Carol, finding her a new home in Southern California with the family of Reagan aide Edwin Meese III and a series of political and White House jobs to ease her through that difficult time.

McCain, who is about to become the GOP nominee, has made several statements about how he divorced Carol and married Hensley that conflict with the public record.

In his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For,” McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley.

“I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow,” McCain wrote. “I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980.”

An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had “cohabited” until Jan. 7 of that year — or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Until McCain filed for divorce, the Reagans and their inner circle assumed he was happily married, and they were stunned to learn otherwise, according to several close aides.

“Everybody was upset with him,” recalled Nancy Reynolds, a top aide to the former president who introduced him to McCain.

By contrast, some of McCain’s friends, including the Senate aide who was at the reception where McCain first met Hensley, believed he was separated at that time.

Albert “Pete” Lakeland, the aide who was with McCain at the reception in Hawaii in April 1979, said of the introduction to Hensley: “It was like he was struck by Cupid’s arrow. He was just enormously smitten.”

As the pair began dating, Lakeland allowed them to spend a weekend together at his summer home in Maryland, he said.

The senator has acknowledged that he behaved badly, and that his swift divorce and remarriage brought a cold shoulder from the Reagans that lasted years.

In a recent interview, McCain said he did not want to revisit the breakup of his marriage. “I have a very good relationship with my first wife,” he said. In his autobiography, he wrote: “My marriage’s collapse was attributable to my own selfishness and immaturity. The blame was entirely mine.”

Tucker Bounds, a McCain campaign spokesman, said: “Of course we will not comment on the breakup of the senator’s first marriage, other than to note that the senator has always taken responsibility for it.”

Carol McCain did not respond to a request for an interview.

About all she has ever said is this to McCain biographer Robert Timberg: “John was turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again.”

After leaving the White House, Carol McCain worked in press relations in the Washington area, retiring about five years ago after working for the National Soft Drink Assn. She now lives in Virginia Beach, Va., and has not remarried. She has two sons from an earlier marriage: Andy, a vice president at Cindy McCain’s beer distributorship, and Doug, a commercial airline pilot.

Carol and John McCain had a daughter, Sidney, who works in the music industry in Canada.

John McCain, who calls himself “a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution,” said in his memoir: “My divorce from Carol, whom the Reagans loved, caused a change in our relationship. Nancy . . . was particularly upset with me and treated me on the few occasions we encountered each other after I came to Congress with a cool correctness that made her displeasure clear.

“I had, of course, deserved the change in our relationship.”

Joanne Drake, spokeswoman for Nancy Reagan, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The first Mrs. McCain

McCain met Carol Shepp through a mutual friend and fellow midshipman at the Naval Academy, from which McCain graduated in 1958. That friend, Alasdair E. Swanson, married her in 1958. In the early 1960s, the Swansons lived in Pensacola, Fla., where Alasdair Swanson and McCain served as Navy pilots.

But that marriage ended in June 1964 after Carol sued for divorce, alleging that her husband had been unfaithful.

According to McCain, he started seeing Carol shortly afterward. They were married in Philadelphia, her hometown, in July 1965. McCain adopted her two sons, and they had a daughter together. Then in October 1967, McCain’s plane was shot down and he was captured by the North Vietnamese.

She became active in the POW-MIA movement. A former model, she dedicated herself to her children and kept the family together, friends said, while awaiting his return.

“She had the perseverance to carry on,” said Melinda Fitzwater, a cousin of McCain’s who later worked with Carol McCain at the White House. “She had a little baby and small kids. She was a great, unique person.”

On Christmas Eve 1969, while she was driving alone in Philadelphia, Carol McCain’s car skidded and struck a utility pole. Thrown into the snow, she broke both legs, an arm and her pelvis. She was operated on a dozen times, and in the treatment she lost about 5 inches in height.

After John McCain was released in March 1973 and returned to the U.S., he told friends that Carol was not the woman he had married.

