Pictures: Walk Up Tree, Flip, (Followed By Applause)

I admit to being easily amused.  That is not to take anything away from these two college-age guys who found getting a little attention Saturday on the Capitol Square took nothing more than walking up a tree.  Though the pictures do not show it they really do land on their feet! 

I use pictures from both of them to show off their talents.  I suppose this is where the responsible blogger should say “please do not try this at home.”  

BREAKING: Mike Huckabee Not Running For White House In 2012

Not running: Former GOP Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at end of his Fox News show, says ‘my heart says no’ to presidential bid.
 
 
At the end of the day, it came down to money.  Not how much it would cost to run a race for the White House, but how much money Huckabee would no longer rake in from using his political position for personal gain.  That is not how the process should be used.  But both Huckabee and Sarah Palin, among others, have found a way to marshal their political teasing game into something very financially lucrative.
 
All the factors say go,” Huckabee said during a live, final segment of his eponymous Fox News Channel show. “But my heart says no.”

Huckabee noted that while all of the “external” factors pointed toward him running, he only found an “inexplicable inner peace” when he decided not to enter the race.

Flowers Brighten Gray Skies At Dane County Farmers’ Market

Today was the first Dane County Famers’ Market that James and I have been able to attend this year.  Though the market started about a month ago around the Capitol Square other matters kept us out-of-town.  So even though the weather was chilly, the skies gray, and just the hint of drizzle in the air was felt at times, there were still some sights to be enjoyed.  It felt good to be back in the Saturday routine.  Though I must say by the time we arrived my favorite donuts had already been sold out.  (The old routine needs to be perfected come next Saturday!)

 

New York Post Has Fun With Porn And Osama Bin Laden

You just knew the New York Post would do something with the story about Osama bin Laden’s stash of porn.

Is Saturday Night Live a new show tonight…..can there be a skit planned….?

Prediction: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee Just Wants To Make Money, Will Not Run In 2012

UPDATE

Former GOP Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at end of his Fox News show, says ‘my heart says no’ to presidential bid

There is no visible fire in the belly for a White House run from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.  In an era when Potomac Fever can be spotted a year before the Iowa caucuses in the eyes of over a dozen wannabes, there is no indication whatsoever that Huckabee has any interest.

The reason this one time squirrel eater is not batting an eye about the White House is that there is money to be mined from packaging a personality who has potential campaign plans.  Like Sarah Palin, the former part-time Governor of Alaska, Huckabee has used his talents to make money.  Lots of it. 

There is nothing wrong with raking in cash, but it does seem to me that it cheapens the process if for no other reason you allow yourself to be a possible candidate just to make a dollar.  Or many hundreds of thousands of dollars as is the case with Huckabee.

Yet that is exactly what Huckabee has done.  Now that he is rich and has a mansion to call his own in Florida, some book deals, and that rambling show on FAUX News there is no need to choke down another chicken dinner in New Hampshire, or debate with Ron Paul about the latest lunacy that was beamed into his tin-foil hat.

While I do not like the way Huckabee used the process, I can fully understand why one would not want to be placed in the midst of the grueling presidential election process.

Henry Kissinger Working To Create Deeper Understanding With “On China”

One of those unexpected long-form reads in the morning newspaper was perfect for a cloudy and rather dreary looking day in Madison.  Henry Kissinger will release a new book Tuesday that will examine more fully the  strategic mindset of  China.   “On China” authored by the former international diplomat, and intellectual heavy-weight places Kissinger front and center in the ongoing attempt to better understand the word’s most populous nation.

The opening to China undertaken in the early 1970’s remains in my mind the way government can work, and should work to move what some see as insurmountable obstacles.  The manner in which the Nixon White House operated to keep the mission secret so to increase the chance of success was proper.    Though Watergate gets the top paragraph in most Nixon news accounts, it is the China trip that remains the most important legacy of RN.

For China’s classical sages, the world could never be conquered; wise rulers could hope only to harmonize with its trends. There was no New World to populate, no redemption awaiting mankind on distant shores. The promised land was China, and the Chinese were already there.

Transparency is an essential objective, but historic opportunities for building a more peaceful international order have imperatives as well.

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Mao’s residence was approached through a wide gate on the east–west axis carved from where the ancient city walls stood before the Communist revolution. Inside the Imperial City, the road hugged a lake, on the other side of which stood a series of residences for high officials. All had been built in the days of Sino-Soviet friendship and reflected the heavy Stalinist style of the period. Mao’s residence appeared no different, though it stood slightly apart from the others. There were no visible guards or other appurtenances of power. A small anteroom was almost completely dominated by a Ping-Pong table.

It did not matter because we were taken directly to Mao’s study, a room of modest size with bookshelves lining three walls filled with manuscripts in a state of considerable disarray. Books covered the tables and were piled up on the floor. A simple wooden bed stood in a corner. The all-powerful ruler of the world’s most populous nation wished to be perceived as a philosopher-king who had no need to buttress his authority with traditional symbols of majesty.

Mao rose from an armchair in the middle of a semicircle of armchairs with an attendant close by to steady him if necessary. We learned later that he had suffered a debilitating series of heart and lung ailments in the weeks before and that he had difficulty moving. Overcoming his handicaps, Mao exuded an extraordinary willpower and determination. He took Nixon’s hands in both of his and showered his most benevolent smile on him. The picture appeared in all the Chinese newspapers.

Wealthy Conservatives To The Rescue Of Same-Sex Marriage

This leapt off of the newspaper page this morning.

As gay rights advocates intensify their campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, the bulk of their money is coming from an unexpected source: a group of conservative financiers and wealthy donors to the Republican Party, most of whom are known for bankrolling right-leaning candidates and causes.

Their behind-the-scenes financial support — about $1 million in donations, delivered in recent weeks to a new coalition of gay rights organizations — could alter the political calculus of Albany lawmakers, especially the Republican state senators in whose hands the fate of gay marriage rests.

The donors represent some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically active figures and include Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund manager and top-tier Republican donor, as well as two other financiers, Steven A. Cohen and Clifford S. Asness.

At the same time, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist who has been a major contributor to Senate Republicans in New York, plans a significant push for same-sex marriage: giving at least $100,000 of his own money, hosting a fund-raiser at an Upper East Side town house, traveling to Albany to lobby lawmakers and giving a speech on the issue.

The new donations represent roughly two-thirds of the same-sex marriage coalition’s fund-raising, making New York the rare state where a lobbying campaign in favor of legalizing gay unions is not being financed primarily by liberal donors and Democrats. The support is likely to jolt the traditional financial and political backers of gay rights causes, who now find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being outraised and outspent in New York.

Saturday Song: Bonnie Raitt And Norah Jones “Tennessee Waltz”

This is a most awesome rendition of the classic song.