Chris Matthews Mentions Seab Cooley From “Advise And Consent” On Hardball

Once again Chris Matthews mentions a character from the Pulitzer prize-winning novel Advise And Consent on Hardball.  A couple weeks ago it was Fred Ackerman.

After showing a clip of South Carolina Senator Graham listing off ideas on how to make Russian President Putin feel some world reaction to the crisis in Crimea Mathews said “the senator was channeling Seab Cooley the old southern rascal, anti-communist from the Advise and Consent series”.

Allen Drury lives on.

New Generation To Discover Politics The Way It Was Meant To Be Read With Allen Drury Books

It is not often the world of entertainment meets so harmoniously with the crush of world news.


Recent newspaper headlines proclaim events unfolding from Moscow to Washington, where the rumblings of military bravado compete with sincere diplomats behind the scenes at the United Nations.   Meanwhile changes are moving quickly regarding the acceptance of gay Americans in all aspects of society, including elective office.

Thanks to Colorado-based WordFire Press book lovers can again follow the unfolding of a Cold War drama consisting of  plot lines where highly plausible and intriguing scenarios between the super-powers might lead to potentially catastrophic outcomes.  In addition comes the story of a closeted homosexual U.S. senator at a time when social mores did not allow for one in such a position to live authentically.

Those are some of the scenarios that can be found in the powerfully written pages of the newly re-published classics from one of America’s most impressive authors, Allen Drury.  A whole new generation of readers can now experience these political scandals and the international turmoil between the superpowers as they play out within the covers of Drury’s books.

When one mentions Allen Drury there instantly comes to mind the masterpiece Advise and Consent which sent readers into bookstores to such an extent the book remained on the New York Times list for 102 weeks.  The real power of his narrative and style of writing was demonstrated when the book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960.

Not only will Advise and Consent be freshly published but also Mark Coffin U.S.S. and Decision, two other works by the famed author, will again be available to the public.

The rest of the sequence of riveting and highly readable books, including the entire Advise and Consent series, will be published throughout the 2014 election season.  Within the next few years the complete works of this notable author will again be available.  For that readers worldwide can applaud.

The reason these books are so rewarding to read for the first time, or again as we journey back over the decades in our recollections, is to remind ourselves of how government can operate. Through the use of multi-dimensional characters and real-world knowledge Drury constructs political chaos but also allows for the art of compromise and good will among partisans to rise up and match the needs of the nation.  Sadly, reading about fictional characters in books may be the only way to now find common ground in Washington.

The process of governing is presented in a real-world vivid way as the players move about congress, the White House, and the diplomatic corridors at the United Nations.  If anyone wants a civics lesson with expressive rhetoric and flair it can be found in the Advise and Consent series.

Readers from both sides of the political aisle will be caught up in Drury’s volumes.  As a liberal Democrat I can state my long-time pleasure with Drury’s writings, fully knowing that when it comes to entertainment we all can find common sources of escape within books.  While Drury clearly has a conservative worldview the masterful plots he creates and the strong power of his narrative makes these books a pure joy to read regardless of how one lines up on the political spectrum.

What I find most compelling within the pages is the passionate oratory from all sides which is delivered in such a fashion it makes me feel I have a gallery seat in the United States Senate or at the UN.  With a strong back-story to allow readers inside the minds of the key cast of characters—and there are many personalities to know, love, and hate—makes for a much more engaged feeling the reader will have with the entire series.

Drury’s cast of characters, composites for sure of real men who once walked and governed in Washington, will likely trigger a response of wishing they might drop over for a drink while providing some inside gossip floating around the Capital.  Who would not want to hear Senator Seabright B. Cooley wind a tale or two while seated in your living room?

But let me add one caveat.  Once you start this series there is no way not to pick up succeeding volumes.   Whereas many books are quickly read and discarded the Drury series will leave readers thinking about government, the world at large, and best of all knowing they spent some quality time with a well-crafted read.

So plan some beach time this summer with one of Allen Drury’s books.  You will not regret it.

How Does Not Bombing Syria Over Chemical Weapons Link To Ukraine Crisis?

I felt there was a strong need–a moral need–for the international community to react with strength to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against the rebels.    There were bipartisan howls of outage in Congress over a proposed military strike, and on my Facebook page one of my ‘friends’ offered the most vile commentary over my views which alerted me to the fact he needed to be let go from my list.

Everyone knew there would be a price to be paid for looking weak.  It was a lack of moral courage, and a failing of following international law that has led us, in part,  to this point with Putin and Ukraine.