Reynolds, working for then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan, said she first met the couple in San Francisco at a reception for ex-prisoners. She later introduced them to the Reagans at their home in Pacific Palisades.

“They were just an attractive couple,” Reynolds said. “The Reagans had great admiration and respect for John.”

In 1974, Reagan invited McCain to speak at a governor’s prayer breakfast in Sacramento. The former prisoner of war told the story of a fellow captive who had scratched a prayer on a cell wall. Ronald and Nancy Reagan were reduced to tears. It was “the most moving speech I had ever heard,” Reynolds said.

In the next few years, family and friends said, there was no sign that McCain was unhappy in his marriage. Fitzwater recalled visiting the family on Thanksgivings, and McCain seemed content barbecuing a turkey on his outdoor grill near Jacksonville, Fla.

Navy officers in the squadron McCain commanded in 1977 said they did not know anything was wrong. “When I went to parties at their home, everything seemed fine,” said Mike Akin, a naval flying instructor. “They seemed to be a happily married couple.”

But two years later, while on a trip as a Navy liaison with the Senate, McCain spied Hensley at the Honolulu reception. In a recent television interview with Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show,” Cindy McCain joked about how the Navy captain had pursued her. “He kind of chased me around . . . the hors d’oeuvre table,” she said. “I was trying to get something to eat and I thought, ‘This guy’s kind of weird.’ I was kind of trying to get away from him.”

John McCain was 42; she was 24. During the next nine months, he would fly to Arizona or she would come to the Washington area, where McCain and Carol had a home.

Carol McCain later told friends, including Reynolds and Fitzwater, that she did not know he was seeing anyone else.

John McCain sued for divorce in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where his friend and fellow former POW, George E. “Bud” Day, practiced law and could represent him.

In the petition, he stated that the couple had “cohabited as husband and wife” until Jan. 7, 1980.

His wife did not contest the divorce, and Day said that the couple had reached an agreement in advance on support and division of property. By then she was living in La Mesa, in San Diego County, with the family of Meese, a close Reagan aide and future attorney general.

“We knew John and Carol both since he came back from Hanoi in 1973,” Meese said recently. “They have been friends of ours ever since.

“She was with us for maybe four or five months. Their daughter and our daughter were friends, and they went to school together.”

Carol McCain was distraught at being blindsided by her husband’s intention to end their marriage, said her friends in the Reagan circle.

“They [the Reagans] weren’t happy with him,” Fitzwater said. Carol McCain “was this little, frail person. . . . She was brokenhearted.”

By that time, Nancy Reagan had come to Carol McCain’s aid, hiring her as a press assistant in the 1980 presidential campaign.

When the Reagans moved to Washington, she was named director of the White House Visitors Office.

“Nancy Reagan was crazy about her,” Reynolds said. “But everybody was crazy about Carol McCain. . . . And the Meeses were very generous and helpful and comforting to her.”

Fitzwater said that living in Southern California and working on the Reagan campaign helped Carol McCain move past the loss of her marriage.

“It was perfect for her. She was traveling, and it took her mind off a very, very sad time for her.”

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 9th:

Tourists and residents walk along Wangfujing Street in one of Beijing, China's main shopping areas.

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 9th:

The McCain campaign had 60-year-old librarian Carol Kreck fined and thrown out of his Denver town hall. It seems the crazy lady was holding a sign that said Bush=McCain.

more about “John McCain Kicks Librarian Out of To…“, posted with vodpod

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 9th:

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 8, 2008.

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 8th:

Edwards didn't rule out running for VP a second time.

