Gossip: Hillary's New Bling-Bling, World's Ugliest Cat; A Response from a Diplomat's Wife

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     Posted by Hello

    Gotta Love It

    And they say Americans are blatant hedonists.

    Here it is, in the middle of the desert, nothing less than a manmade ski slope!

    Image hosted by

    Yes indeed, a ski slope in the desert, right above in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

    We help build desert ski slopes with every gallon of gas we purchase.

    Hillary’s Big Bling-Bling

    Political scuttlebutt has it that Hillary doesn’t sit so well with a majority of the American public. Deeper thinkers than myself can ruminate on why this is. Is a woman judged harsher than a man is what I’m suggesting here? Or is Hillary really perceived as an angry shrewish nag as the Republicans suggest?

    Whatever the case for her recent falling poll numbers, it does seem prudent for Hillary to begin the creation of a newer, and gentler, she.

    Best way to begin this process, get closer to her husband. Americans take well to an adoring wife and just recently Hillary and Bill displayed their mutual admiration society during Coretta King’s funeral.

    Before the funeral, however, Hillary was spotted wearing a huge diamond ring, alleged to be a gift from her husband. I’m not sure sporting such a thing at an event on the lower East Side was all that wise but that’s just me.

    A three-carat bauble from her adoring husband. A thinly veiled endorsement for “future president” from that same husband during the King funeral. It’s political overhaul in front of our lying eyeballs.

    Soon enough it will be time to display Hillary as a sweet maternal figure. We ruminate that Chelsea will soon be on the scene, pictured by her mother’s side during selected photo-ops.

    If the adoring husband/wife doesn’t do the deed, the concerned mother figure will convince Americans of Hillary’s sweetness.

    From the NY Daily News:
    The state of Bill and Hillary Clinton's union is apparently strong - at least judging by the mongo diamond that Hillary was sporting on her ring finger yesterday.
    Sources say the former President quietly gave the iceberg-sized bling - thought to exceed 3 carats - to his wife months ago, in advance of their 30th wedding anniversary on Oct. 11 last year.

    But the sparkling stunner is so big that the former First Lady has been nervous about wearing it and hasn't broken it out of her jewelry box on a regular basis until recently.

    The big bauble was on full display yesterday, when the junior senator visited University Settlement, an outreach center on the lower East Side, to talk about cuts to early childhood education proposed by President Bush.

    "It was a gift from her husband," was all Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Hanley would say.

    Speaking of the Clintons

    We hear Bill delivered special birthday wishes to Ellen DeGeneres for her birthday.

    The studio audience, as well as Ellen, were stunned at the video message sent by the former president. Turns out that Ellen raised quite a bit of money for victims of Hurricane Katrina as well as the Toys for Tots program. Clinton is deeply involved in these relief efforts.

    Clinton Stuns Ellen with Birthday Message
    By WENN|Monday, January 30, 2006

    HOLLYWOOD - Former President Bill Clinton left comedienne-turned-chat show
    host Ellen DeGeneres speechless on her birthday show Friday when he sent her
    a special message.

    Clinton had DeGeneres, who turned 48 on Thursday, choking back the tears as
    he commended her for making America laugh and think.

    Motley Crue Gets Hollywood Star

    During the ceremony we hear that Hollywood’s Mayor became so exasperated at the unruly crowd that at one point he actually flipped an especially distracting fan his middle digit.

    From a press release:
    Hollywood (January 25, 2006) – Rock’s most notorious bad boys can add another claim to their Star on the Walk of Fame: normally unflappable Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant was provoked into flipping the bird (visions of Spiro Agnew!) as unruly fans taunted and chanted during the band’s induction ceremony earlier today on Hollywood Blvd.

    The Hollywood Walk of Fame’s newly unveiled 2,301st star for Mötley Crüe, umlauts and all, is appropriately located at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Musician's Institute. Following Mr. Grant’s introduction, and Tommy’s goosing and groping of the Hollywood Mayor’s behind, fans were so unruly that the cherubic Grant asked the “children” to quiet down before humorously, and historically, displaying his extended digit in the direction of a boisterous fan. Amidst whoops and laughter the ceremony continued with all members of the band conveying their heartfelt thanks to the crowd on having been bestowed with such an honor.

    The World’s Ugliest Cat

    Image hosted by Actually these cats are a hairless breed beloved by those who cannot tolerate cat hair due to allergies.

    Here’s a picture of the world’s ugliest dog.

    No More Telegrams

    I remember telegrams. Yes even for one as old as myself, telegrams had lost their luster long ago. But there were times in my life when telegrams weren’t all that odd.

    We had a party line in my childhood home. For those too young to remember, telephone’s once had party lines that were “shared” between households. In order to use the phone, one had to first check that the “other” family wasn’t still on the line.

    It was because of the shared telephone lines that our house received telegrams on occasion. For if my grandmother couldn’t get through she simply sent us a telegram. It wasn’t at all unusual for us to receive a telegram with such simple messages as “Call me…Grandma” or “Couldn’t get through…leaving for vacation.-Gram”. Receiving telegrams was an exciting thing in our household.

    Alas, this great American tradition is no more. What with emails, cell phones, etc., it was inevitable.