This weekend the lesson was made clear for the world to see.  United States Senator Bob Corker spelled it out on Sunday.

Mr. Corker traced the origins of Mr. Putin’s brash invasion to September when, in the face of bipartisan opposition in Congress, Mr. Obama pulled back from plans to conduct an airstrike on Syria in retaliation for a chemical-weapons attack on civilians. Instead, he accepted a Russian offer to work jointly to remove the chemical weapons.

“Ever since the administration threw themselves into the arms of Russia in Syria to keep from carrying out what they said they would carry out, I think, he saw weakness,” Mr. Corker said of Mr. Putin. “These are the consequences.”

Cold War Fever Grows

This seems more like the pages from history than events playing out over the past 24 hours.

For now, though, with a large-scale military exercise in western Russian already underway, the country felt very much on a war footing. By Sunday, an information campaign swept like an orchestrated gust through state-controlled news media. There were frenetic reports of clashes in Ukraine, of fascist threats to ethnic Russians and of the flight — entirely unsubstantiated — of 675,000 Ukrainians crossing Russia’s frontier as refugees. (One channel, in fact, showed a short line of cars at Ukraine’s border with Poland, not Russia.) The official Channel One network canceled its live broadcast of the Academy Awards early on Monday morning here.

Love Movies, But Oscar’s Telecast Did Not Soar

I always watch the Oscars, and have since a kid.  I love movie magic that fills the big screen, and the folks who make it all possible.  While some Oscar telecasts are really quite impressive I am not able to make that comment about last evening.  While there were emotional moments, for the most part I was left feeling unsatisfied.  James and I watched it on the DVR and so missed the commercials.  Maybe I did not have as many kitchen breaks which accounts for my downgrading last night’s show.

I felt it a weaker performance than some in the past.  There was no lifetime achievement award.  The star power of the past seemed no where in the crowd, and Kim Novak was (not sure what words to use.) She is an older woman and would have looked so much better had she allowed her age to shine as opposed to efforts at blunting the signs of age.

I have no idea why the three kids of Judy Garland were not on stage, or why they had no role other than seat warmers.    I had been led to believe from press reports they would have a role.

Ellen is funny but it seemed she thought this was a gig at a comedy club at times rather than the Oscars.   Her need to be funny seemed at odds at time with the grandeur of what the night is to be all about.  There might be a reason why they waited so many years for her to host again.

And, finally, there has never been a good explanation for the reason the orchestra is located far away from the show.  I know this is not the first time this has happened, but it just befuddles me and looks strange.

Still the movies are what it is all about, and we are all most fortunate to have so many wonderful films to enjoy over and over.  May they never stop being made.

Pope Francis Drops ‘F” Word At The Vatican

Everyone has embarrassing moments.

It was a simple slip of the tongue, people say. But when the pope lets the f-bomb fly in a public speech, people notice. And that’s the situation that turned a weekly blessing by Pope Francis into a spark for a flurry of comments on social media Sunday. The pope quickly realized his misstep, correcting himself. But there are things people simply cannot un-hear, and this seems to be one of them.

“The words the Pope stumbled on were ‘caso’ (example) and ‘cazzo’ which means ‘f***’ in Italian and often trips up those not used to speaking the language,” as Britain’s The Daily Mail reports.

The stumble offered an unexpected distraction to a large crowd who had gathered on a rainy Sunday to watch the pope deliver a message of charity to his followers, speaking from the window at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

“If each one of us does not amass riches only for oneself, but half for the service of others, in this f*** … in this case the providence of God will become visible through this gesture of solidarity,” he said, as he read from prepared remarks before delivering the traditional Marian prayer of the Angelus.

Pope Francis didn’t look away from his notes as he quickly corrected his momentary flub, but he left “the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square and those watching around the world asked themselves ‘Did he just say f***?'” the Daily Mail says.

In the Italian media and on Twitter, people were quick to draw attention to the gaffe — but also to forgive it as a common mistake for those who move from speaking Spanish to Italian. The pope, 77, is a native of Argentina.

Governor Jerry Brown Says Potheads Not Able To Stay Alert

Governor Brown made it clear where he stands in relation to marijuana.  Many stand right alongside him on this issue.  Brown made his comment on Meet The Press Sunday morning.

If pot smoking gains more legitimacy in the nation’s most populous state, Brown said he worries it could have negative ripple effects.

“The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes,” he said in a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?”

“We have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington. I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work,” he said. “The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”


The New Yorker Cover Sums Up Winter 2014

The new snow plows.