  • Edwards Would ’Seriously Consider’ VP Offer – John Edwards said Tuesday that if he were asked to accept the vice presidential slot or a cabinet position in a potential Barack Obama administration, he would “seriously consider” whatever the Illinois senator asked him to do.
  • John McCain’s “Love” Doubles As Obama Attack – John McCain may be the supportive subject of this new campaign ad, called “Love,” but Barack Obama definitely provides the thrust of the message. Or, rather, takes the brunt of the message.
  • Hagee’s Revenge? Videos Of Controversial Pastor Removed From YouTube – Late last week, with no prior notification, lawyers for the controversial evangelist John Hagee had a series of videos concerning the pastor removed from YouTube. The clips spanned from the contentious to the mundane; some included footage lifted from ser
  • Barack Obama And Family Chat With Maria Menounos – In an Access Hollywood exclusive interview, Senator Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, along with daughters Malia, 10 and Sasha, 7 open up about rules, what it is like for friends to meet dad, communicating on the trail, potential plans for moving into t
  • Obama’s Shift To Mile High Stadium May Limit Networks – Senator Barack Obama will accept his party’s nomination in a Denver football stadium that seats more than 75,000 people, campaign officials said Monday, a late change in plans intended to take advantage of the candidate’s ability to draw huge crowds.
  • Webb Quits Veepstakes; House GOP Conference Chair Predicts Losses; Problems for Arizona GOP Hopeful – US Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) removed himself from the Veepstakes race, after the Obama campaign search committee informed him last week he was one of the contenders. “Last week I communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my firm intention
  • He Loves Hats and We Love Him: Jason Mraz – In his new album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, Jason Mraz has continued to refine his writing style from the cheerful guitar-driven pop of his first album. How can people NOT fall in love with a guy who writes such songs? I said it before and I’m

Mitcham

Last month, the Sydney Morning Herald announced that Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham had come out of the closet, but Mitcham, in a new interview with Australia’s gay newspaper SX, says he’s been out since he’s 14. Mitcham, who will be Australia’s first openly gay Olympian when he competes in Beijing, is now 20.

God bless Hillary Clinton’s favorite Mexican midget. But seriously, did you have to film it from a bathtub?

more about “No Estoy Contenta: This Is Creepy, So…“, posted with vodpod

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 8th:

https://i1.wp.com/www.sliceofscifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/lost-logo.jpg

  • “Lost” To Air on Sci-Fi Channel – Sci-Fi has jumped in to help us all with the hiatus blues and announced it will begin airing 4 hour blocks of LOST every Monday at 7:00pm starting September 15. The episodes will run in order up to the season 4 finale.
  • Carey Takes Helm of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force – Rea Carey was happily serving as interim executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force until a few months ago. The organization had embarked on an extensive search to find a replacement for Matt Foreman, who resigned in January.
  • What the Pregnant Man Didn’t Deliver – By the time Thomas Beatie, “the Pregnant Man,” strode across Oprah Winfrey’s stage on April 3, his story had already become a worldwide phenomenon. Beatie — a transgendered man who was born a woman and became pregnant through artificial insemination — h
  • Alabama Senate: Sessions 58, Figures 34; Obama down by 15 – Rasmussen Reports takes another snapshot of the Alabama Senate race, this time finding Sen. Jeff Sessions leading his Democratic challenger Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, 58 percent to 34 percent.
  • Retired Military Leaders Come Out Against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell / Queerty – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell took a severe blow today. A study released today asserts that openly gay soldiers do not threaten unit cohesion.
  • Wockner: The Day ACT UP Put a Condom On Jesse Helms’ House – AIDS activists inflated a giant “reservoir-tipped condom” over U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms’ house Sept. 5 [1991] in Arlington, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.
  • A Clintonian at Fox – Howard Wolfson, who was a top strategist for the presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, is going where some Democrats were unwilling to go during the early days of the election season: the Fox News Channel.
  • Charred Bodies Found on Tijuana Street – Police on Monday found six charred bodies on a Tijuana street following a bloody weekend that left 14 people dead.

//a.abcnews.com/images/US/ap_supreme_court_070628_ms.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The Supreme Court and The Future of Marriage – With four months to go until the election, msnbc.com is presenting a weekly series, Briefing Book: Issues ’08 which will assess issues and controversies that the next president must confront once he takes the oath of office.