    Western Union, we understand, has gone on to better things:
    After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams.

    On the company's web site, if you click on "Telegrams" in the left-side navigation bar, you're taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible:

    "Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative."

    AOL Reality Show

    We learn from that AOL has teamed up with reality show guru Mark Burnett to create a so-called “web-based” reality series.

    An intriguing concept we must say. As I understand it, the search for the gold as orchestrated by Burnett and AOL will not be a televised reality series. Large trucks of gold will be hidden across the USA and clues will be given on the AOL web site. It’s expected that additional coverage will come from TV, newspapers and magazines as they report on the progress of the winners, the clues and other pertinent coverage.

    Mark Burnett Makes AOL Game

    Online treasure hunt will provide web-based reality series across portal’s sites.
    January 31, 2006

    America Online has teamed up with Mark Burnett, creator of the reality series Survivor and The Apprentice, to create an online treasure hunt called Gold Rush!

    The web-based reality series will run across several sites on the AOL network, including,,, and Challengers will be able to hunt for clues across the sites and look for hidden treasure buried across the United States.

    The clues and the online reality show will also be promoted on television, print, and cell phones. Mr. Burnett said he was amazed by the number of fans who communicated online about his TV series.

    Leaving With a Smile

    For there will never be an ugly panda.

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    More Gossip/Speculation HERE

     Posted by Hello

    On Diplomats, A Comment From a Diplomat’s Wife

    The lady took the time and trouble to respond to my recent “political tidbit” post where I mentioned how Condoleezza was overhauling the Department of State.

    Here is her response. The parts bolded are my comments from the original article, to which she is responding.

    Interesting point about transformational diplomacy - although, I'm guessing, you don't know any diplomats. Fancy cocktail parties it ain't. I'm a diplomat's wife, so let me correct a couple of stereotypes here. I don't mind when people disagree with me, or don't think much of those of us who are either in the Foreign Service or are married to it. I just wish folks would let go of the stereotypes and get their facts straight. Movies and TV are wrong 99% of the time.

    "Now, ahem, those elite Foreign Service personnel will actually have to work for a living."

    My husband often reports to work at 4 am. The average Foreign Service Officer posted abroad works 10-15 hours a week of unpaid overtime.

    "In order to be promoted into senior ranks diplomats will have to accept positions in dangerous places and, heh, learn a few languages beyond English."

    That isn't a Condi initiative - she's taking credit for something that Colin Powell did. Those requirements have been in place for two years. Also, you cannot get tenure without getting off "language probation", as in, you have to be proficient in at least one language beyond English.

    "The bureaucrats and career diplomats are mad, ladies and gems. Madder then wet hens, my mother would say."

    The diplomats' union, AFSA, came out in favor of these initiatives. Our community is well aware that times have changed - for example, we have more people in Oslo than Addis Ababa. Ethiopia has human rights issues, Oslo has reindeer. Clearly, people have to shift to where they're needed.

    The issue is that 100 officers had already been assigned their next tour, but then Condi abruptly yanked these jobs out from underneath them. Folks slogged through months of Polish training, lined up schools for their kids, prepared to move...and then were told that their jobs would be cancelled and they'd have to wait around until Condi figured out where to put them. Also, many of these European tours were in less-fab places like Moscow and Warsaw, not Paris or Berlin. These supposedly fancy diplomats are human beings with families, and shouldn't be treated like pawns on Condi's personal chessboard.

    "Well for eight years these folks had a nice holiday from history as Bill Clinton paid these gigantic agencies no mind and allowed them to grow to huge, unwieldy and dysfunctional institutions until they finally considered themselves a branch of government in their own right."

    This is a common misperception. Actually, the State Dept shrank during Clinton's years. Many diplomats left or retired, and not nearly enough were hired to replace them. The Diplomatic Readiness Initiative, which involved hiring masses of new diplomats, was actually a Bush program.

    "No more sipping tea on the verandas of third-world poobahs good diplomats of the Foreign Service. Get out and work like us peons have to do."

    Oh, please. We don't live fancy. My husband and I share a small two-bedroom apartment in Bosnia. Not France, not England, but Bosnia. The majority of diplomats serve at hardship postings - the largest posts in the world are Baghdad, Cairo, and Bogota. None of those places are luxurious. Over 700 (that's more than one in ten!) diplomats serve at extremely dangerous, unaccompanied (as in no spouse or kids) posts in places like Kabul, Baghdad and Mosul. For all of your populist posturing, I don't think you live inside a "hooch" like the Mosul gang does. (A hooch is a small storage trailer used as housing. It's the size of a small U-Haul.)

    Maybe the old Foreign Service was a neverending Paris tea party, but those days are over. As a spouse, I don't throw fancy parties or have servants. My morning question isn't, "What fancy party will I go to tonight?" It's, "What nasty substance is going to come flying out of the showerhead today?"

    So, please do a little research. Today's Foreign Service is a wonderful and worthwhile lifestyle, but it's not designer clothes or chauffers by any means.

    Posted by Shannon to The Kaitlyn Mae Book Blog at 2/02/2006 10:43:09 AM

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