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 7th:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Publicity Still

  • Sneak Peek: First Look At New Harry Potter Film – The Harry Potter trio are back to save Hogwarts from dark forces in the eagerly anticipated sixth film in the series. A year after the last Potter film, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, JK Rowling’s creation is back in British cinemas in November.
  • Fred Barnes: McCain Better Step Up ‘Homo-Bashing’ As Strategy – Pam’s House Blend: I guess the talking heads on Fox just get right to the point — the GOP is bankrupt of any ideas or actual accomplishments to run on in 2008, so the flagging McSame campaign better drag out the tired homo straw man, according to Right S
  • Andrew Sullivan: A Long Way From The Green Iguana – It’s funny to watch the partisan right out-do each other to declare Obama a cynic while Charlie Crist gets engaged to a woman at the height of McCain’s veep search.
  • Study: Military Gays Don’t Undermine Unit Cohesion – Congress should repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.
  • A Major Speech in Berlin?: Obama Refines Plans for Germany Trip – Barack Obama’s planned European tour might make a major whistlestop in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The candidate’s schedule isn’t set, but a Berlin appearance before the end of July looks likely.
  • Borat’s Alter Ego Dupes Former Mossad Agent – It’s unclear whether his Mossad retirement benefit card will be confiscated, but former spy and current political analyst Yossi Alpher is certainly feeling sheepish after being fooled by actor Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Borat.
  • Federal Investigation Launched into Obama’s MD-80 – The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that it is investigating what caused Senator Barack Obama’s plane to make an unexpected landing today in St. Louis.
  • Iraq May Set Timetable For U.S. Withdrawal – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki raised the prospect on Monday of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops as part of negotiations over a new security agreement with Washington.
  • Webb Says No To Being VP – You can officially scratch off Sen. Jim Webb’s name from the list of Barack Obama’s potential running mates.
  • ABC News: Md. Plantation Attic Holds 400 Years of Documents – For four centuries, they were the ultimate pack rats. Now a Maryland family’s massive collection of letters, maps and printed bills has surfaced in the attic of a former plantation, providing a firsthand account of life from the 1660s through World War II
  • Miami Herald Covers Media Swirl Around Crist – And Avoids The Obvious – I’m not sure how you can explore Florida governor Charlie Crist’s shameless self-promotion for McCain’s consideration as VP (after all, the long-time “bachelor” is willing to get married to pass muster) without going into the ample number of stories about

Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 7th:

Ted Koppel interviews villagers in Qiejiajie, in the Chongqing province, with his interpreter, Mao Sai Feng.

  • Changes In China: Koppel Investigates – The image of Ted Koppel interviewing world leaders is so ingrained that it feels odd to see him wearing a hardhat for a nervous trip into a Chinese coal mine, or sitting in a Chongqing karaoke bar where teenage girls are hired to “entertain” male customer
  • Bush To Meet Russia’s Medvedev – US President George W. Bush on Monday holds his first face-to-face talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a chance to weigh up Vladimir Putin’s heir and tackle outstanding disputes.
  • McCain Promises To Balance Budget – Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to promise on Monday that he will balance the federal budget by the end of his first term by curbing wasteful spending and overhauling entitlement programs, including Social Security, his advisers told Politico.
  • McCain Struggles to Regain Footing – John McCain calls himself an underdog. That may be an understatement. The GOP presidential candidate trails Democrat Barack Obama in polls, organization and money while trying to succeed a deeply unpopular fellow Republican in a year that favors Democrats
  • FDA Reports More Cases Of Salmonella Illnesses – The government on Saturday increased the number of people reported being sickened in a record salmonella outbreak in which tomatoes are the leading suspect although investigators are testing other types of fresh produce.
  • UAE To Cancel Iraq’s $7 billion Debt – Dubai has forgiven the nearly $7 billion Baghdad owes it, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced Sunday.

Rafael Nadal

Salt tears flowed in the locker room after Rafael Nadal lost to Roger Federer in last year’s Wimbledon final.

Sobbing, he told his scowling coach and uncle, Toni, that he might never be in that position again. He truly believed this, but Toni knew better. Rafa was only 21 years old.

“I told him his life does not change because he has not won this match,” Toni said.On Sunday, after a 4-hour, 48-minute marathon, Nadal approached the net to shake Federer’s hand with tears in his eyes. This time, after myriad opportunities eluded him, Nadal was a 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 winner.

It was the longest men’s singles final on record at the All England Club, going back to 1877. And certainly, it was one of the finest. Sublime is the word that comes to mind.

more about “Changing Of The Guard: Rafa Becomes F…“, posted with vodpod

Discovery will begin airing a four-part series, “The People’s Republic of Capitalism,” beginning July 9, profiling the role China’s growing economy will affect the global economy.

Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2006 GLAAD Media Awards, WE ARE DAD is the story of a gay couple who are pediatric AIDS nurses that become foster parents to infants who are HIV positive, and decide to challenge the State of Florida’s law banning adoption by gay people.

The film follows the lives of a most unusual family: Two white HIV negative gay men and their family of five kids. Four of them have AIDS, three are black, two come from a backwater cult in Oregon, and one of the children has been in the middle of one of the most hotly debated issues in this country: gay adoption. We follow these delightful men through the highs and lows of their 18 year struggle to raise this amazing family.

John McCain, speaking at a townhall meeting in December 2007.

more about “McCain: I Hate The Bloggers“, posted with vodpod

The Fishbowl America Round-Up for July 6th:

  • Al-Maliki: Iraq Defeated Terrorism – Iraq’s prime minister said yesterday that the government has defeated terrorism in the country, a sign of growing confidence after recent crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shiite militias.
  • Nadal Dethrones Federer At Wimbledon – Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer’s five-year reign at Wimbledon on Sunday, winning a riveting, five-set marathon to claim his first title at the All England Club and signal a changing of the guard in men’s tennis.
  • Man Rips Off Hitler’s Head at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – A man tore the head off an Adolf Hitler wax figure at Madame Tussauds’ new branch in Berlin in what appeared to be a symbolic protest on the museum’s opening day Saturday, officials said.
  • Poll: Founding Fathers Would Be Disappointed In America – As Americans celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, an overwhelming majority say the 56 signers of that document would be displeased at how the country has turned out.
  • Americans Prefer Candidates Strong On Science – A new poll conducted by Scientists and Engineers for America indicates an overwhelming majority of voters prefer candidates who support research into science and technology, with emphasis on the three E’s: education, environment, and energy. Nice to know,
  • Kerry says McCain lacks judgment to be president – John Kerry Says Republican John McCain Doesn’t Have Judgment To Be President

Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer’s five-year reign at Wimbledon on Sunday, winning a riveting, five-set marathon to claim his first title at the All England Club and signal a changing of the guard in men’s tennis.

Nadal held off a stirring comeback by Federer from two sets down to prevail 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7. He became the first man to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year since Bjorn Borg in 1980.

Nadal, the first Spaniard to win Wimbledon since Manolo Santana in 1966, avenged his losses to Federer in the last two finals here and snapped the Swiss star’s All England Club winning streak at 40 matches and overall grass-court run at 65.

The rain-delayed match ended in near darkness after 4 hours, 48 minutes of play — the longest men’s final in Wimbledon history — when Federer slapped a forehand into the net on Nadal’s fourth match point and second of the game.

Nadal fell onto his back in exhilaration at the baseline. With his shirt caked with turf, he congratulated Federer and climbed into the players’ box to embrace his entourage. He had tears in his eyes as he grabbed a Spanish flag and walked across the television commentators’ booth to the edge of the Royal Box to shake hands with Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain.

“It’s impossible to explain what I felt in that moment,” Nadal said after receiving the winner’s trophy from the Duke of Kent. “Just very, very happy to win this title. For me, (it) is a dream to play in this tournament. But to win, I never imagined something like this.”